Wednesday, June 30, 2010

8 mile morning run and June totals

I think it is finally summer around here. It was heating up even at 7 am this morning. I got in a solid 8 miles from my house to Marie Kerr Park and back on Rancho Vista. It was nice and calm on the way out but got breezy on the way back. I finished the run in just over 63 minutes (avg sub 8min pace). That pace still feels harder than it should but I am trying to be patient.

The run this morning gave me 105 miles for June, up from 85 in May. I hope to be closer to 140 in July. With 4.5 weekends I should be able to do that. Total miles for the year (half way through) is 745. I am on pace to exceed last year's mileage of 1402.

I broke two blog record this month. My post on USATF Championships on June 25th got a record 15 comments, although some of them were me replying. That day I also got a record 165 visitors on my blog! I usually average around 20 visitors per day.

Western States 100 was this past weekend. It is one of the most prestigious 100 mile races in the country. It starts just west of Lake Tahoe at Squaw Valley, CA and ends at Auburn, CA. This year was the 37th running. It is the Boston Marathon of ultramarathons. There is a lottery to get in and there are qualifying standards:

a) 50 miles in under 11 hours

b) 100 kilometers in under 14 hours

c) completion of any OFFICIAL 100-mile trail race

d) completion of three 50-mile runs, completed within the cutoff times of those races, but in not more than 12 hours, and during the qualifying period.

There is also a service requirement of 8 hours of trail maintenance or race volunteering.

The race is limited to 369 but they accept 400 due to some no shows. The number of applicants to the lottery has been as high as 1,200 in the past. In recent years it has again been bumping 1,000 applicants. Odds of getting selected are a function of the number of applicants, the number of automatic entrants, and the number of total runners accepted. For the 2006 race, for example, the odds of getting drawn in the lottery were approximately 37%.

The Western States 100 course is not to be taken lightly: heat (it is not unusual for temperatures in the canyons to exceed 110 degrees), the possibility of snow, altitude, elevation changes (18,000 feet of elevation gain and 22,000 feet of elevation loss), rocks, dust, river crossings, nighttime running where temperatures can drop to below freezing, rattlesnakes, mountain lions, bears, dehydration, hyperthermia, hypothermia, kidney shutdown, bee stings, and so on. See the course map here. Sounds like fun huh?

Anyone who completes the course in under 24 hours receives a silver belt buckle. Why a belt buckle you ask? Well they used to have a 100 mile horse race on the same course and in 1974 people started joining in without horses to see if they could complete the distance in under 24 hours (which was the goal for the horses). Read about the history of the race here. Many other 100 mile races have followed the sub-24 hour belt buckle prize.

So I did qualify for Western States at the LD50 with my 8:55. Don't worry Andi I won't be applying for next year. Some day it would be fun though.

This year Scott Jurek's course record was broken by 34-year old Geoff Roes from Alaska. He broke the record by 29 minutes, covering the 100 mile course in 15 hours 7 minutes and 4 seconds. AMAZING! The second place finisher also broke the old course record. There must have been great conditions up there.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

6 mile run BLAH

The plan was at least 12, I ended up with half that, and felt aweful. I blame lack of sleep over the weekend. Later in the day I felt great, except a little burning on my left heel still from the hills and cross country race last week. Well it is 11:00pm now so I better get to bed.

We did have fun at the beach!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

7 mile run with Andi

Since my mom is in town, Andi and I got out for a morning run on the aqueduct. It was nearly calm at my house but 400ft higher on the aqueduct it was gusty. It was still a good run (7 miles) but not as much fun into the wind on the way back.

Hey track fans! Check out the great discussion on the comments from my blog post on Friday!

Friday, June 25, 2010

USATF Championships

I find it interesting, even tough there is no Olympics and no World Championships this year, that some of the best American runners in the country don't show up at the USATF national championships. No wonder nobody wants to watch track and field, the best athletes aren't even there. Dathan Ritzenhein, Ryan Hall, Meb Keflezighi, ok I know these guys are marathoners but they can still run a competitive 10k. That 10k last night was pathetic, Galen jogged to victory. Even Chris Solinksy no showed. We have 4 Americans currently under 13 minutes in the 5k and only one of them (Lagat is running the event tonight). I think it is a slap in the face to the USATF that these guys don't show up. What is the point of having a USA championships without the best?

Speaking of Chris Solinsky, he continues to get press for his American record and sub-27 minutes 10k! For those of you track historians he has the fastest 5k/10k combo of any American now that he also has a sub 13min 5k. I read online that his 5k PR is 25 seconds faster than Pre's and is 10k PR is 46 seconds faster than Shorter's. The best quote was in Sports Illustrated from Wayne Solinsky, Chris' dad, that said, "A wheelbarrow only goes as far as you push it. Then it just sits there." Clay and I discussed that one all day on Thursday.

Finally, they had the finals of the men's hammer throw this afternoon. Eric Flores (DIII National Record Holder) of Cal Lutheran was in the field. Even though I have never meet the guy he has been fun to follow this year since he goes to my alma mater. In a field event you get three jumps or throws and the top 8 get another three throws or jumps each. Well, Eric had the 9th farthest throw after 3 throws, with 231' 01" (a 10 foot personal best)! So the thower from DIII Cal Lutheran was 9th in the country, and second collegian, not bad. Congratualtions Eric! It is fun to see California Lutheran among the results.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Cross Country Series

Late entry:

I did run an easy 4 miles Wednesday morning. It was a recovery run from those hills on Tuesday and it was SLOW.

Today I went out to the first of the summer cross country races on Thursday nights. There is a 1 mile race that many people use as a warm up, and then the 3 mile race all at Pelona Vista Park. It is a very hilly course on dirt trails. I ran the mile as my warm up in 6:45 then got ready for the 3 mile. I knew my fitness was not near where it was last year so my goal was to go out conservative, RUN UP the KILLER HILL, and finish strong. I think I went through the mile at around 6:20 to 6:30 and felt like I was on the edge of going too fast. I saved enough energy to push the hill hard and was spent at the top. Zac and I kept passing each other every 3-4 minutes but he finished about 10 seconds ahead of me. I was able to finish strong, not fast, in 20:25ish, good enough for 16th place and first in my age group (I think). My PR on that course is about 30 seconds faster in 19:57. My left achilles is a little sore again tonight (remember the VA trip). I'll have to take it easy the next week to be ready for the Newhall July 4th 5k!

Clay took some pictures. I stole this one from his blog. Thanks Clay!

Finally, Sergio Reyes competed in the 10k final at the USATF Championships in Iowa this evening. I missed watching the race since I went to the cross country run. Sergio was seeded 11th in the group based on his qualifying time. Based on the results it looks like it was a 5 mile warm up followed by a low 4 min mile for the winner Galen Rupp. The times were so slow they must have been jogging for the first 4-5 miles. Sergio finished 12th with a time of 29:50. Looks like he finished ahead of a pack of 4 other runners right behind him. Way to finish strong. Congratulations Sergio! I guess it was really hot out there!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quartz Hill intervals

I met Clay and Zac at 6:15 am at 65th West and L-8 for a hill workout. Clay was on the bike suppying water during each rest break. Zac was obviously tired. I had run 3 miles of warm up by the time we started. The workout was 4x 1/2 mile hill repeats, with the second one being the most difficult. The first was on 65th from L-8 to M. I lead and finished in 3:05. The second was still on 65th from M to M-8. Zac was running right behind me until half way when he stopped suddenly and ran for the side of the road. I thought for sure he was loosing his breakfast, turns out he found a road reflector that had come loose and he picked it up for a friend's collection. He still almost caught me by the end. I was first to finish the second 1/2 mile hill in 3:19. Clay says the grade on this section of 65th reaches 8% at the end and is around 6% in the beginning. The last two 1.2 mile loops are in a neighborhood just south of M-8 and 65th where Zac has done repeats before. The first half of the loop is tough then levels out at the top and finishes downhill. I was spent after the first two and Zac was about 10 seconds ahead of me. I finished in 3:10 and 3:05. He was under 3:00 for both. I ran a cool down home (2 miles) for a total of 7 miles today. It was a tough workout but I felt really good about it. I think my achilles will be a little sore tomorrow. We did not time our rest breaks but started on perceived readiness. There is an interesting article on on perceived readiness during interval training that is worth a read.

FYI: Sergio Reyes is running the 10,000m at USA championships on Thursday at 6:20 pacific time. The meet is in Iowa. It will be broadcast live on Check it out.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

20 mile weekend wrap-up

Another solid weekend of training. I am on my way back and taking my time getting there.

Saturday I got out for an easy 5 miles and incorporated some hills into the run. I had to get back home by 7 am when Clay and Andi were scheduled to go for a bike ride. Andi rode 20 miles with Clay pushing her up the hills around Quartz Hill, then she got home, put on her running shoes and ran 6 more! She was tired after all that but it was a great workout.

This morning I met Chuck and Dale at Ave S and the aqueduct. My plan was to run 15. When I left my house it was calm and beautiful. When I arrived at Ave S it was gusty! It is usually the other way around. So we headed directly into the wind for 2.5 miles then turned around back to the start. Chuck and I headed out again and Dale went home sick. Chuck and I grinded out another 10 miles of AVRT (Antelope Valley Resistance Training) for a total of 15 miles in 2 hours 3 minutes. This is about 3 minutes faster than 2 weeks ago with the windy conditions. I was very tired by the end and wouldn't have wanted to go any further even if I had planned to. My right knee and plantar fascia were taking to me during the 15th mile. We averaged about 8:10s into the wind and 7:50s on the way back. It was a solid workout.

Yosemite Pictures

Sorry I never got around to posting some pictures from our trip to Yosemite National Park. Here is a taste of the trip.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

9 miles with 5 @ 6:30 pace

I got up EARLY this morning to drive to Ave S and the aqueduct. I was planning on joining Dale, Chuck, Clay, and Zac for a 10 miler with 5 @ a tempo pace. I started the workout early so that I could get home and cleaned up in time for work. I did 2 miles of warm up, then turned around and picked up the pace, first at around 7:00 then cruised in around 6:30 for 2 miles. The rest of the guys were at the start when I finished my 4 miles and we headed west again for 1.5 miles easy, then hit another mile with Chuck and Zac at around 6:30 pace again. We recovered for a half mile and then I hit the last two miles in 6:36 and 6:23 respectively. I finished the nine miles in just over 66 minutes. This was the best workout that I have had in two months! It was great to run with some other people.

Now the question is can I run that pace for 26 miles in 7 months? A 2:54 marathon is 6:38min/mi pace. That is cookin'!

Set your goals high because what a person accomplishes is in proportion to what they attempt. --Mitchell Naufell

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

8 miles & Running Times letter

I had another letter published in Running Times in the July/August 2010 issue. I don't want to become one of those uninformed readers of the AV Press that write in on issues that they know nothing about, but I truly feel that Dean gets a bad wrap from jealous people for all the endorsements he does and publicity he gets. If you could make a living though your running wouldn't you?

This issue of Running Times has some great articles and is definitely worth picking up. There is one on hydration, an awesome article on running form, and one on getting over the marathon and running other distances that I really liked. Check it out.

I finally had a decent run this morning. Nothing spectacular but I ran 8 miles in 62:12. Two months ago I ran 10 miles in 62:01. You sure can loose fitness quickly. I looked back on my blog to past Junes. Two years ago I was really training hard for the July 4th 5k and ran a decent 18:20. Last June I was putting in some long weekend mileage in preparation for my 30 mile birthday run. This year I am in a totally different stage of fitness. I really feel like I am starting over again, building up slowly. I have 7 months until my next marathon with a few shorter races between now and then. I would like to build up to a steady 60+ miles per week by the fall and see how much that would help my half marathon and marathon time.

Race Results:
Lukas Verzbicas won the first ever High School Jim Ryun Dream Mile in 4:04.

Andrew Wheating doubled at the NCAA Championships winning the 800m and 1500m.

Lisa Koll of Iowa won the 5k and 10k at NCAAs.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Yosemite National Park

We just returned from a family camping trip to Yosemite National Park. We had a great time. There was no running for me, unless you count running after children. More pictures to come. I'm too tired tonight.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

5 mile morning run

It was windy this morning. When it is windy at my house in Quartz Hill sometimes it is not as bad to the east in Palmdale, so I ran by Rancho Vista golf course, up Towncenter and back on Rancho Vista. It was less windy until I made the turn to come back home. The 5 miles took me about 39 minutes. I still don't feel like picking up the pace just yet. I have been experiencing some plantar fascial pain in both heels since that trail run last weekend. It is steadily improving.

If anyone remembers me mentioning Eric Flores, of Cal Lutheran, a few months ago, I have an update on him. He is a junior thrower at CLU where I attended college. In the past few weeks he won the Div. III track championships for the hammer throw, and at another meet set a Div. III all-time record in the hammer with a throw of 220ft 10in. He was named All-American and Div. III outdoor track & field male athlete of the year! That record throw makes the "B" standard for USA's and is 6ft off an "A" standard! It would have placed him 15th at the 2008 Olympic Trials! Congratulations Eric!

Monday, June 7, 2010


I found this picture in our local paper this morning. Lets all run with this kind of passion! When you are out running and feeling like crud, think about this kid!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

5 mile recovery run

I was pretty stiff and flat from yesterday's long run. My run today was only 5 miles at about 9 minute pace. A 20 mile weekend. Not bad, just slow.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

15 mile run with company

I got a call from Dale last night inviting me out to Ave S and the aqueduct for a long run. I told him I was planning on 12 and he said he might do 14 or 15. I met Dale and Chuck at 6 am and we headed out on the 2.5 mile stretch of asphalt. I was glad we started early as it was starting to warm up after the first 5 miles. After 10 miles I was thinking about calling it but then started to feel a little better and we continued on. We set an easy pace and the conversation made the miles go a little faster. Chuck and I picked it up to 7:50 pace for the last 2.5 miles and we finished the run in 2 hours and 6 minutes. My longest run since LD50. The temperature was 81 degrees by the time we were done. Thanks for the company you guys!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Weekend Preview

A friend of mine from high school, Mark, is running his first marathon this weekend. He lives in Indiana and is running the Sunburst Marathon, which starts at the Football Hall of Fame and ends at Notre Dame. Mark and I ran high school cross country and track together for 4 years. We was always a little faster than me. I think he ran some where around 4:30 for 1600m and 10:10 for 3200m. He is a good runner. It will be fun to see how he does this weekend. Good luck Mark!
Here is a picutre of us running the 3200m our senior year. Mark is leading the pack.

I also have friends running in Fontana and in San Diego this weekend.
Good luck to everyone racing!

I am hoping to get a long run in on the aqueduct and maybe another fartlek run or just a shorter hilly route. We'll see how I feel.

By the way Bernard Lagat broke the American record in the 5k today in Oslo running 12:54.12! Chris Solinsky, AR holder in the 10k, also went under 13 minutes. Actually, 10 guys broke 13 minutes!

"Usain Bolt is the fastest guy who's ever lived but he sucks! I mean, compared to a squirrel he's slow." --Christopher McDougall (author of Born to Run) during a discussion of how humans were built for endurance running not for sprinting.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

7 mile easy morning run

My legs still don't feel like they have any speed in them. My hamstrings are still tight from Sunday's trail run. Usually my legs tell me when they are ready to start running fast. So far I have not received that message. In the mean time I will continue to run easy and continue logging miles slowly. I ran up on the aqueduct from my house this morning for a total of 7 miles.

I did sign up for the Surf City Marathon on February 6th (Super Bowl Sunday).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

400th post and May totals

Mileage totals for May was 85 (my first month under 100 this year). Total for the year is now 640. May included LD50 recovery with R knee pain and L achilles pain, then illness. I seem to be recovered from all of that now. I looked back to a year ago and two years ago and I think this is the worst shape I have been in at this time of year. Hopefully the next 100 posts will hold some good training and racing!

My plan for the rest of the year is:
Newhall 5k on July 4th
Santa Clarita Half Marathon on Nov. 7th
Surf City Marathon Feb. 6th

I also plan on some aqueduct time trials and maybe a 10k or 10 miler between July and November. We'll see how things progress. I am not signed up for any of these races yet! Surf City is only $96.85 for the next 1000 entrants. Have to get in on that one soon.