Monday, December 31, 2007

Week 16: Taper Time

75½ miles for the week

M – 9 miles recovery run, average pace 8:26 mpm, 56°F at 11AM, Christmas Eve [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-MBTrail/SeaC]
Tu – 10 miles general aerobic, average pace 6:57 mpm, 61°F at 2:30PM [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-2MMBtrail/SeaC]
W - 14 miles, average pace 6:50 mpm, Vacation Day, sunny and windy 71°F at noon [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-2MMBtrail-2x2M/SeaC]
Th – 7½ miles recovery run, average pace 8:28 mpm, 59°F at 1PM mostly cloudy and windy, Vacation Day, [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail/SeaC]
F - 7 miles recovery run, average pace 8:05 mpm, 64°F at 1:30PM, sunny and very nice [SeaC/Ntrail/SeaC]
Sa – 11 miles tempo run with 6 at LT, average pace 6:35 mpm, 6 LT miles in 36:32, 56°F at noon, sunny [SB-Yaupon/FC4CourseTempo 2-S-4F/FC4Course 4F-2cooldown/Yaupon-SB]
Su – 17 miles, average pace 6:47 mpm, 66°F to 68°F from Noon, Sunny a bright blue sky and the dewpoint in the 30s°F, [SeaC/Ntrail-5x2M/SeaC]

Starting to coastdown this week, but there were some strong runs in there.

Not much hard training left:
M 31st: r6
Tu 1st: g9
W 2nd: r6
Th 3rd: 9 with 3x1600
F 4th: r6
Sa 5th: g8
Su 6th: MLR 13

M 7th: r6
Tu AM 8th: r5
Tu AM 8th: r4 [I will NOT run a stinking double that day!]
W 9th: g8 with 2@GMP
Th 10th: r6
F 11th: r5
Sa 12th: r4

Here's my Bottomlands Park paved trail/Mountain Bike Trail combination run. I was a little disappointed that the GPS measures the Mountain Bike Trail portion a little shorter than I thought. It might be because of all of the tight turns in the woods. My GPS pace goes way down on the trail even though my heart rate stays constant.

View Larger Map


The 16 day model forecast for Houston Marathon day now shows cold air froom the 10th on. The weather through the 9th still looks pretty bad, warm and humid with the dewpoint above 60. Marathon morning now has low 40s and a North wind up to 12 mph....watch out on Post Oak. And if you believe that's exactly what's going to happen, I know of some swampland in Matagorda County....


AccuWeather has Saturday night and Sunday on their 15 day forecast. They predict:

Saturday Night, Jan 12
Low: 31 °F RealFeel®: 36 °F
Mainly clear and cold


Sunday, Jan 13
High: 58 °F RealFeel®: 61 °F
Sunny and warmer


For the record, here's the climate data around Houston Marathon day:
Jan 11 Average High/Low 62/41; Record Max 81 1995; Record Low Max 30 1962; Record Low 12 1982; Record Hi Min 69 1995; Record Precip 1.77 1934
Jan 12 Average High/Low 62/41; Record Max 81 2000; Record Low Max 37 1985; Record Low 17 1962; Record Hi Min 68 2007; Record Precip 1.93 1944
Jan 13 Average High/Low 62/41; Record Max 81 1935; Record Low Max 32 1996; Record Low 20 1973; Record Hi Min 68 1965; Record Precip 1.53 1967
Jan 14 Average High/Low 62/41; Record Max 82 1971; Record Low Max 42 1964; Record Low 19 1982; Record Hi Min 63 1965; Record Precip 0.90 1946
Jan 15 Average High/Low 62/41; Record Max 79 1996; Record Low Max 42 1984; Record Low 23 1979; Record Hi Min 61 1968; Record Precip 1.78 1974
The record high minimum temperatures are the ones that worry me. I hope we don't see anything close to those warm minimums.


Why does Rice play Texas?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Last Long Run

I ran my last long run today, 17 miles. It was warm and sunny, 66 degrees when I started just after noon, but the dewpoint was in the 30s so it was s super day for a long run. I started out at about 7:15mpm and picked up to 6:45 for the bulk of the run and about 6:20 for the last couple of miles. Overall average pace was 6:47 with a 151bpm heart rate.



The 16 day model forecast for Houston Marathon day now shows some warm humid air infiltration marathon day, but it still looks good for the morning. The weather through the 9th still looks pretty bad, warm and humid with the dewpoint above 60. And if you believe that's exactly what's going to happen, I have some swampland in Matagorda County....


AccuWeather has Saturday night and Sunday on their 15 day forecast. They predict:

Saturday Night, Jan 12
Low: 40 °F RealFeel®: 35 °F
Considerable clouds

Sunday, Jan 13
High: 52 °F RealFeel®: 47 °F
Rain

For the record, here's the climate data around Houston Marathon day:
Jan 11 Average High/Low 62/41; Record Max 81 1995; Record Low Max 30 1962; Record Low 12 1982; Record Hi Min 69 1995; Record Precip 1.77 1934
Jan 12 Average High/Low 62/41; Record Max 81 2000; Record Low Max 37 1985; Record Low 17 1962; Record Hi Min 68 2007; Record Precip 1.93 1944
Jan 13 Average High/Low 62/41; Record Max 81 1935; Record Low Max 32 1996; Record Low 20 1973; Record Hi Min 68 1965; Record Precip 1.53 1967
Jan 14 Average High/Low 62/41; Record Max 82 1971; Record Low Max 42 1964; Record Low 19 1982; Record Hi Min 63 1965; Record Precip 0.90 1946
Jan 15 Average High/Low 62/41; Record Max 79 1996; Record Low Max 42 1984; Record Low 23 1979; Record Hi Min 61 1968; Record Precip 1.78 1974
The record high minimum temperatures are the ones that worry me. I hope we don't see anything close to those warm minimums.




Why does Rice play Texas?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Bulk of the Training Is Done

I've seen a loose correlation between training mileage and marathon performance. The average mileage for the 16 weeks from when the training plan started to the taper two weeks before the marathon seems to be the most valid comparison.

Gun - Chip/Watch *Average weekly miles M-18 to M-2*

Best/Worst/First 11/12/1995 - 3:58:08 - 3:55:28 New York City '95 *??*

Best 11/3/1996 - 3:51:20 - 3:49:03 New York City '96 *??*

Best 1/12/1997 - 3:46:55 - 3:45:36 Houston '97 *35.3*

Best 1/18/1998 - 3:25:28 - 3:25:14 Houston '98 *39.7*

Best 1/17/1999 - 3:21:20 - 3:21:12 Houston '99 *44.5*

1/16/2000 - 3:29:46.7 - 3:29:25.0 Houston '00 *40.3*

2/26/2000 - 3:39:10 - 3:39:10 Ft Worth '00 *39.2*

Worst 1/14/2001 - 3:56:33.0 - 3:56:23.0 Houston '01 *43.5*

Best/BQ 2/18/2001 - 3:19:15.2 - 3:19:01.4 Austin '01 *43.1*

4/16/2001 - 3:27:37.0 - 3:23:52.0 105th Boston *40*

Best 1/20/2002 - 3:15:43.0 - 3:15:24.0 Houston '02 *44.6*

Best 1/19/2003 - 2:58:54.0 - 2:58:53.0 Houston '03 *64.3*

4/21/2003 - 3:07:12.0 - 3:06:25.0 107th Boston *54.7*

Best 1/18/2004 - 2:55:51.0 - 2:55:46.0 Houston '04 *67.0*

1/16/2005 - 2:57:53.0 - 2:57:51.0 Houston '05 *77.3*

4/18/2005 - 3:05:16.0 - 3:04:49.0 109th Boston *52.9*

Best 1/14/2007 - 2:54:41 - 2:54:33 Houston '07 *74.0*

1/13/2008 - ?:??:?? - ?:??:?? Houston '08 *81.0*

This seems to have been a pretty strong training cycle. We'll see how it turns out in a couple of weeks.

Last Big Tempo Run

I ran 6 miles at LT pace on the Firecracker 4 course today. I wasn't quite as fast as I hoped, but it was better than last year.
36:32 for six miles, mile splits were:
Time, Average HR
5:59, 156
5:57, 162
6:05, 164
6:09, 164
6:11, 164
6:08, 165

Here's the old GPS track with the warmup and cooldown (11 miles total at an average 6:35 pace):


View Larger Map

I used my new Saucony Grid Tangent-3 shoes for this run. I was able to fit into a 12 1/2 instead of my normal 13 and they're pretty close to the same weight as my old Adidas Rotterdams.





They also have very minimal uppers like the Rotterdams




The forecast for Houston Marathon day has gotten much colder now. The weather through the 9th still looks pretty bad, warm and humid with the dewpoint above 60. But from the 10th on the model shows cool weather with temperatures below 50. And if you believe that's exactly what's going to happen, I have some swampland in Matagorda County....


AccuWeather has Saturday night on their 15 day forecast. They predict:
Saturday Night, Jan 12
Low: 37 °F RealFeel®: 35 °F
Partly cloudy





Why does Rice play Texas?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Guessing the Weather

Houston Marathon day (1/13/08) weather is now on the 16 day model.

The weather for the 6th through the 9th looks pretty bad, warm and humid with the dewpoint above 60. Then the 10th and 11th are cooler but Saturday the 12th is warm and humid again. But cooler air quickly returns and the model shows 40s for marathon day. And if you believe that's exactly what's going to happen, I have some swampland in Matagorda County....





I've been playing with Google Maps and my new GPS. Here's my standard running route past SeaCenter Texas to MacLean and Bottomlands Park:

View Larger Map


Why does Rice play Texas?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Houston Marathon Training Week 15: The Last Big One

100½ miles for the week

M – 9 miles recovery run, average pace 8:38 mpm, 61°F at 2PM, Vacation Day [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-MBTrail/SeaC]
Tu – 10 miles recovery run, average pace 8:16 mpm, 75°F at 1PM, Vacation Day [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-2MMBtrail/SeaC]
W AM - 10 miles general aerobic, average pace 7:05 mpm, Vacation Day, partly cloudy and humid 77°F at 11AM [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-2MMBtrail/SeaC]
W PM – 8 miles, 6x1200/400 recoveries, average pace 7:08 mpm, target time for the 1200s was 4:18 (5:44 per mile), 1200s were 4:18.1, 4:17.2, 4:17.3, 4:17.2, 4:17.7, and 4:16.9, 74°F at 7PM and somewhat windy [B’Wood track]
Th AM – 15 miles, average pace 7:19 mpm, 77°F at 11AM but with a strong WestNorthWest wind and a dry air mass arriving, Vacation Day, [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-3x2MMBtrail/SeaC]
Th PM – 4¼ miles recovery run, average pace 8:59 mpm, 81°F at 3PM sunny with very nice dry air, Vacation Day [FlagR-P-P]
F - 9 miles, fairly hard general aerobic, average pace 6:58 mpm, 73°F starting after noon, sunny with a South wind [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-MBtrail/SeaC]
F extra - 4¼ miles running back and forth to the supermarket, I lost my car keys, prettty fast going home, then a recovery run to pick up my car a little later, overall average pace 8:16 mpm [Plantation-Dixie]
Sa – 9 miles recovery run, average pace 8:51 mpm, 74°F at noon, sunny and very windy [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-MBTrail/SeaC]
Su – 22 miles, average pace 6:51 mpm, first two miles were at about 7:20 pace and picked up the pace until the last two miles were at 6:20 pace (13:01 from inside MacLean Park, past SeaCenter Texas , to my house; just a few seconds off last week's new World Record) 45°F to 47°F to 49°F from 11AM, Sunny with the dewpoint in the Teens°F VERY NICE, [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-5x2MMBtrail-2M/SeaC]

The +100 miles for the week was an accident, solely due to loosing my keys at the supermarket. I'm going to try and stay much closer to the schedule next week.

Sunday’s 22 miler was another enormous confidence builder. I felt great the entire way, running fast but very relaxed. If we can have weather on January the 13th similar to what we've had the last two Sunday's, it's going to be a very fun race!

It's all downhill from here:
M 24th AM: r6
M 24th PM: r4
Tu 25th: g10
W 26th: MLR 14
Th 27th: r7
F 28th: r6
Sa 29th: 10 with 5 LT
Su 30th: L17

M 31st: r6
Tu 1st: g9
W 2nd: r6
Th 3rd: 9 with 3x1600
F 4th: r6
Sa 5th: g8
Su 6th: MLR 13

M 7th: r6
Tu AM 8th: r5
Tu AM 8th: r4 [I will NOT run a stinking double that day!]
W 9th: g8 with 2@GMP
Th 10th: r6
F 11th: r5
Sa 12th: r4

Why does Rice play Texas?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Week 14: Promising Long Run

86 miles for the week

M AM – 6¾ miles recovery run, average pace 8:39 mpm, 73°F at 4AM [SB/Dow/BS]
M PM - missed
Tu – 12½ miles, average pace 7:18 mpm, mostly cloudy windy and humid, 79°F starting before noon, Vacation Day [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-2x2MMBtrail/SeaC]
W AM - 10 miles fairly easy general aerobic, average pace 7:45 mpm, Vacation Day, sunny 79°F at 10AM [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-2MMBtrail/SeaC]
W PM – 6 miles, 6x600/200 recoveries, average pace 7:03 mpm, 600s in 2:06, 2:01, 2:03, 2:01, 2:01, and 1:59, 63°F at 7PM [B’Wood track]
Th AM – 6¼ miles recovery run, average pace 8:35 mpm, 48°F at 4AM [SB/Dow/Ol]
F - 12½ miles, fairly hard general aerobic, average pace 6:48 mpm with several miles near 6:30 pace, 65°F starting at 10AM, overcast and occasional mist [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-2x2MMBtrail/SeaC]
F extra - 3 miles running back and forth to the car repair shop, 7:20 pace
Sa – 9 miles recovery run, average pace 8:45 mpm, 60°F at 2:30PM, sunny and very windy [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-MBTrail/SeaC]
Su – 20 miles, average pace 7:01 mpm, first two miles were at about 7:30 pace and picked up the pace until the last two miles were at 6:18 pace (12:57.5 from inside MacLean Park, past SeaCenter Texas , to my house; a new World Record!) 51°F to 52°F to 51°F from 2:30PM, Sunny with the dewpoint in the 20s°F VERY NICE, [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-5x2MMBtrail/SeaC]

Sunday’s 20 miler was a real confidence builder. I started out a little tired, but just kept on picking up the pace because it was such a nice day. I never felt as though I was pushing it too much and the faster paces felt so easy and relaxed. I finished the run thinking I could have kept going for several more miles without too much effort.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New Timing Tag System Has Poor Results in Honolulu

The Houston marathon is going to a new timing system using disposable RFID tags. The old Champion Chip is also an RFID system but it is completely encapsulated in a waterproof enclosure and operates at different frequencies. The new disposable RFID tag system was used recently at Philadelphia and Honolulu and seems to have had a pretty high error rate.

Honolulu Star Bulletin Article

Honolulu Advertiser Article

It can rain in Houston too!


*** UPDATE on Thursday, 13 December ***

Roberta MacInnis's weekly column in the Houston Chronicle reports that the Houston Marathon will use the old Champion Chips for the 2008 marathon.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Week 13: Last Tune-up Race

85¾ miles for the week

M AM – 6¾ miles recovery run, average pace 8:37 mpm, 56°F at 4AM [SB/Dow/BS]
M PM - missed
Tu – 15 miles, average pace 6:51 mpm with the last four miles sub-6:30 pace, sunny and very nice, 60 to 62°F starting at 12:30, Vacation Day [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-3x2MMBtrail/SeaC]
W AM - 10¼ miles general aerobic, average pace 7:32 mpm, Vacation Day, another nice sunny day, 72°F at 11AM [PlantBr//SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-MBtrail/SeaC]
W PM – 7¼ miles, 6x1,000/400 recoveries, average pace 7:06 mpm, 1,000s progressively faster from 3:39 to 3:30, 64°F at 7PM [B’Wood track]
Th AM – missed (slept through my alarm)
Th PM - 7¼ miles recovery run, average pace 8:25 mpm, 70°F at 9PM [SB/Dow-MacL/SeaC]
F AM - 10 miles, fairly easy general aerobic, average pace 7:38 mpm, 78°F starting at 10AM, windy and humid [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-2MMBtrail/SeaC]
F PM - skipped for the upcoming 30K race
Sa – 7½ miles recovery run, average pace 8:39 mpm, 79°F at noon, humid and windy [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail/SeaC]
Su – 21¾ miles, with a 30K race at an average pace of 6:42 mpm, 71°F to 74°F from 7AM, mostly cloudy with occasional sun, the dewpoint near 70°F, and a moderate SE breeze [Sugar Land]

Sunday’s 30K race was tough; just way too warm and humid. My shoes were completely soaked with sweat in the first loop. I knew it was going to be bad so I ran topless, sacrificing decency and modesty. You won’t find any links to the finish line video here! In reviewing this past week, I’m amazed at how close Tuesday’s run came to Sunday’s race. I really didn’t push hard at all Tuesday; it was just a moderate effort training run. I started out with about a 7:30 mile and just picked up the pace because it was a nice day. Sunday was a pretty hard race effort, but I ended up just a few seconds per mile faster.

Here’s the race breakdown:

Miles 1 to 3, Sugar Land Town Square to Palm Royale 6:29, 6:46, 6:48
I settled in behind a pretty experienced runner (RichF) who I knew better than to pass. After the first mile, he starts talking with another guy in red shorts and slows somewhat. My head is covered in sweat pretty quickly and I’m concerned I might be starting out too fast. I have no problem with the slower 2nd and 3rd miles.

Miles 3 to 8, First Palm Royale Loop 6:31, 6:32, 6:42, 6:33, 6:32
I’m still behind my two guys, but they pick up the pace when they hit Palm Royale. Palm Royale runs mostly east/west and heading out towards the east, the wind was pretty noticeable. Shortly after the turnaround, the guy in the red shorts says he’s going to drop back. I’m feeling OK and running relaxed and decide to stay in contact with RichF.

Miles 8 to 12, Second Palm Royale Loop 6:28, 13:08 (10 and 11), 6:42
When I rounded the corner for the second loop, I could feel the SE wind, so I decided to catch up to RichF to draft him. About halfway out, I was feeling pretty good and also a little guilty about drafting. I decided to pull my load and took the lead into the wind. We hit the 15K mat at about 1:01 and a half. I was discouraged that we were on pace for a 2:03 30K with this much effort. RichF pulled alongside just before the turnaround and we talked a little as we went with the wind. The traffic started getting thick as we encountered more runners on their first loop so I had to drop behind occasionally. I finally quit pulling alongside and by the end of the second loop I was over 15 seconds back.

Miles 12 to 16, Third Palm Royale Loop 5:58 (?), 7:37, 6:57, 6:59
I was on my own to run into the wind the third time. I didn’t look at my watch for the short mile 13 split and when I saw the 7:37 mile 14 split near the turnaround I was really disappointed. That was a big psychological blow. If I realized the previous split was short, I might have been in a little better mood the rest of the race. As I continued to work through traffic, I lost sight of anyone running their 3rd loop.

Miles 16 to 18.64, Palm Royale to Sugar Land Town Square 6:57, 7:00, 4:13 (6:35 pace)
Just as I exited the Palm Royale loop I was passed by another runner. I didn’t make any effort to stay with him and lost a little more distance as we went through a water stop. I could see three runners up ahead and occasionally a fourth and fifth (including RichF who slowed just a little in his second half but ended up passing three other runners). But I was just in a survival mode to keep going to the finish. I was able to pick up the pace a little as I entered the Town Square area. My legs felt pretty strong even at the end and I recovered pretty quickly once I stopped.

First 15K 1:01:24, Second 15K 1:03:28 for 2:04:53 This was my slowest 30K in six years, seven minutes slower than last year and eight minutes slower than 2005. This year's training compares favourably against the last two years. Even if I held on to the first half pace I still would have been way off my 2006 and 2005 times. I hope we have much colder weather for the marathon.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Beautiful Day

I took another vacation day today and it couldn't have been a better day for running. There was a light frost this morning, but by noon it was near 60 degrees with a very light breeze and not a cloud in the deep blue sky. I ran my SeaCenter route to the Bottomlands Park and ran an extra 8 miles on the trails in the woods. The last four miles were at about 6:30 pace and the return trip past the SeaCenter was my fastest ever (13:12 for two miles plus about 20-30 seconds extra).



Runs like this make me think my training is working. Unfortunately, the weather for Sunday's 30K looks horrible. I can't find any more local races to run before the marathon. I hate going into the marathon with a goal 10 minutes faster than my warmup races predict.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Week 12: Sweat-Soaked Shoes in December

89¼ miles for the week

M AM – 6¾ miles recovery run, average pace 8:32 mpm, 42°F at 4AM [SB/Dow/BS]
M PM - missed
Tu – 15 miles medium long run, average pace 7:12 mpm, 54°F at 3PM, Vacation Day [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-3x2MMBtrail/SeaC]
W AM - 12½ miles, average pace 7:28 mpm, Vacation Day, 70°F at 11AM [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-2x2MMBtrail/SeaC]
W PM – 6½ miles, 6x600/200 recoveries, average pace 7:07 mpm, 600s in 2:05.6, 2:03.1, 2:00.6, 2:02.0, 2:01.1, 2:01.5, 63°F at 7PM [B’Wood track]
Th – 6¼ miles recovery run, average pace 8:30 mpm, 59°F at 4AM [SB/Dow/Ol]
F AM - 10 miles, fairly hard general aerobic, average pace 6:50 mpm, 73°F starting at Noon, [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-2MMBtrail/SeaC]
F (later) - 4¼ miles recovery run, average pace 8:18 mpm, 67°F at 5PM, [FlagR/P/P]
Sa – 10 miles recovery run, average pace 8:21 mpm, 77°F at noon [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-2MMBtrail/SeaC]
Su – 18 miles, average pace of 7:30 mpm, 80°F to 81°F from 1130AM, mostly cloudy with occasional sun, the dewpoint in the low 70s, and a strong Gulf breeze [SeaC/NtrailMBtrail-3x(McL1M-2MMBtrail)/SeaC]

I hope it won’t be so warm for Sunday’s 30K race. This week’s Sunday long run was way too warm and humid for December. My shoes were completely soaked with sweat around the 16th mile. If it’s that warm for the 30K race, I really should just use the race as a marathon pace run. I’d really like to run a warm-up race at peak effort to help firm up a goal marathon pace.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Houston Marathon Training Week 11 of 18: The Cold Front Comes Through

94 miles for the week

M AM – 6¾ miles recovery run, average pace 8:34 mpm, 67°F at 4AM [SB/Dow/BS]
M PM - I ran this one! 4 miles recovery run, average pace 7:56, 69°F at 7PM [FlagR/P-/P/C]
Tu – 8¼ miles easy general aerobic, average pace 7:53 mpm, 71°F at 4AM foggy [SB/Dow/2xBS/Ol]
W AM - 8¾ miles harder general aerobic, average pace 7:11 mpm, 76°F at 4AM [SB/Dow/3xBS]
W PM – 7¼ miles, gradually increased pace from 7:18 to 6:44, average pace 7:00 mpm, 77°F at 7PM [B’Wood track]
Th – 10 miles recovery run, average pace 8:27 mpm, Thanksgiving Day, 53°F at Noon sunny and windy [SeaC/NtrailMBTrail-2MMBTrail/SeaC]
F - 12 miles, with 2M-3M-2M at LT pace, average pace 6:43 mpm, LT miles at 6:19, 6:19, 6:28, 6:23, 6:22, 6:21, and 6:14, 51°F starting at Noon, overcast and a strong wind down the track’s straight [Plant-Wdld/B’Wood track/Wdlnd-Plant]
F (later) - 4 miles recovery run, average pace 8:41 mpm, 53°F at 5PM, [FlagR/P-/P/C]
Sa – 9 miles recovery run, average pace 8:25 mpm, 54°F at 2PM with light rain and some heavy rain and windy [SeaC/NtrailMBTrail-MBTrail/SeaC]
Su – 24 miles, average pace of 7:14 mpm, 47°F to 49°F from 1PM after heavy rains, overcast and windy [SeaC/Ntrail-5x(2M-McL1M)-2M/SeaC]

The cold front stormed in Wednesday evening just as predicted. It ended up being even colder and rainier. It hasn’t been cold here for so long I’d forgotten how unpleasant running into a cold, wind-driven rain can be. But I’d still rather run in cold, windy rain than run when the dewpoint is above 75°F.

Friday’s 7 mile LT run was more difficult than I hoped. The wind was coming right down the track’s straightaway, so half of each lap was a struggle and the other half was a coast. I set my watch’s timer to repeat every 47 seconds (6:16 miles). I couldn’t keep up the first two miles and the repeated beeping was really irritating. Miles 1 and 2 were both 3 seconds slow, at 6:19. After the 2nd mile, I gave in and decided to split the 7 LT miles into 2-3-2. I took a short breather and a drink of water and changed my timer to repeat every 48 seconds (6:24 mile). After a slow start on the third mile, I was able to re-gain some ground on my 48 second timer. Miles 3, 4 and 5 were 6:28, 6:23, and 6:22. I felt much better and the break between this set and the next was just long enough to take a drink of water. The 48 second timer wasn’t irritating at all when I was able to gain ground on it. Mile 6 was a 6:21 and mile 7 was a 6:14. Most of the return trip was with the wind and I averaged in the 6:40s for the 2½ miles back home.

Sunday’s 24 mile long run started out pretty slow and difficult. Most of the first two miles were into a pretty strong and cold north wind. I ran the first 9 miles at about a 7:40 to 7:30 pace. My long runs are usually two or three loops from my house out to the Bottomlands Park Trail. But with the fierce north wind exposure on the way to the park, I decided I’d stay on the wooded trail as long as possible. I got in a groove and was able to pick up the pace to about 7:15 to 7:00 for the next ten miles. I was still feeling good so I picked up miles 20, 21 and 22 to about 6:55 pace. I still felt fresh so I picked up the pace again on the way home and finished with miles 23 and 24 at sub-6:30 pace. This long run started out poorly, but it ended up being a real confidence builder.

I received my 30K race bib in the mail this week (the 30K is two weeks away, on December 9th). I should just use this race as a marathon pace run, but I’ll probably end up racing it; I always do.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Really Strong Cold Front

A really impressive cold front stormed in last night. I was running seven miles on the track under a half moon, watching the cold front approach. The north sky was filled with lightning throughout the run, starting with just distant flashes in the clouds and progressing to huge chains across the sky. About a half hour after I finished the cooler air finally started blowing in and within a few minutes it was raining buckets. It was over 76 degrees during my 7 to 8 PM run but by midnight it was in the 50s and this morning was the coldest of the season. Today was just an easy 10 miles, but tomorrow is a 12 mile run with 7 miles at LT and then another recovery run of 4 miles.



This is a real relief from the recent unseasonably warm weather. Here are the daily low temperatures this year. I wish we had more days with the low under 60.

Here's a story about some other 'Running Nukees'. I love the quote: "I ran on behalf of the wish to build a nuclear power plant that is loved by the people."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Training Week 10

80¾ miles for the week

M – 6¾ miles recovery run, average pace 8:36 mpm, 74°F at 4AM [S-B/Dow/B-S]
M PM - missed
Tu – 8¾ miles general aerobic, average pace 7:15 mpm, 75°F at 4AM my shoes went soggy from sweat [Dow/Dow-]
W AM - 7¼ miles, average pace 7:29 mpm, 75°F at 4AM [S-B/Dow/B-S/Ol]
W PM – 6½ miles, 6x600/200 recoveries to 400 recoveries, average pace 7:17 mpm, 600s in 2:03.9, 2:00.3, 2:02.1, 2:03.9, 2:03.6, 2:02.8, 74°F at 7PM [B’Wood track]
Th AM – 7½ miles recovery run, average pace 8:22 mpm, Vacation Day, 64°F at 10AM sunny and windy [SeaC/NtrailMBTrail/SeaC]
Th PM - 4 miles recovery run, average pace 8:17 mpm, 61°F at 6:30PM
F - 15 miles, general aerobic, average pace 7:10 mpm, 69-70°F starting at 11:40AM, sunny and still nice but a Gulf breeze already [SeaC/NTrailMBTrail-3x2MMBTrail/SeaC]
Sa – 9 miles recovery run, average pace 8:24 mpm, 76°F at 11AM with light rain [SeaC/NtrailMBTrail-2MMBTrail/SeaC]
Su – 16 miles, average pace of 7:10 mpm, 69°F to 73°F from 10:40AM after heavy rains, mostly cloudy to sun and very humid [SeaC/NTrail-2M/SeaC//SeaC/NTrail/SeaC]

The weather guessers are promising a real cold front Wednesday evening. The temperature shouldn't go higher than the low 60s all the way through the weekend. That will be really nice. It should also help cool down the Gulf and bay waters. The water temperatures are still up in the mid-70s, so when the cold fronts turn around, the warmth and humidity come up right away.

I need the cooler weather. This is the peak mileage week of the training cycle, with a 7 mile LT run on Friday and a 24 mile long run scheduled for Sunday. I'm thinking about running to the high school and running the 7 LT miles on the track. I think I need the extra reinforcement of checking my pace every 47 seconds.

Friday, November 16, 2007

First Intervals

Wednesday evening I ran the first intervals of this marathon training cycle. It's been too long since I've tried to run that fast. The Pfitz schedule had 6x600. On the way to the track I decided I'd shoot for 2:00 600s (5:20 mile pace) with 200 recoveries. I was pretty surprised at how hard I had to push to get near that pace. After the third 600, I had to extend the recovery to a full 400. I ended up with:
2:03.7, 2:00.3, 2:02.1, 2:03.9, 2:03.6, and 2:02.8
It was still fairly warm and humid (74 degrees with the dewpoint in the upper 60s); that might have hurt a little.

After running those 600s at 2:20 to 2:25 marathon pace I'm even more impressed by the elites who run those paces and faster for the whole 26+ miles.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Houston Marathon Training Week 9: Half Way There

83¼ miles for the week

M – 3 miles recovery run (slept through my alarm and only had time to squeeze in 3), average pace 8:33 mpm, 73°F at 4AM [Dow--]
M PM - missed
Tu – 15 miles, average pace 7:38 mpm, Vacation Day, 76°F at 10AM but the wind turned with a cold front coming in at the end of the run [SeaC/NTrailMBTrail-3x2MMBTrail/SeaC] Tuesday had AM and PM recovery runs scheduled
W - 12½ miles, average pace 6:59 mpm, a beautiful Vacation Day! The cooler, drier air felt great, 65°F at 2PM [SeaC/NTrailMBTrail-2x2MMBTrail/SeaC] My first run in my new Nike Air Zoom Elites-3.
W (later) – 7 miles, average pace 7:22 mpm, 58°F at 7PM [B’Wood track]
Th – 6¼ miles recovery run, average pace 8:29 mpm, 56°F at 4AM, [Dow/B-S/Ol]
Th PM - missed, called in to work later that night
F - 10 miles, easy general aerobic, average pace 7:46 mpm, 82°F at 1PM, sunny and humid again [SeaC/NTrailMBTrail-2MMBTrail/SeaC]
F (later) - 2½, average pace 7:57, ran to pick up the car, had more planned but was called in to work all night, 79°F at 4PM
Sa – 7½ miles recovery run, average pace 8:41 mpm, 81°F after Noon and some sleep [SeaC/NtrailMBTrail/SeaC]
Su – 19½ miles, 25K race average pace of 6:39 mpm, Houston Hobby Airport had 66°F to 74°F from 7AM to 9AM [Memorial Drive Loops] another implosion

I'm pretty disappointed with my race performances. I'm really hoping for redemption at the 30K.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Good Day for a Parade

It was warm and humid and sunny, perfect weather for the Veteran's Day parade; not very good for a 25K race. I started out aggressively for the conditions and crashed pretty hard. Hobby Airport had 66 to 74 degrees with the dewpoint in the mid-60s. That's not really bad and I felt decent the first loop. But when I hit the incline toward Shepherd on the second loop, I just gave up. Probably my biggest weakness is not pushing a race when conditions get tough. When I know a good finishing time isn't possible, I can't find much motivation to still run hard for a good place. I just give in to all the negative thoughts and excuses. I did that again today.

On the return leg of the first loop, I heard a thunderous explosion. It was a hotel in the Medical Center I used to be able to see out my window when I was in college. It reminds me of my performance on the second loop:


The first three Fall Series races don't predict much for the marathon:

USA 10-Miler
1:04:08, 77.3% age graded, 549 Purdy Points
3:00:47 projected marathon

Strider's Half Marathon
1:23:58 (watch), 78.4% age graded, 575 Purdy Points
2:57:03 projected marathon

HMSA 25K
1:43:22, 76.1% age graded, 543 Purdy Points
3:01:51 projected marathon



Maybe I'm slower because of my big fat gut

Picture by Cindy





Pictures by Mark


This guy needs to check his rinse cycle:


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

New Shoes



I got a new pair of Nike Air Zoom Elite 3 shoes. They're a little heavier than the Adidas Rotterdams (about 1 ½ ounces heavier for my size 13s). I still think of the Rotterdams as new, but they have well over 600 miles. The new Nike AZE shoes should last most of November and December and then I'll have to buy another new pair for the marathon in January.
I liked the Rotterdams. The Climacool feature kept them from absorbing too much sweat, but the holes in the soles were a little strange running through puddles. The shoes had pretty low heels and I think they might have aggravated my Achilles tendon. I'm hoping the new Nike Zoom Elites with their substantial heels will help.




What 600+ miles does to a pair of shoes



While I'm messing with pictures, here's a gator I saw during Saturday's run hanging out along the bayou behind my house.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Week 8 of 18: A Complete Loss of Discipline

85¼ miles for the week

M – 6¾ miles recovery run, average pace 8:36 mpm, 58°F at 4AM [S-B/Dow/B-S]
M PM - missed
Tu – 13 miles, average pace 7:10 mpm, Vacation Day, 76°F at 1:30PM but very nice dry air [SeaC/NTrail-3x2M/SeaC] Tuesday had AM and PM recovery runs scheduled
W AM - 7¾ miles general aerobic, average pace 7:25 mpm, 62°F at 4AM [S-B/Dow/2xB-S]
W PM – 8 miles with the last 4 miles at GMP, average pace 6:47 mpm, 71°F at 7PM and a little more humid [B’Wood track]
Th – 5¼ miles recovery run, average pace 8:39 mpm, 64°F at 4AM, [Dow/Ol]
Th PM - missed
F - 13 miles medium long run, average pace 7:00 mpm, 79°F starting at 2PM, sunny [SeaC/NTrail-3x2M/SeaC] 12 miles with 6 at LT was on the schedule, but I didn’t feel up to running the LT, even though I ended up with 13 at a pretty decent pace.
Sa – 9½ miles recovery run, average pace 8:38 mpm, 79°F at Noon, extended this run to make up for missed doubles [SeaC/Ntrail-2MMBTrail/SeaC]
Su – 22 miles, average pace of 7:34 mpm, Houston Hobby Airport had 66°F to 77°F from 7:30AM to after 10AM [Houston Memorial Park Loop] I started out too fast and didn’t drink anything the first 12 miles, leading to dehydration and a stupendous crash and burn.

I deviated too much from the schedule this week and paid for it. While recovering from last Sunday's half marathon, I blew off recovery runs scheduled for Tuesday and instead ran a fairly hard-paced medium long run. Then on Wednesday afternoon I ran 4 miles at GMP (completely outside the schedule). On Monday and Thursday I missed evening recovery runs and made up for the lost miles by running longer on Saturday. On Friday I blew off an important LT run, but then proceeded to run a 13 mile progression run fairly hard. On Sunday, I completed ignored unseasonably warm temeratures and ran the first 12 miles of a 22-miler way too hard and without drinking anything. Oy-vey

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Ditched an LT Tempo Run

I've had to deviate from the Pfitz schedule recently, but I wanted to get back on it this week. The schedule had 12 with 6 miles at LT for Friday. As soon as I started Friday's run I started making excuses for not doing the LT. It was afternoon and although not hot by any means, it was warm and more humid (79 with the dewpoint in the mid 60s). I felt tired and my legs felt pretty trashed. My new Rotterdams already have over 600 miles and I think they're nearing end-of-life. I gave in and didn't try to run LT, but I was able to pick up the pace throughout the run. I managed to finish just under 7mpm for 13 miles. I think I fooled myself early and really should have stuck with the LT run.

I split Wednesday's 15 miler into two runs (just can't seem to fit 15 miles in before 0530 on a work day). On the evening portion, I picked up the pace the last four miles and ran 6:37, 6:29, 6:28, and 6:27. I was pretty happy with those 4 on a warm evening, but I probably shouldn't have done them considering I ended up skipping Friday's 6 LT miles. I think I need to get some faster running done. But there is still plenty of time before the marathon and I have done some pretty intense running racing the USA 10-miler and the half marathon.

Here's the finish line video from the Strider's Houston Half Marathon:
video
I'm visible from about 10 to 20 seconds.

Ryan Hall's 2:09 in Central Park was incredible.....I'm truly inspired. He has such a smooth, low, arm carry. He was just cruising; what a contrast with Sell who looked determined and fighting. The web broadcast really neglected 2nd place Dathan Ritzenhein. He also had a super race with a 3+ minute PR. Wow!

EDIT
I just heard about Ryan Shay.
What a shock and a tragedy.

Here's a good article from the NY Times:
Small Town Mourns a Running Marvel

Monday, October 29, 2007

ECW Pump 2C Versus the Koala/Luke's Houston Half Marathon

ECW Pump 2C being off loaded in the shop


We were overhauling a pump all this week at the power plant. I went to the power plant at 1PM on Saturday hoping to perform the final pump test after the overhaul and make it home by dinner. It didn't quite work out that way. We had to change some instruments and a test procedure and didn't get the final pump test started until after midnight. The test went pretty well and I was hoping to get my evaluation done and make it home in time to drive up to Houston for the half marathon. If I left the plant at 4AM, I could get home by 5AM and get to Houston a little after 6AM with enough time to warmup before the 7AM race start.
But the technician who took the vibration data, wrote out the data on a local copy of the procedure instead of the control room copy. The control room operators couldn't find any of the vibration data to send me. I was able to work around that delay by getting the vibration data from the performance tech.'s database, but I still needed to get my evaluation reviewed and approved (in the middle of the night). I saw 4AM pass and calculated that if I could leave by 4:30, I could still make it to the race in time.

4:30 passed and I resolved my self to not running. My biggest worry became getting my evaluation and the test procedure signed off before I reached 16 hours on site. If I worked more than 16 hours, I would be faced with more paperwork and phone calls to get approval for me to exceed the worktime rules (no more than 16 hours worked in a day). At 4:57, the technical review was finally finished. I made it to the control room in record time and signed off the test procedure at 0509, exactly 15 hours and 59 minutes after I arrived at the plant.

A smart person would get home and go to sleep. But on the way home, I decided I'd drive up to Houston and run the half marathon anyway. I reached the 610 loop at 7AM and as I drove over Allen Parkway I could see the last runners passing under I-45. I parked at a spot I knew would be open and ran over half a mile under 7mpm to the race area. The chip person was still there and kindly (and quickly) gave me my chip. I made a quick stop at the port-a-potties and ran to the starting line and started my watch. The starting line timing mat was already turned off, so I knew I was just running on my own time. I started about 20 minutes after the gun.

With all of the adrenaline of getting to the race and trying to get to the turnoff from Allen Parkway before it was blocked, I ran the first mile in 5:55. I put on the brakes a little and then in the second mile started encountering the walkers at the back of the pack. My second mile was 6:33. The pack started getting very thick and it became pretty difficult to pass people going down Dallas back towards downtown. I decided to quit worrying about my mile splits and just run by feel. I had to do a lot of swerving and even had to step up on the curb a few times when people in front of me made unexpected moves. That probably wasn't too smart to stress my poor old legs that way.

I was lapped by the winner near the end of my second loop. After the lead police car passed, a couple people I was passing started cheering me and congratulating me on "my win" Then after the winner passed me, people started cheering me saying I had second place. I was embarassed, but it really was pretty funny to think of this big old bald guy in the lead pack.

I ended up with a 1:41:21, good enough for 284th overall. But hey, I passed over 1900 people! I had 1:23:58 on my watch. It's not what I was hoping to run, but I'm glad I stayed awake and finished the race.

Houston Marathon Training Week 7 of 18

75½ miles for the week

M – 6¾ miles recovery run, average pace 8:19 mpm, 81°F at 4AM [S-B/Dow/B-S]
M PM - missed
Tu – 9½ miles with LT for 4 miles, average pace 6:49 mpm, LT miles at average 6:29 pace, 52°F at 4AM [2xDow]
W AM - 7¾ miles general aerobic, average pace 7:21 mpm, 52°F at 4AM [S-B/Dow/2xB-S]
W PM – 9 miles general aerobic, average pace 6:54 mpm, ran each mile progressively faster, from 7:2X to 6:2X, 70°F at 7PM with wonderfully dry air [B’Wood track]
Th – 6¾ miles recovery run, average pace 8:28 mpm, 53°F at 4AM, [S-B/Dow/B-S]
F - 11 miles easy medium long run, average pace 7:54 mpm, 71°F starting at 11:30AM, sunny [SeaC/NTrail-3x2M/SeaC] A beautiful day, full sun and a bright blue sky and dewpoint in the low 40s.
Sa – 6 miles recovery run, average pace 8:20 mpm, 70°F at 10:30AM, cut run short to go to t he power plant (after the third phone call/page) [SeaC/Ntrail-/SeaC]
Su – 18¾ miles, with a half marathon race at an average pace of 6:24 mpm, Houston Hobby Airport had 56°F to 60°F from 7AM to 9AM [Allen Parkway]


A very strong cold front blew in Monday morning. In less than half an hour, the temperature went from the 80s to the 50s! The weather was wonderful this week!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Migrating Monarchs at the Nuke Plant

I spent a few minutes in the nuke plant parking lot yesterday afternoon just marveling at the thousands of Monarch Butterflies. This little tree is in front of our Nuclear Support Center building.





What a difference a week makes! After having to cut two runs short last week because of heat exhaustion, this week has been just beautiful. The low this morning got all the way down to 49.8 degrees. The morning skies have been filled with stars and a full moon and the days are in the 70s with a cloudless blue sky. Nearly Nirvana! Yesterday's track run was 9 miles progressively faster. The splits were:
7:28, 7:06, 7:00, 6:56, 6:52, 6:47, 6:46, 6:42, and 6:27
I felt great.

The half marathon is really up in the air now. I didn't get my application in in time for the packet mailback, so I'm going to have to find some way to get to Houston on Friday or Saturday to pick up my race packet. But we're overhauling a large pump at the powerplant and I'll probably have to work all day Friday and Saturday. AND the pump test is now scheduled for Sunday morning! AAAARGH! Wouldn't you know Sunday's low is predicted to be in the 50s.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Week 6 of 18

82¼ miles for the week
A very nice weekend after a wicked hot Wednesday. I had to cheat a little, but I was able to run a pretty strong 20+ miler on Sunday.

M – 6¼ miles recovery run, average pace 8:49 mpm, 83°F at 4AM [Dow/B-S/Ol]
M PM - missed
Tu – 10½ miles general aerobic, average pace 7:07 mpm, 74°F at 4AM [2xDow/B-S]
W AM - 7¾ miles general aerobic, average pace 7:29 mpm, 83°F at 4AM with the dewpoint in the high 70s, I had to cut this run short due to heat exhaustion and dehydration [S-B/Dow/2xB-S]
W PM – 7 miles general aerobic, crashed after five miles, average pace 7:26 mpm, 83°F at 7PM still very humid, this run was cut short due to heat exhaustion and dehydration too [B’Wood track]
Th – 7¼ miles recovery run, average pace 8:39 mpm, 83°F at 4AM, [S-B/Dow/B-S/Ol]
F - 13 miles medium long run, average pace 7:22 mpm, 84°F starting at 12:30PM, sunny [SeaC/NTrail-3x2M/SeaC] A beautiful day, full sun and a bright blue sky and dewpoint in the 40s. Amazing how much cooler 84°F in full sun can feel compared against 83°F in the dark when the dewpoint is 30°F lower!
Sa – 9 miles recovery run, average pace 8:36 mpm, 85°F at 1PM, another nice sunny day [SeaC/Ntrail-2M/SeaC]
Su – 21½ miles, average pace at 7:00 mpm, slowest 3-mile loop was 22:17 and fastest was 20:20. Houston Hobby Airport had 68°F to 80°F from 7AM to 9AM [7xMemPark Loop+] When I woke this morning it was 80°F outside (at 6AM). I checked the NWS and saw it was still in the 60s up in Houston. After Wednesday’s problems with the heat, I knew a long run in the 80s would be a death march, so I drove up to Houston’s Memorial Park. On my second loop, the Tornados came smoking by, so I turned around and ran in with them (hence the extra ½ mile). I think I’d be much faster if I ran up there more often.


A very strong cold front blew in this morning. In less than half an hour, the temperature went from the 80s to the 50s! I can’t wait for tomorrow morning’s tempo run.

The Strider’s half-marathon is this week, so I’m altering the schedule to make this a lower mileage week. We’re working a pump at the power plant, so I’m not sure whether I can run Sunday morning; after the $40 entry fee, I sure hope so.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

WTF? Wednesday

Where're The Fifties?
You thought WTF stood for anything else?
The TCEQ had 82°F during my morning run from 4AM to 5AM. Walking out the door at 0355 this morning was like going into a sauna. Before the second half of October we should have had lots of mornings in the 60s and even a few in the 50s or, dare I say, 40s. Not this year.

My shoes went soggy and squishy just after six miles this morning and I cut a planned 8¼ mile run down to 7¾. I dragged myself as quickly as I could back into the air conditioning. I drank six pounds of water this morning and I still weighed over five pounds lighter than Monday morning. It was tough.

The 8-16 day forecast model shows excellent weather for the half marathon on Sunday the 28th: Low near 50 with a high near 60 and a north wind less than 10 mph
That would be so nice! Too bad it's just the long range forecast.

Here's a climate discussion from the National Weather Service:
IF YOU THINK IT`S BEEN UNSEASONABLY WARM...YOU`D BE CORRECT. IAH TIED A RECORD HIGH TODAY BUT THE REAL STORY IS THE PROLONGED UNSEASONABLY WARM TEMPS. IAH HAS YET TO RECORD ONE DAY IN OCTOBER WITH AN AVG DAILY TEMPERATURE BELOW NORMAL. IAH HAS AN AVG TEMP OF 78.5 DEGREES FOR OCT (+5.9). IT HAS BEEN WARM FOR A WHILE - IAH HAS NOT HAD AN AVERAGE DAILY TEMPERATURE BELOW NORMAL SINCE SEPT 2 2007. LOOKING BACK...SEP HAD ONE DAY WITH A BELOW NORMAL TEMP...AUG ALSO HAD ONE DAY WITH A BELOW NORMAL TEMP (8/16 - TS ERIN)...JULY HAD 18 DAYS WITH THE AVG TEMP BELOW NORMAL AND JUNE HAD 5 DAYS BELOW NORMAL. IF THE AVG DAILY TEMPERATURE AVERAGES 74.1 DEGREES OVER THE LAST 14 DAYS OF THE MONTH...THIS WILL BE THE WARMEST OCTOBER ON RECORD (76.5 DEGREES IN 1947). FWIW...IAH IS ONLY 4.92 INCHES FROM TIEING THE 10TH WETTEST YEAR IN RECORDED HISTORY (62.51 INCHES - 1907).

Monday, October 15, 2007

Training Week 5 and a 10-Mile Race

74¾ miles for the week

M – 6¼ miles recovery run, average pace 8:52 mpm, 81°F at 4AM [Dow/B-S/Ol]
M PM - missed
Tu – 9.5 miles with 4 at LT, average pace 7:09 mpm, wanted to run 6:20s for the 4 miles at LT, but instead ran an average 6:35, 78°F at 4AM [2xDow]
W AM - 8¼ miles general aerobic, average pace 7:24 mpm, 76°F at 4AM [S-B/Dow/2xB-S/Ol]
W PM – 9 miles general aerobic, ran each mile a few seconds faster from 7:10 to 6:48 for the first 8 and the ninth mile in 6:18 just to prove to myself I can run a mile at LT pace, average pace 6:54 mpm, 78°F at 7PM dusk to stars [B’Wood track]
Th – 6¾ miles recovery run, average pace 8:19 mpm,
69°F at 4AM FIRST sub-70 run in 167 days, since April 27th [Dow/2xB-S]
F - 11 miles medium long run fairly easy, average pace 7:49 mpm, 82°F starting at 9:30AM, sunny [SeaC/NTrail-2x2M/SeaC] The schedule had 13 miles, but I cut this run to 11 to be ready for Sunday’s race.
Sa – 7 miles recovery run very easy, average pace 8:57 mpm, 83°F at 12:30, nice sunny day [SeaC/Ntrail/SeaC]
Su – 17 miles with a 10-mile race, race at 6:25 mpm, 6 miles after the race at 7:42 mpm, Houston Hobby Airport had 70°F to 71°F for the race with the dewpoint in the low 60s, starting at 7AM (Ellington Field weather station was OOC that morning but at 07 Saturday morning, Ellington ran 2 degrees higher than Hobby) [UofH Clear Lake] The Pfitz schedule has the first 20-mile long run instead of a race.

Sunday’s 10-miler was my first race since July. My 10-mile PR is pretty soft, so I was disappointed I didn’t reach it. I can’t really complain about the temperature. Even though the morning temperature was about five degrees warmer than average, it was still one of the three coolest runs I’ve done since April. I was shooting for 6:15 miles; here’s what I did:

6:08, 6:23, 6:20, 6:26, 6:25
6:27, 6:30, 6:33, 6:31, 6:26

Yep. Not a single mile near 6:15. Chip time was 1:04:08. I’m not happy about the 6:30s in the second half of the race. I don’t have any excuses for slowing. There was plenty motivation to run harder. I was in sight of a couple Tornado teammates, SimC and MiguelL, throughout the race and during mile 7 I was passed by a couple rivals from another club. But I let them just drift on ahead of me. After I finished, I felt pretty fresh within a minute or two. I guess I just wasn’t ready for a “race-effort”.

The race was great. The mile markers all seemed accurate, all of the water stations were well staffed, and I enjoyed the course with views of Clear Lake and NASA's Johnson Space Center. There was more than enough post-race food, even after my extra 6-miles. I had an enjoyable time seeing all of the Houston runners.

This week the training schedule has a cutback to 72 miles. But the Strider’s half-marathon is next week, so I’m altering the schedule to make this a high mileage week (in the 80s?) and then next week will be near 70 miles again. The half-marathon used to be a 20K. My 20K PR is a 6:16.3 pace. If we have favourable weather (anything near average) I’d like to run near 6:15 pace or better.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Not a Good Sign for Sunday's 10-Miler

Today was my second intense workout for Houston Marathon training:
10 miles with 4 miles at Lactate Threshold pace (same workout two weeks ago)


I started a little late again, so I cut the run down to two times on the 4¾ mile Dow course with four miles at LT pace on the return Dow- two miles and the second two Dow- miles going out.
I hit the first LT mile at about 6:20, but I was hot and tired and couldn't hold onto pace. The first two LT miles were at 12:57 and the 3rd/4th were at 13:21.
I was hoping to run Sunday's 10-miler in the low 60s, but that's not likely when I can't run four miles much faster than 6:35 pace. It wasn't too bad this morning, 78°F average temperature from 4AM to 5AM with the dewpoint in the mid 70s. Maybe it'll be much cooler Sunday. That's my only hope.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Houston Marathon Training: Week 4 of 18

It's hard to believe I've finished 4 weeks of training already.

79¾ miles for the week

M – 5¾ miles recovery run, average pace 8:26 mpm, 82°F at 4AM [Dow/B-S]
M PM - missed (ran on Thursday evening)
Tu – 10 miles general aerobic, average pace 7:02 mpm, 74°F at 4AM [2xDow/Ol]
W AM - 7¼ miles general aerobic, average pace 7:34 mpm, 70.3°F at 4AM [S-B/Dow/B-S/Ol]
W PM – 8 miles general aerobic, average pace 6:53 mpm, 80°F at 7PM sunset to moonrise [B’Wood track]
Th AM – 4¾ miles recovery run, average pace 8:04 mpm, 72°F at 4AM [Dow]
Th PM – 6 miles recovery run, average pace 8:18 mpm, 82°F at 7PM, way too many mosquitoes in the woods [SeaC/Ntrail-/SeaC]
F - 12 miles medium long run, average pace 7:25 mpm, 81°F starting at 10AM, sunny [SeaC/NTrail-2M1M-2M/SeaC]
Sa – 7 miles recovery run, average pace 8:44 mpm, 86°F at noon, mostly cloudy [SeaC/Ntrail/SeaC]
Su – 19 miles long run, 7:52 mpm, heavy rain the first 9 miles and then sunny and very humid the next 10 miles, 79°F to 84°F starting after 10AM [Oak-OCD-S.Oak-RR-Oak//SeaC/Ntrail-2M1M/SeaC]


I stayed pretty close to the Pfitz 18/70+ schedule again this week. This week will require some re-arranging for Sunday's 10-miler. I haven't run a race since July, so I'm really looking forward to this one. It would be really nice if that cold front would actually come through this weekend.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Chicago Heat

It was a pretty tough day up North, with Chicago running out of cups, fluids and ambulances and eventually closing the course.

But there was an incredible sprint to the finish by the winner?s?
Men's Finish Video



And another incredible finish:
Women's Finish Video
What an amazing sprint by Berhane Adere to catch Romanian newcomer Adriana Pirtea at the finish line!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

60s!!!!!!!!!!!

Days since last run less than 70°F: 158 (April 27th)
The countdown is OVER! We had drier air come in Monday and with a nice clear sky and no wind, it got to 69.0°F from 5AM to 6AM! No coldfront, but thank goodness for radiational cooling The TCEQ had 70.3°F during my morning run from 4AM to 5AM, but that's close enough to less than 70°F for me. The countdown is OVER. Farther inland, at Angleton, the temperature got all the way down to 61°F, but up the coast on Galveston Island it only got down to 75°F.

Just 7¼ miles this morning at a little over 7:30 pace. I have to finish today's run with another 8 miles this evening. Yesterday was a decent 10-miler with temperatures in the low 70s; finishing up a few seconds over 70 minutes felt easy. It's so nice to walk out the door in the morning and have it be colder outside than inside.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Houston Marathon Training: Week 3 of 18

Days since last run less than 70°F: 157 (April 27th)
OK I'm getting really tired of this countdown. We had more humid air this week with the dewpoints going back to the upper 70s°F. It looks as though this might be the latest cold front arrival for years.

70½ miles for the week

M – 6¼ miles recovery run, average pace 8:27 mpm, 79°F at 4AM [Dow/B-S/Ol]
Tu – 9¼ miles with 4 miles at LT, average pace 6:59 mpm, 4 LT miles at 26:52 (6:43 average -couldn’t hold LT pace) 81°F at 4AM overcast with rain at end [Dow/Dow-/Ol]
W AM - 7¼ miles general aerobic, average pace 7:27 mpm, 79°F at 4AM [S-B/Dow/B-S/Ol]
W PM – 8 miles general aerobic, average pace 6:55 mpm, 83°F at 7PM sunset to moonrise [B’Wood track]
Th – 5¾ miles recovery run, average pace 8:27 mpm, 79°F at 4AM [Dow/B-S]
F - 12 miles medium long run, average pace 7:52 mpm, 88°F at noon, brokedown in the heat [SeaC/NTrail-2M-2M1M/SeaC]
Sa – 6 miles recovery run, average pace 8:42 mpm, 87°F at noon, overcast occasional sprinkles [SeaC/Ntrial-/SeaC]
Su – 16 miles medium long run, 7:28 mpm pretty steady pace the whole way, mostly cloudy with occasional light rain to occasional sun, 81°F to 83°F starting at 9AM with the dewpoint in the upper 70s°F and foggy glasses [SeaC/NTrail-2M/SeaC//SeaC/NTrail/SeaC]


I stayed pretty close to the Pfitz 18/70+ schedule again this week. Tuesday's LT run was a big disappointment. I had to split Wednesdays 14 mile Medium Long Run into a morning run and an evening run, but the pace was OK. Friday's run was another crash in the heat. What's worse, my right foot started hurting during the run. I think when the heat hits me, I lose form and start aggravating old problems. Sunday's run was much better with a slower start and and a stronger finish.

Despite the warm weather, this September was my highest mileage September ever, with 279 miles.



How about that Berlin Marathon? I can't imagine running over 26 miles at 4:44.8 pace!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Smoked at 4AM

I was enjoying a moonlight run early this morning when all of a sudden I heard footsteps behind me. I looked over to the side and a woman was blowing past me running on the street. She completely smoked me! She was running at least 30 seconds a mile faster than me.

She lives out near the Dow nature area and runs from there into my neighborhood and back. She's been running for years but she never races. I've only known here as the "4AM woman". Our paths used to cross quite a bit, but lately I've only been seeing here occasionally near the end of my runs in a pretty dark area. I've tried a few times to talk her into running some of the local races. I'm sure she'd be taking home hardware.

I had a pretty decent day yesterday. The schedule had a 14 mile medium long run but that's impossible for me on a workday. I ran 7¼ in the morning at about 7:27 pace and 8 miles on the track in the evening at about 6:55 pace. I was pretty happy with these runs because we've had some more humid air (and mosquitos) recently.

We're supposed to have drier air coming in to the coast this weekend, but it's still not predicted to go below 70°F. The long range forecast does show a real cold front coming in the 8th of October. I'm ready.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Failed My First Tempo Run

Today was my first intense workout for Houston Marathon training:
10 miles with 4 miles at Lactate Threshold pace

My LT pace should be about 6:05 to 6:20. LT pace is usually estimated based on 10-mile race pace. I'd planned on running my 4¾ mile Dow course twice and then a ½ mile cooldown for 10 miles total. I was going to start out at about 7:30 pace and then run LT pace on the two Dow- miles going out, take a ¾ mile breather and go back to LT pace for the Dow- two miles on the return. But I didn't get onto the street until 0351 and with garbage day on Tuesday, I decided to cut it down to a Dow 4¾ mile warmup at near 7:00 pace, then 4 straight LT-pace miles on the Dow- out and back and finally a ½ mile cooldown. I figured I could finish that 9¼ mile run and make it back in time to get the garbage out, make my lunch, take a shower, and leave for work by 0535.

I had no problem running 7 mpm for the first 4¾ miles, but after the first half mile at LT pace I started to slow. I finished the first two LT miles at 13:11 and slowed all the way down to 13:41 on the return. I was pushing pretty hard, but I just couldn't get back to anything near a 6:20 pace. It was pretty warm this morning, 80.7°F average from 4AM to 5AM with the dewpoint in the mid 70s. There was a little rain on the last mile, but not enough to really cool me down. I know I can't run as well with temperatures that warm. My effort should have been good enough for LT pace, but I don't know whether you actually reach LT when you're forced to run slower on warm days.

My next LT run isn't until the 9th of October. I'm hoping we'll have some real cool air down here by then.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Houston Marathon Training: Week 2 of 18

Days since last run less than 70°F: 150 (April 27th)
I can't complain too much about the weather. We had more cool and drier air with the temperature and dewpoints closer to 70°F again this week. Running in air with a dewpoint of 70°F feels so much better than when the dewpoint is near 80°F.

69 miles for the week

M – 5¾ miles recovery run, average pace 8:32 mpm, 75°F at 4AM [Dow/B-S]
Tu – 8 miles general aerobic fairly hard, average pace 6:50 mpm, 79.9°F at 4AM a few clouds [2xDow-]
W AM - 6¾ miles general aerobic, average pace 7:35 mpm, 79°F at 4AM [S-B/Dow/B-S]
W PM – 7¼ miles general aerobic, average pace 6:57 mpm, 83°F at 7PM sun to stars [B’Wood track]
Th – 5¾ miles recovery run, average pace 8:22 mpm, 75°F at 4AM [Dow/B-S]
F - 11 miles general aerobic, average pace 7:28 mpm, 83°F at 9:30AM, sun with a beautiful blue sky [SeaC/NTrail-2x2M/SeaC]
Sa – 6½ miles recovery run, average pace 8:15 mpm, 90°F at 4:30PM, sun [Houston MemDrive Trail]
Su – 18 miles Long Run, 7:25 mpm pretty steady pace the whole way, clear blue sky and a little drier air, 85°F to 86°F starting at 10:40AM with the dewpoint near 70°F [SeaC/NTrail-2x2M/SeaC//SeaC/NTrail/SeaC]


I stayed pretty close to the Pfitz 18/70+ schedule again this week. I had to split Wednesdays 13 mile Medium Long Run into a morning run and an evening run, but I was pretty happy with the pace. I didn't start Sunday's long run until 10:40 and it was heating up quickly under a blazing sun. I started out pretty slow, worried the run would turn into an 18 mile death march. But the drier air really helped and I was able to pick up the pace through the run.

I wasn't able to get on a team for the HARRA Cross Country Relay Saturday. Instead I directed traffic just after the foot bridge near the bayou. That can be a confusing spot on the course because many runners tend to follow the paved path. I had a good time watching the race develop. The only bad part was I only got one small cup of St. Arnold's before the last keg floated.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Why 2:50??

With apologies to JFK:

But why, some say, 2:50?
Why choose this as our goal?
And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain.
Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic?
Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to run under 2:50. We choose to run under 2:50 at Houston '08 and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.


And yes, the lowly Rice Owls
take on the goliath University of Texas this weekend.


JFK at Rice Stadium announcing the goal to go to the moon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Another 8-Miler Tuesday

The Pfitz schedule has 8 miles general aerobic today. I got out of bed a little late, so I had to push the pace to keep from being too late to work. I have to leave before 5:30 to make it to work on time and with garbage day on Tuesday, it's not easy to squeeze in an 8-miler.
I got out onto the street this morning at 3:53 so I knew I'd have to run faster than 7 minute miles to make it to work on time. There was another nice morning sky with Sirius already visible below Orion. Just after I started running, a very bright meteor caught my attention and I had enough time to look up and see it burn out in the northwest sky.
It was a little warmer this morning, just barely under 80°F. I ran two Dow-s with 13:50 going out, 13:39 coming back, 13:40 going out the second time, and 13:31 coming back home. I thought I'd run pretty well until I figured I was only averaging 6:50 miles. Obviously I can't run a 2:50 marathon with the dewpoint well into the 70s and I wasn't trying to run MP, but I was a little disappointed to realize I was 20 seconds a mile slower than 2:50 pace.
Tuesday's run next week is 10 miles with 4 at LT. That should be fun. Last year, I wasn't able to hit LT pace before work in the dark. This year I want to concentrate more on these runs. I'm going to have to push it pretty hard to make it to work on time.
The schedule has a 13 mile medium long run tomorrow. I'll split that one into a morning and evening run. I know two shorter runs won't give the same training benefit as a 13-miler, but I just can't wake up early enough to get 13 miles in before work.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Week 1 of 18 Training for Houston '08

Days since last run less than 70°F: 143 (April 27th)
Hurricane Humberto brought in some cooler and drier air with the temperature and dewpoints closer to 70°F this week. I finished my recovery run this morning and still had some dry spots on the front corners of my shorts!


65¾ miles for the week

M – 4¾ miles recovery run, average pace 8:32 mpm, 81°F at 4AM [Dow]
Tu – 8 miles general aerobic fairly hard, average pace 7:05 mpm, 79°F at 4AM mostly cloudy [2xDow-]
W – 12 miles medium long run, average pace 7:40 mpm, 78°F at 4PM steady rain from the outer bands of Hurricane Humberto (then a Tropical Storm) [SeaC/NTrail-2x2M+1M/SeaC]
Th – 7 miles recovery run, average pace 8:51 mpm, clear 75°F at 7AM [SeaC/NTrail/SeaC]
F - 10 miles general aerobic fairly hard for the temperature, average pace 7:42 mpm, 90°F at 12:30PM, sun with occasional clouds [SeaC/NTrail-2M1M/SeaC]
Sa – 7 miles recovery run, average pace 8:20 mpm, 88°F at 12:30PM, sun [SeaC/NTrail/SeaC]
Su – 17 miles Long Run, 7:25 mpm pretty steady pace the whole way, clear blue sky and a little drier air, 78°F to 81°F starting at 8AM with the dewpoint near 70°F [SeaC/NTrail-2M1M/SeaC//SeaC/NTrail/SeaC]

I stayed fairly close to the Pfitz 18/70+ schedule this week. The Thursday and Saturday recovery runs were a mile long just because I enjoy running the whole trail. It must be getting close to hunting season. I ran into a male white-tailed deer with an enormous set of antlers during each of the runs down the trail this week. I think he likes to stay in the city park while the hunters are out.

The HARRA Cross Country Relay is this Saturday. My wife's been talking about going to San Antonio this weekend, but I'm hoping I can convince her I need to run this race. I think my recent slow times have bumped me from the main Tornados team, but I might be able to make it on one of the lower level teams.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Waiting for the First Cold Front

Days since last run less than 70°F: 136 (April 27th)
Yes, I'd really like to run in "cool dry" air with the temperature and dewpoint less than 70°F!


53½ miles for the week
M – 7, average pace 8:51 mpm, cloudy 88°F at noon with thunderstorms to the north [SeaC/NTrail/SeaC]
Tu – 0 (rest), 77°F at 4AM
W AM – 5¾ miles, average pace 7:34 mpm, 87°F at 4AM mostly cloudy [Dow/B-S]
W PM – 5 miles, with the three middle miles at goal MP, average pace 6:50 mpm, middle miles in 6:30, 6:30, and 6:26, 88°F at 7PM with late sun [B’Wood Track]
Th – 4¾ miles, average pace 8:26 mpm, recovery run, 86°F at 4AM [Dow]
F - 9 miles, average pace 8:15 mpm, 89°F at 9AM, sun with occasional light rain but there were no clouds to the east where the sun kept shining which led to a complete bonk and heat exhaustion after starting out running 7:10 mpm [SeaC/NTrail-2M/SeaC]
Sa – 7, average pace 7:46 mpm, I ran down to the trail and passed out water during the local relay-triathlon, clear 84°F at 6AM [SeaC/NTrail/SeaC]
Su – 15, average pace 7:45 mpm, slowly increased the pace throughout the run, the SeaCenter portion was 15:54 going out and 15:14 coming back home, 86°F to 88°F starting after 8AM [SeaC/NTrail-4x2M/SeaC]


Friday's run was pretty scary. I started out at 7:10 pace and felt pretty good, but the heat hit me hard. It was still pretty early in the morning but the sun was strong and there were some stationary clouds directly overhead dropping light rain but producing no wind. I struggled to make it home and had pretty bad symptoms of heat exhaustion.

The forecasters were predicting a "cold" front for Tuesday, but now it looks as though the front will never make it to the coast. Chances are better for another front Sunday or Monday. The first front usually arrives down here in the second or third week of September. This week starts the 18-week training plan for Houston '08, so it'd be really nice to have some decent training weather.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

New Shoes

My new shoes finally arrived. With over 840 miles on my old DS Trainers, I really needed a new pair. These are Adidas Rotterdam IVs that I picked up cheap (I think they've been discontinued). I took them out on the track Wednesday evening and I think they're going to work for me. I like the minimal Clima-Cool uppers, they seem well suited for this hot weather. My size 13s weigh considerably less than the DS Trainers: 10 5/8 ounces versus 12 7/8 for the old DSTs.







Of course with the new shoes I had to do a few fast miles. I ran 3 miles GMP with a mile warmup and cooldown. The middle miles were 6:30, 6:30, and 6:26. There was still some sun and it was 88 degrees with the dewpoint in the upper 70s. The weather forecasters are promising a "cold" front Tuesday, but I haven't seen a forecast for anything lower than 70. But 70 degrees would feel pretty cool!

Here are the old DS Trainers


March 28, 2007 to September 5, 2007
846 miles

Monday, September 3, 2007

Quit Whining and Do Your Best with what You Have

Days since last run less than 70°F: 129 (April 27th)

41¾ miles for the week
M – 0 (rest), 79.8°F at 4AM
Tu – 4¾ miles, average pace 7:45 mpm, the ankle is still feeling OK, 79°F at 4AM with a Lunar Eclipse distant lightning and Orion [Dow]
W – 5 miles, shaking out the cobwebs during the three middle miles, average pace 7:11 mpm, middle miles in 7:06, 6:56, and 6:42, 79.7°F at 7PM and mostly cloudy [B’Wood Track]
Th – 5 miles, average pace 8:09 mpm, recovery run with a fast mile stuck on at the end...I was coming up to my house and saw another runner turn down the street in front of my house, so I had to keep going and pass them. After I passed them I realized I had to go around the neighborhood again for another mile, 77°F at 4AM [Dow-/B-S]
F - 7 miles, average pace 7:30 mpm, 89°F at 12:30PM, sun and some shade from the clouds [SeaC/NTrail/SeaC]
Sa – 7, average pace 8:44 mpm, sunny 85°F at 3:40PM [SeaC/NTrail/SeaC]
Su – 13, average pace 7:29 mpm, nice even pace, slightly negative, the SeaCenter portion was 15:28 going out and 15:13 coming back home, 76°F to 77°F starting at 7AM [SeaC/NTrail-3x2M/SeaC]

I was really happy with Sunday's medium long run. I've been doing a lot of whining about it being too hot, and about not being able to finish my Sunday long runs. But it was too hot because I wasn't starting until after 11. Finally I got my whiny butt out of the house earlier and I had a much more productive run. I was still soaked in sweat, but my shoes didn't go soggy until the 10th mile. It was the upper 70s and my glasses kept fogging over, but that's much nicer than the upper 80s or low 90s.

I was motivated by Houston's Melissa Henderson. She ran the IAAF World Championship marathon in Osaka, representing her native Belize. I followed the race on the web, and she really struggled through the race. The temperature was 77°F with a dewpoint of 73°F at the 7AM start and rose to 88°F with a dewpoint of 75°F at 11AM. Melissa struggled through cramps and finished. I've been reading her blog and was surprised how positive she was about the race. I think that positive attitude is what I need to emulate. She's a real fighter.

Picture from:
Rompres

Short video

Friday, August 31, 2007

Running Astronomy

There was a beautiful sky full of stars and a waning gibbous moon during Thursday morning's run. Most of my workday runs start about 4AM, so I get to see the night sky pretty often. I start each run with a short walk, usually looking up at the stars. I think after being at sea on a darkened warship, you can't help but develop an appreciation of the night sky. Orion was easily visible as well as Sirius near the end of the run, well above the horizon, yesterday morning. When Orion and Sirius appear, I know it's time to get serious about marathon training. During 18-weeks of training Orion and his dog shine over each morning run. By the time the Houston marathon comes around, Orion and Sirius have traveled from the eastern sky to the western horizon. It was even a little cooler yesterday morning, not much over 76°F. My ankle continues to feel fine, so I'm trying to ramp back up as quickly as I can without aggravating it.

I ordered a pair of Adidas Rotterdams today. I can't wait to retire my current shoes. Signing up ($$) for the Houston marathon is next.

Tuesday morning's lunar eclipse was really cool. I missed reading about the eclipse before Tuesday, so I was really surprised when I looked up and saw only half a moon. I thought for sure it was supposed to be a full moon, but this was my first pre-dawn run for over a week. But the moon was in the Western sky, so I suspected an eclipse. By the time my run was over, the moon was nearly fully eclipsed and had that surreal earth-glow. Pretty cool.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Week of Rest

Days since last run less than 70°F: 122 (April 27th)

5 miles for the week

M – 0
Tu – 0
W – 0
Th – 0
F - 0
Sa – 0
Su – 5, average pace 8:15 mpm, The ankle felt strange for the first few steps and I was about to turn around, but then all of a sudden it felt great and I was able to complete 5 miles without any problems. My Achilles felt a little tender that evening but the front of the ankle is fine. 91°F at 5PM [Oak/NTrail/BMH]


I took today off, but everything still feels fine. I hope to run tomorrow morning and try and catch up to be able to start the 18-week plan September 10th.

Here's a picture of me during my benchmarking trip to the Springfield Nuclear Electric Generating Station
Picture courtesy of The Simpsonizer

Saturday, August 18, 2007

My Right Ankle Again

Days since last run less than 70°F: 115 (April 27th)

45¼ miles for the week

M – 4¾ miles,, average pace 8:25 mpm, 82°F at 4AM [Dow]
Tu – 4¾ miles, average pace 7:00 mpm (Not enough time for a warm-up mile, so the measured “Dow-Minus” two-miles were 14:16 going out and coming back was 13:42), 86°F at 4AM [Dow]
W – 5¾ miles, average pace 7:06 mpm, with 3x1Mile/400 recoveries, Miles in 6:13, 6:10, and 6:07, 87°F at 7PM and overcast [B’Wood Track]
Th – 4 miles, average pace 8:05 mpm, 87°F at 4AM [Dow-]
F - 9 miles, average pace 7:55 mpm, 87°F at 4PM there were clouds and thunder to the east, but nothing but sun to the west [SeaC/NTrail-2M/SeaC]
Sa – 7, average pace 7:59 mpm, sun and a few clouds 92°F at noon [SeaC/NTrail/SeaC]
Su – 10, average pace 8:00 mpm, I was able to keep it at 8mpm but I damaged my right ankle, 92°F at 2:30PM [SeaC/NTrail-2Mw1M/SeaC]

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday’s runs just before crossing a road near the two mile point, I got a twinge from my right ankle. Each time it only lasted a second and I was able to finish the run, but on Sunday’s run I got the twinge again at about the 9 mile point. This time it lasted longer and really got me worried. After I got home, my Achilles tendon felt tender. Monday morning, the front of my right ankle hurt. It felt better yesterday afternoon and I was looking forward to an easy run this morning, but my ankle hurt when I got of bed so I skipped today’s run.

This is so depressing. I’ve been trying to establish a good mileage base before starting the 18-week training plan for Houston 08. I was looking forward to one last shot at 2:50 before I get too old. uggh I desperately need to buy a new pair of shoes. I didn’t get up to Houston during the “sales tax holiday” over the weekend so I’ll have to mail order a pair. AAFES doesn’t have the DS Trainers right now, so I’ll probably try the Saucony Tangent. I don’t like to mail-order a shoe I haven’t worn before, but I really liked the old Saucony Swerve and I’m hoping these shoes are similar.



Here's some geek humor to lighten the mood. I heard this on a Houston computer geek radio show (KPFT Wednesday evenings).
Parody of Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Robert Lund over at spaff.com
I Blog Alone

Monday, August 13, 2007

Shutdown by the Heat Again

Days since last run less than 70°F: 108 (April 27th)

45¼ miles for the week
M – 4¾ miles,, average pace 8:40 mpm, 87°F (?) at 4AM [Dow]
Tu – 5¾ miles, average pace 7:08 mpm (The measured “Dow-Minus” two-miles were 14:05 going out and coming back was 13:52), 87°F at 4AM [S-B/Dow]
W – 5¾ miles, average pace 6:58 mpm, with 3x1Mile/400 recoveries, Miles in 6:19, 6:15, and 6:07, 90°F at 7PM with sun [B’Wood Track]
Th – 4 miles, average pace 8:16 mpm, 83°F at 4AM [Dow-]
F - 8 miles, average pace 7:35 mpm, 92°F (Galveston) at 2:30PM but really wasn’t too bad along the waterline at the beach with a nice cross-breeze [Surfside 8.5-11-8.5-10-8.5]
Sa – 7, average pace 8:25 mpm, sun and a few clouds 96°F at 2PM [SeaC/NTrail/SeaC]
Su – 10, average pace 9:00 mpm, started out decently at about 7:40mpm, but the heat got to me and I struggled to make it home, 95°F at 11AM [SeaC/NTrail-2Mw1M/SeaC]

I desperately need to buy a new pair of shoes. I’ll try and get up to Houston and hit the running stores during the “sales tax holiday” this weekend. There are only four more weeks until the 18-week plan for the 2008 Houston Marathon. I saw on their website they have a discount for active duty and retired (including yours truly) military…woo-hoo!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Catching Up with the Numbers

Days since last run less than 70°F: 101 (April 27th)

36 miles for the week
M – 4 miles, average pace 9:12 mpm, 79°F at 4AM [Dow-]
Tu – 4¾ miles, average pace 6:59 mpm (The measured “Dow-Minus” two-miles were 13:59 going out and coming back was 13:30), 80°F at 4AM [Dow]
W AM - 4 miles, average pace 8:38 mpm, 81F at 4AM [Dow-]
W PM – 5¼ miles, with 6x400/200 recoveries, average pace 7:30 mpm, 400s in 77.8, 79.5, 79.5, 79.7, 77.1, and 79.4, 84°F at 7PM with sun [B’Wood Track]
Th – 4 miles, average pace 8:17 mpm, 84°F at 4AM [Dow-]
F - 7 miles, average pace 8:54 mpm, 86°F at 1PM, mostly cloudy to occasional sun [SeaC/NTrail/SeaC]
Sa – 7, with a 5K race at average pace 6:07 mpm, sunny 81°F at 8AM [Clute Mosquito Chase]
Su – missed, travel to Orlando Florida

54¼ miles for the week
M – 10 miles, average pace 7:31 mpm, 73°F (COOL Orlando) at 5AM [Never Ending Sidewalk]
Tu – 5¼ miles, average pace 8:20 mpm 77°F at 6AM [Never Ending Sidewalk to Jacaranda]
W – 7 miles, average pace 7:36 mpm, 73°F at 6AM [Hotel Plaza Loop]
Th – 7 miles, average pace 8:11 mpm, 73°F at 6AM [Hotel Plaza Loop]
F - 7 miles, average pace 7:37 mpm, 73°F at 6AM [Hotel Plaza Loop]
Sa – 7, average pace 8:36 mpm, sunny 91°F at 5PM [SeaC/NTrail/SeaC]
Su – 11, average pace 9:16 mpm, started out slow, the heat got to me and I finished even slower, 92°F at 1PM [SeaC/NTrail-2x2M/SeaC]