Friday, April 30, 2010

4/30/10 PM Easy Run, 8.15 Miles, 15.5 Miles for the Day

8.15 Miles
6:29 avg
92 Miles for the Week
110 Miles in the last 7 days
390 Miles run in April

Boy the legs felt good this afternoon. I really didn't feel like I was pushing it, but I knew I was moving well. Some good stretching, now time to eat, so I can be ready for a long one tomorrow... 20 big ones.

What a great week of training this has been.

4/30/10 AM Easy Run, 7.35 Miles

7.35 Miles
7:14 avg pace
84 Miles this week
102 Miles in last 7 days

Easy run this morning to loosen the legs. Was good that I had no run in the evening, just the hard effort from the morning to recover from. Legs felt pretty heavy, as they would be expected to feel. Both Achilles were a little on the fatigued side, a little more so than any other parts of my legs... but that lasted for about the first half of the run. Came up again about a mile from finishing. I'll be sure to keep those stretched and monitored over the weekend.

8 this evening and 20-21 tomorrow morning.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

4/29/10 AM Speed Workout, 12 Miles

12 Miles Total
6:18 avg
Workout: 6-mile tempo run, goal pace, 5:25-5:30
5:24, 5:20, 5:20 - 16:04
5:23, 5:21, 5:18 - 16:02
3-mile warmup @ 22:21
3-mile cooldown @ 21:11

76 miles this week
108 miles in last 7 days

First off, if this was "official", I'd have set a 6-mile PR, and if it was a 10k, adding 65 or 70 seconds would give me a 10k PR by 35 seconds. This coming when my legs had 104 miles on them coming in, over the last 7 days. All in all, feeling really good about how this workout went.

I had to trick myself into that 2nd loop. As I neared the end of the 3rd mile, I was kinda hurtin', and told myself I knew I could make it through 4, and to just get as far into the 5th mile as I least half way. When I crossed the 1/2 mile point in mile 5, and knew I had just 1.5 to go, moving decent, I just told myself there was no stopping now, even if I came apart in the last mile of the workout. Hitting the last mile fastest with what I've been doing up to now makes me a very, very happy man. Great workout. This may take me a couple of days to recover from, though. :-)

No run this evening, and DEFINITELY recovery paced runs tomorrow, then long on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

4/28/10 PM Easy Run, 8.15 Miles, 16.3 Miles for the Day

8.15 Miles
6:38 avg
64 miles for the week
104 miles in last 7 days

I knew right from the start of this run that my legs were feeling good. I felt good in the morning, and was glad to get another easy run in before the workout tomorrow. I actually had to kinda hold myself back some as I found I was just running way too fast mid-run. I backed it off and cruised on the rest of the way. Covered over 16 miles today in just over 1:50 minutes. A good day of running, and gives me some good feelings about what is coming, as long as I continue to try taking care of my body...stretching, upper body work, etc. Getting mind set for a 2nd workout this week. Off of to sleep now.

4/28/10 AM Easy Run, 8.15 Miles

8.15 Miles
6:54 avg
56 Miles for the Week

Boy, 2nd day in a row my legs felt more inclined to NOT run than to run, but I'm glad I got out. Sluggish through first 2 miles, almost 16 minutes. Legs really loosened up, and I probably ran faster than I should have over the 2nd half of the run, but it seemed to take little effort to carry the pace I was running. I keep find that I'm neglecting stretching the last 3 or 4 days...not a good pattern. Especially with a 2nd run today, then a workout in the morning, leaving out proper stretching is just not an option to remaining healthy. Looking forward to easy miles this evening.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

4/27/10 PM Easy Run, 7.05 Miles, 15.2 for the Day

7.05 Miles
7:24 avg
104 Miles/last 7 days

I ran today with James, who fortunately, lives in my neighborhood. Just a nice, easy run down to the MP for a loop and back. We talked about a lot of stuff... was good to have someone to chat with the entire run. I know you don't read my blog, but thanks for the run James.

It really helped to run at a pace that forced me to take it as a total recovery run. I plan on doing the same dang thing tomorrow morning. Nice, easy, recovery paced running. I WAS planning on doing my workout tomorrow, but that will definitely be a Thursday morning thing.

Training Weight

By no stretch am I a heavy guy...never have been. But, when it comes to distance running and where I WANT to be, I've always been a little heavy for such performances.

I can go through "history" of my weight changes/challenges in another post, although they are not all that drastic, so it's not all that interesting, quite honestly. However, here is kind of a progression of what I've been running at.

Back in 2003 when I ran my first Houston Marathon, that was probably the best time to get myself in the right shape for a fast time. I think I did a lot of things right, but definitely not everything. I came into the week of the marathon weighing 151 lbs. I was 27 and in pretty darn good shape, but cratered at the end, and honestly, didn't know how to handle it mentally and physically when your body begins to break down the way it does in the late miles of a marathon and brought it home in 3:14.

I don't do another marathon for 5 years. When the 2008 marathon came along, I got into that one hoping for a 2:45-2:50 marathon, but again cratered at the end, bringing it across the finish line in 3:02:59. Going into that race, I weighed in around 163 or 164 lbs. It fluctuated a lot, and it just seemed difficult to get back below 160. Honestly, I had almost resigned to the idea that below 160 was just going to be too hard to do... sort of. But I qualified for Boston and decided to spend the next 12 months getting ready for that.

When Boston came around in April 2009, I had definitely trained better, run better, and managed my weight better, but still only got down to around 161 for that one. I covered that historic course in 2:54:34. Coming out of that race, I felt strong from the training and wanted to carry the lessons learned in training, in the race and in post race into my Houston Marathon Training. And I did so...however, something different happened along the way.

I participated in a couple of Tuesday workouts with Sean, Luis and Bill, with Geoff joining a time or two. One time, in the heat of summer, shirts off getting ready to begin, I made a joke saying to Sean "If I ate better, maybe I wouldn't be the fattest guy out here." This started a running sort of joke, sort of serious, commentary between myself and Sean. He sorta challenged me right then to a hardcore, 3-week crash diet, so to speak that he was certain would drop 10 lbs, and at the time, would have taken me to 155. He and Luis went back and forth on this discussion and agreed... 1-second per pound, per mile, over 5k at least. So, my current PR being at 16:29, they were convinced 10 lbs lighter, current fitness level, I'd be sub-16.

This was right before 4th of July weekend, so I opted to begin this a little after that, but I wanted to be trimmer and lighter come the first race in the Warmup series, so by October. So, late July, early August, I start on this 3-week diet. I got 2.5 weeks into it before I "broke", so to speak, and had shed over 7 lbs...I was now officially back in the 150's...a place I hadn't been for a while. During this 3 weeks, I could hardly run more than 7-8 miles a day, and I was wiped out. No speed work, no nothing. Just kept running and being disciplined.

I hung out there for the rest of marathon training, and entered the Houston Half in October thinner than I'd been in a long time, and posted a 2 minute Half PR, running 5:46 pace. When the Chevron Houston Marathon came around, I was right around 154-156...don't know exactly, but I was in good shape, felt trained, and felt light and fast. I PR'd there @ 6:06 pace, and a 2:40 marathon.

After that marathon, a goal that had been in my mind for the prior 12 months was pushing back towards the front of my brain, and things began to come together to make it a top running priority in early March, and I began this trek of 2-a-day training, high-mileage training, and just really starting to test my body on the training so I can test it in racing.

In the last 2 months now, I've shed more lb's. On Sunday morning, I jumped on a scale for the first morning weigh-in in a long time....and it read back @ me 148 lbs. I couldn't even tell you when I was last under 150 lbs. In all honesty, I knew I was there, but hadn't gotten the official reading. I could see the change in my body, not to mention the comments of those who see me out running, or even at work. To top that off, though, there is more to lose. The elite training/racing weight is around 2lbs per inch of height....and being a 6 ft tall guy, the ideal "elite" weight is around 144 lbs. Am I elite? Hell-to-the-No. But we can all dream, can't we?

So, here I am, with a waist size I've not been in about 6 years, a weight I've not been in possibly 17 or 18 years...or more, and at a training and fitness level I have never been. Why? Well, after that 2:40 @ Houston, plain and simply, I want more. That description up on the top of my blog says it all. I want to find out just how much my body can take, how far I can go, and honestly, just how fast I can get. For all I know, I'm at the limit already. But we all know that there is really only one way to find out what your limit is...and that's to test it, over and over again. When I get to that limit, know that all the credit goes to Him who gave me the ability to get there, and put those around me that can help me get there.

I'll get into the discussion of the goal in another post. I've told enough people, although not many, that it's no big secret, but it's definitely not been officially made public at this point. Like I said...that's for another post.

4/27/10 Easy AM Recovery Run, 8.15 Miles

8.15 Miles
7:24 avg

I woke up with a quote on my mind from the movie Saint Ralph: "Especially when the legs ache, putting in the miles is essential to improvement."

My body was really not feeling it this morning, so I set the alarm for an extra 45 minutes of sleep, and I think it helped. I was still tired when I got up, but there was just this feeling that in order to be taken seriously, to take mySELF seriously, about what I'm doing and what I'm trying to do, the miles needed to be done this morning, especially with how I felt.

First 2 miles were tough, as I averaged about 8-minute pace, but as I got into Memorial Park, the legs loosened up and I felt really good. Long and short, great run, good stretching, especially of the calves and Achilles after, and I feel like a million bucks... well, at least a thousand. :P

Monday, April 26, 2010

4/26/10 PM Hill Workout, 8.5 Miles, 16.65 Miles for the Day

8.5 Miles
7:05 avg
16xHill Repeats

I'm having trouble determining how far I actually went. I did a full loop of the bayou from my apartment, which comes out to roughly 5.2 Miles, but then add in what I did on the hills, and you have to add in over 25 minutes of running off the normal course, which I have to think is over 3.5 miles, as the hill repeats were done at a pretty good pace. Not hammering by any stretch, and I wouldn't even call it hard efforts. Either way, it was somewhere between 8.5 and 9 miles for the day.

I felt good throughout the run, despite having a very tired body today. My legs were not 100%, so the efforts uphill were extremely important to stay smooth, not "press", and just cruise on through them. I gradually increased the effort with each passing rep. The last 4, I tried to treat it like the end of a race...not hammering, but holding form, pushing, staying smooth, and driving my legs. The effort was definitely good, and I think I got out of it what I was supposed to.

I'm tired enough that it has me contemplating taking the morning off. I have one more workout ahead this week... a 6-mile tempo run @ 5:25-5:30. If I can make it through that, it will be easy on the legs through till the end of next week. Now, it's off to dreamland.

4/26/10 AM Easy Run, 8.15 Miles

8.15 Miles
7:15 avg

Just an easy run to and loop of the park. Hill repeats are on the schedule for today, and I originally wanted to do them this morning, but that would have required a loop of the bayou and include the hills there, and my legs were not feeling that today. They started heavy, as was indicated by my 16:00 to get to the water fountain @ Crestwood and Memorial....exactly 2-miles from my place. I knew I'd made the right call to postpone hills to the afternoon.

No strain or pain or anything on the hamstrings, Achilles or calves, although I felt a little unexpected "discomfort" in my right knee. Nothing major, almost hardly worth mentioning, but just a presence. This is the second time I've felt that in the last 3 days. Worth monitoring, and definitely worth bringing up to Coach Sean should I feel it again this afternoon or in the next couple of days.

One side note...stepped on a scale Sunday morning, and let's just say I was thoroughly surprised at what I saw. I mean, I know I've lost weight, and all my clothes fit me big...but I don't think I was prepared to actually see the number on the scale. I'm still not at the "2-lbs per inch of height" that elite level athletes run at, but I'm headed that direction, and I'm at a weight I hadn't been since perhaps freshman or sophomore year of HS. And, not that I have a whole world of readers, but before any concern gets raised, or head shaking takes place, for those who have hung out with me and had a meal with me, you know there is little to be concerned with on the "I hope you're eating" front.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

4/25/10 Easy Run, 16 Miles

16 Miles
6:52 avg

100 miles/last 7 days

After a few beers with some friends and being up a little late, I really didn't know how good I'd feel this morning for a 16 mile "recovery" run. But, lo and behold, all proceeded just fine. Got out the door a little before 10 AM, and really enjoyed this amazing weather. The dryness, though, definitely created a few other challenges. Of course, this could have been partially slight dehydration, but man it felt like I was sandy the whole run. I didn't notice salt patches or anything on my body, just a little on my arm, but it was a weird dry feeling the whole run. That will happen in 25% humidity, I guess. :-)

Because I think the route is just shy of 16 miles, I went ahead and added a little when I got back to my place, as this was the same route I did last Sunday. Still, I'm not fully convinced I went a full 16. I mean, I know I was moving well, but 6:52 just seems a little faster than what I would have been doing. Oh well. I'll just be left guessing till I replace the Garmin.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

4/24/10 PM Easy Run, 7.25 Miles, 19.25 For the Day

7.25 Miles
7:03 avg

Well, because I just don't know when to stop, and because I just needed to for my brain, I got out for an easy, easy run. Felt really, really good too. I know that going too far on the day after a workout can be dangerous, but right now, it's feeling like the right thing to have done. I got some good stretching in after my shower, got the calves, quads, hammies, back and glutes all stretched and feeling no worse for wear. Now ready to relax and try to enjoy the evening and put any negative thoughts behind me for the night.

AND, I posted my first full 100 mile week...Sunday to Saturday. Feeling great about it too.

4/24/10 AM Easy Run, 12 Miles

12 Miles
7:04 avg

After the workout yesterday, Coach suggested that I do NOT run 20-miles the day after a workout like that, so I was just fine with that. I was able to relax a little when I slept. I was concerned earlier in the day, hoping I'd get enough rest for 20, so it felt like a mental break.

Four of us ran out...John, Nick and Claudio...down Heights to 20th and back to base, then did a loop of the bayou. Felt good running easy then dropping the pace and bringing it home strong.

I can honestly say there is a certain excitement and additional motivation that comes along with having a week's total over 100 miles, and knowing that more is coming. This week should be another heavy week, followed by a down week after. Legs and body still feeling good. Keeping close tabs on it all, but so far so good.

Friday, April 23, 2010

4/23/10 Speed Workout, 13 Miles Total

13 Miles Total
6 Miles warmup @ 42:38 (7:06 avg)
3.25 Miles cool down @ 24:51 (almost 8:00 pace)
101 Miles/7 days

2k @ 5:20 pace (6:40)
mile @ 5:10 pace
1200 @ 5:00 pace (3:45)
800 @ 4:50 pace (2:25)
400 @ 68

2k @ 6:29
mile @ 5:06
1200 @ 3:46
800 @ 2:26
400 @ 66

Some days you just need something to shake you out of a funk, and today was that kinda day. Was hot out when I got out to do this workout. Was in the high 70's, sunny and humid. Not ideal conditions by any stretch. What I liked most was that it seemed like forever since I'd had the chance to put this kind of effort forth at these speeds. I definitely nailed the workout...didn't exactly crush it, but nailed it. We'll see what kinda mileage I can get in over the weekend. Coach's recommendation is to NOT do a 20-miler the day after a workout like this. I'll do 12 early miles, then probably something later in the day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

28 Days

Today marks 28 straight days of running. I think I remember seeing a movie w/Sandra Bullock about trying to break a drug habit called 28 Days. Hmm...I think I like this 28-day "milestone" better.

So, going back to, according to my Garmin, the start of that time, March 26th (I'm 99.99% certain I ran sans Garmin on the 25th, which would make the start of this the 23rd, making this the 31st day, but that's okay), here is how much I've done:

It starts w/a Friday and Saturday, so those two day of that week start it:
3/26-3/27 - 9.5
3/28-4/3 - 94
4/4-4/10 - 61 (week of Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon)
4/11-4/17 - 94
4/18-today - 68

Bringing the 4-week total to 326.5 Miles. I like it. :-) (If it was what I alluded to earlier, and 31 days, with what I believe is the total, those 3 extra days only add on 24 more miles, making it 350 miles in 31 days...I like the 326.5 in 28 better...better average.)

Next goal... a 4-week total that adds up to more than 440 miles.

4/22/10 AM Easy Run, 8 Miles

8 Miles
6:39 avg
103 Miles/7 days

I opted to move my workout to Friday morning, as this morning, i was just too tired, and used the extra sleep time. This may mean one run tomorrow, but I'll get all my mileage in at that time, shooting for a 15-16 mile morning.

All went well this morning, and when I got going, I really just let the momentum carry me. Legs felt good, and I think part of the movement today was how restless my legs were last night as we drove back from Dallas. Perhaps, they have gotten so used to two-a-day running, and this week has seen way more 1-run days, still getting the mileage. They were just antsy, I guess. Either way, it felt good.

Soccer practice with my #1 girl and a b-day party dinner for a buddy of mine means no 2nd run tonight...again!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

4/21/10 AM Easy Run, 16 Miles

16 Miles
6:44 avg
103 miles in last 7 days

No Garmin

I'm thinking this route is slightly less than 16 no more than maybe a quarter mile, because while I know I was moving out pretty good on the way back, I just don't think I avg'd 6:44 for this run. It's an out and back route that I ran for this, same as I did on Sunday, and @ the turnaround, I was at 56:30, or something like that. Who knows.

Long and short, it was a good run... one of those that I can say didn't feel like I'd just run 16 miles. I liked that feeling. After, drove out to Dallas to watch my nephew's district track meet. That was awesome, yet draining, as I just spent 8 hours on the road, arriving home @ 2AM. Yikes.

I had a workout to run in the morning on Thursday, but I think I'll be doing that Friday morning, now.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

4/20/10 AM Easy Run, 13 Miles

13 Miles
103 miles in last 7 days

No Garmin

I started this morning with dead legs, which was expected after a hill workout and an evening run yesterday. Still, they felt pretty decent. I got to the park thinking 7 would be the order of the day...9 tops. I got to the tennis center and had slightly made up my mind to get 10 in. I went ahead and timed 3 miles at this point...20:50. Each mile was pretty darn steady, so I felt pretty good here. Saw Bill as I completed this loop, so he and I started out my 2nd loop. I ended up deciding to go ahead and do another loop since now I had a running partner, so he and I ran 5 miles together, then I headed back up Memorial, averaging about 7 minute pace for the final 2 miles.

All in all, a good run. Last Tuesday was an 11 mile day, so @ 13, I can call it a day and be ahead of the game. Not sure...hmmm. I may get another 3-4 in this evening. We'll see.

Monday, April 19, 2010

4/19/10 PM Easy Run, 7.25 Miles, 15.25 for the Day

7.25 Miles

No Garmin

Easy run to, and around, Memorial Park, and back. Felt good. There was definitely a certain sense of accomplishment in miles 6 and 7, getting me to 100 and 101 miles in the last 7 days. Awesome stuff.

Not much fanfare on this run. All systems seem to be a go. I did get nervous pretty much the entire run, having these nightmarish thoughts of getting to 99 miles and then twisting an ankle, stepping on a rock and breaking my foot, or something weird, just shy of the century mark. But, none of that happened, which I'm VERY thankful for.

4/19/10 AM Hill Workout, 8-Miles

8 Miles
4 Miles warmup and cool down
4xprogressive mile repeats on Clover Leaf
6:14, 5:40, 5:30, 5:15

94 Miles in last 7 days

So, first real hard effort on a heavy week (other than my race). I went into this run with 94 miles already on my legs in the last 7 days, and just not sure how they'd feel pushing up hills. Then when I saw the workout, I began to dread the idea of doing 5 mile repeats on the Clover Leaf. But, whatever it takes right?

Sean suggested I just do 6 or 6:15 to start out. I can tell he doesn't want to tell me to push too hard, for the same fear I have, and that's pulling or straining something. To be honest, the first part of the mile felt like crap, but about a quarter-mile in, I really felt like I loosened up and moved well. I was disappointed to get over 6:10 for that first mile, but it was good that way...built a little confidence for me for the remaining workout. Definitely, I took off a little harder for the 2nd effort, and I knew half-way through that I was going a little faster than intended, but I didn't want to let up. After that 5:40, I started to think that 2 more hard efforts, and no way a 5th one will make it in there today...that's a battle to wage another day. The 5:30 felt good, but slightly taxing. I told Sean "I only got one more in me" as I walked by him during the 50 second recovery, and he said "That's alright, man." So off I went. I wanted to start out fast and not let up. I felt myself start to just a bit on the first uphill in that first quarter, but leaned into it and pressed forward, through the downhill, and really worked hard that last uphill. I'm not sure how fast I was going to finish off, but I was really running hard by the end of that mile. Was hoping for sub 5:10, but I'll take a 5:14 with what I've been doing.

Provided this afternoon's run goes well, it will take me over the century mark for the first time in my life. Can't wait. :-) I think I'll celebrate with peanut butter and jelly with milk.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

4/18/10 - 16 Mile Easy Run

16 Miles
55:50 out, 53:33 back
6:50 avg

Garmin is just about dead, so just used a KW 16-mile route with my regular stop watch.

Nice run... wasn't really sure how much I'd do this morning, as I had originally planned on 2 runs. But, as I got going, my legs felt pretty good, and I just kinda got to feeling the sheer joy of running on back to back days distances most that I know would only do once a week, or every other week. It felt like "elite" training to get 16 miles in the day after a 20 mile run. I liked it a lot. Especially when I thought about the last 3 days hitting 51 miles. So, onward I ran from my place, to the park, long way around the park, down Memorial, then Woodway to Sage, right on Sage, left at the end of the road and ran till it dead-ended, which was right at 8 miles. Then turned and headed back. Felt good the whole way through. I definitely negative split the run, but made sure not to really "hammer" it. Just cruised @ what my body felt like it could do.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

4/17/10 Kenyan Way Long Run, 20 Miles

20 Miles
6:49 avg
7:35, 7:10, 7:07, 7:01, 7:02, 7:01, 6:56, 6:52, 6:29, 6:19 - 6:57 avg
6:29, 6:34, 6:39, 6:48, 6:52, 6:44, 6:51, 6:49, 6:31, 6:20 - 6:40 avg

All in all, this was a really good run. Hadn't done a 20-miler (aside from the marathon) since December, I think, so it feels good to have these miles under my feet. I can consider this the start of "heavy" weekends for me. Friday, 15. Saturday, 20. Tomorrow, another 15 on the plan. I like it. We'll see what the legs, feet and energy levels have to say about it though.

Achilles was good for the most part. Got a little concerned 5-6 miles in, as it started to ache some, and I thought I'd stop when we made it back to base, at 12-miles. But, fortunately, the discomfort subsided and all was good. A little hamstring twinge the day before, so I made sure to stretch that good. Other than that, body is feeling pretty good after 20-today.

One funny moment... as we're coming back towards Memorial from 610, I know I need a port-o-can, so I say as much to the guy running next to me, and he reminds me there's one just a quarter mile into the park. So, as soon as we hit the trail, I take off and say "I'll try not to lose too much ground." I'm not sure how fast I was going, but I was movin' pretty good, and I made it...whew! So, I come out, and I think I see the tail end of the group in the distance, so off I go. Now, it becomes my mission to catch them, so I move along faster than I really ought to and catch them at the water stop @ Crestwood and Memorial. As we're just finishing up our water, I hear one guy say "Hey, who was that that took off a little bit ago?" Another guy says "He was just going to the bathroom." So, I piped up "That was me... It's Sam, by the way." A couple of guys laughed, and he says "Oh, sorry." I'm not sure what the sorry was for, but I thought it was kinda funny.

Friday, April 16, 2010

4/16/10 PM Easy Run, 7 Miles, 15 Miles for the Day

7 Miles
6:58 avg
7:10, 6:56, 6:47, 6:45, 6:50, 6:59, 7:14

Easy run that felt good for the most part. late in the run, the Achilles started to bother me. Nothing too major... felt like fatigue, so backed it off towards the end. Ready for 20 on Saturday.

4/16/10 AM Easy Run, 8 Miles

8 Miles
7:06 avg
7:56, 7:24, 7:09, 6:57, 6:53, 6:53, 6:37, 6:58

Ah, easy run this morning. Getting myself ready for a high mileage weekend and getting into some workouts starting next week. I started out way easy, and when I got to Memorial Park, I saw a familiar face in Bill. So, he and I did about 2/3 of a loop together to the Tennis Center. Was good to chat and catch up a little. He's taking some time off from hard training and hard racing, but is still getting out to get some mileage on the legs. Was glad to catch up and make the loop go by pretty fast.

I was feeling pretty good, and got a little ahead of myself running down Memorial back to my apartment. All in all, though, good run, and ready to get some more this evening, then some good, good rest before going for 20 tomorrow morning.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

4/15/10 Easy Run, 8.19 Miles

8.19 Miles
6:57 avg
7:30, 7:08, 7:06, 6:42, 6:44, 6:47, 6:45, 6:53

Easy run after hanging out w/my daughter. I should have been up early for my run in the AM so I wasn't running this late, but it felt good out. It probably helped that it had been more than 24 hrs after my last run. Legs felt good, and I could have gone further, but no need to get too crazy... yet.

Race Pics

Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon
Bib # 166

Law Week 8k

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

4/14/10 PM Easy Run, 7.25 Miles, 15.5 Miles for the Day

7.25 Miles
51 Minutes
7+ avg
Garmin data at home... will update that later

I really was only planning on no more than 10-11 miles on any day this week, but my legs felt the best they'd felt since the weekend, so I thought I'd get out for another run this afternoon. Just a run to the park for a loop and back. Chatted with Coach briefly about some training thoughts, and what I needed to be doing.

Now I'll be looking forward to essentially a weekly 20-mile run, and adding aqua-jogging to the training plan. All in the name of fitness, improvement and kick-@$$-ery. :-)

*not sure why that's coming up they way it is, but it's not a link for anything, just FYI.*

PR Updates & Lone Wolf Running

*I started this post yesterday, and just never finished it. Just thought I'd post it today.*

So obviously, a new PR has been updated with my Half @ Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon. Just a little plug for the event here, but I think they put on a first class event, especially for the size. 1600 runners and it was well organized, although started a few minutes later then planned. The medal is awesome, and I'll go back and attach a photo of it later. Very cool, as well as the stuff in the packet. A mug, a tech shirt... great event.

Anyway, I could have updated my 10-mile PR time, but I'm going to save that for, hopefully, the 10-miler in October. I've only run a 10-mile race a couple of times, and didn't fare all that well in either. Now, I'm setting PR's for 10 each time I do a half. Not to mention, I'm not 100% sure this mile marker was accurate, but it very well could have been.

I'm working on my racing schedule for the summer, and know I'll be knocking out a few 5k's, as my training goes up. I plan to train through most of my racing, but will target a few races. My Half time equates to a 15:49 5k, or something like that. As coach would say, the shorter distances are where my strength is, so there's a good possibility I could run a 15:45 or even a 15:40. Not sure. At this point, with my last ACTUAL 5k race having been a 16:30-something, I'm really only gunning to get sub-16 for my next one...especially with the hot months coming. But regardless of that goal, I would like to be able to go into a race and really attack it...really get after it and see what happens. Honestly, that's what I feel like I did for this weekend's race. I pushed my own pace early, then pushed again in the middle of the race, and it paid off. I was happy to see that I had the strength not to totally fall apart. Gives me confidence for what I could do down the road, and how my body may respond when I really put the hammer down. That I may be able to sustain an effort that I have never run before.


I've contemplated lately the idea of how I run and train. I've joked on a few runs with my occassional running partner about my "lone wolf" training ways. She even stopped a couple of guys that are good friends of hers to say "hey, do you know Sam Rodriguez?" and of course, they didn't know me, and I only knew them by name, but had never met them. So, I've started wondering and thinking about why that is the case. And probably for the most part, I don't do stuff too much different than easy runs almost always by myself, workouts sometimes with a group, and long runs sometimes with a group. Now I do often get into a mode where I'm doing workouts alone and long runs as well. And in a lot of ways, I have found I prefer it that way.

First off, one of the main reasons is that I'm not in a place where many guys can train with me. I'm in a spot where there are guys so much faster than me, that I may do the same workout, but definitely not working out "together", per se. I'm trailing them and huffing and puffing just to not be embarrassed. Then, there's a group of guys that cannot run with me on a workout or a hard effort. So, I'm in kind of a no-man's land right now. Are these just excuses? Perhaps.

I'm learning as I go along that I may not have the most dynamic personality. I like to talk running...especially with runners. I like talking about what they have done, want to do, are doing, what I've done, want to do and am doing. I like talking what works and what doesn't, workouts enjoyed, workouts hated, etc. Outside of my daughter, that's the extent of most topics I can really have much to say on. At least that's my opinion. I'm sure I've had conversations with folks that go into other areas, but I'm sure of the few folks who read this, if you've had any extended conversations with me, those two things are where most of my attention goes, and therefore my conversation as well.

All of that is okay, though, because I'm not a tremendous talker when it comes to running. I'm content to not talk much during a run or workout...if I talk at all.

I enjoy the time in my head, and actually take a lot of that time to do things on the inside I don't get to do at other times in the day...thinking about personal struggles, spiritual struggles and needs (not to mention using the time for prayer and thankfulness), personal goals, parenting struggles and hopes/needs, relationship hardships, and things along those lines. I think I used to be a pretty positive guy, and that all seemed to change the last couple of years of my marriage, unfortunately, so going back, that takes it back at least 4 years. Now, I'm not necessarily a negative person, but I know I'm not quite the positive guy I used to be, and naturally people tend to gravitate a little more to those who ARE somewhat positive. Just a personal observation. This is probably why I enjoy the alone time so much, and maybe that works against me to some degree.

The Kenyan Way has provided me a place to train with others with the Hill Workouts and the long runs on Saturdays, so that's been good. I do enjoy the comraderie from working out together, running long together, and going through the pain and work that goes into completing those two things. It's fun talking after about the workout, where folks struggled and where they felt they were running well. All of that is fun to me. Plus, I won't lie... I kinda enjoy when someone thinks I make it look easy, when I know I was working my tail off, especially now when I have some very specific, big, long-term goals in mind that drive why I do what I'm doing. But I know there are other groups out there that hold social events that I don't attend, and things like that.

One thing I know I'll be doing here in the next year to change things some is to make it a priority to volunteer when I can for races. I've helped out with a few in the past, and found it pretty fun. Something I could do a few times, and it will help me get to know some more people and just make a few more friends out there in the running community. It's a place I love to be...there is little more fun to me than being at a race...both before and after. It's just a good energy and group to be around. Yeah, there are people I don't get along with, that don't like me, and that I don't particularly like, and that may not change. It doesn't have to. I can respect that they run and they work to improve or to maintain. They complete the races and it's all part of it.

All in all, I don't think I do the "lone wolf" thing by design, rather by default. It seems to be a product of my habits when it comes to running. Perhaps as I begin to take a different outlook on running and the running community around me, all of that will change. Until then, I'll remain the guy who seems to be getting faster and placing better in races, yet few people really know who I am. Sometimes I think I like it that way. :-)

4/14/10 AM Easy Run, 8.25 Miles

8.25 Miles
7:10 avg
7:54, 7:24, 7:22, 7:01, 6:59, 6:56, 6:58, 6:50

Ran this morning with Mike, a fellow Kenyan Way-er. I don't know his last name, but have only run with him on Saturdays before. He's a good runner, and I believe ran something like a 2:43 or 2:44 Marathon back in January. Good stuff.

I started my run and ran the 2.5 miles to the Tennis Center down Blossom. Did some stretching and such until Mike arrived, then we headed out for a loop, back to the tennis center for a quick drink of water, then headed back to Memorial Dr, back down to the apartments, as we happen to live in the same complex...who knew?

Good run, no pains, no discomfort, not even feelings of fatigue. Still not going to get any workouts done till Monday. I'm going to try to start ramping back up the mileage, by getting an evening run in, one long run tomorrow (hopefully), two on Friday, 20 on Saturday, and 15-18 on Sunday. Then, Hills on Monday morning. We'll see how the body holds up, as I push mid-high 90's for a 7-day period, THEN do hills. By the end of next week, I'll have some good indicators of how my body responds to high mileage, plus workouts.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

4/13/10 PM Easy Run, 5.27 Miles, 11.6 Miles for the Day

5.27 Miles
6:51 avg
6:57, 6:53, 6:48, 6:50, 6:49

I really intended to only get my day's total to about 10 miles, but just decided to stay out longer. Legs were feeling pretty good, so I just enjoyed the weather and the evening run. Nothing special. Glad I got it in and got a day over 10 miles again. I hadn't done that since middle of last last week... was starting to feel... mortal again. :P

4/13/10 AM Easy Run, 6.33 Miles

6.33 Miles
8:01 avg
8:41, 8:13, 8:07, 7:53, 7:41, 7:37

I was really happy to be running with my easy day running partner today, as I was definitely not up for what I normally do to myself running. We took it out easy and just eased our way through the run. No pushing at any point. Legs felt great throughout, even though they started out kinda flat. Will likely get out for a few evening miles, just to get myself over 10 for the day, and to get some good blood flow and some good stretching in.

Monday, April 12, 2010

4/12/10 Easy Run, 8 Miles

8 Miles
6:54 avg
7:08, 6:53, 6:44, 6:44, 6:45, 6:54, 7:05, 7:02

I got a pretty good notion mid-way through this run that I needed for SURE to take my recovery days seriously. When I first got on the road, I was pleased with how my legs felt, but once I got to the park, and was cruising pretty well, my legs really felt the fatigue from the prior day's effort. The last couple of miles, my calves, more specifically, my Achilles were aching. I throttled it back and just tried to "shuffle" my way back home. I got home, stretched, and just took it easy with PB&J and a glass of milk.

4/11/10 - Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon - 1:13:07

1:13:07 (PR)
2nd Place OA
5:35 avg pace
Some of the mile marker distances were way off, but here are my splits per the mile markers:
1 - missed it
2 - 11:11
3 - 16:37 (5:27)
4 - 22:21 (5:43)
5 - 28:02 (5:41)
6 - 33:29 (5:27)
7 - 38:56 (5:27)
8 - 44:31 (5:34)
9 - 50:25 (5:54) - this had to be long
10 - 55:40 (5:15) - and this had to be short
11 - 1:01:21 (5:41)
12 - 1:05:32 (4:11) - HA!!! :-)
13 - missed it
Finish - 1:13:07

Lots to be thankful for with this run, as I'm slowly but surely finding the best formula for racing.

I went into this expecting to race 3 guys... Luis Armenteros, a guy named Kiplimo, or something like that, and Matt McCurdy. I saw their names on the entrant list and knew that I'd probably be racing for 3rd, as Matt might have been the closest to where I thought I was. Have never beat him in a race, but thought I might have the fitness to race with him today. At the start though, I never saw him, so I guess he opted out. Kip turned out to be a guy from Dallas who I knew was fast, as he and I chatted and got to know eachother a little after the race.

Luis and Kip took off from the start, and despite an early wrong turn (that allowed me to be the leader for about 400m...woo hoo!) they ran together and pushed the pace early. I started out faster than planned, but with each passing mile, I just kept telling myself "You've come this far, don't let up now." A lot of my motivation, which seemed silly at the time, was that Kip and Luis never got so far out from me that I felt like they were just destroying me. I ran alone from the start, and just kept looking up to see them. Around the half-way point, they had gotten a long way out, but I still could see them, except for rounding corners.

I pushed it through the half-way point and ran some good splits there and felt surprisingly good. Around mile 8 I was feeling like I might not make it at this pace, and began to fear coming apart. I felt totally demoralized when I saw my mile 9 time, as it wasn't until mile 10 that I realized the markers had been off, perhaps 20 seconds in either direction for 9 and 10. During 10, there was a bridge to cross as we ran through NASA, and I outloud said "just 4 more miles...2nd place looks catchable." Just trying to trick myself into running harder, ya know?

As we headed towards Bay Area, around mile 11, I saw that both 1st and 2nd were coming back to me, so I counted at the turn, and he was only 50 seconds ahead. I couldn't really "push", but really worked to hold steady, as by the mile 12 marker, he was only about 10 seconds ahead. I passed him by just before turning back into the UHCL campus, and Kip stayed right on my heels, literally for about 200m or so. I made one final push to just pick up the pace to the finish, and he didn't go with me. The push was able to be sustained, which suprised me, as I huffed and puffed my way through the campus, seeing the finish line getting closer. I actually saw Luis finish from through trees and a turn. I saw my parents at the turn to the finish, then glanced back quickly to see Kip had dropped way back from me. I rounded the corner with all I had and finished, seeing a 1:13-something on my watch. Great, great feeling.

Best run of my short running life. Good feeling to know that there is already a little bit of payoff from the increased training and such. My body and fitness have changed, and I really believe I got all out of my body that I could this day. There might be some places in the race that I could have gotten back a few seconds here and there, but hey, that's road racing. Great day. Mom and Dad were there, which really meant a lot to me, and chatted with some folks after. Talked with Kip to get to know him. He told me he's running 5 marathons in 10-weeks, and has his 5th one next weekend in OK city. Crazy. He's from Dallas, so I told him that I'd have to make a trip out there to race when I go see some family...he joked telling me "Hey man, I own Dallas." If that wasn't a challenge, I don't know what is. :-)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

4/10/10 Easy Run, 6.61 Miles

6.61 Miles
6:48 avg
7:07, 6:43, 6:36, 6:36, 6:47, 6:53

Felt good to get out for this run. It came in the middle of a long, busy day, but no tiredness on the legs. Lots of good indicators, as my legs felt rested for the reduced mileage the last few days, in prep for racing a Half on Sunday. I consciously had to back it down on the 2nd half of the run. Didn't want to sap energy from the legs the day before a race. Overall, good run.

One concern was some Achilles discomfort at the end of the run. Nothing too major. Some good stretching after and relaxation.

Friday, April 9, 2010

4/9/10 Easy Lunch Time Run, 6 Miles

6 Miles
7:26 avg
Garmin data at home, will add later

Met running partner @ the park for a lunch time run, 2 loops of the park. Took it pretty easy, finishing with a 6:45-ish mile. No physical issues... legs feeling good and ready to race.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

4/8/10 Easy Run, 4.29 Miles

4.29 Miles
7:04 avg
7:38, 6:59, 6:51, 6:55

Easy short loop of the bayou. Opted for sleep, rest and recovery this morning, so got the run in after hanging with my daughter, and eating HORRIBLY at McDonald's. Whew! Glad I was only doing 4.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

4/7/10 Easy Run, 10.48 Miles

10.48 Miles
6:35 avg
7:18, 6:58, 6:50, 6:43, 6:41, 6:02, 5:36, 5:38, 6:51, 6:58

First off, my 2nd run yesterday got eliminated for an identical reason as the prior week... just worked late, then had to get my butt to a 7-8pm appt, then head down to Clear Lake for more Soccer Coach stuff and back into town, then out for some Salsa dancing. Weird that only 2 beers, mixed with a bottle and a half of water messed up my stomach for the morning, so I didn't get out this AM when the 5:40 alarm went off.

So, after work, I laced'em up, still not feeling 100% great, as my stomach let me know throughout the run, but it didn't hinder my run at all. I felt pretty good right from the start, as my legs had the most rest they'd had in a couple of weeks. From the AM yesterday to the PM today, they had no more miles on them, so the steps went by quickly. I put in a couple of goal half-marathon paced miles mid-run, then backed it off and headed back home after 2 loops of the park.

No real issues, although I could tell the right Achilles was a little fatigued...not hurting or aching, just didn't have much spring to it. I could feel myself unable to get much power from my right leg, especially during the faster miles. All in all, though, good run.

Also, I've modified my schedule, from the Bellaire Trolley Run on Saturday to running Angie's Half-Crazy Half Marathon on Sunday, on the suggestion of Coach. He suggested that while I'd run a good time @ the Trolley Run, with what I'm training to do and how I'm running right now, the Half might be better suited. So, we've gotten it worked out and I'll be heading down to UH Clear Lake on Sunday morning for a good push at a hard half marathon.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

4/6/10 AM Easy Run, 8 Miles

8 Miles
7:19 avg
8:04, 7:40, 7:21, 7:02, 7:05, 7:00, 7:03, 7:14

Nice easy run. I felt like this was the epitome of an easy run. Felt good, and legs were Achilles issues or hamstring issues.

Felt a little discomfort in that area outside my left leg above my ankle while stretching my calves and Achilles AFTER the run, but nothing during.

Chat w/coach yesterday afternoon, discussing how to add in workouts with the higher/increased mileage. Talked a little about racing goals, time goals, training goals, etc. Good stuff.

Monday, April 5, 2010

4/5/10 Easy AM 14.2 Miles

14.2 Miles
7:35 avg
8:41, 8:01, 8:14, 8:04, 7:52, 7:42, 7:52
7:39, 7:20, 7:17, 7:22, 6:36, 6:53, 6:48

91 miles/7 days

I'm pretty certain I won't be getting in a 2nd run today, so I got it all in this morning. I had originally planned on a workout this morning after some early miles, but the legs were just pretty dead...partly from getting to bed so late, AND getting up @ 4:40 to start my run @ 4:50. EEEKKK!!!

I'll chalk this up to all the playing and running around done over the weekend, but definitely some aches and pains no present before. Namely, some discomfort on the outside of my left leg, above my ankle, as well as the outside of my left knee. Nothing to be too worried about right now, but definitely will monitor.

Planning on speed on Wednesday...doing 30-30's or something in prep for the Trolley Run.

4/4/10 PM Easy Run, 2.66 Miles, 11.82 for the Day

2.66 Miles
7:36 avg

Well, this was supposed to be a 5-miler to get me to 14 for the day, but on the way down Memorial, I came across an accident that had just happened. So, after starting my run at 8pm and getting 10-minutes in, I'm there awaiting the police to arrive with one other guy till 9:30 or so. Finally just came straight back home and was at home just around 10 to snack quickly and get some reading in and some sleep. That sucked. But, I met a guy stationed here in the Army, been serving for 30 years, and has served his fair share of tours in Iraq and will likely go back to Afghanistan for one final tour. Great guy. I thanked him for his service, and headed on home.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

4/4/10 AM Easy Run, 9.16 Miles

9.16 Miles
6:52 avg
7:37, 7:05, 6:50, 6:47, 6:52, 6:38, 6:44, 6:36, 6:44

Nice way to begin Easter. Got up and headed into town, ran from my place around the park and back, with a little extra added in while in the park. No issues during run. Felt good all the way around.

Spent Easter with my daughter and my brother and his family, along w/Mom and Dad. Great times, in what my daughter said MIGHT have been the "best Easter ever." A cool moment...she asked me if I knew why she liked Easter so much. I wanted to do the typical dad thing and go on what Easter is all about, but decided to guess "cause of the candy?" And she says no. So, I asked why, and she told me "Because Jesus died for us and rose from the grave to forgive our sins." Smart girl. I love her so much. Gotta be one of the best weekends with her.

Running will be at a premium for the next 2 months, as she'll be playing soccer and my schedule will definitely change at least once a week. We'll see how it all plays out.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

4/3/10 Kenyan Way Long Run, 16 Miles

16 Miles
6:51 avg
7:46, 7:19, 7:17, 7:10, 7:02, 7:12, 6:52, 6:51 - 57:30
6:48, 6:30, 6:23, 6:18, 6:28, 6:49, 6:31, 6:22 - 52:10
94 miles/last 7 days

Nice smooth run from the bayou, 3 loops of the park and back. Overall, I felt like I moved well, with no real fatigue in any of the usual places. I kept looping the park, thinking the 4-miler would start @ 7 or 7:30, but since it started @ 8, I never got to see any of it. Looks like a neat run, just looking a the set up of the start/finish line. Just didn't work out in my training cycle to have me run there.

Friday, April 2, 2010

4/2/10 Easy Run, 13 Miles

13 Miles
7:03 avg
7:41, 7:20, 6:55, 6:55, 6:54, 7:04, 7:02, 6:52, 6:58, 6:56, 6:57, 6:54, 7:05
92 Miles/7 days

Easy morning run. Didn't feel the best last night or this morning... actually got sick last night before bed. Wasn't feeling a ton better when I woke up this morning, but knew I needed to get out and get the mileage. Since I'll be picking up my daughter later, I knew today would not be a 2-run-day, so about half way through the run, I decided to get all I could out of the run.

Ran down Memorial, 2-miles around the Park, then back on Memorial towards 610, underneath to Post Oak Lane, left down there to San Felipe. Right on SF, right on Tanglewood, Right on Chimney Rock, Right on Woodway and back home down Memorial. Nice run, except for the occasional blast of wind. Holy crap the wind was blowing at times out there. Good run. Legs and Achilles definitely started to fatigue towards the end of the run. I'm glad I got all the mileage in this morning, so I can stay pretty relaxed this afternoon, play w/my daughter and have my legs under me for a good long run tomorrow. Hoping for 16+.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

4/1/10 PM Easy Run, 5.24 Miles, 14.32 Miles for the Day

5.24 Miles
6:55 avg
7:20, 6:49, 6:53, 6:39, 6:49

Just a loop of the bayou. Nothing major. No Achilles or hamstring issues for this run. Very happy about that, as the mileage I'm at has me really paying attention to every little thing my body is telling me.

Good stretching after.

4/1/10 AM Easy Run, 9.08 Miles

9.08 Miles
7:14 avg
8:08, 7:46, 7:18, 7:03, 7:06, 6:59, 6:58, 6:58, 6:53

I really felt like I could have kept running for as long as I wanted to this morning. It was a struggle getting out the door, as I didn't want to get out of bed, but once I hit about half way through the run, it was like my legs suddenly loosened up and I was moving really well. An unexpected, but very welcome feeling.

Good stretching after, so as not to take for granted the lack of pain in my Achilles or hamstrings. Now off to a short day of work!