Friday, January 30, 2009

New Shoes & Gu's

I've put about 450 miles on my Adidas Control running shoes and I've been meaning to get down to skinny raven and get some new shoes. You should really put no more than 400 miles on one pair of shoes. If you wait to long it could lead to injuries. I can really tell when I have a newer pair of shoes on, I feel a lot more cushion and bounce to them. I was downtown all day at the Hilton for the NEA-Delagate Assembly and had a break so I walked down to the Raven in a snow storm. They were having a sale and I couldn't believe all the people that were already their.

Skinny Raven is the best shoe store in all of Alaska. It is a running store that sells shoes and clothing. It has an awesome atmoshpere and the workers are very knowledgable. They are all runners and skiiers or fitness types and put a lot of work into customer satisfaction. It's nice to walk in their and chat about workouts or upcoming races. Todd List, Jerry Ross, Charlie Renfro, John Clark, and Andrew Richie were all their and busy with the sale. Todd List helped me out with a new pair of Adidas Sequence. I've never had this type of shoe before, but I was looking at getting away from the Adidas control because I believe it has a little too much support for me. I've sticked with Adidas lately for trainers because they feel great on my feet and look pretty sweet.

I also loaded up on some Gu's (Espresso Love, Vanilla Bean, and Chocolate Outrageous) and bought a Recovery Drink for after my workouts. I'm all set now to continue my Road to Boston!

Today it was snowing pretty hard and I didn't feel like climbing on the treadmill and running 12 miles, so I sucked it up and did 8 outside and the last 4 on the mille. I ran mostly on the road and was lucky that the plows had just gone by so the running wasn't that bad. I had to jump on the sidewalks occasionally and that is when things got a little slower, but I wasn't too concerned with pace. I was just glad to be outside. It felt good running in the snow storm with the snow hitting my face. It wasn't too hard and it was kind of warm at 20 above.

The last 4 miles on the treadmill I got a little faster and ended up running at 6:35 pace toward the end. I was able to try out the new shoes and they felt great! Tomorrow is an 8 mile recovery that I hope to do outside if they plow the sidewalks. Training is going good!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Getting it done- In the AM

Yesterday I had my 15 mile run and couldn't get to sleep until past 11pm. So, when the alarm clock went off at 5am this morning I was pretty tired. Running isn't the first thing I want to do when I wake up. Sometimes I wish I could just shut the alarm off and get another hour of sleep. But, I have goals and when I set my mind to something I will try to do what it takes to accomplish it. I want to do well in Boston this year (Not just run it) and it takes sacrifice to accomplish goals. If accomplishing goals were easy then they wouldn't mean as much when you accomplish them. I tell my high school wrestlers that if winning a state championship were easy then it wouldn't mean anything to you if you didn't work hard and won it. If you bust your butt and won it, then you will cherish it for a long time.

I have a poster in my workout room that say's "What part of 100%, Don't you understand." When I'm running on the treadmill and don't really feel like being their, I'll take a look at this poster and realize that if I quit, then I'm not giving 100% to my goals.

Today was a recovery day so I took it super easy on both my runs. I ran 6 miles in the morning at 5am and then did 4 more miles after school. My legs were a little tired, but I know that I'm speeding up the recovery process by keeping the run easy. Tomorrow calls for 12 miles and I'm going to try and do the entire run outside.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Windows of time.

Today I had a little window to get my 15 mile medium distance run done. I have to be at work by 7am so it is hard to get a longer run in before work unless I want to wake up before 5am (not going to happen). I'm good at getting up and running an easy 6-10 miles, but I don't have enough time to run the medium distance runs.

After work I need to be at my kid's school by 3:30 to pick them up. Since I get off around 2:30 there isn't enough time for a workout then either. My son has his soccer practice at 6:30, so I had a window from 4:00pm-6:10pm to get this run done.

I did the first 9 miles outside. It was snowing and pretty windy. At first the snow was blowing straight into my eyes, but seemed to die down a little after a couple miles. The footing was also rough because of the fresh snow that made me work a little harder to get through. I changed into shorts, etc. and did the final 6 miles inside on my treadmill. I was able to pick up the pace gradually and finished with a 6:35 mile. I want to start finishing these medium-distance runs and long runs a little faster.

Tomorrow is a recovery day, but it will begin at 5am.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Busy Day, but great workout!

Today we finally had our End of Season Wrestling banquet. The season finished Dec. 13th, but with Christmas break and the banquet having to be rescheduled because of school being cancelled due to the "ice days" we were finally able to have it tonight. The banquet went really well. I have some wonderful parents who do a lot of work for my program. Captain Cook Hotel was able to donate a couple of nice main dishes and salads. We ordered a bunch of pizza's too. And of course families brought a ton of desserts. Wrestlers have to sacrifice a lot during the season and especially watch their diets. Not that they shouldn't continue to do it in the off-season, but it is nice to celebrate the season and eat as much as you want. And believe me, a couple of kids ate a lot. Like I said before, we had a good season. It was nice to see us improve so much from the previous year. And we have put ourselves in a situation to have a great season next year.

Today's workout called for 11 miles w/ 5 miles at tempo pace (or half-marathon pace). I decided to do the workout right after school. So, I jumped on my treadmill and did 3 easy miles for a warm-up and then jumped right into the workout. It was an awesome workout too. I eased into my first mile right at 6 min. pace. My 2nd and 3rd miles were at 5:57 pace, and miles 4 & 5 were at 5:52 pace. So, a little under 30 straight minutes at tempo pace. It felt so easy! I knew I did them correctly because I could've stayed at this pace for at least an hour. I'm not going to lie, I still needed to concentrate on my form and breathing, but I was really enjoying going a little faster for a change. I finished the workout with 3 more miles a little under 7 min. pace to get my 11 miles.

The idea of this workout is to increase my lactate threshold. To be able to run longer without my legs creating lactate, which forces you to slow down. I believe I will work up to 7 straight miles at tempo pace.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

1st Cycle is complete!

My training for the Boston Marathon is 18 weeks total. It is broken down into 4 different cycles.
Cycle #1- Endurance
Cycle #2- Lactate Threshold+Endurance
Cycle #3- Race Preparation
Cycle #4- Taper

I just completed the first cycle which is 6 weeks long, so I'm one-third on my way to Boston! I feel real good too. The first cylce basically gives me a solid base. There was basically no speed involved. Just putting some quality miles in and did a few short lactate threshold runs for workouts.

Here is my mileage for the first 6 weeks:
Week #1- 65 miles
Week #2- 67 miles
Week #3- 70 miles
Week #4- 70 miles
Week #5- 81 miles
Week #6- 72 miles (Recovery Week)

Total Mileage for 1st cycle: 263 miles.

The 2nd cycle will involve a lot more Lactate threshold workouts (basicall half-marathon pace). My mileage each week will also increase a little. I will also do 1 workout which is 16 miles, but 13 at marathon pace. That workout will give me a good indicator where my fitness is at. I'm really excited for this next phase to begin because of the harder workouts (or faster running).

I'm really stoked right now about where I am at in my training. I'm feeling good, strong, and have no injuries. As long as I stay smart and progress slowly I should improve and get that sub 2:40 marathon at Boston! The next 6 weeks will be important.

I had a good run today with Jerry and two others from his training group whose names slip my mind right now. We took it nice and easy the whole run and we notched it down a little to 16 miles, since it is a recovery week. The temps were great, but it was super slick in spots. You really needed Ice bugs.

I really enjoy sunday's runs. Not just because it's a long run, but I enjoy the company of people with goals that are similar to my own. Our times may be different but we are all trying to become better and faster runners. It's motivating to me!

Here is a picture of Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia who is the world record holder for the marathon, which is 2:03:59!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ticket to Boston

It's really official now. I bought my plane ticket to Boston. To cut a few hundred dollars off the cost I will have a couple stops on the way. On the way to Boston I will fly from:
Anchorage to Seattle to Chicago to Boston taking about 12 hrs.
On the way back I will fly from:
Boston to New York to Seattle to Anchorage taking about 13 hrs.

I'm getting to Boston on Friday, April 17th at 4pm, so I'll have plenty of time to get adjusted and get a couple of easy runs in to get rid of the jet lag before the race on monday.

I did my easy 6 mile recovery run today outside. I ran to Huffman road and back and added a little extra to make an easy six. The sidewalks and roads were really icy, but didn't bother me to much with the ice bugs. Plus, it was nice to be outside. My legs were a little tired. I did a medium long run yesterday of 13 miles at the dome and I probably went a little to fast. I'm not sure the dome is the best for me because I get to caught up on my mile splits. I may take another approach the next time I run their. I'm hoping to run most of my 11 mile run tomorrow outside.

I'll leave you with a new video by coldplay. Life in technicolor ii

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Getting tougher

I wanted to congratulate a friend of mine Joleen Smith for finishing her first ever Marathon. She ran the Rock N Roll Marathon in Arizona over the weekend. She put in some good training and should be proud of her accomplishment. I have a feeling she may do some more marathons in the future. Keep it up!

Not much to report today in my own training. I couldn't run today until 5pm and it was very icy and dark outside, so I opted for the treadmill. I ran 10 miles at a pretty easy pace. I made it a little harder at the end by upping the grade a little. One thing I have been noticing is that I'm recovering faster after these medium long runs. The Pfitzinger plan really works well for me. It has the perfect amount of recovery days to help you get the key components of marathon training in during the week.

I'm also excited that my friend Charlie Mahlen and his wife Jenny will be in Boston too. Jenny is running the marathon and charlie will be their for support. He bought us some Boston Red Sox tickets for that saturday. They will be playing the Baltimore Orioles. It will be nice to kick it in Fenway!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Why do I run?

Why do I run? I actually get that question a lot. Friends and family will tell me I'm crazy for running so much lately. Some will say they hate running and even despise the thought of doing it. I have one friend that runs a little to stay in shape, but tells me he doesn't enjoy one second of it.

Running is tough on your body if your not careful about it. I believe it takes time to make it enjoyable. You need to be consistent about it. If I was to only run once a week I don't think I could enjoy it. I would never get in shape to be able to enjoy it. Everytime I would go out for a run I would be suffering. When I'm consistent I enjoy it because I'm in shape and it feels good. Especially when the endorphins kick in.

I'm not saying I feel good everytime I run, because their are days that I struggle or lack the motivation to put the shoes on and go run. I believe a big reason I run is the satisfaction I get from hard work. I actually developed a Hard work ethic from the sport of wrestling. Wrestling is a sport that talent isn't as important of an aspect as it is in other sports. If you are willing to work your butt off and be consistent in your training you can get good fast. Their are so many aspects in wrestling that you need to work on. You must work on you aerobic, anaerobic, strength training, flexibility, and nutrition. Not to mention how mental wrestling is. It is a tough sport to recruit kids to try, because it is so tough. Our society is a lot softer than it use to be.

I've read Dean Karnasez book 50/50 where he runs 50 Marathons in 50 days in 50 states. Pretty amazing and he talks about how running can teach you that there is a difference between working hard and feeling bad. That our consumer culture tries to teach us to live the easy life. Just watch tv and look at most of the commercials. They talk about making our lives easier. If everything you knew about life came from TV, your goal would probably be to live the easiest, most comfortable and unchallenging life possible. You would believe that the only good feelings are sensual pleasures such as the taste of a good soft drink and the fun of driving an expensive car and lying on the beach. It's not true. Challenging and testing your mind and body, even to the point of exhaustion, failure, and breakdown, can feel as wonderful as anything else life has to offer. It really bothers me when students I teach will brag about being lazy. I'll ask them why they don't try out for a sport or go to a gym to work out and they laugh and say they are too lazy. After school they would rather hit McDonalds and then go home and play some Xbox.

Marathon running is taking off in our country. The Chicago Marathon for example has over 45,000 runners in it. There are marathons in every state and almost every big city in the US. This running phenomenon could be in part a largely unconscious backlash against comfort culture and the easy life. Heated seats and online shopping have created a void that we're all sensing. Our modern comforts and conveniences have accumulated to the point that they have stopped making us feel better and started making us feel worse. Some primal instinct inside is trying to tell us that what is needed is a good, hard sweat-some struggle in our lives; some physical challenge. The marathon may fill this void for people.

Today I had a great long run. I met Jerry Ross and some of his training group at the Sports Dome at 10am. A group of 4 of us did 16 miles outside and then Jerry and I did 5 more in the dome to give us 21 miles. This also gave me 81 miles for the week. I do keep track of my mileage with a training log. It's always updated on the right hand side of my blog under "Tom Ritchie- Training log". It was a perfect day for running. It was about 35 degrees out and sunny. It was so nice to actually get outside after the crazy weather we had this week.

Quick run down for this past week:
1/12- 6 miles
1/13- 10 miles
1/14- 15 miles
1/15- 10 miles (6am/4pm)
1/16- 13 miles
1/17- 6 miles
1/18- 21 miles

= 81 miles for the week.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sports Dome

Another day of school cancelled. This day will have to be made up though. The kids were excited, but they were just on break and I'm starting to get tired of trying to entertain them. I'd send them outside, but it's an ice rink outside our house and they might blow away.

Today called for 13 miles and I really didn't feel like running on the treadmill. I sucked it up and paid 10 dollars to run in our sports dome. It is a super facility and I would use it a lot more if I was training for 5K/10K races. Or if I didn't have my own treadmill. It has a 400 meter (a little more) track inside that goes around field turf. The turf is used by soccer, football, baseball, softball, etc... It is great for our community!

I started at an easy pace to warm-up and I felt really good today. I progressively picked it up every mile. I would run in lane 1, lane 2, lane 3, and lane 4 for a whole lap each mile. That way it was easy for me to keep track of my miles. For some reason I took mile splits today. I'm not sure what the exact mile times were since the track is about 413 meters around and I also ran in lanes 2,3, and 4. If I were to stay in lane 1, I believe I would subtract about 3 seconds a lap or 12 sec. a mile. Here are my splits:

Mile 1- 7:32
Mile 2- 7:08
Mile 3- 6:58 (ex. 6:46 if I was to stay in lane 1 the whole time)
Mile 4- 6:54
Mile 5- 6:52
Mile 6- 6:49
Mile 7- 6:47
Mile 8- 6:45
Mile 9- 6:41
Mile 10- 6:33
Mile 11- 6:33
Mile 12- 6:34
Mile 13- 6:14

It was a good workout and it felt pretty easy. I didn't mind running in circles when I have good music on the ipod either.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Another Ice Day

Woke up at 5am this morning to get my run in this morning because I had to run twice today. I brushed my teeth and then remembered that there was a possibility that school would be cancelled again today because of the severe icy roads and wind. I went downstairs and checked my phone and saw that Mike Montgomery called letting me know school is cancelled again. I went to bed late last night so I took advantage of not having to go into school and went back to bed for a few more hours. I have really enjoyed spending the last 2 days with the kiddos too. Today, I took them to the movie "Bed Time stories" with Adam Sandler. It was hilarious and the kids enjoyed it too.

Today was a recovery day so both workouts were super easy. I ran 6 miles in the morning and 4 miles in the afternoon. Of course they were done on the treadmill at home again, but I really would like to go running outside. I have the icebug running shoes, but it is seriously like an ice rink outside right now. I hope it snows soon.

Here is a great tune by Chemical Brothers called Galvanize. I like listening too a little techno when I have to run tempo or VO2 Max workouts on the treadmill.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Icy Roads and High Winds

I woke up at 6am this morning, took a shower, got dressed, and headed downstairs and got the coffee going. Then I turned on the radio and heard that school is cancelled in Anchorage today. We got freezing rain through the night and it made the roads like an ice rink. School is never cancelled in Alaska, so it was nice to have the day off. Too bad I already took a shower and was wide awake or I would've went to bed for a couple more hours. We were also suppose to have our End of Season Wrestling banquet tonight at South too, but we will now postpone it until next week.

My training program called for 15 miles today. Normally I would do 9 outside and change clothes quickly and do the last 6 on the treadmill, but it was an ice rink outside and windy. I guess winds might be over 100mph in Turnagain arm tonight.

So, I did all 15 miles on the treadmill. It was a great workout though and I didn't mind being on the treadmill. The temperature outside was 38 above and I had my window open so I had an occasional nice breeze. I started out nice and easy and picked the pace up a little every mile. The last 9 miles were around 6:45 pace and it felt super easy. I'm definetly getting my fitness level up close to where I was last year. It's a great feeling when you get in the zone!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Feeling Better

I'm definetly feeling a lot better today. Still trying to get my sleep and rest when I can. Today I did a Lactate threshold workout. It called for 10 miles w/ 4 miles at half-marathon pace. I wasn't sure what I should run my 4 miles at because of feeling a little ill. So, after a 3 mile warm-up I started with 6min. pace and it felt really comfortable. So the remaining miles were (6:00, 5:56, 5:56) then 3 more miles at 7min. pace. I was pretty pumped after the workout because I felt like I could've went a lot longer at 5:56 pace. I was actually singing along on the last 2 miles of the workout.

Lactate threshold runs are tempo runs in which you run for at least 20 minutes at your lactate threshold. Lactate threshold training should be run at close to the pace that you could currently race for 1 hour. For serious marathoners, this is generally half marathon pace. This should be the intensity at which lactate is just starting to accumulate in your muscles and blood. The extra mental toughness required to get through a tempo run when you may not be feeling great should come in handy during the Boston Marathon!

The temperature in Anchorage warmed up to about 20 above today, but the wind has really started to pick up. I guess we have high wind advisory tonight. Oh well, this is Alaska!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A little under the weather

This saturday I did a nice and easy 6 mile recovery run after my son's soccer game around 3pm. I took it really easy and it felt good, but I had a little upset stomach. By 8pm I started getting the chills and my teeth were chattering uncontroablly. So, I grabbed my hot pad and climbed into bed. I felt weak and my whole body was aching. I stayed in bed until 12:30p the next day. I wanted to get up but I just didn't have the energy, plus I still had a very bad stomach ache. I was suppose to run 19 miles today and I was very excited to do so. It would of gave me 77 miles for the week, which would've been my all time high.

At 5pm I felt okay, but still kind of weak. I decided to try and run at a very easy pace (probaly a stupid move). I ended up running just 12 miles on my south loop w/ Service extention. It's a great loop to run when you are training to run the Boston Marathon. It has lots of uphill and some good downhill to give the quads some needed pounding. I took it easy, but could tell I was pretty weak. I had almost no energy going up Huffman hill. I almost felt like laying down on the side of the road. Of course it was 0 degrees out so I knew I had to keep running. When I got home I just crawled into bed and layed their for awhile. I'm not sure if running was a smart move. I just hate getting off my routine and my training program. I always feel that if I'm sick I can still workout, but just lower the intensity. I must have some type of flu bug running through my body right now. My body aches, I feel weak, and my stomach is upset. Hopefully this will all pass in the next couple days.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Treadmill Running

When I woke this morning it was -20 below outside. When school was out it was still -15 below. Like I said before I have the gear to run outside and be comfortable, but I just didn't feel like going outside in this real cold weather.

The workout called for a medium long run of 14 miles. Usually I would split this up when its cold and do some of the workout outside and the rest inside on the treadmill. Well, I did the whole 14 miles on the treadmill.

Sometimes I can get real bored just staring out my window on the treadmill. But, today it didn't really bother me. It was still light out for half the workout, so I was able to kill some time looking at cars and people passing by. Sometimes I can get zoned out to pass time. 20 minutes will pass by and I forget that I was even running and can't really remember what I was thinking about. Usually I'm thinking about Wrestling or a race that I'm training for. It's also a good time to work out problems I have in my head. Maybe its work related or something I need to get done. Bottom line is that you do a lot of thinking while running on a treadmill.

I love the fact that I own a real nice treadmill and its located right in my house. I have it upstairs. I call the room my workout room, but it was suppose to be a spare bedroom. It's facing a window which is nice. I have an ipod home speaker system for music. I also have some motivational running poster and my Boston Acceptance cards on the wall. I could do more to fix it up and make it a better workout room. It would be really nice to get a nice TV with a DVD player to maybe watch a movie to pass the time. I'm sure someday I will. I just love the fact that I'm able to have a workout room in my house.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

It's cold outside

It was -15 below today when I decided to go out for a run. That may seem extreme, but I have some real nice running gear to help keep me warm. Plus, the sun was out and I wanted to run in it. I really didn't feel like running on my treadmill today. Especially since I have a 14 miler tomorrow and if the weather keeps it up I may be inside.

Today's workout called for 10 miles (general aerobic effort) w/ 10 X 100m striders. I've made myself a Pre-Boston playlist on my ipod to help with the first month of training. It seemed to help today. I took off from my house and did the south loop with an extra mile added on at the end. It felt great. At the end of the workout my time on my watch showed that I was running an average of 6:53 min. miles. Not bad considering it felt pretty effortless.

I can sure build up the frost around my eyelashes, eyebrows, and hat. I've looked in the mirror after runs and everything is completly white. I get some pretty good stares while I'm running. It must look like I'm freezing, but I'm really comfortable as long as I am moving.

I'm going to leave you with a good cold play song.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Marathoners can sometime benefit from running twice a day. In my training schedule I have recovery days of 10 miles that are broken into 2 short runs. Running 10 straight miles on a recovery day may take too much out of your body. If you split it into 2 short runs you also speed your recovery because each run will increase blood flow to your muscles and take little out of yo$u.

I woke up at 5am this morning (since I had to be at work by 7am) and ran a super easy 6 miles on the treadmill. I can handle easy recovery runs early in the morning because I don't really need to be wide awake. After work I did another 4 miles super easy on the treadmill.

To get my mileage up to 80/90 miles a week I'll have to throw a couple doubles in each week. Hard to believe I'm already in week #4 on the Road to Boston!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Back From Hawaii to the ice cold temps of Anchorage.

I returned from the land of Paradise to some extreme cold temperatures in Anchorage, Alaska. It was a pretty extreme temperature change. I boarded the plane in Honolulu with a temperature of 80 degrees and when I got off the plane in Anchorage it was -15 degrees below zero. A difference of 95 degrees. At least we are gaining daylight right?

I've neglected my blog due to the fact I had no internet access in our hotel unless I was wanting to pay for it. In a way it was kind of nice to not know what was going on in the world. I did have my cell phone which has internet connection so i could at least get sports scores and text message friends.

Hawaii was an excellent vacation. It was great to be able to spend some time with just the family. We spent everyday outside on the beach. The weather was very cooperative. It was right around 80 degrees everyday and never got below 72 even at night. It rained a few times while we were sleeping which made things a little humid in the morning while I was running. We didn't venture to far from Waikiki beach but that is what made it more relaxing. Swimming, snorkeling, and laying in the sun for 10 straight days.

The bonus of this vacation was that I was able to get some real good training for Boston. I ran every single morning and got 97 miles in on the island. I'm actually kind of proud that I was focused enough to get up at 6-6:30 everyday to get my run in before it got hot. Plus, I didn't take time away from the family to go run. They were able to sleep in, eat breakfast and we were all ready to head to the beach by 9am. Not once did I turn the alarm off and sleep in. It just proves that I'm going to be prepared to run fast in Boston this year.

Here is my mileage on the island of Oahu:

12/23- 8 miles
12/24- 13 miles
12/25- 5 miles
12/26- 11 miles
12/27- 6 miles
12/28- 18 miles
12/29- 6 miles
12/30- 10 miles
12/31- 14 miles
1/1- 6 miles

Total- 97 miles