Sunday, December 21, 2008

Catching up

I don't know why I've been behind on the blogging lately; I haven't really been behind in anything else. I even got 5 days of running in this week. I guess I'm not training on a specific program, just marking time between training for specific races.

I did hit a milestone this week, though - on my 4 mile run yesterday, I hit the thousand mile mark for the year. By my calculations, anyway - kinda weird transitioning between two record-keeping systems, but that's as close as I can figure. If anything, I think the numbers I came up with were a bit on the short side, so I'm probably actually over a thousand. Anyway, cool. Managed to read over a hundred books this year, too.

I've got some thoughts for a year-end wrap-up post rattling around, and thinking about some goals for next year as well. In the meantime, just gonna get through the holidays, a road trip up to the Portland area, lots of snow and stuff and trying to keep running and motivated through it all. Happy holidays, everyone!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chilly mid-morning

Dang, the temperature dropped here! All of a sudden we have a high of 35 or something, and windy. Made myself go out in it for a mid-morning run, but had to bundle all up - knit cap, gloves, wind shirt and tights. It was still pretty cold heading into the wind, but not bad when running with it.

Did a 6-mile loop, using part of an old standard run and finishing on some of the trails that the Moonlight Madness run was on a couple nights ago. Interesting seeing some of it in the daytime, now - there were a couple of spots that I hadn't really been before.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Moonlight Madness 5K - No shave

Well, THAT wasn't the race to try to PR on. I knew it was going to be hilly, with some trail sections, and at night. I didn't count on wind-advisory level winds, crazy rutted trail sections, how dark it was going to be, and a slightly long course.

Cool course, though - winding around Ranch San Rafael Park here in Reno. I jogged the mile from my house to the race start, milled around for 15 minutes, and they got us started. The first section was the craziest - the worst parts of trail, with eyes that hadn't adjusted yet, and the most traffic. After we got out of that section, we started running into the 1.2 mile walkers, who had started a few minutes after us. Lots of kamikaze kids to dodge there. Then up a big hill, up another hill, down a little, a small up, and a fast 200 yards to the finish. Hadn't been checking my watch, but the timing clock said 23:08 when I went through. My watch said 24:10, though, and that's exactly what my official time ended up saying, so I don't know what that clock was up to.

Waited around a bit for some results to be posted - I ended up 7th overall in the 5K, and 3rd in my 30-39 age group. Winning time was just under 20 minutes. Waited around a bit (OK, a lot) longer for the awards, and ended up with the age group winner plaque - 1st and second in my age group placed overall, so they gave me the age group winner. Seems weird to me, but whatever.

Jogged back home and inhaled a sandwich. Just cracked an Alaskan Amber with the Popener, and am gonna settle down to read a bit. Nite all...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Last pre-shave training run

Yep, that was this morning: the last run before I attempt to Shave my 5K on Friday night. Easy half hour with 6 x 1 minute race pace intervals with 1 minute jogs at the end. That I can do:

Also got a race email last night with a course description. Sounds like it's going to be on some trails that I've been running lately, so I know right where they are. Unfortunately, it also sounds like it's gonna be twisty, hilly and dark, so I don't know about doing any shaving of time, but we'll see. Sounds like it'll start flat, then go uphill, then finish downhill. I think I'll just try to go as fast as possible on the uphill, then let gravity take me on the downhills.

In other news: I got my popener in the mail from Xenia! I haven't given it a test yet, that'll wait until Friday after the race, but I'll post a few pictures of it after that. I was absurdly excited to find a package from Rome in my mailbox yesterday...

Monday, December 8, 2008


Noticed a bunch of other running bloggers sweating about their year's mileage totals. Since this is the first year I've kept track, I was wondering where I was at. It was actually kind of complicated to figure out - I kept track for part of last year and part of this year using Mapmyrun, and switched to Garmin Connect when I got Lumpy. Now both of those measure other than just running - stationary bike miles figured in on Mapmyrun, and bicycle commuting miles that I measured using the Forerunner. But after I got it all subtracted and added and mathed up, I think I'm at about 965 running miles for the year now. Couple weekend long runs before the end of the year, and I'll be able to say I hit 1000. That was, of course, helped by training for and running an ultra in July, and hindered by the hip problem in August and September that all that training contributed too. I'm not gonna gloat too much, because I'm sure I forgot a couple runs, not sure I counted exactly right and all... But I'll keep track better for next year.

Weird Nevada weather - after a CHILLY track day yesterday (despite the picture), it was balmy this morning at 3AM when I went to the gym. I could've run outside in a t-shirt. Went ahead and did strength training and 40 minutes on the treadmill, anyway - had to catch up on Angel reruns. Not.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Another track day - with photos

Between the last two training programs I've worked through - both from the same place - there has been a whole order of magnitude of difficulty. The 45 minute 10K program seemed easy, and I was confident all the way through it. The 40 minute 10K plan, which I slightly modified to try for a 20 minute 5K, has been TOUGH. Today had me looking at 10 x 400 at 84 seconds per 400. Uh, fast? Turned out I only really got one at that speed; most of them were around 90 seconds:

1 - 1:27
2 - 1:25
3 - 1:28
4 - 1:31
5 - 1:30
6 - 1:33
7 - 1:33
8 - 1:33
9 - 1:35
10 - 1:33

And I got my heart rate above 170 today, which I don't think I've done since I've been tracking it on this watch.

I love these track intervals, though - they make such a cool graph in Garmin Training Center:

After the workout, I pulled out my camera for a few shots. Here's resting on the side of the football field, rocking the new shoes:

And a sign that we had to run by on every lap:

Nice, huh? This on the same campus where I saw this Apostrophe Catastrophe...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sriracha burps

Wasn't feeling like a morning run today, so I left it until this afternoon. Unfortunately, it was right after lunch at a Vietnamese place, where we had some great pho, noodles and rice. Had a pretty full belly heading out for a run, and definitely tasted some hot sauce while settling occurred...

Gorgeous day out there - all of 50-something, but I could have run in a sleeveless shirt. All sweaty in short sleeves after a half an hour. December in Reno...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Not feeling it

I was supposed to do a sub-21-minute 5k this morning, according to my training plan. Figured the treadmill was the place to do it, and I also figured I needed to recalibrate my footpod/watch. I set the watch for a half mile recalibration run, and the first treadmill I was on died after about 3 tenths - just stopped dead. So I reset the watch, moved to another treadmill, and went again. Worked that time. Jogged out to one mile, then upped the pace to 6:40/mile. I only made it one mile at that pace. Just didn't have the legs. Did another mile at 9:00 pace, and called it. Man, my legs feel heavy now.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Vanity, astronomy and sad news

Wow chilly morning run this morning. Actually had to break out the tights. I know my readership will now be clamoring for a picture, but I'm sorry - not going there. This just isn't that kind of blog. Plus, it's hard to take a picture of your own butt - and I'd hate not to do its gloriousness justice...

Saw another shooting star this morning, in almost the same place in my run as last week. More toward Orion this time, maybe about 100 yards earlier on my route. Now I'll be forever looking up at the skies on that section of the loop. Hope I don't trip over a speed bump or something... Couldn't come up with a wish this morning. Maybe just to see more of them?

In the news yesterday here in Reno: A 77 year old jogger was struck by a car and killed. He was from out of town, here for a convention, and was out for a pre-dawn run. It was a pretty busy intersection, one that I've run through in the mornings sometimes. Who knows what the specifics were - how well he knew the area, whose fault it was, etc. I just want to reassure anyone who might worry about me out running in the dark that I'm a VERY careful runner. I'm a motorcyclist as well, and one thing that I take from that to running is never to assume that the other person sees you. I don't run with headphones anymore, and listen very carefully for cars. If there's one anywhere near me, I make sure that I'm nowhere where I'm in danger. And I try to stay away from the busier streets - on this morning's run, I actually only saw 3 moving cars, one of which was a police cruiser. For what it's worth...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Turkey Trot extras

A few related things about last week's Turkey Trot: Official results are up; my time was just what my watch said; 43:16. 57th overall; 11th in my age group. The Reno Gazette Journal had a picture of the start on page A2 the Friday after - it was a little easier to pick my head out in the paper version, but there I am. Advantage of being tall.

Couple of runs

Woke up yesterday feeling really oogy, to the point where I actually called in sick to work. Did some reading on the couch, ran a couple errands (including buying new running shoes.) Felt good enough in the afternoon to try the shoes out for a little run. Didn't feel really strong, but it felt good to be out. Weird running in the afternoon, though - I'm such a morning runner. It was probably a mistake, though - when I got home, my head was pounding and I felt all yucky again. Oh, well - more couch time...

This morning, though, I felt fine. Did an early gym session with an interval workout on the treadmill. Strikingly similar to Sunday's speedwork, I was supposed to do 6 x 1K at 3:55 per K. I translated that to 4:00 intervals at 6:10-6:15 pace - still pretty fast for me. Surprised myself, though - I got 4 of them done at that pace. And felt pretty good the whole way!

Oh, and the new shoes feel great - much better.