Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Not quite there

I thought a fast run tonight would help. But I couldn't go fast. 31:34 for 4 miles. Average heart rate 152. Still not recovered. Still a little tight.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Still recovering

I know two days to recover is generally considered nothing, but I haven't been this sore after a run since after my 100 miler last fall. It has really hit me hard. Total time today for 4 miles was 34:51, but my average heart rate for 8:45 miles was 149.

Monday, April 28, 2008

4 very tough miles

I am hurting today. Still have a sore throat. Very sore legs. Not too tired or hungry, but very, very sore.

Today's 4 miles would be a challenge. I would walk here and there. Over the last mile-and-a-half, I had to make myself run hard, just to loosen my legs.

Total time - 42:43.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

18 down, 34 to go.

My favorite marathon is the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. I love the meaning behind the race. I love the 168 seconds of silence before the race begins. I love the beautiful course, winding through the neighborhoods of OKC. I love the size. I love the course support. I really love the fact that it is close to home and I get to run with people I know. It was and still is my favorite.

I woke up this morning and my throat is still killing me. Running yesterday doesn't seem to have made it worse, but it doesn't seem to make it any better either. Add to this not sleeping well last night, and I just am not feeling it. Oh, and its 50 degrees and raining at 5:30 a.m.

I put all that aside and head out of the hotel. We stopped by the gas station and bummed two large trash bags to cover with before we started. This was absolutely key, as we had to hang around at the start for 45 minutes before the race began.

We had planned to meet some friends at the start. Jennifer was going to meet Amanda, and I was going to meet Travis (Travis is a Team-in-Training participant; he is also a TNT cycling coach and a good friend of mine. Travis didn't get to train with us because of this TNT duties). Jennifer and Amanda were going to shoot for a 2:00 half (which would be a big PR for her) and Travis and I were shooting for a 4:00 marathon (Travis's first marathon). But, we couldn't find them. We would have to look for them on the course. And even though we couldn't find them, Jennifer and I could run the first 7 miles or so together, before the races split.

The gun sounded and the rain stopped. We couldn't ask for more. Within the first mile, we gave up the trashbags. We held our 9 min/mile pace. At mile 7 we split. I wished Jennifer well and headed on towards a marathon. At this point I knew she had a PR in the bag. It would just be a matter of "by how much." When I left her, if she merely held pace, she would be right at 1:58. More on that later.

So after I leave her, I stop off for a "natural break" of the side of a bridge (I was not the only one). And since I was running with the 4:00 hour pace group, I decided to try and catch them. On my way, who do I find but Travis. So this was a great break. We we quickly catch up to the 4:00 group.

Travis and I held pace well through 13 miles, despite a fairly heavy wind at our face. After 13.5 we head into a park near the lake, and back south towards town. This means one fantastic thing: wind at our back!

Through 15 Travis and I did great. 16 miles had been his longest run. But through 17, 18, 19 and even 20 he held on well. At 21 I could tell he was starting to feel the distance. Through water stops the walks would lengthen. This helped me too, as my IT band was really tightening up. Soon we would loose sight of the 4:00 pace group. But we were still moving forward, which is the most critical aspect of endurance running. This is also the most critical aspect of success in running if you ask me.

At mile 23 we see some Team-in-Training friends and coaches, who join us for a mile or so. We also see Travis's family. This was a tough mile. While it was nice seeing them, I could tell Travis wanted nothing more than to see a finish line, and I was completely in agreement. The pounding was really taking a toll on both of us.

Mile 24 was tough. Several walk breaks. Travis was really tightening up. We would have to make ourselves run. At mile 25, Travis had a new life. He now knew he could finish. We ran the entire last 1.2 miles. He did fantastic.

Great job to Travis. I am very, very impressed with the way he hung in there. He felt the pain but kept going. I know he will be back for another.

I felt this marathon. The impact was really getting to me. The trail running yesterday had a lot of side to side movement. This meant a struggle on my knees and hips. So today, my knees were really feeling it. I felt good for the first 13 miles, but the last 13 miles were a real test.

As for Jennifer, she did fantastic. 1:56:47! A PR by 7 minutes. I am very, very proud of her. She is awesome!

My time 4:12:47.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

17 down, 35 to go!

The Kansas City Trail Nerds put on some great events. The Free State Trail Ultra in Lawrence, Kansas is one of the many. In its second year, the Nerds offer a 100k, a 40 miler and a trail marathon.

Last year I ran the marathon. This year I opted for the 40 miler. I had my heart set on the 100k, but knowing that I was running the Oklahoma City Marathon tomorrow, logistically I just couldn't pull both off (5 hour drive and a 6:30 a.m. Sunday start in OKC). So I wanted to make the best of the 40 miler.

I love this course. For a trail course, this is very flat (not too flat, just right). But what the course doesn't offer in elevation change, it does offer in mud. Yes, mud. For the past two years, we have been blessed with heavy rain in the few days before the event. Which means mud. Mud is fun. (Picture is of my legs after scraping as much mud as I could off).

The 40 miler was two 20+ mile laps. The first lap went very well. The first 3 miles or so have some gradual up-and-downs, and are a lot of fun. We then cross over to what seems to be another set of trails, which are fairly flat, but do have a good amount of mud. These couple get a little boring (especially some rocky miles on the shoreline). After the first aid station at mile 5, we had a few more miles of fairly flat and smooth trails, with good mud. A couple more miles with some very winding climbing. The the 10 mile aid station. At this point, you start heading back. Some heavier climbing for 5 miles, and it seems like you never reach the next manned aid station (which is at mile 16 or so). Once you hit that mark, the last 4 miles fly. They seem quite flat (except for a couple of winding hills closer to the end). Lap one in 3:21.

I took a longer break (6 minutes or so), then headed back out for lap 2.

The second lap went even better. While I did slow down a bit (a little due to fatigue, hunger and heat, but more out of caution), I felt very good. A few times I forgot exactly where I was on the course (which is the upside and the downside of a good trail race) and though an aid station was coming up long before it did. But the time still flew. Once I hit the 30 mile mark, I knew it was in the bag. 5 more miles of slightly cautious running, and 5 more at the end with aggression. The last 5 were an absolute blast. I really picked it up (ok, my pace was still slower, but I ran with real aggression), and had a really great time.

Total time was 6:59:59 (according to my watch) and 6:59:45 according to the official clock. I was very excited to be done. 9th place out of 48 starters. Not a bad day.
As expected, I hopped in the car, head to the showers, and then head straight down to Oklahoma City. Tomorrow, I get to try this again.
My 17th run of at least 26.2 miles this year, and my longest run of the year.

Friday, April 25, 2008

An easy 4 miler

Getting ready for the weekends races. Headed out for an easy 4 mile run. Still have a sore throat.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

4 miles after work

So I have a sore throat. And I was hung-over this morning. So not a great day. And especially not a great day considering I have a big weekend coming up. I mentioned yesterday that Jenn is doing the OKC half marathon. I am planning on a 40 mile trail ultramarathon in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday, and then hopping in the car and heading to Oklahoma City for the marathon on Sunday.

Tonight I made my 4 miles. But nothing more. I hope I start feeling a little better.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

4 miles in the morning

Jennifer and I are getting ready for this weekends races. Jennifer is doing a half marathon in Oklahoma City. She is really gearing up for a PR. She and I have started doing a little speedwork - some tempo runs and some 1/4 mile repeats. Its nice when she does speedwork, as then her pace more closely matches mine.

Today we did 4 miles, with 1/4 mile repeats after a 1/2 warm-up. Jenn did well. I'm coming down with a sore throat.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

4 miles

I had an evening meeting, so I had to leave work a little early and run 4 miles outside. Nice weather. averaged around 7:30 per mile.

Monday, April 21, 2008

4 miles on the treadmill

Little to report. 4 miles, 29 minutes and some change. Feeling just fine. A little dehydrated and tired from traveling.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

10 miles around D.C.

I had planned my day around a long run (maybe even a marathon) around D.C. But when I woke up to downpours, I changed my mind. I headed towards the gym for a 4 miler. But I couldn't do it. I didn't care if it was raining. It was intermittent, and 62 degrees. This is great rain running weather.

I headed out around the Capital, to the Supreme Court, and back around the Capital. I then headed towards the Washington Monument, and then off towards the White House. Back to the Washington Monument and towards the WWII memorial. Around that, and to the Lincoln Memorial. Then out to the Jefferson Memorial, and back toward the Holocaust museum and the Bureau of Printing and Engraving. Past the Smithsonian's (Air & Space, Natural History, Art, etc) and back to the Capital. Around the capital and towards the Supreme Court (did everyone else know that Capital Hill really meant it is up a large hill?). Then back towards Union Station and ultimately to my hotel. The last 15 minutes or so was a heavy downpour.

I loved it. I'm glad I got out there.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A treadmill 4 miler

After a morning of conferences, and an afternoon sight-seeing around D.C., I only had a short time to run before meeting others for dinner. Knowing that running in cities is always slow (stoplights), I headed to the hotel gym for a quick run.

Well, this hotel gym is actually in with the swimming pool. Can you imagine? 85 degree temperatures and 100% humidity. Awful! So I ran "fast." 28 minutes or so total. Not bad. Felt really good. My dehydration level is better today.

Friday, April 18, 2008

4 miles around D.C.

After a day of legal conferences, I headed out in D.C. for a casual, easy 4 mile run. My hotel was within 2 blocks of capital hill, so I headed there and then to the national mall. The mall was fairly crowded, but I ran down to the Washington monument, back towards the capital. I ran a few random blocks, just to get a feel of where I was. 4 miles in about 45 minutes.

Today was actually pretty tough. I am very, very dehydrated. Drinking last night, too much coffee today, and flying. This combination always leaves me dehydrated. Add to this 82 degree temperatures, I suffered.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

4 miles early

Last night I didn't get much sleep. Work kept me up until about 2:30. But I am flying to Washington, D.C. today, so I need to make sure I get my run in early. So at 6:30, I get up and run my 4 miles. I did feel better once I was finished.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

i'm not as stupid as I used to be....

So I often report on my Young Lawyers meetings and how I show up in the evenings not having run, and drink too much beer and eat too much bar food. Not today. Today Jennifer and i got our mileage in early in the morning. A steady 4 miles in 39 minutes. It actually felt tough as I am not used to getting up early.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Spin, ride, run

I made it back to spin class today for the first time in a long while. It felt good to get back and ride. But even better, my friend Chris and I met at 6:00 for an evening bike ride. We've been planning this for a while, but one of us has had to cancel. But not today. Neither of us would let that happen. Even a wind advisory. Even 45+ mph gusts.

We only rode 10 miles or so, but with that wind and spinning this morning, not a bad ride.

Oh, then I ran my 4 miles. 32:00ish. Felt pretty good.

Monday, April 14, 2008

This is weird, even to me.

Last week I bought a new pair of racing flats online. They were delivered Thursday. Having not yet run in them, I decided to give them a shot. The way I train in racing flats is to "race." If I am going to run slow, I'll wear trainers. If I want to get my feet used to the racing flats, I'll run fast.

So I went out fast. The first mile at 6:40 or so felt rough. I could tell that I had a couple of marathons on my legs, but honestly the muscles felt great. A little bit of impact pain only. So I pushed on and increased my pace. Mile 2 at 6:28. Still feeling good. Mile 3, 6:15. I am now 3 miles in and a sub 6:30 pace. Can i hold that pace for the last mile and for the first time break 26 minutes for a 4 miler? I push on. Mile 4 was tough. I sprinted in that 1/8 of a mile. Last mile time, 5:52. Total time 25:18!

New P.R. And I set it after running 2 marathons in the past 2 days. That is weird.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

16 Down, 36 to go!

I woke up looking for an excuse to call off today's marathon. The wind was very strong, with gusts upwards of 40mph. But, knowing Jennifer was depending on me for a 20 mile run herself, and knowing that I really really felt great, I went for it.

The wind was straight out of the north. The plan was to head right at it. 10 miles right at it with the last 10 as a tailwind'er. But, about 4 miles in we reconsidered. The planned route would have given us no wind protection. So we opted to circle around through a heavily wooded park.

This helped considerably.

After a few more into the wind, we turned around at mile 10 and headed back to the south. Now with tailwind. But I know Jennifer was fairly tired from running in the wind. We hung with it and continued fighting on.

Finally, her 20 were over, and I only had 6.2 to go. i grabbed the dog, and headed back out. A little faster pace, but still very comfortable.

Marathon 16 of the year. Check.

Note: I'm beginning to think that I actually run better on marathon 2 of a weekend. Today, even with fairly tough conditions, I was able to run 26.2 miles with a total average heart rate of 129. It hovered around the 125-135 mark for the first 20 miles, and then raised a little. But still, I maintained an sub 130 average I believe for the first time ever.

Total time, 4:29 and some change. With that heart rate average, I am very happy with that time.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

15 down, 37 to go

This morning began as a beautiful morning. While it was forecast to be near freezing with a heavy north wind at 7:30 a.m., the morning began at about 38 degrees and a light breeze. And sunny. Absolutely wonderful.

I set out to run 18-20 miles with my Team-in-training participants. I knew that would take some time, but I hoped to wrap that up in time to run the last 6-8 on my own, and still be done in around 4:30-5:00.

The first 13 or so went great. But the last 6 (of that portion) were very tough. The wind began to howl \about 10 miles in, but our direction of travel and wind "protection" (trees, houses, etc) served us well...until about mile 13. We slowed, but continued on. We concluded those 19 miles with the team in about 4 hours.

The last 7 were on my own. For those who have not experienced a true Kansas wind won't recognize that it isn't out of the north or the east or the west. Instead, when it is really kicking, it comes from everywhere. Very seldom can you ever really get a tail wind. So with 7 to go, I headed straight north into the wind. For approximately 1 1/2 miles, I fought a 30+ mph headwind, with no protection. I turned backs south and found a little relief. Another half miler or so and I headed east. I found a nice wall to run beside, which gave me some great protection, but when that ran out, nothing but me and the wind.

2 more miles south were bearable, but not great. The next 2 were very tough. At times, the wind would nearly take my legs out from under me.

I'm exhausted. The wind took its toll. First, its a fight. Second, with a wind (and 40-50 degree temps), you never feel a sweat. So I did not drink nearly enough (maybe 20 ounces on the day). after noticing the dehydration yesterday, I should have been smarter.

Tomorrow is supposed to be marathon 16 on the year. It will be tough.

Friday, April 11, 2008

An easy 4 miler

A slave to my 4 miles. Roughly 8:00 min/miles. Legs are feeling a little cramped. I need hydration.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

4 miles between storms

Rain. 4 miles. More rain.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A faster 4 miler

I was a little tired of running slower this week, so I picked up the pace for my daily 4 miler. Right at 27 minutes for 4 miles.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A late night 4 miler

Started about 10:00. Felt good. 38:23 for 4 miles.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A gym 4 miler

Tonight my wife had company at the house, so I had to stay lost for a few hours. It was rainy, so I had to run at the gym. A hot 4 miler. But I did finally pick up the pace and run hard for a good part of the run. That really helped out the legs.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

4 miles - lazy

Nothing worth reporting. Just another 4 miles. I feel like I haven't run in days.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Anniversary 4 miler

I was out late and have a full day planned (today is my anniversary). The only Saturday run I could get in was a 4 miler at 5:00 a.m. Jennifer went with me. Another day, another run.

Friday, April 4, 2008

A morning 4 miler

This is a bad week. I'm not really motivated to run. Just trying to get my runs out of the way and not miss a day. I am not really accomplishing anything. Maybe still recovering.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A quick run before dinner out.

4 miles. Nothing really to report. Starting to feel better, but not great.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A tough 4 miles

I am sore (which is kinda fun). I hesitate to say this, and I am certainly thankful that this is the case, but even after last Saturday's PR, I was sore, but really not doing to bad. That kinda sucks because I don't really feel like I did something special. Today, however, after my second marathon in 4 days, with one of those a sub 3:20 marathon, I am feeling the pain. Legs don't want to move. Body is just generally tired. Feet are feeling the impact. And the right hip is the worst. Probably caused primarily from the crown on the road.

But I got my 4 miles in. Took nearly 40:00 though.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

14 down, 38 to go

Tonight was Marathon 14 on the year. I took off from work a little early and was on the road by 4:30. Traffic was heavy, so crossings and intersections took some time. I managed to hold just under 9:00 miles (with stops) through the first 11.2. So far, so good. I can tell I am still not fully recovered from Saturday's marathon, but not doing too bad. I am noticing that an 8:30 pace or so feels the best (that I think is my most natural and comfortable pace generally).

I then stopped by the house to pick up Jennifer. Jennifer is planning on a half marathon in late April at Oklahoma City (the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon). She would like to P.R. But I know she doesn't have the mental confidence to push herself like I know she can. She would like to break 2:00 hrs, as her P.R. is right around 2:04. So tonight she planned on running 10 miles, and I wanted her to hold 9:00 min/miles, so she could realize that she could in fact do 13.1 at that pace.

She did awesome. She started at sub 9's and ended at sub 9's. Most miles were right at 9:00 min/miles, if not a few seconds faster. Total time for her was 1:28:40, which was a huge PR for her for a 10 mile run. At that pace, she would only need to hold 10's the rest of the way to break 2 hours for the half. She can definitely do it. And congrats on the P.R. You kicked ass! I knew you could.

For me, I still had 5 miles to go (this is why I ran 11.2 before meeting Jennifer). I kept up the quick pace, but I could tell that I was really feeling tired. The legs (hip especially) was feeling it. And the fuel system wasn't recovered either.

It was a struggle, but I made it in 3:55:53 (without stopping the watch). I think I probably averaged 8:40's or so.

I will be tired for a few more days, and the hip is a little sore.