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


carmen said...

That sure was some day! It's a good reminder that monsoon season is around the corner. Despite all the stickiness, I love that time of year. :) Good pictures!

Phil said...

Thanks Carmen ... I hope we have at least another month before the monsoon rolls in.