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!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More MP Intervals: Total 6 miles @ MP

I joined Clay and Dale again for their track workout and helped rabbit them on their mile repeats. They ran 5x1600m with a one lap recovery jog. I ran through the first and third recovery laps maintaining pace and ended up running 2x4000m (~2.5miles) and finished with another 1600m for a total of 6 miles at marathon pace. My 4k splits were 16:50 and 16:20 and I finished with a 6:25 mile. Total mileage for the day was 9.
Clay and Dale are both getting some great quality workouts in preparation for the Long Beach Half Marathon in two weeks. Once returned from MN I will drop the times down and run the 5x1600m as intended, then do prolonged marathon pace work on the weekends.

I would like to test myself with 10 miles at MP (6:40) in the near future.

I just finished a book by Bart Yasso titled My life on the Run: The wit, wisdom, and insights of a road racing icon. I was lucky enough to go to the Boston Marathon expo early and get to meet Mr. Yasso as he was signing free copies to the first 50 people in line. It is one of those books that you can pick up, read a chapter, and then pick it up again weeks later and continue (my kind of book). I have way too many running books on the shelf that I have not read. I am hoping that posting short book reviews for my readers will motivate me to read a few more.

This book is very entertaining. Most of it chronicles crazy stories of some of the most bizarre and hilarious races and endurance achievements Mr. Yasso has participated in over the years. He has hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro, run the Badwater Ultramarathon, and biked across the 20 days! He also describes how the "Yasso 800s" came about. Running has become his passion and addiction, replacing drugs and alcohol. The best part of the book is his message he wrote on the inside cover, "Never limit where running can take you."

There are also three levels of training programs for races from 5k to marathon that I was not too impressed with, but overall the stories make this book a worth while read. Most of you could read it in a weekend. It took me a year and a half.

My favorite paragraph in the book is:
"As runners, we each have a duty to accept the role as mentor to a slower runner or a new runner or someone who doesn't think he or she can walk around the block, let alone finish a 5k. Remember, we're not some members of a snooty, noses-in-the-air fraternity. We are runners! So let's spread the message. Can you imagine how grand this planet would be if everyone where a runner? Obesity? Not a problem. Depression? Never heard of it. Sluggishness? Get the hell out."

He also rated the Twin Cities Marathon: Most scenic urban marathon. He says, "Many runners, including me, believe this is one of the best organized marathons in the country. They deliver on every promise, including natural beauty. This race is in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and it seems like you pass 9,999 of them. The foliage is amazing, right up there with anything you'll see in New England. The finish line is in front of the state capitol in Saint Paul, and parts of the course are along the mighty Mississippi River. You'd never know you're in a city of 400,000 people, except they're all out cheering for you."

I can't wait!
The forecast now calls for (partly cloudy) low of 45 and high of 59! Should I wear long sleeves?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

10 mile steady state run (1:15)

Total mileage today was 13! I met Clay and Dale at Ave. S and the aqueduct at 5:50am. We did a 2 mile warm up (much needed as I was stiff from yesterday). Then we set out to do 10 at 7:30 pace. We stayed very even and finished in 1:15! Clay and I did a 1 mile cool down (again much needed) for a total of 13 miles. Dale hurried off to church.

This is the first time in a month that I have run 2 days in a row and the first time in over a month that I have put in a 25 mile weekend. I am tired, but the left knee held up great.

Here are my splits: 7:36, 7:35, 7:36, 7:29, 7:34, 7:31, 7:38, 7:26, 7:35, 7:02.

It was a marathon pace run for Clay and Dale and we talked easily most of the time. I think a sub 3:15 is in their near future (CIM)!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

12 mile fast finish run

Andi, Dale, Dan, Chuck and I started at 6:00 am on a 12 mile fast finish run. We planned on 8:30s for the first 8 and then pick it up for the last four. What happened was 8:30 for the first mile, then dropping down to 8:15-8:10 for the next seven. Chuck had some calf cramping that stopped him after about three miles. Dale maintained pace and finished 15. Andi stayed with Dale until 10 miles and then finished strong. Dan and I took off after 8 and ran the next 2 at about 7:00 pace, then dropped a 6:30 and 6:15 to finish. (these splits are estimated...I forgot my garmin, but Dan has a Polar watch with a foot pod for pace/distance/time calculations). Total time for 12 miles was about 1:33 (avg pace 7:45). Dan and I both did ice baths afterward. It was a good effort and Andi's last before Twin Cities, with easy runs for her the rest of the week.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Minneapolis 10 day forecast

Today is the first day that October 4th (Marathon Day) comes up on the 10 day forecast. Here is their prediction: Abundant sunshine. Highs in the low 60s and lows in the upper 40s. Sounds like ideal conditions to me! Looking forward to it.

Tomorrow: 12 miler fast finish run at Ave. S and the aqueduct 6:00am.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

10 mile fast finish run

I met Clay up on the aqueduct this morning at 5:45am for a temp/steady state run, what ever you want to call it. His plan was to run 2 miles warm up, then 3 at 7:30 pace and 3 at 7:15 pace. I decided to save on gas and run the 2 miles up to the aqueduct, mainly to add some mileage. We then did another 2 miles warm up and then headed east towards Highland. This the same stretch of aqueduct that I did my 10k time trial at a month ago. Our first three mile splits were 7:26, 7:25, 7:32! We then turned around and pushed it back in 6:58, 6:55, 6:46. Total 43:06 for 6 miles. The last three ended up a little faster than what Clay had wanted, and we both thought it felt harder than it should have, but I think it says something about Clay's current fitness. He has really been training hard for the past 3 months now and it is paying off. I am predicting 1:31 for the Long Beach half marathon and I think 3:15 is definitely possible with 2 more months of intervals and longer marathon paced runs. I will be doing more threshold and marathon paced runs as well over the next 2 months.

Total mileage today: 10
Total time: 1:16:31
Avg pace: 7:39

Read this article on a family in the midwest that set the Guinness Record for most siblings finishing the same marathon at 16! They ranged in age from 18-44 and all ran under 5:30, one with a prosthetic leg!

The Running Doc posted on PRP (plasma rich platelets) treatments. I had read about this treatment after Hines Ward had it done before the superbowl. It is a very interesting and easy procedure and sounds like it gets great results. They take your own blood, centrifuge down the plasma rich platelets, and then inject this into the injured site jump-starting the healing process. Read more about it here.

A follow up to the heat effects on marathons looked at both male and female world records. Both records were set at marathons that started at 9:00 am with starting temperatures of 51 degrees F, and both athletes ran negative splits (Haile only by 7 seconds). Neither race got hotter than 61 degrees by the time they finished.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MP intervals (6:40 pace); 8 miles total

There are VO2 max intervals and there are cruise intervals. Today I started MP (marathon pace) intervals. I know that sounds crazy. Most of the time when you are training for a marathon you will do a marathon pace run for a prolonged period of time, maybe 6-13 miles at marathon pace. I joined Clay and Dale this morning for their Tuesday morning interval run which was 4x1600m with 1 lap recovery at 6:40-6:50 pace, which is about their threshold pace. This happens to be my marathon pace and I didn’t want to run too hard today so I was the pace setter. I hadn’t run that hard in a month and did this workout as a test to see how the leg would respond. We ran the first mile in 6:53 then did our 1 lap recovery. I then decided to not stop after the next mile, continue at the same pace while they recovered, and then met up with them for the third mile. I was able to maintain pace and even caught my self at 6:20 pace for a while. We then recovered for another lap and then finished with a 6:25 mile together. Great job you guys!

So just as cruise intervals split up a long tempo run, I just split up a 4-5 mile marathon pace run. I would only recommend this if you are coming off an injury and are signed up for a marathon in the near future and need to test the leg at a faster speed. You don’t get the benefits of running near your lactic threshold (although I was close at times) and you don’t get the benefits of prolonged time at marathon pace (specificity of training), but you do get to test yourself to see if you are ready for these type of workouts.

So “MP intervals” is a new term coined by yours truly.

I heard from many people that struggled in the heat this past weekend. Then today I read this great article from runners’ world on marathon performance in the heat. They found that for every 10 degrees over 50 (what they consider the optimal temperature) you will slow on average 3%. So if the temps are in the 80s, go ahead and expect a slowing of 9%. Check out the article here.

I found another article based on Twin Cities Marathon runners which showed an even greater slowing for slower populations of runners. This is nothing mindblowing, (yeah when it is hot I slow down too) but interesting that some articles have quantified the effects of heat on a marathon time.

Speaking of the Twin Cities Marathon, we received our participant booklets yesterday in the mail. Two weeks ago I was worried about the TCM and really nervous about CIM, but today I am excited for TCM and hopeful for CIM.

I just checked the 10 day forecast for Minneapolis. It goes as far ahead as October 1st (marathon is Oct. 4th). The predicted low is 46, the predicted high is 65 (we’re good there), but there is a 60% chance of rain, hopefully not a downpour! I’ll be checking the weather daily.

“I ran and ran every day, and I acquired a sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never, give up, no matter what else happened.” --Wilma Rudolph, US track star

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Heat wave weekend long runs: Karl runs 13.1

Andi got in her last long run before the marathon on Saturday morning with Clay. They ended up running 19 miles in 2 hours 46 minutes (8:47 pace). It got hot in a hurry and they both struggled with hydration in the second half even with Clay's daughter on the bike riding support. Here are their splits: 8:54 8:48 8:33 8:34 8:31 8:12 8:41 8:10 8:14 8:18 8:28 8:32 8:50 9:21 8:33 8:43 9:05 8:55 8:55. Dawn met up with them on the last 6 miles.

We got Andi in an ice bath when she returned home and got her drinking accelerade right away. She was complaining of some muscle cramping in both hamstrings by the end. I don't know what the temps were but I would guess they reached the mid to high 80s. There is no shade up there on the aqueduct. See Clay's blog for his commentary.

I got out a little later than planned this morning with the plan of running 12-14 depending how my left leg felt. It felt surprisingly good. The route was more of a run-about. I ran to QHHS, did two miles on the track, then ran to Lane Park and did two miles around the park. After that I did an out and back on 52nd to K. My legs felt pretty good until about 9 miles when it started to really heat up again. Today the limiting factor was not my lungs or legs but rather the heat. It is just hard to keep pace when your core temperature rises too high and your body starts to shut down. At one point I thought I could make 14 miles but settled with 13.1 (a half marathon) in 1:42:01 (avg pace 7:47). My splits were 8:11, 7:59, 7:47, 7:47, 7:24, 7:57, 7:43, 7:38, 7:33, 7:29, 7:45, 7:51, 8:08.


It seems like the whole world had a heat wave this weekend. Today in Berlin, Haile Gebriselasse attempted to break his own marathon world record, but high temps kept him to a 2:06:08. There isn't more than a handful of people in the world who can be disappointed with a 2:06. His only competition (a 2:04 marathoner) dropped out and did not finish.

In Philadelphia, Ryan Hall won the Philadelphia Distance run in 1:01:52 beating out three kenyan runners. In an earlier interview he thought he was capable of a sub 59 min half, but again I think heat was a factor in the "slower" times. The high was in the mid 70s.

I can't believe I ran in long sleeves on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to cooler temperatures.

Friday, September 18, 2009

6 mile Quartz Hill hill run

I varied my usual hill run slightly today. I didn't go up to 70th only to 65th but still hit the steep section of 65th between M and M-8. I averaged just under 8:00 pace over the run, pushing the pace a little on the hills. My limiting factor today was my L calf but my knee felt better and I had no issues with my hamstring. I have cut my training mileage by about 25-30% and will cut my long run by 30-40% this weekend and build up in the next two weeks towards Twin Cities as long as I continue to improve.

Anyone interested in running the 25th LA Marathon "Stadium to the Sea"? You can register already, for $125! No early entry discount for this one. YIKES! It looks to be a good time. They even have their own la marathon blog. Check out the promo commercial.

Dean Karnazes is promoting the race as well. Here is a recent video interview with him.

Here is Dean describing to a group how to run 200 miles.

From Karl's day calander: 70-number of minutes it took Jesse Owens to break three world records, and tie a fourth, at a college track meet in 1935.

Coach and trainer, Vern Gambetta commented on a post from Jay Johnson on General vs. Specific strength training for runners. Also an interesting read. All good stuff!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Andi's fitness continues to improve

Andi came home this morning happy about her run. She ran a loop from our house around Rancho Vista and back (which includes at least 3 progressively moderate hills in the second half of the run) and averaged 7:57 per mile. The course is 8.5 miles and she ran 1:08 (splits were 8:27, 8:28, 8:04, 8:11, 7:44, 7:45, 7:58, 7:30). The best part is she is staying healthy. Who designed her training program?

We have a group doing all or part of a 20 miler on Saturday. We are meeting at the aqueduct and 60th at 6:00am. Andi is running all 20 miles and could use some help getting through it. We will start with an out and back to 110th (13 miles), regroup and then continue for another 7 (direction depending on which way the wind is blowing, if there is any). The pace will be around 8:30-8:40.

Ryan Hall is running the Philadelphia Distance Classic (Half Marathon) this weekend. Flotrack posted an interval workout he did a month ago (10x800m with 1 minute rest @ 2:12!) up in Mammoth at the park where we took the boys when we visited a few months ago. See the video here.

Finally read this full text article from the Canadian Family Physician Journal titled "Exercise and Knee Osteoarthritis: benefit or hazard?" It is a great article and literature review on the subject.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

7 miler on first long sleeve day!

I don't know the exact temperature but the lows have been in the low 60s and it felt like long sleeved weather today, so I started that way but rolled them up to my elbows after about half a mile. My knee felt the best it has been in the last 2 weeks today. Still not 100% but the improvement is a good sign. Most of the knee popping is patellar tracking and I have some medial hamstring and calf soreness but much better than a week ago. I'll slowly ease back into training.

Today was perfect running weather and I ran down to QHHS and then over to Joe Walker and ran into Clay and Dale doing their cool down after 4x1600! Sounds like a good workout. Wish I could have done it with you guys.

My splits are a little inflated because it is all downhill to QHHS but here they are 7:55, 7:32, 7:27, 7:07, 7:58, 7:46, 7:47. Total time for 7 miles was 53:33 (avg pace 7:40).

Here is a quote from Mark Remy (the Runner's World daily blogger).
"It never ceases to amaze me, how stiff and bruised you can feel after a marathon. It's like you've been beaten all over with a bag of oranges. If a person -- not a race -- made you feel this way, you would press charges."

I love that feeling in the days after a marathon. It reminds me of what I just accomplished.

Here are some great marathon/half marathon tips for first timers from the Running Doc.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Andi's Big Bear Half Marathon (1:57:27)

(collage courtesy of Bill Schneider)

Sorry for the lack of posts this week but the truth is I haven't had anything to post about. I basically took the week off to give the left leg a rest. I attempted a run on Wednesday morning but lasted a mile and called it quits.

This weekend was the Big Bear Half Marathon for Andi and her friend Dawn. We arrived Friday and picked up bib numbers and got all the race info. It was a late start (8:30) and the course is fairly brutal at 6500ft elevation with some good hills around the lake and high temps (it was in the high 70's when the girls finished). Dawn's husband Bill and I watched all five kids while the girls ran and we met them near the finish line. Here is a picture of the cheering squad.
Andi ran with Dawn for the first seven miles and then Dawn told her to go ahead as she was struggling a bit. Andi finished 94th overall (4th in her age group) in 1:57:24 (avg pace 8:54). Her splits were 9:11, 9:19, 8:47, 9:11, 9:36, 9:48, 9:32, 8:21, 8:32, 8:24, 8:23, 8:35, 8:18. Dawn finished 195th in 2:14:58 (not bad for having a baby 6 months ago and not getting any sleep the night before due to the same baby). The next day Bill and I went for an easy jog on the bike paths on the north shore. We ended up running 10k in 53:40 (avg pace 8:40) my knee did bother me a little in the first two miles but we picked it up on the way back. We both commented that we could "feel" the change in altitude from home. Once we reached the car I decided to test the knee by opening it up over the next quarter mile at around 6:30 pace. Yep, it still hurts with every step. It was achy the rest of the day but feels a little better tonight. We'll keep you posted.

Andi was not sore at all the next day. The marathon training is going well. Both girls said it was a very well run race and they heard that the race almost didn't even happen when the previous organizer backed out. A local realtor put up $100,000 to get the race back and guaranteed that amount over the next four years to keep the race going. Amazing!

The kids got some running in too!

Monday, September 7, 2009

8 mile Labored Day hill run (60 min)

I decided to do my 3 x half mile hill workout today but didn't go as fast as I would have liked due to a tight left calf. The 8 miles too me 60 minutes on the dot (7:30 pace). This left leg has been giving me trouble since I twisted it during a move. It has been flared up the last two weeks. I may have a torn meniscus, my knee pops a few times a day, and I can tell when it is going to because to "grinds" and "blocks" my last 10-20 degrees of full extension. It just feels a little unstable. If I am smart about it I think I can manage it through these next two marathons. If I can get it feeling as good as it did on that 10k time trial, then I still have a shot at 2:55 in Sacramento. The running doesn't seem to bother the knee but my calf and hamstring sure compensate. It is all the other stress I put on it during the day that seems to aggravate it. Like I said it felt better after Saturday's 18 miler than it has in a while. A day at the beach and some work in the garage today and it is pretty sore. I will take tomorrow off and next weekend is a recovery weekend for me as I will be watching the boys while Andi runs the Big Bear Half Marathon.

Congrats to Chuck Fieland on a 1:31:20 half marathon at Disneyland. He is right on track to run 3:10 at CIM. Just take it easy on those other fall marathons Chuck.

The US 20k Championships was this weekend and local elite runner Sergio Reyes was running a week after PRing at the half marathon distance. It was a very competitive field compared to last year and Sergio placed 15th with a time of 1:01:47, bettering his time from last year where he placed 16th and ran 1:02:52. Not bad for racing 2 weekends in a row. In 2007 he was 8th place in 1:01:46. See video from the race here. You can see him finish at 14:53 into the video. He will be running the Chicago Marathon in 5 weeks.

The men's race was won by Brett Gotcher of McMillan Elite in 58:57! The fastest winning time since 2005 (Abdi).

The women's race was won by 45 year old Colleen DeReuck who will be running the Twin Cities Marathon with Andi and me (ok not WITH us but in the same race as us) in four weeks.

See flotrack for interviews. Still no Sergio interview.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

18 mile long run in Santa Clarita

For a change of scenery, Andi and I decided to drive down to Santa Clarita (which has an awesome bike trail system) for our long run this week. Dale met us at 6:00 am at Golden Valley and we set off down to Soledad. As we ran down the HUGE hill we thought, "this is going to be killer at mile 16." We were cruising along great until we hit that hill coming back. It wasn't the smartest place to run from but we made it! 18 miles is the longest I have run since my birthday run, and it is the longest Andi has run since having kids. She did great and I am very proud of her. We completed 18 miles in 2:38:10 (8:47 pace) but we were hitting 8:30 most of the way. I remember Dale giving us our 10 miles split at 1:25 and our half marathon split at 1:51:47. I did not have splits of my own because I forgot to start my Garmin after a stop light (I need to set up auto pause). My calves were a little tight at the start of the run, but the left knee felt great and the hamstring/adductor didn't bother me at all. Besides being tired, I actually felt better after the run than before. It has been 2 weeks since I have felt this good. I guess that's all my body needed, an easy 18 miler! Thanks to Dale for coming out and keeping us entertained.

See Dale's blog for the elevation chart and splits.

Four weeks until Twin Cities! The quality workouts for the next four weekends are:
1. Big Bear Half Marathon
2. 18-20 miler (location TBD)
3. 12 mile fast finish
4. TC Marathon

Tentatively the 20 miler will be September 19th on the aqueduct starting at 60th. We'll keep you posted.

Friday, September 4, 2009

7.5 mile aqueduct run with Clay

Clay invited me to run with him early this morning. He was planning a 16 miler and I thought I could get half of that in with him before work (he is off today and headed to Tahoe). We met at 5:30 at 60th and the aqueduct and ran south to the turnaround and back on the dirt side. I finished my portion in just over an hour (avg pace 8:20ish). His son Zac was there to met us and keep his dad company for the last half of his run. I felt much better as I have not run more than 4 miles since last Saturday and the last time I ran was a sluggish 4 on Tuesday. I think I will be ok for our 18-20 miler tomorrow. Which reminds me:

ATTENTION READERS: We are meeting at 6:00 am at the Golden Valley exit off the 14 freeway in Canyon Country. Park at the park & ride on the north side of the freeway. We will be doing an out and back on the paseos in Santa Clarita between 18-20 miles. B.Y.O.W.

Finally, I was checking out the CLU (my alma mater) roster for cross country and found two girls from the AV. Dale, I thought you would like to read their roster bios.

Marilyn Cortina

Emilie Evenson

Marilyn is mentioned in the preseason article here.

Good luck to everyone running the Disneyland Half Marathon on Sunday!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

4 mile recovery run?

Recovery run? Why is Karl doing a recovery run today? He hasn’t run in 2 days and did 14 on Saturday, but not very hard.

Well, my hamstrings, gluts and adductors are so sore I could hardly walk on Monday. They were better today but still stiff. All this from my day of yard work on Sunday. My left hamstring is worse than my right but my calf and posterior tibialis are fine. I felt better after 4 miles in 36 minutes but still sore. This may take a few days.

I ran today in a new pair of New Balance 1224s that I got at BIG 5 on a tip from Clay. They retail for $140 and I got them for $80. I got Andi a pair too, she tried them out this morning as well and liked them. They are New Balance’s stability plus shoe (in the same family as the Asics Kayano, Saucony Hurricane, and Mizuno Wave Nirvana). I have been eyeing them for a while and couldn’t pass up the price (cheapest online: $90)

“I’ve always wanted to be somebody, but I see now that I should’ve been more specific.”
--Lily Tomlin

From Karl’s day calander