Sunday, April 29, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

Sometimes in a team sport, you get beat by players on the on the other team; other times you simply got out coached. Unfortunately, I watched my daughter’s soccer team get royally out coached this afternoon. After a tough 40 minutes, we were tied 1:1 at half-time and had kept the ball down on our opponent’s side of the field for most of the game. However, in the second half as player after player started to fade in the 95F heat under the noon day sun, our coaches decided not to use our bench strength; hoping desperately that this one contingent of players would make something happen. Our opponent’s coach on the other hand, was substituting like mad. We have 18 girls on our team with no slackers. Why anyone would decide not to use this to our advantage, I’ll never know. Expecting 11 girls to run none stop for 80 minutes in this heat with the sun directly over head is nuts.

Anyway, the season is over. We lost 1:2 and finished the season #3 in the state. This is our highest finish ever and means we will be seeded for the tournament next year. Of course the soccer season is never really over. Our first tournament of the next season is in New Jersey at the end of May.

Enough soccer, on to running. Things didn’t go much better on the running front this morning. After two great runs this week, I had high expectations for my 20 miler this morning. I started out at 5:00 AM with an easy warm up over the first two miles and then took the pace down a bit, making sure I was staying well within my aerobic zone. Unfortunately, my left foot started hurting on mile 8 and by the time I got out to mile 9, my legs were starting to feel dead; you’d have thought I was trying to run a half marathon at a 10K pace. Soon after my Garmin beeped signaling the completion of 10 miles, my legs shut down and I couldn't get them to start running again. I walked the 2.2 miles home, which really put a big hurt on my average pace for the run.

Hope your weekend went better.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK
MON: Rest / Travel
TUE: 6.1 Miles w/7x100 strides; 8:42/mi avg pace
WED: Not enough sleep
THR: 12.0 Miles, Aerobic; 8:38/mi avg pace
FRI: 11.0 Miles, Aerobic; 9:02/mi avg pace
SAT: 5.2 Miles, Recovery; 9:06/mi avg pace
SUN: 12.4 Miles, ????; 14:05/mi avg pace

Total mileage for the week: 46.6 miles
Total mileage for the month: 190.2 miles

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Spring Sprang

With the temperature topping out at 101F (38C), I think Spring is officially over here on the Arizona desert and it's time to go visit my friends in Australia until October. Of course, if I did that, what would I have to complain about?

I got back from California last night, but not before I got in one more peaceful run along the beaches between Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. For my last run in the cool moist air of Southern California, I ran south along the Strand to Hermosa Beach, out to the end of the Hermosa Beach Pier (see picture below), back to the Strand, continued south to Redondo Beach, ran through the shopping area around the Redondo Beach Pier and then continued on down the path towards Palos Verdes Peninsula. After I reached the 5.5 mile point, I turned around and ran back along the same route.

I kept my pace within my aerobic zone, except for mile 10 where I pushed a bit harder after passing a 30 something guy. I’d been slowly catching up to him for 5 minutes and he was nice eneough to wish me nice day when I went around him. For some reason, I felt obligated to accelerate down under 8:00/mi so as not to give him the impression that I felt like racing. I felt like if I ran fast enough he wouldn't feel obligated to stay with me (he didn't).

SOCCER UPDATE: For those of you following along at home, my daughter’s soccer team won the first two games of a three game weekend. They had to win Friday night to get into the top 4 and started out the first half flat and were down 0-2 at half-time. After a few pointed words from their coach, they seem to remember that they were in a double elimination tournament and had already lost one game. The second half went much better and they finished out the night with a 3-2 win.

The game this afternoon was tougher, but they played much better. As I said in the opening lines of this post, the temperature topped out at 101F this afternoon during the game, but they didn’t let that faze them. They were up 1-0 at half time and won in regulation 2-1. With this win, they play again on Sunday for the opportunity to take on the reigning champions in the Championship Game next Saturday. Of course our coach got red-carded and tossed out of the game which means he needs to sit out the game on Sunday. But we have plenty of back up coaches in this club, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

Training for the week:

MON: Rest / Travel
TUE: 6.1 Miles w/7x100 strides; 8:42/mi avg pace
WED: Not enough sleep
THR: 12.0 Miles, Aerobic; 8:38/mi avg pace
FRI: 11.0 Miles, Aerobic; 9:02/mi avg pace
SAT: 5.2 Miles, Recovery; 9:06/mi avg pace




Looking back at Hermosa Beach from the end of the pier. I didn't take this picture and there were only a couple of people on the pier when I ran down here, but the view looking back at the town with the sun coming up over the horizon through the misty morning fog was simply outstanding.



Looking south from the end of the Hermosa Peir towards Redondo Beach.



Sunset in Manhattan Beach. I took this picture from my sister-in-law's balcony in May 2006.



The "STRAND" in Manhattan Beach. I also took this picture. This wide side walk extends for nearly 4 miles along the beach. There's no traffic and along the sections within the Manhattan Beach city limits, there are no bicycles. Bicyles have their own path closer to the water.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Remains of the Day

Although yesterday was a particularly tough day, as demonstrated by my haggard look while standing in front of our Torrance California facility; I got in a great 12 miler this morning before going back to our facility for another wire-brushing. I used the same 6 mile route as Tuesday from Manhattan Beach to the Hermosa Beach Pier and back; except I started an hour earlier and ran it twice.

I was very happy with my average pace on each 3 mile segment:

Mile 1-3; 8:54/mi
Mile 4-6:;8:42/mi
Mile 7-9:; 8:36/mi
Mile 10-12; 8:21/mi

I kept the first 9 miles in my aerobic range; but as more and more runners entered the walkway along the beach, the number of people to chase down kept increasing. Although I was passing plenty of folks, I heard very heavy foot steps coming up behind me on mile 10 and got passed by a 30 something guy who immediately slowed down to my pace after gaining a 10 to 15 foot advantage. I just couldn’t let this go unchallenged and put the hammer down. I passed him just after getting by the 10 mile point and kept accelerating over the final 2 miles. I don’t know where I dropped the guy, but he was nowhere to be found when I got to the end of the run. I suspect, he turned shortly after I passed him when he got to the end of the Hermosa Beach part of the walk way.

Hope your week is going well.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:

MON: Rest / Travel
TUE: 6.1 Miles w/7x100 strides; 8:42/mi avg pace
WED: Not eneough sleep
THR: 12.0 Miles/Aerobic/8:38/mi avg pace

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

California - Day One

 I made it to California on Monday and started my 5 day marathon of meetings with my primary customer. Although my meetings are about as intense as I expected, I'm having a great time. My brother-in-law invited me to stay at his house in Manhatten Beach. Crashing on his couch is so much better than staying in a hotel and you can't beat the location. The picture to left was taken from his balcony. The house isn't on the beach; but about as close as you can get without have sand blowing into your front door.

I ran a nice 6 miler this morning on the concrete walkway along the beach. I'm just not use to running anywhere where there are so many runners. On the plus side, I didn't get passed (go me) and passed several people. I caught up to a youngish women on mile 5 while I was running my strides. She thought I was trying to race and picked up her pace after I passed her. Consequently, I just had to keep up my pace and finished out the run with a nice 8:05 mile.

Hope your week is going well

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:

MON: Rest / Travel
TUE: 6.1 Miles w/7x100 strides; 8:42/mi avg pace

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Le Tour de Nord de Phoenix

I was greeted by another beautiful morning today and spontaneously decided to run my weekly long run as a single loop instead of the more rational 5 mile loops which get me back to my water cache every 45 minutes or so. Of course I made this decision a half mile into the run when I found myself with a green light on the road heading west.

At first, I didn’t really have a clue where I was going. However, I finally, worked my way south to North Mountain Park. Along the way, I passed a homeless fellow sleeping under a bridge (didn’t wake him up) and tripped and fell into a large creosote bush while running along the rocky trails in the park. Fortunately, I didn’t get banged up too bad; getting through with only a few scratches on my arms and legs, a very sore large toe on my left foot (from striking the rock) and banged up pinky finger that hit another rock on the way down. The spill could have been a lot worse for sure; however, the fall took a lot of the fight out of me and I slowed way down for the reminder of the run in the park and exited about as fast as I could.

I spent the rest of the run on paved streets. These weren’t as pretty, but far less treacherous. When I finally got back to the starting point, I’d covered 16.4 miles. This is the longest single loop run I’ve ever done. I felt that I could have gone further, but I got started about an hour later than I wanted and needed to get home. I’ll chalk this one in the success column.

Soccer News: My daughter’s team forgot that they were playing one of the top teams in the state this evening and gave up a goal in the early minutes of the match. Despite dominating the other team for the most of the rest of the game, they weren’t able to get the ball in the net and lost the 1-0. The game was hard fought with 2 significant injuries on our side and 3 on the other (ours: pulled hamstring, suspected LCL; theirs: broken arm, concussion, and an ankle injury). With this loss, we are now in the LOSERS bracket which means we have to play 3 games next weekend and win all three to stay in the tournament. Had we won, we would have only had to play a single game on Sunday.

I’m off to LA in the morning. I should be able to find the time to continue training. If I don’t get around to posting, I hope your week goes very well.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:

MON: 10.3 miles, aerobic w/5 miles@7:51/mi - HR 151
TUE: 4.6 miles, aerobic; 8:55/mi
WED: Rest Day
THR: 11.3 miles, aerobic; 9:00/mi
FRI: Rest Day
SAT: 7.3 miles, aerobic w/10x100m strides; 8:57/mi
SUN: 16.4 miles, aerobic; 9:13/mi avg pace

Total Mileage for the week: 49.9 miles

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Million Mile Baby

Although I don't fly around the planet near as much as I once did, I hit a significant mileage milestone with American Airlines this month. My total mileage with American has now exceeded 1 million miles (1,006,416 to be exact). However, I won't be seeing 2 million anytime soon. With new travel rules forcing me to spread out my flights amongst the lowest cost providers, I no long fly any significant mileage on any one airlines.

AA Mileage Summary
Summary Date: Apr 2007
Program to Date Miles: 1,006,416
YTD Elite Qualifying Points: 2,712
YTD Elite Qualifying Miles: 4,184
YTD Elite Qualifying Segments: 4
Miles Towards Elite Upgrades: 1,972
Upgrade account Balance: 73
Total Available Award Mileage + 210,719

I also got in a 7 miler this morning. A significant storm rolled through the valley last night and dropped the temperatures to the low 50s. Of course the humidity went through the over head, so it seemed to be a lot colder than it actually was. I didn't mention it on my post from Thursday, but the relative humidity on Thursday was 5%. This translates to a Dew Point of -5F. Now that's about as dry as it gets around here; so running at 52F in 95% humidity actually felt cold for the first mile.

Nothing much to report on the run. My Black Lab struggled a little over the last mile and has been walking around gingerly for the past hour. He may have picked up something in a paw pad ... but I suspect he'll be ok. He certainly didn't over heat.

Thanks for the well-wishes concerning my up coming move. I intend to stay in Phoenix and find a smaller place generally on the north end of town. I haven't a clue where and some of that will depend on what I can get for my current house. We just spent a boat-load of cash upgrading the kitchen and fixing all those little things I’ve put off for the past 5 years. We'll see how it goes.


TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:


Training for the week:
MON: 10.3 miles, aerobic w/5 miles@7:51/mi - HR 151
TUE: 4.6 miles, aerobic; 8:55/mi
WED: Rest Day
THR: 11.3 miles, aerobic; 9:00/mi
FRI: Rest Day
SAT: 7.3 miles, aerobic w/10x100m strides; 8:57/mi

Thursday, April 19, 2007

After the Sunset

 My wife and I are preparing to put our house on the market and significantly down size of lives and it's a bitter sweet experience for me. With only one child living at home, it makes no sense to live in a house as large as this one. It's expensive to maintain (water, electricity, gas, etc) and I just don't enjoy keeping up the yard or cleaning the pool. But I'm going to miss the views. I took the sunset picture from the west facing balcony and I'm pretty sure I can't afford anything else in the valley with views like this. Oh well.
On the running front, I got in a nice 11 miler tonight. I dropped my daughter at soccer practice and ran north on the path along the AZ51 freeway to Reach 11 park in the north part of Phoenix. It was well past sunset by the time I reached desert, forcing me to turn on my headlamp as I headed onto to the dirt trails. As some of you may remember, I ran into a rattle snake the last time I ran out there in the dark. But with a new set of batteries in my lamp, I had some confidence that I would be able to see another snake well in advance. Fortunately, it was a totally uneventful evening.

Hope your week is going well

Training for the week:
MON: 10.3 miles, aerobic w/5 miles@7:51/mi - HR 151
TUE: 4.6 miles, aerobic; 8:55/mi
WED: Rest Day
THR: 11.3 miles, aerobic; 9:00/mi

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Incomprehensible Tragedy

After listening to the students and professors of Virginia Tech describe the tragedy that befell their small community today, any attempt to document my minor failures and triumphs seems all too petty; so I’ll just leave it at that.

Thank you for your well wishes concerning my daughter’s soccer team. Being an overly exuberant parent, I over-stated the actual outcome of yesterdays win. The final score was 3-0 and not 4-0 as I report. If anyone wants to follow along at home, you can do so via the Arizona Youth Soccer’s Association’s Web Site or by going directly to the flighting page. From the drop down menu, select “15G” to see the current schedule. My daughter’s team in listed as: ”SC del Sol 92 Xtreme White”.

Take care of yourself this week.

Training for the week:

MON: 10.3 miles, aerobic w/5 miles@7:51/mi - HR 151

Sunday, April 15, 2007

What the ...

2.3 miles! This is somewhat shy of the 12 miler I had in mind for this morning, the last day of my rest week. Every thing was perfect this morning; nothing but clear skies and cool breezes. I walked down to my usual starting point, set down my water bottle in its usual spot and took off at a slow jog to get warmed up.

The game plan was three easy 4 mile loops at a 9:00 to 9:10/mi pace after the warm up. However, my breathing was erratic on the first mile and didn’t get any better on the 2nd mile which was very odd. I usaully get into my rythem before the 2nd mile beep sounds; but this morning, I stopped completely at the end of the 2nd mile to evaluate the situation. My HR monitor indicated my HR was only 134 and recovering quickly. Legs felt ok, feet where fine, I was just have trouble breathing. Go figure. I think the root cause of the problem was a medication I took last night. When I went back and read the side effects, shortness of breath was way near the top … I’ve really got to start paying more attention.

 On a positive note, my daughter’s soccer team, pictured to the left, won their second Arizona State Soccer Championship game this afternoon, beating the 3rd place team from last year’s tournament 4-0. They are now scheduled to play the 2nd place team from last year’s tournament next Sunday.

Thanks for all the nice comments you left concerning her team. It is a lot of fun to watch.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:
MON: 8.2 miles, aerobic w/10x100m strides; 9:16/mi, HR - 144
TUE: 5.0 miles, recovery; 9:28/mi, HR – 141
WED: Rest Day
THR: 8.3 miles, aerobic; 8:43/mi, HR – 142
FRI: Rest Day
SAT: 4.1 miles, aerobic; 9:11/mi, HR - 145
SUN: 2.3 miles, aerobic; 9:38/mi, HR - 138

Mileage for the week: 27.9 miles

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Resting Easy

Once I got of my federal and state tax forms completed and ready to mail (yes, I still mail mine) I got out for an easy 4 mile recovery run. I had planned to do it earlier in the day, but it took almost three hours to put the finishing touches on 4 sets of taxes (Mine, my oldest daughter, my middle daughter and a close family friend), so I didn’t get out the door for my run until the temperature topped 83F (28C). Not the hottest it’s been, but hot enough to push my HR up.

Instead of paying attention to HR, I continued to use Phil’s patent pending, “Row Row Row your Boat” technique. After a slow start, I settled into a nice easy rhythm with mile splits at 10:02, 8:55, 9:01 and 8:51. My HR monitor was all over the place, and my Achilles tendon tightened up a couple of times on mile 3; otherwise, everything went OK.

One non-running note. My daughter’s soccer team won their first round game in the Arizona State Championship Tournament last night. The tournament takes the top 16 teams from across the state and except for the top 4 teams from the previous year, seeds the teams randomly. As luck would have it, our first game was against the other team from our club participating in the tournament in our age group. To make it more interesting, our coach’s wife coaches the 2nd team. To make it even more interesting, last night was her birthday. So we had to go out and beat her team on her birthday. This is a double elimination tournament, so now she’ll take her team into the loser’s bracket and have to fight to stay alive with 2 games each weekend for the next 3 weeks. She seems to be an understanding woman.

Hope your weekend is going well

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK
MON: 8.2 miles, aerobic w/10x100m strides; 9:16/mi, HR - 144
TUE: 5.0 miles, recovery; 9:28/mi, HR – 141
WED: Rest Day
THR: 8.3 miles, aerobic; 8:43/mi, HR – 142
FRI: Rest Day
SAT: 4.1 miles, aerobic; 9:11/mi, HR - 145

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Perception is Reality

One great thing about living on a desert, the weather can change instantly. Even though I’ve been struggling through 80-90F (27-32C) temperatures for the past week, things changed drastically this afternoon. The wind picked up to 20 MPH with gusts hitting 40 MPH and the temperature dropped to 65F (18C) in the course of an hour. This was going to be a nice evening for a run.

Although the wind had been blowing hard from the west, it turned to the south just as started heading north up the path along the AZ 51 Freeway. I brought my black lab along with me and he was awful skittish for the first couple of miles as various forms of debris rush down the path at us as we headed north. There were soda cans and tree branches; fast food cups and paper bags. We were dodging all sort of stuff. I kept waiting for the Wicked Witch of the West to fly by, but never spotted her.

Unlike yesterday, I decided not to get hung up on HR and run using perceived effort instead. I sing the "Row, Row, Row your Boat" song to figure out if I'm staying in my Aerobic zone. Bad signing aside, this seemed to work well and it certainly felt as if my pace was faster than yesterday, even running slightly up hill, head-long into gale-force winds. After 4 miles, I hit the turn around point and experienced the pure bliss of running down hill with a stiff wind at my back.

Heading down wind, I kept pushing the pace up until I got to the same level of perceived effort as I experienced heading up the hill. Now I new I must be going a lot faster than yesterday, but I didn’t pay any attention to the Garmin or my HR monitor, I just continue running. At one point, a tumble weed chased us down the narrow path, which sort of spooked my dog, but otherwise, everything went smoothly.

Out Bound Mile Splits: 9:04, 9:02, 8:41, 9:04
In Bound Mile Splits: 8:25, 8:31, 8:46, 8:08

I’ve got a little soreness in my right knee, but otherwise everything is OK. I suspect the knee is just the standard “runner’s knee” problem (at least that’s what it feels like). I have been pushing the mileage up the past 4 weeks and I am running up and down a lot more hills than I did previously. I’ll see how that goes.

The numbness in my right foot started in on mile 5 but quickly subsided. I still don’t know the source of that problem, but I can’t help but believe it has something to do with the slower gait I’m using on my recovery runs. If it starts getting in the way of my training, I’ll have it looked at. Otherwise I’d rather get through my next marathon on June 2nd and then see what I need to do.

Finally ... this is my one year blogiversary. Hard to believe that I've been at this for 12 months and you folks are still following along; however, I really do appreciate your comments ... hope the rest of your week goes well.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:

MON: 8.2 miles, aerobic w/10x100m strides; 9:16/mi, HR - 144
TUE: 5.0 miles, recovery; 9:28/mi, HR – 141
WED: Rest Day
THR: 8.3 mile, aerobic; 8:43/mi, HR - 142

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

5 Mile Recovery

Tonight’s 5 mile recovery run was simply lousy. No particular reason for the run to be lousy. The temperatures were mild, around 82F (28C), winds were breezy but steady. I also changed the batteries in my head lamp which really improved the visibility (well duh!). But the run just sucked. I wanted to keep my HR below 140 since this was a recovery run; but that was difficult. Most of the way up the path my HR held steady at 141, higher than I wanted, but I just couldn’t run any slower. When I got to the turn around point, I was feeling OK, but might my foot was starting to go numb. Bummer.

On the way back, I picked up the pace a little and the numbness subsided a bit. But I just couldn’t get the HR under 140. It’s ridiculous that I’m running at 9:30/mi at a HR above my general Aerobic zone. I realize that recovery is supposed to be recovery, and I’ve got a history of running my recoveries too hard, but honestly, this go around I’m trying to be a good boy and run them slower and stay within my aerobic zone. But I got the feeling tonight that I could have hailed a cab and my HR would have been over 140.

Hope your week is going well.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK

MON: 8.2 miles, aerobic w/10x100m strides; 9:16/mi avg pace, HR - 144
TUE: 5.0 miles, recovery; 9:28/mi avg pace, HR - 141

Monday, April 09, 2007

Bear Country

Last week was the first week that actually felt like a full training week since my last marathon and certainly the first week since my calf injury that I felt like I was really running each run. Even though I only got in 10 miles over the Easter weekend, I exceeded 50 miles for the week and ran my first 17+ of 2007; and not a minute too soon since I've got less than 8 weeks to get ready for the San Diego Marathon on June 2nd.

This week is a “rest week” on the Pfitzinger plan and I have less than 40 miles to complete. I ran an easy 8 miler tonight along the AZ 51 Freeway. With my daughter practicing nearly every night getting ready for the first round of competition of the Arizona State Soccer Championships on Friday night, I’ve got plenty of time to fit in my runs at night. So far, this is working out pretty well and I’m certainly getting more sleep in that I don’t need to get up at 4:30 to fit in a medium-long run before work. I’ll probably stick to this plan as long as my daughter’s team stays in the State Tournament. It’s a standard double elimination tournament with the winners playing one game a weekend after the first weekend and every team that has lost one game playing two.

On the down side, my right foot went numb big time tonight. After a mile, my achiles tendon tightened up. That feeling soon passed, but foot started going numb on mile 2 and by the time I got to the 4 mile turn around point, it was completely numb. I stopped for a couple of minutes until the feeling came back and took off on the return. At mile 6 my right foot started going numb again, but the feeling cleared after a few minutes and didn't return. I can't help but feel that the Achiles Tendon is tied in with numbness and I'm also wondering if the slower gait in contributing. This problem doesn't happen every day. I ran 17 last Friday without issue so I'm having trouble pinning down the root cause. I'll figure it out eventurally.

Have a great week!

WEEK END PICTURES

I really feel for all of you to the north of Arizona that were hit so hard with lousy weather over the weekend. We went down to Tucson this weekend to visit with our two older daughters. We’ve toned down Easter the last few years and instead of a big dinner, we’ve taken the opportunity to have a nice picnic somewhere in the state. Last year we went up to Mt. Lemon. This year we took everyone out to the Aqua Caliente Trail for our picnic. Although the sign to the left was posted at the park entrance, we didn't see a single animal.

We brought along our entire family as well as my oldest daughter’s boyfriend, his dog and our black lab. I even managed to get a good picture of the lab (he usually shows up as a black smudge in most pictures). It was cloudy, but the temperature stayed pleasant; right around 84F (29C). I included a few pictures below.

Have a great week.





Our Black Lab, Cooper



Running Dogs



Picnic in the park (not exactly Central Park, but not nearly as crowded)



This area of Tucson has a wide variety of cactus.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Post Blood Letting

I had planned on a 5 mile recovery run this morning after giving blood yesterday; however, I overslept and only had time for 4. Giving blood always wipes me out for a few days, so I knew this recovery run wouldn’t be anything special and it lived up to that expectation.

Unlike the furnace-like weather I’ve put up with on my last 4 runs, this morning the temperature was a cool 65F (18C) and very breezy. I deviated from my standard 5 mile route by chopping off the last two miles and replacing it with a single mile in the hills around my house. It made for a shorter, but tougher run. My HR stayed under 140 for the first 3 miles and shot up to 150 running up the hills. The good news: no stupid drivers, no snakes, and no hot weather.

I still need to decide what I’m going to run tomorrow morning. I’ve already run my long run for the week and I don’t want to over due it. What ever I do, it will probably depend on what time I drag myself out of bed.

I hope all is well with you this weekend and those of you that celebrate Easter get to spend some time with your families.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:

MON: 9.5 miles w/4 miles at 7:30/mi; 8:37/mi avg pace
TUE: 5.0 miles, recovery; 9:42/mi avg pace; HR - 139
WED: 10.0 miles, aerobic; 9:14/mi avg pace; HR - 151
THR: 17.0 miles, aerobic; 9:23/mi avg pace; HR - 148
FRI: Rest Day
SAT: 4.0 miles, recovery; 9:40/mi avg pace; HR - 138

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Snake in the Grass

Have you ever finished dinner and thought: “let’s go run 17 miles!”? Either had I. My daughter had soccer practice from 7:00 until 9:30 tonight (they’re getting ready for the Arizona State Championship Tournament) . When my daughter started bugging me about heading to the practice field at 6:30, I realized I could actual get in my 17 miler I had scheduled for Sunday, which would free up my weekend to work on my house. I ran upstairs tossed on my running gear, grabbed my HR monitor, Garmin, Vaseline and got back down stairs to the garage before my daughter got her soccer gear loaded into the car.

Temperatures were right around 90F (32C) when I started out heading north on the trail running along the AZ51 freeway for the 4 mile run up to Reach 11 Park. My game plan was to run 4 miles up to the park, run 3 loops around the park for another 9 miles and 4 miles back to the soccer field.

Once I got up to the desert park, the temperatures dropped dramatically. This is the reason I like this park. It reminds how it was living in Arizona in the late 60’s before every square inch of this city was covered with asphalt. Even though the day time temperatures were blazing hot, it cooled off quickly when the sun finally set below the horizon. The same happens in this park. As soon as the asphalt path ended and the dirt trail started, the temperature seem to drop dramatically and the air felt cool as the perspiration evaporated off my skin.

Of course with beauty, there is often terror. As my faithful readers will recall, I’m terrified of running into rattle snakes; however, for two nights this week, I’ve run through this park at night, seeing nary an animal. Of course, my luck was bound to run out. Only a mile into the park, while running down a very wide path, I heard the distinct sound of rattles directly to my left. I pulled up, turned around and scanned the path behind me with the beam of my head lamp. There on the side of the path was a fat crocked branch. As I approach for a better look, the branch set it’s rattles in motion. Damn, I ran right by this snake and didn’t even see it. The rattle snake was only 3 feet long and certainly not the largest snake I’ve seen in the park, but the fact that I ran within a couple of feet of the thing with my lamp on certainly disturbed any confidence I had that I could run safely through this park at night with only my headlamp to guide me. I cut the park portion of the run short and exited the park 2 miles later without seeing another snake.

I ran the rest of the 17 miles up and down the asphalt trail running along the freeway. It certainly was not as much fun as running through the park, but there was little chance of running into any more snakes. This is the first time that I've ever run 17 miles the day after running 10. It felt great. I didn't have any trouble with my feet going numb, nor any of the other issues I usually run into on longer runs; just mile after mile of running. I got back to the soccer field just as practice was finishing, proving that even I can sneak in 17 miles on a whim.

Hope your weekend goes well

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:

MON: 9.5 miles w/4 miles at 7:30/mi; 8:37/mi avg pace
TUE: 5.0 miles, recovery; 9:42/mi avg pace; HR - 139
WED: 10.0 miles, aerobic; 9:14/mi avg pace; HR - 151
THR: 17.0 miles, aerobic; 9:23/mi avg pace; HR - 148

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Feel the warmth

I really don’t know why I’m running at night this week. I had early morning meetings on Tuesday, so I ran my long tempo on Monday night. Tuesday night was available, so I ran again. I got home after work tonight around 6 PM and my wife asked me if I was going to run. It fit into her plans, so I threw on my running gear and headed out the door with my black lab for an easy 10 miler.

However, unlike Monday and Tuesday when the temperature was just over 80F (27C), tonight the temperature in my neighborhood was 91F (33C) at 6:00 PM. After the first couple of miles, my HR was already approaching 150 as my body struggled to cool off. This isn’t exactly what I wanted, but the pace felt comfortable, so I just continued on down the road. After 4 miles I made it to Reach 11 park and ran under the same over pass where I had encountered the 3 kids with fire-crackers on Monday night. There was no one in sight tonight, so I took my dog off his leash and let him run around in the deserted park; chasing every rabbit and bird he spotted. At the 5 mile mark, I jammed my water bottle in his mouth and made him drink some water, turned around and headed home.

As always, I picked up the pace on the last 2 miles and watched my HR again climb up to 160; much too high for a medium-long aerobic run, but I felt ok. I’m still having trouble with my right foot going numb after 3 or 4 miles and the problem seems to be correlated with a feeling of tightness in my right Achilles Tendon. After a couple more miles, the feeling goes away and I’m able to run smoothly. Definitely strange.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:

MON: 9.5 miles w/4 miles at 7:30/mi; 8:37/mi avg pace
TUE: 5.0 miles, recovery; 9:42/mi avg pace; HR - 139
WED: 10.0 miles, aerobic; 9:14/mi avg pace; HR - 151

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Silent Night

Dropped my daughter off at soccer tonight and ran a 5 mile recovery. The last time I went through the Pfitzinger plan, I cheated on the recovery runs in the early weeks, running them way too fast. I think I was embarrassed to report that I was running slower than 9:00/mi pace. Well screw that. I learned my lesson and now run my recovery runs as slow as necessary to keep my HR under 140.

I’ve got nothing to report about the run. Although I was running along the freeway I was at peace and experienced a sense of quiet; kind of weird with all the cars rushing by on the other side of the freeway wall.

Have a great week.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK

MON: 9.5 miles w/4 miles at 7:30/mi; 8:37/mi avg pace
TUE: 5.0 miles, recovery; 9:42/mi; HR - 139

Monday, April 02, 2007

Mojo Returns

My mojo seems to have returned. After a sluggish 4.7 mile warm up this evening (9:30/mi avg), I turned around and headed back to my car. My game plan was simple, 4.5 mile warm up, 4 miles at 8:00/mi, 0.5 mile cool down; however, after yet another slow warm up my confidence that I’d be able accelerate up to 8:00/mi on this warm evening was rather low. Over the first quarter mile I was running just under 8:00/mi and starting to breathe hard when I remembered Mike’s oft quoted advice; “when you get tired, speed up”; and speed up I did. Over the next 4 miles I ran: 7:31, 7:32, 7:32 and 7:21.

The 7:21 was probably a little over the top and unnecessary. I was supposed be running a tempo somewhere near my 15K pace; however, running that 7:21 at the end of a 9 miler pushed my HR all the way up to 166, or 95% HRmax. It would sure be nice if I could run 15K with my HR pegged at 166, but that just isn’t going to happen. Of well, sometimes you just need to let go.

If you have a few minutes, go over and check out Thomas's blog. He completed a 39 mile Ultra over the week, running the first 26.2 miles in 3:35. This is the same guy that once struggled to get under a 4 hour marathon; now he is just an incredibly strong runner.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:

MON: 9.5 miles w/4 miles at 7:30/mi; 8:37/mi avg pace

Sunday, April 01, 2007

15 Miles to Nowhere

My 15 miler this morning was a real chore. I got out the door before sun up and the temperature was an ideal 60F (16C), but I just couldn't get any power generated. In order to ensure I stayed hydrated this morning, I set up the course as 3x5 mile loops and cached a large bottle of power-aide at the starting point. The first mile felt pretty good, but after that I sort of settled into a 9:40/mi pace and never recovered. I'd push and speed up to 9:00 only to look down at my Garmin and discover that I was running 9:40 after a half mile. I never really got tired and never felt like quiting, but I just couldn't get moving.

Unlike my performance this morning, Anne ran an excellent 20K over a hilly course in El Cajon, California this weekend. In addtion, racing manic Dawn ran a 5K a week after completing the More Marathon.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:

MON: Travel Day
TUE: 8.0 Miles w/10x100m strides; 9:01/mi avg pace; HR-142
WED: 5.0 Miles, recovery; 9:06/mi avg pace; HR - 145
THR: 5.2 Miles, recovery; 9:25/mi avg pace; HR - 135
THR: 10.1 Miles, medium-long; 8:54/mi avg pace; HR - 148
FRI: Rest Day
SAT: 4.1 Miles, recovery; 9:36/mi avg pace
SUN: 15.2 Miles, medium-long; 9:36/mi avg pace

Total Mileage for the week: 47.5 miles