Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Christmas was great! The kids really enjoyed themselves this year, and we presented their Maui airfare tickets for our trip in Feb as one of their gifts, let's just say it went over well. For a while there when gas was so high Beth and I discussed leaving them behind. Now we should have a great family vacation together.
We spent time with both side of the family, and ate too much rich foods and sweets. Santa left Abby a new beach cruiser bike, and Cade got some cool RC 'monster trucks'. Alex pulled in about $70 in cash, and still had his Mom's side of the family to go.
I'll blog more about some running (once I do some.) I guess I don't have to 'taper' for the 1st Annual Bob Hazen Birthday Ladera Ranch 5k......
Monday, December 22, 2008
The family is doing well, the kids are really looking forward to Christmas this year, and the new house really looks good all lit up at night - I'll take a few pictures tonight before my run (if it's not raining) to share with everyone. Beth is happy that the kids are happy so all's good. Christmas Eve will be spent with my parents and Christmas day is split between Beth's and my parents houses' luckily we all only live 10 miles apart and no freeway traveling will be necessary.
I have Christmas Eve off from work and was planning to go for a 10-15 mile ride, but I woke up hearing that is supposed to rain so I'll have to play it by ear. With the cycling, I had planned a 39 mile week, but the plan may just go up in the rain if the forecasts are correct. Kind of sucks; maybe I'll pretend that I'm in Iowa and just run in the cold stuff......
Now to some good stuff; I hit two milestones this weekend.
1. 400 miles for the year! That's good for me considering I was only trying for 365 miles. I can tell I'm getting stronger, and my core work is beginning to pay off in recovery and during runs. The extra weight I'm carrying still hasn't come off like I wanted, but it is coming off.
2. I logged a new 'Long Run' of 6.2 miles (10k) kind of by chance. Sat I woke up wanting to run - so after getting some stuff done at the office I went running late morning, and finished an hour later. I only walked twice and today I feel pretty good. Tired but not sore.
I'm really looking forward to 2009 in regards to my running. Even though I don't have any long-term goals set for the year, I am very happy with my improvement this year and I fully anticipate growing as a runner this upcoming year.
Next Monday I will be racing in the 1st Annual Bob Hazen's Birthday Ladera Ranch 5k run. (By myself) and will report on my experience. It's a certified course (the same one I raced on in July) so that will be fun. The race report will be somewhat tongue-and-cheek since it is my b-day.
A final note; I did get two new 'readers' this weekend. Welcome and thanks for spending time reading! Tanya, I recommend your blog to anyone who is interested in running and wants to see the 'big' picture from a good starting point. Great read and it only took me about 2 days to get 'caught up' from your starting point.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Other than that, not much else is going on - the family is great and the house is decoroated for Christmas. Beth purchased our Maui airfare tickets late last month so the family is set for our Feb vacation which I'm already looking forward to.
Work is busy, next Friday will be my last day in the old building so I have a ton of work to get donw before the end of next week. Hopefully that won't put a crimp in my training plans.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
How I look at PB's and PR's is a little different then everyone else (or so I'd like to think.) As I get older, I have noticed that I was getting slower and slower - I mean who am I fooling? I'll NEVER hit 16:08 for a 5k in my life again - why should I mark (or measure) myself against a time that's over 20 years old? So a few years ago I began to make a distinction between PB's and PR's. In Aug 2006 I 'started over' with my records, before you cry out 'foul!' hear me out - It was in Aug 2006 where I was coming back from a long off period from running (2 years) - and I wanted a new challenge. 'Starting over' was my new challenge.
With the help of GPS, computers, Google, and certified courses I started 'qualifying' Time Trial' courses I could use for PB's. Qualification of a course would meet at least four of the five requirements:
1. run using GPS - in my case my Timex speed and distance system
2. run mapped on google (in my case I'm using the mapping function on RunningAHEAD)
3. certified course used in racing. Like my Thanksgiving 5k, etc....
4. course must be even miles or a 'standard' Km race ie. 5k, 10k etc...
5. PB can not be recorded as a mile split in a run - only the whole distance is considered for a PB.
Doing 4 of the 5 listed above pretty much gives me a +/- 1% variance over distance (5k) so I can live with that. And it's not like I'm running top class or anything.......
Personal Best's: Are then just really TT runs over a qualified course by myself. (yeah I know I don't have people to deal with, but a run is still a run. And doing this once every week (or every other week) keeps my training interesting.
Personal Records: are PB's made during an actual race - which I only do about 5 per year. Therefore I make a distinction. This helps me stay focused and upbeat during my long training periods throughout the year. I really don't expect to 'peak' during a race nor do I train that way.
So without any more fanfare:
12/3/08 : 3 miles in 28:43 (PB)
Where was this over Thanksgiving? The last week or so I'm starting to feel stronger and happier with my runs - still with the 5k trail run scrapped from my race calendar, I need to find something here in the next two months to work towards. Tonight I'll hop on-line and do a race search for the month of January, maybe I'll find something then.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Well this is late in coming but I wanted to get it posted. The month was very good for me - a 5k under my belt in under my goal time was the crown of the month. But other than that, there were several other notable milestones.
I ran 24 out of the 30 days in the month, and a lot of times I did a afternoon then an evening so I'm very pleased with the effort I've put forth in being consistent.
I ran a 5k training run in 31:11 on 11/16. That was enjoyable - funny though I'm having difficulty remembering how the run felt (see my entry on Difficult Runs last month)
Logged a total of 91.8 miles for the month (a PB)
Ran a new PB long run of 5.48 miles in 54:48.
Finally I got back on my bike and rode 12.6 miles in the month. It's been over 6 months since I last rode so this was a nice accomplishment. I plan to include weekly Sunday rides from now on.
All in all a very solid month - health wise I struggled with a bad lower back and some pain in my left foot. The back is feeling much better, and the foot cramping comes and goes. I'm continuing to ice after runs to help in recovery.
I'm going to skip the xterra 5k trail run in December and schedule something in January (funds, plus I didn't get a chance to preview the course because of the rains last week.) I'm going to keep the link active because I'm very interested in starting some sort of trail running, and this race next year may be a good target point. NOTE: race is sold out.
Sometime in the next week I'm going to adjust my goals and include Jan's goals in my right sidebar so keep an eye out for that. One final note is I picked up my second follower, Thank you for reading (and sharing) with me. The extra motivation knowing someone is reading this is helpful on cold nights.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Now I'm just passing some time at work waiting for Alex to get out of school so I can pick him up. So instead of doing work, I'm going to be more constructive and highlight some points for tomorrow.
1. Have fun! I'm not a speed demon anymore - maybe someday in the future but not tomorrow.
2. Make sure Alex has fun and is comfortable. This is his first 5k race ever. He's done 1 milers before but never anything this size (4000+ runners)
3. Take pictures! I want to include them in my race report. This means I need a bag - store it etc.... (I've never done this before.)
4. Meet my sub 33 min goal. I still think this should be easy to do - but you never know since my back has been acting up over the past two weeks. (I really hope next year this goal will be more like a sub 27 min......)
5. Write an awesome race report. (I've never done this before - I run a ton of races but never written a report before.)
6. Eat turkey
7. Eat turkey
8. Fall asleep (with turkey in my stomach.)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Normally I'm a slow starter and need to get warmed up - so these first few steps of discomfort didn't alarm me too much other than the fact that I noticed right off that my legs were sore from the other night. "No problem though - I'll just start a little slower than planned. Plus I really want to do this course since it's new." I told my brain. Slowly the kinks worked themselves out of my legs, and my breathing was coming pretty normally. Unfortunately that lasted about a mile. My first split: 10:43. "Good - I'm right where I want to be. This shouldn't be too hard - that first mile was all uphill so this second uphill mile should be easy now I've warmed up." Don't you hate it when your head plays with you? Damm it's getting harder - glancing down at my watch only about 5 mins has passed, my breathing is becoming a little ragged and all of the sudden my left foot his killing me. Where the hell did THAT pain come from? It hurts so bad I can feel it in my right knee.... What!?! My RIGHT knee? OK what the hell is going on? I'd better slow to a stop. Walk a min, run a min, walk, run; mile 2 marker: 13:42. Damm what happened?
I eventually overcame the issue and went on to finish with mid 10 min splits for the final two downhill miles, but it got me thinking about how the mind works regarding these 'bad' runs. I can have good run after good run but somehow over the years I tend to remember the bad ones more. Don't get me wrong I do remember good ones also - but just not as clearly. Is it because of the pain? Some of my best runs that I remember have come with pain so that's a common feature. But I tend to believe that it's more that that. Somewhere in me is my brain's filing system that 'stores' milestones - and a lot of times these difficult 'bad' runs seem to be stored. Why? Is the old adage "No Pain No Gain" really true? Maybe to some extent it is. For me at least I tend to remember these runs better when there is pain involved. But usually these runs are also followed by a decision I need to make in my training. Do I continue to try to get better and take it to the next level? Or do I back off and keep the pain to a level where I enjoy running at and not get any better?
Now just because I choose to work with the pain doesn't mean I'm stupid and go out and get hurt. It just means I decide to plan a little bit better, and work smarter to get to my goals. (Adjustments are made)
Still it think is funny how the brain works on these types of runs.... I still remember painful runs way back from High School and college. One in particular run was when I was a freshman in high school. I joined the x-country team upon begging from the Coach (we were a small school and needed another runner to fill the squad) I ran a soft riverbed course in something like 26 +change (3 miles) I felt like I was going to die, and could have quit right there without any shame. After puking my lunch (hotdogs of all things and purple CoolAid) I decided right there to run a sub 20 min for that season. (I didn't hit that goal until my sophmore season, but I did hit it and went much further.) Still even though I don't remember the winning time of the race, the weather, or even the time of day - I still remember how I felt over that last mile and a half and how I overcame that feeling. Not because of the race or the finish, but because I overcame something inside telling me to quit.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Avg pace: 18:16
Avg Pace: 9:50
Splits: 10:04, 10:02, 9:35
I felt pretty good during the run once I warmed up. Hopefully tomorrow I won't be too sore. Overall I didn't try to push too hard, just hard enough at the end to break 30 mins.
I'm getting really close to linking my new training log, keep an eye out for the change.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
On to running related stuff - I'm currently in the process of switching my running log over to RunningAhead. I had been using FavoriteRun for about 15 months and haven't really been happy with it. The thing that sold me on RunningAhead was the creator himself: Eric. After dropping Eric an e-mail on Wednesday, I promptly received a e-mail back within 24-hours with answers to all my questions, and concerns. I'm convinced that this guy is dedicated to producing a nice 'free' running site. Eric has put together a nice easy-to-use site with custom graphing functions. Mapping is included with fairly quick page loading times, and a fairly active board where there are people who respond quickly and nice towards even the most basic of questions. (The fact that most of the BB'er are refugees from the old Cool Running site is a rather nice bonus.) If you're in the market for a nice on-line running log take at look at what Eric's created over at RunningAhead.
Now comes the personal running stuff; over the last few days I been struggling with lower back issues, at first I wasn't sure where it was coming from but I know the pain was enough to cause actual pain and difficulty in walking. So for about two days I popped some painkillers and waited to see if the pain would go away. What was it? I was leaning towards a pinched nerve and sleeping 'weird' but that didn't seem right to me. It was only after I pulled out the 'tens unit' did I get any relief. In fact it worked so well I decided to try running last night. Low and behold I felt pretty good, so I added another mile. Still in the back of my mind was; "Why am I hurting so much? Am I overdoing it with my running? Putting in too many miles too quickly?" Only when I went to do my sit-up for the day did I know where the pain was coming from. I'm USING MUSCLES that I haven't used in a while! The tens unit had loosened up my back to the point where I wasn't feeling any pain, but as soon as I tried to do a sit up it locked back up! Damm I'm stupid! At lease I found the cause, and I can work around it now. (I really need my core muscles stronger, otherwise I'll never get any better in my running.)
This morning I feel a little better - still hurting, and in fact I'm using the tens right now as I type. But I'm happy to find the source, and I know I can work around it. If I'm careful I'll stronger here in the next few days. I just need to get over this hump.
Avg Pace: 10:09
PS once I get my log transferred and reviewed I'll make it available for viewing. Hopefully that will be completed by this weekend.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Well on to other things - Ran pretty good last night before it started raining, put in three miles and set a new PB with 29:27. Really I wasn't surprised with this since my old PB was 33+ mins I just hadn't run the distance in a while. In fact I was disappointed in my time even though it was the first time I was running this course. Effort wise, I did push myself and can feel small aches and pains this morning. Feet, calves, and lower back all are hurting but I can live with it. If it clears up before lunch I'll be taking a walk to loosen up.
The plan this week calls out about 20-25 miles - about 6-8 miles of this will be walking the rest around a 10 min pace. I am planning a 4+ mile run on Wednesday so tonight will be very SLOW and easy. Recovery, recovery, recovery is the name of the game today. Friday I do plan to run two miles with a mile warm up then a TT mile to see if I can better my PB in the mile. Other than that, this week is all about mileage and easy pace. I really want to put together a solid month before Thanksgiving.
I broke my consecutive day running streak on Sunday (14 days) - I actually took the day off from everything. I didn't even get dressed for the day and just played hermit. (I didn't even shave until about 9:00 pm). It felt weird not running, but I think it was the right thing to do. Beth though I was lazy, but I needed some downtime.
The only other thing worth mentioning right now is that I'm thinking about changing my on-line log site. Currently I'm using FavoriteRun. This site is pretty good except load times for maps can be long, and there are too few graphs available plus I'm paying $12/year for the site. Lately I've run across a site: RunningAhead that looks pretty good and I might just go to it if they can convert my currently log. Does anyone out there have any experience with RunningAhead? It looks like it really took off when CoolRunning merged. Any input would be helpful. BTW - isn't it scary how Cool Running has become a ghost town? I remember back when that was the site to be on; you could ask ANY question and get a hundred answers within minutes, now looking at their forums, you're luck to see a single post in an hour or two.....
Monday, November 3, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Now to my running; it's going really well - I've logged 60 miles this month for a PB, I'm now on a 12-day consecutive running streak which is also a PB. I'm averaging low 10 min miles for the month, which is :38 seconds per mile faster than my September average. Body is feeling pretty good, not too tired or sore, so I imagine that I can continue on with my training at this pace for the next few weeks - then I'll have to 'tweak' some runs to get ready for Thanksgiving. I'm hoping to put in about 7 more miles this week before Sunday - I'm just not sure when that's going to happen. I'm hoping for some time tonight, but it's going to be tight (time wise).
On the weight front - I weighed in at 210.8 last night (not too bad; 5 lbs down 10 to go before Thanksgiving) The 180 lb weight is going to be a stretch though. I'm thinking 190-185 is more realistic for my frame. Plus Beth always tells me that she doesn't want me too skinny. :) (yeah that sounds like an excuse.) I'll keep everyone posted on my progress (or failure).
Finally as I've mentioned before I love my iPod during my nightly runs - last night I actually listened Mariah Carey's Bye Bye. Now I really hate her and her music, but Beth LOVES this song so I figured I'd listen to the words..... Beth (because I KNOW you are reading,) I get it now. I love you.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
1. Run the Thanksgiving 5k. This has always been my plan, but originally my race goal has been to run it in a sub 33 min. That hasn't changed, BUT I'm adding a 'stretch' goal here with a sub 31 min run. I've mentioned before I'll be running this with Alex and Eddie. Alex will run this in approximately 24 mins, Eddie right now I have no clue. Back in July he pulled me in at 36 mins but I think 31 mins is pushing it for him. I'll submit a full race report (hopefully with pictures) after this event.
2. Run a 60 mile month in November. This is pretty straight forward - I might do this for October, but November is the key here. Right now my legs feel pretty strong, and everyday I feel like I'm getting stronger.
3. Get down to 200 lbs by Thanksgiving. That's about 13 lbs right now as we speak. Last week I lost 3 lbs so this is (in theory) an doable goal. I'm sick to my stomach knowing I've inched up to 213 lbs. Also I've read somewhere that for every pound you lose you'll decrease your mile time by 3 seconds. (Could I really get down to a low 8 min mile by losing the weight and training?) I'll run a mile TT the day after Thanksgiving and write a report.
Looking into December:
1. Run at least 55 miles in the month of December. (Now I may increase this once I'm getting close to finishing November, but I want to make this realistic for the time being.)
2. Run a sub 30:30 before by 37th birthday on 12/29/08. Also I'll run a 5k training TT on my birthday and submit a report on how that goes.
3. Run the x-terra 5k Crystal Cove race in mid December. I've never run a trail race before so I'm not sure what to expect, but I think this would be a good experience, and a challenge for me. Right now I don't have any expectations for this race so no target time is listed right now, but maybe sometime next month I'll get out there and run this course to get a feel for it. Last year's winning times reflect a VERY tough course. I'll post a race report along with pictures here also.
Now beyond the end of the year, I haven't really decided what to do just yet. May of 2009 has a 1/2 Mary that is local that I've always wanted to run (I always choose the 5k here). So maybe I'll start gearing towards that. Or I will continue to try to lower my 5k times..... Honestly I think I have some speed left in me and could log a low 20 min 5k with more (serious) training. The weight would have to continue to come off for this to happen, but I think I can do that. Also I have to plan for our family trip in Feb 2009. Maybe I can find a run in Maui during that time.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
So without further ado:
Avg Pace: 18:55
Avg Pace: 9:45
The run was the exact same route I did the day before, the only difference was that I ran the whole distance this time. My legs are a little tired I haven't logged 15 miles in a week since July this year, and I'm starting to feel it. Even so I'm not worried, I still feel pretty strong.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Avg Pace: 19:20
Avg Pace: 10:07
With Wednesday complete I'm sitting at 11.46 miles for the week and 34.54 miles for the month. Both are pretty solid numbers for me over the past year. This being said, I'd like to reach about 15 miles this week and 40+ for the month so that completely in the realm of possibility. Physically I feel pretty good, my legs are sore and tired but not to the point where I can't walk. They just feel heavy right now - because of this the rest of my runs this week will be very slow paced and geared to help with my recovery. As I get older, I've noticed that recovery runs are more vital to success (just as most of 'Running" books explain).
I will be running the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5k again this year. This will be about the umpteenth time I run this event in it's history, and this will be the first time I run it with Alex. Now of course he's shooting for a sub 24 min 5k where as I'm looking at a sub 33 min time - so we really won't be running it together but at least he'll be there. So far my training is on track for my goal at this race so I'm feeling pretty good.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Legs were tight, sore and tired still I cranked out an 8:44 for the first mile (too bad it was almost all downhill). That would have been a PR for me if I was only running a mile (I don't count splits for PR's). My second mile was horrible; first thing is on this particular route is the first half of this mile is entirely uphill. Now this uphill is totally undetectable if you're cycling or even driving (if you could on this trail) but running...... OMG! It's brutal. Second, my breathing was really ragged. I mean I could hear myself over my iPod! The two poor girls ahead of me must have thought I was dying or something - at the very least I scared the living crap out of them by their reaction when I passed them (Yeah I said passed.) At this moment I would like to apologize for scaring you two, but really I could hear BOTH of you talking and laughing down the street and around the corner over NIN's Closer blaring through my headphones. Finally, as I mentioned my legs felt like old tree stumps; usually that feeling goes away after the first few minutes but the 'dead leg' syndrome lasted the whole run.
Oh the joys of running!
BTW I was .08 seconds off a PR - there's always next time.
Monday, October 20, 2008
This is a very difficult course with some massive hills over the first 1.5 miles. Toting Cade on my back was really tough.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Avg Pace: 19:39
Total time: 30:40
Beautiful day too bad I had to work. This would have been a nice day to call in sick and go for an extended ride. I need to get the bike out and put some mile in on it.
Avg Pace: 9:52
Total Time: 19:45
A couple of things happened on this run:
1. Legs felt really heavy over the first half mile then didn't bother me at all afterwards - this has never happened to me before in 30+ years of running.
2. I ran a sub 9 min mile over the first mile. This hasn't happened over multiple mile runs in quite a long time. It was nice seeing that when I looked down.
3. I ran a sub 20 mile 2 mile run. Once again this hasn't happened in quite a while.
4. Even though I struggled breathing due to my total lack of conditioning, I was able to move more fluidly during the run.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Now my family lives in Ladera Ranch California the community smashed in between the city for the TV shows "Real Housewives of Orange County" and "Laguna Beach", these rolling hills were a 'playground' for me and my friends growing up - I can still remember the small pond very close to where my new home sits, its where my friends and I used to play with the tadpoles and frogs. The pond has long since disappeared, and the rolling hills have either been plowed or groomed, but some of the trails like the I have pictured still remain and criss-cross the community.
Now normally I don't trail run these days for several reasons:
1. Allergies, Allergies, and Allergies
2. My ankles are really weak from playing soccer for so many years - I can't tell you how many times I've sprained them.
3. The trails here on the rolling coastal hills are a pain in the ass. Forget about any timed runs here - concentrate on just surviving unless your an elite running (or just crazy)
4. In the summer the heat on these trails are a bitch - even though you can see the ocean from a lot of the local trails, it gets hot (ok not Texas hot, or even Navada hot), but as you can see, there is no shade and these days I sweat like a pig when I run.
I personally like running on the streets and pathways now, and that was one huge reason why I chose Ladera - they were well know in my parts for putting together a master community that revolved around the family. My particular neighborhood was built at the 'green' neighborhood that includes solar panels, electric hookups for cars, walking paths tot he parks, stores, school and other centers most of these paths don't even cross a street and if they do it a 2-lane road.
The next couple of posts I'll try to include pictures of my actual runs - and thoughts.