30 May 2009

Another week in the books

The end of this week did not go quite as well as the beginning but was still good. I've been looking at pace calculators and equivalent performance lists and am thinking about changing my goal again. Nothing too dramatic. Most calculators/lists tell me I'm capable of 3:3x:xx. Then I figure shooting for 3:40:00ish should be ok.

My 8 @ pace went good yesterday. I finished 8.36 around 8:27 pace. The run was good except for the temperature and my hydration. Usually I'm ok for 8 miles without hydrating on the run. Yesterday, and today, I did not get out early enough. It was in the mid 70's by the end of the run and I needed more water. Still, the pace felt great.

Today's 12.5 miler was a similar story. I ended up stopping at a local library to get some water from a fountain. That helped but wasn't quite enough. I took a few walk breaks that probably totaled .5 miles. At the finish, I had 12 miles of running at 8:30 pace. In the last half mile, I was greeted by a bee flying into my mouth. He stung me and I swallowed him. Thankfully, I'm not allergic.

This month I reached another milestone in my running. I somehow pushed by body for a little more than 165 miles! Four weeks until race day!

26 May 2009

Running Faster

Saturday's 20 miler went well. I averaged 9:12 per mile or 3:04 total. I planned on running 10 miles to a lake and then finishing with some laps at the lake. That didn't happen. I woke up later than I wanted to because I didn't hear my alarm. I decided to just run the whole thing at the lake. That meant 25 laps. I wasn't worried about it. I've run 10 miles standing in one place (treadmill) so I can do tedious. What I forgot about was the little hill on the backside of the lake. The run went fine. I was hoping to be around 9:00 but I'll take 9:12. My knees, however, didn't like running that hill 25 times and were very sore for the rest of the day.

Yesterday I did a 5 miler at a decent pace. Today, I ran a very fast 5.5 miles. It was mostly flat with one sizable hill in the middle. I went out a little too fast, covering the first half @7:05 pace. In the end, I had a time of 40:15 or 7:19 pace! I was very happy about that. In Missoula I had to run hard to get 7:30 for 4 miles. I'm starting to see an improvement in my everyday runs, which is nice. I finally feel like I'm getting back into the shape I was in during my first half-marathon. Tomorrow is an easy 5, then 8@pace on Friday and 12 on Saturday.

20 May 2009

Gotta Love that Elevation Change

I've run 3days in Washington, a few thousand feet below Missoula's elevation, and those 3 runs have been the best in a while. Yesterday, I ran 8 miles in the glorious rain and wind...well...I could have done without the wind. I finished 8.36 in 1:05 and change which comes out to 7:47 per mile! Back in Montana, I had a tough time running 6 under 8 minute pace. Yesterday's run felt really good.

Today I clocked 5.1 miles. I ventured out to a local track for some speed work. I did a half mile warm up, 5X1000m with 400m recovery, half mile cool down. I brought my old track spikes with me. The first was a little quick, 3:45.1. The next few were harder but still sub-4. Overall, I averaged 3:52.8 for each repeat. It felt amazing to run fast on a track again! Tomorrow I get a rest day. Then I'll finish out the week with an easy 5 on Friday and my first 20miler on Saturday.

18 May 2009

What a week!

Well, its been a week since I last posted and a lot has happened.

Last week was finals week and I graduated on Saturday. During the week, I had to pack all of my belongings on top of studying. Then I drove home from Montana yesterday.

Last Tuesday I ran a good five miler. Wednesday was suppose to be five but ended up being 3.2 from shin splints. I went rock climbing on Tuesday before my run and I think that may have added to the stress my shins have been taking. Since graduation was Saturday, I did my long run on Friday. Well, I was suppose to. It was a short long run, 13miles. Three miles in, my shins were killing me. Not wanting to do nothing but not wanting to make my injuries worse, I rode an exercise bike for 18 miles and then went on a 3 mile hike later that day.

I skipped my run yesterday since I was driving. Today I went on a 5 mile run at a local park. It was one of the best runs I've had. Missoula is not that high in elevation but it is a few thousand feet higher than my home town in Washington. I guess running at that altitude has improved my lung power. I finished the run in 37:48 which is roughly 7:32 pace! I was very happy about that. Tomorrow is a easy 8.

11 May 2009

One part first-speed-workout plus three parts frustration equal 3/4 success

Today, I decided to do a little speed work for my 5 miles. The plan was a half mile warm up, then 3 x 1 mile with half mile jog in between and finish with a half mile cool down. It almost worked too.

I headed to the gym to run on the indoor track. Now, our indoor track is far from standard. Its about 160m a lap or 10 laps for a mile. I was excited and nervous to run fast again. I haven't done a speed workout in a year or so, maybe even longer than that. One of the reasons for my decision to do a speed workout was to blow off some steam that had built up from working on my take home final. I've probably spent around 10 hours on it and only finished one problem. Anyway, the first mile I didn't look at my watch until I was done. I just ran as fast as my legs would let me. In the end, my watch read 6:04! I was really surprised. I thought maybe I'd run 6:30, but 6:04? I was happy with it.

After the first mile, I thought I was exhausted. I figured there was no way I'd run another that fast. I started slow the first lap of mile 2 and built up to speed by the end of lap two. That mile went by in 6:13 with the second half in 3:01. This is when things went wrong. You see, I had almost forgot to have lunch since I was working on that final. Needless to say, I grabbed a little pizza later than I usually eat. So, after the half mile jog was done, my pizza thought about coming back up to visit. That's when I thought it would be better to just finish the last 1.5 miles on the treadmill instead of running another hard mile and tasting pepperoni again.'

In all, it was a good workout. I think next week I'll go to a regular track with my spikes for some 1000m repeats :)

09 May 2009

Faster and Longer

So, today was another milestone for my longest run: 18 miles. In all, it was a very good run. Though, it was faster than I planned. Last weekend, I logged 17 @ 9:16 pace. My goal was to shoot for that pace.

My course was another lap-type course. The first two "laps" were on my 6.1 mile loop. The a 4 mile loop finishing with a 1.8 mile lap around campus. I borrowed my friends fuel belt again, loading up with 20oz of Powerade and some gummy bears.

I held myself back well the first few miles. The first mile marker came by in 9:28. Towards the end of the first lap, I picked the pace a little bit, finishing it in 56:18 or 9:14 pace. This was a good start pace wise. I took a minute long break to drink some Powerade and eat a few gummy bears.

The second lap started out well, just like the first. Towards the middle of it, I came across a group participating in a benefit walk of some sort. This wasn't the bad part. They were just starting so I passed them quickly. By the time I came up to them on the return (this was an out-and-back section) they had spread out over 3/4 of a mile. So, I ended up running on the grass next to the trail. And, being me, my pace picked up a lot here. My split at the end of this lap was 1:50:00 or 9:01 pace overall. The pace for the lap was 8:48! That was probably too quick for a long run since my MP is 8:40. Sometime between encountering the group, I noticed that two of the toes on my right foot felt odd, as if they were in some kind of liquid. More on that later. Anyway, I took another drink/food break. This is also when my wonderful fiance came out with another 12oz of Powerade for me.

The 4 mile loop went well...almost. During my final mini break, I noticed that part of my shoe was red. At first, I thought nothing of it. My shoes are the white/red GT 2140's. Then I realized that it was a part that use to be white. Then I remembered I had a little blood blister on one of the toes. Needless to say, I finished the run carefully, minding how my foot felt. My total time was 2:42:34 or 9:02 pace.

When I came back to my room, I took my shoe off to find a large red/brown spot. The blister had popped during the run. The sock looked bad and I was a little worried. I took the sock of and was relieved to see minimal dried blood on my toe. I still say this is because I grabbed the wrong pair of socks before I headed out the door! So goes the life of a long distance runner! Tomorrow, zero miles :)

08 May 2009

Pace Day

Today's run wasn't bad but it wasn't good. Before we get to that. On Wednesday I ran an easy 5 miles. Didn't bring my watch, just ran slow to get miles in and recover.

Today was suppose to be 8 miles at marathon pace. Well, it was 8 miles at marathon pace +10 seconds. It was a weird run. The first mile felt really slow. It was actually 30 seconds too fast at 8:10. With that, I managed to get through the halfway point 11 seconds too slow. The rest of the run I just ran at a comfortable pace that seemed right.

I passed the 10k marker in 54:45 or 8:49 pace. I finished the run in 1:10:40 or 8:50 pace. While this wasn't the 8:40 pace I wanted, I'll take it. That pace would still get me to the finish line in under 4 hours. Plus, my legs will be a little bit (not much) fresher for tomorrow's 18miler.

05 May 2009

Slowing Down

Well, today was suppose to be an 8 mile run. My shins, however, had other plans. I was able to sneak in most of the run this morning. I got through 4 miles before my shins got the best of me. I decided to stop before I got hurt too much. I went back to my dorm and iced my legs before going to class.

Later, in between class, I thought I could finish the run. But, I couldn't. My shins hurt too much. I managed a total of 6.1 miles for the day with an average pace of 8:10. I'm going to keep icing my shins and resting whenever I can. Tomorrow is another 5 miler. I'm going to take it easy, i.e. not timing just running/jogging.

04 May 2009

Trotting Along

Today's run was good. I did a 3.2 mile loop along the river plus a lap around campus for a total of 5 miles.

This morning my legs were still a bit sore from Saturday's run. I iced my shins Saturday and Sunday, that seemed to help. My quads were the most sore. I did some resting/stretching in yoga and that really loosened them up. I went out around 7:30, probably a little fast. In the end I averaged 7:38 pace for a finishing time of 38:11.

I am starting to become more confident with running faster on these shorter runs. Hopefully it pays off. New 'racing' plans for the year. About a week after the marathon, I'm going to run my mom and my brother through their first 5k's! That should be a lot of fun. Tomorrow is a nice 8 mile run. I think I might throw in some hills or Mt. Sentinel since the race has plenty of hills in the second half.

02 May 2009

New Territory

This morning I completed my longest run to date. I logged 17 miles in 2:37:34, about 9:16 pace. Max heart rate: 188 Average HR:166 Low HR:111

I started out doing my 7 mile loop twice and then threw in a 3 mile lap. About an hour before the run, I had some hot oatmeal and a half a liter of water. Then fifteen minutes before I had a Cliff Shot. On the run I had a fuel belt with 20oz of Powerade and some gummi bears.

I know I always start out too quick so I held myself back. Well, I tried to. Went out at 9:00 even. I guess thats better than going out in 7:00. The first few miles went well. I made sure I didn't speed up and tried to conserve energy. The first 7.1 miles came to and end in 1:07:21 (9:29 pace). I had about 10 oz of the Powerade at this point.

The next four miles felt great. I actually ran 9:00 for those four. Then I pulled back a little bit. Around mile 12 I had some more Powerade and a handful of gummi bears. The rest of that 7 mile loop felt really good. I finished 14.1 in 2:11:19 (9:19 pace). I took a mini break around 15 miles to finish off the powerade and gummi bears. After I began to run again, I felt a little sluggish. Seeing as I was running a little faster than I wanted to, I slowed it down for a mile. The last mile I picked the pace back up, probably somewhere around 8:50. I felt really good coming down the homestretch so I picked it up to around 5k pace.

Overall, I am very happy with my longest run. I felt great most of the time and finished with an average pace faster than I was hoping for. The weather was much nicer than the snow earlier this week. The sky was clear and it was around 35 when I started. At the end, still a clear sky but mid to upper 40's. Hopefully the weather will stay this way for a bit. Tomorrow is a rest day :)