Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Solid run and cat stretching?

A BIG SHOUT OUT to my friend  Arthur of Senior Runner.  About a year ago he decided to do what I did: Gain entry to the Marathon Maniacs 'two star' level by doing 8 marathons in less than one year.

While I was whale watching on Sunday (see previous post) Arthur was running the San Francisco Marathon in 5:05, the last race in his requirement of 8 in one year. (Actually I think he's going on to do his 'reserve' race too and do 9 in a year)

It is not easy to do that many marathons in one year at any pace. It's all about finessing the recovery and doing proper pacing. You can't get INJURED..else you fail to  toe the line for the next race. Too many DNS or DNFs and it's all for nothing.

It's very "educational" to do this: rather than doing the usual go-for-broke thing once or twice a year you race every 5-6 weeks. I think it makes you a much MUCH smarter runner...you learn how to stay uninjured..I learned a ton and had a blast doing it. 

Arthur is 70... and took up running after he retired at 65. He's fast: ...he was happily cranking out half marathons at 2 hours and change (1:30 equivalent for a twenty something)  when the crazy idea grabbed him to join the Maniacs.  I got a chance to meet up with him at CIM 2011.

I follow as many older runners as I can. There aren't many blogging out there, but I hope to be one at 70 and beyond and so I pay attention.

Today's Run

I had a fun,  solid run today. Not a cool run: I ran from 11am to 12:30pm in the mid 70s  and with bright bright sun. Luckily, a little breeze and of course, no humidity. Lots of sweating ;)

I ran with my friend David, the triathlon fellow I worked with before I changed jobs at the company I'm at.  He's HALF my age..always tricky to run with such a mismatch but he's very nice and lets me set the pace.

The agenda was for 7.5 miles and after we met up I asked him would he like to do 5x .5 miles at 10k pace  or 10 x 10sec hill sprints? He picked the hill sprints thinking they are over quick..heh heh. 

We did 6. I have not done full bore hill sprints in many months and it was I that begged off to 6...after all we still had a bunch of miles to run and oye I was getting creamed. David nicely  let me go faster on the first one but for the rest he was blasting and hitting my finish point 1 or 2 seconds ahead of me. He's also much leaner than I am..lugging a lot less flab, sigh.

We do the 10s sprints, then walk down and when my HR gets down to 110 we go again. After a while, I start wishing for my HR to stay higher! LOL!

So, yes, the 60s of sprinting was TOUGH, but good. I love the cadence numbers of 109, 110 etc. I find that once you can do them without any muscle tweakage (takes some getting use to) doing them really helps keep things strong and flexible too (I do them on dirt).

2012-07-31 Tue
SplitTime  Miles  Pace      HR    CadElev+Elev-   YPB

Splits 18-20 show us speeding up to do a 'fast finish' to this run. It was hot but we hammered!   Not super efficient, but not bad at all given that heat and being at the end of bunch of miles and having done the sprints.

I felt pretty strong and David and I both did a good job gradually speeding up to our 'finish'. I am happy at how my heat acclimation is going..I think I'll enjoy the Ragnar a lot more...

Do you Cat Stretch?

Since I've added extra muscle from exercising I find myself doing a lot more cat-like stretches of my legs.

In my case they happen when I'm lying in bed...I sometimes lightly wake up (do I also do it in my sleep?) and feel the need to stretch out.

I stretch out to the limit with my legs straight out and my arms overhead.

After 3-4 seconds with muscles quivering they feel good and I fall back to sleep. 

Have you found your spontaneous stretching has changed since you started doing more exercise? And isn't that a beautiful cat!? (How did she get him to do that stretch?)


  1. Look who's speedy here!
    :) and ready to run up mountains.

    I probably would have quit at 4 the first time...but hills and I have had a battle where I lost. Guess I haven't done enough marathons to learn how to stay uninjured ;) heheh

    I like reading blogs of older runners too- not sure if you have ever read the Old Running Fox blog, but he just turned 80 and has a very impressive running resume.

  2. Yes, Arthur is incredible! I hope to be running marathons at that age. I have to admit, however, that I won't be a "maniac". For one, we really don't have that many marathons in the islands and, secondly, that sort of yearly training schedule wouldn't agree with my triathlon training. To be sure, though, you guys are amazing. You have trained your bodies to handle the brutal impact of marathon training. My hat is off to you folks.

  3. Arthur sounds very impressive. It is hard to stay uninjured and learning to do that would be quite worth it.

  4. Well done to Arthur! At that age not many can achieve what he did. Great training in the heat. I will focus on heat training more next summer (our next summer):) I often cat stretch and always do it before I get up for my morning run.

  5. Thanks for the write-up, Paul! I think its my body's ability to recover quickly that keep me going. 3 weeks before the SFM, been to a nasty accident playing racquetball. Dislocated jaw, 1" wound on the chin, bruised rotator cuff and plantar fasciitis didn't disrupt my training for long.

    My SFM goals is to run the 1st half at 2:15-2:20 and run/jog/walk the 2nd half to finish at 5+hrs. Had time to finish under 5 hrs but it was not my goal. Stuck to my goal and took it easy at the 2nd half.

  6. Well done Arthur :-)

    And Paul, how exactly am I going to keep up with you in Berlin? I'd better take some spare batteries for your camera as I'm hoping your take loads of photos to give me a chance to keep up!

    1. Ha ha,

      Don't worry, Assuming your training looks good for it, I am going to run you to a 4:15 or less. If anything happens during the race we will adjust for it.

    2. Oh and of course they'll be lots of photos 8)

  7. Looks like the cat is going to do some push-ups :D

    Kudos to Arthur........ And to you for taking notes!

  8. Well done Arthur -- what an example. I certainly hope I'm still running at 70.

    So you need to stretch more when you have more muscle? I always wake up in the middle of the night to stretch (well, I always wake up and then I always stretch -- not sure how related the two are).


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