Sunday, September 26, 2010


My first no-show for a race 8(

The cold has progressed but I'm still feeling weak and my head feels packed with cotton.

I thought about just showing up to do a 10k jog, but frankly I want to get rid of this cold as fast as possible.

So we play it safe and wait for another day to do our 10k.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Attack of the Nanomachines.....and other news.

Or to put it in non-nerdspeak:

I got sick.

A minor cold reared it's ugly head(s) and has given me weakness and a slight crudy-ness to the throat. So no running the last two days, sigh.

Today I felt well enough to test the waters a little bit...did 2.5 miles with some quarter mile 10k pace running to see if the wheels would fall off...they didn't.  But I don't exactly feel like it's going to be PR time come Sunday, either.

I think I'll be well enough Sunday to run, however, so at least I'll get some tempo-esque running in for the Long Beach Marathon.

In other, more important news:

A fellow running blogger (Andrew over at his blog) has made  shirt for his first ever 5k race with all of his blog friends on it!:

I have circled my name and pic 8)

Have a great race Andrew!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Women and half marathons

The Washington Post had an article about how half marathons are becoming so popular, especially among women. In fact, women are now in the majority in most half marathon races at 57%!!

Here's a dynamic graph that shows the popularity of the search term 'half marathon' (i.e. how many people searched for this term as a function of time)

Why are halfs so popular? As the article points out, running 13.1 miles is a significant achievement (doesn't hurt the word 'marathon' is in the name of the race) and  the training doesn't take the amount of time that a full would require.

Notice the steep rise to the can also see a double peak for each year.....corresponding to the spring/fall race seasons (?). 


This week I did 41 miles of faster running. Pushed myself a bit hard, but figured I could absorb the stress because of the easy 2 weeks on holiday.

Friday, September 17, 2010

9 days to Trailblazer 10k race

1 mile intervals today

Speed speed Yassos (800s)  this time but full 1 mile (1600 m) intervals with .15 mile walking recovery to 105 HR.

distance    pace   HR    cadence
        1.0     7:51   143            90
        1.0     7:43   148            91
        1.0     7:48   149            90
        1.0     7:55   149            90
          .7     7:52   148            90

I set out to do 5....then during the run said nahhh, I only need to do 4. Did 4 and said come-on you laze one more....and then decided to bag it after .7 miles...too hard.

Not super happy about these results. Last year my Garmin read 7:54 and this turned into a 8:00 achieved pace....(because of not running tangents and/or GPS noise). These numbers show a pace only a little bit faster than that...and I was running pretty hard. I was hoping to target a 10s/mile improvement but perhaps this is not realistic and I should expect about 5s/mile.

On the other hand, I did this run the two days after a pretty hard 15 miler at 9:26 being more rested and having an actual race might make the difference.

We still have 9 days to the there's room for another workout like time I'll be doing it on the track to remove the GPS uncertainty.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Traveling and Training

Canals in Milan? Yup.
I haven't posted for a while and that's because Saturday I returned from a  two week trip (conference then vacation) to Italy.

I've always found it hard to train when traveling. In a big city it can be hard to find good routes that are free of traffic, etc.

Your spouse might not want to sit around the hotel for a couple of hours while you do a long run. 

I ended up only running 4 times in two weeks...... generally speed workouts, since I knew I would have plenty of recovery days.  The longest run was 9.5 miles  (around a 2 mile perimeter loop at the Milano public gardens)

gelato anyone?
Another "problem", in the case of Italy especially, is all that good food to tempt you. I think I gained 2-4 lbs on this trip. Now I have to burn it all off ...but it was worth it!

So, how do I cope with such a huge downtime from running? 

First, I try to do a really hard set of weeks before I start the that way the trip is a rest cycle.

Second, I know that I'm going to do a *ton* of walking on this kind of trip: The biggest walking day was when we took the train to Bologna and spent the day there. We spent about 7 hrs of our time there walking and covered about 15 miles.

This was not 15 miles of easy walking...this is on lumpy cobblestones, over curbs, etc...if you've ever been to an old European city you know that random height transitions on public walkways seem to be a design  requirement.

After that day, I remember thinking that I would rather run a would be *much* less tiring. I felt like I'd been hit all over with a baseball bat. On other days we walked 4-9 miles and that was easier but still quite a good workout for the legs...

I did all that walking (and running) in my Nike Frees. At first the bottoms of my feet felt a bit sore, but by the end of the trip I was quite used to them... even on the cobbles. By the end of the trip my leg muscles were really stretched out...super!

The day after my return...on Sunday, in the afternoon I seemed  to be non-jet lagged and felt really rested and itching to get out there and hammer: I did a 9.3 mile run at 8:36 pace (8:30 is my PR half marathon pace).

Back in the saddle!