Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Manhattan

 


No running yet, just lots of walking. On a soccer side note, our team finally won a game; finishing out the tournament with 0-2, 0-3, 0-4, 3-1. It's amazing what a couple of days to recovery from jet lag will do for the girls.

Have a great week.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Somerset

Thanks for all the well wishes for my marathon next week. I appreciate your input. The only issue I have is a severe pain in my lower abdomen that is really slowing me down for the first couple of miles of every run recently until the area warms up. I can’t do any sit ups, but I’ve never like to do sit ups anyway. It should be OK for the San Diego marathon once I get it warmed up. I won’t have a chance to get this checked out until I get back from San Diego, but I could always use any advice that any of you might have.

I’m in Somerset, New Jersey this weekend for the PDA College Showcase Soccer Tournament. We are, to say the least, getting spanked. We arrived in Newark at mid-night on Friday and didn’t get to our hotel in Somerset until 2AM. Our first game on Saturday was at 8AM, so we had to be at the field at Rutgers University by 7AM. So far, we’ve lost 2-0, 3-0 and 4-0. We’ve got one more game on Monday morning and should do better now that the girls are getting over the jet lag.

So far I’ve had two runs in New Jersey; an easy 4 mile recovery run on Saturday and a 13 miler on Sunday morning. Just as Arizona is a misunderstood state to many easterners, New Jersey is nothing like what I’ve expected. It’s really pretty. Although a little on the humid side, this area of the state near Rutgers University is very nice. I set out this morning for a 13 miler and really enjoyed running down the tree lined streets, listening to the birds chirping as the sun came up over the horizon. At one point, I came upon a deer standing on the road. I spooked the thing and it high-tailed it into the woods immediately off the road. I took the picture to the left after I got back to the hotel after 13 miles. I left my dry-weave tops at home in my haste to get out of Phoenix, so I was running in a cotton shirt. It was completely drenched by the time I got back to the hotel and probably weighed 2 or 3 pounds with all the water.

I’m off to Manhattan on Monday night and hope to get in at least one run around Central Park while I’m there. I realize that running the loop around Central Park is almost a cliché, but it is something I really enjoyed the last time I was in New York and I’m in much better shape now. However, everyone I’m going with thinks that I’m nuts. I need to start bringing a few runners with me when I travel.

Hope your week is goes great.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:

MON: Rest Day
TUE: 8.3 miles w/5x600m @6:52/mi pace
WED: 5.3 miles, recovery; 9:14/mi avg pace
THR: Rest Day
FRI: 8K, pseudo-race; 7:32/mi avg pace
SAT: 4.1 miles, recovery; 9:03/mi avg pace
SUN: 13.1 miles, medium-long; 9:35/mi avg pace

Total mileage for the week: 36.7 miles

Friday, May 25, 2007

Half-Baked 8K

My last run before vacation was an attempt at a full out 8K. Once again, I headed over to Paradise Valley Community College to attempt the feat on their track. After a lackluster 15 minute warm I took off and tried to hold a nice and stead 7:10/m pace. I was already 4 seconds behind on the first lap and things didn’t get much better after that. By the time I was on my 4th 1600m, my pace had slipped all the way down to a nice tempo run. I did get a partial boost on mile 3 when a gentleman of slight build with legs like a race horse came onto the track and started warming up faster than I was running. But he only did two laps and then proceeded with a half hour of short exercises that I won’t attempt to describe or repeat.

1600M SPLITS: 7:18, 7:22, 7:28, 7:40 (yikes!), 7:35

I leave for vacation this afternoon, so blogging will become very spotty at best. I’ll be at a soccer tournament in Somerset, New Jersey over the long Memorial Day weekend; spend a couple of days in Manhattan doing the tourist thing; head back to Phoenix on Thursday; drive to Carlsbad, California on Friday and run the R&R San Diego Marathon on Sunday. I wish everyone who is running races over the next couple of weeks the best of luck and will get a race report out as soon as I can after San Diego.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:

MON: Rest Day
TUE: 8.3 miles w/5x600m @6:52/mi pace
WED: 5.3 miles, recovery; 9:14/mi avg pace
THR: Rest Day
FRI: 8K, pseudo-race; 7:32/mi avg pace

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A New Day

After a less than stellar weekend, I rolled out of bed this morning with some trepidation. I had another set of intervals to run, but I was starting to doubt my ability to get out and run the workout effectively. In addition, the standard pre-race jitters are starting up and I’ve self-diagnosis every possible condition that would keep me from running San Diego next week. I even convinced myself that the reason I bailed after 10 miles on Sunday morning was due to a severe case of anemia (nice try). Little wonder I pulled the covers over my head when the alarm went off at 5AM.

The morning actually went OK. The air temperature was around 78F and bone dry. In fact, it actually felt cool for the first couple of miles on the run over to the track. Once I arrived, I found 3 couples slowly jogging around the track; with two couples blocking the #1 and #2 lanes.

I blew by one couple on the first 600m and caught up to the second couple on the 200m recovery jog (in lane #5) around to the start line. Both couples got the hint and had vacated the #1 lane by the time I caught them again on the second interval. I even heard the hard footfalls and heavy breathing of one of them as they tried to catch me. Since I wasn’t racing, I dutifully moved over to let her pass on the inside. Fortunately for my frail ego, she burned out before getting around me and didn’t present another challenge. It’s always nice to have company at the track.

600m Splits: 2:32, 2:33, 2:35, 2:35, 2:33

Training for the week:

MON: Rest Day
TUE: 8.3 miles w/5x600m @6:52/mi pace

Saturday, May 19, 2007

New Shoes

After 2,298.3 miles running on ASIC Gel-Landrith IIs, I was forced to change shoes yesterday. ASICS stopped making the Gel-Landrith II some time ago, but my Running Store has been feeding me a steady supply of the elicit shoe. I realize that the Gel-Landrith isn't ASICS's sexiest shoe, but they work damn well for me, so I wasn't in a hurry to change. However, once the shoe fairy ran out of merchandise, I didn't have any choice. So after spending 30 minutes trying on alternatives and running around outside, I finally settled on a new shoe: ASICS Gel-Landrith III. Yeh, I know, change is suppose to be good for you, but why should I take a chance with my feet? Besides, the IIIs are a different color, that's a big change from me.

I took my spiffy new shoes out for a spin this morning at 4:30AM. My game plan was to run as far as I could up to 20 miles to round out what has been a great week. Unfortunately, unlike the two great 12 milers earlier this week, I couldn’t generate much power this morning and never really relaxed or got into a rhythm. I briefly ground to a halt on mile 9 and I called it quits after 10 miles. To salvage something out of the weekend, I went to our gym with my wife this afternoon and ran a 5K on a treadmill finish the day at 13.1 miles in two runs.

Next week will be better.

Training for the week:

MON: Rest Day
TUE: 6.1 miles, Recovery; 9:07/mi avg pace
WED: 12.7 miles w/7@7:48/mi
THR: x-train; 2.7 mile hike
FRI: 12.3 miles w/5@MP; 8:57/mi avg pace
SAT: 5.0 miles, recovery; 8:53/mi avg pace
SUN: 10.0 miles, aerobic; 9:28/mi avg pace
SUN: 5.1 miles, aerobic; 8:39/mi avg pace

MIleage for the week: 49.1 miles

Mad Dogs


At twelve noon the natives swoon and no further work is done,
But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

Noel Coward

My cultural heritage was shining through when I decided to run a 5 mile recovery run around 1PM this afternoon. I slathered sun-block on my pasty white skin and ventured out into the midday sun and an 95F (35C) air temperature. The first 4 miles went by much faster than I expected, averaging under 9:00/m. I wasn't pushing the pace and actually felt surprisingly good. However, somewhere around 4.5 miles, the body went into serious shut down mode. As soon as the Garmin beep at 5 miles I stopped running and walked the rest of the way home. My HR was still under control, but my hands and arms were all puffy ... I sort of looked like the Michelin Man.

Mile Splits: 8:56, 9:03, 8:55, 8:50, 8:41

I've had this happen before while hiking out of the Grand Canyon on hot days, but never running. Fortunately, everything was back to normal by the time I got home.

Hope your weekend is going well

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:

MON: Rest Day
TUE: 6.1 miles, Recovery; 9:07/mi avg pace
WED: 12.7 miles w/7@7:48/mi
THR: x-train; 2.7 mile hike
FRI: 12.3 miles w/5@MP; 8:57/mi avg pace
SAT: 5.0 miles, recovery; 8:53/mi avg pace

Friday, May 18, 2007

Early morning

I live in the “heat island” that is Phoenix, Arizona; therefore, I will complain about the fact that the temperature never cools off at night this time of year. This morning was no different. The temp was an incredible 82F (28C) when I got out the door at 4:00AM for an aerobic 12 miler with 5@MP. Of course it wasn’t all bad. With 90 minutes until sun rise, it wasn’t going to get any hotter.

The first 5 miles were a little slower than I’d planned; however, I got the legs moving a little faster on miles 6 and 7 and finally got serious on mile 8. Overall, it wasn’t a bad run.

SPLITS:

Miles 1–4> 9:53, 9:38, 9:15, 9:12,
Miles 5–8> 9:15, 8:39, 8:57, 8:35
Miles 9-12 > 8:30, 8:44, 8:23, 8:28



Have a great weekend.

Training for the week:

MON: Rest Day
TUE: 6.1 miles, Recovery; 9:07/mi avg pace
WED: 12.7 miles w/7@7:48/mi
THR: Xtrain; 2.7 mile hike
FRI: 12.3 miles w/5@MP; 8:57/mi avg pace

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tempo

My longest tempo run of the Pfitz plan was this morning: 12 miles w / 7 @ 15K pace. When I was preparing for the Carlsbad Marathon in November last year, I absolutely nailed this workout with an average pace over the 7 miles around 7:40/mi and that was my goal as I set out this morning for the 2.8 mile run over to the track at Paradise Valley Community College.

I like running the tempo part of this work-out on a track. I get to see my splits every 400m and the surface is far more forgiving than running on asphalt or concrete. The sun was just peaking over the horizon as I got to the track and the temperature was already hovering just under 80F (27C). My pace was solid for the first 400m and I crossed the line at 1:55; right on target for a 7:40 1600m. But with 27 laps to go, I quickly realized that this pace was a little fast and pulled up. Regardless, the first 5 miles went by really well, but my left hamstring started complaining on mile 6 and I must have slowed down some more without thinking to give it a rest. By the time I got out to mile 7, I was out of gas and really had to push hard over the last 200m to come close to my goal time.

1600m splits: 7:43, 7:45, 7:45, 7:45, 7:41, 7:52, 7:48

Hope your week is going well.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:

MON: Rest Day
TUE: 6.1 miles, Recovery; 9:07/mi avg pace
WED: 12.7 miles w/7@7:48/mi

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

I’d like to wish a great Mother’s Day out there to all mothers near and far. Ironically, I think more about my mom now that she is no longer alive than I did while she was with us and that's too bad.

I completed my scheduled 20 miler this morning; actually, the Pfitz schedule called for a 14 mile aerobic run, but I’ve missed so many long runs this session that I just had to get in a 20 miler today. Since it was Mother's Day, I had to get my run done before 6:30 this morning. Fortunately, I beat my alarm by 15 minutes and woke up at 2:45AM with no assistance and I was on the road at 3:10.

There was nothing remarkable about the run other than the fact that the temperature was still 80F (27C) at that 3 in the morning. Since it was so #$@%ing hot I ran a simple 8 mile figure 8; allowing me to get back to my cache of water bottles every 4 miles. I also assumed that all the drunks would be off the road by 3AM, but it didn’t turn out that way. I had four cars either execute u-turns in front of me or slow down as they approached thereby allowing the clever and articulate passengers to yell various witticisms my way as they passed. OK, it's 4AM, your drunk - I guess I understand why a guy running along the road must seem awful funny.

My overall splits weren’t stellar.

Miles 1-5 : 9:19, 9:24, 9:02, 9:13, 9:26
Miles 6-10: 8:57, 9:19, 9:27, 9:38, 9:40
Miles 11-15: 9:35, 9:42, 9:41; 9:31, 9:51
Miles 16-20: 9:48, 9:51, 10:09, 9:50, 9:50

I stayed withing my aerobic zone for the entire run, but I really started dragging on mile 15. It felt as if I’d completely run out of glycogen. My diet of late has sucked; too much alcohol and ice-cream and not enough quality carbohydrates. I need to fix this situation before I make my way to San Diego

I got back from the run in time to cook Mother’s day breakfast for my family and house guest (French Toast-traditional, French Toast w/egg beaters, Omelets, and Pancakes with strawberries). I actually fed them in two shifts since my youngest two daughters didn’t get up until 10AM.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:

MON: Rest day
TUE: 8.3 miles, Aerobic; 8:52/mi avg pace
WED: 8.7 miles, Aerobic w/5x600m @ 6:51/mi
THR: 5.2 miles, Recovery; 9:25/mi avg pace
FRI: Rest Day
SAT: 8.1 miles, Aerobic w/10x100m strides; 8:48/mi avg pace
SUN: 20.1 miles, Aerobic; 9:33/mi avg pace

Total Mileage for the week: 50.4 miles

GRADUATION PICTURES:

As some of you may remember, I went down to Tucson on Friday for my daughter's graduation ceremony. She decided not to walk with the entire senior class in the mass ceremony at the University of Arizona this weekend, but instead particiapted in a small ceremony with the Georgraphy Department . This was very informal (no gowns). However, the department head gave a short talk on each of the 16 graduates; so it was much more meaningful. Afterwards, we drove up to the Vantana Canyon Resort for lunch.



Daughter with diploma



The entire family



Vantana Canyon Resort



Cactus in full bloom

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Feeling Good

I’m finally starting to feel like I’m getting back in shape after my calf injury this past February. I ran an easy aerobic 8 miler this morning at an average pace of 8:48/mi. I felt pretty good after the first two miles and kept pushing on the pace.

Mile spilts: 9:15, 9:18, 9:04, 9:06, 8:56, 8:30, 8:09, 8:14

I wish all the mothers out there in the blogsphere a very special mother’s day on Sunday.

Training for the week:

MON: Rest day
TUE: 8.3 miles, Aerobic; 8:52/mi avg pace
WED: 8.7 miles, Aerobic w/5x600m @ 6:51/mi
THR: 5.2 miles, Recovery; 9:25/mi avg pace
FRI: Rest Day
SAT: 8.1 miles, Aerobic w/10x100m strides; 8:48/mi avg pace

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A pretty good week

After all the bitching and complaining last week, this week has gone very well. I ran a nice aerobic 8 miler on Tuesday under 9:00/mi and a great (for me) set of 600m intervals on Wednesday on the track at PVCC; at an average pace of 6:51/mi. This morning I ran a simple 5 mile recovery run. It wasn’t anything to brag about, but I got it done.

I decided to run the intervals differently this time through the Pfitz plan. Last fall, I ran a 5 mile warm-up with my dog; dropped the dog off at home and drove 2.8 miles to the track, jogged 800m to get the blood moving again; ran the intervals; and finally, ran a 1600m cool down. This morning, I left the dog at home and ran 2.8 miles to track; ran 800m on the track surface to get psyched up for the intervals; ran the intervals and then ran 2.8 miles home.

This approached worked really well (at least for me, my dog was none-too-thrilled). I usually run a full 5K warm-up before running a 5K anyway. It helps to release the butter flies and gives me time to focus on running a heck of lot faster than normal. This morning was not different. I took off on the first 600m and clocked myself right on pace at 200M. I was able to hold the pace for the last 400m without too much effort; although I was breathing a lot harder than the other folks on the track. The entire set of 5x600s was pretty even:

2:34, 2:34, 2:33, 2:33, 2:31

My 22 year-old daughter is receiving her BS in Geography on Friday from the University of Arizona, so I’ll be driving down to Tucson on Friday with the family + a few close friends for the event. She will go back at school next semester to complete a certificate she wants, so the fire hose spurting cash out of my bank account won’t shut off for a while; but this is my first child to graduate from college, so it aught to be a great event. Mother’s day is on Sunday, so I don’t know what I’m going to do about my long run. I’ll just have to figure out how to fit it in on Saturday I guess; however, with a house full of martini loving guests, that might be difficult.


Have a great weekend.

Training for the week


MON: Rest day
TUE: 8.3 miles, Aerobic; 8:52/mi avg pace
WED: 8.7 miles, Aerobic w/5x600m @ 6:51/mi
THR: 5.2 miles, Recovery; 9:25/mi avg pace

Monday, May 07, 2007

Wide Open Spaces

I learned (or relearned) a couple of life’s little lessons on Sunday. First, if you have enough money you can afford to live in the city and not live in the city at the same time. My daughter’s soccer team had their “end of year” party on Sunday afternoon. One of the parents that hadn’t volunteered for anything all year asked me if they could host the party (like I’m going to say no). I took the picture to the left from their back yard near sun-set. It’s hard to believe that more than 2 million people live within 30 miles of this place.

The second important lesson was more basic. If you stay on your feet from 5:30PM until 11:30PM working a funding raising event and then go out for a martini at mid-night, you will not be able to get out of bed at 4:00AM for a 20miler. My wife works for a small non-profit foundation and their big fund raiser was held at the Penske Auto Museum on Saturday night. We shut the place down at 11:30 and then cruised north Scottsdale looking for a bar that would be able to make her a chocolate martini (I had a basic vodka martini … don’t like the sweet stuff). It was past 1:30 by the time I finally got to bed and I could hardly move when my alarm went off at 4:00 AM. I reset it for 8:30 and snuck in a nice and easy 6 miler instead.

Since I'd promised a friend that I'd take pictures for her local "National Charity League" chapter event at 10:30, 6 miles was about all I could get in and still have time to clean up and make it to the event on time. I've got no direct connection with these folks, but they seem to like my pictures and this is the 3rd year that I've taken their Mother-Daughter pictures. The 64 portraits I took are located here.

What started out as a great week went out with a whimper. I did get in a nice 14 mile MP run on Wednesday and a respectable 6 miler on Saturday, but the rest of the week I spent jogging around the neighborhood. I still haven’t run anything over 17 miles with only 4 weeks to go until the San Diego Marathon. Oh well, I’ll may not PR, but it should still be fun.

While I was off wasting my time wallowing in self-pity, my blogging friends were racing their hearts out. First, two great half-marathon performances. RunningDoc won a local half marathon is a blistering 1:13:56 and Thomas (as you'd expect) layed down another PR with a 1:29:52. Finally, Micki ran her first 10K and finished under her goal time in 1:13:28. All three wrote great race reports.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:
MON: Rest Day
TUE: 6.3 Miles, Recovery; 9:13/mi avg pace
WED: 14.1 Miles, Medium-Long; 8:58/mi avg pace
THR: 6.0 Miles, Recovery; 9:19/mi avg pace
FRI: Rest Day
SAT: 6.3 Miles, Aerobic; 8:33/mi avg pace
SUN: 6.3 Miles, Aerobic; 9:21/mi avg pace

Total Mileage for the week: 39 Miles (yikes)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Sexist Pig

Way back before the dawn of civilization when I attended engineering school (in the early 70s) there was nary a woman in site (of course I was dating one of the few women in the school, but that’s another story). Engineering was clearly a “man’s” game. The company I worked for after graduation had no female engineers (of course, I met my wife there, but that’s another story also). I moved to Arizona in 1980 and went to work for a different company. Out of a group of 30 engineers, there were only 3 women and two of them were gone before 1982. The only other female engineer I knew in the company was the only woman working on a product that went by the acronym PMS … it was still a man’s world. Fortunately, over the next 25 years, more and more women got into the game. Today, the same company has women in senior technical management positions as well a grunt level engineering roles and everything in-between. We’ve made some progress.

So, imagine my surprise this morning when I opened an industry publication and found the following full page add. Now you don’t need to know anything about C++ or RTOS Environments or anything else mentioned in this add to figure out the message. I half expected to find a scantly dress women with huge boobs and a short skirt on the next page holding a Tektronix 70 GHz Digital Sampling Oscilloscope (there wasn’t … oh well). Maybe we haven’t come as far as I thought.

 
Posted by Picasa


Running: Yes this is still a running blog. Thursday I took another 6 mile recovery run. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do this weekend. I had a 12 miler at MP due on Sunday, but I sort of did that on Wednesday when I ran my 14 miler under 9:00/mi. I’ll just play it by ear.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:

MON: Rest Day
TUE: 6.3 Miles, Recovery; 9:13/mi avg pace
WED: 14.1 Miles, Medium-Long; 8:58/mi avg pace
THR: 6.0 Miles, Recover; 9:19/mi avg pace
FRI: Rest Day

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Wedding Bells

 My family and I attended a very small, very informal wedding this afternoon. A close friend of ours got married in her back yard with a few friends and family members as guests. Since it was a second marriage for both her and her new husband and both had done the big splashy formal wedding thing on the first go-around, they elected to hold the anti-wedding wedding. No pomp, no circumstance, no music, no flowers, no brides-maids, no wedding shower, no gifts, no bachelor or bachelorette parties, no church, no limos and no catered reception. In fact the only homage to a “traditional” wedding they allowed was a small wedding cake. The picture to the left is of my 19 year-old daughter and me. In nearly every picture I have of her, she is flipping me off; so much so that it has become a tradition. I don’t know if she’ll think it’s as funny in 30 years when she’s sharing these pictures with her kids, but for now she thinks it’s a hoot.

Running: I mistakenly set my alarm for 4:30 instead of 4:00 AM this morning for a little pre-work 14 miler which didn’t leave me much time to get ready for work and get my 15 year-old daughter to high-school on time after the run. Fortunately, I was able to hold pretty close to 9/mi all the way. I was actually quite surprised when I was only 40 seconds over a 9/mi pace at 7 miles. I knew I’d started out slow and didn’t think I was catching up that quick. This is a much different result than my 10-mile non-long-run on Sunday.

Mile splits, for those that like to see the numbers:

Miles 1 through 7: 9:07, 9:19, 9:06, 9:11, 8:49, 9:07, 8:58
Miles 7 through 14: 9:08, 8:47, 9:01, 8:45, 8:49, 8:44, 8:38

My legs felt heavy by the last few miles as I kept pushing the pace up to get the entire run average under 9/mi.I kept in my aerobic zone for the entire run, except for the last half mile where I was “sprinting” up hill. The ball of my left foot ached most of the morning and I was able to get it iced down this morning before I to leave and take my youngest to school. Thanks god I only have a 6 miler on Thursday.

Hope all is well with each and everyone of you,

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK:

MON: Rest Day
TUE: 6.3 Miles, Recovery; 9:13/mi avg pace
WED: 14.1 Miles, Medium-Long; 8:58/mi avg pace

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Awakening

Fortunately, all I had this morning was a 6 mile recovery run. Of course, the 6 miler was designed to recover from a 20 miler on Sunday – which didn’t happen; but I ran it as a recovery none-the-less. My legs felt tired over the first 3 miles, but things picked up on the back half of the run and by the time my Garmin beeped at 6 miles, I was finally running smoothly.

My Black Lab woke me up twice last night to go outside and do whatever he needed to do. Why he didn’t think about this before he went bed I’ll never know. He simply paces back and forth when he wants attention; tapping his nails on the hard-wood floors as he walks to and fro. It isn’t real loud, but irritating enough to walk me up. Consequently, I didn’t get as much sleep as I would have liked.

On the foot front: In my last post, I didn’t discuss which foot was hurting late into the run on Sunday. The pain is not associated with the numbness I often get in my right foot (which I haven't had in two weeks). This new pain feels much more like a classic bursitis under the smaller toes on my left foot. It didn’t bother me at all while I was in California, but my gait changed once I got back to Arizona and I think I was pounding the pavement a little too hard.

Hope your week is going well.

TRAINING FOR THE WEEK

MON: Rest Day
TUE: 6.3 Miles, Recovery; 9:13/mi avg pace