Saturday, May 31, 2008

4 miles in Denver

Got up fairly early this morning and hit the sidewalks around our hotel for an easy 4 mile run before heading up to Steamboat. Mike and I put 3 miles in together at around 9 min/mile pace, then I picked it up to stretch out the legs for the last mile. Not a bad morning.

Friday, May 30, 2008

4 easy recover miles

Headed out fairly early today (10ish) for Colorado to run the Steamboat Marathon on Sunday. Slept in a bit, then headed out for a 4 miler. Still very hot and humid.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

22 down, 30 to go!

Having last weeks' 3:30 a.m. run rained out (, Laura and I decided to plan another. I know, for most people this doesn't make sense. Why would anyone want to get up at 2:45 in the morning to go run? Let alone run a marathon before work. The answer is "100 miles." Laura and I both have our minds set on a 100 mile run this fall. For Laura, the Heartland 100 ( will be her first. For me, I have my eye on the Lean Horse 100 (, and I hope the Heartland 100 will be my second Heartland, and my 3rd 100 overall. What does that have to do with 3:30 a.m.? I attribute much of my success last year to many early morning runs. I really believe that these early runs without much sleep train the body and mind for the late hours of an ultra.

So Laura and I met at 3:30 and headed out. Miles 1-4 went well, but I could tell my stomach wasn't quite right. Last night I went for a couple of beers with some friends, with some heavy nachos, and a sub sandwich on the way home and immediately before bed. None of that is good marathon preparation, in case anyone asks. These stomach problems would be a continuous problem over the next 22 miles. I leave it at that.

All else seemed to go ok. It was only about 65 degrees with a light breeze, which is perfect. Unfortunately, it was about 95% humidity. Dehydration would be the other continuous problem. I would run most of the run completely soaked in sweet. Not pleasant for anyone.

We would manage. In good order, we finished in around 4:40. We probably averaged 9:45 miles for most miles, but the stops really slowed us.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

4 gym miles

Headed to the gym today for a fairly speedy 4 miler. 30 minutes total, but the first mile was an 8:30 and the second an 8. Do the math, and that only leaves 13:30 for the last 2 miles. With a 1/4 mile cool down, I ran at fairly fast clip, at least for me.

Legs felt tight, and I felt more tired than I should Hills on Tuesday's are definitely doing the job of making me tired.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stairs, Stairs and more Stairs

I tried a different strategy for my stair running today. As background, the first week I ran 8 sets of stairs, without any running breaks in between to easy the workload. Last week, I ran 8 sets, with a lap in between each set. Today, I ran 2 miles for a warm up, 5 sets of stairs, another 2 miles at a fairly easy pace, then another 5 sets of stairs, followed by 2 miles of cool down.

Its getting easier. I'd like to build up to do 20 sets max, with a strategy similar to today. That would make a tough workout.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I'm lazy!

My plan as of last week was to run a marathon last Friday, take an easy 13 miler with the TNT team on Saturday, then run a marathon Sunday in Independence (for some variety). But with Friday's cancellation (, I had to change plans to a marathon on Saturday and one today.

But I'm lazy. Instead of running a marathon, I bummed around. Actually, I started making a headboard for our bed. I'll post again in a couple of weeks to update on that.

Late in the afternoon, I headed out for a 4 mile run. With yet more thunderstorms all over the area, instead of running 2 miles out and 2 miles back, I ran 1 mile out and 1 mile back, headed back out for another half mile, then finished the last half mile up and down my block (the storms were getting intense, and I wanted to be close to home if lightening hit or a tornado got close). Trying to avoid a situation like this: (

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Often when I visit my parents, I head out to Elk City Reservoir to run on the flatrock trails. Why? Each September, my hometown hosts the Flatrock 50k (, a 31 mile trail run. These aren't what I would consider normal trails. These are brutal trails. Very technical, lots of steep climbs, difficult terrain. An absolute blast!

Today I took Pavlov for a 4 mile trail run - her first ever trail run. It was a little warm, so I had a hand-held water bottle with me. And my dog is not well behaved, so I had her on the leash. We headed towards the trail, through maybe a 1/10 mile clearing from the car before hitting the trail head. The first "obstacle" on the trail is a water crossing. It's too steep/deep to cross on foot, so they have a 2x12 run across the creek. Oddly, the dog followed me across the narrow crossing. Confused, but successful nonetheless.

Over the bridge I realized how muddy the trails would be today. If you have read my most recent entries, you will know how rainy it has been. Those storms have hit Independence as hard as they have hit Wichita. I quickly realized how difficult it would be to manage these trails in these conditions with a dog on her leash and a bottle in the other hand.

But we made it the first mile or so without too many problems. Clearly she was having fun. She new the trails, despite being incredibly overgrown (barely could see the trail at times and had to follow the blue markings on the trees). I don't know if it was by sight or smell, but she knew the way. She lead closely. When we would reach steep ups or downs, she knew to slow to allow each of us to negotiate the hill. But as much fun as she was having, she was working very hard. And it was humid. This might be too much for her.

So at 2 miles in, we turned and headed back. I had already given her several drinks from the water bottle, and I knew I needed to reserve all my water for her (which I did). She would stop to drink several times those last two miles.

But we made it. And made it with many tick bites! Yes, ticks. I had immediately gone to my parents and hopped in the shower to wash off the mud. I then realized that the mud wouldn't come off with just soap and water. I quickly realized that it wasn't mud, but no less than 15-20 ticks on my legs. I headed outside and removed each of them (I would find a few more over the next hour, and removed those too).

Luckily, Jennifer was a Wal-Mart with my mom. I called her and had her pick up flea shampoo for the dog. We gave her a good bath, which washed off most of the ticks. The ones that wouldn't come off (mainly off her face where we couldn't wash), we removed with tweezers.

We lived. But itched for a while.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

21 down, 31 to go!

Having canceled yesterday's marathon, I knew I had to run one today or risk losing the streak. I had only planned on 13 miles, as the longest TNT participant would only be going that far. I kinda wanted a break to just hang out and go for a bike ride. But plans change.

Last night I made plans to wake up at 4:30 and begin running at 5:00. I could then be half-way done at 7:00 a.m., and then finish the last 13 miles with the team.

But again, storms. What am I going to do? Sleep in. Well, at least until the 7:00 a.m. run. By that time, the storms had passed, and we had at least a 2:30 window to get the 13 in.

So we did. 13 miles and we were back to the cars. But just about the time everyone was set to leave me, another storm started to blow in. Instead of risking it, I headed straight for the gym to finish my run.

I hopped on the treadmill some 7 minutes after finishing my previous 13 miles, and begin to run. My strategy for these 13.2 miles to finish up can only be explained by stating that next weekend I will be running the Steamboat marathon in Colorado, which has a net elevation LOSS of about 1500 feet. To prepare myself, I set the treadmill at -2% and picked up the pace. This is the best I can do to mimic the hills.

I finished these last few miles on great time. Total time for the marathon was right at 4:30. That isn't bad, considering the first 13 was in 2:50 (lots of water stops and bathroom breaks).

I will chalk this "marathon" up to one of my easiest ever. Yes, the pace the first half was slow, and yes I ran downhill for the second half, but I really felt good. Just never got tired. Thats a good feeling.

21 down, 31 to go.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rained Out

3:30 a.m. Yes, a.m. That's what time I was supposed to meet my friend Laura for a morning marathon.

I set the alarm for 2:45. When I woke up, I immediately headed to the computer to check the radar. We have had some serious storms lately. Not good ones either. So I knew today had a risk of cancellation.

Sure enough, severe thunderstorm warnings in the two counties southwest of me. Storms heading northwest. They were set to hit around 3:45 and would easily stick around for an hour or so. So the run had to be canceled. It just isn't worth the risk of running in the thunderstorm, especially at 3:30 a.m. At that time, if it got bad, where would we go?

Sure enough, after I canceled, the storms hit. Heavy winds, heavy rain, and much lightening.

So instead, I slept in. I headed outside for an easy 4 mile run that evening.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

4 miles before work

Jennifer and I made it out this morning for 4 slow (I really mean slow) miles. 43 minutes and some change. The change up was nice.

Got some new shoes today. Two pairs. Very excited.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

4 miles - intervals

I needed to losten the legs with some speedwork. But I didn't stretch before hand. So my speedwork was slow to say the least. I did quarter mile repeats at 1:20-1:30, with quarter mile recoveries at 2:00-2:30. 4 miles in 30:00. I struggled with the fast stuff.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

4 miles, stairs and and some laps (7 miles total)

4 miles this morning (slow) followed by 3 miles tonight. I did 8 sets of stairs, with a lap around the track between each. Stairs felt better this week. 10 is not out of the question, I just ran out of time.

Monday, May 19, 2008

4 miles with the puppy

A little warm today. Pushing 90. I love it. But the dog didn't know what she was in for. She insisted on going, but about half way through I think she was rethinking her plan. She made it, as did I. 4 miles down.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

50 mile bike ride and a 4 mile run.

I signed up several weeks ago for a 50 mile bike ride with my friend Chris. We didn't train, although we had good intentions to do so. But at the last minute, he left town (changed jobs and took a vacation). So I was on my own.

My longest ride of the year was 20 miles (I think I got a 20 mile ride in). I was confident that my legs could make it, but I wasn't sure of my shoulders, my neck, my back, and . . . my butt. Those areas always take some conditioning.

I started off with the TNT cycling team. We stayed together for the first 25 miles or so. The legs were feeling pretty good. But the butt was already hurting.

At 25 miles, the TNT team left me for the 100 mile route. I would be on my own for the next 25, which would be fine as I could pick up the pace a little. With the wind at my back (as light as it was), I really flew through the last 25.

Just under 3 hours, 50 miles. Pretty happy with that and the legs feel pretty good.

Fast forward 6 hours. 4 mile run with Jennifer. Pace was good and slow. Legs still sore from the 30 miler yesterday.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

20 down, 32 to go!

I had a big run planned today. 30 or 35 miles. Probably 30, but leaving open the idea 0f 35 if things went well.

I set the alarm to start running by 5:00 a.m, but decided to start at 6 after waking up at 4:15 (obvious reasons). So I headed out at 6 for 6 or 7 miles before the TNT session began. 7 miles in about an hour.

From the first few miles I could tell it was going to be a long day. At 9:oo min/miles, my heartrate should be in the low 130's. at 8:30, I should barely be breaking 140 beats per minute. But today, even in the early miles, my heart race was pushing past 150, and I just didn't feel right.

With the TNT participants going 20, I knew the pace would slow. So when we began at 7:00 a.m., things began to feel a little better. 10:30 pace for the first 10 or so miles.

But about half way (16 miles for me), things began to feel rough. My legs started really feeling the impact (shoes need replaced) and my body was just feeling tired. Add to this a lack of desire to eat and drink, and the day was going downhill.

But I kept at it. Our pace slowed to an uncomfortable 11:00 min/mile pace (I just down have an 11-12 min/mile pace; it isn't a walk and it isn't a run; it causes me pain; and I know it causes me shin splints). I had to run ahead of the group and walk to let them catch up. This change of pace really helped. Still 5 or so miles to go.

And it was getting hot. Temperatures for the first time this year (at least during any long run) were surpassing 80 degrees. A little hot, considering I am hardly drinking.

The next 5 went about the same. I passed 26.2 with a little over a mile to go in our team run. Can I finish 30, or should I just give it up. With a mile left I decided to call it a day. But coming to the end, I couldn't quit. Only 2 miles left to go. "I can do it."

My pace picked up, as I was on my own. That was exactly what I needed.

30 miles, check. Marathon 20 on the year down, only 32 to go. Chalk this one up to a mental training session.

Now, do I have enough left for a 50 mile bike ride tomorrow (keep in mind you have read about all my bike rides this year, or have you forgotten as there have been so few)?

Friday, May 16, 2008

I need to stetch

Still nothing is feeling quite right. I now it is my own inactions. I need to stetch. I need to not drink (as much) caffiene or beer. I know I need more water. 4 miles today, not really fast.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

4 harder miles

Today I'm even more sore. I'm not hydrating well. I'm not stretching. The 4 miles was tough today.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

4 miles

A little sore today after stairs. 4 miles only. I tried to keep the pace fairly fast, which often makes the legs feel better. A shade under 31 minutes

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

4 miles plus stairs

This morning Jenn and I had a slow 4 miler: 42:13. She is still recovering from the Lincoln marathon. The slower run was actually pretty nice for me. A nice little break.

We are also starting to do stairs. Some TNT friends and I have committed ourselves to running stairs at Wichita State University's Cessna Stadium. It was a little harder than I expected. I think there are about 70 rows. The top gets steeper so the sighlines are better. I ran the first 2 and about died. The next 6 (8 total) I slowed down a little, but it definitely does hurt. My watch said about 1.5 miles total, with one lap around the track as a warm-up and another as a cool-down.

Monday, May 12, 2008

4 miles

35:13. Felt pretty good. My hip is hurting a little. I need to stretch.

Happy 30th Jenn. Love you

Sunday, May 11, 2008

5 easy miles

A little hung over today. 5 miles in around 45 minutes. Also managed to get out for a short bike ride (really short), but it was a beautiful day so I had to get a casual ride in. Legs are feeling pretty good after yesterday's run.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bank of America River Run

Today was the day, but my legs weren't feeling it. They felt extremely dehydrated when I woke up this morning. But I headed out for the 10k River Run, and thought I would give it my best. I headed to the start line, and thought I would shoot for 43 minutes or so. Not a PR day, I thought.

But the gun sounded, and I took off. This is always a weird race, with a lot of inexperienced runners competing. There is always way too many people going out way too fast. And today I was one of them. Mile one in 6:15. Not 43 pace, but well under 40 minute pace.

Well, what the hell. "Lets go for it" I thought. While I know I needed to slow a little, but I thought a PR might be in the bag (old PR was 41 minutes - I slowed to 6:36 for mile 2. Still on pace. Mile 3, 6:35. Mile 4, 6:32, Mile 5, 6:20.

40 minutes was in sight. I went as hard as I could the last .2, and made it. But not by much. 39:59. Still in the 30's.

I really did feel good, although my legs never really felt right. I have to really think about what might be within reach, if I really did feel good. 39? 38? Below that I am probably dreaming, but 38 or 39 might be in reach.

Friday, May 9, 2008

4 miles

Didn't have much time today, as Jennifer and I were getting ready for her birthday party tomorrow night. I did manage 4 miles. Not the fast paced run I like to get in the night before a shorter race, but not bad. Not really feeling a PR for tomorrow as I had hoped.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

5 gym miles

I'm trying to get ready for Saturday's 10k. I hopped on the treadmill for a speedwork session. 1 mile of warm up (and cool down), then half mile repeats (only had time for 3), with a half mile recovery in between. Tough day.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

4 miles after work

An easy 4 miler. Still a little weirded out after last night. Yes, I checked the radar this time.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I thought I was going to die! (Seriously!)

Jennifer and I were busy tonight. I had a wide assortment of chores to do tonight (some of which required daylight), so I didn't get ready to run until late. About 11:00 I get ready to head out. The temperature was great (high 60's), so I decided to run without a shirt. It wasn't raining yet (I knew it was in the forecast, and I could see some lightening in the distance), and the dog was needing some exercise, so I decided to take her as well.

I headed out with the dog, and the first 2 miles went fine. With about 1 1/2 miles left, it started sprinkling. Not bad. By mile 3, it was starting to rain. Not bad. By 3/4 miles left, the wind picks up (from about 20 mph, to 40+ mph). The rain is now coming down pretty hard, and the wind is a fight. The storm continues to increase in intensity. With 1/2 mile to go, the dog is refusing to run. The wind is 60+ mph. The rain is coming down so hard that it is ankle deep on all roads (keep in mind it has been raining for less than 8 minutes). The rain pelted me. I'm looking for shelter, but I know I can be home in 4 minutes. I continue on, barely able to move forward with the wind. The rain and wind take my breath away. The rain is pouring down my face so bad, that I feel like I am drowning (seriously disturbing). The dog and I push on. She is scared to death. I encourage her and tell her everything is going to be ok (she clearly doesn't believe me, and I am not sure I do either).

By 1/4 mile left, it had done nothing but get worse. It felt like it was now hailing (it was not, but the rain was so heavy and the wind was so heavy). The street was now flooding. Up nearly to the dog's belly (we stayed to the hide side of the street). I can't see anything. I have to cover my body with my arms. We barely go anywhere, but the house is very close.

We make it to the porch. The dog is terrified and soaking. I yell for Jennifer to help. She is clueless of what is going on outside. She helps us dry off.

The dog and I were terrified. I was shaking. I honestly though I might be in a tornado (I actually thought it was a hurricane - it looked like what I see on the news). The dog went straight for the bed, and hid under it.

Very scary.

Monday, May 5, 2008

4 miles - Sub 28 minutes

Nothing really special. Trying to give myself a bit of recovery, but still trying to get ready for 10k this weekend. Sub 28 and the legs feel pretty good. A little dehydrated.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

19 down, 33 to go: Lincoln Marathon

Today was "marathon" 19 of the year, and real marathon 6 of the year. The morning was great. Temperature in the 40's forecast in the 60's. I'm actually feeling pretty good. I can tell I am not fully recovered from last weekend's double marathon, but still not feeling bad.

I had planned on a 3:30 day. Jennifer was running marathon 6 of her career (and 2nd of the year), and she was pacing for a 4:45. I decided to run this one on my own.

I headed out at a solid 8 min/mile pace. Feeling good through mile 16 or so. Mile 18 started feeling pretty rough. Not really feeling exceptionally bad, but obviously not feeling recovered. Heart rate wasn't that high, but just didn't have the energy in the legs. I slowed. Not trying to PR, so there was no need to cause myself any unnecessary pain. I slowed to 8:30's and 9's.

The last mile I decided to stretch the legs back out. 7:45 or so the last mile. Final time, 3:36:21.

Jennifer did well. She came in at around 4:40. I got my first massage ever while I waited on her. It really didn't feel to bad, but didn't have great impact. I think she needed to go a little harder.

All in all, a good day. I felt well when I was done, but still felt like I ran a solid race.

Very proud of Jennifer. 6 marathons is excellent, and 2 marathons in 4 months is even better!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

4 miles

4 easy miles in Lincoln. Went out in early evening before dinner. Nothing to report.

Friday, May 2, 2008

4 miles

I had a busy evening, so I had to get out early. 4 miles. Feeling ok after OKC and Lawrence.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

4 miles

Feeling much better today. Maybe not fully recovered, but feeling ok about next Sudnay's marathon. Not really fast, but I was able to hold 8 min/miles without much trouble.