on Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 8:12 AM

No running since the long run on Sunday. I've gotten a cold and it's hit me pretty hard. I took yesterday and today as sick days from work. I had contemplated going to the gym to try and get some miles in but I figured that most people there wouldn't appreciate me spreading my germs around. I'm pretty sure I picked this cold up at the gym last Wednesday after my LT run since I started getting a bit of a sore throat on Thursday. I've been reading some stuff online about gym germs and it ain't pretty. Will try and do a shortish recovery run later today outside. Forecast is predicting a dumping of snow for tomorrow so it looks like I may have to head back to the gym on the weekend.

So you're probably all wondering why I've been doing marathon pace runs and 20 mile runs and 7 mile LT runs. You'd think I was training for a marathon or something. Well, in fact, I am or at least was. I signed up for the Napa valley marathon on March 2. I did this back on New Year's eve. This was going to be the last possible chance of getting to Boston 2008. Pretty nice, net downhill course. Officially, this marathon doesn't bill itself as being able to be used to qualify for Boston 2008 since the cut-off date for boston registrations is march 1, but I've been reading online and it seems that some people in the past have used it to qualify for Boston in the same year. Anyhow, I don't think I'll be running it since I don't think I'll be able to recover from this cold and get back into marathon shape by March 2.

Trying now to figure out what to do. With the pressure off for a winter marathon I can do a bunch of things which I had been holding off such as getting my wisdom teeth pulled and blood tests. With that out of the way, I can then focus on building up a base for a fall marathon.

Long run

on Sunday, January 27, 2008 at 9:50 PM

I woke up after getting about 10 hours of sleep which is good. Was going to go out for a run and went to the bathroom to weigh myself and saw that I was only 141 pounds, which is light for me. I was dehydrated. Rather than risk trying a 20 mile run while being dehydrated, I ended up waiting till late afternoon to do the run. Carbed up and drank plenty of liquids in the morning and afternoon.

Wasn't too sure how the run was going to be considering the crappy recovery run yesterday and I still have a sore throat. Ran this by HR, trying to keep things between 155 and 160. I did a 10.2 mile route that I've used in the past and I did it twice. The second time I did it in reverse to mix it up a bit. Garmin says the first loop was 10.28 miles done in 1:26:49 and the second loop was 10.32 miles in 1:29:14. Based on this, it appears that Garmin overestimates distance by about 1%. Based on the true distance, I averaged 8:31 pace for the first loop and 8:45 pace for the second. Weighed myself after the run and I was 141 pounds which is the same weight I was in the mornin. I'm glad i didn't do this run in the morning cause I'm sure I would have suffered big time if I had.

Coming down with something...

on Saturday, January 26, 2008 at 8:33 PM

Friday: Thursday, I was felling the start of a sore throat. I think the LT run on Wednesday took a lot out of me, but I was still feeling pretty good come Friday. Did 12 miles outside after work. I had wanted to do it in the morning but it was hard to get up. I did 12.1 miles at about 8:15 pace which was good considering a lot of it was on snowy sidewalks. The last 8 or so miles were done at 8 min/mile pace. Was felling pretty good on this run.

Today: Headed off to the gym to do a 5 mile recovery run with the Nike Free's. I really didn't feel all that well. I guess the 12 hour recovery between my last run and this one didn't help. I tried to slow down as much as necessary to keep the HR in check, but that didn't work. I started out at 10min/mile, but the HR got over 150. walked for a bit and reset the treadmill to 10:30 min/miles. Was just barely able to keep the HR below 150. It's run's like this that humble me. My run on Tuesday was also a recovery run at the gym but my HR was less than 140 for most of the run while doing 9:15 pace. I'm heading off to sleep now to hopefully try and get some recovery for my 20 mile run tomorrow.

Nike Free's

on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 11:21 PM

Tuesday: Went to the gym to do a 6 mile recovery run. I was also supposed to do 6 strides, but those are kinda hard to do on a treadmill. I ended up doing 5 miles recovery and 1 mile at an LT pace of 6:49min/mile. Decided to try running today with a pair of Nike Free's. I've been looking lately at information on improving running form and the subject of running barefoot came up. I bought a pair of nike free's about two years ago and I wore them for one weekend and ended up with sore ankles so they've been sitting in my closet ever since. I thought I would try them on a recovery run at a nice slow pace. First couple of miles my feet hurt in the strangest places, but it seemed to get better and was even able to handle the 1 mile at LT even though I wasn't planning on doing it. The shoes really force you to forefoot/midfoot strike and increase your leg turnover. Even running at recovery pace, I was turning over at 170 when I would normally just barely get over 160 using regular shoes. I think I'll start doing my recovery runs in these things.

Today: Went back to the gym to do 12 miles with 7@LT pace. Started out with 2 really slow miles at about 10min/mile pace and then started in at 8.6mi/hr (6:58min/mile). Maintained that for 5 miles and then bumped it up to 8.7 for one mile and then 8.8 for the final mile. HR rate seemed to be in a good zone for this and is actually a bit lower than when I did 6 miles at 8.6mi/hr about 1.5 months ago. Finished up with 3 miles at various paces. It's weird cause my leg turnover seemed very low for this, only at about 170 which is what I was doing the day before for my recovery run in the Nike Free's.

Cold and Windy

on Sunday, January 20, 2008 at 6:54 PM

Plan for today was 15 miles with 12 @ marathon pace. Had thoughts about doing at the gym but with the sidewalks free of snow, I wanted to toughen myself up by doing it outside. -10 C but lots of wind whipping around so I wasn't entirely sure if it was in or out.

Decided that I would do a quick three mile warmup returning home and then if i didn't want to do it, i would go to the gym. Dressed up quite warmly. One interesting thing to note was I used some chapstick for the first time this season. I like the plain kind with no flavour to it. I know that it typically comes in a black tube. I picked one up at a convenience store a couple of weeks ago and just shoved it into my jacket pocket. I only opened it today and noticed that the contents were pink! The label had these ruby red lips on the them which I guess means that they're for women. I'm pretty comfortable with my masculinity, so I put it on anyways since it was all I had. I did check to see how it looked in the mirror though. You could hardly tell. I guess this is how it starts. Next thing you know, I'll be wearing women's underwear!! Maybe not...

The three mile warmup went okay and so i thought it would be okay to do the MP portion outside. Rather than try to aim for a specific pace, I ran this using HR as a guide. Goal was to keep the HR less than 170 and let the paces fall where they be.

Lap Time HR Max HR Avg
07:10.3 203 169
07:25.6 172 167
07:28.1 172 169
07:27.9 172 167
07:26.1 173 168
07:28.9 171 168
07:26.4 170 167
07:43.2 170 165
07:37.4 172 166
07:19.3 172 168
07:36.6 170 168
07:29.4 172 168

These are garmin splits which I don't quite trust. Garmin says I did 15.3 miles total, but the two routes I used were exactly 3 and 12 miles so I only did 15 miles total. I also got to try my fancy water bottle with the kicker valve which worked out great. No clogged nozzles with frozen gatorade which I had problems with last winter. It was getting a bit tough to get liquid through the nozzle towards the end of the run, but I could still drink from it. When I got home, there were ice crystals forming in the bottle so I think the kicker valve did it's job.

Winter is back...

on Saturday, January 19, 2008 at 10:07 PM

Wednesday: Headed to the gym after work to do 10 miles including 5x1000m intervals. Didn't actually get there until 9:30pm or so and was there until they closed at 11pm. The treadmills at the gym have an interval button where you can input a jog speed and a run speed and you can switch between the two speeds by jsut pushing the button. I set the run part to 9.2 mi/hr (6:31 pace) and the jog pace to 3.5. Did three tries at that, but it seemed that my HR wasn't getting too high. (HR spiked on second interval) Wasn't even hitting my LT HR which is usually around 180 or so. I bumped up the pace for the last 2 intervals to 9.3 mi/hr (6:27 pace) where I was just barely able to squeak over 180 for the last 30 seconds or so of the interval. Then ran a few more miles to get to 10 total.

Thursday: 12 miles on the schedule again in the evening after work and didn't start out until late. Did it outside. Got through about 9 miles okay until i started getting intestinal cramps. Had to walk for about half of the last few miles. Only did about 11.5 miles.

Today: 6 miles recovery with 6 strides. Back to morning running and back to the high HR. Even though this was at recovery pace, this felt tougher than it normally would.

Well winter has returned and it's -12C outside right now. There's no snow on the ground which is good. I wanted to try and do a marathon pace run tomorrow morning outside but I'm thinking it might be better to just do it at the gym.

Running in the Evening

on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 11:41 PM

Did 5 mile recovery run this evening. We got a couple cm's of snow that partially melted and then refroze so some of the sidewalks were covered in ice. For the whole 5 miles, I averaged 9:50 pace which is really slow for me. My HR was way down. I usually like to keep it just below 150, but I was less than 140 for most of the run. I've noticed lately that running in the evening allows me to run at a lower HR than I would otherwise. I think it has something to do with me being all carbed up by the time I get around to running in the evening whereas morning runs I tend to do on an empty stomach having not eaten anything for a good 9 hours or so.

I'm going to try and do some 1k intervals tomorrow evening. The ice means the track is out of the question so it looks like I'll be trying to do them at the gym. Haven't tried intervals at the gym before so this will be a learning experience.


on Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 10:36 PM

5.4 miles recovery @9:15 pace

Ever have those runs where you feel you can go forever. Well that's what this run felt like. 12.1 miles @8.35 pace with the last mile @7:20 pace.

Was supposed to do 11 miles with 6@LT pace on Friday, but didn't get to it so I did it Saturday morning. Wanted to get to 50 miles for the week so decided to do the 11 miles in the morning and a 5 mile recovery run in the evening. Headed to the track in the morning to run 24 laps. My normal shopping mall parking route wasn't an option since they still have HUGE mounds of snow that have been shovelled into my regular 1 mile route. With the nice run on Wednesday, I decided to see if I could handle just under 7:00 minute pace for this since I pulled that pace off 5 weeks ago at the gym. First three laps were okay for pace but the HR was a bit too high. Tried to continue at that pace and pulled off a few 7:03 to 7:10 for laps 4 through 8. Lap 9 however had me beat where I pulled off a 7:15 pace lap. By this point, I had done 2.25 miles but was gassed. Decided to take a short breather and then run the remainder using HR as a guide trying to keep it less than 180. The remaining laps were between 7:20 and 7:30 pace which isn't too great. I think my form has gone into the crapper. Normally when I do LT's my cadence is close to 180 or so, but I could barely get it to 170 for this. I think the lack of strides is making me run sloppily. Did 5.4 miles in the evening at recovery pace.

Today: 18 miles. Ran basically the same route I ran last week but was able to do it about 3 minutes faster for 8:50 pace.

Got to 51.9 miles for the week with 34 miles done in the past two days. Nice!

So been kinda busy at work this past week. I got a new crackberry. I've been using the old blue one for three years which is the equivalent of bringing out one of those brick sized cell phones and could hear people snicker when I would bring it out. Not anymore, I got a fancy new one with a camera and a GPS built in. Missed my run on Friday because I was playing with it. There's some interesting "stuff" going down at work which unfortunately I'm not entirely privy too. I haven't been there long enough that the boss will confide in me, but I've been there long enough to see that things are changing. A co-worker of mine who joined a year after I did quit just before Christmas and I'm thinking that he had the right idea...

Getting warmer

on Sunday, January 6, 2008 at 9:41 PM

Took Friday and Saturday off from running to try and let the soreness in my leg go away. I've been using the Ultrasonic device that I bought last year these past few days to help make the pain go away. I was never really sure it did anything as it's not like a massage where you immediately feel better right after. The pain just kinda goes away with time, but that might be just due to other thinks like cutting back on running and icing that I also tend to do when I'm injured. I think it's doing something but I'm just not sure.

I managed 18 miles today at 9 min/mile. Didn't want to push too hard because of the leg. Plus I was worried about bonking since I didn't eat much on Saturday and basically went 16 hours prior to the run today without having eaten anything. Weather today was about 5C which is a great temperature to run in, but just not so great when there's lots of snow on the ground cause it starts to melt and you just end up with big puddles of water and slush everywhere. It supposed to get up to 10C over the next couple of day with some rain. I'm hoping that it's just enough to melt the snow at the track so I can do some intervals since I haven't done any in a while. 39 miles for the week. Plan for the upcoming week is to try and get to 50 miles again which will include a 6 mile LT run at some point.

So I no longer have my non-functioning Forerunner 205. It was returned yesterday. Actually I was going to try and get it exchanged for one that worked, but they didn't have any more in stock, so I ended up exchanging it for one of those car GPS units. I think that this works out for the best since I'm really keen on getting the new Forerunner 405 when that gets released.

Forerunner 405

on Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 11:13 PM

I commented last week that I thought garmin was going to release a new GPS model in the new year. Well guess what?? Forerunner 405. Read and drool!


Went to the gym yesterday and did 5 miles @6.5mi/hr (9:13 pace). I wanted to do 11 miles today starting out at 6.6 mi/hr and increasing the pace by 0.1 after every mile until I got to 7.6. I ended up stopping after 5 miles. The reason being I've been nursing an injury for the past week or so. During a couple of the runs last week, I kinda turned over my ankle a couple of times. It didn't really bother me at the time but I think I strained a ligament or something cause it's been kinda uncomfortable to run these past few days. There's this dull achy pain around my left Achilles tendon, but it's not the Achilles tendon. Hopefully tomorrow's day off will help with the healing process. I'd still like to get a 17 mile long run in this weekend so I'm keeping the fingers crossed.

First Race of 2008

on Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 10:09 PM

Plan for today was to do 10 miles today with 5 at LT pace. There was a 9 km "Hair of the Dog" race downtown by the beach which works out to about 5.6 miles so the plan was to go down there and register as soon as possible and then do a quick 5 mile warm-up followed by the race. Unfortunately due to the weather and some snow, I didn't actually get down there until about 40 minutes until start and didn't get a chance to warm up.

So to give you some background (from wikipedia), the "Hair of the Dog" is a short saying for "the hair of the dog that bit you" and comes from medieval times when it was believed that if you were bitten by a rabid dog that you could prevent the onset of rabies by placing a "hair of the dog" into the wound. Of course, we know today that's just silly. In modern times, the "hair of the dog" is meant to be a hangover cure and considering that the race is on January 1st, the race is appropriately named. Supposed the "Hair of the dog" is to refer to curing the effects of a hangover by simply drinking more alcohol. Now that just makes perfect sense!

Anyhow so back to the race. It was windy, snowing and the running path which comprised a paved trail and a boardwalk was covered with snow, and not just that light fluffy stuff, but that dense packing stuff that turns into ice when it's compressed when you step on it.

So the race started and I was moving at what I thought was an okay clip but not so great considering the not so great footing. Passed 1 mile (according to Garmin) at7:23. I was basically following this guy in front of me since he seemed to know where he was going. Unfortunately he was jumping back and forth between running on the boardwalk and running on the trail that runs adjacent to it. He leads me out of the beaches area and we pass the 2nd mile mark at 7:44 which I realize is a bit too slow for my liking. By this point, we're on a part of the trail that I'm familiar with since I've run on it before and so I decide to pass him. The trail then turns adjacent to this side road and I decide to jump onto the road to gain a bit more traction. I hit the turnaround point at about 21 minutes flat where they have these little cups of water, OJ and peach schnapps (hair of the dog, remember...). Grab a cup each of the alcohol and water and head for home. Mile 3 split is 7:32. At this point, I've decided to run on the trail again and the lack of traction is causing me to slow down again. Mile 4 is 7:37. Continue on and pass a couple of people and Mile 5 is at 7:26. I pull up behind this one guy who must have heard me coming cause he then takes off like a jackrabbit and I can't keep up. Finish the last .54 miles in 4 minutes flat or 7:30 pace. Garmin says the course was only 8.9km which could be true considering I have no idea if we were following the right path or not. Not sure of my official time or placing since I didn't try looking for any results after but garmin says 41:45 but it's probably closer to 41:50 since the garmin auto paused when I stopped at the turnaround to drink some fluids. So overall pace was around 7:34 min/mile. This pace seems to be my maximum "running on snow and ice" pace since this was almost the same pace (7:36) that I did a few weeks ago during a 10 mile race with similar conditions.

Afterwards stuck around to eat some food and watch the awards ceremony and then headed home. I still had to do 5 miles to get me to my 10 miles for the day which I did just a little while ago at around 8:45 pace.

Going to try and do a recovery run tomorrow morning to get back into morning running habit. It's supposed to be super cold tonight so it might be that I end up doing it at the gym tomorrow evening.