Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Month Summary

I finished three months of almost exclusive treadmill running today with an eight mile run in 7:13 a mile. This was a very pleasing run for distance and speed, particularly following the relatively fast ten mile run yesterday. I'm not sure right now what my goal is for tomorrow but I'm feeling good enough to have another strong run tomorrow. As I mentioned yesterday, I just want to hold my well-earned summer base together through some time conflicts I have in September until I begin specific marathon training in October.

As for the month, I ran 115 miles in an average 7:16 a mile. This on the surface doesn't look so great, but when looked at from my running history over the past three years it was a very good month. For comparison, it was roughly tied with the second highest mileage month ever, behind a 145 mile month last December leading up to the 2010 Houston Marathon. On the pace front, it was by far the fastest month of my adult career, by over 30 seconds a mile. Really nice to be able to type that.

So what does this mean? I'm not sure, but as always, if I can stay healthy and get to the starting line in good shape I think I am setting myself up for a really good marathon. Time will tell.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cruiser Run

I'm back after a tremendous backpack trip into the cauldron of Grand Canyon. Non-maintained trails when they could be reliably found, huge drop-offs, nobody within miles in the canyon, no emergency out if things went wrong, and 23 pounds of water on my back made for a great trip.

I got back last night and had a wonderful day, er, not, in the office, but made up for it with ten miles in 7:28 a mile. Felt loose and easy, although I'm a little tight now. No biggee.

The plan for the next few weeks is to run good this week and just hold on as best I can until late September when I will start on a structured marathon plan leading up to the January 30 race. Details will be obvious as they develop.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


What a drag of a run today. The goal was ten miles in something just over 7 minutes a mile, a really aggressive goal given the really hot temperatures in the hotel fitness center and the relatively hard run yesterday. So much for the goal.

I felt really good until three miles in when I just didn't have it anymore. I dropped my speed from 7:08 a mile to 7:24 and a mile later dropped it again to 7:42 a mile. What a drag. I held it there a couple of miles but knew I wasn't making it to ten, so I dropped it again to 8:00 a mile, the slowest I have been in a while, to finish nine miles in 7:43 a mile overall. Sort of a reverse, and sad, tempo run.

But here's a thought. A bad 7:43 is still WAY faster than the 8:00 pace I need to qualify for Boston. The lesson is that if things go wrong somewhere in the second half of the race, a pace that feels ridiculously slow will still easily qualify me, if not make me proud. In other words, as long as injury doesn't happen before or during the race I should be okay.

Now for those goal times....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back At It

I got back on the treadmill today and cruised eight miles in 7:24 a mile. Not bad, but not like I have had lately. Usually I have been running a quarter mile in 8:00 pace and then stopping the treadmill and getting a drink as a warmup, and then running the mileage I post about. Today I cheated myself by including the warmup in the above distance and time. So really I ran around 7.5 miles at a 7:13 or so pace, but that's not what the machine said so that's not what I listed on my running calendar or here.

I'll run again tomorrow and maybe Wednesday morning prior to a major speech, and I'll have to see how the rest of the week goes.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Rolling Again

In a very abbreviated day due to personal issues, I squeezed in six miles in 7:13 a mile today. Really strong and felt great.

What a turnaround from early in the week to late. Two non-goal runs on Monday and Tuesday, then two very good runs on Thursday and Friday. Go figure.

The week's summary is 24 miles in 7:24 a mile. A far cry from what I wanted this week to be, but I'll take it I guess. No much I can do about it now anyway.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mojo Again

And just like that, the mojo is back, or at least close enough.

I took yesterday off as mentioned Tuesday and climbed back on the wonderful, friendly, communicative, personable treadmill for another fun run. After six miles at 7:16 a mile, I had had enough and called it a day. I felt really good, and thought about going another couple miles, but had felt some shin splints over the past few days so said it was time to back off. And did.

I did take an ibuprofen both before and after the run and stretched some afterward. I had lost some of that discipline in the past few weeks, but don't need to get hurt for a discipline issue.

Stay on course, get to the starting line, stay on course, get to the starting line....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


And just like that, I've lost my mojo. Not sure what is going on, but maybe a lack of sleep due to the weekend's activities has a play in it. Today was a dispirited three mile run in 7:47 a mile. Altogether not much positive to take from this mess.

Even the injury front is re-threatening. Both shins ached a bit when I was done, so I'm just going to take my ball and go home. No running tomorrow since I am heading to a dinner date and don't really have time with an increased work schedule.

Maybe Thursday.

See ya.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Difficult Run

I need to have a good week of running after the personal issue last week cut back on my mileage somewhat, so I set out for a 12 mile run in 7:30 a mile. Nope.

I got to mile 9 and just didn't have the oomph left to push through, so the run was nine miles in 7:30 a mile. Not bad, but not goal distance, either. An hour or so after finishing I was wishing I had run further since I was feeling good, but so be it.

I did manage to finish some planning for terrific vacations this fall, though. At least something went right. Of course, too much vacation during marathon training season will be less than positive. Sigh.

Houston Marathon Entry

It's official. I'm in.

As written previously, the Houston Marathon instituted a lottery system for the 2011 race. Today, a day earlier than the Marathon promised, I found out that they are going to take my money and let me run. So nice.

But there's a real goal now. Time to get to work and execute a plan, instead of this running with no real goal other than Boston qualification.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Treadmill Slow Downs

An interesting observation, at least for me, is how when I turn off the treadmill over the past two weeks the amount of time it takes the treadmill to actually slow to walking speed. It didn't used to take that long; the increased speeds are having an unintended effect!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bonk City

My plans for the weekend changed a little last night so I had a chance to run again today. May as well have slept in. My mind just wasn't in it, I was tired from three straight days of running, and I just didn't care. So I ditched it after 1.5 miles in 7:57 a mile and walked four laps on the track.

The walk really gave me a chance to get my head straight on how to approach the weekend chronologically. I decided to go back to the office and actually type up an outline of how to deliver my talk. I'm fairly confident now that it will go okay...if the politics will just calm down. But this isn't a low-key deal and emotions and politics are evident and I don't even know what all the issues are.

Anyway, I'm taking three straight days off and should be ready to put in a 40 mile week when I get back into it next week. My mind and body are looking forward to the rest.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Three In A Row

Due to some personal considerations, I ran today for a third day in a row. That would have been unthinkable only a couple months ago!

Today's run, back in the corporate fitness center following the flight home, was eight miles in 7:13 a mile. I held the speed constant throughout so there were no theatrics, just a good run. I'm really pleased and surprised at my mileages and paces the past couple of weeks, but the combination of the two have me getting a little concerned about injuries. Nothing showing up yet, but it seems to usually take a day for something to pop up. I'll keep an eye on things, but so far this speeding up with consistent distance has been nothing short of a revelation.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Forget the Hotel!

After the possessed treadmill at the cheeseball hotel last night, I had little motivation to put up with that again. To recap, if I ran seven miles today in 49 minutes, I would have to be manipulating the incline and speed buttons, collectively or individually, 48 separate times! Not accepable or appetizing.

So while I was driving to the work location this morning I spied a Golds Gym. I then gave them a call for hours and costs and other particulars, dropped by after work, and got in seven miles in 6:52 a mile. And believe it or not, the treadmill did not require multiple manipulations to keep going, stayed on the same speed until I sped up slightly at mile seven, and stopped smoothly when I was done. All wildly different than last night.

The run itself was a very fast but comfortable run. This makes six fast runs of at least seven miles in a row, spread over eight days. I'm enjoying the sense of accomplishment, something I don't often get in daily life.

Let's run!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Worst Treadmill Ever

Travelling and trying to run or work out is always an adventure. Today topped them all.

I am in a Holiday Inn Express. Usually I am in large cities when I travel, but not quite so this time (although I did fly here on Southwest Airlines so it's not really that small). And the pitiful "fitness" center showed it.

This place was about the size of my study at home, had a whopping three machines, including two treadmills and one bicycle-like thing which had an "Out of Order" tag on it. I never got one treadmill to start, so maybe it was out of order as well.

That left me with one option, and it was nothing short of possessed. I got it going without too much trouble, but couldn't keep it from inclining on me every minute on the minute. Too add spice to my life, every other minute it would slow down to 3.5 miles per hour, or 4.5 miles per hour, or whatever it felt like. So I'm madly pushing buttons at 8.5 miles per hour trying to get the incline down and speed up...but watch out, because if it comes to a stop, or anything it thinks is a stop - like below 4 miles per hour or some crazy number - it would almost hit a wall and slam on the brakes. How I can write and not be in a body cast is beyond me.

Oh yeah, I did finish the run after all kinds of swearing...eight miles in what I think was around 7:10 a mile. I was at 8.5 miles per hour as much as possible and didn't usually slow down too much when the machine went postal on me, so who knows? At least the time and the distance made sense, but I doubt this HAL really had a clue, or did it?

And to think I get to deal with this rabid machine again tomorrow. How much is this worth?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Back Again

After yesterday I wasn't sure what to expect, but I felt great right out of the box. After seven miles in 6:58 a mile I was feeling a little tired, but very pleased.

I need the weekend to make sure I'm rested up for next week. I totalled 30 miles this week in an average of 7:08 a mile.

Maybe my best week ever.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Slow Down

After the two great runs earlier this week I suppose I was due for a less-than-stellar outing, and this was it, or was it?

I ran eight miles in 7:30 a mile, not horrible, but it felt that way. The first 3.5 miles were a real struggle, the middle 2.5 were easy and flew by, and the end almost never came. I guess I should expect a day like this on occasion.

But was it really that bad? I went back over the past three years of running records and found only eleven running days that I would say were demonstrably better, in terms of distance and speed, than today. Not so bad. Have my expectations changed that much, and that quickly? Is this a recipe for injury?

Questions abound, and only discipline, time, and more running will answer.

One small note: my left heel hurts a bit on the outside of it just down toward the toes. I'm not sure what to think, but equally not sure what to do. I'll feel it some more and see what happens.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Keeping On

In a back-to-back today, I ran even better than yesterday. The strange part of this is that as I was running yesterday I told the fitness center staffer that I doubted I would run very fast today since yesterday was so quick. So much for that prediction. Today was seven miles in 6:55 a mile. I started with the usual quarter mile warmup, then starting over and put the treadmill on 6:53 a mile and stayed there for seven miles. The slightly slower time was due to the startup of the machine. No guns and blocks for this guy!

I'll take tomorrow off no matter what. These two days, while both runs felt great and no injury issues, had to have spent me.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Fast and Good

Today may have marked a seminal turn in my training - for good or bad, stay tuned. As mentioned last week, I am turning up the velocity this week and ran eight miles today in 7:10 a mile, one of the better runs in the past three years. It actually felt good the whole way. I'm not sure what I've done right.

The fastest mile was 6:53 according to the treadmill, and yes, it was sweaty, with the sweat hitting earlier than normal - inside the first mile. I also had this new sensation of sweat inside the ear. Strange, and weird.

I'll try to hold the speed and distance to some extent as the week wears on, but this was about as good a start as I could have hoped for.