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
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]

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Catching Up

I was in Orlando the past week for a meeting of nuclear power plant cooling water people. It was nice to have a zero commute time and the mornings were a little cooler than on the coast here in Texas. The meeting was held in an Embassy Suites (nice breakfasts, lunches and snacks during breaks) near the DisneyWorld complex. I found a 5 mile loop on the USATF website that was about a mile away from the hotel that looked interesting. On Monday morning I missed one of the turns and ended up doing about 10 miles on the same sidewalk....that became my "never ending sidewalk" course. Later I was able to look up the 5-mile course again, and I ran it as a 7-miler the rest of the week.

I was able to drive past my first apartment after college. In 1981, I lived in Orlando for six months while attending the Navy's Nuclear Power School. The Navy is long gone from Orlando now and Orlando has grown tremendously, but it was interesting to see a few familiar sites. After six months in Orlando doing classroom training, the Navy sent me to Idaho Falls, Idaho for six months of practical training operating a submarine nuclear propulsion plant in the desert. I'd really like to get back to Idaho some day. I'd love to run this race.