Weekly Summary – 102 miles in 13 runs. A fantastic week w/ a slight drop in mileage due to travel for my race at the Rock N Roll Marathon where I won, set the course record, and ran the last 29km (18 miles) solo faster than 50K WR pace. We’ll take a little recovery and then get back at it for these last few weeks. Less than 5 weeks to go!
If you don’t know about the Road to 50K, check out the announcement post from last week and follow along at Road to 50K site designated to covering the event. And of course, you can follow me day to day on Instagram and Twitter (@TylerCAndrews) and my daily training log on Strava (GPS included!). Don’t forget to check out STRIVE’s 2018 Programs – we’ve still got a few spaces available for high schoolers, college interns, and adults! You can come do service work and train with me in Peru or Kenya and for the summer of 2018, we’ll once again have programs for High School and College students, and even 10-day trips for adults and families, so be sure to take a look if you’re interested in an amazing summer experience!
Lunes, 5 de Marzo, 2018 – 9:30am: Slept a bit fitfully and didn’t get out the door until quite late. Trying to get on an earlier schedule this week w/ 7am marathon start on Saturday!
Ran up to Metropolitano. VERY slow as it’s so steep and hilly up there and I was a bit doot from yesterday’s big day. Did about 10km in the park including some very steep climbs on new trails (always finding more) and some minor bushwacking. Ran down to the park after to the track and did 6x strides (relaxed) and 200m in 34.0. Jogged home via Eloy. Total run 15km++ in 1h20.
XT: Toe yoga
4:30pm: Easy clockwork shakeout. Nice and sunny out. A bit tired due to day 1 of depletion. Quite slow, 17’38, and then 38’30 at 8km to the track. Stopped and did 4x strides and then jogged home easy. Total run 10km+ in 47’
Martes, 6 de Marzo, 2018 – Sparknotes: 12x400m @ 68 avg (71->66) w/ 1’ jog.
7am: Track day. Lighter today w/ the big session from Sunday still in my legs, a bit depleted, and the marathon coming up on Saturday. Jogged down to the track, drills, long warmup, pretty tired.
Session was light: 12x400m at 5K pace w/ 1’ jog. The rest of the team had 6x1K at a similar pace, so I was able to hop in for some of those and share pacing duties which was nice. My watch died after 2.5 intervals which was kind of annoying but I was fairly consistent and Edi was taking splits. First 2 were 70s and then 67-69 for the remainder. Last one a bit quicker 66.x but didn’t try to crush it.
Easy jog around the track and then home. Watched the big dogs crush the last rep w/ Eric running the like 2’42 w/ the last 400m in about 60. Very impressive.
Total run 16km.
XT: Toe yoga.
5pm: Last depleted run. Felt pretty doot doot but got it done. Very slow pace as expected, 8k to the track in 39’ and thne 4x strides, jog home. Total 10km in 49’.
XT: Toe yoga.
Miercoles, 9 de Marzo, 2018 – 10am: Ran later so I could start fueling a bit before the run. Felt much better at the start but still a bit tired after 5km or so, so kept it shorter. Thought about doing some longer reps but decided to just keep it easy and do normal strides (6x) and then 200m (32). Much better than yesterday! Total run 11km in 48’.
5pm: Down to the park and slightly shortened clockwork double. Felt better but still a bit tired – mildly stressful work day. Finished with 4x strides and then home. Total run 7km+ in 31’.
Jueves, 8 de Marzo – 4am: Happy birthday Mr C!
Woke up very early 3:45am and ran early on the treadmill before travel day to DC. Managed to get in a good run – 1km very slow to wake up and then 5km from about 4’00->3’10 in 17’50. Last km in 3’12. Felt very smooth and energy was great. 1km easy after. Total run 7km+ in 27’.
6pm: Relatively smooth sailing to DC! Easy connection in MIA with just enough time to hit up the centurion lounge and grab a tasty lunch and then make the very long walk across the airport to the gate. Calm flight to DCA and then a ton of traffic getting to Alexis’ place in SE but made it here a bit before 6pm.
Felt truly awful on this run. Had some serious stomach cramping and had to stop twice – luckily once there was a port-a-john, the other time, bushes. Ended up going quite short as it was getting dark and I just felt like crap – ha! Good thing I expect to feel bad after a long travel day or that might shake me up. Grabbed subway on the way home and crashed very early. Total run 5.4km in 26’.
Viernes, 9 de Marzo – 8:45am: 11 hours of sleep later and I feel like a new man! Slept extremely well and deeply with all this O2 down here. Many thanks to my good friend Alexis who let me crash with her (and even insisted that I take her bedroom). My friends are truly too kind!
Ran up towards the armory with the hope of hopping on the track to do tiny bit of quicker running in my race shoes. Felt great out the door, running 4’20-4’00 no problem, even carrying my other shoes. The track was totally locked off (it’s at a school) so decided to run down to the waterfront where I’d been the day before and just do some long strides and maybe one longer interval along the water. Stopped at the apt on the way back and changed into race shoes (Clifton 3s, size 9.5, my normal size) and felt amazing after that. Was running 3’3x (albeit downhill) to the water out the door. Got there and did light drills and then 4x strides along the waterfront path and then jogged all the way to the end. Decided to run all the way back which I figured would be somewhere between 600m and 1km. Ended up being almost exactly 1km. Planned to run 50K pace (3’15) and ended up looking at my watch after 30 sec and saw 3’02 or something and felt like a jog. Insted of slow down, I just stayed super relaxed and was surprised to see the pace stay constant right aroud 3’00. I picked it up just a bit in the last 30 seconds or so and my garmin auto-lapped at 2’57. Definitely the easiest 2’57 I’ve ever run which is going to make tomorrow feel absurdly slow. (Full disclosure I was running with the wind, so surely that took off a few seconds, but it wasn’t like a ryan hall boston tailwind or anything).
Didn’t even stop after that, went right into jog home and was running like 4’15 pace. Really pleased to see how comfy that felt. Man I kind of wish I was racing the half!
Finished up past the house to Harris Teeter do buy some groceries for the next 24 hours. Total run 9km- (8.6km) in 34’.
XT: Saw Terrel Hale from Georgetown Sports Massage and got a great pre-race flushing (and great of course to catch up with an old friend!) Really good to see him and legs feel primed and ready to go for tomorrow.
2:15pm: Very easy run earlier to try to get on an early schedule for the early race. Down to the water and out to the end fo the boardwalk and back. Stopped on the way back to do 3x very light strides on the boards ~120m. Felt good and easy jog back. Hard to run slow down here. Total run 5.5km in 23’.
Sabado, 10 de Marzo, 2018 – Sparknotes: Rock N Roll DC Marathon – 1st, 2’20’45, CR. Big negative split with a big solo push from 14km on (last 29.5km @ 3’14.1 avg). Fantastic. Link to GPS.
7am: Woke up just before 4am to my alarm. Slept pretty well and got a solid 7 hours which isn’t bad for such an early race start. Had black coffee, 1 NV bar, relaxed and did some work. A couple pretzels later by hunger but felt okay. Left the house at 5:45am to arrive right around 6am.
Dawn was breaking as I arrived and scoped out the area. I had to walk a decent amount as the uber driver couldn’t get that close due to the high security (this is DC after all). I found bag drop, port-a-johns, and the start line/corralls. What more do you need?
Because things were spread out, it was basically time to warm up at that point. I had nowhere to leave my bag, so I jogged a very easy 2km from the start line out to the first turn and then back across the mall, finishing up on the grass by the bathrooms. There, I stopped, did some drills, and maybe 3 strides on the grass. It was warming up a bit and getting late already, so I jogged over to bag drop, changed into my racing gear (plus a throwaway longsleeve and sweat pants) and jogged down to the start. Temps were in the mid 30s, and I’d opted for arm-warmers (as opposed to a longsleeve under the singlet) and hat/gloves – this felt like a good decision as it was quite sunny and warming up. Took Gel #0 at about 6:50a.
I got to the start line just as the wheelchairs were going off (T-5min) and looked for a place to pee one last time, but there was nothing, so I just took off the sweats and got to the line.
I had heard that Desta (a DC based Ethiopian who trains with Jay Wind’s group) was supposed to be here, so I was surprised not to see him on the starting line. I figured he would be my biggest competitor, so without him there, I scoped out the rest of the crowds. A few faster looking local guys and a small dude in a swoosh singlet right in front of me. As the gun sounded, I got off the line well (just to get out of trouble since it’s such a big start) and then settled into the pack.
The day before I’d talked with Coach Jon about the plan for the race. The goal for today was (1) to get the win and (2) to get a solid stimulus for the 50K in 5 weeks without completely going to the well. We decided that the best way to accomplish both would be to run the first half at whatever pace the lead pack would run (which we assumed would be slower than 3’15/km, goal 50K pace) and then try to gradually accelerate from 22-24km such that I’d run the last 18-20km at goal 50K pace. This would be practice for 50K day because (in theory) we should have rabbits through 20 miles. But, it’s a long race, so even with that much help, I’ll still have 11M (18km) left to run all by my lonesome. This seemed like a good time to practice that.
And things were going pretty much as expected from the start. We had a very large pack through the first 1km or so as it was VERY slow (3’42) and then Colombia seemed to pick it up at that point seeing how slow it was and we settled into a rhythm of 3’20-30/km for a while. I tucked in right behind him and we had one other runner with us for a few km but he told me he was running his first marathon and that the pace was a bit too rich and dropped off. Then, it was just Colombia and me and the phalanx of cop cars leading our private tour through the city.
We wound our way through Georgetown first, passing 5km in 17’36, before heading up Rock Creek Parkway to the north. I still was letting Colombia control the pace and running either right behind him or next to him. Every once in a while I’d push a tiny bit of a gap at a water stop or on a hill just out of curiosity to see what would happen. I didn’t know who this guy was and goal #1 was to get the win after all, so I wanted to see how he’d respond.
The first of the 3 significant hills on the course comes just before 10km until about 11.5km as we cut off Rock Creek and head up towards Adams Morgan. The first 500m or so is extremely steep and we passed 10k in 34’50 (17’14) but were running much slower at that point. I didn’t look at my watch and tried to just keep the effort even. I knew we were running pretty evenly as the mile markers had clocks at them but I really wasn’t worried about the pace at that point. The idea was just to get time on feet in the first half of the race and then just practice grinding in the second half on tired legs.
We topped out and I was feeling very good as the hill hadn’t taken much out of me. I felt like I was really holding back, but I kept telling myself to be patient and wait. I knew I’d see (TUXC teammate) Scott at mile 7-8 and I’d told him I wouldn’t be leading in the first half, so I weirdly used this as a way to convince myself to stay put.
After topping out, the course rolls down with a mix of longer downhills and shorter up hills. It was on one of these little roller-coasters where I was again testing the waters with a tiny surge where I saw that Colombia was quite a ways behind. The course seemed to level off at that point ~14-15km but this time it was clear he wasn’t going to catch up. So, feeling quite fresh and feeling comfortable and relaxed at this quicker tempo, I decided to just sink into the rhythm.
I ran 2 3’13s to get to 15K in 51’39 (16’50). From there, the course rolled net down a bit more (hence the quicker splits) but still with some ups as we were on a street that had a few underpasses as we headed towards the capital.
The second substantial hill came around 18-20km as we got up capital hill, but I still felt very smooth and was consistently running 3’08-10 (3’15 on those uphill Ks). This brought me to 20km in 67’33 (15’53) and HM at 1’11’35 (from the course mats). The garmin was reading about 250m long in the first half according to the race splits.
From 20-25km, I was in a great rhythm. A nice downhill after 20k (3’02 23rd km) brought us to a more gradual uphill with a big bridge over the river into SE DC. At this point, the course is kind of quiet and lonely, but fairly flat until the last big hill. Even with the big bridge (which had about 100m of really brutal metal cross hatchings to run over), this was the fastest 5K of the day at 15’43 (1’23’16 at 25K).
The course the continues on the highway alongside the river to the S/SW for a little outback. I was still feeling smooth to the turnaround at 27km but realized I’d had a slight tailwind as I headed back the way I’d come down, which made sense as the splits began to slow. Still, the effort felt great and I hit 30km in 1’39’19 (on the garmin, just over 1’40 on the course marker) w/ 16’04 for that 5K.
I knew there was one more big hill from about 35-38km (really starting uphill around 34km). I saw I was right at 3’20/km avg according to the course markers and had thought I might sneak under the OTQ standard (2h19), but I also knew I’d probably lose 30-60 seconds on the big hill, even with the downhill after. So, I made the decision not to push and go for it, as again, I really didn’t want this to be a terminal effort.
I tried to relax as much as I could and ran 16’22 for 1’55’42 at 35km as the uphill had already started, though the worst part was 35-37km (very tough placement for a big hill). Again, I ignored my watch and just focused on effort. I knew we had a nice steep downhill km after the hill and I’d make up some time there and could catch my breath for a good last 4km or so. This hill was particularly mean because there was a false summit, after which it dipped and then climbed steeply again, rounded a corner which looked like the top, and then climbed a bit more.
Finally, it was done and we had that nice long downhill which I flew down in 3’02 before another steep little roller just before the final bridge. We went under the highway, climbed up over the bridge, and then had about a mile left where we made what seemed like a whole bunch of turns around the parking lot before finally finishing. I saw 26 miles and picked it up a bit but even this last 400m was uphill.
I finished in 2’20’48 (on my garmin, so a bit long since I didn’t stop it at the line). The garmin read 42.50km, so most of that extra must have been in the first 10 miles or so. I think I was running better tangents by myself.
After the race, I wandered around shivering for a while since the gear check trucks hadn’t arrived yet. I found Colombia, who finished 2nd in 2h25, and we hung around for the next hour or so. Turns out he’s from Bogota and knows Franklin, Miguel, et al in Quito as well as Jhon Cusi in Cusco. Small running world in the Andes!
Finally got on stage and grabbed our swag and headed out. Planned to grab an uber, but the place was a freaking zoo so I decided to just jog back to Alexis. I didn’t feel too bad and what’s another 2km anyway?
Overall, this was a fantastic effort. I covered the last 29km solo in 1’33’52 (3’14.1/km avg) on a hilly course (I’d only planned to do 18-20km at that pace). This is 2sec/km under WR 50K pace and I have no doubt that I’ll be significantly faster on the track (forget the hills, just the fact that we’re not running an extra 300m). That first 15km of my solo running was 47’34 which is 2h13 marathon pace (3’10/km). Might have been a bit rich but I still didn’t implode at all and held on quite well give that the last 8km is quite challenging.
This gives me a huge boost of confidence going back into these last 5 weeks of training before the record attempt. As I told a reporter after the race, it’s been hard for me to know exactly where my fitness is these last couple month. I’ve been so consistent with bench-mark workouts for the last few years that I’ve had a great sense of where I am, but being at altitude and not knowing what certain workouts “mean” has made it hard to predict what kind of shape I’m in. I haven’t had a typical marathon or 50K buildup this winter but this gives me huge confidence that what I’m doing is working and I’m going to give that record a real shot on April 13. I’ve just gotta stay healthy, maintain fitness, and get there in one piece.
All in all, a fantastic trip to DC. I was on the ground for 46 hours and 57 minutes but managed to see some great friends, win the marathon, catch up with my sister Zinnia who I haven’t seen in far too long, get post-race lunch at Kabob Palace, and still get to Dulles early on the way out. What a trip!
1 km 3’41.6 (3’41.6) 161
2 km 7’07.4 (3’25.8) 165
3 km 10’37.4 (3’30.0) 154
4 km 14’07.8 (3’30.4) 149
5 km 17’36.5 (3’28.7) 146 (17’36.5)
6 km 21’03.3 (3’26.8) 149
7 km 24’27.0 (3’23.7) 151
8 km 27’50.3 (3’23.3) 154
9 km 31’18.5 (3’28.2) 160
10 km 34’50.1 (3’31.6) 159 (17’13.6)
11 km 38’25.8 (3’35.7) 163
12 km 41’51.1 (3’25.3) 161
13 km 45’13.3 (3’22.2) 159
14 km 48’26.8 (3’13.5) 157
15 km 51’39.6 (3’12.8) 164 (16’49.5)
16 km 54’49.8 (3’10.2) 160
17 km 57’57.9 (3’08.1) 163
18 km 1’01’11.2 (3’13.3) 168
19 km 1’04’26.1 (3’14.9) 166
20 km 1’07’33.0 (3’06.9) 170 (15’53.4)
21 km 1’10’40.2 (3’07.2) 169
22 km 1’13’48.7 (3’08.5) 168
23 km 1’16’51.4 (3’02.7) 166
24 km 1’20’06.2 (3’14.8) 167
25 km 1’23’16.0 (3’09.8) 166 (15’43.0)
26 km 1’26’25.1 (3’09.1) 166
27 km 1’29’39.5 (3’14.4) 167
28 km 1’32’48.0 (3’08.5) 167
29 km 1’36’04.6 (3’16.6) 167
30 km 1’39’19.8 (3’15.2) 165 (16’03.8)
31 km 1’42’31.7 (3’11.9) 165
32 km 1’45’48.3 (3’16.6) 166
33 km 1’49’06.8 (3’18.5) 165
34 km 1’52’24.2 (3’17.4) 163
35 km 1’55’42.2 (3’18.0) 165 (16’22.4)
36 km 1’59’07.9 (3’25.7) 163
37 km 2’02’46.9 (3’39.0) 165
38 km 2’06’10.3 (3’23.4) 164
39 km 2’09’12.2 (3’01.9) 164
40 km 2’12’29.7 (3’17.5) 165 (16’47.5)
41 km 2’15’48.0 (3’18.3) 165
42 km 2’19’06.1 (3’18.1) 167
42.50 km 2’20’47.6 (1’41.5) 169
OFFICIAL TIME: 2’20’45
PM: Whirlwind travel from DC back to Quito! Made it home by 2am and crashed for about 7 hours hard.
Domingo, 11 de Marzo, 2018 – 10am: Easy shakeout around Carolina. Slept about 7 hours and surprisingly didn’t feel that bad. Quads a bit sore, but no different than a normal hard long run. Running 5’xx out the door and then down to 4’40s. To the track and then 6x strides, 200m in 34.1. Jogged home. Total run 12km++ in 54’
4:30pm: Easy run from VC’s hotel around the park, 1 big lap 16’30, and then to the track, 8km in 36’. 4x strides after. Legs felt about the same as this morning, a bit better. Strides felt good. Lots of walking this afternoon, too. Total run 10km in 44’.