Tuesday, December 22, 2009

12/21 - Kenyan Way Hills - 9 miles

I had a decent workout, but my left hamstring was still bothering me. I need to be careful and make sure I don't do something that would really injure it. A little over a year ago my dad was having some nagging hamstring pain and ended up hurting his hamstring pretty bad and missed quite a bit of training. I went to the evening workout directly after work and got there right before the group was starting the workout. I had only gotten about 1/2 a mile warmup in, but I saw Sam and he was running the first loop pretty easy as a warmup so I did another mile warmup with him on the hills. He was running a little easier on the hills since he had run 24 miles on Saturday. The first harder lap I stopped after each hill to stretch for 10 seconds or so and let Sam and another new guy catch back up and then I'd start the next hill with them. After the first lap I went ahead on my own and did a total of 5 hard laps (20 hills).

I was still having issues with the ligaments on the back of my knees feeling funny as I pushed off hard for part of the run, but I discovered the last couple of laps that if I really concentrated on keeping good form it didn't bother me. When I get tired and my form starts to fall apart my legs tend to kick out to the side and flop all over the place instead of moving forwards and backwards in a straight line. When I concentrated and kept good form I could run hard up the hills without the strange feeling on the back of my knee. I think what is probably happening is my form gets bad and then I end up using different muscles than I should normally be using and they can't hold up to the strain. I talked to Sean a little bit after the workout and he said it sounds like I have chronic hamstring problems and need to to more work to strengthen them. I did some lunges and squats after the workout and then ran a 3 mile easy cooldown with Sam. It was good chatting with him and talking about our goals for the marathon next month. After I headed home, I spent about 30 minutes doing lots of stretching and foam rolling and my leg seemed to feel pretty good after that.

I'm going to be pretty careful with my running the rest of this week and ride the bike/crosstrain on some of my recovery days if I don't feel like my hamstring is improving. I'm planning on trying to run mile repeats Wednesday and then run a 24 mile run the following Tuesday or Wednesday as my last really long run before the marathon. The long run is the key workout I really want to get in and be able to run well so I will scrap some of the interval work if needed to make sure I am healthy enough to get that workout in.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday 12/20 - 6.5 miles

Today was a much better day than yesterday. I went out and ran over to the park and ran a couple of laps at about 7:10 pace. It was in the low 50's and I was pretty cold the first couple of miles. The good news is my ankle din't bother me at all. I was a little surprised because I could feel it while I was inside stretching before the run and when I put pressure on it with certain stretches it was pretty tender, but I didn't feel it once in a couple of laps at the park despite hitting a couple uneven spots and stumbling a couple of times. My left hamstring was still a little tender, but it didn't feel too bad. I did quite a bit of stretching afterwards. I would have tried to get closer to 9 miles in, but I didn't head out for the run until after 6:00 pm and I'm planning on running the hill workout in the morning. My total run time was a little over 46 minutes.

Saturday 12/19 - 15 miles - terrible run

This ended up being one of my worst long runs of the year. I guess I'd rather have a day like this 4 weeks out from the marathon instead of during the marathon. I went into the run planning on doing anywhere from 18 - 24 miles. Sam had emailed me Friday and said he planned on running 24 with the last 6 at marathon pace and was wondering if I would be there. Since I went 23.5 last weekend, I said I'd run at least the first 18 with him and I'd give the last 6 a try if I was feeling ok. I'm planning on doing my last 23 - 24 mile in about 1-1/2 weeks when I get back from our Christmas trip.

I was a little late getting out the door of my house and it was almost 6:00 by the time I was ready to leave so I decided just to run from the house and meet up with the group since the route was heading towards my house. I met up with the lead group, but Sam wasn't there. I don't know if he didn't make it out or if he was well ahead of the group and I missed him. Hopefully he wasn't waiting around the base on me to show up. I was feeling ok through the first 6 miles or so and running with Rob and Jena and couple other guys I didn't recognize. About 6 miles in I knew that I'd only be doing about 18 because my legs weren't feeling the greatest and we'd only been running 7:20 - 7:25 pace. I was wearing my worn out shoes and most of the route was on roads/sidewalk so my legs definitely were getting pounded. A little after 6 miles we stopped at an intersection trying to determine the best route to go since we needed to get across 610 and we either needed to run north or south in the feeder road until we could get across it. As we were stopping, I stepped on the edge of a curb or the road and rolled my ankle. It stung a little, but didn't feel terrible and I decided to keep running towards the next water stop and see how it was feeling. The ankle didn't really bother me the rest of the run, but my legs were aching more, and I was dropping off of the lead group. Between miles 9 - 12 the lead group put some pretty good distance in between the group I was with and themselves. I was doing low 7:00's by this time, but they were probably running sub-7:00's. At the mile 12 water stop, my hamstrings hurt enough that I had to take some extra time to put some Ben-Gay on. I've used it on a couple of long runs, but I've been able to get to 17 or 18 miles before my legs started feeling bad enough that I wanted to use it, and today I was in pain by mile 12. That took away some of the pain, but the group I was left had taken off and I wasn't feeling good enough to try to run them down. I made it to the next water stop at mile 14 and had slowed down to about 7:40 pace. I contemplated running an extra loop of the park before heading home which would get me to 18, but at the pace I was running and the way my legs felt I decided to just head home and call it a day at 15. Since I only did 15, I think my legs should be ok to run a hard hill workout on Monday morning.

I got a massage Saturday afternoon and my massage therapist told me my hamstrings and hips were the tightest that she had seen them. My legs are feeling a lot better today after lots of stretching and a massage, but my ankle is kind of sore. We'll see how it feels on my run this afternoon.

Friday 12/18 - 8 miles

Ran a nice easy 8 miles at ~ 7:15 avg pace on Friday afternoon. I had contemplated doing the hard workout I had missed on Friday, but I had thoughts of going up to 24 miles on Saturday and decided it was more important to try to be relatively fresh for that than getting in one more speed workout. I ran through the park and out to the Polo fields and ran around the perimeter of the fields. It was nice getting most of the run in on a grass surface, but I could still feel the tightness across the back of my knee on the grass.

I also have a little bit of a shoe conundrum. I train in two different pairs of shoes - the adidas supernova glide and the adidas adizero Boston. I'm planning on running the marathon in the adizero Boston and I really like the shoes the most, but they are pretty lightweight (~10 oz.) and I wanted another shoe that was a little more solid to wear on some of my recovery days since it seems like my legs take a little more pounding from the lightweight shoes. I recently replaced my old Supernova Glide's with a new pair and for some reason the new pair seems to bother my feet a little more. My big toe seems to rub more in the toebox on the side and I get these big calluses on the side of my big toes. As the calluses get bigger, they rub more and irritate me more and then I have to cut part of the callus off when it gets big. It doesn't really bother me too much for a 6 - 8 mile run, but by the end of 8 miles I can definitely feel it. My adizero Boston shoes need to be replaced, but I've been having trouble getting a new pair since it seems the model has been discontinued and the replacement model isn't coming out until after January 1. I went in to Luke's Locker on Friday night to see if they might have a pair that I could get and wear on Saturday's long run. They were able to track down a pair at a store in Dallas, but I won't be getting it until Tuesday. I can't do a long run in my Supernovas so I'll have to wear my worn out shoes for the long run and hopefully I won't run into any major issues.

Thursday 12/17 - day off

Busy day at work and legs were feeling pretty shot today.

Wednesday 12/16 - 8.25 miles

I had a meeting run through lunch, but I went out for a late run around 12:30. The weather was really nice out - upper 40's and cloudy. I was a little chilly to start, but felt really nice once I got into it. My splits were 7:18, 6:56, 6:48, 6:44, 6:38, 6:34, 6:28, 6:26, 6:25, 1:38. With the nice weather, I didn't even feel like I was having to put that much effort into it.

Tuesday 12/15 - Hills

We met up at 5:15 am for a hill workout and had a good sized group - Sean, Bill, Luis, Dan Kahn, Joe Flores and Vaughn Gibbs. We ran about a 4 miles warmup and then did 16 hills ~3.5 miles on two of the hills on the cloverleaf. For a while I thought I might actually be able to stay with the group. Sean was running the hills hard, but walking for part of the recovery so even if they beat me by 2 or 3 seconds on the hills, I could stay with them. I think I hung close for about 6 hills and then everyone started jogging more on the recovery and I needed more recovery time. Joe Flores had dropped a little off and we were running about the same pace, but midway through I think he may have skipped one of the hills to get some extra recovery and catch back up with the group so I ended up running the rest by myself. The one thing that concerned me is the tendons or ligaments across the back of my left knee seemed kind of tight and I didn't have any explosiveness or feel like I could push it as hard as I wanted to on some of the hills. I think that my tight hamstrings/quads/groin/calves/anything other muscle group in my legs are getting to me. I think I really need to work on my flexibility some because I felt like my range of motion was a little limited. I've experienced this tightness before, but it seems like I could do some easy stretching which would help and as I would get warmed up it wouldn't be an issue, but I could feel tightness throughout the entire workout. It seems worse when I'm running the hills where I'm trying to get really quick turnover and the footing isn't as solid as the road. After the workout I did a 2 mile cooldown for ~9.5 miles total.

Monday 12/14 - 7.5 miles easy

Got out for an easy 7.5 miles at lunch in 54 minutes. Weather was fairly nice out. I needed an extra day of recovery before a hard workout and I planned to run hills Tuesday morning with Sean.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

5 miles easy

As bad as my legs felt at the end of yesterday's run I wasn't sure how this run Sunday evening was going to go. I needed to get out and get some miles in so I planned to run 5 miles easy. Just before I went out I read Bill's blog and saw that he ran well the day after a 23 miler and with my uber-competitive nature I felt I had better have a decent run. Surprisingly, my legs felt really good. The first mile was kind of slow like it usually is after a long run, but I settled into about 7:25 pace for the rest of the run. Unfortunately my stomach didn't fare quite as well as my legs. I had gorged myself on bbq brisquet, sausage and pecan pie and blue bell ice cream at lunch with second helpings of all the aforementioned items. It was a great lunch, but it really didn't taste as good when it was coming back up during my run. Fortunately Sunday evening at the park is rather lonely and I don't think too many people witnessed my little incident. I finished the 5 miles in 37:40.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday 12/12 - 23.5 mile long run

After being sick most of the week and not doing much running, I knew that I needed to get a long run in. I wasn't sure how far I'd be able to go, but I wanted to give it a shot and try to run for 2:40 - 2:45 and get 22+ miles in. I started the run with Sam and told him I wasn't sure if I'd be able to hang with him because I was going to go a little slower if needed just to get the full time in. The route was a new route and we knew the streets we needed to turn on, but we weren't absolutely certain of exactly where all the streets were so Sam decided not to push it too hard and we ran together. We ran an ~11 mile loop through the heights and over to near Memorial Park and then back to the base. Then we ran a 7.5 mile loop through River Oaks. I was actually feeling pretty decent and we got down into the mid 6:40's for a while. We got back to the base again and I was at about 18.5 miles. My hamstrings and calves were a little sore so I put some Ben-Gay on and then headed out for a 5 mile loop around the bayou. Sam had run a little before the start so he was just going to do a partial lap of the bayou. He started picking it up on his last mile and I think we were running 6:15-6:20 pace for a while and then he turned off to head back. I still had another ~3.5 miles to go and I kept going, but it was really tough the last few miles. The trail was really muddy - I guess it had rained more last night than I realized - and the short relatively steep hills were wreaking havoc on my quads. I remembered what Sean had said about pushing through the pain and so I tried to stay at about 7:00 pace. I probably could have cranked out a faster time, but I didn't want to injure myself doing something stupid.

I fell a little below 7:00 pace the last mile and a half, but I didn't totally blow up and it was my longest run of the year by over 1.5 miles. I have plenty of speed, but I just need to get in a couple more long runs to get used to the hours of pounding my legs will take during the marathon. I felt pretty good and I didn't have any respiratory issues I thought I might have with my cold. I don't feel like I'm still sick right now, but I'm hoping that I don't relapse and feel bad the rest of the week. My legs were pretty shot after the run, but they should recover over the next couple of days.

My splits were - 7:29, 7:19, 7:15, 7:10, 7:06, 6:56, 7:01, 7:04, 7:02, 6:53, 7:05, 6:53, 6:47, 6:45, 6:47, 6:55, 6:47, 6:39, 7:04, 6:33, 7:00, 7:01, 7:17, 3:45 for last 1/2 mile. My average pace for the 23.5 miles was 7:00. It was a rather chilly day out. I wore a light long sleeve shirt and it was cloudy and humid and the temperature was in the upper 40's and breeezy at time. I was comfortable while I was running, but as soon as I stopped it was freezing out. Just stopping at the base to get water and eat my energy blocks for a short while was long enough to start getting chilled. When I finished, I was getting cold within a couple minutes so I had to head back to the car pretty quick. I was glad I was able to get the full run in and that I had somebody to run with for most of the run, because it would have been tough to get more than 20 in by myself.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Been sick, not too much running

Last Saturday I was feeling ok and ran 9.5 miles since the Kenyan Way long run had been postponed to Sunday morning due to the risk of icy roads. I ran the 9.5 miles in about 67 minutes and felt ok, but my legs were kind of achy during the run. I'm not sure if it was the cold or the first signs of me getting sick.

Sunday morning the alarm went off at 5:15 and I got up and went to the bathroom and I felt so exhausted and out of it I just went back to bed. I've felt kind of cruddy ever since and didn't run Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. I was feeling marginally better today and ran 7.5 miles at lunch today in 54 minutes. I wasn't pushing it too hard, but my legs felt kind of achy again. It wasn't a hard run and I wasn't working much aerobically, but I was hoping my legs would feel better after a few days off. I still have a runny nose and scratchy throat and head cold so I'm off to take some Nyquil and hit the sack. Hopefully I'll be feeling good enough to run 23 - 24 miles this weekend since I missed my long run last weekend.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday 12/2 - 6.25 miles easy

I got down to the locker room at lunch to go for a run and one of my co-workers who I run with sometimes was heading in at the same time. I pulled my running clothes out of my bag and I thought I had grabbed some black running socks I had, but somehow I had grabbed a black pair of my wife's socks in the dark before I left for work. I'm not quite sure how they ended up in my sock and underwear drawer, but I had to run without socks. I had seen the temperature was in the upper 40's so I headed outside wearing a short sleeve shirt thinking it wouldn't be too bad out. I got about 10 seconds into the run and got blasted by the arctic jetstream and turned around and made a beeline back inside to grab a long sleeve shirt I had in my bag. My co-worker has the same job that I have, but in a different area than I work and we had a good chat being able to vent about some of our similar frustrations. My hamstring and piriformis didn't bother me at all today on the run which was a good sign. I spent about 15 minutes stretching and doing some strengthening exercises after the run. I'm just planning on doing easy miles the next couple of days and then running a 24 miler on Saturday with potentially 12 miles at marathon pace. It may be below freezing and we might have snow on the ground here in Houston Saturday morning so we'll see if I do the marathon-paced miles this week or postpone it.

Tuesday 12/1 - Hills with Sean

Saturday after the long run I was chatting with Sean and told him I wasn't going to be able to make it out for hills on Monday morning and I thought between the race Thursday and ~22 miles on Saturday I wasn't going to be ready to thrash my legs more on Monday. He told me to come out Tuesday morning since he was going to be running hills then and he was going to be running them a little easier. I knew that I'd probably struggle to keep up even if he was running a little easier but since I had just run a great 10k I thought maybe it's just all mental and if I believe I can run with them in the workouts I won't have any trouble keeping up.

We met up at 5:30 am to start the warmup. It was about 50 degrees and a little breezy out but fortunately no rain. Sean, Bill Blancett, Dan Kahn and Luis Armenteros were all there. It was like a who's who of Houston running and me. We ran a 5 mile warmup over to memorial park and back to the park at Jackson Hill. My hamstring and piriformis were a little tight, but I spent a while stretching them. The workout plan was to run 16 hills (4 miles). We took off at the start and I was keeping up with the group the first couple of hills, but I could tell I was definitely breathing harder than everyone else. By the end of the 4th hill, I was still in relatively close contact but I knew I wasn't going to be able to keep up. I could keep pace on the uphill, but I needed to run slower on the recovery than they were going. After the first lap when i relaxed and decided not to try to keep up, I was able to run smoother and push the hills hard and take a little more recovery. Sean said afterwards since he was running the hills a little easier, he was going a little quicker on the recoveries. We did about a 1.5 mile cooldown for about 10.5 miles total.

Monday 11/30 - Day off

I had been planning on running hills with Sean on Tuesday AM and as bad as my legs felt on Sunday I took a day off to rest.

Sunday 11/29 - 7 miles

I went out for a run Sunday evening to try to do 7-9 miles. My legs felt it today after the long run. My first mile took more than 8 minutes and I knew it was going to be a tough run. My hamstring and piriformis were pretty tight and sore the entire run.

In case you were wondering what the piriformis is, it is a flat muscle, pyramidal in shape, lying almost parallel with the posterior margin of the gluteus medius. It is situated partly within the pelvis against its posterior wall, and partly at the back of the hip-joint. It arises from the front of the sacrum by three fleshy digitations, attached to the portions of bone between the first, second, third, and fourth anterior sacral foramina, and to the grooves leading from the foramina: a few fibers also arise from the margin of the greater sciatic foramen, and from the anterior surface of the sacrotuberous ligament. The muscle passes out of the pelvis through the greater sciatic foramen, the upper part of which it fills, and is inserted by a rounded tendon into the upper border of the greater trochanter behind, but often partly blended with, the common tendon of the obturator internus and gemelli. (courtesy wikipedia)

By the end of the run, I was favoring my leg and I decided to call it quits at 7 miles and about 54 minutes so I didn't end up injuring something. After the run I spent about 30 minutes stretching and foam rolling which seemed to help some.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday 11/28 - 21.75 miles - 2:40

Since i hadn't run a 20+ long run in 3 weeks, I forced myself to get a 20+ run in this weekend. My legs were still feeling it from the race on Thursday so I was planning on just taking it easy and hoping to run about 7:30 pace. I pulled off my usual get the parking lot as the group is taking off, but since they were headed my direction I knew that I could catch them at Feagan and Jackson Hill and join the group for the run. I got out to the corner and looked over and saw this giant pack of runners bearing down on me and I wondered if I had missed my usual group. I joined in and saw Bill and John who are usually in my group along with the next group. I was happy to not push the long run and not run it by myself. I enjoyed having a nice relaxing run and chatting with some people that I don't normally talk to as much. My splits varied some in the middle of the run as I ran with a few different people at different paces for a couple miles here or there. The last 8 miles or so of the run I ran on my own as I added on miles at the park and then ran back to the base with a couple miles to finish on the cloverleaf hills.

We ran a new route on a road north of Woodway and ran through a residential neighborhood I hadn't been in before. It was nice doing something a little different. My splits were 8:17, 7:44, 7:36, 7:25, 7:45, 7:35, 7:24, 7:25, 7:24, 7:11, 7:14, 7:39, 7:40, 7:35, 7:21, 7:10, 7:09, 7:09, 7:06, 6:57, 6:30, 6:25 pace for 3/4 mile.

After the run my legs felt pretty good for a 22 mile run. I put some Ben Gay on my hamstrings and calves at mile 17. They were still a little sore and I probably would have been fine without it, but it helps my legs feel better so I decided to put some on at a water stop. The weather was great with the temperature in the 50's.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday 11/27 - 7.5 painful miles - 56 minutes

I went out for a 7.5 mile run on Friday morning and my legs were in lots of pain after Thursday's run. I ran out along the I-20 frontage road out near Weatherford. It's a nice stretch of rolling hills and almost no traffic. Usually after the first couple of miles my legs will start feeling better, but they felt pretty sore the entire run. I spent quite a while stretching and foam rolling after my run. It was good to get out and run and the weather was nice again on Friday. The muscles in my feet were kind of sore after my run Friday. I hadn't worn my flats that I wore for the race too often and I had a new pair of trainers I started running in on Friday. Saturday has a 22 mile long run coming up since I hadn't gone long in 3 weeks.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ft. Worth Turkey Trot 10k - 33:26, "official" winner

This race was definitely a post-college 10k PR and might have been an all time 10k PR. I ran a handful of 10k cross country races in college, but I can't recall what my best time was. I was up in Ft. Worth visiting my sister so I decided to run a 10k turkey trot they were holding. I finished the race thinking I had finished 2nd, but somebody told me that the winner didn't run with a chip so he wasn't officially timed or eligible to win so I found out that technically I actually won the race. Coming into the race, my goal was to break 34:00. Last night I was plugging my recent 5k times and my half marathon from last month into a race predictor calculator and they were predicting I would run a 34:20 - 34:40 based on those times so I started to wonder if 34:00 was a realistic goal. 34:00 for a 10k is about 5:27 pace so I planned to try to go out at 5:30 or so and stay in the 5:25 - 5:30 range and see what happened. I hadn't seen the course beforehand other than on a map so I didn't know if it was flat or hilly, but I did know that there were a lot of turns as we ran through a few neighborhoods.

The race started and the pack took off. I didn't think too many of them looked like they should be running that pace, but some of them held it longer than I expected. I looked down at my Garmin midway through the first mile and saw that my instantaneous pace was about 5:20, but I figured I wasn't really going that fast. When I hit mile 1, I was in about 12th place and had run a 5:20. The guy who beat me had passed me about 1/2 a mile in and was up in the front of the pack. The were a few short hills in the first couple of miles and I realized that this wasn't going to be as flat a course as some of the ones I'm used to running in Houston. I actually liked the hills because they weren't too long or steep, but I could be running at sub 5:00 pace on the downhills and not feel like it was too much effort. I picked a few people off between mile 1 and 2 and I was trying not to lose contact with the pack ahead of me. I passed the mile 2 marker and hit 5:21 for mile 2. I started to wonder if I had gone out too quick and would blow up at the end, but I was still feeling pretty good.

Mile 3 had the most hills out of any mile and the pack ahead of me started to break up and I was picking people off and I was up into 6th place by the end of mile 3. The guy who really won was in the lead by himself and there were a couple guys a few seconds behind him and then a couple more guys who were in my sights and slowing down. I hit 5:19 for mile 3 and was feeling pretty good, but I thought I probably had started too fast. I passed the two guys in front of me and moved into 4th and set my sights on the two guys ahead of me. Mile 4 was probably the hardest of the race for me. I had passed the 2 guys right after the mile 3 marker and there was a decent gap to the next two guys. I could tell they were slowing down some, but it was hard to keep pushing to try to close the gap and not settle into an easier pace and just stay the same distance back. I hit mile 4 in 5:24, but had narrowed the gap significantly and had the guys in my sights.

With a little more than 2 miles to go, I knew that I had a legitimate shot at breaking 34:00 and I was pretty certain that I could take the two guys in front of me. I caught the first one at about 4.25 miles and we were about 3 or 4 seconds behind the guy in front of us. The first guy I caught didn't hang with me so I put in a surge and caught the other guy. He hung with me for a little bit but I put in a surge as we went up a hill to try to drop him and put some distance between us. I didn't want to settle into a slower pace and then have him just hang on me and end up passing me back near the end. Mile 5 was my slowest at 5:31 but I hadn't completely blown up and there were a few hills in it as well. I looked at my watch and saw I was right at 27:00 and calculated if I could run 5:40 and then 1:20 for the last 1/4 I would break 34:00. When I hit mile 5 I decided to treat mile 6 like the last mile of a hard interval workout and just keep pushing hard since I was almost done. I could see the guy in front of me occasionally but he was about 30 seconds ahead and I knew I wouldn't be catching him. I broke the last mile down into 1/4's and kept pushing trying to extend the gap between me and 3rd place.

My sister and brother-in-law and mom were cheering near the 6 mile marker and once I turned the corner I was kicking it as hard as I could. I didn't look at my watch until after I finished but I had run a 5:19 for mile 6 which was my fastest of the race and the last 1/4 mile in was at 4:50 pace according to my Garmin.

After I finished the race a guy came over and asked to take my picture and started interviewing me. I was wondering why they were spending so much time interviewing the 2nd place finisher and when I mentioned finishing 2nd the guy told me that the person ahead of me didn't have a chip so basically he didn't count and I was the winner. I felt kind of bad since this guy beat me by 20 - 30 seconds. I was off cooling down, but I guess they gave out the overall winner awards and I got a nice plaque and a frozen fully cooked smoked turkey. I guess I'll be eating plenty of turkey over the next couple of weeks. I was just happy with running a good time and hoping to win my age group.

My approximate splits were 5:20, 5:21, 5:19, 5:24, 5:31, 5:19, 72. I'll try to get back to updating my blog with my workouts more regularly. Lately my life has seemed like it is pretty much work, run, eat, sleep, repeat but work should be easing up some in the next week or two.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2009

11/14 Long run - 15 miles

The weather was nice and cool and Sam and Bill were both out for the Kenyan way long run. After the first water stop our group of 6 dropped down to 4 with Bill, Sam, Katrina and myself. The workout was just an out and back up TC Jester past 610 along the bike path. For some reason when Bill, Sam and I get together for a long run, we always seem to run a bit quicker. We were moving at pretty good pace at the turnaround and then picked it up even more on the way back and got back to the base with a couple of sub 6:00 miles. At base I was at about 14.25 miles so I ran an easy 3/4 to get to 15 for the day. Splits were 7:52, 7:13, 7:10, 7:00? - left time running at water stop, 6:46, 6:55, 6:38, 6:35, 6:25, 6:23, 6:30, 6:13, 5:51, 5:50, 7:20. We definitely negative split the run though I'm not sure that we needed to after being under 6:40 by the turnaround.

Friday 11/13 - 7.6 miles

Went to the park and ran 2+ loops in 58 minutes on friday evening. Took it pretty easy with a long run coming up in less than 12 hours and still feeling a little tired from the hard workout on Wednesday.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tattoo Ideas

Sometimes I tell my wife that she can get me a tattoo for a birthday or Christmas present, but she says she has to approve it before i could get one so it doesn't seem real likely I'll get one anytime in the near future. Sometimes when I'm watching basketball games, I'll point out some of the more no-so-subtle tattoos and tell her I'd like to get one like those. I ran across this article a couple days ago which details some of the more interesting tattoos some athletes are sporting. I'm sure I can find some good inspirations here.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=reilly_rick&id=4644126&sportCat=nba

Thursday 11/12 - 5 mile recovery run

I went out for a nice short easy recovery day after Wednesday's hard workout. I think I figured out that my foot pain from Monday is definitely shoe related and doesn't appear to be an overuse injury. I hadn't worn the shoes since Monday that I was wearing when my foot started hurting, but since I was only doing an easy 5 miles on the dirt path at the park I decided to wear them and see how they felt. I got about 2 blocks into my run when I started feeling discomfort in the same spot in my foot. I noticed that one of the plastic adidas stripes was putting pressure on the foot right there. I walked the 2 blocks back home, changed shoes and ran the 5 miles with no problems. I'm surprised that I've worn the shoes for so long and only now is the shoe causing me issues with that spot on my foot. I ran 20 miles on Saturday in those shoes with no problems. The worst part is that I had really liked that model and was planning on getting another pair to wear for the Houston Marathon. Now i need to figure out if I can actually do that or if I need to find a different shoe to try out and wear.

I ran the 5 miles at about 7:40 pace and I was surprised that my legs felt as good as they did after the Wednesday workout. Sometimes my legs are just toast and really dragging, but they felt surprisingly strong.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday 11/10 - Sean type workout

Sean had told me Saturday after the long run he was going to give Sam and me some tougher workouts for Wednesdays to run for our marathon training. I got an email on Monday with the workout 3 x 5k with 5 minutes recovery in between at marathon pace, marathon pace - 15 seconds and marathon pace - 30 seconds. I was looking forward to it with a combination of dread and anticipation. 3 x 5k just seems like a really long workout. I wanted to nail it, but I was dreading hitting the wall on the last one. Yesterday after my workout I did about 10 minutes of weights to work on strengthening my quads and hamstrings. I didn't think it was that much but I could definitely tell I had lifted yesterday.

I ran a 2 mile warmup in 14:30 and then started the workout. My goal mile pace for the 3 5ks were 6:10, 5:55, 5:40. My splits the first 5k were 6:07, 6:06, 6:06, 35 for a total of 18:54. It really didn't feel that hard though my legs felt a little tired. The second 5k was a little quicker, but still wasn't that hard and I really didn't feel like I had to push it until the last mile. My splits were 5:52, 5:55, 5:52, 33 for 18:12. I felt decent, but I knew that it might be hard to do 5:40's for the last 5k. I started out a little quick, but got into a groove and hit 5:35, 5:37, 5:35, 31 for a 17:18 closing 5k.

I didn't have any foot problems and ran the route on an asphalt trail in my regular trainers. I felt really good hitting all the times and having a good last 5k after already running two at decent speeds. Off to bed to try to recover for tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Signed up for Boston

My dad ran a 3:50 marathon this past weekend and made his Boston qualifying time by 10 minutes and we will be running Boston in April. Unfortunately it doesn't look like I am going to get a killer deal at the Four Seasons hotel like last year. Room rates there are $400/night more than what we paid last year.

Tuesday 11/10, 7.5 miles - no foot pain

I was a bit apprehensive about my run today and how my foot was going to feel. I was contemplating waiting until the evening to run when I came home so I could run at the park and do the majority of the run on the dirt path, but with my work schedule I was concerned that I might get home late and find and excuse to skip the run. I have two different pairs of shoes that I train in - a lightweight trainer that I wear for hills and speed workouts and various other runs and another normal weight shoe and I tend to alternate between them. I've been planning on wearing the lightweight trainer model for my upcoming marathons and I've run my last couple of long runs in them to try to work out a good sock/shoe combo. I didn't have any foot pain or problems on my 20 mile long run on Saturday. I've had the other shoes for a little longer, but I'm not sure if one pair has more mileage on it than the other. I brought my heavier shoes for the run and I decided I try to go for a run outside. If my foot hurt, I'd know that it wasn't an issue with my other shoes and I'd head back to our gym and ride a bike or workout on the elliptical or something like that.

I chose a route where I knew that I could actually run the majority of the route on grass or dirt along the edge of the sidewalks or roads. Running on the grass along the roads has its own set of hazards. I have to watch out for various dangers like uneven terrain, fire ant hills, muddy ground, snakes, unexploded land mines, tree roots, and bugs among other things. Fortunately it hadn't rained up here and so running on the grass was actually feasible today. I ran 7.5 miles in 52 minutes and never felt any pain in my foot although I was almost certain I would feel a sharp pain once I was at the farthest point from the office about 3.5 miles away. This afternoon I've wondered if I am feeling some tenderness in my foot every once in a while or if I'm just imagining things since I'm paranoid about an overuse injury. Tomorrow I'm supposed to run my first "What Sean would run if he were training for the marathon right now" workout. I think I'll try running it in the morning at the park and wear my heavier shoes since they seem to have more cushioning and running on the dirt doesn't seem to bother my foot, but if my foot starts to hurt I'll cut the workout short and spend a few days cross training and try to avoid a long layoff from running.

Monday - 11/9 - Hills and foot pain

Monday morning I headed out and began my usual 2.5 mile warmup from my house to the Kenyan Way hill workout. About 1 - 1.5 miles in to my warmup I started feeling some pain in my foot in one of the metatarsals. I wasn't sure if my shoe was just a little too tight and it was discomfort from the pressure of that or if I was starting to see the initial signs of an overuse injury. I'd done 44 miles in the previous 4 days which is probably the highest 4 day total I've done recently so I don't think an overuse injury is out of the question. I stopped to adjust my laces and it didn't bother me at all while I was walking, but it was still irritating me some while I was running. I got to the workout and talked to Sean and he suggested that I try jogging one of the circuits on the grass and see how that felt. I could still feel some slight discomfort on the 1st hill, but it seemed to fade away after that. I ended up doing 3 miles of hills at a medium to medium hard effort and then ran a 1/2 mile cooldown on the grass. Fortunately my wife was at the morning workout and was able to give me a ride back home so I didn't have to do a 2.5 mile cooldown on asphalt and concrete streets and sidewalks. I'm still not certain if it was just something to do with the shoe I was wearing or if I'm on the verge of having an overuse injury.

Sunday - 11/8 - 7.6 miles

Sunday evening I went out for a run at the park and ran 7.6 miles in 59 minutes. My legs felt a little sluggish from Saturday's run. The first mile was pretty slow and my hamstrings felt pretty tight, but I loosened up and felt decent the rest of the way. Sunday evenings at the park are pretty lonely, especially with the time change. I started my run about 6:30 pm and it's so dark it feels like it is 9:00 pm out. The run was pretty uneventful, but after the first mile I was happy with how my legs felt and I made it through my entire planned run.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

11/7 - Kenyan Way Long Run - 20 miles

For the first time in who knows how long I actually made it to the start of the run on time and was standing around by the fence waiting to start. Usually I'm trying to catch up with everyone as I'm a couple minutes late. It's also nice being able to get a halfway decent parking space. I looked at my schedule last night and saw it actually called for 22 instead of 20, but my longest run to date this year was about 18.5 miles and Sean has recommended not adding more than 2 miles per week to the long run so I decided to go for 20 this week. The run today called for running 11 miles at marathon pace in the middle of the run. I was contemplating whether I really wanted to do this and I didn't see Sam out there shortly before we were going to start. My legs were a little tired from Thursday's progressive run and running last night so I thought that I would just run with a couple of the other guys who were going to do 11 miles at 6:45 or 6:50 pace. About 30 seconds before we start Sam shows up and said he was planning on doing the 11 miles at marathon pace so I decided that I'd give it a try. We did the first 6 miles at a comfortable pace and hit the water stop at 6 miles coming out of downtown. Sam had said he was going to go for about 6:10 pace. I had been thinking of doing 6:15 pace, but I decided I'd give 6:10 a shot for as long as I could. The first mile we were right on pace at 6:10 and then Sam took off and shot ahead. I was content to stay around 6:10 pace and let him go. I skipped the next water stop 3 miles into the hard part and thought maybe I'd catch up to Sam at the water stop, but he grabbed such a quick drink and took off I never quite caught up. I could see him the whole way until the next water stop, but he was gradually pulling away a little bit. I had expected the next water stop to be around 6 miles into our marathon pace effort, but I didn't hit it until about 6.5. I knew I was going to catch Sam so I took an extra 30 seconds to take my energy gel and have a couple of cups of water to chase it. I was running really strong the first 7 miles and then slipped a little between miles 7 - 9, but was still close to 6:15 pace. The last 2 miles I was struggling and slipped down to mid 6:20's. That got me to 17 miles and then I headed back to the base and added on some to get to 20 miles. I was pretty happy with the workout and I stayed tough and kept pushing even when I was getting tired. Sam is in good shape and I'm going to have my work cut out trying to catch back up to him for the Houston marathon. My splits were - 7:48, 7:24, 7:31, 7:12, 7:02, 7:08, 6:10, 6:12, 6:09, 6:18, 6:07, 6:06, 6:10, 6:17, 6:17, 6:35, 6:26, 8:06, 7:20, 7:11. Total run time - 2:15

I may end up running the Boston marathon again in April. My dad is running the Ft. Worth marathon to try to qualify tomorrow and if he hits the qualifying time I'll sign up for Boston and run it in April. He was planning on trying to qualify at Houston, but the registration for Boston is well ahead of last year's pace when it closed less than a week after Houston. Somebody at the BAA told him on Tuesday if he didn't run a qualifying time this month he wouldn't be able to get into the 2010 race and would have to wait until 2011. He found the Ft. Worth marathon and instead of a 20 mile long run he'll be doing a 26 mile long run this weekend. His qualifying time is 4:00 and I think he should be able to qualify.

BCS rant

After last week's college football games (10/31) I was looking at the BCS standings and I'm trying to figure out why the computer rankings get 1/3 of the weight in the BCS standings. Boise St. was undefeated and beat Oregon head to head the first game of the year. Neither team has lost since then, but Oregon is ahead of Boise St. in all but 1 of the computer rankings and at least 4 places ahead in 2 of the computer rankings. One computer has undefeated Texas 9th - 5 spots behind one loss Oregon and only 1 spot ahead of two loss USC who was destroyed last week. I'm pretty certain we'll see the eventual SEC champ and Texas in the National Championship game as long as they win out. The computers had Iowa ranked 2nd (granted before their loss today) but it was fairly obvious to everyone with common sense that Iowa isn't as good as some of the real contenders. Unfortunately you can't program common sense into the computers.

Friday 11/6 - 8 miles

I could have run in the morning before I went into work, but since I'm a habitual procrastinator I put it off and decided to run in the afternoon. Eventually I made it out the door at 5:30 pm and ran 8 miles in 1 hour at 7:30 pace. I was intentionally taking it easy with a 20 mile run on the schedule 12 hours later. Weather was in the mid-70's and felt fairly nice out.

Thursday 11/5 - Progressive run - 8.5 miles

I had to get up at 5:00 to get out the door and get my workout in to be up at a meeting in the middle of The Woodlands by 8:00. The original workout was 2 x 1 mile and 2 x 800, but I knew that I would run bad times that early in the morning so I just decided to do a progressive run instead. The run went ok, but I didn't feel very smooth and I was stumbling quite a bit and my form felt pretty sloppy. My splits were 7:05, 6:40, 6:29, 6:15, 5:59, 5:48, 5:35. I had planned on finishing with a 5:30 mile and then doing a 1.5 mile cooldown. I never felt like I was pushing it that hard and I probably could have dropped down into the 5:20's if I had more time.

Wednesday 11/4 - day off

Will do hard workout Thursday A.M

Tuesday 11/3 - 5 miles

Didn't have much time for a run today so did an easy 5 miles at 7:30 pace.

Monday 11/2 - Hill workout

I had a strong hill workout today. I ran a 2.5 mile warmup and got there right as the workout was starting. We were doing loops on the cloverleafs where we ran hard up 2 and hard down 2 hills each lap and jogged easy across the overpasses. We were supposed to run for about 30 minutes and I got 5 laps in 30:30. My first lap was about 6:15, the 2nd was 6:10, and then the last 3 were all about 6:00. I think each lap was about 0.9 miles so I did about 4.5 miles during the workout. I did a 2.5 mile cooldown for a total of 9.5 miles.

Sunday 11/1 - 7 miles - 56 minutes

We went up to San Antonio for a quick overnight trip and I ran in the evening when we got back into town. With daylight savings time, it gets dark early. We had walked around at the Alamo and the Riverwalk for about 3 hours and then sat in the car for 3 hrs on the way back so my legs weren't feeling all that great. I had wanted to do 8 - 9 , but I was running at 8:00 pace and decided that 7 was enough with a hill workout coming Monday morning.

Saturday - 10/31 - 12 miles

After running 9 miles at sub-7:00 pace the day before, I was planning on just cruising an easy 12 miles. Since I had a shorter run on the schedule this week and good weather I decided to take advantage of that to sleep in and run later in the morning. I was feeling pretty good and just started cruising and ended up getting down into the 6:20's before deciding to slow it down the last few miles. My legs felt tired and I didn't want to strain or pull something. My splits were 7:35, 7:06, 6:58, 6:47, 6:41, 6:33, 6:33, 6:25, 6:38, 7:07, 7:01, 7:19. Total run time was 1:23.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday 10/30 - 9 miles

I ran with a co-worker at lunch today and we did about 9 miles in 62 minutes. I had been contemplating running a 5k on Saturday, but this run pretty much guaranteed I wouldn't be doing that. My co-worker, Mead ran the 10 for Texas 10 miler in about 61 minutes a few weeks ago. If he seriously trained and put in higher mileage, he could probably be crazy fast. The weather was really nice out - low 60's and cloudy and lots of puddles everywhere on the ground from the storms that had passed through on Thursday night. We were planning on doing close to 8 miles, but we took a wrong turn in a subdivision and ended up adding on a bit when we came out on the wrong side. I felt pretty good today and I'm glad it looks like I'm starting to get my mileage back up there. Before we started running I was telling a couple people in the locker room about my exchange from Thursday with the security guard and about 45 seconds later a security guard (different guy) comes walking through the locker room. They probably have it bugged or something and were coming to have a chat with me. Either that or they were making sure there weren't any unruly thugs causing problems in the locker room. It was kind of amusing because as soon as the guy left everyone was asking me if it was the same guy from the day before.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday 10/29 - 6 miles

I only had a limited amount of time to get my run in today so I was only able to do about 6.2 miles though I ran it in about 41 minutes. I headed out the door thinking that it might rain, but I'd rather get wet than run on a treadmill. I made it through about the first 3 miles without it really raining much - maybe a sprinkle here or there, but I could see some pretty dark clouds ahead on my route back, but I thought that it looked like they were south of my route and I'd be ok. I made it a little past mile 4 and the sky opened up and it just started pouring. Fortunately for me my skin is waterproof and I only got drenched. After a couple minutes my shirt was so water logged I just took it off and carried it since it was getting kind of annoying. When I got back to my office, there was a small overhang near the door that goes in near the gym and I wrung out my shirt and tried to wring out my shorts a little so I wouldn't be dripping all over the floor. At my office you have to use your badge to unlock the doors and get into the building. After I opened the door and was walking in I noticed one of the security guards standing inside the door watching me as I was coming in. He asked how I was and I told him it was wet out there. I sort of ignored him and started walking towards the gym and then he sort of follows me and asks if I'm going to the gym. I thought...duh, I'm wearing shorts and a t-shirt and tennis shoes and I'm drenched from being outside. I thought about telling him "no, I have an appointment with the CEO and that's where I'm heading, but I was already having sort of a bad day and didn't really need to start getting into it with Paul Blart. Then he asked if I was an employee. Again I thought....duh, how else could I have gotten into the building without badging in. You were standing right there and I didn't piggyback in behind anybody else, but again I just flashed my badge and said yes and scurried on into the gym. I guess I'm glad that our security guards are paying attention and making sure no troublemaking thugs sneak into our gym.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday 10/28 - 7 miles

I got up this morning and ran a couple of laps at the park and got a total of 7 miles in. After yesterday evening's run, my legs felt even more tired today. I stopped to talk briefly with Sean about whether I should run a 5k this weekend. He said he wouldn't recommend doing it, but if I wanted to I could but don't expect to be running super fast times. I'll see how my legs feel on Friday. After I finished today's run and the way my legs felt, I think I'm leaning away from doing it right now. I averaged about 8 minute pace this morning. I probably won't run until lunch or in the evening on Thursday so that will give my legs a little more time to recover between now and my next run.

Tuesday 10/27 9.1 miles

I went out for a run in the evening after work. My legs definitely were still tired from the race and a little sluggish. The weather was really nice with temperature in the low 60's. I've run this route a few times and measured the total distance before and I have sort of rough ideas of about where each mile is, but I wasn't wearing a Garmin so I didn't get exact mile splits. The first half mile was really slow, but then my legs started to loosen up and I started cruising. I hit the first mile around 7:45 but with the nice weather, I averaged about 7:00 pace for the rest of the run and finished in just under 65 minutes. Aerobically it was very easy and I could have had a conversation the whole way if I'd been running with someone. My legs were tired, but I never felt like I was pushing too hard on them.

Monday 10/26 - No run

Tired Legs + Rain + Laziness = no run It probably would have helped my legs to run a few miles easy, but eating chocolate chip cookies to celebrate my race seemed more appealing at the time.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Houston 1/2 marathon 1:16:24 - 5th overall (PR)

I more or less stuck to my gameplan and ran a strong race and PR'd by over a minute. I had a little finish line mishap which cost me 5 or 6 seconds, but fortunately it didn't cost me any places. Last night I found out I'd be getting to wear one of the Kenyan Way Elite singlets for the race so I knew I'd better not run slow. My plan was to start in the 5:50's and then pick it up and finish strong. Race conditions weren't ideal - temperature started in the mid 60's and fairly humid at the start with some headwinds on the 2nd half of each loop. The pack took off and I sort of found myself in no man's land (like usual). I hit 5:50 for the first mile which was as fast as I wanted to be, but there was a fairly large pack of probably about 10 guys pulling away from me, but I was committed to sticking to my plan. The course was 3 loops on Allen Parkway which is a pretty tough course with 4 decent hills on each lap as you drop under the Waugh and Studemont overpasses.

The 2nd - 4th miles are a little slower as you hit the hills on Allen Parkway and it seemed like we hit a headwind as we turned around and started heading back. I it 5:56, 5:57, 6:02. As soon as I saw the 6:02 I knew that I needed to pick the pace up. I was running with a couple of guys, but I put in a surge and dropped them and started catching a few guys who had been falling out of the pack ahead. I hit mile 5 in 5:47 and then got a little too excited on mile 6 as I reeled in a couple of guys and I hit 5:36. I could see Gerardo Mora, Tom King and Rudy Rocha all in my sights ahead and my goal was to catch them over the next couple of miles. Mile 7 was 5:48 and then I hit 5:41 in mile 8 as I caught and passed those three guys. I could see Sam Rodriguez and another guy 20 - 30 seconds ahead and my goal was to catch them by the halfway point of lap #3.

I hit mile 9 in 5:45. Sam had pulled away from the guy he had been running with and I was closing the gap on the other guy but Sam was pulling a little farther away from me. I caught the other guy before mile 10, but I missed the mile 10 marker. The one thing I don't like about the looped course is that I am lapping people for almost half of the race. They were pretty good today about leaving a lane clear for the faster people to run in, but you can't always run the apex of the corners and you end up having to run a little farther and it is really difficult to grab water at a water station with all the people who are walking through there. My mile 9 - 11 split was 11:30 so I'll just assume I hit 5:45 for each of the miles, but I suspect it was probably more like 5:42/5:48 since I probably would have been going a little quicker as I was catching somebody in mile 10. I was pretty exhausted when I got to mile 11 and I didn't feel like I had much in the tank to really pick up the pace and I was just trying to keep running fast and not fall off pace and get passed by anyone. At the last turn around, Sam looked really strong and I pretty much knew I wasn't going to catch him. Mile 11 had 2 of the hills in it and was really tough as I fell back to 5:54.

At this point I knew I was almost done and just needed to push it in for one more mile. I didn't get a split at the 13 mile marker as I was trying to kick it in and I stopped my watch as I crossed what I thought was the finish line with a 6:26 for the last 1.1 and a 1:16:15. For some odd reason they had a timing mat right as you entered the chute and several people standing there so I crossed it and stopped and grabbed onto the railing. Then several people started yelling at me that I needed to keep going and I saw another timing mat and the clock about 20 meters ahead. Fortunately nobody else was close, but I was kind of ticked that they had the "false" finish line. I guess I should have seen the clock was still a little ways ahead, but when you are kicking it in and you cross a mat and there are several officials there it's pretty easy to assume you are done. If I hadn't stopped I probably would have been at 1:16:18 or so, but hopefully I'll set another PR in my next half marathon and I won't have to worry about the 6 seconds I lost.

I was really happy with a 1:15 PR in the half on this course in these weather conditions. I placed 5th overall but only came in 3rd in my age group as my age group took 3rd, 4th and 5th. I never was passed by anybody in the race that stayed ahead of me and I passed at least 10 people. I think I picked up the pace a little too much on the 2nd lap as I was passing people and I was struggling to hold on at the end instead of finishing strong with sub 5:40's which is what I had been hoping to do. All in all it was a great race.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday 10/24 - 4 miles

I ran a super easy 4 miles at 8:00 pace just to loosen up and do some stretching afterwards. I've gotten about 9 - 9.5 hrs of sleep each of the last two nights which should really help me out for the race tomorrow. It looks like racetime temperature should be somewhere between 55 and 60. The race starts at 7:00 am so it shouldn't get too warm. My 1/2 marathon PR from 2 years ago is 1:17:39. When I ran that race I had no idea what kind of shape I was in and my goal was just to run 6:00 pace. I had started that race at about 6:10 pace and dropped down into the mid 5:40's by mile 10 before just hanging on the last couple of miles. Last year I ran a terrible race here. I'm not sure what happened, but I could just never pick the pace up and I ran 1:19:xx. My goals for tomorrow are to break 1:17 and hopefully be under 1:16. Breaking 1:17 would require me to average 5:52 pace and 1:16 would be 5:48 pace. The course is 3 loops on Allen Parkway and isn't the fastest course out there. My goal is to start out 5:55 - 6:00 the first mile and just gradually drop the pace each mile. I want to average 5:52- 5:55 for the first loop, 5:45 - 5:50 for the 2nd loop and hopefully sub 5:40 pace for the 3rd loop. If I can't pick up the pace then I'll get to a pace I can maintain and hopefully still come in with a new PR.

Friday 10/23 - 7 miles easy

I ran a nice easy recovery run at Memorial Park today. The weather was great out - temp in the low 60's and sunny out. I started out around 7:30 pace and finished up at 7:15 pace by the end and finished in about 52 minutes. I got a massage in the afternoon to help relax my body for the upcoming race.

Thursday 10/22 - Progressive Run

I would have preferred to run this earlier in the week with the 1/2 marathon coming up on Sunday, but I needed to have a good workout to give me confidence for the race and a feel for what kind of goal time is realistic on Sunday. I saw on Bill's blog that he and Sam had both run really strong progressive runs so I felt a little bit of pressure to have a good run. The last few times I had run progressive runs, I either really struggled to finish a mile at 5:30 or I didn't even finish the 5:30 mile which had been kind of depressing. I ran at lunch after the storms had moved through and the temperature was around 70 degrees. My goal was to start at 7:00 pace, drop 15 seconds every mile until I couldn't hit my target pace. I felt pretty good and kept feeling great as the run progressed. My splits were 7:05, 6:51, 6:31, 6:09, 5:56, 5:42, 5:28, 5:15, 1/4@5:08 pace. I felt really good on the 5:42 and 5:28 mile and felt like I could have kept cruising for several more miles at that pace which makes me feel good about the race on Sunday. On the 5:15 mile I was a little slow the first 1/4 and was worried I was only going to hit 5:20 - 5:25 pace, but I kept pushing hard and got back on track and finished it right on pace. I hadn't expected to still be going after the 5:15 mile, but I decided to see what I could do. I hit 1:17 for the 1st quarter and knew there was no way I could get my pace down to 5:00 so I shut it down there and did a 1 mile cooldown. I felt really good being able to hit the faster times that I was struggling to hit a couple months ago. The cooler weather makes a huge difference for me because the heat and humidity really slow me down.

Wednesday 10/21 - 6 miles in 40:30

Got a short run in on a treadmill after work before our gym closed since it had been raining quite a bit outside. Ran 6 miles at 6:45 pace. I had wanted to do the progressive run today, but didn't have long enough to do it so I pushed it back to Thursday.

Tuesday 10/20 - No Run

Traveled out to a field office in North Texas today and left the house at 4:45 am and didn't get back until 7:30 and was too wiped out for a run in the evening.

Monday 10/19 - Kenyan Way Hills

Finally made it out of bed for a morning run without any mishaps or excuses. Ran 2.5 mile warmup, drills and strides and then ran 30 minutes of hill circuits on the 4 cloverleafs. We ran hard on each of the 4 cloverleafs and jogged between the hills. I didn't bother timing the laps on the individual hills since it would be kind of tough to compare. I started out the first lap at a quick, but not too hard pace and picked it up and was flying by the end of the workout. My overall lap times weren't changing much, but I was definitely running a lot faster by the end of the workout on the hills. Ran a 2.5 mile cooldown back to the house after the workout.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday - 5 miles

I went out this evening for an easy run and cut it short after my legs just felt dead. I averaged a little under 7:30 pace for 5 miles, but decided to head home instead of running one more lap. My legs felt really good after the long run yesterday, but I could feel them today. I'm going to run the morning hills Monday morning so hopefully my legs will be a little fresher then.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday - 18+ miles

I set my alarm for 5:15 when I went to bed last night and I woke up a few minutes before 5:00 this morning and looked at the clock and decided to go back to sleep for 15 - 20 minutes until the alarm went off. Next think I know I'm waking up and looking at the clock again and it is after 6:00. Turns out I accidentally set it for 5:15 pm instead of am. Since it was already after 6:00 and I missed the start of the run I decided to go back to sleep and run a little later in the morning since I'd be running by myself anyway.

I left about 8:45 and started the run. I saw Sean out at the high school cross country meet on the bayou near Memorial and Shepherd and he asked why I didn't get up and run with the group like I should. He told me there were still fluids at one of the stops on the route so I ran down the route the to Hermann Park and Rice University. When I started the run the temperature was in the low 60's and it was sunny out and felt really nice out. This was the first long run in a while I've actually worn a shirt for. There were several drinking fountains around Hermann Park and Rice so I didn't have any problems getting enough fluid. I felt pretty good and ended up averaging about 6:48 pace for the run. I think when I was trying to cross through the roundabout and get from Hermann Park back to Montrose on the way home I must have thought I stopped my garmin and then when I hit the button to start it I was really stopping it. I didn't discover it until I was back just past Stanford and Westheimer. According to the map it is over a mile and when I finished the run my Garmin said 17.5, but I think I ran somewhere around 18.5 or a little more. The 7:29 mile that was way out of place was high because the clock was probably running for 45 - 50 seconds while I wasn't going anywhere. Based on the mile times around it I'm guessing I ran that mile in the mid 6:30's.

My splits were 7:23, 6:59, 7:23, 6:52, 6:51, 6:55, 7:00, 6:52, 6:56, 6:57, 6:48, 6:39, 7:29*, 6:31, 6:27, 6:36, 6:08, 6:05 (last 1/2 mile pace)

One disadvantage of running later in the morning is there is more traffic out so I ended up have to stop briefly numerous times to cross a busy road and usually at 6:00 am there isn't any traffic out to slow you down. My legs felt pretty good for having run 18 miles. I think the cooler weather contributed a lot to that because I didn't sweat near as much as usual and sometimes on the warm days my legs start cramping after I finish the run but they felt fine today. I hope we have good weather for the 1/2 marathon next weekend.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday - 8 miles easy

I went out for an easy 8 miles in 55:15 at 5:30 after work. The lower temperatures made a big difference in how I felt. I averaged 6:56 pace for the 8 miles but didn't feel like I was pushing it very hard. I could have run quicker, but I didn't want to push it too hard with an 18 miler coming up Saturday morning.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday 10/15 - 7 miles easy

Well the good weather hadn't arrived at lunchtime when I went out for my run. Hot, humid and miserable. I heard on the radio they were predicting a high of 92 or 93 and that it might set a new record high for the day. I ran 7 miles in 52 minutes. Not too exciting, but recovery days rarely are.

I'm bummed i missed the 10 mile races this weekend. With the good weather, I think I could have gone sub 57:30 and maybe had a shot at 57:00. I'll never know though. Hopefully the weather is good for the Houston 1/2 marathon on the 25th. If the weather is good, my goal is 1:16. I really have no idea if I'm really in that shape right now or not. I definitely have the speed, but can I hold the pace that long? I guess we will find out. Congrats to everyone who raced well this past weekend. There were some very impressive times out there and Sean is an animal.

Wednesday 10/14 - Really hard run

Of course my punishment for enjoying the nice weather out in San Francisco is 90 degree temperatures and humidity back in Houston. I wasn't able to run until the evening and I headed out around 7:30, but is was in the mid-80's and miserably humid. My workout was 9 - 10 miles total with a 1600, 1200, 800, 400 with about 3 minutes recovery between each one. I did a little over a 5 mile warmup because I knew that I would really lack the motivation to add extra miles after I ran the hard workout. I felt good at the beginning of the warmup but as it progressed I felt like I was slowing down in the heat and humidity and I started thinking of all sorts of excuses to throw in the towel on the workout. I could just run another lap and then head home and that would be close to 9 miles. I hadn't run enough on my vacation so I probably shouldn't run hard. Maybe I'll just run the first mile and it will probably be slow and so I'll call it a day and cool down after that. Usually when it is 7:30 pm and I haven't started a run, I'll just skip it. I had been reading a couple of old Runner's World magazines I was catching up on during my trip and one of the articles was about how the pros train and making the most out of our hard workouts and getting quality workouts in. I also know that I need to win the mental toughness battles that I am always fighting with myself so that I don't give up late in a race when I start getting tired and experience the pain and agony of the last few miles of a marathon.

I had plugged a 16:30 5k time into the calculator that gave me my target times and I was aiming for a 5:10 mile, 3:45 1200, 2:28 800 and 70 400. I started my mile and went through the 1/4 at 80. I thought that if I'm at 5:25 when I finish I'm done with the workout. I picked up the pace and went through the 1/2 at 2:38 and then ran a 2:35 right on pace in the 2nd half to finish in 5:13. Between running around people and the footing at the park, I think I lost at least 3 seconds. I walked for about 2 minutes and then jogged the last minute for each of the recoveries. I hit 75 for the first 1/4 of the 1200 and hung on pretty close to pace the last 800 and hit 3:48. I was a few seconds off my goal, but close enough considering the heat and humidity. A lot of times I really blow up on the 1200 when I do this ladder workout and end up running the same pace as my mile. I hit my 800 in 2:31 and ran the 400 in 71. I was feeling pretty good the last 400 and felt like picking up the pace and sprinting in during the final 100, but I could feel my quads burning and I was worried that if I picked up the pace any more I might pull my quad. Since I'm training for the marathon, running my 400 in 68 isn't really going to do anything good and I've missed enough runs lately that I don't need to miss any more. I ran a 1.5 miles cooldown for a total workout of about 9.5 miles. I was pleased with my workout and happy I was pretty close to my goal times despite having to weave around people at the park and the oppressive weather. The weather is supposed to be much better this weekend as a front moves in and cools it off with highs in the mid-70's and lows in the mid-to-upper 50's.

Travels to San Francisco

I was out of town again for another quick vacation for a better part of a week to go to San Francisco to watch the Presidents Cup golf tournament and play a couple rounds of golf with some of my old friends I grew up with. It was really awesome getting to watch players like Tiger, Phil, and Vijay tee off five feet in front of me. It's cool seeing the players in person, but it's tough to actually keep up with what's happening in the various matches. We watched the tournament on Thursday and Sunday and played golf on Friday and Saturday. Unfortunately for my training, my running usually falls off a little while I was on vacation. I was able to run every other day and I put in some tougher workouts, but nothing can substitute for a quality week of high mileage. My best two runs were one where I did one run on a treadmill and knocked out 6.4 miles in 40 minutes. I did another hard workout where I did about 3.25 miles of 30/30 in 17:40. The weather for running was great out there. It was in the low 50's in the morning and I could really cruise fast in that weather without putting out too much effort.

Coming back on Monday was a nightmare. I had flown Southwest since you can check two bags without any fees and I needed to take my golf clubs with me on the trip. My friend and I took BART (the subway) to the airport and we arrived about an hour and 20 minutes before our flight. We get over to the Southwest counter area and the line stretches out farther than the eye can see. We walk and walk and keep walking and go around a couple of corners and finally find the back of the line. I don't think I'd ever seen such a long line in my life. Later I found out the problem was that the cloud ceiling was so low they had to shut down one of the runways and by mid-day all the flights were delayed by 2 hours. Since I was flying Southwest and had to make a connection I knew I wouldn't make my connection and they would have to reschedule my connecting flight. They had to do that with practically everybody which made the line inch along. After about 2 hours we finally got up to the ropes that snake back and forth by the ticket counter. There was a guy about 3 people in front of me who was the only person really making a scene and he tried to go up to the counter and get preferential treatment. I thought that they were about to actually help him just to make him shut up so my friend and I started yelling that he was cutting in line and they shouldn't check his bag. He kind of glared at us and then came back to his spot in line. He had a flight at 1:45 and was threatening that if he didn't make the flight he wasn't going to leave the counter. I was actually looking forward to this and hoping he would make a scene and the cops would have to come Taser him, or at least arrest him. It would have made my 2-1/2 hour wait in line a little more tolerable. Unfortunately for me he got up to the counter about 25 minutes before his flight, got his bag checked and ran off towards the security line without incident.

I finally made it to the counter just over 2-1/2 hours of standing in line and 35 minutes before my flight was scheduled to leave. Since my connecting flight out of LA wasn't delayed, they put me on a later flight. I asked if my bags would actually make this flight since it was only 35 minutes away and they told me they should so I headed off to the gate. My friend was also scheduled to be on the same flight to LA and then he had a different connection back to Albuquerque, but it was going to be awfully tight to make the connection, but they left him scheduled on it. We made it to LA and my friend had about 10 minutes to make his connection so he ran off while I waited and waited. I had been scheduled on a flight that stopped in Phoenix and then continued on to Houston, but it had been delayed and wasn't scheduled to arrive until 12:40 am. There was a later non-stop flight to Houston from LA that wasn't as delayed and was supposed to arrive at midnight so I asked them to put me on that flight instead. It ended up being delayed a little longer and we landed in Houston about 12:20. When I got off the plane I saw my friend had texted me and said he made it back, and he got his suitcase, but his golf clubs didn't make it. Since he checked in just behind me I felt a little better that my bags made the flight out of SF. I got to the baggage carousel and waited and waited and went to the restroom and waited some more and finally the bags started coming. Maybe all the baggage handlers had gone home for the night so the pilots and flight crew had to unload the plane. A ton of bags come out, but not mine. They let up and then another surge of bags starts coming. And then no more come and I'm standing there with about 2 other people looking for bags. What a perfect ending to a crappy day. Fortunately the lost baggage people were there and took my info and told me they would call me the next day after they came in and would set up a delivery so I finally leave the airport at 1:00 am. Fortunately I made it home safely and my bags showed up Tuesday morning in Houston and they delivered them after work on Tuesday.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Kenyan Way Hills

The morning hill workout was canceled because of all the rain, but I left work early enough to get to the evening hill workout (barely). I ran over there from my house and got to the workout just as they were taking off on the first hill. I missed the first hill and then joined in on the 2nd one. The workout was 25 minutes of hill repeats on 2 over the cloverleafs with a walk/jog recovery between them. Sam was out there so I ran with him. We would run up the cloverleaf, walk down the steep section and then jog over to the start of the next hill. The first hill took ~ 49 - 54 seconds to run and then the 2nd hill took about 35 - 40 seconds to run. It was about 90 degrees out and quite warm. It was a tough workout, but I felt really good. I had gotten a massage sunday afternoon and my legs were feeling a lot better and I felt much more rested than the previous days. At the end of the workout I added on 1 more hill to make up for the first one that i had missed early on. At the beginning of the workout, I was running about 54 seconds on the first hill and I finished my last one at 47 seconds. I'm not sure what the distance on it was, but we were moving at a pretty quick pace. After the workout I did about a 3.5 mile cooldown for a total of ~9.5 miles on the day.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday - 6.5 miles

This was the most miserable run I've done all year I think. I guess the last two days finally caught up to me. I got up early Sunday morning to get my run in and it was warm and extremely humid out. It was kind of like the clouds were just sweating. This was one of those days I wish I hadn't run with a watch. I felt like I was going quicker than my watch said so it was discouraging every time I looked down thinking I'd see quicker times. My legs just felt dead today and I was pretty stiff and slow the first mile and was above 8:30. I got down to about 8:00 pace for a couple miles and then fell back off to about 8:15 pace for the last couple. I finished the run which is about the only good thing about today's run.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday - 16 miles - 1:53

I did my Saturday long run by myself. I've felt a little tired and lethargic a lot of the week so I took the opportunity to sleep in since the weather was cooler. I started the run about 9:00 am and it was in the mid-70's and cloudy out. I was planning on trying to do 16 - 18 miles. I didn't take any energy gels or water with me so I was dependent on hitting drinking fountains during the route. I grabbed a quick sip at mile 2, but unfortunately I wasn't able to get to a drinking fountain around mile 6 which would have let me go the rest of my planned route which didn't have another drinking fountain until about mile 15. I knew if I went 13 miles between water stops, I was going to be pretty dehydrated and struggle. I changed my route and went back to Memorial park and got to a fountain at about mile 12, but I was pretty parched by then. I did another 4 miles, but I was slowing down enough and pretty wiped out that I decided to call it good at 16 instead of pushing myself to 18 miles. My splits were 7:38, 7:16, 7:12, 7:05, 6:58, 6:59, 6:57, 6:50, 6:47, 6:59, 6:56, 7:04, 7:14, 6:58, 6:54, 7:15 for a 7:03 average. I was fairly impressed with the pace for 16 miles since I had run a tempo run the day before.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday - Tempo Run

My life's been a little hectic lately. I got a promotion at work, but my life has been pretty busy trying to start working in my new position and finish off a couple of things from my old job so my running hasn't been the top priority this week. Since I didn't get a run in on Thursday, I decided to do a tempo run on Friday so I could get a 2nd hard workout in. The weather was decent out, but a little warm and sunny. One of my co-workers ran with me and planned to stick with me as long as he could. After a 2 mile warmup, we started a 5 mile tempo run. If I were running by myself I probably would have tried to go about 5:45 - 5:50 pace, but i backed off a little bit. My splits were 5:56, 5:59, 5:59, 5:56, 5:52. This was definitely more of an anaerobic threshold run than some of my previous tempo runs. I think I got going too hard on some of the previous tempo runs and turned them more into all out runs at the end. I felt nice and relaxed today and definitely could have kept this pacing going for a couple more miles or picked up the pace some. My co-worker made it to mile two right on pace and then dropped out. I did a 1.5 mile cooldown after the workout for a total of 8.5 miles.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

8.5 Miles easy

I went out for a nice run after work today. I could definitely still feel my legs after yesterday's speedwork. I didn't wear a watch and just ran easy. Sometimes I find it is easier to not wear a watch because I don't get frustrated seeing the time slowly crawl by when I am running slow and I don't feel like I need to pick up the pace or slow down because I'm not hitting the pace that I thought I would be running. I've measured the route I ran in the past and knew it was about 8.5 miles. I don't know exactly how long it took, but I think it was at least 65 minutes. Not real fast for me, but a good easy run with a hard day coming up tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday - Speedwork

Since I missed the Kenyan Way mile repeats yesterday I decided to do mile repeats at lunch today. I did 4 x 1 mile with 2 minutes recovery between each one. My goal was to start at 5:20 - 5:25 pace and then drop down to near 5:00 pace at the end if I could. I did a 3 mile warmup and drills, stretched and some strides. My times were 5:26, 5:16, 5:11, 5:16. The first one was tough to get going on and I could just never get down to 5:20 pace except on the last 1/4. I probably should have done a couple more strides at the end of my warmup, but since I was running over lunch I didn't have a ton of extra time. The 2nd mile started feeling good and I was right where I wanted to be. I felt even better on the 3rd one and hit 5:11, but I was pretty wiped out at the end and I wasn't sure how the last one would feel. I started out and was at 78 seconds at the 1/4, but my legs felt dead and I knew I was in trouble. I could really feel the lactic acid starting to build and I was wondering if I should stop at 800, rest for a minute and then try to hit 2:30 on the last 800. I made up my mind that I was going to finish even if I was running 5:30 pace because I need to get past these thoughts of throwing in the towel when I start slowing down. I hit the 800 at 2:28 and I had slowed down a little that 1/4. The 3rd 1/4 was really tough and I hit 80 seconds again. At that point I knew I was almost done and thought that I would probably be able to keep it under 5:20. I picked it up at the end at hit 78 seconds for the last 1/4 and finished at 5:16. It was slower than the 3rd one, but a respectable time. I did a 1.5 mile cooldown for a total of 8.5 miles on the day.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday - No run

I needed some rest Monday morning after doing 33.5 miles in the past 3 days and I got home late from work and it was raining fairly hard so I lost my motivation for an evening run. If I'm feeling well, I may try to do 1 or 2 two-a-day's later in the week to make up the mileage.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday - 8 miles

I went out Sunday evening and it was hot out. I thought once fall hit the temperatures were supposed to cool down. The temperature was 92 and the heat index was 97 when I started the run. After the first mile, I got down to about 7:25 pace and pretty much stayed within a few seconds of that pace for the entire run. I finished the 8 miles in 59:50 and did 4 strides at the end of the workout.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

17.5 miles - 2:04

I almost made it to the start of the run in time this week and met up with the group about 1/4 mile into the run. Bill, Nick, Mike, John and another guy I didn't know was there. Sam caught up with us at the first water stop. The first 10 miles or so were all between 7:00 - 7:30 pace with us gradually picking up the pace. We dropped down below 7:00 pace about mile 11 and I stayed under there the rest of the run. We hit the water stop about mile 12.5 on Crestwood and most of the guys headed back towards the base. I decided to run an extra lap at the park and then head back to get to 17.5 miles because I knew it could be tough to add on miles at the end if everybody else stopped at the base. I dropped down into the low 6:40's for a couple of miles and then came back up to around 6:50 pace for the last couple of miles. The last 5 miles were definitely harder running by myself than with the group, but the last 5 were my fastest 5 miles of the run. My legs were pretty tired he rest of the day afterwards, but the workout went pretty well overall.

Friday, September 25, 2009

8 miles easy - 1 hr

I ran this afternoon with my friend Benson who was out doing an 11 miler and I ran with him for about 6.5 miles with him during my 8 mile run run. It was nice having somebody else to run and talk with. I averaged about 7:30 - 7:40 pace for the run. I'm going for 17 - 18 miles tomorrow so I want my legs to be fresh.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

7 miles easy

Another day with great running weather. Temperature was about 70 degrees and sprinkling lightly. My legs felt pretty good today despite yesterday's hard workout. My quad muscles felt a little sore like how muscles sometimes feel the day after lifting weights. I felt good and cruised the 7 miles in 50 minutes and averaged about 7:10 pace. I finished the run without a moment to spare. I was about 15 seconds away from the door of the building and I had to stop suddenly and walk as quickly as possible for the bathroom. I might have been in trouble if I were running 7.5 or 8 miles today, but fortunately I was only doing 7 and made it inside in the nick of time. I tried this new organic pecan crunch something or other cereal that i had picked up at Costco. It tasted fine, but that's all I ate this morning and I usually don't have digestive issues during my lunch runs so I'll have to be careful the next time I eat that for breakfast.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Where has Geoff been?

I got back yesterday from a great vacation in Hawaii. We spent a day in Honolulu to visit Pearl Harbor and Diamond Head and then spent a week in Kauai. I ran half the days I was there. I rolled my ankle at the end of a hike our first day in Kauai so I took a couple of days off after that. Fortunately I didn't injure it too badly and I was able to resume running and it seems to be ok now. After looking at all our pictures I realized that I really need to get some non-running t-shirts. Here's a few pictures from our vacation-

Sunrise in Honolulu


Diamond Head during my run in Honolulu


View from the balcony at our resort in Kauai


Golfing at Poipu Bay Golf Club


View from hike along Napali Coast


Saltwater Lagoon Pool at Resort


Overlooking Wailua Falls


Beach at Hyatt Resort


Bird


Today I got back to the hard workouts. I wasn't sure how well it would go after not doing any speedwork in a while. On the flight back I was reading an article in an old Runner's World about Jim Ryun's high school and college coach from Kansas and how he would basically push his runners to the brink of exhaustion and injury and those that could survive tended to excel. His philosophy was that there were a lot of talented runners that didn't know how to push themselves to the limit. I was thinking about that during the workout today and thinking that no matter how tired I got I needed to keep pushing hard. My interval workout goal today was 2 miles in 10:50, 5 minutes rest, 1 mile in 5:10, 3 minutes rest, 800 at 2:28. My actual times were 10:41, 5:10, 2:30. After a 3.25 mile warmup, strides, stretching and drills, I started the 2 miles and felt great. I think I probably could have done another mile right there at close to 5:20 pace. I got into a groove and hit mile 1 at 5:24 and then picked up the pace for a 5:17 second mile. I really didn't even feel like I was working that hard. I could tell I was feeling some lactic acid build up in my legs during the 5 minute rest. I started out a little quick the first couple hundred meters and then had to jump over a scared armadillo that darted across my path. After the 1st quarter I got back into a groove and cruised for the 1 mile segment. The 800 was really tough because my legs were really tired. I went through the 1/4 mile right about 76 seconds and I knew that I needed to push it hard the last 1/4. I was able to pick it up and hit the 2nd 1/4 in 74 to finish at 2:30 and then I did a 1 mile cooldown. The cooler weather today made a huge difference in my workout. The temperature was in the upper 70's which was a welcome change from running with a heat index in the mid 90's. This weekend I'm planning on trying to hit 17 or 18 miles on my long run which will be my longest run of the year to date.

Unfortunately my racing schedule this fall isn't working out quite so well. I'm going to be out of town and miss the 10 mile races in 2-1/2 weeks. I'll run the half marathon in later October, but I'm not sure what's after that. I wanted to go run the 1/2 marathon in San Antonio in mid-November, but I realized one of my friends from work is getting married that weekend and I'll be at his wedding in Austin so I'll need to find some other races instead. Last year I ran the Dallas/White Rock half marathon in December, but I didn't particularly care for the course - hilly and windy and the logistics of getting into downtown was a nightmare. I'll have to see if I can find some other good half marathons or similar races to run in November or December before the marathon in January.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday - 8.25 miles

I came down with a bit of a cold on Wednesday and felt pretty crummy all day long with a bit of a scratchy throat. I took the day off and drank lots of water and got to bed early. Thursday I was definitely starting to feel better. I ran 8.25 miles at lunch in 57:25. It was very humid out, but partly cloudy and I had some tree cover so I didn't really have to deal with the effects of the direct sunlight. I felt pretty good and wasn't planning on running quite as fast as I went, but I just felt good and was cruising after mile 1. My splits were 7:45, 7:06, 7:04, 6:54, 6:47, 6:48, 6:42, 6:37 and 1:39 for the last 1/4. My legs felt pretty good and my cold seems to be getting better.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday - 6.25 miles

My legs were pretty dead after the hard workout Monday. I had planned to run an easy 7 miles, but I got outside and discovered 2 of my coworkers were waiting for me. I thought they were long gone, but since they had been waiting on me I decided to run with them. It was a little quicker than I would have gone by myself, but definitely less boring than always running by myself. We did, 6.25 miles in 45:30 which is somewhere around 7:15 pace. I was too tired to add on any more miles when we got back and I was starting to feel a little under the weather.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday Speedwork

I wasn't going to get up at 5:30 to get to the morning workout on Labor Day so I went to the evening workout. The temperature was 94 and the heat index was 96 when I left the house. I ran a 3 mile warmup and did some drills, strides and stretching before the workout began. We ran 30 minutes of a 0.48 mile loop near the Waugh bridge on the grass with a 2 minute rest between each loop. I was wearing my regular training shoes since they don't seem to bother my foot too much. Sam was out there and I knew that it would be a tougher workout with us pushing each other. Sean told us that we needed to run each one faster than the previous one. We started out on the first lap and Sam led the entire lap and I finished in 2:50. I picked up the pace some on the next one and finished in 2:43 and then hit the 3rd in 2:37. The fourth one was pretty tough and I got through in 2:36. I was wondering if I was going to be able to pick up the pace any more on the last 3. I went through #5 at 2:33 and was working hard. I was trying to hit 2:30 on the 6th one, but came in at 2:32. Sam took off hard on the last one and built a pretty good lead on me. I thought I might be able to catch him on the back part of the loop and I was pushing it hard, but I just couldn't close the gap on him. I gave it one last effort near the end, but came up a little short, but hit 2:29.

I managed to run each lap faster than the previous one. That was one of the hardest workouts I've done this year and I know I definitely would have been running slower if Sam weren't there pushing me. I only finished one of the seven repeats ahead of him and he had a really strong workout. I ran a nice slow 3 mile cooldown back home after the workout for a total of about 9.5 miles.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday - 6.25 miles recovery

I was up in the Ft. Worth area so my recovery run was rather hilly. I ran 6.25 miles out along the I-20 frontage road out west of Ft. Worth. Fortunately there was a wide shoulder and not very much traffic out on the frontage road. My legs were pretty dead so I ran 45 minutes and that was plenty for me for the day.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday - 14 miles

I ran 14 miles with the Kenyan Way group Saturday morning. I was pretty wiped out and lt some other guys push the pace and I took it a little easy. We ran down to Rice University and through Hermann Park and around Rice and back. I survived the run, but it wasn't anything to write home about. My splits for the first 12 miles were 7:39, 7:13, 7:15, 7:24, 7:15, 7:06, 7:00, 7:12, 6:58, 6:56, 6:57, 6:58. I forgot to restart my garmin after I had stopped for water at the last stop and didn't get my finishing splits but they were probably in the upper 6:50's like the previous 2 miles.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday - 7.6 miles

I took Thursday off because my foot was really sore and I was hoping a day off would help it heal a little more. Friday I ran after work and I had to get my run in pretty quickly since we were going out to dinner with some friends. I ran at the park and was running about 6:40 pace my first lap and I heard footsteps behind me. I was a little surprised because it was 92 degrees out and not many people usually run up on me, especially at that pace in that weather. I'd never met the guy before but his name was Jonathon and he'd moved to Houston from Ohio a little over a year ago. He ran about 1/2 a lap with me before peeling off. I knocked out a couple 6:20 miles before finishing up the lap with a 6:26 mile. I finished the run in 49:50 and felt pretty good. After dinner we went roller skating with some friends. I probably hadn't done that since elementary school, but we roller skated for about 90 minutes which was a pretty good workout. I was dead afterwards and wasn't really looking forward to Saturday morning's run.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

5 mile tempo run

Today was the first tempo run that I've done in quite a while. With the cool front we've had knocking the temperature and humidity down a bit, I decided to run at lunch since I'd be more awake than early in the morning. When I headed out it was 81 degrees which was a nice change from the usual upper 80's - mid 90's lunch time temperature. I ran a 2.5 mile warmup at about 7:15 pace and did some drills and strides and stretched out. My goal was to run the 5 miles at 5:40 - 5:50 pace based on a 16:30 5k time. I wasn't sure if that was too fast a goal time or not since the last couple times I had done progressive runs I had trouble dropping down below 5:40 pace, but the weather conditions were better today so I figured I'd give it a shot. My goal was to run just under 6:00 for the first mile and see how I was feeling and then pick it up from there if I was ok or keep it in the mid 5:50's if I was working too hard.

I hit mile 1 right at 5:56 and felt pretty good. Mile 2 was 5:47 and mile 3 was 5:45. I felt good, but my breathing wasn't quite as easy as I would have liked. Mile 4 was 5:44 and I was feeling it by the end of mile 4. I knew that I could keep the pace for the last mile, but I had to step my effort up some. I finished the last mile in 5:42, but I was definitely working harder than tempo pace at the end. I'm not sure if I would have been able to do another mile at that same pace which is generally where you would like to be for an anaerobic threshold run. I did a 1.25 mile cooldown for a total of 8.75 miles on the day.

I was pleased with the times I hit, but the effort was a little more than I would have liked. I didn't finish the workout feeling as good as I did at the end of Monday's workout, but overall I think it was a pretty good workout. I put a bandaid and medical tape over the raw spot on my foot and loosened the laces on my shoe, but it still was really uncomfortable the entire workout. When I took off my shoe, my sock was kind of bloody and I'm not certain if it was bleeding again and coming through the tape or if the blood soaked into the shoes from Monday's workout was just staining my sock. I think it was a little of both. My other shoes which are a little heavier don't bother my foot as much so I'll just have to wear them for all my runs until this heals up. I have noticed that since I got rid of my Nike Skylon's and replaced them with the Adidas Adizero Boston my plantar fasciitis or whatever was causing the pain in my foot seems to have gone away. I guess I've just traded it for a shoe that rubs my feet raw. I hope that when it heals up I can run in the shoes without them giving me problems because I like the weight and the feel of the shoe (other than the problem I just described) and I think it would be a good shoe to run the marathon in.