Thursday, June 29, 2006

Running in South Bend .. day Deux

Not much to report today. This morning I was still in South Bend and out on the roads before 5:00AM. I wore by head-lamp to give me a fighting chance in the dark and ran more-or-less the same course as yesterday; except I stayed off one of the more dangerous roads and ran through all very narrow neighborhood streets instead. The distance was the same: 5.3 miles. An uneventful run; although I did manage to step in a puddle when I forced off the road by an on coming car. The SOB just wasn't going to give me a break. I don't know why he (or anyone) would be in such a hurry at 5:00 AM, but he evidently had somewhere to go.

I'm back in Phoenix tonight and tomorrow will be a rest day. I've pretty beat after this trip, so I'll cut this post short.

Hope your running week is going well

Phil

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Training for the week:

Sun - 5.0 miles; easy, 9:22/mi pace
Mon - 5.0 miles; easy, 9:22/mi pace
Tue - 6.0 miles, 5x800,7:03/mi pace
Wed - 5.3 miles, easy, 9:28/mi pace
Thr - 5.3 miles, easy, 9:06/mi pace

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Running in South Bend

I arrived in South Bend late last night after an uneventful flight from Phoenix to Minneapolis followed by a 2 hour lay over and a short hope from Minneapolis to South Bend. The weather here in South Bend this time of year is absolutely beautiful. At least it is to someone from central Arizona. The high temperatures are in the upper 70s, lows are in the upper 50s. Perfect running weather.

Since I ran my interval training a day early, on Tuesday, I mapped out an easy 5 mile loop through the countryside north of the city. I got up at 5:00 AM instead of 4:30 and it's a good thing I did. This part of Indiana goes on daylight savings time. Consequently 5:00 AM in South Bend is 2:00 AM in Phoenix. A second effect of daylight savings time is that it is seriously dark at 5:00 AM.

Since it was very dark, the night birds were chirping and the crickets were doing whatever it is that crickets do to make noise. In other words, it felt like 2:00 AM. After 3 miles, the sky started to lighten up fortunately and it was more or less light before I completed the circuit. Next time I'll wear my head lamp.

Ironically, after fretting about the lack of a track to run interval training, I stumbled upon Clay High School at the corner of Juniper and Darden. Unlike the High Schools in Phoenix, the track at this school was open to the public. So I could have stuck to my original schedule ... who knew.

Keep running

Training for the week:

Sun - 5.0 miles; easy, 9:22/mi pace
Mon - 5.0 miles; easy, 9:22/mi pace
Tue - 6.0 miles, 5x800,7:03/mi pace
Wed - 5.3 miles, easy, 9:28/mi pace

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

More 800s

Yesterday's 5 mile jaunt was totally uneventful; although, I did have another "Senior Moment". I forgot to start my watch. Since I've rid myself of the nasty habit of checking my pace every 3 or 4 seconds, I didn't realize the timer wasn't running until well after passing the 3 mile point. Of well.

Today I ran my second set of 800s, increasing the reps from 4 to 5. Unlike last week, there was someone else using the track at PVCC at 5:00 AM. I ran the warm up and cool down clockwise this morning to balance out the effect of constantly turning left.

Basic Workout:

1 mile warm up
5x800m @3:33 minutes w/400m recovery between intervals
1 mile cool down

My actual splits were better than goal:

1 - 3:28
2 - 3:31
3 - 3:29
4 - 3:30
5 - 3:32

Since I wasn't pucking at the end, I imagine I could have done one more, but didn't want to push it. I'll continue to add one rep per week until I get to 8.

Keep running

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Training for the week:


Sun - 5.0 miles; easy, 9:22/mi pace
Mon - 5.0 miles; easy, 9:22/mi pace
Tue - 6.0 miles, 5x800,7:03/mi pace

Sunday, June 25, 2006

An easy week

After 4 solid weeks of 40+ miles, I'm turning down the gain this week to get ready for a 5k next weekend. I cut my easy Sunday run down from 7.2 miles to 5.0 miles this morning and will keep my easy runs at 5.0 miles for the rest of the week. I also have another 4x800 session planned for Wednesday; however, I'll be in South Bend Indiana on Wednesday and an have yet to figure out how I'll get this in using the local facilities.

I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to get up this morning and run at all. The last time I ran a 1/2 marathon distance, I didn't run again for 5 days. I think this increased mileage program is really helping my general fitness.

Unfortunately, I don't have a long race scheduled until September when I'll run the Jerome Hill Climb . This race is run approximately 5 miles up-hill along Forest Service roads on Mingus mountain. Although not all that long a run, the constant grind of running up hill really kicks you in the butt. Once you finish this race, there is beer, water, gatoraide, beer, bagels, bananas, etc to enjoy at the top of the hill. You then get to run back down the hill to the parking lot. I recommend this race for anyone who just wants to have a great time on a physically challenging course. Since the course distance isn't any standard distance and it appears that the course is changing a bit this year, there isn't any opportunity for a PR so to speak. You only need to survive it.

Keep running

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Training for the week

Sun - 5.0 miles; easy, 9:22/mi pace

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Long is getting longer

My "long" runs are slowly getting longer. This morning, I pushed my way up to 13 miles including a 1 mile uphill jaunt on mile 10. Running this hill probably wasn't the smartest idea of the morning. I ran the first 7 miles in a big loop to the south of my house. I took my dog on this portion of the run and dropped him off at the house at the end of the loop. He was panting like crazy and there was no sense in continuing to torture him in the heat. Although he was a bit perplexed when I opened the door, let him in and then walked out again.

The second phase of the run was a 6 mile loop to the north of the house which included the 1 mile climb on mile 10. Although I wasn't paying any attention to my pace, I could feel myself dragging up the hill. Once I crested the hill, it felt as if a large weight had been lifted from my back.

Mile 11 was a recovery mile. Mostly a slow down hill. It was during this mile that I started wondering just what the heck I was doing out on the road at this hour on a Saturday morning. Sleeping certainly sounded like the superior option. Things started looking up again on mile 12. I was still running down hill for most of mile 12 and was getting a bit of spring back to my step. 13 miles was looking like a real possibility.

I had just crossed the last major street and turned west towards home as the Garmin beep indicating the start of mile 13. I had a clear view of the end of this run at the top of a small hill a mile down the road (the roads in Phoenix are very straight). Something gave me a kick in the pants and my pace increased considerably ... still over 9:00/mi, but much faster than the "I JUST WANT TO DIE" pace two miles back. Half way through the last mile a car pulling out of a side street turning right actual LOOKED and STOPPED and let me run by. I even got a wave. This nice fellow seemed to know that I'd been on the road for 2 hours and needed a break from lousy drivers.

This week has been a PR week for distance; exceeding 45 miles for the first time ever.

Training for the Week

Sun - 7.0 miles, easy, 9:06/mi pace
Mon - 6.2 miles, easy, 9:12/mi pace
Tue - 8.3 miles, easy, 9:12/mi pace
Wed - 5.3 miles, 4x800, 7:19/mi pace
Thr - Rest Day
Fri - 6.2 miles, easy, 9:09/mi pace
Sat - 13.1 miles, long, 9:40/mi pace

Total Distance for the week: 46.2 Miles, 9:11/mi avg pace

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Auto update. I nice fellow with a massive tow truck showed up at my house 30 minutes after I called AAA. My cars left front wheel had bounced over a large rock and the rocker arm under the car was hung up on the rock with the wheel dangling in front. Simply pulling the car backwards would have damaged the undercarriage and torn up the bumper something fierce. After studying the situation for a few minutes we decided to build up a little bridge for the left front wheel to roll on out of 2x6s. The mechanic lifted the front of the car with a large jack, I slid the bridge under the wheel (after signing a damage waiver absolving the towing company of any responsibility for damage to the car). He let the car back down on the bridge (which held) and slowly pulled the car off the rock with a winch. The entire operation took nearly an hour.

The only damage the car suffered was few nasty scratches to the left from bumper where the car hit the rock initially. I was VERY lucky.

Have a great week running!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Taking the car out for a drive

Running-wise, things went well this morning. There was a light cloud cover in the east that blocked the sun from immediately heating up the desert as the first rays peaked over the McDowell Mountains east of Scottsdale. No one tried to run me over, nor did any one pulled out in front of me without looking. I did have a stray boxer (canine variety) follow along with me for a mile or so, but otherwise, the 6.2 mile easy outing this morning was like most others. I couldn't face wearing my heart-rate monitor, so I took off and ran at what ever pace I felt like. I could hear the Garmin ticking off the miles, but I resisted the urged to look down at my pace and just did what felt right. Not surprisingly, I ran every mile between 9:05 and 9:11 with two 9:06s in a row. The last mile was under 9:00, but I usually speed up as I get closer to home. Average pace: 9:09. My last 3 easy runs between 6 and 7 miles have been 9:12, 9:12 and 9:07 ... so I think I've found my comfortable easy pace.

As uneventful as this morning was, this evening was just the opposite. Around 8 PM, I made a Starbucks run for my wife and daughter. When I got back, I pulled the car into the garage and was evidently distracted by the conversation I was having because I made three mistakes. 1) I left the car in neutral; 2) I didn't set the hand brake; 3) I didn't close the garage door. For some, forgetting to do any of these actions wouldn't be all that much of problem. However, I live on a hill. People living on hills with manual transmissions always, 1) leave their cars in gear; 2) set the hand brake; and 3) close the garage door. However, due to a Senior Moment, I forgot to do all three.

Several minutes after settling down upstairs, one of my dogs, whilst looking out the front window, starting barking wildly. This isn't that unusual for this dog. It yips at just about anybody walking by; but tonight, there was something different in his bark. There was more of a sense of urgency.

Of course, walking outside revealed the cause of his distress (pictures follow). My car had rolled backwards out of the garage, rolled down the driveway and out onto the street with the backend heading up the hill. It then reversed direction and plowed over a 4 inch wall around my driveway and got stuck on a rather large boulder in my yard. The left side of the front bumper got torn up a bit where it hit the rock, but the car just missed hitting a tree by one inch. I'm now sitting in my driveway waiting for a tow truck to come and get the car off the rock. I'll let you know the extent of the damage tomorrow after my long run on Saturday. I may have to run 100 miles to work my way through this one.










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Training for the Week

Sun - 7.0 miles, easy, 9:06/mi pace
Mon - 6.2 miles, easy, 9:12/mi pace
Tue - 8.3 miles, easy, 9:12/mi pace
Wed - 5.3 miles, 4x800, 7:19/mi pace
Thr - Rest Day
Fri - 6.2 miles, easy, 9:09/mi pace

Thursday, June 22, 2006

US exits World Cup

WARNING WARNING WARNING

... Today's post has nothing to do with running and everything to do with poorly played football.

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I took a rest day today and managed to sleep in until 6:30. Of course, I woke up at 4:30 as usual and had to force myself back to sleep. Like 3 or four other citizens of this country, I was actually looking forward to watching the US-Ghana football game this morning and knew I needed to get before 7 AM to do so.

I only had time to watch the first half since I needed to be clear across town by 9:00 AM, but, as it turned out, that was enough to get a sense for where football is going in the US. Why is it that a country of 299,040,609 soles can't find 11 guys to play football at the international level. With no disrespect for the Czech Republic, Italy or Ghana (especially Ghana), I just can't understand why we get blown out of World Cup after World Cup. On any given weekend, there are probably 10,000 organized football games going on from California to Maine. Surely we can find 10 to 20 kids that would be interested in playing at this level.

I wasn't greedy. I didn't expect the US to win; however, I didn't expect them to go home in the first round. We can complain about the officials and this bad call or that missed foul, but at the end of the day, you need to put the ball at the back of the net. The best way to nullify bad officiating is to score. We seemed to have lost the recipe for scoring as soon as we stepped off the plane in Germany.

Perhaps in 2010 we should send our Women's National Team instead of the men. At least our women know how to win. Or more correctly, they refuse to loose.

With our men's team swirling around in the toilet looking for a goal, I have enjoyed watching Ghana play. The Ghana - Czech game was one of the best I've seen. You can tell that these players are having a great time; you can see it in their faces. They play for the joy of the game and are certainly exciting to watch. With no "home" team to cheer for anymore, Ghana seems like the logical choice as the next round of games starts. GO TEAM GO. Just where is Ghana anyway :)

I now return this blog back to the core topic.

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Training for the Week

Sun - 7.0 miles, easy, 9:06/mi pace
Mon - 6.2 miles, easy, 9:12/mi pace
Tue - 8.3 miles, easy, 9:12/mi pace
Wed - 5.3 miles, 4x800, 7:19/mi pace
Thr - Rest Day

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Around and around I go

I took up Mike's suggestion and found a 400m track to run my intervals workout. I had used a treadmill last week and he suggested that I might do better to use a track to start to get a feel for my pace. As I suspected, all the local High School tracks were locked up as tight as a drum; but one of the local Community Colleges (Paradise Valley CC) has a nice track that is not only not locked (sorry about the double negative) but also has a sign welcoming people to use the track.

Even with a Welcome Sign, there was absolutely no one on the track at 5:30 AM when I arrived. Were is everyone? This town has close to 2 million people rattling around in it. Besides the maniacs yaking on cell phones at this time of the morning (see my whining entry from yesterday) they can't all be in bed. They must be somewhere, they just weren't here.

This is a very nice track as tracks go. It has a small aluminum framed bleacher on the west side, otherwise, it is wide open. It looks the college uses the field in the middle for soccer (aka football), but not much else. It also borders a golf course on two sides, so it has the appearance of endless grass. But I digress.

I ran the same workout as last week's treadmill event.

1 mile warm up
4x800m @3:33 minutes w/400m recovery between intervals
1 mile cool down

Actual Performance:

Warm Up: Ran 4+ laps in lane 8 as a warm up. According to Mr. Garmin, I covered 1.16 miles on this warm up. Since I'm not use to running on such a nice surface, I ran the warm up a bit faster than desired, averaging 8:44 ... just excited I guess.

Intervals: This was a real different experience. I had a goal of 3:33, which meant I needed to get around the first lap in something close to 1:46. Only my feeble brain couldn't run and divide 3:33 by 2 at the same time. Instead of thinking I needed to get around in 1:46, I set my goal at 1:16. Needless to say, 1:16 had already passed by the time I rounded the second turn and was heading for the line. A few seconds later, my head cleared and I updated my mental calculations as I cross the line at 1:48. Not bad for a first lap I thought. The second lap of the first interval went along smoothly, now that I was no longer panicking about hitting 1:16 per 400.

Interval Times:

1 - 3:40
2 - 3:36
3 - 3:39
4 - 3:37

Recovery: Just how does one slow down to a recovery jog after running a couple of fast laps. My intention was to get my pace down to the 10:00-10:30 range. Although I did slow down more on each recovery lap, the first recovery lap averaged 9:20.

Cool Down: Like a good boy, I scheduled a 1 mile cool down. I over achieved a bit and ran 1.4 miles at 8:57/mi pace. Again, too fast.

Overall impression: Mike was right. These are a lot more fun to run outside than on a treadmill. I was happy that I kept my average pace close to my desired pace. I was a bit slower than desired, but at this point I'm looking for consistency. And after running nothing by easy and long runs for the past 2 years, I felt as if I was flying around the track.

Aches and Pains: What good is a running blog without a pain report? I experienced a bit of soreness under my right knee cap (this is a common problem with me, it has been going on for years), but nothing acute. On the fourth interval I also felt a slight twinge on the inside of my right knee. Both went away during the cool down. My arthritic big toe let me know it was still attached a couple of times, but remarkabley, it didn't start throbbing as it has done in the past, nor did it hurt at all during the cool down.

Today felt so good that I wanted to immediately do it again. But I know better. Next week I'll start adding reps to this workout.

Keeping running

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Training for the week

Sun - 7.0 miles, easy, 9:06/mi pace
Mon - 6.2 miles, easy, 9:12/mi pace
Tue - 8.3 miles, easy, 9:12/mi pace
Wed - 5.3 miles, 4x800, 7:19/mi pace

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Another day in the neighborhood

This morning started the same as any other easy day of running. My ankles were a bit sore last night and I was up way to late waiting for my youngest daughter to get home from a movie, so I had decided to forgo the 7 mile run I had scheduled and take an easy 6 mile repeat ... same as yesterday. For some reasons, plans changed 1/2 mile into run. Instead of heading south at the first major intersection to avoid the light, I turned north, crossed the street (sort of like the chicken) and head east. By the time I got back to the house, I had managed to cover 8.3 miles.

No much happened along the way, with the exception of some idiot in an SUV honking his horn at me as I cross a minor street in the cross walk. This cretin waited until he passed behind me to honk his horn for maximum effect. In addition, I had to dodge an assortment of cars turning right off of side streets who don't believe that it is necessary to look to the their right before turning right.

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I've never understood this logic. You are accelerating your car into a space that you assume is empty after you've been staring to the left for a minute or more waiting for a break in the traffic. What could ever go wrong with this situation? Is it possible that a pedestrian, bicycle, or other car could be coming? Apparently not. We need to get a few more of these folks out of their cars and onto the streets.

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Keep running

Training for the week

Sun - 7.0 miles, easy, 9:06/mi pace
Mon - 6.2 miles, easy, 9:12/mi pace
Tue - 8.3 miles, easy, 9:12/mi pace

Monday, June 19, 2006

Monday morning

I managed to run 19 miles this weekend. I realize that for many of you out there in the blogsphere, 19 miles is a simple jog in the park; but this runner, 19 miles is a whole lot of distance. It wasn't but 3 months ago that 19 miles would be a good week's work. Since I've never run anywhere near this far and lived to talk about it, I went to bed last night with some trepidation as to what this morning would bring.

Well, exactly nothing happened. I woke up at 4:30 feeling refreshed and got out on the street by 5:00 AM. The temperature was nearing 82 and the traffic was already starting to get heavy on the main thoroughfares as I hit the road. I ran my usual 6 mile course (actually, it is closer to 6.2 miles) without incident. After my run-ins with Mr Coyote this weekend, the streets of Phoenix seemed down right boring. If not for the fact that the avg temperature was already a hellish 83 during the run, I could have been anywhere. I was pleased that I didn't have any muscle soreness. I just chugged around the course holding my HR near 133, not really worrying about pace.

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I did have one thought this morning: Just where are all these people going at 5:00 AM in the morning, I'll never know. What I find even more remarkable than the fact that anyone is out driving around at 5:00 AM is that half of them are talking on their cell phones. Who takes a call at 5:00 AM? I find this behavior particularly disturbing as I'm running west. For if I'm running west, the folks in the cars are heading east into the rising sun. So far, no one has swerved close enough to get me up onto the concrete sidewalk any sooner than I need to, but I'm sure that day will come. Fortunately, in 2 days, the summer solstice will arrive and the sun will start rising later and later.

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Anyone out there got any bright ideas what I'm suppose to do with my diet. When I was running 15-20 miles a week, I ate normally and slowly lost weight. Now that I'm running 40-45 miles a week and burning through at least 1000 calories a day exercising, my brain tells me to eat copious quantities of food. I'm eating good stuff (aside from the Ben & Jerry's my kids treated me to last night), just eating a heck of a lot of it. Consequently, my weight has reached a plateau. I know I can't be the first person on the planet to have this problem. I welcome any suggestions.

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Training for the week

Sun - 7.0 miles, easy, 9:06/mi pace
Mon - 6.2 miles, easy, 9:12/mi pace

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

First ... I want to wish a happy Father's day to all the dads out there. I hope your special day goes well and that you get to spend some time with your kids.

My two younger daughters are still sleeping. In fact, it appears that my 18 year old daughter had a sleep over last night. I found her on the couch this morning and discovered two guys sleeping in her room. I assume I know them; guess I’ll find out in an hour or so. Since everyone was still asleep, I slipped out and headed back to the "land of the howling coyote".

I got a late start this morning and didn't get to the trail head until 6:30. The temperature at the Phoenix airport was already 82, so I imagine the temperature out there was close to 80. This is Arizona after all, so there isn't a cloud in the sky for 60 miles in any direction.

Today was a day for a free run. I ran my 7.3 mile figure 8 loop through the park without my heart rate monitor nor did I pay much attention to Mr. Garmin. I had the Garmin 201 turned on to record the miles, but I didn't slavishly monitor my pace. I just ran.

After 5 miles I knew I was running faster than I should in 80+ heat. My legs started feeling a bit heavy as I passed under 56th street heading back towards my car parked at the trail head, but I pushed on. When the Garmin beep to inform me that mile 7 had finally past, I stopped running and started my cool down 0.3 miles early. This gave me a chance to take a 6 minute cool down; 1 minute longer than normal for a easy run.

My friend the howling coyote showed up again this morning, but wasn't nearly as aggressive as yesterday. Although I jumped 3 feet in the air when he let loose with his first howl, I kept on trucking on the down the trail and didn't pay much attention to him. He followed along a safe distance (for him) behind me and my dog and seemed content to keep his distance while barking is displeasure with my trespass.

After a couple of miles of this, a women on a mountain bike passed going the other way. She had heard the coyote barking and howling as she approached me and the coyote was apparently more interested in a cute girl on a bike than an old guy and dog. He immediately started following her and lost all interest in me.

I'll be kicking back today and enjoying the day (although I do have several hours of work to do tonight). I hope you all (and I mean everyone) have a great Sunday as well as great week of running in the days ahead.

Keep running

Training for the week

Sun - 7.0 miles, easy, 9:06/mi pace

Saturday, June 17, 2006

12 Miler

I finally got my "long" run up to 12 miles. I managed to get my both my dog and myself to the Reach 11 trailhead before 4:45 AM. The sky was just starting to brighten, but there was no sign on the sun looming over the horizon. I got in 4.9 miles before the sun finally showed itself. It was very interesting watching my heart rate monitor through this process. I more or less kept the pace at 9:45/mi through most of the run. Before the sun came up, my HR stayed steady between 128 and 130. All systems were looking good. However, my HR steadily climbed as the sun rose further over the McDowell Mtns. By 10 miles my HR was running at a steady 140. Same speed, no sign of tiredness, but I was exerting much more effort to hold the same pace.

We had a bit more excitement this morning with the local coyote. My regular readers will remember that I had coyote quietly follow me a couple of weeks ago while running is the same area. My dog and I ran into the same coyote this morning (I'm assuming it was the same coyote). This time, I realized that this coyote doesn't like visitors before 6 AM. Instead of quietly following, he got a lot more aggressive and ran along besides us (about 10 - 15 feet off the trail) and howled and bark in an attempt to scare us away. After about a mile of this, my dog, who had been running out in front, turn and charged the coyote.

Seeing a 75lb black lab charging at full speed was more than this coyote had bargained for. My dog chased him around for a few minutes, dodging through mesquite trees until he lost interest in the wild animal. My dog came running back to me at full tilt, very proud of his accomplishment. The coyote kept his distance after that letting out a few yelps every now and again to let us know he was still there.

We must have finally run out of his terretory, because he gave up all together around the 6 mile mark.

Keep running

Training for the week

Sun – 7.4 Miles, easy, 9:18/mi pace
Mon – 6.1 Miles, easy, 9:22/mi pace
Tue - 6.1 Miles, easy, 9:18/mi pace
Wed - 5.0 Miles, Speed Interval, 9:02/mi pace
Thr - Rest day
Fri - 6.6 Miles, easy, 9:21/mi pace
Sat - 12.0 Miles, easy, 9:44/mi pace

Total miles for the week: 43.2 (not too bad)

Friday, June 16, 2006

Another easy day

Boy was I happy this morning. After my Ice Station Zebra incident yesterday, I was a bit worried that my right knee would be stiff this morning ... but that wasn't the case. All systems were GO and I hit road a little bit before 5:00 AM.

Random Thought: There are way too many cars out at this hour of the morning. In a civilized community one would expect to be able to get a bit of peace and quit at this time in the morning; but I fear that 5:00 AM is become the new 6:00 AM around here.

I modified my course a bit this morning to extend it out beyond 6 miles and take a quick run by the local High School. Wild Iris had suggested that I use a local running track for interval training. As I expected, the track was locked up as tight as can be. I guess that I'll stick with the treadmills at LA Fitness for interval training in the near future.

Nothing too remarkable occurred over the 6.6 mile run. Although my entire right leg shuddered as I was nearing 2 miles. It felt as if all the muscles in the leg flexed at the same time. Fortunately, this only lasted a moment and didn't repeat.

I've got a long run scheduled for tomorrow. I'll try to get up over 10 miles for the first time. If I get out to the trail-head before 5 AM I should be ok .. this will give me at least 20 minutes of running before the sun comes up. It was only 78 degrees at 5 AM this morning and had only reached 82 by 7:30. I suspect tomorrow will be much the same.

Keep running,

Training for the week:

Sun – 7.4 Miles, easy, 9:18/mi pace
Mon – 6.1 Miles, easy, 9:22/mi pace
Tue - 6.1 Miles, easy, 9:18/mi pace
Wed - 5.0 Miles, Speed Interval, 9:02/mi pace
Thr - Rest day
Fri - 6.6 Miles, easy, 9:21/mi pace

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Rest Day

Today seemed like a perfect day for a rest day. I was a bit tired after my trip to Redmond Washington this week and had just run my first "speed" workout since getting serious about training. In addition, my right knee is bothering me a bit a little below the knee cap towards the inside of my leg. It imagine it's at a point a tendon connects a bunch of lower leg muscles to the knee. This area starting getting sore this past Saturday after my first 5k in eons. I probably over-stressed something.

Anyway, I took maximum advantage of the rest day. When my alarm went off at 4:45, I reset it to 5:45 ... who knew there were only about 10 seconds between 4:45 and 5:45, at least that what it felt like.

I kept ice on the knee off and on all day and darn near locked up my knee altogether. My staff is spread out all across 3 time zones in North America from Toronto, Ontario in the east to Redmond, Washington in the west; Phoenix, Arizona in the Southwest; and Coon Rapids, Minnesota and South Bend, Indiana in the Midwest. Needless to say, when we get together for a weekly staff meeting, we do so via telephone and MS Net Meeting. This morning was no different, except I propped up my right leg and wrapped an ice pack around the knee. An hour later I'd completely forgotten about the ice pack (we have a lively group and it isn't difficult to loose track of time). After we hung up, I could hardly stand up. I had to go outside and walk around in the 102 heat in order to get my knee moving again.

Tomorrow is an easy 6 miles. I expect the knee will be limber by then. I've moved my alarm up to 4:30 AM to give me more time on the road before the sun comes up. Should be interesting.

Keep Running

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One last note ... I took the picture to the left this evening from my house. Don't know what I found fascinating about this picture. The three major TV "news" stations had their helicopters circling over head trying to get a shot. It all seemed to be rather morbid. Then again, I was watching this company's building going up in flames through my binoculars ... so I guess that I am no different.

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Training for the week:

Sun – 7.4 Miles, easy, 9:18/mi pace
Mon – 6.1 Miles, easy, 9:22/mi pace
Tue - 6.1 Miles, easy, 9:18/mi pace
Wed - 5.0 Miles, Speed Interval, 9:02/mi pace
Thr - Rest day

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"Speed" Work

This morning I hammered my way through my first attempt at running a real speed interval workout:

1 Mile Warm Up @ 9:30/mi
4x800m @ 7:24/mi + 400m @10:30/mi Recovery
1 Mile Cool down @ 10:00/mi

In order to have some luck at actually maintaining an even pace, I decided to run this workout on the treadmill at the hotel her in Redmond. The hotel only has two treadmills, but at 5:00 AM there wasn’t a whole lot of competition for the machines.

Speed is such as relative term. As I was cruising along at a 7:24/mi pace, I got thinking that for fellow blogger Mike, this pace was just an easy jog through the park. It certainly felt really good to run at this speed, even if it was only for 3 and ½ minutes at a shot.

My heart rate stayed reasonably under control during the workout. Max rate worked up to 155 during the interval run and dropped back to the 132 range during the recovery jogs. I kept the overall HR at 133 during the cool down and didn’t pay much attention to pace.

Other than a few twinges in my right knee, this workout seemed to do what it was intended to do. It got me moving a whole lot faster than I’ve been training for the past two months. In fact, going back through my training log I realized that it was the fastest workout I’ve done in the past 2 years. You can teach an old dog new tricks after all.


Keep running

Training for the week:

Sun – 7.4 Miles, easy, 9:18/mi pace
Mon – 6.1 Miles, easy, 9:22/mi pace
Tue - 6.1 Miles, easy, 9:18/mi pace
Wed - 5.0 Miles, Speed Interval, 9:02/mi pace

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Redmond - Day 2

Nothing too exciting to report today. The rain let up over night and I got in 6.1 miles again this morning. The skies were grey and everything was wet and very humid, but otherwise a nice morning.

Tommorow is my first attempt at running 800m reps. That aught to be interesting.


Training for the week:

Sun – 7.4 Miles, easy, 9:18/mi pace
Mon – 6.1 Miles, easy, 9:22/mi pace
Tue - 6.1 Miles, easy, 9:18/mi pace

Monday, June 12, 2006

Running in Redmond

I'm back in the land of Microsoft. Anyone who has never been to Redmond Washington would find it difficult to believe just how pervasive Microsoft is in this town. You can't run 100 meters without bumping into a Microsoft building (or complex of buildings). Microsoft has yet to take over the world, but they have certainly taken over this town.

Now that I've managed to build up my easy mileage to the 40+ miles a week range and held it at this level for 3 straight weeks, I've decided that my general aerobic conditioning is good enough and I'm ready to launched into a slightly more complete training cycle.

The basic cycle is:

Mon - 6 to 7 miles @ easy pace
Tue - 6 to 7 miles @ easy pace
Wed - 5 miles of Speedwork / 6 miles Tempo Run alternating weeks
Thr - 6 miles @ easy pace
Fri - Rest Day
Sat - 12 miles @ easy pace (I'll call this a long run)
Sun - 6 miles @ easy pace

This should keep my mileage up at the 40-45 range and start to introduce a bit of speed work into my daily diet of easy runs.

Actually, last week should count as a week 1 of my soon to found love for speed work. Running a 5k at a 7:25 pace is about all the speed I can see myself developing for the near future.

The speed work doesn't bother me (although I do have some trepidation concerning how well my arthritic big toe on my left foot will hold up); rather, it is the 12 mile long run that scares the crap out of me. I’ve certainly run 12 miles before, but never in the middle of the summer. It’ll take me nearly 2 hours to run this distance at an easy pace and assuming I get my butt out of bed and drive to trail head before 5:15 AM, I should be running in direct sun light for an hour and a half. Our overnight lows in mid-July are usually in the high 80’s. Two hours after sun rise, the temperatures are in the mid to high 90’s. This aught to be fun. Anyone care to join me?

This morning’s 6 mile run, on the other hand, was nothing like the hellish scene I painted above. At 5:00 AM this morning, the temperature was a balmy 55 degrees and the humidity felt like it was near 100%. I could see fog enshrouding the town of Bellevue a few miles to west and a few hundred feet lower. But in Redmond proper, the sun was slowly rising over the mountains to the east, the sky was a bright blue, the birds were chirping, the morning drivers were weaving; life was good.

My usual hotel was book, so I am staying at one of Marriott’s low end brands in Redmond (for $220/night). I left the hotel and headed for the bike trail running along highway 520. I stayed on this trail between 148th and 51st (yes I know they are at right angles, 520 bends from an east-west to a north-south road around 148th st.) The first few miles were very slow (around 9:45) but peaceful. I wasn’t in any rush and was really enjoying the cool moist air. If only there was a way to bottle up this stuff!

At 51st, I hung a left and exited the path. From this point, the bike path drops a few hundred feet into the older section of Redmond. My knees are not ready to start running down hills and my lungs aren’t ready to start running up hill, so I headed back over to 148th along 51st, turned right and continued running on the cement sidewalk. About ½ mile down 148th, I ran into a multi-use bridle trail crossing 148th . I’ve run by this point probably 20 times in the last several years and have never seen this trail … but this morning, it was there big as day. Wanting to get off the concrete as fast as possible, I turned left, crossed 148th and ran up the trail. And I mean up.

After a few hundred yards, the trail starts climbing quickly, culminating at a ridge line 2.9 miles from the hotel. For a moment, I though I was on top of Mt Humphries. At this point, the trail drops straight down for a 100’. There was no way I was going to run down this trail. Instead, I turned around and exited the trail onto some surface street. I don’t have a clue where I was, but it provided me with enough asphalt to continue my run out to the 3 mile mark. I turned around and followed the same course back to the hotel.

Shortly after returning to the hotel, the skies grew dark, the sun disappeared from view and typical Seattle weather ensued. It drizzled and rained most of the day and is still raining as I type. I can only hope that the rain lets up enough in the morning so I can get in another 6 miles before work in the morning.

Keep Running

Training for the week:

Sun – 7.4 Miles, easy, 9:18/mi pace
Mon – 6.1 Miles, easy, 9:22/mi pace

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The morning after

Success! For the first time since I started running in 2002, I got out of bed the day after a race and stood up without discomfort. The only thing I can contribute this to is the increased weekly mileage along with the warm up prior to the race and cool down following yesterdays 10k.

I got in 7.4 miles over at Reach 11 this morning. I even managed to get on the trail before the sun peaked over the McDowell Mtns. I think the temperature was near 75 when I started, which felt darn-right cool after yesterday. Of course this changed quickly as the sun continue to rise.

All in all, a great morning

Keep Running

Phil

Saturday, June 10, 2006

5K in the dust


I ran my first 5k since getting serious about training 2 months ago. The course is a 5k loop along the trails in the Reach 11 recreational area in North Phoenix. I haven't look at the final results yet, but my guess is that 600 people were out there stiring up the dust.

I ran the same race last year in 24:50. I really struggled during the first mile last year and never could get in the groove. This year was a completely different race. The course was the same (hot, dry and dusty) but I got into a good stride early and finished in 23:01.

Although my training has been much more intense than previous years, I haven't done any speed work to speak of, so I had no idea what pace to shoot for. I was very confident that I could do 8:00; 7:45 seemed reasonable; 7:30 was possible; 7:15 was a stretch; and 7:00 was only a pipe dream. After fretting over the pace decision for longer than it was worth, I decided to try for 7:15 and see what happened. I figure I could always cruise in at the end if I started feeling punky during the race.

I also decided to do something I've never really done before. I started the morning with a warm up run. I ran 2.8 miles of the course at a nice and easy 9:41 pace; finishing the warm up 12 minutes before race time. This felt about right. I had a bit of sweat going, but wasn't out of breath. Muscles felt good and loose. I walked around a bit and took my place in the chute, about 20 feet back from the starting line.

As I left the line I was immediately stuck behind several joggers (one more time people ... if you're not going to run when you leave the line, don't line up in the front of chute). I broke around the right side of the joggers in a burst of speed and kept up the quick pace for way to long. 1/2 mile into the race, I was doing 6:40. I slowed downed a bit and see-sawed between 7:00 and 7:30 to the first mile marker. Mile one was in the bank at 7:08. This was a bit faster than my 7:15 target, but certainly within the raange I had hoped for.

At this point, I was feeling pretty good. I had just completed my fasted mile in years and wasn't feeling any pain in my left foot nor any sign of fatique. I steadied my pace around 7:15 and kept going. I tried to find someone to pace, but I was still passing people with a few runners blowing by me from time to time.

About 5 minutes later a guy with a funny red hat passed me. I've seen this fellow at lots or races and have talk with him on several occasions. He's a real nice guy and I know he finishes 5ks at or around 21. I foolishly and very optimistically asked him if he wouldn't mind if I paced with him for a while. He kindly accepted and warned me that he didn't think he could keep up his current pace and asked that I didn't let him slow me down. I assured him that there was little to worry about. After 10 or 15 seconds at looked down at Mr. Garmin to get a feel for my new pace. 6:09/m.

Now ... I've got absolutely no business running anywhere near a 6 min pace. Maybe in my next life, but not this morning. I quickly thanked my new friend and dropped off his right shoulder. Although it was fun while it lasted, the damage was done. My hamstrings started to tighten a bit and breathing was becoming a bit more stressful. I knew the dust and heat were starting to take a toll, but my little fartlek was more than I've trained to accomplish. I was quickly running out of gas as I passed the 2 mile marker.

The last mile went by uneventful. My pace continue to slow down step by step. I realized that I wasn't going to go under 22 and 23 was looking doubtful. But I wasn't about to give up either. I put the legs in cruise mode and held the best pace I could. People weren't passing me in droves and I was still passing people every minute or so, so I knew that I was keeping up with the field more or less. I passed a guy pushing a 3 wheel stroller just before getting to the 3 mile mark and "sprinted" to the finish.

As I said, I went across the finish in 23:01. Not bad for a "first" 5k. After talking with friends, (see picture above) I drove across the street to the east side of the Reach 11 recreational area and ran a slow 5 mile cool down.

Keep running


Training for the week:

Sun 7.5 Miles - 9:10/m pace
Mon 5.0 Miles - 9:24/m pace
Tue 6.7 Miles - 9:32/m pace
Wed 5.0 Miles – 9:13/m pace
Thr 6.9 Miles - 9:07/m pace
Fri - REST DAY (after 18 days of straight running)
Sat 2.8 Mile - warm up at 9:41/m pace; 3.1 mile race at 7:25/m Pace; 5.1 mile cool down at 9:39/m pace

Total Mileage for the week: 42.1 Miles - 9;13/m pace

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Don't shoot yourself in the foot

My friend M is in town from Minneapolis on business. This guy is a real runner and looks the part. He is very lean and just looks wicked fast when he's standing still. He is a dedicated runner. He ran this morning at 5:15 in Minneapolis, cleaned up, drove to the airport, flew to Phoenix and made it our meeting by 1:00 PM. I think I would have stayed in bed and caught a few more zzzz's knowing full well that I sit on an Airplane for 4 hours.

M also brought the good weather with him. We had a real live thunderstorm with rain … (yes we have dry thunderstorms on the desert from time to time). It cooled the temperatures off considerably. I expect that the temperature will be no more than 80 or 81 at 5:00 AM Thursday morning. It should be very nice. I think M has an up-tempo run planned. I will be plodding along on my one hour figure 8 double loop.

This morning, I had planned to run 7.5 miles at my easy-run pace. I woke up 4:50AM as usually, but unlike most mornings, I didn't hit the snooze. Instead, I hopped right out of bed, jumped into my shorts and singlet, grabbed my shoes, socks and watch and headed out the door immediately.

For some reason, I’ve taken to sitting on my driveway to lace up my shoes while Mr. Garmin is trying to find 3 or 4 satellites. The three minutes I save by getting outside as fast as possible is evidently subconsciously meaningful to me. Perhaps I do it to look busy. I suppose that standing around in the middle of the street at 5:00 AM staring blankly at the face of my Garmin 201 while waiting impatiently for the little black bar to move slowly from left to right looks pretty stupid. On the other hand, I’m the only person in my neighborhood outside at this hour in the morning. So it really get’s down to that unanswerable and Zen-like question: If no is up to see you acting stupid, are you acting stupid?

Evidently, the answer is yes. So instead, I sit on my driveway tying my shoes while the Garmin sits on the drive way churning through billions and billions of calculations. At the end of the satellite synchronization cycle, I find out that once again I am located 20 feet from my house.

With the high tech gear ready to go, I left my driveway heading down hill at a blazing 9:20 pace and kept everything steady for the first 1.5 miles. Unlike yesterday, I focused on running economy; trying not to flail about. When I turned the corner and started heading east I got blasted full in the face by the wind. Funny I didn’t notice the wind when I was running west. Shortly thereafter, the rain started. Nothing too serious actually. The rain was little more than the sky spitting at me, but it was still annoying. I couldn’t wait to turn the corner again at 3 miles and head north for a while. By the time I was again heading west both the rain and wind stopped so I didn’t get any advantage of the wind at my back.

The wind and rain not withstanding, I was moving along at a decent pace (somewhere around 9:15) through the first 4 miles, and looking forward to the back end of the run. I was feeling strong, just me and the road, when the pain in my left big toe started up. It’s a familiar stabbing pain, not to bad at first, but very focused in the joint. At 5 miles I decided that the reward for running 7.5 miles this morning just wasn’t worth aggravating the toe any more than necessary. I need the darn thing for my 5k on Saturday. So I stopped running and walked the ½ mile back to my house.

I hope you all enjoyed your runs this morning. Mine was OK.

Training for the week:

Sun 7.5 Miles - 9:10/m pace
Mon 5.0 Miles - 9:24/m pace
Tue 6.7 Miles - 9:32/m pace
Wed 5.0 Miles – 9:13/m pace

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Dust to Dust

Before we get into running, I just had to share our first major dust storm of the summer season. Actually, having a dust storm of this magnitude in May is a bit odd. These type of storms don't usually begin until late June or early July. But here it is. For those of you living in wetter climates, it is hard to imagine how much dirt a good storm can kick up. A dust storm is a wall of dust at the leading edge of a storm. The top of the dust cload in these pictures is about 2000 to 3000 feet up.


Lookout Mountain on a "Normal"day



The storm has already crossed most of Phoenix and has made it up to the hills on the north side of town.



Lookout Mountain slowly disappears under the cload of dust.








Enough of the dirt. The skys are clear again. At least the storm cooled off the temperatures a few degrees. It should be very nice in the morning.

This moring I stuck with my heart rate maddness. I ran my 1 hour course (6.7 miles) this morning with my heart rate monitor. I didn't worry about pace, but instead tried to keep the monitor around 138. Even though I was a decent systems engineer in my younger days, I spent the first 30 minutes chasing my heart rate around. Consequently, my pace was all over the place. The slower I went, the worse my running economy and at times, the higher the heart rate. I seem to have left my brain in bed this morning.

After 30 minutes of this crap, I increased my pace to a nice steady run and paid more attention to running smoothly and less attention to my heart rate. Consequently, I ran better. Overall performance for the morning was 6.7 miles at a 9:32 pace with an average HR of 137. In otherwords, my original assumption that I needed to be running my easy runs at 9:30 for the time being was spot on.

The down side of this erratic running behavior is my left big toe. After two weeks of running with no pain (ok a little pain), the toe is back to bothering me during the day. There are, of course, other factors that could be contributing to the problem. I've had to wear hard sole shoes for the past two days and will have to again on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The pressure on the top of the toe where the bone spurs are located is a major problem. How would running shoes and wool slacks look? Perhaps I could start a new trend! (not likely).

We'll see how it is doing on Saturday. I've already decided to take Friday off as a rest day which should help. I can always down a few Tylonal before the race on Saturday morning and ignore the problem for 3 miles. It will be OK.

I appreaciated the words of encouragement from Ann and WildIris. I'm feeling stronger than every and had probably expected more at this point. You both help get me out of my funk. I'm in better shape than I've ever been in May and I'm looking forward to great running season.


Keep running


Training for the week:

Sun 7.5 Miles - 9:10/m pace
Mon 5.0 Miles - 9:24/m pace
Tue 6.7 Miles - 9:32/m pace

Monday, June 05, 2006

Slow and easy

I finally woke up to the sad fact that I can't run faster than 9:00/m pace without sending my heart rate up past 80% max. I had myself convinced yesterday that 85% was OK for a good aerobic workout. Turns out that this was little more than wishful thinking on my part. The recommended max is 75-80%. Since I'm 51, this works out to a max heart rate of 127-136. I can barely walk up the stairs and keep my heart rate under 136.

So ... I slowed my pace down to 9:24/m this moring. My max heart rate (read after running up the hill to my house) was 138. The average had to be well below the 136 target.

Getting old is hell. I find it ironic that through my fat years (early 40's) I could have run my average heart rate up to 142 or so, but now I'm stuck in 2nd gear.

I certainly hope that all this aerobic exercise lets me push up my pace in the near future. I know I feel better. I'm running much stronger than I did only 2 months ago. I am not injuring myself as I did back in April when I tried to run back to back 8 mile runs. So things are getting better.

The big test will be this weekend when I try to run my first 5k of the year. In fact, this will be my first race since finishing a 1/2 marathon in 1:49:52 this past February. I ran the same race in 24:47 last year and I think I can do much better this year. I'm not making any predictions other than to say that I will be under 24:47.

Keep Running

Training for the week:

Sun 7.5 Miles - 9:10/m pace
Mon 5.0 Miles - 9:24/m pace

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Have a heart

Just for grins, I thought it would be a good idea to check my heart rate. I've been making this wild assumption that a 9:00 - 9:30 pace is ideal for my easy runs, but I really hadn't a clue. I don't like wearing my heart-rate monitor every day. I tend to stare at the damn thing constantly and fret at my inability to keep my heart rate down in a "normal" range. But this had to be done.

I went back out to Reach 11 again and ran a 7.5 mile loop around the eastern side of the park. My goal was to keep my heart rate under 145 for the entire run and not worry about pace. I got to the park just after 6 AM. The sun was already above the McDowell mountains to the east and the desert temperatures were heating up quickly. As was the case on Saturday, I had the place to myself.

My heart rate did very well for the first two miles. I ran both just under 9:00 and my HR stayed right at 136. Not bad for an old guy. However, as the miles wore on and the temperature increased, so did my heart rate. By mile 4 it was up to 143 so I slowed my pace down from 9:00 to 9:30. I got a bit of recovery using this strategy, but grew tired of running so slow.

I picked the pace up to 9:15 for mile 5 and my HR increased to 150. After a bit of mental gymnastics, I decided I'd be OK if I didn't let my heart rate go beyond 153. I increased my pace a little more to 9:10 and managed to keep my HR at or below 153 for the rest of the run.

Total Run: 7.5 Miles - 9:10/m pace avg HR - 145

145 is 86% of my maximum HR .. which is right about where I need to be for my easy long runs. So I'll stop worrying about going too fast and just enjoyed the runs.

One last thing. A need to give a big shout out to Beth, Amy, and Mike. Although they don't now know each other, they are all in San Diego today running the PF Chang's Rock 'n Roll Marathon. I wish them the best of luck this moring.

Keep Running

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Damn, it's getting hot


I scheduled an 11 mile long run this morning. I got up at 5:00 AM, tossed my shoes, socks, MP3 player, water bottles, drivers license, car key, fanny pack, towel, dog, and sun block in my mustang and took off towards the Pheonix Reach 11 Recreation park. There were no cars in the parking lot when I arrived. I slathered on the sun block, set up my MP3 player, put the top up on my car (the motor broke long ago, so I have to pull it up manually) and took off down the main trail with my black lab running out ahead.

The dog likes to run out here. He takes off after every rabit and bird he sees along the way. This early in the morning there are very few dogs on the trail, so he ran along with me off the leash for most of the outbound leg. Near the 4 mile mark I heard the howling of a coyote behind me. It isn't that unusual to see coyotes in the Arizona desert, however, they don't usually howl at you in the day light. The strange thing with this coyote is that it followed us for a good 5 minutes, staying 50 yards behind me, but clearly annoyed that I (and my dog) had invaded his space. I evidently ran out of his 'hood near the 5 mile mark because he stopped howling and stopped following me. It was, to say the least, eerie. I've never heard of a coyote attacking a runner, but then, I've never heard of one following a runner either. I was more worried about my dog than me. I put him back on the leash thinking that the coyote wouldn't bother my rather meak dog if I was near. This seemed to do the trick. I turned around at 5.5 miles and headed back through coyote country with my dog on his leash. The coyote had evidently lost interest in me and I didn't see him or hear him again.

The outbound leg felt really good. Although the temperature was raising fast, I felt strong and was about 20 seconds off a 9:00/m pace at the turn. The trail is hard packed dirt with no rocks or branches. It is very easy on the legs and the scenery is pleasant. However, at 8 miles I realized that a combination of heat and fact that I've run 13 days in a row without a break was starting to catch up with me. It wasn't that I felt bad, but the legs started to feel very heavy. My poor dog was also starting to feel the effects of chasing all those rabits in the early going. He was dragging behind me at the end of the leash.

I stopped as my Garmin hit 9 miles and walked at a 16/m pace for a half mile. When I sat down to remove a rock from my left shoe, my dog laid down in the dirt spread eagle. I realized I'd pushed him a bit too far this morning. It must be tough being a black dog in this heat. I got him to drink some water and we walked another 1/2 mile until we got to the shadier part of the trail. Since my dog was walking with a spring his step again, I decided to run the last mile back to the car.

The picture of me at the top of this post was taking at the end of the run. You can see that a few more cars had arrived by the time I got back. I filled my dog's water dish with cold water and let him drink to his heart's content. Even though I ended up walking a mile, I still had a great time on this run and look forward to running the entire 11 miles next week. In addition, I've never run more than 40 miles in one week and I've certainly never run this type of mileage without injury. There has got to be something to this general conditioning improvement approach I'm on. I feel great and haven't had any negative reaction to the mileage or to any of the runs. I had originally planned to continue on this general conditioning trip through June, but I'm now thinking that if I can string two more +40 mile weeks together without injury, maybe I can start working on speed again sometime in the middle of June. I'm also wondering about taking rest day? My brain tells me that I need at least one down day a week, but my body is telling me to run. So, do I listen to my head or do I listen to my body? I'm open to your opinions,

Keep running

TRAINING TOTALS FOR THE WEEK

Sun: Easy – 5.5 Miles; 8:44/m pace
Mon: Easy – 6.7 Miles: 8:54/m pace
Tue: Hills – 5.75 Miles: 9:10/m pace
Wed: Easy – 5:0 Miles; 8:59/m pace
Thr: Easy – 7.6 Miles; 8:52/m pace
Fri: Tempo – 1 mile warm up, 2.5 mile; 8:18 pace, .5 mile cool down
Sat: Long - 10.2 Miles; 9:02/m pace

Total Mileage for the week: 44.9 miles; 8:53/m pace

Friday, June 02, 2006

Fountain Drinks

Faithful readers,

Sorry about the delay in posting. It has been a busy week. My wife and I were awoken on Wednesday morning at 3:00 AM by the doorbell ringing. We had been tee pee’d. For my friends in Europe, Tee Peeing is the art of wrapping the landscape around someone’s house with toilet paper. Rolls and rolls of toilet paper. Toilet paper covering the trees. Toilet paper covering the bushes, Toilet paper everywhere. I’m sure it was my 18 year old daughter’s friends, since she just graduated from High School last week.

I would have left the mess to clean up until the morning; however, they also dumped toilet paper in my fountain. The fountain’s pump can’t deal with toilet paper. All I could imagine was having to pull the pump out the ground (it’s buried to right of the fountain), tear it apart, clean it up and reassemble. It was far easier to drag my butt out of bed and clean up the fountain in the middle of the night. Fortunately, it was a nice night. Clear skies, light wind, temperature in the high 70’s and very quiet.

I crawled back into bed around 3:45 and waited for my alarm to go off at 4:50. Neither of my kids that are still living at home would admit that their friends would ever do such a thing, so I’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out who did it and plot my revenge.

Back to running! Running has been very good this week. Wednesday morning, after my brief interlude swimming in my fountain, I ran a nice and steady 5 miles around my usual course. Nothing fancy, felt great. I extended the course a bit to 7.6 miles and ran this in at average pace of 8:52/m.

This was a big milestone for me. It was the first time in my running career that I’ve run over 7 miles and didn’t call it a “long run”. Those of you training for and running marathons regularly may chuckle, but two months ago, I thought running 40 miles a week was unattainable for me. Two months ago I was banging out 3 miles day 5 days a week and running 6 to 8 miles on Saturday or Sunday. Two months later, my easy short runs are up to 5 miles and I’m running injury free (well at least no new injuries, if I could wave my magic wand and get ride of the arthritis in my left big toe life would be perfect).

Since I’ve been feeling so good, I decided to increase the tempo a bit this morning:

1.0 mile warm up – 9:00/m
2.5 mile Stamina Run - 8:18/m
0.5 mile cool down – 9:11/m

Not exactly burning up the pavement, but not bad for a Friday morning.

Total training for the week:

Sun: Easy – 5.5 Miles; 8:44/m pace
Mon: Easy – 6.7 Miles: 8:54/m pace
Tue: Hills – 5.75 Miles: 9:10/m pace
Wed: Easy – 5:0 Miles; 8:59/m pace
Thr: Easy – 7.6 Miles; 8:52/m pace
Fri: Tempo – 1 mile warm up, 2.5 mile; 8:18 pace, .5 mile cool down

Total Mileage for the week: 34.7 miles; 8:50/m pace