Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June streak recap

OK, let's get right into the numbers. For the month of June, I ran:

180.12 miles


26 hours, 20 minutes and 34 seconds.

(Crazy - spent more than a whole day running this month.)

Here's the daily chart, like I've been posting weekly:

That averages out to 6.004 miles per day, and 52:41 per day. That's an average pace of 8:46/mile. (This is why I had to do 7+ miles on the treadmill this morning - to get my daily average up above 6 miles.)

As far as type of run, this breaks down as follows:

(A little disappointed - only one trail run in there, but it was a pretty long one.)

My pace averages worked out as follows:

Street runs: 8:27 min/mile
Treadmill runs: 8:06 min/mile
Trail run: 11:50 min/mile.

I think that's all as far as the stats. I may have some more thoughts to share on the whole streak experience later...

Active Reno

Hey, there's a new publication in Reno, all about the area's active sports. It's called Active Reno, and their inaugural issue will be July 2009. The first issue has some coverage of the Tour de Nez, the Trans Tahoe swim, an interview with local triathlete Scott Young, and - an article about my running streak! Look for a copy around town, or check it out on their website. You can also become a fan on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Day 30 - Finishing the streak

My schedule called for a gym day this morning, so I headed out to finigh the month with a 7.75 mile treadmill run. (More on why that exact distance in another post.) Listened to some music, watched Jimmy Fallon. Finished up the run with three songs that were just recommended to me as perfect running songs:

The Killers - All these things that I've done
Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony.

Good stuff.

Walked back out to my car to find it had been broken into - driver's side window smashed. Only thing taken was a little cd wallet with about 15 discs, all ones that had been burned from the computer. Nothing irreplaceable. They had rifled through my center console, but missed my handheld gps unit that was in there.

I've been procrastinating getting my car in for service, so maybe having to fix the window will get me moving on that...

Stay tuned - later today or tomorrow I'll have a streak recap with lots of statistics for all you number geeks out there.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 29 - All the bridges

A few weeks ago, I did one of my 3-4 mile runs downtown, running back and forth on the bridges that cross I-80. As I've driven on I-80 since then, I keep noticing other bridges that I hadn't run on. This morning I headed out to run ALL the bridges.

Basically, I ran over to Valley street and started weaving across the Interstate. I crossed on the railroad bridge, which is technically a no-no, and on the pedestrian-only bridge by the hospital. All counted, I crossed I-80 ten times. even hit the loopy pedestrian ramps on the Vine Street Bridge, which I've seen but never been on:

One more day of the streak. I'll probably end it with a treadmill run tomorrow - not the perfect way to end, but that's what's planned into my schedule. Also, if I want the numbers to come out even, I can control it better that way...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 28 - Draggin'

Man, it was hard to pull myself out for a run this morning. After yesterday's long run, all I wanted was to lay in bed. In fact, about the only think that got me up was the thought that there are only 3 days left in June...

Did another little backstreet excursion, this time to the east of Keystone. Some nice little neighborhoods over there, almost to the scrungier University area. A few hills slowed me down a little - it seemed like it took about 2.5 miles just to get myself loosened up.

So that's the end of week 4. Here's a chart of the first 4 weeks:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day 27 - McCarranathon

In which I earn the name of my blog and actually DO run around Reno.

I did this run last year, only clockwise - thought I'd try it counterclockwise this year. Basically, I head up Keystone Avenue from my house, then go all the way around McCarran (Reno's ring road) back to Keystone. Going counter-clockwise got the big Caughlin Ranch hill out of the way early, which was nice. After that, it was just a grind through Sparks and back home.

Got a great elevation profile, too...

And in the lost and found department - the Reno Rodeo is in town this, week, and I think some drunk cowbow probably drove off from somewhere with his hat on top of his truck last night. Found this sweet hat near the end of my run; went back and got it after I was done. Wonder how it'll look with those glasses?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 26 - More backstreets

Sure has been fun, rediscovering some of the back streets in my neighborhood. On Wednesday, I ran by a friends' house, and a house where they used to live, and another friends parents place. This morning, I passed a different friend's house as well as a house we used to live in. Got to see how a rock wall that I built out front is holding up. Pretty well, it looked like.

Our neighborhood has a lot of churches, for some reason. I went past a Catholic church, a Jewish synagogue, a Mormon... church, I guess they call them, and a couple of other flavors of Christian church. I don't think the proximity to holiness helped my run substantially...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 25 - Music questions

Just did 5 miles on the treadmill this morning - a little faster than Tuesday's 6, but I still kept my HR under 150 for the most part. Feel pretty good about that.

So I have a high school friend I've been corresponding with on Facebook about running, and she recently asked me for some running music suggestions. Now, I'm not huge on running music - I usually only have headphones on when I'm on the treadmill - but I do have a "Running Mix" set up in iTunes. The problem is, it's such an incredibly mixed bag. There are some songs on there because they have a good tempo to run to, some that are sentimental, some are silly and distracting, some maybe inspirational. It's hard to recommend a bunch without feeling like I have to explain all my choices.

I've also noticed that when people have shared their running music with me, I've had a hard time really getting into it. Maybe it's because I haven't "discovered" it myself, it has less meaning to me? You'd think that if someone whose musical taste I respect recommended something, I should be able to integrate it into my mix, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Anyway, I'm trying to figure out which songs off my Running Mix to send to her. This may take a little thinking...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 24 - Down the backstreets

Did a crazy looping run around my neighborhood's back streets this morning. Again, this was another one where I knew there were hills out there, but didn't realize the extent of them until I was staring up them.

Did I ever mention that I really don't like out-and-back courses? I don't know why, there's something about making a loop route for a run that really appeals to me, instead of just going out one way, turning around and going back. This mornings' silly loops made me think of another couple possible routes, too...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Born To Run

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Just read this book in a day. It's a lot of different things - running history, travel and adventure, science... But most importantly, it embodies and explains a lot of the things that I like about running in general, and trail running in particular. On top of that, it's excellently written; exciting, educational, emotional and fun. If you're a runner or want to understand someone you know who's a runner, read this.

View all my reviews.

Day 23 - Highlights

I seriously rushed through my standard circuit workout at the gym in order to make it up to the treadmills by the top of the hour. I was rewarded - the first full ten minutes of Sportscenter were devoted to a recap of the U..S Open's Monday finish. (I actually considered calling in to work yesterday so I could watch it.) Sure was nice to put a mental picture to the way I watched it - refreshing the leaderboard on my browser at work.

Decided to give up my speedwork until after the ultra in mid-July. So this morning I just banged out 6 miles on the treadmill (through the top 10 plays on Sportscenter.) Kept the pace at 9:00 miles, and my heart rate below 140. It felt like a good workout, but makes for a dull graph:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 22 - Recovery

Thanks to a ten-minute ice bath last night, and the E-caps I was taking during yesterdays long trail run, I was able to drag myself out of bed and do another little loop in Rancho San Rafael. Basically the same loop that I did on Saturday, but clockwise instead of counter-clockwise. Again, I've only run sections of that the other way, and I was surprised at how steep one particular downhill section seemed. I'd only run it uphill, and it didn't seem as steep as it did coming down it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 21 - TRT training

Headed out about 6:30 this morning, to make it up to Spooner Summit for the first of the "official" training days for the TRT ultramarathons. These official days are cool for a couple of reasons: First, they're supported, with a couple of aid stations out on the course. Second, it's great to run with a bunch of ultra runners - I always learn things I can use later.

We self-shuttled up to Rose - I got 4 other guys into my car and headed out. When we got there, I for one realized that I had slightly underdressed. There was a biting cold wind whipping off the lake. I wish I'd had a windbreaker to start with, but REALLY wish I'd have had gloves - I'd have had them on almost all day.

Everyone kind of took off at their own pace - here's a shot of a group starting out in the meadows:

Once we got into the trees, the wind wasn't so bad. We all spread out - it was a pretty lonely day out on the trail, actually. I wasn't feeling too hot - headache and sore throat. Started feeling sorry for myself, had a little psychological downward spiral. Never had any doubt of finishing, but I wasn't all that happy about being out there.

Did get a little boost from one of my favorite views in the world: Overlooking Marlette and Lake Tahoe:

Like at the first aid station, I ate a quarter of a pb&j sandwich and an oreo at the second one (ultra aid stations rule!)

This route has a couple of seriously relentless climbs. This is one of them. Picture this: you've already climbed up a big hill, in the trees, and you keep watching th see when you will come out of the trees, hoping that will be the top. Then you see this. Enlarge it; it still doesn't do it justice...

Of course, you're then rewarded with a panorama like this:

Took a little video of a couple guys running by. Turn your sound down; the wind is whippin' by.

Here's some good data from the run; map and elevation:

And so: Weeks one through three of the streak looked like this:

I have a feeling tomorrow morning's gonna be tough...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 20 - Rancho San Rafael

Beautiful little run this morning - I found another route that should have been perfectly obvious to me, but which somehow I haven't really done much. A mile up to Rancho San Rafael, a 1.75 mile loop around the park, and a mile back home. Here's the map:

For those of you that don't know Rancho San Rafael, it's a great park here in Northwest Reno, with an arboretum, dog park, labyrinth, museum, and even a small seasonal amusement park. My loop this morning took me from the right side of the map below, which is where the arboretum is, past the pond and up the hill. Then down through playgrounds and past the dog park areas to the museum parking lot.

And a find this morning! Running along a side street, I saw a pair of sunglasses and a CD lying directly in the middle of the road. Stopped for a look - I left the Shania Twain CD, but picked up the glasses. What do you think? Do they go with my steely gaze of determination? New profile pic?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 19 - Shortest run yet

In fact, I had to throw in a little loop past my house and back at the end just to make my watch read over 3.1 miles. That's not to say it wasn't action-packed, though. Right after starting out, I had to make a little detour up a different block because the street I was going to take was completely blocked by fire trucks and ambulances. Then, coming down Sierra Street, I basically had to plow through a bush that was overgrowing the sidewalk when two cars were racing side-by-side and I couldn't step into the street. Cutting through Whitaker Park, I stepped into a depression that I didn't see and almost fell flat on my face (it was getting light by this point - I just wasn't paying attention to my feet.) And I think some bird with a strange call I hadn't hear was following me for most of the run.

Kind of a bizarre way to start the day, actually...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 18 - Not much to say about this one

So maybe I'll just let the graph speak for itself. Five miles treadmill ladder, increasing speed the first four and cooling down the last one.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 17 - Under the weather

In more ways than one. Stepped outside this morning to some humidity - I hadn't realized that it rained last night. Made for a pleasant morning for a run. Unfortunately, I haven't been feeling all that well. My daughter is on antibiotics for strep throat right now; I stayed home Monday with her and will again today. I was worried that I might have the beginnings of it, but was tested yesterday and don't. So, it's just some cruddy little virus that will hopefully go away in a couple days. Kinda saps my energy a bit, though.

I wasn't feeling too creative on the route-finding end of things this morning, so I just did the reverse of Monday's run, for 3.8 miles.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 16 - Interval FAIL

Nine minutes into my ten-minute warm-up on the treadmill this morning, I still didn't know whether I was going to try my interval workout or not. I had planned to do as many five-minute intervals as I could, figuring at least three, five if I was feeling good.

Decided not to. I think it was a good decision - I just wasn't feeling strong. Instead, I bumped the seed up a little for ten minutes, then back to the original pace for ten. Called it a 30 minute easy run on the treadmill. 3.4 miles. A little disappointing, but good enough.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lake Tahoe Relay

Last year's Lake Tahoe Relay was such a blast that we decided to put together a team again this year. We had pretty much the same roster, except that Amber couldn't join us - her back has been giving her problems. (Feel better, Amber!) Peter took her leg, so he ended up running two of the harder ones. So our line-up was:

Leg 1, 9.6 miles: Sean
Leg 2, 8.2 miles: Chris
Leg 3, 10.3 miles: Rocky
Leg 4, 12.3 miles: Peter
Leg 5, 10.6 miles: Turi
Leg 6, 10.5 miles: Peter
Leg 7, 10.5 miles: Hayes

We all got to the "Y" in South Lake Tahoe with just enough time to get organized, loaded up in the van, and get Sean to the start. (BTW, thanks to Marc for the loan of his sweet VW Eurovan - it was the perfect crew vehicle.)

Sean got us started out right - that's him in the red. I didn't notice it at the time, but it looks like he found a friend to run with. Did you keep up with her, Sean? Sneaky...

And thus began the day - leapfrogging the runner to offer motivation and water or Gatorade, and of course take pictures. Here's Peter with the camera and Chris giving Sean some motivation. Not sure how well that worked...

A common view of the day out the window of the van:

Sean rocked leg one right to Zephyr cove, where he tagged Chris:

And Chris blazed the big hill up to Spooner Summit. He counted the number of runners he passed, which we were calling "bogies" like last year. Here's him setting his sights on one:

He ended up passing 49. Wow.

Here he is on the last push to the exchange zone:

And tagging Rocky to start Leg 3:

Another guy I didn't notice but caught on film. The height of running fashion. It was NOT that warm out there...

Rocky had the mostly downhill section from Spooner almost to Incline. He had a couple cramps, but gutted it out.

I didn't get a picture of the next exchange, but Rocky tagged his dad and Peter was on for Leg 5, through Incline almost to Tahoe City. Here he is chugging up an early hill:

And having a water break:

There's a little gap in my pictures now; Peter tagged me and I did the leg from Tahoe City to Homewood. It started sprinkling a little while I was out, but it was actually pretty refreshing. It had stopped by the time I hit the exchange with Peter right in front of Homewood; he got to run the big hill up to Emerald Bay. I somehow managed not to get any pictures of that leg either, but I crawled up to a great vantage point above the next exchange. Sean and Rocky followed me part way:

And from there we could see Chris giving Hayes some advice for the last leg. Or maybe they were talking about farts, I'm not sure.

Ah, here comes Peter, looking strong coming up the hill:

And tagging Hayes:

Hayes got rained on for most of leg 6. This pretty much says it all, isn't Emerald Bay pretty this time of year?

Despite the rain, he had a great leg and passed a bunch of people. We met him a mile from the end, told him how far he had, and he turned it on again. Here's the finish:

And the "after" shot with t-shirts and medals:

We finished in under 11 hours, which was our goal. After that we grabbed some dinner and headed back home. 9:30 or so before we got all sorted out back in Reno. Long, long day, but it sure is a fun event!

Day 15 - Getting harder...

It was tough to drag myself out of bed and run this morning. I figured this marked the halfway point of the month, though, so I'd better get out and do it.

This was another new loop, totally simple and obvious, but one that I don't often do for some reason. Up to the top of Keystone, west on the nice packed dirt shoulder of McCarran, and down Kings Row. 3.8 miles.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Days 13 & 14 - Busy.

Yesterday, Saturday the 13th, was a long, busy day. It started at 5 AM, leaving for Lake Tahoe to run in the Lake Tahoe Relay. It didn't end until almost 10:30, after dinner at the lake, the drive home, and getting cars rearranged and everyone back home. I'll do a longer post all about it later today after I get the pictures edited, but we had a great time; I did leg 5, which was 10 something miles.

Looks like I'll have a busy day today, too, including juggling one sick kid while picking another up from the airport. Had to get my run out of the way early, then, so I went out at about 4:30 AM. Basically did the lop through the UNR campus from last week, but backwards and with a couple small modifications. Yep, still tired from yesterday, but wow - that felt uphill the whole way.

Anyway, that's week 2 out of the way, and here's what my first two weeks looked like:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day 12 - Seven Bridges Road

Sounds all picturesque and peaceful, huh? Not so much. In fact, this is about as urban as my runs get. All seven bridges I crossed this morning were over I-80. (Seven bridges and an underpass - if I'd crossed an odd number of times, I would have been on the wrong side of the highway... Actually, I had only planned on doing 5 bridges, but had to sneak a couple more in so I could link to this (tip o' the hat to RazzDooodle's SSTIFY's - which, after spending WAY to much time looking through his archives, I finally figured out stands for Song STuck In my head FridaY) :

Is this a well-known song? I'm not even sure - I only know if from an Eagles Greates Hits disc I had in college. Does get stuck in my head sometimes, though...

Tomorrow: Lake Tahoe Relay with Chris, Peter and his family. Hope the weather holds!