Wednesday, April 30, 2008

4/30 Easy Run

Kinda wanted to run outside this morning and try out the new watch, but it is SERIOUSLY windy here. Didn't get to calibrate the footpod last night, either, so I couldn't track it on the treadmill either. Oh well...

Planned:
30 min easy run (8:15 pace)

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Garmin Forerunner 405 - First thoughts



I took the plunge and bought myself a running watch. Not just any running watch, either, but the newest, best thing in running watches. The Garmin Forerunner 405 is the latest in their line, and the first to actually look like a watch. (Previous models either looked like a cellphone strapped to your wrist or, I don't know, a jewelry box or something...) The 405 is a totally bearable size for a watch; it's not much bigger than my previous running watch, which barely even has a lap function...

Anyway, unboxed it and got it charging yesterday, and read the manual (which was much smaller than I had expected...) It charged pretty quickly, and I started playing around with it. It's got a "first startup" tutorial function that leads you through the operation of the touch bezel and buttons - pretty easy. Then I took it outside and let it acquire satellites - took about 5 minutes, then the time was set and it was ready to go. From there, I just explored the menus until I was pretty comfortable with where stuff was.

Next step was to download the software and set up the wireless downloading function, via the ANT Stick dongle thing. That, too was pretty easy - although there was one step that the Garmin website showed that didn't come up for me. But it all connected, I got it synched to Garmin Connect and installed the Garmin Training Center. Going to be playing around with that a lot in the next week, I'm sure. So now, I just set the watch by my laptop, and the ANT Stick recognizes it, downloads and clears the data, and sends it to the Garmin Connect website. Cool.

Although I'm itching to take it out for a run, I had a gym workout this morning. I did buy the Footpod to go with it so I can track my treadmill runs as well, but didn't get that all calibrated last night. So, I'll try to take it out tomorrow morning for a half hour easy run, then a couple more times before my race on Sunday. Hopefully I'll be able to learn it fairly well, to use the pacing and "Virtual Training Partner" functions before then..

4/29 Intervals

Did a basic intervals workout, 8 x 2 minutes with 2 minute jogs. Not bad - short intervals with long recovery times. (Contrast this with my first interval workout, 11 weeks ago...) Taper starts now - 3 more easy-ish runs until race day.

Planned:
15 minute warm up (9:00 pace)
8 x 2 minute intervals (6:30 pace) with 2 minute jogs in between
15 minute warm down

Actual:
15 minute warm up (9:00 pace)
8 x 2 minute intervals (6:30 pace) with 2 minute jogs in between
15 minute warm down

Good stuff. Looking forward to coming up with a training program for the rest of the year...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

4/27 Easy run

I decided to do my easy run down by the river, where the race is going to be next weekend. The more time I spend on the course, the more comfortable I'll be with it, I figure. The plan was to do a 60-70 minute easy run, so I figured I'd run for about 35 minutes, then turn around and try to go just a little faster on the way back in. That would give me the feel of pushing it a little on that part of the course; also, it's downhill and generally downwind on the way back.

Planned:
60-70 minute easy run (8:15 pace)



Felt pretty good heading out, a little chilly still (5:30 am, sun just coming up) with a light headwind. Kept it to 8:15 pace on the way out. I turned around near the beginning of Dorokstar Park, at 34 minutes - there was a guy walking a big, kinda scary dog that I didn't want to pass, then turn around 30 seconds later and pass again. Immediately, the temperature went up 10 degrees - wind at my back, running into the rising sun. Very nice. Wasn't sure how fast I was going, but held a comfortable pace all the way back in. Turned out I averaged 7:15 miles on the way back in, 29 minutes. Probably faster than I should have gone on my easy run, but it made me feel better about the course.

Actual:
4 miles in 34 minutes (8:15 pace)
4 miles in 29 minutes (7:15 pace)
total: 8 miles in 1:03 (7:52 pace)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

4/26 easy run

Nice little run around the neighborhood this morning; it's going to be a gorgeous day outside. Pretty flat first mile to Rancho San Rafael, straight uphill second mile to the top of Ives, then back down Keystone. Stopped at the creatively-named Lake Park to run intervals, slaloming through the ducks and geese.



Planned:
30-35 minute run, finish with 6 x 20 second strides (mile pace) with 1 minute rests in between.

Oops - I just realized I ran the strides wrong. Oh well.

Actual:
25 minute run (8:15 pace)
6 x 30 second strides with 30 second jogs in between
4 minute cool down back home

Thursday, April 24, 2008

4/24 Progression run

Good workout this morning. Backing slightly off from the peak workouts, so I guess I'm starting to taper a little already, but it was still a hard run this morning.

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

Again, I modified it slightly to be more of a progression (if this was just a tempo run, why didn't they call it that..)

Actual:
15 minutes @ 9:00 pace
10 minutes @ 6:50 pace
10 minutes @ 6:40 pace
15 minutes @ 9:00 pace
6.3 miles in 50 minutes

Felt pretty good during the fast section; wasn't even breathing too heavily until near the end. Hope I feel that good on race day...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

4/23 Easy run

Not much to say on these easy runs these days. Did this one at 8:00 pace just for something different...

Planned:
30-35 minute easy run (8:15)

Actual:
30 minutes at 8:00 pace
3.75 miles in 30 minutes.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

4/22 Intervals

I wouldn't have thought it a couple of months ago, but I really like doing these intervals. It's usually my favorite workout of the week. Wonder what that should tell me; that I should concentrate on shorter, faster runs maybe? Next year...

Planned:
15 minute warm up (9:00)
7 x 3 minute intervals (6:30) with 90 second jogs (10:00) in between
15 minute warm down (9:00)

Actual:
15 minute warm up (9:00)
7 x 3 minute intervals (6:30) with 90 second jogs (10:00) in between
15 minute warm down (9:00)

Yup, just copied and pasted that down. Did exactly as planned. Funny thing this morning: for once, the warm up time, cooldown time, intervals and rests added up to a round number - an hour exactly. Usually it was off a little, and I'd adjust my cool down jog to make 50 minutes or 55 minutes or something. I'm a sucker for symmetry, though, and it was nice to have such an even, balanced workout...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

4/20 Easy run

Hard to get motivated to run today, after the tough time I had yesterday, but I got myself out there eventually.

Planned:
35-40 minute easy run

Funny, I have a 25-30 minute loop and a 45-50 minute loop, but no standard run that takes me this long. I ended up adding a leg onto one of my regular runs:



So, a fairly flat first mile; then a good mile and a half hill up by Rancho San Rafael and up Ives to the top of Keystone; then mile of flat along McCarran with a HUGE headwind, then another mile downhill on King's Row back home. Surprisingly, I felt pretty strong the whole time, even fighting the headwind.

Actual:
38 minutes at 8:15 pace
4.6 miles in 38 minutes

Saturday, April 19, 2008

4/19 Half marathon simulation

Got to run most of the Half marathon course today; only some of it at race pace. It was nice to see where it went, though, and get a feel for the route. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling so hot, and had to push it pretty hard to even get near the times I wanted.

My friend Chris met me at my house (he ran down from his house, about 10 miles away) and we started out. We met up with the marathon route at mile 1, which is at the Booth Street bridge over the Truckee, about 1.3 miles from my house.



On the way out, we took it easy, in the 9 min/mile range. It's been awhile since I've run with someone, and had to get used to talking and running again. Had a nice easy run, mostly on trails and streets I knew but finding a few places I hadn't been. Turned around out by the Patagonia warehouse, and started to speed up when we got back to Dorokstar Park. We were supposed to be doing 6:50 miles, but there was a headwind, and Chris pretty much dropped me at that point. I had no energy to push harder, and barely kept up 7:10 pace most of the way back. We did push for a 6:45 quarter mile at one point in Idlewild Park, but after that, I barely made it back home. Tough run.

Planned:
6 miles easy (8:15)
6 miles at goal pace (6:50)
1-2 miles easy

Actual:
about 9 miles @ 9:00 pace
4 miles at about 7:10-20 pace
1 mile easy back home.

Friday, April 18, 2008

More running history

Continued from Early Running...

I don't think I ran intentionally again until college. Didn't do a whole lot else, really, either - outside of golf and caddying, I can't remember much exercise that I did throughout high school. Had a 10-speed that I rode around, skateboarded a little, generally played, but nothing organized. Anyway...

I spent my first year of college in Tacoma, WA at the University of Puget Sound. I didn't fit it terribly well there, and it was pretty expensive, so I left after my freshman year. While I was there, though, I had one friend who was a pretty serious runner. Or at least had been at his high school; I'm not sure if he was competing at the University then.
He talked me into going and running stairs with him once, and a really cool high school in Tacoma. Appropriately named, Stadium High School - seriously, check out some of the pictures on the wikipedia page or here. Amazing building, and perfectly built to run stairs. I don't think I embarrassed myself, but certainly didn't keep up with my friend. And I don't think I ran again until a couple of years later, when I was in better shape.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

4/17 Hills

Walking into the gym this morning, there was an owl sitting just over the door. I stopped and made some clicky noises at him, he did that owly head-swivelly thing at me, and just sat there. Don't know if that was a good omen or not, but it was kinda cool.

Haven't been feeling so hot lately; hope I'm not catching my daughter's cold. Toying with going to the doctor today..

Planned:
30-35 minute run (8:15),
finish with 6 x 30 second uphill sprints (mile pace effort),
easy jog down for recovery.

Actual:
30 minutes @ 8:15
6 x 30 second uphill (5%) sprints (6:00 pace) with 30 second jogs in between
4 minutes @ 9:15 pace to cool down

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

4/16 Easy run

Nice easy 45 minutes this morning. Legs didn't really want to go at the beginning, but felt better after I got started.

Planned:
40-45 min Easy Run (8:15)

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

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

4/15 intervals

Excellent run this morning. Hit all the times I was going for, and it wasn't easy, but not super difficult either - a nice hard workout.

Planned:
15 minute warm up (9:15)
6 x 4 minute intervals (6:30) with 90 second easy jogs in between
15 minute warm down

Actual:
15 minutes at 9:15
6 x 4 minute intervals (6:30) with 90 seconds at 10:00 pace in between
13:30 (or whatever was left of an hour) warm down at 9:15
7.42 miles in 60 minutes

Did a little stretch right after I stopped, still on the treadmill. Soles of my shoes were actually frighteningly warm to the touch! Little weird, there...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

4/13 Long run

I did a run this morning that I've done a couple of times before, just for comparison sake. Despite the fact that I wasn't feeling 100% this morning, I still showed some improvement in a couple of areas.

Planned:
65-70 minute run (8:15),
10 x 1 minute intervals at 5k pace with 1 minute jogs in between,
10 minute cool down



I did the first 7 miles, to 7th and McCarran, in 57:15, 2:45 faster than I had before. That's about 20 seconds per mile faster (not that I was trying to push it on a long run...) The big difference, though, was on the 10 x 1 minute intervals that I run from McCarran down to Keystone on 4th street. Earlier in the training, I did all 10 intervals in that space, but today I could only get 8 intervals in before I ran out of room in front of the Taco Bell. That means I was covering more distance on the fast sections - a lot more, apparently. Cool.

Actual:
7 miles in 57:15
8 x 1 intervals, fast, with 1 minute jogs in between
10 minute cool down.
9.78 miles in 1:20:00

Saturday, April 12, 2008

4/12 easy run

So I had stayed home for two days with a sick little girl, and was afraid that I was getting sick myself - little lump in the back of my throat, mild headache... I declined a long training run with a friend, thinking that I'd rather do the long stuff on Sunday and give myself a day to fight off the cold. Seems to be working - I did an easy run this morning and the lump in my throat seems to be gone. Still have a headache, but I think that's more to do with the kids right now...

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

I didn't do the finishing strides, partly because I didn't want to stress myself too much, and partly because it's a pain to do them on the treadmill. By the time you've got it up to speed, it's almost time to bring it back down again. Not worth it for anything under about 3 minutes...

Actual:
30 minutes @ 8:15 pace
3.64 miles in 30 minutes

Thursday, April 10, 2008

4/10 Progression run

Ouch. Ran out of steam this morning, and I'm a little sore now. Then kids didn't sleep very well and I hardly got any sleep. Not in the best of moods.

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

Warmed up for 15, then started in on 15 minutes at 7:00 pace, thinking I would then do another 15 at 6:45. Seriously started to tire after the first fast part, and could only make it for five minutes of the fastest section. Actuall, I'll bet I could have pushed it a bit harder, maybe even out to the whole 15 minutes, but my mental fortitude just wasn't there. Kinda feel bad about that...

Actual:
15 minutes @ 9:00 pace
15 minutes @ 7:00 pace
5 minutes @ 6:45 pace
10 minutes @ 9:00 pace
5.64 miles in 45 minutes

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

4/8 Intervals

Woo hoo! Hit all my goal times this morning! Had to push a bit during the last two intervals to get it done. but sometimes that makes it feel better, even.

Planned:
15 min warm up (9:00)
5 x 5 min intervals (6:30) with 1:45 min easy jogs (10:00) in between,
15 min warm down

The only things I changed were the amount of recovery time between intervals, from 1:30 to 2 minutes, mostly for ease of timekeeping. I was also glad for that extra thirty seconds, though. Also, I didn't take quite as long a cool down as recommended, but there was a GOOD reason for that. CBS was showing some recap of the college basketball championship, and it would repeat every fifteen minutes, with the same commercials and captioning mistakes and everything. It was boring me to death, so I got out of there...

Actual:
15 min warm up (9:00)
5 x 5 min intervals (6:30) with 2:00 min easy jogs (10:00) in between,
7 min warm down
7.07 miles in 55 minutes

Sunday, April 6, 2008

4/6 Easy run

Boy, I've gotta start doing these outdoor weekend runs earlier in the day - it gets windy in the afternoon! I did one of my old favorite loops, about 5.25 miles, and the first part was uphill and into the wind. Wish I could've tracked how my pace changed after I turned the corner onto McCarran. The wind shifted to behind me and it felt like I was floating compared to slogging up 7th Street into the wind...

Planned:
40-45 min easy run (8:15)



Actual:
5.25 miles in 43:12, 8:13 pace.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

4/5 Half marathon simulation

Treadmill problems again this morning, threw me off a little. Dang things.

Planned:
6 miles easy (8:15)
7 miles at goal race pace (7:00)
1-2 miles easy

So I did my first six miles pretty easily, reset the treadmill so it wouldn't time out at one hour, then started back up at race pace. At right about 3.1 miles, I was looking up, watching Sportscenter, when the treadmill stopped dead. "ER27", the display said. Almost threw me off of the front of the machine. I couldn't get it reset, So I hopped over to the next machine and started it up. It was one of those that gets jerky at anything faster than an 8:00 mile, and I almost fell off because of that. Jumped down to the next machine again, and this one seemed to work. At this point, though, I was pissed, and my rhythm was all thrown off. I did another mile at race pace on that machine, but I was really tiring quickly, and pouring sweat. Bumped it down to 8:15 pace and did 2 cool down miles. Kind of disappointed that I didn't make the whole workout, but I'm pretty blown now.

Actual:
6 miles at 8:15 pace (49:39)
4 (point something) at 6:49 pace (27:16?)
2 miles at 8:15 pace (16:30)
12 miles in 1:3:25

Friday, April 4, 2008

Early running

No, not early in the morning, although that's usually when I get my running done. I'm talking about how running impacted me early in life. Which is to say, not much, really...

I just finished a book called Strides: Running Through History with an Unlikely Athlete, by John Cheever. (Reviewed here) It got me thinkng about the first time I ran, and what I thought of running as a kid. Outside of the standard track-and-field days at school, I can only think of two running-related things in my early life.

The first was a hat. We lived at the time in a suburb of the Twin Cities in Minnesota, and my aunt who lived near us went up to Duluth to do the Grandma's Marathon. She brought me back a hat. It was yellow with a black bill, and kind of cylindrical, like a disposable painter's cap or an old Pittsburgh Pirates setup. Anyway, I wore it proudly until it wore out a few years later, even though it probably matched nothing I owned and was the nerdiest, most unfashionable thing I ever owned. It was the early 80's and I was like 10, ok?

The other thing was a 10k. Not sure how old I was; I'm guessing 11 or 12, but I ran a 10k with my Mom. She had made it a goal for herself (way to go, Mom!) and I decided I'd tag along. The race was part of the aforementioned suburb's summer festival, which was (and still is, I see) charmingly called Stockyard Days, honoring the history of the town. At the time, I think the run was called the Iron Horse 10k, but I may be confusing it with something else. They still do the run, apparently. At any rate, the only things that I remember about it are a single training run with my Mom, learning how to breathe and pace; the taste of water from a hose at the end of the race, and my Dad telling me that my lips looked white from dehydration at the end.

And that's it. No other running memories until college. Later...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

4/3 Hills

Did ok on the hills this morning. I think I'm figuring out how to run them on the treadmill...

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

Actual:
30 minutes @ 8:15 pace
6 x 45 second hills (7%) at 6:15 pace, with 1 minute at 12:00 in between
3 minutes cooldown at 10:00 pace
5.3 miles in 45 minutes

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

4/2 Easy run

Pretty simple, easy run this morning. Feels like I can go forever at 8:00 pace now...

Planned:
40-45 min Easy Run (8:15)

Actual:
45 minutes at 8:15 pace
5.44 miles in 45 minutes

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

4/1 Intervals

Didn't quite make the numbers this morning. Actually stayed home sick yesterday, but as feeling well enough to give it a shot this morning. Didn't have the energy to make it all the way, though...

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

I was tiring halfway into my first interval, but gritted out another one at 6:30. Did the third at 6:45 pace, but couldn't make myself do another. Better to quit than to overdo it and hurt myself.

Actual:
15 min warm up (9:15)
2 x 6 min intervals (6:30)
1 x 6 min interval (6:45)
with 2 min easy jogs (10:00) in between,
13 min warm down
5.6 miles in 45 minutes