CHM Training update: T-13 weeks – Back where I belong

Sorry this is coming out late, it’s been a VERY busy weekend!

With a change of weather comes a change of attitude, and a change of outcome: all of these for the better, I’m happy to say! Let’s break it down, shall we?

Sunday 10-20: Long run – 55-65 min @ 9:18/mi, 6-7 mi // 1:25:48 @ 9:30/mi, 9.0 mi  After an exhausting week of long days, late nights, and miles of extra walking, I finally got my truck back from the shop, and life returned to equilibrium. I ran a bit more than the training plan called for, but I wanted that time on my feet, building ahead for next week’s 15-mile long run.

Monday 10-21: Rest day //  Rest  A short work day, and another visit with the dentist: we have taken the molds for my dentures, next step is test-fitting, then off to the lab to make the actual appliances – we are getting closer by leaps and bounds 🙂

Tuesday 10-22: TM paces – 0.25 mi walk/1.75 mi easy run warm-up; 6x [0.25 mi @ 7:20/mi, 1:30 @ very easy run recover]; 1.5 mi easy run cool down  //  52:41 @ 9:35/mi, 5.5 miles  Another great pace workout…I do get some strange looks from other people at the gym, because I’m running when they get there, and still at it when they leave – oh well, improved performance requires putting in the work!

Wednesday 10-23: Cross training  //  Rest I will eventually settle down into a real weight-training routine, if I ever get away from the 12-hour workdays…gotta pay the bills, but man, it gets old.

Thursday 10-24: Maintenance – 55-60 min @ 9:18/mi, 6 mi //  59:12 @ 9:50/mi avg, 6 miles  This week I brought back an old favorite: hill repeats on the overpass! I ran an easy 0.5 mile warm up to the hill, then 8 repeats over and back @ 1 KM each (this hill has a 4% grade, which doesn’t sound like much until about the 4th or 5th time you do it…and realize you’re not done yet!) and then an easy 0.5 mile back home. I was very glad to see some definite progress – the last time I ran this hill, I was doing 10:30-11:00 miles, now it’s more like 9:30-10:00 – wow!!

Friday 10-25: Maintenance – 55-60 min @ 9:18/mi, 6 mi // Rest  Worked another 12-hour shift, so I declared the day done, and moved this run to the next day; staying flexible is the key to staying sane (or what passes for sanity, these days 🙂

Saturday 10-26: Cross-training //  58:00 @ 9:30/mi, 6 miles  Another rare bird here – I ran “naked”…NOT LIKE THAT! My Nike+ app had some kind of seizure, which froze up my phone, so I just ran…I know the distance around the running loop at the park, I knew what time I started and stopped, and I was not at all concerned with pace – and it turned out to be a very enjoyable experience, and a decent pace average for a maintenance run, at that!

Total for this week: 4 runs, 26.6 miles

Total for October: 13 runs, 78.0 miles

This was a much better week for running, I made all my scheduled workouts, made all my distances, and felt really strong doing it – wins, all around! I also got my first opportunity to volunteer for a racing event: my running club, the Houston Striders, is one of the sponsor for the Houston Half Marathon, one of the lead-up events in local tradition to the Chevron Houston Marathon. I did not register for this race, because I had planned to be out of town on a church retreat (which in turn got shot down by my employment issues) so I signed up to do packet pick-up, and it was a blast! It was so cool being in a position to meet hundreds of local runners, talk with them for a few minutes, and wish them a sincere “Have a great race!”



Front and back of the volunteer shirt – a nice Asics tech tee!

As an unexpected bonus, since a couple hundred of the 4000 registered participants did not show up to claim their bibs, I was told that it would be OK for me to “bandit” the race: there would be more than enough water, fuel, food, etc to go around, so I would not be “robbing” from anyone – I would not get a bib or timing chip, but I would get a swag bag, including the race shirt, and a finisher’s medal – SWEET! The race recap, with pictures,  will be headed your way tomorrow, I haven’t really had a chance to commit it all to paper…or electrons…or however you say that in the digital age 🙂 but I won’t let you down, I promise…it was a fantastic experience, even if the weather – and my own body – were conspiring against me!

What is your opinion of running a race you did not pay for?

Have you ever been a “race bandit”? If so, what led to that decision?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments!


  1. Emily

    Way to go for getting back out there strong! I’ve never been a bandit but if they have more than enough bibs and enough volunteers, why not? I might feel a little bad for ditching if I was volunteering in a group but I think that would probably go, that might be selfish though. Oh well, glad you had a great week!

    • Nick

      I appreciate that Emily…if I had committed to volunteer ON race day, I would have done that, instead; but I chose packet pickup on Saturday because they still needed help at the time I realized I would not be going to the retreat. It’s only being selfish if you renege on a promise because something YOU want looks better; I had no other commitments, so it all worked out Thanks for stopping by, I’m headed to your blog now to check it out!

  2. Pingback: Houston Half Marathon – Training (race) recap | Striding Towards Life

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