Of Mice and Marathons

Sam Costa Half Marathon

Previous WeekRecent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesJason D's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageMonth View
Graph View
Next Week
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


Shelby Township,MI,

Member Since:

Dec 28, 2011



Goal Type:

Local Elite

Running Accomplishments:


16:52 Phillies Charities 5k (2016)

35:52 Beach to Beacon 10k (2015)

58:10 Broad Street 10 Mile (2016)

1:16:02 Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon (2015)

2:46:54 Philadelphia Marathon (2015)

Short-Term Running Goals:

List of Possible 2020 Races

March 15: Waterloo Grit and Gravel 32 Mile Gravel Race

March 28: Dirty 30 Gravel Race

April 4: Lowell Spring Classic 33 Mile

April 18: Barry Roubaix 36-Mile Gravel Race

May 02: Black Fork Gravel Grinder 54 Mile

May 30: Hellkat 50 Gravel Race

June 20: Cow Pie Classic 33-Mile Gravel Race

July 26: The Divide 34-Mile Gravel Race


Sept 13: Uncle John's Dirty Ride 56-Mile Gravel Race

Sept: Michigan Mountain Mayhem 40-Mile Gravel Race

Oct 31: Lowell Classic Gravel Race 32 Mile



I live in Michigan with my wife, Megan. I started running in September 2010.

(Please note that Strava links might contain blog inappropriate langauge)


Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 12.30 Month: 123.40 Year: 123.40
Newton Flat 5 Lifetime Miles: 198.50
Saucony A6 Lifetime Miles: 221.96
Miles With Megan Lifetime Miles: 603.95
Nike Zoom Streak LT2 White/Orange Lifetime Miles: 189.95
Saucony Kinvara 7 Lifetime Miles: 443.70
Altra Escalante Lifetime Miles: 555.65
Altra One V3 Blue Lifetime Miles: 415.00
Altra One V3 Blue 2 Lifetime Miles: 413.30
Specialized Diverge Pro Lifetime Miles: 2297.75
Saucony ISO Freedom Lifetime Miles: 727.45
Saucony ISO Freedom Black/Green Lifetime Miles: 465.90
Saucony Kinvara 5 Blue (Vault) Lifetime Miles: 740.87
Saucony Kinvara 5 Teal (Vault) Lifetime Miles: 730.60
Cross Training Minutes 2019 Lifetime Miles: 7560.80
Saucony Kinvara 6 Lifetime Miles: 469.00
Saucony Kinvara 5 Blue (Vault Shoe) II Lifetime Miles: 230.20
Saucony Kinvara 5 Viziglow Lifetime Miles: 165.45
Wahoo Kickr Lifetime Miles: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Newton Gravity LE Miles: 10.55Newton MV3 Miles: 33.10Saucony Kinvara 4 Miles: 9.25Saucony Kinvara Miles: 8.00Newton MV2 (3) Miles: 8.00
Weight: 169.76
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

North side - 6.25 miles, averaged 7:59. Did some strides. One school-to-school at 4:50 pace. Hard but controlled. Decided not to jump on it like I sometimes do.

Late: 20+ minutes of rolling and stretching, then 30+ minutes of core work.

I can't stop staring at Shalane Flanagan's arms in her finishing pic from the 15k Champs . . .

Newton Gravity LE Miles: 6.25
Weight: 171.10
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

AM/Lunch - Aerobic Builder - 14 miles, averaged 6:43 w/ 8-mile tempo in 49:25 (6:10/6:11 average): 6:10, 6:13, 6:07, 6:13, 6:05, 6:12, 6:09, 6:16

On our run on Saturday I tried to get Brandon to do his long run with me and do some tempo miles in the middle or at the end. He was going to be gone, but Patrick piped up and said he would run with me, given that he runs at 6:30-6:00 all the time. We were going to run yesterday, but I told him Monday would be better so I could get a day more recovery (even though I would lose another day on the race end of the split). We met up at the Purdue Co-Rec, which he oversees.

3 miles ~my warmup pace to a little bit faster (I am guessing it was driving Patrick nuts to run 8:00 minute pace), then into the workout. I told Patrick to run low 6:20s to start and cut it down. That didn't happen, but I felt better than I thought I might, so I let him push. Effort was up a bit in the middle miles, but not outside of the zone of what I usually do for these. If Patrick started to push a bit outside of my zone, I let him go for a while (I told him keep it above 6:10). He did about 10k and I went to 8, with the final miles being my most relaxed (I think he surged too much judging by the splits). He was a bit more gassed at the end than he appeared in the workout even though I thought I was the one really working, and then I went on to run 2 more miles and could have run 2 more if asked to. Proof that aerobically and in terms of marathon specificity a high mileage plodder will win out against low-mileage fast "easy" day runner most of the time.

Can I hold this pace in a marathon? I don't know. I wouldn't run that fast to start, but at least low-6:00 won't scare me like it once did if the the watch shows those paces. As usual a tuneup half and a big final workout will tell me what pace I should target.

3 miles back to the Co-Rec

PM: North side - 4 miles at gentleman jogger pace.

Newton MV3 Miles: 14.00Saucony Kinvara 4 Miles: 4.00
Weight: 169.20
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

North side - 8 miles, averaged 7:50

Late: 35 minutes of rolling, stretching, and core. Hungry. Must have had a mileage jump last week and a largish workout yesterday. That's right, food log, I'm not tallying those 2 Kind Bars and peanut butter and jelly I ate straight from the jar at 11:00 PM. Just don't tell the scale.

My day involved light reading and avoiding writing that dissertation. I did get some L.L. Bean slippers to replace the bargin basement ones that were worn completely through the soles like a Flinstone's car.

Saucony Kinvara Miles: 8.00
Weight: 170.10
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Micro Sharpening Workout - 8 miles, averaged 7:40

2 x k @ half marathon race effort w/ k recovery: 3:39 (5:54 pace), 3:45 (6:02)

4 x 200 w/ 200 recovery ~35 seconds average

First interval was right on for first mile goal pace (probably a bit faster if I finished the mile). Put the second one into a decent wind to practice some effort-based running in case the wind is a factor Saturday morning. Hoping not to see anything above 5:50-range though.

Felt just okay overall (the usual pre-race doubts I think), but I think this is usually how I feel before a half that I am not using as a workout. The 200s felt pretty good even with the wind on a few of them.

Very short and easy tomorrow and Friday.

Really Late: 20 minutes of rolling stretching + hips and glutes. Seem to have a lot greater range of motion on my exercises than I previously have. I'll assume I am doing something right/well.

Newton MV2 (3) Miles: 8.00
Weight: 169.20
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

North side - 5.25 miles easy, no watch. Did some strides.

Saucony Kinvara 4 Miles: 5.25
Weight: 169.20
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

4.3 miles at gentleman jogger pace. Few pace strides to finish it off.

Ran with Megan near the airport on some access roads. Legs feel really good. I've kept off them more than usual. Need to be careful at the start tomorrow morning. Don't want to go out on Delusions of Grandeur pace. Effort, effort, effort.

Newton Gravity LE Miles: 4.30
Weight: 0.00
Race: Sam Costa Half Marathon (13.109 Miles) 01:17:25, Place overall: 4
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Bit of head wind throughout. 25 second PR. Wanted more, but I ran as hard as I could for the day. Effort was up from the first mile. I'll write more later of course. Time with Megan and my good friends I haven't seen in a year.


Stayed in Indianapolis for a few days with Megan to see some of our friends who had a conference, which worked out well because the race wasn't too far away. Got up on race morning and picked up our friends. My friend Jeremy decided a few weeks ago to run. We picked up our bib, and I saw Julian, a local Lafayette barefoot runner (2:39 last year in Boston). I did 3 miles on the final miles of the course to check out the final stretch (a slight uphill grade with a windy grade into the finish). I warmed up slightly longer than I usually do (usually 2 miles when it is 30-45 degrees) and my warmup pace felt like I was walking. Did a few gentle pickups and went inside to drop my warmup stuff with Megan. Lined up and talked to Julian a bit. He told me that they would take it out fast and that given his current fitness he would run 6:10 to start.  I told him I was going to try to hit ~5:53-5:55 for the first mile and work it down over the course of the first 10 miles and hit the last 5k as hard as I could.

First mile got going and I could see the leaders just in front of me. The pace felt slow for me based on my legs so I picked it up slightly. First mile was 5:55+, so 5:56 rounded. Effort felt a bit high. Two guys up front started to gap, while me and the two guys in front of me separated from the rest of the race. The first few miles were uneventful, but I worried about my effort, and I realized my goal of running just under 1:16-16:30 wasn't going to go down today. No matter, I tried to tell myself: "Look at your position. You are racing for place. Keep the splits just under PR pace, run as hard as you can, and put it down as a success." I stayed on the 3rd and 4th guys, trying to get with them to share the pace but my effort was already too high to push much. They didn't seem too cheesed off and one of the gents handed me his Gatorade cup at one point as I ran by and he and the other fellow got some liquids. I didn't really want it, but I thought it was kind of him so I took a sip. I basically stayed behind them until mile 12 when I worked to break them. I succeeded, but all three had already been passed by Julian around mile 8 or 9 I think (I got to watch his bare feet high-step some large gravel on a slight downhill).

Around mile 4 (I think) there was an overzelous young gent who was doing periods of walking. He tried to stay with me when I passed him around mile 6 or 7. Apparently he was not ready to handle the pace of the eventual 1:12 winner (I think the kid may have walked off the course). Mile 7 was a bit of a gradual climb that I didn't expect. This was also where we hit the quarter marathoners (yes, 6.55 miles), but I got a bit of downhill to make up for a few seconds. I was hurting, but I stayed pretty much evenly pace (taking elevation, turns, and obstacles into account). Around mile 8 or 9 I heard foot steps and looked over my shoulder slightly when I got a chance and Julian came up behind me. I greeted him with a "I knew it was you." He went by me and the two in front. I should have tried to stay behind him but I worried that my legs would lock up before the last few miles. He got me by 32 seconds and that is a good bit per mile over 3-4 miles when you are already red-lining

Wound through the last few miles of residential areas darting through racewalkers, powerwalkers, and old folks. I surged a little bit to test the legs and the two guys I had been with throughout the race. I dropped one guy, but the other guy came back. He was a little behind me on the hill but I started to pull away and got him before going over the grass median and across the road. I worried he would outkick me but he had nothing left. You hit mile 13 and there is a sharp uphill turn, which really stinks because you just get into your kick when you startighten out and you hit the finish. I got him by 8 seconds in the last ~.15-.20 miles.

I wanted a faster time, but I knew from mile 1 that I wasn't going to get it so I fought pretty hard and still got a nice little 25 second PR on a day that was fairly windy (12-14 MPH) and mostly a headwind (never felt like I got the wind behind me), but it was more annoying than it ever really felt like it was making me work harder (I am sure it made a little difference). This course is not as fast as Philly given that it has some rough patches where you run on across sidewalks and grass and a bit of gravel in patches, it winds, and the weather was not as good. I'm pleased. I'm still within my goal of sub-2:45 at Boston, which right now is obviously the overall focus. I will focus on running a sizable half PR this fall.

3 down.

The rich chocolatey goodness: 5:56, 5:52, 5:58, 5:51, 5:50, 5:48, 5:58, 6:09 (hill), 5:51, 5:49, 5:55, 6:00, 5:58, :34

Newton MV3 Miles: 19.10
Weight: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Newton Gravity LE Miles: 10.55Newton MV3 Miles: 33.10Saucony Kinvara 4 Miles: 9.25Saucony Kinvara Miles: 8.00Newton MV2 (3) Miles: 8.00
Weight: 169.76
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
Web fastrunningblog.com
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):