Friday, July 31, 2009

Progressive Run - 8 miles total

I hate Houston summer weather. When I opened my front door it felt like I was walking into the blazing heat of the sun and it took me a second to catch my breath in the oppressive humidity. After the workout I checked the weather and it was 81 degrees and 92% humidity when I started a few minutes before 6:00 and it was 82 and 88% humidity with a heat index of 91 near the end of the workout. I ran 3/4 of a mile to the tennis center and met up with Bill, Ray, Mike and Sean. The plan was to run a progressive run starting at 7:00 pace and drop 15 seconds per mile and my goal was to hang through at least 7 miles. I was feeling decent with 2 miles to go and thought I was going to make my goal, but I fell a little off pace near the end of mile 6 and I dropped out at about 6.25 miles. My mile splits were 6:55, 6:34, 6:26, 6:08, 5:55, 5:49. It's a little disappointing I couldn't pick it up more that last mile, but the weather conditions were some of the worst I've run in. Hopefully the next time I do a long progressive run I'll be able to keep the pace through 7 miles. 1 mile cooldown after the workout.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday - 6.2 miles on treadmill

Boooooring. It started pouring outside and I didn't particularly want to get drenched or risk running outside if there was any lightning so I decided to run on the treadmill. I set it on a hill workout to break up some of the monotony of running on the treadmill but I didn't run it too hard. The workout would alternate between a minute of running on an incline from 2 - 6.5% and then a minute of no incline. For most of the workout I ran the inclines at 7:30 pace and the flat section at about 6:50 - 6:55 pace. After about 20 minutes I was more than ready to be finished, but I managed to keep going for the full 45 minutes. Not a real exciting workout, but better than taking the day off.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday - 7.75 miles

I ran at lunch with a co-worker. The plan had been to do about 6 - 7 miles, but I listened to my coworker when he suggested we cut through a neighborhood that I hadn't run through before. We made it through without getting lost, but where we came out was a lot closer to where we had entered than we expected so we ended up running a little longer than we planned. I was pretty tired after the runs from the last couple of days so we didn't push it too hard. We finished in 59 minutes and I think we probably did about 7.75 miles.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hill Workout

I got up early for a hard hill workout this morning. We met up at Jackson hill at 5:45 and did a 5 mile warmup running to Memorial Park and back. We had quite the crowd with 7 guys out there this morning - Sean, Luis, Bill, Dan, Mike, Sam and me. For the workout we did repeats around the memorial-waugh dr cloverleaf and then jogged down the steep hill and started the loop again. This was a tough workout. I got lapped once by Sean, Bill and Dan. They did 13 loops and I did 12. The loops were a little over 200 meters long I think. My 12 repeats all ranged from 37 - 39 seconds. I wasn't that much slower on the hard part, but at that pace I needed more recovery time. I started out at about 40 seconds recovery from the end of the hill to the start of the next repeat and I was up to 50 seconds or a little more by the end of the workout. It was a really tough workout, but I stayed pretty consistent throughout and was pleased with it. My legs were just toast afterwards and I struggled on the 1.25 mile cooldown afterwards. Tomorrow is going to be a slow day for sure.

Monday, July 27, 2009

9.25 miles - 64 minutes

I felt great today on my run. I guess that's what happens when I have Friday and Sunday off. It was 89 with a heat index of 98 when I started my run at lunch. I ran 9.25 miles in 64 minutes and kept a pretty even pace throughout the run. My last 3 miles averaged 6:53 pace. I stopped twice at water fountains during the run since it was so warm out. I'm planning on doing a speed/hill workout with the big dogs in the morning so hopefully I didn't go too hard today.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday - 1 mile

I did one mile in a little under 7 minutes - I ran about 4:00 easy and then 2:45 hard. I headed out the door a little after 6:30 to do a 9.5 mile loop up memorial to chimney rock, over to woodway and then back home. I had checked the radar and there were some isolated storms, but it looked like they weren't going to hit my route so I figured it would be ok. I got outside and saw a few dark clouds a little north of us, but the sky didn't look too bad to the west. I got over to the park and was running through a parking lot and saw a flash of lightning that wasn't too far off. It was to the northeast of me and I was going west so I figured I'd be ok and kept going. About a minute later, I see another bright flash and hear the thunder crack a split second after it - way too close for comfort. I decided it was probably a stupid idea to keep going and I decide to high tail it 1/2 a mile back home. On the way there is another relatively close lightning strike and I'm less than a 1/4 mile away so I pretty much ran all out the last 1/4. The lightning always strikes the slowest runner first, right? Kind of like the lion only has to run faster than the slowest gazelle. After I made it back to the safety of my home we had quite a few more lightning strikes in the area and it started raining. I don't mind running in the rain, but lightning is a completely different story.

I had a 20% off coupon for Luke's Locker and I was going to go pick up a new pair of the nike skylon's to replace my worn out ones, but I didn't have time to make it over there on Saturday. Sunday afternoon I started looking for the coupon and I couldn't find it so I checked the pockets of the shorts that I had been wearing on Saturday and found it there. Unfortunately the shorts had been through the washer and dryer and my coupon was now a small yellow paper ball. I figured they would laugh at me if I tried to tell them it was a 20% off coupon so I'll just wait a week until the fall Kenyan Way orientation.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Long Run

My legs felt pretty fresh after a couple low mileage days and a day off. I ran with Mike and Andrew and had a decent run. My calf muscle felt a little tight and was bothering me some the last couple of miles. I did about 13.75 miles at ~ 7:15 pace. I ran in my Nike Skylons which I think need to be replaced. I think they are at the end of their useful life and my legs seem to feel a little beat up when I run in them. We ran into Bill at the park and he ran most of a lap with us before we headed back to the base. I did lots of stretching and foam rolling on my calf after the run. Maybe i need to start jump roping like Sean to strengthen my calves.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday - 5 miles easy

Legs have been a little tired after a couple of tough speed workouts this week and a 60 mile week the previous week so I just did a little bit shorter run today - averaged 7:30 pace.

Friday - day off. I planned on running after work but didn't get home until a little before 8 and decided to skip the run since I would be doing a long run in 10 hrs.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2 mile time trial - 10:46

I got up this morning wondering if we might be doing a time trial, but sort of hoping we weren't. I was a little tired and I was hoping to have a little bit easier of a hard workout today. It's been about a week and a half since I had a day off and my legs were a little tired after doing 60 miles last week. I decided to drive over to the base and do a shorter warmup and cooldown today and I got there and saw we had a time trial. I almost decided to just run a lap around the bayou and put in an easy 7 miles or so, but I decided that I would go ahead and do the time trial. I only did about a mile and a quarter warmup and some drills and strides before we started. If I had known for sure we were doing a time trial I think I would have tried to make sure I got in at least a 2 mile warmup and brought flats to wear. When we lined up to start I knew that it would basically be a solo time trial The course was a mile long loop on grass with one short steep hill near the beginning of the loop and then a short steep downhill and a small gradual uphill at the end of the loop. I didn't have my garmin on so I was just having to run on how I felt rather than being able to check my pace. This may have been a good thing because I might have tried to push it to quickly early on if I had my garmin with me. I didn't want to go out too hard the first 1/2 mile and then end up falling apart. My goal for the first lap had been to run somewhere in the 5:20 - 5:25 range and then try to repeat it on the 2nd lap. I ended up going through the 1st mile right at 5:30. I felt pretty good and I thought that I should be able to run even pace or faster on the 2nd lap. Once I crested the hill and hit a long flat stretch I really started pushing it. There is a turnaround point on the loop about 600 meters from the finish and when I hit that on the 2nd lap I really started pushing hard. When I got to the bridge near the end I checked my watch and saw that I was going to be well under 5:30 for the lap and I pushed it in hard as I caught a couple of the people finishing the 1 mile time trial. I finished the 2nd lap in 5:16 for a total time of 10:46.

I was really happy I negative split it by so much and Sean said that I probably would have been about 10 seconds/mile faster on the roads. I did an easy 2 mile cooldown after the workout.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday - 8.25 miles

I went running at lunch and was feeling pretty good after the first mile. I completed the 8.25 miles in 58:55. My splits were 7:51, 7:23, 7:15, 7:06, 7:01, 6:57, 6:52, 6:48, 1:42. The weather was a few degrees cooler - only in the upper 80's- instead of the low to mid 90's that I'd been running in so much last week and I had some shade and off and on cloud cover. I ran on a loop that had 1/4 mile markers so it was easy to get in a groove and cruise on the run. I felt strong and was glad I could pick up the pace each mile during the run.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Kenyan Way Hill Workout - 9 miles

I had a really good workout today and got about 9 miles in. I did the usual 3 mile warmup to the workout location and did some drills and strides. Today's workout was hill loops around the Waugh - Memorial Drive cloverleafs We did 20 minutes of hills running a long gradual uphill and then walking down the steep downhill at the finish by the overpass then jogging under Waugh to the other side and repeating. This was one fo the better workouts that I've had in quite a while. We picked up the pace quite a bit towards the end of the workout. I got 11 hills in during the 20 minutes. After the workout I did about a 3.5 mile cooldown

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday - 6.4 miles

I ran a couple laps at the park and felt pretty good. I checked the temperature online before I left and it showed it was in the upper 80's, but it felt cooler than that. There was a pretty decent breeze so maybe a front was rolling through which was cooling it off while I ran. My first mile was about 7:50 pace, but I picked the pace up each mile and finished at about 7:10 pace. I definitely could have gone quicker, but since I didn't start my run until about 7:00 pm and I was going to be starting my morning run at 5:45 am, I didn't want to push it too hard. I felt pretty good. I think I'm starting to feel like I'm getting back to better fitness levels. I averaged a little under 7:30 pace for the workout.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday - 13.5 - 14 miles

I'm not exactly sure how far I ended up running since part of the run was downtown and my Garmin always seems to be inaccurate when I'm downtown with all the tall buildings around. At the end of the run, my Garmin said I had done a little over 13.5 miles at a 7:30 average pace, but I know that my average pace was quicker than that. It showed that I had a couple of 8:30 miles and I wasn't going that slow except maybe for the very first mile.

I was a little late to the start of the run and a bunch of the groups had already taken off. I figured I would just run through the first couple of water stops and make up some time and catch the group I usually run with. I was pretty tired from my run Friday afternoon and I started out the first mile at a little over 8:00 pace. I realized that I probably wouldn't catch up to the group just by running through the water stops so when I got downtown I cut over towards Minute Maid Park instead of going by the Toyota Center so I could meet up with my running group. Sean was at the 2nd water stop and I got there about 20 - 30 seconds ahead of the group. They were flying when we left the water stop. My garmin wasn't very accurate for this section, but I'm pretty sure we were well under 7:00 pace. Once we got back to Allen Parkway, we knocked out a couple of 6:30 miles and were really moving pretty quick. We got back to the base around 8.5 miles or so and took a quick water break. I don't think anybody wanted to keep pushing 6:30 pace for the rest of the workout. We ran out to Memorial Park and I did a half mile on the trail and then headed back. I finished the workout in 1:40. It was a good workout. I liked having the quick section in the middle of the run. I probably would have run slower the whole run and not gone quite as far if I ended up running by myself.

For the past week I think I ended up with right around 60 miles which is my highest mileage week since I ran the Boston marathon.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday - 8 miles

I headed out the door about 4:00 pm to put in 8 miles at the park. I decided to wear my long sleeve Boston Marathon shirt to keep more of the sun off of me. It's sort of a florescent yellow color that you can see from quite a ways away. I think I got a few funny looks from people wondering why I was wearing a long sleeve shirt, but I don't think it was really much worse than wearing a short sleeve shirt or no shirt and having the sun beat down on me. My mile splits were 7:41, 7:23, 7:26, 7:22, 7:16, 7:15, 7:30, 7:16. I felt pretty good considering how hot it was out. I stopped for water at the water fountains twice during the run. In this weather it's important not to get dehydrated. Hopefully I didn't wear myself out too much for Saturday's long run.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday - 7 miles

I did a 7 mile loop at lunch on Thursday but I didn't wear a watch. I ran it at a comfortable pace - somewhere between 7:30 and 7:45 pace I would guess. It was in the low 90's and the heat index was 98 when I started the run. It was tolerable in the shade, but it was pretty miserable when I was under the sun. I'm looking forward to next week when the high temps are only supposed to be in the low 90's instead of the upper 90's.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday Progressive intervals - 9 miles total

This workout kicked my butt today. Another summer morning with 79 degree temperature and 90% humidity. I did a 3 mile warmup and drills and a few strides before the workout. The workout was 30 minuets of repeat loops of about .55 - .6 miles with about a 2 minute rest in between. I didn't have my garmin, but based on the times and effort we were running, I'm pretty sure the distance was in that window for each loop. The goal of the workout was to run each one faster than the previous one. Andrew and Mike and John and I ran together for most of the workout. The first one was relatively easy and slow paced as we didn't want to go out too hard and we ran it in 3:51. We weren't that tired so we only took 1:30 rest. We picked the pace up quite a bit on the second one and hit 3:31 and started taking the full 2 minutes rest. We ran the 3rd one in 3:21, but I could tell that it was going to be tough for the rest of the workout. It was so humid and miserable out, I was drinking about 2 small cups of water on each rest break. I felt a little better on the 4th repeat and we dropped the time by about another 10 seconds to 3:11. I wasn't breathing all that hard, but my legs felt really heavy and I didn't know how much quicker I could go. I pushed the 5th one pretty hard and dropped the time by another 7 seconds down to 3:04, but I was done at that point. We had enough time to get one more in, but my stomach was having issues with all the water I had been drinking and I was throwing up in the bushes when Andrew and Mike took off on the last one. Since I knew I had a 3 mile cooldown ahead of me and my legs were already pretty tired, I decided not to do a 6th one. I guess I just need to stay better hydrated ahead of the workout and not drink as much during the workout.

Other than losing all the water I'd been drinking and not running the 6th repeat it was a pretty good workout. I was able to consistently increase the pace and I didn't feel like I was killing myself. I've gotten to the phase where I am trying to start increasing my mileage and build up a bigger base so I don't feel like I really need to push myself to the limits doing speedwork. I like doing the hard workouts because they break up the monotony of doing lots of miles, but with no races on the horizon I don't expect to be doing a lot of really high intensity workouts for a while.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday - 8 miles

8 Miles - averaged about 7:40 pace. It was hot out and I got a little sunburned on my shoulders. My legs were pretty tired by the end of the workout. I started out pretty slow, and I got passed by a guy near the tennis center a little under a mile into my workout, but I cruised by him as he was struggling about 1.5 miles later. I'll see how I can hold up to Wednesday's hard workout.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday - 7.25 miles

I felt pretty miserable when I woke up Monday morning and decided that I didn't need to do a speed workout and went back to sleep. I contemplated skipping the run at lunch and then trying to run in the evening, but I figured I probably wouldn't get it done if I waited until after work. I did 7.25 miles in 56:40. The heat index was 100 and it was pretty miserable out there. I ran slow enough that I wasn't killing myself, but it wasn't too enjoyable. I did catch and pass some other guy out running near the end of my run so that helped me feel a little better. We'll see how I end up feeling later today.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday - 7.25 miles

I've been a little under the weather and ended up taking Thursday - Saturday off from running. Sunday evening I went out and did 7.25 miles at about a 7:30 pace. The heat index was close to 100 when I started running. I felt decent during the run since I had several days off. I would have done about 10 miles, but I was planning on running early Monday morning and figured 10 miles Sunday evening and then a workout Monday morning would be a little too hard on me. I felt pretty strong and even finished with a quick last mile at about 6:40 pace. My legs definitely felt it later Sunday night and they felt a little bit achy since I'm still not completely over my cold.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday - Kenyan Way speed workout

I was a little sluggish after running 8 miles less than 12 hours before this workout, but I started out easy on the workout and ended up having a really good workout. I decided with the previous night's run i would just drive over and have a little bit shorter warmup and cooldown.I did about a 1-3/4 mile warmup and some drills and strides before the workout. The workout was a loop on the bayou near the Waugh bat bridge. We did about a 500 - 550 meter run at medium to hard effort, had about a 150 - 200 meter recovery jog, then an 80 - 100 meter fast stride, about a 30 meter walk recovery, another 80 - 100 meter stride and then about a 50 meter recovery shuffle to the starting point and repeat the loop. The workout was 30 minutes continuous on the circuit. I had some problems getting my watch started so my first lap times were a little off, but I think we did the 500 - 550 meter section in just under 2:00 and the first lap took almost 6 minutes. We started picking the pace up and I think our next two laps we hit 1:48 and 1:46 on the main section. I really started pushing it on the next lap and started pulling away a little bit and hit 1:35 on my 4th lap. The fifth lap I hit 1:31 and we finished the fifth lap with about 1:30 to go so I had time to run one more hard section. It was tough, but I was able to crank out a 1:28 on the last lap. I did an easy 1.25 mile cooldown after the workout. I'm not sure of my total mileage, but it was probably somewhere in 7 - 7.5 mile ballpark.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday - 8 miles easy

I didn't get a chance to run until after work on Tuesday. It actually finally rained in Houston which cooled the temperature off a little bit and it was only 86 degrees with a heat index of 95 instead of the usual low 90's temperature and upper 90's - 100 heat index. This was a tough run. I was kind of tired and running slow and not really motivated. The first 5 miles were pretty tough and I didn't feel relaxed or quick and most of my miles were in the 7:40 - 7:45 range. I thought about cutting the run short to 6 miles since I was going to be doing a hard workout Wednesday morning and I wasn't feeling that great on the run, but I decided that I needed to tough it out and do the 8 miles that I set out to do. Finally after about 5 miles I started feeling a little more relaxed and was able to pick up the pace and start running sub 7:30 pace. It's not real quick for me, but it felt a lot better and I wasn't straining to do it and it was still quite warm out. I finished the 8 miles in 61 minutes which works out to about a 7:38 average. I was able to get the miles in and not push it too hard to have something left for the Wednesday workout.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Kenyan Way Hills - 8 miles total.

Another summer day in Houston, another day of miserable running weather. I dragged myself out of bed at 5:15 to get up and run with the Kenyan Way group this morning. I left the house a little after 5:45 to start warming up. My first mile of my warmup was pretty miserable as I was still trying to wake up and get my body going, but by the time I got to the base, I was feeling a little better and ready for a workout. I did a total of 3 miles warmup and then some drills and strides. We did two sets of 10 minutes of hills at Memorial and Shepherd with a 5 minute break in between. My legs were still kind of tired, but it felt good to do a workout with that kind of turnover and straength building. I wasn't ever breathing too hard, but my legs just didn't want to go any faster. Sean had told us not to push it too hard if we raced this weekend. It was so humid out that my shoes were starting to squish halfway through the second set. When I was running up the hills, my insoles were sliding around the inside of my shoes as I was pushing off with each step. I had to take off my shoes and adjust the insoles before I ran my cooldown. I ran an easy 2 mile cooldown back to the house and then wrung out my socks and tried to stop sweating before I hopped in the shower.

I recently got a new pair of shoes with a gift certificate I had won at a race and I think the new shoes seem to be helping my Plantar Fasciitis or whatever ailment I have in my foot. I had been running in the Nike Zoom Skylon which I really liked, but my gift certificate was only for Adidas shoes so I got the Glide Supernova. The Skylons felt really good on my feet and I liked the lightweight feel, but I wonder if they might have been a little too light or if I put too many miles on them, especially since a lot of my mileage has been on hard surfaces like roads and sidewalks. The Glides are definitely heavier shoes and I can feel the difference in weight, but it seems like the days I run in the Glides my foot doesn't bother me as much. With the skylons sometimes I still feel some foot tenderness the first mile or two while I am warming up before it goes away, but I haven't noticed it all with the Glides and I definitely have noticed a difference in how my foot feels later in the day. I think that I will get a new pair of skylons to use on days where I am doing speedwork or tempo runs since they are a little lighter and then stick to the Glides for my recovery days and mileage days. Both shoes are neutral shoes so it isn't like one of the shoes is the wrong type for my foot. If I get a new pair of Skylons and they don't bother my feet, then it is probably that I was just wearing the old shoes too long, but if my feet still bug me with the Skylons but feel fine in the Glides then I will ditch the Skylons and try to find a different lightweight trainer for my faster days and marathon races. I had run through 2 pairs of Skylons before I started having foot issues so I'm more inclined to think that it may be related to the shoes being too worn out.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

9 miles recovery

My legs were pretty tired today, but I forced myself to get out and run 9 miles in 70 minutes. I started the run about 9:30. I didn't push it too hard since it was hot out and my legs were tired and I averaged about a 7:45 pace.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July 5k - 16:59 - 10th overall

I wasn't really disappointed, but not really thrilled with how I ran in this race. I was hoping to run 15 - 30 seconds quicker but considering the times most of the other people were running, I don't feel too bad. I decided to start off a little easier and see if it would help me have something left in the tank at the end of the race. I was running a comfortable pace about 1/2 a mile in, but the guys I usually run with were pulling away from me. I hit the first mile in 5:34 which was about 10 seconds slower than I was planning on running. After mile 1 I picked up the pace some and started catching some of the guys ahead of me. I passed Joe Flores and John Yoder during mile 2 and started catching up to Sam Rodriguez and Joe Oviedo. My mile 2 split was 5:24 and I the guys ahead of me looked like they were slowing down some. I passed Sam and Joe Oviedo and Gerardo Mora was the only person ahead of me within striking distance. He had about a 5 or 6 second lead on me with about 3/4 of a mile to go, but I just wasn't reeling him in very fast. My mile 3 split was 5:30. I tried to pick it up the last tenth of a mile but he looked back and saw me coming and picked it up a little more to finish a couple seconds ahead of me. The weather was miserable like usual - about 80 degrees and very humid out. I was glad that my first mile was the slowest though I would have liked my last mile to be down around 5:20 or better.

I don't have any races on the horizon. I'll probably just work on starting to building up my base mileage and getting into shape for some of the longer fall races.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday - 4.75 miles easy

Ran an easy 4.75 miles at the park on Friday morning. I didn't wear a watch so I'm not sure what pace I was running, but I didn't push it too hard with the 5k on Saturday.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday - 8 miles - hot

I took Wednesday off and was feeling pretty fresh on Thursday. I had the day off so I wasted a little too much time and didn't get off on the run until about 11:00 am and it was hot out. I didn't get my mile splits, but I did the 8 miles in about 58:20 which works out to about 7:18 pace. The temperature was 92 and the heat index was 98 and there weren't many clouds in the sky