Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A bit under the weather

Unfortunately I've been a bit under the weather and had to take an unplanned break in my training. About 1-1/2 weeks ago I finished a 70 mile week and thought that I was going to have a good shot at doing about four 70 - 75 mile weeks before I started to taper for the Houston marathon. My training was going well and I had some really good workouts and I was feeling really good about my training. A little over a week ago I started to come down with a cold the day before we left to visit my parents for Christmas and I've been under the weather ever since and haven't run in about a week. I was pretty congested and felt generally miserable with flu-like aches. I had been looking forward to doing some high elevation and hill running for a week in New Mexico, but I spend most of the time resting instead. We flew back to Houston on Monday and I literally thought one of my eardrums might burst from all the pressure on the descent. My left ear had stopped up so bad and the pressure in my ear didn't go away for over 12 hours after we landed. I went to the doctor on Tuesday and was told that I had ear infections in both ears so now I'm on antibiotics and hopefully I will be feeling better shortly.

I also went to the podiatrist yesterday because I had something bothering me on the bottom of my foot that was getting increasingly annoying and he told me I had a good sized wart on my foot right behind my toes. He burned it off and gave me some topical medicines that will hopefully prevent it from reforming and I'm supposed to go back in for a check on it the week before the marathon. My foot's been a little sore today and I'm hoping to get a run in tomorrow and do a semi-long run with the Kenyan Way on Friday and ramp my training back up for a couple of weeks.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a has a happy new year.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Need to update the blog more

It's been a busy month and I haven't done a great job keeping up with the blog. My training is coming along reasonably well, but I really haven't gotten my mileage up as high as I really should. I've been doing about 60 miles a week, but with a soon to be 3 month old, it's been harder to take the time to get the additional miles in. My long runs and hard workouts have been going fairly well so that has been encouraging. I ran 18 miles on Saturday and averaged 7:00 pace. It was a pretty miserable run the first 7 or 8 miles and I was struggling some just to stay with the group, but from about mile 9 on I finally woke up or started feeling better and had a good finish to the run. Suzanne commented to me this morning that after my long runs I didn't seem as useless all day or complain as much about my legs being in pain as I have in years past. I do feel like they are stronger/healthier which is a good feeling going into the last 8 weeks until the marathon.

I was exhausted from a long weekend so I didn't try to get up to run hills this morning and did a speed workout at lunch instead. I ran a 5 x 1 mile workout with an easy 1/4 mile jog between which worked out to a little over 2 minutes recovery after each one. I didn't really know how fast I would run them, but I went into the workout with a goal of being sub 5:40 on the first and then between 5:30 - 5:35 for the rest. The weather was cool and felt good for a workout. After a 2 mile warmup, strides, drills and some stretching I started the workout. My splits were 5:34, 5:29, 5:25, 5:25, 5:22. It was tough, but a good workout and I got about 9 miles total in on the day.

I'd like to find a good race sometime in the next 5 weeks for a tune up before the marathon. I had wanted to run the Dallas/White Rock 1/2 marathon this past weekend but had a conflict come up and I couldn't make it. Life with our daughter has been lots of fun and she's been a happy and easy baby. Here are a few pictures of her. Suzanne won't let me post any pictures of her diaper explosions, but her are a few nice ones of her.











Sunday, November 7, 2010

Last week of training

Fortunately my training has been going fairly well since the 1/2 marathon and I'm back into the swing of things and had some good workouts this week. Last Sunday, on Halloween, I did my long run and ran 14 miles early Sunday morning. I felt pretty good and averaged about 6:53 pace. The weather was nice in the mid-50's and I only had one water break at the midway point of the run.

Monday morning I made it out to the Kenyan Way hills workout. The weather was much warmer - 70 degrees and humid and we had a 5 x 1000m workout with two big uphills on each 1000. The first one was a little slow at 3:40 as I was still getting warmed up, but the next 4 were 3:30, 3:26, 3:26, 3:25. I think the times were similar to the last time I had run this workout, but somebody commented that the weather was better the last time we had run the workout. I did a total of about 8 miles on the day.

Tuesday - ran an easy 5 miles and spent a while doing stretching and conditioning work after the run.

Wednesday - Met Dan at the park for a progressive run at 5:00 am. After a 3.5 mile warmup, The goal was to do 6 miles starting at 6:45 and dropping 15 seconds a mile and finishing at 5:30. We were right on pace until the sub 6:00 miles. We hit the next to last mile in 5:52 and I finished the last mile in about 5:37. It was a tough workout, but went fairly well. After a mile cooldown I finished with about 10.5 miles.

Thursday - I ran a relaxed 7 miles with a co-worker at lunch. Neither of us had a watch, but the weather was nice and we probably were under 7:00 pace

Friday - no running. I went to MSHC for a treatment on my achilles which has been a little tight since I ran the Hillie Billie relay. It doesn't hurt while I run, but it just feels a little tighter and takes a while to loosen up and I don't want it to turn in to anything major

Saturday - 18.5 miles
I had a really good long run with nice weather - low to mid 40's. Andrew, Jena, Dan and I broke away from the rest of the pack midway through the run and we had a good run. I finished with a couple of quick miles on the cloverleafs and averaged about 6:50 pace for the run. I think that is the longest run that I've done this marathon training season.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Houston Half - a race to forget - 1:22:12

72 degrees, 93% humidity. Ughh. I knew I wasn't going to run a particularly fast time in these conditions, but I didn't think it was going to be quite so bad. I planned to go out in 5:55 - 6:00 pace and I thought I could hold that pace. I started out at what I thought was a fairly easy pace and thought all the people going out really hard were going to crash and burn. 3 miles into the race I was right at 18:00 and I knew I was going to struggle to hold 6:00 pace. My legs felt real sluggish and I guess the 10 mile race two weeks ago, the Hillie Billie relay, and all my training caught up with me. I caught a few guys by mile 7, but I was running 6:10 plus miles and pretty much quit racing hard at that point. I didn't want to get injured and I wasn't going to have a stellar time or place. If Suzanne and Olivia hadn't been coming down to the finish, I probably would have just stopped at Memorial Park and jogged home. I had passed Tom King and John Hill, but they both passed me back and I just didn't really have the motivation to try to push it and stay with them. Andrew Sharenson caught me shortly after the turnaround too and had a pretty good race in these conditions. The last 5 miles I was just running it like the end of a Kenyan Way long run except usually on those runs I finish with my fastest miles instead of my slowest. I finished in just over 1:22. It was an ugly day, but I got a decent training run out of it and didn't injure myself. I was able to do a pretty good job grabbing fluids at the aid stations which I always seem to struggle with and need some practice for the marathon in January. I'm not sure what my next race will be, but I'll try to run a race or two in November and December before the marathon in January.

Hillie Billie Relay - 1st overall - 10/16

I went up to the hill country to run in the inaugural Hillie Billie relay which was put on by the same people as the Texas Independence Relay. The Hillie Billie is a 70 mile relay and I joined Jace Heuring, Dan Gollins, Gabe Gomez and Katherine Marshall. They stagger the start times to try to get all the teams to finish around the same time and we started 30 minutes behind the next team and they told us they expected us to take the overall lead 3/4 of the way through the race.

My first leg was a 2.4 mile leg and I decided to wear racing flats. It was still fairly early and not too hot yet and I cruised my first leg at 5:35 pace. My second leg was a 4.9 mile leg and I didn't really get a warmup in because I was in the port-a-potty and Dan cruised his leg faster than I thought and I had to scramble and get out there for the exchange. My first mile was a little slower, but once I got warmed up I started cruising and caught a 4 people on that leg and averaged 5:47 pace. At the end of that leg my calves were pretty tight and I decided I should probably just stick with training shoes for the rest of the runs. The rest of the team was running great and picked off a ton of runners.

The third leg was pretty brutal. I had a 4 mile leg and I started about 2:00 pm with not a cloud in the sky and the temperature was in the low 80's. The first 3 miles had a decent amount of uphill in them and I was averaging about 6:12 pace the first 3 miles, but I did catch several more runners and the last mile was mostly downhill and I ended up averaging 6:02 pace for the 4 miles. My legs were really tired and I spend quite a while foam rolling and using my stick on my calves. Fortunately my hamstrings and quads felt great and weren't giving me any issues.

I really wasn't looking forward to my last leg. We were already well in the lead and it was hot and very sunny out and I was tired and my legs weren't feeling too well. After moaning and complaining for a while I finally got out there and just cruised the last leg at 6:27 pace. I started the leg at 4:00 pm and it was the next to last leg in the race. My first 2 miles were mostly uphill and were at about 6:45 pace, but then I got a couple of downhill miles to finish and was a little under 6:15 pace for the last 2-1/2 miles. We won the race overall by about an hour and it was a lot of fun running with everyone on the team. I think our finishing time was about 7:24 for the 70 miles.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

10 for Texas - 1st overall, PR

I PR'd for 10 miles in 56:58 and won the race by a little over 2 minutes. This was my first race I'd run since the Boston marathon and I wasn't really sure what shape I was in. I knew the weather was good and I'd had a couple good workouts this week and I thought I had a good shot at running under 58 minutes. 2 yrs ago I ran 57:48 at this race and I was hoping to beat that time.

The race almost got off to a bad start as I had to make a mad scramble to get to the start in time. I got up to the Woodlands a few minutes later than I intended so by the time I hit the port-a-john and got a 15 minute warmup in, I had less than 15 minutes to the start. I was at my car putting my singlet on and changing into my flats and I had planned on wearing my orthotics in my flats so I hadn't brought insoles for my racing flats. When I put the orthotics in, they were too big for the racing flats I had and were bunching up in the toe box and there was no way I could wear them. I thought I had worn them in April in these flats, but maybe I was mistaken. I just laced on my racing flats and tried to tighten them up and hoped I wouldn't get too many blisters. I had a pretty hard run over to the start and made it there right as they were starting the national anthem. As soon as it ended I hopped over the barrier into the corral and looked around to see who was racing. I didn't see anyone there that I knew was definitely faster than me. I saw John Spiller and he made a comment that he half expected to see me come running up and join the pack 1/4 mile into the race like I have a tendency to do on the Saturday long runs. He really wasn't all that far off.

The gun went off and we took off and I was basically in the lead from the very start. I felt relaxed and cruised the first mile in 5:47. At one mile there were 2 guys who were right with me. We cruised the next couple of miles as we started going a little uphill and after mile 3 I decided to start pushing it a little harder and started putting a gap between myself and them. We had a pace car and half of the Woodlands cycling club (or so it seemed) escorting us. There was one guy with an orange vest on that stayed with me the entire time and I guess he was assigned to staying with the race leader and then at various miles some of the other bikers would peel off. They must have been assigned certain miles to cover in case somebody needed medical attention so they rode out with the pace car until they got to their mile. When I got to mile 4, one of the bikers told me that I had a 10 second gap on the two guys behind me and at mile five I was over 25 seconds ahead. I was feeling good and pretty much knew I had the race won as long as I didn't get hurt or just completely blow up at the end of the race. After mile 1, the markers were way off and I just had to rely on my Garmin. Mile 2 was about 40 seconds after where it should have been and I'm not sure if any of the other mile markers were really in the right place. My Garmin showed that I was at 29:03 at mile 5 and after that it is mostly downhill to flat the rest of the race.

Between 5 and 6 I started picking up the pace and trying to hammer it and I ran a 5:32 for the 6th mile. I was cruising the rest of the way and was low 5:30's and high 5:20's the rest of the way in. When I got to mile 8 it seemed like the mile marker was about in the right place and that I really had 2 miles to go and I was at about 45:50 so if I ran 5:35's for the last 2 miles I would break 57 minutes. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to hold the pace for the last 2 miles, but I was going to try. Mile 9 was still mostly downhill so I was able to cruise and run it in just under 5:30. The last mile starts with a hill up a bridge over Lake Woodlands. I felt pretty good going up the bridge, but when I got to the top I knew that I still had ~3/4 of a mile to go and my legs were starting to feel a little tired. I just pushed it hard and once I got back into the market street area I knew I was almost done and started kicking it in. When I came around the last curve I could see the clock and it was at about 56:50 so I sprinted in and finished at 56:58.

My splits according to my Garmin were 5:47, 5:52, 5:56, 5:48, 5:42, 5:32, 5:31, 5:33, 5:29, 5:29. My Garmin splits were about 20 seconds short of the finish, but with the various turns and curves and lots of trees I'm not surprised it was a little off. I'm not sure what part of the race was off the most but it was ~2 seconds/mile. I was thrilled with the win and a 50 second PR and excited about running some more races this fall.

Last weeks training

Sunday - 6 miles around park in evening. Not real exciting run. I was pretty bored and was planning on doing 7-8, but just wasn't feeling any motivation and cut it a mile short and headed home.

Monday - 12 x 2 minutes hard with 1 minute recovery jog. I was pretty tired after waking up a couple of times to get Olivia back to sleep so I skipped the morning hill workout and ran at lunch. The weather was spectacular and I had a great workout. After a 2-1/4 mile warmup I did 12 x 2 minutes hard with 1 minute recovery on part of the 10 for Texas race course. I didn't have a Garmin, but I felt like I was really cruising. The first 6 were somewhat uphill and the last 6 were downhill - similar to how the race will be.

Tuesday - day off

Wednesday - 5 mile tempo run, 8.25 miles total. I planned to do a 4 mile tempo at ~5:50 pace to simulate part of my race pace without pushing it too hard. The temperature was about 76 out, but the humidity was down. I felt so good on the 4th mile and I was going to have a 2 mile cooldown that I decided to extend my tempo run an extra mile and only run a 1 mile cooldown and get back a little quicker. My splits for the tempo were 5:58, 5:54, 5:48, 5:47, 5:43.

Thursday - 7 miles easy - 50:30. Ran a nice easy recovery day with a coworker at lunch.

Friday - 4 miles easy - no watch. Ran an easy 4 at the park and then went to MSHC for treatment with Dr. Leist. my hamstrings and calves have really been feeling good and haven't been bothering me when I run so we are just working on improving some of my flexibility in my hamstrings and calves.

The weather has really been great this week with lows in the 50's and lower humidity and no rain. I wish it was like this all the time.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What a difference the weather makes

This past week we finally had a cold front move through Houston and the weather has been so much more enjoyable and has definitely been better for running. It finally dropped below 65 degrees for the first time in over 4 months. Yesterday I ran 16 miles at a 6:50 average and I felt great. After the first mile I averaged 6:45 for the next 15. Andrew, Jena and Sam were there and we broke away from the pack after about a mile and started cruising. We ran down to Hermann Park and the zoo and a couple laps around Rice University and headed back to the base. We were doing low 6:40's around rice and sub-6:40 pace the last 4 miles. It felt really good to have a good long run. I didn't even feel like we were pushing the pace that hard, but I could definitely feel it in my hips from cruising that many miles at a fast clip. I guess that's a good thing since all my therapy seems to be doing good. I didn't ever feel anything in my hamstring or achilles on the run.

Earlier in the week I had done a hill workout on Monday and we ran five 1000m repeats on the cloverleafs with a couple of good uphills in each one. I was able to negative split each one and ran them in 3:29, 3:28, 3:28, 3:26, 3:24.

Wednesday I ran a progressive run in the evening after work. It was cooler than it had been and the humidity was down, but the temperature was still in the low 80's in the evening. I ran 7:25, 6:55, 6:38, 6:19, 5:58, 5:42, 5:35. I was hoping to hit 5:30 on the last mile, but I was pleased with the workout. Progressive runs by myself are pretty tough, it was a little warm out, and I was pretty tired heading into the workout. Olivia's been cutting into my sleep a little bit.

Today I ran an easy 6 miles at the park in just over 42 minutes. I'm planning on running one of the 10 mile races next weekend and I'll probably run the 10 for Texas up in the Woodlands. I haven't run any races since the Boston Marathon and I really don't know what kind of shape I'm in. I think I can run it in 58 minutes if the weather cooperates. It will be a good test of where my fitness is at. Olivia has been doing well and I'll try to post a few more pictures this week.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Olivia has arrived, back to running some

Our daughter Olivia will be 2 weeks old on Tuesday and she's been a bundle of joy in our lives. She has put a little bit of a crimp in my running lately though. It's tough making it out there for all the workouts when I'm not getting my regular sleep. I'm working on getting back to running every day and I've had a couple of good workouts over the past week. Yesterday I made it out for the Saturday morning Kenyan Way workouts and ran 15.5 miles at a 7:10 average pace. I felt pretty good and finished the run with the last several miles being my fastest. On Wednesday I had a pretty good speed workout too in the evening at Memorial Park. My achilles and hamstring have been doing better too and they have improved enough that I don't need weekly treatments on them anymore. Here's a few pics of Olivia-




Saturday, September 4, 2010

Training still going well, no baby yet

I've had another pretty solid week of training and have felt really good. Our baby hasn't arrived yet although it should be any day now. It looks like maybe she has my procrastination skills.

Monday - day off

Tuesday - 8.5 miles at lunch. It was really hot and humid but I saw one of my co-workers in the locker room about to head out so I ran about 5 miles with him and then added on some more on my own. 8.5 miles in 62 minutes.

Wednesday - Kenyan Way speed workout. 2.75 mile warmup, 1/2/3/3/2/1 workout with 1 minute hard, 1 minute recovery jog, 2 min hard, etc... Ran the workout with Claudio and had a good workout. We were moving at a pretty good clip and I had a strong workout. I covered about 3.5 miles during the workout and then did about a 2.5 mile cooldown.

Thursday - 8.6 miles at lunch. I didn't wear a watch so I don't know what kind of pace I was running, but I ran a 6.9 mile loop and a 1.7 mile loop at a recovery pace. I was a little tired from the Wednesday workout, but I got through it and I'm feeling good from an injury perspective and my achilles and hamstring have been feeling pretty good.

Friday - 8+ miles. I went in for a treatment on my achilles in the morning and Dr. Leist said it was looking a lot better and he didn't need to see me for my achilles for 2 weeks instead of my usual weekly treatment which is a good sign. I'm going to go back in a week to get my hamstring treated since they really haven't done anything with it for a while, but I'm definitely showing signs of improvement. I went out for about 8 miles around Memorial park around 5:30 pm. To break up some of the monotony of running laps on the main trail I ran out on the path to 610 along Memorial and then over to Woodway and back through the park and then ran about 20 minutes on the Ho Chi Minh bike trails. It's kind of interesting running back in the woods on the mountain bike trails with lots of twists and turns and ups and downs. I didn't run too hard since I was doing a long run in another 12 hours. I averaged about 7:25 - 7:30 pace and ran for 61 minutes.

Saturday - 16.4 miles - Kenyan Way long run. I had a solid run today and felt pretty good. I was running late like usual but fortunately the group didn't start as early as I thought they might so I ran into them at the corner of Jackson Hill and Feagin and didn't have to try to catch up with them. Unfortunately I lost my car key somewhere on the run. I had dropped my key into the back pocket on my shorts and it came out somewhere on the run. I hadn't realized that my shorts had a regular key pocket so I put it in the back pocket which is really for energy gels or something like that. I realized about 8 miles in that I didn't have my key and I had no idea where it came out. I didn't push the pace too hard until we got into the park and I was feeling pretty good and started picking up the pace. Sam and Andrew had already taken off earlier from the group, but I wasn't sure I was ready to pick up the pace that early so I stayed with the pack. When I was running quicker around the park, Rob caught up with me and was doing a few miles at his marathon pace so I ran a couple ~6:45 miles with him. I backtracked over the first couple miles of the route and looked for my lost key but didn't see it so I had to run back home and add on a couple more miles. I had been planning on doing about 15, but I was happy to get over 16 and my legs felt pretty good. My garmin battery is low now, but I think I did the 16.4 miles in about 1:58 and averaged ~7:10 pace or so.

If our baby doesn't decide to show up in the next 2 days and I get my Sunday and Monday runs in, I should hit 65+ miles for 7 days from Tuesday - Monday. So far this week I've done about 49 miles in the past 5 days.

Monday, August 30, 2010

61 miles last week

I had a great week of training and some really good runs this past week. I ran 7 days in a row and got above 60 miles since sometime back in April and I felt pretty good.

Monday morning I made it out for the Kenyan Way workout and ran 4 miles of hills and had a really good workout with Claudio. We start out at a medium-hard effort to start with and were really pushing it hard the last lap. It was a good workout and I got 8.5 miles in for the day.

Tuesday was a recovery day at lunch in the blistering heat at lunch. I ran ~8.25 miles in 62 minutes and it was hot.

Wednesday I made it out to the Wednesday morning Kenyan Way workout and after about a 1.5 mile warmup did 6 x 2:00 hard with 2:00 recovery jog between each one. I ran with Claudio again and we had a good workout. During the last 2:00 I timed one of our 1/4's and we were doing 5:20 pace. I don't think we were running quite that fast the whole workout, but we had a strong finish. I ran a 3.5 mile cooldown for a total of about 8.25 miles.

Thursday - 5 miles recovery

Friday - 8 miles at the park. The weather was really nice with lower humidity and I headed out the door a little after 9:00 and ran 8 miles in about 58 minutes. I was down around 7:00 pace at the end of the run and averaged about 7:15 pace. The humidity was only about 50% which was a very welcome change.

Saturday - 15.25 miles with Kenyan Way. I almost made it all the way to the start before the group took off and if I were 20 seconds earlier I would have been there for the start. I had a really good run Saturday and averaged about 7:15 pace for the 15+ miles. I wasn't sure how tired I'd be, but the slightly cooler weather and low humidity really made a difference. The last couple of 15+ mile runs I'd done, I had really hit the wall and struggled the last couple of miles, but I felt really good today. Andrew and Jena and another guy picked up the pace and took off midway through the run and I contemplated going with them but just decided to take it easy. With my mileage increase this week, I didn't want to push it too hard so I kept the pace relatively easy and comfortable and enjoyed the run. When we got back to base I ran a couple laps on the cloverleaf with Jace and Nicki to finish the run.

Sunday - 8 miles at park. Sunday evening I headed out to the park for an 8 mile run. It was warm, but I didn't start until about 6:30 so I had a little cloud cover and the sun was starting to set. I didn't wear a watch for the run, but I think I probably was in the 7:20 - 7:30 pace range for most of the run. I was kind of tired and would have been happy to cut the run short but I wanted to make sure I ht 60 miles for the week so I made it through the entire run.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Training for the Badwater Ultramarathon

Ok, I'm not really training for it, but that's what most of my runs feel like these past couple of weeks. I've done about 7 or 8 runs in the last couple of weeks either at lunchtime or in the evening when the heat index has been in the upper 90's or low 100's and it has been hot out. I haven't worn my watch on a number of the recovery days because it is so hot and I don't really want to push myself too hard in the heat. I did wear it on Friday morning when I got out at about 9:00 am and did 7 miles at about a 7:00 avg. I did 14.5 miles last weekend with the Kenyan Way and ran about 15.5 miles this weekend. Yesterday the heat index was 86 at 5:30 in the morning before we even got started so I knew it was going to be a pretty miserable day. I felt good through about 9 miles, but between miles 9 and 10 I could tell that I was getting pretty hot and I couldn't hang with Andrew the last few miles of the run. He was cruising and I dropped back to 7:20 - 7:30 pace the last few miles to finish. It's hard to stay hydrated enough on these runs and I felt like I was like a water faucet running when I finished and it took me most of the day to really get rehydrated. I'll be very happy when it cools off. Tomorrow the Kenyan Way fall speed workouts start so I'll be getting up early to run hills in the morning.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday 7/31 - 13.5 miles

I set the alarm for 5:25 this morning to get up for a 6:00am run, but when it went off I convinced myself that some extra sleep was worth torturing myself running by myself later in the morning. I wasn't sure who all would be showing up today since it was more of an informal run with Sean on vacation and I figured if I was going to end up running by myself then I'd rather get some sleep. I'd imagine that at least several of the people I normally run with were out there, but it's a lot easier to convince myself to sleep in if I assume I'd be running alone. We had gone to the astros game last night and we had tickets in the all-you-can-eat mezzanine section and it was a pretty good deal. $20 for the game and all you can eat hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn, sodas, and water. Of course my stomach wasn't think it was all that great a deal this morning. I finally made it out the door about 8:45. I did a loop around the park and went out to 610 on Memorial and back on Woodway and then ran down Blossom to the base, did a loop around most of the bayou, down Memorial back to Crestwood and then home. I made sure to plan a route with plenty of water fountains since it would be getting warm out. When I started the run it was about 81 degrees out and the heat index was 86 when I started and it was about 86 and a heat index of 94 when I finished. Because of the heat I didn't push the pace too hard and averaged about 7:40 for the run and finished in about 1:44. I think I stopped at about 6 drinking fountains during he run, but I didn't have any issues with cramping and survived the heat without any real issues. I just wanted to get the mileage in since I didn't get a long run in last weekend and the weekend before that wasn't a very stellar run.

I'm off to chick-fil-a for lunch for a free sandwich since Jeff Keppinger hit the Chick fil-A fowl pole with a HR in the 8th inning so everyone at the game can get a free chicken sandwich today. I don't need to many excuses to go to Chick fil-A for lunch so this one was pretty easy.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday 7/30 - 6 miles

I went out for a morning run at the park and ran into my friend Benson and did a couple miles with him during the middle of the run. I ended up doing about 6 miles. I would have gone a couple more but I had an appointment for my leg treatment and had to get back home for that. The doctor found a really sore spot on my achilles that was sensitive to the touch. It's feeling a lot better after the treatment. It still doesn't really bother me while I'm running but I hope that we can get it under control and it doesn't flare up into something really bad.

Thursday - 7.5 miles

I went out after work and did about 7.5 miles around the Woodlands. I was feeling pretty decent and averaged about 7:10 pace. My achilles was a little stiff the first 1/2 - 3/4 of a mile but felt pretty good after that and didn't bother me.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Updates

I've been pretty busy with work and getting ready for the irth fo our daughter in less than 6 weeks and haven't been getting around to updating my blog. My training has been going fairly well. Last week I ran a 2 mile time trial with the Kenyan Way on Wednesday evening and it was pretty brutal. I had run 8.25 miles at lunch on Tuesday, the day before, at a low 7:00+ pace so I wasn't as fresh as I could have been, but I didn't want to sacrifice mileage since this wasn't a race. The heat index was 101 when I left the house and the course consisted of about 2.75 loops of a course at Spotts park with a pretty good hill in it which I had to go up three times. I ran it in 11:35 which wasn't all that impressive, but I really don't have a baseline to compare it to. My first mile (which only had the hill once) was 5:41 and my second mile was 5:54 (with 2 hills). Sean had said it was a slow course based on the morning group's times. It was a good hard effort and I need to start working some speedwork back into my schedule. The best news was my hamstring and achilles felt good and weren't sore afterwards and I didn't feel them at all during the workout.

On Monday I did a little speedwork during my run by doing 6 x 1/2 mile at ~6:00 pace and then running at normal pace for 1/2 mile recovery. I was pretty consistent and hit all the 1/2 mile hard in 2:58 - 3:03 and my recoveries were initially a little quicker than I had anticipated, but I was pretty dead by the end. I did a 1.5 mile warmup and then started the workout. The first couple of recoveries I was running at 7:00 - 7:05 pace and then I dropped to about 7:15 pace by the 3rd one and after the 6th one I was toast and ran about 8:00 pace for my 1.5 mile cool down. The heat index was in the upper 90's but at least I had some good cloud cover.

Most of my easy runs I haven't been wearing a watch lately which is kind of nice because I'm not worried about my pace and I can just run comfortably and the runs are a little more enjoyable.

I found out earlier this week that I got my guaranteed entry to the Houston Marathon through Harra so that is nice I don't have to worry about being left out because of the lottery. I'm a little disappointed that the marathon didn't reserve more spots for people. My dad won his age group in the 1/2 marathon last year, but he might not be able to run this year if the lottery works against him which is a pretty raw deal.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Kenyan Way long run - 10.5 miles

This was one of the roughest long runs that I've had in a while. I was pretty wiped out from the beginning but I made it through 10.5 miles. I'm sure last night's run took something out of me and I haven't been doing very well staying hydrated the past few days and that probably contributed too. It was the typical warm, humid, miserable running weather that we come to expect in Houston. Fortunately for me, Sam, Jena and Mike, a few of the faster guys I sometimes take off with weren't there to tempt me to push the pace. We had a pretty good sized group and I felt ok the first 6 miles, but I really started struggling after that and I was having to throw in surges just to stay with the group. I made it back to the base with the group at the end of the first loop and we were at about 8 miles. I was toast and knew that I wasn't going to be able to hang for the next small loop so I just waited until the next group of guys made it back to base and took a couple extra minutes and got some extra gatorade. Jace showed up in the next group so I ran easy with him the last 2.5 miles and survived, barely. I'll just put today behind me and hopefully be a little stronger over the next few weeks. My splits for the day were 7:55, 7:46, 7:27, 7:36, 7:16, 7:06, 7:16, 7:16, 8:25, 8:22, 8:20 pace for last 1/2.

John and Claudio told me there was a two mile time trial on Wednesday morning so I may try to head out and torture myself and see what I can do two miles in later this week.

Friday - 6+ miles, still hot

Went out for a little over 6 miles Friday evening and ran a little over 4 of them with Sam. We were averaging right about 7:00 pace when we were together. I'm guessing I did about 6.1 miles in just under 44 minutes. It was miserably hot out, but I finished the run. Of course I knew that I would probably be kind of shot for Saturday morning's run, but it felt pretty good. I went in to MSHC for another treatment this morning and they spent just about the entire treatment working on my calf and sore achilles and it was definitely loosened up and feeling better afterwards. They told me I was making good progress on some of my single leg stability strengthening exercises and I was doing them a lot better than the week before.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer is hot in Houston

I'm going to make it a goal to start updating my blog a little more regularly, at least for the next month or so. I've been running fairly regularly and I've made a lot of progress with my hamstring. I've done a couple of hard workouts and my hamstring has felt great and I haven't had any problems with it. Unfortunately my left achilles has been a little tight and I'm hoping it doesn't turn into anything serious. I'm a little worried I've been running with Sam a little too much and maybe I caught it from him....

Last night I ran just a shade under 8 miles at Memorial park at just under 7:00 pace. It was my first run in a new pair of shoes, the Nike Lunar Elite. They felt pretty good, but they aren't as flexible as the Adidas Adizero Boston I had been running in. When I finished the run I saw the heat index was 95 and I'm guessing it was probably closer to 100 when I started the run. I probably was pushing it probably a little too hard in those weather conditions and I was pretty wiped out at the end of the run. My achilles was a little stiff the first 1/2 mile, but felt fine the rest of the run.

Today I was still a little tired from last night's run, but I went out at lunch with one of my co-workers. He was doing an easy 4 miles so I was going to run part of that with him and continue on. It was miserable out, but fortunately I had someone to run with. I was pretty stiff and my achilles was kind of sore the first mile or so, but it felt fine after I got warmed up. We got to around the 3 mile mark and I was going to head one way while he went back to the office and I happened to run into another co-worker out running so I turned around and ran with him and got a total of about 6.5 miles in. I didn't stop for water at all on the run and was pretty beat by the end of the run. I spent a while working on single leg stability exercises and stretching and trying to cool off. My achilles was really sore immediately after the run, but felt a lot better after stretching it a bit. I've got another rehab appointment tomorrow so I'll see what they say and about my achilles.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some running non-running musings

It's a week until the end of the month so I had better run 6 out of the next 7 days if I'm going to achieve my goal from my previous post of being up to ~6 days/week of running by the end of the month. I've been struggling a bit with my motivation lately. I don't have any races on my schedule and since I'm not training for anything specific right now, I find it way too easy to skip a day here or there. I haven't been doing any speedwork while I recover from my hamstring problems and I find doing base mileage every day to be rather boring and monotonous. It's also really hot out. I'm kind of caught in this spiral where I know that I'm not in great racing shape so I don't particularly want to run a 5K (especially in this heat and humidity) since I know it will be slow. I was thinking of running the July 4 5k, but last year I barely broke 17:00 and I'm not even in great racing shape right now. Since I'm not signed up for any races, I'm not really driven to run 6-7 days a week and if I don't run that much, I won't be in good racing shape so I don't want to sign up for a race and run embarrassingly slow. And since I'm not signed up for a race, I'm not real motivated to run 6-7 days/week and.....

I'd like to run the 10 miler and 1/2 marathon in October and the Park to Park 5 miler which was moved to the fall, but I'm not sure how my training is going to be going in October with a 1 month old. I probably should just work on getting back in good shape and we'll see how racing goes this fall.

Today I booked flights to Cincinnati for my wife and myself to visit my in-laws next month. On Continental it costs $900 for 2 tickets from Houston to Cincinnati, but if we fly from Austin, it is only about $600. The flight from Austin connects in Houston and we'd fly on the exact same flight from Houston to Cincinnati but it's $300 cheaper. What's with that? Seriously. I booked the flight from Austin. I get to drive my wife's car on the way to Austin and I save $300 so it's a pretty good deal for me.

I was watching the US soccer match today on my computer at work and trying to keep it under wraps, but I involuntarily yelled out "Yes!!!!" in the 91st minute and about 4 people come running down the hall to see the replay. I don't know if you could have had a much better finish to the game. I'm still trying to figure out which is more impressive: 59-59 (suspended for darkness) in the 5th set or the US soccer match finish.

Well I'm off to bed now. I'm going to run in the morning and Suzanne isn't going to let me make any excuses in the morning.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

6/19 - 12 miles - 1:26

I woke up Saturday morning and was still pretty sore and stiff from the weights I did on Thursday. I hit snooze on the alarm and ended up running a little late and missing the start. I started the run and then took a shortcut when I got to memorial park and got close to the group I run with and caught up with them another 1/2 mile later. It was about 80 degrees out and very humid and rather miserable. I was feeling pretty good midway through the run and started pushing the pace of the group a bit midway through. We were knocking out the miles at 7:00 - 7:05 pace in the middle of the run and I felt decent until we had about 3 miles left and i knew that I had probably pushed the pace a little hard. I still ended up finishing with a couple of 6:54 miles, but I was toast at the end of the run. I ended up with 12 miles in 1:26.

I had some illusions of going and running the Dad's day 5k after the workout, but I was too beat and a little dehydrated. Today's run was the longest run I'd done since the Boston marathon and it wasn't really that spectacular, but I was able to push through and finish the run fairly strong even though I was hurting the last couple of miles. My hamstrings and legs felt good from an injury perspective and the soreness I had was just related to the lifting I did and being a little dehydrated. My goal now is to be back running 6 days a week by the end of the month and work on getting my mileage back up a little higher.

6/18 - 101 Heat index

Today's run was rather miserable. I had done weights on Thursday and probably overdid it a bit on the lunges and my legs were still sore and a little stiff. I had gone in to MSHC for another treatment in the morning so I didn't make it out for my run until about 5:00 pm. Since I was planning on running with the Kenyan Way group in the morning, I didn't want to overdo it. A few weeks ago I'd gone out and run a pretty hard run on a Friday afternoon with Sam and I was toast for the Saturday run.

I checked the weather before I headed out the door and it said the temperature was 92 and the heat index was 101. After the first 1/2 mile which was really slow as I loosened up, I averaged about 7:25 - 7:30 pace for the rest of the run. I only did 5.25 miles because I didn't think that an extra mile would really do a lot extra for me other than wear me out or dehydrate me a little more.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

More updates and improvements

Sorry I havent been doing much updating lately. My wife and I took a week and a half vacation to California and I've been pretty busy this week. I think I'm really starting to see some results from my therapy at MSHC and I'm hopeful I'll be able to come back even stronger and faster than before. On Tuesday I went in for another treatment and the doctor was surprised at how my flexibility has been improving and I've actually been kind of surprised myself. Nobody is going to mistake me for a gymnast, but my hamstring flexibility is much better than it was a few weeks ago. I've also been very consistent at doing some strengthening exercises for my hips/glutes and I can tell that I have made a lot of progress compared to where I was 6 weeks ago when I first went in for treatment.

I got a few runs in on our vacation. We went to San Francisco, Yosemite, Monterrey and Napa Valley. One of the runs in Napa Valley literally went straight up a mountain. I knew their would be some uphill, but I was working hard and running almost 10:00 pace going up the hill. It was so steep I couldn't even run normally coming down because I would have wiped out. It was one of the toughest runs I'd done in a while. The weather was so great in Northern California and so miserable back here in Houston. I haven't particularly enjoyed going out run with the heat index in the upper 90's or the low 100's. I've felt pretty good on my runs and I feel like I'm running with better form with the exercises and work I've been doing. The real key will be when I get out on a long run or a harder workout and we'll see how my form holds up when I'm tired.

I was going to try to run with Sam this morning but he's taking a little time off to recover from an achilles injury so I decided to get an extra hour of sleep and just torture myself over lunch. I think the temperature was pushing 95 and the heat index was around 100 and there wasn't a lot of shade on the route I ran. I did 7.25 miles in 53 minutes and it was tough in the heat, especially the last couple of miles. Saturday I may run the Dad's day 5k with one of my friends after my 12 mile Kenyan Way run/warmup. I'm just hoping to run about 6:30 pace and see if I can hang with my buddy. Tomorrow morning I'll try for about 8 miles and then I have another appointment for treatment. That's about what's new with me.

Monday, May 31, 2010

An update on training and therapy

It's been a while since I've posted, but I've gotten back into running and I think I'm making some progress with my hamstring injury. At Sean's recommendation, I went to the MultiSport Health Center for treatment for my hamstring and to take their FMS (functional movement systems) screen. The FMS screen is a series of 7 mobility/flexibility exercises they have you do and they grade you from 0 - 3 on each one depending on how well you do it. It helps them pinpoint areas of weaknesses or muscle imbalances which can lead to injuries. I scored 14 out of 21 points and they told me that people with 14 or below have a 50% increased risk for injury. The two biggest problem areas that they pinpointed for me were my very tight hamstrings and my hip/glute muscles weren't properly activating so they were weak and ended up forcing my hamstrings to do more work. For shorter runs and races my hamstrings could deal with it and I could get away with it, but for long training runs and marathons this is why they said I was always falling apart really bad at the end. Even in my two good marathons where I've run 2:47 - 2:48, I've really struggled at the end of the race and felt like I was just hanging on and trying to finish. The doctors have been doing active release techniques (ART) therapy on my hamstrings and hips and they gave me a list of exercises and stretches that I work on daily. I can feel a difference when I run and it seems like things are getting better. I haven't done any real long runs or speedwork, but it seems like my legs feel better than they usually do. I can also feel the muscles in my hips working more when I do my exercises before I do a run. I think this is probably a good thing.

I'm not training for anything in particular right now and I'm working on just enjoying my running while I continue to recuperate. I don't think I'm going to run any of the summer 5k's around Houston other than maybe the July 4th 5k. I was pretty burned out both mentally and physically training for Boston and I wouldn't have run it this year if my dad hadn't qualified for it. It was tough training for it because I didn't really enjoy the training, particularly with a bum hamstring, and I felt guilty if I missed workouts. Now that I'm not training for anything in particular, I don't feel bad if I miss a day here or there and it makes it a lot more enjoyable when I am running because i want to be running and not because I feel guilty if I miss a run. I hope to continue making progress and build my mileage back up and be back in racing shape for some of the fall races. I'm not sure how being a new parent and the fall races will mix, but that's my main goal for now.

Friday afternoon Sam called me up and asked if I had been running yet or was going to run and I needed to get a run in so I headed out the door about 4:45. About 5 steps into the run I wondered what I was getting myself into because it was hot out. Sam had left his place about the same time so I headed down Blossom until I ran into him and then turned around and did a little over a lap at the park and then headed out back down Blossom to his place and then I looped back home. I didn't have a Garmin so I don't know how long the run was, but we were doing about 7:00 pace at the park and I think I probably did 9.25 - 9.5 miles on the day in 67 minutes. I was pretty beat when I got home and I checked the weather and it was 95 degrees out. I wouldn't be surprised if the heat index was over 100.

Saturday morning I really wanted to sleep in, but the weatherman on the news had said it was going to be 86 degrees by 9:00 am so I forced myself out of bed to go to the Kenyan Way long run. The temperature was in the upper 70's and it was really humid and I struggled for a lot of the run. I was running with Sam, John and a high school guy who's name eludes me. Sam took off after about 7.5-8 miles and left us behind and I had no desire to try to keep up with him. We'd been averaging about 7:05 pace for the first 8 miles or so and I was just trying to hang with the group to each water stop. We eased up the last couple miles and ran about 7:20 - 7:25 pace the last couple of miles and I ended up at 10.6 miles on the day. I was pretty beat after doing about 20 miles in 2 runs in 14 hours, but my legs felt really good and didn't hurt at all when I was finished.

Sunday I took the day off and Monday I ran 6.5 miles at the park at 9:00. There was a pretty good crowd out this morning with the Memorial day holiday. I averaged about 7:10 pace and finished in 47 minutes. I saw Bill running at the park and passed him going the opposite direction a couple of times. I would have turned around and run with him, but I needed to get back home because somebody was coming over a little after 10:00 and I was running tight on time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Central Park - New York City

I was up in New York City for the first time in my life last Thursday - Sunday. My wife had been up in the NYC area for work the first part of the week so I flew up Thursday to spend a long weekend in the city. We had beautiful weather most of the time we were there and had a blast. There was so much to do in so little time. Friday went to the top of the Rockefeller Center and then we took a 3 hr bike tour along the Hudson river and over the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn and back across the Brooklyn bridge into Manhattan and back up along the Hudson river. I haven't ridden a bike in quite a while and I had a sore butt afterwards. The weather was so nice out that I barely even broke a sweat. I had wanted to get up and go running Saturday but it rained Saturday morning so I decided to sleep in instead. Sunday was quite a bit cooler and windy, but I went out for a run that morning before we had to check out of our hotel. The temperature was about 50 degrees out with 20 mph winds, but it was sunny out. I hadn't brought a lot of warm stuff for running, so I was trying to decide if I wanted to wear my Boston jacket while I ran. It was my only jacket I had packed and I knew I needed it for the rest of the day and I didn't want to get it all sweaty. I decided to head out and take my chances in the cold. It was about 10 blocks from my hotel up to the south end of Central Park and then I ran a full lap around the park. It was a little harder than I expected with the wind and the terrain had a lot more hills than I expected. The Olympic trials in 2007 did about 4 loops around Central Park and that was not an easy course. I forgot to bring my camera to snap some pics while I was running, but I got started late enough that I didn't really have a lot of extra time to be taking pictures. It was a beautiful day out and after about 5 minutes I was warm enough though the blasts of wind were kind of chilly at times. I did learn that when you run along the sidewalks in New York if you stay on the metal grates above the subway, you get a nice blast of warm air that keeps you warm. According to mapmyrun.com, my route from my hotel and around the park and back was 7.6 miles and I ran it in about 51 minutes which was a little under 7:00 pace. Considering the hills and the wind it was a decent pace. I felt good during the run though my quads were a little sore at the end of the run in the same areas where they hurt after Boston. It was a fun run to do and it's cool to say that I've run in Central Park. I think New York would be a fun place to live for 6 months or maybe a year because there is so much to do, but I don't think I'd want to be there much more than that.

Friday, April 30, 2010

To marathon or not to marathon

As I've trained for and run my last couple of marathons, I have felt like a tortured and conflicted soul. I really don't enjoy the 20+ mile long runs all that much, and I don't really like running for 2-1/2 or 3 hrs at a time. When I am training for a marathon it seems like my life consists of run, work, eat, sleep, repeat in varying order and I always feel tired and beat up. My body hasn't really been 100% since a 10k I ran on Thanksgiving day and my 2 marathons since then have both been worse than I would have liked as my training has been somewhat limited compared to what I would have liked to have done. As I suffered through a painful last 10 miles of the Boston marathon, I had plenty of time to think about how much I hated running marathons and wondering why I put myself through the torture. I don't enjoy getting up at 4:30 to go up to Conroe to run 20+ miles on Saturdays when training for Boston.

On the other hand I'm extremely competitive and I love challenges. I don't run to stay in in shape or primarily for the social aspect. I run because I'm driven to push myself and I want to win races and set PRs and beat other people in races. I enjoy speed workouts. I like running hard and pushing myself. I know that I have the potential to run a sub 2:40 marathon if I do the right training and stay healthy. After my last two sub-par marathon times, I'm motivated to come back and PR and prove that I'm better than that. One of my friends, Sam, who I've run with over the past couple of years with the Kenyan Way has stepped up his training big time over the past 9 - 12 months and run some impressive times. For the past couple of years we had pretty similar race results and would finish close to each other in races. Sometimes I'd beat him, sometimes he'd beat me. Last fall I PR'd in a 1/2 marathon and he beat me by 40 or 50 seconds. Then we ran separate 10k's on Thanksgiving day and each PR'd and I think I had a 20 or 30 second faster time. Then my training went downhill and his flourished and he ran a 2:40 marathon and I ran 2:54. I really believe that if I could stay motivated and disciplined enough and injury free that if I put in 80 - 90 miles a week consistently for 6+ weeks leading up to a marathon I should be able to break 2:40. Of course that's a big if.

Even though I don't like the training and the pain and suffering of the marathon and I seem to continually be asking myself why I keep torturing myself, there is something that seems to keep drawing me back to wanting to run them. There's an allure and a challenge to the marathon. It's such a brutal and tough race and a true test of who is the toughest person out there. If I'm running a 5k or a 10k and have a bad day, I'm only seconds or a couple minutes at most off of my good race times. Halfway through a race I know that it's only a matter of minutes before I'm done. When you are out there in a marathon and things fall apart with 10 miles to go, it feels like an eternity. I can think of numerous great American marathoners and some of the best US and International performances. Outside of the current crop of US track athletes, I'd be hard pressed to name many great American 5k track stars beyond Bob Kennedy and Adam Goucher. I'd like to have a long streak of consecutive Houston marathons and one day be listed in the program with 20 or 25+ consecutive marathon finishes.

It seems like every marathon I've run has been painful and brutal on my legs. Even in my two good marathons I felt like I was just holding on for dear life trying not to fall apart the last few miles and praying my hamstrings had enough left in them for a strong push to the finish. Some days I wonder if I'm cut out to be a marathoner or if I should stick to just shorter races. I really like running half marathons and they don't seem to beat me up so badly. I know that my wife would love for me to take a break from marathons for a long while. She doesn't particularly enjoy me rolling out of bed at 5:30 or earlier on Saturday mornings to go running and then being wiped out the rest of the day. Some days I think that if I could just train hard for one season, break 2:40 and check that off my list I would be content to stop running marathons, but if I broke 2:40 I know that I would just want to run a 2:37 marathon and finish one averaging 5:59 pace. I probably would never be content. I have a love/hate relationship with marathons. I love running them fast and setting new PRs, but I hate training for them and all the agony and misery that the training and races inevitably seem to bring. Every time I run a marathon I tell myself that I'm just going to quit running them, but then a week or two afterwards I must have forgotten all the pain and misery and I'm inspired to run another one and do better than the last time. If I run a bad marathon, I want to come back and redeem myself and if I run a good race, I want to run the next one faster and improve upon it.

I think I can handle running 1 marathon a year. It's usually the training for the 2nd one that really burns me out. Since I started running marathons I've done two marathons about 3 months apart each year - Chicago 07, Houston 08, Houston 09, Boston 09, Houston 10, Boston 10. I always seem to be in better shape for the 2nd marathon, but I'm also pretty much burned out by then too.

So what's next? My first goal is to get healthy and improve my leg strength and flexibility. In the next week or two I'll be going to Koala to probably start some sort of physical therapy/rehab program to work on my hamstrings. I have some other big changes on the horizon too. My wife and I are expecting our first child in September and that will definitely change my life a bit, and we'll just have to see how fall marathon training goes with a baby girl interrupting my sleep every night. I don't have any plans to race anytime soon. I'd like to run some of the summer 5k's but we'll see how my recovery and hamstrings are doing. I'd rather take a month off and recover and miss the summer 5k's and be able to get back in shape for some of the fall races than start training too hard too soon and have lingering hamstring problems all summer long. The heat and humidity kick my butt and I don't usually run very fast in the May/June/July races here anywhere so it won't give me too much heartburn to miss them. It was quite depressing last summer where I seemed to get progressively slower every race I ran. I still haven't done any running since Boston, but I may go out for an easy run at the Park sometime tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Boston bust - 3:04:12

I'm not sure even where to begin. I've had a couple days to think about my run and numerous thoughts have crossed my mind. I did re-qualify for Boston if I wanted to run it next year. This was a new personal worst for me excluding my first marathon that I DNF'd. I'm disappointed with the results, but the worst part is I don't even really know why it went so bad. I did beat Minnie Mouse though (more on that later) I thought I was in shape to run a ~2:50 or better and I hit the half at 1:25 and things were falling apart before mile 15 and with 11 miles to go, I was no longer running for time, but just to finish. Last year when I ran Boston, I got to the top of Heartbreak Hill around mile 21 and I thought I was going to break 2:45 and I started down it and my legs just couldn't respond. This year I went out easier and my quads were toast before I even got to the Newton hills.

We arrived in Boston on Saturday and was on the same flight as several fellow Kenyan Wayers who I had trained with some - Guy, Andres, Monte, Jiyhe. I arrived at my hotel and saw Jeff, another Kenyan Wayer and I found out that a large group from the Kenyan Way was staying at the same hotel. At the marathon expo, Team Hoyt had a booth set up and Dick Hoyt was there and I got a signed bobblehead of Dick and Rick Hoyt. If you've never heard of them before, they have an amazing story. Rick was born as a quadriplegic and his parents refused to institutionalize him and pushed for him to be integrated into society. His dad (Dick) started running races pushing Rick in his wheelchair and they have now run over 1000 races together including 6 Ironman triathalons. The video on the website might put you in tears.

Sunday I took it pretty easy and stayed off my feet for most of the day. On Sunday evening I was in my hotel room and we were watching a show on the weather channel about the Badwater Ulramarathon through death valley and they talked about this guy that dressed like a fairy in a pink tutu and ran a bunch of races and I thought to myself- I would probably give up running if a dude like that ever beat me.

I woke up Monday and walked about 10 minutes to where the buses were loading for Hopkinton and I got on a bus a little before 7:00 am. After a few minor delays we arrived in Hopkinton and the weather was pretty nice out. It was sunny out and in the mid to upper 40's. I had forgotten to bring sunglasses to the start with me, but I hadn't really planned on wearing them during the race anyway. I found a large group of Kenyan Way runners and hung out with them before the start and I was feeling pretty good about the race and relaxed. The only real complaint I had about athletes village was that they must have used the world's thinnest toilet paper in all the port-a-potties. I don't think it even qualified as single ply. It was more like 1/2 ply or 1/3 ply. I would have to use one hand to turn the entire roll with the other hand very gently pulling the end of the tp away from the roll. If you just grabbed the end and pulled it, it would break off and then getting it going again was kind of like when you have a roll of tape that sticks to itself and it is kind of hard to pull it off of itself. The other funny thing is they had a bunch of military or national guard people around the athletes village and some snipers up on the roof of the school. I guess they were there to take out people who were cutting in line at the port-a-potties. It seemed to work though since I didn't see anyone cutting in line and I didn't see anyone get taken out either.

I started to head over to the start line about 45 minutes before the race to give myself plenty of time. It was warm enough out that I just went with a singlet and gloves and didn't wear arm warmers or a long sleeve shirt which worked out fine. One thing I didn't think about beforehand was that if it was sunny out, I could be out in the sun for 3 hrs in the heat of the day from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and I ended up getting a nice sunburn on my arms, shoulders, back of the neck and face. That didn't ruin my race, but it sure didn't help it either. I started out fairly easy and was able to stay in the 6:20 - 6:25 pace for the first four miles which were downhill. I felt pretty good the first part of the race and was determined to keep it relatively easy and not push it hard until the end and I really wanted to run a negative split marathon. I was sticking right on my plan and went through the half in 1:25 and I still felt good at that point. I knew that a 2:45 was pretty much out of the question, but I thought that with a relaxed 1:25 first half, I should be able to run a faster 2nd half and I was hoping that I would beat my 2:48 from last year and maybe even PR.

Somewhere between mile 13 and 16. In the 16th mile, there is a pretty good downhill and then the 5 miles of the Newton hills begin. As I got to the first downhill, my quads started hurting like they had hurt last year going down heartbreak hill except this was 5 miles earlier. I had felt that same pain before and instantly I new that my race for a PR and fast time was done. There isn't much more demoralizing than realizing you have almost 11 miles to go and it is all going to be very painful. I quit looking at my Garmin for the most part and just focused on staying relaxed and keeping going. Another problem I had is that I laced my shoes too tight because I was worried about them being loose like they had been on a couple of my training runs and around mile 16, I could feel it digging into my foot. A little after mile 17 I had to stop for a few seconds and loosen the shoe and I saw I had a nice bloodstain on the shoe from it digging into my foot. After I loosened the laces it didn't bother me the rest of the race though.

The Newton hills were miserable this year in contrast to last year when I felt really strong going up them. I kept trudging on and saw my time slip further and further away. Going down heartbreak hill I looked up and saw the back of a Kenyan Way singlet and saw my friend Shawn Emerick just ahead. I told him good luck and finish strong. With a little over 3 miles to go I stopped for a minute to down a bottle of water and a couple orange slices that a friendly spectator was giving away. I don't think that I was staying well enough hydrated during the race even though I was trying to get fluids at every other mile. I don't think the lack of good hydration had anything to do with my quads being destroyed in the first half of the race. Shortly after I started running again I noticed that Jace was just ahead of me and I put in a little surge and told him I'd try to stay with him for a bit. That lasted all of about 15 seconds until I told him I didn't have it in me.

With 3 miles to go I jsut kept thinking it was like running a lap at Memorial park and then I would be done. Somewhere with a couple of miles to go, I get passed by a guy dressed like Minnie Mouse. I just didn't feel like I had anything in the tank and I wondered if it was worse to get beaten by Minnie Mouse or a guy in a pink tutu dressed as a fairy. When I hit the mile to go mark I tried to pick it up a little and started catching a few people and when I was half a mile out I really started cranking it in. With around a 1/4 mile to go you make a couple of quick turns and then get on Boylston and can see the finish in the distance ahead. The crowds are packed 8 - 10 people deep along the road and just roaring and I could see Minnie Mouse up ahead and I started sprinting as hard as I could. I kept getting closer and I caught Minnie Mouse with about 200 yards to go and I kept pushing it in for my 3:04 finish ahead of Minnie.

If I had a bad race and I didn't feel that I had been training enough or if I had gone out too hard or had really bad weather conditions I wouldn't be as disappointed, but I had a lot more mileage and my hamstrings were much better than before Houston when I ran 2:54 and I fully expected to run faster than that, especially considering the good whether conditions. I did 20+ mile long runs up on the hills in Conroe as well as a lot of hill work around the cloverleafs. I got a massage on Friday before the race, but that was 3 days before. My quads were really sore when the therapist worked on them so I don't know if that was a sign that they were in trouble before the race or if I just wasn't recovered from the massage and that hurt my race.

I'm going to take a couple weeks off of running and I may take a little while off of racing and concentrate on improving my flexibility and strength before I start training hard again. My quads are still in agony today and I shuffle around pretty slowly and avoid stairs as much as possible.

My dad ran his first Boston marathon and finished in 3:48. He was hoping to run a little faster, but still did pretty good for his first Boston.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Boston Marathon tomorrow

We made it safely into Boston yesterday and I'm just relaxing and waiting for the race to get here tomorrow. The weather has been cold and raining off and on but the weather forecast is looking pretty good for the marathon tomorrow. It's supposed to get down to the low 40's tonight so I'm expecting it do be in the mid 40's at racetime. I feel pretty relaxed because I don't really have high expectations of a specific time I think I should be able to run. My hamstring still isn't 100% but it's much better than it was before Houston. I think I've lost a little of my speed from the fall but my endurance is better. I will be reasonably happy with anything under 2:50. I'm planning on trying to run 6:25 pace the first 4 miles to take it easy and then stay in the 6:20-6:25 range for the first half of the race. I really want to try to negative split the race and if it's cool enough then I may wear my Kenyan Way negative split shirt during the race. I didn't realize it beforehand but it seems like half the Kenyan Way group is staying at the same hotel as I am. I've run into 4 or 5 of them in the lobby. It should be a good day for running tomorrow.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

4/10 - 5 miles

Went out for a nice easy run at the park Saturday evening after the 3rd round of the Masters finished up. I did 5 miles in just under 37 minutes. I wasn't running particularly quick, but two guys passed me at the park which was a little surprising. Usually there aren't that many fast people out at the park on a Saturday afternoon. One of the guys was wearing those feet glove shoes that are kind of like a glove for your feet. I think it basically like running barefoot, but gives your feet a little protection from rocks and stuff on the ground. I've seen a few people out wearing them over the past month or two.

Friday - 4/9/10 - 8.5 miles including 6 mile tempo run

I made myself do a tempo run run Friday evening since I hadn't run hard since last Saturday. I did a 1.5 mile warmup, a 6 mile tempo run and then a one mile cooldown. I probably should have done another mile warmup or so, but it went ok. My tempo splits were 6:05, 6:00, 5:58, 5:54, 5:58, 5:56. It was in the low 70's and I was hoping that I'd be a little quicker or it would feel a little easier, but it went ok. I was running at the park so I lose a little time on the dirt trail and it was fairly crowded out and I was having to avoid people too.

I got a new pair of shoes a week ago that I'm planning on running Boston in (same model as my current shoes), but it's taken me longer to get used to them. The fit just seems a little different. I think they were laced up differently at the store and I'm still working to get the right fit on them. I didn't feel particularly smooth during the run even though I was moving at a pretty quick pace. I stumbled a couple of times and knocked my legs together numerous times. I've been feeling a little lethargic lately. I'm not sure if it is related to my allergies or allergy medicine, but they have been pretty bad the last week. Hopefully I will get well rested as I Boston is a week and a half away.

Thursday - 4/8/10 - 8 miles

I felt pretty good and ran 8 miles in 55 minutes at the park. Planning on a harder workout on Friday.

Wednesday 4/7/10 - No run

Had a really long day at work and was wiped out and took the day off

Tuesday - 4/6 - 8 miles

Ran an easy 8 miles 7:05 pace at the park after work

Sunday 4/4 - 14.5 miles

I got up early Sunday morning to get a long run in before I headed up to the Shell Houston Open with one of my friends. I made it through the run, but it wasn't a lot of fun. It was 100% humidity and misting on and off and about 70 degrees out. My legs were a little tired and I averaged about 7:50 pace for the first 11 miles. I ran from my house down to Rice and Hermann Park and did a lap around each and back home. Near the end of the run I picked it up a little and averaged about 7:25 pace for the last 3 miles to finish the 14.5 miles in a little over 1:52.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

4 the Park race - 6th overall

I finished the 4 miles race in 6th place in 22:09 and 1st in my age group once you throw out people they put in the wrong age group. This was a tough race and not my best, but considering the week of training and the weather conditions I wasn't too disappointed. When I picked up my race # at Luke's Locker yesterday, Joe Flores told me that Adam Davis was running since the winner got a free airline ticket. Any time a race gives out airline tickets or a decent cash prize you get some of the good runners showing up so I knew I didn't stand a chance at repeating as winner. I wish they had given away an airline ticket to the winner last year!

The weather was warm and it was very humid. When I got up at 6:45 I checked the weather and the temp was in the mid-60's with 94% humidity and it didn't get any better at race time. I like this race since my house is only 3/4 of a mile from the start line. I did a 1.5 mile warmup with my friend Benson and changed shoes and did some stretching at the house and then about 8:20 left to jog to the starting line and did strides while I was on the way. I saw Adam Davis, Luis Armenteros and Junior Mitchell at the start line so I knew realistically the best I would get was 4th unless one of them dropped out.

The gun went off and Adam, Luis and Junior took off and Rudy Rocha, Tom King and Brian Alvarado all were ahead of me and they quickly separated into two packs. I was all alone in 7th place and probably 10 - 12 seconds back of Rudy, Tom and Brian. I've run quite a few races against these guys and usually I can beat Tom and Brian and sometimes Rudy depending on what kind of shape he's in. I hoped to reel them in later in the race. I was still all by myself at mile 1 and went through in 5:23 which is pretty close to where I wanted to be and I was probably 12 - 15 seconds back of the 3 guys in front of me. I didn't really gain any ground during mile 2 and went through at about 10:59 with a 5:35 2nd mile. I tried to pick it the effort during mile 3 and I started to gain a little ground, but midway through the 3rd mile Brian put a gap on Tom and Rudy. I thought I'd be able to catch Tom and Rudy, but Brian was pulling a little farther away.

I ran mile 3 in 5:38 and was gaining a little ground. The last mile was tough and I could tell I was going to catch Rudy and I passed him with a little over 1/4 mile left, but there was too much of a gap to catch Tom and I finished in 6th in 22:09 with a 5:31 last mile. My 21:00 from last year would have gotten me either 3rd or 4th place, but the weather conditions were definitely better then

I was slower than I would have liked to be, but I ran a tough 20 miler on Tuesday and it was hard running in warmer conditions than I've done any hard workouts in. My hamstring didn't bother me at all during the race which I was felt good about. I may think about running the Bellaire Trolley Run next weekend.

I kind of got screwed for the age group awards since somehow they put Luis in the 30 - 34 age group even though he's in the 35-39 age group so I "officially" got 2nd in my age group. I won't complain too much though since 2nd place got a free 1 hr massage at Koala and 1st place got 5 free personal training sessions with a personal trainer somewhere. I'm not sure if I would use those or not, but I can always use extra massages.


Last week of training

I haven't been doing a great job of keeping my blog updated and when I get too far behind I forget what some of my runs were or how long they were and I had to reset my watch memory since it was full (I only usually wear my Garmin on my longer runs). I'll just give a quick recap of this past week's workouts.

Monday - 3/29 - Kenyan Way hill workout.
I made it out Monday morning for the hill workout and we did 20 minutes of 200 m repeats up one of the cloverleaf hills followed by a 5 minute break and then one mile hard. I started out easy and my first 200 was 44 seconds, but by the end of the workout I was down to 34 seconds. After the 5 minute break I took off pretty hard up the first hill of the mile. We ran on all 4 cloverleafs (up 2 and down 2) and Sean had measured out a full mile. I was running alone and it was probably the quickest mile I've run since sometime last fall and I finished in 5:17. Obviously I've had much quicker miles, but I was happy with the finish to the workout.

Tuesday 3/30 - 20 mile long run in Conroe
Note to self - 20 mile run on hills on one of warmest days of the spring the day after a hard workout isn't always the smartest idea. I took the afternoon off work and headed up to Conroe to try to do a 24 miler. I set out water and gatorade at a couple of the normal water stop locations and started out. The temperature was around 77 degrees and very sunny. I was feeling pretty good to start and was averaging about 6:55 pace for the first 10 miles, but that was a little too quick for the day. I don't think I did a great job staying hydrated enough before the workout started and this was one of the warmest runs I think I have done all year and big chunks of the run had no shade cover. I also misjudged the distance of a couple of loops that I thought were about 3 miles but ended up being about 4 miles. By the time I got to my water stop at 15 miles I was starting to struggle and had to take a little extra time in the shade. My last couple of miles I fell off the 7:00 pace and was running about 7:30 pace but it was tough. My shirt was just covered in salt and I was dripping sweat everywhere. I took about 5 minutes and ate a whole package of clif shot blocks and drank about 20 oz of water. At that point I decided to just head straight back to the car which was about 5 miles away instead of adding on a couple of extra loops to get to the full 24. By the end of the run I hit my last mile (mostly uphill) in 8:20 and I was toast. I finished the 20 miles in 2:26.

Wednesday 3/31 - Day off recovering from last couple of days

Thursday 4/1 - 8 miles
My legs were still a little tired, but I headed out for an 8 mile run Thursday after work. My left quad muscle was a little tight and I had to stop about 5 minutes into my run and stretch it for a while, but it felt ok after that. I averaged about 7:20 pace for the run and finished in just under 59 minutes

Friday 4/2 - 4.5 miles
Easy day Friday afternoon jogging the "4 the park" race course plus a little extra add on. I ran the 4.5 miles in 33 minutes. We'll see how the race ends up going. I didn't really taper too much for this race and I haven't raced anything under a marathon since Thanksgiving. My goal is to break 22:00 and hopefully be down in the 21:30 range.


Friday, March 26, 2010

3/25/10 - Day off

Needed a recovery day.

3/24 - 5 x 1 mile workout

Wednesday was my first 2nd hard workout of the week in quite a while and I had planned to do 6 x 1 mile in the evening after work. I found out something that rocked my world and it was kind of tough to focus on the workout. After a 2 mile warmup, my goal was to do 6 x 1 mile @ 5:33 - 5:39 with 1 minute recovery. My splits were 5:41, 5:37, 5:36. 5:34, 5:40. I was mentally and physically shot after the last one so I jogged a 1/2 mile, ran a 1/2 mile in 2:50 and then did a 1 mile cooldown. I was felt with the results considering the circumstances and that I hadn't been doint 2 hard workouts in a week for a while.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

3/23 - 6.5 miles

I didn't get home until about 7:30 but made it out to the park for a couple of laps before heading home. The park was jam packed with people and I was really surprised how many people were still out there as it was getting dark. I'm glad I run to the park and don't have to sit in the traffic of everyone leaving each night. I ran the 6.5 miles in just under 47 minutes.

3/22/10 - Kenyan Way Hills

I was a little late getting to the workout Monday evening and only got a 1 mile warmup in before the workout. I ran 5 loops of the hills (20 hills total) running up every hill. It was a tough workout for me and I never felt really smooth and I felt like I was stumbling around quite a bit, but I made it through all 20 hills. I did an easy 2 mile cooldown after chatting with Sean for a little bit for a little over 8 miles on the day.

3/21/10 - 8 miles easy

Sunday evening I headed over to the park wondering how I was going to feel. My plan was to run anywhere from 3.5 - 8 miles depending on how I felt. My legs felt really good and my adductor didn't bother me at all so I did the full 8 miles at 7:15 pace which I was happy with for the day after 19.5 miles. These miles were definitely a lot easier than the long runs up in Conroe.

3/20/10 - 19.5 miles - bugs galore

I really didn't want to get up when the alarm went off and a 1000 excuses went through my mind. Friday night I had finally opened up a box of thin mint girl scout cookies that Jace forced on me and I probably ate between 1/2 and 2/3 of one of the sleeves of cookies. They were so good friday night but my stomach felt so bad Saturday morning. After dry heaving once, I almost went back to bed, but I decided that I really needed the run and didn't want to have to do it later by myself so I finally pushed myself out the door. I was running a little late so I just ran from the house and decided I'd try to catch the group on TC Jester since they were running from the base towards my house. My timing was pretty good and I got to Washington and TC Jester within about 20 seconds of the group I usually run with. I threw in a quick surge and caught the group right before the overpass north of I-10 that goes over the railroad tracks. I had pretty bad gas most of the run from my girl scout cookies so it was kind of fun pushing the pace and being in front of the group - kind of like my college days. We were running on the bike path along the bayou and there were tons and tons of bugs everywhere. A couple of guys had ditched their shirts at the first water stop, but fortunately I kept mine. When you ran through the swarms of bugs, you could pull your shirt up over your mouth and nose and have a filter to keep you from inhaling the bugs while everybody else was hacking and choking. We were moving at pretty good pace on the way back and got back to base with the last couple of miles at sub 6:30 pace. I was right around 13.5 miles at that point so I headed back to the park for some additional miles. I ran into my friend Benson at the park and ran about 2.5 miles with him before heading home and finished up the 19.5 miles in 2:21. My adductor/groin was a little sore after the run and the rest of the day, but felt better after a good night's rest Saturday night. After finishing the rest of the first 1/2 of the box of girls scout cookies, I put my other 5 boxes of thin mints in the freezer to wait until after Boston is done.

3/20/10 - 8 miles

8 miles in 57:20 friday afternoon. Felt much better after a day off to recover. Could have run quicker, but had a long run planned Saturday morning.

3/19/10 - Day off

Needed a recovery day

3/18/10 - 7 miles

7 miles in 54 minutes. Nothing special today. Easy run by myself at lunch.

3/17/10 - 8 miles

8 miles easy in 59 minutes. Still a little tired after last few days, but feeling ok.

3/16/10 - Evening Kenyan Way Hills

This is a nice week at work with a lot of people out on spring break. I was able to leave reasonably early and make the evening hill workout. The workout was over at Memorial and Shepherd which was a nice break from the Cloverleafs. I ran 1.5 miles for a warmup and made it there right before the workout started. My legs were feeling tired, but I was going to push it as hard as I could on the workout. We were running a circuit with 1 shorter steeper hill and one longer more gradual hill. I really like this workout and it is fairly easy to push it hard each time since the hills are short enough that they don't totally destroy you. The workout for the Boston marathoners was 25 minutes continuous. I had a really good workout and was cranking it out on the hills and felt really strong. I didn't wear my hamstring wrap and it felt ok despite doing a hard workout.

3/15/10 - 6.5 miles

6.5 miles @ 7:40 pace at the park. Legs were pretty tired after 24 miles on Saturday. Not planning to get up early on Monday. Need some rest to recover.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

3/14/10 - 24.1 miles

This was a tough run but it went fairly well. I had to stop at a gas station on the way to use the restroom on the way up so the group was just about ready to take off when I got there. I wanted to make sure I got enough vaseline on and finish my PowerBar for breakfast so they took off and I left a couple minutes behind them. I caught up to the front pack after about 5 miles. I wasn't really that interested in do the entire run by myself so I ran with the group for most of the workout. There were 7 of us - Guy, Monte, Kylie, Jeff, Richard, Gary and myself. I know at least one of them was shooting to hit 3 hrs at Boston and the rest I think were going for the 3:10 - 3:20 range. It was nice having people to run with and talk to because I get really bored running the long runs by myself. I averaged 7:30 pace for the first 17 miles. I probably could have easily averaged 7:00 - 7:10, but I was glad to be out there just getting the miles in and being on my legs for almost 3 hrs. We started picking up the pace some when we were around 15 miles and dropped down to about 7:00 pace at that point. When I got to mile 18 I told the group I was going to pick up the pace and try to get down to around sub 6:30 pace. Unfortunately about that point my Garmin memory was full and it wasn't automatically deleting the old laps off so I only got on split for my last 7 miles instead of individual miles. I averaged 6:30 pace for my last 6 miles and finished the 24.1 miles in 2:55. It was tough, but I got the time in and had a good run and my hamstring seemed to hold up ok. Near the end of my run, I took off my compression sleeve for about 2.75 miles and I could definitely feel the hamstring a little more without it. I think I will definitely need to wear it when I run the marathon. My training is going much better leading up to Boston than leading up to Houston.

3/12 - 8 miles

Today I ran 8 miles in 57 minutes. I was running 7:00 pace for the first half, but I backed off a little because I wanted to be fairly fresh for the 24 miler up in Conroe on Saturday.

3/11 - 7 miles - 45 minutes

I had another busy day, but found time to go out for a quick run at lunch. I ran with one of my coworkers and we ran a 7 mile loop in 45 minutes. I was feeling fresh after having 2 days off and didn't have any trouble knocking out 6:30 miles.

3/9, 3/10 - no runs

Between a crazy work schedule and not real good planning I didn't get runs in on Tuesday and Wednesday.

3/8/10 - Kenyan Way Hills

Today was one of the best hill workouts that I had in a long time. I ran a 2.5 mile warmup and got there right as the workout was about to start. We were running relays for 25 minutes where somebody would run up the hill and when they got to the cone at the top the next person would start at the bottom. Since most of the people had already paired up and started, Sean said I could just do repeats by myself or run with on a 3 person team with another guy who was out there who was pretty quick, but I hadn't seen him around before. I decided to run with the 3 person team so the two of us would start and run together. The first few laps the guy I was running with wanted to have the lead. If he would slow down and I would catch up or start to pass him, he'd pick up the pace. I don't know if he didn't think I was fast or just wanted to be out in front, but I could tell midway through the workout he was struggling a little and having trouble staying out in front. With about 4 or 5 hills to go, I started dropping him on most of the hills and I finished the workout really strong. The hills we were running were taking me about 50 seconds at the beginning and I was down to 45 second repeats at the end of the workout. I ran about a 2.75 mile cooldown back to the house afterwards.

Sunday 3/7/10 - 8 miles

Sunday evening about 5:30 I headed out to the park to do 8 miles. It was tough to force myself to do the entire 8 miles, but I got it done. I had all sorts of excuses in my head to cut it short - I was going to get up early and run hills in less than 12 hrs, after a long run 6 miles would have been enough for the day, but I knew that I needed to stay mentally tough so I knocked out the full 8 miles in 59 minutes. My legs are doing alright and my training is going a lot better than it was leading up to the Houston marathon.

3/6/10 - 16 miles

I didn't get a total time for my run. I managed to stop my Garmin a couple of times and at the end of the 16 mile route it only showed 10.5 miles. I know the route was 16 miles and I think I averaged 6:50 - 7:00 pace for most of the run. I was really tired and a little late getting out the door and missed the start which was probably just as well. Sam was out there and he was cranking pretty fast and I'm not sure that I needed to hammer 16 miles with him which I probably would have done. I caught up with a guy named Gary who is also running Boston and ran with him out to the turnaround point. A 1/4 mile before I got to the turn around I saw Sam and Andrew heading back in. I chatted with Sean for a minute while I got some water and then headed back. After a couple miles on the way back Andrew was stretching on the side of the road and waiting for me. He said this was his longest run back after recovering from a stress fracture in his foot and he hammered it as long as he had wanted. I hadn't seen him since sometime in October or November so it was good to catch up with him.

On the way back we passed a guy out running a little before one of our water stops and he came up and talked to us when we were getting water. The guy was wearing sweats and brown boot looking leather shoes and it was kind of amusing to see someone running with that outfit. He was asking how to sign up for the Houston Marathon and after a bit we realized he wanted to know how to run in the Olympic trials in 2012 since they are here in Houston. We had a good laugh about it since I don't think he is anywhere close to running sub 3:00, much less 2:19 or whatever the qualifying standard. I had been planning on adding a couple of miles on at the cloverleafs to get up to 18, but I was sore enough that I called it good when I got back to the base at 16 miles.

3/5/10 - 6.5 miles

I ran 6.5 miles Friday evening at 7:15 pace. I had wanted to try to go up to Conroe on Friday afternoon and do a 16 - 18 mile long run but I had too many things to do at work and couldn't leave quite as early as I would have liked. It probably would have been getting close to 4:00 by the time I would be able to start the run and I didn't really like the idea of running as it was getting dark with possible evening rush hour traffic so I did the easy 6.5 and then would just go run the normal Saturday long run with Kenyan Way.

3/4/10 - 5 miles

Didn't have too much time to get a run in, but went out and did an easy 5 at 7:30 pace at lunch. Legs still felt a little tired after the long tempo run, but it felt good to get a nice easy run in.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday 3/3/10 - 12 miles including 8 mile tempo

This was the best workout that I've had in a long time and I didn't have this strong a workout in the month leading up to the Houston marathon. The weather was great - upper 50's or low 60's and sunny out. I headed out at lunch and did a 2.5 mile warmup in 18 minutes. My goal was to do 8 miles at ~6:00 avg pace, but I would have settled for 8 miles at 6:15 (sub-marathon pace) if my hamstring wasn't feeling good. I felt pretty good starting out and hit the first mile in 6:08. I wasn't pushing it too hard and i planned to start a little slower and try to pick up the pace to average 6:00. I hit the 2nd mile in 6:03 and the 3rd in 6:01. I finally got under 6:00 pace on the 4th mile and hit 5:58. My 5th was 5:56 and my 6th was 5:58. I took a quick 20 second water break right after I finished the 6th mile and then got right back up to speed for the last two miles. My last two splits were 5:54 and 5:50. I felt pretty strong and could have kept going at that pace longer. I could feel my hamstring, but it never really hurt or felt like I needed to stop the run. After the workout I did a 1.5 mile cooldown in about 8:00 minutes for a total of 12 miles in 1:16 and I averaged 5:59 for the 8 miles.

Tomorrow will be an easy day and I'm thinking of doing my long run on Friday afternoon up in Conroe. Since I work in the Woodlands I'm already 2/3 of the way there so I might take a couple hours off on Friday afternoon and go do an easy 18 in Conroe. That will give me another long run in the hills and let me sleep in on Saturday morning.

Tuesday 3/2/10 - Day off

Too long a day at work. Didn't get a chance to run at lunch and when I got home at 8:30 no motivation to head out for a late run.

Monday, March 1, 2010

2/29/10 - 8.25 miles - 60 minutes

I set my alarm to get up early and run hills, but the downpour bailed me out and gave me an extra hour of sleep this morning. My legs were still pretty tired so instead of doing a hard workout, I just ran for an hour and got in 8.25 miles at lunch. I was averaging just under 7:30 pace for the first half of the run and was running pretty easy, but I got kind of bored and picked up the pace and got down to around 6:50 pace by the end of the run. Nothing spectacular, but another run under my belt on the way to hopefully a 70 mile week.

Sunday 2/28/10 - 6.5 miles

This was a painfully slow recovery run. I didn't have any injuries, but my body was still beat from the long run in the hills Saturday. I averaged 8:00 pace for the 6.5 miles and finished in 52 minutes. I hate days like these. I really would liked to have stopped after 3 miles, but I needed the mileage. Sometimes I feel like it is a fine line between pushing myself too hard to where I increase the risk of getting an injury and toughing it out and putting in the miles even when I don't feel like it. I've wimped out on enough runs that I felt like I needed to trudge through it. It wasn't a fun run, but I finished it. I knew I was going slow because I saw a woman I know from work running laps at the park and she was going the opposite direction as me, but I could tell she was going faster than me based on where we would keep passing each other. The good news was my hamstring felt good for the run and my body is seeming to handle the increase in mileage pretty well. I really seemed to hit the wall with a couple of miles to go and I was just starving and felt like I was out of gas, but I rewarded myself with a nice steak dinner when I got home.