Sunday, December 20, 2009

5 mile easy run

I have been a little slow to build back up my mileage after the marathon but I have been busy with work, holiday planning and preparation, and just plain sleeping in. I figure now is the best time to do so. Starting in the new year I will have to hit it hard again. There are two all comers meets at Antelope Valley College on their new track in the beginning of the year that I am excited for. I don't have any leg speed right now but it will still be fun.

I ran an easy 5 today, down to Lane Park, two laps, and then back home. I was able to maintain a decent pace (I estimate 7:30-8:00) but did still feel tight in the calves and hamstrings.

I had some information to share with some of my readers:
Dale, did you hear that Ryan Hall and Meb Keflezighi will both be running the Boston Marathon with you in April? Ok not with you but in the same race. There will be lots of BUZZ for sure. I am excited for you. It will be fun to help you train and follow your progress on race day!

Chuck, I found two marathons that start in one state, travel through another, and finish in a third. I know that is probably cheating to count all three states in one race but I though it was a cool idea. Then I wondered, if you ran one of those races, which state would you count? The state that it started in or the state that it finished in? Here are the websites for the two races. I thought you would be interested.

Mesquite Marathon (looks like a fast course)
It starts in Utah, runs through Arizona, and finishes in Nevada.

Mother Road Marathon (first running in October)
It starts in Oklahoma, runs through Kansas, and finishes in Missouri.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Jingle Jog 2009

Two years ago I ran the Jingle Jog pushing my son Matt in the single jogger. My son Micah was only a month old and not ready to brave the cold weather. I met a college buddy of mine and we pushed our kids for 5k in 22 minutes and 24 seconds! Last year was so cold that we decided not to go. The event was postponed anyways.

This year, the weather was awesome and we got Andi out there with us. I pushed both boys in the double jogger in just under 25 minutes, which included stopping with .1 miles to go to let the boys out to run the rest with us! It took about a mile to break through some of the traffic (our mile split was 8:45) and we got into a groove after that. So I guess this was a double jogger PR for me! A good time was had by all! See Clay's blog for more pictures.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

One year since 2008 snow day!

It is one year to the day that we had our big snow day. I actually had a great workout that morning. It was fun running in the snow. See my post from that day here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

That McMillan Article

I knew I could find that article by Greg McMillan on marathon recovery. It was in the December 2007 issue of Running Times. Thanks Clay for saving all his back issues. His article restates everything I said in my last post. He adds that "research indicates that the muscle damage from running a marathon can last up to two weeks" but that "soreness (or lack there of) is NOT a good indicator of muscle healing." What this means is that even though you feel good, it doesn't mean that your muscles are fully healed. I know this is a little late for you CIM runners, but here is his Optimal Marathon Recovery Program given in the same issue. We are on day 10 today!

Monday, December 14, 2009

More on Recovery

First, I updated my title picture with a finish line shot from CIM. I just received the picture in the mail and it seemed appropriate to put up for my blog header. Here is the full shot.

Secondly, I have been keeping my readers posted on the race results for Sergio Reyes. He ran at the Club Cross Country National Championships this weekend and placed 21st (results here). I think he was burned out after Chicago. His team, Asics Aggies, finished 4th. See video here (you can hear people cheering for Sergio!).

The Footlocker National High School Cross Country Championships was also this weekend. The boys race was won by a sophomore for the first time in 31 years. His name is Lukas Verzbicas and he won the race by nearly 15 seconds, the third largest margin in Footlocker history.
If you did not see the finish of the girls Footlocker Nationals this weekend you MUST check it out here. It was the closest margin of victory in the race's 31 years.

Finally, I promised my readers some information on proper marathon recovery so here it goes. Many of you may have heard of the 1 day recovery for every mile raced rule. This actually holds true for most people. A month recovery after a marathon gives the body enough time to fully return to a homeostasis. This recovery doesn't mean no running, it just means no hard workouts and a gradual progression of mileage back to an average week. Everyone responds differently to the effects of a marathon, so I cannot tell you how many days you should take off or how much mileage to start with, but it should be easy initially (2 minutes/mi slower than marathon pace), and it should be a fraction of what you are used to. My rule is if I am still limping around when walking I am probably not ready to run yet. It took me five days to feel ready to run and when I did I was only able to make it 3 miles. I was limited by calf stiffness and a little knee pain. Could I have gone longer? Yes. Should I have gone longer? Probably not. I had planned on running this past Sunday but I was out late the night before and the weather in Vegas was nasty in the morning.
You must listen to your body. I find that after about half of this "recovery period" most runners are feeling pretty good. This means one week after a half marathon or two weeks after a full marathon. At this time you could certainly increase your mileage but should avoid the urge to increase the intensity. If you do you are putting yourself at risk for injury. Eating healthy, getting good sleep, and doing all those other little things like ice baths also help with recovery.
These first 4 weeks after a marathon are a great time to do some cross training, especially swimming and biking. You will be able to exercise longer without the recurring tightness and stiffness running can cause. You should run as the slow running will help increase blood flow to the same muscles to aid in healing without causing extra damage. After the 4 week recovery a return to tempo runs and/or track workouts is appropriate as long as there is no sharp pain or change in stride or form.

So here are the take home points:
1. One day of recovery for every mile raced.
2. Increase mileage slowly before ever increasing intensity.
3. Slow easy running will help the healing process.
4. Recovery is a great time to cross train.
5. Listen to your body. If it hurts don't do it.
6. Increase workout intensity once a week after the recovery period.
7. Eat healthy and get good sleep.
8. Ice bath, Ice bath, Ice bath

McMillan had a good article on marathon recovery in Running Times recently. If I can find it I will post it.

Speaking of Running Times, I had written a letter (email) to the editor last month in response to the last article in the November issue titled "Upping the Ante." In the article the author discusses the idea of increasing race entry fees to more popular or high profile races like Chicago and New York and making registration dates closer to race days. His reasoning was to avoid an early sell out and decrease the number of no-shows to the event. He seemed to be partially playing devil's advocate, but also bringing up some possible changes to race management as our sport grows. He compared raising entry fees to ticket prices at a baseball game. I had never written into a magazine before but for some reason felt the need to do so. Clay and I received our Jan/Feb issues in the mail today and when I got mine I quickly flipped through it but did not have time to read more than the title of Greg McMillan's article. At lunch Clay came to me and asked, "Did you read your new Running Times?" I told him I didn't have a chance yet and that is when he told me that my letter was published in the letters to the editor. Here is a scan of the letter.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Well I finally got out for a run today to start the return to running again. Below is a picture from my front door. Not too cold out side, but poured last night. The first few steps felt ok but after a few more both of my calves felt like baseballs. They didn't cramp up they just still feel very tight. The pain did get a little better after about 1.5 miles. I stopped the run at 3 miles which took me about 30 minutes. The calves seem to be the only lagging soreness although my quads did start to fatigue after the 3 miles. My nervous system is shot! I will post more on proper recovery soon, just wanted to get a quick post in.
I leave you with this video I found. One ultrarunner's preview of the LA Marathon course.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

CIM PHOTOS has posted the race photos. Click HERE then enter my bib number 6480. There are some good ones!

I am still very sore from the run. The first few days my quads would forget to fire at the appropriate time and my knees would hyperextend. They are much better now, but both of my calves are still very tight and sore and get worse as the day goes on. The rolling hills, especially the amount of downhill running, really beat me up.

I also updated my marathon PR on my PR list to the right and added years to each PR listed.

I was looking back at some of my past races and times. I would like to take a shot at my 10 mile PR next year. I know I was faster enroute to my half marathon PR but I can't prove it. If it works out I could also try for my 10k on a fast course, and I would like to go under 18 minutes on a road 5k, which I don't think I have ever done.

I also found some of Andi's race results. I ran with her for both her marathon and half marathon PRs.

She ran 1:33:21 in 2002 on the old Las Vegas Half Marathon course. The same course where my PR was set. She was 5th in her age group that year!

We ran the Los Angeles Marathon together in 2005 and our time was 3:38:43. Andi was 19th in her age group that year!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

New marathon PR set at CIM! 2:57:11

It took me three and a half years but I finally bettered my PR that I set at Grandma's Marathon in 2006. My previous best was 2:58:37. Today I ran 2:57:11! Here is the story (I may be wordy here but I don't want to forget any details).

We woke up at 4:30 am (actually Clay was up even earlier...not by choice), to catch the bus to the starting line at 5:00am! We met up with the rest of our group (Dale, Michael, Dan, and Chuck) easily and boarded a bus quickly. It was around 30 degrees. We were able to stay on the bus to keep warm and go back and forth between the port-a-potties. We finally left for the starting line around 6:30 and got close to our pace groups. My plan was to say behind the 3 hour pacer for a while to test my right leg and then decide what to do. I was dressed perfectly. I had a skull cap, arm warmers and gloves with shorts and a sleeveless shirt. I wore my injinjis (socks), which I found out the hard way that they don't keep your toes very warm. I felt like I was running on stubs for the first two miles.

The gun went off and we took off down hill for the first mile. The three hour pacer really took off and was 10 seconds ahead of me right away. After mile one you turn right and head up a short hill and then start a series of short wavy hills for four miles. My first five splits were 6:50, 6:42, 6:35, 6:41, 6:39. The three hour pacer was still ahead of me. He took those poor guys out way too fast.

We turned south after the five mile mark and were welcomed by a stiff headwind for the next five miles which also had a series of short wavy hills. By mile seven I had passed the 3 hour pace group, which was still ahead of schedule, and I was powering up the short hills then cruising down the other side. The hills almost seemed to be strategically placed. Just when my quads were getting tired we were going up, and just when my calves and hams were tiring we were going down again. Things were going really well. The wind did not seem to affect me at all. I had no right foot pain and no right leg tightness at this point. I couldn't believe it! My next five splits were 6:39, 6:43. 6:42. 6:42, 6:25!

We then turned right (west) and the head wind became a cross wind. The hills continued but were longer for the next four miles. I continued to power up the hills and really started to pick it up on the downhills. I was going from one pack to the next. Everyone seemed to be coming back to me and as I passed more and more people I was a little worried that I was going to fast. Still feeling relaxed, I decided to maintain my pace. My splits were 6:17, 6:40, 6:42, 6:42. That 6:17 was me trying to keep up with another runner that was obviously too fast for me...I let him go. My half marathon split was 1:27:36 (right on pace for a 2:55).

Just passed the half way point my right calf started to tighten a bit but not enough to affect my stride or slow me down. I kept grinding. We turned south again to an even stronger headwind for the next five miles. I got stuck between packs for a few miles and was all by myself in no mans land with no one to help me. I was continuing on pace focusing on groups ahead until I finally caught one, and then another. My spits here were 6:50, 6:35, 6:39, 6:37, 6:33. I went through mile 18 I remember just over 2 hours (2:00:20ish). Knowing that I was still on pace for 2:55 I decided there that I hadn't come all this way and put myself in this position not to finish well.

I took two powerbar gels (strawberry-banana) with water. One at the half way point and one at mile 20. I took one cup of Ultima around mile 10 and one other sip of water some where along the way. That is all I needed.

There is a bridge around mile 21 that I was waiting for as a landmark and it seemed to take forever to get there. "Where is that darn bridge?" I kept thinking. That is really the last hill on the course. By mile 19 the headwind was now a cross wind again and didn't seem to affect me the rest of the race. It did keep temperatures down though. I passed a bank around mile 22 and the clock outside read 39 degrees. By my Garmin (which was a little off) I went through 20 miles in 2:12:55. It was actually just over 2:13. Mile 20 was 6:36, mile 21 was 6:48, mile 22 was 6:55, and then the legs started to get a little heavy.

6:40 is the average pace to run a 2:55. They were calling out average paces almost every mile and by 20 I was 6:41! After 21 miles the course starts to flatten out, but because my legs were tiring it felt like I was still running up hill. We hit 56th street and had to run down to 9th street. My legs were getting harder and harder to lift and I was pushing off the ground less and less. I was trying to do the math and calculate how close I could be to running a PR as 2:55 started to slip away. Last four miles were 7:05, 7:07, 6:58, 7:04 and a last finishing kick for the last .2 miles gave me a 2:57:11! Those last four miles were probably the hardest four miles I have ever run. That is where my extra 1.5 minutes came from. I realized with about a mile to go that I was going to PR for sure and I was pumped up!

Once I stopped running I could barely move. Both of my legs seized up with cramping and I hobbled around the finish area. I kept waiting around but never found anyone else from my group. I finally ran into Michael who shook his head. He was hoping to run sub 3:10 and ended up 3:18 (still a PR). He said he lost Dan at around the half way point. I couldn't find anyone else so I shuffled back to my hotel room. It took me at least 20 minutes to walk a quarter mile to the hotel.

The conditions where tough out there and only got worse as the day went on. Dale was the only other runner in our group to PR with a time of 3:19:48. Chuck (two weeks after running the Route 66 marathon) ran 3:22:00. Clay and Dan both had a really rough time out there. Clay said he caught up to Dan around mile 22 and they were both walking. He said Dan was weaving back and forth on the road. They got together and walk/jogged it in at around 3:45. They both battled calf issues. Don't let it get you down guys. You are both better than that. It just wasn't your day.

I checked the official results when I got home and found that I had just cracked the top 200 runners finishing in 197th place. I was 36th in my age group 30-34. There were a number of talented runners there. My 2:57:11 is averaging 6:45 pace! This may also be the first time that I ran under 1:30 for my second half of the marathon. Since I went out in 1:27:36 I came back in 1:29:25. This was my 8th marathon and they don't get any easier. I don't know when I will take shot at this new PR but I know I have more in me. 2:55 is certainly possible, then who knows.

Tomorrow will be a tough day at work. My legs are extremely stiff and sore, the right leg is worse than the left.

It was a great trip. One I will never forget (especially after this LONG blog post).

Friday, December 4, 2009

2 days to go!

The rest has done my leg some good. It still feels tight so I'll just have to wait and see how it feels on the run. I am a little nervous.

I have many friends and family racing this weekend. I have friends running the Las Vegas half marathon and family running the freeze and wheeze 10k in Palmdale. I can't wait to hear how everyone does. We should all have good weather, just COLD! Good luck to everyone running this weekend.

Sacramento should be in the low 30s in the am and high of mid 50s with little to no wind!
The big storm is coming Sunday night or Monday!

This will be my last post before the race. Check back Sunday night for full results and race summary! Or follow online on race day. Go to and click on Track Your Runner. My bib #6480.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

3 days to go!

Race day is right around the corner. My father-in-law is in Sacramento this week and said that the town is already buzzing about the race. He said to check out the sacbee website for lots of info. Here is ultra runner Tim Twietmeyer's mile by mile breakdown of the course (He has won Western States 100 five times and has run every CIM!). He is also leading the 3:35 pace group.

I guess Josh Cox, who trains in Mammoth with Ryan Hall, will be running CIM along with 20 other men trying to get a qualifying mark for the next olympic trials marathon. So there should be a good US presence there. It also means that Ryan Hall may be up there cheering on his friend. We'll have to keep our eyes open for celebrities at the expo.

Weather still looks good with forecast of partly cloudy, high of 57 and low 35. It may be even colder than that. Warm clothes will be a must for pre and post race. We have to catch the bus between 5 and 5:30 am. It will be COLD.

Here is my checklist for race day packing:
1. Race shoes (New Balance 1224)
2. Running gloves
3. Race shirt and arm sleeves
4. Race shorts
5. Injinjis (socks)
6. Skull cap (I may buy a new one at the expo)
7. Sunglasses
8. Pre race warmups (throw away clothes)
9. Post race long sleeved shirt and warm up pants (it will be cold afterward and I want to stick around the finish line area to cheer)
10. Vasoline or bodyglide
11. Bandaids
12. Preferred breakfast foods (it will be an early morning)
(Bagel, banana, power-bar)
13. Any other day before food (carbs)
14. Race morning beverage (I don't need too much to drink it tends to go right through me)
15. Powerbar gels (my brand of choice)
16. Clothes for return trip home
17. Poncho for starting line (throw away)
18. Garmin Forerunner 305 (I almost forgot!)
19. Toothbrush, deoderant, extra pair of contact lenses, etc.
20. Cell phone

Ok, that is my list. Let me know if I forgot anything.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

We are live!

They Valley Physical Therapy Group website is up and running! We are live, as they say! Check out the website here.

The weather system we have been watching must be a slow one because they are not calling for rain until Monday! The forecast for Sunday is now "partly cloudy" with 10% chance of precipitation, although we may have a 7 mph headwind. High of 54 and low of 35! It must be a big system because they are calling for 60% chance of rain on Monday in Las Vegas and Lancaster also.

For anyone wishing to follow us on race day there will be live online timing with splits at 6 mile, half, 20 mile, and finish. You just need to know your runners bib number. Mine is 6480.

I have shut down the running completely. I am done running until CIM. The reason being is that my right leg is very tight and sore for about 2-3 days even after a short run. I think I will be ok on race day but Monday and Tuesday will be tough at work!

Greg McMillan, coach of McMillan Elite in Flagstaff, AZ, just won the US Trail Marathon Championships in Ashland, OR for the Masters Division. He was 4th over all with a time of 2:54:50 (results here)! Read about his experience on his blog here. He just turned 40 and had not run a marathon since PRing at CIM in 2002 with a time of 2:31:59! Congratulations Greg, and welcome back to the marathon.

Flotrack is starting a new video series titled "Components of Success" which looks to be very educational and helpful for runners of all ages and distances. Topics will include core work, speed development, coaching, and racing. Stay tuned!

From my day calendar on December 2nd:
"Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it."--Henry Ford

Monday, November 30, 2009

4 mile test run

I got in 4 miles this morning to test the leg. My foot feels good but my right calf and hamstring are tight. I think it is something that should loosen up with time. I might try one more run this week, we'll see.

Good news is I only gained 2.5 pounds this week with less running. I weighed in this morning at 167.5.

Monthly total for November was 146 miles!

Forecast still the same for Sunday. 60% chance of rain with temps from 37-57. Looks like rain is almost certain.

Race week preparation checklist:
1. Make sure all laundry is done for needed running gear.
2. Get a haircut.
3. Trim toe nails.
4. Get lots of sleep.
5. Drink a litte more.
7. Don't do anything stupid!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Zero mileage weekend!

My right leg has been bothering me all weekend. Actually it was mostly my right foot (5th metatarsal) all day yesterday. Today it feels pretty good but I think I needed the rest. Something just isn't right. I will probably test it tomorrow. The last time I had a zero mileage weekend was mid-July (see post) when we were camping in Mammoth for the weekend!

The forecast for December 6th in Sacramento is now "showers" (60% chance), with a low of 37 degrees and a high of 57 degrees. No more than 6 mph winds from the east, which would be a tail wind most of the way.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday!

December 6th is now on the 10 day forecast! They are calling for rain at this point with a low of 40 degrees and a high of 57! Looks like a 30% chance of rain. I will be watching closely.

10 days to go. I was going to run a 12 miler this weekend but I think I will really shut it down. My right leg would probably be sore for 2-3 days after that based on the last two runs. I will trust that the work has been put in.

Here is a feel good story of a young female runner in MN. It makes me cold just reading the article.

There was a showdown in Tulsa last weekend to break the record for a marathoner pushing a baby jogger (baby must be present in jogger). Well the record was broken with a time of 2:32:10. He also won the race (well actually his 10 month old was the first to cross the finish line)! Check out the slide show here. The first image of the starting line is cool for two reasons. First, you never see baby joggers at the front of the starting line. And second, one of my readers and high desert runner Chuck Fieland, is standing between the two joggers! Chuck finished in 73rd place with a time of 3:23:46.

Here is my Black Friday deal. If you are in the market for a Garmin, has the Forerunner 405 for $225!

Amazon has the Forerunner 305 (my watch) for $140!

Quote of the day: "It's lessons of life when it comes to athletics, especially in individual sports. It's not like a football player, when you make a mistake you've got your helmet on and your mask on, nobody can see you. But when you are running cross country and track you're stripped down to your skivies and you are bare-assing it to the world right there. You're two feet from the guy next to you and five feet from your fans and they're right in your face! That's the nature of the sport, it's cool"--Ron Warhurst (Michagan distance coach)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Another 6 mile run on Turkey Day

It was a lazy morning. The kids slept in until 7:30! I didn't get out for a run until 1:00 but the weather was still beautiful. Andi and I were talking yesterday about how thankful we are for the weather we have had over the past few months. It has been nearly perfect for marathon training. Today was no different. I was in shorts and a t-shirt and was cruising along today. My right leg is still not 100% but much better than Tuesday. I really have no idea why it has been bothering me. I am definitely shutting it down to give it time to rest before December 6th. It just feels tight and it aches during and after my run. At least I wasn't limping like I was on Tuesday.

I got an email from a high school friend of mine that now lives in Minnesota. His name is Bryce and him and I ran together for four years and eights seasons. We also used to get together for pick up basketball games and we could always out last everyone else playing for hours. Bryce was an 800m specialist in track and a tough cross country runner as well. I remember watching him break 2 minutes in his 800m split of a 4x800m relay at the state meet our senior year. He just picked up running again this year and was asking for suggestions on how to maintain his fitness in the cold Minnesota winter.

Both coming from Vegas, we tend to be wimps in the frigid midwest weather. I think the coldest temps I have run in were in Idaho at around 12 degrees. My advice is to invest in some quality winter gear! A pair of running tights, good running gloves, a skull cap (something to cover the ears), and some long sleeved running shirts are all essential. I occasionally wear a shorts sleeved shirt over my long sleeved shirt for an extra layer. I got my cap at Target $10, my gloves at Costco $10, and my tights and shirts from Nike outlet. I have also collected some nice long sleeved technical shirts from races. The Twin Cities Marathon gave out some great long sleeved finishers shirts (see pictures). Once you have some decent gear you just have to "saddle up" and get out there. It is one thing to say it and another to actually do it, especially first thing in the morning. You may have to resort to the treadmill for some of your weekly runs. When you are able to go mid day (weekends) the winter gear should help keep your ears and fingers from falling off. A running partner might also help keep you accountable and get your butt out the door.

Anyone else have suggestions for Bryce, please post a comment. Last year my dad said they went over a month with temperatures that were continuously below zero! Good luck Bryce!

I will try and post some treadmill workouts soon that will help ease the monotony. Click on the treadmill label below this post to read all my treadmill workouts over the past 2 years!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

6 mile easy run with Andi

Andi and I went out together this afternoon for an easy run. We ran 6 miles averaging just about 8:00 pace. My right leg was tight the whole way and worse the rest of the day (mostly hamstring). I will continue to take it easy until it feels better.

The only other news is that bib numbers have been assigned for CIM. They were done alphabetically so my number is 6480 out of about 7500. Not quite ready for a 10 day forecast yet.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

17 miles with marathon pace fast finish

Today was my last hard workout. I started at 60th and the aqueduct and headed east to the turn around behind Highland. It was cold, 39 degrees at the start, and there was a cold breeze across the aqueduct for the first hour. I came back on the dirt side and stopped at 8 miles to regroup (1:01:40 or 7:42 pace). I then started into the marathon pace finish portion of the run on the asphalt side, made the turn, and then a 180 after 4 miles so that I could come back on the asphalt side. As I was running I realized that my marathon splits are actually easy to remember. Every 3 miles should be exactly 20 minutes (6:40 pace). So I should be 40 minutes at 6 miles and 60 minutes at 9 miles. That will definitely keep me from looking at my watch too often on race day. Today I practiced staying relaxed at 6:40 pace and actually felt good about it. My right leg feels about 90-95%. As I was coming up on 8 miles I saw Clay starting his warm up and I decided that I should make it an even hour at MP so I added on an extra mile (mile 17 on the day was the fastest at 6:13). I was pleased with the effort given the fact that I did not eat breakfast, did not take in any fluids during the run, and did not do any gu's or gels. Here are the splits:

8 mile warm up= 7:56, 7:52, 7:56,7:44, 7:37, 7:35, 7:31, 7:25.

MP portion= 6:43, 6:43, 6:42, 6:41, 6:37, 6:46, 6:36, 6:34, 6:13 (avg 6:37).

Total time 2:01:20 or 7:08 pace

I will start to shut it down from here on out with exactly two weeks to go. I need to get my legs feeling fresh. I will do easy running from here on out with probably a 12 miler next weekend including 3-4 at MP.

NCAA Div III championships was Saturday and Ray Ostrander from CLU finished 144th out of 276 on a major off-day with a time of 27:03. I don't know what happened but I'm sure traveling took its toll. The Div III west coast runners always get crushed.

NCAA Div I championships is on Monday and I found a pre-race video interview with Ryan Sheridan of Iona who has an intersting story and has a great outlook on running, racing, and life. Here are my favorite quotes:

"That's the best part about our sport. You compete against these other people and at the end of the day you can still be friends."

"If I go out on Monday and finish dead last it's not a loss, I'm still running. I'm still physically able to do it, and there are people who can't do be able to run is victory enough."

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

Saturday, November 21, 2009

6 miles for Karl; Andi wins CLU Turkey Tri!

It was cold and windy this morning. I cut my run short at 6 miles (I was planning on 8). My right leg just doesn't feel right. We'll have to play it by ear tomorrow. I ran the 6 miles in just under 48 minutes (8:00 pace) but it wasn't pretty.

After my run we headed down to CLU for the CLU Turkey Tri (a sprint triathlon put on by Andi's brother Clark and his friends). The distances were 500m swim, 6 mile bike and 5k run. Andi was nervous about the event having never done a triathlon before. She went to the pool twice in the last two weeks to practice, winged it on her dad's bike, and thought the run would be no problem. She said the hardest part was getting her running legs back after the bike.

There were 7 competitors and 2 relay teams. Andi was 6th out of the pool, passed one on the bike and three more on the run. The only finisher ahead of her was part of a relay! She was also the only alumnus, the rest were current students! Way to go Andi! We are proud of you.

Friday, November 20, 2009

5 mile recovery run

No watch today just an easy 5 miles to loosen up and recover from yesterday. It felt like about 8:30 - 9:00 pace. It sure is getting cold out there in the morning. Last weekend I returned my Kayano 15s. I traded them in for a pair of New Balance 1225s. After wearing them at work for a few days I took them for their first spin today and the shoe feels much better on my right foot. Now I have to decide between the 1224 and the 1225 for race day!

Oh, and by the way, Ray Ostrander, a male runner from California Lutheran University, qualified for the Division III National Championships last weekend with his 10th place finish at the Regional meet at Pomona College. He will run at the National Championships in Ohio this weekend. It has been 13 years since CLU has sent a male runner to Nationals. His name was Jed Colvin, who I had the pleasure of running with for one track season in 1998.

My best finish at an NCAA Div III championship race was in 1999 in Estacata, Or where I ran 29:58 for 8k and was 86th place (out of 108) see results here. It was the only time I broke 30 minutes in a championship race. I was a much better runner than that but either injury or poor race tactics kept my PR at 29:12 for 8k cross country.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yasso 800s! (average 2:49)

Clay, Dale, Michael and I met at Joe Walker this morning for Yasso 800s! For those of you that don't know what the heck that means, it is 10x 800m with equal recovery time. Your average time can be used as a predictor for your marathon time.

I woke up late and was 3 repeats behind by the time I got there. I jumped right in with Michael after a mile warm up and did his last 4 with him then finished out the last 6 on my own.

There were great conditions again this morning and here are my splits.

I have wanted to do this workout many times before but never attempted the full 10. It was tough! My average time was 2:49!

Clay and Dale were hitting sub 3:15s the whole way and Michael said he was steady at 3:00 before running the last few under 3:00 with me. It was a great workout for all of us.

There is some controversy around this workout as a predictor. Some people swear by it, some think it is baloney. I think the workout has to be placed into your marathon training at the right time (2-3 weeks out) and you have to have the aerobic base behind it to make it work.

Read Runners World's article here.

Coach Greg McMillan says that in his experience, Yasso 800s predict about 5 minutes too fast. In my case averaging 2:49 would predict a 2:54! Hey that is my goal time, how convenient.

I believe that the folks that don't believe it works also don't have the aerobic base to support a goal time equivalent. I read one discussion board post that said, "I can run Yasso 800s in 3:05 but my marathon time was 3:25." He either didn't have the aerobic base behind his training or he picked the wrong course. I don't think it would work if you ran Palos Verdes or San Fransisco (hilly). If you use this in your marathon training and you don't run the predicted time, my guess is that if you CONSISTENTLY built up your mileage over the next year or so you could probably hit that time. In high school or college I bet I could have hammered that workout and average 2:40s easy but there was NO WAY I had the aerobic ability to run a 2:40 marathon.

Yasso 800s are basically a VO2max interval workout (and a long one). If you take my goal time of 2:55 for the marathon for example, the VDOT calculator says my interval pace should be 2:53s for 800m, and McMillan's Calculator says I should be running 2:45-2:52. Funny how that works out!

Either way it was a great workout by all and we have one more hard workout planned for this weekend. Sunday at 60th and the aqueduct at 6am...16 miles with the last 8 at marathon pace (6:40)!

A few fun unrelated article to check out:
First, Deena Kastor submitted three holiday recepies to the New York Times! Green Chile Pumpkin Pie. YUM!

Second, a funny article on MEGAMARATHONERS! Can you believe that the record for most marthons run in a life time is 1636! My favorite quote is, "The jerk percentage among marathoners is just so much lower than the jerk percentage among lawyers," (no offense Brad). For those of you that still think that running is bad for your body and hard on your joints causing arthritis (you're probably not reading my blog), then how do you explain the guys in this article, all over 60 years old and all running strong (and more mileage than I do). Even one of these guys, Mr. Defronzo, was born with a curved spine and diagnosed later with an enlarged heart, and at the age of 74 ran his 402 marathon! Funny that he is also a lawyer with a 12ft x 12ft picture of himself finishing the Philadelphia marathon that says, "I will go the extra mile for you." His doctor says, "his vitals are those of a much younger man, and his muscular and skeletal system is spectacular."

Third, it is Thirsty Thursday again! This clip of Coach Jack Daniels PhD. is on altitude training and east Africans and is worth the watch!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

6 mile progression run

Six miles this morning in just under 44 minutes (avg 7:20 pace). The pace quickened each mile up to marathon pace but six was all I had time for. My right leg ached early on but seemed to improve with the run. It ached all day.

I get a daily quote emailed from runners world. The last two seemed to go along with my article on consistent training.

To be a consistent winner means preparing not just one day, one month, or even one year—but for a lifetime.

Bill Rodgers

The more I thought about what I get to do, the less I realized I had to do. It was just a shift, just a new perspective, just a new and more grateful method for labeling the things in my life. Think about it—if you stopped yourself every single time you were about to say, "I have to" and changed it to "I get to," it might change your entire experience.

Kristin Armstrong, Mile Markers blog,

Sunday, November 15, 2009

300th Post!! 7.5 mile recovery run

Wow my 300th post!

Here is my 100th post!

Here is my 200th post!

It is fun to look back at the blog and see where I have been.
I ran farther today than both previous posts, I also ran slower today than both previous posts.
Today was a recovery run from the 2.5 hour run yesterday. I ran 7.5 miles averaging about 8:30 pace. It took about 6 miles to feel loose again, but I guess that is the reason for the run. It was a cold but beautiful morning.

For my 300th post I am giving my readers a sneak peak at the article I wrote for the next High Desert Runner newsletter. Hope you enjoy it.

Consistently Consistent
by Karl Stutelberg, PT

While at the Boston Marathon in 2008 I sat in on a Q & A with some athletes and coaches that included Coach Greg McMillan of McMillan Elite out of Flagstaff, AZ. I already knew of Greg and frequented his website, to use his pace calculator and read his blog. I was excited to meet him and hear what he had to say about the training of his group in AZ. After the presentation I asked Greg what he would recommend I add to my program to better my marathon PR, knowing quite well that there was no right answer. He told me consistency is the key to improvement.

Just being on a consistent program will overtime improve fitness and lead to PRs. The human body’s adaptations to the cardiovascular system and aerobic fitness change slowly over time. These cellular changes include increasing the number and size of mitochondria (the energy producing cells) and capillaries (the small blood vessels that surround and bring oxygen to muscle). This doesn’t happen after a day, week, or month of training. It happens over years.

Consistency means avoiding injury and illness, listening to your body, planning a training schedule and sticking to it. It simply means avoiding any setback that will keep you from running. It means getting up early for that 10 miler on a winter morning when the bed is warm and comfortable. It doesn’t mean that you must run every day. My training schedule involves running four days a week. It is not consistent if I run one day the first week, then three days the next, and then skip a week. It also is not consistent if I train for four months for a marathon, and then take three months off before starting to run again for the next race.

Olympian Ryan Hall said in an interview, “It’s about hitting this big block…it’s not just about that one big week [of training], its about weeks and months leading up to that to set up the ability to be able to do that week [of training]…People think it is just about what you did in that build up [for a marathon], its about what I was doing out in the forest in Big Bear when I was in high school logging miles and doing hard workouts…it is all cumulative.”

In Malcom Gladwell’s book Outliers, he discusses the key to success or greatness in any job or activity as requiring 10,000 hours of practice. He calls this the 10,000 hour rule. This means that it could take years of training to reach your true genetic potential.

Coach Jack Daniels PhD. says, “The worst person on the team may have the best potential. There is no way of knowing and you won’t know in a year. You probably won’t know in four years. You might know in 8 or 10.”

The key to any running program is a consistent gradual progression of increasing mileage and intensity of training over many years. Set your goals high, think ahead even a few years, and keep pounding the pavement.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

20 miler with Dan on the aqueduct

Yesterday I was limping on my right foot all day at work and today I felt fine.
Dan and I got out at 6 am this morning and followed the same route that we did two weeks ago.

Bad news was I started the run in my new Kayanos and after about 30 feet I told Dan, "I can't run in these shoes," and switched to my 1224s.
Good news was I had no trouble after that.

I decided after today that I will run the marathon in my New Balance 1224s. They have been good to me since buying them two months ago.

My garmin had a low battery and so I decided to just go without it. Dan just had his regular stop watch so we had some idea of where we were. We stayed even most of the run and turned around at the last bridge before 110th. I am not sure on the exact distance but I am giving myself credit for 20 miles today. It was probably a little short of 20. We both commented during the run that our legs felt sort of stale. I think my exact words were "my legs feel kind of blah today." My total time was just less than 2 hours 30 minutes. The effort felt right around 8:00 pace or just under. We picked it up a little more in the last five miles on the way back.

At about mile 14 we ran into Sergio Reyes and another guy running the other direction.

The temperature when we started was 41 degrees and was 55 degrees when we finished. It was great weather for a long run.

My legs felt great all day today.

Clay, Dale, and I are doing Yasso's 800s Tuesday morning at Joe Walker track. I will attempt a marathon pace run next weekend. Those are the last key workouts planned. I may do one other shorter MP run 5-6 miles if I feel the need.

Friday, November 13, 2009

7 mile leg loosening

I missed getting out on Thursday due to laziness again. I decided to get out for an hour this morning but started off slow due to stiffness and after a few miles I decided this was going to be and easy run to get the legs loose before Saturday's long run.

I think I was just under 56 minutes for 7 miles or right around 8:00 pace. It was a cold and breezy morning. I wore a hat and gloves.

My left hamstring feels great, but all day at work I have had right lateral foot pain with every step. It is conserning to me as the 5th metatarsal is in the top 3 stress fracture sites among runners. I may not be doing the long run I had planned tomorrow. Is that what happens after you turn 30? I feel like I am falling apart.

I don't need to learn the hard way. I will listen to my body. I will run tomorrow, we'll just have to wait and see how it feels.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I have noticed that Dale and Clay have been discussing their goals for CIM and trying to decide what kind of pace they are capable off. Dale has PR'd in every distance from 5k to the marathon this year! Clay has run 5 half marathons this year but hasn't run a marathon in almost two years! Besides a 10k time trial of 37:33, I haven't run anything fast all year! It sure makes it hard to know if you are ready to sustain a certain pace for 26.2 miles.

I set a goal to run 2:55 at CIM a year ago. I figure I better put down my race goals on paper, I mean on the blog again.

A Goal = as close to 2:55 as possible

B Goal = PR (sub 2:58:37)

C Goal = Sub 3:00

I will be disappointed with anything else, unless weather conditions make these near impossible. A sub 3:10, or Boston qualifier, is always a good back up. It would be my 3rd marathon under 3:10. Here is the course elevation profile.

Less than four weeks to go!

I have one more 20 miler to do this weekend, probably Saturday, and a little more marathon pace work. Let's do this.

If you are interested in a marathon pace splits bracelet you can make your own at Click here and just input your goal time. It prints as a PDF.

My high school team ended up 3rd in the state of Nevada for cross country last weekend! I was correct in my prediction that a team from Reno would win. Carson HS killed with 3 in the top 10. Green Valley's top runner was 6th but he was 2nd from southern NV. The top 4 runners were all from the Reno area. There is less than a minutes between GV's number 1 and their number 5 runner! Centennial HS (also from Las Vegas) had all top 5 runners in the top 16 and still lost! Six of Green Valley's seven runners are seniors so it may take a while to rebuild. Here is the meet results.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

8 mile easy run (59:43)

My left hamstring feels like it is on the verge of cramping all the time. There is some neural tension as I can also feel it in the arch of my foot. It doesn't seem to affect me too much on the run but I do feel myself compensating slightly. Running doesn't seem to make it worse.

Because of these symptoms I took it fairly easy today. It was almost like a fartlek workout as I would pick up the pace a little to test the left leg at faster speeds off and on. Average pace over 8 miles was 7:28. The afternoon sun was borderline hot! What month are we in? Here is a picture of the clouds after I finished my run. Cool!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Grinding out 17 with MP finish (2:06:50)

Andi and I got out early for a beautiful morning run. She ran the first 10 with me in 1:20:34 (we averaged 8:00 pace) and we ran even and tried to stay fairly level (its hard to do around my parent's house). The hills aren't that steep but they are long and steady. I commented to Andi that it was a much harder effort than I wanted it to be and I didn't know how the MP (marathon pace) finish would go. She did great for the 10 miles and I dropped her off at the house, then left for another 7 miles on my own. The effort was harder than I wanted it to be and my left leg only felt about 90% but I made it through. Here are my last seven mile splits 6:32, 6:52, 6:52, 6:27, 6:39, 6:26, 6:28. The first 2.5 miles are steady uphill. Total time for 7 miles was 46:16 (avg 6:36). Actually mile 15 and 16 felt the best on the whole run.

Total time for 17 was 2:06:50 (avg 7:28).

I had a little trouble with my Kayanos rubbing on my right foot on the downhill portions. I will give them one more trial run next weekend but if they feel the same as they did today I will probably run the marathon in my New Balance 1224s.

Here are some pictures from the Silverman Triathlon this morning. Ron is finishing the swim and then transitioning to the bike! He is probably just starting the run as I post this. He was a minute faster than he thought off the swim. The weather is awesome. It will be fun to here his commentary afterward.

Update: Here is Ron nearing the 10 mile mark of the half ironman. As I am posting this he should be finished! He did great and we are so proud of him!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

6 mile leg loosening

We drove to Las Vegas last night and didn't get very good sleep. My legs were stiff out the door this morning so I cut it short at 6 miles in 46 minutes. The 7:40 pace felt like a jog. My left hamstring feels a little tight tonight though. I'll need a long warm up tomorrow. The plan is 17-18 with the first 10 at 8:00 pace and then the last 7-8 at 6:40 pace (MP). The weather should be great.

We'll be checking out my pal Ron at the Silverman Triathlon.

Good luck to all those running in Santa Clarita this weekend! We'll be thinking of you as well.

Friday, November 6, 2009

10 miles in new pair of Kayano 15s!

I had been putting off buying a new pair of shoes in hopes of getting a pair of the new Kayano 16s that are due out this month (you can get them online at I had this gift card to sport chalet that I wanted to use so I was calling weekly to see if they got the new model in. Well, I had waited long enough so I got another pair of Kayano 15s (I'm not complaining, I loved my last pair). I took them for a 10 mile test run this morning and they passed. I ran my Rancho Vista Loop plus two laps around Marie Kerr Park in just under 1:15 (avg 7:30 pace). The pace was even most of the way. It was another beautiful morning. I found out later that the Kayano 15 was awarded the Runners World International Editor's Choice award for best shoe of 2009! I found the information on which also had a nice write-up on Sergio Reyes' win (and course record) at Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon. It was also reported on the Runnersworld Racing Daily Blog! He's finally getting some recognition as a "rising star on the national running scene." I found some nice pictures of Sergio from the Chicago Marathon here.

Meb had been getting some flack from some sports writers for not being born in America. Now other writers like this one from Sports Illustrated are speaking out on Meb's behalf. My favorite point this article makes is that the last American to win the New York Marathon, Alberto Salazar, was also not born in America. He was born in Cuba. Did you see Meb finish pointing to the USA on his jersey and pumping his fists then carrying the American flag around with him? Way to go Meb we are proud of you!

My high school Green Valley in Henderson, NV won the Southern Sectional Sunrise Division last weekend (results here). The individual winner also came from Green Valley! They will compete for the Nevada state title this weekend. This may be their best team ever. The best we ever finished when I was there was maybe 8th in the state (they only take 8 teams). Some team from Reno usually wins.

Good luck this weekend to Ron Gallagher who will be competing in his first half ironman in Henderson, NV (The Silverman). We will be thinking about you. Have a great race! The weather should be awesome!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Track workout 5x1600m cut downs

Dale called me last night wanting to get together for a run. I was planning on my hilly route but decided to meet at the track at 5:30am for 5x1600m again. Actually, I didn't decide to do five until I had finished the fourth one. I was feeling suprisingly good this morning. I cut the rest down to a 2-2.5 minute jog around the track and cut my times down from two weeks ago as well. Here are the splits. 6:23, 6:10, 6:06, 5:58, 5:41 (average 6:03).

Two weeks ago my splits were 6:21, 6:15, 6:06, 6:04, 5:49

McMillan's cruise interval pace for a 2:55 marathon is 5:57-6:04 so I guess I am on track.

Meb was on Letterman last night and did the Top Ten "things you think about when running the marathon." Number one was "I really hope that was Gatorade."

Sunday's marathon had 43,741 starters and 43,475 finishers. The latter is a historic high; New York's own previous highest total was 38,607 in 2007.

Actor Edward Norton completed the NYC Marathon in 3:48:01. I thought this was the fastest celebrity for the year but Olympic gold medal speed skater Dan Jansen ran 3:41:43.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

5 mile recovery run & MEB WINS NY

I left the Garmin at home today knowing it would be slow. It felt like at least 9 min pace. Recovery days should be taken extra easy. The goal is just to get blood flow to your legs to help with healing and recovery. I thought about 5-7 miles but realized early on that the shorter would be better. My legs are very tired tonight.

The big news today was that Meb Keflezighi of the USA won the New York City Marathon in 2:09:15. It was so inspiring to see him win wearing a U.S.A. singlet. He is the first US male runner to win this race since Alberto Salazar in 1982! He looked so smooth the whole way and incredibly stong after his "move" at mile 24. I breifly met Meb in 1996 at the Runner's Workshop running camp on Catalina Island. I was just a senior in high school. He was a senior at UCLA I believe. Here is the picture. I am on Meb's right side.The other amazing story was that the US had 6 athletes in the top 10! Jorge Torres made his marathon debut with a 7th place finish in 2:13:00! Ryan Hall was a disappointing 4th in 2:10:36. The US placed 1, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10. And Sergio's time in Chicago (a slightly faster course) would have placed him 13th overall and 8th American.

The most amazing performance was Joan Beniot Samuelson, who didn't want to make any predictions this time, and ended up running 2:49:09 and was the 17th woman to finish! I believe that time is faster than her time at the Olympic trials in April 2008. She is now 52 years old. FYI she said her half spilt was 1:22!

See some great post race interviews on

Late addition: Sergio Reyes won the Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon this weekend in 1:06:47! Just a tempo run for Sergio.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mega Long Run 23 miler!

I met Dan, Michael, Clay and Dale (all running CIM in 5 weeks) at 60th and the aqueduct for a 20+ mile run. Dan, Michael and I ran together the whole way starting east to the turnaround and back on the dirt side. We made a pit stop at our cars and then headed west to 110th, again out on the asphalt and back on the dirt side. This was the first time I had completed the entire section of aqueduct in one run and it turned out to be 21.5 miles total. Michael pushed the pace on the way back and we were under 8:00 pace most of the way. I forgot to restart my Garmin at the pit stop but Clay and Dale both said it was 21.5 miles. I felt strong most of the way back and realized that If I ran 23 miles today I would have 170 for the month, so I turned back around and did two more miles. I also figured if I was going to go longer than 20 it should be this weekend giving me 5 more weeks until race day. Because of the Garmin mishap I had to go by Dan's watch and estimate that It took me almost exactly 3 hours to run at least 23 miles (probably more like 23.5). It was a beautiful calm morning and I was over dressed again in my long sleeves.

October monthly totals 170 miles! I don't have good records past the last two years but I believe this may be my highest monthly total ever! I have always been a fairly low mileage marathoner.

Our Twin Cities Marathon picture came in the mail and I thought I would share it. This was the only decent picture with the two of us in it. Do my arms really cross over that much?

Running Times Magazine (December 2009) came out this week and it is always a better read than Runners World. This issue had a good article on: Pain - How Top Athletes Manage the Mental Stress of Racing. Here are two quotes I liked:

"My best races have been when I decided right from the get-go, I'm here. I'm going to go until I blow up. Being a distance runner is about handling pain. If you can't manage pain, you probably won't end up as a distance runner." --Kara Goucher

"I think about Jesus on the cross. I think about my wife. I think about my family watching the race at home. Sometimes I really don't think about anything. I find the best way to manage pain is not to have a set formula because different things work at different times. What matters is that the thoughts are positive."--Ryan Hall

I also found this article titled "Pushing Past the Pain of Exertion" linked off There is definitey a difference between exertion pain and acute injury pain. You have to know the difference to race well and avoid hurting yourself. Mr. McCall from the American Council on Exercise has some advice: “Exertion pain comes down to three words: ‘Suck it up.’ ”

I fully expect some "exertion pain" in 5 weeks. I hope that I am able to "suck it up" and maintain my goal pace (6:40) for as long as possible. Threshold runs and long tempo runs are a good way to train your body to deal with some amount of discomfort or pain. I like to use the term "mental toughness," which you gain from good hard training. Positive thoughts and thinking is also imperative.

Finally, here is a good interview on tapering in your last few weeks for the marathon from Ryan Hall. The information is great but I don't know why he is on a leg extension machine. You would think he would have better trainers than that. If he has any patellofemoral pain he can blame that machine. If he doesn't have any patellofemoral problems he may soon. Great information and great interview though. Check it out.

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Threshold run

It is 6:30am and I already got in 10 miles today! It was dark and cold out there! I ran a warm up from my house to the aqueduct (2 miles) then did a 6 mile threshold run up there (splits= 6:46, 6:39m, 6:32, 6:30, 6:24, 6:10) and a cool down back home (2 miles). Total mileage was 10 in 1:12:54. I didn't mean for the splits to get progressively faster, the plan was to run at 6:30 pace for 6 miles. The cold temps took me a little longer to get loose. Also, I could barely see out there even with my headlamp, so I may have held back a bit so I didn't trip and fall. Now I know what it is like for Marla Runyan. Right after my turn around spot I saw two meteors! Awesome!

I missed my Tuesday run due to 60+ mph winds, and was just too lazy yesterday.

The 40th running of the New York City Marathon is this Sunday. There is definitely coverage on and possibly on TV. The race is doubling as the US Men's Championships so there should be some great competition and times. Ryan Hall, Meb, Abdi, Brian Sell, and many others are running.

Actor Anthony Edwards is also running for shoes 4 Africa.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Early 10 mile Recovery Run

I met Dale at Ave S and the aqueduct at 5:45 am for a 10 mile recovery run this morning. Both of us ran hard yesterday and needed some easy miles to loosen up and get some more time on the pavement. We were both stiff at the start. Our first mile was 8:48. We settled in and talked about our runs yesterday. Dale ran 1:10:37 at a Huntington Beach 10 miler for a PR! Congrats Dale!

I have only run one 10 miler in Mesquite, NV in 62:20 but I think I was probably faster en route to my half marathon PR of 1:20:00 on a downhill course.

We ended up running our 10 miles today in about 85 minutes (avg pace 8:30) and my legs actually felt much better after the run than before.

Total mileage for the weekend was 24. My last 6 weeks of training have been very consistent and I am starting to feel the effects (in a good way).

My plan for this week is easy mileage until Thursday where I will do a threshold run. Then a 20+ miler on Saturday.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Half marathon time trial with Dan (1:31:04)

A college friend of mine, Dan Ham (who is also running CIM with a goal of sub 3:10), came up last night to run a half marathon time trial with me. Both of us wanted to run a half marathon as a tune up for CIM and were unable to find just the right one so I invited him to come up and run on the aqueduct. I told him I would pace him to a 1:30:00! It would be a long marathon pace run for me and a race effort simulation for Dan.

We started at 60th and the aqueduct and went east for 3 miles out and back. We left fluids on our cards for quick water stops. We then headed on the west side 1.5 miles to 70th and turned around again for another water stop at mile 9. I told Dan we could go out a mile and back twice for one more water stop, or out for two and back to end at 13.1. He said he was ok to go out two and back for the finish as he was carrying some fluid on a fuel belt. The last 4 miles were tough for Dan but he dug down deep to pull through in 1:31:04, an unofficial PR by 9 minutes!

We ran very even. Our splits were: 6:54, 7:00, 7:03, 6:54,6:49, 6:52, 6:52, 6:47, 7:06, 6:58, 6:58, 7:07, 6:56. Awesome Dan!

We went through 5 miles in 34:42
We went through 10 miles in 69:21
Finished in 1:31:04 (avg pace 6:57).

His VDOT based on today is 50.24 and predicts a marathon of 3:09:53! He is right on track.

I know he wanted to be closer to 1:30, even possibly under, but the last 4-5 miles were tough. He really had to grind it out and I ran a few steps ahead to pull him along. He got a nice ice bath afterward and we talked about how to best utilize his last 5 weeks of training. We decided he needs two 20+ milers and at least two more marathon pace (7:15) runs of 8-12 miles. He will be running easy this week and attempt a 20 miler next Saturday.

Temps were great but it even got a little warm towards the end. My car said 72 degrees afterward. I felt really strong today and could have continued at that same pace. I too need a few more long runs, fast finish runs and MP runs (6:40 pace).

43 days and counting.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

9 miles on Thirsty Thursday

I got in another rare afternoon run today. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous the past week and today was no exception. When I left around 2:30pm it was in the low 80s, lots of sunshine, and only a light breeze. I don't run mid day to often and I felt a little hot!

I wanted to do something different. I get stuck on a few loops that I like and don't change it up enough. So today I did my usual Rancho Vista Loop...BACKWARDS! I determined that it is harder to run it my normal direction as the steeper hills are toward the end of the run. I got in 9 miles in 1:07:18 (avg pace 7:28). Here are the splits: 8:04, 7:28,7:18, 7:25, 7:17, 7:25, 7:29, 7:23, 7:27. I was constantly holding back on the run telling myself to slow down. I have a long tempo run on Saturday with Dan. 13.1 in 1:30:00 (avg pace 6:50).

Thirsty Thursdays with Jack Daniels are back on Flotrack starting last week. This weeks segment was another great one so check it out.

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Track workout 5x1600m cut downs

What a great track workout! I met Dale at Joe Walker for 5x1600m with a one lap recovery. There isn’t much to say, the splits talk for themselves.

6:21, 6:15, 6:06, 6:04, 5:49

I started at about half marathon pace and ended at 5k pace.
There was a light steady wind down the home stretch that got stronger as the workout progressed.
Rest time was one lap jog and a 10m walk up, probably 2.5-3.0 minutes total.

I ran to the track for warm up plus a little on the track (2 miles total). I finished with one mile cool down. Total mileage for the day = 9miles.

Did you all hear about the 3 people that died at the Detroit Marathon/Half Marathon last weekend? Runners World interviewed a Cardiologist with questions about why this happens in the article here.

My question is what do these people change for race day? Would they have died if they were running a long hard tempo run at home? What makes race day so different? Could it be an increase in caffeine from a combination of coffee and gu w/ caffeine? These people are mid packers, they don’t seem to be weekend warriors, and they are almost always men. The articles I have read report the death rate as high as 1 in 50,000 and as low as 1 in 120,000. But they also say that runners have 30-50% lower rates of heart attacks. In my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the risks!

Jordan Hasay was third in her pre-nationals xc race this past weekend. Not bad considering the only two women ahead of her (Jenny Barringer and Susan Kuijken) are also recent Olympians.

Finally, here is a new one! The leader of the Des Moines Marathon had to stop late in the race (about 400m to go), not becuase he dropped his fluids, not for a port-a-potty stop, but for a passing freight train! The second place runner caught up to him while they waited for the train to pass but the man who was leading still ended up winning. Read on.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

25 mile weekend!

I had a good mileage weekend. Now I need to maintain this volume over the next 6 weeks.

Saturday I met Clay (who started earlier and was at mile 3 by the time I caught him) on the aqueduct. We went east toward Highland HS, out on the dirt side and back on the asphalt side. We maintained an easy pace on our first loop (8:30/mi) and then increased to his marathon pace (7:30/mi) on the next loop (we repeated the same loop). My splits will be a little different than his because our mile splits were not at the same spots (we didn't start together). Here are my last 7 mile splits: 7:49, 7:38, 7:41, 7:31, 7:29, 7:23, 7:02.

Clay ran 20 and I ran 17. We both felt good about the workout.
My total time for the run was 2:18:32 (avg pace 8:09).

It was a fast finish long run for Clay. This is a great workout for anyone preparing for a race of 10k or more. The progression run or fast finish run allows you to practice running at your goal pace after running for a set amount of time. In this case, Clay and I ran easy for more than an hour and a half and then picked it up to his marathon pace. This will help him run hard late in the race when he is already tired. It is much easier on your body to take the first 2/3 of the workout at an easy pace, and you still get the marathon pace effort benefit. This can be done with any distance. For example, if you were training for a 10k, you could run 8 miles with the first 6 easy and the last two miles at 10k pace. One of my best fast finish workouts was an 18 miler (12 easy and 6 above MP) in preparation for the Boston Marathon in 2008!

Today I did an easy 8 miles and averaged just over 8:00 pace on an out and back route that took me out to the end of Ave. M and on to the dirt roads out there.

Total mileage for the weekend was 25!

Next weekend is the half marathon time trial (1:30) on Saturday morning.

Friday, October 16, 2009

6 mile Friday morning easy run

I got in an easy 6 miler before work. The weather was beautiful. The route was down to Lane Park, three loops, and back home. I averaged just under 8:00 pace. The left hamstring is a little tight again. Better take it easy this weekend. Planning on a two hour run tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

8 mile Quartz Hill run in the rain

I was able to get out for an uncommon afternoon run today. I left the house at about 2 pm and headed out for my half mile hills run. I added on another half mile hill today for a total of four. The course is from my house down to L-8 and 70, then zig zag up and down back home. I go up each hill for a half mile then turn left and go down to the next hill. I run up 70th, 65th, 60th and today 55th each for a half mile. It started to rain steady while I was on 70th. So each hill was in the rain and into the wind. It was a tough run and again I pushed the pace a little hard but I am feeling more comfortable at these faster speeds.

Splits were: 7:17, 6:53, 7:05, 7:17, 7:18, 7:18, 7:15, 6:48.

Total 8 miles in 57:13 (avg pace 7:09)

I think I typically run better when I don't have to jump out of bed and hit the road right away.

Singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette ran the Bizz Johnson Marathon this weekend in 4:17. Not bad. I checked out the race web page and it looks like a beautiful course in near Susanville, CA (north of Reno, NV). The times were amazingly fast with a third of the finishers under four hours. I couldn't figure it out until I saw the elevation profile here.

If you ran a marathon this weekend, this study found that you are six times more likely to get sick in the three days following the race as a result of immune system dysfunction.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

9 mile afternoon run and weekend results

I thought about going longer today (12-14) but I was tired from the traveling yesterday. How do you get so tired sitting on your butt all day? I decided to do the Rancho Vista Loop from my house and then see how I felt. I left the house around 1:00pm and it was already a little windy. I had to hold back to keep the pace easier early on. I finished 8 and then did a mile cool down for a total of 9 miles in 1:08:28 (7:37 pace).

Splits 7:54, 7:39, 7:36, 7:32, 7:24, 7:36, 7:46, 7:18, 7:42.

There were some great times locally and around the world today.

Dathan Ritzenhein ran 60 minutes on the dot at the World Half Marathon Championships, good enough for third place, right in between two Kenyans, and one second away from second place!

Local valley resident, Sergio Reyes, ran a very smart race at the Chicago marathon today finishing in a 3 minute PR of 2:15:30 (I had guessed 2:15:20). He started off conservatively and ran very even splits. His half marathon split was 1:07:42. Sammy Wanjiru won the race in a course record 2:05:41. Sergio lead the "chase pack" finishing in 8th place and first American finisher! See a picture of his finish at the asics aggies web site. This is a huge accomplishment. An improvement by 4-5 more minutes over the next two years could mean a trip to London in 2012. Wanjiru overshadowed the results but Sergio was mentioned as the first American in the Chicago Tribune article here.

Deena Kastor was a disappointing sixth in 2:28:50, but she did negative split and her time is third fastest American woman for the year.

Double amputee, Richard Whitehead, broke his own marathon record for amputees at Chicago in a time of 2:50:38!

Clay, Dale, and Chuck all ran the Long Beach Half Marathon this morning and posted some great times. Clay and Dale ran together in 1:34:17 (a new PR for Dale!). Chuck ran 1:32:15 (not bad since I think he is still recovering from the Air Force Marathon). All three were in the top 20 in their age groups.

Dale, I was recalling our New Year's Day Aqueduct Half Marathon only 10 months ago where we ran 1:37:52. A PR of 3 minutes 35 seconds in that short of time is HUGE! Congratulations!
If you asked Clay he would say that he has speed advantage and Dale has the endurance advantage. They have become good training partners for each other, and they are becoming more and more equal. They ran the race together, Clay pushing the pace early and Dale with his fast finish! Nice work guys. Check out splits and some great pictures on Clay's blog and commentary on Dale's blog.

T-shirts slogans from this past weekend:
"Does this shirt make my butt look fast"
"In my dreams I am a Kenyan"
"If found please drag across the finish line"
"We said we would run a marathon when Brett Farve became a Viking"

Friday, October 9, 2009

10 mile parkway progression run

Ok, I know I am supposed to be in recovery mode but I was feeling really good today. I wanted to do 10 miles and the farther I ran the faster I went. It ended up being a progression run of sorts. Andi and I started by running around Crystal Lake near my dad's house for 2 miles (yes there really are lakes all over the place), then we looped around the parkway once for 3 more (see yesterday), she stopped there and I continued south down the bike trail for another 2.5 out and back. This is my favorite stretch of parkway and I just had to run on it while I was here. I always get going fast on this bike path and it feels effortless. The weather was still in the high 40s with sunshine, it was great. I passed a guy on a bike on some of the uphills. My splits for the run were: 8:20, 7:52, 7:58, 7:45, 7:45, 7:14, 7:11, 6:48, 6:47, 6:38.

Total time for 10 miles was 1:14:48 (avg pace 7:28).

Eight weeks until CIM, minus one week for taper, equals seven weeks for some hard training. Can I run 26.2 miles 55 minutes faster (nearly 25% faster) than I ran last weekend? It sounds a bit daunting but I think it is possible.

Tomorrow is a travel day so there won't be any running. It is supposed to be cold too with the possibility of SNOW!

Good luck again to all the guys running the Long Beach Half Marathon on Sunday, and good luck to Sergio Reyes this weekend at the Chicago Marathon. Sammy Wanjiru (the Olympic marathon gold medalist) will possibly be going for the world record in Chicago as well. Deena Kasotor will be making her marathon debut in Chicago after breaking her foot in Beijing. The World Half Marathon Championships will be in London on Sunday, and Alberto Salazar says he won't be suprised if Dathan Ritzenhein goes under 60 minutes. We should see some fast times all around the world this weekend. Looking forward to hearing about all of them.

Finally, some of you may have heard about the TWO deaths at the San Jose Rock n Roll Half Marathon last weekend. The Running Doc at Runners' World has some interesting commentary on his most recent blog post here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

One hour recovery run

We took the last two days off after the marathon. We both felt good, as far as soreness goes, on Tuesday but it was pouring rain all day. I had a little sore throat on Saturday night and I think the marathon made things a little worse. I have been congested the last two days. It actually felt good to run today and helped loosen things up a bit (legs and lungs).
I didn't take my Garmin but the stretch of parkway my dad lives on is about 3 miles around. Andi and I did 2 laps (50 minutes) and I finished off the run with an extra 10 minutes. So I am crediting myself with 7 miles for the day (we were going faster than I thought we would be able to(somewhere around 8:00-8:30 pace). It was a beautiful day. I always have to take a parkway picture when we come. See last years shots here. Below are the pictures from today.
I was thinking about my best two marathon times and what I did leading up to them. Both times I had run another marathon 2-3 months before. In 2005 I ran the LA marathon in March with Andi in 3:38 and then I ran 2:58 in June at Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, MN. In 2006 I ran the Valley of Fire Marathon with Dean Karnazes during the Endurance 50 in October in 3:59. Two months later I ran 3:04 at the Las Vegas Marathon in December.
This year I will run the California International Marathon two months after running the Twin Cities Marathon in 3:49. Will this pattern of fast marathons continue? Stay tuned! I have two months of tough training to get me there. It isn't much time but I think it is possible. The next scheduled fitness test is on October 24th. It will be a half marathon tempo run in 1 hour 30 minutes. Recovery for the next 10 days!
Good luck to all that are running the Long Beach Half Marathon this coming weekend. I am foreseeing some great times!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Twin Cities Marathon (3:49:58)

Sorry for the lateness of this post but it has been a busy day. We got up at 6:15 for an 8:00 start. My dad lives 15 minutes from the starting line. The temperature was 41 degrees when we got there. They opened up the Metrodome so we were able to get back inside and use restrooms before the race. We didn't go outside until about 15 minutes before race time. We were in corral 2 only because Andi had not run a recent marathon to use for qualifying time. So we started behind the 5:30 pace group! It took at least 6 miles to break ahead of all the slower runners and by then the course narrowed making it hard to pass other people. Our second 5k was faster than our first and we were able to get back on track with an 8:30 pace. We went through the half in 1:50:20 (about 2 minutes ahead of pace) we both were starting to get some calf tightness that only got worse, especially for Andi. Then we made a port-a-potty stop at mile 14 and started to feel a little better. The pace started to slow for us around mile 18 and the last 10 miles were tough. We really had to grind them out. Andi's calves were cramping worse and her legs were getting heavier. At this point we started to walk through the water stops which helped loosen her legs enough to start at a faster pace again. The weather was beautiful the whole way with temperatures staying in the 40's and a slight breeze that kept us nice and cool. We were almost overdressed. There is a net uphill from mile 20 to mile 23 but after that it is a flat and downhill finish. With about 2 miles to go we were able to maintain 8:30 pace again. I started to do the math in my head and could see the finish when I realized, if we pushed it in we could still be under 3:50. We crossed the line and Andi stopped her watch at 3:50:00. Our official time was 3:49:58!

Both of our legs were not fully prepared for 4 hours of running today. I had not run more than 13 miles at one time since our 18 mile run in Santa Clarita on September 5th, nearly a month ago. Andi had never been past 19.
I was very proud of her for grinding out those last ten miles and finishing strong. She did great! This was her first marathon since 2005 in Los Angeles (which we also ran together). It was great to run another marathon with her. Although it was tough we got through it together.
My Garmin got thrown off big time after going under a tunnel in the first mile. I was over a mile off by the finish. After reviewing our splits online I realized that our pace did not suffer that much until the last 10k (which was 56:05 or 9:01 pace). Including our potty stop and walks through the water stops we were very close to our goal of 3:45.
Our splits were:
5k: 26:51
10k: 52:42
Half: 1:50:20
30k: 2:40:30
20mi: 2:53:07
Marathon: 3:49:58
I maintained my streak of no marathons over 4 hours!
This was my 7th marathon and Andi's 5th.
45 year old Colleen DeReuck won the US Masters Title and just missed the overall and US Women's Title in a time of 2:32:37. Amazing!
Here are some pictures from after the race. The best post run food was the chicken or vegetable soup broth! It was warm, salty and wet and it hit the spot!
After the run we hurried home to shower, change, get in the car, and get to the ball game. We only missed the first three innings and had to walk up 18 rows to get to our seats. The prolonged sitting was the hardest part, but the Twins won 13-4 and forced a tiebreaker on Tuesday...which we got tickets for after the game! It was quite a day.

Only one lady at the game commented on our shirts!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

4 mile easy run

I was able to roll out of bed for 4 easy miles this morning. The will probably be the last miles before the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday. Travel day tomorrow and expo on Saturday! Weather prediction for Sunday is now mostly cloudy with low of 44 and high of 56. Check the blog for results!
I think they have live online tracking on I am bib #3400 and Andi is #F2980.
The Minnesota Twins are playing their last game in their current stadium (the Metrodome) at an afternoon game on Sunday. We will be going home to clean up after the race and then head directly over to the game. I hope there aren't too many stairs down to our seats!

"Even after all these years, running continues to amaze me. Mostly in its ability to clarify - to make things OK and bring you back down to earth, even when things are insane. Especially when things are insane."

Mark Remy, Executive Editor,

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September monthly totals

September totals were 123 miles. Not bad considering I took time off (one week I had a total of 9 miles!) and ran with a bum knee for the first three weeks. I also passed the 1000 mile mark for the year (I am at 1018) today. Still not where I wanted to be at the beginning of the year (goal was 1500 for the year), but I am ahead of last year by about 100 miles. I didn't get to 1000 until the end of October last year.
I have also doubled by blog visitors for the month compared to September 2008. Last year in September I had 250 visits, this year 500 in September!

In the news:
Dathan Ritzenhein is scheduled to run the World Half Marathon Championships on October 11th. He has been putting in some tough workouts. His coach, Alberto Salazar, is copying some of our workouts (ok, not really). He recently did 9x1600m with 1 lap recovery, each in 4:21, and did a 10 mile tempo run (half on road and half on the track) in what would be a US record of 45:03. I'd say he is in amazing shape. See article here.

45 year old US runner, Colleen DeReuck is running the Twin Cities Marathon and based on her recent win at the US 20k championships, she has a chance to win both US women's marathon championships and master's marathon championships on the same day. It will be fun to be a part of that race this weekend.

My cousin is in Physical Therapy school at Regis University in Colorado. He did a video for a project in school on back pain. Click here to view. It is very entertaining!