Monday, December 29, 2008

Good news and bad news

Some good news...

I had a great Christmas. Lots of fun, the kids had a great time and got lots of fun new things that are eventually making their way to their bedrooms, and I got some new toys... mostly bike related (headlight/taillight set for the bike, bike computer [with cadence!]), but I also got a new heart rate monitor. I got to take it out for the first time today, as the weather over the Christmas break was not conducive to running, or even to walking the 1/2 a block to the clubhouse with the treadmill. I ran my standard 4 mile City Creek loop, and my heart rate seemed to average in the high 160's going up, and the low 150's on the way down. The not-so-good news is I didn't get one that stores the data -- it's a very basic model. That's cool though, it's a step up from what I've had in the past (nada). The treadmills and indoor cycle here in the gym will have their computers that will keep track of average/maximum rates, etc., so it's all good.

The bad news?

Gained a pound over the 5 day layoff. Considering what I ate and how much I exercised (not), I think that may actually be a positive thing.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tweet tweet

Still running. I had a great run Friday night. I left home about 5:30 and ran for 44 minutes and change, for 4.55 miles. That's a sub-10 pace on average, and every split was sub-10 also. Usually I'll have a sub-10 run where one mile was just over 10 minutes, like 10:04, but the sum of the other miles made up for that :04 and brought the average down. I was quite pleased with this run.

Also, on Monday I tried going out way too hard... on a treadmill. I got on the treadmill at lunch, and noticed that the guy next to me, who happens to be a VP in our company and one of my former professors in college, had been on the treadmill for about 2 minutes and change already when I started. I also noticed that he was running at a 6.0 mph rate, or a 10-minute mile. I set the TM to 6.2, with the goal to catch him within 3 miles. It didn't quite happen. I noticed that he sped up at one point to 6.1... so I went to 6.4, then 6.7.... then 7. When I had .25 miles to go, I knew he was out of reach, as he was still about .13 ahead of me. But I got a nice tempo/interval/speed work session done. Then I went and did a circuit on the weight machines which made me just about pass out. I haven't been that light-headed in a long time. But alas, no passing out (although I came close). I think I just was under-hydrated and under-fueled.

Today I settled in for a quick 4 mile "easy" run at 6.0 on the treadmill, with Champions League soccer on the telly. Chelsea won, 2-1 (yay!). And the 4 miles were over in 39:46.

Oh, and I'm on twitter. Follow me at

Monday, December 1, 2008


Today I ran outside in 55 degree temperatures. In Utah. In December. 4 miles in 40 minutes.

I'm going to have to ditch the podcasts in favor of Christmas music on these runs if I'm going to believe it's December at all. As near as I can tell, it's 'beginning to look a lot like Halloween.'

... minus all the scary stuff. Which is good, I don't like that crap anyway.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


It appears that biking season has wound down. I haven't yet invested in any cool-weather biking gear except for a pair of tights (yes, I'm that secure in my masculinity that I can wear tights). So, it looks like running will be the endurance sport of choice for the near future.

In that vein, I'm going to focus on stretching my lunchtime runs from 4 to 5 miles. I did this yesterday and really enjoyed the run. It's just 10 more minutes, so it's not like a major time investment, but now I can hit the 10 mile benchmark in just 2 runs, rather than 2.5 or 3. So it saves time in that way, I suppose.

Yesterday I did just over 5 in the City Creek/Avenues route in 52 minutes flat. I'll do the same today. Then there's football on Thanksgiving morning, probably in the rain. Should be a blast.

Friday, October 31, 2008

An epic ride and a PR

Saturday I went for a nice long bike ride. From our house up the west side ("Bacchus") highway to Magna, then out to Saltair, then along the I-80 frontage road along a very flat, very straight stretch of about 9 miles to the International Center, then south along 5600 West. Yeah, that's about 11 miles of uphill (only about a 4% grade, but after that many miles... ugh.) It was a total of 38.5 miles. If the uphill hadn't killed me, I'd have had a respectable pace as well, but I ended up with a 14 mph pace, finishing in 2 hours 45 minutes or so, and freaking out my wife, who I told I would be back in only 2 hours... yeah, well. It was still a GREAT ride.

In other news...

Last week I set myself a PR in my 4 mile City Creek Canyon loop that I like to run at lunch time. The time was 40:40, for a 10:05 pace. Now I've been getting faster at pretty much everything lately, and although I'm not sure why, I got the bug in my head that this could apply to the City Creek loop as well. I was thinking that a sub-40:00 four mile loop was in order. I've been doing some sub-10:00 paces on the treadmill, but this ain't no treadmill run...

Now I don't know if I've posted the elevation profile for this run before. So here it is...
Yes, that's over 400 feet of elevation gain/loss in 4 miles. And yesterday I did it in 39:30! That, my friends, is a 9:52 pace. Yes, I am tickled.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Slow updater

I guess I'm waiting until something really big happens to update my running blog. And something did, last Monday. So I guess I'm out of excuses. Anyway...

Last Monday I ran 5 miles in a 9:38 pace. That's the furthest I've ever gone at sub-10:00 miles. It gives me hope that I'll break that 5 hour marathon barrier at Ogden in the Spring. Here's hopin', anyways.

Then I got sick. Ugh. So no working out the rest of last week.

Yesterday I got on the spin bike and payed special attention to my power output (watts). I tried to keep my ride going for 11 miles at a sustained 250 watts or more. It was pretty fun to keep an eye on it that way. It required keeping my cadence up around 85-95 and my speed up around 22 mph. I heard somewhere that the pros like Lance Armstrong can consistently crank out 500 watts sustained, on a daily basis, over a 3-week stage race a la the Tour de France. Well... I wanted to see what 500 watts felt like, so I cranked up the resistance, stood up on the pedals, and mashed out 625 watts at one point. I didn't sustain it for more than a few seconds, but it was fun to see what it felt like. I have to do this on the trainer, and not on a "real" bike, because 1) it's cold outside and 2) I'm not cranking out big bucks for a power meter anytime soon. Those things are $$$!

Today should be a City Creek Canyon run again, if the weather gets above 45 or so by lunch time. I brought a long-sleeved shirt, but just shorts to wear. Part of me is looking forward to running in the winter cold, but more of me isn't. Can't we just skip ahead to April?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


No, I'm not in the final weeks before football season or anything like that, but I am wanting to drop some more poundage (yeah, I know, I know ... lay off the cookies. I get it), so I decided that I'm going to have to double up the workouts.

Eventually I want to swim, but that's a topic for another day. So right now, my workout options are running, biking, and strength training in our corporate "wellness center." Obviously, the running and biking can happen anywhere, not just in the wellness center... yeah, you got that. Okay.

So this morning I did end up dragging my sorry rear out of bed at an early hour, and got dressed, then I spent far too much time looking for my Garmin (which I found later -- stay tuned). Giving up on that, I realized I didn't have time for a 5-miler, so I set out on an abbreviated course for a run and ended up with 3.35 miles (thank you!) in just over 34 minutes for a 10:19 pace! Not bad for an early morning run. I was really feeling good and felt like I was moving pretty well, and I was!

Then I got home, showered, and got ready for work. When that was all accomplished, I grabbed the skinny tires out of the storage room and there, lying in my helmet with my bike gloves was the aforementioned Garmin. Well, at least I'd have it for my bike ride! I put the bike on the back of the car and off I went to work. At lunch, which just ended, I got in a great 12 mile ride with a couple miles of climbing, just for good measure.

So now I've done it. I've opened up the 2-a-day can of worms. Who knows where this may lead.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Saturday ride and Monday intervals

My ride Saturday was a lot of fun, considering the circumstances. I didn't get out until about 9 a.m., so the deep cool of the morning had worn off and it was really remarkably pleasant outside. I ended up doing a somewhat rural loop with a couple of roads that are in bad need of resurfacing - no big potholes or anything like that, just rough asphalt. But rough asphalt on 100lb-per-inch skinny tires is rough! Anyway, it was about 19 miles overall in just over an hour. I was happy with it, though I wish I'd have gone a bit longer.

Today I did intervals on the treadmill at lunch. I did 4 x 800 with 800 warm up and 400 rests. (that's a 1/2 mile warm up, then 1/2 mile fast with 1/4 mile jogs/walks to recover). Total time was 34:11 for 3.5 miles altogether. It felt really good to push the legs. A couple of the intervals were near an 8:30 pace, which is huge for me. I haven't done intervals in quite some time, and I'm going to feel it! After the run I spent 20 minutes on the weights and machines. It felt like a really good workout today.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A couple runs

Hey everyone! I just wanted to put on a brief update (and no, I'm not updating you on a style of mens underwear). Yesterday I got in 4 miles on my same old City Creek Canyon/Memory Grove route. It won't be long until the leaves are changing up there and it will be absolutely gorgeous. I'll have to take a camera with me one of these times.

This morning I actually dragged my sorry rear out of bed at 5:0something in the morning and put in 4.7 miles. It was cloudy and raining off and on, and I think that interfered a little with my Garmin reception... it said I had only done 4.25 miles and that my first mile was over 13 minutes. Now, I may be slow, but I'm not that slow, at least, not usually. And I knew that I was going faster than that this morning. I came home and "mapped my run" on, coincidentally,, and it said I had done 4.7. That's more like it.

I've really been struggling with getting up early for runs. Part of the reason is that I've got the skinny tires that I like to spend time with, and I don't yet feel comfortable on them in the dark, so I've saved my workout for lunch time. Part of the reason is I just have really been liking sleeping lately, and I'm not sure why. I need to get back into a rhythym. I'm sure some of it is also that I'm not training for anything specific right now. If anyone has any tips or advice, I'm welcome to hearing it. :)

Today, the plan was to do an early run then ride at lunch, but alas, at lunch it was raining outside. I guess I probably should have ridden in the rain anyway, because someday I'll have a triathlon or a bike race or group ride or something that will have some bad weather planned, and those things don't get cancelled for bad weather. Usually.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Saturday's ride

Went out for a 24 mile morning ride Saturday. It was thoroughly enjoyable. An hour and a half later, with a maximum speed of 41 mph and an average speed of just over 15 mph, I can say that this riding stuff is fun. I didn't have time to follow it up with a run, however, so the brick will have to wait until this weekend. I'll introduce you all to the bike shortly. I got to get a good picture.

Friday, September 5, 2008

More updates

Wednesday I took the bike out for 12 miles, and today I ran 4 miles, both in City Creek Canyon. It's amazing how much further/faster you can go on a bike. Yeah, anyway... I haven't been feeling super good this week, with a bit of a cold/allergy-type thing going on. Hence I took yesterday off from exercising. I almost let it bag today too, but I really felt the need to get out there. I'm glad I did. The weather has been PERFECT all week... highs in the 70's, lows near 50. Ideal early fall for northern Utah.

Tomorrow I'm planning another brick workout, but hopefully a little bit longer of a ride/run. Going to shoot for about 20 on the bike and then we'll see how many I feel like I can do on the run after that. At least 5, hopefully 6 or 7. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Okay, I really need to get a new picture up, but let's just say the fat tires are out and the skinny tires are in. And with that said...

Last week I did 2 bike rides on the new wheels. One was around town and the other was up City Creek Canyon. I can go so much further up the canyon on a bike than I can on foot! :) Both great rides. I am amazed at the difference in fitness required for a bike ride, especially while climbing. I don't have the leg strength to be able to push up a long climb yet... at least not very effectively. Glad the new bike has a granny gear!

Saturday I went for a brick workout with a friend who is now training for an ironman. We did 11.4 miles on the bike then did a 5 mile run. I now know why they call it a "brick". I didn't feel that bad or anything, but when I started running it felt like we were barely plodding along (after going 40+ mph on a bike, you ARE just plodding along at ~6 mph!), but checking in with the Garmin showed a sub-10 minute mile pace! Much faster than I expected, that's almost tempo-run pace for me. We ended up averaging 15 or so mph on the bike and a 10:24 pace on the run.

I'm hooked. I think I'm going to like this multi-sport thing.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sick Sucks

This is crazy, people. I don't get sick. Well, okay, I do get sick, sometimes. But this has been ridiculous. For the last month, I've been sick 3 of 4 weekends. And we're talking Friday/Saturday sick. It really bites. Hence, over the last month, I've done exactly 1 (one)long run. Arrgh! It's intensely frustrating. My miles are really suffering as a result.

In other news, I'm finding myself being drawn to the fascinating world of multi-sport. Yes, fellow runners, I'm slowly morphing into a budding triathlete. Now, to this point, I am still very much the triathlete caterpillar, just contemplating building the cocoon that will allow me to transform into a multi-sport butterfly. As yet, I have taken my beautiful yellow mountain bike out on one ride in the last several years (which was yesterday). We went a grand total of 6 or 7 miles. It was a total blast, and it confirmed in me the desire to sell it.

Yes, I am offering up the fat tires to the highest bidder (or anyone, for that matter, that will pay me the asking price) so that I may purchase a set of skinny tires with aero bars. Due to my current financial status, these are sadly mutually exclusive. Someday I'll be in a position to have both a set of fat tires and a set (or two) of skinny tires, but right now, I have to pick. And I pick skinny. If someone will take the fat ones off my hands.

So... know anyone that wants to purchase a mountain bike??

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Today a marathon went by right outside my office. I could go to the window and look down as the middle and back of the pack went running by mile 22 or so of the Deseret News Marathon. Me? I ran 4 miles of speed work on the treadmill at lunchtime. If I thought June was a down month, July's been even worse.

So far this month, I've had 9 days of running for a total of 43 miles. My lack of running is matched only by my lack of blogging! Sorry! A family camping vacation (which did include a 3 mile hike with a 30 pound almost-2-year-old on my back... that counts for something, right?) and a traditional bout with the summer cold (that is, head and chest cold) have contributed to the lack of miles. Only one long run in the double-digits (so far!) has also contributed. Not having a race in front of me that I'm registered for has been a HUGE factor. Time to get off the duff and pick something to train for, then work out a training program.

Oh, and I did redo my photography website. Check it out at

Monday, June 30, 2008

Good workout, down month

Well, I bagged my run on Saturday because by the time I got up it was already in the 80s and there's no good route that includes a place to rehydrate in the new neighborhood -- that I've found -- yet. Still hunting, though. So that means I ended June (including today's 4 miles, more on that in a second) with 65.1 miles, my second lowest month of the year. If I get registered for a fall marathon (pretty sure the slam is out at this point, I'm just not ready), then I should still hit 1000 miles for the year:

January - 60.8
February - 85.7
March - 100
April - 128.1
May - 95.3
June - 65.1

Total YTD mileage: 534.9, 96 hours, 7 minutes, 45 seconds. That's 4 non-stop days and change. :) And that also means I'm on pace, if I can repeat, for 1069.8 miles for the year. That would be cool.

Today I did an interval workout on the treadmill. 3 mile repeats with 1/4 mile warm-up and cool-down, and 1/4 mile between each mile. Total 4 miles in 38:40. That's a 9:40 average pace (including the rest periods). 2 of the 3 miles were under 9 minutes, so these were faster-than-5k-pace repeats. Felt good, on tired legs and all.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Now that's more like it.

After last Wednesday's agonizingly slow run and Saturday's even worse debacle (11.75 in 2:21:50, a 12:05 pace!), today was more like it. It was hard. I ran with my new neighbor this morning, which was nice to have someone to run with again, and he helped me push the pace. I could tell I was slowing him down a bit, but we managed to put in 4.75 this morning in 48:27, a 10:12 pace. And the splits were even negative -

10:23 (uphill to start)
10:22 (uphill for most of this one, some downhill towards the end)
10:01 (gotta love the downhill miles)
10:05 (undulating up and down hills)
7:34 (10:07 pace - and mostly back uphill!)

My legs are a bit sore, but it was good to get in a nice tempo run with someone who's going to push me a little. We're definitely going to have to run together again -- regularly even.

Oh, and did I mention it was hot? 80 degrees at 5:30 a.m. Ugh. I'm ready for fall already.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Out of practice, and forgive the new theme

This blog theme isn't permanent. It's a temporary exercise in computer programming and website design, at which I know just enough to be dangerous, but not nearly enough to be wealthy.

I went out for an evening run tonight, getting out the door at about 9:20 p.m. This is the first time I've run outdoors in our new neighborhood, and let me tell you... when the sun is down and even though a full moon was rising, it's DARK out here in the sticks. You see, the new neighborhood is still up-and-comin', not at all "established" like the old neighborhood was. As a result, there's not quite the quantity of street lights out here, and the ones that are here aren't, shall we say, completely functional. Lesson learned: headlamp. Wear it.

I ended up doing 5.46 miles in 1:00:28, for an 11:05 average pace. What the ??? I haven't run anything that slowly for less than double-digit miles in I don't know how long. -- Okay, I looked it up. March 15 I ran 6 at an 11:07 pace. That was the day that I was having major back spasms and was trying to run anyway. March 1 was an 8 miler at 11:12, but that was a long run when I was trying to go slow. January 12 was the last time it wasn't a "Long Run" when I did 5.25 at an 11:15 pace.

Must be one of those days. I'll try the route again when I haven't been up all day, chasing kids all evening, and haven't just had 2 homemade beef-and-bean burritos for dinner (mmmm.... burritos...)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Not my own "personal" progression, but I'm talking about progression runs. I read about these in the recent issue of Runner's World, so I thought I'd give this a try. The basic idea here is finishing strong, or running negative splits. There are a lot of ways you can do this, but what I've done, so far, is started out at an "easy run" pace and increased pace every mile, until I'm finishing up at a tempo-run or interval pace.

Let me explain. I'm slow, as you know. (But I'm faster than I used to be! Quite a bit, actually!) My tempo runs are right around a 10 minute mile pace, maybe just a tad slower (10:05?). My intervals, as I've posted before, are in the low 9 minute pace. So for these runs, I've started out at easy pace (10:30) and increased speed every mile. Last Thursday I started at 10:30 and did one mile at that pace. Then I bumped it to 10:20 for a mile. And so on. I did this for 5 miles on the treadmill (so much easier to control pace on the treadmill!). My splits, so to speak, would look something like this:

10:30 (5.7 mph)
10:20 (5.8 mph)
10:10 (5.9 mph)
10:00 (6.0 mph)
9:50 (6.1 mph)

The total time for the 5 miles was 50:37, or a 10:07 average pace. About the same as a tempo run, but what I'm doing is training my legs to run fast when they're tired. Yesterday I did the same thing starting at 5.8 mph and going for four miles. The last mile I bumped up the speed again at the half mile point and again at the 3/4 mile point. Each time I also bumped up the incline on the TM, just for fun, so by the end of it all I was doing 6.4 mph (about 9:30 pace) at a 3% incline. :) Now THAT was fun! Hard, but fun!

I plan on doing something like this on my long runs, where I try and push it for the last, say, 3 miles of a 15 mile run. Since I haven't had a long run since the Ogden Marathon, I haven't been able to put this into practice yet. This Saturday, though, I will. It's my first Saturday without any plans since May 17th.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Noble Purpose

I ran across this website and video thanks to Steve Runner over at Pheddipidations. Check it out.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Art City Days 5k report

So after having failed to break 5 hours at Ogden, I thought if I could break 30 minutes at the Art City 5k, I'd be a happy camper. My previous 5k PR was 31:52, set at the "Run For Red" in 2006. I had run only one 5k since -- this race that same year. Didn't train for it at all and ran it in 33:15 that year. I had, however, run a half marathon and two full marathons.

Honestly, I was going to be happy just to PR. I knew I was going to PR. However, I really really wanted to break 30 minutes. I was pretty sure I could do this. That is, until I woke up and saw that it was pouring rain and only about 40 degrees. Yikes. Less than ideal racing conditions (not to mention door-prize drawing conditions, which is the only real reason to run the Art City 5k - [not really, it's a great course and much more]).

My wife and daughter Haley, age 7, were also going to give this one a go. They agreed to let me get my PR, then I'd come back and run the rest of the way in with them. I dropped them off at the back of the pack and headed up towards the middle/front of the pack, since I knew there wasn't going to be any chip timing here. I figured I'd need every bit of help I could under the circumstances to hit that sub-30 goal.

The gun went off and I headed out, passing more than being passed in the first bit. I was pretty sure I'd headed out too fast, and my legs were a bit tight, but I figured if I did indeed go out too fast, I'd just try to hold onto that pace. After all, I ran a marathon 4 weeks ago... 3 miles shouldn't be that darn tough.

I hit the first mile split at 9:40. The person calling out the times was about 20 seconds or so behind that, but I figured I'd go by my watch, which I started when they shot off the gun. Once that first hill was out of the way, I knew it was pretty much all downhill from there. I hit the mile 2 split at 18:57 (9:16). Here the guy calling out times was saying about 15 or seconds ahead, so I figured not every volunteer started with the gun. Doing some quick math, I knew I'd have to run the last 1.1 in 11 or less, and I knew that was going to be possible but hard, as I was feeling it already at that point. The downhill after the water stop came at just the right time to give me a boost in speed with a bit of reprieve in my perceived effort. After that it was a sail to the school. I glanced at my watch when I entered the parking lot, and saw that it was at 26: something. I knew at that point I had it made in the shade.... er, that is, rainy cloudy cruddy weather. As I was heading around the last curve of the track, I glanced up at 28 minutes on the clock. I had kicked in to a pretty good sprint at that point, when I heard a faster sprint coming up beside me. It wasn't anyone I knew, but I turned on the afterburners anyway and picked off about 5 people in the last 100 yards. The last 1.1 took me 9:45.

Finish time: 28:43 according to my watch. I can't wait for the official results.

I trudged through the very crowded and slow-moving chute, came out the other side and decided I'd wait before getting a water bottle or food, and headed back out to find the family. I saw them just around the corner from the final turn, about a half mile out. I took over the running-with-the-daughter duties and my wife took off. She finished in about 39:40, and my daughter about 40:45 or so. Don't know the official times there. It was my daughter's first race. She was so excited to have a bib number and everything! She claimed to have an ear ache from the cold and wet, so next race we'll have to find her one with a little nicer weather. Like something in June in Utah instead of April in Seattle... oh, wait....

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I guess I'm it.

MissAllycat tagged anyone who wanted a break from work. I fit the bill, so here goes.

What I Was Doing 10 Years Ago Today:
1. Dating my soon-to-be fiancee
2. Finishing up my 3rd Semester at the prestigious SLCC
3. Playing a LOT of basketball pick-up games
4. Living in West Valley City, Utah
5. Working in the phone card business

Five Things On My To-Do List Today:
1. Work out. (check!)
2. Design two more Marketing Guide covers
3. Play some pick-up basketball tonight (some things never change!)
4. Hug my kids.
5. Kiss my wife.

Snacks I Enjoy:
1. Chocolate
2. Chips & salsa
3. Peanut butter shakes (Vanilla ice cream, chocolate milk, big scoop of peanut butter. Attach a beater to an electric drill and blend.)
4. Donuts. Mmmmm.....
5. Cheesecake.

Things I'd Do If I Was A Millionaire:
1. Donate enough to a charity to get me in to the Boston Marathon
2. Retire, train a lot more, and run more marathons. Maybe an ultra.
3. Buy a really nice road bike.
4. Hire a trainer to teach me how to swim properly, so I can do tri's.
5. Donate to my church, buy a lot of nice things for my good friends, and get knowonder! off the ground.

Places I've Lived (in order):
1. Orem, UT
2. Simi Valley, CA
3. Sandy, UT
4. Goerlitz, Magdeburg, Cottbus, Schwarzenberg, and Weimar, Germany
5. West Jordan, UT

There you go. If you feel so inclined, consider yourself tagged.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

More updates

So I didn't run Saturday, as most of the day was spent hosting the mighty Jacob 2008 garage sale, unloading a bunch of junk -- er, stuff -- that we didn't want to take to the new house. Then there was a baptism we went to, then more stuff to do, etc. etc. So, no long run Saturday.

I finally got back out on Tuesday and did the City Creek Loop again. I don't think I'll ever tire of that one. 4 miles, not quite as fast as last Thursday, but I still ran it all, and ended up at about an 11:00 even pace. I don't take my garmin on that run (or any other lunchtime-from-work run), but I do time it with the stopwatch on my watch. The distance, however, may be off by a few hundredths or more.

Today I hopped on the treadmill for a speed workout. I decided I was going to do three mile repeats with quarter mile jogs in between. I decided also that I'd wear my watch and just time the miles, not the recoveries or the warm-up/cool-down, both of which were also .25 mile (do the math... that makes a 4-miler for today too, altogether). My 3 miles of speedwork were:


Total time: 38:15. Average pace: 9:34. That's a pace-record for me! What a killer run. I even managed to hold a bit of a conversation with the runner on the treadmill next to me during the hard parts. I really need a heart rate monitor to train right. I'm finally getting to that point. Yes, I'm accepting donations. :)

This Saturday is the Art City Days 5k. I'm excited. My 5k PR is 31:52, and I know I'm going to CRUSH it. I'm hoping to finish in under 30 minutes (I did today! I noticed the 3.1 mark came at 29:33!). That would almost make up for me missing the 5 hour mark at Ogden. Almost. Race report coming soon. Maybe even with pictures.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

4 Hilly Miles

Did the world famous (just kidding) City Creek loop today. 42:37, which is my best time ever for this loop. That's a 10:40 pace, and that's with the first 2.7 miles going up hill. And steep in parts. But it's beautiful, and the weather was perfect, if a little warm. 70 degrees and a slight breeze, sunny as the day is long.

Still waiting for my slammin' update. Stay tuned.

Back in the Saddle

So to speak... I hopped on the treadmill yesterday for a 3 miler. It went well, but I was getting bored so I decided to throw in some hills (up to 2%, I'm not crazy), and after running up for a little, I decided to run up faster, so I did some half mile hill repeats at tempo pace. Kind of a silly thing to do for the first run back after a marathon, but I felt pretty good.

Now my right quadriceps is giving me a little grief. Just a small little spot, right on top of my leg when I'm sitting down. I'll go for a relatively easy 4 miler today and see how it goes. I may just do the City Creek loop because it's supposed to be a perfect day outside. Hopefully my quad behaves.

Saturday I'm going for the first run in our new neighborhood. The plan is a 10-miler, just to get the long-run legs back under me.

And there's more slammin' news, but I have to verify it first. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ogden Marathon Race Report

On Saturday, May 17th, I completed my second marathon, shaving over 17 minutes off my time from my first marathon. It wasn't the improvement that I'd hoped for, and I didn't get the sub-5 hour finish that I really thought I would.

This course is an amazingly beautiful place to run. It starts off in the hills above Huntsville, Utah, and you run down hill for the first 6 or so miles. I enjoyed this part immensely, and quickly settled into a groove:

1- 10:40
2- 10:44
3- 10:49
4- 10:43
5- 10:36
6- 10:29

Mile 7 flattens out a bit, and then you get into a rolling hill/slightly uphill section of the course as you head around the north end of Pineview Reservoir. Miles 9-13 are basically uphill which, although gradual, aren't really easy. I missed the Powerade at mile 9 because of a group of run/walkers that I had been leapfrogging with. They got in front of me at exactly the wrong time and I couldn't get to the Powerade tables without going backwards. Good thing I had brought 8 oz of my own Gatorade in my Amphipod. The splits through this part of the course show exactly where the hills start:

7- 10:30
8- 10:35
9- 10:38

Just after the 14 mile marker you head up the steepest hill on the course, which I mistakenly allowed myself to walk to the top of. I had built up a .33 mile lead on my 4:50 goal pace, so I figured I could afford to give a little bit back. I quickly realized what a mistake this was, because once I allow myself a walk break, it gets really hard not to keep taking walk breaks:


I started walking through aid stations... then I started walking where there weren't any aid stations. Then I stopped running altogether for a little while...


I don't have the split for the last .2, but it was pretty quick. I had an awesome sprint to the finish for the last block, screaming the primal scream the whole way in. My wife was there at the finish line this time, which made a huge difference.

Lessons learned in this one:
1) I may have put in enough mileage during training runs, but there are no stoplights in the marathon to catch your breath. Note to self: find routes with fewer stoplights.

2) Downhill running after 20 miles isn't really that easy. You've still run 20 miles, and any further steps - uphill, downhill, or otherwise, are still going to be hard.


Next marathon will probably be Top Of Utah in Logan in September. The Slam filled all of their St George spots before I got registered, so I'm basically not going to be able to get in to SGM at all. That's okay. I will run it again, probably next year, because I have some demons to exorcise on that course still.

Keep running. Keep training.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Awesome quote

I just found this quote on an old episode of Pheddipidations, the podcast for runners. I loved it. It's going in my sidebar as a running mantra, almost.

Life is not to be spent in quiet, restful moments of relaxation. Life is meant to be pounding, screaming with sweat and power, explosive and breathtaking with all the energy you can bring to a boil. You are most alive as a runner, living life to its fullest on the road -- as fast, and as far, as you possibly can.

-- Steve Runner

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Last run in - time to carbo load!

Time to seek out all things carbo! Ran my last 3 mile run this morning in a nice easy 31:21 (10:27 pace). I didn't feel great, but I got it done anyway. It was early, I was tired, and I was hungry - not the recipe for a great run. But it's done, it's in the books, and the next time I put on the shorts and shoes, it will be for 26.2 big ones.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Taper Madness - And I'm Going Slammin'!

Okay, 4 days until the marathon and I have one 3 mile run scheduled for tomorrow. Then , depending on how I'm feeling, I may do one mile on Friday just to loosen up the legs a little. Then, Saturday, I will be able to cross off the "soon to be" in my title graphic up there. :) ... with any luck at all, that is.

And, as you may have guessed, the lottery gods were not kind to me this year. This means that, if I am to run the St. George Marathon, I must first run Ogden (which is in the plans anyway), then two of these three marathons: Deseret News Marathon on July 24th, the Park City Marathon on August 23, and the Top Of Utah Marathon in Logan on September 20th (just 2 weeks before SGM). My plan is to run Deseret News and Park City, but in order to afford all this, I must part with my dearly beloved mountain bike. Let me know if you want it. :)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Playing the lottery in Utah

Yes, there's only one legal lottery to play in Utah. It costs you $65, but if you don't win, you get your money back... well, most of it anyway -- they keep the $5 "processing fee." I am, of course, referring to the famed St. George Marathon registration lottery.

When I sent in my registration back in April, the website said the results would be posted on the website by Thursday, May 8. Wednesday (the 7th), in just the nick of time (where'd that phrase come from anyway? Who's Nick?), they updated it to say that the results would be posted on Friday the 9th. Then, late yesterday, they changed the website again to say that they'd be posted today, May 9th, at approximately 5 p.m.! Sheesh!

If I make the lottery, that's awesome, and I'll be happily running the 31st annual St George Marathon (SGM) in October. If I don't make the lottery, then I'll still be running SGM in October, by way of the Deseret News Marathon in July and the Park City Marathon in August. This is what's known as the "Utah Grand Slam" -- 4 of the 5 qualifying Utah marathons in one year. St George is the 4th, and if you successfully complete the other 3 (including Ogden), you get a guaranteed entry to SGM. Lots of fun! And lots of running shoes! Oy!

Taper Update - week 1

Week 1 of my two week taper is just about in the books. I ran 4 miles on Tuesday in 41:10, or a 10:18 pace; 6 miles on Wednesday in 1:03:02, or a 10:31 pace; and a 5 mile tempo run today in 50:36, or a 10:172 pace. (Yes, I calculated that down to the tenth of a second. Impressed?)

Tomorrow is a 12 mile run, which is long but much much shorter than the 20s and 22 that I've been putting in on Saturday. Next week I'm planning on a 5 and 4 mile day on Monday and Wednesday, respectively, and maybe 1 or 2 on Friday, just to stay loose.

I'm ready.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Taper Time!

I did it. I got my last long run out of the way, and now it's taper time. I'm excited. Today's run wasn't great... in fact, it pretty well sucked. I ran a tough course.

Check out the elevation map on that sucker. Yes, the last 10 miles -- count em... 1 2 3.... etc... 10 -- all uphill. That was a killer. No wonder at the end of it my pace was severely slowed. The first 3 miles are uphill too. I'm not proud of these splits, but here they are, nonetheless:

1- 11:35
2- 11:26
3- 11:20
4- 10:45
5- 10:31
6- 10:41
7- 10:36
8- 10:30
9- 11:00
11-10:53 - GU here
12-11:16 - the uphill begins
15-11:55 - the uphill gets steeper - GU here too
19-13:41 - stopped to buy gatorade, auto-pause didn't stay paused
21-12:52 - walked a bit on this one.
21.9-10:40 (11:54 pace)

Overall average pace is 11:26, which is right on for marathon pace, even with the horrid finish. It wasn't pretty, but it's done, and I'm glad I got my not-so-fun long run in now, 2 weeks before the marathon, and not saved it for the actual event, if you know what I mean.

Everyone has crappy runs, right? Well, this was mine. Marathon's in 14 days. I'm ready. It is TAPER TIME.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More ready

I think I know why I'm more ready for this upcoming marathon than I was for St George. Check out the difference over the last year. That's a one year graph (click it to make it bigger). The 6 months or so prior to SGM were sporadic, and only one week was over 30 miles (not including marathon week). The past months since January I've been far more consistent with my training and I have 4 (so far) weeks of over 30 miles, and 3 over 35. This week should be about 40 miles, give or take.

I'm ready.


I've decided I have several goals for the upcoming Ogden Marathon.

Goal 1 - the "well at least I didn't die" goal - beat my time from the St. George Marathon last fall (5:35:36). This one is almost guaranteed. Something would have to go very very wrong for me not to accomplish this one.

Goal 2 - the "I'm happy with this performance" goal - beat 5:00:00. I'm fairly certain (90%) that this will happen, based on my training runs, etc., to this point.

Goal 3 - the "Holy cow, I think I've got this marathon thing figured out!" goal - beat Kennedy's time from St George (4:50:51). If everything falls into place, I can get this one.

Goal 4 - the "I'm the fastest marathoner in my family" goal - beat my sister Ingrid's time from the 2002 Ogden Marathon (4:41:somethin'). If everything goes exactly right and I have a nice tailwind the whole way and someone picks me up and carries me for the last 4 miles, I may get lucky and accomplish this one.

17 days to go. But who's counting?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Holy Cow!

I just checked my monthly miles total after several days of not checking it... I think the last time I checked it was early last week... I was in the 90-somethings for the month. As of today's run, I'm at 122.1 miles! By far my longest month ever, and I skipped out on at least one 10-miler. Wow.

Yesterday's run was a killer. To begin with, my legs were still a little sore from Saturday's 20-miler, but I mapped out a fun 6-mile route to take at lunch.

Did I say fun? I meant brutal! First of all -- wait, no. Second of all, it was warm (around 70 for the first time in weeks if not months), and I did not have any means with which to take any hydration with me. Yes, there was a drinking fountain at mile 1.1... That didn't quite cut it.

Third of all (do people ever really say that?), this route is UPHILL for 4 miles straight. And I'm not talking about a mild little incline. No, this is a run from downtown Salt Lake City into the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains. Up for 4 miles, then a quad-pounding, would-be-fun-on-a-bike downhill for 2 miles. Over 450 feet of elevation gain/loss. Ugh.

But it was kinda fun. I'm glad I did it. My pace was about 10:54, or right around the same as my 20 mile run on Saturday. If I can keep that pace up for 26 miles, I'll have my 4:50:00 or so marathon in 18 days. And to top it off, City Creek Canyon is one of the prettiest places to run in all of Utah.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Just about ready.

The Ogden Marathon is 3 weeks from today. Those whose training plans call for a 3-week taper period will run their last long run today. My training plan is calling for a 2-week taper, so I've got one more long run next week and then a nice taper period. Can't hardly wait.

Mere minutes ago I finished my second 20-mile training run for this session. Total running time was 3:39:21, or an average pace of 10:59, a full 29 seconds faster than marathon goal pace. I am so looking forward to this race! My splits were pretty nice too (except mile 19... don't know what happened there... could have been the tree cover in Liberty Park and its effect on my poor Garmin Forerunner 101)

10:53 -- 1st half split: 1:48:47, took 1st Gu here
10:46 - 2nd Gu
10:54 - 3rd Gu. I was getting pretty hungry at this point.
12:01 !!??
11:23 -- total time 3:39:21 -- 2nd half split of 1:50:44

It's not quite a negative split, but it's close. Only off by 1:57. I'll take it. Sub-5, here I come!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Well, no running is completely painless, I think, but lately I've been doing well. No shin pain or wierd calf aches to deal with. I retired the old Asics and am running exclusively in my new-ish New Balance 1060's. Got almost 100 miles on them already, and I've still got 3.5 weeks until Ogden! Yikes!


5 miles on the treadmill.

6 miles on the treadmill while watching UEFA Champions League soccer. Go Chelsea!!

Early morning 4.2 miler. 6 mile run was cut short due to urgent GI issues. This run was outside at 5:30 a.m. and the emergency stop was at Smith's. You'd think I'd know better than to eat a Fiber One granola bar the night before an outside run... but they're so dang yummy!

Monday, April 21, 2008

(Sorta Kinda) Race Report

You don't have to be running a race to write a race report, right? I mean, I was there. I was at the race. And here I am reporting on what I did there... so this is my (volunteer) race report.

I got to the starting area at about 4:45 a.m., about fifteen minutes early. Thankfully, none of the roads were closed yet, which made for smooth sailing to the start. There was TONS of parking, even when I left. When I run this thing next year (yes, that's my plan), I'm parking at the start and I'll take the train back there when it's over -- much less hassle than finding parking and taking the train pre-race!

Met up with my volunteer "Captain"... not the brightest bulb in the bushel, from all appearances. After getting our t-shirt situation squared away (nice, yellow SLC Marathon "Crew" tech shirt! Much more than I expected!), me and one other guy were sent up to the Trax stop... to do what, I'm not sure. The other guy spent his time leaning on the fence not doing anything while I greeted runners as they got off the train and sent them the right direction. Then we were sent to the starting line to hold the official "Start" banner. So in all the news coverage, I'm the guy in the white hat and bright yellow shirt/safety vest standing next to all the runners as they take off. I only caught sight of two of the 10 or 15 runners that I knew were running this race. Once the mass of humanity that was the Marathon / Half Marathon start was by, I looked for my captain for further instructions and he was no where to be found... even his car was gone. Off to the next shift, I presume... so I hopped in my car and drove home. Navigating the road closures was tough, but manageable. And I got a really nice tech shirt, in which I ran today 5 miles.

I took a bunch of pictures with my cell phone, but for some reason my upload doohicky isn't working, so you'll have to use your imagination.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


They say that good races can't happen without scores of people willing to donate their time and energy as volunteers. Well, I don't want the current environment of great races to dry up, so I've volunteered for duty at the Salt Lake City Marathon this coming Saturday. I will be assisting runners as they get off the Trax trains at the starting line area. Keep an eye out for the volunteer with the white BYU hat, that's me! And good luck to all those that are running this race!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Okay, I know every runner has them, and they're usually self-inflicted, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Today wasn't a good run day. In fact, it pretty much sucked. Woke up to do some miles on the treadmill before work as I have a lunch appointment today... and couldn't do it. I mean, yeah, I did it. I got in 2.5 painful miles at a 10:30 pace. My shins hurt. My calves hurt. Pretty much everything below the knees hurt. I guess 2 speedwork sessions and a 20-mile long run in the space of 5 days probably isn't the best thing for the legs... especially when the speedwork sessions (and today's run) were done in shoes with 350+ miles on them. Who knew.

Oh yeah, I did. Duh.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More speedwork

Today I set out to do some "Yasso 800's"... I think I did them right. This is where you take your goal marathon time (5:00) and run 800m (1/2 a mile) in that amount of time, in minutes... so for me, that would have been half mile intervals at 5 minutes each, or 6 mph. I knew that wouldn't quite be pushing it enough for me, so I did them at a little faster pace, finishing each of the 3 at about 4:45 or so. I'd love it if my marathon came out to be a 4:45 finishing time... Probably not going to happen, but it would be nice. :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spreadin' the good news

It's a good feeling when you help someone else take steps to improve their lives. For two years, I did this for my church. Now, I'm doing this for the physical benefits that running provides. Today at lunch, instead of going for a run, I went with a friend to Salt Lake Running Company, to get fitted and gait analyzed for his first pair of running shoes. (In case you're curious, he ended up with a pair of Adidas Adistar Control, that were on clearance, no less). He's on week 2 of the Couch to 5K program. I've almost got him convinced to do an actual 5k race sometime this summer as the crowning achievement to his new-found dedication to fitness. Almost.

A long, long way

I met up with a couple of friends to run 20 miles on Saturday. Ugh, that's a long long way to run. We began at 5-ish a.m. and started at the Trax station in Sandy. Our run took us on a trail next to the railroad tracks for about 3 miles, then through the neighborhoods of Sandy and Draper for about 3 miles, then back to the rail trail for about another 4 miles, then back again.

One of the group was having a difficult time getting towards the end, so we had quite a bit of "paused" time, where our unofficial clocks don't really tick. Our unofficial official time was 3:41:37, or an 11:04 mpm pace. Our splits were all over the place, as you might expect.

8-11:14 - uphill mile
14-11:13 - some walking here...
17-12:21 - there was quite a bit of walking here too...

It was a fun run, all in all, and although running with a group of friends is fun, I'm actually a little bit excited about seeing what I can do on a 20- or 22- mile solo run here in the next couple of weeks.

This week is a "cutback" week, where the running takes a step back for recovery (although I'm feeling pretty dang strong right now, I don't want to push it), and on Saturday I'm volunteering for the Salt Lake City Marathon at the starting line, so I won't have as much time for running anyway... I'm looking at maybe doing 10-12 on Saturday.

There are 5 Saturdays until the Ogden Marathon, and my long run schedule looks like this:

April 19, This week, 10 (cutback week and volunteering)
April 26: 20 miles
May 3: 22 miles
May 10: 12 miles (taper time!)
May 17: 26.2 baby!!

It's crunch time!!

Friday, April 11, 2008


I did a 4 mile tempo run yesterday at 10:07 avg pace on the treadmill. I figured I'd gotten my speedwork in for the week, but then I read something in Runners World that reminded me that it's been a long, long time since I'd done any intervals. Long as in probably 2 months. This coincides with how long it's been since I've had any meaningful weight loss... Hmmm... So today I decided I'd jump on the treadmill for 2 short miles with some intervals thrown in. Now, these are in mph, not pace, so I'm not sure exactly how they translate but I did it thusly:

2 laps warm up (a lap is 1/4 mile)
1 lap at 6.6 mph (about a 9:05 mpm pace, I think)
1 lap rest at 5.7 (10:31 mpm)
1 lap at 6.7 mph (8:57)
1 lap rest at 5.7 (10:31)
1 lap at 6.8 mph (8:49)

Total: 2 miles in 19:56. A speedy average pace for me, as well; about 9:58 per. I felt so good afterwards, like I'd really done something. Awesome run, even if it was just 2 miles. :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Early Morning Miles

Most of my runs, except Saturdays for obvious reasons, have been lunchtime runs, usually on the treadmill at work. However, there have been a few early morning, pre-dawn, outdoor miles -- and a few evening ones as well. Today was one of those early morning runs.

The planned 6 miler took an unexpected detour as I had to, uh... well, I had to make an unplanned stop. I didn't have any tissue on me so I had to take a shortcut followed by a detour to get to the nearby Chevron. With the Garmin having a dead battery, I didn't really know how long the detour/shortcut was, so I estimated the rest of the run. Got home and showered, drove to work, and mapped it out, and it's 5.75 miles. The stopwatch on my nifty new iPod says 59:40 for time, which is an average pace of 10:23 - right on par. I don't know how accurate it is, but it's close enough, for today.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Back to the grind

I didn't feel great yesterday, so the run got bagged. Did 6 today at lunchtime on the treadmill, total time 1:02:00, for an average pace of 10:20. Not a horrible run, especially since I was able to watch Champions League soccer on the telly! Makes it interesting, for sure. I could have made it a 12 or 13 miler if I'd just stayed to watch the second half! :) I was tired and a little sore when it was over, though, so it's probably a good thing I just did 6.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Shouldn't the snow be melted by now?

Okay, April, right? As in Springtime? Well, maybe - maybe not. Set out on a nice run today, shooting for 18-20 miles. Mapped out a nice run in Provo Canyon starting at Cafe Rio and ending (or rather, turning around) at Vivian Park, about 9.5 miles up Provo Canyon. Well, as we (ran with a friend today for a change!) got further up the canyon we noticed more and more snow on the sides of the trail. Then we came around a bend and BAM! Snow covering the trail. And this wasn't nice fresh powder that you can run on, no. This was more like 6-8 inch-deep slush-and-ice. It was hard to walk on, let alone run on. After alternating between clear pavement and picking our way through snow patches for about a mile or more, we decided we'd had enough and turned around, about 9 miles in... so we were headed for 18, obviously.

Splits were good, considering we ran UP for 9 miles and then back DOWN for 9 miles...

11:53 - the snow begins
12:22 - the snow continues - we turn around
12:21 - back through the first snowy mile

I got pretty tired and my legs felt pretty weak about mile 12-13. I decided that I didn't want to walk and I wanted to keep going, so we kept running. I took a Gu, and that helped, I think. We finished rather strong, and about 2 minutes ahead of marathon pace. I don't even feel too bad about the time the Garmin spent on pause from porta-potty breaks and various pain issues, considering how much the snow slowed us down. We were spent at the end, but I felt good with a good feeling of accomplishment. Oh, and my back only bothered me a little, which is good. I'm sure slipping and sliding around on the ice and slush didn't help the hip much...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

All clear (so far)

Knock on wood... I felt good today. Ran 6 miles with no grief at all from the SI joint or anything else really. My right calf tightened up a bit around mile 4, so I paused and stretched it a little. Finished on the TM at 1:01:31, or a 10:16 pace. Missed my best 6 mile time by 4 seconds! I'm really glad I felt good, though... hopefully that bodes well for Saturday's 18-20 miler!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Got it figured out

So I think I've finally figured out what's wrong with me, at least in the physical sense. A few weeks ago, while shoveling snow, the handle of the shovel was shoved hard into my gut, on the right side of my pelvis. I believe this has irritated my SI Joint, which when it flares up causes my whole back to spasm. The last two days it's only been mildly irritating, so I got in 5 miles yesterday and 2 today on the treadmill, and felt mostly okay. It doesn't feel good enough to do some of the abs/core exercises that I like to do, but hopefully a couple of more chiropractic visits and continued anti-inflammatory use, and I'll be back to full strength in no time. I really want to get an 18-20 miler in this weekend, so I better heal quickly!

Monday, March 31, 2008


I ran 6 miles last Monday evening and again on Wednesday morning. Thursday morning I woke up with moderate-to-sever back pain, so I didn't run. Friday the pain got worse as the family took a trip to Moab. The pain continued Saturday forcing me to skip out on the 3 mile round-trip hike to Delicate Arch. I took a nice pain killer that allowed me to survive the trip home and a little souvenir shopping as well. Sunday was a slightly better day, and today I was feeling nearly 100%. I needed 4.3 miles to make a 100 mile month for March, so I headed to the treadmill at lunch time. Once I got moving I felt pretty good, but after about 1/2 a mile my shins and calves started to tighten up, as they tend to do on treadmill runs, especially when it's been a while since I've been on the treadmill. Anyway, I suffered through it, pretty much a mile at a time, pausing each mile to stretch... and I stopped at exactly 4.3 miles. 100 mile March. My 3rd ever 100 mile month, and I basically bailed on about 30 miles that I should have done. So April will be a really good month, if I can get pain-free, and stay that way.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday's Sweet Sixteen

The last completely solo long run I did was 3 weeks ago and it was 11.5 miles (of 12 scheduled). I completely and utterly BONKED about 9.5 miles into it. It was a horrific run, due in part to the wrong shoes I was wearing, and in part to being improperly fueled, I'm sure. Anyway, it's made me slightly paranoid about long runs by myself (i.e. without a running pal to go with)... That is, until yesterday.

I mapped myself out a great 16 mile course that would be a little bit challenging, with some nice long uphill grades thrown in just for fun. My long run goal is to stay ahead of 11:30 per mile, because that pace is a 5-hour marathon, and that's the time I want to beat. Anyway, I rocked this run. Here's my splits:

1 - 11:04
2 - 10:48
3 - 10:54
4 - 10:27
5 - 10:31
6 - 10:38
7 - 10:47
8 - 10:30
9 - 10:38
10- 11:01 GU here
11- 11:18
12- 11:24
13- 10:50 GU here
14- 11:17
15- 11:24
16- 11:04

Bring on the next one!

Actually, this Saturday I'll be vacationing with the family in beautiful Moab, Utah, so I probably won't have a long run to report on... maybe I'll try and get it in earlier in the week, who knows for sure. Stay tuned.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spinnin' My Wheels

So in anticipation of perhaps someday producing my own running podcast, I have been listening to several of the running podcasts that are already out there. I must say, not all running podcasts are created equally, at least as far as I'm concerned. I really prefer the ones that cover topics of interest. I'm interested in learning as much as I can about nutrition, carbo-loading, training, speedwork, running gear, ad nauseum. One of the podcasts I came across had an episode on cross training. This particular person was doing a workout with his bike on a trainer, and was watching a "Spinervals" DVD for the coaching. The parts of the video I could hear sounded awesome. I've been riding a spin trainer on some of my cross training days, but I freely admit I wasn't pushing it very hard. So, inspired by this "Spinervals" video that I admittedly could only sort of hear, I set out last night to find a free spinning audio workout. I found this one, which sounded like it was going to work.

Today at lunch I headed down into the empty gym (took a late lunch), and hopped on the trainer, the iPod set to the newly downloaded mp3.

OH. MY. HECK. What a killer. There were times in the workout where the coach would say something like "Okay, stand up, we're going to increase resistance and head up this climb" and I'd be like "Um, that's okay, I think I'll just go down the hill instead". My legs feel like rubber, especially my quads around my hips. It feels GREAT! I'm excited to get to the point where I can actually keep up with everything the coaches say. WAY FUN!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I let my run sit in the milk for too long...

You know when you just pour yourself a nice bowl of cereal and then one of the kids needs something RIGHT NOW, so you leave it sitting while you tend to the child's every whim, and when you finally get back to your cereal 10 or 15 minutes later, it's turned into a bowl of soupy, soggy mush? Yeah, that was my run today.

Last night on the weather forecast they were saying it was going to start raining about midnight and continue to about noon... and my 6-miler was scheduled for 5:30 a.m. So imagine my surprise when I wake up at 5:10 and it's NOT raining. After consulting and checking out the local radar picture, I decided it's better to be safe than sorry, so I grabbed the rain jacket and the long pants and proceeded down the street to meet my running buddy. Still not raining as we head out... 1/2 a mile later, the floodgates opened. I was really really glad that I had my rain jacket.

We turned in 6 soggy miles in 1:01:48, or a 10:18 pace. We even through in a couple strides so it would count for speedwork. All in all, it was a pretty great run, despite the conditions!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Okay, I just found out that I can record things on my cell phone and actually upload them to the computer... so now I'm considering doing a running podcast. What do y'all think? I've done a podcast before, but it wasn't about running, although my training for last year's St George Marathon did come up a time or two.

Anyway, something I'm considering... I'll let everyone know if and when I end up doing it.

Tuesday's Treadmills

I set another treadmill-distance-PR today, running 6 miles at lunch in 1:01:27, or a 10:15 pace. The whole run felt really good, except for some minor discomfort on the top of my left foot and the arch of my right foot. It came and went, mostly went, so it was okay and didn't really slow me down. Tomorrow's a cross-training day, and Thursday morning will be 6 more in the early pre-dawn morning. Yikes.

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patty's Day

While not wearing anything green (since I don't have any green running gear, I think...) I put in a treadmill-distance-PR-tying 5 miles today. The first 3 or so were really really hard to want to keep going, for some reason. I really wasn't feeling it. I'm glad I stuck it out though. After having a shortened long run on Saturday, I'm starting to get paranoid about my training. The marathon is in a mere TWO MONTHS FROM TODAY! Yipes! And my longest run so far is only 13.1! Time to really get CRACKIN'. I think I'll consider last week somewhat of a cutback week since I didn't do a real long run and see how it goes. Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Thursday was the worst day in terms of how I was feeling all week, so I took the day off (from running, not from work, unfortunately). Friday I struggled through 3 miles on the road and finished in 31:04.

Today I was feeling quite a bit better, but when I woke up my back was really really achy (it's REALLY time for a new mattress!) But I had told Haley that I would go for a run with her since she really wants to run the Art City 5k, so she talked me into getting all dressed up and going out with her for "at least a mile, maybe a mile-and-a-half." We ended up doing 1.73 miles in 21:32, for an average pace of 12:28. She ran the whole way, carrying her ipod and eventually carrying her headphones too since they wouldn't stay on her head. Her 7-year-old legs carried her the whole way. I wish I'd have gotten a picture.

After she and I came home, I evaluated how my back was doing and decided I probably wasn't going to get in the 15 miler I had planned today, but I needed to do something, so I headed out the door. After about 3 miles my back hurt so bad that I could hardly keep going, so I turned and took the shortcut home (about 3 miles of near constant uphill). Finished the 5.9 miles in 1:05:32, a pace of 11:07. Right where I like to be for long runs, but considering the back pain and the uphill finish, I think it was above-average for me. My legs and lungs felt fine, so I know I'm where I want to be, fitness-wise, but I just can't do it when the lower back aches like that.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wednesday's treadmill miles

Well this cold/flu gunky crap that I've been stuck with doesn't seem to be going away at the moment. I want to do a 15-or-so miler this weekend, so it better hurry up and get gone.

Yesterday I panted through 4 miles on the treadmill after work, in 40:57, for a 10:15 pace. I was pleased with the run, considering I wasn't feeling well at all. Took today off to rest and (hopefully) recuperate. We'll try 4 easy ones tomorrow and get in a nice long one on Saturday.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Red sky at morning...

Sailor's delight! We had an absolutely picture-perfect sunrise this morning. It was breathtaking! Sadly I wasn't running during it, although I've had the good fortune to run through many gorgeous sunrises (and sunsets as well!) I did get a run in this afternoon at about 4:15. The weather was too nice to pass up! Near 60 degrees, I ran in a tech t-shirt and shorts!

I haven't been feeling all that great the last couple days, so I figured I'd take it easy and do somewhere between 4 (if I was feeling really crappy) and 6 (if I was doing alright) miles. I ended up not feeling great, but I stuck it out for 6 miles anyway. It ended up being an alright run, finishing in 1:01:59, or a 10:20 average pace. I had nice even / slightly-negative splits too:


So far, I'm glad I got a good run in. We'll see how my body feels about it later tonight and tomorrow!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

New Shoes!

Took the Pearl Izumis back today that just weren't working for me, and then went to the running store and picked me up a pair of New Balance 1060's on clearance for $55! I love getting running shoes for cheap! I seriously think these are going to be great shoes for me for a long time to come.

Unofficial Half Marathon

I did 13.1 miles today as an unofficial half marathon, partially in honor of several people I know who are running the Canyonlands Half Marathon in Moab today. I ran a fairly toug course with a couple of small-to-medium hills, one of which lasted nearly a mile and a half. Great preparation for that post-Veyo long uphill stretch at SGM!

Total time today was 2:25:11, for an average overall pace of 11:05, or 21 seconds per mile faster than marathon goal pace, which is right where I want to be. I had nice even splits too, except for that long uphill mile...
11:11 - This mile had a very short but very steep uphill stretch.
11:39 - This is where the long uphill mile was, and where my running partner ditched me.
11:18 - Started tiring
11:20 - continued tiring
1:10 (11:18) - still pooped!

I'm happy with my overall time. I did much better than 2 weeks ago when I seriously bonked at mile 9.5 of an 11.5 miler. No GU today, just a little Gatorade. 37 degrees out with not really any wind to speak of. Great running conditions.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

More treadmill fun

Did 4 miles on the treadmill, took it nice and easy because my hard run from Tuesday was wreaking havoc on my Achilles. Both Achilles tendons were really sore last night, so I took some ibuprofen (a runner's best friend), and iced them last night. They felt a little better this morning, but I took more ibuprofen just to be safe. Good news was there wasn't really any soreness to speak of when I was running today, so that's good.

So, summary: 4 miles in 41:50. A 10:28 pace. Slower than I've been lately, but for a good reason, and I didn't want to push it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Cross training

I spent 15 minutes on the spin bike today at Zone 5... although I don't know how it knows what zone I was in as I was not wearing a heart rate monitor, but okay. Then I did some weight lifting, focusing on upper body and core. It was all very quick so I could meet the family and friend for lunch. I haven't had a workout that's left me that tired for a long time. Feels good.

On the downside, I weighed in today at +2 lbs for the week. No good!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tuesday's PRs

PR, for you non-runners out there, is runner-speak for Personal Record -- also sometimes referred to as PB (Personal Best). My previous best 5k time (3.1 miles), as noted below in my running history post, was 31:52, set in March or April of 06. Today, in an unofficial attempt, I beat it (on the treadmill)... My time at 3.1 miles was 30:52. I've been saying lately that I want to enter a 5k just because I know I could PR and I'm curious to see how fast I could go. Well now I know! At least, in theory. I've still got to get out and do it in a real race.

The other PR was a 4-mile run, which ended at 39:35. I don't know what my previous record for that distance was, but I do know that I've never done it at a sub-10:00 mpm pace. It felt great! I wasn't even on the good treadmill!

As a side note, but somewhat-related, I've decided to up the speedwork a little, doing tempo runs on Tuesdays (hence today's PR), and doing intervals on Thursdays. Monday will be a recovery run and Saturday will be the distance run. Except for cutback weeks, when I'll just play it by ear, but not feel pressured to do any speedwork of any kind.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Monday's mileage

Ran 4 miles on the treadmill today. Total time: 41:08. Average pace: 10:17.

I never claimed to be fast, but I'm faster than I used to be, and that's what's important to me. I did two sets of leg lifts and one set of bench presses just to round out the day.

Managing Expectations

I guess I should preface this whole blog with a little about me. My running story, if you will.

As a kid, I was a horrible runner. I guess I had really bad form, because during little league baseball - which I was otherwise quite good at - and gym class, I'd get mocked for running so strangely. I remember in 6th grade during "Field Day" my friend and I decided on the 100 or 200 yard run or something that we'd go out slow and kick it at the end to beat everyone... yeah, I didn't have any kick at the end, at all. So I just was a poor runner.

Never ran in high school, never ran in any competition of any kind. I loved to play sports, but nothing organized. I played pick-up basketball games, some soccer, ultimate frisbee, softball, etc. I think playing all these sports whenever I could strengthened my skeletal and muscular systems, which has enabled me so far (knock on wood) to avoid any serious running injuries.

Come Spring of 2002, and I decided I wanted to run. I'd gone for jogs in the past, but rarely a mile, and rarely consistantly. I wanted to lose weight and get in better shape. In 2001 I had taken up mountain biking, and was loving that on Saturday mornings, but my friends would always beat me to the top of the mountain. It was time to get in shape.

I started running before work. I remember the day that I completed a quarter mile without walking. I was pleased. The thing was I was being consistant. I'd run 3 or 4 days a week. I'd found the forums on Runner's World, and that kept me motivated. That August I entered my first 5k (the one that goes with the Provo River half) and finished in, I think, 35:00 (no clock for the 5k-ers, only for the Half Marathoners). My brother-in-law ran the half that day, which was an inspiration -- you know, what the "real" runners do.

I kept running after that, until in October of 2002 my wife, pregnant with our second baby, went into labor at 32 weeks. She became a resident of the Women's Center at St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake for 3 weeks, effectively making me a single dad of a 2-year old. I couldn't really run with an unsupervised 2 year old, so I basically stopped. And then it got cold, and I didn't really want to run in the cold. So that was that.

I remember one day in the winter of 2004 when I was riding the bus to work, I was sitting at the bus stop waiting for the 5:30 a.m. bus in the really really cold weather of January or so, and a guy ran through the bus stop, obviously out for an early morning run. He was all bundled up, but he was out running. In the cold. It made me think.

Come February or March of 2005, and my little sister who had run the 5k with me in '02 asked me if I wanted to train for and run the half marathon with her that year. I said "sure"... and I began training again. I entered a 5k in SLC for June 2, and ran a PR 33:15. I just wanted to beat my time from the only other race I'd done. I ran a 10k on the 4th of July in Provo that year, and finished in 1:05 something - still the only 10k I'd done. Come late July/early August, and my sister says she's not going to do the half because she hadn't been running. I'm already registered, so I run it anyway, and finished in 2:30:37 (my goal was 2:30).

During that half, I broke the cardinal rule of "Don't try anything new on race day." I was running in shoes that were essentially a gift, no idea if they were the right kind for me or anything, and they were getting old... the bottom of my feet were hurting after my long runs (10 miles or so). So I figured I'd get new insoles. Well, that day the insoles gave me HUGE blisters on the insides of my arches... and one of them tore as I was trying to treat it, giving me a very awkward limp for a couple of weeks while it healed. This limp led to an odd pain when I tried to run, so for most of that winter, running was pretty much over.

2006 began with my wife and I expecting our third baby, and me running occasionally... just enough to be running. I did one 5k in the Spring, and PR'd at 31:52. I think I topped out with a 9.99 miler in April. More baby complications led to running stopping in August for a while again. I picked it up again in December, deciding that '07 would be the year I ran a marathon. I don't know why that goal surfaced then, just that it did. And I'm glad it did, because it kept me running in the cold of December and January.

In April I took $60 of tax return money and registered for the St. George Marathon lottery. The lottery results came out on May 8th, and initially, I wasn't on the list. I remember waking up that morning, not seeing my name, and being somewhat disappointed, but also somewhat relieved. That's a big commitment to have out there. Then the webpage got fixed and all of a sudden I was in. Yikes.

So with no complications, I trained for (poorly, but that's another post) and ran the 2007 SGM, finishing well behind my 5 hour goal at 5:35:36. During the training I also ran the Provo Half again, this time finishing in 2:19 something.

Now I've got the bug to do another marathon or more, and to train more appropriately, and get that sub-5. I am actually excited to see what more intense and more appropriate training will do for my marathon time. To that end, I've registered for the Ogden Marathon this upcoming May 17. And maybe, just maybe, someday, there will be a BQ in my future. Maybe.

This week's schedule

After a nice cutback week last week, I'm easing back into things this week. The plan is:

Monday - 4 miles
Tuesday - 4 miles
Wednesday - Cross training on the spin bike and some serious weights.
Thursday - 4 miles speedwork (2 x 1600 @ 10:00 w/800 recovery)
Friday - Cross training - spinning again with weights too.
Saturday - 13 miler outside. Yep, almost a half marathon.

Running Blog

I've decided that I like keeping a log of my runs, but I sometimes want to get more descriptive, so I'm making this blog to be totally and completely about my running, working out, and all things related thereto. Not that anyone is really gonna read it or find it interesting, but here it is anyway. :)