Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bad Start for the Weekend

8.09 miles, 1:03:39, 7:52 pace, no HR info

I'm supposed to be in Baton Rouge right now, enjoying the post-game tailgate. But Hurricane Gustav altered my plans. The idea was to drive back for the game on Saturday morning after my long run, and to drive back on Monday or Tuesday. But the game was moved up from 4PM to 10AM, making a Saturday morning drive all but impossible. Plus, interstate contra-flow is scheduled for Sunday so there is no guarantee I'd be able to drive back home if I did manage to get to Baton Rouge.

So this opened up the opportunity to join Stephanie's group for their 20M long run. Unfortunately I pulled my normal bone-headed move and forgot to turn on my alarm clock after setting it for 4:15AM. So it was another long run alone for me.

I planned on running for two hours, but I gave up and walked home about 3 miles after I hit the eight mile mark. I'm not sure what's wrong with me. Maybe I still haven't recovered completely from Hood to Coast, maybe I'm just TIRED, maybe my diet is out of whack, or maybe I'm just lazy. But I haven't been able to get going lately and I've been giving into my thoughts to sleep in, and cut my runs short. This is not a good sign. I'm resolving to make September a good month, and to get back onto my regular schedule of running. No complaints, no excuses. Oh, and I better start back on my core exercises in September.

Congratulations to the Fighting Tigers of LSU who handily disposed of the DI-AA champions, Appalachian State, by a score of 41-13. It's hard to read too much into these types of games, so I won't try to extrapolate this result and make any predictions for the season. However, I DO feel like it's going to be a long fall for my Ponies of SMU, as they were blown out by Rice on Friday night. Maybe June Jones is the answer, but getting thrashed by Rice certainly raises a lot of questions.

Jeers to Mississippi State for embarrassing the SEC by losing to Louisiana Tech. There is a reason why we (LSU) scheduled Miss St. for our homecoming.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Neglecting Life

4.06 miles, 32:59, 8:07 pace, Max HR = 147, Avg HR = 136

Things that I've been neglecting due to running (in no particular order, except for the last is the most important):
1) Cutting my grass
2) Cleaning up my mess around the house
3) Sleep
4) Blogging about the wonderful time I had when Melanie and Adora (my beautiful Godchild/Niece) visited.
5) Blogging about the fantastic experience and great team I had during the Hood to Coast relay
6) Replying back to some old friends that recently caught up with me
7) Getting mentally prepared for another college football season
8) Changing the light in my bathroom
9) Tending the foliage around the house
10) Reading
11) My wife

In a few days I will follow Julie to Portland for a conference. Hopefully I can find some inner peace by taking care of some things on this list during my down time.

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Today's run was difficult, coming off of a longish prior night run. My heart rate was a bit elevated due to general physical fatigue and being sleep deprived. The sleep is going to continue to go on the back burner. I'll be up late tonight and up at 3:45 to run on Saturday morning so I can drive to Baton Rouge for the LSU game. Maybe I can catch some winks during the car ride.

Revolutionary Vibram Five Fingers Ad

This is an old Saturday Night Live skit. It's from season 31 -- 2005 to 2006. I think it was before Vibram started making Five Fingers.

video

I found the video on this guy's blog

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Eine Kleine Nachtlaufen

8.55 miles, 1:11:36, 8:22 pace, no HR info

The only thing I want to say about this run is that I'm glad it's over and I'm tired of running long distances by myself in the dark.

I think the title of this blog entry translates to "Another Night Run", although I don't know German. I stole the idea from Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

Backlog

I've been busy and I failed to blog most of my runs for the past few weeks. My sister and niece visited for a week, I went to Portland and things have been getting exciting at work -- all of which cut into the leisure time that I use to blog. So this will be a boring post that serves only to satisfy my compulsion to put all of my runs on "paper". Feel free to skip over it, dear reader(s), but you might want to check out the link to my flights to and from Portland. I turned my Garmin on during the flight and uploaded it to motionbased.

8/12/08 - 7.59 miles, WU, 6x800 with 2 minutes rest, WD, Max HR = 179
2:57, 2:56, 2:59, 2:56, 3:11 (ouch), 2:56

8/13/08 - 11.60 miles, 1:37:58, 8:26 pace, Max HR = 147, Avg HR = 135
Twisted my ankle but ran through it. Ran without water until about mile 8 or 9.

8/15/08 - 9.10 miles, 1:14:59, Max HR = 163, Avg HR = 138Neighborhood Run.

8/16/08 - 15.34 Miles, 2:00:07, 7:49 pace, Max HR = 157, Avg HR = 131, 1025 feet of elevation
I mowed down the Conroe Hills with Sim and kept the heart rate at bay.

8/17/08 - 12.04 miles, 1:27:05, 7:13 pace, Max HR = 162, Avg HR = 141.
Tornado Long Run. Pedal to the medal.

8/18/08 - 4.01 miles, 34:37, 8:37 pace, No HR info
Tapering for Hood to Coast.

8/19/08 - 4.03 miles, 34:41, 8:36 pace, no HR info
Tapering for Hood to Coast

8/20/08 - rest
8/21/08 - rest (Plane Trip to Portland)

8/22/08 and 8/23/08 -- Hood to Coast -- I blogged about these runs.

8/24/08 and 8/25/08 -- Recovery and Rest and trip back to Houston.

8/26/08 - AM 10.64 Miles, 1:25:48, 8:03 pace, No HR info
Finally running again. I got up early in the morning to run and took this easy.
8/26/08 - PM 4.02 miles, 32:32, 8:05 pace, no HR info
Took a run after wring my blog entry about Cody after his visitation. It seemed like the right thing to do.

8/27/08 - Vibram 5 Finger Run that I already blogged about.

8/28/08 - I slept through my morning run, and now it's 8:34PM and I'm stuffed to the gills from a big Italian dinner and I'm watching college football on television. Will I make it out today? Given the fact that I've been lazy lately, and the fact that my weekend is going to be very busy, I'm going to try to run even if it ends up being very late before I start.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Vibram Five Fingers

8.09 Miles, 1:06:34, 8:13 pace, no HR info

I bought a new pair of "shoes" today called Vibram Five Fingers. I've been toying with the idea of purchasing these shoes which give you the sensation of running barefoot, and finally broke down today and bought them. Here is an article from Runner's World describing the author's experience.

Here is what they look like:


And here they are on my feet. Notice the blade of grass between the toes.


I also have a reflector on my leg since this was a night run.

The alleged benefits of running barefoot are:
1) Develop a more natural gait
2) Encourage mid-foot striking and proper pronation
3) Strengthen individual small muscles in the foot, helping you to run faster.

My reason for buying the shoes:
Even though I'm a pretty normal guy, I like to be a little quirky from time to time.

I don't know if natural is really better. Technology generally improves things, so it's a hard sell to me that technological advances in footwear would be "evil" and counterproductive. But plenty of African marathoners grew up running and training without shoes, although I suspect the current generation of runners did not.

I can say this about my experience -- you would think that the pavement and concrete would hurt and the dirt and gravel paths would be the best, but it was the opposite. I struggled when I stepped on the smallest rocks and consequently ran a lot slower on the gravel path along Heights Boulevard. But the pavement didn't really bother me.

I hope for $80 they last, but even if they don't they're sure to turn some eyes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cody Eugene Smith



CODY EUGENE SMITH, 26 of Cypress, Texas passed away on August 21, 2008 at North Cypress Hospital from an accidental drowning. He was preceded in death by his father William Eugene Smith, Grandmother Louis Smith, Uncle Terry Smith and (PawPaw) Juan J Rios. Cody went to Cy-Fair High School and then received his GED from Windfern High School and later attended ITT where he received his associate's degree. He was employed by Smith Services of Houston as a draftsman in the engineering department. When Cody attended Cy-Fair High School he ran cross- country track. He decided to start running again in Feb 2007. His first marathon was the M2M in Oct. 2007. After training four long hard months he ran the AT & T Austin marathon in Feb 2008 with a time of 3:06 which enabled him to qualify for the April 2008 Boston marathon which he finished with a time of 3:15:34. He also had started running with the Tornados running club in Houston. Cody is survived by his mother Olga Smith, Brother Casey Smith, two uncles, three aunts, and numerous cousins and many great friends. Visitation will be held 6-8:00 PM, Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at Brookside Funeral Home Cypress Creek. Funeral Mass will be held 3:00 PM, Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Community 11507 Huffmeister RD, Houston, TX 77065.
----------------

I just returned from the visitation service for Cody, a fellow Tornado Runner who died on Thursday of last week. I didn't know Cody well, but I ran with him -- which is to say I understood him. You can run side by side with someone for a hour without saying a word and still bond. A long run is like a battle, fighting the enemy of fatigue and the internal and external voices that say you can't do it. I went to battle alongside of Cody, and he was my brother in arms. He left his mark on me, and I won't forget him.

The last time I saw him was during the Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer 5K. Cody was fast -- so fast that I was originally intimidated by him because I assumed he wouldn't care to hang out with a slow-poke like me. It didn't take me long to find out how wrong I was about that assumption.

At the race earlier this month he was in a battle for the lead in an out-and-back course. I got to see him for a while, but he ended up too far ahead for me to see. I got to cheer him on again as he passed the turnaround point and ran by me in the opposite direction. As soon as I finished I looked for him to find out how he did. He was so excited that he broke his goal of 17 minutes (16:52). I could see the glee and innocence of a child in his eyes.

It seems unfair that someone twenty-six years old, born in 1981, should die while swimming laps at a gymnasium. Jaime (also from the Tornados) and I spoke with disbelief trying to make sense out of this nonsensical situation. We pondered the idea that you should live every day as if it were your last day. It seems irresponsible to disregard the future in lieu of "carpe diem", but then again you never know when you will take your life's last breath. I'm a planner and a saver, and I can't fathom emptying the bank account on trips, expensive food and experiences as though I was at the end of my days. But I finally settled on understanding that living like it's your last day doesn't mean partying it down. I think it means to be the best person you can possibly be. Be a good husband, wife, parent, sibling, son, daughter, friend. Add to the ultimate happiness of the world. And if you do that every day, your life achieves its maximum value.

Cody, you were always faster than me and managed to beat me in this race as well. So cheer me on as I complete my race through life and I'll do my best to run every day like it's my last.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

HTC Leg 33

This was it -- the oft misunderstood third leg. Like the Trinity, we have a grasp on the first two (The Father and The Son), but you never fully understand the implications of the third leg (The Holy Spirit) until you experience it.

7.71 miles, 51:41, 6:42 pace, avg HR 157

Many of you who read this run races and know the toll it takes on your body. But there seems to be an exponential effect of fatigue when running three races in eighteen hours. The beauty of running is on full display when you answer the call to run despite total exhaustion of body and mind. I looked to my teammates and competitors and knew we were all riding in the same boat.

In short, it was a blast.

I toed the exchange point, nervously wondering if I could live up to my self-imposed expectations of running a strong eight miles. Time wasn't my concern so much as strength. I didn't want to give anything less than my best, which is easier said than done. Aided by some restful sleep (I'm pretty sure I led the van in that category) I took off and ran a mile on feel before looking at the Garmin for split information. 6:32. After that the rolling hills began. They weren't so challenging except for the fact that they came on my third leg. Almost everyone else had more elevation issues than my relay legs, so it seems petty to even mention it. But the hills did slow me down, and I tried my best to take advantage of the downhills by focusing on my form and turnover. 6:43 mile 2.

Mile three was even slower at 6:48. My teammates met me here and gave me water. I picked up the pace and tried to look good for them. It helps when you see your fellow runners in good spirits because a positive attitude is contagious. My new pace was good, so I tried to keep it up and ran a 6:32 fourth mile. At this point I'm over half way done. The next two miles were slow (6:38 and 6:46).

But even though I'm slowing down, I'm mowing down the competition. During this leg I passed around ten people and I wasn't passed. I pushed through the final stretch and handed it off to Jeb.

I'll write more later because my battery is low.

HTC Leg 21

I was without a cell phone signal so I couldn't post real time results until now.

4.98 miles, 31:57, 6:25 pace.

I passed six or eight others and didn't get passed. This run was on large chunks of gravel which wrecked my feet. I saved my pace so I would be ok for my third leg.

It was a rough night, only about an hour of sleep on the bench seat of a van, but that's what these things are all about, right? It was chilly, but perfect running weather. Very un-Houston like.

The body is holding up well but the calves (left one in particular) are very sore. Thank goodness I brought the massage stick . . . but you should have seen the look on the faces of the people running the x-ray machine at airport security.

Hood to Coast, Leg 9

I didn't have a chance to write a Hood to Coast intro thanks to a grossly delayed flight from Houston to Portland, but I'll catch you up later.

Leg 9 - 6.87 miles, 44:03, 6:25 pace, avg HR 165?

I felt strong, but I made a mental mistake and thought I was running 5.87 instead of 6.87, so the last mile was challenging. I passed about 5 or 6 people, but four people whizzed by me at about a 6:00 pace. I hung with them for a quarter mile, but realized I'd pay for it later if I kept that pace. This leg was a great leg--mostly flat along an old railroad track. The first half was gravel, but the second half was on blacktop and it was faster. I ran this in the dark with my head lamp.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Cerebral Run

AM: 4.03 miles, 33:47, 8:23 pace, Max HR = 139, Avg HR = 125, 20% Z3, 71% Z2
PM: 8.08 miles, 1:09:46, 8:38 pace, no HR info

I had a lot of random thoughts as I ran this morning and this evening.

I really enjoy living inside of a major city. My running path allows me to gaze on the Houston skyline as I run around a little league baseball field. I see wild flowers and a large red sculpture every time I run through Stude and White Oak park. Unfortunately I also see graffiti and trash. The tropical storm that recently passed through Houston caused the banks of White Oak Bayou to overflow, depositing thousands of plastic bottles and other floating trash in my park. Punks periodically decide to tag trash cans, concrete and even the sculpture I mentioned above with their names. "Noob" has done some damage recently, and "Vein" is the latest offender with fresh marks I saw for the first time this morning.

But the story is more positive than negative. The first thing I noticed about the park during my evening run was that the trash was picked up today. The city and volunteers do a great job taking care of our park. Trash and graffiti have a short life span around here. Unfortunately energy must be wasted in the clean up effort that would be better spent in other areas.

My evening run was more about reflection. I ran with an iPod, which I seldom do, and threw together a playlist on the fly. Alphaville's "Forever Young" took me back to high school. If you have a moment, listen to the song. It remains one of my favorite songs of all time.

I was a typical teenager, which is to say that I struggled with confidence and self-image. I lived a life of unnecessary stress about money, the future, am I good enough, who am I, etc. High school was tough, but it was good to me. It certainly wasn't "the best time of my life" -- I have to say right now is that time for me. But high school was a tremendous growth opportunity and it really launched me toward the person I am today.

I feel bad about not keeping in touch with my classmates. I missed my ten year reunion because I was on my honeymoon, and my 15 because it was just a picnic for locals (Norcross, GA). I had the typical superficial friends, but I also had some friends that I cared deeply about and miss to this day. The song I mentioned above reminds me of my good friends Rana and Alison. We bonded over a summer at GHP and kept in close touch until we graduated and went our separate ways. I miss those two.

I believe that we have an unlimited capacity to love. It takes tremendous effort to get to the point where you love a person, but once that's achieved it is never lost. Having that bond with one person does not preclude establishing another relationship. It's not like a glass that can only hold 16 ounces before overflowing. It's like a beam of light projected into space. The source can always get brighter and the energy created by the light is never lost -- it just spreads out.

Anyway, that's my amateur philosophy (C- grade, to stick with the high school theme) that went through my head today. Oh, and also I saw a guy that looked like Jerry Stiller.

The body felt a bit rough today, thanks to a race and a few extra miles on Saturday, plus an aggressive 6M stretch during an 18 mile run on Sunday. I cut it short in the morning (4 instead of a planned 6), but made up the difference in the evening because I felt better than expected. Last 7 days = 61.47 miles.

Forever Young by Alphaville

Sunday, August 10, 2008

18M Tornado Long Run

18.31M, 2:24:50, 7:54 pace, Max HR = 162, Avg HR = 126.

After watching the Olympics until 11:00PM, I woke up at 4:30 and got to the park by 5:00AM to run a bit with Jack, Stacey and Laurie before the Tornados kicked it off at 6:30.

6M with Jack/Stacey/Laurie at 8:41
1M warm up with Tornados at 8:15
6M with Sim at 7:13 pace (felt my fatigue from yesterday, but HR was ok)
5M back to the park at 7:56 pace

This wasn't as hard as I expected it to be, and I didn't even take my typical nap after the workout.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer 5K

.71M Warm Up, 5K, 19:19, 6:13 pace, Max HR = 181, Avg HR = 164 (86%)
Later that morning: 6.17 miles, 48:50, 7:54 pace, Max HR = 158, Avg HR = 143

I had a fun time at today's Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer 5K. This race was a last minute addition to my calendar thanks to an unused race entry from Dynegy. A quick look at the starting line confirmed my suspicion that I wouldn't be in the running for any significant placing, so I took this at a bit slower than all-out. The idea was that this would replace my missed tempo run on Thursday.

Mile 1 - about 6:07. I'm feeling pretty good here, taking it in stride, and I was shocked to see the mile marker come up so quickly.
Mile 2 - about 6:13. I don't really notice that I'm slowing down, although I'm fatiguing a bit. I heard footsteps at my left since about the half mile mark, and since they're not passing me, I'm assuming they're pacing off of me. It was during this mile that we did a 180 degree turnaround. I passed about three people with a quick turn.
Mile 3 - about 6:15. It's a bit disappointing that I slowed down so much, but I wasn't in the race to go all out so I guess I'm giving myself an out. Everyone else is slowing down and I passed a few people during this stretch. It's 79 degrees with 85% humidity and we're running on the concrete of Memorial Parkway, so fatigue was spread out across the course. The footsteps I heard over the last half of the race are now gone, so I must've dropped them. It turns out they were my buddy and fellow Tornado, Justo (who goes by "Chino").
Finish - I don't have anyone in striking distance in front of me or behind me, so I only mildly cruise it in. As I would have expected, I felt fine at the end (big change from my last two 5K races). This race was over quickly, which is a similar feeling to when I ran the July 4 race this year.

I didn't expect to place, but I was shocked to see myself listed as second in the 30-34 age group preliminary results. I was pushed to third when they re-printed the results and changed to ten year age groups (30-39), but excited to pick up an award. Unfortunately they didn't call my name -- I think they had some scoring kinks with the new disposable chips, and had to manually add a few people who came in ahead of me. Overall I was somewhere in 16-30th place out of more than 400, but I'm not sure because the official results haven't been posted yet. I did win an Astros coffee mug as a door prize. It was on par with the winners' prizes, which is to say this race had some pretty embarrassing "hardware". I felt bad for the age group winners who walked away with a wristband good for free admission to the Aquarium.

Congratulations to Stacey Almond who crushed her PR, and Cody (another Tornado teammate) who finished second overall with about a 16:52. Jackie, a nice girl that I see in the park who started running in March, ran her first 5K and she's ready for more. Leno, the Tornado head coach, has been working on signing her to the Tornados and I hope he's successful.

After I got home I ran my 6 mile neighborhood route since I usually try to get at least ten miles on Saturdays. It was, of course, even hotter, but I took it easy enough that it didn't bother me too much. I ran with sunglasses, which I've only done a couple of times before, but it makes all the difference in the world toward preventing misery. Sometimes I don't know if it's the heat or just the sun that kills me.

Last 7 days = 55.29 miles, 7:15:50, 7:53 pace average
next week goal = 70 miles and then a down week to get ready for the Hood to Coast relay.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Aborted Threshold Attempt

2.09 M Warm Up @ 9:19, 3.81M, 32:14, 8:27 pace

I tried to get my Thursday threshold workout over in the morning in anticipation that I'd have to work late and miss the Tornado run. After a difficult warm up, I pulled up lame after a half mile into the threshold attempt. My leg felt funny/numb for a second. It went away after a second, but I wasn't going to risk it and I was going to run another half mile back to my car. But I ran into Stephanie, Laurie and Randy, so I did an easy loop with them. The leg thing came and went, but I'm pretty sure I need to start doing some back exercises again.

While running today I saw Diana Hurst. She's been doing some fantastic things with her running lately in preparation for The California International Marathon. She has an iron will, and a work ethic that puts me to shame. Already a sub 3 hour marathoner (2:58?), Diana has been working incredibly hard on a program designed by Jack McClintic. The CIM is one of the fastest marathons in the country, so I expect the combination of her training and the course will yield an outstanding result for her.

I really want to start doing a better job on my threshold runs, perhaps substituting my Tuesday speed work for a threshold run to get two per week. Seeing Diana out there reminded me that she runs her thresholds on Thursday mornings. Maybe I can gauge her interest in letting me tag along, since it's usually difficult for me to run with the Tornados at 6PM. Maybe some of her determination would rub off on me.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I Knew This Would Happen

6.03M, 51:01, 8:27, Max HR = 141, Avg HR = 127

After six straight weeks of following my training plan almost perfectly, things fell apart today thanks to a long work day. I didn't get a chance to run my evening run, and it's not looking good for me to run tomorrow evening either. I knew as soon as I "published" my training plan, it would fall apart.

That being said, it's a good time to run a few less miles than I planned because I'm starting to feel tired and uninspired. As I've commented before, I believe that running is far more cerebral than most people assume. The way I usually apply that knowledge is by saying "if the mind says you can do it, then you will succeed." But the flip side of that statement is "if the mind says you CAN'T do it, then you will fail." I don't want to say that I'm feeling like a failure, but I'm certainly ready for a breather to recharge my batteries.

Today I found out that my company has an unclaimed entry to a 5K race this weekend, so I'm considering a race this weekend as a threshold workout.

My run this morning was pretty slow, but that's probably to be expected since I started at 5:09 AM (I'm never fast in the morning) and I ran nine miles ten hours ago at a sub-7:45 pace.

9:21, 8:19, 8:32, 8:10, 8:20, 8:06

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tropical Storm Edouard

9.10 miles, 1:10:13, 7:43 pace, Max HR = 146, Avg HR = 134

Tropical Storm Edouard fizzled and the only impact to me was a work day from home and a spongy run around Memorial Park in lieu of Tornado speed work. Yes, I said "spongy" because the Memorial Park crushed granite surface feels like running on a sponge when it's wet. Today's run was an ideal situation because of the surface and because of the reprieve from the scorching temperatures we've been experiencing lately -- which is why I was surprised to only see one other Tornado show up to our scheduled speed workout. Paco and I skipped the 6x400 that Leno planned for us in lieu of some easy miles. He's been pounding out the miles lately, and picked up a lap before I even showed up. (About halfway through the run we did see Chino.)

I'm not certain it's in my best interest to run true "speed" work at this stage of my training. The wear and tear on the body probably isn't worth the extra speed I'll gain since I'm 166 days away from the Houston Marathon. And if I do speed work, I'd prefer to do repeats of 800 meters or longer. I'll reevaluate that in the fall.

So it was a good run. My heart rate stayed relatively low, averaging 70% of my max. I'm beginning to think that it's in the realm of possibility that I will break three hours at the marathon since I am finding it relatively easy to do the same workouts as others who consistently break three. The two things I feel as though I need to work up to are 5M tempo runs at about 6:15 pace, and 20M long runs. Easier said than done since my best tempo runs are just below 6:40 and 15 miles at a fair pace makes me pretty tired.

Last 7 days = 69.57 miles

Mile Splits today:
7:51, 7:41, 7:48, 7:50, 7:50, 7:46, 7:39, 7:31, 7:46

Monday, August 4, 2008

Twelve Mile Monday

AM: 6.16M, 49:39, 8:03 pace, Max HR = 142, Avg HR = 128
PM: 6.05M, 49:59, 8:00 pace, Max HR = 145, Avg HR = 131

The morning run was relatively easy, thanks to a good night's sleep. Even so, the first mile of my runs have been difficult. Piling up the mileage isn't resulting in any injuries, but it does take me a longer to warm up and hit my groove. In a typical fashion, my first half mile was run at a 9:36 pace.

I joined Shon at Memorial park for my afternoon run. It was hot -- I think the radio said the heat index was 101 after I finished. We stopped for water twice, but this was an ideal day for a camel back. Although my cardio was in fair shape, my legs were tired most of the way. But when I finished I felt as though I could have done another lap without any problems. Fatigue is becoming my friend . . . I just wish we weren't on a first name basis.

I'm going to discontinue my "This day last year (TDLY)" segment because I don't think it's work the extra effort it takes to collect the data.

July Totals

A little more than a month ago I put together a training schedule for the Houston Marathon. Each day is mapped out until the marathon on January 18, 2009. It's flexible from a long term perspective, but I'm relatively true to the schedule during the current week and month.

So far:
Weeks until marathon, week beginning, weekly mileage, total time, average pace
30, 6/22/08, 56.60, 7:47:26, 8:16
29, 6/29/08, 58.15, 7:40:46, 7:55
28, 7/6/08, 60.36, 7:45:01, 7:42
27, 7/13/08, 54.82, 7:30:07, 8:13
26, 7/20/08, 68.79, 9:25:12, 8:13
25, 7/27/08, 59.42, 8:13:11, 8:18

My goal is to work up to several 70 mile weeks prior to the marathon. I'm accomplishing this by adding several easy runs while keeping my speed work and threshold work relatively constant.

This week's schedule is a typical week:
Sunday 12M long @ 7-8
Monday AM 6M easy @ 8-9, PM 6M easy @ 8-9
Tuesday PM 3M speed work with 2 WU + 2 WD
Wednesday AM 6M easy @ 8-9, PM 6M easy @ 8-9
Thursday PM 5M Threshold @ 6:20-6:40 with 2 WU + 2 WD
Friday Rest
Saturday 16M long @ 8-9
Total: 68M

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Blog Break

I took a break from blogging, but not running. What follows are the boring specifics of the runs I completed in an attempt to catch up.

7/13/08 - 12.19M Long Run, 7:58 pace in the afternoon. The eat and dehydration destroyed me for several days, but it was nice to go back to the old stomping ground and run Hermann Park, Rice, and West-U along the marathon route.
7/14/08 - 4.03M at 8:30 pace in the afternoon.
7/15/08 - #%&@^! Rest. I missed my Tornado Speed Workout because of work.
7/16/08 - 6.04 miles at Memorial Park with Jeff Eisle, 7:55 pace.
7/17/08 - 2.05 Warm Up, 4.01 M Threshold at 6:39, 11% Z5, 72% Z4, Avg HR = 163, Max HR = 162, 3.00 Warm Down
7/18/08 - 7.14M Easy AM Run through Heights, Avg HR = 122
7/19/08 - 16.38M with Steph, 8:35 pace
7/20/08 - 14.10 M Tornado Long Run including some trails at the beginning, Avg HR = 132, Max HR = 157, 4% Z4, 60% Z3
7/21/08 - 6.00 M AM neighborhood with negative splits, 7:50 pace. 6.01 M PM neighborhood, 7:56 pace
7/22/08 - 2.04 Warm Up, .51M in 3:00, .51 in 3:00, .51 in 3:01, .51 in 3:01, .51 in 3:01, .52 in 3:02, 2.06 Warn Down
7/23/08 - 4.04 AM easy at 7:58 pace, 4.90 Striders Trail Run PM at 9:36 pace. Drank beer with the Striders President afterwards. Thanks to Ted for the invite!
7/24/08 - 2.05 M Warm Up, 5.01 M tempo at 6:38, Avg HR = 162, Avg HR = 173, 4% Z5, 81% Z4, 2.23 Warm Down. Luis Armenteros joined us for this on. He is a machine.
7/25/08 - Rest!!
7/26/08 - 16.55M with Stacey at Katy Fit, 8:26 pace
7/27/08 - 10.62M Tornado Long Run, 7:35 pace, Avg HR = 139, Max HR = 159, 33% Z4, 34% Z3, 31% Z2
7/28/08 - 6.06 Afternoon neighborhood run with Julie riding bike, 8:23 pace
7/29/08 - 1.13M warm up, 1.01M in 6:00, 1.01 M in 6:00, .99M in 6:01, 2.07 warm down
7/30/08 - 5M Will's Hills reprise with Erin. She took it to me on a day I was hoping to relax!
7/31/08 - 2.05 M warm up, 4.01 M threshold, 6:51 pace, Avg HR = 161, Max HR = 170, 2.91 M warm down. Jen Brown took it to me on this one. I tried to help her keep her 6:45 pace, but after an ambitious first mile our pace faded, and she pulled away from me with about 800 meters left.
8/1/08 - 9/80 day off and a rest day. I took a 6.24 M easy bike ride.
8/2/08 - 16.23 with Steph's group, Max HR = 137, Avg HR = 117, 8:52 pace. I organized this route and we planned 20 through Heights, but our group kinda fell apart this day and we ended up walking back a few.
8/3/08 - 12.03 Tornado Run, 7:29 pace, Max HR = 155, Avg HR = 139, 8% Z4, 73% Z3. Great run for tired legs -- heart rate stayed low, thanks in part to cloud cover.