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!