Monday, September 13, 2010

Wind Running

Moving back outdoors is a treat. There is wind in my ears! And my nose is running! And the wind is noisier than I remember, maybe because of the increased 1.0-1.5 mile per hour speed increase.

All just an observation of the road. And since I'm writing, I'll go ahead and complain again about the treadmill not stopping fast enough when I'm done with a run. The slow slowdown makes me run longer than I want!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Shin Splints Redux?

I'm a little sore in the shins again, even though I have been very diligent about the ibuprofen regime and stretching after the runs. My guess is the new pace is gradually wearing me down with the increased pounding.

The pain is not acute but more general and just a general ache. If I take a day off it's gone by the afternoon of the day after the most recent run, so that's a really good sign, I think. But still, it's a past problem that will impact my training if I can't get rid of it.

I'm not really sure what to do other than rest a bit. Luckily I was planning to do that as I approached the structured training sessions anyway.

I'll have to watch this closely.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Houston Marathon - 143 Days Away

I won't be running today due to work and being really tired from the past two days, but thought it would be nice to note the Houston Marathon is only 143 days away. That's just over 20 weeks for those counting and planning.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Strong Follow Run

After yesterday's virtual 10K time trial, I was tired heading into today's run. Under most circumstances I probably would have just blown the day off, but I won't be running much for the next couple weeks or, consequently, posting much, either.

My goal today was six miles at 7:03 pace and if I felt okay I would extend out to eight miles. At three miles I knew eight was a joke and just hoping to hang on to six. I managed to hold on with a final time of 7:05 a mile, which met the goal pace with the treadmill start-up time and the treadmill having a habit of slightly adding distance on each mile accounting for the discrepancy.

While I was really tired on finishing, the run was a really strong outing considering the day before.

Getting closer to both the Houston Marathon and entering into my structured training program.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

10k For Houston Marathon

I was looking at the results of the Alvin, Texas, 10k/5k race this past Saturday and started wondering where I would finish if I had run. I had Sunday's outdoor run, which was a good 7:02 a mile pace but was labored and I didn't have 1.9 miles left in the tank at that pace to complete a 10k. I wanted another benchmark run, so I tried it on the treadmill today and finished 6.2 miles in 6:40 pace. A new treadmill pace record for at least six miles.

What does this mean? Who knows. Maybe under decent conditions outside - not 89 degrees with some humidity - I could run a 6:45-6:50 pace 10k. Seems reasonable to me. If so, I would have finished around 5th to 6th place in the Alvin race out of around 200 or so. Not bad. But not done, either.

So maybe a race in October prior to my planned Houston Half Marathon will be in order. Or maybe not. The balancing act of high mileage weekends with racing will probably swing to the mileage for marathon preparation, as it has in the past. But there are exceptions.

Something noticed that is really annoying on the treadmill: when I hit the "stop" button, like today at 6.20 miles, the treadmill slows down much slower than I'd prefer. I'd rather come to a stop in about four strides, but no, I have to do this slow dance slow-down and nearly fall off the back of the treadmill each time. And the real bummer is that the faster I run, the longer the slow down and the more frustrating it is. Such is the life.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

First Outdoor Run

With the long holiday weekend I didn't have access to the corporate fitness center and felt like a run today. Conditions: 89 degrees with 40 percent humidity. Not exactly balmy-like. And my run reflected it.

I didn't want to just completely embarrass myself right out of the chute, and it was getting dark besides, so I just ran my standard 4.3 mile greenbelt loop. I was hoping to break 30 minutes (my PR for this loop is around 33 minutes; I would look it up in my records but I'm too lazy) with my new running speed, but I didn't quite make it. Here are the excuses (!): 1. it was getting dark and running at any speed in the near dark for the last 1.5 miles was tough, 2. it was hot (I had forgotten how hot it got here; my shirt was soaked after only a 30 minute run!, and 3. the greenbelt has lots of small ups and downs that I'm not used to any more.

So there are the excuses, and none really sound good. So I'll just note 4.3 miles, outside finally, in 30:18, or 7:02 a mile. I'll take it, all in all.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Houston Marathon - 147 Days Away

I noted that on the Houston Marathon web page the race is now 147 days in the future. And counting.

I may move my running outside in the morning if I can get up in time. I haven't run outside in Houston since June 1, so running through the greenbelt trails will be nice if I give it a go.

I was stiff in the lower legs most of the morning today after the tough week, but loosened as I was walking around most of the day looking at cars and furniture. I did manage to salvage the day by not spending much money, though. It looked like an expensive one at the start!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Five Straight Days

Five straight days of good runs and I'm getting tired. Today I cut it back to a goal of 7:00 miles for as long as I could go. The shins were hurting some and at the start I just wasn't sure it was worth it. Two miles in and I was feeling pretty good so I sped up to 6:35 a mile for one mile, got tired, decided an injury wasn't worth it, and backed off to 7:03 a mile.

After four miles I shut it down. A good week is a good week. Not to much. The pace was 6:50 a mile. I'll take it.

The week's summary is 34 miles spread over five days, with a total average pace of 7:08 a mile. By almost any measure a great week.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fourth Straight Day

And so I have now entered uncharted territory - four straight days of pretty serious running. Today's run was meant to be a but not too long. It was six miles in 6:47 a mile. And what this does is cast even more doubt on what my target time should be.

I'll be taking some running time off later this month, but have plenty of time to think about target times in the next few weeks. I'll need to have some idea by late September since that is when I will start the structured preparation plan. If I can run a fourth day in 6:47 for six miles, could I dream of a three hour marathon? Seems insane on the surface, but the times are indicating the possibility.

At any event, though, I can back off the training later and shoot for a slower time. I need to remember the injury front associated with speed and that I only need a 3:30 marathon to qualify for Boston. But how cool would a 3:10 qualifier for New York be?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Shorter But Faster

I ran for the third straight day today, which is not something I have done much of. It was a good choice this time with my legs feeling really fresh and ready to go.

Since it was the third time out I elected to run a shorter distance with a bit more speed, thinking I would ease off the pace over time and just hang on the distance until I had enough. It didn't quite work out that way. I started with my usual quarter mile 8:00 pace warmup, got a drink of water, and re-started the treadmill for the workout. Six miles later in 6:59 a mile I was done. Really pleasing run. In fact, it has me thinking what my capabilities are as I prepare for the actual marathon training.

The reason this decision is important is that I want to pick a target finish time prior to my focused training and use that target throughout. Last year I changed my focus from one time to one ten minutes faster based on some late runs. Things went great in the marathon until severe cramping around mile 21 on in, and while I had a good finishing time, I didn't really have a good time. In effect, I think I outran my training.

So I'd rather that not happen this year. I need to pick a good target time and train directly for that time throughout. And that presents the problem...what should that time be? The last month's faster times have me wondering.