Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Kenyan Way Speed #10 - Progressive Miles

6.78 miles, 50:03, 7:22 pace, Avg HR = 151, Max HR = 171
The goal today was to run 50-60 minutes progressively increasing the pace and ending up at 10k pace. I managed to do that and remain in good shape for my race tomorrow since I didn't push the pace too much in the beginning. I also kept it to 50 minutes instead of pushing myself too far for another ten minutes.

I'm thinking that I'll probably run on Saturday morning in Birmingham, AL after all. I sent a few unsolicited emails to people in the Birmingham Track Club asking for advice about routes with hydration and minimal traffic. I wasn't really surprised to find out that a couple people responded and offered some great advice. Runners seem to have a connection, as I've seen in the past, and welcome strangers. So now I'm excited to tackle my 24 mile long run on the rolling hills of Alabama. A big thanks to those who took time to respond!

8:09, 7:58, 7:30, 7:21, 7:16, 6:39, 5:02 for .77 miles (6:32 pace)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rest of the Week

8.05 miles, 1:04:10, 7:58 pace, Avg HR = 135, Max HR = 152

Rest is an important part of training, and I'm struggling with a decision about what to do and when to rest over the next four days. Events I'd like to complete: Kenyan Way speed work on Wednesday, Rice 5k race on Thursday, 24 mile long run on Friday, Rest on Saturday in Birmingham. The problem is that three consecutive days of hard running (speed, race, long run) is probably too much to tackle without risking excessive fatigue or even injury. I will probably delay my long run until Saturday, but that means running in completely unfamiliar territory for 24 miles.

Today's run was nice. I started out at about 8:30 and ended up averaging about 8:00 miles, concentrating on an energy-conserving stride by maintaining fast turnover, and only slightly raising my feet off of the ground.

8:35, 7:56, 8:07, 8:12, 7:38, 7:55, 7:57, 7:39

Monday, October 29, 2007

Miller Outdoor Theatre Hills

4.33 miles at a 8:26 pace, 1.32 miles of hills, 5 minutes rest, 1.33 miles of hills

There isn't much to report here, with the exception that my legs were a bit sore from yesterday's race. That's why I took an extended warmup. The first set of hills were a bit trying, but the second go-round seemed easier and I ran it at a faster pace. As usual, I ran it up fast and down easy.

The Miller Outdoor Theatre is located in Hermann Park, and offers dozens of free events throughout the year ranging from dancing, concerts, plays, and children's events. The outdoor theatre has covered seating and an amiptheatre-style hill for blankets and lawn chairs. Julie and I have been out there a few times with a bottle of wine, a block of cheese and some other snacks. It's a nice time, and it makes me appreciate the amenities a large city can offer.

The hill is structured as a gentle incline away from the stage which comes to a crest after about 75 yards, followed by a sharp dropoff. My course and pace was fast up the sharp dropoff, easy down the slight incline, fast back up the slight incline, and finally easy down the sharp dropoff. I did ten laps, took five minutes to rest, and did ten more laps. Afterwards I walked the half mile home because I was wiped out. All in all this was a good workout.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Unbeaten Streak Continues - Chalmette Track Club 23rd Annual 10 mi.\5K Race

10.23 miles, 1:09:30, 6:48 pace

Julie continued her unbeaten streak today by winning the women's overall 5k race in Chalmette, Louisiana today. She's a robot mowing down the competition! She won the past three races she's entered. Check out the post-race photograph:

From left to right:
me (2nd in 10 mile race for male, 30-34)
Julie (1st female overall in 5k)
Dave (3rd in 10 mile race for male, 30-34)
Roy (1st place in his age group for 10 mile race for male)

The course was almost a quarter of a mile longer than 10 miles, but despite that I still managed to finish under my goal time of 70 minutes. The race was a blast, and the Chalmette Track Club is to be commended for a job well done. I'll do my best to attend their events in the future.

Some notes:
1) The weather was beautiful, but the wind was just a touch challenging.
2) The race field was small, and after only 50 yards I had settled into my finishing position -- 6th overall. I ran most of the race alone, and finished about 1:45 behind my nearest competitor and maybe 3-5 minutes in front of the next challenger, the women's overall winner.
3) I managed to fight the urge to take off at an unsustainable pace early on, and ran my fastest miles at the end.
4) The $15 entry fee included a nice long sleeve t-shirt, and a lunch consisting of hamburgers and beer.
5) I'd like to give a shout-out to Roy's daughter, who recently ran a 19:35 5k at her school's cross country meet!

6:55, 6:52, 7:01, 7:03, 6:54, 6:46, 6:39, 6:42, 6:40, 6:34, 1:20 for .22 miles (6:03 pace)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hurry Up!

4.04 Miles, 30:48, 7:37 pace, Avg HR = 142, Max HR = 157

The drive from Houston to Baton Rouge took a little bit longer than normal thanks to a stop in the Houston Heights looking for places to live, and an automobile accident on I-10. So I was pressed for time and could only squeeze in a 30 minute run before a rehearsal dinner in New Orleans.

I ran in White Oak Landing, a well-to-do subdivision in Baton Rouge. It's apparently a buyer's market in the real estate industry in Baton Rouge, because several houses are up for sale in White Oak Landing. I had to chuckle when I passed by a beautiful, newer 4 bedroom 4 1/2 bath house for sale at the same price as some of the 3 br 2 ba 1920s houses in the Heights in Houston. I guess it's all about location, location, location.

7:54, 7:47, 7:38, 7:06, 0:21 for .05

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Running After Dark

7.5 Miles on Treadmill, 1:00:00, 8:00 pace, 2% incline

I got home late after looking at a couple of houses after work. I didn't want to run around Rice in the dark since I stubbed my toe and rolled my ankle last time I ran after dark. So I hit the dreaded treadmill and watched the Virginia Tech collapse against Boston College.

There is a lesson to be learned based on that game: the race isn't over until you cross the finish line. The pursuer gains momentum by seeing their opponent slack off a bit. I personally enjoy running past people during the final mile of the race. In effect, that's what happened during this football game.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Kenyan Way Speed #9 -- Dynegy Running Club

warm up, 4 miles threshold, warm down, 27:23, 6:48 pace, Avg. HR = 160, Max HR = 168

I took a day off yesterday because I was busy after work and didn't plan far enough in advance to do my workout in the morning. With my marathon only a few weeks away, I can't afford to make to many lapses like that again.

But it's not that big of a deal because today was a good workout. After a mile warm up I ran four miles at a pace equivalent to my race pace on Sunday. Yes, I said "race". It sort of took me by surprise. I'm going to New Orleans this weekend for a wedding, and I emailed Dave to see if he wanted to run 10 with me on Saturday. He suggested a 10 mile race on Sunday instead.

During today's warm up I ran into a friend from work, Shon, and we ran most of my workout together. Shon is the head of the Dynegy Running Club (DRC). Employees and contractors of Dynegy can pay a minimal membership fee, and in return we receive a running singlet and our entry fees paid for select races over the course of the year. Since I joined the club, Dynegy has sponsored three or four of my races. And because of that, I like to joke that I'm a semi-professional runner. (I'll let you know if that Dynegy shoe contract comes to fruition.)

Shon volunteers his time to scout out and organize Dynegy's participation in races, send motivational emails and keep us abreast of Houston running developments. But most of all Shon provides tremendous support to DRC members. He always has a positive word to share with me about my progress. I've found that runners are a very supportive group, and my fellow members of the Dynegy Running Club are no exception. I'm a proud member of the DRC, and my membership is part of the reason why I enjoy running. So thanks to Shon and the other members of the crew. I'll see you guys on Thursday at the Rice 5k!

6:49, 6:56, 6:45, 6:43

Monday, October 22, 2007

Toeing through the Wind

4.17 Miles, 1 of which was hills

I’m still feeling a bit fatigued from the weekend, so I skipped the morning KW hill session in lieu of a recovery jog and my own hill session at the Miller Outdoor Theatre. The there mile warm-up jog was interesting for two reasons.

1) I found myself going faster than I expected, and then slower than I expected, given the effort expended. It didn’t take me long to figure out the culprit: the wind. Very stiff winds and a corresponding drop in temperature reminded me of the potential conditions for the Dallas marathon. I can’t say it was nice. Running into the wind took more out of me than running with the wind gave back. I’ll have to be mentally prepared for similar conditions in Dallas.

2) I’ve had a bit of a tweak on one of my right toes ever since Saturday. I’ve experienced this before, but it went away quickly. I think it has to do with one toe curling under the other. But it’s not a blister like you would probably guess; it’s more like a funny feeling in the joint. It feels almost as though my toe is being gently pulled out of socket. It doesn’t hurt, but I’m going to take care of this quickly in an attempt to stem off any negative development

I cut my hill session short because my legs were wiped out. 10 minutes total – quickly up one steep hill and slowly down a shallow, followed by quickly up the shallow and slowly down the steep.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cory's St. George Marathon

4.06 miles, 37:28, 9:13 pace, Avg HR = 127, Max HR = 135, 2 water stops deducted from time

It's my intention to dedicate an occasional post to profile people who inspire me, like the entry on Kevin a few weeks ago. Today’s profile is about Cory Birt, a friend and running companion I met at Power In Motion in March of this year.

First and foremost, kudos to Cory for completing his first marathon, the St. George Marathon, on Saturday, October 6, 2007! His time was an incredible 3:40:18, which placed him at 1430th overall out of 5155 finishers.

Cory trained with absolute dedication, rarely, if ever, cutting a workout short or deviating from his schedule. This can be traced to his intense work ethic, no doubt cultivated early in life while working on his family's farm. He scheduled his workouts around the demands of his job, which peaked just as his marathon training peaked. And being a great example of a father and husband, he always dedicated time to his family, his first priority. So, between his family, work, and training, Cory must have left precious little time for himself. I hope he's repaying that debt now by taking it easy for at least a few weeks.

If it wasn't for Cory, I probably never would have considered training for a marathon. After I got hooked on running at Power in Motion, I came up with two goals. I wanted to break 20 minutes for a 5k, and I wanted to finish in the top 500 in the Crescent City Classic so I could earn a poster. At that point I didn't think I could run a marathon, I didn't want to try, and I don't think I even thought about it. But as Cory and I compared notes about our running progress, I began to think that a marathon was something that I could and should do.

I've followed Cory's lead on several other fronts as well. His blog inspired me to start this blog. I think we have the same purpose in mind . . . not so much to attract readership, but to preserve a moment in time to share with an older version of ourselves, and our heirs in the future. God willing, I will be an old man some day. Hopefully I can show this blog to my grandchildren and they can catch a glimpse of me in my physical prime. And in an ideal world, perhaps it could provide a minute amount of inspiration and help them tackle their fears/problems/goals/etc.

I also owe Cory for all of the mental preparation he's provided. I can talk to veteran marathon runners all day long, but ultimately they've forgotten at least a small aspect of what it's like to train for and run their first marathon. But Cory knows and understands, and I appreciate him letting me pick his brain and use him as a sounding board.

So once again, congratulations to Cory, and best wishes on your next goal.

I ran with Cory this weekend the morning after the LSU game. He drove into Baton Rouge with his son to check out the LSU/Auburn clash because I promised him a hard-fought, close game, and that's just what we saw. Since he was in Baton Rouge, I really wanted to show him the running route around the LSU Lakes. Since my legs were still pretty sore, I opted for the 4 mile big lake instead of the entire 7 mile route around both lakes. The weather was great and the scenery was fantastic. I almost called it quits after the first quarter mile because of my legs, and I probably would have if Cory wasn't there, but after we got moving everything worked out for the best.

9:42, 9:06, 8:57, 8:47

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Kenyan Way Long Run #5 - Back with the Group

22.15 miles, 2:55:24, 7:55 pace, Avg HR = 144 (zone 3.6), Max HR = 162

I've been out of town or otherwise occupied during the last several weekends and couldn't run with the Kenyan Way group for my long runs. In fact I was supposed to leave Friday night for Baton Rouge and skip yet another KW group run, but the thought of running 22 miles alone intimidated me enough to delay my drive to Baton Rouge so I could run with KW.

I picked up about 6.5 miles with an informal, early group at 5AM, and met up with the official group at their 6AM start. The KW long runs are geared for the Houston marathon training distances, and those of us running other marathons often have longer or shorter runs scheduled. The group that shows up early usually needs to pick up a few extra miles, which was the case for me.

I wanted to run my long run between 8:00 and 8:15 per mile, and the early group was a little slow for my taste (8:46 pace). I made the decision to meet up with the 3 hour marathon training group in order to make up time. I figured I'd stick with them as long as I could, and then re-join my normal spot with the 3:15 pace group. I surprised myself and ended up sticking it out with the 3 hour group the whole time. It was obvious to me that I was outclassed, but they offered great encouragement and told me to come back and run with them going forward.

1) Mostly Negative Splits
2) Overall 7:55 pace includes water stops (adjusted "moving" pace = 7:53)
3) Last 6 miles run at 7:08 pace
4) Ran Ahead of the group for the last three miles (7:04 pace)
5) My legs were really tired, but otherwise pain-free at the end of the run
6) This is my longest run EVER!

Why I was able to turn in such a strong performance:
1) The weather was great (59 degrees)
2) Running with a group that's faster than you makes you faster (and the inverse might also be true)
3) I wanted to test myself to see if an 8:00 pace was a reasonable goal for a marathon, so I ran harder than normal

Other important notes (important to me, probably not to important to you)
1) I REALLY stuffed myself with Mediterranean food (mostly carbohydrates) for lunch on Friday, and ate a normal portion of spaghetti and tomato sauce for dinner.
2) I hydrated really well all Friday
3) I ate a tablespoon of peanut butter and drank about 16 ounces of Accelerade for breakfast
4) I ate three strawberry Clif Shot Blocks during the run (about every 6 miles) when my stomach felt empty
5) I drank only water during the run . . . about four ounces every 3 miles. My post-race weigh-in was about 4 pounds lighter than my pre-run weight, so I need to drink a bit more water to minimize that differential.

Afterwards Julie drove me to Baton Rouge (so I could sleep along the way) for the LSU versus Auburn game. It was a really exciting game, which I've come to expect when those two titans clash. I sat in the student section, and by "sat" I mean "stood the whole game." This was after walking around campus all day to tailgate. For future reference I'll try to arrange some more down time after long runs. But if the LSU Tigers could go 12 rounds against the Auburn, then I wasn't going to let them down by sitting while everyone else offered their support by standing.

LSU won 30-24 on a touchdown pass that left one second on the clock. Geaux Tigers!

9:11, 8:41, 8:26, 8:05, 7:51,
8:56, 8:18, 7:55, 8:38, 7:54,
8:25, 7:53, 8:18, 7:33, 8:06,
7:39, 7:26, 7:08, 7:04, 6:57,
7:08, 7:08

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kenyan Way Speed #8 -- Joint Logic

Morning Speed Work-
200's with 1:30 target:
1:28 (90SR) 1:30 (75SR) 1:26 (60SR) 1:28 (45SR) 1:24 (30SR) 1:27 (15SR) 1:23

not too bad -- probably should have run this a bit faster

Evening Easy Run-
6.78 miles, 53:38, 7:54 pace, Avg HR = 144, Max HR = 154

A little over a month ago I posted about my belief that there are four parts to conditioning for running. A) Muscles, B) Joints, C) Cardiothoracic, and D) Psyche.

In that post I elaborated on the fourth item, psyche, and left you with the cliffhanger promise that I'd discuss the others in the future. Welcome to the future.

I'd like to give you my non-medical, non-researched, first-hand understanding of joint conditioning in this second session of conditioning for running. I didn't want to do any research for this post because I don't want to give myself (and especially not you) the idea that I am qualified to administer medical advice. Your doctor should do that. My advice is worth exactly how much it costs -- nothing.

Every cell in the human body needs oxygen and nutrients in order to live and function. Most tissue in the body is quite vascular, meaning that an ample supply of blood has easy access to individual cells via a network of capillaries. But intuitively we know that ligaments and tendons just aren't that way. If it doesn't gross you out, think about the texture of ligaments and tendons the next time you take a bite into a roasted chicken leg. These connective tissues get their oxygen and nutrient supply somewhat like a sponge. Fluid works its way in as they expand, and out again as they contract. So movement is a critical element to healthy ligaments and tendons.

Joints are defined as the intersection of two bones, and are held together by ligaments (except for the fixed joints of the skull). The movement of a joint is caused by the contraction and relaxation of muscles, which are attached to bones by tendons. So tendons and ligaments, for the sake of this article, are the critical components to which I refer when I speak of joint conditioning.

I hear plenty of people say that they can't run because they injured their knee years ago and that ended their running career. I'm generally skeptical about that diagnosis, even though I keep it to myself, because it doesn't make sense to me. Joints need to be conditioned just as muscles need to be conditioned in order to run. It's like saying I'm never going to use my arm again if I have a muscle tear in my bicep. To reiterate, moving the joint expands and compresses the connective tissue, which delivers nutrients and increases flexibility, strength and functionality of your joints.

I had some knee pain when I first started running. But I listened to my body and rested when necessary and pushed forward when appropriate. My joints didn't get better by sitting on the couch. Pretty soon I didn't have any joint pain at all. And that brings us to today, and the reason why I wanted to discuss this topic. On the home stretch of my easy run this evening I stepped on a curb in the dark and tweaked my ankle a bit. Uneven surfaces are a major hazard of night running. It hurt pretty bad at that moment, so I stopped immediately and walked the mile back home. For a few anxious moments I thought about the impact that an injury would have on my training and how injury has sidelined some of my friends. Luckily for me the pain was temporary and disipated to the point that I can barely feel anything at all right now . . . a few hours later. I'll probably be fully recovered tomorrow.

I feel confident that my running has conditioned and strengthened my joints, and that I weathered this slight ankle twist because of my level of physical activity. Had I taken that misstep prior to running, it might have bothered me for a week or two. But I think the ligaments in my ankles are healthier, stronger, and more flexible thanks to running. Think of it as a rubber band that either dry-rots becuse it's never stretched, or maintains its elasticity because it's used regularly and oiled by the touch of your skin.

To extend this train of thought a bit further, increased flexibility is essential to quality of life. I hope when I'm 70/80/90 that I can still move around without pain. And I firmly believe that frequent impact exercise increases my chances for full, pain-free mobility in my advanced years, despite the beliefs of non-runners who profess that running deteriorates the body.

If you know of any inaccuracies listed above, please let me know. Thanks in advance.

Evening Splits
8:22, 7:59, 7:57, 7:45, 7:48, 7:52, 5:59 for .76 miles (7:52 pace)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Kenyan Way Hills #6

Appx 3 miles of constant hill running. No watch, no split, no heart rate.

This was my first time back to KW for hills in quite some time. I took it easy, mainly beacuse I ran 20 on Friday and a fast 10 on Sunday, so my legs were a bit tired. But overall the joints felt great.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


10.05 miles, 1:11:31, 7:07 pace, Avg HR = 159, Max HR = 170

Congratulations to the Wildcats of Kentucky who defeated my #1 Fightin' Tigers in triple overtime on Saturday evening.

I'm disappointed that we lost, but we lost to a formidable opponent who earned a top ten ranking. I'm disappointed because our quest for a another national championship is, at best, derailed, and more likely over. I'm disappointed because we continue to commit the same mistakes since the first game of the season: dropped passes, needless penalties, overthrown passes. But it's my amateur opinion that the reason why we lost this game isn't because of the mistakes, but because we failed to respect our opponent. I'm disappointed that we had a feeling of invincibility.

But failure and disappointment is a part of life. And if it's handled properly, it can be a very positive motivator. I had a good run today . . . much better than when I ran the same distance on September 29. That didn't happen by accident. I spent the two weeks between those runs feeling poorly about the quality of my running and my lack of progress. I channeled that disappointment into motivation to beat my previous time. As a result I decreased my mile pace over the ten mile distance from 7:25 to 7:07. It's possible that a small portion of that improvement is in actual conditioning, but more likely that the improvement resulted primarily from within my mind.

I hope and expect the Tigers will channel their own disappointment into a victory next Saturday against the other tigers in the SEC -- Auburn.

I chose to run 10 miles for another reason as well. There were two 10 mile races in the Houston area this weekend, and many of my Kenyan Way cohorts ran one of those two races. I was on the fence about racing, but decided not to do so mainly because I didn't want to pay the entry fee and "race" on tired legs. So I ran my own 10 miler, which I will compare to the two races when results are available. (It's not fair to the competitors for me to compare my time to theirs, but I hope they understand my need to compare.)

Ten for Texas (Woodlands) -- I would have placed 51st overall and 3rd in my 30-34 age group(1112 finishers). Two ladies would have finished ahead of me by a couple of seconds.

United Space Alliance 10 Miler -- I would have placed 11th in my age group.

7:14, 7:00, 7:05, 7:04, 7:08,
7:08, 7:12, 7:14, 7:07, 7:07

Friday, October 12, 2007

Twenty Plus Two Univeristies

20.09 Miles, 2:42:57, 8:06 pace, Avg HR = 141, Max HR = 159

After last week's 18 mile miserable experience, I can't say that I was too excited about tackling 20 miles. And once again I failed to make adequate plans for a long run:
1) I decided to run my long run on a Friday (instead of the scheduled Saturday) at the late hour of about 9PM on Thursday night. I'm toying with running a 10 mile race on Sunday, and I didn't want to run a long run on Saturday and a race on Sunday.
2) Based on the late decision to run my long run today, I didn't carbo load or hyper-hydrate.
3) 20 is still my longest run, so I didn't really give myself enough time to wrap my mind around the task. This shouldn't be important, but it is for me.

But I turned in a good effort, and felt great doing it. I finished strong (last three miles at a 7:35 pace) as compared to last week's collapse. Overall I'm excited because I think I could have tacked on an additional 6 miles TODAY and completed a marathon at an 8:15 pace.

I ran without a route in mind, which is a good thing from a variety perspective. I found Texas Southern University and ran around their track for a mile or two. I took my first water stop there at mile 10. While I was running I had the idea of running at three universities in one run. TSU being one, of course, and Rice being my last leg. My middle leg was supposed to be the University of Houston, but I gave up on finding it after running into two dead end streets. After looking at my route online it turns out I was very close. After giving up on U of H I headed for Hermann Park and Rice and had my second and third water break at mile 15.25 and 16.5. So only three water stops in 20 miles . . . that's running an unplanned route can be a bit troublesome.

Two final notes: I stopped my watch for 1 minute and 24 seconds during the run on my first water break, bringing my overall pace to 8:10 including breaks. My MP3 player died on me at about mile 13, but I was zoned in at that point and it didn't bother me.

8:15, 8:22, 8:16, 8:18, 8:11, 8:16, 8:27, 8:23, 7:57, 8:09,
8:19, 7:57, 8:04, 8:05, 8:08, 8:14, 8:19, 7:38, 7:38, 7:31

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Threshold of Motivation

6 miles, 41:12, 6:52 pace (not including a 5 minute rest after mile 3)

I’m in a good mood today. I’m not sure if it is because:
A) the early morning run released some endorphins
B) I’m off tomorrow (9/80)
C) the weather turned colder and it finally feels like fall.
D) the Fightin’ Tigahs of LSU are the kings of the gridiron according to all major polls
E) some combination of the above.

The truth is that I’ve been struggling with my motivation to train over the past few weeks, and I was really nervous about this run because threshold runs are mentally and physically tough for me. As I might have previously mentioned, threshold runs are performed at the edge of your ability to run long distances. If you run any faster and you’re running an “interval” pace then you will tire out too quickly to reap benefits. If you run any slower, you fail to gain the physiological benefit of raising your lactate threshold which allows you to increase the distance/speed of your run before your body overloads on lactic acid and requires you to slow down. In that one run-on sentence I told you everything I know about the science.

So today’s workout target was three miles at a 6:51-7:01 pace, 5 minutes rest, and another three miles at a 6:51-7:01 pace. I thought I’d struggle to complete this workout -- and I did -- but I still turned in a solid performance with a first rep pace of 6:52 and a second half pace of 6:51. I ran 76% of the first rep in heart rate zone 4 (with the balance in zone 3), and 81% of the second rep in zone 4, with the balance in zone 5.

I’ve been struggling with motivation because of a perceived plateau in performance, and a growing, ever-present feeling of fatigue. I’ve been piling on the miles, but sleeping less and not eating or hydrating as well. So it makes sense that it’s been harder to do the same work. But perhaps the real reason why I’m in such a good mood today is because today’s run pushed through that self-imposed ceiling. I ran faster (over the distance) than I’ve been able to achieve before, and I think/hope that my motivation problems are in the past.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Recovery Run on Monday, and Faster Run on Tuesday

3.04 miles, 25:46, 8:28 pace, Avg HR = 132, Max HR = 140 (ran with Julie)

My legs were sore (particularly the muscles around my hips) so I took an easy lap around Memorial Park.

7.03 miles, 52:07, 7:24 pace, Avg HR = 154, Max HR = 168

I haven't run "fast" in a long time (since my 10 mile marathon pace run), so I wanted to see what I could do. I've been very tired over the past few weeks, so I was happy that I could maintain this pace over seven miles.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

18 Miles Torture Run

18.08 miles, 2:40:11, 8:51 pace, Avg HR = 147, Max HR = 155

This was a miserable run. I guess I knew it would be bad since I only had four hours of sleep and didn't eat/drink/sleep well over the past week. But it was good to complete my longest run to date. The main saving grace during this run was the fact that Julie rode the bike beside me the whole way, and offered encouragement and gatorade the whole way. She also dangled the carrot with about 3 miles left . . . a post-run Jamba Juice smoothie.

8:32, 7:57, 8:11, 8:19, 8:05, 8:03, 8:10, 8:21, 8:14, 8:26,
(this is where it got really difficult to continue)
8:50, 9:12, 9:45, 9:21, 9:37, 10:03, 10:23, 10:07

This is really bad compared to my 16 mile run a few weeks ago when I finshed the last two miles at a 7:45 pace and could have gone another two easily.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Geaux Tigers (oh yea, and Bahama wrap-up)

Congratulations to the LSU Football team for knocking off an impressive Florida team. It took every ounce of strength, preparation and willpower to overcome the Gators. I am inspired by their performance, and will endeavor to train according to the example they set.

While I was on vacation my desire to run waned slightly, and my desire to blog completely disappeared. I'll use this entry as a brief summary of my walks and runs during the week.

9/30 - 6.86 mile walk through downtown
10/2 - 7.12 miles, 1:00:55, 8:33 pace, Avg HR = 143, Max HR = 160, 3.32 mile walk
10/3 - 7.36 miles, 1:01:11, 8:18 pace, Avg HR = 145, Max HR = 162
10/4 - 5.03 miles, 45:02, 8:57 pace, Avg HR = 139, Max HR = 161
10/6 - 5.45 miles, 50:32, 9:16 pace, Avg HR = 135, Max HR = 166

Notes: It was very hilly where I stayed, and it wasn't very condusive to running because there weren't many sidewalks and there were no water fountains. To compound matters, the Bahamas keeps the British driving system (left side of road). Thankfully they are extremely mindful of Americans, and I never had any trouble despite frequently running out into streets without looking the correct direction. Julie and I stayed on Paradise Island, which is connected to Nassau by two approximately half-mile long bridges. The bulk of my workout (and hill work) was on those bridges. I don't know how tall they are, but a quarter mile uphill stretch is quite a challenge for these untrained legs. On one run I did three laps of the bridges (over on one bridge, and back on the other).

These runs were less spectacular than I'd like them to be as far as distance and time. But I was on vacation, so I allowed myself to take it a bit easier. Plus, I seemed to be constantly dehydrated between the tropical drinks and Kalik beer. With water costing $4 per bottle, and beer costing only $3 . . . well, you do the math.