Wednesday, March 29, 2006

To the Dude with the Cologne Vapor Trail...

You're a dude...with a cologne vapor trail.

Think about it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Training Log Entry #29

5.32 miles through Providence's East Side at lunch. No real effort. Just running around. Beautiful weather.

The numbers:

5.32 miles

Terrain: Asphalt/Concrete

YTD Mileage: 249.67
MTG (Miles to Goal): 950.33
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.61


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Training Log Entry #28: Take that, rewind it back!

40's not so bad after all, at least so far. Recall how four or so weeks ago I was bemoaning my lack of conditioning? Well today I set a goal of running a 20 mile loop, the last few miles of which were pretty hilly. I figured it would be a good route for Boston prep because the Newton hills start in earnest around mile 17. The fact of the matter is everything that has gone on prior to today is of no consequence. Today would tell me if I'm ready for Boston (3 weeks from tomorrow). The long and short of it is that I finished in 2:16:27. That's actually the time for 19.63 miles, the top of the final climb. I typically walk in from there to cool down. My average pace for the run was 6:57, a pace that would yield a 3:02:07 marathon. I also crushed previous benchmarks on the majority of the run that is used for the 18 mile loop. In fact, my time on the 18 mile loop (the timer is stopped at 17.7 and I walk in the last .2 to cool down) would have also been a personal best by a couple of minutes (2:02 - 2:03).

This is sweet. I've got my best speed ever. I should be able to nail a 3:05 at Boston, with an all-time marathon PR (3:04:03) a distinct possibility. Why am I not shooting for the sub-3 you ask? I'm not there yet. The wheels were falling off at 20 miles (though I do feel really good right now, 2.5 hours later). I want the 3:05 for the guaranteed entry into New York, and then I'll push for the sub 3 at New York. It's still early in the year. My fastest marathon will be in the fall. I don't want to get crazy and run a stupid race in Boston.

So why the uptick in speed:
1) Effort (I wanted it today)
2) Rest (I had an easy week last week)
3) Better hydration/fueling (I had Leanna meet me out on the course and bring a second set of bottles for my Fuelbelt onto the course, effectively doubling my fluid intake)

The weather for the run was partly cloudy, breezy, and in the 40s.

Here's the route (this site, based on Google Maps, is pretty cool):

The numbers:

20 miles

Terrain: Asphalt/Concrete

YTD Mileage: 244.35
MTG (Miles to Goal): 955.65
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.73

Net weightloss on the run: 1.5 pounds (I told you I drank more)

FYI: The 18 mile loop is here:

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Training Log Entry #27

Bike path run, with 3x 1/2 mile repeats. It was fairly warm today. Felt pretty fast.
I also have a poll question. Can I count walking mileage to my total. I don't mean walking around the office. e.g. I walked 3 miles at lunch yesterday. I wasn't strong enough yet to do more, but I wanted to get out of the office. What do you think? Do workouts have to be runs to count on this 1200 mile total? If not I've got another 5 miles to add this week (I walked 2 miles today in addition to the run).

The numbers:

7 miles

Terrain: Asphalt

YTD Mileage: 224.35
MTG (Miles to Goal): 975.65
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.31

Today I am a Master!

Every sport in which I compete now lists me as "Master." I sort of like this. Makes me feel like a Yoda of the multisport world.

"Do, or Do Not. There is no try."

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

On the shelf until Thurs.

We're all sick. Everybody except Leanna that is (this includes my in-laws). Leanna's currently the family doctor/hero. Nasty flu bug. My house is quarantined until further notice. Alexandra was really ill last night. This is definitely the worst part of parenthood. I am rebounding pretty quickly, but feel weak from lack of food. I'd like to believe my training has helped me work through this faster, or at least function better when it's not at it's worst. I'm used to functioning in a very drained state.

Speaking of training, I'm off until Thurs. Should help my ankle anyway. I'm still planning on a 20 miler Saturday or Sunday.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Training Log Entry #26

Still a bit of snap and crackle for the first 3 miles. Ran for a little over an hour today, primarily sand and trail. My best guess is 8.5 miles. Two one mile stretches of tempo running thrown in. All in all not bad. My legs feel pretty fresh. I'd like to get my ankle mended a bit by next weekend. I'm looking to do a 20 miler next Saturday. It will likely be my only 20 before Boston. The week after will be the final timed effort around the Ocean Drive and then it's taper time. Still no room for screw-ups, but I am cautiously optimistic for April 17th.

The numbers:

8.5 miles

Terrain: Sand/Trail

YTD Mileage: 217.35
MTG (Miles to Goal): 982.65
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.36

"We Need Back-Up!"

It's the sort of thing you expect to hear on an episode of "Cops." It's not the sort of thing you expect to hear in line at PETCO. But alas, when "Would an associate please come to register 2..." did not work (have you ever actually seen that work?), sure enough the lone cashier grabbed the PA and announced, "We need back-up, all registers!" Surprisingly, a (grumpy, hungover) associate did arrive.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Training Log Entry #25: Snap, Crackle...

...but thank god no pop! I had tweaked my right ankle (that is the problem one) on Tuesday's run, and today EVERY step had a nice rhythmic "Pop" to it. It was really pretty gross. It didn't hurt (okay a couple of times it did), but it definitely had a psychological impact. Instead of making myself do the original workout (7.5 miles total with a four or five 1/2 mile repeats), I just kind of shuffled around for a bit. I stopped some. I did some stretches. I did a few baby step (short stride/quick turnover) drills, and then I called it a day. By the end the ankle had stopped popping (for the most part). It'll be ice and Advil tonight.

There is a reason for this: I've been getting lazy about doing the things I need to do to stay whole.
1) I must do my swimming kick sets.
2) I must do my legs stretches in the morning.
3) I must do my balance drills.
4) I must wear my orthotics.

My body has fired a shot across the bow. Time to pay attention.

The numbers:

4 miles

Terrain: Cement/Asphalt/Dirt

YTD Mileage: 208.85
MTG (Miles to Goal): 991.15
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.35

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Kissing Bandit

Alexandra's been waking up early for about a week or so. I think it's probably the migratory birds passing through again that are waking her up. Well, this early rising has typically led to a VERY rough day for child and thus for parents. So this morning I heard her stirring, once again before 6:00 AM (damn birds!). I gave her a few minutes to fall back to sleep, but when it was apparent that that wasn't happening, I went in and got her. When I picked her out of the crib, she just puckered up and gave me a big old kiss! She never does that. She also kept trying to kiss the cat. It was really, really cute.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Training Log Entry #24

I'm not really sure how far I went today. Could have been 5 or 6. The plan was just to run easily and leave the watch at home. I ran around the East side of Providence and just sort of learned my way around. It's refreshing running without a goal every now and then.

The numbers:

~5.5 miles (I'll split the difference)

Terrain: Cement/Asphalt

YTD Mileage: 204.85
MTG (Miles to Goal): 995.15
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.54

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Training Log Entry #23

Today I did something I almost never do: I did the long run, with a watch, for the second time in 8 days. On the very rare occasion that I run long two weekends in a row, I always leave the watch at home for one of those. The reason has to do with lingering disappointment over last weekend's run.

Today my legs hurt. My ankle hurt. My hamstring hurt. Both issues, I think, thanks to the fast mile repeats on Tuesday. I expected to be flat because I have only run once since last Saturday, and sure enough despite the temperature being 20 degrees warmer than last week, I was only 25 seconds quicker to the Flagpole on Brenton point which marks the one hour (give or take) point of the run. I never really got a great rhythm going today (though there were a couple of good stretches), and there were 1/2 dozen or so times when my ankle began moving around, and I was overdressed. However, I had some fight left in the final 1/2 hour which I didn't have last week, and so was able to finish hard. The final time: 2:07:29.

So I feel a little better about things. There is still no room to mess around. Today's run hurt. I couldn't run another 8 miles at that pace right now.

I'll not be running until Tuesday, though I will hit the pool on Monday. And no long run next week.

The numbers:

18 miles.

Terrain: Cement/Asphalt

YTD Mileage: 199.35
MTG (Miles to Goal): 1000.65
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.67

Sweat rate numbers of the year.

Starting Weight:166
Finish Weight: 163
Weight of Fluid Consumed: 3

Total fluid loss from activity ~6 pounds.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Training Log Entry #22

I'm guessing 7.5 miles. I won't know until I have my bike with computer on the course. Could be as much as 8, though I doubt it. Maybe 7 3/4. Most of the run was on the East Bay Bike Path. 3 x 1 mile tempo with 1/2 mile easy in between. Felt slow, but who knows. The legs still have some lingering fatigue from Saturday. I was focusing on high turnover, and that took real concentration. If I'm to get that time improvement I'm looking for, I've got to keep working drills that encourage a compact stride and fast turnover. As soon as the stride lengthens to an over stride, the lumbering begins. Pool time tomorrow.

The numbers:

7.5 miles.

Terrain: Asphalt

YTD Mileage: 181.35
MTG (Miles to Goal): 1018.65
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.24

Sunday, March 05, 2006

A little Alexandra time.

Posted by Picasa

Posted by Picasa

Make that sippy a beer bottle...Yeah I've had times like this. Posted by Picasa

Run #21 Post-Mortem

The lining is silver. The legs are very good today. It's temping to go out for a short run. The weather is noticably warmer than yesterday. We'll see. I've got only one nagging injury to get fixed, and that's my neck.
About a month or more back I was swimming at URI and sharing a lane with this guy. He was sort of all over the place, and I was working on backstroke (and wearing flippers). I was so concerned about his whereabouts that I missed the warning pennants and slammed full speed, head first, into the wall. Dazed but generally okay, I finished my workout. Since that time my neck has not improved at all. I guess it's time to see a doctor.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Only 1/2 the story

Yeah, yeah, we've heard it before. The same old babble about contaminated ground water, radiation, and negligence...yada, yada, yada. Well, you know it's about time we start hearing the other side of the story. There are always two sides. I want to hear about all the good that comes from nuclear contamination. I mean, there almost isn't a Superhero anywhere who does not owe their superpowers to radiation.

Spiderman: radioactive spider
Hulk: gamma radiation
The Fantastic 4: You guessed it, space radiation

In fact, with the exception of those from the lucky sperm club (Superman, Thor, Wonder Woman), radiation is boss. So enough with this bias reporting, I want the whole story.

PS: I don't really count Batman as a superhero in the traditional sense, because his super power is just being so rich he can buy lots of cool gadgets. Ditto Iron Man.

Training Log Entry #21:The wake up call.

I usually post after the run, and I will update this upon completion, but in case I don't return I thought I should leave a clue to my whereabouts. I'm embarking on the first trip around the Ocean Drive this year. 18 miles. Normally not an issue, but it's cold-ish and snowy. I'll post the results in a few hours.

Just got back. 2:10 even (I've done under 2:05). About 2 1/2 minutes slower coming back from the point than going out, and most of that was dropped in the last 4 miles. I needed this. It was the reminder of just what running distance means. After 13 - 15 miles, it's a whole new ball game. While it was dry and quite sunny, the conditions were far from perfect for running: 32 degrees (with wind chill 23 degrees), windy, sloppy, and a VFW gathering to circumnavigate. But nonetheless this is the reality check that tells me I could maybe manage a 3:10 - 3:12 marathon right now. So there it is; I need to find at least 5 minutes in the next 6 weeks. It could be a pretty tall order. If only Boston were in May... The silver lining would be if my legs snap back quickly.

The numbers:

18 miles.

Terrain: Cement/Asphalt/Slush

YTD Mileage: 173.85
MTG (Miles to Goal): 1026.15
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.28

I also got my first sweat rate numbers of the year.

Starting Weight:165.5
Finish Weight: 162
Weight of Fluid Consumed: 3

Total fluid loss from activity, ~6.5 pounds or ~ 3/4 gallon.

Okay, update: Six weeks before the Cape Cod Marathon I turned in a 2:08 on that loop. I also peaked 2 weeks too early for Cape Cod (where I ran a 3:06:01). So if I can keep the Mo' from here on out, I have a chance to hitting it just right for Boston. Thanks to this wonderful thing called a blog, I can check my training notes and hopefully learn a lesson from the past.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

We must de-STANK this HOUSE!

Under Armour coldgear is some pretty awesome stuff. It breathes. It keeps you warm. It has enough strength to holding in that flabby gut. It's perfect...almost. The product is so well thought out with the notable exception that they don't use an antimicrobial fabric (i.e. odor eater). I'm not talking about it stinking if left in a gym bag for a week. I'm talking about it's ability to walk out of the gym bag and into the washer on it's own immediately after wearing.


Training Log Entry #20

Run 20, the first run of March. Nice to get a little distance in today. 7 miles is the guess. Could be more like 7.5. I actually ran by time (57 minutes), and as it was on all unfamiliar terrain, it's hard to gauge distance. I'm actually liking having a run or two per week in an urban setting. Lots of changes of pace and terrain as you run up curbs, cross streets, slow to do the quick left-right-left look, and continue. Because you're not locked into a rhythm it's a little more strenuous in a way that is similar to the start of a race like the Boston Marathon. Also the constant changes reduce the risk of more overuse injuries. Of course you don't want to do this all the time because you'll never get fast either. One nice big hill about a mile in. First pitch was really steep as I ran up from S. Main St. in Providence to Prospect (Brown University Campus).

The numbers:

~7 miles.

Terrain: Cement/Asphalt

YTD Mileage: 155.85
MTG (Miles to Goal): 1044.15
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 7.79