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.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Primal Scream

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.