Friday, August 31, 2007

Heading for the hills

Last night, I took my black lab and ventured out into the warm night air for a 6 miler along the Piestewa Freeway (aka SR51). A dust storm blew through the area earlier in the evening but there was only gusting wind and an occasional bolt of lighting flashing about by the time I hit the trail. It wasn’t fast and it wasn’t pretty, but at least I was running outside. It took my dog a good 30 minutes and nearly a quart of water before he stopped his heavy panting. I faired much better.

Tonight I opted for another run at the gym. I needed to get in a simulated hill run and make sure I am capable of making it up the 400' hill I’ll face on Monday during the Labor Day 8 miler in Tucson. After a brief warm up at 9:30/mi, I took the pace down to 8:54/mi and finished out the first 30 minute session on the treadmill. On the second 30 minute session, I started raising the machine's elevation after I got out past the 0.5 mile point.

I knew I needed to be averaging something close to 30' up for every 0.1 mile, but I hadn’t done the math to figure out the equivalent gradient before I started. 2% wasn’t steep enough and 3% didn’t cut it. After 0.2 miles, I needed have climbed least 60' and I was only at 40', so I jacked up the treadmill to a 7.5% gradient. That did the trick.

Once I caught up, I backed the machine down to 6.5% and left it there for the rest of the 1.5 mile climb. My HR reacted as you’d expect and was soon pushing 163. I back my pace down to 9:24/mi to keep my HR under 160 and cruised on up the hill. At the 1.5 mile point, I started lowering the elevation until I was running flat again. The total climb was 446' and I’d managed to survive without breaking my HR monitor.

Once my HR dropped back in the 140s, I started lowering the pace again and was soon running at 7:24/mi. I held this pace through the end of the second 30 minute and started up a 3rd session. Since I’d already got in a good hour of aerobic exercise, there wasn’t any need to maintain a pedestrian pace for last couple of miles I needed to stretch the run out to 8 miles. I soon had the treadmill moving at 7:14/mi and then down to 7:04/mi. At the start of the second mile, I took the pace down to 6:50/mi and finished out the last 0.2 miles at 6:40/mi.

Other Running News: Did anyone catch Bernard Lagat’s comments after winning the 1500m at the world championships? Lagat has been a US citizen for 3 years, but he seems to have figured out what's it all about much better than most of his 300 million countrymen. While draped with the US Flag following his win, he said, “When you’re carrying this, it means a lot. You’re representing everybody, the victims of Katrina, everybody. Those who are serving in the war in Iraq. This is for everybody in the United States.” Not the most eloquent lines ever spoken, but he certainly understands the essence of being a citizen on the world stage. He has a lot teach our over paid and overly pampered professional athletes.

Have a great week.


Mon: Rest Day
Tue: 7.3 miles, 8:17/mi avg pace
Wed: 5.6 miles, 9:37/mi avg pace
Thr: 8.6 miles, 8:41/mi avg pace


Thomas said...

I'm much too cynical to read much into comments like that. What if his manager told him to say things like that?

Anne said...

Here, here, Phil. I couldn't agree with you more about the lessons many of our pro athletes could stand to adopt. But, they won't because of the systems that coddle them and allow them -- even encourage them -- to be jerks.

Gotta Run said...

Great hill workout!! Be careful out there in the lighting. We had a local scoccer team sruck and some lives lost. Be smart and safe!!

As for Bernard Lagat’s comments you are 100% right now. I could not have posted my feelings any better!!

Mike said...

Jeez, Thomas, what does it take to impress you? In our country it seems like Kobe Bryant, Michael Vick and Barry Bonds get all the headlines.

When I see someone who trains as hard as Lagat finally get his due, it makes me very happy. He doesn't make excuses when things don't go his way, he doesn't tend to whine to the media, and he seems genuinely grateful for the natural talent he has even as he works hard to improve on it. His comments don't strike me as uniquely American by any means, but he does come across as a class act. You can give a guy a piece of paper to read, but you can't give them character. I think he's a class act, and he's earned to say whatever he pleases about his race.

Mike said...

That last sentence should read-

he's earned (the right) to say...

Ewen said...

We didn't get to hear Lagat's interview. Our television is concentrating on the Aussies. Deakes is leading the 50k walk right now - sub 4:30 km pace!

Lagat's run was impressive - beautifully executed. Webb really hit the wall with 100 to go - much like Mutola in the 800. The Kenyan Jepkosgei was brilliant - leading all the way.

Addy said...

Glad you're trying to stay safe from the heat in the gym :) Good hill work there!

When will it start to approach more hospitable tempteratures for you guys? Is normal outside running going to become a reality at any point soon?

J~mom said...

Good luck on your run tomorrow! I hope it is enjoyable and cool? I am about to give up on cool around here.

Josh said...

Nice hill work.

I have been too busy watching the US Open to take note of many running events. However his comments are spot on.

And to Thomas - it doesn't matter if his agent told him to say it. It is the fact that he did say it aloud is what counts.