I’ve been planning for a while to post an update on my training plan – which really isn’t “updated” at all. Rather, I completely replaced what I was doing.  I’m going to start with some background, but if you’re interested in skipping straight to the plan itself, skip away.

Evolution of my thinking on training

The last time I did a training plan, I had very a very specific time goal in mind and only a vague understanding of how to reach it. I knew from reading blogs and online articles that speed work was important, and that increasing my long run was important, and that tempo runs were important… I read all kinds of articles on Runners World.com, looked at a variety of training plans, and shoved a bunch of things that looked promising into a format based on the Hal Higdon intermediate training plan that worked for me last year.

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Everybody loves a cheap race, right? Low cost is the main reason I signed up for the New Year’s Day 5k: $25 bucks is probably the cheapest race I’ve done in  a couple of years. I hadn’t run a 5k all year and I thought it would be fun to see if I could lower my time in that event the way I’d lowered my 10k just six weeks earlier. This particular race was sponsored by the local YMCA (which we just joined at Christmas), consisted of greenbelt trails along the river, and featured hot soup indoors afterwards, which is a nice feature for a January race in Idaho.

I didn’t rest of taper for this event, and in fact ran 5.5 medium-effort foothills miles the day previous, so nothing about the effort felt easy. My legs and lungs kept saying, “I’m tired” so I used my heart rate to gauge if I had effort left to give.  I did not have enough “push” to track down the fellow in front of me for the last mile, but in the end the effort was enough for a new PR by about 57 seconds (22m:13s) and first place male 35-40, 14th place overall.

2016 New Years Day 5k Results

My certificate from the 2016 New Years Day 5k.

One of these days I’ll actually train specifically for a 5k and see how fast I can really go.


Official race results
Time: 22m:13s (PR)
Age Group (35-39M) 1/10
Gender Place: 10/91
Overall Place: 14/260

Haven’t posted in a while but wanted get something out there on today’s run. I’m pretty pleased to have broken the 50 minute mark in the 10k, AND I placed first in age group, third male and fifth overall. Pretty fine results, I think.

My certificate from the 2015 Struttin' For Stuffin' 10k.

My certificate from the 2015 Struttin’ For Stuffin’ 10k.


Official race results
Time: 48m:18.6s (PR)
Age Group (35-39M) 1/5
Gender Place: 3/26
Overall Place: 5/117

Here’s a rare attempt at “daddy-blogging”.

My son kept his end of a daddy-son bargain for three days in a row, earning three consecutive stickers on his chart. This accomplishment (and trust me, it’s a big accomplishment!) merited a reward – his first fishing pole.

We headed off this afternoon in search of his reward. I posted a picture of his anticipatory smile on facebook, to which my wife replied that he’d be asleep before we made it our destination.  She is a very astute woman.

Picture of my son in the car.

Son on the way to pick out his first fishing pole

He did indeed fall asleep in the car. I kept him awake with witty banter until we got to the interstate, and then he was toast. He only got 5 minutes of sleep before we got to Cabellas.

Cabellas, by the way, is nirvana if you’re a kid. It’s pretty cool for adults, too. There are so many different tents in which to crawl, a fire pit with a fake fire, and reminders of the outdoors galore. A big game display in the middle of the store features elk, deer, grizzlies, polar bear, musk ox, a wolf, and even a few little guys like an otter and a skunk. “Daddy, why aren’t they moving?” “They’re display specimens, son”.  Thank goodness I didn’t have to explain any further.  Because other than that, if they so much as flinched they would terrify a store full of Sunday afternoon shoppers, son.

The end of the store near the fishing gear has two huge aquarium tanks. One features all the warmer water impoundment species, like bass, crappie, and the like. The other tank contains cooler water and shows off trout, salmon, and relatives. My son got to watch a turtle poop in the water, which was something I’d never seen either.

The actual shopping for a fishing poll was just a tour of the fishing section, during which I replaced all the gear that he dislodged.  We settled on a “Cars” themed fishing rod (Shakespeare brand) with practice casting weight, and a tackle box. Hopefully it will last a while. I was hoping for Zebco, but alas, their kid’s offerings are aimed at eight year olds and up.

My son carrying his new fishing rod and tackle box out of Cabellas.

New rod and tackle box in hand

Fishing pole in one hand, tackle box in the other, we proudly left the store. This time there was no sleeping on the drive.

My son casting his new fishing rod.

Casting the day away.

By the end of his first practice session, he was casting to the end of the line on the reel. I’m looking forward to the first fish, already.

Since I did a 2014 goals post, shall we do a 2014 year in review? We shall.

Family Life: Baby girl arrived in April and has been a delight. We are probably as well-adapted as any parents of two little children could be. Check!


Homebrewing: Got new tubing for cold-side beer movement. Brewed a porter, bought a keg, and kegged the porter. So, two goals down out of five. I did not find time to brew a beer fir baby girl’s arrival. I actually only brewed once during the whole year, rather than once a quarter, and I did not enter a single contest. Ah well. It has been nice to have homebrew to drink again, and kegging is well worth the expense.

Running: I didn’t get into Robie Creek, but I ran the Les Bois 10k anyway and improved my time over last year.  Didn’t get a chance to get revenge on the High Desert Half Marathon because the organizers didn’t organize it again this year.  I built my own training program and trained hard for the Sun Valley Half Marathon and came home with a PR. Nearly ran myself into the ground with that training plan.  Despite that, I ran the River of No Return 25k just two weeks after Sun Valley. Beautiful course that has my appetite whetted for (maybe) the 50k version in 2015.  For kicks, I ran the McCall Trail Running Classic 20 miler about a month later. It was after that event that I declared myself over-raced and under-trained. I committed myself to building a solid base of mileage and spent most of the late summer and early fall running slow, easy mileage.  I ran the Payette Lake 30k as an easy paced long run, and had a great time. I skipped all of the races in October due to work travel, so I didn’t run the Barber to Boise. It still sounds like a great course; maybe next year. I set a 5k PR running Boise’s Turkey Day 5k and a 10k PR running the Hot Chocolate Run to close out the year. I ran slower, and further, in 2014 than before – and in the end it made me faster.  Isn’t that something?

Final running stats for 2014: 226 runs; 1276 miles; 114,773 vertical feet ascended; in 223 hours 43 minutes


Didnt run Robie, but ran a “Hipster Robie”. More climbing, more distance, more pain, less cost. Photo Credit: Cory Harelson, http://eat-climb-run.blogspot.com/

Skiing: I made the most of the XC ski lessons that Kathy got me for Christmas, and had a blast skiing until the snow melted on Bogus Basin and it was time to run again.

Enough groomed classic track to stay busy all winter.

Enough groomed classic track to stay busy all winter.

Avoiding Inury: I managed to avoid further running injury until basically the last two weeks of 2014.  At this point I may be dealing with a little plantar fasciatis.  The jury is still out at this point.

It was a full year – but a great one! Thanks for following along.

I hadn’t run a 5k race since the same event last year, and hadn’t raced a distance shorter than a half-marathon since June. I have been training steadily and with purpose, for 4 months now following the McCall Trailrunning Classic, and have managed to stay healthy running six days a week. The bulk of my training mileage is very slow; my goal is to keep my cadence up (over 175 steps/minute) and my heart rate in zone 1 or zone 2 (50-70% of heart rate reserve).  This works out to roughly a 10 – 11 minute per mile pace. I am only doing speedwork every two weeks or so, and most of those runs are lactate threshold runs near my 10k pace (8m:20s/mile).

All of that prologue is just a really long-winded way to say that I haven’t run fast in a long time. I was actually starting to miss it, and I looked forward to this race to see if I had gotten faster even while not training for speed.

My strategy was to run the first mile strong, take it slightly easier for the second mile, and then close out strong, with a finishing kick for the last 400 meters. I think I nailed it – I had so much energy left for the finishing kick that I actually surprised myself a bit.

Mile 1 – 7m:30s
Mile 2 – 7m:39s
Mile 3 – 7m:17s
Last 400m – 1m:23s (5m:32s/mile pace) Continue Reading »

2014 Payette Lake Run

The Event

Circumnavigating its namesake lake, the 30k variant of The Payette Lake run is something of an Idaho institution. It’s been run on the iconic shore of McCall, ID’s focal-point lake for 37 consecutive years or so. The Boise Area Runners (BAR Meetup, BAR Facebook) club with whom I thoroughly enjoy running were making a weekend out of the event for a second year in a row, which sounded like great fun. Even if the run was a total bear, the company would be fun.

This race was on my list last year, but ill-timed wildfire assignments (are there well-timed wildfires? Maybe, but they don’t call us to manage those) left me poorly prepared. Looking back, I had run all of 42 miles in July and 28 in August 2013; not exactly the solid base mileage numbers needed to tackle 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) in one shot. This year I was heading into the race in a much better place, having run 97 and 111 miles for the same months a year later. Continue Reading »