Sunday, May 31, 2009

9.5 miles easy - 6:55 pace

I probably went a little harder than I needed to the day after a race, but I was feeling pretty good.  I ran a 9.5 mile loop from my house through the park, down Memorial to Chimney Rock, over to Woodway, back to the park and back home.  The temperature was about 80 out, but most of the run I had some decent shade because the sun was low enough in the sky so it didn't feel hot at all.  i did the run in 6:55 pace and finished it in a little over 65 minutes.  

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Astros 5k - 6th overall - 16:32

This was a really tough course, but I was pleased with my results. I was hoping to run in the 16:15 - 16:20 range on this course, but between the difficulty of the course and probably going out a little too hard, I wasn't quite that fast today. I do think that this race was at least as good as the 16:12 I ran in the Rockets 5k back in February since that race was on a flat course and had perfect weather.

The temperature at race time was 76 degrees and it was bright and sunny. I got a really good start off the line and was actually in the lead for the first 100 meters or so. I was surrounded by a bunch of high school kids at the start so I wanted to get out quick and not get caught up in traffic. The race started on the west side of Minute Maid Park on Crawford and headed out over the Elysian Viaduct, just like the start of the marathon. About 1/4 - 1/2 a mile into the race we went up the first big hill. Going up the hill on the Viaduct was quite a bit tougher than going up it in the marathon. Sesar Figueroa had a small lead over Sean Wade and Colin Carroll and Vaughn Gibbs. There were a couple other guys between them and the pack I was in. I went through the first mile in 5:15. With the hill in the first mile, I probably should have tried to go for about 5:20 the first mile and then pick it up from there, but I was right in a big pack with Joe Oviedo, Joe Flores and Tom King among others. The course continued down the hill at the end of the viaduct and we basically U-turned as soon as it flattened out and came right back up a nice steep hill. On the downhill I tried to put a little distance between the guys in the pack I was with and I passed one of the guys ahead of me and caught up to another one. At the u-turn I was in 6th place and 5th place was right in front of me. I could see Vaughn Gibbs about 10 seconds ahead of us. I thought I might have a chance of catching him sometime in the last mile.

As we went back up the hill heading towards the 2 mile marker, the guy in 5th place pulled a little ahead, but I was saving my energy for pushing at the top of the hill. Shortly after the top of the hill I passed him and was in 5th place. I went through mile two in about 10:37 (5:22). At this point I was kind of out in no man's land. Vaughn Gibbs had put some more distance between him and me from the turn around and the sun beating down wasn't any fun either. Shortly after this the last guy I had passed and another guy went by me, but I was determined to try to stay with them and not mentally give up. I stayed within striking distance, but they pulled a couple seconds ahead of me over the next 1/4 - 1/2 mile. As we were going down the hill back into downtown, I knew that I needed to push it if I was going to have a chance at catching either of these guys in front of me. I caught one of them with about 1/4 mile to go and I didn't want to look back or give the guy any hope that he might be able to come back and catch me. I passed the 3 mile mark at 16:02 for a 5:25 mile. I knew I was almost in and the guy in front was a little too far ahead, but I didn't want to get caught at the end so I ran as hard as I could down the tunnel. I sort of stumbled going down the ramp about 3 different times, but was able to avoid wiping out. The guy in front of me beat me by about 4 seconds and afterwards I found out he was in my age group so I only got 2nd in my age group. Vaughn Gibbs was about 17 seconds ahead and Colin Carroll beat me by 30 seconds. Sean and Sesar were the only people to go under 16:00. Sesar won in 14:51.

I ran 21 seconds faster than last year on a much tougher course so I was pleased with my race. My next race will either be the Dad's Day 5k in 3 weeks or the Run Wild 4th of July 5k.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Past few days of running.

Tuesday - Just an easy day to recover after the monday afternoon hard workout.  6 miles in 43 minutes.

Wednesday - took the day off.  I realized that I am going to be out of town and won't be able to run the Heights 5k on June 7.  I had been planning on tapering a little next week and only doing one speed workout ahead of that race, but since I'll miss it I'll see what I can do at the Astros' 5k this weekend.  Since I got my speedwork in on Monday I didn't want to do more today.

Thursday - 5 miles easy - 35 minutes.  Pretty uneventful.  Ran a few strides at the end of the run.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Kenyan Way speedwork

I guess since I didn't run all weekend I needed to run extra hard when I got back to make up for it. We got back in town in time for me to go to the evening Kenyan Way workout. The temperature was in the upper 80's and it was nice and sunny out. I did a 2.5 mile warmup and headed over to the workout location. The workout was two 11 minute circuits with a 5 minute break where we ran medium to hard effort on the orange cone section and recovery jog on the red coned section. The first circuit wasn't too bad since it was mostly flat and had a little bit of shade for part of the loop.. There were a few high schoolers who had come out to workout that were pushing me the first 1/2 of the circuit, but I eventually pulled away. After a 5 minute break we went across the street to the other circuit which was definitely harder. The circuit had a gradual elevation gain the whole time and then we would walk down a steep hill and run the loop again. This loop was brutal. The first two loops we ran, one of the high school guys took off and I was struggling to stay with him near the end. The last 40 - 50 meters of each loop was rough. My legs burned and the sun was beating down on me. It was kind of like the agony near the end of a race where you are in pain and your legs want to slow down, but you keep pushing because you are close enough to the finish you can gut it out for a little bit longer. Pretty much every single loop felt like that, but I finished it eventually and managed not to throw up. After doing the core workout, I did a slow 2.5 mile cooldown. Total mileage on the day was ~8.5 miles.

San Diego Vacation - no running

Suzanne and I went to visit some friends in San Diego for the weekend and I didn't get any runs in on Friday - Sunday. I should have gone running because the weather there is so much nicer than it is in Houston. The high temps every day were in the upper 60's and the lows were in the upper 50's. I did eat a lot though to fill the time that I wasn't running. It seems like the trendy thing out in San Diego now is frozen yogurt shops. We went to a couple that sold soft serve yogurt and mixed in the toppings of your choice. Definitely not Bluebell, but it wasn't half bad. I got to play a round of golf at Torrey Pines, went surfing for a couple of hours and went paragliding while we were out there. Unfortunately all good things have to come to an end and we had to come back to Houston on Monday.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

7.25 mile recovery run

I went running at lunch and was feeling pretty good and ran 7.25 miles in 49:16. I skipped the frisbee game at lunch so I could get some mileage in before I left town.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday - Kenyan Way speedwork - 5.25 miles total

We had a nice tough workout this morning. The temperature was a little cooler - low 60's which was nice. I drove over to the workout instead of running over so I only got about a 1.5 mile warmup instead of the usual 2.5 - 3. We ran loops inside the grassy area near the onramp to westbound memorial drive from southbound waugh. For each loop we ran, we got half of the time it took us to run the loop for rest. Each loop took us about 47 seconds or so and we would take about 25 seconds rest and start up again. I finished 17 loops in the 20 minutes and was consistently right around 47 seconds/loop except for the last one where I ran it in 41 seconds going hard. I didn't have a Garmin but I think somebody said the loop was about 260 meters long which seems about right. I was running with a guy named Mike and he said that we were under 5:00 pace on every one of the loops we ran. After the workout I did a 1 mile cooldown and core workout with Sean.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday - Ultimate Frisbee + 4 mile easy run

I played ultimate frisbee at lunch for about 50 minutes including about 2 miles of warming up/cooling down. I ran an easy 4 miles in the evening after work since I felt like I'd been neglecting my mileage some by playing frisbee on all my easy days. I figure with about 6 miles of actual running + the frisbee game I did roughly the equivalent of 8 miles today.

Monday - Speed Workout, 9.5 miles total

I was well rested up for this morning's workout. I ran a 3 mile warmup and did drills and strides before the speedwork. The workout was a 5k run with each mile being faster than the previous. We didn't need to hammer the first couple of miles, but I wanted to run fast the last mile. We started on the Memorial side of the bayou near the Waugh bat bridge, ran down the trail to Sabine and then back up the Allen Parkway side to just before Waugh. I ran relatively easy the first mile and hit 0.5 miles in 3:10 and finished the first mile in 6:09. I picked up the pace some for the second mile and finished the second mile in 5:49. My plan was to hammer the 3rd mile and get as close to 5:00 as possible. I checked my watch at the 1st qtr and went through right on track at 75 seconds. I was right at 2:30 - 2:31 halfway through. I dropped off just a little bit on the 3rd qtr and was at 3:47. The last qtr had a steep little hill in it, but I ran as hard as I could the last qtr and finished the 3rd mile in 5:05. If the last mile had been flat, I think I could have hit 5:00 for it. I could see Sean and Luis standing at a corner and they were yelling for me to sprint it in and I went all out thinking they were at the 5k finish. I get to them ready to stop and Sean tells me the 5k finish is around the corner a little further. I only had another 7 or 8 seconds to go at that point, but it sure felt like an eternity. I did about a 3.5 mile cooldown afterwards and had about 9.5 miles on the day. I was happy with the workout and being able to hit that last mile at my goal 5k pace.

Unfortunately I discovered that they changed the course this year for the Astros 5k that I'm planning on running at the end of this month and it will be really tough to go for 16:00 between the new course and the typical end of May weather. Instead of the course heading out east of Downtown, it now goes out the North side over the Elysian viaduct so there will be a couple of serious hills in the race. It will be a challenging course, but probably not one that I'm expecting to PR on. I'll have to go for it the next week at the Heights 5k though last year it was 80 degrees out for that race.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Last week of running

Wednesday 5/13-
I had intended to run the 2 mile Kenyan Way time trial today, but I was just exhausted from a couple of long days and missed the morning run and was late getting out to the evening run. I was going to start it late and run it by myself but Sean told me just to do a regular run and try to get out and do a progressive run in the morning with Sean, Luis and Bill. I averaged about 6:50 pace for the 7 miles

Thursday 5/14-
Missed the progressive run. I needed to be at work earlier than I could have gotten in if I had done the workout. Played ultimate frisbee at lunch - 2 miles of running to and from field plus ~40 minutes of workout during game.

Friday 5/15-
No run.

Saturday 5/16-
Kenyan Way Long Run- 13 miles
I forgot to start my Garmin after one of the water stops so I don't know the exact time, but it was probably a little under 1:30. We had a good group out there pushing the pace and our first mile started out at 7:17 so I figured it would be a quick day. We were cranking out quite a few miles in the 6:40 - 6:50 range without any difficulty. The group sort of splintered near the 8 mile mark and I ran the last 5 by myself. Sam had taken off and left our pack in the dust heading back up Allen Parkway. When we got back to the base at 8 miles, Mike didn't stop for water and kept going. John and Andrew both decided they were finished with the run so I went back out and did another lap of the bayou. Very humid and 73 degrees out. Longest run since the marathon. My legs were feeling pretty good and I seem to be recovering from all the nagging aches and pains from my marathon training. The end of the run was getting rough as the sun came up over downtown and started beating down on me the last couple of miles. I'll definitely have to get my long runs done and over with early in the morning.

Sunday 5/17-
No Run. I ate a large piece of chocolate cake for my 30th birthday and didn't really feel like heading out for a run after that. Goodbye 25-29 age group, Hello 30-34. I'm going to have to step it up now as I move into the uber-competitive 30-34 age group.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

6 miles easy

I ran a relatively easy 6+ mile loop around the lake at lunch today. I didn't wear a watch so I have no idea what pace we were running, but it was definitely the right effort. I never felt like we were pushing it hard or straining. The temperature was in the upper 80's and the heat index was 94. Great running weather :-) At least I'm definitely getting heat acclimated pretty quickly.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday - Kenyan Way Speedwork - 9 miles

Another fun day of lovely Houston summer weather. I checked the weather at 5:30 this morning and it was 78 degrees out. I forgot to look at the humidity, but it was way up there too. I did remember to put on mosquito repellent which made a big difference today. I did a 3 mile warmup and then a few drills and strides before starting the workout. We did 20 minutes of a 3 speed fartlek with easy, medium and hard efforts based on the color of cone we were running by around the loop. This course was tougher than the last time we did the workout because it incorporated a few hills into it instead of being flat like the last time. I ran the workout with Andrew and Mike this morning and it was a tough workout. I was glad to have a couple of people pushing me because there were a couple times where it would have been easy to relax and ease up a little bit if I didn't have people pushing me. I felt really strong today, especially on the uphills. After the workout I did a 3 mile cooldown back to the house. I think I wrung about half a glass of water out of my socks when I finished. I always hate cooling down and having to listen to my shoes go "squish, squish, squish" every step I take. As miserable as the weather was this morning, I can't imagine doing that workout tonight when the temperature is inthe upper 80's or low 90's. I didn't have my Garmin, but I think I probably did about 9 miles total, maybe just a little bit more. Wednesday we are doing a 2 mile time trial. I had been planning on trying to go for as close to 10:00 as possible, but if the weather is as bad as today, I don't think I'll be able to hit that time.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday - no run

No run today, but I got a massage in the afternoon.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday - 7.5 miles - hot again

Today I ran with a friend who was doing a 30 minute time trial at a goal pace of 6:40/mile. We started the workout sometime between 9:30 and 10:00 am. I did about a 2 mile warmup and then we started the tough part. We made it through the first 3.5 miles on pace and then dropped back a little the last mile or so. I did about a 1 mile cooldown for 7.5 miles total on the day. I contemplated going another 3 or 4 miles after we finished the workout, but we stopped and chatted for a while and I didn't really feel the urge to do another lap after that long a break.

Friday, May 8, 2009

8 miles in the sweltering heat - 54:52

Since I had the day off Friday I decided to procrastinate like usual and I got tied up doing important things like playing xbox so I didn't get out for my run until 1:00 pm.  I don't mind doing easy days in the heat that much.  It's the hard workouts that are brutal.  I was feeling pretty good and was cruising around the park.  From my house to the "0" mile brick near the tennis center is 0.77 miles.  It usually takes me anywhere from 5:40 to 6:10 to get there depending on how I am feeling.  Usually if I hit it in 5:50 or less, I am feeling good and run quick for the day.  If I'm over 6 minutes, then I usually don't get under 7:00 pace for much or any of the run.  I figured I might be a little slower today because of the heat, but I got there in 5:45 so I knew I was feeling pretty good.  I felt really strong and kept picking up the pace each mile.  I didn't really feel like it was hard until mile 7.  I think I slowed down I little the last mile because I didn't want to run myself into the ground.  My splits were 7:22, 6:59, 6:51, 6:49, 6:46, 6:36, 6:35, 6:44.  My average pace for the run worked out to be 6:50.  I checked the weather when I finished and it was 88 degrees out and the heat index was 94.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Running updates for the past couple of days

Tuesday and Thursday I played ultimate frisbee at lunch in lieu of my easy runs. I do about a mile warmup jog over to where we play, play frisbee for about 40 minutes and then jog back to the office. I figure I get the equivalent of about 5 - 6 miles of running in for the day. Next week I'll get back to doing regular runs on my easy days.

Wednesday - 6 mile progressive run, 7.5 miles total - Note to self - don't skip morning workout and then run workout in 90+ heat index. I was lazy and decided I could use and extra hour of sleep and missed the Kenyan Way morning workout, but I figured I'd just do the workout at lunch. My goal was to do a 7 mile progressive run with a 1.25 mile cooldown. My goal times were 7:00, 6:40, 6:20, 6:00, 5:45, 5:30, 5:15. It was a hot day out there - 86 degrees and the heat index was 92.

My actual splits were 7:05, 6:40, 6:13, 5:58, 5:41, 5:28, 1.5 mile cooldown. I probably should have backed off some because of the heat. I could tell running mile 4 near 6:00 pace was a lot harder than running a lot of tempo runs about that pace. About halfway through mile 6, I knew it would be my last mile. I felt like I was pushing almost all out to hit the 5:30 pace and I knew that I couldn't keep that same pace for another mile, much less pick it up at all for the last one so I just ran the last 1/2 of the mile hard and stopped at 6 miles. I was pretty much on pace for all my miles up to that point, but it was just too hot to go further. I was fairly happy overall with the workout that I hit my goal times in the heat. I would have liked to have been able to finish with a mile closer to my 5k pace than my 10k pace, but that wasn't possible for me in this weather. I figure that the warm weather probably affected me by 10 seconds/mile or so. Afterwards I did a nice slow 1.5 mile cooldown jog back to the office.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A few pics from the Boston Marathon

Here's a some pictures Suzanne got during the race-

Merga in the lead coming through Mile 17

Ryan Hall hanging on the back of the leaders. You can barely make out the guy in the red singlet who's almost out of this frame way in the back of the picture above with Merga.

Feeling great at mile 17. Dang I look good. Bring on the hills.

Less than a mile to go. Owww, my legs hurt so bad. I can't let Seth Rogen in the black shoes catch me. That would be so embarrassing.

oh crap


Me and my #1 fan back at the hotel

This may be the start of my budding career as a foot model

Showing off the Marathon jacket at Fenway Park before the game.

I hate mosquitoes

Back to running regularly again. Today was the first day of the Kenyan Way "Beat the Heat" Summer program. I did about a two mile warmup, 10 minutes of drills and strides and then 20 minutes of a 3 speed fartlek. Between the finish of the drills and the start of the workout I think I killed about 8 mosquitoes. Hopefully I won't come down with West Nile Virus. I wonder what's worse- West Nile or Swine Flu.

We had a long loop set up with different colored cones where we ran easy on the part of the loop with red cones, medium effort on the orange cone section and hard on the green cones. I really enjoyed this workout a lot more than the traditional Monday hill workouts. I ended up not running on Sunday so I was pretty fresh for the workout. I ran with Andrew and a guy named Mike who was new to the program who is starting to train for New York. Andrew had run 24 miles yesterday so he dropped off the pace about halfway through. I don't think I would have shown up for a speed workout the day after doing 24 miles.

Each lap took me about 2:15, and I got 9 laps in. I was moving quicker at the end of the workout than at the beginning. The workout wasn't too hard on my legs and was a great first speed for my summer 5k season. I enjoyed this workout because it wasn't too hard, but I was able to get lots of quick leg turnover in. After the workout I did a one mile cooldown and stretched for a while.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Running again, not eating so many M&M's

I've had to cut back on my M&M consumption because I'm starting to get a little low so I need to conserve them for the next few days.  As good as much as I like peanut M&M's there are only so many days in a row I can eat them for breakfast or dinner.  Summer seems to have arrived in Houston.  Yesterday (Friday) I went out for my first full run since the marathon.  It was about 82 degrees out and I ran 7 miles in 49 minutes.  I felt pretty good during the run and even knocked out a couple of miles in the low 6:40's during the run.  I think I probably overdid it a little bit on my first run back because my legs felt pretty sore this morning.  I did 4 miles in 30 minutes today.  My legs felt a little tight and sore, but after about 2 miles I loosened up and started feeling pretty good.  I thought about doing another lap at the park, but I was planning on running tomorrow and doing the Kenyan way workout on Monday so I don't want to overdo it right now.

I'm planning on running the Astro's 5k at the end of this month and my goal is to break 16:00.  I expect to take it fairly easy this upcoming week and then start doing some speedwork after that.  I'm getting some pictures pulled together and I think I'll get a few pictures from the Boston Marathon posted tomorrow.