Thursday, July 31, 2008

Foggy Four

I finally made it up in the a.m. for a run. Jennifer and I needed to get a short run in before work, as we both had events planned for the evening. Despite the fog (and accompanying 100% humidity) we headed out for a 4 miler.

Legs feel fine, except this two days in a row of slow running. Maybe tomorrow I'll pick it up...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Late night 4 miler

I was not very motivated tonight. After getting home from work and an after-work reception for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, I had several chores that need done. Those, like mowing the yard, required daylight, so I had to get right on them, and put my run off until after dark. By that time, I would have rather had a beer and gone to bed. But I made it through, but without motivation it was very slow.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Having failed to run this morning, my typical Tuesday stair routine would have to be changed to make sure I could get in my daily 4 mile run. I arrived at the stadium in plenty of time to get 4 miles in, plus 15 sets of stairs - that is, until I realized I forgot my shoes. Home I went. By the time I got back, the rain was coming down. This helped greatly with the temperature, but not much with the confidence on the stairs. I slowed down. I ran one mile, did 5 sets of stairs, another mile, 5 sets of stairs, another mile, 3 sets of stairs (needed to get the rest of the 4 miler in as the stadium was quickly closing), and the rest of my run. Not a bad workout. Legs felt pretty solid. Slowing down and not peaking the heart rate in the 180's makes you feel better all over.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Gym 4 miler

Headed to the gym this evening on my commuter bike. Traffic wasn't bad, but man it was hot. Its only 3.5 miles or so each way to the gym, and it is a straight shot, but with the heat and the traffic, it will make you sweat. Anyway, the gym was pretty crowded with all the other people avoiding the heat (did I mention it was spitting rain hear and there, so top 95 degrees with 100 percent humidity...). 4 miles down in about 30 minutes. Started pretty slow, but had good legs. Ended up running the last quarter mile at 11 mph. Pretty fast for me.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

31 Down and 21 To Go!

I slept in until 5:00, for a 5:30 start time with Laura. Today we had the fantastically laid plan of no plan at all. The rules were two: run 26.2 miles; do not run on any normal course.

We headed out with Amanda for 12 miles. We headed downtown and towards the river. A short trip up and down the river, and we were 6 miles in and needing to head back. So we did. Without a plan, but heading towards the house nevertheless.

Dropped Amanda off and grabbed a quick PB & J sandwich and a Coke. Felt great to eat some real food.

Headed back out. This time we headed north to the University - a place that I like to run, but never do. So we took a loop around the university and headed out towards a small nature center, that has a nice bike/run path in a quiet, clean environment. A couple mile loop around the nature center, and we were ready to begin heading back towards the house (about mile 20).

By this point the we could tell how quickly the temperature was rising. Not more than 8 miles from the house, and both water bottles were already empty. Stopped by a convenience store for a quick fill up. Back on the road towards College Hill and a quick 1.5 mile loop to finish up.

I feel great. Two marathons in two days, and very little negative to show for it.

Average Heart Rate - 121! Total time 5:02:48. Slow, but that was the point.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

30 Down, 22 to go!

It is never a good feeling when you begin to consider yourself odd. Today was that day.

Laura and I had plans to begin a marathon at 2:45 a.m. This means I was to get up by 2:00, and travel to the starting spot and running by 45 minutes later. Did I find this troubling? No. Was I concerned with the lack of sleep? No. Did I get to bed early? No. Did I change what I ate? No. This just wasn't a big deal, and I actually for a minute considered this an "easy day." That - I know will admit - is odd.

So mile 1 began just after 2:45 a.m. We headed out on a nice morning with temperatures of about 75 degrees and humidity hovering about that same level. Our plans would be to run 8 miles out on our designated route, and turn around and head back. 16 miles total for a "pre-run" before the weekly TNT run of about 10 miles. The miles just ticked away.

By mile 5, Mike - another TNT coach - joined us so he could get about 20 miles in on the day. We continud on at a nice, slow pace - about 10:30 pace with a minute of walk every other mile.

Finished up those first 16 miles with little action to report. We would begin the teams 10 mile run after a short, 15 minute rest.

Miles 16-26 would tick off too without much to report. It kinda just felt like a normal run - certainly didn't feel like a "marathon."

By the time I finished, Mike had another 1/2 mile to finish up to get in 20 miles. Seeing no reason not to, I went with him. Half way through that I got the brilliant idea to let him get a one block lead and see if I could catch him in a 1/2 mile. Barely caught him but ran out of gas as he pressed on for the victory. 27 miles total. Around a 4:45 marathon time (excluding the 15 minute break between runs).

Average Heart Rate - 124 (This too I find oddly low).

Somehow managed a bike ride to and from work, and another bike ride that afternoon. Took the Triathlon bike out for a spin (today was the time trial for the Tour de France), and took the customary 21 mile course in record time (1:03:21). Felt really good.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Four miler

Little again to report. Went out at a nice pace, but not too hard. Planning on two marathons this weekend, so I need to take it easy and stay hydrated. 32:25.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


4 again. 35:26. Feeling good.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Late evening run

I had a pretty full evening tonight, so I just headed out late. Didn't really have the motivation to do it, and frankly needed a break. So I took it real slow. Somewhat enjoyed it after all. 42:30.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Treadmill 4 miler

We have a softball game tonight, so I only had time for a quick treadmill run and a few sets of stairs before the game. Left work a tad early to get on the treadmill. Had a nice run of 29:20. Feeling pretty good and ready for a few sets of stairs. But when I arrived, the stadium was closed. Cancel that, I think I sit on the couch for a while before the game starts....

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another Bike and run

Today I took that nice and easy bike ride I had been promising myself. Headed down town and around our "old town" area and the river. Pretty relaxing ride. Not trying to push myself at all, just trying to enjoy myself and get some saddle time.

Headed home for an easy 4 mile run. 35:43.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bike and Run

I had time today for a nice easy bike ride. But I didn't give myself that. Instead, I gave myself a nice hard bike ride on the Tribike. 1:05:20 for the usual 21 mile course. Might be a PR.

Didn't leave much in the tank for a 4 mile run. 34:41. Feeling pretty good for the day after a 50 miler.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

29 down, 23 to go! Confessions of an all night runner!

So you might be wondering why I chose to skip my blog entry for yesterday. There is a good reason actually. That is, I never had time to write it, as I was still running when the day ended.

Last night, my training partner (Laura) and I headed out at about 10:00 p.m. for a long run. Laura had planned on running 35 miles, getting done just before 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, so she could support the Team-in-Training participants on their run. Me, I had plans for somewhere between 40-50 miles, and between 10-12 hours. I'd just have to gauge my time and pace, as I didn't want to exceed either 50 miles or 12 hours.

So we headed out complete with headlamps for an initial 10 mile loop. Our plans would be to run this same loop 3 times, as it had a convenience store at one end, my house at the other end, and was run nearly entirely through quiet neighborhoods (i.e., without a lot of drunk people to yell at us - "don't you know its 3 a.m? Shouldn't you be asleep."). We would have to get pretty comfortable with that route.

The first 10 went well. Both of us carried needed supplies with us, so there was no need to stop at the c-store. We took some time to eat about half way through (nibbled on a CliffBar the entire loop), and of course took many other walk breaks along the way. Back home in about 1:45, giving us 10 minutes for the home base "aid station," and back on the road with a loop of less than 2:00.

When we arrived at home, we both did our best to eat solid foods. I took in a PB&J sandwich that Jennifer had fixed, along with some Powerbar Drink, and a few pretzels. Feeling pretty good for midnight.

Back out for loop number 2. Not really feeling too bad yet. Hit the half-way point in good time, and still didn't need the c-store. Ate some more, and headed back. Still not feeling too bad, but looking forward to some caffeine at the home base.

Back to the house after 20 miles at around 2:00 a.m. Made a quick turn around after another half a PB&J and more pretzels. Started the PowerGels a few miles back. I could tell the temperatures were pretty high, and the humidity was even higher. I was going through a substantial amount of fluids, and I was soaked from head to toe.

Miles 20-25 went well. At 3 a.m. and on the way back towards home I could tell I was getting a little sleepy. The run was going well, and my legs were feeling good, so I started day dreaming (or is it just dreaming when it is during the middle of the night?) about how I might run to get in a few extra miles after Laura dropped off and before the team run. This day dreaming went so well that I caught myself nearly falling asleep! Maybe not quite, but I did "pop" back in to reality, and I couldn't quite figure out where on the course I was! I knew I was running and roughly where I was, but I couldn't remember what direction or which road exactly. A little weird. Enough to keep me awake the rest of the way.

Mile 30 came and went. Still feeling good after more PB&J and more PowerGel. Still going through water like, well, water. Miles 30-35 went pretty fast.

Dropped Laura off just short of 5:00 a.m. At my current pace, I'd have time to get 5 more miles in before the team run, which was scheduled for 10 miles. Perfect! Grabbed some food and gear, and headed (in the car) to the team training spot. A short 3 minute drive and I was back running. Although the first few steps were a struggle after sitting for only a couple of minutes, I quickly picked up the pace to around 9 min/miles. The sun was starting to come up, which really helped.

Back to the start after nearly 40 miles, and met the team for 10 miles. These 10 were unbelievable. Great miles! In no way did it feel like I had run 40 earlier. 50 came very easily. I did struggle a little with the pace (around 10:30's or 11:00's with the team). Since this was the same pace I had run all night, I either needed to pick up or slow down. So I had to do some weird walk breaks and faster catch-up runs just to keep up. Ankle and shin felt a little sore, but the pace change-up made that all feel better.

10:25 for 50 miles. Not a bad day at all! Average heart rate of 130. Not bad.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Morning 4 miler

Jenn and I made it up for a 4 miler today. Took it pretty easy because of tomorrow's plans. Stay tuned....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Finally got out on the tri bike! (plus a 4 mile run)

Despite my problems airing up the tires on Sunday (and the temper tantrum I through afterward), I managed to get the bike ready for a ride after work. I headed out to some nice weather, with maybe some 15-20 mph winds. The ride went awesome. 21 miles in 1:06 of total ride time. I'd figure my rolling average (without stop lights) was around 22 mph. That is certainly fast for me. Love the bike. Definitely fast. Wheels really move.
35:46 run for 4 miles after the ride.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

4 miles and some stairs

For the first time today I decided to take a relaxing lunch and run down by the river. Having an office that is not more than 4 blocks from the gym has made it nice to catch a run if I don't otherwise have time. But generally, when I make it to the gym at lunch, I feel that a treadmill is the fastest, as I am usually pressed for time. Today, however, I ventured outside. I headed 4 blocks west of the gym down towards the bike/walking paths down by the river. Beautiful day. Nice and warm, which is what I wanted.

4 miles in just over 34 minutes.

But the day wasn't over with that. I headed out to the stadium after work for some stair work. 10 sets in just over 35 minutes. I really did my best to "run" up them (all 76 sets). It is really a struggle those last few sets, as the incline really increases, and the rows really space out (I can hardly reach between the rows).

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday morning 4 miler

Managed to get up and run with the puppy this morning. Nice and relaxing (and cool) for miler. Legs are feeling a little tired, but overall pretty good. The weekend was a nice break from the long mileage.

Signed up today for the Heartland 100. I had an inside connection that let me know that the race was unofficially closed, but registrants before Wednesday would be allowed in. Just barely made it. Don't know what I am thinking. Two 100 mile runs within 45 days. We will see how big of a mistake that really is.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

10 miler with the Team and a bit of a blow up

Due to the lightening storm yesterday, the coaches organized an "unofficial" run for TNT this morning at 7 am. We had 20 or so show. Nice day. Nice to run with the team. Pretty slow today, which was also nice.

Made it home and had a list of chores. After finishing those, I wanted to head out on a bike ride. Having not made it out for any good weather rides on the tri bike, I wanted to ride it. But I had some serious issues blowing out tires when trying to air up the tires. I got really, really pissed, probably for no reason. I blew up. I gave up and road the other bike instead. But I guess the anger did me some good. Had a fantastic ride. That may have had something to do with that there was absolutely no wind. Kansas. No wind. Amazing.

1:08 for 21 miles total time (including stop lights, etc). That is flying for me.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Run called short with lightening

Laura and I planned to meet for a 10 mile run before meeting the TNT group at 6 am. We weren't planning on running fast, and Laura needed to set out the coolers before the team run, so we met at 3:45 am. We got the first 10 miles in, but noticed that lightening was quickly approaching. Despite everyone showing and preparing to run, we had to call the run due to lightening. Pretty frustrating. But this was an easy day for me, so not a big deal. Actually, I was back in bed by 6:45. Not many can say they had run 10 miles, waited an hour after, and was still in bed by 6:45 am.

Woke up an hour or so later. Did some chores. Still made it to an 11:00 a.m. 30 mile ride with some friends. I was a little nervous about this as I haven't been riding. But it went very well.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Same 'ol, Same 'ol

Another 4 miler. Don't know what is tying me down to lazy 4 milers....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Easy morning run

Another easy 4 miler. Jennifer and I managed to get up early and head out. Absolutely beutiful morning.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Easy 4 miler

Jenn and I went out for an easy 4 mile run. Nothing special, but then again I'm not the pregnant one!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lunchtime run

Forgot my watch today, but a 4 mile run at around 8 min/miles. It amazes me how attached I am to that damn watch....

Monday, July 7, 2008

4 miles plus some Tour de France spinning

Went out for a steady 4 miler after work. Held a 7:30 pace fairly easily. Legs feel good. A little tired, but good. 30:36 total with traffic time.

When I got home, Jennifer and I hopped on the trainers to watch Stage 3 of the tour. 30 minutes only, but it felt good to do a little spinning.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

28 Down, 24 to go

After yesterday's 50k, I expected that my legs would be shot today. Whether it would have been from the hills, the heat or the distance, I expected to have jello legs. But I didn't. Not sure why. But I won't complain.

Woke up about 5:00 a.m. for a 6 a.m. run. Today I met my TNT folks out for our weekly team run. Because of the 4th falling on Friday, we anticipated that many participants would rather run on Sunday than Saturday. And when we showed up and had 20+ runners, we knew we were right. But before they met us at 7:00 for the run, several coaches and I met for 4 miles first.

The first 4 miles went well. We held a nice steady 10:15 pace. It was already getting warm. I could tell the temperatures would quickly reach the 90's as forcasted.

The next 9 miles were run with the team. I joined up with some run-walkers on a 4-1 plan. That is 4 minutes of running with a minute of walking. When running, we averaged about 10:30 miles. Total miles were around 12 min/miles. Not a bad pace at all, considering the heat.

And this sort of running walking I think is fantastic training for my upcoming 100 miler. I plan to do a fair share of walking during that race, starting at mile one. So having a slow run with walk breaks is just fine. And it keeps me on my feet for longer. Not a bad thing.

After those 9 miles (13 total), Laura (who will be joining me at the Heartland 100 in October), Pam, Amanda and I ran another 4 miles. We stuck to an "outside" loop at the park that has no shade. By 9:30, the temperature was already 86 degrees. And rising.

Pam and Amanda dropped off (as planned) after that 4 mile loop. Great job to both of them, as neither had planned to be out their that long. Thank you to both for just being their for Laura and I.

Laura and I continued. Actually, we were feeling great. The only problems were 2: first, the heat and the lack of shade; second, the monotony of loop around a small park. But we kept up our spirits, and kept to the best shaded areas of the park. This meant 3 more loops around a 3 mile section.

We kept going. Kept drinking. And kept going. The last few miles took some time, especially considering the length of time we took refueling and hydrating between loops. But we kept going.

5:35. Not a great time if you are counting, but I am not. I considered this a huge success, especially considering the heat. And didn't I mention yesterday that I am not a good heat runner?

28 "marathons" on the year down, 24 to go!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

PsychoPsummer 50k Race Report - 27 down, 25 to go!

Until today, I wouldn't have considered myself to be a good heat runner. (I probably wouldn't consider myself to be a good cold runner either. Now temperatures of 45-50...that is where I excel. But that is beside the point.) I have always enjoyed running in the heat, but generally only short distances. I've just always thought that my body is just not suited to take hot, humid days on long runs, especially on tough trails that really get your heart pumping. So really, I figured that an ultramarathon on a tough trail course in the middle of July would not be my best and brightest of days.

And I have some experience to support my belief. Last year I entered and finished an event called the PsychoPsummer 50k trail run in Kansas City. I'll keep the story short. I finished. I leave the story at that because the rest of the story would be about the near death experience I had last year when the temperatures reached triple digits with terribly high humidity (I exaggerate, I thought I was going to die but I really had a great time!). So obviously I couldn't wait to run it again this year.

Well this year came today. I'd nervously watched the weather all week long. Hoping that we wouldn't have another 100+ degree day like last year. Hoping the humidity would stay down. Hoping to have a partly cloudy, cool day. Well, I didn't exactly get all that, but I got a fairly nice July day. Some clouds, lower temperatures (high in the mid 80's), but pretty high humidity. Regardless of the weather, I was there in KC and ready to run.
This event is great. Its a two-loop 50k. I consider this to be a very hilly course. It isn't terribly rocky, although there are some rocky sections. And it isn't terribly winding, although there are some winding sections. Its tough. And that is why I like it. As the race website says, this is not a sissy paved event!

We arrived fairly early from Topeka, where my wife and I had stayed the night before. Jennifer helped me pick up my packet, filed up water bottles and got set to run.

I started near the back. The first couple of miles had several long fairly steep climbs and descents. Pretty tiring, but I remember the first few miles of the course having some fairly long hills. So I was mentally prepared. I passed a few people on this section, but pretty much tried to hold a steady pace (my goal was to have 2 laps at around 3 hours each).

After those few miles settled down, the race got fun. I consider the middle part of the course (miles 4-9)to be fairly fun. There are some very steep parts (those where you use all fours), but most of it is really cool trails (I have one favorite section where the trees completely cover the trail. Its like you are running through a tunnel). Some nice long descents to pick up the pace, and some nice long and windy ascents to keep things interesting. The aid stations at miles 5 and 9 were great sites and perfectly located and manned.

Miles 9-12 are pretty fast (considering how much fun the rest of the course is) as they were off the trails a bit. Other than one pretty long walking hill, most of this portion was very runnable. It was a nice break to start running again and hold it for 20 minutes or so.

After mile 12, we headed back to a windy section, and then into some really muddy sections. The last four miles seemed to take forever. Oddly, those last four miles were just as horrible on the first loop as they were on the second. So I really think those were tough sections, no matter if I was on mile 12 or 28.
I finished in 6:16 and some change. Turns out that I was 15th place out of 50. Not bad for me.

I really felt great when I finished. I joked with my wife after I finished that I could go another loop if I needed to. Don't get me wrong, I didn't want to, especially if it meant that I had to go back through those last 4 miles of mud again. But I was trying to save my legs for another 25-30 miler tomorrow. So I think I paced myself fairly well. Just right, so that I had enough left for either another 15 today or 25 tomorrow.

Yearly "marathon" update: 27 marathons down, 25 to go!

Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July 9 miler

Met some of my TNT teammates for a morning 9 miler. Steady 10 minute pace throughout. Probably pushing it on distance though, have a 50k race tomorrow.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Successful 4 miler.

Took the dogs for another 4 miler. Nothing fast. But wore them out. Success.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

4 miles + 2 dogs = Fun Run

We are dog sitting for some friends. Rueben, a 2 year old black lab, is also a runner. At about 5:00, after an afternoon rainstorm cooled everything down, Pav, Rueben and I headed out for 4 miles. Both dogs did fairly well. Pav actually did great, and stayed right beside me. Rueben had a tendency to want to run ahead. Trying to control the two was pretty tough. Actually though it was pretty fun.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

4 mile afternoon run

I intended to wake up early to run. Didn't happen, because Jennifer and I both had to be at work early. So I got an afternoon run in about 90 degree temps. I won't complain, I actually love it. 4 miles in just over 35 minutes. Heavy traffic cost me 3 to 4 minutes.