Thursday, May 6, 2010


Running has been a bit intermittent even with my last post, since Val's membranes ruptured a few weeks ago at 30 weeks.

Last night Donovan was born
4 pounds 7, oz.; 18 "; 32 weeks 4 days

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Still Alive

Lots of working, not a lot of running. :(

Dropped out of Yakima River due to lack of training (they were kind enough to defer my registration), and just sent the email to the guys at Mount SI dropping there. After I downgraded to the 50K.

I'll do a single post of the runs from the last month or so, and then I need to do my review of another Tech4O watch, and then do my first giveaway.

Stay tuned. :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

3/2 Tempo Run

Tempo Tuesdays are back! After some thinking (that promised future post), and a great article from the Running Times, I've decided to try to be more consistent about targeted training and being consistent. More consistent mileage, more consistent to target heart rates, and more consistent to types of workouts.

Basically I'd like to do a Tempo (no more than 10% of weekly mileage) and a Back-to_back each week (probably 11, 16 like last week). In the future maybe more (some marathon pace running, maybe some intervals), start simple and be CONSISTENT.

So, today was a 4.5 mile tempo, sandwiched by a warm-up and a cool-down, clockwise around the lake. I got a little mixed up in my head and ran this by pace and not by HR. I need to make a decision what methodology I'm using and stick with it for a while. This direction has mostly uphill after a bit of flat, and it makes it VERY challenging to hold the pace in the last mile or so. Especially going up Eastlake.

This was a fairly painful run. As usual, a reminder that I need to get strong and do core work to do speed work. Interestingly running up Eastlake in the last mile or so was EASIER than the flats. Probably because I changed form and was able to use some different muscle groups.

Had to drop the data into Sports Tracks to get out the information for the last hald mile, but it was worth it. Some interesting info in there...

1- 9:48/mile @ 141 bpm <-- Nice slow warm-up

2- 7:46/mile @ 167 bpm
3- 7:49/mile @ 169 bpm
4- 7:58/mile @ 173 bpm <-- Stairs up University bridge almost made me puke.
5- 8:04/mile @ 176 bpm <-- last half of this mile peaks at 179 bpm. Ouch.
5.5 - 7:46/mile @ 171 bpm
TEMPO Average: 7:53/mile @ 171 bpm <-- Right about where I should be. :)

6-9:28/mile @ 167 bpm <-- Trying to cool-down. Not slowing down enough
.44- 10:21/mile @ 159 bpm

6.44 miles in 54:46 (8:30/mile) @ 164 bpm

2/28 Long Run

Obviously my Mom was here to visit, so up at 5 and out by 5:45 so we could spend time with her in the morning.

THIS is why back-to-backs work for me. Longer, faster and at a lower heart rate. (Even if it is the 'easy' direction. I had burned the speed out of my legs yesterday and just settled into my pace. Just like I do most of the time. :)

The 'easy' direction is counter clockwise because except for an initial hill, there's a good few miles at the start on a slight downhill, and then you finish mostly flat. There's some nasty hill i the middle though, so I guess it's a wash either way. :)

Body woke up about 9 miles in, and I had to do some scrambling to find some cover and concealment. One of the hazards of running in an urban area. Glad I carry baby wipes. :|

Ran the same loop as Saturday, did the small loop at the top again to add mileage and then tried to add an out and back instead of doing another loop nearer the house. Apparently I can't do basic math on the run, and what was supposed to be 15 miles turned into 16. :) No sweat.

This weekly mileage (about 45) is what I'd like to try to sustain for the next few weeks. I've pared down my racing, and adjusted some goals (for a later post, but if I forget to do it, Mount Si 50 miler is out. I'm downgrading to the 50K. I just don't have the time to train properly with work and family stressors.)

16.07 miles in 2:45:44 (10:18/mile) @ 141 bpm

2/27 Medium Run

Up at 5:30, trying to get on the road by 6:15. An extra visit to bathroom meant I defeated the purpose of getting up early since I left 20 minutes late. (but I had nor problems on the run. :) ) Kaitlyn got up to go potty just as I was about to leave, but didn't notice me, and I went out anyway. Val said she got up and came to get her about 15 minutes later.

Clockwise through Mill Creek. I took the double bottle carrier so I didn't have to fight the single, since I haven't fixed it. I found the reduced pace help me drink more. I decided to run this at the heart rate pace because I realized that while my training doesn't have the me "perfect", it should at least be close. All the basic recommendations say long runs should be aerobic. i.e. ~75% of MHR. So between 142 and 143 for me. 145 is a metric boat load closer than 150+ like I have been running. Let's train the systems I'm supposed to be training. We'll see how long my motivation to do this style of training lasts. :)

The watch said 144 bpm, so I don't know why Training Center says 145.

11.33 miles in 1:58:21 (10:26/mile) @ 145 bpm

My Mom came up to visit and watch Kaitlyn for us so we could get a bunch of trim done. Finally. Some of it has been waiting for years! Thanks Mom!

2/25 Run

Thursday's run was gorgeous. If I had thought to bring a short sleeved shirt I would have worn it. I even needed shades. Counter clockwise again, Wednesday was clockwise. About as much variety as I need. :) Run felt like it took a long time though...

My eating was way off today. I was late getting into work since it was Val's birthday, and I ran the 'kids' to daycare, and got breakfast for her before I went in. I don't know what it is about those pink and white Animal cookies, but I just can't resist them. :|

Tried something new for lunch. A bit closer to the ground than i normally eat, and mostly veggie. Can of beans, serving of peas, serving of mixed vegetables, and 4 oz of chicken. Worked pretty well, I' think I'll mix it into the routine. It might need something to add a bit more flavor. Maybe some onion?

6.41 miles in 1:00:35 (9:26/mile) @ 153 bpm

2/24 Run

Wednesday's run was nice and clear, albeit a bit windy the last two miles. My legs felt a bit more sore than I would have expected for some reason. My right ankle, caught with the toes up, and my foot came down twice in the last three days is a bit sore.

Found out that CLIF discontinued my Nectar bars. Made me grouchy. I actually emailed them to express my dissatisfaction.

Much better heart rate than the last run. A bit slower, but better. Starting to get my legs back.

I've managed to get Born To Run, and Hal Higdon's Marathon (fiction) read, mostly on vacation. Both very good. I really enjoyed Born To Run. Most people seem to be talking about the whole barefoot running thing, but I thought the tale of the ultimate trail race, and all the supporting information to be more interesting. I got it in Kindle format so I could read it on my iPhone. I think I may buy it again in paper for the library.

6.46 miles in 1:00:35 (9:22/mile) @ 154 bpm

2/23 Run

Getting caught up again. Work is just crazy as we migrate to our new network, and that means now blog posts after runs. :)

Tuesday, counterclockwise around the lake, low 50s. Of course it started to rain just as I stepped out of the garage and started out. Fortunately it was a pretty light rain. I felt super perky for this run. Tried to keep things in the McMillan recommended range, and was pretty close. Only a few seconds/mile off.

the entry to the garage still isn't cleaned. No idea where they cleaned, but it wasn't the problem area. I really need to take a picture. I'll try to remember to bring my camera on the next run.

I've started tracking my food again. 193 is too damn high. I've put 20 pounds back on since the lowest point right around the first Seattle Marathon. I'm starting to chafe in uncomfortable places. :(

6.49 miles in 58:15 (8:58/mile) @ 162 bpm

Monday, February 22, 2010

2/21 Medium Run

Ran the route from Saturday, through Mill Creek, only counterclockwise. A touch warmer, and the same outfit. Interestingly, a different long sleeve shirt seemed to breathe differently, and work better.

Some hot spots yesterday, but that might have been from wearing Val's Balegas. A touch too small. Wore the Injinjis today, and no problems at all.

Lost the bottle twice this time. That's what I get for getting the cheap knockoff from Freddies.

I used to think this direction was easier. Now I'm not so sure. :) It's the 4.5 miles of uphill in the middle that gets to you. :)

Both of this weekend's runs took an awful lot out of me for 11 milers. Pretty glad I didn't go try to do the Woolley 50K on Saturday. That might have been ugly.

Almost as fast as Saturday's run, and 7 points down on the HR. Starting to get my legs back.

11.34 miles in 1:47:58 (9:31/mile) @ 156 bpm

2/20 Medium Run

Skipped out on running on Friday, just not up for it. Saturday was a nice Medium length run, clockwise through Mill Creek. Some hills, slowish pace. nothing spectacular.

Was able to sleep in till 6 since it was a shorter run, out and moving just before 7. Decent amount of other runners and walkers out. It was ~37 when I got up, so tights, ls shirt, and jacket. I felt like the jacket and shirt got really sweaty, especially in the forearms, which was frustrating.

Almost list the bottle from the single bottle holder once, and did have it pop out another time. I need to find the bottle retainer and sew it back on. Tightening it up caused some abdominal discomfort that felt like sore/strained abs for a but. Probably just pushing things around. Need to resolve the bottle issue or lose some weight. :)

Super high heart rate for the route and distance. 7 days off, and the cold that won't die, I suspect. When I ran this Sat and Sun a few weeks ago it was 153 bpm, then 149 bpm at essentially the same pace. Legs should come back on Sunday, I suspect.

11.33 miles in 1:47:06 (9:27/mile) @ 163 bpm

Thursday, February 18, 2010

2/16 Run

Started the day with another morning visit to the treadmill. Got a better spot near the air vent, and for a few minutes I was the only person n the room. I was right near the thermostat. It was comfortable at 66 degrees when I started. 70 or so when I finished.

Played with speed, and comfortable pace, and the only thing that wasn't particularly special was the extra sweat on my knee as the scab cracked. Boo....

~6 miles in 57:44 (9:37/mile) @ 161 bpm

Went back to SeaWorld, still great fun, and more interesting for Kaitlyn than the Animal Park. Which she enjoyed, but not as much as Penguins! and Flamingos! and SHAMU! :)

Played in the pool Wednesday morning, where I managed to get one o the worst charlie horses (muscle cramps) I've ever gotten playing with Kaitlyn. Left calf of course, the one I'd been babying for the last few weeks. Still feeling some twinges as I type this on Friday after 3 days off. We'll see how it feels Saturday morning. I had planned on running the Woolley 50K on Saturday, but decided that since it took till Wednesday to start really getting over the cold from last week, and the physical issues it probably wasn't a good idea.

A trip to Coronado and lunch at the Hotel del Coronado, and then a nap for K and a late flight home, and back into the deep end of the pool at work. :)

2/15 Run

We took a vacation to San Diego, leaving Friday after work. I was destroyed by a 1230 am arrival at the hotel, and all the work and running stuff so Saturday was nothing but hanging out, and a little bit of time with Kaitlyn at the pool (her first time! Yay! She did great!) So... no running on Saturday. :)

The unshakable cold decided me for Sunday, so I took it off too. We spent most of the day at SeaWorld. A lot of very warm fun. :)

Monday was quite enough of the no running. the condo was just off the freeway, and we weren't sure what the area was like, so I actually ran on the treadmill early, so we could go to the San Diego Zoo Animal Park (very fun. Strongly recommended). In a tiny overheated room. Bleah. But it got done.

Started shooting for 9 minutes a mile, did 3 miles of that, then had to duck out for a call of nature, then dropped it to 9:30, and then 10. Did a half mile at around 8, and then cooled down at 10 again. Sooooo hot!

~6 miles in 58:20 (9:43/mile) @ 165 bpm

2/7 - West Seattle Fat Ass 50K Mini Race Report

Meant to do this the day of but it didn't happen. Long race report for Pigtails Run and this race to appear soon. :)

No rain for a change. :) We had our doubts at the start, but it dried out nicely.

A double out and back around Alki Beach with amazing views of Seattle and fun, expensive West Seattle neighborhoods.

Pretty sure someone hired invisible gnomes to run beside me and beat my legs with sticks. Feeling beat a bit beat up.

A great run with friends made on the run that made it very enjoyable. Thanks Mike and Ken! Bruce hung around till the end to see me come in (he placed 2nd overall).

Got to chat with Betsy and Matt at the finish and watch some other people come in before I drove home.

Gotta love a fantastic free race.

5:13:34 for the 50K (10:04/mile) @ 151 bpm

Immune System FAIL! afterwards though... :( The cold I thought had gone away caught up with me a few hours after the race. I popped a 100.5 fever for a few hours. It went away quickly, but then my sinuses stopped up and stayed that way for a long time, I haven't completely kicked it now, almost 2 weeks later.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

2/6 Run

A short Saturday morning run to keep the mileage up for the week, and hopefully work out some kinks for the West Seattle Fat Ass 50K tomorrow. I've felt like I might have a cold coming on for the last two days, but the run seemed to help, and I didn't have any problems on the run, so I think I'm good to go.

I think the bigger issue is going to be the 4 hours of painting and trim work as Val and I tried to get Kaitlyn's new room put together.

Did essentially the same route I did on Tuesday, just reversed the bigger loop so I didn't have a mile long uphill grade, just a short intense hill and then done. Not sure if that was the best decision I've ever made, but I survived. :)

A bit chilly in the morning, nothing like the east coast, but jacket and gloves. jacket stayed on, and gloves were on and off depending on the wind.

6.33 miles in 59:51 (9:27/mile) @ 152 bpm

Friday, February 5, 2010

2/4 Run

Thursdays weather was beautiful. Mid 50s, clear and warm. The run itself wasn't all that great. Slow, but not slow enough to keep my HR down as low as I'd like, and not fast enough to be fun. :)

I left for the run when I felt my jaw and teeth clenching. Much better after the run :)

6.47 miles in 1:01:16 (9:28/mile) @ 150 bpm

2/3 Run

Wednesday I decided to go for a run at lunch despite time constraints when I realized I was seriously considering clubbing someone like a baby seal. Time to run. :)

Not the ideal day for a run, mid 40s and rainy, but it turned into a good hard frustration expending tempo run. As fast as my 10K PR, at a lower HR for 6.5ish. Doesn't leave a lot of room for anything byt burning it all out. Of course, an hour after I got back into the building the sun came out and it was gorgeous, till I had to walk to the bus, when it started to pour again. :) Went out way too fast, and the last mile or so was a lot of work to keep some kind of speed together.

Only bad part to the run was walking back into the garage. I slipped and fell on a section of algae coated concrete (cleaned after my notification of facilities). Road rash on my hip and calf, and a silver dollar sized patch of missing skin under my knee. And 2 days later my left tricep, which must have caught me, feels like a horse kicked it. Ah, well.

6.49 miles in 49:50 (7:41/mile) @ 169 bpm

2/2 Run

Tuesday was an evening run. Work has been insane as we work on migrating to our new network, and then Val had a treat and dropped by for lunch (with 3 Pigs BBQ!) and Frost doughnuts for the team. I was even controlled and didn't have too many extra. :)

It was a chilly 50degrees, for a hilly run that I don't do normally, cutting through the back roads off 116th, back to Seattle Hill road, back to the start (~4.8 miles), and then back through a hilly residential area for another mile or so.

My calves were still jangly, either form last week in the Mizunos, or from spending the weekend in old shoes, and didn't finally warm up till like 4.5 miles in.

Oddly, I had a lot of times in this run where running FASTER lowered my HR, probably related to the calves and my form at lower speeds I suspect. I don't think I'll actually see this in the HR/Pace data, but I swear it happened. :)

6.33 miles in 58:44 (9:17/mile) @ 153 bpm

1/31 Medium Long Run

Another birthday party at Chuck E Cheese, which I haven't been to in decades, on Sunday. No energy to run during Kaitlyn's nap, I wanted to hang out with Val instead. This meant a late night run. The "plan" called for ~20. Not happening at 9pm on a Sunday night, so I just went out for the same loop I did on Saturday.

Not entirely unexpectedly, this run was slightly faster, and at a lower heart rate than Saturday's run. I haven't looked back at the log to confirm it, but I'm pretty dang sure this happens a LOT during my double weekends. It makes me start considering doing a run the day before races. Which I'll get a chance to try Super Bowl Sunday, since the plan is to do 6 on Saturday, and then the West Seattle Fat Ass 50K on Sunday.

Only thing that was bad about this run was the feel of my gorge most of the run, Apparently 2 1/2 hours isn't enough time for pizza to clear the system. :)

This run finishes out January, and this January is the highest mileage of the last 3 years. 148.22 miles for the month. 100.71 miles last January. A nice improvement. :)

11.31 miles in 1:48:13 (9:34/miles) @ 149 bpm

1/30 Medium Long Run

Saturday's run was a nice early one. A busy day ahead, and no way to move it around. Up at 5, and a slow start finally got me out the door at 6. Apparently Kaitlyn was up at 6:30 like last week, so I lucked out. :)

Low 40s, so jacket and gloves so I had no excuses. Gloves came off quickly as usual, but the jacket stayed on the entire run. I think I'm just finally getting used to wearing it.

A bizarre amount of other runners out, almost all of them in the first 1.5 miles as I headed down 35th into Mill Creek. 2 pairs, and 2 singles in 5 minutes or less. Maybe a running club/group? Hmmm...

The run itself was nothing spectacular. I zoned out through most of it. Pandora was treating me well and dishing out some good music, and I wasn't thinking about anything much at all.

My mom showed up for her visit a bit after I got back, and then we headed to Little Gym. Then a lunch, a short nap for K and then off to our neighbors birthday party at Jump Planet. Jump Planet has a big warehouse spaceful of the inflatable bouncy houses. And the adults get to play too! I think I played as hard as K did. Maybe harder. :) Lots of fun!

11.24 miles in 1:49:28 (9:44/mile) @ 153 bpm

Friday, January 29, 2010

1/28 Run

Had a status meeting for a major ongoing project a work with Jim. Projected delivery for one of the other teams wasn't till after lunch, so Jim and I decided to go for a run. :) We started together for the first mile or so, then I sped up and worked my way the rest of the way around the lake, clockwise again. Warmer than Wednesday, but not bad at all.

Third day in a row back in the Mizunos, and I'm thinking the Addictions are the best. This last run had my calves feeling like they had been beaten with sticks again, which hasn't happened for weeks. Addictions should be dry from Pigtails, so we'll see it comes back on Saturday.

6.45 miles in 1:00:12 (9:20/mile) @ 148 bpm

1/27 Run

Not as fun as Monday's run. A bit cooler in the low 40s, enough to make me consider wearing my gloves. Clockwise this time for some variety, but nothing particularly interesting. It was much warmer on Tuesday. Wish I had the time to run on Tuesday, the weather was spectacular.

6.46 miles in 59:50 (9:16/mile) @ 149 bpm

1/25 Run

Monday was a spectacular counter clockwise run around the lake. I could have gone out Sunday, but I took a day off after Pigtails instead. I'm glad I waited. Heart rate was way down, everything just flowed.

They apparently finally cleaned the bridge off on 34th. It's nice to not have to fight my way over the mounds of leaves.

Weather was great, low 50s, slight breeze, no rain.

Yay, running!

6.48 miles in 1:00:19 (9:18/mile) @ 142 bpm!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

1/23 Pigtails Run 50K Mini Race Report

Another very rainy 50K down in Renton.

A much more challenging course than the Flat Ass, but a lot more fun. spent a huge part of the race running with people and chatting. Thanks Matt and BJ!

Came home with my shoes covered in mud. :) A fun way to spend a Saturday morning!

Final Time: 5:25:43

Friday, January 22, 2010

1/21 Run

Typing this is going to jinx me. :) Another spectacular run at lunch in short sleeves! Counter clockwise this time. :) My HR was all jacked up, but I attribute that to stress and work. I missed Wednesdays run thanks to having to actually work for a living, and then having to go home and work some more. :|

Very good to get out and blow out the carbon. Back is doing swimmingly, and calf is doing nicely. I'm waiting till Friday to make the call about running the Pigtails Run 50K as planned on Saturday. Val is justifiably concerned about the long work week (nights logged in for 2-4 hours almost all week), and then a lot of mileage. I've occasionally been known to overdo it. :) We'll see. I'm still pretty sure I'm going out to run it. Fortunately it's a loop course this time so I can bail early if I need to.

6.47 miles in 58:49 (9:05/mile) @ 157 bpm

1/19 Run

Another spectacular run at lunch in short sleeves! Clockwise around the lake in the high 50s. No rain, overcast, mild breeze. Perfect day for a run. Planned on going out with Jim, but needed to make a pits stop and then run up to my cube and grab my Garmin. The run was especially welcome, since we consolidated our company back onto one floor on Monday, so I'm back in a cube and trying to get settled back in.

My starting HR is finally back down to where it should be so I think I'm finally getting caught up on my rest, and kicking the lingering cold that's been hanging on with a death grip.

6.5 miles in 1:00:54 (9:22/mile) @ 149 bpm

1/17 Medium Long Run

Saturday (1/16) started normally. :) Up at 6, get sidetracked by the dishes while I try to wake up and convince myself that I really want to go run on what appears to be the coldest morning in a few weeks. Just as I've talked myself into wearing jacket and gloves and sucking it up at around 6:45, I hear the pitter patter of little feet. And the slam of a dresser drawer. Crap. Kaitlyn's up. I wander upstairs and find her harassing Val. Kaitlyn hasn't learned the rule that you don't wake the pregnant woman early, so we head downstairs for some father/daughter time. :) Later in the day, after a 10am nap, and then a nap when Kaitlyn when down for hers, I decided to bag the run for the day. :)

Sunday was a very pleasant run. Not being sure about my back (responding nicely to twiceadays on the foam roller) and calf (also responding well to the foam roller), I decided to do two loops around the block so I could bail early if my body complained, and to only do 2 laps (~12 miles) and take it easy. I'm well behind where I would like to be for Mt. Si prep, but it'll work itself out.

Up at 6 again, out by 6:45. (Kaitlyn woke up at a more weekend normal 7:45. :)) Ground was wet, but no active rain for the whole run. Whee! Temps were back up to low 40s, too which made it much easier to get out. I went ahead and wore jacket and gloves, so I had no excuse. :) Gloves came off early, jacket stayed on all run.

I had planned on running counterclockwise, then switching directions for the second loop, but decided to just keep moving forward. :) I had some motivation problems at mile 5 or so, but the sun finally came up and my calf finally warmed up, so the second lap felt pretty good.

Interestingly, Emory's, a local restaurant that caught fire a few months ago is finally being torn down. Hopefully they will rebuild. Oh, and the "Bikini Espresso Hut" has closed it's doors. :) Other than that, nothing interesting to report. :)

12.32 miles in 1:55:18 (9:22/mile) @ 151 bpm

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pigtails Flat Ass 50K Race Report

Wow. This is late. I figured I probably better get this doen, what with the Pigtails Run in 2 days, that I'm going to have to write a race report for. :) This race was run 12/19/2009.

I got up at 5 to make sure I would be completely ready. Prerace prep the night before basically consisted of me throwing clothes into one of my bins, making Orange Jello/Cool Whip salad to contribute to the stock of food after the race, and printing some maps.

I ended up taking my single bottle belt with the extra pouches since the longest stretch between aid stations was like 5 miles. Theoretically that's a one bottle distance if I'm drinking at max capacity.

There had been some messages about parking being tight, and I coordinated to pickup another runner (LuvPre) from the Runners World forum. Got to his house a bit late at around 7, and after some phone calls for him to guide me in. :) Thanks to his Garmin Nuvi, we finally got to Landsburg Park in Ravensdale around 7:30, with the race starting at 8:00.

Parking really was pretty tight, but we got the last spot in the main lot, by the start. Got out and picked up our bibs (made of cut up old bibs, cool) and then wandered across the street to the two portasans available and made a pitstop. Walked back, set up my fuel belt, and then dropped off my fee ($5, I gave $10 (It supports a food bank, why not)) and a box of food and soup for the food bank. Saw Bruce, Betsy, and Matt as we were getting set up in the parking lot. Also saw another Berner puppy, owned by the winner, I believe. (I think they're good luck. :)) Saw Katie and chatted with her and Bruce as we walked over the bridge and lined up for the start.

Weather was in the low to mid 40s with a wonderful mizzle (misty drizzle).

For the sake of the race report, please note that AS 1, 4, 5 are the same (staffed), and AS 2, 3 (unstaffed) are the same

START TO AS1 (5.85 miles) :

The start was just across the Cedar River from the finish, on a power line trail that parallels the river and the trail the rest of the race was run on. We all gathered together just inside the entrance to the trail as pigtails gave her race briefing. Then, after an informal "3, 2, 1, GO!" we got started. It was the oddest start I've had in one of these smaller races. It was absolutely packed. the trail was a narrow packed gravel access road, and there were around 100 runners. The first half mile felt like a 'big city' race, until we all sorted ourselves out. I started super slow, just taking my time to get warmed up and settled in. It was going to be a long day, and while breaking 5 hours would be great, I was just going to let it settle out how it would. I ran with Katie and Jessica for a short period until I realized that I had misheard their time goals, and realized I needed to speed up a little.

I realized I had forgotten to start my 'normal' watch at the start, and started it just as Garmin chirped at mile 1. I wanted to use the watch to track splits between, and through aid stations. We ran out through the gate, across the parking lot and back across the little bridge, where someone directed us to the left, past the finish, and onto the Cedar River Trail.

The first leg of the Cedar River Trail is packed gravel lined with trees. A surprising number of houses are within a stones throw of the trail, which felt odd sometimes. This first leg was spent just getting the kinks worked out, and starting to get my rhythm. Average HR for this leg is 149 bpm, right at my original goal for effort, and average pace is 9:20/mile. Pretty comfortable. The mizzle shows no signs of breaking, and I'm soaked through by the first couple of miles.

AS 1 is a shelter staffed by a couple of wonderful volunteers. I had told Val I was going to try not to to pull a Carkeek and spend a lot of time at the Aid Stations. I get through this first one with a bottle refill, a handful of M&Ms and Gummi Bears in 8 seconds. :) Not bad. :)

I did manage to spend some time with another runner during this leg (another former Army guy)(bugger, don't remember his name), but he was shooting for 9/mile and sped up after we chatted for a while.

54:43 total time for this leg

AS1 TO AS2 (5.4 miles):

Shortly after the aid station the Trail transitions from crushed gravel to asphalt. I personally think this felt better, and that I wasn't dumping so much energy in the gravel. I felt like I was able to get more efficient again. What sucked is that at about the same point the mizzle converted to a real rain. A "my compression shorts shed water if I wipe my hands off on them" kind of rain. I was on the edge of getting cold in this stretch. If the rain had kept up it might have gotten unpleasant.

Also, M&Ms may not melt in hour hand, but they do stain. :)

Probably because of the rain, and the change after a few miles to running close to one of the local highways, this was a REALLY long stretch from AS1 to AS2. For some reason I thought the next aid station was going to be closer (probably because I thought AS3 was at the turnaround).

I finally hit a stretch where I couldn't see anyone else in either direction and was able to step to the side of the trail and make a pitstop (ahhh, men... the world is our restroom. :) ) before we lost tree cover.

I would classify this leg as being the hardest of the race. The rain and the cold were a big deal, and for some reason, I just had some serious motivational/head-space problems. I think I just hadn't run long enough to beat my legs and my brain into submission yet. I passed a Tavern (not yet open) on the freeway at around mile 9 and thought it would be a really good place to get out of the rain and make a phone call to get a ride :). Go figure. I think that except for the brief chat in the last leg, running this solo, while getting passed by clusters of chatting runners didn't help, either. I picked up some interesint tips about directing a race listening to some of the conversations though. :)

Finally hit AS 2. It was a very welcome pair of water blue jugs and a gallon Ziploc bag full of Snickers and PayDays. I refilled my bottle, grabbed one of each of the candy bars and got back on the move. Not as fast as the first aid station, but 23 seconds for self serve ain't bad. :)

48:20 for this leg. I've sped up a little, average pace is down t0 9:17/mile, avg HR is up a few ticks to 151

AS2 TO TURNAROUND TO AS3 (4.9 miles):

A few hundred yards after our aid station is an aid station for the Team in Training gang. One of their volunteers gives a cheer as run by. I wonder what race they were training for?

The Payday bar is super yummy, and the Snickers isn't bad either. Certainly better than the Hammer Gels and GU. The last hammer dose I took gave me some stomach rumbles, but nothing that continues. Time to check the expiration date on the bulk bottle.

I've settled in, starting last leg, behind a pair of rabbits. A gentleman in grey a few hundred yards ahead of me, and a gentleman in a red Marathon Maniacs shirt (who looks vaguely familiar, like he runs around Lake Union, and I've seen him) a few hundred yards ahead of him. We've spent miles 'together' with no change in our distances. :)

Shortly after the aid station the rain switches back to mizzle, and I start to warm up again. Something must have changed in the terrain, because I find this stretch much easier, and speed up just a little.

See the leaders after their turnaround. LuvPre is 4th I think, Bruce is next. I tried to cheer for one of the leaders and got the same squawk that I got when I tried at Seattle last year. No more cheering for other runners. I just switched to a thumbs up and stayed there for the remainder of the people I crossed paths with. That and maybe a "Keep it up" or "Kickin' ass"

My first rabbit starts slowing down (or I'm getting faster) around mile 12. I get my half marathon split (2:01:26), and then I catch up to my first rabbit. We run together through the turnaround (13.7 miles down!), and since he mentioned some intestinal distress (he was hoping the turn around was in a park with a restroom) I give him some of my wet wipes and then we parted ways.

I manage to catch up with my other rabbit at AS3. It turned out to be Stevie Ray Lopez from the RW forums. And yes he does run around Lake Union sometimes. We chatted briefly at the aid station, and I left while he was throwing something into his bottle. 33 seconds at the aid station. I don't remember what, if any, fueling I took after I refilled my bottle.

48:01 for this leg, 9:15 is average pace, and HR Avg is up to 153.

AS3 TO AS4 (5.4 miles):

Through the final part of the last leg, and the beginning of this leg, I get to see the other people still headed out. Betsy, and Katie, and I think Bob Dolphin. Lots of groups again in the second half of the group. I pass a number of the clusters of runners that passed me earlier in the run during this stretch too. Soon enough I'm back just chugging along. I think I passed a couple of people this leg as we headed back. It felt faster, even if it took just as long. Probably that whole "returning feels faster" thing.

The rain is still coming down in the same place as we head back. It's at least as wet as the first time, but I'm warmer this time, apparently and it doesn't bother me. It's much wetter after 3 hours of rain and there are more puddles and stuff to avoid.

I recall managing to pass a handful of people on this leg, including a guy pretty close to the aid station. The goal of getting back to the aid station helped keep me moving. I took a bit longer at this aid station. I wasn't quite as mentally organized, and it took a whole 52 seconds. I managed to almost fill my bottle with Gatorade and not water, and snagged a pair of Snickers that I never ate, and a handful of snacks and got back on the move. One of the volunteers asked if I was continuing on through to the 50K or downgrading. I said I was still doing it. "Way to go, daddy-o!". :)

49:30 for this leg. 9:17/mile average pace, 155 bpm average HR.

AS4 TO TURNAROUND TO AS5 (4.9 miles):

The "best" part of the extra section for the 50K is the hill right at the aid station. It's not huge, but it's short and steep and it's at 21.5 miles into the run. The I'm pretty sure it's a very light continuous uphill to the turnaround. The outbound leg was quite possibly the longest 2.5 miles I've ever run. It was just brutal. Despite knowing how far out it was, and where I was thanks to Garmin, I was convinced the turn had been moved at least 3 times. :|
figured the turn had been moved.

The run out was actually quite pretty. We paralleled a lake for a nice section of the run. The only thing 'odd' were the steel underpasses/tunnels. Kind of creepy, and I wouldn't want to be a woman running this trail at night or in the evening. Saw Bruce headed back the other way about halfway through.

When I finally hit the damned turnaround I though I'd cry. I told other runners the distance to the turnaround for the next half mile. Hopefully I wasn't too annoying. I know I would have appreciated it from some of the other front runners. Because of this, I called out the distance to oncoming runners for the first half mile as I came back down. Hope it helped, and wasn't too annoying. Made a pitstop just after I hit Marathon distance. Marathon split was 4:06:02. Not bad considering I was supposed to be taking this 'easy'. Just goes to show what those damned Seattle hills can do to your time.

Chugged my was past a couple and their dogs and hung a right at the aid station without stopping. My bottle was still pretty full, and I just wanted to get done. I was starting to get tired, and feeling my thighs, glutes, abs, and lower back. Apparently I should have checked in, because someone called after me to get my bib number. I shouted it back and kept moving. Doh!

49:37 for the leg, give or take. Average pace is down to 9:25/mile and Avg HR is up to 156, where it will stay.

AS5 TO FINISH (4.7 miles):

A few miles ago I had determined that I was pretty close to done, and managed to convince myself to gut it out to mile 27, and then I could walk for a few minutes. Just after the aid station (~26.45) I passed Katie walking her marathon in. Apparently her Plantar Fascitiis had flared pretty badly. She actually mention removal of the foot. :| Out and back course means you've got to finish it though. :) (98 starts, 98 finishes for this race!) She came in a bit after me looking pretty trashed.

Just around a curve from Katie and Gamin chirped for mile 27, and I walked for the first time. My lower back was starting to go, and I was tired. It felt good to walk, but I tried to keep it to about a minute, and them moved back out at a trot, trying to focus on correcting my posture and run more upright instead of hunching over, which helped my back soreness, and seemed to help get my speed on the run legs back up.

I alternated running and walking for the rest of the race, doing the math in my head to try and finish under 5 hours since that seemed to be in reach. The run walk variations were pretty organic, but I did try to keep the walks to no more than 1/10 of a mile, and then run the rest of the mile. When that didn't work it was 1/10th walk and then .5 or .75 run. Whatever kept me moving and would hopefully get me in under 5. I ran the last half mile, and when I started to recognize the last quarter mile or so, I was able to dig a little and go from 10:30/mile for mile 31 to 8:35/mile for that last little bit.

47:49 for the last leg, Pace Average down to final of 9:32/mile. HR evened out at 156. Course measured out officially at 31.15 mile (just a tick long 31.07 is the 'real' 50K distance)), and Garmin measured out 31.24 miles.

Final time: 4:58:10 (9:32/mile) @ 156 bpm (83% MHR)

Bruce had stuck around and cheered me through the finish, and took the few pictures I have from this race. Including a cheesy staged finish picture. :) I almost fell over on him after I stopped running. He grabbed me to keep me from tipping over, and then I decided it was a good idea to keep moving for a bit. Stopped at the car and changed into dry clothes, then got some soup and snacks while waiting for Betsy to come it. I was getting cold and my legs weren't appreciating that, and LuvPre had been remarkably patient hanging out and waiting, especially given that he finished like 2 hours before I did, so we finally got in the car and headed home.

Great race. I'll run it again, if Pigtails does it again.

Friday, January 15, 2010

1/14 Run

Thursday was not a particularly pleasant run. Another run clockwise around the lake. My left calf jangled early, and then both calves might as well as not have been there. Quads were trashed, back cramped a little about 4 miles in. Just all in all, a bad run. Weather wasn't horrible, just wet. By the time I was done I was pretty sure someone had been beating my legs with sticks. The 800m sprint in hiking boots and work backpack to catch the bus probably didn't help things.

6.48 miles in 58:47 (9:04/mile) @ 155 bpm

1/13 Run

Wednesday was an absolutely perfect day for a clockwise run around the lake. It was in the effing high 50s! I wore a short sleeved shirt for a run in January! It started to drizzle (very lightly) and get darker with about a mile to go. Running felt good, and the weather was fine.

HR was a bit high, but pace was withing rance.

6.45 miles in 59:07 (9:10/mile) @ 155 bpm

1/11 Run

Monday's run was pleasant, despite the heavy rain. Temps were good, and I think I'm finally kicking the 'cold' or whatever I've had for awhile. My starting HR was down for the first time in a while.

Ran counter clockwise around the lake to save the big puddles till last half of run. It worked, mostly. :) Really needed this run to reset my brain from some work frustrations. An hour on your feet dodging idiots in cars makes stupid work stuff go away. :)

This was Kaitlyn's actual birthday, so we took her to dinner at Azteca. I swear they must have mainlined her with sugar before we picked her up from daycare. She wasn't bad, but she was just extremely pingy. Even for her.

6.38 miles in 59:41 (9:21/mile) @ 150 bpm

1/9 Medium Long Run

Saturday was a very nice medium long run. The run was the start of a crazy day with Kaitlyn's birthday party and a friends slightly belated holiday party. Started slow and got slower, but unlike Thursday, my headspace was fine. Probably because slowing meant I was fighting hills, and was staying in the McMillan Long Run pace range.

11.16 miles in 1:49:29 (9:49/mile) @ 150 bpm

Despite the plan, no run on Sunday. We got home and to bed after midnight. I was trashed so I deferred the run till lunchtime. After I had napped for an hour at 11, and was still tired I decided to bag it till the evening, especially after I went and napped again when Kaitlyn went down for her nap. Twice during the day. Probably meant I was done. :)

1/7 Run

Thursday's run was a psychologically painful run, inspired by a rereading of Hadd's theory for low heart rate training (similar to all the others, except he takes the base HR even lower). I decided to go out around the lake and see how running like I did for the base building period in the beginning of the year, and theoretically should still be, would go.

Holy effing crap. Now I remember why I was so glad to stop this the last time I did it. I've been running over 75% MHR for a reason. And that reason is enjoyment! This really is one of those things that if I have to run like that too much, I probably won't run. And I supposedly still get some benefit at the higher pace. I just need to run longer. And I need to run closer to the McMillan recommended paces. I've been pushing the limits on that, especially for normal runs, so just need to suck it up and slow down a a touch.

I think the problem is that all the people who talk about this are using examples of people who are much faster. As in competitive. As in the example Hadd uses is a guy who can do 7:22/mile at ~75% MHR. I've got things to do, and a run to enjoy. :)

This run, and then the brain meandering it inspired was a very good reminder that the training doesn't have to be PERFECT. Perfect in the "sports science knows best" way. Doing something is better than doing nothing. The only perfect training plan is one you'll execute. I really wish I could get this one out of my head and onto paper the way I want. Grrrr. Maybe I'll just try again later. :)

Weather wasn't bad, high 40s, and a mild drizzle.

6.45 miles in 1:05:04 (10:05/mile) @ 141 bpm (75% MHR)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

1/6 Run

The light workout from the baselines didn't leave me sore, but I could tell my abs were a little more tired than normal.

I went out with Bruce, and as he was going to go back out for a track workout that evening, we just went around the lake. Not as fast as the last time, which is a bit of a bummer. By HR this was a Tempo run, by pace it was out of the McMillan range by 5-8 seconds a mile. I just didn't have 8/mile in me for this run.

I did some talking the first few miles, and then had to shut up, hunker down, and hold on. We got snagged by at least two lights, which was a bit of a blessing. :)

Unlike the rest of the country, we've been having a relatively mild winter so far, high 40s and, yay!, it was dry!.

We had a brief discussion about Michael Pollan's 'In Defense Of Food'. Which I'm finding to be fascinating. We'll see if I can integrate any of his ideas for healthy eating into my life. I'm still trying to internalize the concepts in the book, which made it hard to have an intelligent discussion, because I really had trouble explaining out loud the concepts that in my head. Very frustrating.

6.54 miles in 54:06 (8:16/mile) @ 170 bpm (91% MHR)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

1/5 Baselines

Theoretically tonight was supposed to be the first night back at the gym. In the interests of reducing my embarrassment and not causing others serious olfactory trauma, I elected to stay home.

I was able to do the baseline tests for some of the 'hundreds' workouts, since I'm considering doing them in onjunction with 2 days a week with my normal workout.

100 Pushups: 22
About what I expected given how I've been doing the last few weeks

200 Situps: 25
Much lower than expected. And they aren't even 'real' situps, just crunches.

200 Squats: 50
Probably could have done a few more. Hmmm. Quad dominant much? :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

1/4 Run

I haven't really figured out anything other than some goal 50Ks as I prepare for Mount Si, so today's run was really just a matter of getting out and running.

Counterclockwise around the lake in the rain. The temperature was up at just under 50 so it wasn't too bad. I really need to put my contacts back in for the weather. :) You get to the point you can't see after a while. :)

Loving the brooks Addictions, but I've noticed the little 'wing' back by the Achilles is rubbing sometimes after a run. Odd.

I really wish I could outsmart Office and Open Office and make tame based charts work right!

6.43 miles in 57:49 (9:00/mile) @ 156 bpm

Sunday, January 3, 2010

12/31 Medium Long Run

OK, Medium Long is a stretch... :) A late night 9 miles to finish out the year and get me over 1700 in either one of my logs.

It was ~45, rainy, at least for the first half. I really haven't worn my glasses for a run in a long time. I think the way they fogged up when I lost my head/sidewind was the best! :)

Really wasn't feeling it the first half and wanted to be done. I felt much better the last half, after the rain stopped.

9.01 miles in 1:23:17 (9:15/mile) @ 161 bpm

No run on Saturday, got caught up as I left in Jennifer's Body, and decided to spend some time with Val instead. Really just looking for an excuse to take a break.

Sunday I made a conscious decision not to go run. I've got a 'new' 15 mile route picked, but I'll use it later, or modify it to bump it up to 16. Last night of a nice vacation. Next week starts 3 months of training for the Mount Si 50 miler.

12/30 Medium Long Run

I had planned to run yesterday, but apparently moving furniture that hasn't moved in years, from 15 year old carpet, raises some NASTY dust. Totally trashed my sinuses, and I finally forced my way out the door after an extra day off.

Decided to go out for 10ish. 10 today, 10 tomorrow and I'm over 1700 for the year. So... out through Mill Creek and around for a late night.

The run started out ominously, with a fairly heavy headwind. I though the jangle in my left calf was back, but it settled out earlier than normal, and I was moving comfortably pretty early in the run. Might actually be healing.

Only a handful of other runners out at 10, but all were friendly. :)

I was running fast, and it felt good. I was trying to just run by feel, with the idea that I'd do some tempo intervals or something similar. It just turned into a nicely hard, fast run. HR was WAY up for some of the paces though, so that dust might actually be something else. Like a cold.

Great run pace-wise, only 4 seconds off half marathon pace. This level of speed really makes you realize how much core work I need. Some lower back, but a lot of abdominal too.

I miscalculated the route and it ended up being a mile and a half longer than I thought for...

11.5 in 1:36:36 (8:24/mile) @ 170 bpm

12/28 Run

This was a physically painful run. 4 more days off, and for what ever reason I'm just ungodly tight. My glutes and lower back just screamed for most of the run. Super stiff.

Another evening run counterclockwise around the block, at around 42, not too bad, but gloves would have been nice, since it was a touch windy.

6.18 in 54:39 (8:51/mile) @ 164

Logging this run, I realize I have 20 miles to do in 3 days to break 1700 miles for the year... Lets see how that goes.

It's been hard to stay motivated on this vacation. I realized it's not the physical act of running...It's the time commitment. Especially when I'd rather spend the time with family. It doesn't help that I've been fighting something too...

12/23 Run

First run since Pigtails. I'd never noticed it after other long runs, but by feet were still a little swollen 3 days after. Not badly, but enough that those wonderful veiny runners feet weren't as veiny.

A chilly evening, and after 3 days of rest it ended up being a faster run counter clockwise around the block than I had intended it to be.

6.17 in 51:29 (8:21/mile) @ 157

12/22 Workout

Tuesday I went for a workout with Val at the Gym. She found it more than a little amusing that the pregnant ladies (her and her trainer) kicked my ass. In my defense, this was a scaled weight version of her normal workout. :|

Exercises included:
Squat Presses @ 90# (Weight Bar_Plate)
Straight Leg Romanian Deadlifts @ 50#
Walking Lunges
Front Raises @ ~12.5
Shoulder Presses @ ~17.5
Bent Over Flies @ ?
Deadlifts @ 135#

Lower back really had issues with the Romanian Deads

12/19 - Pigtails Flat Ass 50K Mini-Race Report

After 2 weeks, I finally realized that if I want to keep up with the blog, I need to get over having a full race report in the correct sequence of blog posts. :) So, to get back on track...

So a few weeks before Christmas I ran my last race of the year. Pigtails Flat Ass 50K.

Short version; it was 40s, wet, and one if the top 3 races I've done for sheer enjoyment (Carkeek and Beach To Chowder Half being the others).

I managed to pull off a 4:58:10 (~9:32/mile) debut 50K, which makes me just ecstatic.