Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm back for 6 miles this morning

That 26 mile trail run took it's toll on me. My legs felt ok but my back was really sore around my sacrum for 3 days. The yard work on Sunday didn't help I'm sure. I got in an easy 6 miles this morning and man it was cold today and there was an even colder wind!

Due to poor consistency over the past 10 days my mileage for March only reached 168. Total milage for the year is 444 (I thought you would like that Ron).

I found a couple of interesting websites to post.

Here is the Running USA Annual Report for 2009.
Number of annual marathon finishers still in the rise.
Stats I found intersting:
A record 88 US marathons had over 1000 finishers.
I have run 2 out of 5 (Boston and CIM) of the marathons with fastest median times.
LA is 3rd on the list of slowest median times.
Last year Twin Cities was 9th largest marathon in the country (8474 finishers).
CIM was 16th largest marathon in the country (5848 finishers).

There is also an exclusive club of three men who have run a sub 3 hour marathon in 5 different decades. If she runs a marathon this year, Joan Benoit Samuelson would be the first woman in this club (70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s). If I were to join this club I would have to run a sub 3 hour marathon at the age of 61 (unlikely). I think I would be ecstatic with three decades. That would put me at 41. My problem is I ran my first sub 3 hour marathon at the age of 25 in the middle of a decade (2005). You have a better shot if you are younger and run your first at the end of a decade.

Finally, here is an article from the NY Times in which a cardiologist/triathlete says, "If you have a sports injury (repetitive overuse), DON'T go see a doctor." He has a lot of good points.

My advice, know the red flags and monitor your recovery times. If you need help with a problem that isn't improving, a physician or physical therapist that is a runner is probably a good person to talk to. HINT HINT

Saturday, March 27, 2010

LD Marathon (26 mile trail run)

Clay and I ran the back end of the LD50 from Lake Hughes Rd. to the end and back. It is exactly 13 miles one way. Both my kids were sick last night, and I must have slept through my alarm because I woke up at 6:20 and was supposed to meet Clay at 6:30. I didn't get on the trail until 7:00am. Clay had a 30 minute head start on me. It was breezy out there and got worse during the run. I pushed the pace on the way out and make it to 7N23 4 minutes faster than last weekend (1:41). Then I ran down the steep fire road to the turn around point. This is where I met up with Clay who was coming back up. I kept thinking, I can't believe I have to come back up this road. I make the it to 13 miles in 1:58:50. I had to dig down deep to make it back up that road. I am nervous about that hill which will be mile 30 and 31 on race day. I felt good for the next 5 miles and met up with Clay again with about 5 miles to go. We both commented that we were exhausted. I had some lateral right knee pain for the last 4 miles going down to my car. I finished the 26 miles in 3:54.

This was my last long trail run before LD50 on April 17th. I never got in my planned 30 miler. I ran two marathon distance runs over the last 15 days, but that is only just over half way. I know I can finish but I am a little concerned. Is this like running a marathon with a 13 miler as your longest training run? No, its probably worse than that.

The first 16 miles of the LD50 are fairly easy, then you do the out and back 13 mile route that we did today. My quads will be shot by the end of this section due to the 11 miles of down hill at the end. Then there is 8 miles left, first 5 which are all uphill with switchbacks, then 3 miles downhill to the finish. With 8 miles to go I will be in survival mode.

Friday, March 26, 2010


I have not done any running this week. I have been really tired and as they say, “Life got in the way.” Not the best timing but what can you do. That being said I would not recommend anyone trying to copy or mimic my training program. It can be sporadic and certainly not ideal. Feel free to use workouts that I post in your own training plan, but the week to week mileage is not a good model to go by.

I have been thinking about marathon barriers.
3:10 is the Boston Qualifier for under 35 years of age
3:00 was the Boston Qualifier in 1976 under 40 years of age
2:55 is an automatic qualifier at NYC under 40 years of age
2:50 was the Boston Qualifier in 1980 under 40 years of age
2:47 is the Women’s Olympic Trials “B” standard
2:39 is the Women’s Olympic Trials “A” standard
2:19 is the Men’s Olympic Trials standard

I hit the 3:10 and 3:00 barriers at one time at Grandma's Marathon 2005 in Duluth, MN. I have always thought it would be cool to have qualified for the Boston Marathon with a 2:50 which was the standard for many years before it was loosened to make the field larger. I also had this crazy idea to go back to CIM 2011 in Sacramento and try and hold on to the pace group for the Women's "B" standard. They said they would have a 2:47 pace group (6:22/mi) next year. I know I can hold on for 13.1. If I could hold on for 20 I could finish the last 10k at 7:00 pace and still hit 2:50!

172 entrants for the LD50!

Did you miss the LA marathon? Here is the entire field in one minute.

Monday, March 22, 2010

More weekend news

The world record in the half marathon was broken this weekend in Lisbon, Portugal. It was previously held by Sammy Wanjiru. Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea smashed the world record in the Half Marathon today, clocking 58:23! That is 4:27 per mile! He also set the world record for 20k enroute. VDOT predicts a 2:02:27 marathon off that time! See race video here. He will be going head to head with Sammy at the London Marathon this April. Exciting!

Chuck, you beat Dean Karnazes at the Los Angeles Marathon by 10 minutes! Dean finished in 4:08:45. Of course Dean had a 500 mile warm up on his elliptigo!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

10 mile evening run

After a very busy weekend I headed out for 10 more miles to make my weekend total 32! That makes 2 more than Dale! Not that we are competing or anything. I should be running more weekend miles, I am running a 50 miler in four weeks. Dale is running the Boston Marathon in 4 weeks! I am excited for you Dale!

I felt great this morning. I had minimal leg soreness from yesterday's long trail run. After a full day of yard work and playing with the boys I was a little more sore and tired. I was able to maintain a good even effort over the 10 miles tonight. I finished in 1:21:50 (avg pace 8:11). I stayed in Quartz Hill tonight and did a 1 mile hill, a half mile hill, and a 1.5 mile hill.

The LA Marathon was this morning.
Congratulations to Ron and Julie Gallagher who finished their first marathon together in 5:31:08. You know less than 1% of the population runs these marathons. Welcome to the club. We are proud of you both.
Congratulation also to Chuck Fieland who finished his 21st LA Marathon in 3:57:18.
It was fun to follow you all online.
Heard it was a hot one down there.

Wesley Korir was the LA Marathon champion with a time of 2:09:19.
Aimee if you are reading this, Wesley was also on his honeymoon in Los Angeles, and also brought his coach along!

From the LA Times:
Korir arrived in Southern California on Monday, with personal coach Ron Mann in tow to help keep him focused during a weeklong honeymoon in which the runner said he did little besides train and stay inside his hotel.

"I'm not sure I could have handled a marathon on my honeymoon," Mann said, "but he's got a special relationship with Tarah."

Said Korir: "Every time I was running, I was thinking about her."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

22 mile PCT run

It was a beautiful morning for a trail run. I got up before sunrise to head out on the PCT west of Lake Hughes Road. The first two miles are the steepest on the course. Clay started from the other end 7N23 heading toward me. We met close to aid station 5, said hi and continued on our same directions. I turned around at the intersection of the PCT and 7N23 at 1 hour 45 minutes. I met with Clay again at almost the exact same spot and was cruising down the mountain. I came back on the out and back route in 1 hour 25 minutes, 20 min faster than on the way out. Total run was 22 miles in 3 hours and 10 minutes. I have now run almost every part of the LD50 course except the 2 miles of 7N23. Clay took this picture of me on the trail. I am not carrying a walking stick it is my "snake stick," but we didn't see any today!

Clay, it was good having you back!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

10 miler (6 miles at threshold pace)

I got in another hard evening run tonight. I like my Rancho Vista loop with extra Marie Kerr Park loops because it is well lit and has a decent shoulder. After a warm up mile at 7:07, I pushed the pace a little harder than I have in the past but wasn't able to sustain the pace as long. Tonight I was running on lack of sleep and poor nutrition this week. The next six miles were as follows: 6:25, 6:16, 6:18, 6:11, 6:15, 6:27 (avg 6:18). By this point I was spent. I decided to shut it down after 7 miles, I was thinking about shutting it down after about 4 miles. I then cruised home at 7:30 pace and finished the 10 miles in 1:07:20 (avg pace 6:44).

Long trail run planned for Saturday morning.

The biggest track news this week was that Eric Flores of California Lutheran University threw the hammer 214 ft 3in. He was voted SCIAC athlete of the week. Why is this so amazing you ask? Well that mark is the best hammer throw in NCAA Div. III history! It would have won the NCAA Div. I National Championships last year by 12ft. His shot put throw this year would have been NCAA Div. I All-American last year. Did I mention that he is a sophomore? I just checked it out and 236 ft is an Olympic "A" standard, 210ft is an Olympic "B" standard. Maybe we'll see Eric at the 2012 Olympic Trials.

I will leave you with a video of coach Brad Hudson. This is a segment of a lecture he gave at the Super Distance Summit 2010. The entire interview has not been posted yet but I found this segment very interesting.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Past LA Marathons

For the log I got in 8 miles today adding some long hills around Quartz Hill including 65th from M to M-8 twice. I finished in 62 minutes. I felt great considering my long run on Sunday.

I have run the LA marathon twice (2004 and 2005). The Los Angeles Marathon was my very first Marathon in 2004. It was a warm day much like it will be this year. I faded towards the end but exceeded my expectations and ran a 3:15. A Boston qualifier didn't seem so far away after that first marathon. I remember meeting my family after the race and saying, "I want to do that again."

I did do it again the next year with Andi. She had already run three marathons and had just broken 4 hours barely. She had run 2-3 half marathons under 1:40 and I told her that she could run under the 3:40 Boston qualifier time if she ran one with me. We ran the 20th Los Angeles marathon together in 2005. We went out a little too fast (I think we were on 3:30 pace at the half) and faded towards the end but pulled off a 3:38! It was another hot day down there. Andi was 18th in her age group that year (F25-29) and 93rd female. I was very proud of her. We both qualified for Boston that year as I went on to run 2:58 that June at Grandma's Marathon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

LA Marathon

No, I'm not running the LA marathon "stadium to the sea" although I kind of wish I were. It should be lots of fun and good weather! My good friends Ron and Julie Gallagher are running it together for their first marathon! They have been training hard and are ready to tackle the long run to the beach. Good luck you guys.

One of my other readers Chuck Fieland is also running I believe his 20th LA marathon (correct me if I am wrong). Good luck to you as well.

Last year Dean Karnazes ran from Santa Barbara to the LA marathon for the race. This year he is working with a new product called the Elliptigo and is currently riding it from his home in San Fransisco to the LA marathon expo on Saturday. I assume he is also running the race on Sunday. If you want to see someone with 3-4% body fat check out this picture of Dean's calf here.

One church along the LA marathon course is canceling services on Suday due to limited access to the chuch. I remember this being an issue with the race planning for many years. They wanted to change it to a holiday Monday, but it makes much more sense to run the race in March. Read Runners World daily blog for details.
Also wanted to post a link to some great articles on research done with the Boston Marathon. Great info to read over. The most amazing stat was they found 13% of Boston finishers had some level of hyponatremia!

151 entrants for the LD50!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spontaneous AV Marathon (3:35:47)

I ran the full distance of a marathon this morning (26.2 miles) and was finished by 8:25 am. My marathon time was 3:35:47 (avg pace 8:14/mi). I ran 16 miles of those with Dale Lister. Come back later tonight for the full story. It is pretty comical.

So the plan this morning was to meet Dale at Marie Kerr Park at 6:00am and go 20 miles. I even called to confirm with him and reminded him to change his clocks. I went around the house and set all the clocks in my house ahead one hour and went to bed. I decided the night before that I would run the 3.5 miles to meet Dale instead of drive which meant I would have to get up a little earlier. I left my house at 20 til and ran to the park. It was freezing this morning literally (30 degrees). I was happy to have worn my tights, gloves and ear band. I had to push the pace because I was running a little late but when I got there Dale was not there yet. I ran around the parking lot of Vons a few times, still no Dale. I then did the 1.25 mile loop around the park, still no Dale. I was thinking, "this is not like Dale." Then I realized that it was still pitch dark out and not getting any lighter. Why was it still so dark? I came to the conclusion that I HAD left at 20 til...20 til 5! I guess my alarm clock automatically changes for daylight savings and I added an extra hour. Dale would not be coming for another 45 minutes so I continued to run loops around the park until a little before 6:00am when I finally saw his van. By this time I had already run 9.3 miles. Dale was ready to go and we started up Rancho Vista on our way to Quartz Hill to add some hills into our long run (Dale is running the Boston Marathon in 5 weeks!). We zig zagged our way to 70th and L and then hit all the major hills in Quartz Hill finishing at N-8 and 50th. By this time I had decided to run the 26.2 mile distance and needed about 4 miles to finish. We did an out and back on N-8, adding another hill, and then I parted with Dale and headed home reaching the marathon split in my neighborhood in 3:35:47! Dale ran back to his car and finished 20 miles for the day. I did not eat anything before leaving and only brought approx 20oz bottle of powerbar recovery drink. I was tired and hungry by the end of the run and couldn't believe that I had only completed half the distance that I will cover in 5 weeks. Who talked me into this?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Nutty Runners 5k Champion!

My plan this morning was to get up early and put in an easy 10 before the Nutty Runners 5k. I woke to gusty winds and crawled back into bed. We got the boys bundled up and ready and headed to Joe Walker for the race. Clay and I dressed as "Nutty" Runners with peanut costumes we found on This was my first race as a stunt runner and I have to say it was very fun. Kids and adults came up to us after the race asking to have their picture taken with us. We sort of ended up being the mascots for the race. The race was well organized and started right on schedule with a good turnout (168 finishers) despite the windy conditions. I took off at a conservative pace with the wind at my back and let a few guys take the race out. I was in second place at the mile and then took the lead soon after the turnaround. Once we turned back west on L-8 my peanut costume became a parachute that made the wind that much more tough. I was waiting for the other runners to pass me up but they never did. I peeked back at the turn toward the track and saw that I had a decent lead. Not realizing that we had 1.5 laps on the track I stopped a lap early and the finish line volunteers said, "you've got one more lap," so I kept going and finished first in 19:12. A 5k PR when wearing a peanut costume! This may also be the first race I have EVER won! People were cheering me on the whole way. "Go peanut guy!" After checking my watch I found that I was actually very evenly paced 5:55, 6:10, 6:15. I stayed at the finish line and cheered everyone else in. Andi pushed the boys and finished in 25:47. She said pushing 100 pounds (jogger and two boys) into the wind was REALLY hard. My nephew Luke and my son Matt both had fun picking a number (lane) and running around the track. Micah was cold and ready to go home. Matt stayed with me and helped pass out medals at the kids half mile run. He enjoyed cheering on the kids. Maybe next year he will run the race. Dale, you put on a great event. The bobble head trophies are excellent. The course is very fast. Without the wind it may be a minute faster. Can't wait for next year! The peanut guy will return to defend his title!
Other race results: Sergio Reyes was 19th at the USA 15k championships today at the Gate River Run in Jacksonville, FL with a time of 45:54.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Beautiful morning for a 6 miler

We have had beautiful weather the past two mornings. I took a picture from my front door again to brag to all my mid-west readers. I ran up to the aqueduct, ran a bit up there and then back home for 6 miles in about 46 minutes.

I found this video by coach Jay interviewing one of his athletes after a workout before the Gate River 15k this weekend. It made me think about how long it takes a runner to be able to do certain workouts by feel. I was talking with Bob at the running clinic about running recovery runs "by feel." I have been running since I was 12 (18 years now) and just in the last two years have I felt more confident about a good sense of pacing. Growing up in high school I was always the one my coach went to in workouts when the pace was off. I have always been good at pacing others to PRs or certain splits in workouts. Only recently have I felt more confidence in running at threshold pace and marathon pace and knowing how hard I can push for how long. I think it takes many years and tens of thousands of miles to perfect this, and I am far from perfect. Running intervals on a track at different paces certainly helps. Also, sometimes leaving the watch and the ipod at home on a hard workout, and listening to your body's natural cues, can be very enlightening.

Renee Metivier Baillie on training from CoachJayJohnson on Vimeo.

By the way Sergio Reyes is also running at the USA 15k championships at the Gate River Run in Jacksonville, FL tomorrow. I will post results when I get them.

Finally, there is an event in Las Vegas tomorrow that I would love to try next year called "Scale the Strat." It is a race up the stair well, 108 stories, to the top of the Stratosphere Tower. Prelims Saturday and a top-50 final on Sunday. I think I could be competitive.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

10 on the 10th

I got in a good 10 miles this morning. It has been extremely windy around here for the last three days but this morning was just breezy, well breezy for here anyway. I decided to do smaller loops so I would not have to run into the wind for any long period of time. I included a few smaller hills with a downhill finish. I completed the 10 miles in 1:13:47 (7:23 pace) It ended up being more like a progression run but the up hill portions were in the first half of the run. I didn't realize that today was the tenth until I got to work. So it was 10 on the 10th.

Happy 70th birthday to Chuck Norris!

Here is a plug for the Nutty Runners 5k this Saturday at 8:30 am at Joe Walker Middle School. The course will follow the parade route for the Almond Blossom Festival. My friend Dale Lister is the race director. Sign up online here.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

8 mile PCT run with Andi

Today I got to take Andi out on some of the trail that I have been running for the last few months. We met Clay, who is still sick, at the PCT and San Fransisquito Rd. for his mountain trail fun run. There was a good turnout, I'd say close to 20 people. I didn't know how far we would make it and we decided to turn around at 4 miles for time reasons only, for a total of 8 miles. It was fun to show Andi parts of the course that I will be running in 6 weeks. She loves trail running and doesn't get to go out there very often. I don't think she has been running on the PCT since we moved out here. Thanks Clay for hosting the event and taking some pictures even though I know you were not feeling 100%. Ok probably not even 50%.

This was a high mileage weekend for Andi with a total of 18 miles!

I was pretty sore last night after my 18 miler yesterday and I was worried about how stiff I would feel today. My legs were surprisingly fresh today so I was pleased with the weekend. I have three weekends left to get in at least two 25+ mile trail runs. I hope it works out.

It is official, 2008 Badwater champion and 3 time Leona Divide winner (2006-2008) Jorge Pacheo will return this year for another shot at the LD50. We are up to 129 participants!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

18 mile PCT run

I went out to mark the course for Clay's mountain trail fun run tomorrow because Clay has been dealing with allergies and a cold. I got out there around 1:15 and headed up the PCT from San Fransisquito Rd. I am glad this is not part of the LD50 course as it is a very steep section of the PCT. I made it to Lake Hughes Rd (7.8 miles) in 1:04 and decided to head UP the PCT on the other side of the road for at least a mile. It turned out to be 1.5 miles before I turned around. I turned around and headed back to my car. It took me almost exactly 30 minutes to get back to Lake Hughes Rd, and then from there to my car took me 1:08. I tried to push the return trip because there is more miles of positive grade (uphill). The run totaled 18 miles in 2 hours 41 minutes. I practiced eating on the run with fig newtons and I learned that they are so dry that I had to squirt a mouthful of water in to make it more easily chewable. I did not see any rain but the low clouds where moving fast and it kept the temps cool. When I left my car it was 44 degrees out, when I returned it was 43 degrees.

The running clinic went well but I only had 4 people come out. It was our lowest turnout so far. Thank you to Dale, Cheryl, Lynn, and Bob for attending.

I will get back to back trail runs this weekend as Andi and I are both attending the mountail trail fun run. I am excited to show her parts of the LD50 course.

129 entrants for LD50!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

6 mile hill workout

"I've always liked hills. I see a challenge, a goal, and I feel instantly galvanized to achieve the goal." --Amby Burfoot, Runners World

There are lots of hills on the LD50 course. Actually there is very little level ground. We ARE running on a trail for 50 miles aren't we?. I have mentioned before that I wanted to incorporate some good hills on any run that I do leading up to this race. Today I ran from my house to 55th St. (1/2 mile). 55th St. has a decent grade to run up as it gets closer and closer to the aqueduct. The section I ran probably averages about 4-5% grade. I just kept repeating a quarter mile stretch up and down, up and down, then crossed Ave. N and ran another quarter miles stretch up and down, up and down. I got progressively faster each quarter mile until the last one was at about 7:00 pace. I finished with a 1.5 mile cool down back home. Total mileage was 6 miles, time was 49 minutes.

Over the past 10 years of half marathon and marathon training I have grown to enjoy hills and fell that they are one of my strengths as a runner. Before then, in high school and college, I was not confident on hills. I would use them as an excuse to slow down. Now I push them and used them to my advantage on races. I am looking forward to find out how I feel after 40 miles of hills with 10 to go!

I have to rant a little bit here on one of by biggest pet peeves. I have been discussing the LD50 with many people over the last month and one of the most common responses is, "With all this running aren't you worried about your knees?" My response is, "not one bit." It upsets me that people have this perception that running is BAD for your knees, and that it may even cause permanent damage too them. Human beings were built to run long distances. Can you have knee pain with running if you progress too quickly and do not have the base strength and conditioning?, certainly. But it is not BAD for your knees. In fact I would argue that running is actually GOOD for your knees. The weight bearing bones of the femur and tibia like the rhythmical compression/decompression effect of walking and running. So why do runners get stress fractures? Vitamin D deficiencies, poor bone structure to begin with, or again increasing mileage too quickly not allowing your body to make those slow adaptations and the bone can be the last thing to give out. The knee does not like the sheering or twisting forces present in other sports like football, basketball, soccer etc. If you plant and twist with just the right amount of force you can tear your meniscus and/or your ACL. I have had knee pain from running but I believe it was due to some of the reasons I listed above. I don't believe that it has caused me any permanent damage. Some of the worst knee pain I have had has been after helping people move or prolonged deep squatting with yard work. There has been many recent research studies that show that running does NOT cause arthritis and is actually healthful for the knees and other joints. A torn meniscus or history of a knee scope or surgery can predispose you to early onset arthritis, but arthritis alone is hereditary. Does that mean if you have arthritis you cannot run? No way! It can be managed, and a combination of strength training and running may actually alleviate moderate arthritic pain. Appropriate exercise for management of arthritis pain has been shown to be just as effective as anti-inflammatories for the treatment of arthritis. There are constantly more 70, 80, and 90 year-olds running marathons. If it was BAD for you then how do you explain Ed Whitlock running a 2:54 marathon at the age of 73? I rest my case.

Keep on runnin'!

Here is the Runners World's running doc's take on the subject, and I have many other articles that show the same thing.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Beat the wind by 9 miles!

I got in a good medium effort 9 miles this morning with a 2 mile warm up to the aqeuduct then went out and back 2 miles each way toward Highland (south) on the dirt side and extended the route home. I was hitting 7:00-7:30 pace on the aqueduct and could feel the breeze increasing on the way back. Both of my calves were tight but overall I felt pretty good.

I get a daily email for Runners World with a quote and today's was, "It is a sublime thing to suffer and be stronger."--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American educator and poet.

Stronger aerobically anyway for us endurance athletes.

REMINDER: Running clinic at Valley Physical Therapy Group on Saturday March 6th at 11:00am (1306 West Ave. J Suite 2) in Lancaster, CA. Topic is Recovery, including worout recovery, adding recovery to training, and marathon recovery. Question and Answer to follow.

March 7th at 8 am Mountain Trail Fun Run on the PCT north of San Fransisquito Rd. hosted by Clay Patten, PT.

This is why I don't do field events:
(Don't worry she's ok)

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack