Friday, May 30, 2008

Will's Hills 18 - 6x4 minutes of hills

Warm Up, 6x4 minutes of hills with 1:45 rest and warm down, max HR = 176.

I took this one kinda easy since the legs were a bit tired from last night's run and lack of sleep. It was NOT easy to get up this morning, but it helped knowing it was Friday.

I saw Brett Riley there today. He's an infrequent participant in Will's Hills, and is a stellar runner. I don't think I mentioned this before, but Brett emailed me a few weeks back and asked if I was available for his Beach to Bay Marathon Relay team. I declined since that was my weekend in Ogden for the marathon, but I was certainly flattered to be asked by one of the fastest runners in Houston. That being said, I'm fully aware that he asked everyone he knew and was scraping the bottom of the barrell (me) to field a team, but it was an honor to be asked. His team finished sixth in the open Men's division in 2:24:52, for a 5:32 average mile pace. Each leg averaged 4.4 miles. So you can see that I would have really dragged the team down if Brett was unlucky enough for me to accept. My best pace over that distance would be about 6:05.

TDLY - 5/30/07 - No Motionbased info because this was a treadmill run to keep out of the lightening and get an idea about what pace I should run the 2007 Houston Heights 5k. Blog Entry.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Late Evening Ten+

10.52 miles, 1:25:29, 8:07 pace, Max HR = 141, Avg HR = 132 (69% of Max)

I wanted to do a speed workout with the Tornados after work today, but I couldn't get out in time. I even burned one of my 24 free parking passes distributed by my company so I could drive today instead of take the bus. I now have only 12 left, since I used a lot for PIM.

Taking the bus is great, but I can't get anywhere quickly after work so I have to drive those days.

Anyway, I'm upset that I missed the Tornado tempo run, but I enjoyed the cool temperatures (78 degrees) and breeze of my 9:30 PM run.

It would have been great to get this under 8:00 miles on average, but I mainly cared about keeping my heart rate at Zone 3.0 or below so I wouldn't be in bad shape for my Will's Hills workout 6.5 hours later.

8:41, 7:57, 8:09, 8:03, 7:51, 7:56, 8:12, 8:11, 8:02, 8:09, 4:06 for .51 miles (8:02 pace).

TDLY - 5/29/07 - 4.03 miles, 32:32, 8:04 pace, Max HR = 179, Avg HR = 154, 44% Z4, 13%Z5, 82 degrees. This is an interesting comparison to today's run. It's almost the same pace and temperature, but only 40% of the distance. Look how much harder I had to work a year ago. It's nice to have numerical proof of improvement. Blog Entry.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Will's Hills 17 - Ladders and Hills

Warm Up, Ladders on Two Hills, 2.68 miles, 9:37 pace, Max HR = 174, Avg HR = 157, 6% Z5, 71% Z4.

This is one of the tougher workouts I've done in quite some time. We had two hills, about 75 yards apart. No Achilles issues.

Hill A - up/down 6 times
Hill B - up/down 5 times
A - 4
B - 3
A - 2
B - 1
A - 2
B - 3
A - 4
B - 5
Gasp for air.

TDLY - 5/27/07 - Rice, 4.35 miles, 38:33, 8:52 pace. Saw Tracy on the Rice loop. Blog Entry.
5/28/07 - Kenyan Way 200s. Blog Entry.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Will's Hills 16 - Memorial day 1200s, 700s, 500s

Warm Up, Will's Hills 1200s, 700s, 500s - Max HR = 137.

I wish all Mondays could be this way. Today is Memorial Day, and Julie and I have a day off from work. I dragged her to Will's Hills, probably against her will, but I didn't give her a chance to voice an opinion! I got a kick out of introducing her to the crew. Cory even brought his son Cameron and Cameron's friend, Rory. We ran my favorite Will's Hill's workout, 1200 (3MR), 700 (2MR), 500 (1MR), 1200 (3MR), 700 (2MR), 500 (1MR), 1200. I ran with Julie, and we were in the middle of the pack today. Normally I like to try to keep up with Will on workouts like these, but of course I'm unsuccessful.

Afterwards we did an intense regimen of core exercises and stretching. I usually have to skip the post-run routine so I can get to work, but today was different. Julie and I left, exhausted, and headed to Empire Cafe. All in all it was a great day.

TDLY - 5/26/07 - Memorial Park for Memorial Day Weekend, 6.06 miles, 56:11, 9:16 pace, Avg HR = 144, Max HR = 156. I had some back problems that day, something I haven't really had to deal with since then. Blog Entry.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Rolling through the Park

Bike Ride to Discovery Green, Bike Ride to the Medical Center.

After eight consecutive days of running, I took the day off today. Julie and I took a leisurely bike ride downtown to Houston's newest park, Discover Green. We listened to a concert, watched the remote control sailboats, and looked at the kids cooling off in the water park section.

Afterwards I picked up the pace and rode my bike from downtown to the medical center. I averaged a 4:12 pace over 4.53 miles, which is about 14MPH. I think that was pretty good for a dirt bike on city streets with stoplights. I didn't wear my heart rate monitor, but I got a good workout.

TDLY - 5/25/07 - Kenyan Way Progressive Run, Max HR = 181. After a warm up, I ran each half mile lap progressively faster. My heart rate ramped up linearly. Check out my Blog Entry for a cool heart rate graph.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Stephanie's Wedding Run

7.29 miles, 1:01:43 moving, 8:27 pace, Max HR = 147, Avg HR = 125, 40% Z3, 54% Z2, three breaks for nine minutes total

I ran with Stephanie's group today, although Stephanie, Cory and I cut it short from the thirteen the rest of the group had planned. I have a long run scheduled for tomorrow -- my first run with the Tornados, so I didn't want to pile up the miles today. I'll probably need every bit of my energy to keep up with them.

As you may recall, Stephanie was my coach with Power in Motion, and will therefore always be my coach. She introduced me to the Jack Daniels Running Calculator (no! not the liquor, the Ph.D.) This is a scientific method of training which defines your runs as "Easy", "Marathon Pace", "Threshold Pace", "Interval Pace" and "Repetition Pace". By running the proper percentage of your mileage at the proper paces, Jack Daniels theorizes that you strike the right balance between maximizing conditioning and minimizing injury. It's based on heart rate, so you can probably guess that I dig it. But I digress since I wanted to tell you a bit about Stephanie.

The reason why I ran with Stephanie is because today is her wedding day. She wanted to get in a few miles before her big day got out of hand, which makes a lot of sense to me. I can remember my wedding day. My best man, Paul, chauffeured me to Louie's for breakfast, and then to Christ the King for the ceremony. My groomsmen accompanied me, and it was a nice feeling to be surrounded by trusted friends to relax and reflect. I'm sure if I had been a runner at that time that I would have pounded out a few miles.

Of everything that I've ever achieved in my entire life, my marriage is the most important to me. It is my most valuable possession. It hasn't always been easy, and it requires work, but it's the kind of work that you want to do. I tend to go overboard with running analogies, but the work I put into training is very similar to the work I put into marriage. I love to do it and I always want to do more in order to get better.

And, as a wedding is the birth of a marriage, I was honored to be invited to hang out with the bride -- my coach.

So, best wishes Stephanie! May you simultaneously find happiness, shelter, adventure, comfort, growth, and peace in your marriage.

TDLY - 5/25/07 - Memorial Park Trails, 3.22 miles, 35:08, 10:54 pace, 10% Z5, 86% Z4. I remember this run vividly. Audrey, a Power in Motion coach, invited me to join her, her husband, and the rest of her personal group for a run on the Memorial park trails. At the time I thought my Garmin was mis-reporting my speed because of the dense tree coverage, but looking back I think it was just that hard on me. Check out that heart rate! Cory and I did core exercises for the first time together after this run, and I ran him through the routine that we did at Kenyan Way. Blog Entry.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Will's Hills 15 - Miles and W's

Warm Up, 1x2M followed by 6 laps of hills, Warm Down

Today's workout was one of the toughest I've done in a long time. 2x1M at near top speed, followed immediately by six 0.3M laps, each with three hills. My heart rate got elevated pretty quickly and stayed that way. Over the 33 minute workout (which doesn't include the warm up), my heart rate averaged 82% of my max (157 BPM).

I tried to keep up with Will on the first mile split, and clocked a 5:40, Avg HR = 134, Max HR = 171. After a five minute, .58 mile recovery jog, I turned the second mile split in at 5:57, but a Avg HR = 170 and Max HR = 180. The significant decrease in speed was disappointing, particularly because I was clearly working harder based on my heart rate. But then again it's the first intensive cardio exercise I've done in several weeks, so it was to be expected that my endurance isn't there.

Coach Ted from Power in Motion was there today. We seem to keep step-in-step, despite the fact that he is twenty years older than me. I blew me away when he told me he was more than fifty – I had him pegged for low forties. He's a phenomenal runner with tons of experience. Not only that, but he's an all around nice guy.

Today he stressed the importance of the rest period between intervals. I tend to get caught up trying to maintain a high heart rate, but I need to listen more closely to him so I can hit the intervals harder by taking the breaks easier.

He offered some great advice about my Achilles as well, which I originally dismissed because I thought it couldn't be true. He said I might have an underdeveloped calf muscle which caused the Achilles strain. My right leg doesn't look underdeveloped, and I leap up hills thanks to my strong calves, so I assumed he was wrong. But after I thought about it a bit more, I realized that my left calf is stronger and the imbalance could very well have been my problem. I'm not sure why it developed that way, but I suspect it's because my right leg is about an inch shorter than the left. I really need to listen to Coach Ted when he's giving me advice. He knows what he's talking about.

I haven't had any trouble with my leg, despite ramping up the miles this week – 36.5 since the marathon, with somewhere around 15-20 scheduled for this weekend. The miles haven't been as fast as I was running a month ago, but it's twenty degrees warmer.

TDLY - May 23, 2007 - Kenyan Way, sixteen 30 second sprints. Tough workout -- don't dismiss it until you try it.Blog Entry.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Late Evening Easy Run

4.5 miles, 38:04, 8:27 pace, Max HR = 144, Avg HR = 136

Not a lot to report here. I ran late this evening rather than after work because I hit the company happy hour and ran after Julie went to sleep. I took it easy because I'm going to hit Will's Hills with full force early tomorrow morning. My goal was easy and consistent.

During my run I saw a couple of rabbits that live in the shrubs of White Oak Park, and a very large bird of undetermined species. As I was heading home I caught a smell that threw me back to childhood. "They" say the olfactory senses are hardwired to your memories. Certain smells can trigger memories from long ago.

The smell I experienced was that of lumber in a house under construction. My father was a roofer and I was on the jobsite many times on the weekends while he put the roof on new houses. It was usually exciting for me to see a house go up, trying to understand the hows and whys through observation.

8:27, 8:23, 8:39, 8:27, 4:04 for .5 miles (8:08 pace)

This Day Last Year (TDLY) - 5/22/07 - Rest Day. Blog Entry.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Will's Hills 14 & Unofficial PIM - Busy Day

AM: Will's Hills - Warm up, 3.31 Mile Indian Run, no HR info

PM: Pre-Unofficial PIM threshold run in heat. 3.03 miles, 21:05, 6:57 pace, Max HR = 172, Avg HR = 157, 70% Z4, 1% Z5.
Unofficial PIM - 3.84 miles incl. warm up, 38:33, 10:02 pace

It was good to be back to Will's Hills this morning. Will encouraged us to divide into four degrees of "fastness" (because we're all fast.) I joined the third from fastest for fear of re-injuring my leg, since it's my first time back on the hills. My worries were unwarranted.

In the evening I joined the PIMsters for an "unofficial" run since the season is now over. I got there early enough to run a hard lap around Memorial before they started. However, "hard" only turned out to be a 6:57 pace. I don't think I could have gone much faster over that distance. I guess I'm tired from this morning and from the Marathon four days ago. Plus the temperature was 84 degrees -- it makes a difference.

After my solo run, I joined up with the PIMsters -- about 30 showed up! I expected around 10 at most. And after that the coaches met at Jax for the coaches banquet. It is nice to be appreciated by the powers that be, even though the real reward is working with the PIMsters themselves. PIM is very fortunate to have some fantastic coaches. I'm trying to learn how to be a good coach by observing them.

TDLY - 5/21/07 - 3.97 miles of Kenyan Way Hills, Blog Entry

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Morning Full Moon Run

4.01 Miles, 32:02, 7:59 pace, Max HR = 158, Avg HR = 138, 5% Z4, 66% Z3, 25% Z2

I managed to get up early enough this morning to run a few miles, despite hitting the snooze a few times. Since I went to the Astros game after work, I knew that the AM was the only time I could squeeze in the miles. (By the way, the Astros beat the Cubs 4-2 on a Hunter Pence grand slam.)

The moon was full this morning as I hit the park. My legs are still sore from the marathon, so it took a while to get up to speed.
9:00, 7:49, 7:46, 7:23

I guess it's the time of year, but thousands of bugs are swarming all around. I'm pretty sure I inhaled at least one and one ended up in my eye. I guess I'll handle this like I handled all of my other running obstacles -- rain, wind, heat, hills . . . you gotta be strong. Bugs!? I guess I have to be strong about that too. Or perhaps I'll start running with a mask like Michael Jackson.

TDLY - 5/20/07 - LSU Lakes, 6.76 miles, 1:00:08, 8:53 pace, Max HR = 177, Avg HR = 161, 5% Z5, 30% Z4, 61% Z3. This run was a milestone for me because it was the first time I ever ran around the LSU Lakes, a popular running route in Baton Rouge. Blog Entry.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Back in Gear

8.00 miles, 59:30, 7:26 pace, Max HR = 170, Avg HR = 155, 71% Z4, 23% Z3, 90 degrees.

It feels good to be back in the saddle. My Achilles is only slightly bothersome, despite a marathon and a couple of days of relatively hard short runs. I'm ready to give it my all and push for my next goal: A three hour marathon. My goal race is the Houston Marathon in January 2009. Every run I do between now and then will be done with the intention of shaving off twelve minutes from my best marathon time and breaking three hours at Houston. I bought a re-usable rubber 3:00 pace bracelet at the Ogden Marathon expo, and I wore it yesterday as a symbolic start toward my goal.

I didn't know how I would feel today, but after a slow first mile (8:13), I followed that up with 7:13, 7:30, 6:59, 7:13, and 7:23 miles. I was tired and ready to go home, but a thought came to me. It's not often that I get the chance to run when my legs are tired. Usually I have to go fifteen miles or so before I'm running on weak legs. And that's when I really expand my limits. Today I got the opportunity to practice running through fatigue after only six miles. So I pushed forward and completed two more at 7:36 and 7:14 before going home and watching the Hornets drop game seven to the Spurs. That was a disappointment, but at least I had a good run. I followed it up with some intense core exercises, which I hope to turn into a post-run habit.

Another thought came to me when I was running. I've never seen so many people running at the park near my house before. I guess the warm weather brought everyone out, although 90 degrees isn't my idea of great running weather. Regardless, the thought was that I would like to invite my PIMsters to run with me in my own territory. So if any of you out there are interested in meeting up for a run in my neighborhood park, send me an email or comment on this post. (You can click the link at the top to figure out where White Oak and Stude park is -- NW Corner of I-10 andI-45.)

I wonder if I can get up early enough tomorrow morning to get a few miles in before work, since I'm going to the Astros game after work.

TDLY - 5/19/07 - 2.41 miles, 21:49, 9:03 pace, Max HR = 150, Avg HR = 139. I started running at 6:15 that morning in order to get a run in before a road trip to Baton Rouge. Blog Entry.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Post Marathon Morning Run

About 3.5 Miles, 26:10, about 7:30 pace.

My battery died shortly into the run, but I ran a little more than 3/4 of a mile toward a mile marker, and then to the next mile marker and back, and then the same 3/4 of a mile back to the start. So it was a bit further than 3.5 miles.

I ran it pretty hard, considering I was running a marathon less than 24 hours before. The scenery was beautiful with the mountains in the background. Don't you wish you got to run here?

I had a blast in Ogden. Cory's family was great. I particularly enjoyed the rocket launch on Sunday morning after my run. Lots of the grandkids migrated over to the house and we enjoyed each other's company under a beautiful sky.

TDLY - 5/18/07 - Kenyan Way Morning Session Spotts Park, Max HR = 172. I got up early and did a third KW session for the week (usually I only did two.) For $5 you can join the Friday morning session. We ran at Spotts Park, where one year later I'd be running with Will's Hills. I really like that course and I was never sure why Sean Wade didn't schedule more sessions there. I was worried the morning session of KW would be the "varsity" guys as opposed to the J.V. afternoon guys like myself. But I held my own there. Blog Entry.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

2008 Ogden Marathon

I'll let Cory post his race account before I comment on the race. I don't want to take away from his thunder. But I will say a marathon is a battle, and I'm proud that he chose me to pace him in his battle.

TDLY - 5/14/07 - Kenyan Way Warm Up, Hills and Warm Down, Max HR = 178, Avg HR = 148, Blog Entry.
5/15/07 - Rice and Hermann, 4.99 miles, 42:05, 8:26 pace, Avg HR = 157, Max HR = 178, Blog Entry
5/16/07 - KW Warmup, and Time Trial, .98 miles, 6:42, 6:48 pace, Max HR = 179, Avg HR = 165. During a Kenyan Way session you will complete three time trials to monitor your progress. Unfortunately, the courses are slightly different each time, and weather conditions vary significantly. Blog Entry.
5/17/07 - Rice and Hermann, 7.33 miles, 1:04:33, 8:48 pace, Max HR = 158, Avg HR = 150, 36% Z4, 60% Z3. I don't remember this run, but it appears to be a good one. In my blog entry from that day, I said that I felt as though I turned a corner. In general I've never been a morning person, but running has changed that for me. This was one of my first morning runs. As running began to take more of my time and became more important to me, I started running in the morning so it would not interfere with other aspects of my life. Blog Entry.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Memorial Park with Jacques

2.88 miles, 21:12, 7:21 pace, Max HR = 151, Avg HR = 142, 89% Z3, balance below

I didn't intend to run today, since I can't gain any fitness by running at this juncture and the worst case scenario is that I could re-strain my Achilles. But I've been trying to get Jacques to run with me for several weeks, and when he asked me to join him today I couldn't say no. We sit side-by-side at work, so there is plenty of talk about running.

He's like a bunch of us who find ourselves out of shape after a lifetime of relative athleticism, so I didn't expect he would push me too hard. But right out of the gate we hit a 7:12 mile and I started to wonder if it was a good idea to accept his offer. Mile two brought us a 7:15 mile, but my fears of re-straining my leg disappeared because it felt better than it has in many weeks. The remaining .87 of our run was at a 7:42 pace. Jacques could have pushed faster, but he was holding out for a round of tennis on the heels of his run.

Overall he impressed me. There is no way I could have kept up with him one year ago.

The big story is that my Achilles didn't bother me, which validated my decision to drastically reduce my mileage and intensity over the past two weeks. I probably didn't need any further confirmation after last Saturday's long run, but it still feels good knowing that I'm going to be ok for the Ogden Marathon in four days.

Other notes:
I rode my bike with Julie on 5/11/08 and 5/12/08 for some leisurely miles.

TDLY - 5/11/07 - rest - Blog Entry Last Year.
5/12/07 - Run to Onion Creek for Breakfast, 6.03 miles, 53:49, 8:55 pace, max HR = 177, avg HR = 158, 14% Z5, 59% Z4, 22% Z2. I can remember this run like it was yesterday. Julie and I headed out from our apartment in the Museum District and ran to the Heights for breakfast, where we left a car. It was a daunting task to think about going six miles in one direction, without a safety net of a place to stop if I couldn't make it. I figured I could cover the distance, but I wouldn't have tried it without Julie as company because I KNEW she could make it. The worst case scenario would be that she could leave me behind and drive back to pick me up. It got tough at the end, particularly after mile 4, but that was one of the sweetest beers I've ever had on the patio of Onion Creek afterwards. Blog Entry Last Year.
5/13/07 - Negative Splits around Rice, 2.87 miles, 24:24, 8:30 pace, max HR = 176, Avg HR = 156, 19% Z5, 34% Z4, 31% Z3 This run is proof positive that Jacques in in better shape than I was one year ago. For roughly the same distance run, I averaged more than a minute per mile slower and I red lined on my heart rate (Zone 5) for more than a quarter of the run. But the positive takeaway from this run is that I ran almost every quarter mile with negative splits and the last .86 miles was a 7:25 pace. Even though I wasn't in shape, I was showing toughness that day. Blog Entry Last Year.

Texas Independence Relay Revisited

Check out these pictures/movies taken during the relay.


I meant to post this weeks ago, but it was moved to the back burner. I thought about it today because something triggered the thought of relay races. Paul offered a possible spot on the Hood to Coast Relay (Mt. Hood to Pacific Coast).

Elf ran that last year. You can recount her adventures here:
Houston, We Have A Problem
Hood To Coast--Leg 1
Leg 2--The only reality is the van
Leg 3--Digging Deep

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Minor Confidence Boost

10.43 miles, 1:33:30, 8:57 pace, Max HR = 160, Avg HR = 131, 13% Z4, 55% Z3, 28% Z2

I have to classify today's long run as a success. I honestly started this run ready to call it quits at any minute, not knowing if I would be able to go one mile without the sensation that I could be causing long term damage to my Achilles. But I finished this run without anything other than minor discomfort, and that included a 7:36 pace over the last 2.22 miles.

This was the confidence boost I needed to roll into the Ogden Marathon in one week. I'm going to be ok.

I joined Stephanie and her group today, thanks to a piggyback invitation from Cory. Cory has battled his fair share of injuries this season, and it was nice to see him in good shape. Cory and I will be running the upcoming marathon together, and I'm hoping to help him have a breakout performance. We have several potential goals:
1) 3:20:00 -- This is Cory's Boston Qualifying Time (7:38 pace)
2) 3:29:45 -- This equates to exactly eight minute miles
3) 3:40:17 -- This time or better represents a PR for Cory (8:24 pace)

Cory will ultimately decide what our initial course of action will be. And between the two of us, I hope we collectively stick to our goal as the race unfolds.

As you may know, I have a tendency to be dramatic regarding running. Please allow me the following discourse. A Marathon is like a living being. You never know what you're going to get. You could be married to your spouse for fifty years, but you will never be able to completely predict subtleties in their mood change. Marathons also have their moods: weather, course conditions, how that pre-race bagel sits in your stomach, the degree of mental fortitude you have that day, your own emotions. You never know what kind of mood your marathon will present to you, and you never know when that mood will change. Like a marriage, the best you can do is to show respect and react appropriately. What's behind you is over, and what is in front of you means nothing if you don't properly handle the present. I don't know what our goal will be, but I do know that it has to be approached incrementally. I'll focus my energy on doing whatever is necessary for us to survive, one mile at a time.

You may interpret that preceding paragraph as experience. But if you've been reading my blog for long, you know that I lack experience as a runner. I try to offset that lack of experience through reading, asking questions of mentors, and practicing visualization. LSU's most successful baseball coach, Skip Bertman, is a big proponent of visualization, the act of mentally projecting yourself into a "game-day" situation.
A firm believer in visualization, he once told his players to lie down on the locker room floor before the first game of the year, close their eyes and use all five senses to imagine themselves standing in the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

A body is only good for a limited amount of top-notch marathons. A batter has a limited amount of opportunities to face the star pitcher of the league. An executive has limited number of times in front of the board of directors. Everyone knows that "practice makes perfect", but there are numerous studies which say that visualization is nearly as effective when additional practice is impractical.

The next time you race, picture yourself along the course. Mentally rehearse how you will handle and overcome expected and unexpected obstacles. Think about your pacing strategy, think about your clothing, think about others who have done this before you. Imagine how strong you feel as the miles roll by. Embrace the crowd's support, raise your hands as you cross the line, rehearse what you will say to your loved ones once you finish.

You can't compete in a marathon every day, but you can certainly visualize the competition on a daily basis.

Specifics about this run:
1) We took three breaks, totalling about 5 minutes which has been backed out of the average pace and time listed at the top of the page.
2) I ran in a comfortable Zone 2 & 3 until Cory and I picked it up to marathon pace for the last couple of miles.
3) River Oaks has nearly as much street construction as the Heights.
4) 8:54, 9:09, 8:53, 8:24, 8:25, 8:29, 8:26, 8:39, 7:31, 7:41, 1:41 (.22 miles
7:39 pace)

It was good to run again.

TDLY - 5/10/07 - Run Home From Downtown, 5.19 miles, 49:59, 9:38 pace, Max HR = 162, Avg HR = 139. I think this was my first destination run, meaning that I ended up some place other than where I started. I met Cory after work and watched him run a 5K downtown. After the race I meandered through downtown and midtown to get home, stopping for some hills along the way at the Miller Outdoor Ampitheater. I loaned my Garmin to Cory for this race, and he got one shortly thereafter. Blog Entry Last Year.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Birthday Bike Ride and the Emotion of Injury

Today is my birthday, and by coincidence it was also my 9/80 day off. So I spent the day goofing off. I watched some TV, including a movie called Red River starring John Wayne (good one.)

About the only thing "productive" that I've done, other than one load of dishes, is going for a 12 mile leisurely bike ride. I would have preferred to go on a 12 mile run instead, but I'm saving that up for tomorrow as a do-or-die run with Cory. Either I can run without pain or else I have to take another week off before trying again.

Stephanie organized a run from Memorial, through River Oaks, along the Bayou to downtown, and back to Memorial. Cory and I might cut it short and head to my house after we get to the bayou.

During these last ten days I've gained at least five pounds and probably added fifteen seconds to my best mile pace over any distance. I'm upset that I was running my best and now I'm looking at the possibility of not running at all for two or more weeks. Don't get me wrong, I'm hopeful that everything will be ok tomorrow, but I'm not willing to push through that kind of pain because a rupture in the Achilles Tendon could sideline me for a long time.

No Will's hills, no tempo runs, no long runs, no training runs with the Tornados. It's killing me, but I'm also aware that until now, I've been extremely lucky that I never had to take more than a couple of days off due to injury. Every runner gets injured. The thing that's killing me is that I'm not really injured . . . I'm just flirting with injury and I know my best shot to avoid injury is to take a break.

I know all three of my readers don't want to hear all of these complaints, but I'm really interested in documenting this for personal (and historical) reasons. One of these days I'll reference back to this to try to get an idea how I coped with injury, so thanks for bearing with me.

My predominant emotion is guilt. A true athlete in my situation would do core exercises, swim often (I swam only once, 10x50 sprints after a warm up for 30 mins total), hit the weights, go to a doctor, ice it regularly, use compression, take Advil religiously, curtail the diet. The only thing I really committed to was resting; because it was easy. I don't understand why I will push so incredibly hard while I'm running, but not give even 10% of that kind of effort toward getting better and keeping up my shape while I heal.

The bright spot is that the race season is over now that the heat is here, and it's too early to start training for the Houston marathon. But I still need to be there for Cory at the Ogden Marathon -- I only wish it was a month away instead of eight days from now.

TDLY - 5/8/08 - Memorial Park with Julie, 4.03 miles, 36:04, 8:56 pace, Max HR = 170, Avg HR = 150. This was my first and only experience running through the 50 yard trail just east of Memorial park -- it was ankle deep in mud. Blog Entry Last Year.
5/9/08 - Kenyan Way 2 Warm Up, Kenyan Way 2 plus Warm Down, Max HR = 178, Avg HR = 157 -- This KW session coincided with the last PIM. I missed the Mystery Run, but I made it back in time to say goodbye to my coaches (Stephanie and Joe) and thank them for their help. It's interesting being on the flip side of that transaction, now that I just finished a "semester" of KW as a coach. Blog Entry Last Year.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

PIM - Batons - Week 10

2.31 miles, 36:56, 16:01 pace

Today's Power in Motion theme was "Where to from Here?"

Coach Ted organized a great mystery run in which the Batons finished second. We followed clues to our next destination, answered riddles and exercised our power of observation along the way. A good time was had by all.

Afterwards we gathered at the starting point for two kegs of beer and snacks. The coaches talked about their running clubs and the PIMsters talked about future goals. It was a great way to end the season, and it left me looking forward to the fall session of PIM.


Unfortunately the minimal exertion required for today's run was still enough to make my Achilles very sore. I ran one mile at Will's Hills (probably 7:30ish) and it still bothers me. It's been one complete week since I've run (PIM exlcuded), and I don't think I'm getting any better. I fear my marathon trip is in jeopardy. I'll stay off of my feet for the next couple of days and hit the ibuprophen regularly. If I'm not in good enough shape for a long run on Saturday then I might have to drop out of the marathon.

(I swam for about 30 minutes on May 6 . . . Warm up of about 500M plus 10x50M sprints with about 20 seconds recovery. I did all of that without a watch so I didn't measure my splits or recovery time.)

TDLY - 5/4/07 - Hermann and Rice, 4.09 miles, 36:34, 8:56 pace, Max HR = 176, Avg HR = 161, 15% Z5, 65% Z4, 15% Z3
5/5/07 - Julie's 3 Mile Route during High School, 3.03 miles, 26:15, 8:08 pace, Max HR = 180, Avg HR = 154. Out and back -- very slight uphill on the return. Coupled that with a pickup and it's one of my best paces over that distance to date.
5/6/07 - rest
5/7/07 - First Kenyan Way Run, three sets of hills with break between, Max HR = 174. The Kenyan Way program was a giant step forward for me. It marked my commitment to continue running rather than let it expire along with the end of PIM. Not only did it represent my commitment to continue running, but it signified my desire to "train" as opposed to just run. I wanted to be fast, and I was willing to work hard get there. My First Blog Entry.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

PIM - Cinco de Mayo 5K

5K, official = 36:41.34, Garmin: Max HR = 137, Avg HR = 112

Congratulations Batons!

I am so proud of you! I saw many heroes at the Cinco de Mayo 5K!

A hero refuses to give up in the face of potential failure. I saw many of you who refused to quit, despite the internal noises in your head telling you that you couldn't achieve your goals. Some of you even had to overcome the external noises of naysayers in your life that thought you couldn't do it . . . perhaps because the idea was so foreign to them that they were afraid of your transfiguration.

A hero commits to the right thing when the path less taken looks easier. Many of you participated in physical activity for the first time in your life, and all of you made the decision to refuse the sweet allure of the couch and the potato chips.

A hero inspires others toward positive change. Your friends, family and strangers saw what you did today and realize that it's possible for them to turn their lives around.

My friends, life is not always fair . . . but the act of running is your best chance to get a fair shake. The rewards you reap are a direct result of the work you put into training. There are no gifts; there is no cheating; shortcuts don't exist. It looks so easy for those who won today, and I'm just as guilty as the next guy in thinking that they have a talent I don't have. But the reality is that they put in the work to earn their status. I am envious of their willpower and strive to equal it.

That same willpower is deeply rooted within you as well. "The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare. (Juma Ikangaa)." You made the decision to prepare, and you will soon decide whether this was a passing phase or a lifestyle decision. I hope you choose the latter, and that we will see you out next Wednesday and plenty of subsequent nights at Memorial Park and elsewhere. You are all champions, but this taste of success is only the beginning of much more to come if you stay the course.

I was excited to hear about many of your future plans and questions . . .about future 5Ks, half-marathons, speed work, taking it to the next level, et cetera. All of your coaches want to encourage your future aspirations by providing advice, support and camaraderie along the way. Please keep in touch with us via email and in person to keep us abreast of your future endeavors.

Coach Jonathan


Other notes:
* I joined the Tornados last Wednesday after PIM, and therefore this was my club's race (even though I didn't do anything for this race.) I celebrated my membership by going out with the crew afterwards. Coach Manny (from PIM and a key Tornado) treated me to lunch! The Tornados are perhaps the fastest club in town, and a great crew to boot. I'm really hoping that I can improve my marathon time and slide in under three hours when I run Houston next year. They have several sub-3 guys, so hopefully some of that speed will rub off.

TDLY - 5/1/07: 8.18 miles, 1:17:08, 9:25 pace, Max HR = 167, Avg HR = 158, 77% Zone 4, 21% Zone 3. I'll never forget this run. It's the first time I ran with Cory outside of PIM, and the longest I'd ever run in my life up until that point. The conversation and run was great early on, but I started to fade toward the end and it turned into a difficult run.
5/2/07: PIM Indian Run, 2.87 miles, 25:30, 8:53 pace, Max HR = 179, Avg HR = 156, 17% Z5, 51% Z4 - 24% Z3. As Indian Runs normally go, this one increased in pace the entire time with tehe last mile being 8:26. That was enough to push me into my Zone 5. I can remember finishing this run and being glad it was over because I couldn't run any faster.
5/3/07 - Rest