Friday, December 31, 2010

20 miles Munz Ranch to Ave S.

Dale had planned a point to point long run for the past couple of weeks. We all met out at Munz Ranch Rd at 7:00am and headed east. It was in the high 20s at the start. A group of 6 of us started (David, Dale, Clay, Zac, Lauren, and me). We picked up another, Joel, at 110th, then dropped Zac at 70th. After 60th we broke up a bit and Joel and I ran together until about 3 miles to go. I pushed it in and finished the 20 miles in 2 hours 41 minutes. The temps got better in the middle and then the wind picked up a bit toward the end. My last mile was 6:50. A friend of mine Fran ran 14.5 miles for her longest run ever!

I finished 2010 with 1402 miles (exactly the same as last year). I calculated that I was close and needed 40 miles in the last 4 days of the year to tie last year so I did it. My goal was 1600 miles and if I hadn't injured my calf I would have made it.

157 miles for December.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

26 feels like 14!

Wouldn't it be nice if I was talking about miles? Well, I'm actually talking about degrees farenheit. The forcast for this morning at 6:00am was 26 degrees but the wind chill would make it feel like 14 degrees. I think it was actually a few degrees colder than that. Dale met me at my house at 5:40am and we took off around the Rancho Vista area. The houses blocked a good amount of the wind so we tried to stay within the neighborhoods. We had a nice easy run and finished 9 miles then I headed out for one more mile to complete 10 in 86 minutes (avg 8:30). I think the wind picked up during the run because it seemed to get colder. My hands were the limiting factor today and by the end they were throbbing. It was probably the coldest run of the year. Thanks Dale for the company. I never would have made it 10 in that weather alone.

I was trying to find a list of the best US marathon times for 2010 and finally found one. It is a list of all the Olympic trials qualifiers to date. After picking out all the times run in 2010 I realized that Sergio's 2:14:02 at Twin Cities was the 10th fastest US marathon time this year (and two of those are Meb)! He is ranked 12th of all the qualifiers thus far (some people qualified in 2009). He is in some pretty good company. The Olympic Trials Marathon for men and women is scheduled for January 14th in Houston, TX. Check out the men's qualifiers list here.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Why do you run?...Why don't you run?

I get asked that question alot. A good answer is another question, "Why not?"

If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.

John Bingham, Runner and author

Someone was talking about how much better a runner I am than her and that I started running long before she did. My response was, “We both started running around the same time (she looked at me funny)…when we were 2 years old.” It is true, everyone started running near the same age. We just stop running at different ages. Why do we stop running? That is the question of the day.

“You ever see a kid do hot yoga and put on a knee brace? What do kids do? Kids just go. I have a five year old daughter, and when she wants to run she just [raises her arm] goes, “GO!” [leans forward and runs].”

“Somewhere between the age of 5 and 25 we go from really loving [running] to, oh shit I gotta do it.”

--Christopher McDougall

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tempo + AT run with Dale (Mixed Systems Workout)

I met Dale this morning for a good workout at Joe Walker. I suggested a mixed systems workout. I had read about these type of workouts in Running Times but couldn't find the article (I think it was a McMillan article). Then I found another source when I got to work in the morning. You have probably heard of an interval workout or a threshold workout. Usually they are done separately. In a mixed workout you do a little of both. Exercise Physiologist, Jason Karp discusses them in his book: 101 Developmental Concepts & Workouts for Cross Country Runners. It is a great book because he gives examples of some great workouts and the objectives and coaching advice for each one. He calls this workout AT (acidosis threshold or lactate threshold) run/VO2max intervals mix. He suggests 2 to 3 miles at AT pace followed by 3 to 4 x 800m to 1000m at VO2max pace with a 1:1 work-to-rest ratio. For Dale this would mean 3 miles at 7:00-7:10 pace followed by 4x800m at 3:10 to 3:20. I decided I would run with Dale to pull him along for the AT portion and then run all 4 miles at 6:20 pace for my own AT workout as my AT pace is Dale's VO2max pace. Jason Karp's description of the workout objective is "To increase acidosis threshold and VO2max by combining AT-paced running with VO2max-paced running and to practice running harder off a comfortably hard pace." The part I like the best is "to practice running harder off a comfortably hard pace." What is this? It is race simulation, running hard when you are tired, pushing in the last few miles of a half marathon. Run at your threshold pace for 10-11 miles and then push it in with whatever you have left. Of course this workout is a much shorter version of the real thing, but that is what training is all about. Give yourself a little taste of what it feels like to run hard when you are tired and let your body adapt and remember that feeling.

Dale was a little slow on the AT portion of the run but came back hard on the track and ran each 800m under 3:20 and his last one in 3:10! Jason Karp's coaching point is to "make sure athletes don't run the AT-pace segment too fast." Better to run a few seconds slower than a few seconds too fast any way. I asked Dale if it was any harder to run those 800s after the AT portion. He said, "not really." That guy is in good shape.

My training paces for that workout would be 3 miles at 6:15 to 6:20 pace and then 4x800m at 2:45-2:50. That sounds tough. I will have to try it some day.

My mile splits on the track were 6:11, 6:15, 6:10, and 5:56. The Joe Walker track still measures long. My garmin beeps almost 50m before I hit the 4 lap mark on the track. My total mileage for today was 10.5!

There are some great workouts in Jason Karp's book. I will continue to try some and share them with you in the coming year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Weekend Runs

Picture stolen from Clay's blog.

I had another week of no runs leading up to a long weekend. Here is how it went down. Dale and Clay had organized a group long run for Friday morning. We all met at 60th and the aqueduct, headed west for 5.2 miles then turned around. After a warm up mile we were consistently hitting mile splits of 8:00 to 8:10. At the 10 mile mark a group of us Dale, Jeff, and I were met by Zac Patten and picked up the pace for the next 8 miles. Jeff turned around early, Zac wasn't feeling well, and Dale was finishing a 70+ mile week and I think he was feeling it a little. He was having a tougher time maintaining his MP by mile 15. He is a work-horse though and pulled out a great workout and a great week.

My last 8 miles were 7:27, 7:42, 7:23, 7:32, 7:24, 7:15, 6:47, 6:25!

18 miles in just about 2:20 (avg pace 7:48).

Both my IT Bands were whispering to me and my right calf felt a little tight the entire run. It was a tough 18 miler. I guess that is what I get for only running weekend long runs and nothing during the week. Oh well.

Saturday was Christmas. We had gorgeous weather. There was no running involved but we had a GREAT Christmas with the kids! They were so excited and have been playing with their new toys non-stop since Christmas morning. This year running related gifts I received included: A Twin Cities Marathon shirt, some cold weather running pants, and a DVD documentary titled Running America.

Sunday we all slept in. It was cold and windy (I guess breezy by AV standards). I waited until the boys took a nap and then headed out for a run around Quartz Hill. I ended up running 10 miles in 75 minutes (7:30 pace). During the second half of the run I mapped out a few loops on a dirt road/trail that I found between housing tracts off of "the hill" on 65th. Each loop is just about a half mile and would be great for intervals. I am looking forward to using these loops next year. The are almost exactly two miles from my house. They have some hills but nothing too steep so you could still run fast but vary the grades and avoid the roads or the track!

Dan asked me the other day about tunes for the ipod while running. Here is what I am into at the moment:
"Animal" - Neon Trees
"Lisztomania" - Phoenix
"1901" - Phoenix
"Cousins" - Vampire Weekend
"Dog Days are Over" - Florence and the Machine
"I bet that you look good on the dance floor" - Arctic Monkeys
"Kings and Queens" - 30 Seconds to Mars
"This is War" - 30 Seconds to Mars
"Waiting for the End" - Linkin Park
"If its love" - Train
"Radioactive" - Kings of Leon
"Use Somebody" - Kings of Leon
"The Fixer" - Pearl Jam
"Seven Army Nation" - The White Stripes
"Icky Thump" - The White Stripes
"Take Me Out" - Franz Ferdinand
"I want you to" - Weezer
There are quite a few songs by Muse that I have my eye on!

Dan, hope this helps. I tend to like songs with a fairly fast beat for my running playlist and I always run faster than I planned when I am wearing my ipod shuffle.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

500th POST!

New title picture!

This blog was originally created as a training journal to document my experiences leading up to the Boston Marathon in 2008, hence the name "Karl's Road to Boston." I think I always knew that I would continue with the blog after finishing the Boston Marathon, thus the "and Beyond" portion of the title.
This blog has evolved from a training journal that was shared with basically just Clay, to a sharing of running information with many friends, whether it be educational or humorous. It is still a way for me to document my own training, but now it is a way to communicate with many runners and keep tabs on everyone's plans and progress.

Since starting the blog I have run 3 marathons (including my second marathon with my wife) and my first ultra. I have run as fast as 5:14 for a mile, and I have found a love for trail running. I have PR'd at the 10 mile and marathon distances, and I have watched a TON of flotrack videos. I have dealt with shin splints, knee pain, and a few calf strains. Most importantly I have gained many running friends. My 30 mile birthday run brought many of us together, and it was an incredible day. Chuck and Dale started training quite often together after connecting on that run. I have also found it fun to watch and report on the top US runners over the past 3 years.

I recently went back to my 2010 goals and here is a recap.
1. I will finish the Leona Divide 50 mile run in less than 10 hours. MET
2. I will run a sub 18 minute 5k at the Newhall Independence Day race. Almost MET
3. I will run a sub 5 minute 1600m in 2010. Not MET
4. I will run a personal course record (currently 19:57) at the summer cross country series. MET
5. I will run a sub 1:23 half marathon in the fall (not sure which one yet). Almost MET
6. I will run 1600 miles in 2010. Not MET

So, two out of six ain't bad (almost 4 out of 6).

I like to set a mileage goal even though it rarely pans out. My calf injury in August took me out of that one. Most people I talk to are amazed that I can run a sub 3 hour marathon while never exceeding 45 miles per week. It always makes me wonder what I could do on consistently 70-80mpw, I may never know that answer.

I will post my 2011 goals on my first post of 2011.

Here is the links back to:
100th post
200th post
300th post
400th post

I haven't run all week, I have been busy at home. I am training for the Surf City Marathon but am just squeeking by at this point. I am not anticipating anything spectacular, although I guess I still have 7 weeks to go. It will be a fun time either way. As of right now I am planning on going out at 1:30 and see how long I can hang on.

We were in Las Vegas this weekend, and on my way into town I called up Ron. He said, "I am planning a 20 miler tomorrow, but I'm just not motivated," not knowing that I was headed into town. I replied, "What if I ran it with you?" and we set up a meeting time of 6:00 am. Ron mapped out a 5 mile loop that we could run 4 times, but that morning it was fairly windy. When I met him at the park I thought we could just run 10 and if it got worse we could call it for the day. We ran together and talked for 2 loops and the wind sort of calmed down. We decided to do another loop and this time I ran in the reverse direction and met him on the opposite side of the loop. I finished the day with 17 miles and Ron continued for another loop to make it an even 20! Nice work Ron. Looking back today I am glad we ran yesterday. Today there is 30+mph gusts! That said, I did not run today.

Thanks to all my readers and those who comment on my blog. Don't hesitate to ask me questions. If I don't reply right away I may be saving my answer for another post. Keep reading.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

16 mile fast finish long run (1:58:28)

Pictures stolen from Clay's Blog.
The plan today was to meet Clay and Zac at 7:00 and Zac and I would run a 10 mile run (5 easy, 5 tempo) while Clay ran a recovery run after yesterday. I wanted to put in a few more miles so I got out there early and did 6 warm up at 7:40 avg pace. The weather was perfect, cool and calm. I met up with Clay and Zac, got a hit of Gatorade, and we set out west on the aqueduct. Zac and I eased into a comfortable pace for the first few miles. Zac was making it look easy on the way out. Here are our first 5 splits, 8:02, 7:55, 7:41, 8:02, 7:36. We hit the 5 mile mark in just over 39 minutes and turned around. The first mile back we started to pick it up and each mile there after was about 10 seconds faster than the last. The last 3 miles were tough but we pulled each other along to finish the 10 together in 72:20! We finished our return 5 in just over 33 minutes! Here are our last 5 splits, 6:58, 6:48, 6:39, 6:23, 6:14. Nice work Zac!

Zac is running the Surf City Half Marathon to keep him training through the winter. He will run a good time after a workout like that. Including Zac, we have a good AV presence at Surf City. Clay, Dale, Chuck, Lauren and I are running the full Marathon along with my pal Ron from Las Vegas. Zac, Neil, and recently friends Eric and Dawn are planning on running the half marathon.

Total time for 16 miles today was 1:58:28 (avg pace 7:24).
Total weekend miles 28!

I am trying to get in as much good weekend mileage as I can, when I can. With the holidays, a weekend trip to Vegas and a trip to Colorado planned there will be limited time to train.

They have been getting a TON of snow in Minneapolis this weekend. Check this out! Yes, there was SUPPOSED to be a football game today!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

12 mile morning run

I slept in too long to go any farther. I ran to Highland HS via the aqueduct, then back home on Rancho Vista, added a little extra to make it 12 miles in 90 minutes (avg 7:30 pace).

At about the 8.5 mile mark this song came up on my ipod shuffle. It may be the greatest running song ever. It always makes me run faster! The song is called "March of the Swivel Heads" by The English Beat.

Clay and Dale ran a 10k in Santa Monica this morning. Both had great times. Clay ran 40:55 and Dale was 41:28! Congrats guys! Smokin' fast!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

7 mile easy run

I got in 7 this morning at about 8:00 avg pace. It was a little breezy but warm and I was way over dressed.

Footlocker Nationals is this weekend and Flotrack has been counting down the top 6 Footlocker moments of the past decade. It is fun to see Solinsky and some of the other big names before he was an American record holder. Watch them all, they are great.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

High School Cross Country at it's finest! NXN

Must watch all 9 minutes! This is a brutal course.

Monday, December 6, 2010

4 mile recovery run in the fog

I woke up this morning to a thick fog! I didn't have much time but I had to go running in the fog. I could barely see down my street. I ran down to Lane Park, around Joe Walker, and home for 4 easy recovery miles. My right hip is tired. I will need some more easy miles this week.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

9 mile marathon pace fast finish run

If I don't get out first thing in the morning it is tough to get out for a run later in the day. We have busy weekends and today was no different. I didn't feel like getting up at 5 am so I slept in and got up with the kids (6:45). Andi went for a run while I stayed with the boys and followed the Las Vegas Half Marathon and California International Marathon that were run today. Ron PR'd in the half marathon with a time of 2:03:30 (A PR by 3.5 minutes and a course best by 10 minutes!) Way to go Ron! David Weary ran CIM in 3:45 (10 minutes off a BQ), he went out in 1:45 but came back in 2:00. Must have been a rough second half. With CIM this weekend that means it is one year since my marathon PR at CIM 2009 (2:57:11)! That is an awesome race, very competitive! This year there were 292 runners under 3 hours and 32 under 2:30! 10 of those sub 3 hour runners were in the 50-54 AG and 9 in the 55-59 AG! I am close to that sub 3 shape right now I think just less long runs. Looking forward to some 20 milers in the next two months in preparation for Surf City!

So I didn't get out this morning, we went to church, then ran a few errands and got home around 1:00pm. I had about an hour and a half to run and get ready for our afternoon in Acton (Santa was out there!), and we had dinner at my sister-in-laws. My plan was to do 10 easy since my calf was pretty tired after yesterday. After looking at the clock I realized that I didn't have time to do 10 easy, so I planned on 8 and left the house. It started sprinkling just as I left, and with no wind the rain felt nice and cool. I decided my Ranco Vista Loop was a good plan (7.5 miles) but as I started up 45th my legs felt pretty good. I decided to keep up the pace (which was now around 7:15/mi to Hillview MS and then see how I felt. After Hillview it is downhill so I eased up but still maintained 7:00/mi pace. Now I was down on 30th and still cruising along. I decided, "what the heck," and just kept pushing. When I got back to N and 50th I turned left and went up to 55th, down to M-8 and back home to finish 9 miles in a little heavier rain in 62:53 (sub 7:00/mi pace). My calf felt fine. The rain still hasn't let up. Today's workout was faster and longer than the last time I did a similar workout.

Splits 7:33, 7:13, 7:13, 7:22, 6:58, 6:55, 6:47, 6:35, 6:19.

It probably wasn't the smartest decision but I would have dialed back if I didn't feel as good as I did. I get into that same mileage obsession that many people get into sometimes that can just lead down a bad path. The idea that I have to do more, like one more mile is really going to matter. Sometimes the easier pace with less miles may be better in the long run (literally and figuratively). In other words, sometimes the time spent is more important than the distance. I ran pretty hard Thursday and Saturday so was it ok to run at MP today? Maybe, maybe not. We'll see how this week goes. Honestly 7:30 pace feels pretty easy right now.

I have heard other runners and coaches talk about the idea of "callousing," or how running tough workouts toughens us up. I like that idea. The idea that running hard workouts will possibly delay the feelings of fatigue or at least make me more used to those feelings and be able to push through them. Here are some workouts that I think are good at "callousing."

Long Tempo Runs, Threshold Runs, Fast Finish Long Runs, Progression Runs. These runs make me work at a high percentage of my aerobic threshold for a long time, especially toward the end of the run and often, like today, I negative split the workout! Work hard and run fast when I am tired! I love those workouts.

24 miles for the weekend.

Next weekend I'll be following Clay and Dale at the Santa Monica 10k and Chuck at the Rocket City Marathon. Good Luck you guys!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

15 mile long run (1:50:48) and NXN vs. Footlocker

I heard that Dale was running a fast finish long run today and thought he was starting at 5:15 so I planned on meeting him at 6:00 which would meet up with him at 5 miles. I got there a little late and saw his van so I just headed out but could not see him. I met up with him and Lauren after 2 miles and turned around with them. They had just started their run at 6:00 too and were just a half mile ahead of me. We started back running a little faster than Dale had planned but were all conversational. When we got back to the cars Lauren finished but we picked up Chuck (who had three teeth removed yesterday, can you say hard core) and headed out again. We started picking up the pace each mile and I ran hard in with Dale where he and Chuck called it for the day. I turned around and headed out again wanting to run at least 15 today. My right calf was starting to fatigue and tighten a bit but I was able to maintain about 7:30 pace on the last 5 miles without it worsening. It must still be tired from Thursday's 10k tempo run. I finished the 15 in 1:50:48 (avg pace 7:23).

Here are the splits: 8:07, 7:46, 7:48, 7:37, 7:25, 7:38, 7:13, 6:50, 6:43, 7:03, 7:32, 7:36, 7:30, 7:13, 6:48.

Dale's last mile was 6:26 which I ran the last half mile with in my 6:43 split.

Through 13.1 I was at 1:38.

I watched the end of the boys race at Nike Cross Nationals late this morning. I have to say I was impressed, but I am still on the fence whether or not I like this event and Footlocker Nationals. Footlocker is the original HS cross country national championship event that began in 1979 as the Kinney Cross Country Championships. It was and still is an individual event and the first boy and girl were the national champions of HS cross country. There is still a regional qualifying event and the top 10 from each region go on to Footlocker Nationals. The regional events are amazing. I ran the West Regional Meet as a senior in 1996. There is a seeded race for those hoping to qualify but there is also races by class and that year I ran with the Seniors at Woodward Park (also the CA state championship course). I think I ran a pathetic 18:30. That year a freshman girl from my high school Abby Miller was third in the seeded girls race which qualified her for Footlocker Nationals where she also placed third. She would have been 4th but for you history buffs this was the race where Julia Stamps was winning and collapsed less than 100m from the finish line and DNF'd. Cross Country was the only high school sport that had a true individual national champion. Footlocker treated these top kids like rockstars.

In 2004 Nike started a new race called Nike Team Nationals as a way to have a true high school national team champion, a logical progression from having only individual champions previously. Yes, cross country is a team sport and high school cross country teams are a very close and bonded group. It sounded like a great idea, except that some of the top runners in the nation were also on some of the nations top teams. They were either on the same weekend or back to back weekends, I can't remember but either way it was tough or near impossible to do both. So you had to make a choice, run for team title or for an individual title. Hard to tell your teammates, "Sorry guys, I want the individual title, see ya later." So in 2008 they changed the name to NXN or Nike Cross Nationals and added some individual spots from each region to attract other top runners. They also have a nice Nike trophy for the individual winner of NXN. Now you can run with your team but also be competing with some of the top individual runners on the country. But what about Footlocker? Well it is next weekend and there are some kids doubling (Lucas Verzbicas will attempt the double) but west coast teams are at a disadvantage. Some east coast and midwest teams have had their state championships a month ago and have been able to recover and then qualify for Footlocker as well as be invited to NXN. The Footlocker West Regional was also TODAY at Mt. SAC! You can't run NXN and qualify for Footlocker if you are in the west region! The CA state meet was only last weekend! Nike is trying to take over the individual title and seems to be winning the battle as individuals like Elias Gedyon and the Rosa twins along with other individuals have been choosing NXN over Footlocker.

From what I saw today Nike may just deserve to have it all. Is there any other sport where the top athlete in the country, lets say Alex Rodriguez, Kobe Bryant or Peyton Manning shows up to interview the participants of a high school event? Well that is exactly what I saw today. Chris Solinsky, the American Record holder in the 10k and one of the top US distance runners (also a Nike athlete), was down there in a big warm jacket with a microphone talking with ALL the kids, not just the winners. It was awesome. Also the course was incredibly difficult. It was in Oregon and was cold, windy, hilly, and muddy. They even had a section of haybales that the runners had to jump over. True cross country. Verzbicas won and just barely broke 16 minutes. He ran 14:44 at the Midwest Footlocker Regional last weekend. That shows you how tough this course is. Most of the best runners in the country chose NXN this year.

My biggest problem with this fight between Nike and Footlocker is that it extends these young kids championship seasons so long that they risk the health of their bodies just to get there. Some of these kids are 13 years old and their season, which started in September, goes over two weeks longer than college age kids at NCAA Nationals which was November 23rd. Footlocker Nationals is not until December 11th! And most of those college kids don't start racing until end of September at the earliest, most in October! This is too long of a championship season for a high school age kid. If you live in CA you have tough races every weekend starting in mid October with Mt. SAC, then your league championship race, CIF prelims, CIF finals, CA state finals, Footlocker Regionals or NXN and Footlocker finals if you are lucky enough and healthy enough to make it that far. Many of the top runners in CA don't even start racing hard until Mt. SAC for this reason. Sara Baxter, a freshman at Simi Valley HS and the Div I CA state champion (also Mt. SAC freshman course record holder) decided, with the help of her parents I'm sure, not to run in NXN or Footlocker this year. It is just too much for some of these young kids.

Sadly, my prediction is that after 30+ years Footlocker Nationals will be gone soon. NXN and all the money that Nike has will take over.

There was a write up by Bryan Green who gave an interesting solution to this problem so that Footlocker and Nike could co-exist but it still extends the season into mid December.
Here is part one.

And here is part two.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Today was one of those great days that reminds me why I love running. Well number one I felt great, but also I got to run with Clay and Dale who were running intervals at the Joe Walker track. Their goal was to run 6x800m in 3:20 or less. I didn't feel like running intervals but wanted to run with Clay and Dale so I decided to just keep running at that pace while they were recovering and pick them up again for their next 800. It gave them exactly a 1:1 work to recovery ratio. I ran another two laps while they ran one recovery lap. We helped each other out. I pushed them on thier 800s and and they helped keep me going toward the end of this long threshold run. We cheered each other on, took turns leading the group, joked around a little, and all got in a great workout. We all even got progressively faster as the workout went on. I think they finished with 3:10 and 3:08 for their last 800s! One of my favorite things about running is that we all have some common ground/pace and we can run together. You can modify any workout to make it a group run. I enjoy pacing other runners and working together. Clay and Dale helped me today just as much as I helped them. Thanks for a great workout guys. "There is no satisfaction without struggle first."--Marty Liquori.

In the past few years I have paced some friends to some great times.
I paced Clay to a 19:36 5k 2 years ago.
I paced Dale to a half marathon time trial of 1:37:52.
I paced Ron to a mile PR of 6:53.
I paced Dan to a half marathon time trial PR of 1:31:04.
I paced Andi to a 21:19 5k last year.

By the numbers: I didn't know how long I would be able to keep up that pace today. At first I was hoping to make it 4 miles, but at that point I felt very relaxed so I decided to push on and take it one mile at at time. I went through 3 miles in 19:30. The last two miles were tough as the pace continued to quicken and I realized that I could make it 6 miles and might as well make it an even 10k. My Garmin said I hit 10k after 24 laps and my time was 38:30. I continued for my 25th lap and finished in 39:56! I am not sure which is more accurate the Garmin or the Joe Walker track. After talking with Dale and Clay I think the Garmin might be closer in which case I am amazed that 38:30 felt as comfortable as it did. On the Garmin my last three miles were under 18 minutes! Total mileage for today was 9.

"In races and training, a runner experiences fatigue, hunger, and thirst and learns to go without to achieve their intrinsic goal of running long and hard. Similarly in life, a runner learns what’s really necessary to be done in support of their (naturally intrinsic) pursuit of happiness." --Dominic Grossman (ultrarunner)

Some great links today to share:
First the Dallas Marathon has a challenge with some of the top local high school athletes to run the marathon as a relay with the elite men. 10 boys running 2 miles each and 6 girls running 1 mile each against the elite men. Hopefully the kids can maintain a 5:15/mi pace to keep up. What a fun experience for those kids!

The army is changing some of its training requirements. They are focusing more on diet and adding new exercises for core strength and flexibility but cut out the 5 mile endurance runs which, "officials say can lead to injuries in new recruits who aren't accustomed to the mileage." WHAT! I think they will be disappointed in the fitness of their recruits. I know they have a high incidence of injuries in boot camp, specificaly stress fractures, but if they would just progress these kids gradually and not make them run 5 miles in army boots their injury rates might not be so high. I think this is a mistake.

Two other articles:
First one about new research on altitude training.

Another on older training methods when recreational running first started and used for fitness and competition. It is fun to read some of the old misconceptions. The New York Times even printed this warning, "to take part in a Marathon race is to risk serious and permanent injury to health, with immediate death a danger not very remote." It took a bunch of crazy runners to prove otherwise. I'm proud to be a "crazy runner."