Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 comes to an end

The last 20 miler of this training cycle is now in the bank. It certainly wasn’t my best run, but at least it’s behind me. I got started at 7:00 AM this morning, well before sun-up. The temperature was 40F(4C) and for some reason I decided to take off wearing only a long sleeve jersey over my short sleeve shirt and shorts. After 100m I realized, of course, that gloves would have come in handy this morning. But I tucked my numb fingers into my jersey and kept running around the 5 mile loop waiting for the sun to come up and warm up the air a little.

I completed the first 5 mile loop at an average pace of 9:05/mi, but starting to warm up in my long sleeve jersey, so I ran by my house and dropped off my black lab and the long sleeve shirt; but forgot about the gloves again, which I regreted after 100m of running in the cool morning air. Oh well.

I had fully intended to pick up the pace on the 2nd loop to bring my average down to the 9:00/mi. Miles 6 and 7 went by fairly well, running a little below 9:00/mi, but I started to fad on mile 8 and finished up the 2nd loop at an average pace of 9:07/mi.

At the start of the 3rd loop, I knew I wasn’t going to increase the pace any time soon and just tried to hang on at a 9:10/mi pace. I kept up a running dialog with myself about my lack of ability to accelerate. I know it’s all mental. It wasn’t as if I was cruising along at a VO2max pace and trying to push harder. I was just running at a comfortable general aerobic pace, but I couldn’t convince the legs to put out any more power. At one point, the various fibers in my legs got in an argument concerning which ones weren’t pulling there weight. After a few miles of argueing, they all went silent and I just plodded down the road.

Finally, on mile 20, another runner turned onto the same street as me about 200m in front. After nearly 3 hours on the road, I finally had someone to chase. As always, the poor woman in front of me had no idea that she had instantly become my muse, and mysteriously, the legs started moving faster and I quickly closed the gap between us. Where was this goddess an hour ago? At least I had someone to run with for 3 minutes. It didn’t do much for my overall time, but at least I knew I had some life left in the legs.

5 mile loop avg paces: 9:05/mi, 9:09/mi, 9:14/mi, 9:19/mi

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest Day
Tue – 5.0 miles w/6x100m strides; 9:05/mi avg pace
Wed - 10.6 miles w/4x1200m @7:00/mi pace
Thr – Slacker Day
Fri – 11.0 miles, medium-long; 8:56/mi avg pace
Sat – 4.1 miles, recovery, 8:42/mi avg pace (too fast)
Sun – 20.1 miles, long, 9:12/mi avg pace

Total Mileage for the week: 51.0 miles
Total Mileage for the month: 237.8 miles
Total Mileage for the year: 1,860.5 miles

2006 in Review:

In terms of running, I hit PRs in every imaginable catagory in 2006 (thanks in no small part to you folks). I accomplished very little otherwise, but the running was great!

Highest Mileage PRs – Week (53.9), Month (237.8), Year (1,860.5)
Race PRs – 5K (21:36), 8K (35:41), 10K (44:40), 10M (1:23:20), ½ Marathon (1:49:52), 30K (2:33:46)

2007 Goals

My goals for 2007 are straight forward:

- Dramatically improve my flexibility (if I get any tighter I won’t be able to walk down stairs by the end of 2007)
- Run 2000 miles (need to stay in shape)
- Improve general aerobic pace to 8:30/mi (need to continue to improve core conditioning)
- Run 2 marathons (look at me, I haven’t even completed one and I’m setting objectives to run two)
- Lower ½ marathon PR to 1:45:00 (Current PR was set before I started blogging)
- Lower 10K PR to 44:00 (this will take some work)
- Stop using the phrase – “at my age” (simply sounds stupid)
- Improve financial investment performance (I left way too much money on the table in 2006. With two kids in college and an other starting up in 3 years, I need to start paying attention to my investments again.)
- Keep the checkbook balance (personal problem)
- Improve French proficiency (Je suis suck! I could really use some help from a few of you that speak French. Since I don’t go to France more than once or twice a year now, I’ve lost whatever proficiency I once had. If any of you are interested in writing in French, let me know. It won’t be pretty, but it will be lively)
- Begin basic Spanish (It’s incredible that I live within 200 miles of the Mexican border and can’t speak a word of Spanish … again, anyone interested in helping me learn Spanish, let me know)

I wish you all a very happy New Year and all the best in 2007. Thanks for all the help this year.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Cool Morning in Moon Valley

After raining most of the night, the weather was very cool and humid this morning. I opted for a long sleeve running shirt and shorts; just a few degrees too cold for short sleeves. My black lab and I set out for a general aerobic 10 miler and headed over to Moon Valley for a loop around the golf course. It's been several years since I've run in this neighborhood. Moon Valley a typical "master planned" area with wide streets and wide "bike" lanes and no traffic lights.

The first 6 miles felt strong, but my pace started to falter soon thereafter. Most likely, I was starting to dehydrate but I didn’t have too much further to run so I just kept pushing forward. I took a detour on the way home to avoid stopping for a traffic light and instantaneously added an additional mile to run. The detour also added an extra hill to this mostly flat course which was just what I needed.

Hope you have a great weekend. Mine will be fairly straight forward: 4 miles on Saturday and 20 on Sunday. This should be fun.

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest Day
Tue – 5.0 miles w/6x100m strides; 9:05/mi avg pace
Wed - 10.6 miles w/4x1200m @7:00/mi pace
Thr – Slacker Day
Fri – 11.0 miles, medium-long; 8:56/mi avg pace

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Back in the Saddle

Well, the weather weenies missed the boat on the rain, but is was mostly cloudy and cool. Todays agenda call for 10 miles w/4x1200m at 5K pace, so I was thankful for the cool weather. I ran an uneventful 6.5 mile warm up but had to take a short break to drive my youngest daughter to a friend’s house over in Scottsdale. On the way back, I stopped at the Paradise Valley Community College track to run the 4x1200m intervals.

Some group was hosting a pole vaulting workshop for high school kids at the track, so there were people everywhere, but no one else running and for the most part, the kids stayed out of the #1 lane. My goal was to run these intervals at a 7:00/mi pace or 5:14 per 1200m. I started out the first interval a little fast, but finished strong. The 2nd interval started ok, but I started breathing hard near the end. The 3rd interval was a struggle and I had to really push it on the last lap to come in near my 5:14 goal. The 4th was more a less a repeat of the 3rd. I was 2 seconds behind after 400m and 4 seconds behind after 800m. I had to give it my all on the last lap to get close.

Actual Interval Splits: 5:08, 5:10, 5:16, 5:17

This was the first successful workout in over a week. I think my cold is more or less behind me. Enjoy your week.

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest Day
Tue – 5.0 miles w/6x100m strides; 9:05/mi avg pace
Wed - 10.6 miles w/4x1200m @7:00/mi pace

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Phoenix Recovery

After driving 960 miles over 3 days, I’m back in Phoenix and I think I’m finally recovering from what ever kind of “cold” I had. I’m still a little congested, but at least my ears no longer sound like a timpani on every step. Fortunately, all I had to run today was a quick 5 mile recovery with 6x100m strides. There’s nothing much to report on the run. The traffic was lighter than usual which isn’t too surprising on the day after Christmas and 5 miles is 5 miles.

The fun begins tomorrow. Pfitz has planned 10 miles w/4x1200 repeats at 5K pace. My game plan is to run the repeats a real 5K pace and not the slow jog from last Friday. With any luck, I can stay below a 7:00/mi pace. Now that should be fun. Of course, the weather weenies are predicting rain, so I'm expecting bright sun-shine and 70F temperatures.

Hope your week is going well.

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest Day
Tue – 5.0 miles w/6x100m strides; 9:05/mi avg pace

Monday, December 25, 2006

The lost miles

I wish a Merry Christmas to all those celebrating today and a great day of running to those who are not. I had considered simply skipping over this post describing the last two days of running. After all, there is nothing that is compelling me to describe my failures; but then again, this wouldn’t be an honest journal if it were only filled with happy talk.

I was lucky enough to spend Friday and Saturday in Carlsbad, California (USA). I had two runs to do while in California. First, I needed to get in a 5K at race pace on Friday and follow that with a 17 mile long run on Saturday. You couldn’t ask for a better area to do either. Carlsbad is a lovely place nestled against the Pacific Ocean with beautiful vista from its many hill tops (now mostly covered with houses). The skies were a vivid blue and the day-time temperatures floated around 60F (16C). These are just perfect running conditions. The only thing going against me was a lingering cold that I’m having a heck of time shaking. But I'm tough (yeh .. right).

Late Friday afternoon (after driving 400 miles from Phoenix) I ran up to the top of the one of the hills looking for a pseudo-flat spot to run my requisite 5K. Without too much of a sense of irony, I found a hill top that some developer has sheered off and walked off a 600m course in a conch spiral. All I needed to do was run out and back 4 times + 200m and I’d have a home made 5K.

As soon as I took off, I knew I was in for trouble. The soft dirt was littered with ruts from the heavy machinery used to “develop” this hill top, making the footing rather tricky. Plus I was having a hard time breathing and trying to run all out was, to say the least, difficult. The final results were equally disappointing – 23:05 (average pace 7:26). Since my best 5K pace is sub 7:00/mi, I don’t know if I really did what Pfitz intended, but it was the best 5K I was going to run on Friday afternoon.

Saturday’s 17 miler yielded similar results. Since I never get to run real hills in Phoenix, I mapped out a 5.5 mile loop course around Palomar Airport that I knew had one 300 foot climb. What I didn’t know was that it actually had two substantial hills over the 5.5 mile loop. I ran 1.5 miles up to the start of the loop and stashed a water bottle by the side of the road. I got up the first climb at a decent pace and was feeling pretty good until the road started to fall away sharply (see graphic below). After running down a steep grade for nearly a mile, I knew I was in trouble. I literally had to climb out of a hole and run back to the top of the hill and then down again to complete the first lap. Still, I was feeling OK – not great, but still OK – of course, I’d only run 7 miles after the first loop and I’d better be feeling fresh.

The first hill on the 2nd loop was slower than I hoped, but my legs and lungs were still working; however, I just couldn’t get any speed while running DOWN the steep incline that followed. I think my pace going down hill was over 10:00/mi. My hamstrings just weren’t letting me go anywhere quickly. Once I got to the bottom and started up the 2nd hill, I think I actually sped up; at least I felt a lot better going up hill than I did running down. When I reached the top however, I was completely spent and again couldn’t generate any speed running back down to the start of the loop.

I’d signed up for three laps and bravely jog out to start the 3rd set, but, 1 mile up the hill, the legs just stopped moving. After less than 14 miles I was completely spent! I stood there by the side of road for a minute looking up the hill and started jogging up again, only to stop after 2 or 3 steps. My body just wasn’t going up any more hills on Saturday. Since I forgot to pack any spare mojo, I turned around and limped back to my sister-in-laws apartment. Total distance for the run: 16.2 miles; average pace: 9:32/mi. Not my best effort - certiainly the hilliest course I'd ever attempted.

On Sunday, my wife and I headed for Tucson (440 miles) to go to church with my oldest daughter on Christmas Eve and then headed back to Phoenix (130 miles) - getting home at 1:30 AM in Christmas morning. No running today.

I hope you all have a great week ahead of you. I have the last week of Pfitz's "race prep" Mesocycle to complete this week, it should be interesting. The sniffles have subsided and I think I'm close to healthy; altough several pounds heavier than I'd like to be.

Running for the week:

Mon- Rest Day
Tue – 8.5 miles w/5x600m @ 6:36/mi pace
Wed – 11.0 miles, general aerobic, 9:32/mi avg pace
Thr - 4.0 miles, recovery w/6x100m strides, 8:47 avg pace
Fri – 7.8 miles w/5K @ 7:26/mi
Sat – 16.2 miles, long w/hills, 9:32/mi avg pace

The Hills of Carlsbad - this was one hill course. The peak of the 1st and 3rd hills is around 350'

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Partial Recovery

It’s no fun being sick … yeh, so what’s new. My noise is still clogged, I’m a bit light headed and my muscles are achy, but overall, I’m not doing too bad; at least I felt well enough to get in the required 4 mile Recovery run with 6x100m strides this afternoon. Nothing much to report (just how much can happen on a 4 miler?). Although I think I finally understand a little of the logic related to requiring strides on a Recovery run. Whereas, the first two miles were pure hell, once I started the strides on mile 3 my legs actually relaxed and I really enjoyed the last two miles, even with the head cold

Training for the week:
Mon- Rest Day
Tue – 8.5 miles w/5x600m @ 6:36/mi pace
Wed – 11.0 miles, general aerobic, 9:32/mi avg pace
Thr - 4.0 miles, recovery w/6x100m strides, 8:47 avg pace

I hope you all have a marvelous week. I’m heading out to California for a couple of days on Friday and probably won’t be doing a whole lot of blogging; however, I did want to leave you with a couple of more pictures

I took this picture last spring in the same area as I was running yesterday. You can see the loose rock on trail to the right. The rocks make running fun while trying to maintain your footing and they're also a joy while trying to make sure that you don't step down on a sharp one mid-foot while wearing running shoes.

Merry Christmas

You all know that I have a large black lab that runs with me on most days. I also have an Italian Greyhound mix that my wife likes to dress up this time of year. This is Jean-Pierre and his ginger-bread friends.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Running on empty

One would have thought that after 51 years I would have learned most of life’s basic lessons, but evidently not. With overnight temperatures approaching freezing and clear sunny weather predicted for Thursday afternoon, I decided to sleep in this morning instead of hoping out of bed at 5:00AM to get in an 11 miler before my day started. My wife has been sick for the past several days and it appears that I may have caught a little bit of whatever she has. I awoke with a soar throat and runny noise, but otherwise I felt OK. After dropping my youngest off at her High School, I took my wife to her office and stayed to help her with a project (since I’m on vacation, I might as well do something worthwhile). The project stretched through 1 PM and was followed by a trip to the central Post Office in Phoenix and another errand or two. We didn’t get home until 3:30 and I still needed to get the 11 miler in. I was worried about running out of light and, of course, I hadn’t had anything to eat since breakfast; but what the heck, who needs fuel anyway?

I drove over to the Christiansen Trail in north Phoenix with the intent to run 11 miles through the rough and rocky trails between North Mountain and Shaw Butte. This is a real peaceful area of town, protected from land developers and still in its natural state. The real challenge is that the trails are a virtual rock-fest. I spent the first 4 miles carefully picking my way through the rocks while running up and down hills (see graph below). My ankles hurt, my right foot was throbbing from a hard landing on a sharp rock and my left foot was getting all tingly. And my pace. I’d call it slow, but that doesn’t really describe it. I was worn out from all the high-stepping but wasn’t moving fast enough to really stretch out my legs.

I left the trails on mile 5 and headed back onto the street, running down hill to Thunderbird Road along 7th Street and then chugging up the 200’ hill during the next mile get over the pass separating the Moon Valley area of Phoenix from the main central valley. I ran down the south side of the hill weaving through the neighborhoods before starting the 250’ climb up the south side of the hill. Although my ankles no longer hurt and the tingling sensation in my feet had gone away, my pace was still gut-wrenchingly slow. I just trudged up the hills and plodded down the hills and never really got moving through the entire run.

Fortunately, tomorrow is another day. Hope yours is going better. I know I will at least eat before I try running any kind of distance tomorrow.

Training for the week:

Mon- Rest Day

Tue – 8.5 miles w/5x600m @ 6:36/mi pace
Wed – 11.0 miles, general aerobic, 9:32/mi avg pace

Hill Course:

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The morning after the morning after

8 miles with 5x600m at 5K pace. Boy, I was happy to see that I “only” needed to do 600m repeats instead of the 1000s lung-busters from last week and I wasn’t all too sure I’d be able to get much speed in at all after running a 30K two days ago; but it Pfitzinger say run, I run.

After a 5 mile warm up, I dropped Cooper off at the house and headed over to PVCC for the fun part of the work out. There were a couple of other people jogging around the track, so at least I had someone to chase. Although the local weather loonies had predicted rain for this morning, the sun was out and the temperature was around 48F (9C). I just couldn’t ask for better weather … now if I just had the legs to run the repeats.

I was under 48 seconds at the 200m mark on the first lap, so I knew I was doing OK speed wise, but I wasn't very comfortable. My legs felt like lead and I was already breathing hard with 400m to go. Fortunately, one of the other runners was 200m in front of me, so I chased him down and finished the first 600 in a respectable 2:24 and jogged around to the start line for the next interval.

Intervals 2 through 4 were successive exercises in futility as I struggled more and more to keep up the pace. I let it all hang out on the 4th interval and was able to push the time back down to something respectable, but I was totally gassed. It was all I could do to finish up with an 800m cool down before slithering off the track.

600 Splits for those of you who like this stuff:

2:24, 2:27, 2:29, 2:31, 2:27

Hope your week is going great. I still have a lot of shopping to do, so I’m in all out panic mode.

Training for the week:

Mon- Rest Day (lounged around the house – did nothing)
Tue – 8.5 miles w/5x600m @ 6:36/mi pace

None Running Info – Although it is December and night-time temperatures are approaching freezing; our roses don’t seem to have a clue. These are blooming on our front steps.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

30K PR

I finally broke through the half-marathon distance barrier, completing the ARR 30K Desert Classic this morning in 2:33:46 (according to my watch). I had a 17 miler with 14 miles @ MP scheduled for this morning, so a small 30K was just the ticket I needed to actually keep up a MP run for 14 miles since I know I just don’t have the internal fortitude to run that far at 8:30/mi (my MP) on my own. Somehow I also managed to come in 2nd for my age group.

The race started at 8:00 AM and I got to the registration area around 7:40; plenty of time to fret about my “race” strategy. The temperature wasn’t all that cold, probably around 42F, but the wind was blowing at 10-15 MPH out of the west. The course is an out and back heading west first and rising 350’ slowly throughout most of the outbound leg. Through last year, this race had always been a 10K/30K combo; however, this year the Arizona Road Racers dropped the 10K and added a 30K relay race. The relay was run as a series of 5K out-and-back legs on the first 1.55 miles of the 30K course; so once we got out past the 2 mile marker, it was just folks running the 30K.

My game plan was to warm up at 9:00-9:10 pace through mile 3, pick up the pace to 8:30-8:35 through the turn around point; increase the pace to 8:25-8:30 on the down hill through mile 17 and kick in the last 1.6 miles

I almost executed this plan. Shortly after the gun went off, a fellow racer, David, caught up with me and we got talking about running, training, kids, etc. Although he is a few years younger than me and a much better runner, he stuck with me all the way up the hill. I kept the pace around 9:00 for the first two miles per plan, but took it down to the 8:30 range on mile 3 instead of waiting for mile 4. We kept up this pace all the way out; however, my new friend’s right calf muscle started cramping as we approach the turn point.

Immediately after turning the corner, you would have thought we had entered Nirvana. The wind was now at our backs and the road was distinctly down hill. I pushed the pace down under 8:20 per plan on mile 10 (ok .. faster than plan), but David started struggling, so I slowed back to 8:30 on mile 11 to give his calves a chance to loosen up. Unfortunately, things only got worse so he told me to go on to give him a chance to walk it off.

Feeling pretty good, I pulled the pace down to the 8:10 range for miles 12, 13 and 14 and started closing in on the next runner in front of me. Once I was out past 14 miles, I completely tossed my race plan and started a game of “chase down that runner”. Mile 15 passed by under 8:00 and Mile 16 near 7:45. I was closing in on and catching runners who were sticking to their race plans and running a nice consistent race. One runner, about my age, I passed was thoroughly irritated with my cheerful “how are you doing?” as I blew by him and let out a frustrated “shit” in reply. Some people evidently weren’t enjoying the race.

I ran mile 17 under 7:30 and threw caution to the wind with only 1.6 miles to go. By this time, I was back on the course used for the 30K relay and was shocked to see more runners than I could count. I just couldn’t believe I was ahead of any of the relay teams. Of course, this vastly increased the number of people I had to chase. I pushed mile 18 down to 7:10 and started my sprint for the finish, improving the pace over the last 0.6 miles down to 7:02. Yes, I know 7:02 isn’t anywhere near 8:30; but what’s a runner to do? It made sense at the time and sure was a lot of fun.

The best part of the morning was finally being able to meet Carmen (photo follows). She has run in several large races with me but we have never been able to find each other. This wasn’t a problem this morning. As you would expect, she is as nice in person as she is on her blog. She ran a very good race, finishing under 3:30. She was looking strong at the finish and considering this was the first time she had every run 18 miles non-stop, it was just an amazing performance.
Hope your weekend went well.


Mon: Rest day
Tue: 8.0 miles, easy, 9:00/mi avg pace
Wed: 9.9 miles w/5x1000m @6:47/mi
Thr: Rest Day
Fri: 12.0 miles, easy, 8:49/mi avg pace
Sat: 5.3 miles, recovery, 9:07/mi avg pace
Sun: 18.6 miles, 30K race, 8:15/mi avg pace

Total Mileage for the week: 53.9 miles

The Start Line. Although everyone is bundled up in this picture, the course was actually very comfortable. I wore my usual no-sleave top and shorts.

Mile 1 heading out around the north side of the White Tank Mountains west of Phoenix.

Carmen running strong at the 18 mile mark! The guy in the distance is completely gassed.

Carmen and me after the race. Hard to believe that Carmen had just finished a 30K seconds earlier.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Coyote Playground

I ran my 12 miler in the Reach 11 Recreational Park, home of my friends the coyotes; and I was not disappointed. Along mile 5, three of them came out to play. My black lab, Cooper, took off after one before I had a chance to figure out what was going on, with a second coyote in hot pursuit. They quickly disappeared into a wash and I completely lost track of my dumb dog. I ran through the wash for a few minutes but couldn't see or hear any of them. Then, I thought that I heard coyotes howling off to the west, so I got back up on the main trail and continued running, calling for the my dog. Within a minute, Cooper came roaring down the trail from behind me (so much for my sense of direction) completely gassed, but no worse for wear. He dragged along behind me for a couple of miles before he finally caught his breath and assumed his usually position jogging in front of me.

I steered clear of the coyote stronghold for the rest of the run, running 2.5 miles laps around the west side of the park. Since I was feeling pretty good I picked up the pace on the last 4 miles, keeping in mind that I have a 30K on Sunday. Cooper doesn’t like running fast, so he dropped behind me again but never lost contact.

Despite the heart stopping incident early on in the run, it turned out pretty well. There’s nothing like running in the middle of the day in perfect weather. We wait all year for this type of weather, so I might as well enjoy it.

Have a great weekend!

Training for the week:

Mon: Rest day
Tue: 8.0 miles, easy, 9:00/mi avg pace
Wed: 9.9 miles w/5x1000m @6:47/mi
Thr: Rest Day
Fri: 12.0 miles, easy, 8:49/mi avg pace

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Longer Intervals

Today’s interval workout extended the interval distance to 1000m from 600m only two weeks ago; and as happens every week, I learned something new. Today’s lesson: When the program calls for 5x1000m at 5K race pace, run them at a 5K race pace.

I got to the track at 9:30 this morning after a 5 mile warm up. When I got there, a 20 something in baggy gang-banger shorts and a loose sweat shirt was stretching and looking cool with his iPod ear-buds plug in and the tunes cranked up. He didn’t acknowledge me as I ran around the track a couple of times to make sure I was good and warm before starting the 1000m repeats. As I came around the second turn on my last lap, the kid was jogging about 100m in front of me in Lane 1 – ah, fresh meat.

I crossed the start line and took off, closing the 100m gap within the first 200m. I blew by him so close that I didn’t even bother to move all the way into lane two. I finished the first 400m in 1:30 which is way too fast and I knew I’d pay for my foolishness later, but it was worth it. As I headed down the back stretch towards the 1000m mark, the kid walked off the track. 8 minutes of stretching and a 800m jog was all he had in him this morning. Unfortunately, his departure meant I was all alone on the track with no one to chase.

I slowed down on the 2nd interval and finally got near my 5K PR pace (6:58/mi) on the 3rd interval. By the time I finished the 4th interval I was gassed and breathing pretty hard during the 2 minute jog between the 4th and 5th interval; but I was determined that I would run all 5 faster than 6:58/mi and I already had 4 in the bank.

On the 5th interval, I was only 1 second ahead at 400m but 2 seconds behind at 800m. I sprinted as fast as I could on the back stretch and made up 5 seconds to finish up all 5 intervals under 6:58/mi.

1000m Splits:

1 – 4:03 – 6:32/mi pace
2 – 4:12 – 6:46/mi pace
3 – 4 :14 – 6 :49/mi pace
4 – 4 :17 – 6 :54/mi pace
5 – 4 :17 – 6 :54/mi pace

Not a bad morning. I’m technically on vacation until 02 Jan 07; however, I already got one phone call and need to make a second as soon as I get this posted (I’ve got my priorities straight) – so I’ve got plenty of time to sleep in and run in the sun again. Hope your week is going as well.

Special note to BETA Bloggers: For some reason, I can't post comments on any blog that has converted over to the BETA Version of Blogger. I’m still reading your blogs, but I haven’t been able to post any comments for two days. One way or another, I'll get the problem figured out. Is anyone else having a problem?

Training for the week:

Mon: Rest day
Tue: 8.0 miles, easy, 9:00/mi avg pace
Wed: 9.9 miles, easy w/ 5x1000m @6:47/mi

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Nice and Easy

After a well needed rest day, I rolled out of bed to a cold dark morning; well, cold by central Arizona standards. 8 miles at 9:00/mi. Nothing too exciting. Just easy, simple miles.

Have a great week.

Training for the week:

Mon: Rest day
Tue: 8.0 miles, easy, 9:00/mi avg pace

Sunday, December 10, 2006

This is tough

Holy crap Batman. I thought last week was tough, but it was a stroll through the park compared to this week. Who in their right mind runs an 18 Miler the day after hitting a 10K PR? Evidently, anyone following le Marquis de Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning program. I've always taking either a rest day or a light recovery run the day after a 10K; so trying to go out and do a long run is yet another new experience for me on this program.

The weather was again perfect this morning with temperatures just below 50F when I headed out for what was suppose to be a 17 miler. Instead of running my usual 5 mile loop course, I decided to run towards Scottsdale and do more of an out and back instead. The first 5 miles went very well and I was able to hold a pace just under 9:00/mi. After the first 5 miles, I went off road and started an 8 mile loop along the dirt trails of the Reach 11 Rec Area. I ran clear out to Scottsdale Road and by the time I hit the turn-around point, I'd already gone 9 miles and was really starting to drag. Running on the soft dirt trails within the park was tough. I thought that it would be easier on my feet and reduce the pounding, but the uneven surface and areas of soft sand actually made it more difficult to run and my pace dropped down to the 9:15+ range.

Once I got out of the park and back on solid asphalt, my pace started to pick up, but really never recovered. After 15 miles, this run definitely had lost its romance. I just wanted to get home and stop running. It's a good thing that I have a rest day on Monday because I don't think I could run another mile right now.

If you get a chance, stop by and congratulate Lana. She ran the Las Vegas Marathon on Sunday and finished in 4:08.

Have a great week.

Training for the week:

Mon: Rest Day
Tue: 7.7 miles w/5x600m @ 6:31/mi pace
Wed: 11.2 miles, medium long, 8:58/mi avg pace
Thr: Rest Day
Fri: 4.2 miles w/ 6x100m strides, 8:28/mi avg pace
Sat: 10K Race, 7:12/mi avg pace + 5.6K warm up/cool down
Sun: 18.0 miles, long, 9:10/mi avg pace

Total Mileage for the week: 50.7

Saturday, December 09, 2006

North Phoenix 10K Invitational Report

The crowds were underwhelming this morning for the start of the North Phoenix 10K Invitational; however, the competition was fierce. It was me and another fellow (pictured below) who I don’t believe understood that he was actually competing. He pulled out of the race after a couple of miles and scored a DNF for the event.

You couldn’t have asked for a nicer day for a race. Not a cloud in the sky and temperatures hovering just below 50F (10C) as the sun came up over the track at Paradise Valley Community College. Although I didn’t have anyone to pace me, I really needed to treat this as a real event in order to derive the required benefit from the run, so I went through my standard race day antics and wore the my usual race outfit (short sleeve blue top, black shorts) and did my best to act as if I was preparing to run in an official race.. After a 2 mile warm up, I even milled around for a few minutes getting psyched up to run this 10K under 45 minutes. Last month was the first time I’d ever run a 10K under 45:00, so I figured if I could squeeze another under 45:00, I could count this as a full out effort.

The first lap was right at 1:47, so I had the pace correct from the start. Of course, with only one other person on the track, I didn’t need to spend the first ½ mile sorting through traffic. The only question was whether I could string together 24 more laps at or under 1:48.

I don’t have much more to report for the first 3 miles, I just cruised around the track holding my pace as well as I could. I employed the rubber band idea that Dusty suggested yesterday to keep track of the laps and I would have been totally lost otherwise. Even using the Dusty’s lap counting technique, I really had little idea where I was for most of the run. I couldn’t really count the rubber bands on my left wrist as I transferred each one to my right wrist every other lap. I just had to get in the groove and hang on. I also had my simple sports watch set up to give me each lap’s split, so I was never fretting about how long I’d been running nor did I really worry about pace since I didn’t have my Garmin screaming out any particular Min/Mile rate. I just tried to cross the 400m line at 1:48 over and over and over. This strategy seemed to work really well. Although my breathing became labored from time to time, I was always able to get things back under control and hit the 400m splits within +/- 2 seconds on nearly every lap.

As I got down to the last 6 laps, my legs were starting to wane a little; but I’d be damned if I was going to slow down. I only had 3 more bands to transfer and I knew that I was either right on time or slightly ahead. I did my best to keep my shoulders relaxed, shortened my stride and started to drive my arms harder. My pace picked up again and by the time I was on the 25th lap, I pretty much knew I had a sub-45 in the bag. A big kick (for me) on the last 400m shaved another 10 seconds off my time and left me with a new PR of 44:40; an 11 second improvement over last month.

Split information for the terminally obsessed runners:

1600m Splits: 7:08, 7:06, 7:13, 7:13, 7:15, 7:08
Mile Paces: 7:11, 7:09, 7:16, 7:16, 7:18, 7:11, 6:31 (last 400m)
400m Splits: 1:47, 1:48, 1:46, 1:47, 1:48, 1:45, 1:49, 1:46, 1:48, 1:48, 1:48, 1:49, 1:48, 1:48, 1:49, 1:48, 1:48, 1:48, 1:50, 1:49, 1:50, 1:47, 1:46, 1:45, 1:37

Training for the week:

Mon: Rest Day
Tue: 7.7 miles w/5x600m @ 6:31/mi pace
Wed: 11.2 miles, medium long, 8:58/mi avg pace
Thr: Rest Day
Fri: 4.2 miles, easy, 8:28/mi avg pace
Sat: 10K Race, 7:12/mi avg pace + 5.6K warm up/cool down


PVCC Track just before sunrise

Your author with a serious game face before the start of the race.

The competition! You wouldn't know that this guy (about my age) was on the same track at the same time. He was wearing what appeared to be a parka with a hood, long pants, and gloves. Really folks, it wasn't anywhere close to snowing.

Friday, December 08, 2006

North Phoenix 10K Invitational

The Pfitzinger plan calls for a 8-15K tune up race on Saturday (as in tomorrow); however, there really isn’t anything going on in the valley and I don’t feel like driving down to Tucson again to pick up the Tucson ½ marathon. Therefore, I’m christening the North Phoenix 10K Invitational and invite anyone interested in running with me to come on out. I’m holding the event at the Paradise Valley Community College track. Why a track you ask? 1) Why not, I’ve never run a 10K on a track; 2) Track surface is easy on the feet; 3) Wicked fast.

This is a totally unsupported event. There is no fee, no tee shirts, no water stations, no timing chips, no officials, no lap counters, no nothing - just me and who ever wants to join me for a good time.

Location: PVCC – South East corner of 32nd Street and Union Hills Road
Parking: See link to SITE MAP – Use lot on the South West part of campus
Time: Warm Up at 7:00 ish – Racing starts at 7:30 AM
Entrance Fee - $0
Prize Money - $0
Finisher Awards – None
Timing – Each runner provides self timing – if you tell me you ran a 36 minute 10K and finish 5 minutes after me that is what I’ll report.
Results – Official results will be posted on my blog on Saturday afternoon

Note to Tony – My goal is to run a sub 45:00 10K. I know you want to go under 45 minutes and I’d be happy to pace you.

Note to faster runners – Come on out and see how many times you can lap me
Note to slower runners – I’ll stay and cheer you on until you finish

Running for today: Simple 4 miler with 6x100m srtide outs. Not to exciting and nothing to report other than I did it.

Training for the week:

Mon: Rest Day
Tue: 7.7 miles w/5x600m @ 6:31/mi pace
Wed: 11.2 miles, medium long, 8:58/mi avg pace
Thr: Rest Day
Fri: 4.2 miles, easy, 8:28/mi avg pace

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Early morning

Unlike yesterday, I didn’t have the luxury of sleeping in this morning and running in the late afternoon, so I rolled out of bed at 5 AM for an easy 11 miler. It wasn’t all that cold outside (46F/8C), but I still bundled up in my long sleeve running shirt, gloves and tights and headed out the door with Cooper in tow. I spent the first two miles warming up but just couldn't get my pace to increase after the warm up. I finished the first 5 miles right at 9:00/mi average and than ran a short 1 mile loop before starting the 2nd 5 mile segment.

The 2nd 5 mile loop was pretty much a repeat of the first, only the traffic had increased considerabley now that I’d been on the road for over an hour. On mile 9 I had a car roll through a stop sign on a usually calm intersection and forced me to stop in the middle of the cross walk so as to avoid having my toes run over. In addition, I felt like crap on miles 10 and 11. The good news is that I didn’t feel like stopping, my legs just felt dead. I guess yesterday's interval workout took more out of me than I expected.

Tomorrow is a rest day, which is good since I need to be clear across town at 7:30 tomorrow morning. During the first 10 weeks of the Pfitzinger plan I snuck in an extra 8 to 10 miles on rest days; however, I stopped that foolishness last week when the weekly load went through the over-head. If Pfitz says I should take two rest days, I’m taking two rest days.

Hope your week is going great.

Training for the week:

Mon: Rest Day
Tue: 7.7 miles w/5x600m @ 6:31/mi pace
Wed: 11.2 miles, medium long, 8:58/mi avg pace

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Big Chicken

I just couldn’t get myself out of bed this morning and out for my run. I’ve got a ton of things to get done before the end of the year (which is hurtling towards us) and I knew if I stepped out that door it would be 8AM before I could start to get down to business. In the end, I slept in until 6, slipped on my sweats, worked for an hour, dropped my youngest off at high school and then glued my butt to my chair until 4:30 this afternoon, changed into my running gear and headed out the door.

I will admit that I stepped out onto the street for a 5 mile warm up with a certain amount of trepidation. I’d just run a hard 20 miles on Sunday and here I was on Tuesday warming up for set of 5x600s. The last time I’d run 600’s I’d ran consistent 2:30 splits so I’d already set the bar pretty high for this work out.

I have to say that running in the afternoon is down right strange. It seem to take forever to get to one mile mark, but when I look down at my watch, I was right at 9:00. I could have read half of Les Misérables on mile 2, but my watch claimed my time was under 18:00. Things sort of continued this way all through the warm up. I ened up with an average 8:45/mi pace over 5 miles.

I dropped off my black lab at home and headed over to Paradise Valley Community College to run intervals on their track. After a couple of confidence building laps around the track, I put on my head lamp (it gets dark early) and started the first interval. I felt really good through 200m and was still running a nice steady pace at 400m. I rounded the curve again and headed down the far side of the track trying to keep my hands low and my shoulders relaxed. In the glow of the head-lamp my watch read 2:24 – 6 seconds faster than my target. I then jogged around to the start line and ran in circles until I completed the requisite 90 second break before the 2nd interval.

The second and third intervals were more or less repeats of the first. However, on the 4th interval, the grounds keeper came by to lock up the track for the night. I passed by him 300m into the interval and although I was running as fast as I could, I tried to act real nonchalant when I asked him if I could have 3 more minutes to complete one more interval. Of course, I’d just signed up to run my 5th interval with no recovery jog. I passed the 600m point on the 4th interval and continued running. Having an audience (even an audience that could only see a dim headlamp bouncing in the darkness) helped me keep going. I finally got around to the finish line hit the stop button on my watch and walked off the track.

I didn’t even look at the time. I was pretty sure I’d lost a lot of time on the 4th chatting with the grounds keeper and the 5th couldn’t have been all that good with no rest. I also felt rather humbled thinking about the fact that I just run a 1200m somewhere around a 6:30/mi pace and was ready for a break when many of you that read this blog have a marathon paces considerably faster. Boy, it really puts your accomplishments in perspective.

In the end, the splits weren’t too bad: 2:24, 2:26, 2:26, 2:25, 2:27. That translates to an average pace of 6:31/mi.

Have a great week running.

Training for the week:

Mon: Rest Day
Tue: 7.7 miles w/5x600m @ 6:31/mi pace

Sunday, December 03, 2006

20 Miles across the U of A

Who would have thought you could run 20 miles and stay on the U of A campus. Somehow I managed to do it. I left the Marriott just off Campus at 6:55 AM with a cup of decaf in hand and walked over to campus using the coffee to take some of the morning chill out of the air. I think the morning low was around 40F but I was still dressed as if the temperature was closer to 30F (I’m a real wimp when it comes to cold weather). Once I got the coffee in me, I start off jogging around the same course used for the Jim Click, Rock ‘n Run 8K this past October. I ran the course backward so the few times I had to run on real streets, I could keep myself facing what little traffic was out on Sunday morning.

The first 10 miles sailed by without issue, but shortly thereafter, the wind picked up. In a matter of minutes what was a cool but calm morning turned into a wind tunnel. The wind was blowing so hard that the flags were standing straight out, dead palm fronds were blowing out of trees and trash was sailing down the street. Real “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas weather”. The funniest thing I saw blowing down the street was an empty 12 pack of “bud light”. The box wasn’t tumbling, it was just sailing inches above the asphalt. Don’t know why I thought this was funny, but it seem to be emblematic of a college town.

Running definitely got harder in the wind. Running into the wind felt like I was trudging up a 6% grade. At one point, a gust hit me so hard that I actually stopped and felt as if I was going backwards (I think I was still moving forward). When I was running across the wind, I got blown every which way and my legs knocked into each other while I was trying to keep my balance. But, running down wind was a blast. Talk about flying down the street.

I wore my Garmin this morning and measured the course afterwards using the Course Measurement function in RunningAhead. The Garmin measure 20 miles exactly. RunningAhead put the course at 20.44. So, the average pace was either 8:56/mi or 8:45/mi. Either way, this was my fastest 20 mile to date.

If you have chance, go over and congratulate Mike and Michele. Both had marathon PR performances this weekend.

Training for the week:


Mon: 6.2 miles w/ 6x100m strides, 8:34/mi avg pace
Tue: 12.0 miles, easy, 9:01/mi avg pace
Wed: Travel Day
Thr: Rest Day
Fri: 12.3 miles w/7 miles @ 7:39/mi, 8:18/mi avg pace
Sat: 5.1 miles, recovery, 9:08/mi avg pace
Sun: 20.4 miles, long, 8:45/mi avg pace

Mileage for the week: 56.0 miles

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Took in a slow (very slow) 5 mile recovery run this morning. It was about all I was up for after yesterday's LT. Best of luck to everyone running marathons on Sunday, including Michele (Memphis)
and Mike (California International).

I'll be in Tucson over the weekend without my PC, so I'll catch up on the results and the rest of your blogs on Sunday night. Have a great weekend.


Mon: 6.2 miles w/ 6x100m strides, 8:34/mi avg pace
Tue: 12.0 miles, easy, 9:01/mi avg pace
Wed: Travel Day
Thr: Rest Day
Fri: 12.3 miles w/7 miles @ 7:39/mi, 8:18/mi avg pace
Sat: 5.1 miles, recovery, 9:08/mi avg pace

Friday, December 01, 2006

Cool Running

Phoenix cooled off this week. While not as cold as Redmond by any stretch of the imagination, it was still in the mid-30F this morning at 4:00AM when I dragged myself out of bed for my run. I pulled on my tights, long sleeve top and gloves and headed out with my black lab, Cooper, for a 12 miler with 7 at 15K pace. I dropped off Cooper after 2 miles and ran another mile just to make sure I was good and warm before starting 7 miles at 7:40/mi. I used my measured 2 mile loop and left my Garmin at home. This forced me get a feel for a steady pace without looking down at the Garmin’s pace window every 3 seconds.

The first mile was a bit slow (7:46), so I picked it up on the 2nd mile and improved to 7:37. Thereafter, I settled down and did a decent job holding pace for the next 5 miles. Once I got out past 4 miles I was truly amazed that I was still moving smoothly at this pace. Intellectually, I know I can run faster under race conditions, but to continue pushing forward in the dark with no one around to pace is another matter all together.

Tempo Splits: 7:46, 7:37, 7:44, 7:32, 7:36, 7:34, 7:46

After 7 miles at tempo, I ran two more miles to fill out the required 12. This was a pretty good effort for me. The average tempo pace was 7:39/mi. This translates to a 47:32 10K. Last year, that was a very good 10K. This year, the bar is much higher. I’ve got all of you out there to thank for that.

Have a great weekend.

Training for the week:

Mon: 6.2 miles w/ 6x100m strides, 8:34/mi avg pace
Tue: 12.0 miles, easy, 9:01/mi avg pace
Wed: Travel Day
Thr: Rest Day
Fri: 12.3 miles w/7 miles @ 7:39/mi, 8:18/mi avg pace

None running input – a week or so ago, I mentioned that one of my folks in Redmond had a cabin north of Seattle that he was having trouble reaching due to a road washout. I didn’t realize how severe the problem was until he showed me this picture. And you thought you had problems.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Who turned off the heat?

I made it to Seattle today. Although I have to admit that I was tempted to get myself bumped again when the gate agent announced (same as yesterday) that US Air was in an over sold situation. Instead I was a good boy and got on the plane. Seated across the aisle from me was a mountain of women. This poor gal was so large that she sat at a 45 degree angle for the entire trip. All the way to Seattle I kept thinking that all we need to do was get her walking 30 minutes a day, then running 30 minutes a day, then racing 5ks and 10Ks, and by then we’d have her down to 120 lbs and sitting upright in a seat. Oh well, I’ve got to stop trying to save the world.

Once I got to Seattle everything changed. The snow storm I’d missed last night made a mess of the city. The surface streets were full of ice and I counted at least 30 cars abandoned by the side of the freeway on my from SEA-TAC airport north to Redmond. Once I got to our facility, I was the only car in the vistor parking and the office was more or less deserted. Two of the 4 people I came to “visit” called me while I was in transit from the airport and explained that they couldn’t get their cars out of their garages this morning and didn’t make it to work at all. I had one productive meeting in the afternoon, but most of the time I spent on the phone with our other facilities.

I knocked off work at 5:00 PM and headed over to the hotel. By this time the temperature had dropped to 24F and I got thinking about the 12 miler I had scheduled to run on Wednesday morning. With the temperature alread rather frigid for this Arizonan at 5:00 PM and the sun setting quickly, I realized that the conditions for a good run weren’t going to get any better overnight. So, I pulled on my cold weather gear (tights, long sleeve running shirt and gloves) and dug out my head lamp and set off down the bike trail that parallels the 520 to the Sammamish River.

This was an experience I’ve never had before, running on ice. First, the constant crunching noise made for a very loud run. Second, my fingers immediately went into a deep freeze even with my running gloves on. I had to pull my fingers out of the glove’s fingers and ball them up with my thumb for warmth. My ears were gone as well, but the numbness was refreshing; or more correctly, I couldn’t feel my ears. I wasn’t sure this was the smartest run I’d ever started, but after the first 2 miles, I finally warmed up enough to be comfortable and learned how to run on the ice and snow without slipping too much.

After 3 miles, I got down the hill to the Sammamish River and headed north. By now it was completely dark and all I had was my head lamp illuminating the ice and snow under my feet … crunch, crunch, crunch. Three miles out along the river, three miles back. With 9 miles down and only 3 miles to go I was now faced with the prospect of a long 1.25 mile climb up from the river.

I had done well to this point, considering the conditions, and held a pace around 8:55 for the first 9 miles, but I knew I didn’t want to run up hill for a mile at that speed. Once I got on the hill, my pace slowed down to 10:30 and I just kept grinding along until I got to the top when I could pick up the pace again over the last few miles. A glance at my watch indicated that I could still get my average pace for the entire run down under 9:00 min/mile if I could run solid sub 8:20 minute miles for the last two miles. I had to stop at a light on mile 11 which didn’t help my pace, but I really pushed mile 12 hard and ran it in 7:59. However, it wasn’t enough; total time for 12 miles was 1:48:10. I missed the 9:00/mi cut off by 10 seconds. Oh well, maybe next time.

I have a new found respect for all of you that run regularly in this weather. It’s not easy. My hat’s off to you.

Running for the week:

Mon: 6.2 miles w/ 6x100m strides, 8:34/mi avg pace
Tue: 12.0 miles, easy, 9:01/mi avg pace

Monday, November 27, 2006

Seattle Interuptus

You just gott’a love US Air. Their web-site wouldn't issue me a boarding pass, so I headed down to the airport in Phoenix this morning sans boarding pass. Once I got to the US Air check-in desk I was able to get a boarding pass, but I still didn’t have a seat. I got through security without a problem and headed to the gate, found a power outlet to plug in my computer and waited for a US Air Gate Agent to show up and see what we needed to do to get me a seat.

Once the Gate Agent arrived it was pretty clear that I wasn’t going anywhere; at least I wasn’t going anywhere comfortably on this flight. The flight was horribly oversold and the prospect of flying packed into coach for 3 hours didn't seem that appealing. I ended getting bumped off the flight and rearranged for a repeat performance on Tuesday morning. I then called my admin to rearrange my hotel and rental car, called the folks in Redmond and rescheduled my Monday afternoon discussions and watched my flight depart without me.

This was probably a better arrangement anyway since I still had a lot to get done in Phoenix, except it meant that I now needed to squeeze a 6 miler on Tuesday morning before leaving for the airport at 6:00 AM. That just wasn’t going to happen. So instead of waiting for a Tuesday I ran my 6 miler after dinner tonight. I wouldn’t recommend this. There is a reason I run in the morning. It’s oh so very controlled. I roll out of bed before the normal people get up and finish just as they start rushing off to work. My stomach is empty and I’m well rested.

Running after dinner meant I had deal with my largest meal of the day trying settle in my stomach and semi-coherent drivers pulling out of every side street without a care in to the world and no thought of looking right before turning right. Lots of fun. My stomach got tighter and tighter over the first 3 miles, but started to settle out as I started the 4th mile. (I knew I shouldn’t have eating that cheese cake). Since I had 6x100m stride-outs to complete, I decided to cram them all into the back end of the 4th mile.

Amazingly, my legs just took off as I started the first stride-out. I felt as if I was simply floating above the ground, not even conscious of my feet hitting the pavement. I pulled back after 100m and continued at my usual pace for 30 seconds and started the next stride-out. I finished the first 5 before the end mile 4 and finished off the set on mile 5. Pretty good night run. Hope your week goes well.

Training for the week:

Mon: 6.2 miles w/ 6x100m strides, 8:34/mi avg pace

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Doing the Double

We had a great Thanksgiving weekend in California, but finally got home this afternoon after driving across the desert with what seemed to be ½ the population of the Arizona. My daughter’s soccer tournament turned out about as expected considering the competition. They started off playing a team from Northern California ranked 41st in the country on Friday morning and beat them 2 : 0. Not a bad start, but Friday afternoon, they played the # 1 team in the country (this team has won the national championship in their age group the last two years). Our girls played a tough game, but lost 0 : 2. Although they did have a final game on Saturday morning, the tournament was essentially over.

I snuck in a 5 miler before the Saturday morning game; a pleasant out and back in the hills north of Irvine. I kept the pace too high up the hill and paid for it with sore calf muscles afterwards. However, when the temperature is in the low 60s, the sun is out and the birds are chirping, it’s hard not to over due it. In the afternoon we drove 60 miles south to Carlsbad California and I made a quick decision to run my Sunday 14 miler on Saturday afternoon. We were leaving for Arizona before 7AM on Sunday and I knew there was no way I’d want to run 14 miles after driving 400 miles home. And what the heck, 14 miles along the coast can’t be all that though.

The first 6 miles went well, although holding an 8:40/mi pace was probably too fast. Then again, the sun is out, the waves are crashing onto the shore, there are people, cars and bikes everywhere; what’s a guy to do? For the first 4 files, I ran north through Carlsbad along Highway 101 soaking in the circus along the shore and then turned around at Carlsbad Village Drive to head south again. As I got to the south end of Carlsbad, I started to feel the effects of too much beer the night before and the fast 5 miler in the morning and I tell that I was dehydrating quickly. I finally found a liquor store on mile 10 and bought a 32 oz water bottle (why is there a Circle K on every corner expect when you need one?). The water helped, but my pace never recovered. I really struggled along the last 4 miles. This was probably the worse medium long I’ve run in quite a while

I’m heading to Seattle on Monday morning, so my blogging will continue to be erratic until the end of this week. The trip has already started on a low note. I couldn’t get my boarding pass printed from home, which means I need to stand in line at the US Air counter tomorrow morning to get a boarding pass. That should be fun.

I hope you all have a great week of running.

Mon – Rest Day (recovering from my MP run on Sunday)
Tue – 10.4 miles w/6 x 600m @ 6:43/mi avg pace (go team!)
Wed – 8.0 miles, easy, 8:52/mi avg pace
Thr - 8.0 miles, easy w/8x100m strides, 8:39/mi avg pace
Fri - Rest Day
Sat (Morning) – 5.0 miles, easy, 8:43/mi avg pace
Sat (Afternoon) – 14.9 miles, medium-long, 8:55/mi avg pace
Sun – Driving Day

Total mileage for the week: 46.4 miles

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Morning

I had to drive from Carlsbad California to Irvine California (55 miles up the coast, 55 miles back) get my soccer team checked in for a post-Thanksgiving tournament. Why anyone would require a Thanksgiving morning tournament check-in (especially for out-of-state teams) is a total mystery to me. But there I was racing up the coast at 8:00 AM in the morning and fighting traffic on the way back at 9:30. In typical SoCal fashion, I drove 110 miles to spend 4 minutes sitting front of a tournament official as he check my team’s travel papers, player cards, birth certificates and medical release forms.

Once I got back to Carlsbad, I changed into my running gear and headed out for another crack at Palomar Airport Road. This time I visualized pulling myself up the steepest part of the hill using a rope. Seemed to work. I held a much better pace and got to the top of hill without feeling gassed. My overall average pace for the run was considerably faster than yesterday; improving from 8:52/mi to 8:39/mi.

I also added 8x100m strides on the return leg. Today, I crammed all 8 strides into a two mile segment of the run, running the first 6 on a flat spot on mile 6 with a 1 minute break between each stride and completing the process with the last 2 on the first flat spot I found on mile 7. All in all, a very good run.

Tomorrow is a scheduled rest day and I doubt that I’ll have the time to find an internet connection required to read your blogs. I’ll be back on Sunday and promise to catch up with everyone. In the mean time, I hope you all have a great weekend.

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest Day (recovering from my MP run on Sunday)
Tue – 10.4 miles w/6 x 600m @ 6:43/mi avg pace (go team!)
Wed – 8.0 miles, easy, 8:52/mi avg pace
Thr - 8.0 miles, easy w/8x100m strides, 8:39/mi avg pace

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Palomar Airport Road

I was in Carlsbad California this afternoon so I took the opportunity to bang out a quick 8 miler up the 300’ foot hill along Palomar Airport Road. This is the longest and steepest hill on the Carlsbad Marathon and I find the prospect of running up it during a real marathon is a bit daunting.

This was only the second time I’d run up this hill and first time I did it, things didn’t go all that well. Today was different. I definitely slowed down on the last ½ mile where it gets very steep, but overall for the entire run (up and down), I average under 9 minute miles without pushing very hard. I’ve got a 14 miler scheduled for Sunday and I might be able to work this hill into a medium long run.

I wish everyone in the US a great Thanksgiving Holiday. This is one of the few US holidays that has not become overly commercialized and most people still take the time to make preparations for this holiday themselves instead of buying everything pre-made. It is really a great time to spend with family and friends. We’re spending the time in California with most of our extended family (both relatives and others that have become an integral part of our family over the years). You just can’t beat this holiday. My daughter also has a soccer tournament in Southern California after Thanksgiving, so I’ll spend the weekend driving up and down the coast. Fortunately, this is an easy week on the Pfitzinger program and I only have three more easy runs to complete this week (5 miles, 8 miles and 14 miles).

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest Day (recovering from my MP run on Sunday)
Tue – 10.4 miles w/6 x 600m @ 6:43/mi avg pace (go team!)
Wed – 8.0 miles, easy, 8:52/mi

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

VO2 Max

I ran my first VO2 Max workout on the Pfitzinger plan this morning. I was up well past midnight last working and didn’t get a chance to read over the game plan for the workout until just before I turned off the light after dropping into bed. Although I am on a pseudo vacation today and didn’t have any need to get up until 6:30, my eyes shot open before 5 AM as usual and I was on the road for a 6.2 mile warm up run before heading to the track for the interval part of the workout. I ran another 1600m at the track to give myself some time to figure out the required timing split for each 600m interval and it took almost the entire 1600 to take my average 5K pace (7:00/mi) and figure out how many seconds that would equate to for a 600m (you wouldn’t know I took graduate level math classes in college … I can barely do arithmetic in my head anymore.). I finally figured out that I needed to run each 600 in the 2:35 range. So I finally settled on 6x600m @ 2:35/interval with 45 seconds of jogging between intervals.

Actual splits: 2:30, 2:30. 2:30, 2:29, 2:30, 2:31 – average pace – 6:43/mi

My left hamstring started to complain on the 4th interval. Nothing too serious, it just started to tighten up a little. I was also starting to feel gassed on the 6th interval. I had entertained a fantasy of running 8 intervals, but gave up on that idea once the hamstring started complaining and simply ran a slow 1600m cool down instead. No sense getting hurt by pushing out beyond the training guidelines.

Imagine my surprise when I got home and figure out that 2:30/600m was 17 seconds/mile faster than my 5K pace. Also imagine my surprise when I read the Pfitzinger plan again and realized I was suppose to run 5 x 600m w/90 sec jog between. No wonder I was feeling a bit tired with only 45 seconds between intervals. That’s what I get for running on too little sleep.

I hope you’re reading your plans more carefully than I read mine. Enjoy the week, especially those of you in the US enjoying a great Thanksgiving Holiday.

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest Day (recovering from my MP run on Sunday)
Tue – 10.4 miles w/6 x 600m @ 6:43/mi avg pace (go team!)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Nothing much about nothing

It’s 88F (31C) again in Phoenix this afternoon. My calendar keeps saying mid-November, but it feels more like mid-September. The low this morning was 75F (24C). The jet stream usually moves way south this time of year dragging cooler artic air our way. This year, the jet stream is staying 1000 miles north of here and as a result our friends in the Pacific North West are getting bombarded with rain while we're baking in the south. I spoke with a couple of folks on my team in Redmond Washington this morning. One can’t get to his cabin because a river has overflowed and is now running where the road once was. The other had a tree tip over and crash through part of his roof (his neighbor clocked the winds at 70 MPH on a home based meteorology center). Top that off with the weather Thomas has had to put up with in Ireland as well as Lana's experiences this past week in Tennessee and I’d say that many of us are suffering through some pretty miserable running conditions.

I have nothing of any note to report running-wise. Monday is my traditional rest day, so I just lounged around the house all day ... we'll I didn't exactly lounge around. I had intended to take the entire week off, but spent the better part of the day working 2007 financial projections instead (don’t you just love this time of the year). However, Tony was nice enough to forward pictures from the New Times 10K last week. Since he has yet to start his own blog (ready to take the plunge Tony?), I thought I’d take the opportunity to post pictures of those of us that were at the race.


This is me at the start of the race ... still looking comfortable.

This is me after 44 minutes of running. I thought I was running relaxed, but you wouldn't know it from this picture. The women in the black shorts with the white stripe is the person some of you so crudely accused me of ogling.

Tony looking cool and relaxed.

This is my buddy Bill to the left in this picture. Bill isn't technically a blogger, but he is a good friend of mine. Once again, he beat me; this time by 20 seconds. Bill is my age, so I don't have the usual excuses for not keeping up with him.

Carmen working hard to break 60 minutes in the 10K.

Ann running pain free in the 10K

Pat breaking his old PR in the 5K. This guy is going to be a contender in a year or so. I've never seen anyone make the type of progress he's made over the past 3 months. He started out running to loose weight (sound familiar) and now seems to be loosing weight to run better. Pat ran a 34:00 5K at 234 lbs. He'll need flame retardant on his shoes when he gets below 200.

Lisa pushing hard in her 1st 5K. Another runner is born.

I'm sorry if I missed anyone. Have a great week running.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

MP Attempt

Although it is November in Arizona like it is everywhere else in North America, the temperature hit 88F (31C) this afternoon. Not exactly perfect running weather for my first significant MP run; but, what are you going to do? The calendar says 15 Miles with 12 at MP, so that’s what I did. I got started at 10AM, so the peak temperature at the end of the run was probably under 85F (29C). Although, not at the peak for the day, not exactly sweater weather either.

After a lackluster warm up, I dropped off my black lab at the house so I could focus on the MP part of the run. I used a 2 mile loop that I've measured to do the timing splits and did not rely on my Garmin to try to keep of actual pace. Making left hand turns every 1/2 mile drives the thing batty. I’d also decided yesterday to start out at 8:30/mi and work my way down to 8:20/mi if I felt OK after the first 6 miles.

Of course, the run didn’t exactly work out as planned. After jogging down to the starting point, I took off as if I was in a 10K, running something under a 7:00/mi pace, but backed off considerably before reaching the 1/2 mile mark. (note to self: DO NOT DO THIS IS A REAL MARATHON) and completed the first mile in 8:06. Way to fast.

I got things under control and locked into an 8:20/mi pace through the first 6 miles. The pace felt good even through it much faster than my usual training runs. At the end of 6 miles I picked up a Gatorade bottle I’d left by the road, which took a few seconds, and continued on the 4th loop around the course trying to drink while holding a much faster pace than usual for a long run. This was almost comical.

Everything was OK until the voices in my head started arguing on mile 8. On the one hand, I was already half way through the 12 miles @ MP portion of the run; on the other hand, I was starting to feel the effects of the heat and the higher pace. However, I followed Mike’s sage advice and sped up on mile 9. 9, 10, and 11 felt good again and I even toyed with the idea of extending the MP portion to 13.1 miles. I’d already run PRs for 8 miles and 10 miles on this run and I knew all I had to do was hold the 8:20/mi pace for 13.1 miles and I’d have a PR in the 1/2 marathon as well. However, mile 12 put an end to that fantasy. This run had a purpose and that did not include over extending myself to get a PR in the 1/2 on a private course. As soon as I completed the 12 miles, I took my foot off the gas, grabbed a fresh Gatorade bottle and just cruised along for another 1.1 miles to finish out the entire run at 15.3 miles.

Mile Splits @ MP: 8:06, 8:26, 8:20, 8:20, 8:20, 8:20, 8:23, 8:26, 8:18, 8:16, 8;11, 8:24
Average MP – 8:20/mi
Average for 15.3 miles – 8:32/mi
New 10 Mile PR - 1:23:20

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest
Tue – 6.2 miles, recovery, 9:12/mi avg pace
Wed – 14.9 miles, medium-long, 9:02/mi avg pace
Thr – 6.2 miles, recovery, 9:04/mi avg pace
Fri – 6.2 miles, easy, 8:34/mi avg pace
Sat – 6.0 miles w/ 6x100m strides, easy, 8:29/mi avg pace
Sun – 15.3 miles medium-long w/12M @MP; MP = 8:20/mi , entire run = 8:32/mi

Total Mileage for the week: 54.9 miles

Random Photos

Although I was very disappointed that I didn’t get any photos of fellow bloggers at the New Times 10K last Sunday, I did take a few photos none-the-less. The following are two that I found quite interesting

Who in their right mind opens up an Adtkins Diet booth at an endurance race? Yum - low carb snacks. You'll notice that there is no one in the booth.

The first thing this fellow did when he got back to his car after the 10K was light up a cigarette. After participating in uncountable races over the past 5 years. This was the first person I've ever seen smoking.

Friday, November 17, 2006

MP Run Prep

With Mike’s help, I’ve been pondering an appropriate target pace for my first marathon. No time like the present since I’ve got to run a 15 miler with 12 at MP this weekend. The Carlsbad Marathon is not exactly flat. It has one significant climb of 300’ over miles 7 and 8 as well as seven or eight 50’ climbs as the course climbs out of the many lagoons at sea level up to the bluffs above the beach. Therefore, I need to be a little conservative to ensure I don’t blow up after 15 miles.

Looking back over my 4 long runs in the last 3 weeks, it appears that my run-all-day pace is somewhere between 9:00/mi and 9:10/mi. When I run long runs faster than 9:00/mi, it takes several days to recovery. When I run slower than 9:10/mi, I don’t have any problems jumping right back into my routine. Further assuming that my easy pace is at least 10% slower than my MP, I figure that my MP for a flat course should be between 8:11/mi and 8:20/mi. Since this is my first marathon and I really don’t know what I’m doing and also considering the level of difficulty (heck they’re all difficult), I think a reasonable MP is 8:30/mi. If I go faster, so be it. If I get gassed, well, I'll just need to go slower next time. We'll see how it goes this weekend.

Today’s run wasn’t all that exciting. I’m taking a working vacation today (translations … I’m completing a couple of projects while slacking off at home) so I was able to delay my 6 miler until 10 AM. That means I actually got to run in the sun again (go me). After the first 1/2 mile the legs were feeling pretty good so I picked up the pace far earlier than usual. I was under 27 minutes as I passed the 3 mile point and under 35 minutes when I got to the 4 mile mark. At 5 miles my watch was right at 43 minutes so even my tiny brain could figure out that I was 2 minutes ahead of 9:00/mi pace, but I was still feeling good, so I just kept on moving on down the road and looped back to the finish at 6.2 miles. Average pace for 6.22 miles was 8:36/mi.

This was much faster than I wanted, but it will do. I never felt as if I was pushing myself to keep up the pace, so it still qualifies as an easy run in my book. We’ll see what happens this weekend when I need to jack up the pace even more and hold it for 12 miles.

If anyone has the time, please drop in on D and Dawn and wish them luck. Both are running the Philadelphia Marathon this weekend and I expect that they will both PR.

Finally … I went to my daughter’s first High School Varsity Soccer game yesterday. She started at center midfield (as a freshman) and I’m proud to say that she had more fouls called against her than anyone else. Nothing that would draw a card, she was just excited to be mixing it up with the older girls. Her team lost 2-3, but I enjoyed it none-the-less

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest
Tue – 6.2 miles, recovery, 9:12/mi avg pace
Wed – 14.9 miles, medium-long, 9:02/mi avg pace
Thr – 6.2 miles, recovery, 9:04/mi avg pace
Fri – 6.2 miles, easy, 8:34/mi avg pace

Thursday, November 16, 2006

All's quiet in north Phoenix

The crazies must have stayed in bed this morning. Whereas yesterday, the streets were filled with activity at an ungodly hour of the morning; today, things were incredibly quiet. Nothing - no gun shots, no thuggish looking individuals skulking around, no whack-jobs on bicycles - nothing. One jogger and a couple of people walking dogs were about all I saw.

On the running front, I did a 6 mile recovery run with my black lab. I started out very slow at a 9:30/mi pace and worked up to an 8:45/mi pace on the last mile. I’ve got two more easy 6 mile runs planned for Friday and Saturday leading up to my first difficult run of this training cycle – 15 miles with 12 at MP. I know I can bang out a 15 miler without difficulty …. Keeping up MP will be the challenge.

Hope your week is going well

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest
Tue – 6.2 miles, recovery, 9:12/mi avg pace
Wed – 14.9 miles, medium-long, 9:02/mi avg pace
Thr – 6.2 miles, recovery, 9:04/mi avg pace

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Crazies Everywhere

The crazies were everywhere this morning. I must have past at least 5 guys shuffling aimlessly down the side walk, hands in pockets with hoods over their heads. When I run into someone walking around by themselves at 4:00 AM, my head fills with negative thoughts concerning what they’re up to. I also heard several gun shots this morning. Nothing too terribly close, but still unnerving. Finally, I ran across a truly bizarre individual wondering around north Phoenix in the pre-dawn hours. Out of the dark, I hear someone screaming obscenities. I can barely make out a bicycle slowly riding towards me. As the rider gets closer, I can see him turning around as he screams out yet another string of curse words. His phraseology isn’t terrible eloquent, but I can tell he is thoroughly pissed at who ever he imagines is trailing behind him. He rode by me without comment and of course, there was no one behind him.

Despite the numerous distractions I did bang out a pleasant 15 miler this morning. The Pfitz plan called out 14 miles, but I pushed it out to 14.9 since each “5 mile” loop I use for most of my long runs is actually 4.97 miles. It just made sense to keep going until I completed the last lap.

Lap Averages:

Miles 1 – 5 > 9:03/mi avg pace
Miles 6 – 10 > 9:04/mi avg pace
Miles 11 – 15 > 8:59/mi avg pace
Overall Average Pace = 9:02/mi

Although the average pace for each lap was fairly constant (at least as constant as I could make it) I did find myself struggling along mile 8. I wasn’t tired or fatigued, but my legs started feeling heavy. I pushed to increase the pace and the feeling went away after 10 minutes and I got back in the groove again. On the last 5 mile lap, I picked up a water bottle I’d left along the road and found myself slowing down considerably as I tried to drink from the bottle and run at the same time (and watch for cars and crazies along the road). I was 22 seconds off a 9:00/mi avg pace as I passed 4 mile mark on the last lap and had to hustle along on the last mile to make up the difference. Since I have a hill on mile 5, 10 and 15, it’s always a challenge to make up time going up hill.

After running 18 miles last Wednesday and 15 miles this morning, my legs are starting to get accustomed to medium-long runs mid-week. Who would have thunk it? Unfortunately, I had a teleconference at 7:00 AM this morning and I needed to get my daughter off to school by 7:30, so I had to roll out of bed at 3:45 AM to squeeze in this run. I certainly hope you are getting more sleep.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Back on Plan

After drifting away from a strict interpretation of the Pfitz plan last week in order to sneak in a little 10K tempo run on Sunday, I’m back to following every word of the plan this week. I’ll be in town all week, so sticking to the schedule shouldn’t be a problem.

Nothing much to report this morning other than the fact that I’m a real wimp when it comes to cooler weather. The temperature dipped down below 55 for the first time this fall and I broke out my long sleeve running shirt. Two months ago I was complaining about 85 F morning runs and now I’m shivering with temperatures in the mid 50s. It will get interesting when the morning temperatures drop into the high 30s in January.

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest
Tue – 6.21 miles, recovery, 9:12/mi avg pace

Sunday, November 12, 2006

New Times Race Report

It was a perfect central Arizona morning for the New Times 10K; just cool enough before sun up so that I was comfortable wandering around in a pair of warm ups and pleasant enough at race time to stand around in my usual race gear waiting for the starting gun. Real Chamber of Commerce weather. I wasn’t trying to PR in this race this morning; instead, I just wanted to run a fast 6 mile tempo run somewhere between 7:15/mi and 7:30/mi. So, I had none of my usual performance anxiety issues that usually precede a race. That is not to say that I didn’t do some of my neurotic pre-race activities. I still got to the race 2 hours before the start and walked around for a full hour before I started my warm up (old habits die hard). This gave me a chance to look for some of my blogging friends before the race. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anyone. Tony (from Scottsdale) did manage to find me while I was waiting for the race to start, but I never did find anyone else. It was great to meet Tony and he managed to PR this morning running in 46:09 .. go Tony.

This morning, I lined up about 50 feet from the start line to try to avoid some of the congestion at the start. Since the race moved to Tempe, the first leg now travels over the two-lane Mill Avenue Bridge immediately after the start. This section is very narrow and filled with all sorts of runners making it very difficult to pass. Plus, the course is slightly up hill going over the bridge which only slows things down more. Fortunately, the course widens out on the first turn north of Tempe Town Lake and heads up a short hill which really separates the runners. Although I started out at a slow shuffle, by the time I got to the top of the hill the average pace of the runners around me increased considerably. Now I could get finally started on my tempo run.

To help me get started, I locked onto a 20 something and let her pace me down the hill and back across Tempe Town Lake on the Rural Road Bridge. She lost me along Rio Salado Parkway, but a gentleman near my age soon joined me on my right. He had just run the Silicon Valley Marathon 2 weeks earlier and was hoping to do something under 50 minutes this morning. He must have gotten nervous when I told him he was on-track to run at least 45:30 at the pace he was going because he soon dropped off my shoulder, leaving me to run alone. I still felt great as I ran past the 4 mile marker. I had no sense of fatigue and my pesky hamstrings were operating as I needed them to. So far so good; my body didn’t seem t realize it was traveling much faster than the usual 7:40 pace I use for tempo runs (just going to prove that running is mostly mental)

As the course turned onto University and headed back towards down-town Tempe, another 20 something in a black top with black shorts cruised by me. I immediatly locked on her pace and stuck to her. I don’t have a clue what she looked like from the front; but judging from her legs I was convinced she could do some serious damage at this distance so if I could stick with her I wouldn't have any trouble maintaining my tempo. She was just running so effortlessly. She pulled away from me near the end of mile 5 and I was flabbergasted when I looked down at my mile split as I passed the mile marker and saw that I had actually slowed down to a 7:35 for mile 5. This wouldn’t do. I can go out and run a 7:35 any day. Interestingly, I didn’t feel as if I’d slowed down, but I must have just convinced myself that my running buddy in the black shorts was moving much faster than she was. I had simply lost focus. I didn't feel tired, but it seemed like my brain was starting to back off the tempo. It was time to get serious.

With only a mile to go, the course was now back in central Tempe. One more mile shouldn't be a problem, but I need to get with the program. I'm just not a good enough runner to casually run 7:15 repeats. I needed to put in a little more effort. For the first time in the race, I actually tried to significantly increase my pace. I caught up with my running buddy and passed her in a half mile or so and kept on cruising and once I spotted the 6 mile mark up ahead, I started sprinting. Yes, I know this was supposed to be a tempo run, but I’d been oh so good for the first 6 miles; now it was time to stretch out my legs. I really don't know how fast I was moving, but it must have been way faster than my target pace.

It felt very good to finish a 10K with plenty left in reserve. The real test, of course, will come on Tuesday when I get to continue on with the Pfitzinger Advanced Marathon training plan. I need another good week this week and I can’t afford to have over-taxed my legs this morning.

Actual mile splits:

Mile 1 - 7:34 (weaving through traffic)
Mile 2 - 6:58 (fun down hill)
Mile 3 - 7:17 (right on pace)
Mile 4 - 6:56 (fastest mile)
Mile 5 - 7:35 (what the ... )
Mile 6 - 7:11 (much better)

I PRd this 10K finishing in 44:51. This is 1:09 faster than my previous best and a whopping 3:34 faster than last year. I finished 229/2900

Hope your weekend went as well.

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest (very much needed)
Tue – 10 miles, recovery/easy – 9:12/mi avg pace
Wed - 18.2 miles, long - 8:52/mi avg pace
Thr - Rest (what do you expect)
Fri - 6.2 miles, easy with 8x100m strides - 8:41/mi avg pace
Sat - 5.0 miles, recovery - 8:56/mi avg pace
Sun - 6.2 miles, 10k - 7:13/mi avg pace (+2 mi warm up/1 mi cool down)

Total Mileage for the week: 48.7

Friday, November 10, 2006

Getting race ready

Thank you very much for all the kind words for my last post as well as your predictions of fast times at the New Times 10K on Sunday. Since I don’t want to screw up my marathon training (any more than I have already), I’m planning to run this race as a tempo run. It will be faster than my usual pace, but I don’t intend to go out there and try to break any records. I really want to focus on a nice consistent pace over the entire course.

I know there are lots of you running in the New Times 10K on Sunday, including Carmen, Ann, and Tony (sorry Tony, I don’t have link to your blog) as well as Pat, who is running the 5K course. I’ll be wearing my usual outfit – Blue ASICS sleeveless top, Black ASICS shorts, and a White “Runner’s Den” cap. The exact outfit you see in almost every picture I’ve every posted. My bib number is 222.

I took this afternoon off as a vacation again and waited until 1:00 PM before going out for my run. For some reason, I just wanted to run in the warm sun (it is suppose to cool off next week). My heavily revised plan for the week called for 6 miles w/ 8x100m strides. I spent the first two miles warming up before starting the strides on mile 3. I ran 4 strides on mile 3, 3 on mile 4 and 1 on mile 5. Mile 6 was my typical cool down, run way too fast. Average pace for the 6.2 mile run: 8:41/mi

Hope your week is going well. I'm looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Sunday.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Back to back long runs

I’m certainly no Dean Karnazes, but I’ve run 46.3 miles in 3 runs over 4 days. Not too bad pour moi.

I got out of the house at 4 AM this morning for a quick 18 miler. I ran 18 last Sunday, took a rest day on Monday and ran 10 on Tuesday; so I was a little unsure how this run would go. I’ve never run back to back long runs (over 17 miles) in 4 days. Being an election night junkie, I didn’t get much sleep last night, but it didn’t seem to matter much. I was feeling pretty good on the first mile and felt completely warmed up before I completed 2 miles. There was very little traffic out at 4 in the morning, so I more or less had the road to myself; expect a I did pass one jogger on my first 5 mile loop. What are these people doing up this early in the morning?

Not much to report on the run. I held an incredibly steady pace through the first 15 miles and kicked it into high gear for the last 3. I set up the loops so that I had a short but steep hill to climb on miles 5, 10, 15 and 18. Running up hills really knocks me out of my rhythm. My breathing gets heavy and I have to fight to get everything back under control. I figure it’s good practice. Aside from some slight discomfort on mile 13, everything else went very smooth. Also, this was the longest run for my dog Cooper. He finished without complaint and could have gone further had we had the time.

Run Summary:

Miles 1–5 : Average Pace 8:59/mi
Miles 5-10: Average Pace 8:54/mi
Miles 10-15: Average Pace 8:55/mi
Miles 16-18: Average Pace: 8:34/mi

Overall average pace for 18.2 miles: 8:52/mi

The rest of the week is easy recovery runs in preparation for a 10K on Sunday. Should be very nice.

Hope your week is going well.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Where's my Walker

Thanks for the help yesterday (and today). I’ve rearranged my calendar to accommodate your recommendations as follows:

Mon – Rest
Tue – 10 miles, easy
Wed – 18 miles, long
Thr – 5 miles, recovery
Fri – 6 miles recovery w/strides, recovery
Sat – Rest
Sunday – 10K race (at 7:10/mi)

This is plan will cut my total mileage for the week down to the 50 mile range, but should allow me to get in all the runs I need to do and give me a fighting chance on making a show of it on Sunday. I’ll add a few miles to my long run next week to get up to 20 again.

The 10 miler this morning was actually a recovery/easy combo. I had some trouble getting the legs moving at 5:00 AM, passing the first mile mark just under 10:00. Shortly thereafter, I stepped off the curb, caught the front of my right foot on the asphalt and did a passable shoulder roll back up on my feet. It took a few seconds to gather my wits (and look around for my walker) before I continued the slow shuffle down the street. I actually had a car slowly roll by to check out the old guy. I assume they were prepared to help should I have failed to right myself. I did scrape up the outside of my right knee a little; fortunately it’s nothing serious.

I felt my pace picking up after 2 miles and by the time I’d got past the 3 mile marker, I was back up to speed. I completed the first 5 mile lap without further incident and managed to get around the 2nd 5 mile lap without falling again. Once I got home and actually computed the pace based on my splits, I realized how sluggish I was at first. Regardless of the pace however, the nice thing about increasing my running volume is that I can now go out and run 10 miles without thinking about it (aside from stepping off curbs ... I need to practice that move some more). That wouldn't have happened 6 months ago.

Splits for this morning:

Miles 1-5 Average Pace: 9:27/mi
Miles 6 – 10 Average Pace: 8:59/mi

Thanks again for your kind responses. Hope all is going well with your running this week.

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest (very much needed)
Tue – 10 miles, recovery/easy – 9:12/mi avg pace