Saturday, March 29, 2008

16 miles on the aqueduct (1:53:58)

If I was going to get in one more long run before the marathon today was the day. It was a little windy at 7am but only got worse during the day. Clay rode his bike with me the whole way as a support vehicle and pacer, he is dealing with some medial knee pain. We started west for 4 miles and then decided that running into the wind was no fun and turned around. From there we just kept running east, with the wind for 12 miles, and had his daughter Kendall pick us up at Highland High School. Clay rode ahead and took some pictures of me (see above). It sure helped to have him there to pace, talk, and supply water, Gatorade, and GU. Thanks Clay!

I felt pretty stale for the first 4 miles partially from not running since Tuesday and also running into the wind. My first 4 splits were 7:33, 7:00, 7:23, 7:22. After the turn around I settled into a nice comfortably hard pace hovering right around 6:45 pace for the next 10 miles (7:02, 6:49, 6:45, 6:52, 6:45, 6:48, 6:56, 6:46, 6:39, 6:37). Total time for those 10 miles was 68 minutes even, the same pace as a 2:58 marathon, a pretty good effort. The half marathon split was 1:31:30. Now the key is to just hold on to that for the rest of the distance which is mostly a mental game.

The last two miles were easy cool down miles for a total time 1:53:58, average pace 7:07. My right shin felt sore but didn't affect my gait. I ran in my new Asics Gel-Kayanos which I will run in for the marathon in three weeks. I also used my new arm warmers that I peeled off half way through as it was plenty warm out. I did two ice baths over the next 2 hours after the run and taped my leg. It is sore but not nearly as bad as two weeks ago.

I have been reading other peoples tips on how to have your best experience at Boston. I have a lot of little things to get together in the next three weeks including: vasoline, band aids, garbage bags, an old pair of sweats to toss at the starting line.

The Boston weather forecast will become more and more important in the next few weeks. I will keep you posted at the 10 day count down.

I received my official number pick up card, hand book, and an article on "The right way to hydrate for marathons" from the B.A.A. today. My bib number is 3387 which puts me in the first wave start (10am). Things are coming together.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Illness to Injured to Illness again

I decided today that the running part of all this marathon training is the EASY part. It's the recovery from illnesses and injury that is the tough part. Just as I thought I was in the clear with my right shin I got sick AGAIN Tuesday night. I had a fever and missed another day of work. Luckily this time the fever lasted only 24 hours and, aside from a mild sore throat, I am feeling much better today. I need to get in a good 2 hour run this weekend as long as I am still feeling ok. It is now too close to race day to push myself if I am sick. The other unfortunate thing is that it has been very windy around here all week and shows no signs of letting up. I may even get on my treadmill (yes, I said treadmill) to get in some wind-free miles.

In other news the Boston Marathon will be televised live nation wide on Monday April 21 for those of you that get the channel VERSUS (I know, I haven't heard of it either).

Finally, check out some of Deena Kastor's gym workout here. Looks like she is doing some great core training, dynamic lifting, and functional hip flexibility exercises. Sounds like she has a pretty good coach. I can't wait to see her run at the trials on April 20th.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Speed test on the shin (8 miles in 55:47)

I have felt pretty good the last few days. I have no pain with inversion or standing on one leg that I had a week ago. I do have some tenderness to the distal right medial tibia. Eventually I needed to test the leg with higher speeds and since it continued to improved I decided today was the day.

I ran 8 miles this morning (I was planning on only 7 but got too far away from the house). The total time was 55:47, average pace was 6:58. My mile splits were 7:56, 7:19, 7:19, 6:53, 6:23, 6:29, 6:51, 6:31. I felt pretty good just a little weak on the right leg. Afterward there was no extra discomfort or pain. I'd say it passed my test.

Luckily I also got my new pair of Asics Kayano's in the mail! Kayano's have been my shoe model of choice for the last 5 years (I just have to wait until they go on sale or snipe a pair on ebay). They feel great and I can't wait to try them on Thursday.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Great day for a run!

Today may have been the nicest day of the year so far. After a week of windy days we had a great weekend. I was busy with family activities but was able to get in a run Sunday morning with Andi. We ran 5.5 miles and averaged 8:13 per mile. She is running a 10k on April 26th at CSUN and we decided she should shoot for 50 minutes.

I have one month until the Boston Marathon. I am still having some right shin pain that is irritating more than anything. After about 5 miles today it started to feel a little better and I picked up the pace, it didn't hurt any worse. Eventually I will have to test it with a run around marathon pace. I have really been trying to rest and baby it.

No other news to report.
Here are 50 great things you never knew you could do with tennis balls.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Still nursing shin splints.

The medial right shin pain has been getting better daily since Saturday. I have been stretching, icing, and taping my right tibialis posterior muscle. I can't believe all this after one run in different shoes. What was I thinking?

It was feeling good enough to test it today. This afternoon I ran to Joe Walker Middle School to lead Tuesday interval night at the track. It is 3.5 miles to the track from my house.

Once there I ran 4x800s with Zac Patten and paced him at 7:00 pace. We ran very even splits 3:26, 3:35, 3:31, 3:26. Nice work Zac! Afterward I ran home at about 7:00 pace.

The right shin definitely bothered me and worsened a little on the way home. It hurts worse once I stop. I did an ice bath for my right leg twice tonight and will try taping it again tomorrow.

It sure is frustrating knowing I only have 5 weeks until the marathon. I think I will be able to run through it but I will be pretty sore afterward. I don't think I will run long this weekend. We'll see how things go.

Total milege for today was 9 miles (3.5 to the track + 2 miles total on the track +3.5 miles home).

Check out these cool interviews with Jim Ryun on Youtube.
Jim Ryun went on to become a congressman. He is on my list of people I would like to meet which also includes Roger Bannister, who went on to become a neurologist.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Karl takes a day of rest

Today was the first weekend day that I did not run since I had a nasty flu in the beginning of February. I was feeling better all day until tonight when the shin pain came back. I would like to get in a LONG run next weekend but if I am not ready then I will change my plans.

On Saturday my son Matthew turned 2 and my wife Andi and I had our 5th wedding anniversary. It was a good day!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Easy 5 miles

I have been bothered by right medial shin pain for the last two days. Is it soreness from a different pair of shoes on Thursday? Is it from the increase in mileage over the last two weeks? Maybe both. I am taking it easy this weekend and doing a lot of stretching. It is too close to the marathon to get hurt now. I'd rather be healthy and slightly undertrained.

Only five miles today. The shin pain got better after 3-4 miles, but was sore again after, just the right side.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Easy 9.5 miles (1:11:51)

The weather forecast predicts strong winds for the next two days including today so I figured I might as well run today. I ran for the first time in my North Face Amp BOA's today. It is sure nice not to worry about laces. I'm not sure I would do 20 miles in them though.

My miles splits were 8:37, 8:01, 7:56, 7;47, 7:44, 7:24, 6:56, 6:57, 7:03 and last .5 mile in 3:22.
Average pace 7:34.

I do most of my runs with my MP3 player these days, unless I am running with someone else. Here are some of my favorite songs for running:

"Born To Run" - Bruce Springsteen
"Runnin' Down a Dream" - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
"Where Are We Runnin'" - Lenny Kravitz
"Always on the Run" - Lenny Kravitz
"Runnin' With the Devil" - Van Halen
"Run Around" - Blues Traveler
"Speed Demon" - Michael Jackson
"Body Movin'" - Beastie Boys
"Baba O'Reily" - The Who
"Long Time" - Boston
"Life is a Highway" - Tom Cochrane
"No Easy Way Out" - Robert Tepper (Rocky IV)
"500 Miles" - Proclaimers

Anything by Rage Against the Machine is great for intervals or speed work.

I also have a few Ok Go songs currently on my MP3 player. If you haven't seen it here is the music video for "Here it goes again," it may be the best music video ever.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Half mile hill repeats x4 (total mileage 9)

I postponed my Tuedsay morning run to Wednesday due to lack of sleep Monday night (the boys were up off and on all night). It sure is dark at 5:45am since the time change.

I did the same half mile hill that I have done in the past but this time I did 4 repeats. Started with a 2.5 mile warm up. Recovery was half mile down the hill to the start. My times on the hill were faster 3:30, 3:22, 3:15, 3:15. Ran 2.5 miles home for a total of 9 miles for the morning. Total time was 1:08:14 (Avg pace 7:34).

Today was the first day that I did our circuit workout on the same day as a morning run. I was definitely tired but still got in a good 25 min workout. I will probably be stiff tomorrow. Planned an easy 10 mile Thursday.

Here's and interesting running log from a girl who ran 214 miles in a week while working 20 hours. (Not recommended unless properly trained).

Cool pictures from a cross country ski race in Switzerland.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

13.1 miles brings weekend total to 21 miles

I ran a 6.5 mile loop course twice this morning. It is still windy around here (Vegas), but not as bad as yesterday. The positive take was that the uphill portions had a tailwind. I ran the first loop with Andi. She is really coming along with her running and is planning on running a 10k on April 26th. The second loop I picked up the pace, specifically pushing up the hills running about 7:00 to 7:20 pace most of the way. The last two miles down hill back home were under 7:00.

Average pace on the whole run was 7:35.

6 weeks until Boston.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

VVRT 8 miler with 4 miles of intervals

I woke up screaming on Friday morning with a nasty calf cramp that bothered me for the rest of the day. We drove to Vegas that night. My run got postponed til the afternoon which is right when the wind began. I ran with Andi for the first 4 miles and we got in some good VVRT (Vegas Valley Resistance Training). There were some gusts that must have been over 40mph.

I finished with another 4x1 mile loops around the neighborhood, pushing the last .6 miles of each which were up hill or wind aided. Those 4 mile splits were 7:20, 6:47, 6:46, 6:34. The calf felt fine but is now a little tight and sore.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Nine mile Thursday becomes 10 MILE THURSDAY!

As the title states, I upped my Thursday run by a mile to make it an even 10 miles. I will play around with the format but I will try and stay around the 10 mile total. The only problem with adding mileage is that I have to get up earlier. I left the house around 5:40 this morning. The nicest part is that it is usually not windy in the morning.

I got as far as 60th W. and Ave. N before turning around. For those of you out of the area that means I was able to get up to some decent hills. My first mile was 8:10, I then averaged 7:30 for the next 4 miles until my Garmin battery died.

I'm sure I was faster on the way home since it is all down hill. I was at 5.25 miles at the turnaround so my total was 10.5miles. When I got home I did 4x100 striders in front of the house.

For those of you looking for a new challenging race, how about the Glamour Magazine Stiletto Run in Amsterdam. The rules are you must where heels at least 9cm for the 350 yard race. The winner takes home 10,000 euro. See video.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

5 mile recovery run (about 39:30)

Recovery run this morning for 5 miles. The first two miles were slow, but then settled into a comfortable pace around 7:30 for the last 3 miles. The 7:30 pace fells very comfortable right now, just like the first 5 miles of my long run on Sunday.

I got a new pair of shoes in the mail yesterday. My first pair of trail shoes. I got the Northface Amp trail shoes with the BOA lacing system that I have been dying to try out. See picture.

Also a fun article about Steve Scott. I got to meet Steve and spend a week with him and some other great coaches for a week in the summer of 2002 when I was a camp counselor at Runners Workshop in Malibu. Steve coaches for CSU San Marcos, and he is a super nice guy. See picture posted below (Steve is on the far right)!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

18 mile FAST FINISH run (2:11:04)

The goal today was to do a long run with a fast finish. The plan was to run 45 seconds slower than marathon pace for 12 miles, then increase the pace to less than marathon pace for the last six. (I was hoping to be about 6:30-6:40 pace for the last 6 miles). I also tried to simulate race situations for fluids and carbs/eletrolytes.

The entire run was up on the aqueduct with Clay running with me for the first 10 miles and his son Zac, who's birthday was yesterday, riding his mountain bike along side us as our support vehicle. We started around 6:30 am, and the forecast called for increased winds as the day went on. We ran west on the aqueduct for 5 miles then turned around for another 5 miles east, and the wind started to pick up coming towards us. I continued for another two miles before starting the FAST FINISH portion of the run.

Mile splits for the first 12 miles (1:13:52) were 7:33, 7:46, 7:27, 7:44, 7:44, 7:37, 7:42, 7:54, 7:53, 8:01, 7:56, 7:31. Average pace was 7:44 for the first 12 miles. You can tell by the splits when it started getting windy, and the effort for those four 8 minute miles was quite a bit more than the first five at 7:30. I wore my old heart rate monitor and averaged between 140-155 over the first 12 miles.

I turned around for the last 6 miles running with the wind, or cross wind in some parts. Zac rode his bike with me and supplied me with gatorade, sports beans, and gels. Clay then drove up ahead to meet us at the finish. I felt really good after the turn around once I saw my first mile split I knew it would be a fast run.

Mile splits for the last 6 miles (38:12) were 6:40, 6:22, 6:21, 6:27, 6:13, 6:04. Average pace was 6:22, way under what I had hoped for. My heart rate for the last 6 miles averaged around 165-175 (close to 90% of my maxHR). I couldn't have done it without the support from Clay and Zac, thanks guys.

Total time for 18 miles was 2:11:04, average pace 7:17 per mile.

The weather was tough but the plan worked out perfectly. I was spent by the end. I could feel my form breaking down the last two miles. It was an all out effort and a great test of my progress thus far. Seven weeks to Boston!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

10k easy run (47:39) WINDY / Karl's take on strength training for runners

It was another windy day in the Antelope Valley (AV). I got out just before it started to get REALLY bad. I wanted to try and keep around 7:40-7:50 pace which is what I want to run my first 12 in tomorrow. I ran mostly north and south which gave me a cross wind most of the way but my splits were all over the place. I won't even mention them. It will be hard to hold back a little for 12 miles as the pace felt pretty easy.

My average pace was 7:40.

For those of you that did not see the article in the AV Press on the running clinic that Clay and I put on in February, you can read the article at Clark's Blog. Take it with a grain of salt, things were taken out of context and we were slightly misquoted.

The NY Times recently posted two articles that are directly related to the topics we discussed at the clinic and are an interesting read.
Can Weight Training Make You A Better Runner?
Can Stretching Prevent Soreness And Injury?

A research team from the Human Performance Laboratory at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY, is gathering information about the strength-training habits of regular runners. You can help. Just take their simple survey here:

I have done resistance training before but rarely lifted legs until recently (last October) when I joined Clay in evolving a circuit training, or super sets, workout at our lunch break to complement our running. I think runners don't strength train their legs, number one, because it makes them so sore that they cannot run for a few days, and number two they think they will gain weight and it will slow them down.
The strength training that we do is a complete body workout with an emphasis on core training, hip and knee stability, and dynamic lifting. It is a complete body workout. Currently it takes us 20-25 minutes to complete, and there is very little rest.
When I first started the program I was sore for a few days after each workout. Now I have no problem running the next day, and we complete the work out 2-3 times per week. The strength training, I believe, has allowed me to increase my mileage quicker without injury. It has also allowed me to POWER up the hills I run stronger and with better form.
Many elite runners are doing similar types of core training. I believe, and it has been proven in many articles, that strength training for runners can be very beneficial. It can even be more beneficial than adding miles just for the sake of adding miles.
Read also Paradigm Shift in Training Endurance Athletes.

Currently our workout is as follows:
3 laps of the gym side stepping with resistive band
2x25 reverse lunges each leg
30x alternating arm swings kettlebell squat
2x15 kettlebell bent over rows each arm
2x15 Bosu ball pushups (or to failure)
2x10 Bosu ball planks with leg extension
5x each, side planks with rotation into plank and back
15x each side kettlebell figure eights
30x double arm swings kettlebell squats
2x25 reverse lunges each leg
3 laps of zombie walk with resistive band

We get all this done in 20 minutes!
It is the equivalent effort of running an all out 5k.

The workout is always evolving. Occasionally we add a new exercise such as dips or other variations of plank exercise. We only started using the Bosu ball about 2 months ago. I will begin posting a weekly video of one of our exercises this week.
I do not recommend starting any of the kettlebell exercises without proper instruction. Some of the plank exercises are also very advanced.

A final note: Running alone does not make us stronger. Even running hills, which runners have thought for many years is their strength training, does not make one stronger. Running more and more miles trains our neuromuscular system to become more efficient at one thing, running. Our body will adapt for any weaknesses or imbalances we might have, and with enough stress will lead to injury.