Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Double Century!

No, I didn't go on a 200-mile bike ride, at least, not all at once. But that's not what I mean.

What I mean is that June, 2009, is the first month that I have ever run over 100 miles and biked over 100 miles in the same month!


16 days running
101 miles
17 hours, 33 minutes, 7 seconds
Average pace 10:26 / mi
Average distance 6.3125 miles/run

8 days biking
122.1 miles
7 hours, 52 minutes, 23 seconds
Average speed 15.5 mph
Average distance 15.26 miles/ride

That's pretty cool. There were also weight lifting days and some light swimming thrown in there as well. Hopefully July will be as productive... with a scheduled camping trip and a couple of holidays, it's anyone's guess at this point.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

More confusion

I'm trying out a foray into "extreme fitness", which for me, so far, boils down to mixing it up a bit. A good example was Monday's push-up/run day. After a bit of googling, I came across another workout that I tried today. It's called a 3-2-1 workout, and I freely admit to hijacking this from mensfitness.com, however this is modified for my own usage. Goes like this:

  • 10 minutes cardio warm-up (no-brainer here... that's a mile run)
  • 3 sets, 20 reps each, of 3 exercises. I chose incline dumbbell press, shoulder press, and incline two-arm rows. 30 second rest between sets.
  • Interval cardio. I did a one-mile run with 2 minute warm-up, then 4 one-minute tempo intervals @5k or faster pace, then cooldown until I reach one mile.
  • 3 sets, 20 reps each, of 2 exercises. I did preacher curls and triceps pull-downs. 30 second rest between sets.
  • Repeat Interval cardio.
  • Core. 2 sets of 20 reps each: hanging leg lifts, laying leg push up things, and incline sit-ups. I didn't make it to the last set of incline sit ups, I had nothing left in the tank.

When I began the first interval session, I couldn't get my left arm to lift to my normal running bend. It hung a little lower than normal. This was a great workout, and I aim to do something similar 2-3 times a week, or more. We'll see how this goes.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Too much, too soon?

The previously-mentioned 45 mile week turned out to maybe have been too much. Last week I struggled to get in 8 miles, in two 4-mile runs. My legs were hurting pretty good around the shins/ankles. So instead I biked twice, did weights one day, and took Saturday pretty much "off" (walked around downtown with the family, no real "exercise", per se).

Today I went out for a 5-miler at lunchtime, with 15 push-ups thrown in approximately every mile. Yes, that's 75 push-ups total. I hear it's good to mix it up a little like that. More about my forays into "extreme fitness" in the future, once I get it figured out a little. In the meantime, I'll be throwing in a little cross-training into each run. I think. The legs were still a little tender today where they were really hurting last week. I'll bike tomorrow (and maybe some weights?), and see how they feel on a run on Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 15, 2009

PR for longest week

So I ran last week on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (6 miles each, or so), biked on the indoor bike on Thursday, and ran 7+ miles of speedwork on Friday, all with the intention of a 10-15 mile run on Saturday, thus kicking off St George Marathon training with a 35 or so mile week.

Well, turns out on Saturday I got an opportunity to do the "run to work" thing, which is a 19+ mile run. As I don't have this chance every week, I decided to take advantage of it. I completed the run in 3:37:55, or an 11:11 pace. That's not too shabby, considering I wasn't planning on running anywhere near that distance, and I did it on tired legs from a 7+ mile interval workout the day before. That left me with a 45.2 mile week, a distance PR by 1.2 miles from peak-Ogden training time. I feel pretty confident that I could taper from this point and in 2 weeks get my sub-5-hour marathon.

Yeah, the only problem with that is that my marathon is over 3 MONTHS away. I've never done a 3 month marathon maintenance-type schedule before. I'm going to have to fiddle with my training plan now and see what I can come up with so I'll be even more prepared to run an even faster race at St George on October 3rd.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tempo Intervals

A couple years ago Powerbar teamed up with Chris Carmichael and released two free audio workouts for runners. In them, Lance Armstrong and Chris Carmichael blabber in your ear about how great all things Powerbar are and also letting you know when to speed up and when to slow down. Today I did the second of these workouts (I wrote about the first one here.)

Basically, with this one there's a 10-minute warm up, then four 20-second stride outs with one minute recovery, and then you start the intervals. Basically you run at tempo pace, or as Carmichael puts it, and 8 out of 10 difficulty, for 4 minutes, 6 minutes, 8, 10, and 12 minutes, with 2 minutes of active rest/recovery between each. I was doing this outside with no garmin, so I couldn't really imitate any specific pace, but I tried to keep it feeling like a 5k pace for each interval. I'm sure as I got to the longer and longer intervals I got slower and slower, but I tried to keep a constant effort.

Unlike the other CTS workout, this one royally kicked my heiney, but I kind of liked it. I'll come back to this one again and again, but probably on the treadmill to make the pacing a little easier to maintain.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Been a long time...

So long in fact, that I don't know when the last time was that I got up early on a weekday/workday to run. But today I did it. Because of an afternoon commitment that is going to force me to leave work a couple hours early today, I decided I'd work through lunch and get my run in in the morning. So I did it. I woke up at 5:10 and got dressed and out the door by 5:25 or so for 6.2 miles. It was a great morning for a run, too. Mostly cloudy, with the sun just peeking through as it rose, the streets wet from an overnight rain, temperatures hovering around 55º, a light breeze. This gives me hope that I'll be able to keep this up for longer AM training runs as St George Marathon training intensifies, and for some good 2-a-days where I can run in the morning and do a bike ride (or maybe another run) at lunch. I'm just glad I remember how to run that early, I thought I'd forgotten.

Now, I need to remember how to stay awake throughout the rest of the day...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Art City 5k race report

What a fun race this morning! I woke up and was slightly dismayed to realize that I'd forgotten to bring my iPod down to my mom's house (where we slept over last night). I haven't run a race without an ipod since my first 5k back in 2002. Yeah, it's been a while. Oh well, alone with my thoughts for this one.

At one point I wasn't sure if I was going to run this race for my own PR or if I was going to hang with my kids and let my wife run for her PR. Well, she's been pretty sick and not sleeping well all week, so she wasn't thinking she could gun for a PR today, kids or no kids, and since she ran a 5k solo a couple weeks ago and set a nice PR for herself, she decided to hang with the kids and let me gun for my own PR.

At the start I lined up in the front-middle of the pack, next to the most ambitious stroller-pusher (they tell these guys to line up in the back, but they don't). I thought my placing was a little ambitious, considering my only goal was to beat last year's time (and PR) of 28:43. I knew that would place me squarely in the middle of "the pack" that was there to run, but I also knew that there were many that I'd be tripping over and weaving around in the first 3/4 mile or so that don't know how to corral themselves properly in a race of over 2000 entrants.

The gun went off and we were off. Sure enough, I was bobbing and weaving around many that were walking within the first quarter mile, but then I'm sure there were faster folks that had to bob and weave around me that were equally as frustrated. Turns out I really didn't miss the iPod at all, and I hit mile one at 9:31. Slower than I needed if I was going to PR. Granted, mile 1 has the only significant hill on this short course, so I expected it to be slow, but I've never been very effective at negative splits, so I was a little disheartened, fearing the PR may be out the window.

Nevertheless, I tried to pick it up a little on the back straight and ended up turning in mile 2 in 8:49. I've never run a sub-9 minute mile off of the treadmill, and then only in interval training, so I was pleased. Still not quite fast enough to PR, but if I could hold the pace, anything was possible at this point. Just before I hit the mile 2 marker I was completely cut off by a guy who was cutting over to the side of the road to high-5 a couple of spectators. I seriously hit the dude with my arm swing as it came forward, he cut me off THAT closely. Pissed me off, but I was glad I stayed on my feet.

Down the hill and into the stadium we ran. I noticed the mile 3 marker, which I don't think was quite in the right spot, but that's okay. I hit the split for mile 3 at 8:40. That's three consecutive negative splits (or two splits over three miles... you get the idea). Something I have NEVER done before, not even in training (I think). The last .1 zoomed by at a blistering sprint of 41 seconds (a 6:51 pace!!), for a total time of 27:43, or a PR by one minute exactly over my 5k time at this race last year. WOO HOO!

I missed the wife and kids' finish as I was getting the camera and blanket out of the car as they went by. Turns out I spent longer than I thought I had in the chute and they were faster than I thought they'd be. They finished in the 36 minute range. What a great race for them! Unfortunately, no one won any door prizes, again, but at least we had great weather to sit around and wait in. Can't wait to do this race again next year!

Friday, June 5, 2009


Still running, 3 times this week at 6 miles each. The Art City 5k is tomorrow, and if all goes well, I'd like to PR. I'm not sure how realistic that is. Last year I ran it in 28:43, and it's still my current PR (haven't run an official 5k since). A race report is surely soon to come, don't fret.

Today I rode the bike up City Creek Canyon again, to the water treatment plant, and for the first time, I never dropped into the "granny gear." You see, my bike came with a triple front chainring, and normally I need it on one or two steep spots in that canyon. Today that wasn't the case. Maybe it was the nice weather (about 69ºF and misty rain), maybe it was just determination, maybe it was my improved fitness, maybe I'm finally getting over this sinus infection that's been plaguing me for a good month or so now... who cares what the reason is. Now I'm going to have to start timing the climb, and see if I can get faster at it. A new challenge!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Measurable Results

It's been a long time since I've had a diastolic under 130. Usually I'm in the 135-140 range over 75-78 or so. Today while grocery shopping I took a break by the pharmacy and got a nice happy result:

Looks like not only am I headed straight out of the clydesdale class, I'm actually getting healthier too. Huh.