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Changing up the Hal Higdon Marathon training program a bit.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Today is my rest day.

Tomorrow should be a 10M long slow run, but I plan on adding a mile to each LSR until my taper week. So, I will be doing 11M LSR tomorrow.

My idea is to get to my 20M LSR a bit earlier, which will enable me to have an extra week to taper earlier. I don't think HH's program is specific enough for my age group (over 65) and I need more taper/rest before the Marathon.

Also, even though I am adding a bit of mileage, I am running slower than I want to. My plan is to do 2/1 run/walk up until the race. Dang it, I am being very conservative in my desire to finish this marathon.

I've come to believe that my training WILL prepare me for a finish, but not be overtrained and prone to hitting the wall, or getting injured.

I've been using the RICE method for my sensitive knees, as well. RICE is rest, ice, compression and elevation. Also, have been wearing my ACE brand knee wrap around the house in the evening, and using a foam roller as well. I've found information on how to use a foam roller specifically on the IT band and to help with runners knee problems. But, I do use it for entire leg/back massage as well.

Just wanted to put this info out there. Anyone reading this who might disagree with my strategy, or have helpful advice, please feel free to comment. Especially from those who are more mature runners.

Spark People are the best, and I thank everyone who has encouraged this geezer to pursue his goals.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PIXIEMOM13 8/4/2012 11:10AM

    Sounds like you have an excellent plan and are working things to fit your "experiment of one"..which is smart! Best of luck! What marathon are you doing?

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MASRITE 8/3/2012 4:36PM

    I think you should do what you feel is best for you. If you need to taper early, then taper early. If you need to do 2/1 walk/run, then you do that. I'm rooting for you to run/walk across the finish line!!

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GAELENEC 8/3/2012 1:05PM

    Awesome job, keep it up!

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NWFL59 8/3/2012 12:47PM

    No advise from this senior (not a runner (yet). Sounds like you have enough experience to know how to tweak your program just fine. Have a terrific marathon run! emoticon

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LADYJ6942 8/3/2012 11:39AM

    Good luck

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ONMYMEDS 8/3/2012 10:37AM


As we discussed before, I too used the Hal Higdon training plan, and I also tweaked it to fit what I thought was a more reasonable schedule for an older runner. Some weeks I was able to run the 3 midweek runs, but more often than not, I ran Tuesday and Thursday and skipped the Wednesday run. I just tried to make sure the total midweek mileage was close to the plan.

I see nothing wrong with your idea to add a bit to the long runs although I think I would leave them as is and simply repeat the last taper week instead. I worked a 5K and a Half Marathon into my schedule, although not exactly on the week suggested.

The most important thing is to listen to your body and run accordingly and you seem to have a good handle on that. I was lucky that I had no knee issues to worry about. It sounds like you are taking the necessary steps to keep the knees in shape.

Now that you are doing the longer runs, don't forget to work on your hydration and energy supplement ingestion. Aside from the actual running, one of my biggest worries was experiencing any gastrointestinal distress, so I tested different energy drinks, gu's and chews until I found the ones that worked for me.

Best of luck on your continued training. The finish line is waiting!!

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ELISEL 8/3/2012 10:32AM

    I think that all plans out there are made to be modified. No plan is perfect for all people. In my own experience I have taken several plans and put together what works for me. I think it's great that you are created a plan that is best suited for you. I'm sure you will be successful. Good luck!!

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RJSAMS 8/3/2012 10:20AM

    I like your strategy. I also ice my knees after every run, even if it's just an easy 3-4 miles. Prevention is better than recovery!!

I also firmly believe that no matter how slow you are, you are faster than everyone who is planted on the couch. Long runs should be done slowly--it's all about time on your feet.

I have a 12 miler on Sunday to do, so I will be thinking of you. Have a great run!

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MARATHON_MOM 8/3/2012 10:12AM

    I've used Higdon's plans OFTEN and love them... but I, too, have changed them up a little from time to time!
You'll do great!

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LAURIE5658 8/3/2012 10:05AM

    To me your plan sounds good and do NOT let the slow training pace bother you. It will allow you to run and finish your marathon wanting to do another. You are doing great!

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ERICADAWN1986 8/3/2012 9:58AM

    I am following the HH training program for my half marathon training. I find myself switchiing it up quite a bit. I gave myself longer than the 14 weeks so if I have a bad run, it's not a big deal or if I want to go a little longer one week, I can. I appreciate it as a guide though. Best of luck with your marathon training!

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Just had the easiest run ever.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sure, it's easy for you chicks to run slow. Not so for us ego driven guys. How am I supposed to run at 14 minutes a mile when Chuck Berry is belting out "Johnny B, Goode" in my earbuds? Or, Richie Valens wailing "C'mon Let's Go"?

I want to move and get my heart rate going and beat yesterdays or last weeks time.

But, alas, I am forced to use reason over ego. I am old. Sigh. My knees hurt when I go too fast too long. Sorry Chuck and Richie, I am going to listen to Barry Manilow or Kyu Sakamoto for a while and run slower and smarter.

Today, I did 3.2 miles and I did it in ::blushing:: 45 minutes and 11 seconds. When I got home, I wasn't even tired. My heart rate maxed out at 140BPM, and it took a while to get over 123BPM. I ran like a chick.

However, wuss that I am, I will be more likely to train uninjured and do my MARATHON in November if I train this way. How long can I keep my ego in check?

Keep in touch and we'll see if I start bragging again about how fast I am.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MASRITE 7/31/2012 1:13PM

    Hey, what's wrong with running like a chick?? Good job on your run today. So wish we lived near each other so you would motivate me to get out there with you. I know, I know, I just have to DO IT!! Ok, tomorrow, I'm running.

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LAURIE5658 7/31/2012 10:19AM

    Just remember one very important item, Vic.


That will keep you in check. Maybe.


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SKINNYPOWELL1 7/31/2012 9:45AM

    You crack me up, nothing wrong with running like a emoticon, lol. Slow and steady finishes the race. You rock.

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Hot weather takes first half, but tenacious Boilham emerges victorious.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Today was a 9 mile run which started at 8AM. It was already 78 degress and 59% humidity when I took off. I brought along 2 gels, and an 8oz. container of Powerade. There were plenty of water fountains along the run.

My calves and knees had some pain recently, no doubt 'cuz I am not recovering as quickly as I'd like to. I may have to start skipping my Wednesday training runs earlier than i thought.

So, I didn't feel particularly good at the start. I walked for 1/2 mile to warm up, then hit my GPS and Hal Higdon program on my iPhone to officially start the training run. I was doing 4min run 1min walk - since this is technically a long run, and I wanted to go slow because of the heat and humidity.

Around mile 6 I noticed my heart rate was very high for such a slow pace. Interesting. I was only running 12 or 13 min miles, yet my heart rate was between 160 - 170 BPM. Way high for that pace. Old age and heat do not get along so well, it seems.

I didn't want to increase the heart rate so I stayed at this very slow pace. Thank goodness for HR monitors! I was getting really exhausted at the 7 mile mark, but kept on plugging along, kind of feeling sorry for myself. Once I realized I was having negative thoughts, I got tough again and decided not to let the heat beat me.

I made up my mind to step up and not walk for at least a mile. Then I got into a nice "zone" of some kind. Like I'd made up my mind to do it, and my body just said OK you win, we'll do it this way. I ran for about a mile - and I heard Hal Higdon say "one half mile to go, you can do it" so I kept running, got to the "only 500 more yards" reminder from Hal Higdon and kept running until I heard him say I had finished the run for today.

A wake up call that I am not as young as I think I am and disappointed at my slow pace and high heart rate, but a bit of pride in my will to succeed, which helped me have a rather strong finish. It was 88 degrees when I got back home to finish today's run.

Every day I complete a run is a great day. Still learning about how my body works in various conditions. Even though I don't have spectular results everyday - life is good!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKINNYPOWELL1 7/31/2012 7:15AM

    Glad you listened to your body and were paying attention to the HRM. I notice my HR runs high on days when it's hot, I just slow down and complete the run, no shame in slowing down or walking, important thing is you got it done. You continue to inspire, keep up the good work. You are my hero. (insert Superman emoticon here).

P.S. Thanks for my goodie

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BUTTERFLY-1976 7/29/2012 9:23PM

    Good for you in listening to your body. Some days are just tougher than others. But like you said..every day you complete a run is a good day!!!

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MASRITE 7/29/2012 2:18PM

    That is hot! I don't know how you do it, but, I'm always so impressed when I read your blogs. One day, I'll get myself out there again and start running and I'll have Vic in my ear, "You can do this!"

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MARATHONDAD 7/29/2012 8:05AM

    way to listen to your body keep fighting buddy!!!!

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JENN03275 7/28/2012 9:26PM

    I think we all have those days. I find the first few miles, no matter the weather, hard. Often, I ask myself " why the h*e*l*l* do I do this to myself. However, once I hit my zone, I remember why! Thank you for sharing and pushing along. I have a 7.5 scheduled for tomorrow.

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KKINNEA 7/28/2012 8:55PM

    I totally understand feeling sorry for yourself on a run - I had to bargain myself today! Glad to hear you overcame your negative thoughts and finished it out.

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 7/28/2012 8:29PM

    There are many valid, physiological reasons that your body wants / needs to slow down in the heat. "Toughing it out" by holding a pace rather than adjusting for the heat may feel good to the ego, but it may not be the smartest training technique for the long haul. The usual recommended slow down for heat is 30 seconds for each 5 degrees above 60 degrees. This is not a sign of weakness but an recognition that the heart has a lot more work to do when it is hot and the muscles won't be getting as much oxygen or waste removal from it. To ignore this is to risk damage, burn out, slow recovery, i.e. things that can actually set you back in future workouts. Treat your body as an ally not as the enemy.

Do you use a foam roller? It does wonders for tight calves and ITbands (the latter often being the source of knee pain.)

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LAURIE5658 7/28/2012 7:49PM

    Rolling with the punches, Vic. That is the name of the game. Great job!

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DAPHNE_RUNS 7/28/2012 3:29PM

    You are doing great. It is the hot and humid weather tiring you out. Keep moving and you will be more than ready this fall.

Technology is a beautiful thing...thank goodness you had your iPhone "cheering" you on to the last mile. Lol!!!

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RHONDALYN10 7/28/2012 12:55PM

    Good for you listening to your body!
You have come so far! Very proud of your progress!!

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WALLINMW 7/28/2012 12:50PM

  Thanks for sharing!

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Had lunch today with my Navy buddies.

Monday, July 23, 2012

My friend, Mark had to visit family in Tampa, FL this, so he got in touch with me and another Navy buddy who lives in FL. We had lunch at the Olive Garden, and then went to the American Legion Post 8 in Winter Haven, FL.
There is nothing like old friends, and these guys and I were just kids back in 1965 serving in the Panama Canal Zone as US Navy Radiomen. We were just like brothers back then, and we still are.

Here we are today.

By the way, that's me on the right, drinking a club soda with a lime slice.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKINNYPOWELL1 7/24/2012 7:49AM

    emoticonCheers to old friends. So nice that you all keep in touch.

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POWERAUER 7/23/2012 8:26PM

    This makes me smile! Thank you all for serving. It is an honor to have the watch now.

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MASRITE 7/23/2012 7:33PM

    You look good (in better shape then your buddies!!). And good job on the club soda. emoticon

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DLDMIL 7/23/2012 7:09PM

    Great picture. Hope you enjoyed your visit. emoticon

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RHONDALYN10 7/23/2012 6:46PM

Ironically, one of my best Navy buddies is visiting at my house right now!!
LOVE my Navy buddies! They are the best!

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LAURIE5658 7/23/2012 6:13PM

    Vic, what a handsome group and I always love men in uniforms LOL! What a great chance to get together and BS about old times.


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Hot Weather, I own you!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Today was only a 3 mile run, so I didn't bother to get up early to run. It was about 80 degrees and 94 percent humidity at the time I left.

Been walking and running a lot lately, as a means of coping with the heat/humidity down here in Florida- well, not just the heat, but I don't want to get injured either . I haven't run a training run continuosly in quite a while. So, I made a spur of the moment decision to run "all the way" for my 3 miler this morning.

I'd originally planned on doing 4 min run and 1 min walk. Those who read my blogs regularly, know I'm doing my first marathon in November and that I am not a spring chicken, so I have to train carefully and slowly.

I felt relatively good at my 4 minute mark, so I thought, "you can go a little longer, it's been a while of run/walking training, so let's just run a bit longer today". Then "what the heck, let's see if I take it easy, can I do this itty bitty 3 miler all the way".

Just kept running and watching the HR monitor, want to be careful. Paying attention to my knees and feet - so far not any great deal of pain. Getting tired, but still feel okay. Not exactly a race pace, but maybe 90 percent effort.

The distance ticks off, my GPS watch tells me I am having a great run. Pushing on I finally, arrive at the 3 mile point and walk a block or so home. Tired but not exhausted.

I had hit the start button on my GPS watch when I left the house, and then walked for a few minutes to warm up and just add that into my workout distance. But, I also used the iPhone app Hal Higdon Marathon program which tells me how far to run, and at what pace, each day. I had hit the start button on the iPhone when I started to run., a few minutes after I left.

Hal Higdon says I did 3 miles in 28 minutes - woohoo, if that is accurate, but it seems a trifle faster than I think I really did.

My GPS says I did 3.24 total in 34 minutes 6 seconds, including my walking warm up. So, another woohoo. No matter which one I believe - I totally kicked butt on the weather. I own hot weather. I laugh at hot weather.

Can't wait for my 9 miler on this Saturday to kick hot weather's butt again. And you just wait, Cool Weather, your day is coming....

Take care, and have a great day. Thanks for reading.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MASRITE 7/19/2012 4:01PM

    That's an amazing time (both of them) and you should own it! Great job. Keep it up and you will cruise through the cooler weather. You're my inspiration!!

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LAURIE5658 7/19/2012 1:49PM

    Doin' good, Vic, and keep up this great momentum!!!

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BUTTERFLY-1976 7/19/2012 12:45PM

    Congrats on running the whole 3 miles & in hot weather. That's awesome.

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MS0669 7/19/2012 12:31PM

    WhooHoo ! I have been having a hard time running in the 100's and my hats off to you for doing such a amazing run ! Hopefully this weekend will be a bit cooler.

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