Monday, September 29, 2008

Quick Update

Frankly I'm shocked, but apparently there is a small minority of people who read this blog and are curious why I haven't posted anything in a while.

Hurricane Ike didn't cause any trouble for me with the exception that I'm without Internet access. I usually blog from home, but I've been known to post an item or two from work. But, horror of horrors, work has been too busy for me to post.

Couple that with the fact that the further behind I get, the more intense the effort becomes to "catch up".

I'll make my running update quick for now, and try to fill in the blanks at some other time:

* I went to Portland (along with Julie) and had a blast. It was a running, biking and hiking vacation for me, which was nice. I came back to Houston wondering what Ike did to my home, and I walked into an untouched house with power. As I mentioned, the only inconvenience I had (and continue to have) was no Internet.

* My company had people work from home for a week while downtown was cleared of debris. Having no Internet essentially transformed my week into a vacation. Having this break on the heels of a running vacation in Portland made me think I was a professional runner. It gave me time to run when I wanted to run, and how much I wanted to run. During one week I logged 80 miles and wished I ran more.

* I went back to work with an overfull slate of tasks, and I've been sleeping in on mornings. In other words, the last week has been woeful for me in terms of training. I'm hoping to rectify that starting tonight with a good run.

* I promise that I'll give some more color to all of those points. But for the time being, thanks for reading and I hope you're doing well.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Week in Review

Once again I've allowed myself to get behind in blogging, and once again I'll bore you with a summary of my runs over the past week.

8/31/08 - 17.8 miles, 2:18:17, 7:46 pace. I showed up to the park for my Sunday long run with the Tornados, and I noticed that the Nike Human Race is taking place today. It's a 10K race, run in cities around the world. I'm not into the whole marketing thing, but I did get a free shirt out of it and a chance to run with my friend Cory. I took a long break after the 10K and ran almost 12 afterwards. I'm not going to lie -- it was tough and I wanted to quit a few times. Daniel joined me -- I met him about a month ago when he joined us for a Tornado long run. He's a good runner and a nice guy -- hopefully he'll continue to run with us and join the Tornados.

9/1/08 - Will's Hills Warm Up. Will's Hills Relays. Category 2 Hurricane Gustav made landfall on Labor Day, sparing New Orleans but ripping up Baton Rouge unlike any storm in history. Thankfully my family and friends are all ok, but without power. After a long hiatus I ran with Will's Hills today. Holiday runs are always festive with that group, and I've been missing running with them. It's always a challenging workout, although I entered the workout with the attitude that I would take it easy. We ran two man relays of appx 200M each, and of course I ran them too fast. I didn't want to let my partner, Phil, down, and I floored it. Pablo and I blistered the last 200 of the first set and had a nail biter finish. I ran that one at a 4:05 pace. I just looked that lap up and it surprised me -- that was in the twilight, on grass, with my Vibram Five Fingers, and it was my tenth one with 45 seconds of rest between. The shoes were a hit, by the way, but the most curious feedback I got was from a girl that told me I had a lot of confidence to wear those. I'm not sure what that means, but she said it with a smile.

9/2/08 - 8.01M Morning run, 1:03:32, 7:55 pace. Tornado PM Speed Work (400s). We usually run speed work for time instead of distance so everyone starts and stops at the same time. So my 1:30 runs (with 2MR) were run at paces of: 5:21, 5:34, 5:49, 5:33, 5:18, 5:17. It was tough to run 200s yesterday, 8M this morning below a 8 minute pace, and then 400s today in 93 degree weather. But who said speed work was supposed to be "easy"!?

9/3/08 - 5.16M Morning Heights Run, 44:03, 8:32 pace. I've been avoiding running along White Oak Bayou since I inhaled more than my fair share of swarms of white bugs. I've never been real excited about running the Heights Boulevard trail, but I've warmed up to it lately. I'm doing my best to run all of my scheduled runs this week, and this one was difficult given my soreness from the last couple of days. 5.04 After-work Run to PIM Happy Hour, 41:01, 8:07 pace. The happy hour was great -- The owners of Anita's Bar and Grille are PIMsters, and I enjoyed talking to them. The downer of this run was that my left knee acted up as a result of too much speed work over the past couple of days.

9/4/08 - I rested my knee and my body, and Julie and I went to Discovery Green downtown to watch the Iguanas. They're based out of New Orleans, and the show had a strong Tejano influence. It was a good time, particularly since the weather has recently changed to a (dare I say it?) Autumn-esque feeling. Since I didn't run today I had to run my threshold on Friday morning -- alone. I slept uneasily on this day, wondering how my knee and my psyche will hold up.

9/5/08 - 9.23 as 3M Warm Up, 3M Threshold, 3M Warm Down, 1:18:15. 6:39, 6:53, 6:48. These are about 20 seconds slower than I should run, and 30 seconds slower than I want to run. But I'm giving myself a break since I've beat myself into the ground this week and I have 18M to run tomorrow.

9/6/08 - 18.08M, 2:28:53, 8:13 pace, Max HR = 149, Avg HR = 133, 36% Zone 3, 64% Z2, 78 degrees, 59% humidity. I was happy with this run, despite the fact that I started to experience some cardiac drift at about mile 13. Prior to that my heart rate was at about 128 the whole run. After mile 13 my heart rate rose even though my pace was flat to slightly faster. I suspect it was a combination of fatigue, the rising temperature, and dehydration. Running 18M by myself at a respectable pace was a confidence builder.

Last Week = 73.44M, 10:02:45, 8:12 pace
August = 249.73M, 33:12:55, 7:59 pace, avg 8.06M per day (64 minutes 19 seconds per day)

The Houston Marathon is 19 weeks away, and I'm happy with my training to date, but it's time to get busy. I've been hitting the core exercises after almost run. 20 push ups were difficult at first but now I can do three sets of 25 without much of a struggle. After a six month break from core, I'm pretty weak in the upper body but hopefully I'll show some rapid improvement.