Sunday, February 24, 2008

Another 20 miler in the bank

Great run today -- 20 miles in 2:44, around 8:13 pace, just five seconds/mile behind my pace from Memphis. Finished feeling good except my right calf, which cramped up overnight and is a little sore now. Guess I need to go back to more Gatorade. I have eight weeks until Boston and I am feeling pretty awesome after today.

We revamped a route from summer training that took us through Seneca and Cherokee parks, then down a bike path that leads to downtown. Then we got a lost a few times, climbed over a fence and ended up almost exactly where we had planned.

I have finally decided which heart rate monitor I want, opting for the Polar FS4. I think the HRM will be the key to my training, allowing me to train at optimal paces.

That's really all I've got for now. Back soon!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Goal setting!

I have always been a proponent of publicizing my goals -- it helps me stay focused and on track. If I bail, I will no doubt be embarrassed, so I try not to do that.

And while my "What's your running goal" poster at work is pretty public, the internet is even more so. I've decided to add my goals for this year to the sidebar over yonder, and we'll see how close I can get.

Other noteworthy tidbits ... I've put in about 30 miles since Sunday, not bad considering that doesn't include a "long run" day. Hamstrings are a little tight, but I have a massage on Friday that will hopefully help. Overall, I'm feeling good -- strong, healthy, decently fast. These next six weeks are the big ones for my Boston training.

Also, have been enjoying the Mizuno Wave Rider 11s since I got in my first shoe shipment for 2008. The new Rider is a great fit for my foot, and I love the lightweight feel, low profile midsole and smooth heel-to-toe transitions. My only complaint is that the toebox has felt short in all the versions I have had -- I went up half a size this time, and while my toes are happy, the arch isn't quite where I need it to be. Then again, I have monkey toes. Being a shoe for a high-arched person, I also find the last a little more curved (although possibly just because I went larger), which is great for those people with high arches ... unfortunately, that's not me.

Last ... I am going to see the "Spirit of the Marathon" again tomorrow night with my now-marathoner friend Chris. Exciting!

Monday, February 18, 2008


I'm stealing an idea from a pal -- my now year-long friend Ed (gosh!) loiters about on Runner's Lounge where they have started "Take it or Leave it Thursday."

So I'm a few days behind, but this past Thursday, the discussion topic was music, podcasts, iPods.

I first wanted an iPod to use while running. That was my argument for why I needed (another) gadget. It would be great motivation, I said. So, for mother's day, I think, in 2006, I got one. I don't think I've ran with it for at least six months, and didn't do so frequently before then.

I have become a running minimalist. Shoes and clothes, perhaps a snack, and turn me loose. I don't want to spend time making sure my iPod is loaded and charged, then get it tucked in a pocket, run the headphones through my shirt, get the earbuds properly nestled, etc. Too much hassle!

Then again, I frequently get tangled up in the cord. And I don't like music that much anyway, which I think may be partially due to a light case of amusia or something similar.

When I have toted my nano about, I have listed almost exclusively to podcasts, my favorite being On The Media from New York Public Radio.

But most days, it is just me and my brain if I have to run alone. Fortunately for my remaining sanity, I only run alone a couple of days a week -- I usually have my friends to chat with, and that is better than anything my nano can provide.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tundra trudging!

Sorry it's been a few days -- been busy at work and home.

Kentucky is currently blanketed in snow and ice and more snow, which should begin to melt in the next day or so and make a huge mess. Needless to say (although I'm saying it anyway), running's been interesting the past couple of days.

I ran Monday morning before the snow started, but it was about 20 degrees with a windchill closer to 10. I had pulled my Buff over my face, and every time I would pull it down, it would instantly freeze. It was a nice run, though, because I finally had a chance to run on the new 1.2 mile bike path in Jeffersontown.

Tuesday is our interval workout night, but we had gotten 3 inches of snow, topped by freezing rain, that the track was impassable. Instead, we took advantage of a nearby road that runs in an oval around an apartment complex. The footing was dodgy, the weather cold and rainy, but we were there nonetheless.

Today, for a change of scenery, a friend and I tackled the trails at nearby Seneca Park. Running uphill through an ice-crusted snowbank is not easy. But, it's a heck of a leg workout. My ankles had to do double-duty to maintain footing, while my quads and hamstrings had to stabilize everything and pull my foot up high enough to clear the snow. (If you tried to shuffle, the ice crust stabbed at your ankles. Not pleasant.)

So now a day off, a couple of easy runs and then a 16 miler on Sunday. Good luck to my friend Chris, and his sister Daria, who are running in Austin this weekend. It'll be Chris's first full marathon.

What else? Spring apparel is drifting into the store, which is always fun. The training group is going well, too, and I think all the members are well on their way to achieving their goals.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Workin' hard

This week was a pretty tough week -- I ran my first over-50 week ever, putting in 57 miles from Sunday through Saturday. But, I am learning where to make adjustments in my running schedule as I go along. Apparently 7 days of running is too many, but 6 is fine. Weird. So instead of having a tempo/hill day and a medium-long run each week, I'm going to rotate those three. Plus, Saturday group runs have been decently long. We ended up doing 10 yesterday, and I have a 20 miler today.

Ah, yes, the fabled 20. Discussion at work yesterday was if there is some sort of physical barrier that makes 20 so hard, or if it's just mental opposition. So many people struggle to run 20 miles that it seems unlikely it's physical -- we all function so differently that glycogen shouldn't deplete that uniformly. Stupid glycogen.

Mentally, though, 20 is a tough one. I have no qualms about 16 or 18, but adding those last two miles is somehow scarier. It's a lot of time running -- we'll probably need about 3 hours with all the people coming today, at least for the first 12 mile leg -- and you have to properly dress, hydrate and fuel for that entire time.

I do find that breaking the runs into multiple legs helps -- today we're doing a 12-mile loop then dropping off some folks and doing an 8-mile loop. Last week we did a 4, 7 and 7 to hit 18.

Well, have to get ready to tackle this run. Back soon!