Saturday, February 24, 2007

Saturday Stress Run

Nothing really to report on training today; just an easy 7.5 miles. I ran this one with sunglasses even though it was overcast with occasional light rain.

One of my son's best friends died this morning. He was shot almost a year ago by a sniper. It started on March 5th last year when we got this email " sucked pretty bad we were on a mission and somebody got hurt pretty bad. i am not a religious person but some one needs to pray for him. i cant say his name cause i'm sure his family hasn't been notified yet. i heard he is still alive and he is in surgery right now. i will be glad when i'm home for leave. talk to you soon-k"

Later we discovered he was in a coma at Walter Reed. That he was able to make it back to the US was a miracle. For months he seemed to be slowly recovering. He married his fiancee and his son was born. This morning he died.

Dayton, Ohio Newspaper Tribute

Leaving cookies out before a barracks room inspection. The note reads, "Please take one, baked with love.".

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tuesday Tempo Run: Still Under the InFLUence

I woke up in time to run my full tempo run (a mile warmup in my neighborhood and then my "Dow Course", for 5¾ miles total). Today the "Dow Minus" two-mile splits were 13:18 and 13:15. I'm still not in the 12s yet, but I didn't expect much with a persistent strong cough and sore throat. There were no niggles at all from my legs today. It was a little warm again, 65°F at 4AM with a fairly strong SouthWest wind.

I saw a co-worker out running and a woman out walking this morning. Pretty good for 4AM!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Last Week: Training Around Influenza

37½ miles for the week

M – 4 miles, recovery run, pace 8:41 minutes per mile, 63°F at 4AM
Tu – 4 miles tempo run, average pace 6:41 mpm with the last two miles in 12:39, 61°F at 4AM
W – 5¾ with 3x1Mile/400rec, 7:14 mpm overall pace (Miles in 6:01, 5:59, and 5:55), 42°F at 7PM
Th – slept in
F - 10, 7:07 mpm with a mile at 6:37 thrown in, nice and sunny but cool, 46°F at 4PM
Sa – ill with flu-like symptoms, sore throat, cough, and a fever of 103°F The sore throat started Friday evening
Su – 13¾, average pace 7:43 mpm, nice and sunny but cool, 56°F at 1PM. I felt much better Sunday. I started out slow with a sore throat and cough, but I was able to pick up the pace quite a bit later on in the run.

Most of the cubicles at work today are echoing with coughing. I think everyone picked up this illness. The only person who called in sick was a kid just out of college (he wasn’t here during the layoffs).

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Short Tuesday Tempo Run

I slept in too late this morning to be able to run my full tempo run (a mile warmup in my neighborhood and then my "Dow Course", for 5¾ miles total). I just had enough time to run to the 2 mile split on the Dow Course and back (I call that my "Dow Minus" course). Last week's 2-mile splits were 13:13 and 12:50. Today I had to include a warmup in the first two miles, so I ended up with 14:04 going out and 12:39 coming back. The 12:39 was just 3 seconds off my world record for the course. I was worried about my right leg, but it feels OK. It was a little warm, 61°F with a West wind that made it feel warmer on the way back.

I just heard my son is getting medically discharged from the Army. He's had problems with his hearing after an IED detonated just across a road from him back in April, but I guess the Army medical exam finally caught up with him. I'm not sure how to take this. I'm relieved he won't be deploying to Iraq again, but the long-term prosepcts for his hearing don't sound good. We knew he had pretty severe hearing loss on the left side (the side facing the explosion), but he failed on his right ear too.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Last Week's Training: A Few Missed Runs

29¼ miles for the week

M – rest
Tu – 5¾ miles tempo run, average pace 6:36 mpm, 48°F at 4AM
Tu PM - 1½ to pick up my car from the shop, recovery pace 8:57 mpm, 61°F at 9PM
W – 4½ with 4x400/200rec, 8:00 overall pace, 400s in 96, 83, 79, and 78) 66°F at 7PM
Th – slept in
F - busy with my DW
Sa – 10 with a 5 mile race at 6:06 mpm , 44°F at 8AM, overcast with a tailwind
Su – 7½, average pace 8:00 mpm, 54°F at 3PM and overcast. I had some niggles in my lower right leg so I cut this run short.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

5 Mile Race Saturday

I ran the Park to Park 5 mile race Saturday morning. I've never run this race before, but it's a good one. It starts at Minute Maid Park (home of the Houston Astros) and finishes in Hermann Park. I haven't been to Hermann Park in years. I used to run there every weekend when I was going to college at Rice, just across the street. But that was over 25 years ago. I was able to run a pretty long cool-down after the race through the Park and over at Rice. The race included a pass for the streetcar back downtown for my first ride on Houston's light rail.

It was a perfect day for this race, 44 with a NNE wind near 10 mpph. The point to point course was mostly to the SSW so the wind didn't hurt at all.

I started out with a 5:49 first mile. That was too aggressive. I passed some people I knew were going to run fast; I really should have known I was running too fast. I ran the second mile in 6:02. I should have been happy with that, but instead I started focusing on the negatives of starting too fast. I ran a 6:18 third mile. I didn't look at my watch for the split, but I knew it was slow. I ran the fourth in 6:11 and the fifth in 6:09. I ended up with a 30:29. That beats my 8K PR and it's pretty close to the equivalents of my 5K and 10K PRs. But I really need to run these short races faster. I was somewhat disappointed I didn't run better on such a PR day.

I have a month off now before the next race. I really want to use that time to gain some more speed for these short races. I'm going to concentrate on the Tuesday tempo runs. I want to get used to running several miles at a time near 6:00 pace. Without the Saturday races I'll also try some longer runs with speed mixed in on Fridays. I've seen some workouts where people mixed some intervals with tempo runs for about a 10 to 12 mile run. It sounds tough but I'd like to try it. My goal is to run the Bayou City 10K under 38 minutes, the Law Week 8K under 30 minutes, and a 5K under 18 minutes.

My 8K PR is 30:44 from 2003. Since the 8K is only about ten seconds shorter than a five-miler, I guess I can count this as an 8K PR. I've only run two five-milers before this one. In the Summer of 2003 I ran a hilly one in Raymond, New Hampshire while I was at an industry meeting sponsored by the Seabrook Nuclear Plant. The 31:19 I ran back then was probably not too far off the Park to Park run considering the hills and the tailwind.

Here's a story on the Surfside Marathon: The Brazosport Facts

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Another Tuesday Tempo Run

I haven't run a short race (5K to 10K) well since 2004. I was looking at my training log from that year and noticed I did a pretty fast tempo run every Tuesday morning for several weeks. I'm going to try that again. Tuesday morning's tempo run was a little better. I ran a mile in my neighborhood and then my "Dow Course", for 5¾ miles total. There's a split at 2 miles on the Dow Course. Yesterday the splits were 13:13 and 12:50. That's a little better than the 13:32 and 13:13 from two weeks ago. But I have to work harder to get to where I was in 2004 when I was consistently running splits in the 12:40s. It was a very nice morning: 48°F, no wind, and plenty of light from the half moon.

The Surfside Marathon this Saturday has already reached its cap, so I won't be running the half. I'm still not sure if I'll volunteer at the local Surfside race or drive up to Houston and run the Park to Park 5-Miler. I want to support the local race but I also would like to help out the Tornados with the HARRA Spring Series.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Some More Excel Charts

I though these were some interesting charts.

This chart shows the marathon times and average weekly training mileage (for the 16 weeks before the taper) plotted together. I think I see the biggest returns when I go over 60 miles per week.

This one shows the Purdy Points for my races broken out by race distance. I sure do like that 30K!

Last Week's Training and Buffalo Wallow 6K Race

40¾ for the week

M – rest
Tu – 6¼ miles general aerobic, average pace 7:11 mpm, 57°F at 4AM more rain
W – missed the Wednesday evening track work; too busy at home
Th – 5¾ general aerobic, easy 7:45 pace, 45°F at 4AM with some mist
F – 7½ very easy, 48°F at noon, very nice with some sun
Sa – 6 with a 6K cross country race at 6:39 mpm , 46°F at 11AM, very nice with lots of sun
Su – 13¾, average pace 7:18 mpm, 58°F at noon, nice
Su – 1½, recovery pace 9:17 mpm, ran back home after dropping my car off at the shop to get the water pump replaced, 51°F at 9PM

The cross country race was pretty fun. I didn't run it very fast but that's OK. It was a very challenging course with several runs up and down the banks of Buffalo Bayou and a few muddy patches. Lots of pictures of my ugly mug.