Saturday, May 31, 2008

Waterloss Test

7.1 miles in 60:00 min (8:27/mile)

Got up slowly on Saturday, and didn't get out till 0900, which made for a late start for the rest of the day.

I've been doing a lot of reading about hydration during long runs this week, so the goal for this run was to do a 60 minute calibration run and get a rough idea of how much fluids I lose. Did a nekkid weigh in before I left at 173 (more in my monthly weigh in post to follow), and then got dressed and went on out.

It was a good run, and the new route was nice. I missed the bullfrogs that I heard when I ran the route at night, but I got to see other runners, which was nice. It's interesting all the runners I saw were friendly and nodded or said hello. All the runners around the lake aren't as friendly. I wonder if it's a home territory thing.

It was good, but it was tough. I was really having problems with the idea that I might be running a marathon in 6 months. I felt like I was just sucking wind most of the run, and having to really beat down some negative thoughts. And then I hit the 6.2 marker where I would normally stop. The last .9 of a mile wasn't bad, and I could have gone a little longer, which brought my confidence back.

I managed to beat the living snot out of the inside of my right ankle. Going to have to learn to run straight I guess. :) Leaving blood stains on my shoes isn't very pretty. :)

Weighed myself out at 170 when I got back, after 60 minutes in 58-60 and sunny. 3 pounds of water loss. That works out to around 2% of my body weight, which is as far as I want to push it apparently. That's a hell of a lot of water to drink. I read something, maybe in the Hammer Nutrition stuff, that you can only absorb 24-28 oz an hour, so I hope I get more acclimatized as I run more long runs. Maybe I'll try this again this weekend.

mile1 - 8:42
mile2 - 8:45
mile3 - 7:57 (some nice downhill here)
mile4 - 8:41
mile5 - 8:24
mile6 - 8:46 (long downhill)
0.2 - 1:24 (This waypoint is WAY off..)
+0.9 - 7:36 (8:27 pace)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bossy Boots

3.1 miles in 27:04 (8:43/mile)

This is probably the pace I'm supposed to be running at, or pretty close. Was a little tough, but I think that's after effects of the 'speed' workout from yesterday. Toes on the right foot are still rubbing a little even after I played with lacing. Time for the Google. :)

I think I need to remap a route up the other side of the lake again. It's nice to have known way points and all, but I'm starting to get bored with the route. Not only that, the sights don't really change, so it's hard to come up with snappy blog entry titles. :)

There's a new yacht at the super yacht mooring I run by though. It's huge, and very glossy white and pretty. If I remember correctly it's name was Bossy Boots. Heh. :) It is, actually, and I found it online, here.

My dad is pulling into town for a week or sow in a few hours, and I'm really looking forward to it. He seems to have pulled himself around, and is moving forward again. He's got to do some house hunting, so it's not all 'vacation', but it will be nice to spend some time, and let him see Kaitlyn for the first time since last October.

mile1 - 8:41
mile2 - 8:51
mile3 - 8:41
0.1 - 0:52 (8:40/mile)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Frickin' Busses

3.1 miles in 24:21 (7:51/mile)

I obviously wasn't slow, but my legs felt like lead for a big chunk of the run. I pushed a lot harder than I should have, but I was trying to run out some problems at home and at work, and needed the exertion to burn it out a little.

Toes in my right foot are rubbing the outside of the shoe a little. Probably need to look at lacing techniques, or moleskin, or something...

Found a link to these Adidas ads on another blog. Hysterical. :)

So, I've been taking the bus in to work a couple of days a week. Work subsidises a bus pass, and we could really use that gas money on other stuff. :) Why don't the people who design park-and-rides make parking garages, even if there's unused parking spots? I'm going to have to start parking in neighborhoods near the P-n-R, and that just bugs me. Anyway...

Kaitlyn managed to fall twice at daycare last week, scuffed a knee pretty nicely, and then did a face plant and tore up her nose. Fortunately we didn't have any pictures scheduled. :) Apparently for the nose, she fell, got up and ran off, leaving a trail of blood. Ah, kids. :)

mile1 - 8:11
mile2 - 7:56
mile3 - 7:33
0.1 - 0:42 (7:00/mile)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Furry Pacer

3 miles in 29:29 (9:49/mile)

Ran this about 9:45 on Monday night.

Apparently I needed to slow my runs down, and Toby was happy to help. Went out with Toby for the first time in months and confirmed that his pace is about a 10:00 minute mile. When we went past that, he really wasn't having fun. I realized this run that the point, especially when I'm running with him, is to have an enjoyable run. We tried to keep a pretty even pace, and didn't do any crazy ass drag the dog sprints at the end.

The new shoes are taking some getting used to. Not so much with comfort, but with the fact that they are so much bigger. If my form goes, I end up clipping my ankles. I've actually managed to cut myself a couple of times. :(

The other interesting thing with fit, is that I'm sitting here in my old shoes (admittedly in slightly thicker socks than my running socks) and realizing that my toes on the right foot are really close to rubbing. Not going to be problem in the new shoes. :) I've also noticed that the odd little shin twinge I get in my left shin goes away in the new shoes, but just wearing and walking in the Sauconys is enough to make it come back. I think the new ones are keepers. :)

mile1 - 9:48
mile2 - 10:02
mile3 - 9:40

Sunday, May 25, 2008

TransTo4: 2-4

6.2 miles in 57:17. (9:15 /mile)

Longest mileage week yet. 15.5 miles once I adjust the other 3 milers for the week up to 5Ks. :) This ended up being a 10K because that's just how the 'outer loop' around the house ends up if I start and stop at the same spot.

Did this run late Saturday night. Didn't get on the road till around 9:30. It was pretty quiet out, and most of the drivers were especially nice to let me run across streets without making me wait. I only got caught by one light for about 15 seconds just after mile 4.

Got fitted for new pair of shoes on Saturday, and WOW! Finally had an opportunity to run down to Balanced Athlete in Kent. Eric, who gave the shoe talk for us at work a couple of months ago was working and hooked me right up. :)

I had brought both pairs of shoes that I currently have, and he did the shoe expert/oracle thing and flipped them over and looked at the wear patterns and grunted a few times, and made comments about coming off on the outside of my foot and not the center of the shoe, and then proceeded to twist my shoes and show me that the Sauconys that I thought were more supportive were super flexy and the ASICS I though were bendy were stiff.

Did the barefoot treadmill thing and watched my ankles pretend to be pieces of spaghetti, and that I toe out on both feet, but worse on my right foot.

He measured my feet with me sitting and my foot up, which I've never had anyone do, and then measured my foot standing. A full size change (7.5 to 8.5) just going from no load, to standing load. Imagine what those dang high arches are doing with impact load during running. (It also explains why my shoes are comfortable when I'm standing, but get tight and uncomfortable if I'm sitting.) He also pointed out that especially my ASCIS flex forward (I think) of the ball of my foot, and that's the important part to get synced up, apparently.

He had me try out two different pairs (take a trot up the sidewalk outside and back), out of the box with sock liners , with my super feet (recommended for arch support), and then did the video thing again. He liked one pair, and you could see that I came off the middle of the shoe now, and immediately rejected the other because you could see my ankles still rolling around. He then went to a third pair of shoes and did the same, and those were them. :) Much more support and motion control, and in the recommended full size larger.

So I ended up with a pair of ASICS Foundation 7s in 9 1/2. Apparently for maximum overpronators who need motion control. :) It's amazing to watch my feet when I run and see my feet just STOP as they roll inwards, and continue correctly. I love technology. :)

Eric had some great form advice, and had two pieces of general info I though I'd share.

One, if you increase your foot turnover your form will improve, and you will get faster. I run about 70 left foot strikes (whatever the right term for that is) per minute. If you shoot for a slightly smaller stride, but 90 left foot strikes per min you'll be faster. (18" stride * 70, vs 15" stride * 90 equals 1260" vs 1350" equals 7.5 feet further per minute which is almost a 1/10 of a mile further in the same time over an hour). Apparently they make little belt clip metronomes to help you teach yourself this. Didn't get one, but this may go on the short list.

Second, he's big into heart rate training. I'll let you go google, but it sounds like it makes sense, and I've babbled about it before, so I'll just leave it at that.

After going home and doing a little tap dancing about getting another pair of running shoes, and now having two pairs I shouldn't wear for too much, we had a great evening with some friends/neighbors and I got on the road late. Val asked just before I went out if I was looking forward to the run, and I realized I'd been looking forward to the long run all week. It didn't disappoint. :)

Left shoe was a little loose on the run, but I was too stubborn to stop and adjust it. It didn't seem to cause any problems, but I'm going to have to play with how tight to lace these. The new shoes are great! Forgot band aids, and am a little uncomfortable. :) I'll learn eventually. Or, I'll toughen up. :)

I'm going to have to figure out snappy names for my next sets of posts, since I figure I'm done transitioning to 4 days. :)

mile1 - 9:37
mile2 - 9:39
mile3 - 8:32
mile4 - 9:20
mile5 - 9:08
mile6 - 9:25
0.2 - 1:37 (8:05/mile)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

TransTo4: 2-3

3.1 miles in 24:35 (7:55/mile)

This was as close to a BUAL(tm) workout for me as I've gotten so far. As I go look at my log, apparently my midweek workout turns into a speed workout. Assuming trying to run as fast as you can, and not die counts as a speed workout. (Other people sure seem fancier. :)) This was race pace for Beat The Bridge, which amazes me because there was no way it was possible I could run 2 more miles once I was done.

Once I made it a back to the office my left calf was a little talkative, but seemed to settle down after being sprayed for a few minutes with cold water like an unruly prisoner.

I've been thinking a lot about my rapid performance increases from the couch to where I am now, and honestly I have no clue where the hell this is coming from. I have some ideas, but I don't even have a clue what is 'normal'. Yes I realize that's a whole separate ball of worms which people being so different, but still...

Here's what I think is helping, in no particular order:

Faster runners in group:
I'm getting real tired of being dusted by the gazelles in the group. Until his feet started bothering him even my boss was faster than me. I enjoy running alone. A lot. But there's something about having to dig to satisfy your ego a little. :)

Races jump start me:
The races seem to be a way to show myself that I can run faster/harder than I am right now. My really big speed increases seem to come right after I have done the races, and have done well. Admittedly 3 races isn't statistically significant, but it seems to make sense. They also give me some better experience for pacing and feeling how much I need to leave in the tank.

Did run before:
I don't know if it's even possible for your body to remember what you did 15 years ago or whatever it is, but I did run. A reasonable amount, and at a pretty good clip. Average 2 mile PT test was at 6:45/mile. My best was 6:15/mile. Even if my body doesn't remember it, or doesn't have any of that muscle tissue left, I think my brain remembers that I can run, and faster than I am now, and that makes it easier to work through some of the discomfort.

Weight loss:
I don't think I can discount the weight difference here. My troublesome shoes, even those dammed ASICS seem to be working better for me, I don't have the aches and pains I had 5 months ago, etc. I'm just over 30 pounds down for the year, so far. (Thanks for the nice comment about the pic, Dani.)(I'm planning to post some before/current pics as well as some personal motivation pics soon) I ran the 10K in Tacoma at 176, and didn't weigh myself for Beat the Bridge, but that was probably pretty close. I certainly didn't lose 20 pounds in a week. :)
I think not hauling all that weight around has made a huge difference in performance, and it helps my body work properly. I started the year at 208, and am shooting for 165. I'm probably not going to get there completely if I start training for the marathon in June and start eating 'normally', but I'm planning to keep an eye on calories and should be there by the marathon.

What I do worry about is that I may be working too hard, too early and biting myself in the ass. I love getting faster, and it SEEMS like it should be OK to work on my speed at these short distances, and then work on endurance as my 'long' runs get longer. But I do worry that I'm not 'properly' developing my cardiovascular system and that I'll pay for it in a few months as I start tor run long. I have never had a good handle on that whole talking while running thing, even when I was in the Army. I was the guy that was taken to task for not singing cadence, etc. I don;t talk a lot on group runs either. Some of it is that I want to keep track of what my body is doing, some of it is that it can be a challenge, even on a run that is really low on the perceived exertion scale

What is a long run BTW? 10 or more, 15 or more? I know I need to slow down and run them slower than my short runs when I finally get to them, and obviously I'm not running the 6 I have planned for Saturday at the pace I did today, but is a 6 a 'long' run (yes, for me, anyway). Hmm. I guess I need to figure out what all those other numbers on the McMillan Calculator mean.

As an aside, I found THIS, which looks to be a pretty comprehensive master list of sites that have races listed.

mile1 - 8:07
mile2 - 8:00
mile3 -7:47
0.1 - 0:42 (excel says this is a 7:00/mile pace. Are you effing kidding me?)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

TransTo4: 2-2

3 miles in something like 24:47 (8:15/mile)

Apparently I can't tie my shoes and remember to start my watch within 2 minutes of each other. Forgot to start my watch until what I'm going to estimate was about 1:30 into the run.

This was a fast weekday run. 6 of us from the club went out. The 4 gazelles took off, and my boss and I ran together until I started picking up the pace. Our starting pace was pretty aggressive since I got sucked in by the gazelles, and I just tried to keep them in sight for the first half or the run. They were going around the lake, so at 1.5 miles I lost my rabbit, but by then I was warm.

I've had a couple of conversations, and read a couple of things that talk about how the first mile or two are the hardest. Every run. I think I agree with that. The first mile at least anyway. Even if I warm up, it seems to take that long for my breathing to settle down, all the assorted niggling things to settle out, to get my pace, etc... Saying it sucks might be a little much, but if my runs felt that way the entire time, I'd be running a lot less. :)

I realized that I really noticed this on the two 'long' training runs I did before the races. The 5 and 5.5 miler had really rough first miles or so, but at the end I was able to push a little, and certainly felt I could have gone a little further. Just a reminder to myself (and maybe others) to push past that first little bit, because it does get easier.

I would have posted this after my run yesterday, but I got sidetracked doing my job (I know, shock, horror), and when I was trying to estimate how much to add for my missed time, I spent some time looking at my mile1, mile2 split differences, and noted they seemed excessively consistent. (I know that sounds odd, but I've had a lot of runs when I really felt like I was keeping a nice consistent pace the entire run) So I remapped my route. Twice. On 2 different tools (yes they both use gmaps as a basis so it's not completely different, but it's the best I can do)(,

Turns out my 1 mile marker is about 1.05 miles. That accounts for a big chunk of the difference between my splits. It also explains why my mile2, mile 3 splits are off as well. Not as much as the first mile, which make sense given our earlier discussion, but still.

The other thing is that my 3 mile loop appears to actually by 3.1 miles. (As I type that I think I may have identified that months ago and willfully ignored it. Don't remember, and don;t have the time to reread all my blog entries to find out. :)) So, now that's good from the perspective of speed and fitness and all that, but it completely flummoxes the accuracy of my data. :) So now the question is: do I willfully ignore the problem, do I run the newly corrected 3 mile route instead? Or as I just thought of; do I just run my current route with corrected mileage points. I thinks I've got it. Thanks all. :)

My weekday route, if you're interested, is HERE. This is the corrected version, the normal run actually continues along to the house boat with the light grey roof to the northwest of the bridge, then back down. If it's not in hybrid mode, switch to it, it's much more fun. :) I walk to the start from a couple of block further south as a warmup and start there on the bike walking trail. For some reason the map won't let me resave it at the start, so the point that comes up is the turnaround at halfway...

mile1 - 8:31 (corrected by adding 1:30 to recorded split)
mile2 - 8:05
mile3 - 8:11

Monday, May 19, 2008

TransTo4: 2-1

3 miles in 27:09 (9:03/mile)

Day after the race. This Sunday race, Monday run thing is odd. I had a great return run, but the perceived exertion rate was pretty up there for the pace. I'm looking forward to the day off tomorrow. :)

It was pretty warm and pretty humid out today. Something I'm just going to have to get used to I suppose. :)

And, the crappy finish line photo from the 10K. I swear there was a photographer on the course that should have caught a good shot of me just after mile 1, but he was probably distracted by the short pants that ran right in front of him. :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Beat The Bridge 2008 Race Report

Another distance, another PR. This first year of running is fun. :)

Beat The Bridge, 8K(5 miles(actually 4.97, but I'm rounding up)) in 39:34 (7:54/mile)(watch time). Ah, official results are in: 39:31. 616/1970 overall males, 85/287 age group.

Official Results HERE

I'm still stunned by that time. I didn't have anything left at the end like I felt I did at the 10K, so that was a good learning experience for this race. Much easier course than Tacoma, gentle hills up and down, nice quiet residential areas. Just a really good race.

The drive down was fin, about 25 minutes, until I got off and probably cut some people off trying to get into parking by Husky Stadium. I didn't realize the backup in the right lane, all the way back to the off ramp from the freeway was people backed up for parking. Oops.

Had a CLIF nectar bar and water on the drive down to fuel up like the last race and that seemed to work just fine.

miles 1 through 3
24:07 (8:03/mile)

Same problem as the 10K, couldn't find any mile markers until later in the race. I know I started out much more aggressively, but the fuster cluck that was the start meant I didn't go out too fast. They had us in waves, but they were very loosely sorted, and all the classic, walker in the front, stop running after a minute in the middle of the road, not start running till on top of the mat stuff was going on. It didn't help that I was really ready to run. I think I was the only one in my wave bobbing around like an idiot trying to stay loose. I was actually twitchy and nervous and excited once I got there. I'd been fine all week thinking of it as more of a fun run, but once I got there I started getting pigeon sized butterflies.

Over the Montlake Bridge right after the start, and the corrugated metal roadway on the bridge was a little odd feeling. Couldn't see the water below me, so no vertigo at least.

Water station, that I didn't stop at, was probably around mile 1 or so. People seemed neater at Tacoma, more effort to actually throw the water cups in the garbage, not just tossing it to the ground. in the middle of the road.

Came down a hill and looked up and realized that this must be the University Bridge, which gave me a little bit of a kick, because I had been obsessing all last week about making sure I could 'Beat the Bridge'. Just before the turn onto the bridge a band was playing Radar Love, a personal favorite, and a great peppy song. (Actually, I think I need to go download this... :))

I was over the other side bridge at 18 and change on my watch (over 2 miles distance wise) when I heard the horn signalling the raising of the bridge. Yay me! No real cheering from any of us runners who had made it, I think we were all busy paying attention to the corrugated roadway, and running. :)

Finally came around a corner and up a hill and hit a mile marker, and could get a feel for how I was doing.

mile 4

A mostly flat mile back in front of Husky Stadium, and back near the start

Mile marker for the end of mile for was on a out and back leg on the same street (Montlake). I took the split at 6:16 when I saw the marker,went "that can't be right", realized we doubled back to that spot and the 1:35 that added made sense. :)

mile 5

This last mile was kind of odd, cutting through the back part of the campus, behind the sports building and the Stadium, and after some teases, finally into the stadium and to the finish line at the 50 yard line.

Saw a guy take a tumble as he tripped over something, his own feet, bad road, someone else, who knows. He bounced back up and wasn't obviously bleeding, so he must have been OK.

I really pushed this last mile (obviously). I was picking people off, and knew I didn't need to leave anything for another mile of running. :) I gunned it the last few hundred yards down the finishing chute, crossed the finish line, and dead stop. They had the chip people too far forward in my opinion and that meant it was backing things up.

I realized as I was running i, that I'd never been inside Husky Stadium (that I remember) before. Kind of odd.

Post race:

Great swag compared to Tacoma or even St' Pats Dash. They actually gave us a bag of stuff as we finished, and the vendors had some good stuff too.

Snagged a bottle of water and a banana, and got back on the road to home

Great Race. And I I know I can go out in the next earlier wave next year because now I'm in the 7s. :)

Added: Only downside was the chips they issued. They were mounted on thin 1" velcron on nylon straps, kind of like you'd use to tie back cabling. I've got cuts all around my ankles, from the tops and bottoms of the straps. The joys of running races. A little looser next time maybe :)

This week I should be up to 15 miles. 3 on M, W, Th and 6 on Sat. The current plan is to hold this level for another 6 or 7 weeks to get a good base of mileage before I start training for the marathon. I've got another pair of 10Ks; on June 21 (at my Moms in Long Beach), and 4th of July as part of this and then I'll be increasing my mileage. We'll see how that settles out. I've been making so much progress, that I really want to keep moving up, but I know I need to settle down and let my body get into a groove and recover before I really start beating on it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

TransTo4: 1-3

3 miles in 25:36 (8:32/mile)

So I was a bad monkey today. I've had 2 miles on the books for this first '4th' day for months. I suppose it says something good about my fitness level and my confidence in that level of fitness, that my first reaction as I was getting my gear together was: '2 miles? Really? That's hardly worth the time to suit up, run, and shower.' So I managed to talk myself into violating the 10% rule and adding going from 12.2 miles last week to 14 miles this week.

I know I'm being obsessing, and I'm sure it won't cause any irreparable harm, but if I have problems in a few weeks, I'm blaming the extra mile, and/or the fact that I pushed a lot harder than I should have. :)

I finished with a little bit of shin pain, but that seems to feel better when I do a more 'mid-foot' stride, so there may be an opportunity to improve my technique here.

Other good things; speed felt really good. I was pretty much done at the end, but it was a good reminder of what really pushing feels like. My abs were fully involved in the running, and I had to drop into a 2-2 (inhale-exhale) for most of the run. Something I don't remember doing during the 10K. Also, I was able to start out much faster than in the last couple of days, and not feel horrible. Some of that may be that it was 60 out instead of 50. Or it could be that I told my legs to sod off and get with the program. :)

I needed to know that I could get off the line a little faster, especially thinking about Beat the Bridge on Sunday. It is literally that. They raise one of the bridges on Eastlake Ave. 20 minutes after my wave starts. The bridge is 2 miles, or a tick further, away from the start. So obviously if you're not quick enough, you have to wait a few minutes at the bridge. We'll see. They just closed online registration, so we'll see if I can get Kaitlyn into it, but they do a Diaper Derby after the adults run, so that will be fun if we can get her in. :)

Mid month weigh in went well; down to 175-176. But I've been really hungry the last few days, and haven't had a lot of energy in the evenings for the last few weeks. Don't know if either one is food related or stress/depression/emotional related. I'll be eating close to normally the next two days before the race, so we'll see if it makes any sort of difference.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

TransTo4: 1-2

3 miles in 27:32 (9:10/mile)

Started out with my boss, who was going out for 2 miles. His compression socks and a change of shoes seem to be doing it for him as long as he keeps the mileage down.

The first mile was really slow again. Some of it may have been that my boss was slower today, but I didn't really feel like kicking it in until just before the mile marker. I don't know if that's psychological or physical though.

No shin pain in either leg today, so I'm happy with that. :) I felt lopsided though, especially in my upper body. I wonder if I slept in an odd position. It mostly went away about halfway through the run, but came back when I started cooling down.

mile1 - 9:52
mile2 - 8:50
mile3 - 8:51

Monday, May 12, 2008

TransTo4: 1-1

3 miles in 28:53 (9:37/mile)

First run after the race. Didn't feel a whole lot of aches and pains except for my butt. That shook out after a mile or so. Calves and shins are a bit tight and flaky but I worked through that too.

Started with some of the other runners in the group, but they left me in their dust pretty quickly and went for the 6.7 around the lake.

Band aids over the sensitive spots seem to be working, but I'm not looking forward to taking them off, and alcohol isn't really an option. :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tacoma City 10K Run Race Report

So in more positive summary from previous post:

First 10K in 54:58. 8:51/mile pace. Weight around 176. Which works out to about 14 pounds lighter than St. Pats. Dash which was at 9:14/mile pace

And now, the super long, excessively detailed race report. I don't even want to know how long these are going to be if I run longer.

Night Before:
Since I didn't have a packet, this was much simpler than last time. :) I threw pretty much all my running gear in a gym bag in case the weather changed, pulled out my running jacket and gloves to wear in the morning, and laid out my shoes, pants, etc. , printed out directions, and made sure I had cash for parking, and a CLIF nectar bar for breakfast. Got to bed around 9:30 and actually slept pretty well.

I've only walked the dogs once since Wednesday (for a single, lone mile), and I ate almost my full maintenance calorie level on Thursday and Friday. I really wanted to get over whatever was bugging my left shin before I went and beat on it for 10 kilometers.

Got up at 0500, threw on my clothes, dealt with the dogs, grabbed my bag a a bottle of water and got on the road. Had to stop and get gas on the way out, but I was able to bang that out pretty fast. Chowed down the CLIF bar and about half my water before I made the 20 minute drive to work to pick up 'J'. (As an aside the CLIF nectar bars in Dark Chocolate Walnut, and lemon, vanilla, cashew are both really good.)

Picked up 'J', made a pit stop at work, and made it to Tacoma in about 40 minutes. Some odd driving around because they had closed the exit we wanted to take because of the Marathon that the 10K was part of. 'J' was running his first half. (He's run like 18 fulls.) We got pretty close to the start by about 6:45 and I was still looking for parking. 'J' bailed out and went to get our packets while I found parking. His run started at 7:30, mine at 8:00 Finally found a spot right behind the start line for $5 and met up with 'J' and got my packet from him. While I was walking down to get it, the Marathon runners started and blew by. Pinned on the bib number, strapped on the 'chip'. This time it was a light box mounted on a neoprene and velcro strap that went around the ankle. I snagged both of our gear bags and took them back to the car while 'J' lined up for the start. Saw 'I' from work at some point but didn't get a chance to chat with her before the race started.

The Half runners took off at 7:30 and the last 400 of us hung out for another half hour. I just wandered around, ran some short legs and tried to stay warm and loose. My right shoe just wouldn't get comfortable, I retied it 4 or 5 times until I finally decide to stop obsessing about it. As I looked around I estimated the 10K was about 2/3 women. (The numbers later look like that was about right; 100/367 were men). About 5 till everyone started to congregate on the street and get in place. Even lined up we all had lots of room. Much different experience the St. Pats Dash.

My calf and shins were feeling great, no pain or discomfort at all for the first time in a week or more, so I think taking it easy for a few days paid off.

10 second count down and lots of us (me included) started to bob and move and run in place, and finally the air horn went off. 11 seconds later, I was starting my watch as I crossed the start line and I was off.

I really had done very little obsessing about this course because the one time I had glanced at the map provided I hit the elevation map and whimpered. I'm sure that there are hillier 10Ks out there, and I read in something last night that someone used the term 'gradual hills' for this course, but the elevation map scared me. And when I ran it I swear even the hills had hills. :) So for your amusement while you follow along; The elevation map and the course map:

Mile 1:
My calves were really cold and stiff this hole first mile despite warming up and stretching, and apparently I was taking the go out slowly advice pretty seriously. :) Since the pack was so small there wasn't any really any maneuvering going on even as I started to speed up slightly. about 90% of this first mile was a nice gradual downhill, so I was really trying not to let that suck me in as well. The 50' switchback was a little odd, but that led into one of these steep little hills that would show up through out the race. Just moving over one block was a steep little hill. I kind of punched it up the hill to try to start getting myself moving a bit faster and to clear out of the small cluster of people that was forming. Saw the mile marker sandwich board shortly after the hill and tagged my split and decided I needed to start speeding up.

I can probably go out faster. 9:30 would probably be a more reasonable pace to head out at. Now how I figure out paces is a whole 'nother question.

Miles 2 through 4:
25:38 (8:33/mile average)
Since I didn't look at the map well I didn't know where the mile markers were so I can only average the next 3 miles since I never actually saw any markers.

The next mile was a long gradual uphill, it was hazy and overcast and lightly rained on us at this point. It was nice to cool of a bit. Passed through the water station at what turns out to be around mile 2. The station was manned by elementary school kids and they were really excited to see the runners and to get picked to give out their water. I was doing fine and blew on through. A little more up hill and a turn and we were suddenly running along the running trail around a park.

Around the park and back up hill and through some residential areas until we hit a nice downhill. I haven't run a whole lot of hills, so this was a good way to start figuring out how to open up my stride and run downhill quickly in a controlled way.

Spent a lot of this stretch running near a couple and their son. The Dad appeared to be Special Forces guy, and was pushing his son in a jog stroller. He looked like he was holding back to make it a nice Mothers Day run,. :)

I finally REALLY get the advice from an article on spectating marathons about being accurate about distance to go if you offer that information as a motivator. A volunteer at around mile 3.5 said: "Down the hill and around the turn and you're about halfway done." I looked at my watch and though "Holy crap these hill really are kicking my ass", and I heard the couple next to each other comment that they thought we were already halfway done as well. So we trip on down the hill and around the corner and the mile marker is for mile 4. Now I can tag the watch and get a good split. :)

I wish I had better split data for this stretch because I didn't feel like I was moving that fast this stretch, and wonder how consistent my pace was.

Need to spend more time running downhill to get a better handle on how that feels.

Mile 5:

Up a pretty steep hill to the water station just at about mile 4.5. My mouth was dry so I decided to try taking water and drinking it as a test. Managed to snag the cup just fine, but didn't slow down enough. Got about 2 sips of water in my mouth and most of the rest of it on my face and shirt. :) The little bit of water I did get gave me some stomach discomfort for a while. Not nausea or anything like that , just letting me know it was down there. :( Another short steep hill, and then the downhill began.

Need to learn how to drink on the run. Also need to figure out why my stomach reacted so poorly. Val suggested that maybe I need to eat something (like a Gu?) closer to the start of the race so I have something in my stomach.

I think the water and the steeper uphills in this section are what slowed me down here.

Mile 6:

All down hill here except for some twists and turns that meant some short steep uphills scattered through the last mile. I could feel I was starting to get a little tired, but the downhill make it all come together.

I had been trading places with a woman through the last couple of miles, and she left me way behind on this leg. I caught a glimpse of her at some point, but shew was hauling.

As I'm running through one of the more level spots a half-marathon finisher is coming my way on what is obviously his cool down run. He was nice enough to say "about a half mile to go, keep it up" and then zip past on his merry way. Turns out he was the winner of the half. He finished in 1:09 and change.

As I'm coming down the hill, the Convention center is in front of me, so I know I have to be getting close. The course turns right up ANOTHER steep short hill and then back around the Convention center.

Mile .2:
1:33 (7:45/mile)

The last .2 is a nice steep downhill, but awkward because of some turns and jogs in the road. I really gunned it in trying to catch a couple that were just ahead of me. No joy, but it helped me finish under 55:00.

Walked through the water and chip line and started to walk out my run. 'J' was coming back from his cool down run. He finished 10th. We walked into the convention center for bit and came back out to watch 'I' finish. She finished 8th for women. Walked around some more, and then went to the car to get jackets and pants. Realized at this point that I had chafed my nipples again. Badly. Lesson learned. :)

Came back to try to catch the marathoners coming in and get some food. Then we went and hung out and waited for the awards ceremony.

I got a chance to try out the 'Stick', and holy jeepers, I'm buying one of those. The gal at the booth selling it ran it up and down my right calf, which was a little tight, and boom... tightness gone. I didn't have any cash so I passed on getting one.

Drove home, dropped off 'J', got lunch and showered. The Val and Kaitlyn took a nap, so I ducked out and mowed the lawn. :) We went to the grocery store later too. I felt really good after the run. I probably could have done another couple of miles if I had slowed down. I think that moving around and doing the lawn, etc really helped.

My butt is a little sore, but other than that I feel pretty good for 2 days after. I am having to protect my chafed areas, but that's pretty minor.

If you're still here, thanks. Now that I've got it out of my system, Val won't have to hear the play by play again. :)

Tacoma City 10K Run Race Results

First 10K!!!

I had a really good race, so I'm just going to cut to the good part, and then I'll bore you with the play by play of the race in another post.

So I finished in 54:58. Which works out to a 8:51/mile pace or so. If I read the results sheet they posted that time was good enough for 45th overall (out of about 500 (or so I heard)) and 5th in my age group!!! I got a ribbon!!

Although now that I figured out how to get my results online, I'm now 6th in my age group. There's some guy who has a finish time, but not a chip time, who I'm going to guess bumped me. And apparently that means 46th male (of 100), and 78th runner to finish (out of about 367 total). Fuck. (This is really kind of stealing my mojo a little bit... I'm probably tired.) Maybe I shouldn't check these things online...

So back to the good part: I finished in 54:58. Which works out to a 8:51/mile pace or so. Which makes this my longest and my fastest run ever, both, on the same day, with the most hills I've ever fething seen. :)

Formal results here: Tacoma City 2008 Marathon results

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Chance to Win a Bike

I don't win stuff, but I think I'll take a chance anyway... :)

Yes, I'm filling up webpace with another meme...

A chance to win a bike

also at

Scale Junkie
Finding Flabuless
No More Fat Dad

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

HH5210 mod: 8-2

3 miles in 29:34 (9:51/mile)

Same average pace as Monday, but more 'even' splits (if that means anything). This run felt horrible though. It was 10 degrees cooler than Monday, and I felt heavy, slow, and achy.

Walked to the start point with two guys form the club that were doing the lake. They picked their pace up about 1/10 of the mile into the run and off they went...

I've been trying some experiments with my ASICS again, but I the the residual issues from that are lingering a bit. The calf ache/shin pain with the Sauconys is still there when I;m done as well. The slower runs seem to help though. It's nice tho know this is probably a mild case of shin splints and not a stress fracture. I had all sorts of tweaks and aches and grumbles this run. Including one that's shown up in the last few day... my left butt cheek gets a 'pinched nerve' feeling (deep in the muscle) once in a while.

Grumble, grumble...

I've been pretty aggressive about getting the dogs walked, on run days and off, and that may be contributing. This is the last run before the 10K, so I think I'm going to eat almost full calorie loads for Thurs and Fri, and the dogs are going to have to deal with 1 to 2 mile walks for the next 3 days and maybe nothing at all on Friday.

mile1 - 9:43
mile2 - 9:40
mile3 - 10:12

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Walking as Cross Training?

So I'm reading Marathoning for Mortals and Bingham/Hadfield say that Crosstraining should not include walking. Higdon says walking is OK. Any opinions/comments out there?

I probably won't change what I'm doing (which is walking) unless I get a chorus of dissenting opinions, but I am curious.

Monday, May 5, 2008

HH5210 mod: 8-1

3 miles in 29:33 (9:51/mi)

My calves and knees felt wonky on my walks with the dogs this weekend, and I've got my first 10K this weekend, so I thought I'd take it easy. Fortunately, the other 3 people who showed for the group run are either recovering from a stomach virus or tapering for the half marathon in Tacoma (same race I'm running the 10K) so we went slow. I didn't really talk, but it was nice to run in a group for some distraction

First mile felt decent. The last two miles felt worse than the 5.5 I ran on Friday. I felt like I was plodding along and just not very efficient. It was nice at about 3/4 of a mile in, when 'I' asked how I was feeling. Her husband came in to give the lecture on shoe fitting, so I expected a critique of some sorts. Turns out she thought I was looking good, and that if we kept this pace I could probably do the loop around the lake with her if I wanted (6.7 miles). 'J' reminded her about the 10K, and we decided it wasn't the best idea, but the compliment felt good. :)

mile1 - 10:05
mile2 - 9:26 (the group was starting to speed up, I think)
mile3 - 10:01

Friday, May 2, 2008

HH5210 mod: 7-3

5.5 miles in 50:53 (9:15/mile)

Despite my intent to go out for a slower run for the long run, I managed to run this at the race pace from the St. Pats Dash (3.6 mi). I went out too fast, and didn't really slow down. I knew I was pushing, and knew I should slow down, and I didn't. (I was going to say I couldn't but that wouldn't be true now, would it? :)) I guess I just wanted to see if I could do it.

The hills beat on me again, especially since the extra 1/2 mile meant crossing the University Bridge. Which is apparently all uphill, after a hill leading to it... The super steep hill on the return leg made me run like an old man; head down, small steps, panting and wheezing, but I managed to do it without doing the whole push on the knees thing. :)

Not as many interesting sights as last time, and the bridge bothered me almost as much as it did the first time vertigo wise. Running downhill is a whole technique thing, and it's a little uncomfortable. It may just be the steepness of the hills, because I think I'm slower going down than up.

mile1 - 9:10
mile2 - 9:05 (first pass at the hills)
mile3 - 10:02 (second set of hills and long uphill bridge)
mile.5 - 4:48 (1/2 mile split coming down from the bridge entry onto level)
mile4 - 8:59
mile5 - 8:49 (glorious flat ground)