Thursday, January 31, 2008

The snow is falling

But I didn't run in it. I am very disappointed too. We ended up with about 4 inches of snow. And then the sun came out. Nothing is better than a good snow and running with the snow out. But I went to spin class this morning (unofficial class, because class was canceled due to the snow) and did 4 miles worth of intervals on the treadmill.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

4 more miles

Nothing notable. 4 miles at the gym. Oh wait, new shoes today. I love new shoes.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Even later 4

Ended my 4 miler at 11:41 pm. That is as close to missing a run as I have been in the 17 months that my streak has been alive. Finishing up the kitchen. Here is a picture.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Late 4

Working on finishing the kitchen. Got my 4 miles in about 10:30. Cut it pretty close. Nice weather though, 55 degrees, but I can tell it is falling.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

5 down, 47 to go.

A beautiful day in Kansas. 35 degrees at 8:00 am (the start) and 50 degrees by noon. But those not from Kansas may not appreciate the Kansas wind, making a beautiful day uniquely Kansas.

I started at 8:00 am with a fairly good sized group, most of which were from my TNT group. We ran 7 as a group and dropped off two runners (great job Peggy on your longest run this year) and headed back out for a couple more.

"Then there were two," my wife says to me. She was out for a 20 miler in final preparation for the Austin Marathon in three weeks. We stayed together and ran well through the 20 mile mark. I then continued 6.2 more miles to the house.

Total time as 4:38. Not incredibly fast. Figure 4:30ish without the long stops when we dropped runners off. Felt great. Felt great afterwards. Feels even better that I am nearly 10% towards my goal.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My first swimming mile this year

So my running report today comes second to my swimming report. For the first time in two years I swam 1 mile (36 laps, 1800 yards). It took a while 45 minutes, but it felt great. I will say that I can tell over a longer swim that my technique gets butchered. So, while I know I can swim that far now, I will cut it back to focus on my technique.

Oh, the running. Very proud of myself. Before swimming I did 6 miles on the treadmill. Decent pace, but with serious hills (started at 1% picked up steadily to 10% by the end of mile 5; 1 mile downhill/cooldown). Felt great.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fast Four and a swim

Not much time this evening, so I ran a fast four miles. Ok, when I say fast, I don't really mean fast. But under 30 minutes isn't bad for me for a casual training run. Jumped in the pool for 750 yards of swimming. Cut it short because of time.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


This morning I made my first real effort at cycling. A friend of mine from high school, Chris, bought a bike this past fall and wants to do a century ride this year. So, he joined the local YMCA and he and I have agreed to meet for a Tues.-Thurs. spinning class each week. Today, lets just say he didn't have a good day. About 20 minutes into class, he quickly left his bike, grabbed his items, and took off without saying anything. I wasn't sure what the issue was. But after class when I saw him I figured it it. He learned a valuable lesson: no cheerios before class.

After a good 45 minute workout on the spin bike, I hopped on the treadmill for a 30 minute 4-miler (i.e., average pave of 7:30, but progressively cranked it up). Good day in all.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I did it!

Don't get too excited. But I did accomplish something fairly new. I managed to run more than my daily minimum. That is right, 5 miles today! And, I even got up on my own this morning at 5:00 a.m. and went to the my self.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

4 more miles

Still feeling a little under the weather today, so I stuck with my 4 miles. I did consider going longer, but thought I might be doing more harm than good right now. I know, I know, what does rationale thinking have anything to do with running.

Monday, January 21, 2008

So I am not alone

Is craziness learned or does it "run" in the family? Today I learned that my brother has decided to try to complete one marathon distance run every month for a year. I could not be more thrilled. Can he do it? You bet. Can we complete our goals together? I hope. I will try to keep up-to-date on each of his "marathons" (again, like me, he is considering doing unofficial runs when schedules so demand) and post comments here. Hopefully we can work another spring marathon together.

Ninety-nine percent of the time the day-after (a marathon) run makes me feel much better. Well, odds were in my favor today. I spent the entire day moaning and feeling sorry for myself: "I feel awful, my legs hurt, I must be really injured, can't I just rest...." But tonight I hopped on the treadmill (after some good stretching) and I felt great! Each mile got better. Mile 1 was at 9:00 min/mile pace; Mile 2 at a 8:30 pace; Mile 3 8:30 -8:00 pace; and Mile 4 at a 7:30-6:30 pace for 3/4 miles, followed by a cooldown. 33 minutes total and I feel much better. Lets try stretching again tomorrow, and I bet it helps.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

4 down, 48 to go :(

Why the sad face? Because today's run sucked. I have a cold or allergies or something. I don't feel quite right, and my nose is running more than I am. But, today I went for "marathon" #4.

Because of the cold I decided that outside might must make it worse. Temperatures started this morning in the 20's, but picked up to the high 30's by mid-afternoon. But the wind was supposed to be whipping, so I decide that the even temperatures of the gym might be more ideal.

To top that brill ant idea, I decided that I needed to pick up the pace a little today. this year my "marathon" times have varied from the 3:50's to the 4:50's. My PR is 3:19:32 (last year at RNR San Diego) and I have put in several sub 3:30's. I think I am a legitimate 3:20 marathoner, and I think with a little proper training (not a marathon every week) I could pull a 3:10 and be a Boston qualifier. So, in order to be a 3:20'er, I think I need to get some of my long runs in at near race pace. So today, I set out for a 3:30 (8 min/mile) run on the treadmill.

Well at about 12:15 I stepped onto the treadmill. I ran the first 10 miles fairly OK, but I needed to get off due to some "rubbing" issues. Got back on and pulled 3 more miles before needing a water refill. Got back on and 3 more miles before needed to turn on the football game. 3 more miles and I was shot. I just felt like crap. I am having a leg pain issue that I get from time to time. I think it is an adductor problem. Anyway, that was bothering me, as was my cold, as was the heat from the gym. All excuses aside, the last 7 miles involved several walk breaks (trying to stretch and/or loosen up the muscle pain) and a couple of stops for drinking. Those miles were fairly slow. 3:52:34 after starting, I finally finished. I don't feel too bad about that, as that involved about 5-7 minutes for gym related breaks - going to the locker room, finding a new TV station, etc.

Anyway, I think I will work on some stretching and some rehydration. 5 hours later I am still feeling like crap.

Will I ever get off my 4 mile funk?

For absolutely no reason, I refused to run more than 4 miles today. Yes, I have a slight cold coming on. Yes, I had some housework to do. But dammit, there is no reason that I only ran 4 miles today.

It is a little odd that I say this. The reason the entire "steak" (17 months this coming Monday) was because I could get into a steady routine and was missing more days running that I was making. So I made myself run 3 miles every day for a month as "punishment." Well, that stuck and come January 1, 2007, I upped my daily run to 4 miles, because I was spending too many days "just doing 3 miles." At one point last year for about a month, I upped it again to 5 miles. I decided that was a little much (it was tough for "recovery" days and it was tough on days when my schedule was tight). So back I am to 4 miles, and back to "just doing the minimum" funk.

Maybe next week I will try to get 1 or 2 longer runs in....

Friday, January 18, 2008

Another 4 miles

Quick run after work of 4 miles. Dinner plans kept me from getting my swim in. Nothing notable to report.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Note: Run before wine-tasting

When it is 15 degrees, and you have a dinner and wine-tasting, it might be a good idea to run (inside) before you go. But me, no. Too "lazy" to get up this morning so I was relegated to running outside at about 9:30 pm after most of the wine effects had worn off. Needless to say I only got in 4 miles at a fairly slow pace.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lesson learned: Watch the weather.

So this morning was a beautiful 40+ degrees, little wind, and no precipitation. Tonight the temperature was in the teens, wind of nearly 30 mph, and snow. So which time do you think I chose to run? Yep, in the now and frigid wind.

At about 8 pm I layered up with two pairs of pants, heavy under armour shirt and two running jackets. I put on the YakTraxs and headed out. While I usually say I "just got in my minimum 4 mile run" I can say that I was thrilled to finish this one. With heavy clothes, wind and that temperatures, I put in a lot of effort for a 9:30 mile.

Lesson learned. Watch the weather.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Only 4 today

Tonight all I had time for was a quick 4 mile run on a treadmill. I wanted to get a swim in, but couldn't fit it in. Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Day after

Today a short recover run around Phoenix. 4 miles over 50 minutes or so (downtown's of cities are always slow with traffic and lights). Beautiful weather again. Felt very normal today, not at all like a marathon yesterday.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

3 Down, 49 to go!

I love events that are not about me. I am fortunate (I think) to have a fairly unique discipline that will allow me to run a marathon along side someone, and feed off their enjoyment. It is probably because I am fortunate to be able to run many marathons. But I don't need or want to set a P.R. every marathon. I just like to enjoy the experience. And seeing the excitement of a newer runner enjoying and completing a Marathon is a great day for me. And when that person is my brother, that is even cooler.

An absolutely beautiful day for a marathon. I could not ask for better weather today in Phoenix for the P.F. Chang's Rock n' Roll Arizona Marathon. 45 degrees at the beginning, forcast (and actual) high of around 65 degrees. Cool, clear, windless. Couldn't be better.

The morning started at 5:15 as our Team-in-Training group met for a short team meeting, breakfast and photos, before boarding the buses for the starting area at 6:00 am. We arrived shortly thereafter, and had a 1 1/2 hour wait before the start. The half marathoners with us had nearly double that.

As the race neared, we moved closer to our corral. We started in Corral 8, which is fairly close to the back. The gun sounded, and we were off. Well, not really. With 5000 or so in front of us, it took us about 4 minutes to actually get to the starting line. But soon, we were off.

Another Kansas TNT participant (Wes) started along side Greg and I (Greg pictured left, Wes pictured right). I had encouraged him to run with us at least for the start of the race. This was his first event of really any kind, and I was very concerned with him going out too fast. He continued with us for about a mile and a half, and then moved on. I hope it helped (more on that later).

We moved through the first few miles without sweat, literally, without sweat. We quickly learned that the dry temperatures meant that as soon as sweat neared your skin, it evaporated. We would have to make sure we drank plenty throughout the day (yes mom, we drank plenty of water!).

The first notable experience came at mile 8, when a lady in the crow looked at me and said in a very condescending tone: "Come on Scott, pick it up, you can do better!" We got quite a kick out of that for a couple of miles.

Somewhere after mile 8 we came up to our first hill. I use that term very lightly. This course is extremely flat. Almost too flat for my liking. The first hill was more of a very subtle incline, may 20 feet over a quarter mile. Certainly nothing to give your legs any variety.

Mile 10 came and went, as did 13 (see picture). We were half way there, and feeling great. Greg was eating well (powergel, sportsbeans, and his favorite, smarties) and feeling great. Not a sign of wear.

The most important moment for Greg came at mile 16. As a bit of background, Greg ran the Wichita Marathon in 2001. While he did well, he didn't have an enjoyable experience. At mile 16, he severely cramped, and had 10 more grueling miles to go. Today, he didn't want that experience. For him, all he needed to do was reach mile 16 feeling good and he knew he would make it. Well, at mile 16, he felt great. Just 10 more miles to go. (picture of him on right)

Mile 18, mile 20, and mile 22 came and went. At mile 23, Greg turns to me and says, "I hate to say it, but I am disappointed that this is almost over." I laughed.

The finished line approached. It was over. 4:32:24.

Wes did an awesome job. We hoped to never pass him, and we did not. After everyone had met up, we found that he had finished in 4:27, about 5 minutes before Greg and I. He was looking a little tired, but he did an awesome job. His wife and her parents cheered him on throughout the course. I was very glad that he had an opportunity to see them four times on the course. That kind of support made his job so much more enjoyable.

Greg did an awesome job. And most importantly, he enjoyed himself. That is what marathoning is all about.

Below is a picture of the two of us. I was pleased to be able to take so many photos of him along the way.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Team-in-Training is dear to my heart. Raising much needed funds to support research, patient services and support in the fight against cancer is truly a worthwhile cause. But Team-in-Training offers something more. It offers the opportunity to physically fight back against cancer. It is a fight that you and I without cancer can fight right along side those who have themselves battled or a family/friend battled. This creates an awesome experience. One that I would hope each and every one of you will learn for yourself.

Today I ran a short 4 mile run before our TNT activities began. I am learning just how flat Phoenix really is. Very enjoyable view of downtown. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Click here to learn more about Team-in-Training.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Arriving in Phoenix

Today I traveled to Phoenix for the P.F. Chang's Rock n' Roll marathon. We left Wichita at around 7 a.m. and arrived in Phoenix just before noon. Went to the race expo and found a couple of good deals (I am generally only looking for good deals on shoes, gu, etc. and don't get too hyped up on the event merchandise).

After the expo, headed back to the hotel. As I (a) need to get in my daily 4 miler and (b) needed to scout the area, I headed out for a run. My brother came along, intending only to do 2 or 3 miles. We headed around looking for good locations to eat, and can I just say that I was incredibly disappointed in downtown Phoenix. Little life, especially on weekends. So after losing that battle, we stopped back by the race expo (had to pick up something from the Polar vendor) and finished our 4 miler.

Run went smoothly - nice, flat and cool.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thanks for reading!

I just learned today that I have a couple of folks actually reading my Blog. Very exciting! And thank you!

Paleo Runner ( has a very similar goal for the year. He is attempting an ultra a week for a year. I love it! Now when people call me crazy, I can say: "I know this guy, and he is even crazier!" Thank you for that, Paleo Runner. I look forward to following your blog as well.

Today I opted for my minimum 4 miler so that I could "rest" as much as possible before this weekend's marathon. I know, I know, I am trying to run a marathon every week, so am I going to use the "resting" excuse every week? I hope not. But I am a little nervous. I am running this one with my brother, Greg. I have promised him that I will be at his side the entire way. The last thing I want is for me to have a bad day where I couldn't be there for him if he were to need anything (support, encouragement, etc.). But I know he will be fine, and I know I will too, but I just don't want to let him down. More importantly, I want to be there to help him celebrate as he successfully completes the marathon and crosses the finish line.

As a bit of background, this past October I completed my first 100 miler in the Flint Hills of Kansas at the Heartland 100. My brother came out about 4:00 in the afternoon (mile 50ish) and was there until the end. He ran two sections with me for a total of about 15 miles. I was very proud of his effort, as he was just pushing the 10 mile mark in his training. The, as I hit the last 5 or so miles, he came back out to help me finish. He and my wife, Jennifer, took me in. Greg completed nearly 20 miles, and I was very grateful to have him there. I want to do the same for him this weekend.

I have a great "power-point" that my wife created of that event. You can see it here:

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Preparing for Phoenix

I am getting very excited about this weekends marathon in Phoenix. The experience of a TNT marathon is difficult to describe. The race becomes very much secondary to the cause - fighting blood cancers. On the day before the race, all the TNT participants and their families will gather for a huge dinner/presentation/pep rally. I will chose not to describe that event, as I would rather you experience it for yourself. Lets just say it gets your mind in the right place before the run.

My run today was uneventful. Just another 4 miles on the treadmill at the gym at 6:00 p.m. Again, I voice my complaint of the heat. According to my Polar, it was 81 degrees. They didn't even have the fans on. But I survived. Managed a 1000 yard swim afterwards.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Finally, a morning run.

So I get lazy. I make great plans to get up in the morning to run before work. But generally, I roll over and go back to bed. To my defense, I am running a lot. I enjoy my extra sleep. But I think I do function better with less than 8 hours. So this morning, after about 5 minutes of complaining, I got up an accompanied Jennifer and Pavlov on a 4 mile run. Jennifer did great this morning, really picking up the pace. I think we finished in about 38 minutes, which is pretty good considering the final mile was a cool-down (which wasn't hard to do with the cold north wind this morning).

I'm feeling pretty rested. I am getting very excited about this weekend and my upcoming TNT marathon. My brother, Greg, is getting excited as well, but I think is a little nervous. He says it is in respect for the event and distance. I say: "The cool thing about a marathon is that it demands respect. The really cool thing about a team-in-training marathon is that it puts that "respect" into perspective."

It will be a great weekend. The weather looks great. The coarse is flat. And it will be very exciting to support Greg along the way.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Another 4 miler

Today I completed my "minimum" distance run of 4 miles. I failed to get up this morning, and had a Team-in-Training meeting this evening, so I had to resort to the treadmill at the YMCA (which was again incredibly packed). The run started poorly, but I think that is because I tried to go out too hard (at least for the day after the marathon). I slowed down, warmed up, and the picked it back up for a decent run of about 34:00. I also managed to get in a short 500 meter swim.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

2 Down, 50 to go!

So I said yesterday that I couldn't have asked for better weather in January. I lied. I asked for it today and got it. Marathon #2 started at 6 a.m., with temperatures hovering around the 40 degree mark. I was set to run the first 20 miles with my wife, Jennifer, who is training to run the Austin marathon in about a month. The last 6.2 would have to be on my own.

Today was a great day. Jennifer did an awesome job getting through her 20, in around 3:37 (including stops for water, etc). We probably averaged right around 10 min/miles for that 20 (while we were moving), which is awesome for her. I "dropped her off" at home and refilled my water bottles and headed back out.

But I couldn't resist taking the dog on such a nice day. So she kept me company for that next 6.2, which was great. I finished in 4:37 and change, with the last 6 miles at 9 min/miles. Felt good. Legs are a little heavy today. It helped to increase the pace to stretch them out. My hydration and food levels were good. Never felt low. Little slow, but that is good to give me some variety, and I need that pace training for my ultras.

Note - Photo from 2006 Wichita Marathon (Jennifer and I's first marathon together)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Final TNT Run before P.F. Chang's

Today I had my final run of the Winter 2007-08 TNT season. I have been a coach with the Kansas Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society now for about a year, and have really enjoyed helping others achieve a lifetime (and life changing) goal of running a marathon or half-marathon.

So today was our "taper run" of 10-13 miles before next weekend's events (P.F Chang's and Disney). The run went very well. Most of the ice had cleared off, so the roads weren't too bad. I opted for the shorter 10 miles because the other coaches wanted to get in their 13 (oddly most of our coaches are actually participants in next weekend's runs). And frankly 10 worked well for me so I could "rest" before tomorrow's 2nd marathon of the year.

The run went well. Little to report. My legs felt a little heavy, but all together not a bad morning. And I couldn't have asked for better weather for January!
I'm very proud of our participants. They will all do so well.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Treadmill Hills

Just the skinny: 4 miles on the treadmill. Started at 2% incline, increased every half-mile or so until I reached 10 % at mile 3. Then I kicked it up to 15% and suffered through a half mile. I figured somewhere around 800 feet of climb.

Will the ice ever melt?

Yesterday I attempted to get out of the gym and onto the open road for the first time in what seems like months.

But with the extensive snowfall we had prior to Christmas, and the subsequent cold spell, much of my running path is still extremely icy. To this I add the fact that my dog loves to run with me and has been couped up inside for weeks, so I decided to take her along (how can you say no to that?). This made for a terrible run. Normally I like to run with YakTraxs or "screwed shoes" in the ice, but I hadn't anticipated how icy it would be. I should have rethought that within the first quarter-mile. I managed my daily 4 miles, but couldn't tolerate much more.

Lets hope for some better weather soon.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

My other goals...

So the day after a marathon is always interesting. I wake up usually feeling fine. But sitting at work all day makes me tighten up quite a bit. So getting out to run at some point in the day is always the best relief.

I got on the treadmill about about 5:30 p.m. Can I just say that I hate new years? It seems that everyone's resolution is to "work out more" which only means that for the first few weeks of January the gyms are packed (which also means no free machines, no parking and hot temperatures in the gym). I sucked it up and got my daily 4 miles. Started slow at 9:30 pace, but picked it up to 7:30 pace by the end to "stretch out." Felt great.

So one of my non-running goals for the year is still basically "running." I want to enter and complete several triathlons this year, including (my goal) to enter and complete a half-iron distance event. So in the pool I go after my run. For the year I would like to hit 100 miles or more. That means I need to build from my 500 yard swim session to somewhere closer to a mile per swim. I made it through 750 yesterday, which I consider a success. Only 99 2/3 miles to go!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

One down, 51 weeks to go!

So I didn't make it to bed until after 2 am this morning because of new years. I managed not to eat or drink too much, but maybe more than I should have if I wanted to run a marathon this morning. When I woke up about 8:30 am this morning, I had a sore throat. I don't know if it had to do with the drinking, lack of sleep, or simply a sign that I shouldn't run a marathon today.

But I didn't listen. I got on a treadmill in a packed gym at about 10:35 am, and 3:49:16 later I finished my first "marathon" of the year. And, I would like to add, this was my first ever treadmill marathon.

Not a bad run. I felt pretty good all along. I began at a 6.5 mph, or 9:15's. I quickly picked up to a 9 minute mile, because I was trying to finish in about 4 hours. But on a treadmill without any variation in terrain (I do set the treadmill at a 1% incline), the only variation I can get is with the speed. So at about the half-way point, I began to increase my speed ever so slowly, ending the last mile at a sub 7:30 pace, actually hitting a 6:30 pace for the last quarter-mile to stretch out my legs. The first half was just under 2:00, so the last half must have been about 1:50, or around an 8:30 pace.

Feeling a little tired (sleepy) but my body feels great. Legs really feel good.

Note: The real reason I am running today and not trying to get it done this weekend is that on January 13th I am running the P.F. Chang's Rock n' Roll Marathon with my brother as a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This will be my first marathon with my brother, and we intend to run the entire thing together. My guess is that we will finish at about a 10 min/mile pace. I really want it to go well, and want to run with him the entire time, so I am trying to schedule as much recovery time in before that run as possible. So if I run today and this coming Sunday, I will get my first two weeks out of the way and get a week to recover before the 13th. If anyone would like to track my fundraising progress, feel free to check out the website.