Thursday, April 30, 2009

Test run 5 miles in 39 min...calf still tight

I took the last 3 days off completely. I have been massaging, icing, ice massaging, taping and stretching during this time. The calf felt pretty good this morning and I felt like I should test it today and not Friday. The morning weather has been excellent the last two days. I ran down to Joe Walker and did two laps. I slowly picked up the pace until I was at 7:00 pace and the right calf started to tighten up again. So I backed off and finished the run: 5 miles in 39 minutes (7:50 pace). Sunday will not be a fast run for sure. I will have to run totally based on how the calf feels, it may be a SLOW day. This is getting very frustrating.

April mileage total was 90. I thought I was getting more consistent this month but this calf issue slowed that down.

In more positive news Rick Ball out of Canada broke the world marathon record for below knee amputees with a time of 3:01:50! That is incredible, he could run a sub 3 hour marathon on almost any other course. Truly inspiring.

Finally, Amby Burfoot blogged about new research that shows hip weakness causes injuries in runners! Doesn't sound like any new mind blowing cutting edge findings to me. I see it almost every day. Take a look at a still picture of yourself running. If one hip is lower than the other you probably have a hip/glut weakness or imbalance. Try some of these:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Long run cut short by calf cramping again!

I felt great yesterday and woke up this morning to fairly calm conditions so I decided to get out while I could. I was hoping to get in 10 or 11 miles easy. I felt great through 7 and then my right calf started to cramp again! I stopped to stretch and then attempted to run again and quickly stopped to walk. Luckily, this time I was only about .25 miles from home. I stretched again, self massaged, and then iced. I finished the 8 miles in 1:03 (7:52 pace).

We all went down to Malibu this afternoon and all the walking actually helped loosen it up today. I will probably have to take it easy this week if I am going to run 13 at Orange County next Sunday.

Scott Jurek started blogging again this year. Check out his blog here. He usually has some great nutrition information and ultra-marathon news.

Meb Keflezighi and Dathan Ritzenhien ran the London Marathon this weekend and both PR'd but were 9th and 11th respectively. The winner, Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru, broke the course record. There were 3 men under 2:06!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

More treadmill training, Karl is tired of the wind!

Some of you may be wondering, how windy can it be out there? This Karl must be a wimp when a little wind keeps him inside. Well for the last 6 days we have had a constant 20+ mph wind here. The mornings are usually the lightest wind but all week it has been gusty. I'm talking gusts up to 40-50mph. It just isn't fun to run in that (unless you can run in one direction the entire way). There is a reason why there are 5000 wind turbines (windmills) in the mountains just to the north of us.

So I stayed inside again today. I got on the treadmill while the boys were napping but after a mile at 8:00 pace Matt woke up, I then ran a 6:40 mile while he watched and then Micah woke up. I thought that would be my run for the day but Andi came soon after and said I could get back on while she watched the boys. I did another mile warm up at 7:30 pace and then did 3x.75 miles at 6:40 pace with .25 mile recovery at 7:30 pace (not much of a recovery). On the last mile I included a .5 mile at 6:20 pace then a cool down. Matt actually came in and sat on the bed and watched me run for another 20 minutes. So total mileage for the day was 7 miles with some threshold/half marathon race type pace included. All mileage was done at an incline of 3. says that this next week is not going to be any better so anticipate more treamill workouts this week.

In the news:
A high school boy from Missouri broke the national high school high jump record with a jump of 7 feet 5.75 inches (and he is only a junior)! This mark would have been 8th place at the Beijing Olympics!

Also some great advice from the Runnersworld "Running Doc" on meniscal tears and surgery in runners.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

6 mile treadmill progression run (46:00)

The wind was howling all night last night and didn't let up this morning. So I got on the treadmill for a few miles again. I started at 7mph (8:30 pace) but increased .2 to .3 mph every mile or so until I was at 6:50 pace for the last half mile. The incline was on 3 the entire run. Workout totalled 6 miles in 46:00 (avg pace 7:40). My right calf felt great. I would say about 95% today.

Check out the new Nike commercial for the Nike Free shoe. Beware it is at least a PG-13 rating.

Brooks also has some great commercials with what they call the SUPER FANS. Here are two of my favorites. If they aren't loading well right click and select "switch to low quality".

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

7 mile recovery, again in 53 min

We have had some great morning weather here recently. My right calf is still sore but improving daily. It feels like the soreness you get for a few days after a charlie horse night cramp. It took me about 3 miles to warm it up today and then just didn't feel like I could push the pace. I had no problem maintaining around 7:30 miles.

I decided to try and map out some of my 30 mile run on July 5th. The plan is to start around 5 am and get 15 miles done on the aqueduct (7.5 out and back). Then two 5 mile loops which will be to Lane Park, 2 loops around, and back. Finally a 3 mile loop and then two 1 mile loops.

I mapped out a one mile loop around my neighborhood on my way back this morning for a total of 7 miles.

The Boston Marathon was Monday and, for those of you that didn't hear, Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher both finished 3rd. It was a great showing for the US as both were in the running for most of the race. Other notables included 45 year old female Colleen DeReuck from the US who finished 8th over all with a time of 2:35:37.

On the men's side local Sergio Reyes finished a very respectable 17th place overall with a time of 2:19:22 and was the 5th American finisher. Congratulations Sergio!

Most of the runners interviewed complained of a nasty headwind for most of the race.

Flotrack is video taping track races this year with a new angle. They call it "trackside" where they are actually filming in a cart on the track, sometimes in lane 2 or 3. It is a really cool way to watch a track race, you feel like you are right in the pack, and you get a true sense of how fast these people are actually going. Here is video from a track meet in Phoenix, a great women's 1500m race.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

7 miler (run cut short by calf cramp) 53 min

We got into Las Vegas late on Friday night. Then I got up early, and drove out to Lake Mead to see my buddy Ron at the Rage in the Sage Triathlon (see picture). He was faster than predicted on the swim, then right on after the bike, but had a tough run mostly due to increased temperatures (it got into the mid 80s). It was fun to watch and I got some good video around the transition areas. The bike course was an out and back 40k which he predicted would take him about 1:40 so I wore running gear and did my own out and back on the River Mountain Loop Trail. I planned on a 10-12 miler but at 3.5 miles out I got a nasty R calf cramp and decided to stretch and turn around as it was quite painful. I finished the 7 miles in about 53 minutes. It seemed to improve a bit by the time I was back but was sore all day. I think it was a combination of dehydration and lack of sleep.

Two weeks until the Orange County Half Marathon. I better get there in one piece.

The Boston Marathon is tomorrow. There is a good chance for an American man or woman to win this year. The last American to win the Boston Marathon was Greg Meyer in 1983! Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher are the US favorites, but Brian Sell and Elva Dryer are also running.

Flotrack has already had some great interviews with the US elite runners. Check them out.

Newcomer Kelly Jaske is also running Boston. She was second at the US half marathon championships.

Finally, a local Palmdale, CA resident is also in the elite field at Boston. Sergio Reyes, who was 27th at the Olympic Trials Marathon in November 2007, is hoping to PR there. His current PR is 2:18:31. If he did he would certainly be in the running for a top 15 finish and prize money! Go Sergio. We will be following the race at work Monday morning.

It's hard to believe that I was in Boston running the marathon a year ago. I haven't run a marathon since.

My wife Andi and I are officially signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon in Minnesota on October 4th, 2009!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is risen! sunrise service 12 miler (1:28)

He is risen indeed! My day started at 5:15 am with a 12 miler: 2 miles up to the aqueduct (a 400ft elevation gain), then 4 miles west, and turnaround just past the second bridge after 70th. Out on the asphalt side back on the dirt side (the aqueduct is paved on one side only). It was truly a glorious morning, no wind and temps in the mid 40s. Shorts with short sleeves and arm warmers was all I needed. I left the MP3s at home and enjoyed the morning. The sun began to rise slowly as I passed a youth group that was holding a sunrise service on the aqueduct. Clay and Zac were up there around the same time and I can't figure out how I did not see them.

The aqueduct is so flat you can really get cruising up there. I had to consciously hold back this morning (averaging 7:00 to 7:20 pace). I completed the 12 miles in 1:28:00 (avg pace 7:20). We had a fun Easter morning with the boys (see family blog here).

Saturday, April 11, 2009

200th Post!! Treadmill 10k hill workout

My 200th post!!

It was very windy all day and instead of fighting it Andi and I both got on the treadmill for shorter runs.

I started with 2 miles on 3% at about 7.5mph. After that I was bored and had to come up with some sort of workout that would make the time pass quickly. I decided that for the next 4 miles I would run at a constant speed 8mph (7:30 pace) but vary the incline. So the third quarter mile of each of the next 4 miles was run at a 6% grade. Daniels' treadmill grade table says that 8mph at 6% incline is equivalent to a 5:43 pace effort. That is very close to my vV02max (velocity at VO2max). Once I started concentrating on when to increase the incline the time flew by.

A better workout would be to do this same grade and speed but at a 1:1 work to rest ratio. It would be equivalent to running half mile VO2max intervals but never running faster than 7:30 pace!

Does that make sense? Find your VDOT and training paces here. Then use the Daniels' treadmill grade table to make up a good treadmill workout when you don't want to fight the wind.

After warmup and cool down I ran a 10k on the treadmill in 48:30 (avg pace 7:48).

Thursday, April 9, 2009

DC Track Workout

Thursday evening I ran down to Joe Walker MS to help out at the Desert Christian HS track workout. They have a great group of freshman who, if they keep it up, will all be great runners by the time they are seniors.

It is only 1.5 miles from my house to the track there so I am excited to do some great track workouts. On my warm up run I caught up with Dale Lister who was on mile 6 of a 20 mile fast finish run.

The track workout today was (800, 600, 400, 200) x2.

My splits were roughly 2:50, 2:08, :80, :33 on the first set.

The 2nd set was faster 2:46, 1:58, :76, :30.

Finished with a 2 mile cool down.

Total mileage for the day was 7 miles.
One kid said the workout was easier than he expected.
Our rest intervals were a little long.

The wind was very strong this evening.
My calves are sore tonight, they will be worse in the morning.
I am ready to start one track workout a week until the end of May.
The workouts will be short and speedy before attempting my sub 5 min 1600m.
I may need some help on that one.
I would also like to attempt a sub 11 min 3200m.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

5 miles on treadmill (39:40)

Anticipating wind and rain I got on the treadmill this morning for 5 miles. Man does time go slow on a treadmill. I need a flat panel TV for the wall in front of me. I started with one mile at 7 mph, then one mile at 7.5 mph, and finished the rest at 7.8 mph (7:40 pace) all on a 3% incline.

At work we did our lunch strength training routine and then I went into the parking lot for form drills and short sprints. That is a great time to do form drills. Do an easy run, then some strength and core work. Once you are tired, try and maintain good form on the drills and sprints. I was fatigued by the end of all that!

If you are too tired and not able to maintain decent form this is also a good time to get hurt so be aware of your body's position and do not attempt if too tired.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

17 mile weekend: 6 on Sat, 11 on Sun.

Saturday I ran back and forth to Quartz Hill High School (which is almost exactly 3 miles from my house). They were hosting the Michelle Perry Invitational. Michelle is a graduate of QHHS and a world champion in the 100m hurdles in 2007! I missed Zac Patten's events but got to soak up some track meet and then ran home. I averaged 7:00 pace over the 6 miles, which was really 3 miles, then 20 min break, then 3 more miles. I realized one thing while watching the races: It is painful to watch high school hurdlers. This event is all about technique and form and these kids have none of it. The finish line is in front of them and they are all going up and down. I'm one to talk though, I couldn't do it either.

Sunday morning I couldn't find my watch but got in what I estimate is almost exactly 11 miles. I ran up to the aqueduct then south to the turnaround behind Highland High School and back. It was a slow climb up to the aqueduct but I got into a decent rhythm once up there and cruised the rest of the way. I estimate 7:00 to 7:30 pace most of the way. It was a beautiful morning and turned out to be a beautiful day with only a few hours mid morning with stronger winds. More and more easy mileage gearing me up for some harder training and higher mileage in the coming months.

I spoke with my friend and colleague Ron Gallagher, PT this evening. I have mentioned his blog in the past. We went to physical therapy school together and became close friends there. He has always been a power athlete. He played baseball in high school and was a collegiate cheerleader at UNLV. Over the last year and a half he has taken up running and even more recently triathlon training. He has run 3 half marathons in the last year and completed his first triathlon in 2009. He is now an endurance athlete. In two weeks he will attempt his first Olympic Distance Triathlon. Ron also started a blog on his training and initially credited me with inspiring him to run and train. Today I would like to tell him how inspiring he is to me. He never does anything half way. He is in this to see how far he can go and how much he can take. Just returning from a medical conference in Virginia on the lastest triathlon training research, he is learning everything he can on how to better himself, and help his patients maximize their potential as well. Good luck on your race on April 18th (Rage Triathlon) Ron, can't wait to see you.
(picture taken September 2002 at a 9-11 memorial 5k)

Finally, I received my latest issue of Runners World Magazine in the mail on Saturday. It is the best issue they have had in a long time. There is a great article for beginners, by Amby Burfoot. He states, "take your time and focus on going farther, not faster." He later says, "If you feel out of breath or sick to your stomach, you're running too fast, a mistake made by perhaps 99 percent of beginners." The only advice I did not agree with him on was that he does not advocate the need for a good pair of running shoes right away. I see too many people that get hurt early on and cannot continue their training because of improper footwear. He writes, "you can run in your comfortable cross-trainers, sneakers, or walking shoes" and I would say you can but you are at a very high risk of developing overuse injuries quickly. I can run in my dress shoes if I have too but it doesn't feel very good.

Amby Burfoot also wrote an article about qualifying for the Boston Marathon. It truely is as Ray Wong said, "like getting your degree in marathoning."

There is also a good article on downhill running by exercise physiologist Jason Karp, PhD.

Jeff Galloway has an article on determining training paces based on a 1 mile time trial. It is also great for the beginner. He recommends repeating the time trial every two weeks or so. I would recommend every 4-6 weeks (or one mesocycle) after some training adaptations can take place.

Ed Eyestone wrote on the importance of the rest day. I have too many rest days, I'm just not getting enough rest (sleep).

There are also two great bios; one on Kara Goucher (who is on the cover), and one on Bill Rogers, both are running the Boston Marathon on April 20th, 2009.

PS Bestbuy has the Garmin 305 on sale this week for 159.99 for those of you in the market.
Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tuesday 8.5 miler (1:08:32) easy run

Tuesday morning I got out early for an 8 miler which turned out to be 8.5 miles around Quartz Hill so that my monthly total evened out. I felt sluggish on my run averaging 8:00 pace (total time1:08:32), so I did 4 accelerations and high skips in front of my house to finish off the workout. Sometimes I need to remind the legs what it feels like to run fast.

Monthly totals for March were another measly 77 miles for a total of 242 for the year so far. I think Dale ran almost that many in March, yikes.

See video of this year’s Shamrock Shuffle here. I will never complain about the “cold” weather in southern California again.

In the news:
Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, is said to be pacing at the Boston Marathon through 15 miles. Read the article here.

Dean Karnazes had another great blog post on what he calls GLOBESITY.

Finally, High Intensity Exercise Trumps Easier Workouts For Weight Loss, Body Fat, Cholesterol (read about it here).