Monday, May 31, 2010

5/31/10 Easy Run, 12 Miles

12 Miles
6:52 avg
41:55 out
40:30 back

Took off for this run, knowing I was doing one run today. Being in Dallas, it's tough with the family and all. We're up late, and eating food that don't necessarily lend themselves to good running. :-) But, got out around 11 am. 90 degrees out and pretty humid, for Dallas. The whole run, off and on, felt some left Achilles issues, but over the last 3 miles, they tempered enough that I felt good about the way the run went. Workout on Tuesday morning.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

5/30/10 - No Run

No run today. Not planned that way, but the result may have been the best thing.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

5/29/10 Kenyan Way Long Run, 19.1 Miles

19.1 Miles
6:54 avg

101 Miles for the Week

Good run out. I definitely need to get a Garmin, as this run was tough, tough, tough...not because of the route, but because of the conditions. Just about 80 degrees, 96% humidity... whew! I took some gels along the way with me, and actually used them. I ran with the group for about 8 miles, then decided I needed to drop the pace a little and get my full work in. Not sure how splits worked out (which is why I need the Garmin soon), but I know that I had a fast middle of the run, and a struggling, slower closing to the run, as the weather really began to take a toll on me.

Friday, May 28, 2010

5/28/10 PM Easy Run 7.35 Miles, 20.6 Miles Total for the Day

7.35 Miles
7:03 avg

I decided to get another easy run in this afternoon, and probably got a little ambitious in thinking of getting 20 in on back to back days, today and tomorrow. But, I got a hold of Geoff, and we met along Blossom and looped the park and headed back towards my place. Good run, neither of us looking to push the pace, and just cruised, talking training, running, life, etc. Good run, good company, and AWESOME to get a 20+ on a Friday, the day before a 20 mile run is scheduled. :-)

5/28/10 AM Easy Run, 13.3 Miles

13.3 Miles
7:13 avg
75 Miles for the Week

I started out thinking I'd only get in 8-9...maybe 10 miles. Headed out nice and slowly, as I took the first 2 miles in 15:50. I got into the park and did a full loop from the Tennis Center (7:09, 7:09, 7:01). I ran into a fellow KW-er who had just started her run, and was doing 2 loops of the park, so I ran w/her for 5 more miles at the park, then headed on home. That was about 7+ miles, around 51 minutes. I really felt good about taking it easy. Also, having done 13, I can run shorter and easy tonight, then be ready for 20 tomorrow, which hopefully goes well. Right now, all is feeling well with my legs. Didn't think it would go this way at the start of the week, but I'll take it.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

5/27/10 AM Workout, 12 Miles Total (7-mile Tempo)

12 Miles
6:24 avg
7 Miles @ tempo pace, 5:30
5:28, 5:33, 5:27, 5:31, 5:33, 5:30, 5:32 - 38:36 (5:31 avg)
3 mile warmup @ 22:20
2 mile cool down @ 15:46

Boy, going into a 3rd try at a workout that was kickin' my butt the last two weeks was a little unnerving, but I was looking forward to it nonetheless. Warmup started out with legs that just didn't seem to feel up to the task. I ran with Dan around the park, and he kept saying "Ah, you'll be alright."

I changed shoes into my racing flats and didn't waste too much time before gettin' after it. First mile felt pretty relaxed, as I targeted hitting over 5:30, but was okay w/5:28. I found it funny that both the miles that go along Memorial where you have the decline then the incline both came out to 5:33. Mile 3 felt good, and I was just hoping for under 5:33. I saw Sean early on in mile 6, and he told me not to hammer it. I knew I needed to NOT be at max effort for a tempo run. I focused from there on relaxing my stride, my arm movement, my breathing, and just trying to relax my whole body. Seemed to work, as I felt good throughout mile 7.

Overall, I feel really good about the of all, glad that I completed all 7 miles. Those last 2 weeks had been messing with my head some. No 2nd run tonight, but will tomorrow and then 20 on the weekend. Hoping I can get myself above the century mark this week. Seems that it's been too long, and this following two mid-90s weeks. I need a 100-miler.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

5/26/10 AM Easy Run, 8.65 Miles

8.65 Miles
7:01 avg

Mike, another KW-er that happens to live in my apt complex, text me just as I was getting myself ready to run this morning, so he joined me as we headed down to the park for an 8-mile loop. Along the way, we picked up Geoff. I ended up having to drop back from them on the latter half of the run, but got my mileage in and felt really good the whole way.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

5/25/10 PM Easy Run, 9.35 Miles

9.35 Miles
7:14 avg

Just an easy run to the park, for a little over a loop and back. I wasn't sure how it would go, as I contemplated not running at all this afternoon, but knew it was important to keep logging and laying down the miles.

5/25/10 AM - Took Morning Off

Tightness in the upper quad, Achilles discomfort and some strange feeling in my foot, all told me I may need to give 24 hours of rest, as opposed to around 12 hours, so no running today.

Just yesterday, I was thinking about a conversation w/coach about that feeling where your body is tired or just doesn't feel good, and how most will take that as an indication that you need the day off. In those first 50 days where I ran without taking a day off, I had a few of those days, but once I got out there, and got 10-15 minutes into my run, I felt so much better.

Then you have days like last night and today. I can't describe why I felt like I could tell the difference, but I think I could. There seems to be a distinct difference between the need for a day off, and the need to get out the door and just get through it. Today was one of those where I needed the least skipping one run. All plans are to be out this afternoon, getting easy miles in.

Guess we'll see how it feels in the afternoon.

Monday, May 24, 2010

5/24/10 PM Easy Run, 6.35 Miles, 16.60 for the Day

6.35 Miles
7:11 avg

I'd say 90% of this run felt good, but my right leg crashed on me...right quad, right Achilles and a twinge (not pain, just a different feeling) on the bottom of my right foot. With all that going on, I stopped about a mile from home, and just walked it on in. Stretching, some ice and relaxing the rest of the night, not to mention a good night's sleep, hopefully, will help me by morning.

Not a bad day, nor a bad day of running, but something doesn't feel right inside. Not sure what. Either way, I'll do what I need to in order to take care of it, I hope.

5/24/10 AM Hill Workout, 10.25 Miles

10.25 Miles
7:02 avg
Workout: 16xhills on Cloverleaf

I ran this morning, hoping to get the week started in the right way, easy miles, then work the hills. Mike, a fellow Kenyan Way-er who lives in my complex, joined me @ 6AM to head out. We looped the bayou, then headed to the base of the Cloverleaf, which was right at 5 miles into the run. (I'm not sure why I capitalize Cloverleaf).

Mike ran 12 w/me, then took a break for 3 of them, and ran the last with me. I focused on being steady...not hammering, for sure. After that, ran easy up AP to Shepherd, then back to the walking bridge, over and back home. Great run, and i was really glad to have a buddy running with me. Even better, and somewhat unexpected, to have run w/me the whole time, with the exception of 3 hill repeats.

It definitely showed on my legs that I hadn't done hills in 2 weeks, as my quads and hips were working, and I could feel the effects. It was all good, though. It's strange, but a run like this makes me really look forward to the evenings run. It sort of takes the pressure off and I feel I can run as easy as I can/want, as I've already gotten the work in for the day. Tonight is just about mileage.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

5/23/10 Easy Run, 15.25

15.25 Miles
6:59 avg
Splits for the miles I know I could measure:
Home to crestwood water fountain - 15:47 (2-miles)
Miles @ the park
6:56, 6:56, 6:54, 6:50, 6:50, 6:47, 6:50, 6:47, 6:45, 6:40
Crestwood water to home - 13:45

I did about 8 of these miles w/Gerardo, as when I got to the park, and got about half a mile towards the Tennis Center, he was coming the other way on his way to a 12 mile run, so I joined him for his remaining miles there in the park. Good run and good conversation covering a broad spectrum of topics.

The legs felt good, as I remained vigilant on the feeling in the Achilles. Nothing bad, just some twinges here and there, but overall, a good run. Good stretching to finish off, and nice relaxation.

Now to just enjoy the day w/my daughter and get some rest before hitting this week with a renewed commitment to doing the right things the right way for my training.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Next Week's Training Plan

The 20-miler today saved me, big time. It almost seemed, even though I didn't want to say it out loud, that I might have altered my plan for this week had I broken down and come apart during this run. A successful 20 though, feeling like I did at the end really brings me back to the right place, mentally.

Sunday - 16-17 easy (1-run)
Monday - 16-17 w/hills (AM-hills, PM-easy)
Tuesday - 16-17 easy (AM & PM)
Wednesday - 8 easy (AM only)
Thursday - 13 w/7-mile tempo (AM only)
Friday - 16-17 easy (AM & PM)
Saturday - 20 easy (AM only)

Total for the week - 105-110

I really need to follow this morning's run with another easy, 2-hr effort. Nothing to tax the legs, just get the miles. Monday morning, I'll hit the hills for 16 reps on the cloverleaf, and follow that up with 7-8 in the evening easy. Tuesday and Wednesday are critical as I really need to run both of those the same way I ran today...focus on recovery and just getting mileage. Thursday, regardless of conditions, needs to happen. As Sean told me, I need to make sure I come with all the bullets in my gun. Friday's run will be driven somewhat by Thursday's effort. If I can get it done the right way on Thursday, I'll be ready to run the way I should on Friday... mileage day, easy with no pain. After Saturday's long run begins a lighter mileage week, but I'll save that for the 2nd half of the week, as I plan to race again the first weekend in June. I have Heights on my calendar, but that could change. I'm leaving myself the option of training another higher mileage week, and looking for something the 2nd weekend in June. Not sure.

5/22/10 Kenyan Way Long Run, 20 Miles

20 Miles
7:08 avg
95 Miles for the Week

I can't describe how nervous I was about this run. After the last 2 days, I was feeling pretty demoralized. I was crushed by the tempo on Thursday, then the Achilles (both) came apart at the end of yesterday's run...just not good mojo going into a 20-miler.

I did 3.2 early miles, then headed out on the route, which took us along Allen Parkway, then followed the trail to UH-Downtown, back up to street level, and around Minute Maid Park, then back to base along Memorial. Geoff, myself and Jenna ran together the whole time averaging about 7:15. I did an additional 8+ mile route to loop Memorial and back. While @ Memorial, I got 2-miles @ 13:41, then the 2-miles back to my place in 13:15. Those last 8 miles were by myself, as Jenna and Geoff only went down Blossom up to Shepherd with me.

This was exactly what I needed to get my head back on track. The run was relaxed and I didn't feel like I'd just run 20 miles. The legs felt pretty good and I was definitely in a positive state of mind...which I can't afford not to be with the length of this journey. I can't let myself get de-railed this early in the game.

Friday, May 21, 2010

5/21/10 Easy Run, 8.75 Miles

8.75 Miles
6:51 avg

I certainly didn't feel like this was my pace. My focus was taking it easy. The distance might be off. Started at Hermann Park, did 2 loops of Rice Campus and a portion of a loop around the park. Just for the heck of it, I mapped it out on, so here's the route. It came out to the distance, but again, makes the pace seem quicker than what it felt.

The last 2 miles of the run, Achilles were really fatigued, and I slowed to a near shuffle for the last half mile. Hated that feeling.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

5/20/10 AM Workout, 9 Miles

9 Miles
3 miles in 23 minutes warmup
Workout - 7 miles @ 5:30
5:26, 5:31, 5:34, 5:45 (done)
2 mile cool down in 15:35

Sean and Luis showed. Dan warmed up with us, then we took off on the workout. Luis went 2 miles, then I hung on for another half mile or so, before Sean was pulling away. I was hoping he was just running faster than pace, but I was slipping. The last mile was a struggle, and I finished that 4th mile spent, and pretty f**kin' mad. Turned and jogged the mile back to the tennis center, changed shoes and waited for Sean to finish his. Then we jogged a half-mile out and back for the final mile of cool down.

Definitely humbling.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

5/19/10 PM Easy Run, 7.35 Miles, 14.7 Miles for the Day

7.35 Miles
6:56 avg
57 Miles for the Week

Nice easy run. I really wanted to take this easier than I did. I got going and just cruised. I started out at 7:00 pace, but once I got into the park, I circled it at about 6:30-6:40 pace, which was NOT what I needed, and my body told me as much when my Achilles were fatigued by the final mile. I had slowed considerably, and made the final 2-miles home at about 7:11 pace. Not the way an easy run should go. It should be even, or steadily increasing pace. I stretched really well before getting in the shower. Now the feed the tummy and muscles. A little frustrated with the run, but I'm all good.

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's workout. I'm going in, expecting no one to show, but hoping that at least Bill and Sean are there. Those are two guys that are just way ahead of me in race times, and probably even now, in fitness. They are both doing 6-miles, so it's kinda strange that when running with guys that have always been better runners than me, their workout will end, and I'll still have another mile to go @ tempo pace. Kind of a cool feeling, honestly, although I have a feeling when it comes down to it, they are gonna go w/me. Maybe I'm wrong, but just a hunch.

5/19/10 AM Easy Run, 7.35 Miles

7.35 Miles
7:19 avg
50 miles this week

I made it a point to take it easy this morning.
Home to Crestwood water (2-miles) - 15:41 (7:50)
2 of my miles @ the park - 14:03
Crestwood water to home - 14:11

Legs felt a little tired, and I probably could have gone a little faster, but made a conscious effort not to push at all. After going a little harder than I should have the last 2 days, I needed to get out easy to make sure there is something in the tank for tomorrow's workout.

I plan to get out there early in the AM to get a couple of early miles, as we are planning only 2 warmup miles. We're working out @ 6am, if anyone wants join. :-) Right now, looks like it will be at least Sean, Bill and myself. Possibly Luis and Dan will join as well.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

5/18/10 PM Easy Run, 7.35 Miles, 17.7 Miles for the Day

7.35 Miles
6:50 avg
42 miles for the week

Good run...legs felt good, and moved well. Unfortunately, however, late in the run, I felt some Achilles both. Kinda frustrated me more than anything. Was interesting, as this was part of the topic of conversation while I ran with Dan earlier. I stretched when I got home, and just tried to put any negative out of my mind. I'll go easy in the morning, and just hope that they make it through without too much fanfare. I'll do 8-9 in the morning, and 7-8 in the evening, then the Thursday tempo run.

5/18/10 AM Easy Run, 10.35 Miles

10.35 Miles
6:54 avg
35 Miles for the Week

Got out feeling pretty good. I was expecting, actually, to feel some residuals from yesterday's unplanned "moderate" effort in 8 miles @ 6:30 pace, but the legs felt good once I got going. Went through first 2 miles around 7:40 pace, but started to loosen up once I got into the park. Caught up to Dan Kahn about 4 miles into my run and ran w/him until about a mile and a half left in the run. I'd never talked with him before, so was cool getting to know another one of Houston's "elite", so to speak. Saturday ran with Luis. Today ran with Dan. I'm doing all I can to pick the brains of those here who run well and train well. Dan's run in the Olympic Trials before, when they were at NYC. I don't believe he was living in Houston at the time. He's been dealing with a lot of injuries the last couple of years, but said he's been feeling good to be injury free for the last 6 or 7 months. Quite likely another Houston runner who is targeting qualifying for the Trials. Good stuff.

Monday, May 17, 2010

5/17/10 PM Easy Run, 8.15 Miles

8.15 Miles
6:36 avg

Boy did I sleep through the alarm this AM. I didn't even hear it go off. Crazy. But, it left me with fresh legs this evening. Coasted through the miles this afternoon with little effort.

One thing that worries me though. About 2 miles from the end of my run, felt a pain in my right shoulder, almost identical to the pain in my left shoulder after Angie's Half Crazy Half and the Houston Half back in October. It stayed with me for about a mile, then subsided to where I didn't feel it at all when I got done. But, as I showered, when I washed over my right shoulder blade, there was a very tight, tender spot in there that I knew needed work. Not sure what's up with that, but that sorta seals the deal for me. I really need to get serious about scheduling some massage appointments and get this done.


More heavy hitter sightings along the way... Saw Cole again, Cesar Figueroa and Dan Kahn. Chatted briefly with Sean just as I was starting my run, and there's a good possibility that I'll be doing my tempo Thursday with him, Luis and Bill maybe. That would rock. 7-miles @ 5:30 pace... hope it works out.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

5/16/10 PM Easy Run, 7.35 Miles, 16.70 Miles for the Day

7.35 Miles
7:00 avg

I flirted earlier with the idea of getting all the miles in with my morning run, but wanted the benefits that come from 2 runs, so I cut it short with the idea of getting out later. I left my apt at 5pm, in what my Blackberry showed as 88 degree weather, 50% humidity. Wasn't too bad, in all honesty. I enjoyed a 2nd run, enjoyed the temps, and just enjoyed being out there for a totally different group of people as well.

Over this weekend, I'd say I saw several of Houston's big-hitters at some point. This morning, passed by Adam Davis and Cole Dailey, as they were headed towards the park, and I was headed back from the park. Saw and chatted with Bill this morning. Yesterday, ran most of my 20 with Luis. Of course, Sean is at based, starting our KW group. Seeing all those guys, and knowing more will be around for it, makes me really look forward to that Heights run coming up in just a few weeks.

5/16/10 AM Easy Run, 9.35 Miles

9.35 Miles
6:54 avg

Took it easy to start out, and felt pretty good all run long. Probably could have used going a slight bit slower. Will take it easier this evening.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

5/15/10 Long Run 19.8 Miles

19.82 Miles
6:35 avg
92 Miles for the Week

After a day off, I was ready to run. To start out, legs didn't feel the best, but that quickly passed. Started out doing 5 1-mile loops near KW base. Took off with the group, but was quickly separated from them. About a mile and a half into the "official" start, caught back up with Luis and ran with him the whole time. We talked training and got a lot of good input and info on training from him.

Most of the run, we were just coasting along at a pretty good clip. I'm not 100% sure that I ran the way I SHOULD have run this, but I never felt like I was pushing. A few times, we did pull back on the pace, but at a random time, about 12/13 miles into the run, we were running around 6:20 pace, and never really changed from there. Good run, and felt really good to get back on the roads after taking Friday off.

Friday, May 14, 2010

5/14/10 No Run

I decided yesterday that no run would happen today, and I pretty much feel like it's the right call. My legs were just wasted yesterday, so there wasn't too much to figure out.

I did 30-minutes of core and upper body weights yet. I will add that in over the next couple/few weeks, as my training and my workouts get more intense.


I'm having thoughts about what to do for my fall marathon. There is Twin Cities, which coach and I have both talked about doing. I need to decide and get signed up soon for that one.

However, a Facebook friend of mine in FL who is running Chicago has been suggesting trying to run there. When I asked how that would be possible, given Chicago is full, he told me a sub-1:11 half before 9/1 would get me in. His thoughts were there is a bigger sub-2:30 crowd there, and bigger fan support, even though he did say TC was a great course and race as well.

So, now I'm divided on what to do. Fortunately, they are only 7 days apart, so training for one is nearly identical to training for the other, timing-wise. What to do, what to do.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Favorite American Runner

For the few I've talked to about this, you know that Dathan Ritzenhein is probably my favorite American distance runner. When Hall won the Olympic Trials @ NYC in 2003, with Ritz in 2nd, I became a fan. Then, at the Olympics, Ritz was the first American finishing 9th. I saw this link on Runners World, and I think this is a cool blog entry by one of the top American runners of our day.

Just thought I'd share it.

5/13/10 AM Workout, 6 Miles

6 Miles
6:46 avg
Workout - 12 mile run, w/7-miles @ 5:30 (Tempo)
5:44, 5:28, 5:41

I got 3 miles into this run, and I was toasted. Several times, I outloud told myself to relax...I was able to drop my shoulders, move my arms more relaxed, use only my legs, and reduce the amount of "total body" work I was putting forth, but it was no use. About 2.5 miles in, I was completely toasted. I made it through the 3rd mile, but I was not moving well. When I saw 5:41, I contemplated going for another mile, just to see if I could hold 5:40 pace. I got about 15 seconds into that, and just said "The heck with it." Jogged an 8:17 mile to cool down. Not sure if a day off is on the horizon or not for tomorrow. Might be just a morning run and no evening run, but the possibility is there for a day off. We'll see.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

49 Days - 7 Full Weeks

Alright, so I'm done with eating at my desk, and not quite ready to get back to work, so I'm just posting here for the hell of it.

I realized that I've hit 7 weeks now since my last day not run...49 days of running. I've never run this many days in a row, and quite honestly, I get the feeling my body will be ready for a day off in the coming weeks, but it's not there yet. I was thinking that this morning as I got myself into my running shorts, laced up the shoes, and stepped out my door to my apartment, that it might be a good day to take a day off. But about 2 miles into the run, I really feel like my body and legs were benefitting from the run. I don't know how... I'm in uncharted territory already, and I'm finding how much my tired body seems to be thriving on the work. I'm loving it.

So, just for fun, here have been my mileages for each of the last 49 days... I know ridiculous, but any of my readers are just going to pay the price for my boredom. :P

3/25 - 9.35
3/26 - 5.35
3/27 - 14 (8k race, 26:44)
3/28 - 14.3 (7.2, 7.14)
3/29 - 14.5 (7.4, 7.1)
3/30 - 9.11
3/31 - 12.15 (7, 5)
4/1 - 14.3 (9.1, 5.2)
4/2 - 13
4/3 - 16
4/4 - 11.8 (9.2, 2.6)
4/5 - 14.2
4/6 - 8
4/7 - 10.5
4/8 - 4.3
4/9 - 6
4/10 - 6.6
4/11 - 15.5 (half marathon, 1:13:07)
4/12 - 8
4/13 - 11.6 (6.3, 5.3)
4/14 - 15.5 (8.25, 7.25)
4/15 - 8.19
4/16 - 15 (8, 7)
4/17 - 20
4/18 - 16
4/19 - 15.25 (8(hills), 7.25)
4/20 - 13
4/21 - 16
4/22 - 8
4/23 - 13 (speed-2k, mile, 1200, 800, 400)
4/24 - 19.25 (12, 7.25)
4/25 - 16
4/26 - 16.65 (8.15, 8.5)
4/27 - 15.2 (8.1, 7.1)
4/28 - 16.3 (8.2, 8.1)
4/29 - 12 (speed-6-mile tempo @ 5:20)
4/30 - 15.5 (7.4, 8.1)
5/1 - 20
5/2 - 9
5/3 - 9.35
5/4 - 9.35
5/5 - 9.5 (workout-4x800 @ 2:30)
5/6 - 9.35
5/7 - 7.35
5/8 - 9 (5k race, 15:52)
5/9 - 20
5/10 - 17 (9(hills), 8)
5/11 - 16.7 (9.35, 7.35)
5/12 - 12.25

Well, there it all is! 7 weeks of training. I think I thought I did 2-a-days more often. In these 49 days, I ran 17 of those days twice, giving me a total of 66 total runs in those 49 days. I don't feel like adding up the mileage, so I'll let someone else do that. More to come, as there is a long way to go. Back to work! :-)

5/12/10 AM Easy Run, 12.25 Miles

12.25 Miles
7:02 avg
66 Miles this week
90 Miles in last 7 days

Paces @ different points along the run:
Apt to Crestwood water fountain (2 mi) - 16:00
Full 3 miles @ MP - 13:48 @ 2mi, 6:47 3rd mi
2nd Full 3 miles @ MP - 13:44 @ 2mi, 6:40 3rd mi
Crestwood water fountain to apt (2 mi) - 13:10

All in all, I'd say a good run. The legs were just feeling pretty garbage-y when I walked out the door. I felt like I basically shuffled for most of the way down Memorial Dr. Got into the park feeling OK, but still moving slowly. Got to the stretching area at MP, and caught a glimpse of some of those things that made me think about the heavy, heavy drubbings I hope to deliver to a handful of other Houston runners in various road races along this journey. I may not should put that out there like that...I'd say there is a 100% chance that what and who I'm referring to never see the blog, so I'm not too concerned. But just one of those things. (Yes, you can ask me, if you want to send me an email, but I probably won't say what it was.. :P )

Either way, felt like I moved really well starting around that time, and while I wasn't exactly flying around the park, sure felt pretty effortless. I liked it. Mostly because I have only one run today, and then the workout in the morning.

I'm thinking of making my blog a little more colorful... less boring, at least. Any ideas? I don't want it too crazy...just something that doesn't look so...bleak, I guess. Drop me an idea if you have one.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

5/11/10 PM Easy Run, 7.35 Miles, 16.7 Miles for the Day

7.35 Miles
7:05 avg

Nice easy run to MP for a loop and back. Took it easy, but man today was draining. Tomorrow, will try to get everything into one run. Likely I need to allow my legs some recovery time before Thursday's workout.

5/11/10 AM Easy Run, 9.35 Miles

9.35 Miles
7:22 avg

Took this one nice and easy... I don't think I ran one mile under 7 minutes...maybe. I got to my 2-mile marker (water fountain @ Crestwood and Memorial) in 16:13...8:06 pace. I did 3 full miles at the park in 7:09, 7:10, 7:10. Made the final 2 full miles in 14:04.

The legs were just as dead this morning as can be. It was not difficult at all to NOT push the pace, NOT run hard. Saw a few familiar faces out at the park, which was good.

Stretching, some much needed upper body work, and I was ready to go. I almost skipped this morning's run, but very glad that I got out the door. Felt really good.

Monday, May 10, 2010

5/10/10 PM Easy Run, 8.15 Miles, 17 Miles for the Day

8.15 Miles
6:55 avg

Welcome back 2-a-days! Headed down to the park for a loop and back home. Nothing too special. Some stretching after, but all in all, body and legs felt very good.

5/10/10 AM Hill Workout, 9 Miles

9 Miles
6:54 avg pace
25 minutes of hills, 16 hill repeats on the Clover Leaf

Warmed up for a little over 3 miles, and cooled down for 2 miles. I really took the hills easy... definitely not pushing. I sorta just cruised the hills at a faster pace. After a 5k Saturday, a 20-miler yesterday, hammering some hills was not going to be the smartest way to go. Felt good. Legs were way, way heavy to begin the run, but loosened up as things went on. Surprisingly, nothing abnormal felt on the Achilles at all. Feel good about that.

I'm excited that I'll be running again tonight. Feels like forever since I did a 2-a-day, so I'm ready for the next few days to go that route. Also, ready to get back over 100 miles.


Good discussion with coach over the weekend about training plan for the next few weeks. Modified my race calendar some (will update my sidebar soon), as well as my mileage goals over the summer. Essentially, in these conditions, I definitely don't need to be in a hurry to get my mileage over 120. The summers here are too hot and humid to worry about that. I'll hang out where I'm at, 110-115, maybe sniff 120, but not do anything drastic. Let's just survive the summer with mileage and workouts in the heat and humidity, then when it cools down late in the year, take the mileage up and really get some strong workouts in before the Houston Marathon.

I also may be adding an October marathon by running Twin Cities...not 100% certain on that, but it's a possibility. Just another time to put the legs to the test, as my coach tells me "to do what YOU're trying to do." :-)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

5/9/10 AM Easy Recovery Run, 20 Miles

20 Miles
6:48 avg

Thru 8 Miles - 56:00
Thru 16 Miles - 1:51:01 (55:01)
Final 4 Miles
6:20, 6:25, 6:16, 6:01

Good run, but was definitely a roller-coaster ride along the way. The left Achilles was aching off and on throughout the run. When I got around 12 miles, I began to feel short on fuel and just not all that good. I had decided at that point not to stay at the park to get the additional 4 miles on my 16-mile route to make 20. I just decided to head back to make my 16 and be done.

Once I got back to the 16th mile, I was feeling alright, so I just did a loop around the loop of Scotland, Snover, Floyd and Jackson Hill. I figured one mile at a time, I could handle to decide if I'd get the full distance. I was happy to get those final 4 in to make my full 20, but now I'm just a little tired. Legs feel pretty good, but I'll be stretching and massaging the Achilles all day.

Off to see mom!!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

5/8/10 - Pearland Pear Run 5k, 15:52, PR, 1st OA

1 - 4:58
2 - 10:10 (5:11)
3.1 - 15:52 (5:42 for final 1.1...probably 5:11 for final mile)

Race Report to come later.

Friday, May 7, 2010

5/7/10 AM Easy Run, 7.35 Miles

7.35 Miles
7:12 avg

Just a nice, easy run down to the park for a loop and back.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

5/6/10 AM Easy Run, 9.35 Miles

9.35 Miles
7:01 avg

Nothing too spectactular here...just an easy little jaunt down to Memorial, a loop and 2/3 of Memorial Park, and back to el apartamiento. This went just the way an easy run should go...
Home to water fountain on Crestwood (2 miles) - 15:40 (7:50 pace)
3 full miles around MP - 20:17 (6:45 pace)
water fountain @ Crestwood back Home - 13:20 (6:40 pace)

No run again tonight, as it's soccer practice night with my daughter, then dinner with her.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

5/5/10 AM Workout/Race Prep, 9.5 Miles

9.5 Miles
7:03 avg
Workout - 4xhalf-mile on road @ goal race pace, 2 min rest in between
Actual - 2:27, 2:26, 2:29, 2:29

Workout felt good. The intention wasn't to blast it, hammer it, or push through anything... was to get my legs the feel for running fast with the 5k this weekend. Focused on staying relaxed, trying to keep my breathing steady, keeping my shoulders and arms loose. The last 2 felt really good, and I didn't feel at all like I was pushing. Hard to tell what it will feel like to do that for 3 miles, but we'll see.

I didn't get prepared like I should have for this, meaning, I ran to the park instead of driving, so I had my trainers on instead of my racers. Overall, the run felt issues and no pains or discomforts.

Overall, feeling excited about racing this weekend. Haven't raced anything this short in 11 months.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Absolutely Amazing - 10K American Record Shattered in 26:59.6

If you have to, only watch the last 10 minutes of this, but I recommend watching this whole thing. So stirring...sends chills. I can't imagine getting tired of watching something like this. If the video doesn't come up, you can view it here...

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

5/4/10 AM Easy Run, 9.35 Miles

9.35 Miles
6:51 avg

After being up a little too late, I got some good, quality sleep and got out for a very good feeling run this morning. Looped the park, ran a couple of miles w/Claudio, a guy from Kenyan Way, then made my way home. It seems that when I go a full 24 hours between runs, my Achilles bother me. Since I ran yesterday evening, they felt great today. I'm hoping stretching will keep away any discomfort tomorrow morning. We'll see.

AND, I see this is my 100th post on this blog. I like that. They add up quick when I'm doing a post for each run, rather than one for each day.


Last night, over some Freebirds, had a brief discussion about my weight... and the fact that I've dropped a lot of weight in a short amount of time, mainly due to the increase in volume of running, but maintaining the same diet as before. So, naturally, my weight has fallen off pretty quickly, and continues to. While I'm sure this will be GREAT come marathon time, I need to get more food, more calories and such now to keep from shedding more weight that I don't need to lose.

Monday, May 3, 2010

5/3/10 PM Easy Run, 9.35 Miles

9.35 Miles
6:48 avg

Just a loop of Memorial, then added a couple of miles to my 7.35 mile route. Had to stretch the Achilles on both legs, because, as expected, with only one run yesterday and one run today, they were aching. Something about doing a morning and evening run, perhaps, is keeping them from getting tight and problematic.

The biggest thing along the run was a chat w/coach, discussing racing plans. Just as I'd written last night about shooting for 1 marathon, and having only the Houston Marathon between now and next October's Chicago, that is not the smartest plan. So, we discussed looking for a fall marathon between now and training for Houston. Chicago is full, but there are definitely others. I'll be doing some research over the next few days to get some ideas for where to race and win. Between now and then, I'll also look into a Half Marathon or two...some different races to really start training my legs to go fast for a long time. Very important for what I'm trying to do.


One other thing, discussed over Freebirds with a friend was the need to make a podiatrist visit and a regular doctor visit. It is about that time I get myself a physical, as well as get someone additional attention to my Achilles and my left foot... got some crazy stuff going on with my left big toe. :P Grossssss. No details. :-)

The Goal, the Plan and the Next 20 Months

I've come to the decision that it's time to share something that many friends know and a few family members know and that is why I'm doing what I'm doing and what I hope to accomplish. Why now? I'm not sure really... just has come around to being "that time" in my head and heart.

I'll cut right to the chase. My long-term goal is to qualify for the US Marathon Olympic Trials to be held here in Houston, January 2012. My plan is to use the 2011 Chicago Marathon to run for the qualifying time of sub-2:19:00. The full list of qualifying standards can be found at the USATF website here. I realize that it may not be all that likely that I reach that goal. I also realize the danger in putting forth the effort I'm going to have to put forth, all for one shot at the Chicago Marathon to qualify at a time I've never even sniffed. But, I just think 2 things... "What if?" and "Why not?"

My reasoning is much deeper than those 2 questions, most certainly, but to any naysayer, that's all I can really contest with. What if I CAN qualify? How awesome would that be, to qualify as one of the top marathon runners in our great country, to toe the line at the Olympic Trials with those same guys who hope to, and will, represent our country in the Olympics later that year, to run this awesome race in my hometown? Can it get cooler than that? And why not? The worst (barring injury) that happens is that I don't qualify and a few people who read this, or my facebook, will say "I knew he couldn't do it." There's only one way to really know for sure if I can make it, and that's to do all that I know to do to get there.

There's not a whole lot of history to this, but I'll get all that I can down here in blogland. I originally thought about this when I began training for Boston...when I started, seemingly, during the Spring and Summer before I ran. I just wanted to get my body fully prepared for what I'd go through trying to run a "complete" marathon. Now, I won't say my training was intense, but I definitely did things better and with more consistency for Boston than I had for my previous two Houston Marathons. It paid off in a lot of ways, but the biggest payoff I got from Boston was what happened after Heartbreak Hill. I wanted to push the pace on the downhill, but couldn't get much below 7-minute pace. What made this marathon different than previous marathons was that I did two things... I kept running through the pain and I didn't let the pain overcome me and dictate my race. It hurt worse than I had ever hurt in another marathon, but I kept going.

When I began training for Houston, I carried the lesson, the new "runner" I felt like I'd become, and set my sights on a fast Houston time. I dropped some weight, trained consistently, ran higher mileage, more 20+ milers, and just got myself really mentally prepared for this run. It paid off big-time as I ran, not only a 14 minute PR, but the most even race I could have probably hoped for... 1:19:50 on the first half, and 1:20:12 on the 2nd half. I even ran 5-6 seconds faster per mile for 5 miles up through 24 before I paid the price for that move. :-) But, the confidence was there, and after that run, I just knew I wanted more and better.

I continued to think about how and when to qualify for the trials, but maybe it just was never serious consideration. Had the trials not been set up here in Houston, there's a good possibility the effort would not have been quite as seriously considered. I might still be running like I was before...nothing too special, just running...maybe not, I don't know, but that doesn't matter at this point.

When the announcement was made on March 1st, I didn't have plans to run that day, as I had dinner plans that night...and I couldn't help but talk about it then, and on just about every run after that. The next day, I did a workout (a Tuesday morning) that totaled 9 miles. That afternoon, I ran 5 or 6 easy miles to give me a 14 or 15 mile day. I knew I had to try. I felt like this was my indication that I had to do all I could to get into that race.

I started adding up the 2-a-day running days, but didn't really increase overall mileage for a couple of weeks. I finally got the mileage up, then came the Bayou City Classic, where I really had wanted to run well. I ran on tired legs, but still ran under 34 minutes (33:59), got 10th overall, and felt pretty decent. I took forever to recover from that race, but then I did and got back on the mileage train.

So here I am, sitting in my bed @ 1:30 AM, debating on this post, and about to lay out for all to see what I plan to do.

In the last 3 weeks, I've gotten up to 94, 101 and 112 miles. This week, I'll take it down to recover and race, then get the mileage back up. All MAJOR goals right now are mileage goals, with the time goals secondary. I am shooting for 120-130 miles as my average week. The idea of 140 miles is tempting, and may be the way I end up going. But 20-miles a day, right now, seems such a long way away.

For now I want to be consistently over 120 miles, and getting at or near 130 miles each week. As I built up the mileage, I did so with no workouts...purely easy running. Just doing it twice a day. This week, I got myself in 2 workouts, one on the hills, and one 6-mile tempo/threshold run @ 5:21 pace. Three weeks out of every month, I'll be doing 20+ miles on my weekend long run. The 4th will likely be 12-15 miles. I need to maintain that with 2 workouts a week, and do so without trashing my legs. The plan will include running races on my down weeks, as well as those I race at the end of a high mileage week. All of this will be done with the guidance and coaching of Sean Wade. I figure if I'm going to have any chance of doing something this significant, I have no other option than to go to a guy who has run in the Olympic Marathon.

So, there it is... my goal... my plan... and in some ways, my heart. There's a lot of reasons this has become even more important to me over the last month or so than it was before. Right now, I'm just thankful each morning that I can get out and run that I have this ability, and in all honestly, this opportunity to try for something this big. All I really want is a fair chance...and this is one place where I have as much of a chance as anyone to really show who I am and what I'm made of.

One final thing... why lay it out here? I'm not really sure. To some degree, I kinda see that some folks can take the journey "with me", so to speak, through this blog and through Facebook. Folks can know why I am doing some of the off-the-wall things I'm doing. There are few other reasons to do this than for selfish reasons. I mean,'s a goal that hitting it will put my times in the top possibly 100 within our country. I'd be one of the top marathon runners in the USA. How awesome would that be? But, I do this knowing one thing, undeniably. If I can make this crazy journey and get to the Trials, it all starts with where the gift of running, the abilities and the talent came from, and that is, I believe, from God. Without Him, for certain, this wouldn't be possible.

For the most part, though, I think my hope is that when February 2012 comes, and the Trials have come to Houston and have gone, and this is all a distant memory for many, that I, and anyone else, will be able to look back over this blog and any series of Facebook posts, and can track the progress....track the journey...track the pursuit of a goal...a dream. The attainment may not be as important as the journey, but make no mistake, I'm not doing this for any reason other than to make it, and to run that race with Ryan, Meb, Ritz, Culpepper, and all the other top American Marathon runners competing to see who will actually be in London for the Olympics.

5/2/10 Recovery Run, 9 Miles, Week's Training Plan

9 Miles
7:12 avg

I feel quite certain this was a longer than 9 mile run, but no Garmin, so I can only go on estimates. Just planned on a trip to Memorial Park, for a maximum of 10 miles. As I made it around 3.5 miles and got to the stretching area, I stopped to talk to a few friends, Carlo, Brett, Tom and Gerardo before starting back up and running a loop with Bill. It was good to chat w/Bill for a bit, as he's getting himself back into the kind of running form we've gotten used to seeing. No workouts yet, but getting the mileage back up.

After the loop with Bill, I headed back down Memorial and back to the apartment. Surprisingly on the 2nd half of the run, I felt a good amount of "spring" in my legs. I knew I couldn't hammer it, but I felt like I moved with little effort. Good feeling. Some core and upper body work and good stretching. I feel pretty fortunate and very thankful that no strange, or familiar, pains have made their presence known to any significant degree in the last 2 months. It's truly a blessing and something I don't ignore in it's importance.


This Week's Plan:

I plan on 8-9 miles a day this week, on one run a day (planning them all for the morning, but that may not be the case each day). Yesterday completed my 3rd straight 90+ mile week (94, 101, 112), so while my legs felt pretty good during and after my run today, I definitely need to give them a down week. Saturday, I race my first 5k in 2010, and the first since the Heights Run last June. It's been a while since then, and things are considerably different. I have my opening mile strategy, but honestly, it doesn't go beyond that. I'm in uncharted territory here, not just physically but mentally. The workout performance on Thursday morning was not expected...but as I look at what I've been doing, I'm understanding a little where it came from. So, Saturday will be an experiment of sorts, and will hopefully give a good indication of where I'm at in my fitness and speed.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

5/1/10 Long Run, 20 Miles

20 Miles
6:53 avg
58:47 - first 8 miles, 7:20 avg
112 for the Week

This run had to start earlier than a normal Saturday long run, as I had my daughter's soccer game to coach @ 9am. So, I met Jace @ 5:30 at normal Kenyan Way base on Jackson Hill, and off we went. We chatted training and such as we headed down Blossom to Memorial Park, with a stop at the Tennis Center for water. We continued on and prepared to leave the park, when Jace had to break off as he was having some issues this morning. We were discussing his sub-3 hour Boston performance (way to go Jace) when this came up, so we parted ways, and off I went down Memorial, over the new bridge, onto Woodway, a right on Sage, a left at the last street and all the way to the end and back. I turned around, made my way back to the park, and needed 4 extra miles @ the park to get the full 20.

I ran 3 hard miles back in the park around 13 miles in when I came upon some military folks doing a 3-mile time trial. Dumb to have run the way I did, but it was fun. :P I felt like I struggled the last 4 miles to make it back to my place, but all turned out alright.

Overall, a great 20-miler that I feel really good about. And the best part is that after this is a light week as I prepare to race next Saturday at the Pear Run 5k at Independence Park in Pearland.


This was followed by a day of no rest... running around as referee and coach at my daughter's soccer game (which the team kicked butt at...yeah, we aren't supposed to keep score, but they do), then spending 6 hours at a company function @ Sam Houston Race Park for my mom's job. It was great, but we did a TON of walking around there, up and down stairs and all. Then, as the final race of the day ended, we watched the Kentucky Derby. Was a pretty cool atmosphere to watch the Derby there. Just an awesome day that left me completely wiped out. WHEW!