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. :)