Saturday, January 31, 2009

1/31/09 - London's Run Half Marathon

My schedule called for an 18 mile run today but I choose instead to participate in the half marathon at London's Run. Last year, I ran the 10k at this venue but I wanted to see how my training was going so I opted for the longer distance this year. We couldn't have asked for better weather this year (I remember it being somewhat cold last year and I ran with a thermal top the whole race). The temperature was in the low to mid 40's at race time. My hands were a little cold and wondered if I would regret not wearing gloves. However, the sun quickly warmed things up and I was great after a mile or two. Jordan and Tanner came to the race to support me and I was glad for the company. We stopped at a Quiktrip and I ate a couple Nutri-Grain bars and had some Gatorade to wash everything down. After getting my race bib, we returned to the car to warm up and to relax before things started. About 20 minutes before race time, I headed to the porta-johns for a last stop before beginning the race. I got to the start with only a couple minutes to spare which was actually about right so I didn't have to stand around being cold.

I decided to hold back the first couple miles and let the field spread out. I had also just read an article about how many of us non-elite runners get into our race pace much too quickly. So I ran the first 3 miles at just over an 8 minute pace. Then I started to push my pace and pick off runners as I went. After the first mile, I only had one runner pass me the rest of the race. I lost count of the runners I was able to pass especially when we started to encounter the 10k runners who were still on the course. I ate a couple Shot Bloks at about 5.5 miles where there was a water station. The course looped back around to the same aid station so I got another drink of water at about 6.5 miles. I was feeling pretty good at this point so I continued to pass runners and to keep my pace around 7:30-40. This continued until around mile 10 when I started to feel a bit tired. It was also about this time when I started to see signs that had been posted by the race organizers. They had pictures of different cancer patients with words of encouragement like "You can do it" or "Keep going". My thoughts went to my sister Shannon for whom I am running the SLC marathon. My mental state immediately improved and my physical state followed quickly afterwards. I picked up the pace and finished out the race strong. I completed the course in 1:43:32 which is a pr for me by almost 10 minutes!

Shad and Jodi (and family) live close by to this race and they came out to see me finish. I didn't see them until after the race but they were cheering for me as I rounded the final corner of the course to the finish line. Jordan and Tanner were right next to the finish line and it was fun to see them cheering me on as well. I saw several other people that I knew from church or other activities (including Camille's Bunko group). It was good to talk with them and share "war" stories from training sessions and the race itself. I ate a banana and a bagel along with some Powerade and Gatorade immediately afterwards and felt really good. My quads felt a little sore the next day but it was a good sore.

I'm pleased with my progress thus far in my training. I have completed 7 weeks of my training and have seen good improvements. In looking ahead, I have some tough training on the schedule including next week which calls for my first 20 miler and 54 miles for the week. I have never run this many miles in a week before so I'm apprehensive but also committed to getting it done. I have faith in the program - that I will become a better and faster runner by following this schedule.

Total mileage for the week: 45 miles

Friday, January 30, 2009

1/30/09 - 7 miles

I enjoyed running these miles outside along the canal banks in east Mesa. However, it got dark about halfway through my run which made it difficult to see rocks or other obstacles in the path. Fortunately, I had no mishaps along the way but I think I will bring along my headlamp for future runs. I ran the 7 miles at a very easy and comfortable pace finishing in 1:01:17 which is an 8:45 pace and my average heartrate was 147 bpm. I was especially excited to see my average heartrate staying down. I have high hopes for my finishing time at this marathon so I hope my training continues to show good results.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

1/29/09 - 11 miles

Almost didn't get this run in today. I am coaching Tanner's basketball team and we have practice on Thursday evenings from 7 - 9 pm. I had thought I might be able to get away from work a little early and run before practice. Unfortunately, I didn't leave work until almost 5 so I knew that I wouldn't have time to complete my run before practice. I settled on running at the gym after practice beginning at 9:30 pm. So I didn't finish my run until 11 pm. The good part about this is the gym is pretty much vacant so there are no distrations and I can just focus on running. The bad part is it's 11 pm!

I did feel really good during and after the run. I drank about 16 ounces of Gatorade - half at 4 miles and the other half at 8 miles. I paced at a nice easy pace before picking it up during the last 4 miles. I ran the 11 miles in 1:34:02 which is an 8:33 pace but I don't know what my average heartrate was during the run. But it felt about right; in fact, I felt afterwards like maybe I didn't push it hard enough which for me means that it was probably the correct pace.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

1/28/09 - 4 miles

I had an enjoyable run this evening. I was able to get outside and the weather was pretty nice (around 60 degrees). I felt good and had no problems to report. I ran the 4 miles in 33:05 which is an 8:17 pace and my average heartrate was 151 bpm.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

1/27/09 - 10 miles

Mentally, I was not prepared for my run this evening. I just couldn't get into it for whatever reason. I think part of it was the lack of sleep the night before due to my oldest son informing us at 10:30 pm that he had a paper due the next day and he hadn't done much on it yet. So I stayed up editing and offerring suggestions which made for a late night. In any case, I was lacking in my motiviation but I knew I needed to run.

My run called for 10 miles but 5 of those miles were suppose to be at half-marathon pace. I had planned to take an easy 2 miles to the gym, warm up on the treadmill with another easy mile and then pound out 5 hard miles on the treadmill before taking an easy 2 miles back home. Instead, I found myself going hard on the 2 miles to the gym so I figured I would just go with it and do the 5 hard miles at the beginning. As it was, I ran the 2 miles to the gym in 15:23 and did an additional 4 miles on the treadmill at a 7:30 pace. I ran 2 more miles on the treadmill at an 8:34 pace and then cruised home running the final 2 miles in 16:47. My totals for the 10 miles were 1:19:18 for a 7:55 pace. My right hamstring felt a little tight this evening especially when I was running a quicker pace. I tried to stretch it really good afterwards and I'm hoping it's nothing serious.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Rest Day Quote

I normally don't take a rest day on Monday and my training schedule calls for a 10 mile run today. However, things were a little hectic at home this evening so I decided to push my run back one day. If all goes to plan, I will skip my rest day on Thursday.

"Time and money spent in helping men to do more for themselves is far better than mere giving." - Henry Ford

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rest Day Quote

"Beware, for as you sleep, the exhausted man will be first to reach the peak." - Chrisse Feros

Saturday, January 24, 2009

1/24/09 - 12 miles

I had a good run today although I was completely bored which made the run seem much longer. The weather outside was gorgeous so I ran to the gym (2 miles) and then ran 8 miles on the treadmill before running the 2 miles back home. I usually have a basketball game to watch while on the treadmill but I got to the gym before 9 am and there are no games on until 10 am. So the time seemed to drag a bit even though I felt pretty good throughout the run. I ran the 8 miles on the treadmill at an 8:34 pace and ran the 4 miles outside in 33:19 for a total time of 1:40:51 which is an 8:24 pace. I did feel a little stiff initially as a result of my "hurry up" run from the day previous but everything loosened up and there were no other pains or aches of significance. I carried a bottle of water with me to the gym and drank it all during my time on the treadmill.

Total for the week: 37 miles

Friday, January 23, 2009

1/23/09 - 4 miles

While at work today, my wife calls and asks if I want to go out tonight with some friends to celebrate a birthday. I say sure but I need to do my run first. Well, the plan was to get a bite to eat and then catch a movie so we needed to leave around 5 or so. This didn't leave me much time for a run. I hurried home and Camille encouraged me to hurry on my run so we could leave. So I did - I pushed my pace as quickly as possible but I didn't feel very good during the run and could never get into a good rhythm. However, I think it's good to change up my runs and get me out of my comfort zone every now and again. I ran the 4 miles in 29:19 which is a 7:20 pace and my average heartrate was 175 bpm.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rest Day Quote

"Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true." - Leon J. Suenes

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

1/21/09 - 8 miles

I was reminded tonight of one of the reasons I enjoy running. If you don't run long distances, you have probably not experienced a "runner's high" (although this mental and physical state is certainly experienced by other athletes in other sports). The experience is somewhat different for each person but basically you feel somewhat invincible, that you can accomplish anything and you have a heightened sense or awareness of your surroundings. The sky looks more beautiful, air tastes cleaner, colors appear more striking! It's an amazing feeling but it doesn't happen on every run. However, tonight I was able to sneak in an outdoor run after work and the weather was fabulous - cool but not cold. I ran my old 8 mile loop which takes me the long way around the neighborhood past several orange groves and Falcon Field (small airport).

I did have a bit of a scare during the 2nd mile. There is a small stretch of road that does not have lights. I usually run on the east side of the road during this stretch but the west side is more level and has more protection from road traffic so I thought I would try it out. All went well until I was about 30 feet from where the sidewalk resumes. Someone had dumped a large pile of gravel in the pathway which was difficult to see until you were right on top of it. I lurched forward and turned my right ankle. Fortunately, I did not roll it completely or I would have been laid up for several weeks. As it was, I ran it off slowly for the next quarter mile and was able to complete my run. The ankle was a bit sore later but I don't think it will be a problem.

The final 4 miles were awesome. I felt strong as I ran along listening to my ipod. There wasn't a whole lot of traffic so it was very peaceful and relaxing. I thought back to a conversation I had with my mother when she explained that she didn't enjoy running because she didn't like to be out-of-breath. Funny thing is that the more I run, the better shape I am in and I rarely feel like I am out-of-breath unless I'm really pushing the pace. This night, I felt like I could have run forever and my breathing was very calm. It seemed that my ipod knew I was feeling good and several of the songs that played during my run were ones I had selected for their inspirational value or musicality. All was right with the world and I felt fortunate to be a small part of it.

I ran the 8 miles in 1:04:24 which is an 8:03 pace. I can't recall what my heartrate was but I think it was in the low 160's.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

1/20/09 - 5 miles

I didn't get home as early as I would have liked tonight due to a Transportation Advisory Board meeting (yes, I'm trying to be more civic-minded and also get involved in the local politics) and Jordan's deacon basketball game. I had still planned to run outside since the weather was still warm but Jordan wanted to attend a spinning class at the gym so I took him and ran while he attended the class. I did an easy pace of 8:34 for the 5 miles (total time of 42:50) but I did put the incline at 1% in order to make it feel like something. I felt great throughout the run but was completely bored. Lately, there has been a good basketball game to watch while I run but tonight I was watching an SEC game (Tennessee vs Vanderbilt). I swear these teams have zero offense, similar to their football teams, although I hear that it did get better in the second half. In conclusion, great run - boring basketball!

Monday, January 19, 2009

1/19/09 - 8 miles

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday so I was able to run in the morning after dropping off Jordan so he could put out flags. I ran at the gym so I could better pace for my interval run. I ran 8 miles but my run also included 8 x 100 meter interval runs. After a half mile warmup, I completed one interval per mile in which I ran 9/10th's of the mile at marathon pace (8:00 minute mile) and then ran 1/10th of the mile at 5k pace (6:40 minute mile). I didn't feel so good at the beginning of my run (was probably the ice cream from the night before) but I felt stronger as the run continued and I had lots left once I finished. I ran the 8 miles in 1:04:04 which is an 8:00 pace.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rest Day Quote

"Some men can run the fastest, jump the highest, or lift the heaviest, but no man has the corner on ambition, desire, and hustle." - Anonymous

Saturday, January 17, 2009

1/17/09 - 17 miles

I can't believe my plan calls for a 17 mile run in only my 5th week of training! However, everything I've read about distance running says that you need to increase your mileage if you want to get better so I'm glad for a program that pushes me. I had planned to run outside again today but Trevor had an early morning basketball game so I wasn't able to get out early and place water and I hadn't planned a route so I decided to run at the gym again. I had a good run and felt strong throughout. When I was finished, I felt like I had lots left which is encouraging for this early in my training.

I ran the first 5 miles at a 9:13 pace and the last 12 miles at an 8:34 pace - my totals for the 17 miles were 2:28:58 which is an 8:45 pace. I drank Gatorade at 4, 8, 12, and 15 miles. I also took 2 Clif Shot Bloks at the start of my run and then 2 more about 90 minutes into my run. I had some slight discomfort in my right knee for a while but it seemed to work itself out.

Total for the week: 46 miles

Friday, January 16, 2009

1/16/09 - 5 miles

Ran outside again tonight - the weather is so great right now that I would like to run outside every day. Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way and forces me into the gym. But I'm grateful when I get to be outside enjoying the scenery and the beautiful weather. The temperature was in the mid 70's when I started my run - almost too warm. I ran at a very relaxing pace and thorougly enjoyed myself. I ran the 5 miles in 41:41 which is an 8:21 pace and my average heartrate was 155 bpm.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rest Day Quote

"I always loved was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs." - Jesse Owens

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

1/14/09 - 10 miles

I enjoyed an easy 10 miles run tonight at the gym. The time went by quickly as I was able to watch some of the Lakers/Spurs game. The heartrate monitor on my treadmill didn't work again (very frustrating) but I felt like my pace was appropriate for the distance and the type of workout. I ran the 10 miles in 1:25:40 which is an 8:34 pace. No problems and I felt strong throughout the run.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

1/13/09 - 5 miles

I was able to get outside for my recovery run this evening. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and I was able to get away from work a little early. When I started my run, the temperature was in the low 70's and the sky was clear. I ran at a recovery pace and felt great throughout the run. I paid close attention to my heartrate and adjusted my pace when necessary to keep my rate in the 150's. I ran the 5 miles in 40:53 which is an 8:11 pace and my average heartrate was 156 bpm.

Monday, January 12, 2009

1/12/09 - 9 miles

I had no desire to run this evening. I got home from work and ate dinner with the family. Afterwards, we had family home evening where we discussed 2009 goals as individuals and as a family. I was more than ready to get under a blanket and read my Runner's World magazine or watch Sports Center. However I knew I would regret not going so I pushed myself out the door to the gym. Chase accompanied me since he wanted to go and lift weights.

My schedule had a tempo run for tonight and I really didn't think I could push myself. At least I had the treadmill to force me to run at a good pace. I ran the first 3 miles at an easy 8:30 pace and then the next 4 miles at a 7:30 pace and then finishing the final 2 miles at an easier 8:20 - 8:30 pace. The last couple miles seemed to take forever since I was ready to be done. I felt pretty good on all parts of the run with no pains or problems to report. I ran the 9 miles in 1:12:45 which is an 8:05 pace. No idea on the heartrate but I didn't feel out-of-breath so I imagine it was okay but not fabulous. Hopefully, I will feel more motivated with the rest of my runs this week.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rest Day Quote

"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence." - Vince Lombardi

Saturday, January 10, 2009

1/10/09 - 15 miles

I enjoyed my run this morning despite the fact that it was on a treadmill. In fact, this was the longest treadmill run I have ever completed. I drank Gatorade during my run, drinking 8 ounces at 4, 8, and 12 miles. I paced the first 5 miles at 9:13 and then progressively increased my pace until I was pacing 8:27 the final 2 miles. I completed the 15 miles in 2:12:42 which is an 8:50 pace. Unfortunately, the heartrate monitor on my treadmill did not work so I don't have an accurate read of my heartrate but I felt very comfortable throughout the run and didn't have any problems with my legs or my breathing.

The only thing I need to figure out is my ipod. I wear a shuffle around my bicep but on long runs, the strap begins to rub on the side of my chest. I had the same problem when I trained for my last marathon and I just stopped wearing the ipod during my long runs. I think I might try getting rid of the strap and just clipping the shuffle on my waistband.

Total mileage for the week: 42 miles

Friday, January 9, 2009

1/09/09 - 4 miles

I ran my miles outside tonight and really felt great. The weather was great - around 60 degrees and clear skies. I again focused my run around my heartrate and was pretty successful. I kept my pace such so that my heartrate would stay in the 150's. My splits tonight were as follows:

Mile 1 - 8:13 / 150 bpm
Mile 2 - 8:21 / 153 bpm
Mile 3 - 8:19 / 154 bpm
Mile 4 - 8:07 / 158 bpm

Total for the 4 miles is 33:00 which is an 8:15 pace and my average heartrate was 153 bpm. I had no problems and the pace felt very comfortable. My goal pace for the marathon is 8:00 so I'm right on track to be there come April. I'm looking forward to my long run tomorrow and I hope I can duplicate these results over a longer run.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Rest Day Quote

"To describe the agony of a marathon to someone who's never run it is like trying to explain color to someone who was born blind." - Jerome Drayton

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

1/07/09 - 10 miles

I had a good run this evening on the treadmill. I keep thinking I'll run outside but it is either too dark or too cold so I am content to run indoors for the next little while and try to sneak an outdoor run whenever I can. I focused more on my heartrate tonight and was successful in not pushing the pace. My heartrate stayed in the 150's for most of the run although it did get into the low 160's the last mile or so. I ran into a small problem at about mile 5. My right sock developed a hole on my Achilles so the shoe was rubbing on bare skin. This quickly began to irritate the skin and started bleeding. I had to stop 4 or 5 times during the remainder of my run to adjust my sock and shoe in an effort to minimize the damage. Fortunately, I only have a small cut which should heal quickly. I ran the 10 miles in 1:27:20 which is an 8:44 pace.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

1/06/09 - 5 miles

I enjoyed a good recovery run tonight on a treadmill at the gym. I was reading some information lately about training for long distance runs using heartrate monitoring. I was intrigued by the success some have had utilizing this methodolgy so I thought I would try and pay more attention to my heartrate and less on my times to complete a run. So my run tonight was at a slower pace than I would normally have run but I was able to keep my heartrate lower and I felt great. I ran the 5 miles in 44:-something (I neglected to look at the treadmill when I finished so I don't have the exact time).

Monday, January 5, 2009

1/05/09 - 8 miles

Tonight I had a really good workout. My eight mile run included 8 short interval runs of 100 meters. My plan called for 10 intervals but since this was the first time I have added these intervals to my run, I scaled it back to 8. My legs felt a little heavy during miles 3-5 but I was able to push through and finish strong. I have felt lately that my longer runs need to be more of a workout rather than just finishing and I need to use the shorter runs for recovery. After finishing my run, I felt like I had pushed myself. I want to feel this way on all my medium and long runs. I ran the 8 miles in 1:03:27 which is a 7:56 pace.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Rest Day Quote

"My feeling is that any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy." - John Bryant

Saturday, January 3, 2009

1/03/09 - 14 miles

I regret to report that I did not complete (or even start for that matter) my long run today. We took the family to Flagstaff for the day to play in the snow which left no time for a run of any kind. I'm disappointed because the long runs are vital to my training. However, I don't think missing one run will be a huge detriment to my goals. I look forward to my long run next week.

Friday, January 2, 2009

1/02/09 - 4 miles

I played tennis for a couple hours today so I debated whether to run as well. However, as the day was drawing to an end, I felt the need to run so I headed out. The weather was good and it felt great to put in some time running. I ran the 4 miles in 30:40 which is a 7:35 pace and my average heartrate was 168 bpm. My legs felt good and my breathing was great. No problems to report.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Rest Day Quote

"Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character." - T. Alan Armstrong