Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Warming Up

Today I learned the value of a good warmup. It's Tuesday. My speed workout day. Typically, I run a 1 mile warmup, then do a speed warmup 800 or 1600, running at right about marathon pace. Then, I go into my actual workout. Today, I was scheduled to run 5 1600s. However, I was running a little late and decided to forego my speed warmup. Big mistake. I was done after my 2nd 1600. Tried #3 and was almost thrown off the treadmill because I was already dead tired.

Now this might have been because I was dead tired. Five to six hours of sleep ten days in a row will do that, but I also think it was because the shock of not being properly warmed up completely threw my body for a loop.

The really funny thing is that I can run faster eight miles into a run than I can one mile into a run.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Last Week

51 miles last week. Pretty good week. Only 16 on Saturday, but that was planned. No real soreness. This week is a doozy. 57 miles, with a 22er on Saturday.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Artistic Purity

I was reading a post on Drew Carey as the new Price Is Right host on Metafilter earlier today and a comment on how Drew just lost all of his artistic purity credentials by selling out as a gameshow host caused me to laugh out loud. Just the phrase "artistic purity" cracks me up. I'll leave it to your imaginations as to why.

So this morning's run. Definitely lacking artistic purity. First, it was on a treadmill when it was about 63 degrees outside. Second, my treadmill was right in front of a television that had an infomercial on about double action colon cleansing. Now I'm not one to begrudge one's colon cleansing because I definitely don't want to be the guy that has 42 pounds of fecal matter in his intestines, but I would rather have watched SportsCenter or at the very least CNN (and the commentary on the Democratic-YouTube debate last night (BTW, Hillary won)), but no, I was forced to watch double action colon cleansing. How exactly is it double action? I'm glad you asked and if you find out, please let me know. All I know is that I'd like a shiny pink colon instead of the disgustingness that it is today. However, no ass punch please. I've been through two colonoscopies and the ass punch is truly terrible. Never have my co-workers been as horrified and empathetic as those two days that I had to take the ass punch at work.

I'm off track. Back to artistic purity. Let's recap. Treadmill despite beautiful weather and double action infomercial. Let's move on.

As I stated last week, I renewed my membership at the gym solely to use the treadmill for my interval/speed workouts. Today was day 1. Incline at 1.0. 1 mile warmup at 8:30 and then 7 (although I was supposed to do 9) half mile repeats. The first one was a warmup at 7:03 pace. Two and three were at 6:38 pace. Four, five, and six were at 6:18 pace. Seven was at 5:58 pace. At the end of the seventh, I was done. The legs were shot. However, it was a much better workout than any of my previous track sessions. Oh yea, I have only 7 more weeks of speed workouts. The outcome is still in doubt, but at least there is hope. My legs haven't felt this good in years. Defiling myself on the treadmill will definitely have been worth it if a sub-3 happens.

BTW, I am at my target racing weight. I've been struggling for weeks to lose that last three pounds and like magic, it just simply vanished this past week. I think it was the 50 mile week. My body simply finally surrendered. And no, I'm not looking emaciated. I've been focusing on my core and upper body as well (i.e., crunches, pushups, The Plank, curls, and back work before bed). No swinging the arms side to side on this runner.

Monday, July 23, 2007


The unfortunate thing about living in a nicer suburb is that my running experiences, unless I drive somewhere to run, are pretty boring. In NY, I'd be dodging and flipping off insane drivers and cyclists. I might even see a police chase. In CA, not so much. I just go and run.

Last week, I ran 47 miles. I missed one day because I decided that sleeping in on a recovery day would be a much nicer recovery than running a slow 6 miles. It was. However, I didn't cross the 50 mile mark for the week.

I did run a 20 miler on Saturday. I wasn't feeling it and I didn't get out until 8am, at which point, it was a sweltering 75 degrees (you think I'm joking, I'm not. It was hot.), so I didn't push it.

Not pushing it meant I ran 20 in 2:29 (7:28 miles). By the way, that tied my personal best for a 20 mile training run. Encouraging. However, well off the pace I was at for my 16 miler two weeks ago (7:10 miles). Tomorrow the treadmill calleth. Hopefully there aren't any insane retired Eastern Europeans with gold chains at the gym. Although at least I'd have an interesting entry.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Not the drink, the card game. I've been playing gin since I was six or seven and my grandfather taught me. He would pretty much smoke me every time as he is the ultimate card counter. However, as I grew older, I began to hold my own. As a result of my experience playing this game, I have never lost a match, except to my grandfather. A hand, yes. A game, yes, but never a match (5 games of 100 pts each). The closest I ever came to losing a match was to my friend Lee many years ago.

I taught Liz how go play several years ago and she has consistently gotten better, even winning games from time to time. We usually play a 100 point game during the evening.

Last night, I won 110 - 0.

Back to the Treadmill

Only on Tuesdays. My speed workouts just aren't happening on the track. Well, they are happening, but they just aren't fast enough. So next Tuesday I will be heading back to Ballys. Don't worry. Just Tuesdays.

Monday, July 16, 2007


I should have begun posting about my weekly training weeks ago or at the minimum last week (as you'll soon find out), but here it is anyway. I'm eight weeks into a twenty week program. Last week, I ran a measley 36 miles. I was scheduled for 52, but I missed two days. The week before I ran 50, which is why I should have started this last week.

My schedule pretty much looks like this every week:

- M,W,F - 6 recovery miles (usually in the 7:40 - 7:50 range)
- Tu - track workout (alternating 800s and 1600s at 6:00 - 6:10 pace) - I'll talk more about these later
- Thurs - medium long run (10 - 13 miles) with hills with 4 to 5 miles being at tempo pace (6:30 and below)
- Sat - long run (16 - 24 miles at 7:30 pace for 50% to 75% and 6:48 pace for 25% to 50%)

It's a pretty demanding schedule. I hit my pace on all of my runs except for my track workouts, where I'm a little slow. Apparently running that fast early in the morning is extremely difficult. Also, the track bores me to tears. It's a little discouraging, but the long runs at marathon pace pick me back up to end the week.

I'm thinking of alternating hill repeats with my medium long run. Same total distance, but doing four big hills in the middle. That Veyo volcano scares me. I could easily lose 2 minutes on that thing.

No real injuries, although today my right hamstring is a little sore. Ok, more than a little.

I have had some interesting experiences on my long runs. My brother is a die hard triathlete and when we were talking a month or so ago, he mentioned that he was trying something new with his cycling. Instead of going for a high cadence, he was putting his bike into a big gear and keeping the same speed. He said something about this being recommended because it became more anaerobic and saved your heart for the run.

I decided to try this out while running. I typically have a shorter stride and focus on my leg turnover. I measured my heart rate with my usual stride/turnover/speed. I then ran with a longer stride/slower turnover/same speed and what do you know, my heart rate was about 3% lower. I've done this several times with the same results.

As a result of my results, I have now begun alternating normal stride/quicker turnover with longer stride/slower turnover during my long runs, particularly with the MP portion of my long runs and have found that I am able to keep up MP for a much longer time. I can't run for long periods of time with my longer stride/slower turnover, but I can run this way long enough that it acts as a recovery due to the slower heart rate even though my speed is constant.

So that's the report. This Saturday is my first 20 miler in about 3 months.