Weekly summary – 65 miles in 10 runs. A great last race at the Green Bay Half Marathon and that’s the end of the season! Time for some R&R before a busy summer with STRIVE and then a build-up to 50K Worlds. Thanks for following along this season. Stay tuned for more!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter (@TylerCAndrews). And, of course, don’t forget to check out STRIVE’s 2016 Programs! You can come do service work and train with me in Peru or Kenya and for 2016, we’ll once again have programs for High School and College students, and even a 10-day trip for adults and families, so be sure to take a look if you’re interested in an amazing summer experience! Finally, I have a few spots open for athletes looking for custom training plans and online coaching. Check out my site and email me if you’re interested!

Lunes, 16 de Mayo, 2016 – 8:30am: Felt great this morning, finally! Legs feeling good, chest/breathing good. I think I’m finally over this cold (knock, knock). Ran easy on CC loop, then a quick stop at the post office. Finished with 1M barefoot with 5x strides which felt very good. Running under 4’00 for the most part without much effort. Total run 7M+ in 44’.

XT: Back/hips, 1x no weight.

4pm: Ran around CC loop again. Felt very good, running quick out the door 3’50-3’30 and then 1km quicker at the end around 3’06. Total run 5km, 3M++ in 17’.

Martes, 17 de Mayo, 2016 – 9am: Slept a long time last night. A bit nasty outside, around 50F and drizzle. Where is hot sunny spring?? I’m not going to get any this year! Ran out/back on MVN longer this morning with no PM run. Felt good at first but a bit depleted, I think. Finished with 1M barefoot with 5x strides. Total run 8M++ in 52’.

XT: Back/hips, 1x no weight

PM: No run, just XT. Some time on the walking desk just because I was feeling antsy.

XT: Hips.

Miercoles, 18 de Mayo, 2016 – Sparknotes: 5000m continuous in 15’36 with 3x1000m @ 3’06, 3‘00, 2’57, w/ 500m jog in 1’41-45 + 500m quick in 1’24.

9am: Last tuneup of the season and penultimate hard run (the last one being the Green Bay Half on Sunday). Same exact workout as last week, normal pre-long-race tuneup of 5km continuous with 3x1km with 500m moderate in between each and then 500m fast at the end.

Ran on the track again with a similar day, dry and 58F. Purposefully over-dressed as the forecast looks a bit warm for Sunday (two long-sleeves, hat, and gloves). Warmed up 15’ easy, running quicker by the end, under 3’45/km. Did drills and then two strides and 200m in about 35. Strides felt really good, super relaxed and form felt excellent.

Workout went very well. Immediately felt much easier than last week. First one felt basically like a jog and ran 3’06 which is sub 5’00/M. Next one was just a titch more focused and was 3’00, running 72 every lap. Last one was harder and tried to shift gears pretty well at about 600m to run the last 400m quicker for 2’57. Next rest bit was slower (1’46) and then didn’t have too much left for the last 500m (1’24), but that’s actually exactly what I ran last week off a slower start, so I’m pleased.

Quite over-heated and out of breath but felt pretty much fine within a minute or so. Ran easy cooldown for about 1km and that was it. Ethio cooldown.

Total run 10km, 6M++.

1 km 3’06.2 (3’06.2)
0.5 km 4’47.7 (1’41.5)
1 km 7’48.4 (3’00.7)
0.5 km 9’29.6 (1’41.2)
1 km 12’26.8 (2’57.2)
0.5 km 14’12.3 (1’45.5)
0.5 km 15’36.3 (1’24.0)

3pm: Easy shakeout around CC with a stop at the bank and costco. Felt very good. Total run 5km, 3M+, NT.

Jueves, 19 de Mayo, 2016 – 9am: Easy run around CC loop. Felt good and running quicker <4’00/km out the door. Overdressing again, so quite sweaty. Finished with 1M barefoot with 6x strides. Total run 7M+ in 46’. XT: Back/hips, no weight, 1x 3pm: Easy shakeout around town to do some errands. To CVS/post office and then up to Potomac Yard. Just under 4M total and then walked back, so call it 4M.

Viernes, 20 de Mayo, 2016 – 7:30am: Woke up early, naturally, feeling very good. Ran on the old CC loop for the last time this season! Felt great out the door again. Running 3’55->3’35. Finished with 6x strides barefoot. Total run 10km, 6M+, in 38’.

XT: Back/hips, 1x no weight.

PM: No run, travel DCA to GRB via ORD. Walked to the airport and then walked for about an hour at ORD with a couple hours to kill. Took a mini nap as well. Got to hotel in GRB by 7:30pm (EST). Not a bad travel day. Early to bed.

Sabado, 21 de Mayo, 2016 – 9am (EST): Woke up naturally around 6am EST (staying on eastern time to keep the start an hour later in my mind). Wanted to run at race time to see how the temp would feel (it’s just about the same predicted today as tomorrow), so hung around and did some work, had some coffee and a few pretzels and a nature valley bar before heading out. My roommate – Jeff Wiens – was kind enough to drive me out to the 10 mile mark of the HM course whence I ran to the finish. There is a steep but short hill around 10.5M that I wanted to see (about 200m but quite steep) and then it’s pretty calm to the finish (with what will likely be a slow mile around Lambeau field and then UP the players’ tunnel and up the hill to the finish line). So looks like the top of that hill (maybe 17km) will be a good place to really try to accelerate, use the downhill to force the turnover. There are also good landmarks at 2M to go, 1.5M to go, and 1M to go (there’s a mat there apparently), and then however far it is around Lambeau (I’d like to have a better sense of that, might try to figure it out tomorrow morning).

Kept the running very easy, very slow, ~4’20-30/km. Heat didn’t feel bad at all. Ran in track pants and jacket and it was in the 60s.

Changed into flats afterward and did full drills and then 2x strides, 1x200m in 32 (woops!) and then 500m in 1’30 which felt very comfortable. Trying to mimic the start of the race, so it’ll definitely be easy to go out to fast if I’m not careful. My goal is to not lead the race for as long as possible and then just make sure to lead race crossing the finish line 🙂

Ethio cooldown. LAST (easy) RUN OF THE SEASON!

Total run 4M+.

PM: OFF. Walked over to get my number around noon and it was VERY hot in the 80s. Came back and relaxed around the hotel for a while. Dip in the pool, ice bath, shower, some work. Dinner around 5:30pm eastern, then Liz came and drove me around the course so I was able to see the first 10 miles as well as the last 3 that I ran this morning. There are definitely some hills from ~4-8 miles. It’s basically a gradual uphill all the way for those miles, but most of it is very subtle with a couple more serious climbs around 7M to the end. But, then there’s a nice downhill after. I’m not worried at all about time, though. I just want to RACE. And I feel like I’m ready to do that. I can run a fast race that goes out at sub-5’00 pace or I can run a slow race that goes out at 5’15 pace and finishes sub-15 the last 5k. I feel confident in either of those scenarios.

Whatever happens, it’s been a great season – and a very long season, really the last time I took a serious break was after Grandma’s about 11 months ago. I’m very pleased with this year and I’m excited for tomorrow and for whatever follows.

Domingo, 22 de Mayo, 2016 – Sparknotes: Green Bay Half Marathon – 4th, 66’40 (3’09/M, 5’05/M). Very tough race with tons of surging from Kenyans in the first 7km. Led from ~7-11km, then gapped and no man’s land for the rest. Couldn’t quite close gap to 3rd which was 4-15 seconds for entire last 10km. Also quite warm, 70s and sunny. NO BREATHING PROBLEMS! Guys who beat me were very good (ran 62-63 last month in Indy, sub 28 10k PR), guy I beat had 3’53 1M and 27’30 10K. This was a GOOD RACE!

8am: Woke up at 4am local time feeling quite good. Woke naturally after going to bed very early. Getting good at this! Did a very short jog over to a gas station nearby to buy some cold bottled water to have at the start ~1M total. Did some stretching after and then had more coffee, nature valley bar, nuun, relaxing until time to leave. Had caffinated nuun as I walked over around 7am. Warmed up at 7:10am for about 15 minutes. Quite warm already, mid 60s. Kept drinking a lot. Drills, a couple strides and 200m from the line.

Race start and I had a like 10m on the field at 200m, wtf? Started jogging basically to let the field catch up as I wanted none of this, just felt good running the downhill start. In a pack of Kenyans (6x) by the first turn ~500m in and then I felt us really moving. I remember thinking after 1km, “I really hope we slow down soon because this is way too fast”. Well, we were running very fast as we came to the mile in 4’40 after running 3’00 first 1km, so sub 1’40 600m which is like sub 2’50/km pace. I was just thinking “hang on, hang on”.

We passed the first water station aroudn 2km and I got water to dump on my head and then the pack seemed to just stop. Suddenly we were jogging basically and I thought maybe this will be slow for a while and they just wanted to separate from the pack. But within a few minutes, we started running very fast again. This one super long-legged dude kept going to the front and just hammering every few minutes and we would string out and I was just hanging on for dear life at the back of this line. It was absurd. We did this for a while, fartleking from like 2’45-50/km to like 3’20-25/km. I was absolutely not mentally or physically prepared to do this.

We passed 5km like this in about 15’27 and then around 6km, I think, I decided to just go to the lead on one of the slower segments and just try to set a steadier pace. I figured that if I started running quicker, maybe they wouldn’t surge so crazily fast. So, I ended up leading very steadily from 6km to about 10km. This was a tough section as it was gradually uphill the whole time, finishing with a big hill at 10-12.8km. But I was leading about as quickly as I felt comfortable ~3’07/km.

At some point maybe around 9-10km, we split up a bit as the Kenyans surged on the big uphill. We had dropped 1 or 2 already, so there were 3 guys in front of me. I didn’t feel like I could match them on this hill, so I actively decided to let them go. I could see one of them getting dropped quickly and I figured this might be my race for third. The third place guy seemed to be really struggling up the hill and I was timing the gap at about 7 seconds. Every time I moved up to within 4-5sec, though, he would seem to sense I was there and surge ahead. This was quite frustrating.

We crested the big hill and then I really tried to accelerate going down the other side. Still, I couldn’t quite close that gap. These next few km were so frustrating as I just felt I couldn’t turn over fast enough to make up the maddeningly short gap. There were times where I told myself, I’m going to run really hard for 30 seconds and catch up and then even if I fall apart, at least I’ll have caught up for a second. But he clearly just had more left in the tank than I did.

We hit the last REALLY steep hill at about 17km and that was real tough. It was only about 200m long, but like 8-10% grade. Very tough and really felt like I was slogging up there. On the other side, it took a minute to get my legs moving again and then before I knew it we were at 2M to go and then 1.5M to go and then 12M.

The last mile is actually kind of a pain in the ass. You go do a hairpin turn, go down a steep ramp, up another ramp through a bunch of turns in the underbelly of the stadium, then up onto the field, run around the field, down through all the turns again, up the steep ramp, another hairpin turn, and then have a decently steep uphill last 200m or so in a parking lot to the finish line. I knew it was going to be a slow last 1k and it was (3’19). For a second, I thought I might catch him in these last 200m as it seemed like he was dogging it in, but it must have been a deceptive perspective because I was 12 seconds behind him at the finish.

I finished in 1’06’40, 5’05/M, 3’09/km.

Overall, I’m still pleased with the race. The purdy points are exactly equal to my 49’55 at Broad St. which is a much easier course (albeit with worse weather with a headwind and rain), but still, this was just a much HARDER race. I said before the race that I felt ready for a race that was steady and fast or slow and tactical. The one thing I hadn’t really thought of and didn’t feel that ready for (mentally or physically) was the brutal surging that first 6km. I just don’t feel like I had enough time this spring post-Mad-City to do a lot of work at under 2’55/km, so I feel like those few minutes of surging really wrecked me. I’m not sure if I would have been better off just hanging back during the surges and the catching up. I just didn’t know what they were going to do and I really didn’t want to get dropped that early. I guess it’s a learning experience and I felt that I handled it well in the moment, even if my training didn’t really give me the fitness to hang on after that. I feel good about the fact that I really tried to RACE these guys, even if it beat me up. I think I’d be more frustrated if I’d like them all go at like 1km into the race and ran the whole thing in no man’s land, even if I’d run a tiny bit faster.

And finally, I DO think it’s a big deal that I felt no breathing issues. It’s hard to draw too many conclusions because it was only a 66 minute race and in Doha/LA I felt fine until 1h20-1h40 or so, but even mentally it’s important to me to know I can have a good race on a 70+ sunny day.

So, that’s it. I cooled down short and then went back to the hotel. I won’t mention my frustration with seeing Mikhaylova at the finish line here. I’ll leave that for another blog post.

I was very pleased to finish the season here. And while I was bummed to finished 4th (my time would have won by 3 minutes last year and would have been top 3 every other year in recent history), I can’t control who shows up. And it’s not like I lost to a bunch of scrubs – these guys were good!

Now, it’s time to rest, recover, and get the mind and body for a long, focused build-up this fall!
Full splits (from garmin)
1 km 3’00.7 (3’00.7)
2 km 5’54.8 (2’54.1)
3 km 9’09.8 (3’15.0)
4 km 12’21.3 (3’11.5)
5 km 15’27.1 (3’05.8) (15’27.1)
6 km 18’37.6 (3’10.5)
7 km 21’44.7 (3’07.1)
8 km 24’54.5 (3’09.8)
9 km 28’01.5 (3’07.0)
10 km 31’09.0 (3’07.5) (15’41.9)
11 km 34’19.1 (3’10.1)
12 km 37’37.0 (3’17.9)
13 km 40’43.9 (3’06.9)
14 km 43’43.7 (2’59.8)
15 km 46’51.5 (3’07.8) (15’42.5)
16 km 50’05.0 (3’13.5)
17 km 53’29.9 (3’24.9)
18 km 56’37.3 (3’07.4)
19 km 59’49.2 (3’11.9)
20 km 1’02’58.9 (3’09.7) (16’07.4)
21 km 1’06’18.0 (3’19.1)
21.11 km 1’06’38.4 (0’20.4)

PM: Travel home from GRB. Very lucky I got on two standby flights and got home at 7pm instead of 1am! Whew! Long day. That’s all she wrote.