Sunday, May 31, 2009

10K fiasco

Today I was scheduled to run a 10k race from the Canaries stadium. I was a little worried the day before because it was an 11am start and the temperature was supposed to reach 90 degrees today. When I got up this morning we had a light rain and it was cloudy and cool, perfect running weather!
Upon arriving at the stadium the person signing up runners did not seem very well informed. We were handed a google map of the course with no mileage marked on it and there were no bib numbers, instead they wrote the number on our hand with a Sharpie. I thought it was all a little hokie, but I went along with it. It was a pretty small turnout, I would guess there were 30 people.
The course was a 5K loop through the neighborhood running into the stadium and finishing at home plate, while the 10K runners made the loop a second time.
Finally, it is race time! I start out pretty strong, almost too strong I am afraid. There are no mile splits or signs along the route, so I have to try and guess where I am. The course is fairly flat at first, but there are a couple long gently sloping hills that are somewhat challenging. All is going well when we finally run back into the parking lot of the stadium. As we approach the front of the stadium there is one person asking everyone if they are running the 5K or 10K. When he asks me I flash him both hands, as in "10" for 10K,keep in mind I am in no shape for any type of conversation, it is a little confusing but he points the way for me. I see a couple of runners ahead of me, one of which told me pre-race that he was running the 10K too, so it seems that all is well and I am headed in the right direction. We continue through the parking lot and head south around the back of the ball field. When I reach end of the the field, thinking we are getting ready to start the second half of the 10K, the two runners ahead of me have disappeard! I cannot see another runner anywhere in front of me or behind me! I stop and look all around me to see some sort of person, course marker, anything...I see nothing. Finally someone else comes from behind and goes into a small door leading to the ball field, so I follow him. It's too late, this is the finish for the 5K, I was directed the WRONG WAY! I went ahead, finished as a 5K runner and left. I was mad and frustrated. It really stinks because I was really geared up for this 10K and due to poor organization I didn't get to complete my race as planned. Even after running the wrong way, stopping and circling back I managed to finish my 5K in 22:40 / 7:18 pace.
My thanks to Jeff (@1968jpickett) to stopping out with the kids to watch!

Saturday Run

Very easy paced 4 miles Saturday afternoon. I have decided to run a 10K today. It worries me a little because there is very little information available online about this run. It is at the Canaries ballpark and I won't find out anything about the course until I get there. The good thing is that because there had been little to no advertising about this race there likely will not be many people running, I might even place in my age group.
I have a very aggressive goal which is to finish with a 7:30 pace.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Crazy Weather

This spring has been amazing. We had two days in the 90's last week, then dropped down into the 50's and 60's. The last two days it has barely reached 60 and now today it is almost 80. It makes it difficult to adjust to the weather for running.
The last half of today's run was a real struggle. My knee had a little pain, it was hot, I was tired and apparently a whiner now too.
7 miles / 57:24 / 8:12 pace.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday / Wednesday Runs

Nice run this morning, took it pretty easy. Was a cool and misty 51 degrees this morning. 8 miles in 68 minutes (8:30 pace). Great week and a great month going. Running has been pretty enjoyable the last few days!

Chelsea's birthday today so I was short on time. I pushed my run pretty hard all the way and finished strong. Completed my 6 mile run with sub-atomic pace of just under 8 minute miles!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

End of Week / New Week

Ended my week yesterday with a total of 33.9 miles. Average pace for the week was 8:32. Very happy with that.
35 miles scheduled this week. Ran 10 miles on the bike path this morning, 67 degrees, partly cloudy, beautiful morning. I had someone to run with today which made the run much more enjoyable and it seemed to go by more quickly too. I ran at a little slower pace than normal but it was fun having someone to talk to rather than just focusing on how many miles are remaining. Finished in 1:39:49 /9:59 mile.
May is going to be a great month, I have calculated that I will log about 120 miles for the month. It's been a long time since I have ran that many miles within a month.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Logging the miles...

I don't always enjoy the act of running while I am doing it. I think though, that most of the enjoyment from running does not actually come from the actual foot pounding that is done.
My enjoyment of running comes from many other areas. One item on my list would be the noticeable increase in energy that I have throughout most days. Other benefits are the act of burning extra calories and the overall reduction of my heart rate due to the cardiovascular effect of the exercise.
There is also a mental benefit to running, which for me is the sense of accomplishment due to overcoming things like extreme weather and fatigue, not to mention just the thought of running nonstop for more miles than I drive back and forth to work every day.
Yes, there are some days that I really struggle to hit the pavement, but it will all be worth it when I join the ranks of those that have run 26.2 miles nonstop.
Today's run: 6.03 miles/ 50:49/ 8:26 pace. Had a good nights rest and felt much better on my run today than I did yesterday.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tuesday / Wednesday Runs

Miserable run, was not feeling well due to 90 degree temps and improper eating and sleeping in the last couple of days. Struggled for the first 5 miles, then walked for 1/2 mile. I then finished out the last 2.5 miles running under protest. I am glad I completed the 8 miles but it was miserable throughout. 8 miles / 1:12:41 (9:06 pace)

Ran my scheduled 6 miles in Des Moines. Followed a path that I found on the USATF web site. Thanks to a posting by Heather Brunk for creating and sharing this route.
Beautiful morning 5.99 miles in 51:12 (8:33 pace).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

10 miles of snot

Beautiful morning starting out at 49 degrees and a slight wind. Great run this morning, last mile was a little more difficult but bearable. 10 miles completed in 1:23:19 / 8:20 pace. Just have to be 1 minute per mile faster in the marathon - that will be a challenge.
I will need to start practicing my refueling during my long runs, so far I have not had to take any water or food with me but I could have used it today.
This was my first 10 mile run in several years, I have another one in a week. Nice easy pace this morning and no pain (so far).

Boston Marathon?

Looking beyond my current goal of running and finishing the Twin Cities Marathon, I would like to finish with a time fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Qualifying time for my age group is 3 hours and 20 minutes which translates to 7:38 per mile pace. I have a lot of work to do to be able to maintain this type of pace for 26.2 miles.
Here is my training schedule that I have planned out.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday Evening

Cool South Dakota Spring day, but still beautiful. Finished my week today with a 4.1 mile run in 31:59 (7:50 pace). Felt good because it was just a basic run, was not pushing myself because of my scheduled 10 mile run tomorrow.

Results for this week: 17.2 miles / 2:15:14 / avg. pace 7:51

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday Run

It's been strange backing off of my running this week. My schedule only calls for a total of 17 miles with my longest run being 5 miles. I almost feel guilty about it but I think it has been a good thing. It's been good to give my body a bit of an off week to rest up - prepare for the punishment that's coming. In fact, Sunday, the start of the new week for me, my long run will be 10 miles and I am scheduled for a total of 34 miles and 35 the next. It will be a good challenge!
Today's run was a quick 4.1 mile fartlek run. I finished in 30:38 giving me a 7:30 pace. What is a fartlek run? It is simply a run where you vary your pace throughout the run. After about a mile warm up, I will pick a point ahead like a tree, sign, road, etc. and run hard to that point, then back down to my original pace. I continue to do this off and on throughout the run. This increases my overall pace and helps my body adjust to recovering after the hard run periods.
Note: No gas was released during the fartlek run.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Run

Overcast, cool, and windy this morning. Good day for sleeping late. Nothing exciting to report, the grass is awesomely green ,a long cold winter sure makes you appreciate the spring.
Monday was my day off from running. Scheduled for 4 miles today. Very leisurely run for the first half (8:30 pace), then turned it on a little on the way back, especially the last mile. Finished in 32:37 (8:10 pace).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday Run

Scheduled for a 5 mile run this week rather than a long run.

5 miles / 40 min

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Grind

Today was a real motivational struggle. It is amazing how at times a 9 mile run can seem like a breeze while a 5 mile run can be hard fought with every step.
Today was the end of my training week, I finished with 32 miles for the week, a total of 4 hours and 28 minutes running, to give me an average pace of about 8 minutes and 20 seconds per mile. This concludes week 3 of my pre-marathon training, I have 4 weeks to go before I dig into the more difficult weeks and 21 weeks until the marathon.
Beautiful evening, 62 degrees. 5 miles, 35:54 / 7:44 pace.

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." (Thomas Edison)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday Hills

The party is over, back to work today. Knowing that it will be a long day of catching up I decided to get my run in before work. I hit the pavement just after 4am this morning. Beautiful 54 degree morning, 6.03 miles of hills. I ran it much slower than expected today, finishing in 54:20 / 9:01 pace. It's a good thing I have a day off from running know, my body is feeling a little beat up.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday - autopilot

Some days I am tired, sore, and just don't quite feel like running. Today was one of them. It's my last day of vacation and I am determined to stick to my training program so I went out and ran anyway. When I have these days it's like my legs are on autopilot, I don't have to think about speed, pace, etc., they just go while my mind drifts off to other places. That does not necessarily mean it was an easy run, but I did not have to struggle all of the way through it all either. I think the first and last miles were the most difficult but it's done and I feel good.

Despite my whining about running again, it is a beautiful 60 degrees, I finished my 7 miles in 57:53 (8:17) pace. A surprising number of people on the trail this morning, a couple of them enhanced the scenery making the run a little more bearable.

Funny post marathon video...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday Run

Beautiful morning, 58 degrees, 15 mph wind (not bad for here). Everything is bursting with the green of spring. The grass is growing well and the weeds are growing better, what an awesome time of year! My run this morning was supposed to be an easy 5 miler. It seemed to be a little harder than it should have been and when I finished I found out why. My pace was quite a bit faster than usual. I finished 5.04 miles in 39:30 / 7:51 pace. This is the fastest training run I have had all year. My 5 mile St. Pats race I averaged 7:48 but that was a race. If things continue during my training I should have a very good shot at qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
2 days of vacation remaining, time to plant some grass seed and kill some weeds!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Marathon FAQ's

Ok - I get a couple of similar questions about how far, what, why, etc., so here are some marathon tidbits for your to chew on.

How far is your marathon?
Any and all marathons are 26.2 miles. According to "The event is named after the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens."

Why are you running a marathon, are you crazy?
Depends on who you ask, it will be a great challenge. I enjoy running, the way it makes me feel both mentally and physically. It requires little skill, only determination, along with physical and mental toughness. Continuously fighting the natural urge to sit on the couch eating junk food and watching TV vs. sweating through more or less an hour of torture for that feeling of accomplishment and the satisfaction of knowing that you did something good for yourself.

Famous celebrity marathon finishers : Meridith Baxter, William Baldwin, Anthony Edwards, Will Ferrell, Katie Holmes, Chef Gordon Ramsey, David Lee Roth, P.Diddy, Scott Bakula, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Al Gore, John Edwards, Ryan Reynolds, Mario Lopez, Oprah, and more!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday Long Run

Pressed for time today, but after a great weekend with family in Wisconsin and an 8 hour drive home, I was able to muster up my long run today. 9 miles / 1:17:23 = 8:36 pace which is 12 seconds per mile faster than last week. After not eating or sleeping well all weekend I have to say I am very happy with those results.