Thursday, February 28, 2008

2/28 Progression run

Nice, hard workout this morning. Tweaked my training program a little bit, but I think it suits me better. Now I have some workouts that are tough but not impossible.

15-20 min warm up (9:00),
25 min progression run (6:45),
15 min warm down

After the last progression run that I did, I did a little bit of reading online and found out what a progression run was actually supposed to be. Usually, they are divided into sections, starting slower and finishing faster. So today, I decided to do my warm up, then try for fifteen minutes at 7:30 pace, then ten minutes at 7:00 pace, then cool down. That's exactly what I did! It was hard, and I had a little blip for about 20 seconds when my shoe came untied six minutes into the fastest section, but it felt great.

15 min warm up @ 9:15 pace
15 min @ 7:30 pace
10 min @ 7:00 pace
10 min cool down @ 9:15 pace
6.1 miles in 50 minutes

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

2/27 Easy run

Excellent run this morning; felt like I was on cruise control. Just watched ESPN, listened to music, and ran. Barely looked at the time, only broke a little sweat. Far cry from my "easy runs" a couple weeks ago when I could hardly hold the pace...

30 -35 min easy run (8:15)

35 min @ 8:15 pace
4.23 miles in 35 min

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

2/26 Intervals

Didn't quite make the numbers this morning, but it felt like a pretty good workout. I'm starting to really like the speedwork...

15 min warm up (9:00),
5 x 5 min intervals (6:30) with 2:30 easy jogs (10:00) in between,
15 min warm down (9:00)

The 15:00 warm up went really fast for some reason this morning; almost missed heading into the first interval. Did 7:00 pace on the intervals instead or 6:30; still can't get it down there. During the third one I started drifting to the back of the treadmill; while pushing through the fourth I decided not to do the fifth. the cool down seemed to take a long time...

15 min warm up (9:00),
4 x 5 min intervals (7:00) with 2:30 easy jogs (10:00) in between,
12:30 min warm down (9:00)
6.65 miles in 55 minutes

Monday, February 25, 2008

Runner's high

During my long run on Saturday, I was thinking about the concept of the "runner's high." Seems like it's kind of a different thing for different people - some people feel like they can run forever, some people get a light, floaty feeling - but I wanted to describe how it felt for me. The main thing I feel is that it would be weird to stop running. That I'm doing what it is that my body is meant to be doing, and that stopping would be almost wrong. Kind of a cool feeling...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

2/24 Easy Run

"Braved the snow" this morning to go to the gym for my easy run.

40-45 min easy run (8:15)

I was going to do the whole 45 minutes, but after yesterday's long run, I tired around 25 minutes.

40 Min @ 8:15 pace.
4.85 miles in 40 min

Saturday, February 23, 2008

2/23 Half Marathon Simulation

OK. I didn't quite put in the miles this morning - the training program called for 12, and I made 10 - but I came pretty close. Plus, I snuck in the run outside in between snowstorms, so I felt prett good about that...

6 miles easy (8:15), 4 miles at goal race pace (6:50), 2 miles easy

Here's the route:

I ran easy down Keystone to the river, and along the river all the way out until Mayberry crosses it and hits 4th street. Then I picked up the pace along 4th street all the way back to Keystone, and did an easy jog back home. Didn't know what pace I was going, but remembered the times. Used the running calculator to figure out the following:

5.4 miles @ 9:15 pace, 3.7 miles @ 7.50 pace, about a mile jog for cool down.
10 miles in 1:27.

Even though those paces are about a minute slower that I was "supposed" to be going, I feel pretty good about the day. Nicely tired now...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

2/21 Hills

Kinda wimped out on the hill workout this morning. Ran the 30 minutes at 8:15 pace just fine, but couldn't figure out the incline on the treadmill very well. Just too weird. I should do the Hill days outside anyway. Hope the weather gets nicer...

30-35 min run (8:15), Finish with 6 x 30 sec uphill sprints (mile pace effort), easy jog down for recovery

So I ran the 30 minutes, then backed off to a 10 minute mile to figure out the treadmill's incline function. I ramped it up to the max, 15 percent incline, then sped up to about 6:15 pace and did 30 seconds there. Almost fell off; had to grab the bar near the end to stay on. Did a slow jog for about 90 seconds and dialed the incline back to 10 percent, and ran another 30 seconds at 6:15 pace. Started to feel a little queasy from the effort, so I did a couple minutes of jogging while lowering the treadmill back to flat. Have to take it easier or run outside for my next Hill day...

30-35 min run (8:15)
1 x 30 sec sprint at 15 percent grade and 6:15 pace,
1 x 30 sec sprint at 10 percent grade and 6:15 pace,
1:30 easy jogs in between and cooldown
4.2 miles in 3 minutes

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Shoes and socks

Tried out some new gear this morning:

Race shoes. Bought these at the same time as my other pair, from Roadrunner Sports. This is the first time I've tried them, though. They're definitely light, just over half the weight of my training shoes. Didn't notice a huge difference on the treadmill, though. They felt light when walking around, but couldn't really tell while running. I'll have to try them outside at some point, too. If it stops snowing... I'll wear them once every couple weeks to get used to them a little but not wear them out, then for races.

Socks. I've sworn by Smartwool socks for years now. Did the whole Tahoe Rim Trail wearing them, without a blister. I've been eyeing these Injinji toe socks for awhile, though. Kinda fascinated by them. Grabbed a pair ar REI the other day, and tried them out this morning. They're a little thinner than I generally like, but worked well with the race shoes. Felt pretty funny putting them on each toe, but once they were on, didn't have another thought about them. Until I got home and had to take them off, of course.

2/20 Easy run

Well, the easy runs are getting easier. Still wouldn't call them "easy", but doable. Ground out 45 minutes at 8:15 pace this morning. At this point, I wouldn't want to have to go much faster for a long period, though. Getting there...

40-45 minute easy run (8:15)

45 minutes @ 8:15 pace
5.45 miles in 45 minutes

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

2/19 Intervals

Whew! That was fun this morning. Felt kind of logey starting out on my warm-up, but felt much better once I started the intervals...

15 min warm up (9:00)
6 x 4 min intervals (6:30) with 2 min easy jogs (8:00) in between,
15 min warm down

I did 7:00 pace on the intervals because the fast ones killed me last week, and knocked the "easy jog" to 9:30 pace to rest (because of a conversation with my friend Chris, who said it seemed a little fast for "rest"). Felt so good after five of them, that I did the last at 6:45.

10 minute warm up (9:00)
5 x 4 min intervals @ 7:00 pace with 2 min easy jogs (9:30 pace) in between,
11 minute cool down
6.8 miles in 55 minutes.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

2/17 Long Run

Got out kind of early this morning for my long run. Left home just after six, and ran a loop that I haven't run before. Nice - a good mix of urban and back streets.

Planned: Long Run (75 min total):
50 min run (8:15), 8 x 1 min at 5k pace
with 1 min jogs in between, 10 min cooldown

The main part of my run stretched to more like an hour than 50 minutes, probably because I averaged more like 8:45 than 8:15. The quick intervals went nicely, though from McCarran and 4th Street to Keystone, and it felt pretty good to stretch it out at that point. Then it was just a quick trot home.

Actual: 1 hour run @ 8:45 pace
8 x 1 min intervals with i min jogs between, 10 min cool down.
9.75 miles in 1:25

Saturday, February 16, 2008

2/16 Run

Well, THAT was a great workout! Same basic run as the "Easy Run" I did on Wednesday, but it sure went a lot better. That's one of my favorite feeling in running, when your body feels like a powerful engine, just pushing it self along tirelessly. Or like a sleek animal, a big cat or a wild horse, running for the sheer joy of it. OK, I'll stop...

30-35 min run, finish with 6 x 20 sec strides (mile pace) with 1 min rests in between

Didn't have guidance from the training plan on how fast to run these basic runs it wasn't an "Easy Run", but the other weekend days that weren't long runs were listed as "easy", so I went for the same. Started at 8:15 miles and just felt great ran strong right through to the half hour mark. Those 6 x 20 second strides with minute rests sounded hard to track on the treadmill, so I did 5 x 25 second intervals at 6:00 mile pace, with the balance of a minute (35 seconds, but ramping up and down speed made the timing kind of fuzzy.) Even felt strong for those; I kind of like short intervals...

30 min run at 8:15 pace, 5 x 25 second strides at 6:00 pace with 35 sec rests at 8:00
4.4 miles in 35 minutes.

Friday, February 15, 2008


I'm a runner. I guess I have been for a while now, at least 5 years, although this is really the first time that I've put it right out there like that. Running is, without a doubt, the sport that I've done the most of in the recent part of my life. All of the other sporting activities that I do - mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, golf - have been pretty well neglected lately. Either they're too time-consuming (6-hour rounds of golf), too far away (and we're only 45 minutes from skiing) or the complicated gear keeps breaking (mountain biking = flats, flats, flats...) Among the many things that I love about running, though, is the simplicity. Throw on shorts and a pair of running shoes and you're out your front door for as long a run as you want. That said, take a look at a running magazine these days and see all the gear that you're missing out on. Shoes that synch with your Ipod to track your run and provide coaching. GPS aienabled heart-rate monitor watches. Training shoes. Trail shoes. Race shoes. All drool-worthy. But I still like to just head out the door and go. Unless I've forgotten my watch. Or my gloves. Or my Ipod. Or I'm wearing the wrong glasses...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

2/14 Progression run

Heh. This was kind of a reverse progression run, actually. Oops...

15-20 min warm up (9:00),
20 min progression run (6:45),
15 min warm down

Did a 10 minute warmup at 9/mile, then kicked it up to a 7 minute mile. This was as fast as I did the intervals TWO DAYS AGO, so obviously I couldn't hold it for long. Did 3 minutes, then backed it off to 7:30 and kept it there for 7 minutes, until 20:00 on the clock. Feeling fatigued, so dropped back again, this time to 8:00 miles. Did ten minutes there, then cooled down at 9 minute miles for ten minutes. So:

10 minute warm up (9:00)
3 min @ 7:00
7 min @ 7:30
10 min @ 8:00
10 min cool down (9:00)

So apparently I was confused about what a "progression run" is. I thought it referred to progressing with longer speedwork every week to work your way up. A quick google this morning tells me that it really refers to starting with a slow run and progressing to faster speeds throughout the workout. Guess I'll do it a little differently next time...

That website I linked to above, by the way, has a GREAT running calculator. Made me feel a little better about where my current times are, compared to what this training program is asking for...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tracking and mapping

I've been using to track my training for almost a year now, and really like their site. Their interface for mapping a running route is nice and intuitive, and you can save them as private (most of mine, because I tend to run right from my front door) or share them publicly. Their training tracker lets you input running, biking, hiking, other activities like skiing or soccer or whatever, and tracks your mileage, calories burned, and all sorts of stuff. My only complaint with the training calendar is that it puts up a little weightlifter (the "gym" icon) up instead of a runner when I do a treadmill run, so it looks like I'm just at the gym every day. Picky, picky.

Here's a route I ran last Sunday, to boost mileage a little for this training program.

2/13 Easy run

Planned: 30-35 min Easy Run (8:15 mile)

Easy run? Not yet. It was all I could do to make it through this, but it was manageable. Brain starts breaking things down: OK, I'm a tenth of the way through,, now a sixth, now half...

Actual: 30 minutes at 8:15

2/12 Intervals

This was my first workout of the program; the calendar started yesterday, but Mondays are rest days. I'm doing most of my workouts on the treadmill at the gym - haven't usually been big on the treadmill, but it's still pretty brisk outside and it's a really good way to track my speed. My workout times, because of family chedules, are EARLY morning. I leave for the gym at about 3 AM and usually get back around 4:30. Yes, I go to bed early.

Planned: 15 min warm up (9:00 mile)
8 x 3 min intervals (6:30 mile) with 90 second easy jogs (8:00 mile) in between,
15 min warm down

I was feeling pretty good when just starting out, but started feeling a little sluggish even during the warmup. Felt warmed up after ten minutes, and started the intervals. Did one 3:00 interval at about 6:36, and barely made it through the three minutes. Took 2 minutes recovery, to keep nice round numbers on the clock. Did the next 3 intervals at much closer to 7 minute miles, and then decided I'd had enough. Any more and I felt I would have fallen off the treadmill. Backed off to a 9 minute mile and ran 12 minutes of cool down, for a total of 40 minutes.

Actual: 10 minute warmup
4 x 3 minute intervals, 6:36 and 7:00 miles, with 2:00 easy jogs in between,
12 minute cool down
40 minutes, 4.75 miles.

Didn't feel great about cutting the intervals short, but I think it was smart. Pushing through them would have done more bad than good. Hopefully I'll speed up as I go...

Current goal

I started a 12 week half marathon training program yesterday, with the goal of breaking my PR in the Marathon de Mayo half marathon, which I've run for the past two years. Turns out they're not doing it this year, but there is another half being run that day here in town: the Reno's Rock-n-River Half Marathon. Same starting place, downtown under the arch, but this one will go west along the river and then back. (Can't wait to see a map of the course, they don't have one up yet.) Anyway, this training program was out of a recent issue of Outside Magazine (Oh! Apparently it's online now.) and seems to be geared to someone starting out a little speedier than me. I took the couple weeks leading up to starting it to try to "train up" to the training program, but am still a little bit away. I'm going to try to post about each workout, and maybe post about what I'm thinking about on my rest days, too. Anyway, that's where I'm heading...

So, a running blog...

Who wants to read about someone else's training program? I don't know, but there are are a lot of blogs like this out there. Hopefully a few of my friends and family might want to know what I'm up to, if no one else. This will also give me some motivation to keep up with my training, and an outlet for some of the thoughts I have about and during my running. Well, that's it. Here we go...