Saturday, March 16, 2013

Next Week and Possibly Beyond

Working is about to be like whoa.

So I won't be blogging.

I know you are totally bummed.

To make you feel better, here is a picture of puppies.
They are running.
Glad you got over it.

See you soon.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Fraternity of the Morning Dark

Today, I ran 20 miles with about seven of them before the sun even broke the Eastern horizon. As I was running along in the dark I thought about what I would write.  This is what I started in my head...and ended here.  It is free form; it is poetry -- so feel free to make fun of me. No really.  I totally have it coming but I don't care. However, read to the end. Then make fun of me.

There is a Fraternity of the early morning
The nod across the street in the pre-dawn hours 
Blinking don't-kill-me-lights casting red shadows on parked cars
Lost in thoughts born of dreams still in progress but cut short to an obsession

Miles lost to dodging delivery trucks and old Chinese ladies doing Tai Chi
Rolling over Clement to Sutro down the Great Highway
Flying down hill towards faux Quixotean visions 
Still in the dark and not yet awake 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Heraclitus on Running

Just Google it.
Here is an update on my new training program.  I still really like it and it is still more fun than the old, unchanged, versions. But there are a few flaws with the changing of the training program.

This week's mid-week tempo-like run was a 3x10min @ Half Marathon Race Pace with three minutes easy running between each interval. I was lucky to be able to get a bit of this run in with my chum Pavement Runner as we discussed business.

The Good:
The run was great and pretty easy to keep pace, but not easy overall. Spending 30 minutes of a 50 minute run in the middle of the week at race pace isn't extremely difficult but the assistance of a breakfast burrito sitting squarely in my gut didn't make the first interval pleasant. 

This workout was felt like it was designed with a marathon in mind.  As I was pushing for my last ten minutes, I wasn't as gassed as I have been on longer tempo runs or on old speed work days.  It felt like I was working hard but like I had plenty left in the tank.  I hope to feel that way at mile 22 in May.  I think that is the point. Time will tell.
The Not as Good
It took just over six miles to get in this workout safely (with a warm up and cool down) even though the schedule called for four. It was deceptively longer than I thought it would be.  As written it was 39 minutes of running.  But after running all week, it takes about a mile to warm up and another mile or so to cool down.  When scheduling my life around my running schedule I like looking quickly and knowing how long I will be working out...this one took a little more math, and I don't like math.
More updates on the training plan as the come.  Tomorrow I will be getting my long run in due to travel plans over the weekend.  I will be on the road by 5:30am (if not earlier) and will hopefully have lots of pretty pictures and tales to share with all six of you reading the blog. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Running Commentary

The view down Parkway Calabasas, Mile 2
I was supposed to be running the La Jolla Canyon trail race, but alas it was cancelled. Since I already had my tickets to come to SoCal and I got to hangout with my parents, I came down anyway.

The new training schedule called for 18 miles with 14 at MRP + 10 to 20 seconds.  So I had to find 18 miles to run here in Calabasas.

I started pretty early, hitting the road at 6:41am, according to the watch and ran around the neighborhood to warmup.  It took a while to get the lead out of my legs.  My parents' neighborhood is extremely hilly and the first few miles had a few steep ups and downs, making the warmup not so great on the legs. The second was down an easy hill.

After getting down toward the freeway, I ran north along back roads which most likely have a 10,000 foot elevation change.  After about three miles on Everest the back road I headed West along Las Virgenes Road toward Malibu.  I ran by my middle school which somehow has gotten much smaller over the years and then headed into the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains.

While I was supposed to be running in those hills for a race, it wasn't so bad getting some solo running along a two lane highway...with some of my closets truck friends. 

Miles 6 though about 10

I headed back the way I came and only almost was hit by a car once; mom, that is a really low number of near-death encounters for a long run. I finished my 14 miles at pace just shy of three miles from home and slowed down just a bit to cool off.  I hit 18 miles, walked for about three minutes and then jogged home.

I was wearing shorts. Or was I? I was.
Thanks to an unheated pool in the backyard there was a perfect 58 degree ice bath waiting for me to "enjoy" after a bit a stretching.

I was able to hold on for about 25 minutes in the cold but I don't think it helped much.  I did stretch a bit, however I didn't do it enough. Whatever, I felt pretty good today after a hard 18 miles on a pretty hilly course.

This was my first long run with the new training program and it was hard but completely doable.  This run was a check of the fitness levels and I am pretty confident in say I could have hung on for another eight miles at or close to the pace I ran my entire training run.

While I won't be saying that this proves that I have 3:45 in the bag, I am pretty sure I will be able to hold on to 8:35 m/m for 26.2.  This would be five seconds slower per mile than this training run, even with the warmup and cool down miles.  If I could hold the pace for the MRP + 10 (which wasn't really +10) I got 3:35 or pretty damn close to it.

With well over a month to go to get stronger, faster, and thinner, I am feeling good about the Tacoma City Marathon.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Prospective and Such

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a morning tempo run with some of my chums who are much faster than I am. My goal marathon pace is their easy recovery pace.  But all the same they invited me out.  While I couldn't make it due to work (really) it was pretty exciting to be invited to the cool kids' table for my tempo run, even if it would have thrashed me for a couple of days.

Today as I knocked out a difficult 10 mile interval workout at 5:45am I heard foot steps as I picked up my pace for another two minute burst at 10K pace. As I got out of the way I looked to see who was passing me, and of course getting read to judge them for going too fast on a run.  However it was one of the very fast and gifted runners in our club. I speeded up to sub 5K pace and he slowed down.  We ran together for a minute and then he took off for the rest of his speed workout and I was grateful for the beep of the Garmin telling me it was time for three minutes of recovery.

When he looped the bottom of the park, he smiled and said "half way done." I flashed a grin and kept going.

This got me thinking: Why should I judge someone zipping past me? I know my pace and I know that I am doing my workout, so why should I get defensive on a Thursday morning in Golden Gate Park?

The answer is built into how and why runner train.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cherry Red Chapstick of Running

I couldn't have asked for a better picture
In fact, I didn't ask for this one.
I switched my training program. And I liked.  (Let that sink in for a minute.)

The SFRRC is mixing up our training programs and I am beta testing the marathon program for the intermediate runners.  A number of our top guys (and women too I believe) have been using this program for a while with wonderful results. So we are going to see if it works for the normal people rest of the club.

There are a few major changes in the program.
  1. There is much more marathon race pace (MRP) training. This includes MRP + 10-20 for long runs, MRP in place of tempo runs for longer periods, and other MRP based fun
  2. We run more Fartleks. That is fun.
  3. There every weekend has a different kind of long run.
Without giving away the milk without buying the cow, I will say that I think I really like this change.

Over the past year I have followed a very regimented weekly running schedule of Easy-Track-Easy-Tempo-Off-Long Slow Distance-Off, rinse and repeat.  This makes it more interesting for sure.

Granted today was the first work out that was new.  It was also started at 5:50am, which is also out of the norm. But like the new plan, I think I will be doing at least some of my longer weekday runs in the morning. It makes life much nicer.  I missed the AM rush and freedom of the evening.

But back to the kissing a girl new training program. Clearly I will continue to update all of you on the merits of the new program, again while protecting our running IP. 

This blog post is pretty boring. Sorry about that. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Something about Jack Kerouac

On the Road. Get it? It was funny. Ok. Sorry.

This weekend was filled with running goodness.  I was asked to cover the Pace Group Leader Duties as Burton was up in Napa for the aptly named Napa Valley Marathon. I was scheduled for 18 miles this weekend so I got in two before I meet up with the club for 16 more.

For the most part the Pace Group Leadership went pretty well.  I had some technical issues with the watch for the 8:1 run to walk beeps but it worked out alright.  Then we got to the Golden Gate Bridge. 

My running chum Susan from New York is terrified of heights.  So I spoke to her to distract her while we ran across the bridge and completely lost track of the pace. We went a bit fast...but after the pace group we passed on the San Francisco side of the bridge as they were using the rest rooms, had trouble catching up with us, we got the message to slow down.

The views were pretty.

The nine minute pace group taking the Southern Tower
View from the back of the group.

Friday, March 1, 2013

28 Days Later

In every sense of the word, February was a success.

I PR'ed the living day lights out of the Kaiser Half, I ran over 30 miles on trails, and Kara Gourcher is totally my new friend.

New chums - dcc and KG
Now I am facing March head on and I hope I'm able to have another epic training month as I get ready for my Marathon in Tacoma on May 5th.  But it doesn't look so good.