Thursday, January 31, 2008

thanks superbowl

Well it turns out the superbowl is actually good for something. This weekend the bball game was cancelled due to some sort of celebration or party for it. I like football, but the superbowl is always disappointing nowadays. I just get tired of the crappy halftime stuff and all the hype. It's fun maybe in a video game or something where cool animations are something to look forward to, but in real life it's really pointless. Either way I now get to do my long run as scheduled on Sunday.

Right toe still has some pain. I hate saying it's the right toe. It's really the joint where it meets the foot. I'm not sure if there is something seriously wrong or not, but the pain comes and goes. I have been having it for over a month now. I tried looking back to where it started and there is no real cause, I suppose it's just from pounding the pavement for so many miles. It doesn't hurt this very second, but it is tender and feels bruised anytime I try to massage or touch it.

Run tonight was pretty standard. Nothing other than the toe pain for the first mile that I can think of worth mentioning.

8(8.78)miles. 40 degrees. GM 210

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Learning to Climb

I have finally made it. My last training pyramid ended during the climbing phase. I was just starting to work it in then the streak ended. I'm back again and ready to get to the top this time. Tennessee is quite hilly. There are an abundant amount of hills here, even flat courses are 10x hillier than the ones in Ohio. I like it though. It creates momentum and keeps the run honest. So anyway I have ran these hills for months now and still struggle to get up them at times. I normally take hills the most efficient way possible, using as little energy as possible while maintaining speed. I do that because I want my base runs to be easy. They aren't about strength, they are about endurance. Extra effort is great, but not the end purpose. Extra pounding is not good. It means greater chance of injury, and worse chance of fatigue that means following runs will not have as much quality.

Now things have changed. I have built the base and now it's time to actually exert effort on the hills. A weird thing to teach yourself after months of the opposite. But things went well. I started off with 3 miles warmup. Then I took the HH on. I went up pretty fast, there is a middle area that I coasted because it flattens out slightly, but then returns to the nice incline the rest of the way up. I was breathing hard at the top, but I definitely was going pretty fast on the way up. I didn't want to do all the repeats in a row. I didn't think I could handle it aerobically yet. So I ran another 3 mile loop and came back. This time I could really feel the legs working and at the top I was breathing hard, but felt like I could do another one.

I had "4-6 hills" written in for today. At this point I was thinking 4 would do fine. But as I did the third one at the top I felt really good. Tired and winded, but good. I could do another one for sure. So back down and then sprinting up, passing mailboxes like they were standing still. I was again breathing good, and headed back down. At the bottom I thought it would be nice to have 5 written down, so up I go again sprinting. Same breathing hard and legs tired, but still I knew I would feel good when I got to the bottom. So up again to get my 6 in, then around the block a little ways to get some extra miles in. Those miles were great. I felt so good from running up that hill, that I just wanted to keep going. But once I saw the sun setting I finished up. That's another good thing, the sun is setting later, which makes more time for longer runs like todays.

I was very surprised at my conditioning level. Especially after putting off last weeks 2-4 hills. This was a very fun run. I was going to do it tomorrow, but I've decided to move the long run to Saturday and didn't want it to close to that. So everything seems to be working out well. I am so looking forward to the HH now. I think mostly because I know the benefits that I will get from that work, and the 10k is coming in a few weeks so I need some strength built to do well. With today's workout I'll go on a limb and say sub-40 for a gold goal, beat my PR for a silver. That's pretty fast, but I think I can do it, and I don't want to set the bar too low.

One thing to note is about energy usage. At the point where you're body is in oxygen debt (i.e. breathing hard) you start burning stored energy that has been produced. Once that runs out you're body starts burning fat as a fuel source, which causes "the wall". The reason is that fat cannot be burned efficiently like glucose which is limited supply, so a backup of lactic acid causes what I can only describe as agony. The point I am getting at is that once your body switches to glucose it is very hard to switch back to burning fat aerobically. Today I was able to do that relatively quickly, as I ran a few miles afterwards and things "went back to normal". Just a thought. And if none of that makes sense, then either I don't know what I'm talking about, or you probably don't care enough to figure it out.

11(12)miles. 39 degrees. GM 202

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


A kind of boring run on the treadmill tonight. Just put a movie on and got to work. I counted steps to pass the time. Felt pretty good although on the treadmill a 7:30 feels way harder than on the roads. Treadmills aren't the best equivalent for running, but they mimic the action well enough. I'm glad I bought the treadmill. It was nice not having run in the 16 mph wind and thunderstorms tonight (although I would have contended with the wind).

Today was a boring day I was just lagging behind at work. I'm glad I got my run in because all I could think about was going home and taking a nap.

8(8.55)miles. Treadmill. GM 191

Monday, January 28, 2008


Fresh legs a day after basketball and 9 miles on top?? You heard it here first folks, it is possible. Surprisingly my legs were turning over at an amazing ratio. I felt free again. It has been a long time since I've had an awesome run. At least it feels that way. The stitch in my calf appears to have disappeared, which was nice. Unfortunately there are two things left to overcome. The searing burning throbbing pain at my big toe connection on my right foot, and the annoying slight pain on sharp turns in my left ankle. The first one worries me the most. It may be some sort of stress fracture, but the pain is come and go. And when it comes, I can barely take it. I just wince and after a few minutes it's gone and I can return to peaceful land.

So yeah, nothing short of an awesome run. One awesome thing was yesterday there were some high school kids on the top of the HH. They saw me run by and yelled at me. Things like, RUN RUN RUN, and "you'll never make it". That was very motivational to me. Today the complete opposite motivation showed it's head. An older gentleman was taking his trash out and looked me dead in the eye and said "You are an inspiration". I smiled real big and waved back. I wanted to say something but I was halfway by and only wanted to respond if I could muster something equally valuable. Man for the next mile I felt AMAZING. I already felt AWESOME before that, but it just made the run better. So good that I had to slow down to normal pace again. I am running easier nowadays.

So that was friggin cool. I have been running in the hood for a long time, and only two people have really talked to me. But today tops all. I hate to say it, but I'd rather not run here anymore because nothing is going to top that. But I will continue.

If the legs continue their recovery I'm in line for a Thursday/Friday hill workout consisting of 4-6 hills plus easy miles. Sunday is supposed to be a long run, but I don't see it. We met the youth pastor at church and we're having dinner with him and his fiance, add basketball on top and it's kind of hopeless for a 3 hour run. I haven't checked the school sched. but I believe we have a day off in February at the beginning. That may be a perfect postpone day for it. I really need those runs. Psychologically more than physically at this point.

10(11)miles. 50 degrees calm. GM 183

Sunday, January 27, 2008

a sort of win.

Well we won our game today. It doesn't really count to me since half our team wasn't there in the first place. I guess a lot of the guys who signed up could only make it some of the time. That's great and all, but I'd rather have guys that can set aside a single hour out of the day and play and have fellowship. Anyway I am happier. I made some key free throws at the end of the game that really put us over the edge. Shooting wise I was terrible, but has some buckets here and there.

Running was okay. It started off great, feeling really good with a warm up mile. Then around three the fatigue from the bball took over and the rest of the run was a struggle between stopping, and not wanting to stop. So I continued my run, skipping the HH once and then getting 2 more in later. That thing is still a beast even after all my running I'm still breathing hard going up.

Would have liked to start my climbing phase this week, but it just didn't work. I am extremely tired and probably need a break, but at the same time I don't want one.

9(10)miles. 42 degrees. GM 173

Saturday, January 26, 2008

back to business

Well I'd like to say a rest day cured all my ailments. Unfortunately that isn't true. The stitch by my left calf is still there. But it wasn't a complete loss. I felt a lot better today on the run. Not really faster, but just an overall feeling of energy and confidence. It actually started off pretty bad. I skipped stretching last night and I think that made it a lot harder to get going. Once I did things started getting back to normal and feeling good. Ten minute cooldown on the treadmill.

Not much else to say. Spent the day cleaning, April went out. Ran when she got back and then got new cell phones. I don't even know how to use it since it's been 5 years without an upgrade. Then we went to April's parents for dinner and now finally getting home after watching a three hour movie. Not a lot of relax time today, but at least the house is almost cleaned up. I always get more done when things are organized.

8(9)miles. 40 degrees slight wind. GM 164

Friday, January 25, 2008

rest day?

It's been over two weeks without a rest day, but I think I want to end the streak. I may still get one mile in just so I can say I ran, but in all honesty I needed a break. There is really no reason other than I had a hard day/week/month. I've been running a whole lot and the miles are really putting fatigue in the legs. At this point though, it takes more discipline NOT to run. As that would just aggravate the muscles yelling at me for some relief. There has been this slight pain running inbetween my shin bone and my calf. I massage it a lot, but it still hasn't went away. I really noticed it last week. Hopefully a night off will help that out some in addition to the fatigue.

Today was special olympics day. We had ice skating. I was the only TA who went, so it was up to me to play teacher. Kim drove separate so I was in charge of everybody. Kind of weird, but it worked out fine. While I was there I was a timer. I was on the ice the entire time. It really took a lot out of me. Plus it was freezing outside which doubled the coldness of the ice rink. My legs were pretty numb when we finally got finished. Needless to say that trips like that really take a lot out of you if you are a teacher or in charge of things. It's worse than work because you can't sit down for a minute or really get a nice break in or anything. Anyway it was a lot of fun, and gave me a good excuse for a rest day.

ha. I just checked it was Jan.1st when I last took a zero.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Incredibly cold today, even though it didn't look it. It was nice and sunny but the wind was straight out of the north and freezing. This, coupled with running into it, proved to be comparable to my runs in Ohio. Well, okay not quite because at least here I could somewhat avoid the wind, but in Ohio there's nowhere to hide. I ran the course backwards, so that the open straightaway would be with the wind, and the blocked straightaway would be against it. I know I'm a genius. That made the run a million times better as the first lap I would have rather been drowning in an arctic shelf somewhere. So after that change everything was awesome and the run took off. Miles were burning by and although it was still chilly with crosswind, it wasn't anything I couldn't handle. Hills were a little tough at first, but once the legs warmed up there wasn't much that could have stopped me.

Feeling good about today, maybe a little faster than I would have liked. I will definitely calm it down tomorrow and hold back on the pace just slightly and see where I end up. Looks to be a fun day as the kids are ice skating for special olympics.

April and I ate out tonight at a good Italian place. The food was good, but the dessert, oh my. At one point I think I started floating to heaven. We are stuffed now as it was all you can eat salad and bread.

8(8.74)miles. 20 degrees with windchill. GM 156

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

who kicked me out the door?

Really debated running today. I read a quote online that was a pretty good description of my thought process. "Running asks you every day, am I going to be strong, or am I going to be a wimp." Today, and pretty much everyday I have chosen to be strong. But still I have to answer the question ALOT. More times that you would think. I find myself thinking "oh I can do it later", or "man I'm hungry", or "I could really just let the legs rest today" or my favorite "it's cold and the blankets would be nice and warm". But somehow I always muster the strength to get out there in the cold and go for it. It's almost like someone else takes over and says, see you later! and pushes me out the door. Today was definitely one of those days.

So the genius weather man (and weather reports) said 39-40 degrees when i headed out. I don't think so! It had to be just above freezing, and I would know since I run in this stuff everyday. It was probably due to the humidity from the rain, and there was a slight breeze. A pretty fast run today with the legs cooperating. Turns were a little funky with the ankle, but there wasn't pain like last time. Legs were not fresh. They are pretty fatigued actually, but all the same they aren't too bad. I think a few more days of running comfortably and they will be ready for a hill workout. I'm looking forward to that. I keep scouting out hills in the area and there are actually quite a few I look forward to tackling.

8(8.5)miles. 39? pff 33 degrees. GM 148

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

good sign

Complete madness today. Roads were covered with black ice. School was delayed, but we ended up having inservice despite the 389 wrecks in our city. Got up made some pancakes, then took one of the best naps I could remember before heading in to school. Inservice was fine, really short because of the delay, plus we had to drive to another school for a meeting for TA's. When I got home I knew I couldn't run outside. A policeman broke his collarbone and did who knows what to his shoulder when he tripped on the ice. The hospital was backed up with "weather" related injuries. I didn't want to be one of those people. I am reminded of a quote. I think it was from Bill Bowerman, but I'm not sure. Anyway it was something like "there is never bad weather, only weak runners". I sincerely and humbly disagree with that opinion. There are times when it is okay, like in freezing cold or super heat, but not in ice, lightningstorms, hurricanes, tornado's, etc.

So I was back on the treadmill tonight. Thank the good lord it was just for 6 miles. Felt pretty good once I got going. I watched "searching for bobby fisher", well at least the beginning. I have seen it before and it is a great one. I like strategy, and its one of the best if not the greatest chess movie ever made, so I naturally enjoy it. The only bad part is blaring the sound. My treadmill is by no means loud, but once you get up to 7.5-8 miles the motor and the sound of feet landing pretty much take over.

A nice graph showing the last 2 weeks progression of long runs.

So that was that, I actually got the run in later. That is a good sign. It means despite changes that would normally hinder me from running, I still stayed consistent. I am very excited about that. I like when circumstances aren't in your favor, yet you persevere and follow through.

Much to my surprise I wasn't sore today. My body reacts so well to running that even a 20 miler doesn't have as much adverse effects as a game of basketball. I think that just shows what training can do. Amazing what bodies are capable of. I'm still taking it easy this week though and keeping the pace held back as much as I can. It's been pretty fast lately. Alright two hour delay tomorrow so already a short day, plus a short week! The weekend will be here in a flash.

6(6.55)miles. treadmill. GM

off topic

i know this is a running blog, but I definitely see the merit of a variety of sports. If there was one thing I could do, other than a triathlon, it would have to be this. I don't care much for the music, but the skill involved is something I truly admire.

Monday, January 21, 2008

no choice but to face the long dark of Moria

Again another long run that felt like it kept going. I love them and I hate them. I really didn't want to repeat my last long run so I changed it up. I did figure 8's around the complex. It was quite interesting and by the end I had it down. I really need to put a course profile on here. I think I'll draw one up and put it on tonight. But for now I'm taking a nice shower and getting some dinner.

Alright today I was battling myself on where to go. Last time I ran the complex route and it was incredibly boring, but I decided I would try it again. As in the words of Gandalf, "We have but one choice. We must face the long dark of Moria." I used my head though, and the little changeup today made everything a lot nicer. The uphills were killer, but they would have been even worse If i would have ran the thing normally. This is for a few reasons, but mostly the larger incline is a beast and everytime I got to that thing I slowed way down. Using the gradual incline I avoided the steepness and was able to get into a better rhythm. As far as pace goes I really had no idea. I just went by feel as normal. I only checked once at 11 miles (halfway) and was ahead of schedule at 1:22: something. I knew it would be all downhill from there so to speak.

Well that's what I thought anyway. Each time I came to that incline my hams revolted (and this was from mile 1). They were so tight I could hardly feel anything else. It was odd, by the end of the run I had grown accustomed to it and actually looked forward to the feeling. I knew I would be super tight from the moment i woke up this morning though. My entire back was sore, shoulders, and quads. The hamstring soreness was deep. At one point I thought i felt a tiny little burst inside the muscle, like a pinprick. I'm not sure if the muscle actually burst or what, but I could imagine that's what it would feel like. It didn't really hurt because it only lasted for a second. The right shoulder was also crying to me, but I just kept shaking it off.

So 4 figure 8's and one normal lap down. I began my next series of 8's, passing mostly the same people, but at random times and in different directions. MUCH better than passing them every lap. It began to get warmer out. I had a black half turtleneck pullover that made it pretty toasty since the sun was heating it up. I filled up a gatorade bottle and put it beside a bush before the run. At 12 miles I ran by and got it and took a few swigs and threw it back. I really needed that. I could feel that I didn't have much energy then, a general empty feeling in the stomach, and I still had plenty more running to do.

So I keep on being consistent. At 18 I started getting sleepy. My body was tired and wanted rest. I ignored it, but it went on another 2 miles which felt like a lifetime. I was just trying to hold on at that point. Finally I had 2 miles left and I could actually see again and became aware of what I was doing. All I had to do was hang on to the pace and I'd make it!! Haha, I know that's not how you're supposed to feel on a long run, but considering how tired I was before I even started the thing I think it was perfectly fine. I thought maybe I could pick it up, but my hands were numb somehow. Not from cold, but it must have been from swinging for almost 3 hours. So I just played it safe and finished as well as I could.

A big problem was my right forefoot. It was very painful for the last 5-6 miles. I'm not sure if it was shoes or what, but it definitely was painful. I skipped jogging a cooldown and walked because of it. Hopefully I can figure out what the reason is, but for now I'll just have to see if it continues. A pretty tough run I would say, but much faster than I had anticipated even for fresh legs! My goal was 2:50, with anything below that being awesome, so I am very happy with the run.

20(22)miles. 30-33 degrees sunny. Zoom 37

Sunday, January 20, 2008


well we got beat by 20 points today. It was a sorry game. I really didn't care about that. The worst part was slightly spraining my ankle. It hurts to push inward with my left foot now. I'm hoping it will go away but it sure made left turns hard. I could really feel the pain on those sharp turns. It didn't affect my run when running straight though. Tomorrow is my long run. I'm going for an afternoon one, but I'm not too sure where. I may try out the greenway in town, but at the same time I really don't feel like running by cars (it seemed from the map that the course wasn't all paved) I could go back out to the track, but I remember the last one and I'm not to fond of repeating that.

6(6.5)miles. 25 degrees. GM 140

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A nice log

Whilst perusing I found this nice little article from Deena Kastor's training log. I especially like the last paragraph. Oh, in case you're not a running enthusiast, Deena is the world record holder in the 5k - 14:54!!! and holds numerous American records. (She's the woman)

Deena Kastor


Finally got out to the complex again. It seems like forever since I've run there because I've been doing all my runs after school at home. Well since the old shoes are retired I decided to break in the zooms a little more. Right away I noticed a difference in feel and each step seemed to just bounce right off the pavement. This was good. I worked on my turnover and keeping my head up again. I wanted to go for 5 and then maybe 5 on the treadmill later. Today was supposed to be a split run, but got oil changes this morning then took a nap, so it didn't happen.

At 5 I was ready to stop. It seemed far enough and I felt like I was going at a good pace. A quick glance at 3 miles said 21 something so I knew if I ran the rest on the treadmill I would be fine pace wise. But things were going well and I was maintaining so I kept going on to 6.5. Everytime I met the larger hill I worked on quicker turnover and gliding up it. It worked and I saved a lot of energy for the rest of the mile. I kept that up, working on being consistent like yesterday and controlling my core. At 7.5 I knew I could stop, but I figured I'd went that far so I might as well finish up (which was my subconscious goal when I left the house). I love how I trick myself into these things. So I finished the last few miles around in the same fashion and felt really good. The wind was killer on one stretch, and the other stretch was blocked by a small hill so it felt warm and fuzzy over there. I think that kept me going since it was just after the wind stretch/large incline.

A short cooldown there, then at home on the treadmill. Left knee was a little cranky about it, but I've had that before and it goes away rather quickly. Tomorrow is basketball. I should be fine since I got the workout in last week. I don't think the soreness will be nearly as bad, but it did take ALL WEEK to work all that lactose out of my muscles. I'm not looking forward to that. A BIG surprise when I saw 7:06, but I attribute it to not having to turn around 10 times per mile like I do at home and the fact I wasn't sore and I was in a "new" area so motivation was a little higher. Alright I'm out.

11(11.77)miles. 30-27 degrees. Zoom 17

Friday, January 18, 2008


No, not me, anyone who might stumble on this humble little blog. My silver shoes have been put out to pasture. They are now moving to the slow retirement home. Went past the 500 mile mark. Pretty fun stuff. I've never kept track of miles before, but I would say it was well worth the effort. I'm not entirely sold on the idea that a pair of shoes has a limited number of miles, at least not these. They still seem to have a lot of bounce, but not in the forefoot area and that is where some of my right foot pain had been coming from. I will continue keeping notes on my condition and feeling and see if the next few weeks with newer shoes makes any difference.

Legs are still not fully recovered, but they are certainly getting there. A few short 5 milers tomorrow I think should do nicely, then bball on sunday and running will be played by ear. Moving the long run to Monday, then the week will be comploded and I'll hardly be able to walk. Fun stuff.

8(8.5)miles. 40 degrees. SM 504-retired

Thursday, January 17, 2008

making progress

Leg was a little better today. There was still some soreness and tightness in there, but after massaging it last night I think that helped the stiffness. I thought about how the leg felt and reconsidered the reason. I know think that it was from basketball, and all the jumping around off that leg probably overworked the muscles since they haven't been used for sooo long. Well it overworked the ones that haven't, and the ones I've been training simply couldn't handle the extra load of sprinting and jumping all of a sudden. Just another dumb oversight by me. But hey I do what I can and I have fun while I'm doing it.

The rest of this week will be spent recovering the leg, then I'll start all over again after the game on Sunday. Hopefully the second time around won't be so bad. TGIF tomorrow and hopefully an 8-10 mile at normal or slower pace.

6(6.5)miles. 35 degrees. SM 496

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


All my running, especially the 70 miles last week, finally caught up to me. Today was pretty much a breakdown. I could hardly run because the left leg just had nothing to give. It was completely tired, but I tried to push through it. The miles were really tough on the leg, but I tried to get in as many I could. At 6 I was beyond ready to hang it up for the day. I'm hoping maybe another light day tomorrow and then try for a 8 then a 10 split run on the weekend.

6(6.55)miles. 35 degrees. SM 490

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

First of many.

Nike is having maintenance on their site right now so no graph. But I'll still let you know how the run went I guess. Started off with killer pain in the left leg. It was so tight I could hardly get it off the ground. I read back through my log and found the culprit. Last week it was sore and hasn't had enough chance to recover. The good part is it was only sore for 5 miles, then loosened up and I could run with relatively little tightness at all. But those first 5, man, I felt like was dragging that leg along with me.

I am getting excited about running again. I'm so tired of seeing my old PR's and can't wait for a new race. The good news, only 1 month till my next 10k!!! Man I gotta start climbing some hills round here. Well I did today, thats for sure. A nice long 10 miles with 3 trips up the HH. The awesome part is I'm getting better at hills. I've found a way to conserve energy and still maintain a nice pace coupled with consistent breathing. Most of the action comes from the ankle, allowing some of the larger muscles to rest. It got a lot colder when the sun set. It was nice at 37 degrees in the sun, but once the sun went down behind the trees it dropped by about 5 degrees. I did my 7:00 cooldown on the treadmill inside. I enjoy doing that because it just feels like I'm not completely abusing myself that way. Almost...almost like I'm taking care of my body. Too bad my toe's can't say the same.

The track meeting went well. It was over in a heartbeat. Coach Jacobs is to the point and gets stuff done, thats a definite. I kind of like that, but I hope I get to do some stuff to : ) Oh in case you were wondering about the title I named it that because I put in a lot of 8's, now I hope to put in a lot of 10's in the next month. 13 miles is going to be a walk in the park... (Except for the running it part, and only a portion through an actual park).

10(10.60)miles. 37-33 degrees. SM 484

Monday, January 14, 2008

good and bad

While getting into the bball league is fun, I'm not so sure I knew what I was getting into. It seems it's an every Sunday thing. That is fine, but it sort of interferes with running. The weekend is the ONLY time I have for a long run. I could run in the dark, but that is just not going to work well. My schedule doesn't leave a lot of time for running the way it is. Anyway I think I may have to miss a game or two, especially when it comes close to the half. I didn't sign a contract or anything, but it still feels bad because I don't like not meeting my obligations.

I could always run long after the game....bzzz. I am getting older, but not dumber. That would be a very ignorant thing to do. When it comes right down to it I'll have to choose between the two. And right now the gauge is leaning pretty darn far to the running side.

So that is that. A good run today, albeit a hard one due to the soreness. You would never imagine how sore a runner who puts in 40 miles a week is after 45 minutes of basketball. I was so sore I couldn't get myself out of bed without wimpering. That's what I get for not playing for 5 years. It's kind of a shame because I love basketball and have neglected it a loooong time. But I guess this league will at least keep me competitive. So yeah I was really sore today, but it was nice to feel sore somewhere in addition to the legs.

My core exercises are lackluster at best. I am going to go into overtime on them soon if I don't get in gear. Alright more fun tomorrow. Not sure about miles, the track meeting is afterschool. Like always I'll play it by ear and see what happens.

8(8.55)miles. 38 degrees chilly. SM 474

Sunday, January 13, 2008


April and I tried out a new church today. It is pretty close to the house and we've been wondering about for a little while. We liked it okay and are willing to give it a chance. While we were leaving I saw a sign up sheet for a league and figured I'd join since I haven't played basketball (in any form) for 4 or 5 years now. On the way out I saw a man who was taking the list and figured I'd say something to him. His name was Steven and he was really nice. He told me he was making the teams today and that there was an open gym later and I was welcome to come. I grew excited at the notion of basketball in any form and told him I'd probably come.

Today was April's sisters birthday, so we hung out with her and grandpa at our house for a while and ate subway. After that I said my goodbyes and booked it to the gym since they were playing 2 hours and I was already nearly an hour late. Things went well I started off doing really good. I was always good at basketball, and I still had a few moves left from the hibernation. In fact I may have gotten better somehow. I had a few steals, lots of boards, but unfortunately I'm not the shooter I was. I used to record how many shots I would make since I was in 4th grade. So yeah mostly just layups. It was a lot of fun and I think I may have impressed or surprised a few people. Of course my calves are raging since I've been running so much, so it probably looked like I played everyday.

We ended a little early so I got a good 45 minutes in. I was breathing HARD. I could feel my pulse and worked up a really good sweat since I played the entire time we were there and it was full court too. There are more opportunities to play and I will take them. Sure I risk injury, but it is fun and something different I can add to the schedule to keep things fresh. It also is a heck of a VO2 max workout.

Got home and put in another 6 miles. My right hip jolted yesterday. I would say popped, but it wasn't that drastic. Today it is sore at the hip connection. The best way I can explain the pain is to stand on your right foot then lean your upper body to the left. where you feel the hip jut out is what happened yesterday, only at 7:00 pace on one of the friggen cul de sacs. I am really growing to hate them. Not so much running wise, but risk of injury wise.

6(6.6)miles. 46 degrees. SM 466

an observation

As I have read quite a few blogs in my short time as an aspiring runner I've come to a conclusion.
1. My first half marathon was trained for quite poorly. That doesn't mean I didn't train hard or anything. It means that I was out of shape, but could have been in better shape by race day. I didn't prepare well enough. I should have been putting in longer runs. Of course the excuse here is that I was definitely out of shape and the second would be that I had little knowledge of proper training to begin with. Those things considered I did all that I could, but looking back could have done better. Here is the objective evidence.

Most people list their PR's. This is perfectly fine and I think it really says something about the persons condition. Most people that have similar PR's to mine (my current ones that is) have much better half marathon times. an example or three:

mile: 5:35
10k: 43:40
1/2 marathon: 1:35:44
marathon: 3:26:32

Cal. Int. Marathon 3:36
Half Marathon 1:40
10K 44:37
5K 22:00

5K - 21:50
1/2 marathon 1:39
marathon 3:36:40

and my own is currently 1:50:53, 43:50, 20:47. My half was the first race back, so it shows lack of training, whereas the 10k is just as fast as others posting 10-12 minute faster half marathons. That disturbs me. I know I have some footspeed left over from high school and that could account for the difference. My biggest ray of hope is the first example with the 10k that is almost exactly what mine was before the summer put up a 1:35 half. I think I should be able to do that as I feel much better than I did before the summer, and have been training smarter and more consistently than then as well. The only bad thing is effort. Maybe these people had a bad day, maybe they took it easy. It is hard to compare race effort from a time, but that is why I got 3 examples instead of one. There are also the factors of the course itself, as well as conditions. But normally a PR will happen during moderate conditions as there is never really a perfect race.

My 10k is coming up real soon. I am looking forward to it because it will gauge how good my base is. I dare not say speed as that is something that won't come till just after, so it will be interesting how FAST i can go from SLOW running.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

a few nice ones

I messed up this morning and put the wrong sensor on my ipod. The result was a 3 mile run that wasn't tracked. The awesome part of today was busting out sub-7 paces without really trying to. I watched the Gebrselassie videos last night and really payed attention to his form shown in the first video. I tried to mimmick it this morning and wound up with a 7:11 pace over 5 miles. That was AFTER the three mile run that didn't count.....

I took a nap this afternoon for some recovery. Today is the last day this week and I wanted to get as many miles in as possible. I wanted to do a double since earlier this week and really tried hard to get out again. So I got up way after the alarm clock went off and headed out around 5:15. I was finished by 6 and put in 6 miles. Again I was using the same methods as I've been working on, head looking out, getting a good push off, and keeping my arm swing low. Much to my surprise when I checked the run tonight it was faster than earlier this morning. Now in all honesty fastness isn't something I should care about, but I find it interesting what is capable when a few slight changes are made. I ended up with a 7:04 pace! That is crazy compared to what I normally run, and the awesome part is the effort was the same.

I think it just shows that my base is good and the work is really paying off for me. Climbing starts after this next week, but I may push it up and just start it this week. Well now that I think about it that is probably a bad idea. I still have one more goal to get, a 20 miler on Sunday. After that I will be holding steady on long runs and focusing on building strength over the next month and a half.

8(8.5)miles. AM 40 degrees- longsleeve/shorts. SM 454
6(6.5)miles. PM 50 degrees tshirt/shorts. SM 460

Friday, January 11, 2008

long run graph from earlier this week

I promised to post this and so here it is. As you can see I conserved energy the last 3 miles of the first half, then negative split the second by a large margin. I'm not sure if you can see that full size so I took a screenshot below.


It's odd that this run turned out so smooth. I felt like I was running smoother. I worked on keeping my head up. I have a tendency to look at the ground in front of me while I run which makes my head slightly of out alignment. I noticed this yesterday and worked on it today with good results. The motion was definitely more fluid, but I can also attribute that to recovery. Only a slight twinge in the calf today, but it was hardly noticeable. What I did notice was an increase in strength and in pace, or at least I thought. I was kind of surprised to see a 7:32 when yesterday I felt like I was dragging.

Multiplication. This makes four days in a row of 8's. I really like that. It seems so consistent. Oddly the runs weren't, each day felt completely different. I'm totally loving the embedded graphs though. It cuts out a lot of work for me and looks pretty nice too. While looking for Haile's running form yesterday I found some good background info of his life including interviews with the man himself. Pretty interesting if you want to check it out. There are 3 parts too. Oh just on a side note I forgot the exact number, but I believe he's broken 15 world records, most of those being his own.....

8(8.63)miles. 48 degrees. SM 446

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I'm excited I finally figured out how to get my run on the blog like the COOL people. For some reason the option wasn't showing before on the Nike site, but I found it. That will save a lot of work for me, so whoo!

running for glory

Post title is an ode to high school. I used to make up fictitious things and concentrate on extravagance of terms like glory, perpetuation, mortality, etc. Those were the things that made me run like a crazed freak the last lap of any race. I'm not sure what my splits were. Splits didn't matter. Time didn't matter. All that mattered was that I went so fast that I was out of control and attempting to ignore all reason. Those were fun times. As my good friend Ann and the crowd of students by the track used to yell "Rick Flare" it was apparent to everyone that something special was about to happen. Rick Flare, in case you didn't know, was a wrestler who would go crazy at some point in the match and cock his head back and just go WHOOOOOO! real loud. I would get so hyped up by two words, especially the "flare" part because it sounds like a rocket or something, that I would yell Rick Flare right back and burn off a lap. It was a psychological thing that probably wasn't the wisest thing, but it was fun and always worked.

Now this was about 9 years ago now, and I can hardly remember it. I can only take accounts from good friends on the actualities of what happened, because as I stated I wasn't exactly coherent at that stage. What I do remember is not wearing socks because it made me faster, wearing spikes as much as possible, and being superstitious about my pre-race day routine, right down to breakfast, what route I took to the bus, and countless other things I've forgotten. I also remember laying around a lot at track meets. I would go run an event, take a nap, and hope that someone woke me up before my next one (I always ran 3-4 events). I remember running a 4:59 mile right before I had to run the 2 mile after it at our last meet. I really slacked off on that mile because I knew I had to run again.... hehe.

Someday I hope to get back to that point of non-awareness in some respects. If I'm ever doing really well, I'll remember to sprint the last 400 meters and yell something. It was my trademark after all.

So today's run was pretty much the same old story. I did manage another 8 miles! This is really awesome. I normally take a day off or cut mileage, but running through the recovery has been interesting. My body has really responded well, and that is encouraging. It could mean I can increase mileage after my half is over and be able to handle it. Some people can only go up to 60-70 and they start breaking down rather quickly. I think efficiency has a lot to do with that. I could see people pounding out miles with bad form (which may or may not be the case) and paying for the increase. I feel smooth when I run, but there are times when I feel the opposite so it's hard to tell. I plan on watching the elite runners a lot in videos and hopefully picking up good things from them. I know I learned a heck of a lot just from watching Ryan in the trials. I would like to see more Gebreselassie although it's hard to find good quality video of him, youtube makes him look like mario.

Track meeting next Tuesday. Not sure if I'll get to run that day, but I'm kind of starting a new thing. Only take complete recovery days on days like that. Where something is scheduled or happening that I have to attend. I could always run in the morning or something like that, but I think it would be wiser to rest and prepare for whatever is planned. I like the idea of running everyday possible even if just a few miles, it just seems right for me.

8(8.62)miles. 52 degrees overcast. SM 438

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

getting there

Legs were better today, but definitely not 100%. Especially the left calf. It was tight and still pretty sore for at least the first 3 or 4 miles. It was a gorgeous day for a run. I mean just downright incredible. A nice cool breeze around 55 degrees or so and clear blue skies above. I only had to run 6 today, but felt like I was just getting the leg warmed up and I went out fairly slow so I knew I had plenty left. Saw the pugs again, but stopped this time and walked the cul de sac and petted them. The black one was nice, the white still wanted to bark at me. Once I had let them jump all over me for a second or two I was back off. That was a nice break at 2 miles and I think it helped loosen up the calf.

Still it wasn't an easy run. The legs were definitely tired. I'm not sure if running will ever be easy, and I'm not sure I ever want it to be. I guess when that starts happening you go faster or longer or both. Fortunately this is the base phase and these runs are supposed to feel that way, so it is a good thing. I start my "climbing" phase next. It sounds a lot better than hills. That will be interesting and a good change, although it's the same thing except for one day a week.

8(8.6)miles. 54 degrees cool breeze. SM 430

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

still a little sore

Nothing special to report. An 8 mile run around the hood. Only once up the HH, and that was way too much already. The legs are still sore from the long run. They started feeling better at 3 miles today. Hopefully they'll be good to go tomorrow, although not sure about the rain situation. Redid the schedule for this week and should be able to get 60+ miles in if I double up Saturday. That will be huge since this is my highest mileage week of my program. Warm again today, but it's supposed to cool down now.

8(8.5)miles. 65 degrees. SM 422

Monday, January 7, 2008

6 on the sticks

er.. legs. whatever. 6 miles around the hood for some recovery. Started off pretty badly as I was sore from yesterday. Not so much sore as beat up. I felt like I had been through a washing machine or whipped around through a tornado somewhere. First mile was pretty much ouch and ouch, but by the fourth mile everything was feeling warmed up, my own remake of the wizard of oz tin man. Not very hard run really, took it real easy and careful. Left quad was the most sore, and the right ball/toe connection didn't hurt until after the run.

Tomorrow I have to work the concessions at the basketball game. It's part of my track coach penance. I chose to go to the late game, varsity I assume, so that I could get my run in before going. We got out a few minutes early today so that was nice. I was done running before April got home at 5:30. She went for her run when she got back. Pretty cool that she has been working out a little more frequently. It also helps that the back to normal again.

Tried out the new shoes. They got mud on the soles today, that means time to break them in : ) Looked at yesterday's graph. Pretty self-explanatory. I'll upload it sometime, but all my screenshot programs were deleted when I reformatted by computer and I haven't put them back on yet.

6(6.5)miles. 67!!! degrees. Zoom 6

Sunday, January 6, 2008

the time machine

Some of you may have seen this movie, probably the recent re-make with Guy Pearson. It wasn't all that good of a movie, especially when compared to the original made in 1963 or so. As you probably guessed a scientist creates a time machine and travels in the same spot while the world changes and evolves around him. In a sense he can watch everything move and grow and die and yet he is just still and safe inside the machine.

That was me today. I was just in time machine mode. The legs were the machine and I was just along for the ride. People came and went, then new people, and after them, more people. 2 1/2 hours of this. Yes the soccer complex is nice, but I really need to expand out to a trail or something longer than 1.1 miles. All told it was about 18 laps around. Now 18 is just a number and in now way depicts the effort of a long run. These are miles, and I am running them. It is no easy task. For the first few miles I was just calculating, how many more times will I have to run it now, and so on. At 8 my right toe connection at the ball of my foot started hurting. It didn't let up for at least 6 miles. That was painful, but it didn't really bother me because I was running whether the toe said ouch or not.

Passing by people. Over and over. Same people, then after an hour, new people, new dogs. One dog jumped at me, grrreat. No big deal. Kept the legs turning. My goal that got me through this was trying to run the last half faster than the first. That is what we running folk call a negative split. Not an easy thing to do. So I almost made my last 8 in under an hour, but was about a minute and a half off (even with kicking my own butt). Still close is good and I was close. At 4 miles left all I was doing was math and I knew I'd be cutting it close. The legs were burning though and I was breathing pretty good too. Still kept going. Didn't have much left for the last mile like I thought I would, but pulled it through to the finish.

I'm not sure what drove me to run that fast. It's not like I was in a real race (and you shouldn't be racing an event you haven't even run before......) But I guess that's just me. It's what got me decent times in high school, so why not. Well a good run overall, I'll have to check ipod and see the splits. I'm kind of leaning towards slow slide. We'll see.

18(20)miles. 52 degrees. GM 134

Saturday, January 5, 2008

fast easy run

okay maybe a little too fast. I went out like a banchee and ended up with a sub 7 first mile. Not exactly the best way to start off an easy run the day before you are doing you're long run. Thing is it felt fine and I followed with a 7:08 and a 7:06. At that point I knew I was pushing the limit and slowed it back down to normal. Pretty fun easy run though! No HH made it easy today, but the legs were feeling good and the silver shoes were streaking.

We'll see if that affects my 18 miles tomorrow. I'm dreading it, but at the same time it will be a great achievement and another step toward an awesome half marathon. In addition to that I've been trying to keep my runs at or over 1 hour. I think that is a good goal for runs. Rather than shorter runs that don't build a lot of lung capacity, the longer ones will keep the heart rate up and lungs open. It seems to be helping. Take a look at the training log to see how that has been playing out, I keep it updated often.

5(5.51)miles. 46 degrees. SM 416

Friday, January 4, 2008

awesome 8

I think today was just a good day for me. First I don't have school, so today was just total relaxation. I cleaned up the house and played a game on the computer for a few minutes. I was fully prepared to go outside and run. I had set up times to have things done by. So already things were going well. The run was good. I almost went down to the track, but didn't feel like wasting gas money, plus I could run right away. So I headed out and did my normal loop. Today the pace was real good. The feet were getting off the ground quickly and I could feel myself running as one whole. A lot of running guides say you should be vertically aligned, and I assume the feeling I had to today is that. It's hard to identify good form for 2 reasons. 1 you can't see yourself and 2 "good form" is subjective and could vary from person to person.

Around 3 miles I was really going well and had just started my second loop. Actually I was already at the top of the HH again, which is 1 mile past my start (the house). So I knew it was going well. On and on the pace just kept coming and it was another day that I felt "awesome". I just never had to search for air and the legs didn't get tired. Even at the end of the run when I was just throwing energy away on accelerations I felt good. I had 8 on the calendar so that is where i hung it up. Now that I think about it, I may have run well because of the weather. It was a nice 43 degrees today, and has been a lot colder. That probably made it a lot easier to breathe in. I read an article in RW that said something like 36-52 degrees is pretty much optimal. Looks that holds true today.

8(8.5)miles. 45 degrees. GM 116

Thursday, January 3, 2008

couple decent days

Today wasn't half bad. I got a run in just before noon on the treadmill of about 5 miles. I really wanted to stop before then, but stuck it out so I wouldn't have to run that extra mile in the dark tonight. Treadmill was sweaty and face-paced. Ipod didn't think so though I don't think. Then tonight I got out again for 8 miles doing 2 loops around the neighborhood. Legs were turning over really fast, probably from the repetition I was using on the treadmill. I wasn't very tired tonight and it actually seemed like the morning run made this one feel easier.

Yesterday was the virus. I had downloaded a program that turned out to have some crazy malware in it and it messed up a bunch of stuff. User login things kept popping up. Luckily I already had most of my data backed up and only needed to burn a few dvd's. After that I restarted everything from scratch. That's the thing about viruses and stuff, you can always just start from scratch, and they keep you in the habit of backing up your stuff. So the computer was down yesterday and I didn't get to blog or anything else. I got in a 9 mile run later in the evening. It wasn't a great run and felt nothing like today's. I was hungry and felt depleted. I was running fine, even with my windpants on, but I just wasn't all there. A few more days till the long run. We have Christmas again at April's grandparents this weekend, so hopefully I stay smart and run when I can.

thurs. AM 5 miles. treadmill. BF 99
........PM 8 miles. 32 degrees. GM 108
wed. 9 miles. 28 degrees 16 with wind. SM 411

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

not so great in 0-8

The drive home today was long and unexciting. April and I were both just worn out from the get up and go and sit around all day in the car. When we got home there were things to put away and other stuff that needed to be done. I decided to hold off on running yet again. The rest of this week will be a good indicator of my dedication. I can either run a lot or choose to be lazy. That's really the only way to explain not running after months of training, laziness. I had planned to run on the treadmill, but a new biggest loser came on, so yet again priorities seem out of order.

I'm sure tomorrow things will turn around. It is definitely colder today. I think it's even colder than in Ohio! We turned on our heat when we got home and after 7 hours I don't think it's turned off. A pretty good night considering a big zero for today, but I plan on kicking my butt this week.