Friday, January 29, 2010


We all have our own pace - having over 30 years of running expirence (wow that's getting scary) I can pretty much nail my pace without looking at a watch.  It really doesn't matter if I am in or out of shape, I just know in my head how far I've gone and how far I am from finishing a run.  Some of you most likely are saying, "What's wrong with that?  I wish I could pace myself like that."  But really this ability can be counterproductive when I'm doing a tempo run or trying to push myself harder through some 'pick-ups' during a run.  I tend to hold a little back on these runs becuase I know in my head I'm on my target pace when it would be more productive to my running growth (ie improvement) to beat my target pace for that run.  Tempo runs are usually the thorn in my side. 

In addition I tend to improve in leaps, like my 2 mile PB from the other night when I don't make any assumptions on what my pace will be before a run.  That way I tend to push myself just a little harder than the pacing voice that is talking in my head. I just wonder if I didn't have this pacing ability would I be a better runner in the long run? 

A prime example of what I'm talking about is from my long run from about a week ago.  I estimated to Beth that I was going to take 2 hours to finish over at her parents house, 9.5 miles later and 1:59:14 (Yeah :46 second off from my estimate.)  I crossed the finish feeling pretty good.  My overall pace was crappy but maybe if I couldn't pace myself so well I could have improved on this time.  Would running this training run faster make me a better runner?  Personally, for this example since this was a new distance I was pleased with my time.  And that's when I have to be careful, I have to plan exactly how fast I want to push myself before I leave the house.

I'm currently on a 7 day running streak again.  If it hadn't been for the rain and my hip during this month I think I'd be looking at 28 straight days.  Still I have to be pleased with my month.

Keep Steppin'

BTW yesterday I mentioned I wanted to run my 4 mile training run at a 9:50 pace...... I did it at a 9:53 pace.  Pretty damm close.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Too Much Information

I've got a ton to update today so I'm sorry if I ramble more than usual on this post, but I just want to get it all in.  Therefore you get bullets today.....
  • I was going through my log for this month and realized that my consecutive day streak is actually 19 days not 18.  That's huge because it actually 'breaks' my record of 18 days rather than just tying it.  I've made the correction on my sidebar to reflect this.
  • Monthly mileage is now up over 150 miles and I'm going to finish this month/week off strong with another 20+ miles.  That will DESTROY my previous best month of 108.6 miles.  I feel so strong right now I think I can add to this next month.  We'll see how I feel doing the P90x program too.  Because of this I've only scheduled 100 mile month.  Anything beyond this will be good.
  • Last night was my first scheduled interval training session - I had a small problem.  The local college track was closed (by 7:00 pm) so tried a local HS, that was closed also.  I ended up coming home and running a tempo 2 miler.  I hadn't run this course in a while and I DESTROYED my previous time of 19:02.  I clocked a 17:25 or a 8:43 per mile average with more to spare in my tank!  This is my fist recorded run over a mile where my average pace per mile has been under 9:00 mins!  The 19:02 was done in March of last year so I expected an improvement and a :90 second improvement is wonderful, I'm completely jazzed over my results.  With the increase in monthly mileage I expect to see this kind of improvement to continue throughout this year.  Maybe not this big of a jump, but I can always dream can't I?
  • Weightlifting is going well - no real pains and I'm on my third week.  If I wasn't doing P90x, I'd up these workouts - but I'm going to use these just to say I got the workout in.  Weights never hurt anybody unless you drop them o your neck. (see USC)
  • Tonight I have a 4 miler easy pace planned.  Nothing special just right around a 9:50 pace would be good.  My hammies are a little tired/sore but nothing too bad.  Tired in a good way - which is what I want.  I should take my running buddy, we'll see, it all depends when I actually get out the door for this run.

  • This distance coupled with my two walks and my warm up and cool down I should log about 7 miles today.  The weather is nice enough for this to happen pretty easily.
  • My overall progress this month has been amazing - even though I want to change my 10k RACE GOAL, I'm going to stick with a sub 60 min goal.  The race is 52 days off and with my 10k race last week (1:01:33 - race report) that I struggled with I think a 2 min improvement during this time frame is more than good.  Continuous Improvement I've always said.
  • Finally after three tries I found my next pair of shoes - in fact I ran with them for the first time last night, and set a PB!  I'll log about 50 miles in them and then FINALLY give you my SHOE REVIEW - here's my last one.  Isn't it amazing how good a shoe feels and how bad a shoe can feel?
  • I've added music to my blog - if it's too much let me know.  Hey Nicole thanks for reading, and I have to give No Doubt some play time.  OC band, good music......  ok the song is kind of wierd in this context.  If anyone wants to put in music requests drop me a comment and I'll try to add it to my list, that is if I like it.  If the load times are getting too long for the blog please me know also - I'll cut back on some sidebar items.
  • Beth and I did our P90x pretest last night.  Not too difficult - I can tell I need work on core muscles and suprisingly my quads.  The conditioning part I don't think I'll have too much of a problem but either way, I can tell this is going to be an intense 90 days.  We're starting the actual program Sunday, but we'll most likely do the one of the Bonus workouts between now and Sunday.  I'm so looking forward to working out with Beth.  If we don't kill each other it will be fun!  Beth still won't admit that she sweats...... she glistens.  Yeah right.  I still can't look too closely at my 'before' pictures.  I think the reality is slowly seeping in.....
Keep Steppin'

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Well Beth and I took our "Before" pictures last night - I can't post them.  Just too horrible - maybe I'll get over it once I've finished the program but for right now I can't stand looking at them.  Tonight we're doing the fitness test to see if we can even handle doing the program and most likely we'll start the actual progam over the weekend.  We're both pretty sure the fitness test won't pose any problems but I'm still worried.

We're pretty much going to follow the program except for maybe the supplements they sell.  Foodwise we're going to eat better and clear out the house over the next 30 days.  After 90 days if we like the results I'm sure we'll do it again.  I'm looking forward spending that extra hour working out with Beth but it's going to be hard on me getting up an hour earlier, I'm such a night owl.

I'll keep everyone posted on our/my progress. 

On top of this program I am continuing my running and weight program(s).  So I'm upping my daily workout time from approx 1 hour a day to 2 hours a day - I know this is going to get me tired but I want to see how far I can push myself here.  I have enough base work put in over the past couple years I should be able to handle it.  I think the hardest thing for me will be the change in diet.

Last night I snuck in a 5k at an very easy pace (10:26 per mile)  that's a little too slow, but because of the two previous days at the quicker pace I'm ok with this.  Also my running partner kept stopping and wanted to smell the grass.......  My legs did feel pretty tired last night and I was overdressed for the weather (windbreaker and gloves).  I most likely could have gotten away with just my sleeves and no gloves but I was being a wimp because of the slight drizzle.  Still it was a good run, I got out the front door and put in the miles where I could have just easily sat in front of the tv so I have to be pleased that I put in the effort.  I've run this particular course 14 times now and this run is the second slowest I've done, so that kind of tells me I did take it rather too easy.

Today is turning out to be fairly nice (forecast called for 40% chance of rain today), I honestly don't think we're going to get it.  That's good because I want to sneak out and get my first speedwork workout in.  I haven't done any speedwork in such a long time it's going to be interesting to see how my body reacts.  I'm just wondering if I'm going to survive. :)

Because of the rain I'm basically two workouts behind schedule but I'm not worried about this at all. I'll just make them up along the way since I'm planning on doing more mileage than what my plan calls for anyway.  Friday's are scheduled rest days and I love running Friday nights so I'm sure I'll make one day up this week.  My long day - Sunday this week is only 5 miles so rolling in the P90x program this weekend works out well also.  The weight training is coming along but I haven't really seen any results from this yet, hopefully by the end of March the work I'm putting in here will begin to pay off.

Keep Steppin'

Monday, January 25, 2010

Beautiful Day

I written alot about difficult runs and PB's recently.  Mostly because these types of runs are important, memorable, and recently very common for me.  Tonight I wanted to comment on another 'type' of run, the so called 'easy' run.  That's the training run where you feel like your floating and effort-wise it doesn't feel like a constant struggle.  I always see people writing about these runs - you'll see comments about 'runner's high' or endorphines, etc.  These types of runs to me are the product of hard work and really only come at certain points in your training cycle(s).  It's not mysterious that they 'just happen', they occur because what you are doing is working.

Don't get me wrong, these runs I truly enjoy and they are one of the many reasons why I run.  But I always get confused when I see comments about "I'm still searching for that runner's high..."  If you're searching for that run/feeling then search your log books - find out what you were doing the last time you had that feeling.  Do it again.  I promise you, you will have that feeling again.  Running is a science as much as it is physical and mental.  "But Bob I don't keep a log..." well then keep looking because your 'runner's high' runs will be few and far between.  This might sound harsh, but this is my blog and it's what I believe - so you'll have to put up with it. :)

Enough of my soap box though.  I got in a nice 3.7 mile easy run tonight (9:35 pace) that's about :10 - :15 seconds faster than my target pace tonight, but still within my target pace variance so I'm pleased with the effort put in tonight.  I started my second week in my 10k plan and Wednesday night I have my first interval training scheduled (8x400's) I'll be doing these at my 5k race pace (approx 9:04 pace) so we'll see how that goes.  I'm a little concerned though since we're supposed to get another wave of rainstorms starting tomorrow.  Hopefully it's not a bad as last week and won't effect my runnng plans too much.

I had a nice little phone conversation with my oldest son tonight - he's 15 now and earlier this school year he promised he and his mother (my ex) that he was going to try out for the track team.  I found out that he was planning on flaking on this promise so I called him on it tonight. I actually got to use the phrase: "Cowboy Up."  I've been waiting a while to use that and I think it had a positive affect.  I told him that I on't expect him to become this great runner, but I do expect him to follow through on a promise and to put in the hard work (mileage) to find out what kind of man he's going to be.  And that maybe, just maybe he'll learn something about himself in the process.  He's going to be suprised though - two years ago without any training he clocked a 6:13 mile, and that was on the road.  The kid is fast I just think he's afraid to fail. It will be interesting to see how he responds to our talk.  I'll know by Wednesday if he signed up for the team....

Keep Steppin'

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Race Report - Running After Violet Virtual 10k!

Another blogger - Casey put together this virtual 10k for her readers.  I joined in because the timing was perfect for my training and also because this sounded like fun - and I'm up for fun so I did it, and I'm sure glad I did.

After a week of rain - I had been stuck inside since Wednesday and I'd lost my consecutive day running streak at 18 so I wasn't sure how I was going to respond to having three days off.  My left hip had been bugging me a little so I'm sure the days off helped, but I was feeling a little nervous as I stepped out the door for this run.  Weather-wise you couldn't ask for a more perfect day to run in.  The rains had washed all the dirt out of the air, and the sky was clean and crisp.  The sun was shining, and the temp was hovering right around 63 degrees, just perfect weather to go for a run let alone an attempt at a PR.

After doing a quick warmup, I setteled into the race itself.  The course I decided on is slightly hilly but not too bad, in fact, I had set my current PB on this course back in March of last year: 1:04:11 so secretly I wanted to break 60 mins but I had no idea what to expect. 

Right after I got going I knew this run was going to be difficult - the fact I hadn't had a difficult run in a while suprised me but having a difficult run the day I wanted to set a PB and after taking three days off?  Now that really suprised me.  It always amazes me how my body reacts in ways I never could guess or predict.  You'd think after 39 years I'd know how I'm going to react.  Maybe that's another reason why I enjoy running so much.

Anyway, I finished my first mile around 10:40 and I knew I was in trouble - my legs felt like dead wood and each step was difficult.  That coupled with a shortness of breath really puzzled me.  I should feel good dammit!  Onward I pushed myself; mile 2 came in around 10:30.  Slowly my legs began to feel better, and mentally I started to 'will' myself to run harder.  I have a love-hate relationship with these types of runs, I know that pushing through this tpye of run makes me stronger and dammit I wasn't going to let two slow miles put me down.  So right then I decided to stop 'watching my clock'.  I put my head down and ran.  Only then did I slowly started to feel better - focused I ran.  Mile three, four, five went by without a hitch as I passed other Saturday morning runners.  Slowly I noticed a smile had spread across my face and with Oingo Boingo "Stay" blaring in my headphones I cranked it up for the final mile.  1:01:33 at the finish!  I did it, a PB and a PB that I had to work for.  I'll remember this run for a while and that's good because I want to.  Thanks Casey for encouraging us to do this.  I needed to be challanged and I needed a difficult run.


Today I followed up my 10k race with an easy 4.5 mile run.  Suprisingly I felt really good and even though I was supposed to run this at an easy pace (approx 9:45 pace) I did this at a tempo pace (9:12 pace).  Legs felt strong and I felt really good.  Once again the weather was perfect and I enjoyed getting out and hitting the pavement.  It was like yesterday's difficult run had never happened.  Funny.  I don't think I'll ever understand this.

This week's schedule looks pretty easy - I'm supposed to roll in some track work but I'm not sure I'll have the time.  I usually only get some free time after 8 pm so It will have to be at the local College.

Keep Steppin'

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Rain, Rain Go Away.......

Well we've seen the most rain in that past five days that I can remember since grade school.  Crazy weather, we've seen just about everything and a lot of it.  Needless to say I haven't run since Wednesday now and I feel bad about that.  I lost my 'steak' at 18 days (I tied my PB with that) and I'm now behind in my 10k training program. No harm done and I can't really complain because my right hip was flaring up a little and it was time to take a rest.  I've already set a new PB in monthly mileage and I'm feeling pretty good so hopefully I'll get out sometime today to test out my hip.

Other than that nothing else has happened - I'm waiting for some new running shoes to get shipped, once they arrive and I get a few miles covered in them I'll write a review.  Also I have another review to write about a pair that I sent back.  I should have that done by the end of the month.

Today is the day I'm supposed to run my trial 10k.  I think I'll attempt it just so I can set an actual goal time for my race, but if my hi feels bad - I'll cut this run back.

Keep Steppin'

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lots of Rain

I know that Southern California people can't handle weather changes but we've really had some freaky rain storms over the past 48 hrs with another 48 hrs to come.  Yesterday for about two hours we got about 2 inches of rain with tornados, thunder, and hail.  It was comming down so hard we couldn't even see accross the street.

These were taken at our local harbor (Dana Point, Ca.)  a couple of hours after the downpour yesterday.  The waterfall - it's never there.  That's not a river, it's overflow coming of the cliffs into the harbor area.  Right above the 'waterfall' are multi-million dollar condos, no word if they been damaged.

Runningwise I took it very easy yesterday - I'm really sore in my right leg (tendons in the hip area) nothing serious, but because of the massive increas in mileage I'm taking it very easy.  I'm sure it's going to hurt my weekly mileage, and my training plan, but I'll deal with it.  I'll get in a walk or to today to keep my streak going, but I don't envision getting in a run today.

Keep Steppin'

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hal Higdon's 10k Plan - Started!

Well I started my 'official' racing plan yesterday.  I'm looking forward to using a plan over the next few weeks - I can use a little structure in my training right now.  Even though the plan calls for some days off, I'm electing to use the off days as easy, short runs to add a little to my overall weekly mileage.

Yesterday I got in about 5 miles total which I thought was good because of the massive amounts of rain that fell for the most part of the day.  Around 5 pm the skies cleared and I was lucky enough to get in a run after Cade fell asleep around 9 pm.  It wasn't that cold so I didn't have to bundle up too much but I did wear my sleeves.  Pace wise I kept it pretty slow since I've put in some difficult runs last week.  My pace was actually a 9:35 per mile so it was about :10 seconds faster per mile than I had planned, but I'm ok with that.  I have to keep showing improvement right?  Actually I went and looked at my training log and noticied and the 9:35 pace on this course actually 'beats' a race time I had last January.  So I have to be pleased right?

We're still supposed to get rain throughout the week so I'm not sure what my runs are going to look like over this time.  Today I'm supposed to do another 3 miles easy - so I'm pretty sure I can squeeze this in sometime later today.  I may have to get wet but that won't be too bad.  I'm just going to play it by ear.

My streak is now 19 days which is my personal best.  I really would like to finish the month without taking a day off.  And actually I'm starting to eye going another 60 days from today.  Why 60 more days?  Well my 10k race is 60 days from today so I think that would be a good goal.  Physically I feel pretty good.  Last nigt's run went better than I expected, with just a little soreness overall nothing too bad.  Stretching this out another 60 days may be good for me mentally.  What I'm worried about is the interval training that starts nexrt week - how will I respond to that?  I'm not sure since I haven't done any of this kind of training since college.

A final note: Beth purchased P90x last night, she's wanted this program since before Thanksgiving.  I'm sure its a good program, but I'm not sure if I'm strong enough to do it.  Still Beth and I talked and we're going to try to do this together.  I think I'm going to take before, during and after picture and I'll keep everyone posted on my progress.

Keep Steppin'

Monday, January 18, 2010

9.5 Miles in the Bank!

Well I did it - I finished 9.5 miles.  It wasn't pretty, nor was it very fun, but I did it, the course I plotted out was from my house to my in-law's house.  The first three miles were brutal, up and down I thought my legs were going to blow out.  On top of that for some reason I decided that a very fast tempo run for 3.1 miles (9:14 pace) the night before was a good idea.  Needless to say, my legs were toasted before I even stepped out the front door.  Still I finished the course within the two hour time frame I gave myself so I'm pleased that this run is finished.

Before go any further I have to thank Beth for letting me go, and for picking me up at her parents.  It was totally unneccessary for her to do since she had all the kids, but I did appriciate it on her part.  I love you honey.

I did do some walking out on the course so I do have a long way to go before I'm ready for my half marathon but now I know where I stand and what I need to do before my May half marathon comes around.  But doing this run should help me mentally from this point forward.  Talking about the mental aspect - Beth happened to mention before hand, "You're not ready for that distance."  So of course, all I thought over the next two hours was "Maybe I can't do this."  Funny how things like this work in your brain, but it definately messed with my head.

I already mentioned that the first three miles were brutal, but after that it's pretty much a straight run downhill towards the ocean.  By the time I made it to this part, I was pretty toasted and I knew even then I was going to walk some more over the last six miles but I was ok with this since my real goal for this run was to finish and to finish under two hours.  I accomplished both when I rounded the last corner and saw Beth and Alex waiting for me, waving me on in the distance.  As I finished the final quarter mile they held up a finishing line between them - I was suprised how emotinal I started to get until I saw what they were holding between them - My father-in-law's old neck brace!  I couldn't help but laugh to myself as I 'broke' the finish.  Still it was a nice touch and I'm very happy to get a reception at my finish.  I can't remember the last time I had someone watch me run - usually when I'm running it's just me and my head.  Having them there was a nice touch.

Beyond yesterday's run, I'm currently at 17 consecutive days but we've got 6 days of rain coming in here off the Pacific.  It's going to be really hard running in the kind of rain that they are predicting, over three inches.  Still I think I'm going to try to cotinue the streak - I've started the month and year strong and I really want something I can 'hang my hat on'.  A solid running streak (30+ days) would make me feel like I've accomplished something towards that.

I've already mentioned that I ran a tempo on Saturday night - that was a mistake really.  That run was supposed to be an easy run, around a 10:00 min pace, but at the second mile marker I glanced at my watch for the first time - 19:01.  That made me pick up my pace when I should have started to shut it down knowing I wanted to attempt a 9 miler the next morning.  I finished in 28:35, just :31 seconds off a PB.  It was pretty effortless - I should be able to destroy this time when I'm ready to.

Today marks my first day of 'official' 10k training.  Three easy miles (9:40 - 10:00 pace) plus some strength training is being called out.  I should be able to do that without too much difficulty even if my ass is a little sore from yesterday's effort.  My longest run this week only calls for a 10k (a virtual race I signed up for - a sub 1:04:00 PB goal) so it looks like a pretty 'standard' week for me now. (approx 23+ miles.)

Keep Steppin'

PS My Chargers really stank it up yesterday,  I don't want to get any comments regarding their play, how much they suck, or that they are 'soft'.  My FB account is bad enough.  I'm still in mourning. :(

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's Friday!

Well another week has past, and a lot has happened this week.  I did a very nice rain run, I missed my cycling outing and I'm planing a PB for distance (9 miles) tomorrow.

I'm closing in on some goals here in the next week or so;
  • Monthly distance is currently 104.7 miles my best month is 108.6 so I should pass that today.
  • Current running streak is 14 days - I'm shooting for 30 days which will beat my yearly goal of 25 days.  (I might have to revisit this goal.)
  • I'll be making an attempt next Saturday (the 23rd) at a 10k PB - currently my best stands at 1:04:11 that I did last March.  I should be able to destroy this.
  • I'm attempting a PB in distance (9 miles)
If everything goes well I should have a record month in regards to my goals that I set earlier in the month.  I never dreamed that I'd be so close to so many of my goals for the year this early.  Now if I can maintain this level, it would go a long way to becoming more consistant (another goal I set.)  I'm still on pace to log 130 miles this month so I'm very pleased with my effort.  I feel good and strong with very little aches and pains so I'm very encouraged that I should be able to continue at this level.

Last night I finally ran the 4 miler that I thought I was running from my last post.  The weather was perfect, no clouds, no breeze and nice cool air.  Too bad I was runnning bad.  I completed the 4 miles at a 10:40 pace.  Now there were several reasons for this slower pace so I'm not too disappointed.  First there was my running parnter; Bogey, he wanted to smell everything we past. So I stopped for him a couple times thinking he had to 'do his business', but actually he just wanted to smell the roses.  Second I was trying out some new running shoes - I won't say much other than they are currently on the way back to the store.  I'll write a complete review on these shoes sometime next week. Finally I wanted to keep my pace down since lately I've been running a little too fast, so the 10:40 pace is ok for a run or two right now.

Also I wanted to thank everyone for their recent comments / questions - I'll try to answer most of them.
(more bullets)
  • I'm not a 'streak' runner.  I've always been interested in people who do streak because to me it shows more than just dedication, but rather a way of life.  These people aren't just running for health, time, or to get better.  They run because they truely enjoy it.
  • I run because I do want to get faster - and because it keeps me healthy, sane, and finally because I do enjoy it.
  • Last summer I was going through a difficult time after getting laid off from my job that I had for 9 years.  I was transitioning to a stay-at-home Dad as Beth went off to work full time.  Because of this, my running suffered.  In fact I missed a couple of races because of my conditioning.  I did spend a huge amount of time with the kids since they were home for the summer - something that I wasn't able to do while I was working full time.
  • My activity levels have taken off because I believe that I've put in the hard work over the past two years to get to this point.  I've always believed that it takes about 24 months to get your body used to certain 'levels' of running.  It's only just about now that I think my body can handle the extra workload.  I really think I'll stay healthy through this current push for more mileage.  I expect to keep at the 100-200 miles per month level for another 2 years though.
  • My graphs - they are really just an by-product from using RunningAhead as my on-line log book.  Once reason why I chose this site (other than it totally free) is because I can get this kind of breakdown very easily.  I find this VERY important because it makes me a better runner oveall.  I can look back and know exactly how much I'm biking, walking, doing easy runs vrs tempo etc....  I can pull almost any 'stat' I want in about :30 seconds.  Having this information helps me plan ahead.  I can't every begin to express how happy I am with this site.  Eric (the creator and owner) is great and is always improving the site in real time.  Don't worry if you have another site with data - he's created automatic downloads to most major on-line sites to transfer data.  (Including downloading your Garmin data!)  And if you have your data in just a excel page - he'll download it for you.  The link is on my sidebar - check it out.  I'll continue adding graphs that I feel show my progress, or goals in future posts.
Next week is going to be difficult getting in  my planned mileage - we're supposed to get 6-5 days of rain, and I'm not too keen running in this stuff everyday next week.  I don't mind doing it every once in a while, but all week?  There is a reason why I don't like in Spokane anymore.  I do have my 'streak' to think of so I'm sure I'll try to keep that going even of I only get in 1-2 miles daily.  I can't really complain though since we've had a very mild winter so far cmpared to the rest of the United States.  Hopefully I'll get in at least 20 miles next week.

Tonight I'm planning another 4 miler (at least) - nice and easy becasue tomorrow morning I'm attempting a PB for mileage.  I'll be running both runs with my old shoes but hopefully by the end of the weekend I'll find another pair of shoes.  And as always I'll write a review on them.

Keep Steppin'

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

13 Days and Counting.....

My streak is now 13 days, not exactly how I planned but still it's a solid streak.  Yesterday I wanted to get in a solid 7 miles for the day but I went and put Cade down to bed and fell asleep until 10:00 pm.  If Beth hadn't woken me up I most likely would have slept right on through the night.  I'm not too upset, I really wasn't feeling very well and this gave me a chance to get a little rest and I had already logged 2+ miles for the day so all wasn't lost.

Today I had my 27 mile cycling route planned but what I didn't count on is having rain the first thing this morning.  With the temps down in the low 50's and rain I decided to forego the ride and I went for a run instead.  The plan was to sneek in a 4 miler that I didn't get to do the night before so I was eyeballing the cloud cover as I worked from my desk.  Around 10:00 am I decided that the weather wasn't going to break and I could venture out in the drizzle.  Now being from So Cal I don't have any wet weather gear so I pulled on my regular clothes and added my sleeves and by the time I was finished I was drenched. 

The run itself was interesting, like I mentioned, I was going 4 miles and I wanted to finish in just under 40 mins, what I thought was 4 miles turned out to be 4.25 miles and I completed it in 41:15  (9:43 pace - right where I wanted to be).  I struggled throughout the whole course, first I didn't feel loose then my left arch was cramping and finally my knees were sore.  I kept looking at my watch (which was completely drenched) where I thought the mile markers were and I kept getting upset since I was dropping further and further behind my planned pace.  When I finished, and as soon as I stopped my watch something funnny happened, all of the sudden I felt good.  Now normally I go about a mile (or under) as a cool down, but today after walking about 400 meters I started up again and did another 2.3 miles in the rain.  I tell you, I've been running for over 30 years on and off and I've never felt this way before, these additional 2+ miles I was grinning ear-to-ear and I'm sure the people passing me going the other direction must have thought I was out of my mind, but I was having so much fun rain and all.  My pace over the last two miles was 10:22 per mile that included walking the 400 meters.

Today I feel much better, my headache is managable once again, and my upset stomach is gone so I must have just been having a bad day yesterday.  As I write this it's now sunny, the clouds broke about an hour ago and I can't believe that it was raining at all this morning.  Still I wouldn't do it anyother way.  Today's run I will remember for some time to come.

Last night I did finally pay for my 10k race in March so I'm committed.  (Or a least have a $30 investment on the line)  I'm going to refrain on setting a new time goal until I run my 'mock' race on the 23rd of this month.

One final note, I hit 96.9 miles for the month already and I'm on pace to do 130 miles for the month, and this is without the planned cycling ride I had planned for this morning.  130 miles will be a record for me so I'll have to watch how I'm feeling since I don't want to get hurt.

My graph

Keep Steppin'

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A So Called Rest Day

So yesterday was a rest day for me.  No I didn't break my streak (12 days now), I just took it really easy.  A couple walks and an easy 2.3 mile run.  Because I have put so many miles in for 2010 so far I wanted to take it really easy today but I didn't want to just sit on my butt.  Once again we had beautiful weather so I got out the door for the 2 miler around 7:30 pm.  With just a smattering of cloud cover, I did a VERY easy 9:50 pace.  This is pretty much what I want for my easy paced runs right now.  Just a tad under 10 min miles and I'll recover nicely.

This morning I woke with an upset stomach coupled with a pretty bad headache.  I know I haven't written about my headaches before, but I suffer from them daily.  I manage the pain pretty well and usually within 5 mins of waking I can tell how bad its going to be.  I've done everything possible to have this condition checked out but about 10 years ago I decided that I'll always have them and I'll just deal with it.  Most of the time I can just pop a few excedrine and I'm fine but every once in a while they just lay me out.  I try not to complain to my wife because I'm sure she doesn't want to hear it, and there's nothing I can do about them so complaining won't help.

Anyway this morning I could tell right away that it was going to be a struggle, hopefully when I get my run in today, it will clear my head a little, but with the stomach ache on top of it I'm a little worried I'm comming down with a little bug.  We'll see how I feel tomorrow.

Today the plan is to get in a 4 miler with Bogey at about the same pace as yesterday's run (9:50).  That with the cool down and my walks to Abby's school should give me about 7 miles for the day which is exactly what I want.  On Wednesday (tomorrow) I already know I won't have any kids in the morning so I'm planning a duplicate of my cycling distance from last week (27 miles).  That ride took a lot out of my legs last week and I want to see a few things:
  • Thursday and Friday last week were pretty tough - can I recover a little faster this time?
  • The ride itself was pretty rough on my quads, can I do this ride on back-to-back without my body crashing during the ride?
I should have answers to these two questions by the end of the week.

On my last post I mentioned that I was concerned about getting in a 'long' run and a trial 10k before my 10k training schedule kicks into play - well another blogger Casey who writes Running After Violet is doing a virtual 10k run on the 23rd of this month so I signed up for it.  It fits my schedule pretty well and I'll still be able to get my attempt at 9-10 miles in this weekend.  So I get the best of both worlds....... :)  (BTW I don't think it's too late to sign up, come join us.)  So the plan is to do a 27 mile bike ride tomorrow and a 9-10 miler this Saturday, then the following Satuday I'll be attempting a PB at the 10k distance.....  Hmmmmm all the runs in-between are going to be VERY slow.  On top of this, I'm looking at my PB's yesteday thinking it would be nice to attempt a new PB at the 2 mile distance....... Maybe I can work this in next month.

I almost forgot to welcome my new followers!  Thank you for stopping by, leave comments, thoughts, questions - I'll most likely incorporate them into a post (or two).

Keep Steppin'

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Record Week

It's been a few days since I last posted, but I haven't been slacking.  If fact I logged a record 64.2 miles last week beating my previous best by about 15 miles.  Once again I'll point out that I include my cycling miles in these numbers, but I've always have.  Cycling made up 27 miles so I still had a very solid week.

Physically I'm a little tired now.  I have a 10 day streak going on and I do feel a little fatuged.  It's not too bad, but I've run a few of my last runs a little too fast.  Getting home tongight and checking out my log for my last few runs, I'm noticing that my pace is about :15 seconds faster per mile than I really want.  Now this doesn't sound like much, but over a 5 mile distance, and after 10 days the quicker miles do tend to sneek up on you.  This week I'm really going to try to cut back a little on my speed.  (I'm planning speedwork at the end of the month anyway.)

Sometime this week I'll be signing up for my planned 10k - my acutal traing schedule starts next Monday (the 18th) so I do have this week for a little 'freestyle' training.  I'm actually looking forward towards a structured 8 week schedule that includes some track work.  I haven't done any track running in about 15 years so that should be fun.

A couple other notes; first I'm closing in on a streak goal of 18 days.  If everything go to plan that will happen on the 18th.  Hard to believe that in the first 18 days of the new year I could reach one of my quartely goals.  Second, I may revise my 10k time goal.  Right now I'm just shooting for a sub 60 mins, but I'm going to have to put a stretch goal on that because in some of my tempo training runs I'm beating this time already.  Yesterday I ran 5.9 miles in 57:15 or a 9:43 pace on a tempo training run without really trying too hard.  A 10k race I should be able to beat this by about 3-4 mins.  To get a better feel for this I'm scheduling a 10k run this next weeked before I start my actual 10k training.  I want to see how close I'm actually to breaking that 60 min goal.  This will put a slight crim in my distance plans because I wanted to put in a long run of 9 miles (a personal best) this upcoming Sunday.  We'll just have to see how the week pans out.  Finally I've set a goal of a sub 2:15:00 for my half marathon in May.  I have no idea if I can do that - the 8 miler I did mid December really took a lot out of me.  And if I'm not going to run a 9 miler this week, my next scheduled 'longest run' won't occur until early March.  I'm sure I can finish that distance, but without attempting it I can't really get a good grasp on an accurate time.  Anyway, I'm going to focus on running a strong 10k first then I'll worry about the half distance.

Today the whole family dicided to hike up the dreaded ridgeline by my house.  It's a good hike and I had Cade on my back.  I've included a few pictures this time so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about;

Abby on the backside of the ridge

Our house second row back dead center (grey-blue 2 story)

Abby again on top of the ridge

Close-up of our house

Cade - always smiling.

Looking towards Big Bear (East) - just a little snow.

Our little model - her print ad for the Montage will be out next Christmas.

It's a great workout with a 40 lb kid on your back - I was sweating bad.

Finally I wanted to point out that I'm on pace to destroy my monthly record in distance; currently it stands at 108.6 that I did in September last year.  Right now as it stands I'm sitting at 81.6 miles for the month ad on pace to do 127 miles for the month.  Personally I'm pretty sure that I'm going to reach this number in fact I wouldn't be suprised to see a 160 mile month here.  I just want to be careful and make sure I don't hurt myself though.

Keep Steppin'

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I Did 26+ Miles - Cycling

The title says it all - yesterday was a very nice day.  I got out and walked a few times and also found myself without any kids so I got the bike down and went for a ride.  Just a little over 26 miles logged and I feel pretty good.  My quads are a little tired but nothing too bad, and my lower bad feels good also.  I'm a little surprised at how well my body has handled the increase in mileage so far this week.

The couse in itself wasn't too difficult, but I just wanted something fun. I wanted t go out and just enjoy myself on my bike. That I did - but now my rear end is just a little sore :).  But the best part is, I finally got my bike out of the rafters, and rode it for the first time in about three months.  I really need to incorporate riding into my workouts more.  I can really tell that it would help my overall fitness, and it keeps my workouts interesting...

This morning my body feels pretty good, I didn't take the girls to school (I had an interview instead) but I do plan on picking them up and doing an easy 3 miler with Bogey later this evening.  So far for the month I've logged 60+ miles and I can envision myself doing over 200 miles if I get another bike ride in later in the month.

Other than the ride, I did get in a few walks, to and from school, dropping off and picking up the girls.  But by about 7 pm I was shot and was asleep within a few hours of that.

So far this month I haven't missed a day, and I'mgoing to see if I can keep this going thoughout the month.  I've always liked streaks and maybe I can get a good one going here with all the nice weather we're having. 

Finally welcome to my 'new' readers.  Please take some time to read their stuff - very helpful, inciteful, and entertaining.  Hopefully my readership continues to grow as I because faster and stronger.

Keep Steppin'

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Another Good Run

I'm bound to have a 'bad/difficult' run soon.  I'm not sure when, but I'm overdue.  I've always said the bad runs are what make you a stronger, better runner and I'm actually looking for this run to come.  Last night was a pretty easy run I put in 3.4 miles at a 9:23 pace making this a tempo run for me.  On top of this I did another 2 miles walking in the morning and a 1 mile cool down after the tempo run.  My legs feel pretty good so far - a little tender in the calves but not too bad.

I'm very pleased with my start to the new year.  I've already logged 25 miles for the month and I'm feeling very strong.  I've run everyday of the new year so far and I can see this overall trend continuing throughout the whole month.  (I do expect to take a day off - I'm now sure when yet.) 

I've finally decided which 10k program I'm going to work towards for my 10k race in March.  January 18th is the program start date and I'll be loosely following Hal Higdon's 10k Intermediate Plan.  For those not familliar with this plan, it's and 8 week plan that involves strength training, tempo runs, cross training and some intervals.  The plan also calls for a 5k Race on week 4 - which I'll be doing alone.  I'll pretty much follow the plan except that I'll be adding a few extra miles hre and there.  My race Goal is still running a sub 60 min Race - since it is my first I don't want to burn myself out, because my main goal this year is my1st half that I've scheduled for May.  I'll keep everyone posted on my progress.

Kee Steppin'

Sunday, January 3, 2010

5 Miler Today

Today marked the last day of Christmas vacation for the kids - they went out in style.  Abby went to the movies with Beth, Cade had a Birthday party to go to, and I got in 9 holes early this morning and a 5 mile run in tonight.

For golf , I played again with my Father-in-law along with my Brother-in-law.  I was 8 over after nine but I was 5 over on just two holes (small implosion).  My back felt really good afterwards with I was suprised, usually I'll have a pretty sore lower back after a round and that didn't happen today.

Tonight with clear crisp skies, Bogey and I made it out for a run.  I was going to keep it really short (2.3 miles) but once again I turned a different direction and before I knew it I had gone almost 5 miles with my cool down.  My pace was slightly slower than yesterday's (9:55 pace vrs a 9:49 pace) which I wanted so I'm pleased with the run and my effort.  I feel really strong right now and I plan on logging runs for the rest of the week.  We'll see how I feel on Friday :).

The night sky was beautiful today - clear and very bright as I watched the moon rise over the ridge to the east.  I love night like this, it's almost a religious expirence.

Keep Steppin'

My Running Partner is a Year Old Today.

So today is Bogey's Birthday. The big zero-one for him - and I don't think we could have picked out a better dog for our family.  He's good with the kids and loves to run with me.  He's still a little hyper but I keep reminding myself that he's still a puppy.  Abby has him trained with 'sit', 'shake', 'lay', and she's working on 'speak' and 'roll over'.  Running-wise he's been a good buddy on the pavement.  Only once this year have I run him into the ground but other than that, he's usually there step for step with me.  He's been really good on a leash while we run - shoot I've only stepped on him once.  I guess once it all it takes :)

Today for his Birthday the family took him to Hunnington Beach to the Dog Beach there.  For anyone who hasn't been there it's a nice open beach where you are allowed to take the dogs off their leashes.  Bogey loves it there - but it's about a 30 min drive so we don't go very often.

Running today went well, I did a total of 4 miles without any real difficulty.  Pace was around 9:45 and I felt really good considering it was 48 degrees.  Bogey went with me and we didn't see another soul the entire time which was kind of weird since it was still pretty early (8:30 pm).  The moon was coming up peeking through a thin band of clouds making it look really big and bright.  Very cool looking with the nearly full moon.  Tomorrow I'll hopefully get in another 3-4 miler since I'm off to a pretty good start for the year.

Keep Steppin'

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Year Dawns.....

It's hard to believe that another year has passed, I'm a year older and my family is just a little more set in our ways.  The kids are growing so fast, and I can't believe that Beth and I first started dating over 10 years ago.  Where does the time go?  Maybe it's just because it the first of the year, and my Birthday was this past week, but I can't help but look back at the past - to try to learn from it.  What did this past year teach me?  How can I learn from my mistakes to be a better person?  A better husband? A better friend?  I think we all should take time out of our busy schedules and ask these questions of ourselves every once in awhile.  What do we all see in ourselves?  Shoot - I just got done watching the old 80's flick, Pump up the Volume with Christian Slater - can you tell?  And if you haven't seen this movie please do.

On to my run today.  I had only planned a 3 miler when I stepped out the front door this morning, but after a mile I went straight instead of turning, then right, left, etc....  before I knew it I had gone almost 6 miles at a 9:44 pace.  That's pretty good for me and a pretty good start for the year considering that I ran this 3 mins slower at the start of December.  It was such a beautiful morning here in Southern California today - a perfect way to start off the new year.  I have such high hopes for my running goals this year I can hardly sit still when I start thinking about them.  Right now I'm just going to focus in on my 10k I planned in March - really I want to break 60 mins here and I think that is totaly possible.  I'll be so happy if I do that since it will be my first official 10k since High School.  Today I was almost there - with another 300 miles or so under my belt I should be able to achieve this goal.

As promised, I wanted to give an update about my Brooks (see my review)  after 512 miles the shoes are holding up great.  I paid $59.99 for them which works out to be approx $.12 per mile so I think I got my money's worth out of them.  The outer edges are starting to wear a little but that's only because that's where my foot strikes hit first.  Beyond that I haven't noticed any other wear in the shoes and I think I can get another 100-200 miles out of them before I really have to shelve them.  I do have a gripe though, the place I purchased them through is no longer carrying the Brooks line.  Hmmm I wonder why?

Finally, as always I'd like to welcome my newest follower - runningBarefoot.  She has a good read over there even if I don't condone barefoot running, but to each their own.  If I have forgotten any other new followers I'm truely sorry, but please feel welcome!  I very much enjoy your feedback, and/or comments so don't be shy.  I'll try to make this as interesting as possible.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask them I'll most likely write about it (and my thoughts) if you want.

Keep Steppin'