Thursday, January 31, 2008

9 mile Thursday (1:04:39)

Well I got out another 9 miles on Thursday morning. It is starting to be a marathon pace or slightly faster type run, which is what I would like it to be. I should be able to run 9 miles in an hour fairly easily. I was close today as this time included me changing the batteries in my MP3 player around mile 3 (I don't stop my watch for anything except crossing a river, see Sunday's post).

My mile splits today were 8:18, 7:25, 8:10, 7:17, 7:00, 6:54, 6:28, 6:41, 6:21.
Average pace was 7:12.

Total mileage for January was 138 miles, only because it is fun to add them up. The key is quality over quantity. I don't think I will run more than 4 days per week very often again.

I have a new favorite quote I found online “It’s better to do it right over a shorter distance than to do it wrong for twice as long.”

I also liked this one about not worrying about mileage: “It appeals to me, as I never get anywhere near the miles per week I “should”. I’ve already junked “recovery runs”. I’d rather get off my legs and do some other form of active recovery, like drinking tea lying on the sofa. No seriously, like a refreshing bout of strength training, for instance.”

I found another cool website for you all to check out:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Interval Training Above the Lactate Threshold

I felt good yesterday and today, so I decided today was a good day to do some interval training at or above lactate threshold (LT). I ran a 1 mile warm up, then I started repeats of a half mile at LT pace then half mile around marathon pace and did that 5 times.

My five half mile times were 3:11, 3:13, 3:02, 2:44, 2:52. The half mile recovery was between 3:33 and 3:47.

I ended up running 10k in 42:29 (AVG pace 6:51). If I did this workout again I think I would give myself less rest between half mile repeats (2 or 2.5 minutes) and try and keep the times right around 3 minutes.

Over all it was a great workout. Long intervals with little rest, when run correctly (don't go out too fast on the first 2 sets) are the best way to increase your Lactate Threshold. This is the body's ability to remove lactic acid from muscle at high intensities as it starts to accumulate rapidly. You can train your body to metabolize lactate more efficiently.

Myth: It is NOT lactate that causes "the burn," but the hydrogen ions (H+), or extra protons created by the splitting of ATP at high intensities to create more energy rapidly. The lactate is actually there to help neutralize the acidity. An accumulation of (H+) causes acidosis impairing muscle function, which creates "the burn." Can you feel it?

And that is your physiology lesson for the month.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

16 miler (2:02:21) Over rivers, up hills, through the wind

I think yesterday would have been a better day for my long run. It poured last night and created a river in Quartz hill on 50th St. West. I guess this happens when ever the rain comes down hard but this was new to me. I ran an extra mile to try and cross it and ended up getting my shoes wet anyway. This was only after 3 miles of my run.

I met up with Clay about 4 miles into the run and we ran some of the steeper hills in Quartz Hill. The wind didn't help either as it was in our face going up most of the hills. We still kept a pretty good pace and had a good run. Our slowest mile was 8:24 and our fastest about 6:50.

I got some water at Clay's house, I was way over dressed and feeling a bit dehydrated. On my way home my 13th mile was slow because I got to 50th St. again and the river was worse. I had to flag down a truck who let me hop in the back while they drove me across the street over the water.

My last 3 miles were steady around 6:35 pace. I was feeling really good. Total time for 16 miles today was 2:02:21 which averages out to 7:39 pace.

I'm looking forward to pacing Clay at the Hansen Dam 18 miler next weekend.

Check out some video of Josh Cox demonstrating the core training the pros do up in Mammoth. It is a great workout and very similar to the core exercises that we are doing at work.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

7 miles (53:43) with 2x half mile hill repeats

7 miles total this morning with the temps under 30 degrees. I ran out to the end of 45th and up my half mile hill, which is really 2 hills with a slight down hill connector. The two half mile hills were 3:30 each.

Mile splits were 8:27, 7:58, 7:17, 7:36, 7:42, 7:16, 7:23. Average pace 7:40 for 7 miles, total 53:43.

Only the first mile was over 8 min. It is hard to run fast when it is so cold out (cold for us Californians anyway). That raises a good question. Is it ever too cold to run? Post a comment and let me know what temperature is your limit that will keep you inside or on the treadmill.

Looking forward to another 2 hour run tomorrow.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

9 mile Thursday (1:09:05)

I continued the 9 mile Thursday tradition this morning. It was snowing in the foothills but felt pretty nice (mid 30s) at my house. It took me the first 5 miles to feel warmed up. I kept right around 8:00 pace for the first 5 miles then 7:32, 7:26, 7:23, and 7:10 for the last 4 miles. Average pace over all was 7:41.

Some of my readers have been asking how I know my mile splits on my runs. The answer is Garmin. I got Garmin Forerunner 201 4 years ago and I don't know how I ever ran without it. It tells you your current pace, miles run, and breaks down your run when you are done (AVG pace etc.) The Garmin Forerunner 305 gives you altitudes, % grade, and HR as well. You can set it to help you with interval training and many other features that I don't use. It is great for runners or cyclists (you can change it to give you MPH or Kilo/HR).

Here is another website with all kinds of running news and videos that will help you procrastinate longer. It is called

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hey there Delilah!

Just a quick note to those Plain White T's fans. The inspiration for the song "Hey there Delilah" is about an actual girl, Delilah DiCrescenzo, an acquaintance of the lead singer, who is also in fact a pretty good runner. She is training to make the olympic team in the women's steeplechase for 2008 in Beijing.

See the video from the Today Show to prove it.

Sorry Clay, the song continues to haunt you, it is now associated with a Columbia grad, Olympic steeplechase aspirant, and 2007 USATF National Club Cross Country champion.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

4 miles this morning and 2702 miles to Boston

I was up late last night pricing flights from the west coast to Boston area. I got up in time to get a 30 minute run in before work.

I ended up buying my plane tickets to Boston tonight. I got a pretty good deal I think, but I have two stops each way. On the way there I go Burbank to Las Vegas to Washington D.C. to Boston. On the way home I go Boston to Philadelphia to Las Vegas to Burbank. I leave Friday night on a red-eye and come back Tuesday, the day after the race.

I will be there on Sunday April 20th for the U.S. Women's Olympic Trials Marathon which is very exciting.

I am signed up for an 18 mile run on February 3rd, SRLA at Hansen Dam. I will be pacing Clay to a sub 8:00 pace (under 2:24).

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Interval Training (mile repeats)

Again today I got to run the first 3 miles with Andi. I have been training her at home after the boys go to bed and she is running 2-3 times per week. Her goal is to add a mile to her runs for every month Micah is old. She is not adding mileage too quickly which is a good thing. It has been over 2.5 years since she has done any serious running. She is glad to start running again.

After the warm up I did 3 x 1 mile intervals on a loop around my mom's house. The loop ends with a good up hill climb. I only took 2-3 minutes rest in between, just enough to catch my breath.

My times were 6:39, 6:02, 5:59. I was having a little knee pain on the first lap that went away for the second and third. I probably could have held on for one more at that pace but ran out of time. I am having some lateral left knee tightness tonight.

Total mileage for the weekend was 18. I'm looking forward to some strength training this week.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

1.5 hour run in Henderson, NV (11.35 miles)

We are out in Henderson, NV today visiting my mom and step-dad. Andi and I went out for a run together for the first time in a LONG time while my parents watched the boys.

Andi and I ran three miles in just under 27 minutes on the hills around the neighborhood. I continued for another 8 miles with the first 5 around 7:00-7:20 pace, the next two miles at 6:45 pace and the last mile in 6:25. The first 5 miles were mostly up hill at the edge of town.

It was a great day for a run.

In the news: Haile Gebrselassie missed the world record in Dubai, but still ran 2:04:53, and I will have some company in Boston as Lance Armstrong has announced that he will be running this year.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

9 mile Thursday (1:08:34)

I ran 9 miles this morning. I ran 9 miles last Thursday too. I guess it is now a tradition. I will call it "9 mile Thursday." It turned out to be a recovery run from a hard tempo run and a tough circuit workout earlier this week. It was pretty cold at 6:30am and took quite a while to feel warmed up. I needed a DOME to run in like the one they have in Anchorage, AK. By the time I got home, showered, and left for work again the temp. gauge in my car read 33 degrees. Pretty cold for us so. cal'ers. I tried to push the last two miles of the run(see progression runs).

Mile splits were 7:59, 8:00, 8:07, 7:48, 7:50, 7:14, 7:45, 7:17, 6:26.

Average pace 7:37.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

10k in the wind

If I have learned anything since moving to the Antelope Valley it is that if you wait until the afternoon to get your run in you are almost guaranteed wind. Today I waited until about 3:00 and it was windy! I had planned to go a little longer but decided I didn't want to do what Clay calls AVRT (Antelope Valley Resistance Training) so I did my 10k out and back course to Ave. M. and 50th which is almost completely north and south. This way I avoided any full head wind or tail wind.

Today my 10k would be considered a tempo run near my lactate threshold. This is usually around your 10k-15k pace. McMillan's running site has another good article on 4 types of training zones. Each of your workouts should fall into one of these zones, and each type has a specific benefit towards improving your running performance.

My total time today was 41:49 (average pace 6:45). The course has a good hill in the second half of the third mile. My mile splits were 7:53, 6:48, 6:58, 6:27, 6:20, 6:14. I was pleased to have 5 out of 6 of my mile splits under 7 min. I think I was probably close to 85-90% of my max HR by the last mile of the run. McMillan's running calculator says my tempo run pace for a 3 hour marathon should be 6:15 to 6:31.

Finally, Tom Ham, a college teammate of mine, ran the Houston Half Marathon last weekend in 1:28:11. Congratulations to him. He ran the Las Vegas Half Marathon with me a few years back in around 1:25 so that was a few minutes off a PR. (Tom, lets pick a race and get you out here this summer).

On a side note there has been some interesting running news out there lately. A bilateral below knee amputee from South Africa (Oscar Pistorius) was banned from competing in the Olympics when his cheetah prosthetics were shown to decrease energy expenditure by 25% (see video here). Marion Jones was sentenced to six months in prison for lying to a Grand Jury about steroid use. Read reactions from Michael Johnson and Sebastian Coe.

On a happier note Ryan Hall and Paula Radcliffe are running the London Marathon on April 13th, and Haile Gebrselassie will attempt to break the 2:04 barrier at the Dubai Marathon on January 18th. Don't forget to check out the movie Spirit of the Marathon on January 24th for a one day only showing.

Check out the Daily New Blog at for all the latest running news.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

2 hour plus run up and down Quartz Hill

I decided I wanted to run for 2 hours today. I did a 3.5 mile warm up then met Clay at Joe Walker MS and he took me on a 9 mile course up and down in the hills. We ended at his house and I had to run 4 miles home. Thankfully, Clay gave me a package of Shot Blocks because all I took with me was water.

The run ended up being 16.5 miles and total time was 2:09:06 (average pace 7:50). The middle 8 miles averaged around 7:30 pace with the last mile just under 7 minutes (6:56), then .5 mile cool down to the house.

The legs need to get used to the pounding of more than 2 hours of running. I wasn't concerned about the pace, just getting the time in.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I didn't know what or where I was going to run this morning until I left the house. I ended up running 9 miles in a fartlek format after about 15 minute warmup, changing speeds for different amounts of time. I basically would increase my pace to a comfortable hard level (10k pace) to increase my heart rate, then slow down to marathon pace +30 seconds or so until I caught my breath, and then increase my pace again. I wasn't trying to get faster each mile but it ended up that way. I was just varying my speed based on how I was feeling.

My total time for 9 miles was 1:04:29. My mile splits were 8:37, 8:10, 7:13, 7:10, 6:50, 6:42, 6:36, 6:24, 6:39. Average pace (7:10). Last 6 miles (40:21). Last 3 miles (19:39) .

Felt pretty good overall. Fairly flat course. Good workout for teaching your body to run at a faster pace then what it is normally used to.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Half mile hill repeats

It was cold this morning. Right around 30 degrees. I had a much needed 2.5 mile warm up (20:42) before my hill repeats. I found a hill that was exactly .5 miles to the top at the end of 45th W. I only had time to do 2 repeats (3:25, 3:10) with a .5 mile recovery jog down the hill. Then 2.5 miles home in (17:40).

Total mileage today was 7 miles. Next time I do that workout I wold like to do 4-5 repeats up the hill, all under 3:30. It increases in grade as you get higher with the steepest part being the last .10 miles.

Everyone else was asleep when I got home, changed, and left for work.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Progression Runs

For those of you interested, here is a link from Coach Greg McMillan out of Flagstaff, AZ on what he calls progression runs, which is exactly what I was talking about last week. He explains the physiology benefits and 3 types of progression runs you can try. Check out the article and the rest of his site. There is some great information there and a great running calculator to help you determine training speeds for different workouts specific to you.

My training partner Clay ran 3:44 at Orange County on what turned out to be a pretty good day to run but a hilly second half of the race. Congrats to him. He's now officially in the sub 4 club.

No run today but I am doing a 20 minute dynamic ciruit workout MWF that I will go over on another day.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Over the hills and through the wind

Ran 13.1 miles this morning. It was early for me. I left at 6:30am. I have to get up early to get four runs in a week. The first 6.5 miles were mostly up hill and into the wind. There were some pretty good gusts but no rain.

For those of you that know the area my turn around was o-8 and 5oth near the golf course. The total miles ended up being about 12.5 so I ran around the neighborhood for a complete half marathon.

My total time was 1:41:13. The first six miles were 49:13 the second six miles were 44:25 and the last mile was 6:56. Mile splits (8:26, 8:25, 8:24, 8:03, 8:10, 7:44, 8:00, 7:27, 7:14, 7:16, 7:13, 7:11, 6:56). Average pace was 7:44.

I took the camelback with me but no carbs. I feel pretty good this evening. We'll see how I feel in the morning.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The calm before the storm

It is supposed to rain for the next 3 days in southern California. I have heard everything from 6 inches to 10 inches over the weekend. This afternoon was great, cloudy and cool but no wind. I took advantage and got in an hour run.

Total mileage over one hour was 8.5 miles. I find a good gauge for endurance, and to see improvement over time, is to run for an hour and see how much distance I can cover. I shoud be able to cover 9 miles in an hour without much difficulty for my marathon goal pace. 9 miles an hour for three hours is 27 miles (the marathon being 26.2 miles).

The course today was 2.5 miles to a hillier part of town, run the hills around Ave. M and 50th, and back. So the middle 3.5 miles was hilly. I'm tired of running on flat surfaces around my house.

My miles splits were 7:30, 7:23, 7:18, 7:01, 7:30, 6:48, 6:49, 6:10 and the last half mile was 3:47. One of the training methods I find most effective for my marathon training is to run hard towards the end of my training runs. Even on an easy day picking up the pace by 30 seconds for the last few miles teaches the body to run hard when it is tired.

My training partner Clay is running the Orange County Marathon this Sunday.

Finally, I got the email confirming my Boston Marathon entry. There's no turning back now.