Dec 29, 2009

Weekend Update

I'm getting behind in my blogging and blog reading. I'll just chalk that up to the holiday season and busy-ness that goes along with it. Trying to get caught up now.

Last week ended up being a decent week of running, better than I had expected. Fifty-two total miles after I added a 15 miler on Wednesday, 9 miles of speedwork on Thursday and 8 miles on Saturday. Since we travelled towards the end of the week I thought my mileage would taper off a bit more but my wife and I were able to get out in warm Las Vegas for some running. We went to Sunset Park. For those unfamiliar it is a big park with a pond, ball fields, playground, swimming pool, frisbee golf course and a 1 mile packed dirt running path. Very nice. We got out there Saturday and Sunday morning with my wife doing 5 on Saturday, the furthest she's run in decades.

This week won't be quite as high mileage-wise for several reasons. First, the kids are home from school and I can't just leave them home and head out. Second, after 3 50 mile weeks in a row I should have a low mileage week. Finally I've got a nasty cold since last night. Sinus headache, sneezing, runny nose and sore throat. I think it'll just last a few days.

Looks like I'll top 200 miles this month for the first time in a couple years which coincides with me taking up triathloning. So I don't mind if the mileage is low when I'm swimming and biking too. I'll update final month and year totals after the new year.

Be safe!

All in: Wednesday 15.01 at 8:30
Thursday 9 at 7:58 with 5 mile repeats from 6:26 to 6:06
Saturday 8 at 7:27
Sunday 6 at 7:38

Dec 21, 2009

More Bells

Okay, I promise this won't become a woodworking blog but just wanted to show off a few more bells that I've made. These are for my sisters and are about 3 inches in height versus the 6-7 inch one I made for my wife. I'll put a little hangar thing on these so they can be used as ornaments. I only have four sisters so likely my wife will be getting one of these too. The white bells are Corian, the counter top material while the handles are various woods.

Okay, back to running. Had a decent week last week, getting in about 53 miles in 4 runs. Fortunately not all of it was on treadmills as Saturday morning was about 20 degrees. Since my son had a basketball game I couldn't run with my normal group and got out alone at 6:30 AM. A lot earlier than I'm used to! This week I'm hoping to get close to 50 miles but since we'll be traveling for Christmas and the kids will be out of school starting Wednesday, it might be difficult. Started out right though as I got off the treadmill less than an hour ago after 20 miles and almost 3 hours. My entry in my training log was "Ugh". Unfortunately I foresee a lot more of that in the future.

All in: Wednesday 13.19 at 8:50
Thursday 8 at 7:58 (speedwork with 4 mile repeats in the 6:20's)
Saturday 13.67 at 8:52 (honestly each mile felt about 20 seconds faster per mile)
Monday (today) 20.06 at 8:49

Dec 14, 2009

Another Hobby

My other hobby (is running a hobby? Maybe more of an obsession or passion?) is woodworking. I haven't done too much of it in the last year but I enjoy it when I do. I always make my wife two things for Christmas. One is a nativity scene and the other is something from the stump of our Christmas tree from the previous year. This year I decided to make her a bell. What do you think? I'm no artisan but I'm happy with how it turned out. The nativity scene might be a last minute thing though...
Running and woodworking have something in common and that is patience. You just can't be in a hurry to run 10, 12 or more miles and you have to slowly shape the wood and fit it together. Any big mistakes on measuring or cutting and you have to start all over again. Unfortunately in both arenas I am in all too much of a hurry to get things done. I think one day I'll learn the lesson I'm trying to teach myself.

I found some treadmills a the club that don't have to be reset after 60 minutes. So my big motivation today was to put up a big number on the display, at least 18 miles. Unfortunately I found out that they do reset at 100 minutes. D'oh. So the only big number I put up was just over 11 miles and then I had to start over again.

All in: 18.35 at 8:43

Dec 12, 2009

Another Title Deficient Post

Two things struck me as I sat down at the computer at 6:30 this morning. The first was that there is only 28 days until my next marathon. How did this happen? Can I really do 12 of those things next year? With the holidays in there I think the time will go fast before I toe the line again. I better get ready.

The second thing was that I was happy to see that it was 7 degrees out. 7 degrees = happy. I guess it's all relative and when you are expecting 0 degrees 7 turns out to be a blessing. I mean, I had done 12 degrees last week so how much worse could 7 be? Didn't really matter that the wind chill was below zero because, heck, I'd be going with the wind at least half the time. Zero just seems a lot worse somehow. I know it's coming, and I'll probably get out and run in it, but it just seems a lot worse.

I was planning on 12-13 but the group I was running with did 8. Since I ran to and from the running store where we met up that put me closer to 14 for the day and that put me at 50.01 for the whole week. Not a huge achievement, I've been there before and will be there again but not bad for 4 runs either. The pace was a little slow today as it is hard to run when you are slipping on packed snow, trudging through an unshoveled path or dodging large lumps thrown up onto the sidewalk by the snowplow.

I was supposed to do speedwork on Thursday. Wasn't really up for that. I could tell my legs were tired from the day before so I decided to do a tempo run instead. Aaaaactually it was too slow to really be termed a tempo run so it was kind of a marathon paced run. A short marathon paced run. After a two mile warm up I finished with 5 miles at 7:13. Not bad, especially considering that my HR was lower than the first five miles of MP runs that I was doing for the Marine Corps and Myrtle Beach marathons. My legs were tired though so I didn't run anymore than that.

All in: Thursday 7 at 7:40
Saturday 13.87 at 8:28

Dec 9, 2009

(Don't) Let It Snow

Ugh, the snow is here and I think it's going to stay. It came down all night and I awoke to a nice drift on the driveway to shovel. I must admit that ever since I lived in the warm-weather city of Tokyo that I am a weather-wimp. Minnesota is not a good place for me to live. But here I am and now I have to make the best of it which, more times than not, means the treadmill. Especially on days like today when it is snowing, blowing 30 mph gusts and has temperatures in the single digits.

So after relocating the snow from my driveway to our lawn and unstucking my wife's car from the driveway, a process that took 90 minutes by the way, I headed to the health club to run. I got to come up with a way to count the shoveling as a workout. Like say, each shovel throw equals a step and they all add up to miles somehow. Too bad Mr. Garmin won't count shovel loads for me. Anyway, I started out on the treadmill at a nice and easy 8:57 pace and didn't expect it to feel as good as it did. I sped up and still felt good. And then I did it again. I was feeling so good that I decided to turn it into somewhat of a progression run with each mile faster than the last. I ended up with the last one at 7:35 and the whole run at an 8:11 average. Not incredibly fast overall but at least the last few were at a decent pace and with a good amount of miles too.

Monday, which might have been one of the last outside runs of the year, was 17.14 miles. Usually my long runs are a little slower than I ran but I wanted to get out of the cold and wind so the pace was a little faster.

Okay, I'll try to stop complaining about the weather so much but don't count on it.

All in: Today 12 at 8:11
Monday: 17.14 at 8:32

Dec 5, 2009

Week In Review

What a good week of running it has been. I did have one bad day but overall it has been good so I'm focusing on that. It all started off with me officially signing up for the Mississippi Blues marathon on Monday. Glad to get that on the schedule so I can firm up my training plan. After that I did about 16.5 miles at a casual pace.

Tuesday was some weightlifting and stretching; which, by the way, I'm crediting with getting rid of my lingering upper hamstring/lower buttocks pain. It never really slowed my running (I don't think anyway) but it was a pain. I rarely feel it at all these days.

Tuesday I got in an odd run because it was 12 nonstop miles. I ran outside but traffic, shoelaces, stoplights, nothing stopped me. I can't remember when or if I've ever been able to do that before. Usually I'll try to stop to catch my breath or just because I'm lazy or pain averse but after going a few miles with good breaks on the traffic lights I set a goal in my head and met it. On top of that was that I originally set out for only 10 miles.

Thursday's run was the bad day. Since it has suddenly turned cold and I didn't want to run outside I went to the health club to hit the treadmills for some speedwork. Unfortunately my left knee decided to give me some excuses not to run. Earlier in the week it was a little sore but loosened up nicely after a little running. After I warmed up for two miles it really didn't like the change of pace to a 6:27 mile. I was a bit disappointed in that but still wanted to get some work in so I switched to half mile repeats in 3:11, 3:11 and 3:06. In total I got in 6 miles but was a bit concerned. One minor positive is that I felt like I wimped out after "only" getting 6 miles in.

Friday was more lifting and stretching.

Then today I ran with my running group knee pain! I don't know where it went but I didn't even have to warm up into the run, it was gone from the beginning. Maybe the icing and pain killers are just what the doctors ordered. So we did 10 miles at just over 8 minutes per mile and it felt very easy. Nice run all the way around. Of course then I came home and got Hiroo out for a few miles too. Oh, did I mention it was 12 degrees out?

All in: Monday 16.54 at 8:40 (quite windy)
Wednesday 12.02 at 8:47
Thursday 6.02 at 7:51
Saturday 12.28 at 8:07