Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Revisionist History

Ok, so I had my formulas all screwed up in my spreadsheet; I've corrected them, and the truth is that my stellar progress is not as stellar. It's still pretty good, though.

My timed mile from this past Saturday was 8.9 minutes (8:54) not the rosy 8.26 (8:15). My other times were off a bit as well due to mistakenly thinking that I was including seconds when I was not.

FYI, to convert hh:mm:ss time into minutes, the Excel formula is

(HOUR(AD4)*60) + MINUTE(AD4) + (SECOND(AD4)/60) where AD4 is the cell with the time in it.

I was just using the MINUTE(AD4) function, and while I am not running hours yet, I could see problems cropping when I was mapping out my schedule for next year. So, hopefully, I have all the bugs worked out of my spreadsheet and can stop lying to you all!


I didn't expect to chop more than 3 minutes off my time! I was shooting for a 33:00, and just ran what was comfortable. Ok, well, it wasn't really comfortable, and I knew I was pushing it a bit...

Eventually, I know I'll stop hitting Personal Records (PR) every run, but for now, it's nice to see the improvement not to mention the motivation it provides.

My F-I-L has recommended that I continue my speed work (timed mile + fartleks) on Saturday, so I'll be doing that this Saturday as well as the next.

Just a program note, I've stopped counting my walking mileage, so the MPH, Min/Mile, and MPM are all based on my running time and Run Miles.

And finally, anyone have tips regarding Excel and time formatting? I've tried formatting my time cells with Hour:Minute:Second, but for some reason, the program likes throwing AM on there and treating it like a time of day instead of just a time. Once I go over an hour in a run, I'll have some serious issues with my formulas and calculations. Any insight that you all can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, September 27, 2010

3 miles

I mapped out my actual run distance, and it turned out to be 3.02 miles. I believe that it is the longest distance that I have ever run in one effort.

I'll be running this distance for my other two endurance runs this week on Wed and Fri. I'm still not quite sure what I'll do on Saturday. I'm torn between the workout that I did this past Saturday and running two miles as fast as I can. I really do need to get an idea of how to regulate my running on longer distances, so I'm leaning toward the two mile run.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I didn't die!!!

First, a couple of explanations.

The Run Min/Mile is just the first interval divided by the length (1.09 miles) to get my timed mile split. Yes, that is 8.26 (8:15 min:sec); am I a stud or what! /flex

All the walking really did in my total time, but I have to remember, today is not about total time, it's about spurts.

The "see below" comment is meant to account for all of the fartlek intervals. I didn't time a last walk for the 5th interval as I was at my cool down point.

I ended up watching my timer to see when my thirty seconds was up. My father-in-law suggested that 45 left foot strikes = 30 seconds and that I could just count foot strikes; I did that, and I consistently came up with 48-49 strides/30 seconds. I'm not quite sure why that is; it could be due to shortening up my stride in order to run faster or it might be due to the difference in our stride length (although I have a hard time thinking that I would run faster than him at any distance.)

Oh, and I couldn't count left foot strikes...I had to count right foot strikes. Weird, huh! I'm just uncoordinated I reckon.

The fartleks running actually felt great! I have not run all out in quite a number of years, and I was surprised how fast that 30 seconds seemed to go.

For the first time in my running, I took a water bottle with me (16 oz). I walked out to my mile loop, set the water down at a tree, ran my timed mile, and was happy to have water waiting for me.

Of course, I then carried the water through the next mile...doing my fartleks. About 1/2 hour after I got home, I did something and thought, "Wow, my left tricep is really sore." Oh, yeah, water bottle...ouch. I did try to alternate which hand I held it in, but when you don't do any workouts with your arms, the littlest things tend to make an impact.

My coach suggested getting up to 10 minute (or is that down to?) miles the week before my run (Oct 3-9), so if that is going to happen, I'll need to make sure to do speed work again next Saturday.

Friday, September 24, 2010


I definitely ran my second mile faster than my first one, although I don't have the split to show for it. I consciously pushed my pace on the second mile and thanks to reading my watch wrong, I ran harder to beat my Wed time.

My timer shows the total time in large numbers and the lap time in small numbers. Well, during my second mile, I kept glancing at my watch's large numbers and saw them approaching my target time. When I was finished, I thought I had bettered my time by 13 seconds; on closer inspection, I was very encouraged to see it was 1 minute, 13 seconds. Yay on me!!

Tomorrow is the grueling workout, and I believe I'll hit the same mileage that I did today on Monday just to take it easy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Moar Miles!!!

.22 more miles to be exact. I'll run the same distance on Friday then do my mile/fartleks workout on Saturday which will be a 2.62 mile distance.

I'm still planning on upping my mileage on Monday to 3.2 miles. Hopefully I won't have to get up too much earlier for it; I'm already getting up at 3:45 am in order to get in my current run.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Advice from an expert

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but my father-in-law is a serious runner. Marathoner, at that. To tell you how good he is, just last month he placed first in his age group in a marathon in Idaho with a time of 3:56:12. Not bad for a 60 something guy!

So, I have a very accessible coach and have started involving him in my workout plans as well as soliciting his advice. His latest email suggested that I might want to try out some fartleks. (That is not to be confused with fartlets, which as we all know are little farts.)

Right now, my only flexible day is Saturday as far as varying my run, and I'd really like to see how much faster I can run my one mile. On the other hand, I know that eventually, I'll have to try to run two and then three miles at somewhat of a race pace and that a one mile time isn't that relevant to my current goal.

It's funny: I usually am self motivated and don't need to see incremental successes to keep on task, but in this case, I'm a bit obsessive about seeing my one mile time drop even though I'm not doing anything special to do so and have no real reason to do so.

My time would be better spent doing the fartleks (30 seconds all out running, walking until recovered, and repeating for 5 or 6 times) or just working on my endurance with a longer run.

But we all know that I don't do what's best for me or even logical, so, I do believe that on my Saturday run I will:

Walk down to my mile loop.
Run my mile as fast as I can.
Continue into a second mile, walking until I've recovered from the first mile.
Do my fartleks for the rest of the second mile.
Walk back home from the loop.

I'll make sure to let you all know if I survive...

Monday, September 20, 2010


Yep, that run was 41 seconds slower than last Friday. I was trying to start working on the concept of making the last mile the fastest, so I started off pretty slow - too slow, probably. I did manage to pick it up for the second mile, so I guess I was successful.

Again, I ran about 2.2 miles straight, so I'm definitely getting more endurance. And, although I'd like to keep my total workout time around 30 minutes, I do believe I'll still step up the mileage to 2.85 miles on Wednesday.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Marked Improvement

Here's how my run this morning compares to the same course run on last Saturday; pretty impressive, eh? (if I do say so myself *breaks arm while patting himself on the back*)

The main focus of last Saturday's run and this Saturday's run is the timed mile (or in my case, the timed 1.09 mile.), so I'm not worried about the warm up/cool down walking time.

I started the run at a pretty good clip - one that I hadn't run at before. In fact, through all of this training, this is the first time that I've really felt like I was running, not just jogging.

At the end of the run, I was very winded - huffing, puffing, all that jazz. I was tempted several times during the run to walk for a bit and had to motivate myself to continue at the "break neck" pace that I started.

Here's my workout from Mapmyrun that includes my route.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Gettin' up to speed

~2.2 miles in one shot! And I wasn't out of breath at the end! Woot!!! I actually feel like I can call myself a runner...well, somewhat.

I was going to up my mileage on Monday, but instead, I believe I am going run the same distance and see if I can better my time from today. I'm also planning on running my timed mile tomorrow to work a bit on speed. I'd really like to get my time down before adding mileage so that I can keep my workout around the 30 minute mark.

Baby steps, baby steps!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More Progress

Yes, I'm planning on posting Friday's run along side these two just so you all can see my progress, or lack thereof.

The big difference in these two runs is that first run segment; I'm trying to stretch it out longer and longer until it encompasses the whole run. I'm thinking that I'll attempt to do so on Friday.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Here's what running looks like

Yes, it's slow. I'm ok with that because I'm really happy with the amount that I ran. I estimate that I ran about 1.3 miles on the first interval and about .75 miles on the second. I suppose I could map it out, but I'm just too lazy for that.

Other good news is that I ran the most minutes during this run of all the runs I've done to date. All in all, I'm confident that I'll be ready for my 5K on Oct 16th.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sept. 11th run

This was my attempt at running a mile without walking; the Run cell reflects 11:04, but instead of my intended mile, when I mapped out my actual run, it turned out to be 1.09 miles.

The Minutes/mile cell reflects the total mileage; for the mile I averaged 10.09 minutes/mile.

With this run, and on the advice from my coach (haha, my father-in-law the marathoner), I've decided to shelve the gradual increments in running and convert to just two or three intervals consisting of alternating walking and running.

I'll probably start out tomorrow with a brisk .22 mile walk to the 1.09 mile loop, run the mile, then walk until I've recovered, and attempt to run the remainder of the second measured mile. I'll then walk .22 miles back to my house. This should be a total of around 2.62 miles.

As I start to feel comfortable with this routine (hopefully on Wed or Fri), I'll try to stretch out the first running session beyond the initial measured mile.

I do plan on sticking with 2.62 miles for each of my runs this week and increasing to either 2.8 or 3.1 miles next week depending on my progress.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Ah, there we go. Progress!! Of course, I didn't want to go any further backwards, so I did push it a little, which is good. I might go on a mile run (no walking) tomorrow just to see if I can do it.

And for those of you who are worried about this turning into a running blog, I apologize for my lack of quality posts; work has been a bit busy as of late.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Going Backwards?

It sure looks like it. I'm decreasing the number of intervals, but my time is increasing. As with last week, I'll run the same interval and distance on Friday, so I'll have two runs to compare side by side.

On a positive note, I am walking less...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Moar mileage!

...means moar intervals. And apparently, more minutes/mile. 8~(

I'm going to stick with my plan for now: increase mileage on Mondays, increase running interval every other run, which means next Monday will be both...oh joy...

Friday, September 3, 2010


There it is; my week's worth of running. I didn't mean to do the extra .06 miles, but for some reason, I didn't feel like running back to the house to get the exact mileage, so I made it up during the route.

I was wondering why my time was actually slower than on Wed, but after getting to work, I went over to and plotted out what I did run. Voila! 2.06 miles. Yay on me...

I thought that I would be clock watching for the end of 3 minutes, but being mindful of that, I was determined to not do it, but rather, I ran and ran and ran until the chime said to stop. It turned out to not be the longest three minutes of my life either! Hmmm.....

I'm sticking with my plan to increase my mileage on Monday (here's my scheduled 2.3 mile run.)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


More revisionist history on Monday and last Friday - I actually timed my warm up walk, so I put in what I got for today on those other two days.

So.....what do you think of the quantum leap from Monday to today? Hmmmm??? "HOLY COW!!", is what I think, but that's just me. The only explanation that I can come up with is that I took Denali along but had to take her back to the house early in the run (Segments 1, 2, 3, 11, home). I then ran back to the start of segment 4 and resumed my normal run.

Without Denali, I could go at what ever pace I felt like going; on Monday, there were times that I felt like I was dragging her. Now, in her defense, she did go to doggy daycare on Tuesday, so she was pretty wiped out from that - it's not easy showing all those dogs who's boss, ya know...

Anyways, I added a new line to show my minutes per mile; I'm rapidly approaching that 10 minute/mile goal that I set the other day. Yay! Since I haven't reached that time yet, though, my goals remain the same.

1. Run 3 miles in one session
2. Average 10 minute miles (6 MPH) for any given session
3. Complete a 5K (3.1 mile) run under 30 minutes.

I will be upping my jogging/walking ratio to 3 minutes/30 seconds on Friday, and then upping my mileage by .2 miles on Monday. Ooooh! Monday is a holiday! YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

I'll still run, though.