Thursday, July 31, 2008

signed up for a half

Another one hour run this morning. So humid it felt like swimming. Temp was 72 at 6am, but so was the dew point. As of 8 am the dew point is 73.9 here. Anything over 70 is, for me, where I just laugh and slog through. I threw in about a half dozen short, half-hearted striders.

I signed up for a half on 9/14 last night. I ran it last year. My pace then was 7:08/mile compared to my 2007 Cherry Blossom 10-mile pace of 6:59. I ran 6:53 pace at CB this year, so 7 min/mi seems like a good goal. If I run out of my mind 1:29:59 (6:52 pace) might happen. The course is a net downhill, but if you look at the elevation map in the link, you'll see you lose most of the elevation in the first 2+ and gain in the last 2+. It's a pretty fast course, but not as fast as something like CB. The climb at the end will be good preparation for NCR, which has a ridiculous last couple of miles (after being about as easy as you could imagine for the first 24).

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I went for a one-hour run today. I went out and checked my watch at the ~5k point and saw 30:XX, so I turned around. I hit stop when I got home, looked down, and saw 59:59:91. Close enough.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

the trail tougher than the sidewalk?

I do about 80% of my running during the week on concrete sidewalks. On Saturday, I do mostly sidewalk and pavement with maybe a mile on a trail. Sunday, including last Sunday, on a mostly firm dirt or fine crushed gravel trail. I swear I was more sore after Sunday's 13.6, which followed an easy 5-mile day, than I was after any of the 14-, 10-, or 12-mile runs I did back-to-back-back last Mo, Tu, and Wed. Well, anyway I thought I felt better after yesterdays 10 miler than before it and that proved to be true this morning when I did 13 on concrete sidewalks. No niggles today.

Today was also the first day in a while I had that "I can run forever" feeling. I think I'm beginning to turn the endurance corner. Runs of about 1 hour apiece are on the menu for the next three days.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

week of 21 July

Mo - 14.08 2:10:07 9:14 139 (69%)
Tu - 10.37 1:37:04 9:22 136 (68%)
We - 12.18 1:53:08 9:17 137 (69%)
Th - 7.15 1:05:24 9:08 134 (67%)
Fr - 8.43 1:16:26 9:04 135 (68%) - 60 degs, 60 dew point
Sa - 5.29 0:51:52 9:49 143 (71%) -- ran at 2pm in the broiling sun
Su - 13.71 2:15:46 9:54 135 (68%) -- 74-80 degs and dewpoint 69-71

Week: 71.2, 11:09:47, 9:24, 137

(I upgraded my version of SportTracks and you can cut and paste from it, which makes me appear a little more anal than usual in my reporting of statistics above.)

This week went pretty well. I've been doing well enough with this 3 high days and 3 low days pattern that it felt like discovering plutonium with Th and Friday's pace/heart rate. The heat took that out of me this weekend though. I was going to run 15, but after desperately needing, and thankfully reaching, a bathroom, it felt silly to run another 1.3. My heart rate was also starting to climb by that point.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

beautiful clouds

It was pretty hot and humid (72 degs and 69 dew point at 6am) as it has been the last couple of days. When I glanced at my heart rate it seemed lower than I expected though. I was even thinking, gee maybe a sub-1:30 half is in the cards. After about an hour of patting myself on the back (mostly on the downhills), I looked up and realized it was completely overcast. It's amazing what I a difference the lack of direct sun makes between this morning and the last two mornings.
Still, I think the 3 days "high" mileage, 3 days "low" mileage thing is working well.

I seem to be holding up well. I have one persistent niggle though that I've had for a couple of weeks. I occasionally overextend my left knee as if the "stop" isn't there and get a sharp pain in the back. It never happens when I run though. I did feel a little soreness back there at the end of today's run. I think it might be because I wore the precisions instead of the Frees (my foot was a little sore) and I think I overstride in them.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

week of 14 July

Mo - 6/9:13/138
Tu - 12.2/9:08/136
We - 9.4/9:12/132
Th - 12.2/9:11/137
Fr - 7/9:41/136
Sa am - 3.3/9:38/132
Sa pm - 8k/8:29/157
Su am - 7/9:43/142

Week: 62/9:13/138, 9 hrs 32 minutes.

It cooled off Tuesday, Wednesday and Thurday. It was only 63 degrees (although 100% humidity). Things really clicked on these runs. I started to run out of gas in the last couple of miles on Th, which is pretty much what I expected and a good indicator to cut the mileage for a few days.

My timing was pretty good as the weather just sucked Fr, Sa, and Sunday.
  • I ran at 6am on Saturday morning before the swim meet. Just a quick jog around the neighborhood
  • On Saturday night I ran a big local 8k. With an 8:45pm start time, it's kind of a fun race. I didn't want to race though, so I ran with a friend. He had done a three hour bike ride that morning, so he wasn't really taking it seriously either. At 9 pm, it was 84 degrees with a dew point of 64. (Sadly, one runner died.) I thought we'd do a little faster than 8 min/mi and I'd get my heart rate into the 170s. We did 8:29 pace though. My avg heart splits were 152, 158, 157, 159, and 160. It turned out to be a Joe Rubio 80% run, but without the warmup or warmdown (I did get the 3 miles in the morning). I warmed down with a free Michelob Ultra. I'd never drink it under normal circumstances, but it hit the spot after the race.
  • I didn't get home until 10:30 and after taking a shower it was pretty late before I went to bed. I also inexplicable woke up twice in the middle of the night just drenched in sweat. It was bizarre. I checked the thermostat and it was 72 degrees. Weird. I ended up sleeping in and dawdled enough that I didn't step out until about 9:30. 84 degrees and a dew point of 73. Not a cloud in the sky either and the sun was blazing. I wasn't ashamed to jog at nearly 10 min/mi.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


In May/June, I gave up my long run (meaning >17 miles) in an effort to make it easy to get my mileage back up without too much strain. It seemed to work in January, but for one reason or another, my long run is gone, but my mileage is still hovering ~60 (about my average for the year). I've been doing some harder running, which is probably part of it. The moderate runs definitely take more out of me and the hills especially require a little recovery.

This week I started trying something a little different. (I think I own too many running books.) I was looking at John Kellog's chapter in run strong and he talks about doing block of 2-4 days at a higher mileage and then backing off for 2-4 days. The example he gives is for a 40-45 mpw runner: 5, 6, 5, 10, 7, 10, 8, 6, 5, and 6. (That's from memory but it's close.) He says the higher mileage block should be 10-20 percent higher than the average weekly mileage, which doesn't fit hit example. (10 + 7 + 10 + 8)/4 = 8.75. 45/7 = 6.4. 8.75/6.4 = 1.38. 38 % >> 20%. OK, I know. Feel "kung fu" don't think it.

Anyway..... This week so far has been 6, 12, 9, 12. I was going to do something like 7, 8, and 7 for the next three days. I've already messed that up though by signing up for an 8k on Saturday night. My plan is to run it with a friend of mine, which I think should be a little below 10 mile pace. He's been running more though, so who knows. Tentative plan for the next three days is 7, 3 am/8k pm, and 7.

There's so many possible ways to go that I've thought about getting a coach so I don't have to think about it anymore. I know Joseph will suggest Will, but I've looked at also. $99 a month for a minimum 5 months. Eh, I don't know. The kids probably want to go to college and the market has been killing their college savings. In my heart I know if I run over 70 miles a week for a decent period of time and lose 5-10 pounds, 3:15 will be a no-brainer. Do I need a coach to tell me that?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

week of 7 July

Mo - 5.7/8:50/140
Tu - 12.2/?/? -- no watch, HRM; think 9 min/mi
We - 12.2/8:39/146 - moderate
Th - 5.5/9:26/134
Fr - 8.6/9:35/133
Sa - 8.6/9:21/137
Su - 8.6/9:07/140

Week: 61/9:06/139, 9 hours 15 minutes

Various aches and pains along with feeling like crap this morning and the dread of running in the heat were my excuse for not doing a long run today.

Friday, July 11, 2008

It was my groin but now it's my knee

It sounds like the punchline to an old joke. Anyway, the groin thing is gone, but it's been replaced by more disturbing knee funkiness. The lateral (think that's the term) side of my left knee bothers me sometimes on uphills and the back of my knee seems too lose. I'll occasionally hyper extend my knee, like when standing on my left leg to put on my pants, and get a sudden sharp pain. I did a really slow 8.6 miles today as a result. 9:38 pace and 132 bpm avg heart rate.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

12 is greater than 9 plus 3

Instead of doing 9 in the morning and 3 at lunch, I did 12 in the morning. I forgot my Garmin, so I'll have to guess that it was ~9 min/mi pace. I have kind of a weird feeling in the groin area (stop that snickering!), so I didn't want to do a workout. I decided to do 12 because frankly doubles are a pain.

I could really tell the difference after the distance was over 9 miles. I ended up "pleasantly tired" as Lydiard would say. 12 miles was cake in the spring when I was doing 12 every Tue, 14 w/ last 5 at MP on Th, and 20+ on Sunday.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

week of 30 June

Mo - 5.8/8:33/143 maintenance, easy-moderate
Tu am - 10.0/8:44/1:47 w/ 3x3 hills
Tu lunch - 3.0/10:12/145 slow and hot on trail
We - 9.3/8:22/149, moderate
Th - 0
Fr am - 3.2/9:04/141
Fr mid-day - 8.6/8:36/154, moderate; 85 degrees and 64 dew point
Sa - 3.2/9:18/135, didn't feel like anything more
Su - 15.3/9:12/147

Week: 58.5/8:53/147, 8hrs 40 minutes

I ran harder than normal on Monday through Wednesday and then didn't sleep much We, Th, and Friday. I didn't really feel like running on Saturday and just jogged for 30 minutes.

I'm not sure what happened today. It was much harder at the end than it should have been for the pace. I guess it was humid. It was overcast and only 73 degrees, but the dew point was 70. My splits were

9:58/125, 9:22/134, 9:27/137, 9:24/140, 9:26/137,
9:20/141, 9:12/142, 9:03/147, 9:00/148, 8:56/145,
8:56/152, 8:54/156, 9:00/161, 9:11/161, 8:54/165

I didn't look at heart rate (or pace really) until the end and was astonished to see my heart rate so high. I'm not sure how to explain it. I'm wondering if I've really lost my endurance. I was doing 18 milers nearly every week for about two years and now I haven't run that far since the marathon. I've also thought that maybe I need more than just water when it's hot. Maybe I should be taking some salt tablets. Or maybe I should be logging more miles.

We've reached midway through the year and it's time to add up some mileage. Through 30 June, I ran 1532 miles. My goal for the year was 3000, so it looks like I'm on pace.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Clifford, 1994 - 2008

It's been a rough day today. The ancient lab passed away. We got him for our first wedding anniversary 14 years ago, and as you can see from the pictures above, he isn't the only one to have aged in that time. Our kids, now 8 and 10, wouldn't even be born for 3 years after we brought him home. In many ways, he was our first born. We'll miss him.