Saturday, February 26, 2011

Runnin' in the Redwoods

There it is. Eight miles. sigh, it seems like only last Monday, I was just doing seven miles...

Oh, I guess it was just last Monday! Ha! Well, my goal for this run was, other than finishing, to enjoy the beauty that surrounded me. I really missed the huge trees and was grateful to be able to see them again in all their glory.

But why should I keep them to myself?? Here's what you missed:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Runnin' in the Rain

I am in Eureka, Ca, and this run was done on the Hammond Trail in Arcata. I'm pretty pleased with my progress over last week, although my enthusiasm is tempered by the fact that I ran one less mile in my warm up. Yeah, as with the fartleks the other day, I'm going to go with the explanation that makes me feel the best and...

I'm faster!

Also want to give a shout out to Mike at the Jogg'n Shop in Arcata. I picked up a new pair of running shoes, and my poor next to littlest toes don't hurt any more! Yay on me. He also gave me a nice discount on the shoes, a pair of shorts, and a short sleeve top. So, if you're in Arcata and need some gear, see Mike!

Saturday, I get to run through the Redwoods! Google "Ave of the Giants" and you can see where I'll be! 8 miles, baby!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Top speed: 11.5 mph.
Top sustained speed (30 seconds): 10.5 mph.
Last [~mile] pace: 9:44

I improved in all three categories over my Friday's times. Now, I did run one less mile at the start, so that could definitely account for my speedier fartleks. But, I'm just going to go with the "I R STRONGGGERER!!" explanation. It's just easier...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Adding Distance

I'll be adding longer and longer runs, so the fact that this is the longest run that I've ever been on won't stick around for too long. In fact, this Sat is supposed to be an eight miler.

It was nice to set the speed and kinda check out; I really wanted to do those last two miles at a 10 min pace, but just couldn't keep up.

My coach has laid out a schedule all the way up to my race in May; now I just have to stick to it!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


This was supposed to be a 7 mile run, but I cut it short. I blame the Fartleks from yesterday...and working out last night...

I did console myself with the fact that most running advice tends toward the add no more than 10% per week to your mileage total, and my mileage for the week is 20.2, which is roughly 20% more than two weeks ago (last week didn't count due to the race.)

The downside is that I've yet to run longer than a 10K; that will be remedied on Monday as I finally get in that seven miler.

Friday, February 18, 2011

And I thought Intervals were bad...

Now I know my father-in-law is trying to kill me! Fartleks...much worse than intervals, in my opinion. Yes, it's great to run all out, but the 5th, 6th, 10th time you do it...not so fun.

This workout was two miles of warm up followed by 10, yes that's T-E-N(!!!), Fartleks of all out running for 30 seconds followed by a 2:00 minute recovery. I then ran the remaining .78 miles back to the house.

And then I cried like a little baby. Ok, maybe I didn't cry, but I did make a big racket with my groaning and coughing.

Now, you could do the math and figure out my top sustained speed for one of those fartleks, but then I couldn't brag about it.

10.1 mph! That's a 5:56 min/mile pace! Of course, I only held it for 30 seconds, but still I'm quite pleased with myself.

The weather was absolutely GORGEOUS (to quote my late Nana); 60 degrees, sunny, a little wind, but not too bad. Shorts and a tee-shirt were the order of the day, and I wore a baseball hat for the first time on a run. I don't wear many hats, but I like the fact that all that sweat that usually comes down into my eyes got soaked up into the brim of the hat.

Yeah, I know, you could have done without that last visual...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Interval Work - not for the faint hearted...

Ok, what you're looking at is my quarter mile interval training. The fast quarters were done at race pace (8:30-9:00) and the recovery quarters were done at my warmup/cooldown pace (9:30 - 10:30.)

My coach told me after the run that I ran a little fast for the recovery part; good to know for next time, I suppose. This time, however, I was wondering if he was trying to kill me...

BUT, here's the deal, I completed the workout, so I suppose it wasn't as bad as I make it out to be. I did want to quit after the last recovery and say to heck with the cooldown mile, but I had a premonition that I might do that, so I deliberately made sure I ended my last quarter mile recovery in the middle of my 2 mile route. So, I had to get back to my house anyways, and I might as well run it.

That last mile helped me get tougher mentally as well as physically. Oomph!

EDIT: Oh, forgot to mention - shorts, short sleeve t-shirt. 60 something degrees. Oh...Yeah!

An Ambitious Plan

This week, my coach (and father-in-law for those just tuning in) has planned the toughest week of running that I've done to date.

The 10K on Monday wasn't a real struggle, but it wasn't a cake walk either. I didn't feel too bad yesterday from the strain, and today, I don't really feel any soreness or stiffness. Yay on me.

Today, I'll be doing 5 miles:

2 miles at a comfortable pace (10 min/mile or so)

2 miles - 8 X 1/4 mile intervals alternating between race pace (8:30 - 9:00 min/mile) and recovery pace (10 min/mile.)

1 mile at a comfortable pace (10 min/mile or so)

I've set up the workout in my Garmin 305; today will be the first time that I've attempted to use the workout trainer, so I hope I don't screw it up.

On Friday, I'll be doing the same thing for a warmup and cooldown, and I'll replace the quarter mile intervals with 30 second Fartleks, which are run faster than race pace. For me that means trying to run no slower than a 8:30 min/mile pace. I've set a 2 minute recovery period at an 11:00 - 12:00 min/mile pace; hopefully that will be slow enough to get my breath back before the next cycle.

Finally, on Saturday, I'll be cranking out my longest run ever: 7 miles! I plan on keeping between a 10:00 and 11:00 min/mile pace, but I'll feel free to adjust if I'm struggling from the previous workouts.

Oh, yeah, and add to that whole mess, Friday, we are supposed to be doing legs & abs for our strength training...uh, that might get changed to back, bi's, & abs.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Another 10K PR

I set my pace alarms for 10:30 and 9:30 and hoped I would run 10 min/miles. I guess I was pretty successful! I tried to pick it up the last mile and picked it up a bit more for the last 2/10ths.

In slightly less than three weeks, I have my 10K race, and I would love to get this time below 1 hour. I'll be doing speed work Wed and Fri, so that should help out. I'm also trying to drink my protein shake after running to replenish my widdle wegs.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Official Results

Here's a link to the official results of today's 5K; my bib number was 1243. For those of you who want the TL:DR (too long: didn't read):

Age group (40-44): 43/87
Gender (male, uh duh!): 321/654
Overall: 405/1384

So, top half for my age group and gender and top quarter overall. Of course, the walkers are helping me out a lot in my place overall.

The Honeymoon Continues

I'm sure every runner can relate to the honeymoon period of beginning running: Every race is a PR; every new distance is a world record for me; every training run is just a bit faster.

Well, I'm not sure when my honeymoon period will end, and I'm glad to still be improving. This race, I wore two different tops (my blue under armor and my blue "Running all the way to May" shirt) than the last couple of races. I also wore my running tights, which I think I wore for my Jingle Bell in Dec. And finally, I wore my Chili Pepper socks, which I've worn for all of my races (they're the seeeeeecret....)

During this race, I found out my max heart rate is not 180 (or the 177 that most calculators come up with), but it's 187, which by the calculators, is the max heart rate for a 33 year old. I'm not sure what that means for me, but I'm taking it that heartbeat-wise, I'm 10 years younger, so I should just probably start telling people that I'm 33.

Oh, wait a minute, that means I'll be competing in the younger age bracket; dang it. Another plan foiled...

Aaaaanyways, I'm pretty stoked about my progress. My next race is a 10K on Mar 5th, then a 15K on Apr 9th, another 5K on Apr 16th, and the 500 Festival Mini Marathon on May 6th.

Now if only the weather would let up and I could run outside for the remainder of my training, I'd be a happy camper.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I didn't get in my intended 3 miler yesterday as my after work appt went longer than I expected. Add to that, small group that evening, throwing dinner together, oh, and a windy, chilly 18 degrees outside AND I didn't bring my running stuff to work so I could hit the treadmill.

There you go, pick which ever excuse you like best and run with it. The upside is that for my race on Saturday, I'll have 4 days of rest, so I'll have no excuse for slacking during the race. The weather is supposed to be in the 30's; I'm looking forward to some warmth!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Another PR for 4 miles

Set the treadmill at 6.5 mph and tried to keep up. The first two miles weren't too bad, but the third mile was difficult and the fourth mile was very challenging. It took great restraint to NOT hit the down speed button!

I have three miles to do on Wed at an easy pace (10:00/mile or so), and then, a 5K race on Saturday! I'm hoping to hit a PR, of course, which would be anything under 27:42.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Blah blah blah treadmill blah blah blah

Set the speed for 6 mph and checked out for 30 mins. I've changed my runs for next week to a 4 and a 3 mile distance on the advice of my coach. Yeah, I said it, on the advice of my coach. I'm being schooled!

Speaking of my coach, Michael finally got to get out and run 3 miles today. He's been sidelined with an eye issue since early January. He clocked a 26 minute 5K...yeah, he takes a month off and still blows me away with his speed.

Of course, I'll still have the turkey trot that we did in Ocala - my last 1/10th time was faster than his. Now I get to add to that the fact that I ran more miles than him for the month of January, and he's in Florida!

I'm gaining...a little at a time...but I'm gaining. In about 20 years, I should be able to pull even with him; I'll be 63 and he'll be 84. I could get there faster if I could convince his wife to smack him around a bit with the baseball bat...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Another Treadmill run...sigh

Last night, we did legs & abs on our strength training, so today, I decided to do a recovery run. I'm not really sure how everyone else defines a recovery run, but I thought that if I started slow and then picked it up each mile, it would qualify.

The nice thing about treadmills is that you can set a pace and keep it (or fall off the back, smash your head into the tread, and get some nice skid marks down the middle of your face...I'll keep up, thank you very much.) The not so nice thing about treadmills, or at least the ones at the gym, is one sets the pace in mph. I would much rather input min/mile; at least once the pace is set in, the screen does eventually scroll min/mile as one of the pieces of information.

So, after doing some mental math, I set the treadmill for 5 mph for the first mile (12 min/mile), 5.5 mph for the second mile (10:54 min/mile), 6.0 mph for the third mile (10:00 min/mile), and finally, 6.5 mph for the last mile (9:13 min/mile.)

To tell the truth, this was a fairly easy run for me. The slow start allowed me to work out the kinks and soreness from last night, and by the time I hit the 4th mile, I was loosened up, in the zone, and comfortable.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a three miler, but if the weather is nice, I might do more as my one mile loop is still socked in with ice, it leaves my two mile loop open, which would dictate a 2 or 4 mile run. Or, just run .75 in one direction and turn around. Hey, that sounds like an excellent idea!

My brain...sometimes it werkz!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

0 for 3

The gym was open...

I did go to work...

And I didn't die...

Therefore, I ran...on the the gym. On the bright side (not dying is always on the bright side!), I believe that this is the fastest that I've ever run 4 miles. I had the elevation set at 1.0 so that I had to actually keep fairly good running form for the duration.

On the dark side (You do not know the power of the dark side....hissssss....heesssssss....), it looks like I'll have to run my 4 miler on Friday indoors as well. The temp is supposed to drop and the streets are covered with a pretty thick layer of ice.

I'm hoping that for my short run on Saturday, I can run it outside. Hope hope hope.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


...looks like the weather people got it right this time. The Ice Storm cameth, the Sleet Storm is happenin' right now, and the Snow Storm is on deck.

Yeah, I'll be hittin' up the treadmill tomorrow after work, if the gym is open, that is...and I go to work, that is...and we all HAVEN'T DIED!!!! STORM OF THE CENTURY!!!!!1!!ELEVENTYONE!!1

Or something like that...