Archive | February, 2010

back in the saddle..

23 Feb


After a week long layoff, I finally got back on the street again this morning. I debated whether to ease into it with a 2-3 miles easy run, or just bite the bullet and do a full 6 miles.

After thinking about all the training I’d put in the last 5-6 month, I knew my conditioning hadn’t suffered that much, so I decided to do the full 6. It wasn’t easy… I expected to have no rhythm, achy knees, labored breathing, and general tiredness.

Usually, with all the driving to pick up kids from school, meetings, etc., I find it easier to get up at 5 in the morning for my runs. In order to do that I make the decision to get up early ahead of time. I don’t know why that works. But having one less mind game to play with myself seems to do it. It almost didn’t work this morning. I woke up at 5 and lay in bed thinking of a million reasons to postpone my run till this afternoon. The warm bed…the residual sinus pressure..and so on, but I finally got up and dressed, and was out the door in 15 minutes. (Good thing too. It is pouring out here right now)

I picked a perfect route. It starts at a slight downhill in the first mile. Then a minimal incline over the next 2 miles, before flattening out. The last half mile is also downhill. I started very slowly, focusing on my form, and breathing, trying to capture a good rhythm. I started to tire after the first mile – seemed like I couldn’t get enough air into my lungs. And running that long straightway (from miles 2-4) in the dark seemed to go on forever. I laid out the course so I could cut it short at 3 or 4.5 miles, if I was having too much difficulty. I did feel some discomfort at both checkpoints, but I  dealt with it and trudged on. My pace was really slow – later I realized I was going as slow as the final miles of my last 22 miler 9 days ago.

I made it though. No leg soreness, though my feet are a little achy. My sinus pressure went away after blowing out a few snot rockets – yum!.

So, first recovery step taken. 2 more runs in the next 3 days, then if all goes well, my last long run on Sunday. I ‘m somewhat concerned about the long run, though. I hope to get my legs and lungs back by Sunday – but I’m wondering if I should postpone the long run for a week. I’ve seen some training plans with long runs 2 weeks before a marathon. I’m not sure if how it will affect me on marathon day. Hmmm… something to ponder over the next 5 days. Of course, I expect all you experts to chime in with free advise!!

Almost back on track

22 Feb

Just got through a wicked cold/sore throat that took me out of commission for a week. It used to be I could recover from a cold in a couple of days, but this last one really kicked my ass.
I felt a tickle on my throat on Tuesday, tried to weakly fight it off Wed, but surrendered and submitted on Thursday. It was taking too much energy to keep fighting.

I finally emerged somewhat clear headed this morning. I haven’t been able to get a decent sleep due to all the post nasal drainage.
Tomorrow, I’m starting my last heavy week of training, culminating in a 22-24 mile long run on Sunday. Then a 3 week taper to the Mar 21st LA Marathon.
If I was clearheaded enough, I would probably freak out about the lost week.

On a side note, my sister in LA had been writing me all last week about her last long run in preparation for LA, her first marathon. First, 2 weeks ago, she told me it was a 23 miler. Then, last Wed somehow it changed to a 25 miler. Yesterday, out of the blue, she texted me. Her long run had become the Pasadena Marathon. WTF!! I still don’t know who talked her into that.  I haven’t been able to get a hold of her yet – she’s probably still icing. I wonder if she still plans on running LA? That would be 2 marathon within 30 days. Crazy kid sisters!

Sick as a dog

17 Feb

I have been truly fortunate.

I haven’t been sick in over 3 years. No colds, flu, sore throats…nothing. Coincidently, three years ago I started upping my mileage (from 10-15 miles to 25-30 in the last 6 months.

Meanwhile, my wife, son and daughter have had various illnesses, especially in the winter months.

The streak ended yesterday

My family has been trading colds and coughs for the last 4 months. Yesterday morning, I awoke with a tickle in my throat. By 5pm, that little tickle had blossomed, making me miserable. I got home and dragged myself to bed- getting up once to eat dinner.

There’s a slight improvement today. But, I have no interest whatsoever in going out for a run. The combination of a great 22 miler last Sunday, and this throat thing (might even be allergy related) has really fatigued me.

Maybe tomorrow….maybe Friday.

Meanwhile all the ladies are taking full advantage and going right by me again at 1010-in-2010

Just wait….

Read a great review of how proper nutrition/hydration and pacing helped Christina BQ at the IMS Arizona marathon. Great stuff! Check it out.

(cough, cough, hack, hack)

Valentine’s Post

14 Feb

This has been a great running week- 37 total miles
– 8×800 on Wed, 4:15 average – these are getting harder as I another 800 one each week
– a great long run of 22 miles this morning. After all the rain in the last weeks, I knew the sun would be out today. So I was debating whether to wear my sun glasses, or my regular glasses. Sun glasses won out, though it was a little interesting running in the dark at 5:30am

Zeroing in on running 200 miles over consecutive months – I’ve never done that. Feels great!

My son’s b-ball team won their last game of the season today. The team pizza party was great too.

Congrats to all the racers this weekend!!

Nothing to report about Valentine’s Day, except – My mother-in-law decided to pay us a visit! Major fail!!!
Who does that??

5 weeks to the LA Marathon – only one +20 miler (22-24?) left. I can’t wait!!

Work, work, push, push

4 Feb

Have you ever had one of those days were you have to really work hard to get a good run? 

I’m not talking about how it takes 1 -2 miles just to warm up, and then you finally find your rhyhm. I mean when you have to really fight to reach that higher plane. Kind of like sprinting up a muddy hill that keeps sucking you in tll you reach the dry section. Yesterday’s interval set started off like that.

I almost didn’t get out of the car when I got to the marked trail where I do intervals. My knees ached, my stomach felt bloated (yeah, guys get that way too), allergy season is fast approaching. There was also the distraction of some police action at the airport next door.

The last few weeks, I had been averaging about 4:30 on sets, but I felt I could probably go faster. I decided to shoot for somewhere between 4:05 and 4:15.
As expected, the first 2 800s were somewhat difficult. Maybe I needed a longer warm up, but I still managed to stay within target with a little work.
4:05
4:10
But then, this fatigue set in. Almost like I had attached weights to my legs.
4:17
I was wondering whether I’d even be able to complete 4 sets. Pushing all that negativity aside, I took a longer rest, refocused and put more concentration on what I was trying to do.
4:10
4:05
4:10
4:15
Whew! Guess I just needed to psyche myself out a bit. It seemed like the weight had come off in the last 4 800s. My stride was smoother, my arms were pumping evenly, my breathing more relaxed. I definitely was in a groove.  After cooling off, I felt great! There was definitely more of a spring in my step. Man, I felt fast !!

well, for me it was fast 🙂

Stuff

3 Feb

  Don’t you hate it when the other blogs are discussing articles in Trail Running or Runner’s World, and your issue has arrived yet. Grrr! Almost as bad as not winning the latest giveaway!

  There are only 6 ½ weeks left till the LA Marathon. Training was going ok till last week. Then, I started getting a bit lazy. I got a decent interval in midweek (6×800), but I had to really push myself to get out the door at 5am on Friday. It was a pretty cool morning with the fog starting to form. I didn’t get into a good rhythm till the 3 mile mark. Coincidently, that was the point where I left the road and turned into the local canal trail. Something about running in the dark with just a headlamp seemed to pick me up. I got a thrill at about the 4 mile mark. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed some yellow dots. Turning to the left, I saw 4 sets of yellowish eyes about 30 yards away. My heart skipped thinking they were wild dogs. I relaxed again when I realized it was just 4 deer. What wildlife have you encountered?

  There are 2 people, who I know, I have inspired to take up running. The first is my youngest sister, who’s about 10 years younger. She started running about 1 ½ years ago. She had always watched, over the years, as one of my older brothers and I would run in different races. She’d see how much fun we had and she wanted to experience that also. So, on a lark, while shopping for walking shoes, she signed up with a 10K running group. She stuck with it, running her first 10K shortly after. Last Oct, she ran her first half marathon. In November, when she heard I was considering LA in March, she started thinking about it also. However, she was experiencing pain in her knees and some kidney stone issues, and wasn’t sure if she was ready. I suggested she take her time, get well, build up slowly, and shoot for something down the road. Of course, she ignored my advice and promptly signed up anyway. Secretly, I don’t think she has done enough training to enjoy the experience. I’m sure she’ll finish, but how much pain will she have to endure?

  Another good friend also took up running recently. In the course of discussing different things, I would always bring up running; whether it was the excitement from running a race or finding a new trail. She had been a bad auto accident a few years ago. She took up running to strengthen her legs. When one of her friends opened up fitness studio, it led to a more directed effort to make a change in her life. She signed up with a personal trainer to help with core work, and has slowly built up her mileage. This Sunday, she is running her first half marathon in San Francisco. I’m really proud of the advances she’s made and her determination. Who have you inspired recently?

  In January, as part of the 1010 miles in 2010 challenge, I’ve run almost 129 miles. This was a big milestone for me. In the last 15 years, the most I had run in one month was 100 miles (Nov 09), but my average was more like 50 miles a month. I think committing to the challenge was a smart thing. It has kept me motivated in my training for LA. It has also given me a long-term goal which I can use to keep up my fitness throughout the year.