Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Training Log Recap: 16 week Cycle (6/28-10/17)

Coming off Boston Marathon I knew I needed to make some changes to get some speed back in my legs. So from early May to late June I went through a speed phase which to be honest didn't pan out so well. I did during that stretch get on the start line of 4 races ending with a 15:35 5K at the WV Championships and during that roughly 8 weeks probably averaged 80miles a week. Although the phase didn't go as planned it did get the idea back in my head to use more races as hard tempo efforts(or even faster then tempo effort) to have more fun! So after the WV 5K, Marian and me headed to the beach where I logged a very easy going 70mile recovery week and started the 16 week training cycle to Columbus Half the following week.

The focus was to re-develop short tempo running. I used mostly small 5K's to help accomplish this but also had some very solid 4-6 mile Steady State runs out in Kanawha State Forest which ranged from 5:10-5:25 pace feeling smooth. During this time I also had one of my better long workout that was 16miles and included 4mile tempo @ 20:37, 2mile Tempo @ 10:30, and ended with 1mile hard @ 4:55. After that workout I felt even though most of my tempo work was less then 30minutes I was still in a good position to run a huge breakthrough half marathon.

Long story short everything went really well this training cycle and I trained really well and had a tone of fun! But the fact is I failed in my goal race of Columbus Half Marathon, it wasn't from a lack of trying as I was through 4miles in 20:49 and then needed to lock in knowing to hold 5:10-12 throughout a half hurts and isn't easy. I didn't and gave in and the day was over a little after 10K when I started to slip off that goal pace.

The only thing I would change is I needed some longer tempo runs to mentally lock in. When I ran my half PR a couple winters ago the thing I was doing different was long tempo running. I had 3 10mile steady states on a rolling hilly road(Johnstown Road) in 5:25 pace. So I was very fit and strong at the time. I feel I was fitter this build but just never put in the long efforts to give myself the confidence and mental toughness that you need in races over 10K.

I naturally had more speed at that time to go with all the long tempo work. I lost that speed since that time but feel I did re-develop it this cycle so the positive is I'm back on the right track. I know just need to get a good mix of both without going 1-sided with my training focus.

One thing is for sure, I want to run a really good half marathon and marathon. The goals are still big. They might seem pretty far off right now but I can't let that stop me from trying to go after them.

I have no 100% plans as of now for upcoming races. I think it will be a early spring marathon and a late spring half. I'll continue to find little local races and jump in them for fun but since it is about to be a time where very few races pop up I should be able to just lock back in to a good long stretch of training.

I'm going to enjoy this week off, no matter what level of runner you are you have to include a rest/recover cycle to reach higher levels of training in future training cycles. Some people just don't understand that and pretty much run into burnout/stale running/ or just continue to run the same time range year after year. So my running tip to anyone willing to listen is allow your body a regroup period a couple times a year and come back stronger and smarter!

16 week cycle
1415 miles
88.4 average miles per/week
Only 2 weeks under 80miles (drop week for CDR and Columbus)
Entered 11 races and won 10 times including a goal that I never saw happening of winning the Charleston Distance Run 15 Miler.

Independence 5K-15:42-1st
Oceana 5K- 15:49- 1st
Coporate Cup 5k- 15:48- 1st
Thomas Memorial 5K- 15:21- 1st
Logan 5K- 15:59- 1st
CDR 15MILE Champ!!
Pineville 5K- 15:57- 1st
Wine Cellar 10K- 32:09- 1st
Beckley 5k- 16:13- 1st (course according to garmin was 3.19)
Twin Falls 5k- 15:41- 1st
Columbus Half- DNF

Other Races since Boston (during the May/early June cycle)
Blvd 2miler- 10:02- 1st (course mess up so closer to 9:40s)
Beethoven- 15:53- 2nd
Run with a Cop 5K- 16:15- 1st (poured the rain after the first mile which I hit in 4:57)
WV 5K Champs- 15:35- 6th

So in all I toed the line 15 times since Boston. That was a major goal to get out there more and even if just a tempo effort do more races. I think I accomplished that goal!! :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010


News Station Race Clip of Start/Finish:

Sunday Morning Post-race Article (really liked this article):

Pre-Race Article Feature that Mike Whiteford and the Gazette did on me:

Tuesday Gazette Article:

CDR Website:

Results from every CDR:

More news to come later this week

Monday, July 5, 2010

2010 Racing Pictures/New Links

Friday night 5K on the Blvd

Thomas Memorial 5K

Run with a Cop 5K

Sundown Showdown 2-Miler

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Boston Recap (In the words of Marian)

This Boston Recap is what Marian posted on her Strands Page. She can put her thoughts into the perfect words that truly covers all the feelings that goes through our heads! I wish I could write like this but I can't so I will just post what she had to say about the Boston Marathon Race:

I’ve had a lot of time to think about things since Monday’s race. Really, I have a lot to say and very little at the same time. As far as my race went, I’m just not sure what happened. It wasn’t one of those things I could think about at the time and know what went wrong. There’s not one point I can remember where things went bad. I don’t know why I lost it—I just did. I was on my hopeful pace throughout the first 11 miles (I think). I thought I was being so smart running down the fist part of Boston. Maybe I wasn’t as tough as I thought I was—the mentality of putting on your running brakes for the first portion of the course and then finding your groove sounded like something I could do….but I didn’t. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s best not to overthink Monday’s race. Yes—I trained for this race for a long time. And yes, people knew I wanted to do well here. These are things that make it a little hard to take—like a punch in the stomach. But what feels worse is just wanting it for yourself and then failing to come through.

I run for a lot of reasons. I love the sense of joy I get from being outside—just me and the world. I can always count on my body to take me places I couldn’t find without running; and my legs always bring me home. I love the friends I’ve made out on the roads—friends I wouldn’t have without running. I love getting up early in the morning and starting out my day before the sunrise—when it’s still dark outside and the shadows are all mysterious. Yet when the sun comes up everything becomes clear and beautiful. I guess I see running as being sort of like a sunrise. I can go out with a foggy head and not knowing anything—unanswered questions float around in my head all murky and sometimes a little dark and scary. And when I’m done, I realize I don’t need to know anything—because everything will take a shape and shine and I just don’t need to worry.

When I enter a race, I want to do well. Not against anyone else necessarily—but just for the joy of pushing myself. I don’t like to over think anything during a race. I like to go out and push until I have nothing left to give. It’s fun to improve and to reach new heights. It’s easy to think that if you push yourself and give all you have, then you have nothing to be disappointed about. But when you have goals and you miss them by a long shot, then disappointment can seep in. I guess that’s the trouble with putting pressure on yourself—there’s room to mess up. At the same time—I’d not like never putting any pressure on myself. I think I’d just get complacent and I’d miss the joy in trying.It’s funny, something that can bring your mind such clarity can also make you so confused. But you know, what would life be without a little uncertainty? There’s beauty in not knowing. I don’t have to know what went wrong with me to be okay. I’m so lucky to even be able to wonder. I’m happy for any minute I get to run—with the wind blowing by and the air on my skin. I’m not sad about my race now—I just needed a little time to gather my feelings and to put them in writing. Boston was special—the sense of belonging—with thousands upon thousands of runners beside you and even more people showing such support and love for humanity—the world is so much more than yourself. I’m so happy I got to run in the race—and I’m especially happy to have finished. : )

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"The Boston Build"

I started with the Boston Build 24 weeks ago, after taking roughly 2 weeks of very easy running post Columbus Marathon. Things started off sort of rough as far as things clicking and I was actually feeling a lot like I did all last winter/spring through the middle of January with this build. But I kept doing things as close to plan as possible and went into the ING Miami Half at the end of January juts looking to hit roughly goal MP. That day went smooth and things seemed to really come around the months of February/March.

I have done 4 races this build, using two of them as more of a planned hard workout.
1) ING Miami Half Marathon (tried to run close to goal MP) 1:12.38/5:32pace
2) Winter Series 5miler (ran hard to test things on a tough course) 25:49/5:10pace
3) Shamrock Half Marathon, Va Beach (Far off goal but still not a bad day looking back on things) 1:10.34/5:23 pace
4) Joker 4-Miler (I wanted a hard tempo like effort and walked away very pleased especially since I ran slightly longer course due to missing the turn around) 20:19/5:05pace

Probably the most important aspect of Marathon Training out of all the miles, tempo work, intervals, and hills is the LONG RUN. I took the approach of not over doing the pace on long runs. I tried to get them all in easy to steady effort with many/most over hilly loops. In all I covered in the 24 weeks 9 20+ milers which included two 22milers plus one 24miler and 25miler.

Lot's of medium long runs of 12-15miles (that has become close to my normal training run length during marathon phase)

Here is a 24 week breakdown with just a little bit of details (Click on the Training Log Tag at the bottom of this post to see more detailed week by week training):

1- 50miles
2- 71miles (LR 15miles)
3- 75miles (LR 15miles)
4- 70miles (LR 18miles)
5- 91miles (20miles, 5mile SS)
6- 97miles (LR 20miles, Steady State 3x2workout)
7- 94miles (LR 20miles, 5mile SS
8- 105miles (LR 21miles, 6mile SS, Stride Workout)
9- 95miles (5mile SS , SW)
10- 61miles (LR 16miles, Hill Bounding, sick at beginning of week)
11- 96miles (SW)
12- 102miles (LR 22miles and 18miles, Long Hill Workout, CI 10x800s)
13- 64miles (ING Miami Half, Tempo Intervals 3x2miles)
14- 70miles (LR 17miles)
15- 98miles (LR 21miles, Fartlek 9x4min on/1min off)
16-98miles (LR 22miles, Fartkek 15x1on/off, Tempo Intervals 6xMile)
17- 72miles (Yasso 8x800, Fartlek 10x1on/off, WS 5mile Race)
18- 98miles (LR 24miles, Tempo Intervals 8xMile)
19- 80miles (Fartlek 15x1on/off, Failed MP run(only 5miles), Dog Bite week)
20- 80miles (Shamrock Half Marathon, Interval/Tempo workout 800-4mileTempo-800)
21- 104miles (LR 25miles, 4Mile Joker Race, Tempo Intervals 4x2miles+2x1mile)
22- 90miles (LR 17mile Progression ,Fartlek 15x1on/off, 2x4mile SS)
23- 70miles (LR 15miles, Fartlek 9x1, 6mile SS)
24- 45ish miles (Tempo Intervals 2x2mile, 4x800(3days out at Tempo))

25--Boston Marathon --Monday--April 19th--10am

Monday, February 1, 2010

ING Miami Weekend Recap

**Below is the note included on this Garmin Uploaded Profile of my run on

Race Articles:
Half Marathon Results:

The half marathon was dominated by Team Strands, which took eight of the top nine men's places, led by Justin Young of Bloomington, Ind., in 1:05:57. The women's winner, Meghan Armstrong (1:17:50) also runs for the team that shares training tips on, a sort of Facebook for athletes. The elite members of the network receive financial backing to train for the Olympics from Strands, a technology firm. -,0,310245.story

Friday: Went to the local airport 10am on Friday for 2 flights and to arrive in Miami around 3pm. Well the trip started rough when out first flight was delayed then canceled. After much waiting around we we're told that are new flight would leave Charleston at 3pm. So we went home and came back a few hours later to that flight being delayed as well. Things at this point weren't looking good. But luckily it was only a 30minute delay which still put us in Charlotte in time to catch the connector to Miami. But as we got to Charlotte we sat on the run way for close to 45minutes. When finally getting into the airport we sprinted across the airport. 10minutes of running to arrive at the gate with 2 minutes to spare but the doors closed. The lady let us on and said run! We did!! we got on the flight knowing we we're almost to Miami but then we sat on the runway for another 2 hours for de-icing. We finally arrived in Miami around 10:30 and got to the hotel around 11. I hadn't eaten anything but 2 bowls of oatmeal a longg time ago. So I paid the 15 dollars for a turkey sandwich/2 Gatorades ate it and we went to bed closer to 12

Saturday: We woke up around 6am feeling dehydrated and tired. But after some fluid we decided to get our shakeout runs out of the way not knowing what all to expect with plans for the day. We walked out to great conditions (a little windy but felt great). A local runner told us some places to explore and we took off for light runs. I ran for 43minutes looping around mostly water front running places and found a nice gated neighborhood that had a cool little running loop that had many runners and very tall trees/shade. We got stuck by a draw bridge while walking back to the hotel which was neat! We quickly got some breakfast in the hotel restaurant. After all this it was time for me to head over to work the expo. Kendra drove me to the convention center where I walked into the 2nd biggest expo I have personally seen (Chicago is by far the biggest, I’m sure Boston will blow that away this spring). I quickly got to meet @Mattdownin again. Mostly we just have talks on the phone so meeting him in person again was good! Soon @mwreneau was there as well and 6 of us was setting up and working the expo. I was quickly introduced to Arturo Barrios-The first man to break an Hour in the Half Marathon!! I got to meet Michael Sandrock who writes for the daily Camera in Boulder and wrote one of my favorite training books “Running Tough”. Sandrock was running the half barefooted to raise money for Haiti, he also his over the One World Running that collects used shoes to ship to those in need (! I worked the expo from around 10 to a little after two and was on my feet the whole time but thanks to the free pair of recovery socks that @cptdave777 had given to us, Dave Walters was another very nice guy. I left the expo with elite athlete coordinate Miguel who’s driving is a little scary but he got me back to the hotel safely around 3. Quick sandwich and lots of fluid plus a nap and I was back moving around for the 4:45 athlete meeting in the hotel lobby. This things can be sort of intimating but for me knowing I was running anything from just MP to even dropping back to pace Marian I wasn’t too anxious but I could sense Marian was not use to this stuff. The meeting was fairly long but by 6:30 it was time for dinner. Very good past/bread for me, I just want to say @joshglaab plate of food and then 2nd plate of food was the note of the day…the guy was shoveling it in, but it’s much needed running as much and as fast as he does!! Hearing @Elva share some stories made for a great dinner. Around 8:30 we went back to the room to get ready to go to bed. By 9:30 we we’re out!

Sunday: The alarm was set for 2:45 but the safely lock box in the room wanted us up at 2am! The things started going crazy out of nowhere and we couldn’t get it to stop so we laid for 45minutes of beep…beep beep…beep beep beep over and over! 3am we went to the lobby for breakfast which ended up not opening until 3:30. Coffee(only workouts and long runs for me these days) and bagels. By 4:45 we headed back to the lobby to walk with the group to the staging areas. I got to talk with @michaelaish who shared lots of Marathon training advice with me to use for Boston. Very nice guy who has ran in the Olympics so the advice was very nice of him to share with us. The warmup and staging area was the Miami Heat’s arena. But trust me the area we went to is not where D-Wade prepares before games. ONE toilet for about 15 or so guys! Warm up was not needed to warm up it was already 70’s and horrible humidity by 5am. I shuffled around for 15minutes thinking even running Marathon Pace would be rough today. After a while we were in the start area listening to the national anthem and Ryan Hall who was in town gave a quick talk to all runners. Chatted with Micheal Wardian who was running the full(probably his 50th straight weekend of Marathon or longer races)

ING Half Marathon: Well hot/humid from the get-go! I was sweaty crazy amounts by mile 1. That happens when you leave under 20’s and then run in over 70’s and humidity over 90%. But to my surprise (long travels, little sleep for me, on feet at expo, little amounts of food/fluid then needed, etc, etc) my legs felt ok. The plan was simple if I could run my April 19th Goal Marathon Pace of 5:30 I would be more then happy even if it was hard to do. Through 5 it was very easy but feet were burning (sockless racing in Musha equals no-no!). By 10miles I still felt really smooth and honestly easy like it should feel like when I’m fit which I’m not right now but I did see I’m strong from base. I passed the last few runners around mile 11 and then had no one in front of me(that I could see). Looked at the watch and saw 5:28 avg so sub 1:12 for a MP workout in hot conditions! I was happy knowing things haven’t been smooth lately with the workouts I have done. I feel like I have been easy base miles for 10 weeks now! I could have kicked in really hard had I been racing but instead with the feet burning and blood being seen coming through my shoes I figured I’m perfect right now so just finish like this. That actually turned into slowly somewhat as I lost my goal focus and it felt more like just running. Got to 13.1 (by the Garmin) and still had to continue running! So yes I messed up. So in the end I wanted to run 1:12(5:30) my watch showed 5:28-29 but I didn’t think about it being off which I should have known it can be and will be if not running the tangents. So I finished slower then I thought I was on pace for which I’m kicking myself about. I should have known and not lost focus the last 2 miles. I would rather look back and see 1:11.59 for this even though it was just a long/hard workout effort. But anyways here is the stats 1:12.38 for 8th place(6 of top 7 was Team Strands runners) there was 11,257 finishers in the half which makes this by far the largest half marathon I have ever ran in which is cool. Looking at times a head of me makes me feel pretty good that I felt good running this workout, lots of guys that really went for it had rough races. So I’m lucky this was just a hard workout and not a race or I’m sure things might have not gone so smooth for me. (

After Race: it was a rush to get out of Miami for early return flight. Long story short since this is a long journal. 10+ hours in airports or in the air and lot’s of junk food (the day to do it). I feel very blessed to have this trip and to get to experience it was Marian and meet great people. Very thankful to God every day for running and all the great places it has taken me and all the great people I have met through it all

The Plan: After a week to regroup and recovery (mostly from travel/lack of sleep) I will have 10 weeks to start hitting the training hard! Not just miles but solid workouts now. I want to run a half marathon tuneup in 4-6 weeks and really go for a big one. Something 1:07-8ish would be the goal so around my PR time. The focus is Boston Marathon but a good hard half is still needed in my book before hand.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Team partners with Mizuno!

1st of many updates on new things happening with Team!

Team announces 3-year partnership with Mizuno USA

Corvallis, Oregon, January 17, has announced a partnership with Mizuno for the sponsorship of Team—a team of world-class and developing national class athletes through 2012.

Team will include Olympians
Elva Dryer and Kate O'Neill, and Olympic Trials Qualifiers in every distance ranging from the 800 meters to the Marathon. Some new names added to the 2010 roster include Josh Moen, Michael Kilburg, and Andrew Ledwith, among others.

Moen was the runner-up in a closely battled 2009 USA 10-mile Championships where champion Abdi Abdirahmin and Moen posted the fourth and fifth fastest times ever run by an American in the 10- mile (46:35 and 46:38, respectively). Michael Kilburg brings 28:20 and 13:51 2-time NCAA All-American track credentials to the team, and Ledwith was the fourth-place finisher in the 2008 NCAA Cross Country Championships and 2009 Irish National Cross Country Champion.

Team Roster:
Meghan Armstrong

Matt Downin
Elva Dryer
Josh Glaab
Zoila Gomez
Matt Hooley
Eddie Ernest-Jones
Mike Kilburg
Andrew Ledwith
Josh Moen
Seamus Nally
Kate O'Neill
Jason Pyles
Marian Pyles
Jon Rankin
Mike Reneau
Mike Sayenko
Chris Siemers
Justin Young

Mizuno USA Inc. offers a complete line of high performance running and track & field footwear and apparel. "We at are thrilled to be partnering with a leader in the specialty running category," said Matt Downin, Director of Marketing at "This partnership ensures that our athletes will be training and racing in the highest quality shoes and apparel available.”

“ is committed to providing the best online tools for athletes to get the most out of their training, and Mizuno shares that same commitment to quality and excellence for the athlete, so the partnership was a natural fit.”

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Getting Boston Ready!

*This pic of Marian and Marshall getting in a nice medium long 13miler Tuesday appeared in the Charleston Daily Mail newspaper. Below is the link(picture 3 of the link) and the text that appeared with the picture.

"Training no matter what the weather or occasion, Marian Pyles and Marshall Spradling, keep up a brisk pace to get ready for the Boston Marathon Tuesday along a snow covered Quarrier Street. Even though Spradling turned 34 today, even that was enough to keep him away from training. 'Only nine miles to go,' Spradling said as he and Pyles hoofed it downtown. Bob Wojcieszak/Daily Mail"