Sunday, July 25, 2010

Training - 26 Miles

I can't believe how fast time is flying!  Training is going very well, and I'm starting to string together some decent distances right now.  Since July 4th I'd been tossing around in my head about doing my own 'little' dualthlon.  Run - Bike - Run (3.1 Mile - 20 Mile - 3.1 Mile)  Well this weekend I did it.  The final 5k really hurt and I'd forgotten how difficult it is to transition into running after being on a bike for an hour, but I did finish the whole thing only having to walk a few mins over the final 2 miles.

I was kind of stupid to start this endeavor at 1:00 pm on Saturday in 82 degree heat, but I dressed for the occasion and drank plenty in the transitions and while I was out on the course.  I'm kind of surprised on how easy it was to complete the distance (just not very fast), and I'm starting to believe that I'm going to be able to finish my half marathon in September without walking.

My other workout have been pretty good also - my long run last week was 8.23 miles at a 10:23 pace.  The run itself wasn't too difficult, I did get a blister on my left pinkie toe for the first time in over 10 years..... While I was out on the course I'm guessing I could have run over 10 miles without stopping so I was happy with the workout, but my recovery afterwards really surprised me.  I ran my long run on Monday night and on Wednesday night I was still really sore.  I wasn't prepared for my body to be so slow in recovering from that effort, so I'll have to keep that in mind.

Abby and Cade in the rain.

Coming up this week I most likely will take it pretty easy.  I'm tossing around another 8 miler in  my head most likely toward the end of the week, depending on how my body reacts to my 'big' weekend this week. If I recover nicely I'm pretty sure I throw in an 8-10 miler, but if not, I'll most likely put some miles in on the bike and try to take it fairly easy.  I'm still looking at about 6 weeks before my run so I have plenty of time to get some long runs in, but the more I get in, the better my confedience will be when I toe the line on Sept 11th.

On my smaller runs/walks of 1-3 miles I've been searching out the local hills in the area to trek up.  I'm doing pretty well with this so I'll continue this practice unless my legs really need a break.

Keep Steppin'

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

5+ Miles Tonight - Feeling Good

Well, I've actually started working towards my half marathon today.  I ran 4 miles at a 10 min pace and then another 1.5 miles at around a 12-13 min pace.  The 10 min pace felt really good and I'm guessing I could have run another hour at this pace without too much difficulty which is a good sign since just a few weeks ago I was worried about my conditioning.

My long runs this training period (approx 8 weeks) will start at 6 miles working up to an 11-12 miler a few weeks before my race.  I'm going to start looking for a water belt this week so I don't have to worry about looping close to home on these longer run.

I'm going to through in some hill workouts hopefully about once a week also since this race is very heavy in hills.  I think this work will also help with my overall strength.

Training mileage should top out around 60-70 miles per week, with July mileage coming close to 200 miles for the month.  We'll see how this goes over the next few weeks, and I'll adjust if I have to.

I'll leave you with a few pictures of my Fourth of July......

Dana Point Harbor, Ca.

Beth and Cade

The Family

Not a bad group

Squirrel time

Eating out of Abby's hand - fearless.

I should get this guy to run with me over teh next few months....

Cade and Alex getting into it

Cade showing off his Ninja moves - getting the best of his older brother.

Out for a night sail to watch the fireworks.

Keep Steppin'

Monday, July 5, 2010

Race Report - Freedom Run at the Ranch 2010

I was actually writing a pre-race entry, but didn't finish it before I ran the race yesterday, so I've scrapped it and I'm writing this now.....

Yesterday was my Fourth of July 5k and I'm, very pleased with my results. I wasn't quite sure what to expect going into this - I knew training-wise I could finish the distance fairly easily, but I wasn't sure in what time since my pacing has been all over the place during training runs running up to this race.

A couple of posts ago - I set up the following race goals:

Goal A : Run a sub 28:30 min
Goal B : Run a sub 29 min
Goal C : Run a sub 30 min

Looking at this, you can tell my apprehension going into the run - a 1:30 spread over 3 miles?  I wasn't sure what pace I could hold.

Raceday:  I woke at 6:00 am for a 7:15 race start feeling pretty good - usually my 39-year-old body needs about 10-20 mins to warm up just so I can walk normally - too many years of killing it growing up.  But yesterday I was feeling good after only laying awake in bed for about 5 mins.  A good sign.

My house is exactly a mile from the start, so I used that to warmup and I felt pretty good once I stepped out of the door.  I brought my ipod to run with, which I normally don't do for races, but I wanted to try something new - I was going to line up at the very back of the field and run my way through the pack - don't you love chip timing? 

Up at the start, the race area was pretty good and organized.  Over the past few years, this race has really grown and I haven't seen too many issues with this growth.  Afterwards I found out that 762 people were running the 5k, and I'm guessing about 400 ran the 10k (I haven't checked yet).  That's pretty amazing since 2008 had 550 runners in the 5k race.  So it's good to see a race grow like this especially since this run is in my back yard.

After all the pre-race hoopla, I shed my sweatshirt and lined up at the very back of the pack.  Behind all of the kids, strollers, walkers, etc.  Sitting at the back I started talking with this guy who you could just tell was very fast - tall, lean, and wearing racing flats in bright orange.  This guy was about 6'3" and maybe 150 lbs kind of freakish if you ask me, but still a nice guy.  After about 2 mins from the gun start, I made my way to the start line and was able to run right from the first step.

I felt really good over the first mile, going out just a little too fast though - I think I clocked a sub 9:00 min mile, just because I know the course really well (I was surprised by not seeing mile markers out along the course.)  Running traffic was minimal, over the first mile - even though I did have to step off the street a few times in order to pass some slower people.  Still, the choice to start dead last was turning out to be a good idea.

Mile two is pretty much all up hill, not a huge incline, but just enough to become a pain especially when the rise kicks it up a notch over the last 400 meters, but I was pretty much able to hold a good pace over this mile.  I'm guessing my mile time here was about a 9:30 - not too sure because I really didn't look and was going on perceived effort at this point - I was still passing slower runners at this point, but started to notice that some runners were 'hanging' at my pace.  In fact I had several people come up to me after the race to 'Thank me" for setting a quicker pace than they were used to up that hill.  That was a nice side affect for starting last - shoot all I wanted was space to run at the start. :)

The final 1.1 miles were all basically down and flat, setting this course up for a very fast finish.  The winner ran this in 15:47.  Oh the joys of being 19 again......  Anyway, I was still feeling pretty good, but my quads were getting tired from the effort of the uphill, and all I could think of was, "How are you ever going to finish a half marathon you wuss."  Slowly I picked up my pace and passed a few more people on the down hill - but there was this one stroller dude I just couldn't catch until we hit the final flat.  I did sneak a glance at my watch when I hit the flat knowing I was about 3 mins from the finish if I was running a 10 min mile - 25:52 - right there I kicked it up another notch, then at the final turn with 400 meters to go, another notch.  My lungs were hurting, and my legs were burning but it was too late to stop now - I could see the 'official' clock counting down 29:40, :41, :42 - dammit "I'm going to break 30:00 on that clock" and put myself into another gear.  I crossed the line in 29:54 - for an 27:59!  What a nice PR!  :05 seconds faster than my Birthday Race run back in December.

Overall I'm pleased with my effort, time and ability to improve here.  I mean who wouldn't be happy with a PR?  Still I was able to take a few other items from this run:
  1. I now know I have a few more gears left in my legs - I really haven't tried to use them since I hurt my hamstrings about 6 years ago.  I know if I really tried to do some speedwork, the speed it still there.
  2. Conditioning came back pretty quickly (4 weeks) after taking about 8 weeks off.  Still I need to maintain the 120 mile monthly base if I was to continue to improve.
  3. I need to kick up my workouts, to prepare for my half marathon that's in September - this is going to be brutal, but I'm looking forward to it.
  4. Finally, I know I can run this course in 24 mins if I trained hard enough of it.  I can 'feel' it in my body right now.  In fact give me two years and I'll hit 21 mins.....  (yeah that an 8 min improvement, I know, but it's there.)  Shoot I've improved 8 mins in the last two years now and I know I'm not even halfway to the ends of my ability.
Keep Steppin'

Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm a Quiet Runner

I was thinking during my run this evening - I'm basically a very quiet runner who has a blog.  I usually run by myself, and even though I nod at other runners on my route, I usually don't strike up a conversation with my fellow runners.  I'm not rude or anything, I just tend to use my running time for quiet introspect rather than a social outing.

Now there has been times where I've started a conversation with other runners in corrals, on the path, etc.  And as I look back, I've enjoyed these conversations for the insights I get from other runners.  I think that is why I enjoy reading blogs so much.  Just knowing there are other people out there running, and struggling over a three miler helps keep my training on track.

Today's run was on a difficult course, I took it easy but effort-wise I felt like I should have clocked a faster time (32:21)  Yesterday I took the day off killing my streak - really thee wasn't a reason for the day off, it just turned out that way.  Six day and counting until my race.

Keep Steppin'

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Damm Computer - Running is Getting Done

I haven't been posting that much because my computer is acting up again - I've lost my drivers for sound and I can't download any pictures - I'm going to have to do a complete overhaul on it but really don't want to take the time or spend the money on it right now - so I've just left the computer sitting on my desk running at about 60%. 

Other than not being able to post pictures to my blog, I have been running quite a bit.  I'm currently at 120 miles for the month and on-pace to finish this month at about 140 miles.  My 5k race (the first race this year)) is in a week, and I'm starting to look forward to racing again.  I don't have very high goals for this race other than to just enjoy myself.  Cycling on my off days is really helping me get my conditioning back quick - I feel pretty good running after a cycling day.  I'm currently on a 11-day streak right now, and I feel pretty strong so I'm pleased with my progress this month.

Goal wise for my race next week, I've been kind of wishy-washy on.  I'm really not too sure what to set for myself.  I've thought about it quite a bit because I hate going into a race without any specific targets.  So this morning I decided to take a look at some of my past 5k training runs:

6.26.2010 Run 3.1 Mile - Tempo 3.1 Mi - 28:59 / 9:21
6.24.2010 Run 3.1 Mile - Easy 3.1 Mi - 31:11 / 10:04
6.21.2010 Run 3.1 Mile -  Easy 3.1 Mi - 30:30 / 9:51
6.7.2010 Run 3.19 Mile  -  Easy 3.19 Mi - 31:43 / 9:57
4.25.2010 Run 3.1 Mile  -  Easy 3.1 Mi - 29:29 / 9:31
4.7.2010 Run 3.1 Mile  -  Easy 3.1 Mi - 29:20 / 9:28

Looking at this I think I can set up the following:

Goal A : Run a sub 28:30 min
Goal B : Run a sub 29 min
Goal C : Run a sub 30 min

Last July 4th I ran this in 28:27 with some solid 80 mile months going into the race - this year I took off April and May basically but I did have a great June so I'm guessing I could have about the same results.  BTW my PB for this distance?  I ran on 12/30/09 - 28:04..... on this exact course by myself.

Keep Steppin'

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

4.5 Miles Tonight - Feeling Good!

Well I get in another good run tonight - 4.5 miles total with 3 miles coming at a tempo pace (9:30).  Overall I still feel pretty good.  During my slower cool down mile, my legs started to tighten up but nothing too bad.  The weather here in So Cal had been perfect over the past few days and that has made my runs even more enjoyable.

Tomorrow I think I'm going to try to sneak in a nice bike ride just to switch things up a little.  Hopefully I'll be able to break away to do this - if not I'll stick with my night run maybe another 3 miler is in the works....

With tonight's run I'm currently on a 7-day running streak and I'm no-pace to log 106 miles for the month.  I was going through my goals for he month last night and realized that I wanted to complete 120 miles for the month so I'm going to have to step it up just a little if I'm going to reach this goal.

Keep Steppin'

Monday, June 21, 2010

So Little Time So Much To Do....... 4th of July Race Coming Up.

The weeks are just flying by for me right now.  I can't believe the 4th of July is just around the corner.  My workouts are going well - and I'm on pace to log 100 miles this month and I feel pretty good right now.  Tonight I'm planning an easy 3.1 miles with a little cool down - something around 32 mins would be fine - hopefully I can keep my pace that slow so I don't fry myself with a tempo run.

I missed my cycling day this weekend - I didn't get a chance to work on my bike until Saturday - once I get my tire fixed and my bike cleaned up, it was getting too late and I couldn't get out of the house.  My next ride is going to have to be something short because I put on a new tire that I haven't ridden on in about 4 years - it's a softer 'racing' tire and the tread is marginal so I want to stay close to the house to make sure the small cuts aren't going to cause a blowout. 

Running is coming along - I've lost a ton of conditioning and I'm really going to have to pick up my workouts over the next few weeks.  After the 4th I'm going to start picking up long runs every week, I'd like to have an 11-12 mile run under my belt before the half marathon on Sept 11th.  Currently I'm having mental issues going beyond 3 miles at a sub10 min mile, so somehow I'm going to have to work through this - hopefully a breakthrough will happen sometime before July 4th.

My racing plan is to run July 4th at the Ladera Ranch 5k.  I've run this race several times now, and even though the course isn't that difficult I'm not quote sure what to expect.  Currently I'm shooting for a sub 30 (again) but I'm not sure if that is doable because of my lack of preparation.  The starting line is about 2 miles from my house, so I'll use that as a warmup again this year so it makes things easy since I don't have to worry about driving and finding parking, etc....  The run itself is really fun with a good turnout and nice streets to run though.  The final miles is almost all downhill, so it sets itself up for some quick times.

My next race is my half marathon that is scheduled for Sept 11th at Camp Pendleton.  This race I'm really worried about.  My neighbor signed me up for this because I keep talking about running a half but keep chickening out at the last moment.  The course itself looks like it might be painful - run on firebreak roads here in Southern California at our local marine base - the trail is called Heartbreak Ridge......

 With 1280 feet of climbing I'm worried about this.  My long 9.5 mile run that I ran back in January this year only had 983 feet of elevation change.  It's going to be brutal - and I'm guessing a 'Death March' over the final few miles.

Keep Steppin'