Monday, September 25, 2006

I ran so hard I still hurt

What a lovely day. Sun was shining, birds were chirping and I was feeling frisky (in an athletic, run fast sort of way). I ran the same route as Friday and as I headed toward the first climb, I decided to run this one harder to see how much I could improve my time. Recall from the post below that I ran ~4.5 miles in a little over 38 minutes (ok - I didn't confess the time). Today I ran the same course in 34 minutes and I cruised mile #3. The average was 7:33 min/mile. For a hilly course, spur of the moment go-fast urge, and zero warm up, I am pleased with the time. The hardest part about running faster that usual is....running faster than usual. The human body dislikes pain and usually insists that one stop inflicting pain on ones self. Must be that preservation of self thing. A hilly course tends to bring out the pain especially after you top a hill and feel like your are going to exhale a lung. Then you have a tendency to rest/recover (which in running is very hard to do without stopping unlike my cycling brethren). So to push yourself on a hilly course you must be willing to endure more pain and not cruise to recover on the flat and downhill sections. In MHO, I would prefer to run/race a flat course where you push yourself to the brink of exhaustion and then hold it just below that critical threshold where your legs turn to jelly and you feel as if you are breathing fire. Running the hilly course has a tendency to push you over that threshold which hurts even more and recovery is more challenging for each additional hill. I believe this is why I have not been able to break 1:30 in the half marathon cause the only one I run is the Mercedes. Nothing like a challenge!

I am at home now, legs still aching a little and I sure would like to take a nap. Unfortunately, it is 5:30PM and I am a terrible napper. Once I go to sleep during daylight, I don't want to wake up and if I do, then I am as grumpy as a grizzly bear. Better to just stay half awake and hit the rack a little earlier than usual.

Off to do daddy duty AKA taxi driver.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Working and Trying to Run

Don't you hate it when work gets in the way of a beautiful day and the opportunity to run or ride? Yeah, me too. I did not run on Wednesday or Thursday. Can't remember why I did not run on Wed, but I am sure it was a fairly nice day and I did work all darn day. Thursday I just did not feel too hot, so I took another day off. I finally got in 4.5 miles on Friday running at work on an ~85 degree day with 80% humidity...oh my, nothing like saving a run for the day of high heat and humidity. Shoulda taken another day off. The route I ran is quite hilly and with a mile to go I was already just hot and tired. Whatever was bothering me on Thursday must have carried over into Friday cause I still felt a little under the weather.

I did manage to get in another 3 miles today running between thunderstorms in the middle of the afternoon (yeah ~85 degrees and 200% humidity cause it felt like I was running in water just needing a snorkel and mask).

Why do I keep doing this? Who knows, who cares...just runnin' n ridin' (mostly runnin').

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Running and Behind

A little behind (hence the title) on my running update. Plus, my laptop battery is running low so I gotta make this quick!

Saturday - 10.2 miles in 1:24. Ran an easy pace, felt ok, ran the last lap fairly fast, but I am not sure of the time since I have not downloaded my Polar HR monitor to my computer. Trimmed bushes and watched my son mow the lawn.

Sunday - day of rest. Literally. Did go to church though!

Monday - ran 4.45 miles at work. Sorta fartleked (?sp) with 4-5 200-300 yard bursts of fast intervals with long breaks in between. Felt pretty good.

Tuesday - ran in the evening. Legs a little tight from yesterday's run. Ran 4.2 miles with about a 10:06 pace every 1.2 miles (each loop). Legs felt good and my HR was good. Good recovery run while listening to some tunes.

Well House is on so my time here is over.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Mid Week

Ran Wednesday AND! Wed I ran about 5.5 miles with fast/hard mile at 2-3.5 and finished the last mile fast/hard. Trying to throw in a little speedwork (aka fartlek...always loved that term at least until I run them...must be a guy thing ;-) as the fall 5K season approaches. In the next month I will actually start doing speedwork to see if I can get my 5K time down to around 18 minutes. It will hurt...that is the thing about running is that you subject your body to pain...heavy, gasping breathing and aching legs. The hard part is to manage the speedwork such that you gain benefit and not injure yourself. I think that running a fast pace is mainly mental ONCE you know your God given (or not) limitations. Not everyone can run a 15 min 5K or 20 min 5K. Once you know your limits, you can train to maximize the talent (or lack thereof) you have. yada yada yada, blah blah blah!

Ran easy and slow on Thursday...about 3.2 miles. Trying to recover from the earlier workouts. This is the hardest thing for me to do! Running at a slow, comfortable pace is just not my style. But the intelligent, thoughtful runner recognizes the aforementioned limitations and works with them rather than against them. I have yet to claim that I am intelligent or thoughtful, but I try!

My son raced a 2-mile XC meet today. He ran 14:34 which was about 45 seconds better than the last 2-mile race. When I tried to find him at the finish, he was nowhere to be found. Turns out he probably ran faster to the restroom than he did finishing the race. He just does not have a competitive drive, but at least he is out there doing something.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Monday N Twoday

Monday - ran 7.2 miles around the neighborhood on our 1.2 mile loop course after work. Felt pretty good and tried to keep a steady pace...each lap was slightly slower than the previous one. That is the problem I have when I run by "feel." I usually wear a heart rate monitor to gauge my effort because it is hard to run by gut feel. So while my lap times slowed, my heart rate remained the same. I ran 10:27 to 10:45 laps. The last lap though I cranked out just under 9:00 minutes. I did not walk for a while to cool down nor did I stretch. So I woke up this morning stiffer than a woody on adolescent boy...what fond memories, but I digress.

Tuesday - raining today so I ran on the treadmill at work. I ended up running 3.87 miles due to not using my noggin. I ran for 1.87 at 9 min pace then had to go pee. Got back on the treadmill after pausing it then screwed up and reset the machine (along with my watch). So I started over and ran two more miles finishing the next to last 1/4 at 7 min pace and the last 1/4 in 6 min pace. It is always hard to run on the treadmill because the effort does not feel the same. What I do like is that I can crank up the speed and really work those fast-twitch muscles (what is left of them). The danger is that you can end up running so fast and you tire quickly that it is hard to hit the down arrow to slow the treadmill. On a rare occasion I will hit the panic STOP so I don't look like a doof getting flung off the treadmill to the ground.

Gots to go eat...C U!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Metric Century Saturday

Cranked out a 62 mile bike ride (aka metric century...hence the title). I did not plan on riding hard, but I did. It ALWAYS seems that I hook up with some other riders and put down the hammer. Started hard, felt crappy. Legs were tight and I knew that I just had not spent enough time on the bike lately. I got in with a few folks and we motored up near the front...I finally threw in the towel and slowed up (as did most near the front). A group up front gapped the rest of us and then made the first turn. I was near the front of the second group and we made the turn...a couple of miles later, we couldn't see the front group and realized we should have made a hard right instead of the 45 degree right. After checking the map, I found that we could get back on course by heading on down the road and making a later turn. After the "revised" turn I checked the map again and then looked back. Instead of 4 or 5 of us off course, there were 25-30. Where the heck did they all come from? Turns out they watched us make the earlier wrong turn and followed blindly behind. Never said bike riders were the smartest folks in the world...including yours truly.

Rode past the second rest stop and most stopped. A few of us pressed on to the turn around point and returned to the same rest stop after spending ~40 miles on the road. While waiting on some folks to leave, I decided to leave and soft pedal until they caught up. After soft pedaling about a mile, I did not see anyone coming up behind so I got going. I usually don't like to time trial on my own. I enjoy riding in a small pack taking turns pulling at the front...much more efficient and fast. I figured the group behind would catch up eventually. But, after passing a number of folks and still riding alone, I am about 3 miles from the finish with a couple of steep little rolling hills that I ran out of gas. I have not bonked in quite a long time, but I hit the wall on this one. Fortunately, I was not far from the barn and pressed on with a guy I know from earlier rides. This guy is big and as he says, "the best 300 lb bike rider in the area." There is no doubt...I had trouble hanging onto his wheel after I initially caught him. I finished the ride with him and was ready to be off the bike. I packed up the bike, had a bite of BBQ (it is a southern bike ridin' thing), and headed to the house.

Stats: 19.7 mph pace for 62 miles and 2700' of climbing (rolling real climb).

Sunday...did not do jack...I did think about running if that counts for anything ;-)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Naughty Friday

ATE a big meal at lunch...did not run, ATE a smaller dinner...did not run. Trying to decide if I want to do a local organized bike ride tomorrow. If I do, then I will do the metric century and call it a day. Riding a hundred miles with little riding lately leads to disaster or a bad day. I still want to feel good at the end of the day so I will do a mere 64-ish and then head to the house. Gotta deal with the lawn, got either army worms or some sort of fungus really working in some area of my front I will mow, then spread some anti-bug, anti-fungus and then feed it some fertilizer. Great lawn service that I pay $50 a month.

More tomorrow!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thumpin' Thursday

Ran a fast 3.6 miler in about 25:40 with a 9:10, 8:10 and 8:14 laps (the laps in my 'hood are 1.2 miles long as measured by my trusty steed - aka bike - and GPS). I did not do a warm up so the first lap I expected to be slow, but the last two were zoomin'! I haven't had time to figure my actual mile splits...ok I just did. My overall average was a 7:07 mile pace with the fastest lap at a 6:48 mile pace. The best part is that although it felt hard, I still feel like I had gas in the tank and I started slow. The other bonus item is that I have done zero speedwork in a number of months. The aerobic base looks pretty good and it is still early September. My goal is to get down to about an 18 minute 5K this year and break 1:30 in the 1/2 marathon next year...I think I can, I think I can, etc. I found a neat little splits calculator that will calculate any funky mileage into regular miles, it will even do that metric stuff.

Gots to go to bed...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Got in another lunchtime run...little warmer today with the sun shining brightly into my eyes (forgot my sunglasses). I got in 3.3 miles because I started late...nothing like working on a few things and all of sudden it is 11:48 AM. The bugs were out in force and it probably looked a little weird to oncoming traffic (I ran in the street cause I had on my new running clogs) to see this guy running toward oncoming traffic all of a sudden jukes to the right and then to the left like he is running through an offensive line. Little did they know, that I was only dodging large swarms of gnats that would soon splat themselves on grills and windshields. (Not sure if something intentionally or unintentionally splats itself on something, but they sure as heck are not impaled on the windshield.) For some reason, the gnat swarms were easier to see without sunglasses...hmmm.

The reason for the (semi) precise mileage is that I normally wear a heart rate monitor when I run...anal engineer thing. The problem is that I will rack up a month's worth of activities (running and riding) and then download the data to my computer...anal geek engineer thing. The problem arises when I try to remember exactly what I did at the beginning of the data set. So I plan on using my blog to help me remember some of those pesky little details like mileage. I don't really analyze my data to trend improvement or vice versa...not so anal or geeky after all. I just like to see how much mileage I rack up and be able to point to why I did really shitty on some run or ride...usually attributed to lack of workouts more than anything else...lazy freakin' bum thing.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tuesday Felt Like Monday

Ran at lunch today and the weather was just about right...still a little too warm, but it was overcast and slightly windy. The biggest problem...have you ever run into a swarm of these itty bitty bugs that like to hover next to the road in extremely large numbers? I did...numerous times. I had these critters in my hair, all over my face and arms, in my mouth and nose....blech. By the time I got back to a bathroom, I was covered in itty bitty buggy remains. Good thing I was wearing sunglasses (yeah I know it was overcast), otherwise I would have had them swimming with my contact lens. in 4.45 miles (as measured by my trusty road bike) in about 36 minutes. I felt I was running faster than normal, but my heart rate was running low. Probably attribute it to the slightly cooler weather (mid-80s) and my long Saturday run. The last 1/2 mile I hammered home in near race pace. Overall, not a bad day for a run.

Went to my son's XC meet...he did OK...15 min in the 2-mile. He said he did not feel to good. There is nothing worse than trying to coach your own son. I know many things from "been there, done that" experience. However, I am dumber than a rock when it comes to my son. While I am glad he is running XC, I am disappointed that he does not have much of a competitive inclination. He gave up band this year to run. He is much better at band. I know he will improve and hopefully he will really catch the running bug. I don't expect him to be great, I just want him to be his best.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

Well after rolling out of the rack late and waiting until it was nice and warm, I hit the road for about a 50 mile ride. I did several short but steep climbs. The pace was fairly slow since I was not in a hurry. I could tell that my run from Saturday was still lingering in my legs especially after the last couple of climbs just to get back home. Another contributing factor is that I haven't been riding much lately. Tired of 80-90 mile rides in high 90 temps. Little saddle time does not help one ride effectively. Anyway, legs feel better now and I will see how I feel in the morning. I will try to get a 5 miler in at lunch then I will be headed to my son's XC meet.

Had to add another note about using crampnomore which has a high concentrate of minerals. It is not so bad on the initial bottle. But it seemed to make me thirstier and I had to stop and buy a bottle of plain water. I have not ridden a ride yet that would induce a potential cramp so I am not sure if the stuff actually works. The salty taste just doesn't go down well when you are hot AND thirsty. I will need to experiment more with the stuff to see if I can stomach it over a long ride.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Day Off

Little stiff this morning when I rolled out of the rack. I was thinking of mountain biking this afternoon, but I was tired. Nothing worse than trying to get up a 3 mile climb with dead legs. So I bagged the ride and cooked some steak instead...what a trade ;-)

I may try to hit the trail on Monday with my neighbor.

So TTFN - ta ta for now!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Cool Weather on Saturday

Ran with my neighbor Jim for about 13 miles at a slow pace (building that aerobic base). Jim is training for a marathon in Portland which is in the next couple of weeks. I felt pretty good overall. Left calf was a little tight and my left groin muscle twitched every now and then. I took a shot of crampnomore which is extremely salty in its concentrated form. Followed that shot with some water. Blech!! However, no cramping the entire run!!

I managed to keep busy the rest of the day such that my legs feel OK this evening as I write. I hope Jim is doing ok since he really struggled with his last couple of laps (20 miler). I think he will do ok in his marathon as long as he keeps the pace reasonable and drinks plenty of fluids early!

Anyway, not a bad run considering the 2 margaritas and Mexican food I had last night. Tomorrow will be the test when I try to drag my butt out of bed.