21 December 2010

Going out on top

Not out of running, just the year. I had my last race of the year on the 18th. A local-ish 10k. I had two goals going into the event: 1. sub-40 2. win. I knew these were both lofty goals given it was my first 10k race, but with the year I've had I really didn't care how lofty they were.

The event is a multi-distance footrace. There was a marathon, half marathon, 10 mile, 10k, 5k and 1 mile race. All of them started at the same time. Still, the field was pretty small (pic below). I went sans watch. Since I had a time goal, I knew I would just keep looking at it. I decided it would be better to just run. Race conditions were almost perfect. Partly cloudy, sun, a little wind and mid 30's. If the wind were gone and it was 5 deg warmer, it would have been perfect.

And you know I had to rock the pink shorts!

I went out in 2nd (of all the runners, pic of me and the 1st runner). About a half a mile in, another runner and myself started to switch off between breaking the wind and drafting. We continued this until the turn around (out and back course). The last 5k killed me. With out the other runner to trade off with, I was in the wind the entire time. It helped that the course was mostly flat (one very small hill, more of a bump really). It was also nice to hear people saying "wow" and one guy who said "damn he's fast" as I went by the 5k runners/walkers.

Rounding the final corner, I knew I was in first (goal #2, check). My time was 41:03. Not quite what I was shooting for but in all it was a great race. I'm still super stoked that I actually won a race. Not my age group but out right won a race :) I couldn't think of a better way to end my racing year!

05 December 2010

Race Weekend

What better way to get ready for finals than to run back-to-back races?

Yesterday I competed in a Virtual Half Marathon. A bunch of my friends from RWOL decided to run a half marathon race. I chose a course with a lot of rolling hills and a couple of bigger uphills. I held a pretty strong pace from the start and died on the final uphill to my apartment. My time, 1:29:41, was my second fastest half marathon! Splits: 6:38, 6:51, 6:51, 6:55, 6:48, 6:41, 6:49, 6:42, 6:47, 6:44, 6:58, 7:03, 7:10, :42.

Today I ran in a local 5K with my running club. Again, I went out strong and slowed to finish. I wasn't sure what was left in my legs after yesterday, but I had a lot more left than I thought. Unofficial time is 19:00, just 2 seconds shy of my PR! Splits: 5:51, 6:10, 6:14, :44.

So, on back-to-back days I ran my second best time at two different distances. I'll take it! Makes me really excited to see what I can do in my first 10K in two weeks.

Also, Super-Mega-Ultra-Rockstar-Bigups to my friend marathonmaiden who rocked the Dallas White Rock Marathon this morning in 3:09:26, 8th place woman!

01 December 2010

Its December?

What the hell? November went by crazy fast. It was one busy month. Lots of school work and family stuff/holidays and wedding planning. Oh, and this whole running business. That is why this blog is here.

School is almost finished...for the quarter. Can't wait. Holidays are half over and I'll be in my hometown for the second half so that will make things easier. Wedding planning is stressful but fun. The day after Thanksgiving, the Kid and I (yes, I call my fiancee Kid. Not sure when I started doing that. I know I picked it up from my grandpa since he use to call my grandma Kid) went to the caterer to try some appetizers and pick out place settings and such. Right now I'm compiling a massive list of addresses so we can mail out save-the-date cards. So far, we're up to 7 states and 2 countries!

I feel good and bad about my running in November. On the plus side, my easy pace has sped up a lot. Well, my prescribed "easy" pace hasn't changed but it feels easier to run faster. Does that make sense?
The part I feel bad about it my mileage, a sad 110 miles. I'll chalk it up to getting back from the marathon. Now that I've got about 4 weeks of 30ish mpw, I'm definitely gonna kick it up to 40mpw. My goal is to get up to 50mpw with a 15 mile LR by mid January. That should set me up nicely for Boston training!

Speaking of Boston training, for those who have ran it, what advice can you give me about hill training? I assume repeats once or twice a week plus having hills in my LR should be good.

Today's run was great! I did 6 miles with the last 3 @ 7:12, 7:02 and 6:36!  I plan on 7 or 8 miler in the morning, then taking an SRD Friday since this weekend is my first double-race. I've got a HM on Saturday and a 5k on Sunday with my club. Oh, and then I'll have two weeks before my debut 10K. I'll probably post more about that sometime this week.

Thats all for now friends. I've got to go do some homework thats due tomorrow.

19 November 2010

Race Much?

Today I realized that about half of my races this year are in the next month. Kinda crazy but here's the schedule/goals:
12.4.10-Dailies Virtual Half Marathon (sub 1:35)
12.5.10-Jingle Bell 5k (sub 19:07, my season best)
12.18.10 Christmas Classic 10k (sub-40 and the W)

I managed to put in a little over 30 miles last week. It feels good to be building my base back up. I'm definitely taking lots of rest days around my races so I can recover. I probably shouldn't be racing so much during this base building period but its ok. After the 10k, I don't have a race until March. I think my goal is to stay un-injured and get my mpw up to 40 by the end of December.

Today's run was a great one. I ran with a friend from my running club. We did a solid 8 miles (well, 8.1) with a decent size negative split, 32-flat for the first 4 miles and 30:49 for the last 4.1. My left gastrocnemius felt a little tight during/after. Definitely gonna be doing some RICE today and taking it easy tomorrow and Sunday.

I didn't even realize it until after the run but it put me at exactly 1600 miles for the year! Not too shabby since last year I didn't even crack 900. Yay for improvement!

I have been insanely busy with course work lately. As long as I can finish my takehome exam today I should be able to catch up and actually get some work done on my thesis.

This weekend/early next week is going to be amazing! My fiancee is coming to town for a few days before we head back to our hometown for T-day! Hope you all have a good weekend. I know I will!

10 November 2010

Grad School Overload

Just a quick post today. I am currently behind several sections of homework in Algebra, have 2 Differential Equations assignments due in a week and a takehome exam for Algebra. SO I really should be working instead of blogging. But this gives me a nice little break :)

I had a decent run today. After work I went to the gym and cranked out 6mi @7:50 pace. Then I hit the track for some strides. Since our indoor track is far from standard (we have 11 laps to the mile v. 8 on a standard indoor track) I did 8x70m.

When I run on the TM, I always wear my ipod. Thought I'd share on of my favorite playlists. Well, a subset of it anyway. Its great for short fast runs or longer tempo's or if you just need to feel bamf while running:

Remember the Name- Fort Minor
Got Money- Lil Wayne
Swagga Like Us- Jay-Z,Kanye West, Lil Wayne, T.I.
Make it Rain- Fat Joe
Till I Collapse- Eminem
Drop the World- Lil Wayne & Eminem
No Love- Lil Wayne & Eminem
Conteo- Don Omar
Don't Wanna Be Player- Big Pun
Head Sprung- LL Cool J

Thankfully, I have no class or work for the next four days! That means I should catch up in my classes and get some great runs in. Looking forward to actually running with someone tomorrow. I'm meeting up with another member of my club for a run.

08 November 2010

Fall is Here

I apologize in advance for the randomness of this post. Its not really organized at all. Usually I plan what I'm going to write but now I'm just writing.

Fall is definitely here in the pacific northwest. Its rainy, windy and getting colder. That being said, I'm still running in shorts so its not that cold. This morning I put in a nice 7 mile run along the river. My legs definitely appreciated that flat route. The last two runs I did (Friday and Saturday) were at my fiancee's university which is very hilly.

I am very happy with how my running is progressing. I put in 21 miles last week, which is less than the 26 from the week before, but it was much faster. I think all of my runs were under 8 minute pace. I feel that I am recovered from the marathon and am going to start building my mileage up again. I'm thinking somewhere in the 30's for a couple of weeks and then kicking it up to the 40's around Thanksgiving.

I had an amazing weekend! My fiancee and I are at different universities for grad school. Last year we were able to see each other once a month. This year, we haven't done that. Before this weekend I hadn't seen her since Labor Day! Luckily, her school gets the whole week off for Thanksgiving so she will be coming here in two short weeks :)

I also added a few races to my schedule. I'll be doing another 5K with the club on Dec 5th and a 10K on Dec 18th. I was planning on a 10K near my hometown, but switched to a different one, about an hour away. The one I had planned on is designed to be a two-person relay. The race does allow one-person "teams" but it would mean doing an out-and-back 5K route twice...not my idea of a good race for my first 10K. Instead I'll be hitting up the event where I ran my first two half marathons. During my second half marathon, a friend of mine actually won the 10K. Maybe I'll follow in his footsteps...

On a sad note, the great Haile Gebrselassie announced his retirement yesterday after dropping out of the NYC Marathon. He had been having knee problems but wanted to run anyway. The day before, an MRI showed fluid building up in his right knee. He said that he doesn't want to complain anymore and it is "better to stop here". He is arguably the best distance runner of all time. His career spans over 17 years. His first gold medal came in the 1993 World Championships at the 10,000m distance. Since then, he has won numerous medals and set an astonishing 27 world records. He will truly be missed by the sport he has given so much to.

(Image from BBC News UK)
(Haile setting the Marathon World Record, 2:03:59)

31 October 2010

Anything is possible, but you have to believe and you have to fight. -Lance Armstrong

This month was insane. I started off with the last week(ish) of my taper, ran a 3:09:29 to qualify for Boston, ran 19:07 in my first 5k with my running club. All the while studying like hell for an oral exam of epic proportions, which we will get to later. Oh, and I somehow managed to put in 127 miles. Not too shabby for 9 days of taper and 3 weeks of recovery after the marathon.

This week was great for running. I put in about 26 miles, including a 10 miler on Friday (my first double digit run since PDX) and a great trail run with the club yesterday. This morning, after tracking some friends who ran MCM, I went out for a run along the river. It poured rain all night, but was sunny and blue skies this morning. If you are ever in the northwest in the fall and happen to encounter one of these rare, sunny fall days, make sure you go for a run. I love running on fall days like today.

On my run this morning, I realized something. Scratch that, rewind it. Jess posted earlier this week about being a good runner. I've always just thought of myself as a runner. On my run this morning, I was thinking about her post and my own running career. From its beginnings as a hurdler in 7th grade, to xc/track in high school to the past year. The time I've invested into this amazing sport and the miles I've logged over the years are starting to shine through.

In high school, I was always a middle of the pack guy in track and a front of the pack JV guy in xc. I never qualified for an invitational or districts or state. When the regular season was over, I was done. Qualifying for Boston has changed how I feel about my own running. I finally feel like a good runner. I can now maintain 7:14 per mile for 26.2 miles when there was a time when I couldn't do that for one mile!

In my opening, I mentioned an oral exam of epic proportions. If you read this blog often, you know I am a grad student studying math. You also know that I received a conditional pass on my comprehensive exam in algebra. So Friday, I had an hour long oral exam to prove to the committee that I really do know what I'm talking about and should receive a pass on the test. The epicness of this test wasn't that it was an hour long oral exam, it was that if I didn't pass it, I wouldn't graduate in the spring. All the studying I put in paid off as I passed! Now I can get caught up in my classes and start working on my thesis again. Speaking of, I need to go read a few papers...

24 October 2010

Run Like Hell

Unofficial time: 19:09

The course was slightly more hilly than I expected. Still, the race went very well. It dumped rain during the 10k (started 40 min before the 5k) and cleared to mostly blue skies for the 5k. I exceeded my goal for the race, which was sub-20. That was also my last time goal for the year. That means I was 3 for 3, yay!

I started near the front of the race, picked it up a little around the half mile mark. I drafted off a couple of guys until I could see the first mile marker. Then I saw they weren't going to hit the right split and went around them. Mile 2 had some hills I was not expecting. Nothing big. There was one longish shallow hill and a shot (50m) steep hill. Then it was all downhill to the finish. I was passed by a guy dressed as elmo at the top of the short hill. I passed him on the long downhill and beat him by a few seconds.

This was my first race with my club. Everyone posted some great times. I was our top 5k runner with Corey and Aaron (who ran his first 5k today) close behind. I'm not sure exactly what time they ran but both were under 20. Lots of others posted PR's. I believe we had 3 people competing in their first race. In all it was a great morning!

RE-EDIT: Official results are up. I placed 12th of 954 runners overall, 3rd in my age group and actually had a time of 19:07.

22 October 2010

Track Day Friday

Distance: 4.85 miles
Time: 34:53
Pace: 7:12

It looks like Friday's are going to be track days until I start training for Boston. My club usually does speed work on Thursday's but I am in class then. Luckily, a couple other club members can't make it then. So we decided to meet Friday mornings.

Today's workout was 4x800m followed by 3x200m. Nothing too strenuous but not easy. I think the club was doing the 800's close to mile pace. Less than two weeks after Portland, I knew I didn't have that pace in my legs. So I opted to run at 5k pace. Well, what I hope is my 5k pace. The idea was to hit 3:00. Other than the first interval, we did pretty good (I ran with another member who is new to running but has A LOT of potential). Splits were 2:44, 2:56, 2:55, 2:55. The 200's hurt a little more with :35, :37, :35.

This weekend looks like a busy one. I need to catch up in my classes, though that shouldn't be too bad. It is also the last weekend I have to study for my comprehensive exam. I received a conditional pass, which means I have to take an extra oral exam with the committee to pass. That is scheduled for next Friday. On the running front, I'll be doing an easy group run tomorrow morning and then competing in the Run Like Hell 5k.

Thats all for now folks!

18 October 2010


Wow. That could have been a nightmare.

For those who don't know, the 115th Boston Marathon closed in 8 hours! Registration started at 6 am LCT (left coast time). I was up and ready at 5:50, along with my mamma back home. I figured two of us trying had a good shot at getting in quickly. I called her at 5:55 to make sure we each knew if the other got through. I tried once and it didn't work. Her first try went straight through!

This evening I booked a hotel for 3 nights and plane tickets for myself, my wonderful future wife and my older sister. Everything is set. Now I just have to decide on training and tentative goals. Any goals I set will be tentative until April. First I've got to see which training plan I go with and how training goes. I created my own 18 week plan that peaks at 60mpw with 4-20 milers. I can't decide if I would benefit more from that or building a base longer and doing a 12 week program.

Last week I put in an easy 14 miles. This week should be somewhere around 20. I've got a 5k race on Sunday too. Run Like Hell 5k here in downtown PDX. I'm shooting for sub-20. Shouldn't be too difficult considering thats 6:28 pace and my half in September was 6:40 pace. Still, I don't want to push too hard and injure myself. So sub-20 it is.

14 October 2010

Recovery and Race Pics

Yesterday I did my first post marathon run. It went well. Got in 4 miles at the gym. I actually like running on the treadmill for recovery runs, especially after a race. It lets me control my pace much better.

Official results have changed a little. I'm now 204th overall and 186th among men. Here's a few pics from the race. The first is from mile 17 on the St. Johns Bridge, second is as I'm crossing the finish line.

10 October 2010

The Road to Boston

The quick and dirty: For those who don't want to read a race novel, I mean long race report. I ran 3:09:29 (7:14 pace, BQ!) placing 193rd overall, 175th among men and 11th in my Age Group (20-24).

The Training: Going into training for this marathon, I had a base of roughly 700 miles (since January) including a half PR (at the time) of 1:31:52. I followed Pfitz 18/55 very closely, missing very few workouts. Through out the 18 weeks, I averaged around 45 miles, with 8 weeks above 50 miles. Four weeks out, I ran a 1:27:30 half, giving me a better idea of my goal pace for Portland.

The Race: I felt really good going into this race. I woke up around 5. Had some gatorade, a banana and a peanut butter bagel. Then I got ready for the race. The nice thing about racing in your town is being able to stay home until just before the race starts. I left my apartment around 6:25 and jogged the half a mile to the start. The weather wasn't great. Temps were good, low 60's. But the rain came down like no other. I guess this is Oregon so...it happens.

I had some high hopes for this race. My previous and only other marathon was RnR Seattle last year. I had almost no base and peaked at 42mpw. It showed as I struggled to a 3:54 finish. Given that I had knocked 9+ minutes off my half PR and had a lot more mileage under my belt I decided to shoot for Boston. I knew I could run that pace for a half. I figured if I crash and burned after that, I'd still have 2+hrs to run the second half to a PR.

Mile 1-9: I decided to start the race with the 3:10 pacers from Team Red Lizzard (local club). My plan for the race was to stick with them till the half, reasses there and every 2 or 3 miles after that. Had a couple of shotbloks around mile 9. Didn't see some of the mile markers so there are a few sections grouped together.

2-5-28:49 (7:12's)

Mile 10-13.1: Decided the pace group was going a bit too slow for my liking. They were running an even effort race (even splits adjusted for hills). While I think this is a good idea, I couldn't bring myself to run slower up the hills. I wanted to run a more even pace. Seeing as this was a flat section of the course, I felt it was a good place to put some distance on the group. I actually hit the half way point right when the pace group planned to (1:34:18), but they were not with me.


Mile 14-18: I hooked up with a guy named James to run this section. It made the miles go by much faster, including the hill from about 15.5 to 17 miles. The hill wasn't as bad as I had heard. Don't get me wrong, it still hurt and I was still forced to slow down for it but it wasn't too bad. I had a couple more shotbloks around mile 18.


Mile 19-23: I decided to pick up the pace and bank a little time here. It was a mostly downhill section back to the downtown area. As the splits show, I was a little to anxious to pick it up during mile 19 and I paid for it during mile 20.

19-6:34 (oops)
20-8:10 (paying for mile 19)

Mile 24-26.2: These last 3 miles hurt. A lot. I had to dig to keep the pace I did. Around mile 24 I heard people start to cheer for the 3:10 group. I expected them to catch up to me. I was trying to hit even splits, them even effort, but with the same time in mind. It was inevitable that we met at some point. Rounding the corner at mile 26, a few guys moved past me. I tucked in behind them and used their energy to pull me through the finish, ahead of the pace group.

.2: 1:40

I couldn't really believe that I had just done that. Its still a little surreal to me. When I started running xc in high school, I couldn't hold 7:14 pace for 3.1 miles. Now, I had just held it for 26.2 miles. Ever since I started running half marathons, Boston has been a goal of mine. I never thought I'd have the speed to do it until I was older. A 3:10 just seemed out of reach. I mean, until this year my half PR was only a 1:36. So to qualify, I'd have to run a half PR and then do it again. A year of hard work and lots of miles changed all that.

Official Splits:     10k-44:42

01 October 2010

Welcome to Rocktober

Like many of my running friends, I can't believe that its October already. September was a great running month, 191.5 miles (third highest month) including a half marathon pr. This month is shaping up to be a month of epic proportions, hence the title of this post.

In eight short days, I will be competing in the Portland Marathon. I'm going to go ahead and make it official: my goal is Boston. I may crash and burn but for once in my running career I don't care. When I started running xc in high school, I was always afraid to go out to fast. I didn't want to be getting passed by tons of people at the finish where there were actually spectators. I guess even after h.s. that was always a thought in my head as I approached a starting line. After my last half marathon, I'm much more confident in my ability to hold speed. So, on 10.10, I'm gunning for Boston.

The race plan will be to roll with the 3:10 group for the first half. At that point, I'll reasses how I'm feeling. If I still feel good, I'll stick with the group. At mile 20 I'll do the same thing. Then if I'm feeling really good at mile 24 or 25, I'll drop the hammer for the last few miles.

A short two weeks after that, I will be running in my first race as a member of my running club. I still have to decide if I want to run the 5k or the 10k. Right now I feel like thats too soon to be ready for a 10k so I'll see what kind of damage I can do to the field in the 5k.

In all, its looking like a great month for racing. Oh, today's run. Should have been a rest day but I couldn't do it so I hit the treadmill for an easy 3 miles @10:00 pace. Happy Rocktober everyone!

30 September 2010

Making Decisions

Wow, time has gone by since I last posted. It has been a crazy couple of weeks. I'm back in rip city. Classes and work are in full swing. And my thesis. Though that is going really well. I've been in touch with a prof at another college who has done some work in the specific area of my field, i.e. wrote a text I'm using as a source. I met with my advisor on Tuesday and she was very happy/pleased with my progress :) Hopefully I'll actually start writing this thing soon. The goal is to be done with the paper by the end of the quarter and present/defend next quarter.

Running has been good. I'm in full taper mode and its starting to get to me. Only running 4 days this week...I may add a short short run tomorrow, like maybe 3 miles. Something long enough to keep me sane and short enough to keep me rested. I've been giving a my goals for the marathon (next weekend!) a lot of thought. Given my training level, fitness level and new found (? maybe I've had it all along. lets call it new realized) speed I'm headed for a HUGE pr. My only other marathon was a 3:54 over a year ago. Since then, I've dramatically changed my training and dropped 9:22 from my half marathon pr. I am definitely shooting for 3:15. I'm also playing around with the idea of trying to qualify for Boston. Since I started running half marathons in 2005, Boston was always a goal. I didn't tell many people that until last year though. It might be a day of race decision. If I go for it, I plan on running with a pace group. I have a feeling that talking with them at the expo next Friday will help in my decision.

If you told me in January that I would possibly attempt to qualify for Boston before the year was out, I would have laughed. Then, I would have had to run a pr half and keep it up for another 13.1 to qualify! I've never really been a great runner. My running career started when I was 13 and went out for track. I was a hurdler my first year. Then I switched to middle distance and distance. Eventually I joined the cross country team. By great runner, I mean fast runner. Sure, I showed up to practice and ran my best at meets, but it was never fast. At best I was our number four miler, going under 5 minutes once. Although, that was after h.s.  I never qualified for an invitational or the post season. Having a chance at Boston is like a dream for me. Qualifying would mean I'm a great runner. Well, I guess I can be great without that but it would make me feel a whole lot better about my running career.

For now its off to a long day of work and class. See you on the streets runners!

12 September 2010

A Whole New Level

Skagit Flats Half Marathon
11th overall, 4th age group

This is by far the best race I have ever ran. It was a 4:22 PR over my last half marathon in March. Skagit Flats is a local race (sort of) that is fairly small. There were ~400 runners in the half. I'm not sure how many were in the full marathon. Instead of driving 2 hours north the day of the race, I stayed the night at my great-aunt's house, which is only 30 minutes away. Before the race started, they announced a few marathoners who had run 200+ and 400+ marathons, including Larry Macon.

The course is an out and back through some rural roads with beautiful farm land as far as the eye could see (minus the start/finish at the local high school). The weather was rainy and colder. Probably around 54 at the start. Oddly enough, I run my best in that kind of weather. Guess I'm a true PNW runner.

I wasn't sure what race strategy I would use until the morning of the race. I was debating between starting slower (7:10's) and working my way down to 6:45's (1:30 is 6:51 pace) or just going out like hell and holding on until I died. I opted for the latter.

I lined up towards the front of the start. Well, at the front of the start. Based on my goal time of 1:30 and previous years' results, I figured I would be top 20 overall. I heard a few of the full marathoners talking about shooting for 2:42 (the winner was actually 2:38). I knew I didn't want to stick with them at the start. Still, when the gun went off I took off like a bat out of hell. I ran with a small group of guys for the first few miles. Around mile 2, four of us broke away a little. We took turns accelerating ahead to lead the group until the turn around. One of the other guys was a full marathoner and kept going. The other two runners and myself picked up the pace a little. Then, we picked up the pace A LOT. The splits(below) show that the really fast mile hurt me. One of the other two guys was able to recover from it a little better and pulled away. The other runner (Greg, as I learned from those cheering for him) and myself ran together until about mile 9 or 10 when I pulled away. I held it together pretty well for the first 9 miles (again, splits below). Even so, my “falling apart” wasn't that bad. My splits were still faster than my average pace from my previous PR. Somehow, I managed to pull together a really strong finish for the last .1 miles and crossed the line in 1:27:30.

Overall, I really enjoyed the race. It was a great, fast, flat course. The volunteers were really helpful. Though I didn't take any water during the race (not my smartest move), the cheering and support they gave was awesome. A few of the hs cross country teams manning the aid stations were given a list of entrants/bib numbers. So instead of the usual “good job” we heard our names. For me this gave a huge boost. If you're ever in the PNW in September, I highly recommend this event. I'll have more pics soon, for now there's just one, I believe around mile 4.

Nerd alert: My overall time at 4 and 8 miles was 26:26 and 52:52. Being the numbers guy I am, I thought that was really cool.


This past year, I have lowered my half marathon PR by 9:28. I am at a whole new level of running that I have never been at before. It is an amazing and humbling feeling at the same time. I'm slowly thinking that I might shoot for sub-3:20 at PDX next month.

02 September 2010


Not much time to post tonight. I've got to get to bed since I've got work in the a.m. and then I'm driving to see my wonderful fiance!

Distance: 9 miles
Time: 1:09:45
Pace: 7:45

Today's run called for 9 miles with 5x1000m @ 5k pace. I wasn't sure that I'd actually do the intervals. Tuesday turned into an accidental tempo run and yesterday was a 12 mile MLR. My legs were feeling pretty tired. I decided I'd try to hit 4:00 for the intervals. Somehow, I dug deep and actually got faster with each interval (mostly). Ended up with splits of 3:58, :54, :48, :49, :42. I was super happy with those times. I'm pretty confidant that I'll be able to PR in my half-marathon on the 12th. The only thing I'm not sure of is what to do about my LR. I'm suppose to run a combo 17 miler/tune-up race for Sat/Sun next weekend. Pfitz has the race first and then the LR. But...my race is on Sunday. Not sure if I should bag the LR, run it really slow or turn the half into a 17 miler. Any ideas?

29 August 2010

Getting the Fast Back


Distance: 12 miles
Time: 1:30:41
Pace: 7:34

This run was awesome and tough and the same time. It started out very hilly. Like quad killing hills that I haven't ran in a few years. I hadn't planned on running them but when I ran near them, I decided to see if I still had it. Oh, did I mention this was a few miles into the 15k "tune-up race" portion of the run? Needless to say, these few miles were not that fast, maybe 7:40's. The last four miles of the 15k were 7:02, 6:47, 6:35 and 6:26. It felt really good to run that fast. In all I averaged 7:15's for the tune-up.

If you ever need some good running music, check out this track from the Rap Pack (Kanye, Jay Z, Lil Wayne, T.I.).

My favorite line (during Lil Wayne's part): "Run up in your shit, just me no mas. Running this shit like I got four thighs. No one has swagga like these four guys". If that can't get you up a hill ...


Distance: 17 miles
Time: 2:26:55
Pace: 8:39

This run went well but I have my issues with it. Well, with my prep for it. I didn't eat anything during the run and didn't hydrate well (i.e. at all) before the run. Still, it was very evenly paced (1:13:45/1:13:10) and gave me a little more confidence towards going sub-3:30 in October.

I'm still on the fence about how to run my half marathon in two weeks. I feel like its far enough out for an all out effort but a part of me is still afraid I won't recover quick enough for the marathon. We'll see how the next two weeks plays out.

As for the rest of my life, I'm still slowly plugging away at studying/research. Though lately its been dominated by studying. Yesterday I brought my car in for an oil/filter change, tire rotation and brake check. Everything went ok. I guess there was no pressure on my rear brakes but they were able to fix that. Downside is I need to replace my timing belt before it explodes. The manufacturer recommends replacing the belt on my model at 60k miles. My car might be 20k miles north of that...and it might be unhappy driving at freeway speeds...so I'll probably be doing that before I head back to Portland. On the positive side...only 5 days until I get to be with my fiance!

24 August 2010

Track Super Star

Distance: 8 miles
Time: 1:01:24
Pace: 7:41

Today's run included a track workout, 5 x 600 meters at 5K pace. Its been some time since I did a track work out. Well, scratch that, its been some time since I've done short intervals. During my half training earlier this year I did 2-mile repeats. The workout went well. I clocked 2:22, :19, :18, :18, :14. It felt good to run fast on a track again.

Its been some time since my last post. Life has been crazy. I haven't been studying or researching much. That is going to change starting tomorrow as I really need to be studying for the exam. I'm thinking I'll alternate days between the two. Work has been absolutely crazy. We've been harvesting lettuce for the last two days and will be doing it all day tomorrow too. In all, we have/had 10,000 heads of lettuce!

I can't wait for school to start again. Then I will get to sleep in a little and I'll have more time for research and running. Though after Portland in October I will be cutting my running down drastically until I get my research under control.

I ran my second 20-miler of the training cycle on Sunday. It went really well. I finished with an average of 8:46 per mile. This was with a 20-sec negative split for my pace! (I ran the first half @8:56, second half @8:36 pace). My first 20-miler averaged 8:45 pace. This run felt much better than the first and I had a much stronger finish. The run really gave me more confidance in my ability to hit my goal in October.

Happy Thought of the Day: I get to see my fiance in 10 days! Her university is on semester and I am on quarters. She's been gone for a week already! I can not wait to drive out and see her.

09 August 2010

Cool Weather

Lately for my runs (read every run since the 20 miler) the weather has been much cooler. Don't get me wrong, I love running in 55-65* weather. I would just prefer it was sunny and cool not cloudy/rainy.

This last week of running was great. I got in 48 miles of awesome runs including 6@7:02 pace on Saturday and 16 w/12 @7:57 (goal MP) yesterday.

Today's stats:

Distance: 8 miles
Time: 1:08:54
Pace: 8:37

I was happy with my pace given the tough weekend I had. The rest of the week is going to be crazy. Tomorrow I will be up at 4:45ish for a quick 5 mile run. Then its off to Seattle for a 3-day job. I'll be working as the Director's Assistant at the NW Deposition Skills Conference put on by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA). Its a great organization and a great program. This will be my third year at this program. Its an awesome job but it is not awesome for running. Ususally Monday (today) is a rest day. Since I will be out the door for work by 6am on Wed and Thur and not be done until after 7 pm both days, I'll be moving my rest days to those days.

Thursday night is dinner with my lovely fiance and her parents before she leaves for school :( I'm glad she is at her school because it is a great fit for her. Its just really hard being engaged and at different schools. Thankfully we only have to survive being apart until June. Well, we'll see each other a few times during the school year but we'll both have our Master's degrees by June. Then we can finally be together!

01 August 2010

Note to Self...

...do not schedule a tough hike for the day before a long run.

Yesterday I hiked up Mt. Si with my sister, aunt and uncle. It was 8 miles roundtrip with 3300 ft of elevation gain on the way up. It was a good hike but probably wasn't smart to do given today's run.

Distance: 20 miles
Time: 2:55:07
Pace: 8:45

I am so stoked about today's run. Despite yesterday's hike, this 20 miler was 11 seconds per mile faster than my 20 milers during my last training cycle and my marathon! Even better, I paced the run very well. The first 10 miles, 1:27:29. The last 10 miles, 1:27:38. Pace champ = me :) The run put me at 1000 miles for the year!

I logged 195 miles in July, which is a monthly PR for me. Actually, I'd have to double check but I think this week is also a weekly PR, 54.8 miles.

Sadly, my lady is not in town. She's camping in California with her folks. I am going absolutely crazy without her. Once she gets back in town, we only have five days together before she heads to school.

Being as dead as I am, I'll probably take the day off from everything. Tomorrow will be studying for my comprehensive exam in algebra (Sept 20th is the test date). I failed it in the spring and must pass it this time around or I don't graduate, which is clearly no bueno. I'll probably do a little bit of research too. Thankfully, its an srd.

Last but not least, what's a post about a hike without one pic?
This was taken near the summit. Highest point we went, 3900 ft, just above the cloud deck.

27 July 2010

Recovery = Tempo

Distance: 7.37 miles
Time: 52:13
Pace: 7:06

So, according to Pfitz, today's run was suppose to be a 7 mile recovery run. Clearly, that didn't happen. My first mile was under 7:30. I decided to see if I could just hold that pace for the run. A few miles later, I looked at my watch for a split. Thats when I decided to make it a tempo run. The last 4.37 miles were 6:49, 6:52, 7:05, 7:01, 2:28 (6:43 pace). This went much better then my tempo run last week that I cut short because I ran too fast. Well...not exactly too fast. Too fast for the conditions. Upper 70's and I hadn't drank much water. Either way, I'm stoked that I was able to run with that kind of speed two days after an 18 miler (which capped off a 50 mile week).

25 July 2010

Running Long

Distance: 18 miles
Time: 2:37:13
Pace: 8:45

This run went surprisingly well. I woke up around 6. Had a small snack of a banana, some of those ritz peanutbutter sandwiches and some gatorade. I had gathered all my gear together last night so I was out the door at 6:30.

The start of the run had great weather. Actually, the whole run did. Clear sunny skies temps around 55 at the start and 65 at the end. I brought my Nathan speedbelt with me. Over the course of the run I drank 20 oz of gatorade. In hindsight, I should have drank a bit more and probably ate something. Oh well. There's always next weekend to fix that.

I didn't plan on it but this ended up being a progressive LR. The first 4 miles or so average out around 9 minute pace. The last 5 were sub 8:30 with the last mile in 8:21.

The wedding planning is in full swing now. We're 90% sure we've picked a reception hall. Now we're looking at caterers and such. She's been looking at dresses a lot lately too. Sadly, she just left for a two week camping trip with her folks. So I don't get to see her for two weeks :(

Well, I've got to go get ready for my cousin's bday party. She's turning 9. Time for hours of little kids running around :p

16 July 2010

Daily Run

Distance: 8 miles
Time: 58:51
Pace: 7:21

This run felt really good. I wasn't pushing myself but I wasn't holding back either. It is definitely one of my fastest 8 mile runs ever (aside from my 8 mile split during my last half marathon).

14 July 2010

Back in the PNW

Distance: 8 miles
Time: 1:02:14
Pace: 7:47

Today's run went well but not quite as well as last nights. Lets go backwards a bit though.

St. Louis was amazing! I met the rest of my fiancee's family and had a blast. We had a birthday party both weekends I was there! We went to the Budweiser brewery one day, took a trip to Alton, IL to see the city she was born in and to Fairview Heights, IL to visit the first house she lived in. We even stopped by to chat with the neighbors who still live next door. And somewhere in there we spent 4 days at Bull Shoals Lake.

I was able to get all of my runs in. I rearranged the schedule a little bit so my longest run there was 12 miles instead of 16. Being from the PNW, I was not ready for the heat/humidity. Luckily, it was only in the low to upper 70's at six in the morning. So thats when I ran. Even so, my fastest run was an average pace of 8:50. Last night I ran 5 miles in 36:00 with the last 3 @ 7:04 pace. It felt really good to be running in the low 60's. Did I mention I didn't go out until 8pm, which felt like 10pm for me...and I woke up at 6am that day...in hind sight it was probably a bad idea.

Today I decided to wait until the afternoon to run. It was about 76* out when I left. It felt cooler though since there was a breeze and no humidity. Tomorrow's run is suppose to be another 8 miler but I may kick it up to 10.

Here's a few picks from the trip!
Free beer at the end of the tour of the Budweiser Brewery

The Arch

St. Louis from inside the Arch

30 June 2010

We'll give it a shot...

Oh, we're half way there. Oh, livin' on a prayer.

Even though I am quite short of where I should be to hit my goal of 2000 miles for the year, I still feel good. I missed several weeks due to injury and illness and am just now getting into the meat of my training for the year. Here's the stats so far plus stats for my last few runs:

My 14 miler on Saturday went really well. I clocked the last 6 under gmp! Still haven't started my research for the summer but that will change soon...I hope. My wonderful fiance and I have started looking at venues for the wedding reception and that is surprisingly fun!

I may be mia for a week or so as I am not sure how much time I'll have for blogging when I'm in St. Lois (7.2-7.13). In order to avoid jumping into the heat too quickly, I'm moving this weeks LR to tomorrow. Otherwise I'd be doing a 15 miler my second day in heat (upper 80's low 90's) when I'm used to upper 60's low 70's. By the time next week's LR comes about, I should be use to the heat enough to run that there.

Quick review/check in of my running goals for the year.

Goal 1: Sub-1:36 Half Marathon Check
 Mercer Island Half Marathon, 3.21.10, 1:31:52

Goal 2: Sub 3:45 Marathon In Progress
Just started week 4 of Pfitz 18/55 today.

Goal 3: 2000 Miles Short
As I wrote above, I'm over 200 miles short of this but am not worried about catching up. Next month should be a PR of 195 miles and august a PR of over 200 miles.

Goal 4: Sub 20 5-K In Progress
The race I planned on doing this at is this weekend. However, I will be in St. Louis and the race is in my hometown in Washington. So, I will change my goal race for this. Either in November or December. I came close in a training run though. I clocked a 20:04 as part of a 10 mile run a few months ago (before the half). 

Hope everyone else is having a good running year so far!

22 June 2010

The Start of Summer

Summer is going well...sort of. I'm relaxing and getting in some good running but not doing enough (read any) research. Hopefully that will all change tomorrow or Thursday. More likely to be Thursday since I'm super busy tomorrow. I'll start at 5 am with a 4 mile recovery run. Then from 9-12 I've got a job moving cars. My aunt works at a dealership with two locations. One location is closing. So my brother, myself and some other people will move 90+ cars from one dealership to the other. Then at 2 my fiance and I have an appoinment to check out a place as a possible reception location! Then dinner with her folks and some church stuff after that. So I probably won't get around to research until Thursday afternoon (moving cars from 9-3ish).

Running has been great since I got home. I'm in week 3 of Pfitz 18/55 and haven't missed a workout yet. I've had to shuffle them a bit but I've got in all the runs so far. That may change soon though, more on that in a bit. I looked back at my old log from last year to see how many miles I had ran at this point in my last training cycle (which was my first marathon). In that cycle, I started with Higdon Novice (eventually switched to Higdon Int-I). So in the first two weeks of this cycle, I ran more than the first month of Higdon Novice! Here are todays stats:

Distance: 10 miles
Time: 1:16:35
Pace: 7:40

My slowest mile was 8:15 and the fastest was 7:21. I was definitely feeling the sun/heat during the second half of the run. I really need to work on hydrating more. Back to the missing runs thing. Next Friday (99% sure this is happening since I have yet to find a real job for the summer) I will be going to St. Louis for 10 days to meet some of my future family who I have yet to meet. Two reason for missing runs/super-rearranging the schedule: 1. Heat/humidity 2. Not sure what time I'll have to run. I will definitely get the long runs in but may have to scratch a few short runs. I'll play it by ear. Two reasons I'm stoked to go: 1. Meeting new family 2. It will be the farthest east I've been (sad, I know).

I'm going to be short of my mileage goal for the year. I think I will be. If you read my blog you know May was a sad month for running (read first month under 100 since November). As of now I'm at 741 miles for the year. By the end of the month I'll be at 784, which is 216 miles short. That being said, I only ran 875 miles so the year will still be a huge improvement.

Mini-side-note: I'm one of those weird guys that like shopping...once in a while. I went to Ross with my older sister today and bought 2 pairs of shorts and a new shirt for under $50 and one of the pairs of shorts is usually $50! Yay for saving money when you're a financially challenged grad student.

13 June 2010

Weekend Update

Distance: 9 miles
Time: 1:08:38
Pace: 7:37

Distance: 12 miles
Time: 1:43:07

Sunday's run was actually two six mile runs so I didn't put a pace on it since it wasn't really a 12 mile run. Friday was super busy. Finished packing, then moved all my things into storage before driving back to WA for the summer. Hopefully I'll be able to post more now that I'm on break. Its not really a break since I'm doing research and need to study for the MS Exam in Algebra. Tomorrow starts week 2 of Pfitz 18/55 with an SRD :)

05 June 2010

Getting it done!

Distance: 7.75 miles
Time: 1:02:43
Pace: 8:05

I started my day by going to the farmer's market. There is a fairly big one on campus every Saturday. So I bought some fresh stawberries and rasberries, some fresh homemade pasta and a bottle of local wine :)

Then I started to pack my clothes. Instead of starting to study for finals, I decided to go for my run first. The weather was (and still is) beautiful. Sunny, blue skies and 60* (suppose to be 73 later). I went to my usual river trail route. However, I forgot that today is the Rose Festival. So, I had to weave through a few hundred people along the river and then alter the route because .25 miles were blocked off. There were 3 US Navy ships docked and the river path was blocked off there. It was some part of the festival. In all it was a good run.

For now, its back to studying and laundry.

04 June 2010

Fly-By Part Dos

Distance: 4 miles
Time: 30:50
Pace: 7:43

After I finished (at least, I think its finished) my algebra paper I went to the gym for a run. I'm odd among my running friends because I actually like the treadmill. I guess it was during my freshman year at Montana that I fell in love with the treadmill. When you're training for a half marathon in December in Montana, its the treadmill or outside in single digit temps.

Goal for the day: finish my paper (need to re-read it and make sure everything checks out) and finish my number theory homework.

02 June 2010

Fly By

Distance: 5.6 miles
Time: 44:38
Pace: 7:56

New route :) Out and back course with a very large uphill section. Basically the first half is uphill. I managed to control my pace back down running a +:45 second splits. Last month was horrible. Sick twice + injured once = 48.12 miles :(
That was my first month under 100miles since November. Oh well, June is a new month and I start Portland training on Monday!

31 May 2010

Two More Weeks

Two more weeks of hell. I have not ran since my last post! Really upsets me but I've been insanely busy with school stuff and life in general.

Lets start back about a week ago. I stayed up and watched the LOST finalle. My stomach felt a little upset but nothing horrible. I tried to lay down and sleep at midnight. Fast forward 2.5 hours and I'm still not asleep plus I am now throwing up :( In all I got like 1.5 hours of sleep that night and was sick abour 4 times. I'm not ashamed to admit I'm a momma's boy. Being as sick as I was, I convinced my brother and dad to drive down to Portland and take me home for a few days. I basically layed on the couch at my parents' house for a few days before coming back to Portland on Wednesday.

The next day, I had a meeting with my advisor. Needless to say, being sick and having had a take home exam in Adv. Number Theory, I had no work for her. This week is different. I actually have a small proof to show her.

Now I'm really focusing on my project for Abstract Algebra III. I've got about 5 pages right now and still need to add a proof, an example and a discussion of a theorem. I'm pretty sure he's getting a mini novel from me. I have a meeting with him tomorrow to discuss my progress since we are suppose to be ready to present on Thursday. Clearly, I will not be. Unless he gives me some magic key to my missing proof.

Other than that I've got 2 maybe 3 regular homework assignments and 2 finals before I'm home free. Well....thats all the school work I have. I live in university housing so I need to pack up and find a storage place for all my things for the summer.

This past weekend was amazing! Friday night, I didn't feel like cooking so I walked down the street to get some McD's. I walk back to my building and get in the elevator. Now, since the school is in downtown Portland, you need an access card to use the elevator (so no weird people randomly walk the halls of the residence building). Usually, one person will just ask everyone else what floor and hit the button for them. I hear a girl say she doesn't live here but she's going to the 10th floor. Thats my floor. I look up and see my fiancee! I had no idea she was coming! She decided to surprise me since I was super stressed and hadn't seen her in a month! We spent the weekend together, mostly me working and her being the amazing woman she is taking care of me. Today I took a break from work to relax and spend as much time with her as I could before she left...an hour and a half ago. As sad as I was to see her leave, I'm happy because she'll be back next Monday! She just needs to pack her clothes and head back to our hometown for the summer (from her grad school) and then she is coming back!

Wow, I think this is my longest/only post that didn't involve any running. Hopefully I'll get in some runs this week as training for the Portland Marathon starts next week!

23 May 2010

Crazy Busy

Distance: 6 miles
Time: 53:00
Pace: 8:50

I found time to run around 1 today. Went to the gym and hit up the DM for an easy 6 miler. Plan on sneaking out for a 7 miler in the morning.

So, my algebra prof finally gave me the details of my graduate project (not thesis, just for his class) on Thursday. I've got 2 weeks from that date to have a paper finished and a 20 minute presentation ready. The problem is I can't even prove the examples that are suppose to appear in both let alone the real substaintial material. Needless to say I am going to be insanely busy as this is extra to all my regular course work and thesis research. Oh, did I mention all the other grad students in the class got their details 2 weeks before me? Such is my life.

If I have time to post this week, it will probably just be fly-by posts.

21 May 2010

Getting back to it

Its been some time since I posted. I had a minor injury. I thought it might have been a stress fracture seeing as the pain was high up on my tibia and localized. The doc said if it was any higher he'd have been worried about my knee. As it was, he didn't think it was a stress fracture. So, he put me on an anti-inflammatory and said to play it by ear. Not wanting to risk anything, I took a week off after the appointment. So its been 9 days or so since my last run.

Today I went to the gym and got in 4 miles on the track. It felt good to run again. Plus, no pain before, during or after! Yay! Going to take a rest day tomorrow, just to make sure I don't jump back too fast and get hurt again.

School has been rediculously busy. I have two more weeks of class. That includes two midterms (don't know how I have midterms this late in the quarter), at least 4 assignments and an 8 page paper/20 minute presentation on the basic properties of group rings/group algebras. Thankfully, as soon as thats over, my baby will be here during finals week!

Back to the books!

07 May 2010

Busy Life

Distance: 10 miles
Time: 1:18:29
Pace: 7:51

Today's run was great. It felt easy and the weather was beautiful. I just wish I had brought more water with me. I grabbed one of the 10oz bottles from my Nathan speedbelt but that wasn't quite enough. Good thing there are drinking fountains along the trail.

I haven't posted in a while because life=busy! Things are a little slower this weekend. Meaning I only have 1 class to do work for, abstract algebra. Though, I have problems and a project to be working on. I'm hoping I can get some progress made on my 501 research (for my thesis). I managed to get in 147 miles in April. Not quite the 160 I was shooting for but better than what I ran in March. I'm hoping to set a monthly PR in May, shooting for something between 180 and 190 (PR is 175 from Feb '10).

Well, I heart coffee so I'm going to Starbucks. They have 1/2 price fraps from 3-5pm from now until the 16th!

24 April 2010

Unplanned Tempo

Total Distance: 7 miles
Tempo: 5 miles
Time: 34:34
Pace: 6:55

Seeing as today is the day before my LR, I was just going to go out and cruise my run today. Once I got to the river trail (about .7 miles from my apartment), I noticed an unusual number of runners out...like hundreds. The thing is, none of them had timing chips or race numbers. Turns out March of Dimes was today. So, like always, I inadvertantly sped up while weaving through traffic. When I checked my watch at the two mile marker and saw that it was at 13:xx, I decided to make the run a tempo. It felt surprisingly easy. I was pushing a little bit but I had some left in the tank. I decided to cap off the tempo portion once the crowd's disappeared. I finished off with an easy 2 mile cool down.

I should finish the week off at 42 miles. My longest since my half in March. Next week will be a cut back week of sorts. I'm only base training so its not really a cut back but I'll only be in the low to mid 30's.

On Thursday I will be driving 6 hours to spend the weekend with my fiance at her university :) It feels like its been forever since we were together even though its only been a little over a month. But we did set a date for the wedding in that month so maybe thats adding to it.

I'm going to start ending my posts with running quotes that I like (until I run out of them). The first is one of my favorites, from a guy who volunteered with the distance runners of my hs track team my junior year.
"Tough times don't last but tough people do" ~Julian

18 April 2010

Kickin' It Old School

Distance: 10 miles
Time: 1:19:27
Pace: 7:57

Fair warning, this may be a longish post. Well, longish for me. And I promise the title will make sense later.

I finished the week out with 38 miles. I've got another seven weeks of base building (up to 52mpw) before I start Pfitz 18/55 for the Portland Marathon. I've been debating tweaking the plan to start higher and go up to 60 or so. As is, it starts at 33mpw. Given how I've been running lately, I think that might be a bit low to start. Looking back at my training for the Seattle RNR last year, its kind of funny that I think 33mpw is too low. I peaked at 42 mpw for that race!

Sometime since my last post, I officially signed up for Portland. They print a name on the bib for you if you want it. I decided to have "Kaatman" printed on mine. It is my grandpa's last name. He passed away almost two years ago.  I had debated about running a marathon before but somehow his passing pushed me to sign up for Seattle. Odd, since he never ran. He was a golfing man. Naturally, I became one...sort of. I'm not good but I've been playing for 15 years! The pic below was taken before my first game on a par-3 course (9 holes). 

I know its super early to be doing this but these are my goals (as of now) for the race. Its 6 months away so the may change but...

A-goal: Sub-3:25
B-goal: Sub-3:45
C-goal: PR
Perfect-day-goal: Sub 3:20

Now, I've only ran one marathon and did so in 3:54:08. But, given the level of training I put in for that and my recent 1:31 half plus my current training level...I should be capable of sub 3:20. But I've been running since 7th grade so I know how much factors into performance. So I'll shoot for 3:25 and if everything is perfect, I'll chase down 3:20.

In my last post I mentioned getting some new kicks. Well, I did. And I retired my Waveriders. I wanted to push them out to the end of April but they were starting to hurt my shins. My new shoes (white ones below) are Nike Lunar Mariah's. They weren't designed specifically for running (I know its bad to train in 'nonrunning' shoes). From what I can tell, they are a modernized upper of the old Air Mariah (circa early/mid 90's) with the midsole of the LunaRacer 1(or Lunar trainer?). I wore them for a 7 miler yesterday and they felt ok. The only downside is breathability. They don't breathe too well. That being said, I think they'll be for short runs, 8-9 miles max. The pic below is my current line up: LunarGlides (blue), the Mariah's (white) and LunaRacer 2's (green midsole).

School has been crazy! I mentioned in my last post that I failed my algebra comp :( But...I did pass my Ordinary Differential Equations comp! I laugh at this a little. I studied for the algebra comp for weeks and failed it. The diff eq comp....3 days! My research is going ok. Some days I feel like I get what's going on others (like today) I feel like I'm in way over my head. My classes are (somewhat) on cruise control. Algebra is cake right now because I've covered this material before. Number theory is time consuming but not difficult. I spent 6 hours on an assignment this weekend. I've got 9 pages ready for him to grade :)

Big-ups to Marathonmaiden who is running Boston in the morning. You're gonna rock it K!

09 April 2010

Bad News = Good Run

Distance: 10 miles
Time: 1:13:55
Pace: 7:23

So much for slow. I'm just going to listen to my body and slow down when I'm tired. Yesterday I met with my advisor...sort of. She forgot about the meeting so we only talked for a few minutes. Turns out my hunch was right, I failed my comp exam in algebra :( I get one more shot at passing it in the fall so guess what I'm doing this summer.

That being said, I had a great run this morning. I wanted to run yesterday (after the meeting) but didn't have time to. So this morning, I ate, did laundry and watched Without Limits. Great movie if you haven't seen it. Being inspired and flustered/upset about the exam, I took off the first mile. Like 6:20 took off. I pulled back a lot the next 8 miles before hammering it home in 6:30. Afterwards, my hamstrings felt a little tight. Nothing some stretching and ice can't fix.

Tomorrow I will be up early to run before driving to Washington for my Godson's bday. I'm going to try and leave here a bit early so I can stop by the Nike Outlet store and see if I can find a new pair of kicks. Its almost time to retire the GT's (over 400 miles and bugging my shins a bit) officially and put the WaveRiders (nearing 400 miles) into semi retirement.

07 April 2010

Base Training Plan

First a quick note about today's run and grad school life.

Distance: 7 miles
Time: 51:22
Pace: 7:20

I said a few posts ago that I was not going to do speed work or tempo runs during my base training. Well...this one wasn't on purpose. I had just finished watching a replay of the 2009 Ironman World Championships. So, my adrenaline was a up and once I started the run, I felt really good. I didn't realize how fast I was going until I saw my first mile split of 7:07!

My classes are going well so far. I'm only taking 2 (3 if you count yoga) classes this term: Abstract Algebra III and Advanced Number Theory. My research is going well. I've chosen a paper for the basis of my study and am currently in the stage of reading it for terminology (definition and theorems). After that, I'll read it again to try and follow the proofs. That should take about half the quarter. I finally got my grade for Abstract Algebra II (grades were due 2 weeks ago, just got it yesterday). I got a B in the class so I was happy. Grad students need at least a B- to pass. I also found out that the Algebra Comprehensive Exam has been evaluated. I will find out if I passed or not tomorrow when I meet with my advisor.

I am in the middle of week two of base training. The plan I drew up (below) will take me through the quarter. Then I will start Pfitz 18/55 during finals week. Any thoughts on the base plan?
(Note: R=rest day)

05 April 2010

Quick Update

I was able to get in a nice slow 10 miles before my family came over for Easter yesterday. The run didn't feel hard but I was definitely tired afterwards.

Today, after the 3 hour drive back to Portland, I got in a solid 5 miler.

Distance: 5 miles
Time: 37:10
Pace: 7:25

My average pace was probably a little quick for being in base building mode. But...I was feeling really good so I just went with it. The last half mile was @ 6:00 pace! I really want to find a 5k to run so I can knock that 20:00 time off of my goals for the year. Alas, grad school doesn't leave a lot of time for racing.

I'll end this post with a frustration and a joy. Frustration: my prof still hasn't posted grades from last quarter. They were due 2 weeks ago and we're in the second week of spring quarter. Joy: in 10 short weeks, I'll be on summer vacation which means I get to spend more time with my love :)

03 April 2010

Getting Better

Distance: 7 miles
Time: 59:53
Pace: 8:33

Another run on the dreadmill. I'm happy with today's pace. My hamstrings were not as tight this morning but I still wanted to slow down a bit.

I have officially signed up for the Portland Marathon. Initially I was going to try and run sub 3:45. Then I went and ran a 1:31:52 half. So, right now I'm thinking these will be my goals:

A-goal: Sub 3:20
B-goal: Sub 3:30
C-goal: PR

On Monday I'll start my second week of a 10 week base building plan I drew up. It has me running about 165 miles this month and 211 in May. Then on June 7th, I'll start Pfitz 18/55.

Short post today, time to go do some Number Theory homework.

02 April 2010

So Much For Slowing Down

Distance: 5 miles
Time: 38:55
Pace: 7:47

Well, I was going to slow down but was a little pressed for time today. I got a suprise text from my aunt. Her, my uncle and my cousins were in town and wanted to get together. So, I did a mini speed workout.

1 mile warm up
1 mile @6:45-6:50
1 mile @8:00
1 mile @6:35-6:40
1 mile cool down

I was a little surprised at my fast miles. I thought they'd be around 7 minutes. It was only my third run since my half since that silly cold kept me down and out for a week. Plus, my hamstrings were super tight when I woke up this morning.

That being said, today was awesome. I destroyed my Ordinary Differential Equations comp exam this morning. We were suppose to do 6 problems. I did 7, 5 of which I'm 98% sure are right. So, I'm going to go ahead and say I passed that one. I'll have to wait for official results though. I have a hunch that I didn't pass the algebra comp that I took on Monday. If not, I'll retake it in the fall.

Afterwards, I cranked out my run on the DM at the gym. Then had a beer at the bar with a good friend. She was unsure about the whole grad school thing but is sticking it out for at least another quarter. That makes me happy because she is one of 5 people I know in my program. Finally, some pizza with my family.

Now I have to go finish my laundry and read a paper on "Generating a Finite Group by Nilpotent Subgroups".

31 March 2010

Monthly Recap/Busy Week

First, today's stats:

Distance: 6miles
Time: 46:11
Pace: 7:41

We actually had a sun break this morning so I did my run along the river instead of the treadmill at the gym. I ran faster than I wanted to but I'm glad I did it. The run was much better than any treadmill run. Since I'm back to building a base for the next 9 weeks, I'm trying to slow down a bit.

This month was my shortest one of the year. I only got in 112 miles. I'll tack it up to my mini taper for the half and missing 8 days from being sick (two different occasions). Hopefully I'll be back in the 160-180 range next month. For the year I'm around 440 miles. That's a little short of being on track of my goal (2000 miles) but I'm not worried since I still have a marathon training cycle to go through.

This week has been crazy. Monday morning I had my comp exam in Algebra. I met with my advisor Tuesday about narrowing down my research topic. I've also been studying like crazy for my Diff Eq comp exam on Friday. Plus my usual class and homework. And today I found out I needed to sign up for another class to keep my financial aid (I was at 8 credits, needed 9 to be a full time grad student). So, I signed up for yoga :) Oh, the one thing that is really bugging me is my grade for abstract algebra last quarter. Its bugging me because I DON'T have it. We have started the spring quarter and my prof hasn't submitted his grades from winter quarter yet!

Well, back to the books!

25 March 2010

Race Pics

I've been sick for a few days so no running :(

Its my second to last day of Spring Break. I was lucky enough to be able to travel and visit my fiance at her grad school. So far we've been able to see each other once a month while we get our master's degrees at different schools.

Anywho, got some official pics from the race last weekend. There were about a dozen of me but these three were my favorites.

22 March 2010

Only those who risk going too far...

...can possibly find out how far one can go.

Yesterday was my first race of the year and a goal race. I ran the Mercer Island Half Marathon. I was a little worried about hitting my goal, a PR (previously 1:36:58), because I was sick and missed 3 days of running the week before race week.

Logistics were a little crazy too. The race is only about an hour from my house. But...it is on an island big enough for 1 lap to be 13.1 miles long. Take that size and add spectators, volunteers and 4500 runners...yeah...traffic nightmare. A gal on rwol told me she had to get out of her car on the freeway exit ramp to make it to the starting line on time! That being said, I left my house at 6am for the 9am start. My little sister and mom came to watch me run. We got there around 7 and were able to park in the main lot, less than a quarter mile from the start. We then sat in the car for an hour since it was windy/rainy outside (luckily the rain stopped for the race). I happened to glance at the car next to us and noticed its sole occupant was none other than Maniac #1! I thought it would be cool to race against him. More on that in a bit.

I was excited to see what I could do. I wore my favorite Nike running shorts, a long sleeve shirt (bad idea) and my new LunarRacer2's. I decided against a watch. Ususally I love having a watch during a race, especially my forerunner. It really helped my pacing during my first marathon. However, I thought it would hinder me at this race. I wasn't sure what kind of shape I was in. True, I had ran 20 miles in a week where I should have ran 40 but I had also pulled out some awesome training runs. I had a hunch I was in a bit better shape than my goal pace, 7:20. Had I worn the forerunner, I would have slowed when I saw any pace faster than 7:20.

Feeling a little ambitious, I lined up at the front of the 7:01-8:00 pace group. I cruised through the first few miles. Somewhere between mile 2 and 3 (I think, didn't see a mile marker until mile 5) I heard a few women talking about expected/goal times. One of them said something about 1:40. What? Guess I'm in the wrong group. I kicked it up a notch for a few miles. I moved from group to group, drafting where I could and pushing to close gaps to faster groups. I did this with a few other runners until about mile 8. That's when I saw Maniac #1. "Man, it would be sweet to beat him" I thought. I was a little tired from my tactics up to that point. The rolling hills and cambered roads had taken some toll on my legs.

Around mile 12 (or maybe it was 11), there was a nasty uphill. It wasn't too steep or anything, but after 10+ miles of rolling hills it seemed more daunting. I felt like I was crawiling up it! The nice part was the long downhill afterwards. I used it to catch, and pass Maniac #1! After that I tried to hold my pace on a short flat section before the final uphill, which peaked about <200 meters from the finish. I was shocked when I saw the clock as I came over the hill, 1:32:xx! What?!? Where did that come from? I didn't care, I was excited to PR. My last half PR was my first one back in 2005.

Today I saw the official results:

Time: 1:31:52
129th of 2137 overall
8th of 47 age group

I was/am super happy with the results. Who wouldn't be happy with a 5:06 PR? I'm going to attribute the race success to higher mileage and more speedwork/tempo runs. I'm definitely ready to start training for Portland, a much flatter course. I think I might need to change my goal from sub-3:45 to sub-3:25.

17 March 2010

Finals Week Roller Coaster

This has been one hell of a week...and its only half over. Monday I had a nice rest day. The majority of it was spent studying for my abstract algebra final and putting the finishing touches on my paper on "The Classification of Groups of Order 2p". Somewhere in there I managed to get in a little yoga.

Tuesday I got in a decent 5 mile run somewhere around 8:00 pace. Then I got my ass handed to me (well, half handed to me) on my abstract final. Then I had a great time at my favorite bar, the Cheerful Tortoise.

I spent this morning working on my presentation that goes along with the paper. Then I studied for about 3 hours for my linear algebra final. I felt really good while I was studying. I was able to make connections to other classes and see a few results that were not written out in the text.

My run this afternoon was freakin' awesome! The skies were and still are clear. It was in the mid 50's during the run. I did about a mile warm up before hitting my tempo. I clocked a 6:24 for the first mile. I thought that would be a little bit too fast. I was wrong. Somehow, I managed to hold 6:37 pace for the tempo portion, 5 miles (5.12 to be specific). I ended with a mile cool down, bringing my total to 7 miles. It was almost perfectly even pace, 16:58 for the first half and 16:59 for the second half.

After being sick last week, only getting in 20 miles...I was really questioning my PR attempt this weekend. I thought I'd lost too much fitness. I really needed today's run to boost my confidence back up. For now its back to studying.

13 March 2010

Semi-Epic Fail?

Distance: 4 miles
Time: 31:xx

Here's the breakdown of what the workout should have been.
1mi warm up @8:xx
5 mi @7:30-8:00
1 mi cool down @8:xx

Here's the actual breakdown
1mi warm up @8:xx
3 miles @7:30

I felt really good after my warm up so I kicked it up to 7:30 pace on the TM. A mile later I still felt good so I kept at it. By the time I hit the 4 mile marker, I felt really sick to my stomach. So, I opted for cutting my run short...

It was really hard for me to do that. I feel much better than I did Wed-Fri when I was sick and didn't/couldn't run. I guess my body is just not 100% healthy yet. With my half marathon coming up in a week, I don't want to miss or cut short any more runs. I feel like I put in a lot of hard work. I mean, the three weeks prior to sick week were all mileage PR's with some great quality runs in them. I just have this (somewhat unreasonable) fear that all that work will be for nothing. I just hope that in dropping from 52 miles last week to <20 this week that I don't loose all the gain from my training.

07 March 2010

Weekend Update: Flyby


Distance: 10 miles
Time: 1:22:44
Pace:  8:16


Distance: 15 miles
Time: 2:01:52
Pace: 8:07


Distance: 5 miles
Time: 50:00
Pace: 10:00

In all, I would say I had a great running weekend. I'm especially happy with Saturday's LR. Like the title says, this is a flyby post. I've got some studying to do and a paper to finish. Back to the grind!

05 March 2010

Solid 10

Distance: 10 miles
Time: 1:22:44
Pace: 8:16

I was hoping to run a little bit closer to 8:00 pace, I'm happy with this run. My legs still feel a little tired. Probably a combination of my great workout on Tuesday and running my recovery run too quickly yesterday.

The effort was fairly evenly paced, 41:10 for the first 5, 41:34 for the second 5. My legs decided to tag team in pain today. While I was running, my calves were sore. When I was walking before/after the run, my calves were fine but my quads were sore.

This weekend is going to be crazy busy with homework. I have about 3 sections of algebra problems do to (linear & abstract combined), 3 diff eq assignments and I need to finish my paper on group theory! My 15 miler tomorrow is going to be a nice break from that.

03 March 2010

Inadvertent Timetrial

Distance: 10 miles
Time: 1:12:40
Pace: 7:15

Today has been an interesting but awesome day. First, I woke up at 7. Odd, since my alarm goes off at 6. Turns out I didn't set it last night. So my run was getting pushed to the afternoon yet again. The forecast had rain in the afternoon...great. Turns out, it didn't rain. When I got out of class, I checked my email while getting ready for my run. I had a message that I got a package. Knowing what it was I went to get it before my run. My Nike LunaRacer+ 2's came in! They were much lighter than I thought. It almost felt like I was wearing track spikes! I decided to take them on a 10 miler right out of the box.

I'm not sure if it was because the first .75 miles of the run were downhill or the adrenaline of getting new kicks, but my first mile split was 6:36! Now, I wanted to run fast today but not that fast. I was going to shoot for sub 7:20's, a little quicker than GHMP. I tried to settle into a comfortable rythm, thinking that would be the right pace. Mile 2 went in 6:39! "Ok, I can't do this for another 8 miles" I thought. I decided to just drop the hammer and see what kind of 5k time I could pull out of this. Sort of turning the run into a time trial. The third mile was a 6:16 giving me a 5k time of 20:04! I was super stoked! One of my goals for this year is a sub-20 5k. I think I may have to change that to a sub-19, which would be a PR.

I still wanted to get in 10 miles so I trotted a few at 8:00 pace before picking it up a little. So the second half of the run was 6.9miles @ 7:37 pace.

As far as the shoes go, I love them. They felt great. Only one small blister and a scrapped heal, nothing that can't be fixed by wearing socks next time :p I was like a kid at Christmas, just wanting to play with my new toys and forgot to put socks on. I'll do a more extensive review of them after I've run the half in them later this month.

02 March 2010

Peak Week: Day 1

Distance: 6 miles
Time: 46:19
Pace: 7:43

Just a quick post today. As the headline says, this is day one of my peak week. I'll hit 52 miles this week, then do a mini taper for my half marathon on the 21st. I went to the gym between classes to bang out my run. Since last week was my first 50 mile week and I had two great speed workouts, I think I'm going to forgo tomorrow's intervals and focus on getting in a solid tempo on Friday and hitting some goal pace miles in my long run this weekend. The run felt ok. The pace felt easy. Toward the end of the run, my right knee started to ache a little. I'm hoping that will dissappear soon. Now its off to take my abstract algebra midterm and then get some drinks!

28 February 2010

Double PR

Distance: 14 miles
Time: 1:56:24
Pace: 8:18

Today's run had its ups and downs. First a down: getting out the door 30 minutes late. Up: great first 9 miles. Down: Miles 9-11 were really bad because I had to use the restroom...and not the one thats easy to hold in. Up: The last 3 miles were sub 8:10 pace. Still, I'm happy with the run.

Today's run also capped off two personal mileage records for me. First, I ran 50 miles this week! Second, 175.5 miles for the month! Next week is scheduled to be a 52 mile week but the month of March will definitely be below 170 since I'll be doing a mini taper for my half on the 21st.

Speaking of racing, I caved in and bought a pair of racing shoes. I bought the Nike Lunaracer2. They are suppose to arrive here on Wednesday. I'm thinking I'll run my Thursday recovery run and my next LR in them to break 'em in a little before the race. Then I'll try and only use them for racing but will probably wear them for a tempo run every now and then. Now its back to the daily grind: homework, projects and groceries!

26 February 2010

Tough Tempo

Distance: 9 miles
Time: 1:10:04
Pace:  7:47

It may look like today's run was great but it wasn't that good. I was able to run the tempo portion at tempo pace, but it really hurt and I was dying at the end. I think Tuesday's intervals took a lot out of my legs.

I did a 2 mile warm up on the track (15:56) then hit the tm for 5 miles (35:40) and finished with a 2 mile cool down on the track (18:27). In all, I am happy with the effort. I think next week I might just do one speed day to let my legs rest a little.

I'm actually surprised with the quality of my speed days this week. Last week was my mileage PR (47) and I'm on track to run 50 this week. That being considered, my workouts have been much better than expected.

I'll end this post on a geek note. This is the first post from my "new" computer. I am now running Ubuntu 8.04 instead of Mac osX 10.4 on my G4 powermac :)

24 February 2010

Finding Another Gear

Distance: 8 miles
Time: 54:55
Avg Pace: 6:51

Its official, I have no idea what kind of shape I am in. Coming off my weekly PR last week (47miles) I thought today would be really tough. I'm going to attribute some of today's bamfness from getting more/better sleep. My new place is so much quieter at night. Well, its quieter in general. I've only been here since Saturday but I've only seen other people on my floor like twice.

The workout was suppose to be 1mile warm up, 3x2 miles @ GP, 1 mile cool down.

Going into the workout, I knew I was going to end up running faster than GP. I was running on the indoor track and I never run pace on that track. I figured I'd be running around 7:00-7:10, more of a tempo pace. After my warm up, which was a little quick for a warm up, I should have known today was going to be a fast day.

I started out at a comfortably hard pace. Usually, that's tempo pace for me. I decided to not check my watch until the halfway point. I was surprised when I saw my watch say 6:20. What!?! Where the hell did that come from? I tried to slow down a bit to conserve my energy for the other two intervals I had. Of course, I natually sped up again running the second mile in 6:17! I drank some water and walked three laps (a little more than 400m) before starting the second interval. It was just at quick as the first, 12:40 (6:18, 6:22). The final set was slower but still way faster than tempo pace, 12:51 (6:23, 6:29).

I had to look back at my log to see how I did last time I ran this work out. It was three weeks ago, on Feb 3. That day, I ran .5 miles between sets instead of walking .27 miles. My splits then were 13:45, 13:47 and 13:50.

I'm not going to day that I've got the PR for my half locked down but I'm going to say I've got a 90% chance of hitting it. When I set my PR a little more than 4 years ago, my hardest workout was 2x2 miles which I struggled to do @ 7:00 pace.

Now I've got to get my homework done!

21 February 2010

New Apartment, Sunshine and Long Runs

Yesterday was insane! I got up early to run 6 miles. After that, I started moving my things into my new, unfurnished apartment. Its technically a dorm still, but I live in a studio apartment. Its just university owned/on campus. My folks and siblings came down from Washington to help.

After getting everything moved in, we had to get furniture. So after lunch, we spent 8 hours buying, moving and putting together furniture. Now everything is unpacked and set up and I am so much happier than I was in my other room.

Once again, I ran in the afternoon to enjoy the warmth of the sun. Sadly, the forecast says rain everyday this week after Monday. Here are today's stats:

Distance: 13 miles
Time: 1:38:42
Pace: 7:36

I was super happy with this run. When I went out, I told myself I'd be happy with 8 minute miles. I ran easy until I got to the river. Then I just ran at a comfortable pace. Once I heard the "beep" of my forerunner I glanced to see my split of 7:58. Good, right on pace. "Beep", 8:04. "Beep", 7:40. What? The next few miles got progressively faster. I definitely ran a negative split, just not sure how big since I didn't hit the lap button at the turnaround. My fastest mile was mile 12, 7:19.

Being a month out from a goal race, I am very happy with this time. Knowing that I can comfortably run the race distance at goal pace +16sec makes me more confidant in my abilities. Now, if only I could do my homework as fast as I can run :p

19 February 2010

Running and Moving

Distance: 8 miles
Time: 1:02:15
Avg Pace: 7:46

Today was yet another beautiful day! After a diff eq problem session, I headed to the river for my 8 miler. Even though I added mileage to yesterday's run, my legs weren't super sore. My calves did not like me on the hills, but other than that it was smooth sailing. The first two miles were a bit quick, around 7:20. I pulled it back a bit and tried to relax the rest of the way. If all goes well, i.e. I get in my weekend runs, I'll finish the week off with a PR of 47 miles!

The rest of my day will be eating, packing and moving. Yay!

18 February 2010

Easy Day Extended

Distance: 7 miles
Time: 1:01:02
Avg Pace: 8:43

Today was another beautiful day! So nice that my 5 mile recovery run turned into a 7 mile run. That being said, I could definitely feel the consecutive speed work days in my legs. They felt heavy and a little sluggish. Nothing a little sun and shorter stride couldn't cure :)

School is slowly starting to pile up again. I really need to start doing more research for my abstract algebra project (classifying groups of order 2p) and I really, really need to start studying for the comprehensive exams. I've got about 5 weeks before the first one. Before either of those, I need to finish my diff eq homework for tomorrow...and pack some things for my room/building transfer. Oh, we got our linear midterms back today and I got an A! Time to go make some dinner!

17 February 2010

Second Day of Speedwork in a Row...check

Distance: 8 miles
Time: 58:46
Avg Pace: 7:20

Today was interval day. I did a 1 mile warm up. I probably did it too fast (7:56). Then I was suppose to do 2x3miles @7:20 pace and a 1 mile cool down. Well...it was more like 2x3miles doing pickups. At least my overall pace was 7:20.

The first 3 mile interval was paced better than the second one. The first three finished in 21:10 (7:10, 7:03, 6:56). The second 3 took me 21:15 (7:34, 7:06, 6:35!).  I learned a few things today. First, whenever I have any sort of goal pace run, I'm doing it on the treadmill so I can learn the pace. Second, I am much faster than I think. When I started the first set, I thought I'd be dead by the end. Especially since I did that 5 mile tempo yesterday.

I've been debating buying a pair of racing flats. Usually I just run in my training shoes. Any thoughts?

16 February 2010

Accidentally Tempo

Distance: 5 miles
Time: 35:25
Avg Pace: 7:05

Well, today was suppose to be an easy 5 before tomorrows intervals. After a few days off and the beautiful weather (sunny mid 50's), I couldn't help but run fast. I think I'll still hit up my intervals tomorrow and just make my Friday run an easy run instead of a tempo.

The run felt really good. The first mile or so I was just cruisin'. Probably somewhere around 7:20 pace. Then I picked it up a bit for the rest of the run. Surprisingly, it was fairly well paced. I finished with a 5 second negative split. I'll take it any day of the week.

On the living situation front, I only have to deal with my suitemates cooking at 11:00 at night and playing guitar at 10:00 at night for another few days. I got a transfer to a different building for later this week. It should be awesome. Single room, private (read MINE) kitchenette and bathroom.

School is going well. I'm about caught up with homework for both of my algebra classes. I really need to do some more work on my abstract algebra project and study for the comprehensive exams. Yesterday I was able to register for most of my credits for next quarter, Math 543: Abstract Algebra III and Physics 262: General Astronomy. I love that I can take a 200-level class as a grad student! The only credits I haven't signed up for are my research credits. I need to find an advisor and have him fill out a form. Then the dept chair has to sign it and send it to the registrar. Hopefully, that will only take a week or so. Off to my last class!