Sunday, May 31, 2009

10 miler (78 min) & May mileage totals

Didn't get great sleep last night as the boys were both up at multiple times during the night. I did get up for a 10 miler looping around Quartz Hill. I ran in the new Kayano 15 again. Did a few neighborhood loops making my way up to 70th West and then came back on Ave. M which is mostly downhill. It was another great morning for a run but did start to heat up towards the end, I didn't leave until 6:20. Average pace on the run was 7:50, fairly even the entire time. No foot pain during the run.

Mileage total for May ended up at 147! This included the Orange County Half Marathon and two training runs longer than 13 miles (15 and 18). I haven't put in that kind of mileage since training for Boston 2008! I am hoping to keep this up for a while over the summer. Twin Cities Marathon on October 4th will motivate me to continue on this pace.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Asics Gel-Kayano 15

Thursday after my run I felt some lateral right foot pain (more like an ache) the rest of the day. Right away I freak out about stress fractures. The next morning I wore some more cushioned shoes to work and had no lateral foot pain but a sharp pain all morning around the tarsal tunnel and talocrural joint (ankle joint). I had my colleague Adam look at it at lunch and we discussed my past few weeks of training. Ultimately we decided I was compressing the posterior tibial nerve. I needed a decrease in mileage for the weekend, which I kind of had planned anyway, and I was already looking into some new shoes. Oh, and after lunch on Friday I had minimal to no foot pain at all.

Friday night I went to Sport Chalet (the only place in town that carries any worthwhile running shoes) and with two gift certificates and a $20 off $100 coupon, bought a pair of Kayano 15 for about 40 bucks out the door! Here they are!
I took them for a short spin this morning and they felt great. I ran 5 miles easy in just under 40 minutes. Note the offset lacing system which is new this year. It is supposed to follow the normal shape of the foot better. These shoes remind me why I haven't run in anything but Kayanos for the past 5 years (my marathon career). The Kayano is Asics stability plus model, they also make a gel-3000 (also stability plus) that I have not tried. I used to wear Kayanos in high school as well (at least my junior and senior year) but stopped after that probably due to cost. They now retail for $139!

This afternoon the boys and I met Andi and the Cranes down in Orange County after a wedding. We took the boys to Huntington Beach on the way home. They sure are short!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

7 mile easy run

The plan was to run 8-10 this morning but felt sluggish on the run and cut it short. Ran 7 miles on my regular Quartz Hill tour loop and called it a day averaging just under 8:00 pace. It felt way slower than that.

I forgot to talk about my new sock purchase two weeks ago. I bought some injinjis at REI while in Las Vegas and have been wearing them on my long runs. I didn't know if I would like the toe sock design but they are awesome and not nearly as expensive as the drymax or other brands. They do run about $12 a pair.

Also I heard a rumor from Dale that the new owner of the LA Marathon Frank McCourt (also the owner of the Dodgers) were interviewed during the race on Monday and said that his vision for the race next year is to start at Dodger Stadium and end at the beach, running through downtown LA and Hollywood etc! We'll see how many strings he can pull but if he pulls it off I might be interested.

Congratulations to HDR Chuck Fieland who ran the LA marathon on Monday in 3:15:44! Is that a PR Chuck? That is an awesome time (avg pace 7:28). Age grade 71.2% and 10th in the 50-54 age group. I would love to hear how it all went down Chuck. He almost cracked into the top 200. Think about CIM in December to run even faster!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekly Recap

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I only had one run last week and this weekend we were busy nearly every minute. Here is the run down.

Wednesday May 20th: I ran 8 miles on the Rancho Vista Loop. For you locals that is 45th to Towncenter, left to 30th, right on Rancho Vista and back to my house (M-12 and 51st). I have to run around the neighborhood a little to get 8 exactly. Yes, I am one of those freaky Garmin users. I have always really enjoyed that run on Rancho Vista. I reminds me of coming up to the AV to visit the Cranes before we lived here. They lived on N-8 and Andi and I would run up N-8 all the way to Rancho Vista and then back around to 30th (this was before the golf course was there). It also has plenty of shoulder (sometimes dirt) to run on and some good rolling hills to train on. This morning it took me 62:37 (7:49 pace).

This weekend we had windy mornings on Saturday and Sunday (at least in Quartz Hill). Saturday morning I chickened out and hopped on the treadmill for 8 miles at 8:00 pace.

Sunday I decided I would run long wind or no wind. It turned out to be not so bad. I went back on the old Rancho Vista Loop once by myself, then swung by home and picked up Andi (we had baby sitters) and repeated the loop again. I then finished with two extra miles around the neighborhood, which I might use for my birthday run, and ended the morning with a total of 18 miles! I was going to stop at 17 but didn't want to end on a prime number. Total time was 2:25:29 or 8:05 average pace. I felt great after the first 16 but there is a good hill on that mile loop that I did twice at the end and I pushed the pace a little (7:30 and 7:45 on the last two miles). I was spent after 18.

The key would be whether or not I would be overly sore the next day. Today I ran around Quartz Hill. The course from my house was by Lane Park, then over to QHHS, up to Mayflower Gardens, and back home. Total distance was 6 miles, time 49:12, average pace 8:12, and I felt like I could have gone farther. I felt great the rest of the day, no ill effects. This was a positive weekend of running for me mileage wise on my way towards my 30 miler on July 5th.

Total 3 day mileage was 32 miles!

Finally, I told you I would give you my take on stretching. I got a few (2) comments on my readers stretching habits. There have been many articles recently showing that stretching does not prevent injury. There is also literature that shows static stretching decreases performance in jumping or power events. There is other literature that shows that correct stretching does increase range of motion. One article even showed that the runners tested that were "tighter" were more effictient runners. I personally think that there are way too many confounding variables to consider when doing this type of study. In other words, way too many pieces of the puzzle that you cannot control or want to try to control. For example, biomechanics, medical history, strength, footwear, terrain, mileage, what all these people do when they are not running, and whether or not they are stretching correctly. It is too hard to make a correlation with stretching and injury. I have read that somewhere near 70-80% of runners get injured at some point, some stretch and some don't. Some stretchers still get hurt and some non stretchers do just fine. I personally do little to no stretching and definitely nothing consistently. I don't think it would prevent me from getting injured and I don't think it would improve my perfromance. One training addition that I do believe has helped me log more mileage without injury is a good core strengthening program. Hip and core weakness has been shown to be present and may be the cause of many runners with hip and knee trouble. My last two "injuries" include shin splints from improper footwear and a calf strain from lack of sleep and dehydration. Dean Karnazes who has run hundreds of miles at a time also says he never stretches and never gets injured (this is NOT the reason I don't stretch, just another opinion). The importance of stretching is totally individual. There are way too many factors to consider. A good physical therapy assessment including gait evaluation and footwear recommendations is the best way to go.

And lastly, the LA Marathon was today and Wesley Korir won in 2:08:24 which not only was the fastest LA Marathon ever but is now the fastest marathon ever run IN CALIFORNIA!! The weather was good I hear with temps in the mid 60s due to a marine layer, and little to no wind. I don't think the race will be on Memorial Day next year. It will hopefully be back to a non holiday Sunday in March like it was when I ran in 2004 (3:15) and 2005 (3:38).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

19 mile weekend: 4 on Sat/ 15 on Sun.

Saturday: 4 miles easy with Andi to loosen up the legs after a drive to Vegas Friday night.

Sunday: 15 mile long run, 2 hours total, last 8 miles were run with Andi (her and my longest run so far).

More details to come. Loading up to drive home.

I'll leave you with this quote from Jim Sorenson, masters world record holder for 800m and 1500m:
JS: Any given day of training is not more important than any day in the week. You don’t want to jeopardize the next three days or the next week because of something you did today. That could be missing your sleep or overdoing it because you feel good and you put in a little too much. It’s a delicate balance, and you always have to think a few days ahead, because what really gets you fit and in shape is your consistency. It’s the accumulative effect of your running. One great workout is meaningless if you can’t back it up with your typical recovery days and then another workout in a few days and then your long run. You have to do it all again the next week as well. It’s okay to back off. It’s okay to call a workout early but it’s hard to do because when you’re warmed up and ready to go and feeling good you tend to ignore that tight calf because the workout is going so well. The next big thing is sleep. You gotta get your sleep; it’s huge. Of all the little things, it’s number one.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Weekly recap: 22 total miles

I didn't post earlier in the week so here is a quick run down on my training this week from Monday to Friday. Still just putting in easy miles to build up my aerobic base again.

Tuesday: 6 miles

Wednesday: 4 miles

Friday: 12 miles out and back on the aqueduct in 1 hour 30 minutes (7:30 pace).

The morning weather has been unreal this week and I kick myself for not doing more.

Now for the controversial topic: To stretch or not to stretch!
The Running Doc at Runners World blogged on the topic of "When should I stretch" on Wednesday and opened up a HUGE can of worms for comments, many of which are from educated and well read medical professionals, on whether or not stretching is beneficial for runners and if it prevents injury. There really is no evidence out there in the literature proving either side. The commentary was so interesting that it prompted the Running Doc to add a reply "When should I stretch? Part II."

Here is a link to one abstract on pub med that is also worth a read.

I will post my take on stretching next week.

First I want to hear from my readers. Do you stretch? When do you stretch? And the even bigger question is WHY do you stretch? I would love to hear your take on stretching.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

5 mile easy run

I ran 5 miles easy this Mother's Day morning in around 38 minutes (about 7:45 avg pace). It was another great morning. I hope this weather sticks around a while. Total weekend mileage=16. My legs felt the best that they have in 3 weeks, so no crazy stuff for a while. I am thinking possible mile time trial over Memorial Day weekend though.

My buddy Ron Gallagher PR'd at the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon on Saturday. He ran 2:10:15. He was hoping to break 2 hours. I guess the course was more hilly than expected. Congratulations on the PR Ron! Now you have to pick a flat course to run fast on. I hear the Fontana Half Marathon on June 6th is one of the fastest around!

The Oregon Ducks distance team broke a collegiate record in the 4x1 mile relay this weekend. That race is not run too often, but with a super star team including Olympians Galen Rupp and Andrew Wheating they couldn't resist breaking another record. They ran 16:03! You do the math on that one! Three out of four guys ran sub 4 minute miles! See the post race interviews here.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

11 mile aqueduct run (1:23:49)

I met Clay up on the aqueduct at 70th St. W at 6:00am today. The plan was 10 miles at 8:00 pace. He said he needed a longer warm up to get to that pace so he started ahead and I backtracked a 2 min so that he would be 4 minutes ahead of me. I met up with him at about 2.5 miles. We ran together for a mile or so and then his calves were bothering him so he slowed down and turned back early. I wanted to make it to the turnaround at 110th St. so I continued on. I was unable to catch Clay on the way back. He and his dog Aurora finished just ahead of me for 9 miles. I finished with 11 miles at 1:23:49 (avg pace 7:37).

There was absolutely no wind up there this morning, instead there were tiny mosquitos. I think I inhaled a handful. I'll chalk it up as extra protein I guess.

Currently, I find that after a few miles I settle into a 7:30/mi pace comfortably. I didn't want to press any harder than that as I am still in recovery mode and just interested in putting in the time. In the last 7 days from last Sunday (OC half marathon) until today I have logged 39 miles. I need to keep this trend up for the next two months in preparation for my 30 mile birthday run on July 5th (more information to come).

My splits today were 7:47, 7:38, 7:32, 8:03, 7:47, 7:40, 7:32, 7:34, 7:28, 7:26, 7:18.

My wife Andi has been running more consistently over the last few weeks to build up her mileage base before a 10-12 week marathon build up before the Twin Cities Marathon on October 4th. I had her wear the Garmin today and she ran 6.84 miles in 55:37 (8:07 pace). I am hoping that she will use the July 4th Newhall 5k as a time trial to gauge her current fitness and give us a better estimate of her current potential for a marathon.

Friday, May 8, 2009

5 mile easy run (38:20)

Today was another great morning for a run. I got in an easy 5 miles in 38 min (7:40 pace). My calves are still a little sore otherwise no complaints. I will start to ramp up the mileage next week.

Zac Patten shattered his PR by 7 seconds at the Desert Mountain League finals in the 1600m run 5:11! That was good enough for second place. He ran a very smart race according to his dad. See Clay’s commentary here. Congratulations Zac!

Minneapolis hosted the USATF road mile championships for men and women last night. My dad was able to go and said it was very exciting. Up and coming runner, David Torrence won the men’s race and $4000 but also broke 4min with a time of 3:59.3 for a $10,000 bonus. If you pause the video at 5:37 you can see my dad on the right side past the finish line. Shannon Rowbury won the women’s race, but did not hit the bonus time. Check out the women’s video too (Shannon’s form is so smooth).

My friends Ron and Julie Gallagher are in Santa Barbara for the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon. They are taking a group of first timers for the race on Saturday. It looks like a great course and the Santa Ynez Valley area isn’t affected by the fires. Good luck out there guys and have fun!

For anyone in the LA area there is a big track meet at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA on May 16th. It is the Adidas Track Classic and there are some big names including Shalane Flannagan, Bernard Lagat, Shannon Rowbury, and Jordan Hasay. You can get a seat for as little as ten bucks!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

6 mile recovery run (48 min)

I am starting to feel better 3 days after the race. Both of my calves are still tight and my quads are still a little fatigued but I was able to run fairly normally today. I just took it easy for 6 miles at 8:00 pace which included some of the long road hills in the area. The weather was great and it is now getting lighter earlier. I am looking forward to some long morning runs when the weather is like this.

My brightroom photos are up from the Orange County half marathon. Check them out here.
I have to post a link to the brightroom photos for Chuck Fieland, a high desert runner who ran 3:17 for the full marathon this weekend! His pictures at the finish line are awesome. Chuck you have to order some of those.

Today was the 55th anniversary of Roger Bannister breaking the 4 minute mile. This year was also Roger's 80th birthday. If you do the math that means he was 25 when he broke the barrier in 1954.

Anyone wondering where Jordan Hasay has been this spring? Well she has been ill and it kept her out of some big high school meets including Arcadia. Flotrack just posted a video of her return to training up in San Luis Obispo. She has her eye on the high school 3200m record of 9:48.

Finally, Kara Goucher will run one more marathon this year before taking a break to start a family. She is entered in the Berlin Marathon at the T & F World Championships August 23rd. I believe this is the course where Gebreselassie set the men's world record. Should be an interesting race.

Good luck Zac Patten at the Desert Mountain League finals tomorrow, where he will be running the 800 and 1600.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Local runner, Sergio Reyes, wins Cincinnati Marathon

It was a little windy this morning but I felt like I needed to get out for a short jog to start loosening up. My legs got tighter and more sore as the day went on yesterday. Both of my calves are sore today but no more than what I would consider "symmetrical soreness" or normal soreness. Actually, my left leg is just a little more tired than my right. Probably from compensating slightly for the right calf on Sunday. It was a slow run today. I didn't wear a watch but it was around 40 minutes for 4 miles. I should have run 5 miles for Cinco de Mayo. Oh well, I didn't think of that until just now.

I will take this week as a recovery and then start logging more mileage in preparation for my 30 miler birthday run on July 5th.

The big news on Monday was that a local runner from Palmdale, Sergio Reyes, won the Cincinnati "Flying Pig" Marathon on Sunday with a time of 2:20:37 only two weeks after running the Boston Marathon in 2:19. It was his first marathon victory and he nearly broke the course record out there finishing just 12 seconds over (see picture and article here). He didn't know that he was so close to the record when he was running. He won the race by almost 8 minutes! See his finish and video interview here. Congratulations Sergio!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

OC Half Marathon 1:27:22

My regular blog readers are probably wondering how the right calf felt today. Well, the best thing I did for it over the past week was to NOT run. I did run on Thursday for 5 miles but after that did nothing but stretch, massage, and ice. By Saturday night it was feeling fairly good but I had no idea how it would feel once I started running.

Clay drove Dale, Neil, and I down to Newport Beach on Saturday afternoon and we went right over to the Orange County Marathon expo. It was the last few hours of the expo and ended up being a great time to go if you were interested in buying merchandise because everything was 50% off. It was not a great time to go if you were picking up your race shirts because all they had left was XL shirts. I figured this was not going to be a super fast race so I wasn't interested in buying an OC marathon mug, towel, or poster. I did get some coolmax socks and a headband for Andi.

We got to bed early in our hotel room which was right down by the starting line. The race started at 6:30 so I was up around 5:30 and heading down just after 6:00am. Clay was running with Dale, who was running the full marathon, and had a goal of sub 3:20. The marathoners ran with the halfers until about 12 miles. Neil was hoping to break 1:20 for the half. We met up with Dave (55-59 age group) who was shooting for a sub 1:30 half. I decided to start with Dave and see how I felt. If the calf cooperated then I could pace him and he might win his age group.

The temp was in the mid 50s at the start and it was deceivingly humid. Why is humidity such a silent killer? Not only do you sweat a ton leading to a dehydration, but if there is little wind like today then there is no way to cool you down, your core temperature rises quickly, and the body starts to shut down for fear that you will do permanent harm. The amazing human body has its own emergeny stop switch.

I let Dave go for the first mile so I could test out my right calf. It felt surprisingly great so I caught back up with him and said, "Let's go!" We cruised down the PCH and I told him we were ahead of schedule. I felt a little "twinge" in the right calf at about 2.5 miles but it didn't cramp and didn't get any worse so I continued with Dave. We already had about a 2-3 minute cushion by 6 miles (I think our 10k split was around 42 min) and Dave started to fade. I didn't realize he had been walking around Disneyland the day before. He told me to take off and so I did and settled into a nice pace around 6:20ish. There was a steep short hill at mile 9 and I was able to shorten my stride and push off more mid foot to avoid stressing my calves. My right calf finally started to tighten on a longer gradual hill between mile 11 and 12. I gutted out the last 2 miles with a nice closing mile of 6:14 and a total time of 1:27:22 (6:40 pace) good enough for 33rd place and 9th in my age group. I was able to get an ice pack from the med tent afterward but had no way of holding in on so I sat down and placed it under my leg for a few minutes.

As a physical therapist, I tend to watch everyone else run during these longer races. Today for some reason I saw a ton of supinators or underpronators. It is much more common to have the opposite problem. The supinator has a very high arch, rigid and tight foot and ankle, and runs on the outside of their foot. This can lead to 5th metatarsal fractures, plantar fasciitis, and joint pain from inadequite shock absorption (the reason for normal pronation). They require a neutral cushion shoe to help absorb as much ground reaction force as possible. They typically require new shoes more often as they wear out the later side of their shoes quickly. See video. And another here.

My mile splits today were 6:58, 6:35, 6:21, 6:48, 6:53, 6:46, 6:36, 6:22, 6:23, 6:29, 6:21, 6:48, 6:14. I was pleased with the time considering the amount of training and the recovery from my right calf strain. I was happy to be under 1:30.

I have 6 months now to build up my training enough to be able to maintain that pace for twice the distance. The goal is 2:55 at the California International Marathon on December 6th.

Neil ended up running a break through race in 1:19:05. Dave faded to 1:36 but was still good enough for 2nd in his age group. Had he ran under 1:30 he would have won his age group.

Clay helped pace Dale to a 1:40 half as Clay came through in 1:40:45.

Dale had a rough second half which included high humidity, heat, a freeway overpass late in the race, and two gnarly blisters (one on each arch) leading to a bloody shoe. Check them out here. He ended up 3:38:25.

Other local participants included Chuck Fieland who ran the full marathon in 3:17 at 50 years young, good enough for 2nd in his age group. Congratulations Chuck! A great time on a tough day.