Thursday, January 29, 2009

A cold 6 miles (45:09) Cold for CA anyway

The outside thermometer when I left the house at 6:15am said 26 degrees this morning. That is pretty cold for us socalers. I ran six miles and I never felt like I got “warmed-up.” I am not complaining though it could be a lot worse. I am thankful that I was able to run today and that there was no wind. The rest of the country has not been so lucky. I am thankful for every day that I get out for a run. Today I ran an easy 6 miles in 45:09 (avg pace 7:30 pace).

I have been flipping though a book called The Elements of Effort by John Jerome. I think I got it in high school or college but never looked into it very far. It is subtitled “Reflections on the art and science of running.” So it is full of little quips and quotes that are blog worthy. Today I decided to check out the chapter entitled “Winter.”

The author describes the earth being “slightly off kilter” which is the cause for the seasons which “keeps things in constant change.” He goes on to say that this constant change is “what keeps the earth refreshing itself, so it doesn’t stabilize, grow stagnant, and die.”

The chapter finishes with the quote, “Go for a run, change your life.”
Ok that is my inspirational quote for the day.

Funny, I just received the documentary on the Endurance 50 starring Dean Karnazes last week titled Ultramarathon Man and in one of the interviews he also says, “If you stop moving forward you stagnate and you die.” I like the metaphor. His movie will be released nationwide on February 10th (I got it on a pre-order). If you pause the movie at the right spot you can see me on two occasions during marathon #20 Valley of Fire Marathon. The movie is worth a watch, very inspirational.

Clay and Dale are running this weekend at the Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach. Clay is running the half marathon and Dale is running the full with a goal of breaking 3:30. They should have great weather with a low of 50 and highs at 75 degrees. My predictions are 1:35 for Clay and 3:24 for Dale. Good luck you guys!

Clay is raising money for Run for Mobility, a group that designed a 50 dollar wheelchair that they take to third world countries. Here is a link to help support this cause. Just type in Clay Patten for the name.

In other news, Palmdale Lancaster had two local runners in the top 10 at the Carlsbad half marathon last weekend. Sergio Reyes was second in 1:04:17 and Justin Patananan was 10th in 1:10:19 (a bad day for him). Both ran in the Olympic Marathon Trials in November 2007.

There was a world record broken last week, the fastest marathon for someone wearing a clown suit. Paul Fernandez, 34, completed the Gloucester Marathon in full costume in 2:50, more than half an hour faster than the previous record. They did not know if he was wearing running shoes or clown shoes. I am guessing the former.

Lastly, I read an interesting article about astronauts and bone density loss while in space. They found anywhere from 0.6-5.0% bone loss per month in space. Over a 6 month space mission that could mean as much as 30% bone density loss! They are required to do 2 hours of exercise per day and have a rehab program when they return to earth, but I don’t know if they can regain that loss. The loss in density puts them at a high risk for fractures, and may affect them more as they age. The next night I caught the beginning of Law and Order and the body recovered at the beginning of the show was found to have a very low bone density for a 30 year old woman. She was later found to be an astronaut!

You are what you do!
Keep moving forward, don't stagnate!

Monday, January 26, 2009

6x2 minute intervals: total 7 miles (51:29)

I was wide awake this morning at 6am and haven't run hard intervals in a while and my legs felt good right out the door. The workout today was 6x2 minute intervals with equal recovery (2min). It ends up being equivalent to 6x600m on the track. 6 was what time permitted today, I probably could have done one or two more. During each 2 minute segment I ran between .35 and .37 miles which averages 5:34 to 5:40 pace per mile. I did a 2 mile warm up and a 1.5 mile cool down for a total of 7 miles in 51:29 (avg pace 7:21). Almost equal time to my 7 mile run yesterday but this was a much harder workout.

It was a good workout today, but remember it takes one minute to reach your VO2max so I get a total of 6 minutes at VO2max today. To optimally work on VO2max long intervals are better because you get more time credit. 800s or 1200s (3-4 minute intervals) I think are optimal. Not too long, but long enough to get some good time spent at VO2max. If I had done 6x3 min intervals I would get credit for 12 minutes at VO2max. The key is to stress your system at your maximum oxygen update so that you are able to utilize more oxygen per minute.

I had a friend email me the other day that wanted to know what his training paces should be if he wants to qualify for Boston. Being under 35 years old, his qualifying time is 3:10. Answer: When you are near 3:10 shape your long runs should be between 7:45-8:30 pace, marathon pace is 7:15, threshold pace (tempo pace) is 6:50-7:00, and you should be running intervals at 6:15-6:30. Race equivalents for a 3:10 marathon are a 19:30 5k, 40:30 10k, and a 1:30 half marathon. You probably can't run near these paces right now since you are just starting your training. The best way to determine your current training paces is to run a mile or 5k time trial and plug your time into the VDOT calculator. I would also suggest running a few miles at your marathon goal pace now, even if it is 1 or 2 miles in the beginning and adding a mile every few weeks. You will know you are ready when you can run 10-12 miles at your marathon goal pace and consider it a moderate workout. As far as weekly mileage is concerned everyone is different. It depends on how many days a week you are running and how much time you have to train. I know that I can get into 3:00 marathon shape with running about 4 days a week and about 40 miles per week. To get down to 2:50 I might have to put in a few more. I hope that answers your question Dan! Good luck. I think you should get your brother involved in this one!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm back...7 mile run (52:16) plus drills

After a week off from running I finally got out for a run on Sunday morning. It was windy this morning so I got in a little AVRT (Antelope Valley Resistance Training...for you new readers). There was a only a one mile stretch (mile 2.5 to 3.5) that was directly into the wind. It ended up being a progression run of sorts since almost each mile was a little faster than the next. Here are the splits 8:10, 7:41, 7:44, 7:28, 7:17, 7:02, 6:57. Total time for 7 miles was 52:16 (avg pace 7:28).

I finished up the workout with some form drills and sprints with the wind and the last sprint into the wind.

We closed on our house about 2 weeks ago and have been very busy making the new house livable and getting ready to move. This weekend we started cleaning the blinds in the new house that had a thick layer of dust and dirt on them. The only reason I mention this is because I got a great shoulder workout holding up the blinds on Saturday while Andi sprayed them down in the shower.

Everyone knows the economy is bad. It seems to be the headliner almost every day now. Interestingly, it has not affected road racing entries. Actually, races are filling up faster than ever. The Boston Marathon is almost at its capacity, and the upcoming Surf City Marathon , half marathon, and 5k are all sold out. Finally, the economy is starting to affect the running community. The Center for High Altitude Training in Flagstaff, AZ is closing due to budget cuts at NAU. Dr. Jack Daniels was the head coach and elite athlete advisor there. I quote Dr. Daniels frequently in my blog and have recommended his book Daniels' Running Formula as a must read. Friends of Dr. Jack Daniels have started a site to help out him and his family so that they may be able to stay in the Flagstaff area. Read more about this project here.

Other Universities, including Stanford, are discussing the possibility of "trimming" programs.

Lastly, a 32 year old woman named Kelly Jaske, from Oregon was runner-up at the USA half marathon championships in Houston a week ago. She never ran in high school or college and shocked everyone by running 1:12:06 and beating an amazing field including former Olympians. She is currently being coached by Brad Hudson, who also coaches Dathan Ritzenhein. One of the first things he changed in her training was a DROP in mileage from 120 to 100 per week! Check out her flotrack post race interview here. Very cool!

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Colorado Trip

For those of you wondering why I have not posted for the last 10 days it is because I was on vacation! We drove up to Mesa, Colorado where Andi's grandmother has a cabin and we stayed for 5 days. The only internet access was dial up and not worth the hassle so here is the summary of our week.

We arrived in Colorado on Sunday the 11th.

Monday I ran the Wagonwheel run which is 10k total on an out and back course from the cabin to the Wagonwheel bar in the town of Mesa. It is all downhill for 5k then all uphill back to the cabin for a total of 10k. The start is about 6450ft elevation and the turnaround is at about 5700ft. We used to keep track of our best times on this run but I couldn't find the old results to compare my time. I ran 47:41 (avg pace 7:41) at about 75% effort on the way down and 85-90% effort on the way up. My mile splits were 7:34, 7:33, 7:11, (5k split about 23 min), then 7:51, 8:18, 7:44 on the way up. The first and last .6 mile is on a dirt road which is covered in snow and ice so you have to run a little slower to stay in control.

Tuesday I had 30 minutes to get in a workout so I ran the .6 miles to the highway to warm up and then did 6x1 minute intervals up hill with equal rest running slow downhill. The grade on the hills peaked at 10-15% but averaged about 5-10%. I finished with a cool down back to the cabin for a total of 4 miles in almost exactly 32 minutes (avg 8:00 miles).

Wednesday afternoon my father-in-law Don and I drove up to the top of the mesa and cross country skied at Mesa Lakes (about 9800ft elevation). I cross country skied 4.5 miles in 1:04:20. See pictures below.
Thursday afternoon Andi and I drove up top again to cross country ski on some groomed trails called Skyway. It was beautiful and we ended up skiing 5k in 50 minutes and peaked at 10,700ft elevation. See pictures below.I also did about a mile of snow shoeing and learned the hard way that your feet get pretty cold if you wear running shoes strapped onto the snowshoes. We took the boys sledding and got Matt on downhill skis and cross country skis for the first time. They both had fun in the snow.We also downhill skied, ski jumped, practiced soccer headers, tight rope walked, and played baseball, golf, bowling, and tennis all on the Crane's Nintendo Wii.

I am not counting the cross country skiing miles on total mileage but they sure made my adductors sore!

We returned home on Saturday night and today Andi and I both took turns running in the morning. I ran over to our new house with an extra loop around Lane park. It was a threshold workout starting with 2.25 mile warm up, then 2 miles at threshold pace 12:30 (6:12+6:18), then 2 minutes easy, then .5 miles uphill on 55th St. in 3:20, then a 1 mile cool down. Total mileage was 6 miles in 42:46 (avg pace 7:08). The threshold pace portion started on L-8 from 45th to 55th, then one loop around Lane Park for a total of 2 miles.

Total running mileage over the last 10 days was 16. Time to get back on a routine.

Congratulations to my buddy Ron who PR'd this weekend at a 5k in 26:24 after a 20 minute warm up on his bike. This time also improved his VDOT since his mile time trial last November.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

6 mile recovery run??? (47:07)

After 3 days off I finally felt good enough to run this morning. Yes, both of my calves have been extremely sore since the hill workout on Sunday. I think it was the short hill sprints that I did all out and on my toes. Monday and Tuesday I was so sore I hardly had any push off even when walking. I tried to jog to my car in the parking lot and felt like someone was stabbing me in the legs. Wednesday was better but I slept in. So today Andi and I both got in a run. I did an out and back route for 6 miles in 47:07 (avg pace 7:51).

Here is a cool article about a guy who had run over 20 Houston Marathons in a row and needed a knee replacement not from the running but from years of playing tennis. He found a doc in Houston that had a prosthesis he felt could withstand the forces of running. He didn't want to break his streak. Two weeks after his total knee replacement he was able to run a mile, and 6 months later he kept the streak alive completing the Houston Marathon again. He plans on running again this year on January 18th.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hill Repeats at 70th & Aqueduct

I met Clay and his son Zach at the hill that leads up to the aqueduct at the end of 70th St. West. For those of you not from this area this has to be the steepest paved roads around. I did a 30 minute warm up starting from our NEW HOUSE! Yes, we bought a house in Quartz Hill, CA near N and 50th St. West. It was a foreclosure, hard to find one that isn't these days. We have some work to do to get it livable but hope to be residing there in February. It will be nice to be closer to some good hills and a public track (Joe Walker MS).

Zach and I did 4x repeats up to the top of the hill which I think is between 1/5 and 1/4 mile long. My times were :70, :71, :80, :76. Then we did 4x short hills that each took about 15 seconds.

Somewhere in the middle would be perfect where the hill takes about :30 to :45 seconds to complete because you could still run them hard but you could do lots of them.

I finished with a cool down back to the new house on a more direct route. It is about 2 mile from the new house to the killer hill. Total mileage was an estimated 6 miles today.

After we were through with the hill repeats we talked about other future workouts we could do there. Doing these hill workouts 3-4x/month will help me lower my mile time towards my goal of 4:55 and improve my form and running economy.

Stay tuned for future workouts on this hill!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

7 mile easy run (52:27)

It was a little windy this morning at 7 am. I think I am getting spoiled by the great weather we are having because to avoid the little wind that we had I ran mostly north and south as to only have a cross wind. I ran 7 miles in 52:27 (avg pace 7:29). Mile splits: 8:15, 7:47, 7:44, 7:18, 7:05, 7:12, 7:03.

After the run I did some form drills (skips for height, skips for distance, butt kickers, high knees) and then did 4x accelerations.

I got the new issue of Runner's World today. It is a good issue with articles on core training, kinesiotaping, and the impact of age on endurance. They list the marathon world records for every age group. The oldest person to run a sub 3 hour marathon was 73 years old (2:54:48) He beats me by 4 minutes!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year Aqueduct Half Marathon (1:37:52)

Dale Lister, a fellow High Desert Runner, is running the Surf City Marathon in one month. We had been planning to run a half marathon time trial on January 1st for over a month, and lately the intensity of the run was under discussion. Clay decided to run the second half with us and meet us with water (thanks Clay). Clay is running the Surf City Half Marathon. I was just looking for a nice long run and to help out Dale on one of his hard effort training runs. See Clay's blog and Dale's blog for some pictures and other commentary.

The weather was perfect this morning. The temp was in the high 30s at the start with absolutely no wind. I was overdressed in my running pants and skull cap (I ditched my gloves after about 4 miles). I let Dale set the pace for the first half and let him know that we were already under his 8 minute marathon pace (for a 3:30) after the first few miles. We were talking and he didn't seem to be laboring with the pace at all. We hit our turn around in 50 minutes where Clay joined us on the way back and the pace began to quicken. We hit just under 7:30 pace most of the way back and were at 8 miles at 1 hour, then 1:15:18 at the 10 mile mark. With 5k to go I picked up the pace by just 10-15 seconds per mile and everyone hung on for a solid effort. Total time was 1:37:52 (avg pace 7:28), a PR for Dale!

Mile splits were 7:49, 7:51, 7:32, 7:20, 7:26, 7:30, 7:26, 7:28, 7:26, 7:22, 7:16, 7:16, 7:21.
We did negative split the run by about 2 minutes!

Dale, I think at an all out race effort you could be very close to 1:35. Based on todays run the VDOT calculator predicts a marathon of 3:23:38. I will make my prediction for you and Clay the week before the race. Good job out there, it was fun.

On my way home I spotted Andi pushing the boys in the jogger on 40th to meet her dad and brother. So I drove home, parked the car, and ran out to meet them. It added on another 3 miles to my day. Total mileage for the day was 16! What a way to start off the year.

One thing I have been working on this past year was sending pictures to some of the Olympians that ran in Beijing this summer and other professional runners for autographs. They were not only prompt in replying, but also very gracious and their messages were motivational. I don't know any other sport where athletes respond in this way. I even got thank you notes from Blake Russell and Joan Samuelson. I scanned some of the autographs and hope that they inspire you for the new year.