Sunday, March 30, 2008

3/30 Easy run

Sure glad I did my long run yesterday; I would NOT have been motivated to do anything more than an easy run today. As it turned out, te easy run was kinda tough, too...

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

WINDY day. I decided to do part of one of my regular routes backwards, just for fun:

It seemed a really nice day until I got near the McCarran part of the run, then it was uphill into a SERIOUS wind. Barely hd to breathe; the wind blew air right into my lungs. Turned downhill onto Keystone, and it was beautiful again, but that windy section sure slowed me down. I decided not to do the speedwork because the hill and wind took so much out of me.

4.13 miles in 36 minutes

Saturday, March 29, 2008

3/29 Long run

Solid workout this morning. It's tomorrow's workout, actually, but due to a dinner party we're going to tonight, I didn't think I'd be motivated to do a long run tomorrow. Hence the switch...

60-65 min run (8:15), 10 x 1 min at 5k pace
with 1 min jogs in between, 10 min cooldown

The hour at 8:1 felt great, and the intervals felt so good at 6:00 that I did the last one at 5:30, just for fun. Just noticed that I didn't do my cooldown, though...

60 minutes @ 8:15 pace
10 x 1 minute intervals at 6:00 pace; 10:00 pace in between
9.91 miles in 1:20

Thursday, March 27, 2008

3/27 Progression run

Pretty tough workout this morning, but I made it. Kinda surprised at my aerobic capacity for most of it; I wasn't really out of breath until almost the end of the progression section.

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

Again, I made this a little more of a "progression" by doing 15 minutes at 7:00 pace, then 15 at 6:45 pace. So, it wasn't the full bore workout that was planned, but hey - pretty close. Also noticed that I'd done 6.2 miles in 46:35, so another little unofficial 10k PR there...

15 minutes @ 9:00 pace
15 minutes @ 7:00 pace
15 minutes @ 6:45 pace
15 minutes @ 9:00 pace
7.68 miles in 60 minutes

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

3/26 Easy run

Pretty easy workout this morning, just a half an hour. Only notable thing was that I've now put over 200 miles on my latest pair of shoes, according to the Shoe Tracker on

30-35 min easy run (8:15)

30 minutes @ 8:15 pace
3.62 miles in 30 minutes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

3/25 Intervals

After I finished my last interval and started my cooldown this morning, I looked down at the readout on the treadmill. It was at 6.2 miles, and 47 minutes. That's almost exactly my current 10k PR. (2007 Sparks Turkey Trot) Granted, that's not an outstanding time; I wasn't training specifically for it or anything. But it's funny that I could hit that during an interval workout now.

15 min warm up (9:00)
3 x 8 min intervals (6:30) with 3 min easy jogs (10:00) in between,
15 min warm down

I really wanted to hit the times on the intervals today; I've been struggling to get my interval times down to 6:30. I warmed up a little faster than I meant to, though, and I think that affected my faster times. I made it through my first interval at 6:30, but had to back off to 6:45 on the next two. Still, a pretty solid workout...

15 min warm up (8:15)
1 x 8 min intervals (6:30) & 2 x 8 min intervals (6:45)
with 3 min easy jogs (10:00) in between,
11 min warm down (8:15)
7.17 miles in 55 minutes

Sunday, March 23, 2008

3/23 Easy run

Got off the treadmill and out running in the real world this morning. Actually, looking at my training log, that's been a Sunday thing lately; running outside. Gotta find a way to do that more often...

40-45 minute easy run

Did a classic five mile loop of mine, down Keystone to Seventh, up to McCarran, and back over to Keystone. Felt really sluggish heading up Seventh, better across McCarran. Averaged out to about 8:15, so I guess it was about right...

5 miles at 8:15 pace
5 miles in 41:38

Saturday, March 22, 2008

3/22 Half Marathon Simulation

Tough workout this morning. I knew it was going to be, and didn't quite make the whole thing. Shouldn't have gone for quite such a long bike ride yesterday...

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

The first six miles felt great, but the moment that I kicked it up to race pace, I felt the energy draining. I held out for two miles, then backed off to the easy pace for two. Just couldn't hold it.

6 miles easy (8:15)
2 miles at goal race pace (6:50)
2 miles easy
10 miles in 1:20

Friday, March 21, 2008

Cross training

I remembered today why I'm no longer a mountain biker.

Had a few hours free this morning, and decided to go for a ride, since it's a rest day on my running program. Pulled my bike down from its hanging roost in the garage and was pleasantly surprised to find that neither tire went flat over the winter. Both needed a little top off of air, though. The first presta valve that I unscrewed came off in my fingers, and the tire was flat within 2 seconds. Nice. So, replaced that tube, lubed the chain real quick, and was ready to go. Everything went fine, felt great until about 2/3 of the way through my ride, when the OTHER tire pinch flatted on me. My patches looked old, and there were a couple of holes, so I used my last extra tube on that wheel and rode gingerly the rest of the way. I mean, really. In running you generally don't get the mechanical failures like that. Of course, you don't get to coast, either...

Felt really good to be doing something other that running, though. I felt really fit; aerobically very good. The running muscles cross over with the biking muscles just enough that I did pretty well there, but could feel myself using the edges of them that don't normally get worked out. That's what cross training's for, I guess.

Here's my route:

And a picture up near the top. Nice day!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

5k Shave

As an addendum to my recent 5k race, I was reminded by a post over at Half Fast (which is consistently one of the funniest running related blogs I read; keep it up...) of a little contest he's putting on called the Shave Your 5k Challenge. Basically, you submit a 5k time from the beginning of the year (your "stubble" time) and then another at the end of the year (your "smooth" time.) Whoever "shaves" the most wins. I probably don't have much of a chance, since I ran fairly well on my recent 5k, and it was a slightly short course as well. But at least it'll motivate me to try to run a fast 5k at the end of the year, which is traditionally my lazy, hard to get motivated time. I'd imagine that's part of the point...

3/20 Hills

Man, hills on the treadmill are still tough! I can't believe what a huge difference a little change in grade makes. Five percent and it was killing me! and this thing goes up to fifteen percent? What's that for?

30 min run (8:15)
finish with 6 x 60 sec uphill sprints (mile pace effort)
easy jog down for recovery

This morning went pretty well, anyway. I don't know about "mile pace effort" on those hill repeats, but I sure couldn't have gone much faster and lived.

30 minutes @ 8:15 pace
6 x 60 second sprints (5 percent grade) @ 6:30 pace
8 minute cool down @ 9:1 pace
5.91 miles in 50 minutes

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

3/19 Easy run

That's what I needed this morning; an easy run, to stretch the kinks out from the weekend and yesterday. Still a little stiff, in the calves particularly, but felt pretty good.

40-45 min Easy Run (8:15)

45 minutes @ 8:15 pace
5.44 miles in 4 minutes

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

3/18 Intervals

Got a little cocky this morning and tried to hit the times on the training program right on. I think it was a little too soon after the weekend race, and I died in the middle of the workout.

15 min warm up (9:00)
2 x 10 min intervals (6:30) and 1 x 5 min interval with 4 min easy jogs (10:00) in between, 15 min warm down

Did my warm up nice and easy, then set up for a 10 minute session at 6:30. I made it, but just barely. Took 4 minutes at 10:00 pace, then started the next interval slower, at 6:45 pace. Almost didn't make it to the five minute mark that time. Slowed down and did an 11 minute cool down at 9:15. Disappointing, but my fault. Just went out too fast.

15 min warm up (9:15)
1 x 10 min intervals (6:30) and 1 x 5 min interval (6:45)with 4 min easy jogs (10:00) in between, 11 min warm down (9:15)
4.92 miles in 40 minutes

Monday, March 17, 2008

3/16 Sparks Top o' the Morning 5k

My first 5k. For some reason, I'd never done this distance. Running for me always used to be challenging myself to go longer distances, and 5ks are much more about time. How fast you can push yourself for a shorter distance. Anyway, this was a fun little one to do, although a) it was under 40 degrees when we ran, and b) the course was a little short: 3 miles instead of 3.1.

My friend Chris and his wife Abby picked me up early, and we headed out to the Marina. Got registered, then tried to figure out the course map. It was drawn really strangely; it was hard to tell which lines were on which streets. So, for a warmup, we trotted out to the confusing part of the course to scout it out. Got back to the start in time for a sip of water and little stretch before the start.

They got us off right on time, and we started pretty quickly. I was kind of surprised to only see a few people out in front of me. I think I pretty much held my place, passing a few people and getting passed by others. Chris was way out in front; I'm curious to see the results to see how much he won by. I pushed it a little right at the end, but couldn't quite make it under 20 minutes. Finished in 20:20. For a 3 mile course, that works out to a 6:46 pace. So, overall just slightly faster than what I want to run the half marathon in. Still got some work to do...

Results: 10th overall, 2nd in my age. Pretty happy with that...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

3/15 Long run

Treadmill high. That's what I had going this morning. Didn't want to stop.

Those readers that have been keeping track of my training schedule closely will surely be saying "Wait, I thought Turi had an easy run scheduled for today." And right those readers would be, if they existed. Here's what happened: It was mentioned that there was a 5k "Top of the Mornin'" fun run happening this weekend around the Sparks Marina. I checked to make sure it would fit into my training schedule, and sure enough, it was on Saturday, when I had an easy run scheduled. I thought I would replace the easy run with a 5k and get a little bit of race experience in this year, as well as try to hit my goal half marathon race pace, just for the feel of it. Even arranged carpooling with a friend. When I saw him yesterday, though, he had just learned that the race was on Sunday. Somehow, we both had the wrong idea about the day of the race - and I had actually checked the calendar against my training schedule to make sure it fit in! Very strange. Anyway, that's why my long run happened this morning. Hope the change in schedule doesn't upset anyone...

Planned (really, for tomorrow...):
55-60 min run (8:15)
10 x 1 min at 5k pace with 1 min jogs in between
10 min cooldown

Did the long section of the run at 8:00 pace instead of 8:15. Not sure why, just felt right this morning. Felt fine all the way; miles and minutes ticked by to Sportscenter. 7 1/2 miles in one hour. Reset the treadmill and did the 10 x 1 minute intervals at 6:00 pace (wish that were my 5k pace) with 10:00 pace minutes in between. Another mile at 10:00 pace to cool down.

60 minutes @ 8:00 pace
10 x 1 minute intervals @ 6:00 pace with 1 minute jogs in between (10:00 pace)
10 minute cool down at 10:00 pace
11.16 miles in 1:30:00

Thursday, March 13, 2008

3/13 Progression run

Kinda proud of myself. I knew it was going to be a tough workout this morning, and it was, but I finished it.

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

Like the last progression run I did, I altered this to be, well, a little more progression-ey. I split the fast section into two parts, finishing with the fastest part, then continuing to the cool down.

15 minutes @ 9:00 pace
15 minutes @ 7:00 pace
10 minutes @ 6:45 pace
15 minutes @ 9:00 pace

I was tiring at the end of the 1 minute 7:00 pace section, but still bumped it up to 6:45 pace. Felt good for five minutes, but the second five were tough. Made it through, though, and 9:00 pace felt like a slow trot. Hard to believe that 3-4 weeks ago I was struggling with 7:00 pace in 3 minute intervals...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

3/12 Easy run

30-35 min Easy Run (8:15)

30 minutes @ 8:15 pace
3.62 miles in 30 minutes


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

3/11 Intervals

Just starting the fifth week of this training program, the second third of the twelve weeks. Starting to see some progress! Had my longest, fastest intervals this morning, and breezed through them! Felt really gooe to have a solid workout after the disappointing run on Saturday.

15 min warm up (9:00)
3 x 8 min intervals (6:30) with 4 min easy jogs (10:00) in between,
15 min warm down

Just did a ten minute warm up this morning; I got a few minutes late start heading to the gym. Have to keep these sessions under an hour, too, or the dumb treadmill shuts down on me. Hit my intervals at 6:40 pace, which I think is my fastest interval pace yet. I'll be down to the target 6:30 pace before I'm done with this... Felt great all the way through; maybe a little tired near the end of the third interval, but I think I could have ground out another if I needed to. Kind of glad I didn't, though.

10 minutes @ 8:15 pace
3 x 8 minute intervals @ 6:40 pace with 4 minute easy jogs @ 10:00 pace in between
8 minute cool down

Monday, March 10, 2008

3/9 Easy run

I was up in Vancouver over the weekend, dropping off the kids at "Grandma Gail's" for some of spring break. Needed to get a little run in early in the morning (although the daylight savings switch messed up the "early" thing a bit.) Just headed up the street, and here's where I went...

40-45 min Easy Run

Oops. I had it in my head that I was supposed to do a 30-35 minute easy run. Oh, well, 10 minutes, no big deal. Nice run though; sure is a lot of oxygen in the air down there. Barely felt like I was breathing.

31 minutes @ 8:15 pace
3.75 miles in 31 minutes

Saturday, March 8, 2008

3/8 Half marathon simulation

Nice "simulation" this morning - a failure on a number of levels.

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

I decided to try this long run inside on the treadmill, for a couple of reasons: I wasn't feeling totally well, and it was kinda cold outside. I also hadn't been hitting my times very well on the long runs, because I'm not yet good at judging my pace out on the street. So; inside this morning. I was aiming for 8:30 pace on the easy parts of the run and 7:00 pace on the fast part.

I got onto the treadmill that I'd been using most often, and which has been working pretty well for me. About fifteen minutes into the first part of my run, i inexplicably slowed down. Still said it was moving at 8:30 pace, but I was walking. Couldn't figure out what was wrong, so I jumped to the treadmill next to me and finished the first six miles. I knew that the treadmill would give me a mandatory "cool down" time at one hour, so I stopped it after the six miles, hit reset, and started it up at 7:00 pace for the next section. After six minutes, same thing - slowed down while still saying it was going at the speed that I set it. Couldn't get it back up to speed, so I moved back to the first treadmill and finished two miles at the fast pace. I was tiring, and in a bad mood from all the issues with the treadmills, so I cut it short and just did an easy cool down mile. Lame.

6 miles @ 8:30 pace
2 miles @ 7:00 pace
1 mile @ 8:30 pace
9 miles in 1:13:30

Not all that impressive, but hey - everyone has bad days. Feeling a nice head cold coming on this morning, too. Fun.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

3/6 Hills

Man, doing the hill workouts on the treadmill is weird. Got it figured out well enough this morning to complete it, but still feels funny.

30-35 min run (8:15)
Finish with 6 x 45 sec uphill sprint (mile pace effort),
easy jog down for recovery

After the half an hour run, I slowed the treadmill, upped the incline to "5" (grade? Not sure exactly what that refers to) and waited until the next whole minute to start the intervals. Did them all at about 6:45 pace, and slowed to 12:00 pace in between for recovery. Didn't lower the incline in between; for such short intervals it wouldn't have been worth it. Wow, that little up grade made a huge difference! Finished with about 8 minutes at 9:00 pace to cool off.

30 minutes @ 8:15 pace
6 x 45 sec uphill sprints at 6:45 pace with 1 minute at 12:00 pace in between;
8 minute cool down at 9:00 pace.
5.48 miles in 50 minutes.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

3/5 Easy Run

Just a nice run this morning.

40-45 minute easy run (8:15)

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

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

3/4 Intervals

Just about a perfect workout this morning. Felt like I pushed it, but not too far. Didn't feel like I wasn't going to make it, but it was close. The heaviness that I felt in my legs yesterday is gone, now they feel pumped up and strong.

15 min warm up (9:00)
4 x 6 min intervals (6:30) with 3 min easy jogs (10:00) in between,
15 min warm down

So I'm still not up to doing intervals at 6:30, but I did do them below 7:00 pace today. I think it was set at 6:53, which is just slightly under my target race pace. At this point, I can't imagine doing an hour and a half at that pace, but - that's what training's for, and we'll see how it goes.

15 min warm up (9:15)
4 x 6 min intervals (6:53) with 3 min easy jogs (10:00) in between,
12 min warm down


I'm not really a big sports fan guy. I follow golf a bit, mostly because I think it's one of the most interesting sports, but also because it's one of the few things that my mind will hold on to. My brain just doesn't seem to want to keep any info about football, baseball or basketball. Stats, players, teams, leagues - Just doesn't stay in my brain. I've sometimes thought that I should make more of an attempt to know some sports stuff, just so I have a point of conversation with other "guys". Just can't bring myself to it, though.

The treadmills at the gym line up in front of a bank of about 4 big flatscreens. Depending on which machine I get on, I'm staring at one or another of them. At the time I'm at the gym (usually in the 3:30 to 4:30 AM range) my viewing choices are a CNN investing show, infomercials for wrinkle cream or aeroponic herb gardens, an unidentified talk show, or ESPN Sportscenter. I've been watching a lot of Sportscenter lately.

Of course, I have headphones on as well, listening to my running mix, so I'm reading the captioning running across the screen. I've never really done that before; it's kind of hard on a fast-moving show like Sportscenter because the captioning is always about five seconds behind the video. So the words you are reading are describing the play you saw a few seconds ago, and you're watching a play you'll hear about next. Kind of confusing, but at least I'm raising my sports intelligence quotient a bit.

The thing that struck me this morning was that I was starting to recognize different people who were doing the captioning. I have no idea how it actually works; I'm picturing someone sitting in front of a monitor frantically typing to keep up with the announcer, trying to spell the bizarre names of NBA and NHL players. At any rate, the person who was doing the captioning this morning had a funny tendency to correct typing mistakes they made. I recognized that from a week or so ago. The person who, I think, normally does Sportscenter at that time slot doesn't correct as much. I could be wrong, but I think they even use some sort of predictive typing system that brings up some interesting mistakes. Kind of reminded me of WWII cryptanalysts recognizing the "hand" - the particular keying style - of different code machine operators.

Sounds like I have too much time to think while I'm running, huh?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Sore legs

Boy, I can't remember the last time my legs actually felt SORE. Tired, yes, kinda pumped up after a run, OK. Today is SORE, though. And heavy. Hope they're ready for tomorrow morning's intervals...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

3/2 Long Run

Got up early to run this morning, but couldn't convince myself to go out in the cold. Waited until after breakfast (banana pancakes) had settled, and went out about 9:00. Did the same route that I did a couple of weeks ago. Almost the same times, too...

55 min run (8:15), 8 x 1 min at 5k pace
with 1 min jogs in between, 10 min cool down

From home, down Virginia to Plumb, over to McCarran and mack to 4th St. is almost exactly seven miles. Doing that in an hour would mean 7 mph, or an 8:15 pace. Today I got there in 59 minutes, so I rounded that up to an hour. A couple of weeks ago, I think I rounded DOWN from 101:30 to one hour. Now, two and a half minutes over seven miles doesn't sound like much to me, but it's twenty-something seconds a mile. Actually somewhat significant. I think my intervals would have been a bit faster as well, except that they were STRAIGHT into a cold headwind this morning. Brrr...

59 minutes at 8:15 pace
8 x 1 min fast with 1 min jogs in between
10 min cool down
9.75 miles in 1:23

Saturday, March 1, 2008

3/1 Run

The training program I'm on didn't really call these weekend non-long runs anything, so I'm just calling them "run". Anyway, they're basically an "easy run" with a little mini-speedwork session at the end.

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

30 min @ 8:15 pace
6 x 20 second intervals @ 6:00 pace
with 1:00 rests at 9:15
4.9 miles in 40 min.