Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday: 19mi trail run; Sunday: 18mi bike ride

First off, I apologize for the lack of postings. A lack of postings also means a lack of running. Most of it is trouble getting up early enough to run before work. I will be better. One thing I have been consistent with this month is my circuit strength training at lunch 3 days a week. I think I only missed one workout all month! Staying consistent with this program will pay off huge dividends on these long trail runs.

My feet have been bothering me for the past week or so. I find my feet have been extra tired after these long trail runs. It is amazing how much harder they have to work out there. On the road they basically go to sleep as the surfaces are consistent and the shoes are more familiar. I have only used my new trail shoes (New Balance 921) on my three trail runs so far and it takes some time for feet to get used to new shoes. Talk about baptism by fire!

Off the subject, Jenny Barringer (American Record Holder in the steeplechase), just signed a shoe contract with New Balance. It was a big deal on flotrack. Just before CIM I switched over to New Balance and now coincidentally I am running exclusively in New Balance. On the road I am wearing New Balance 1224 or 1225. On the trail I am wearing New Balance 921 and I am liking them both. Did you know that New Balance is the only running shoe company that has a factory in the United States (Boston)?

Saturday Clay and I drove out to the start of the Leona Divide 50, at the Lake Hughes Community Center, with a plan to run the first 12.9 miles and then run back down to the start for a total of 16-17 miles. I had not run this part of the course before so I was excited for this run. I hit the first aid station in 1:12 and the second aid station just under 2:00. A sub two hour time at aid station #2 would have put me in 24th place at that same point in the race last year. I then decided to continue on for a while on the PCT and turn around after another 15 minutes to run back to the car and meet up with Clay. By that time I was half way down the mountain toward Lake Hughes Rd and decided to continue to aid station #3, then run up the road back to the Community Center, and see if I could beat Clay to the car (he took the originally planned route). I beat him by only about two minutes. I ended up running 19 miles, the last 3 miles were on the road.

I learned a few things on the run this Saturday: 1. Don't over dress, the sweaty shirt was rubbing my nipples raw. 2. If I use a camelback make sure the cap is sealed tightly, my back side was soaked by the end of the run. 3. Make sure I clip my toenails before any trail run longer than 2 hours, OUCH.

My legs were pretty thrashed after the run, and my feet were tired, but they are not too bad today. Total mileage for January was a measly 102 miles. I only ran on 2 weekdays in entire month.

Sunday Andi and I met our friends Ron and Julie in Yermo, CA. "Why Yermo?" you ask. Well it is just about half way between the AV and Vegas. Ron helped Andi pick out and buy a road bike in Vegas and he went above and beyond to help her get it as soon as possible. We made a date out of it and met the two of them for a test ride. I borrowed a bike from Clay's son Zac and we all rode around Yermo together. We did a loop up to the Calico Ghost Town and then took another road for a few extra mile toward Fort Irwin. We ended up riding about 18 miles. It was a great day for a ride and we had fun catching up with our friends Ron and Julie. Ron gave Andi a lesson on caring for her new/used bike and gave her tips on shifting and riding etiquette. Here's a big shout out to Ron and Julie and a big thank you for meeting us to pick up the bike. You guys are great friends! We had fun today!

Andi now has a bike to train on for the Iron Girl triathlon in Las Vegas May 15th!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

12 mile long run (1:31:07)

Clay was right on with his post today. It was a glorious day to run. Andi got out for a run in the morning and I left at around 1 pm to go while the boys were napping. I had planned on at least an hour but as I ran that ETA got longer and longer. In planning for the LD50 I have decided to try and make as many runs on hilly routes has possible. Today my goal was to go long and hit as many hills in Quartz Hill as possible. The temperatures at 1 pm were just warm enough to go with shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. I set my Ipod shuffle and started out UP N to the top. After that I went UP M to the end and got on some of the dirt roads that looped back around to L-8. I turned back toward home at L and 72nd and zig-zagged UP 70th, UP 65th, and UP 60th. I realized I would be just over 10 miles if I ran back home so I decided to run down 55th an extra mile and turn around to finish UP 55th. 1700ft of total ascent over the 10 miles. I finished the 12 miles in 1:31:07 (avg pace 7:35), although my pace was anywhere but steady due to all the hills. Here are my mile splits: 7:46, 8:10, 7:27, 7:34, 7:17, 7:21, 7:52, 7:53, 7:36, 7:10, 7:23, 7:30.

Due to the tightness and soreness in my right foot, I decided to break out a new pair of New Balance 1224s for the run today. I have yet another new pair still waiting in the wings (I found them online at the end of last year for 40 bucks a pair; reg 130). I felt tightness and occasional sharp pains in the plantar fascia of both feet during the run, but most of the run felt great. I finished the workout with an ice bath again. The best thing about the winter...the water comes out of my hose at just the right temperature for an ice bath, no ice cubes needed.

The weather today started off crisp, clear, and sunny. It ended like this (from my front door)!
(no photoshopping necessary)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Running after the rain and pacing Zac

I met Clay and Zac at Quartz Hill HS this morning to help pace Zac on his second mile of a 3200m time trial. We had a great view of the snow covered Tahachapi Mountains from the track. Zac's goal was to run the first mile in 6:00 and the second mile in 5:40. I got my warm up in and then kept loose while he ran his first 4 laps. He went through in 6:04 and I took off ahead of him to help him pick up the pace. We went through the first lap in 87 and got continuously faster 84, 83, then on the last lap he took off while my legs tied up on the back stretch. He finished in 11:35, his last mile was 5:31 (the same time he ran one year ago when I paced him for an all out mile). I faded toward the end and jogged in around 5:47. I did a cool down and then ran another 5 miles with Clay for a total of 8 miles for the day. I have been having some plantar fascia tightness in my right foot so I did an ice bath when I got home.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Limit caffeine before running

The Running Doc at Runners World just posted on some conclusions made after the International Marathon Medical Directors Association was reviewing cases of successful recussitations at different races. They were able to interview these runners after they recovered and discovered some similar behaviors between them, specifically high amount of caffeine consumed before and during the race. One was a 32 year old male who had injested 2 energy drinks, a starbucks coffee, and 2 energy gels! Caffeine is a stimulant and has also been shown to decrease coronary blood flow while marathoning. With these energy drinks and gels with caffeine, the total mg of caffeine sure adds up pretty quickly, especially when you add in a morning coffee or big gulp! The Running Doc recommends limiting caffeine intake to less than 200mg on race morning (equal to two cups of coffee). This may be the missing piece of the puzzle to why these young people with healthy arteries are dropping at races.

Still raining out here!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

5 miles on treadmill (39:40)

Although this morning would have been a nice day to get out on the roads before more rain, I decided to stay warm and wear shorts and a t-shirt and hit the treadmill again. I just set the incline to 2.0 today and ran around 8:00 pace for 40 minutes easy, this time watching a Maroon 5 concert. Matt came in with about 15 minutes to go and watched me run and listened to music.

Some race results from this weekend.
Sergio Reyes was 4th at the Naples, FL half marathon in 1:07:43 on some lower mileage training.
Justin Patananan, also of Palmdale was 35th at the Houston half marathon in 1:08:44.

Brett Vaughn of Black Hawk, CO said it best in a post race interview after finishing his first half marathon in Houston. He described the feeling of last 3 miles of the race as if, "he was dreaming that he was being chased, and running through the mud!" Man that is right on! He still ran 3rd in 1:02:04!

Monday, January 18, 2010

More on Treadmill Charts

After looking at the two treadmill charts that I posted yesterday I realized an inconsistency and wanted to share my findings. At lower grades both the Daniels and hill runner tables seem to be fairly close on effort paces, but at the higher grades and faster speeds there are some huge discrepancies.

For example running at 7mph on 4% grade is equivalent to 7:24/mi on the Daniels table and 7:34 on the hill runner table, but at 7.5mph on 10% grade Daniels says is equal to 5:00/mi effort and hill runner says 6:02/mi effort. That is a HUGE difference.

Elite US marathoner, Nake Jenkins, said on his old blog that he was trying to find a speed and grade that would mimic his marathon pace (5:00/mi) for his winter treadmill workouts. He tried the hill runner pace which recommended 9.5mph on a 10% grade and could only make it one minute! Daniels chart says that amount of speed and incline is equal to sub 4 min mile pace. Then he tried the Daniels recommendation for 5:00 pace on 10% grade which was 7.5mph and that, he felt, was much closer to marathon pace effort.

I have used the Daniels table in the past, and although it is not as detailed and harder to decipher, I also find it to be very accurate. I would recommend using the Daniels table over the hillrunner table for your workouts.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

8 mile treadmill steady-state run

I didn't get to running today until 1 pm. By then the winds had started to get nasty and the temperature was dropping. We are expecting rain here for the next five days so I figure I will be using my treadmill more frequently! I decided to make my treadmill debut for the year today. We have moved our treadmill to the computer room so that it is farther from the boys rooms and we can watch DVDs while we run. We have a ceiling fan in that room and I moved in a standing fan, turned on a Dave Matthews Band DVD, and started running.

If I had learned anything about treadmill running is to not worry about mileage so much as time spent at certain efforts. There is no air resistance when running on a treadmill and the ground moves underneath you, so you already have to set the incline up to at least 1.0 to mimic level road running (I have read as much as 2.0). What I have learned is, if you have to do workouts on the treadmill, don't worry about your speed, instead play with the level of incline. If you know the pace you want to run at then you have to find a level of incline and speed that will equal that same effort.

I didn't know how I would feel today after my trail run yesterday but I had been walking around fine, and running after Micah with no problem, so I got on and set the incline to 5.0. I started the speed at 7.0 mph (8:30 pace) to see how it would feel. I did that for a few minutes and seemed to be running up on the front of the belt so I increased the speed to 7.3mph. This felt like a good hard effort that I would be able to maintain for some time (I should have worn my heart rate monitor). I continued at this pace for another 50 minutes or so while I watched my Dave Matthews Band concert. It started to get a little tough after 40 minutes or so. Not terribly hard but I was watching the clock more often. Once I hit 7 miles I slowed to 7.0mph for the last mile. The entire time the incline was set to 5.0, I only had to worry about the speed during the workout.

There are a few good treadmill pace conversion charts out there. Coach Jack Daniels PhD. has one in his book that was the first one I had ever seen. He also posts sample workouts in his book but if you know that pace you want to run, whether it be easy/recovery pace, marathon pace, threshold pace, vVO2max pace, or mile race pace, you just find that pace on the chart and then run at that speed an incline for how ever long you needed for your workout.

The only problem with Daniels' chart is that it is not detailed enough for every tenth of a mph, the nice thing is that it goes higher than 10% incline if your treadmill goes up that high. When I was done with my workout I wondered, "How hard was I working, and what was my equivalent effort. It felt hard but not that hard." I used this table/chart that I found on which gives you an equivalent effort on every % incline for every tenth of a mph. My 7.3 mph on a 5.0 incline was equivalent to a 7:04 mile. No wonder that felt pretty hard, not marathon pace hard, but a good hard effort.

So if you want to run a 7:00/mile pace effort you could run 8.3 mph at 2% incline, or 7.7 mph at 4% incline, or 6.1 mph at a 10% incline. What I am saying is that you can run 10 min/mile pace on a 10% incline and that would be equivalent to a 7:00/mile effort. You won't cover the same distance, so you have to run at that combined pace and incline for a pre-determined amount of time. It took me 66:40 to cover 8 miles today, which is well over 8:00/mi pace, but on a 5% incline, 50 minutes of the run was nearly a 7:00/mi pace effort.

Say I wanted to do a marathon pace run for an hour. After a warm up I could run 6.9 mph at a 8% incline (equivalent to 6:46 pace effort) for an hour and get an equal benefit. Say I wanted to do cruise intervals. After a warm up I could run for 5 minutes at 8.2 mph at a 6% incline (equivalent to 6:13 pace effort) then drop the speed to 5.2pmh (9:00/mi pace effort) for a 1 minute recovery, and then increase the speed back to 8.2mph for another 5 minutes. I could repeat this for as long as I had planned to run at my threshold pace.

You can do this for any type of workout that you want to just find your workout pace on the chart here and use the corresponding speed and incline on your treadmill. You will get a great workout. The other nice thing is you can set a certain incline and only vary the speed or vice versa. Try it on your next treadmill workout and it will make it much more interesting.

The other thing I learned today was that Dave Matthews Band concerts are NOT good workout music, especially during those long slow flute or violin solos.

The race results from this week are in and the Houston half marathon was won by Minnesotan Antonio Vega in 1:01:54 and Shalane Flanagan in 1:09:41. Deena Kastor also won the Phoenix Rock n Roll half marathon today in almost exactly the same time. I wish they had been racing each other. There were no impressive times, it was kind of disappointing. Even Ryan Hall got beat and only ran 1:04:08. The most impressive time of the day was Brett Gotcher of McMillan Elite. He ran his debut marathon in Houston and finished 7th in 2:10:36. Look out Ryan, Dathan, Meb, and Abdi there will be another sub 2:10 American marathoner soon!

Check out my new Rock Band!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Another 11 miles on the PCT

Clay and I left for another trail run earlier today. It was still dark at 6:30 when we started due to cloud cover. We started our run off of Lake Hughes Rd. and headed north. This was a new stretch of PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) for me. On the LD50 it is miles 28-33 and 39-44. See elevation profile here and look for Aid Station #6 (we made it just past there). It is some of the most scenic miles on the course, with some great views. I tried out my new pair of New Balance 921 trail shoes (see picture below) and they were AWESOME. I didn't slip at all, felt very supported, and I didn't feel the rocks under my forefoot nearly as much. I carried a camelback style backpack again and a water bottle with a hand strap with Accelerade (see picture). I also carried a camera and we took turns taking pictures. We turned around at 5.5 miles and finished 11 in just under 2 hours again. We took our time, especially on the last two miles which were very steep downhill. Check out the the third picutre for a view from the top.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Exciting weekend for racing

There are some exciting races this weekend. The Houston Half Marathon is this years US Championship for the half marathon distance. Shalane Flanagan, the American Record Holder from 3k to 10k, will make her half marathon debut there. She will be up agains a great women's field except for Deena Kastor who decided to run the Phoenix Rock n' Roll half marathon the same day. I don't understand that logic unless Deena is not confident in her fitness. Ryan Hall is also skipping the US Championships to run in Phoenix. I just don't get it. They are both flat and fast courses with great competition. Flotrack will have live coverage of the Houston Half Marathon Sunday morning, check it out!

I was thinking about Sergio Reyes' Chicago Marathon time of 2:15:30 and wondering how well that ranked last year out of all the American times, so I looked it up on USATF.ORG. His time was the 14th fastest American marathon time last year! His half marathon time of 64:05 in Columbus was 22nd fastest US half marathon time of 2009!

First was Meb winning NY in 2:09:15
Second was Ryan Hall with a 3rd in Boston in 2:09:40
Third was Dathan with 11th in London win 2:10:00
Forth was Jason Hartmann winning Twin Cities in 2:12:09

There were only 42 American times under 2:20
An American male won NY, Twin Cities, Grandma's, Philadelphia, Eugene, Jacksonville, and Columbus with times of 2:20 or faster!

I also found a site on that ranked the 10 best US marathon performaces of 2009 and they gave Sergio an honorable mention with "the Patriot Award" for being the first American male finisher at the Chicago Marathon.

NY, Twin Cities, Chicago, and CIM had the most times on the sub 2:20 list and I ran two of those races this past year! Three of the top 20 times were run at CIM and three of the top 25 times were run at Twin Cities.

After looking at the USATF 2009 bests I realized how amazing Kara Goucher's year was. She was in the top 15 in every distance from 1500m (4:09:77) to the marathon which was the fastest US marathon last year at the World Championships in Berlin in 2:27:48. She also had the 6th fastest mile and 5k and the 2nd fastest 3k.

No other runner male or female was as versitle. Jenny Barringer was near the top in every event from 800m to 5k and had the fastest steeple with an American Record. Desiree Davilla was on every list from 5k to the marathon. Galen Rupp was in the top 20 from 1500m to the 10k. Bernard Lagat was fastest American in 1k, 1500m, 3k, and 3rd in the 5k. Dathan Ritzenhein was the closest to Kara in overall distance dominance. He was on every list for 2009 from the 3k to the marathon with an American Record in the 5k (12:56).

We have had some great weather out here so far this year. We should feel fortunate to run in southern California when the rest of the country is covered in snow. Check out this article about a race in Pittsburgh called the Frigid 5-miler!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Coach Armando Siquieros video

Please watch this video. It is part of a presentation at the Super Long Distance Summit last weekend given by Coach Armando Siquieros who coached Jordan Hasay in high school. He has a great perspective on coaching and in the other videos he talks about his history with Jordan.

He can coach my kids any day.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Andi's cruise intervals

Andi finished her workout today. She ran a 15 minute warm up followed by 5 min at T pace (threshold pace) followed by 1 minute recovery jog, repeated 5 times. So there was a total of 25 minutes at T pace. T pace is about 90% vVO2max or 88-92% of max HR (heart rate). I find an easy way to estimate your T pace is to add one minute onto your time for one all out mile or 1600m.

For example, I can run a 1600m in about 5:15, well once my hamstrings aren't so tight and I get some leg speed back. If I add one minute onto that I get 6:15 pace for threshold runs. This also is the pace that you could run all out for one hour when well rested and properly trained. It is usually a little slower than 10k pace.

Based on her 5k time last July, McMillan calculates 7:04 to 7:13 pace for Cruise Intervals.

Andi executed almost perfectly. She came back and said, "that was tough." The second half of the run is up Rancho Vista (a little hilly). She averaged around 7:00 to 7:15 during the "cruise intervals." Her heart rate was around 170 during each bout at T pace and peaked at 175. Using the 220-age this puts 170bpm at 90% for her.

Her mile splits were 8:13, 8:08, 7:22, 7:12, 7:15, 7:55, 7:43. Total mileage was 7.5 in 58:16 (avg 7:41). I told her to do some form of this running at T pace (total 25-30 minutes) once a week as lately she has just been putting in the easy miles and needed to add a new training stress to her program.

Nice workout Andi! Can you go backwards on that formula I mentioned? If Andi can run 7:10 for T pace then can she run 6:10 for a 1600m? Maybe we will find out at the AVC All Comers meet at the end of the month!

5 mile recovery run

I did my normal recovery run down to Lane Park, around the block twice, and back home for 5 miles at just about 8:00 avg pace. I am sore from yesterday but not as bad as last weekend. It will take some time to get used to these trail runs.

I just sent Andi out on an 8 mile run with some threshold/cruise intervals in the middle. A 15 minute warm up then 5 min at T pace, and 1 min recovery repeated 5 times. She will then finish up with a cool down for a total of around 8 miles. She is wearing the Garmin 305 with the heart rate monitor. We'll see how hard she is working out there. I will break down her workout later tonight.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

12.5 mile trail run on the PCT

Clay and I got out early to make it to our trail head just before 7 am. There is a 12.5 mile loop that includes about 7 miles of Pacific Crest Trail. I decided to run with a camelback style back pack with water and a water bottle with Accelerade in hand held on with an adjustable strap. I figured it was a good way to practice carrying extra weight on a shorter run.

We had run this route together before but this time we ran in the opposite direction, starting on the PCT and coming back on the fire roads. The loop is a great run with views of Santa Clarita at one peak and views of the Antelope Valley at other stops. It was nice to run slower and enjoy the run and scenery. The 12 mile loop took us just under 2 hours. Next time I will bring a camera with me.

I was starting to feel some soreness after about 10 miles. I have a long way to go to be able to tolerate 50! I have 14 weeks to get there.

My left hamstring held up great still just a little tight but much better than Thursday.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

7 mile slow run 58:00

I haven't felt great all week. Very tired in the morning, a tight left hamstring, and some upper back pain. I have started back to my lunch workout routine and had good workouts on Monday and Wednesday for 20 minutes each. I usually feel better after doing those workouts. They involve band walking, reverse lunges, kettlebell swings, pushups, planks, mountain climbers, side planks, and different variations on all these exercises.

This morning I ran my Quartz Hill hill run which included 3 half mile hills in the second half of the run. My left hamstring gave up on the second one and I took it really easy. I finished the 7 miles in 58 minutes. I hope this hamstring loosens up before the AVC track meet on January 30th or I will not be ready to run on the track.

The Zoom! Yah! Yah! Marathon in Northfield, MN is this Sunday. A marathon in MN in January? Well, they run it at the 282 meter indoor track in the athletic facilities at St. Olaf College (my dad's alma mater). It's only 150 laps, anyone interested? The course record is 2:52:31. Don't ask me how they keep track of laps.

"Nothing hurts more, but is so rewarding at the same time."
--Runner Sandy Zanchi on the Marathon

Sunday, January 3, 2010

5 mile recovery run and Christmas gifts

I was sore from my 3.5 miles up and down the trails yesterday. Mostly sore in my hamstrings and glut medius (the sides of my hips). After an easy mile warm up I was able to settle into an easy recovery pace around 8:15 to 8:30. I made it 5 miles today in about 42 minutes. My left hamstring is more sore than the right but not at the insertion as before, mostly in the muscle belly or mid-thigh (a better soreness to have).
I am planning on getting back into my lunch circuit-core routine 2-3x/wk starting this week. I think I will need to be consistent with that program to make it through some long trail runs.

Some running related Christmas gifts that I received this year included a 4Gb IPOD shuffle, a book titled A Father's Odyssey 75 marathons in 75 consecutive days, and the movie/documentary "Running the Sahara."
I tested out the IPOD shuffle yesterday and it works great. It is so much lighter than my old MP3 player and you can clip it anywhere. Also with 4Gb of storage you can hold well over a thousand songs, put it on shuffle mode, and you could run for over 2 days without repeating a song (the battery would die before a song would repeat).
The book details the story of 57 year old Terry Hitchcock who, in 1996, ran from St. Paul, MN to Atlanta, GA in 75 days to raise awareness for hardships faced by single parents and their children and their "daily marathon." He is a widower who raised three children. I have not read the book yet, but when I do I will write a book report.
I was given the DVD "Running the Sahara" from both my brother and sister (so I have two copies). I guess they know me pretty well. We watched it over the holidays and I would recommend it to anyone, runner or not. It documents the expedition of three men as they ran across the Sahara Desert starting at the Atlantic Ocean in Senegal and ending at the Red Sea in Egypt. I won't give too much away but the movie makes running thousands of miles exciting (and dramatic), and showcases some stunning landscapes in north Africa. The movie also helps raise awareness for H2O Africa, a clean water initiative supporting the water crisis in Africa.

Oh, and I got a nice 8x10 photo of the finish line at Grandma's Marathon, my first sub 3 hour marathon.

Did anyone else get any great running related Christmas gifts? Please share!

"If you don't set goals, you can't regret not reaching them."
--Yogi Berra

I love Yogi!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

10 mile long run and 2010 goals

I didn't get out the door for my run today until after 2 pm. We have all had some degree of colds over the past two days and there wasn't a lot of sleeping going on in our house last night. I wanted to get out on some trail today to officially start my training for the Leona Divide 50 mile run in April 2010. Yes I said 50 miles! Clay and I have been talking about doing this race for over the past year and we are starting to get more serious about it. Although both of us are not officially registered, and without talking to each other, we both hit the trails today (see Clay's blog). The closest trail to my house that has some good hills is the one that parallels the aqueduct. I can get up there in about 1.5 miles taking 55th street south to the end. I then explored the trail for the next 3.5 miles, almost making it to Highland High School. By the time I got down that far I was tired and decided to take the aqueduct back to 60th. 3.5 miles on the trail and I was too tired? I would say I have some work to do (46.5 to go). I was working on poor sleep and not much lunch. It was fun to do some trail running. I plan on trying to do some running on trails every week leading up to April 17th. The race is 33.7 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail and 16.3 miles on dirt fire roads, and it starts about 20 minutes from my house. Our goal is to finish, hopefully in less than 10 hours. Ultras are much cheaper per mile than most marathons out there. The Los Angeles Marathon this year is $125 to enter ($4.77 per mile). The LD50 is $75 dollars to enter ($1.50 per mile).

My run today took me 1 hour 23 minutes but I was averaging just over 9 minute miles on the trail and about 7:45 on the way home. I had no left knee pain and finally felt like I had my legs back, kind of. I can't believe that it is only 4 weeks since CIM. It seems like so long ago already.

So here are the running goals for 2010:
1. I will finish the Leona Divide 50 mile run in less than 10 hours.
2. I will run a sub 18 minute 5k at the Newhall Independence Day race.
3. I will run a sub 5 minute 1600m in 2010.
4. I will run a personal course record (currently 19:57) at the summer cross country series.
5. I will run a sub 1:23 half marathon in the fall (not sure which one yet).
6. I will run 1600 miles in 2010.

Short term goals: To run to my sister-in-law's house in Acton from my house by the end of January. I have no idea how far it is but I have looked at the route on Google earth and estimate 15 miles. We'll see how close I guessed.

What are your personal running goals for 2010? If they involve improving your running form make sure you watch this video of a marathon winner in Japan. I think he could have taken 2 more minutes off his time if he had just relaxed his jaw, his arms are another story!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year (2009 recap)

Hey devoted readers. Sorry for the lack of posts over the past two weeks. There wasn't anything terribly exciting going on and with the holidays approaching I needed a blog break. I feel ready to drop some informative posts in 2010!

Here is what the last two weeks looked like. I ran a 5 mile easy run on the 20th after the Jingle bell Jog and averaged about 8:00 pace. I was sore from pushing the boys in that jogger. I didn't run again until Christmas eve where I got in a 6 mile run averaging closer to 7:30 but started to have some posterior medial left knee pain again. After Christmas we went to Las Vegas and Andi and I got in two runs together, a 6 mile run on the 27th and an 8 mile run on the 29th. Both runs we averaged around 8 min pace and my left knee pain continued. It seemed to lessen after about 2-3 miles but was sore for a day afterward. Tuesday the 29th was my first run over an hour since CIM.

While we were in Las Vegas we got Andi hooked up with some triathlon gear at a store that was going out of business. We met my good friend Ron there and he helped us pick out some bike shorts, tri shorts and top, and a tri-suit (wet suit). She would like to do a sprint distance in the spring and an olympic distance in the fall. Now all she needs is a bike. If anyone hears about a good deal on bikes let us know.

When I returned to work on Wednesday I realized that I was 9 miles shy of 1400 for the year so Thursday morning I got up early and struggled through a 7 mile run (knee pain worse). Then in the afternoon I ran from my house up to M-8 and 67th to meet Clay and Zac who was doing a hill workout up there. The knee felt better in the after noon, and with two miles each way, I ended the year at 1402 (not even close to Dale's 2182).

My goal for 2009 was to run 1500 miles, so I came up a little short, but considering how the year started I am pleased with the amount that I was able to do. In the first four months of the year we bought a house and moved so there was less time to train. I never hit 100 miles for a month until May! I also dealt with some calf cramping in April that held me back. After that there was great consistency in my training which eventually lead to a marathon PR in December. December was a great month for recovery and time off during the holidays and it was also my lowest mileage month with 68 (my highest month was October with 170). 1402 miles is almost exactly the distance from my house to Tulsa, Oklahoma or Fort Worth, Texas. It is also almost exactly the distance from Mexico to Canada taking Interstate 5 the whole way!

Here are my other goals set last January and how they panned out:
To run a 4:55 mile (Never even attempted).
To run sub 18 min 5k at Palmdale Turkey Trot (race was canceled but won't have attempted anyway).
To run 2:55 at CIM (I was on pace for 22 miles but still finished with a PR 2:57:11).
To run 30 miles on my 30th birthday (goal met).

There were plenty of highlights this year. The year started off with an aqueduct half marathon time trial that I paced Dale to a then PR of 1:37:52 (at year's end his half PR is now 1:34:17). I also did an aqueduct half marathon tempo run and time trial with Dan on October 24th in 1:31:04.

Other highlights included an aqueduct 10k time trial on August 19th where I was paced by Clay on the bike. I ran 37:33 which predicts a 2:56 marathon on McMillan's Calculator (pretty close eh?).

Including marathons and my 30 mile birthday run I completed 7 runs of at least 20 miles this year (that has to be a personal best).

Standout races included the Orange County Half Marathon in May, which I didn't even know if I could run due to my calf injury, but I was able to run hard the second half and finish in 1:27:22.

My 30 mile birthday run in July was one of the biggest highlights with 28 friends coming out to run portions with me! It was an amazing day and I want to thank everyone again who came out to participate. I want to especially thank my wife Andi for planning the whole event, you are the best and I love you.

The year ended with two marathons, the first being Twin Cities in October. This was Andi's first marathon since giving birth to our two boys and she was very consistent with the four month marathon build up that I wrote for her. Unfortunately we came up a little short of our goal of 3:45 but we had a lot of fun. We ended up just squeaking under 3:50 with a time of 3:49:58!

The California International Marathon in December had been in the back of my mind since June and besides a few small bumps in the road I had a great 6 months of training leading up to the race. The base mileage for my 30 miler, followed by the Twin Cities Marathon training allowed me to do some great key workouts in October and November. The last two months included everything from a 23 mile long run (well under 8:00 pace) and Yasso 800s averaging 2:49! I also had a great 5x1600 workout with short rest on November 3. All this training ended with a PR at CIM by nearly a minute and a half. It was a great way to end the year.

2009 also was a return to running for my mom who started back to train for my birthday run. She has continued to train consistently and is now up to 45 minutes on the hills around her house. I am proud of her. Now we just have to find a good 5k for her to run in 2010.

Andi's best performance was at the Newhall Independence Day 5k where, on little training, she ran 21:19! She also ran the Big Bear Half Marathon which she ran as a work out and negative split in 1:57:27.

I took today off (too bad because the weather was unreal). I plan on going out this weekend to ease back into a consistent program again. I will address 2010 plans and goal setting for my next post.

For now, Happy New Year! 2010 should be another great year for running! I look forward to following all of my friends (Clay, Zac, Dale, Chuck, Ron, Dan, Michael and Mark) on their running journey in the new year. Thanks for all of your comments, keep 'em coming.