Thursday, June 30, 2005

As the records come crashing down

I did it again this morning. A new P.R. for 5K distance. I was out on the street at 5:30 AM, as the blackness of the night was giving away to the light of the day. I decided to run flat out from the start and was very determined to beat the record set on Tuesday.
Mile 1: 8:43
Mile 2: 8:47
Mile 3 & 0.1: 9:18

I guess I wasn't doing negative splits but I can extrapolate that I did mile 3 in 8:28 so at least I ran the last mile fastest. My pulse right after the finish was 162. A 38 year old male should be able to handle about 180 pulse so I believe I should be able to do even better at current physical condition.

However, I should now concentrate on the 13.1 mile distance I have to run in 6 weeks. So, for this weekend, I shall attempt yet again on the LSD run of 10 miles. Failure is not going to be an option this time so I will drink as much water as I can on Saturday in preparation for the run on Sunday. Every experienced runner I know have suggested hydrating a day before the race. The expert's diagnosis regarding last Sunday's failure is that I am having hydration management problems. So, drink I will on Saturday.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

5AM 5K again

Good News for me! After that disappointing Sunday run, I was determined to have a good run this morning. I wanted to achieve a new P.R. in 5K. So I took off in the darkness of early morning and took a high tempo run from the get go. I usually start out slow on these runs but not today. I wanted a new record. By the end of mile one, I was running at a decent speed. For mile 2, I picked up the pace a little more. By the end of mile 2, I was running sub 9 minute miles. Still not feeling that bad, I decided to try and kicked the pace up a little bit more. Mile 3 went by a little faster that mile 2 and then I sprinted home to the finish. Final time was 27:03. 10 seconds faster than my previous fasted. And only 4 seconds from going into 26 minute territory! Awesome! Even more awesome is the fact that I was able to do negative splits all the way!! This certainly erases much of the disappointment from this Sunday's run. Needless to say, I feel great today.

Sunday Distance Run

Weekend run is traditionally reserved for a long distance run for me. I have been steadily increasing my mileage every weekend in the hopes of making the 13.1 mile distance by August 7th. That will allow me to confidently run the Chicago Distance Classic on that same day. Unfortunately for me, this Sunday turned out to be a disappointing day for me. I don't know if it was due to lifting weights Friday night followed by biking to the Y Saturday morning for a 30 minute swim and biking back home adding incremental fatigue that contributed to the failure but by the end of the 5th mile, I was done. I was hot, heavily drenched in sweat and felt light headed. So I was forced to walk the 6th mile. At the end of the 6th mile, I realized that I could not go on anymore so I went home. Not the best way to end a run. Especially 4 miles short of the goal.

After church service on Sunday, I took my family back to the Y for swimming. That was kind of fun. After about an hour of splashing around, we picked up a couple of pizzas from Domino's and headed over to the North Shore Park for "A Concert In The Park" event sponsored by the Woodland's Association. This is a live music series offered by the Association every Sunday evening at 7 PM. Bunch of folks come by to with picnic items to enjoy the evening. I had a great time listening to country music, eating pizza, drinking Bud Light and just hanging loose with evening temperatures hovering around 82 degrees. Way cool.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Rest Day

By my training schedule, a day before a long run is supposed to be a rest day. However, since I missed this Thursday's run, I decided to go for some aerobic exercise. The Y is only about 4.5 miles away and it opens at 7 am on Saturdays. So I got on my bike and pedaled over there. I put in a quick 30 minute lap swim and soaked in the hot tub. After a quick shower, I biked back. My quads feel a little tired but I'm sure it will be OK by tomorrow morning.

I need to get a backpack style gym bag. It was hard trying to keep my duffel style gym bag on my back.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Woo Hoo! Its Friday!

Today is XT day. I had alarms set for 5 AM to go to the Y. Unfortunately, the slump continues. I could not get out of bed until about 6:30 AM. Just enough time to get ready for work. I did take my gym bag with me so I did go to the Y after work. The Y was almost empty tonight. Not sure if it is because it is vacation season or what but there were only about a dozen or so folks working out. This was cool because I was able to take my shower in solitude. I worked out on almost every Cybex machine that was there. Needless to say, I am tired right now.

I'm trying to psych myself up for the long run this Sunday. 10 miles. Yea.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Gasp! No run Thursday.

Too tired. I finally hit the wall from my non-stop travel. Lets see, last Thursday evening, a 7 PM flight to Milwaukee from Houston, picked up by brother in law at the airport for a drive to Madison, WI. Friday afternoon, drive the family down to Chicago to pick up Francesca's new prescription sun glasses, a quick dinner at my parent's house and then I pointed the Quest towards Houston. I drove from 9 PM to 3 AM at which point my wife took over the driving until 6 AM. After a good 3 hour sleep, I took over the helm and continued. We arrived in Houston around 3:30 PM. Sunday morning around 8 AM I went for a 9 mile run in the heat. Monday morning I took a 7:45 AM flight to Milwaukee, met with a customer, flew out of Milwaukee on a 3:00 PM flight to Cleveland, changed planes and then I found myself in Buffalo, NY around 9 PM. Drove to Westfield, NY and Warren, PA to visit more customers on Tuesday, Niagara Falls, NY and Rochester, NY on Wednesday and then flew back from Buffalo to Cleveland to Houston. I got home around 8:30 PM. I prepared my running clothes and set my alarm for 5 AM BUT....body said, "No way Jose." So, I slept in and got to work late.

Tomorrow morning, I will attempt to go to the Y and do some weight work. I need to psych myself for a 10 mile run this Sunday.

Steady as she goes...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

BUF - CLE - IAH and exit row seats

Weather in Buffalo was beautiful today. It was hovering in the 70's with low humidity. Too bad I couldn't bring this down with me to Houston. It's a tweener day for me and since I've been traveling, no cross training at the Y. I got to Buffalo airport 30 minutes before my flight departure time. Luckily, there was no line at the security check point and I zipped right through. Thank goodness for those 24 hour internet check ins. Doubly lucky, the plane from Newark was running 15 minutes behind schedule.

I had 12A, exit row on the single seat side of the Embraer 145 Regional Jet. Very nice. I was able to read a newspaper spread open and had enough room to cross my legs. Exit row seats make air travel so enjoyable. My hats off to all Continental Express crew. Their professionalism is second to none. I haven't had a bad flight yet.

It must be a good day for me. Connection time in Cleveland was about an hour. Just enough time to down a cold 14 oz glass of Bud Light and eat an order of buffalo wings on company expense. As I sat at the airport Max & Erma's eating and drinking, I could watch my Boeing 737-800 being prepped to take me home to Houston. It never bores me to watch all the activity that goes around an aircraft. After settling into seat 12F (yet another exit row seat), I watched Hitch. It was a neat movie, I think Francesca will enjoy it too. Oh yea, Continental still serves meals at meal time. I ate a small ham sandwich, a small bag of M & M's and drank Diet Coke during the movie. Kind of made that two and half hour flight go by really quickly.

Tomorrow is a 5K day. I hope I can get up early enough to go for a run. Yawn! I better hit the sack.

Running on my friends..

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Easy 5K at SUNY Buffalo Campus

I just came back from a refreshing recovery run this morning. It was great to be running in upper 60 temperature at low humidity. Upstate NY in the summer is great. I went out for a run and found SUNY Buffalo campus. So I ran through the campus until I came upon their football field with a track. So I went over to the track and ran on its soft surface. What a great relaxing run. Even after the run was done, I felt really great! No stress. Perhaps I took it too easy. Never the less a great run. After that brutal Sunday 9 miler, I really needed this refreshing run.

Run cool.

Monday, June 20, 2005

9 miler the hard way

I flew up to Milwaukee Thursday night to meet up with my family. I was met at the airport by my brother-in-laws and my wife after an uneventful but long Continental Express flight. The drive to Madison took about an hour and half. I was so thirsty for beer that I convinced everyone in the car to go to a bar first. Anyway, we all drank drafts of Spotted Cow beer. That was some beer!

I drove down Friday night from Madison, WI all the way down to Houston, non-stop. I drove until it was around 3 am at which point we just crossed into MO from IL on I-57. Francesca drove between 3 am to 6 am. I took over again and we drove until we got to The Woodlands. I think it was around 3 pm when we got home.

Under this backdrop, running a 9 miler the next morning was probably not a recommended activity. But run I did, I got out of bed around 7:30 am and was out for a run by 8 am. The only bad thing about this was that the temperature was already in the lower 80's with the sun boring down on me. I was also worried about my stamina after an all-nighter driving the previous night. Everything was going good at 10 minute per mile pace until I hit mile 7. I hit the wall despite having already consumed about 20 oz of water and a shot of CarbBoom at mile 6. I probably walked about 2/3 of mile 7. At mile 8, I started running again and to my surprise, my legs felt fresh. I ran the rest of the way at about 10 min/mile pace. It was hot and I was dehydrated. I noticed that I lost about 5 lbs of weight after the run.

I also experienced a terrible headache a few hours after the run which I think can be attribute to dehydration. I must learn to hydrate myself better for these hotter runs. I will not have the luxury of walking during the Chicago Distance Classic. I would like to run that one without stopping.

Anyway, I'm glad I did run. I am on another business trip and I did pack my running gear. Tuesday morning, I am going to run in Buffalo, NY. A nice run through the town of Amherst should do my soul wonders. Also, running in the cooler temps early in the morning should also make it a refreshing run.

Keep on running!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Lights out in The Woodlands

Another hot and muggy morning. Kind of got me off kilter with that blackout last night. I was at the Y working on the Cybex machines when the lights started to flicker. It kept flickering so as soon as I got done, I decided to skip the shower and go home. Well, when I got into the locker room, the lights finally went out for good. Those electric locks on the door stayed shut for what ever reason. We had to get out through the back door that went into the pool. When I got home, there was no electricity either. Luckily the sun was setting so I did not have to worry about a super hot house. I ate a quick sandwich in the darkness and made sure I got a cold beer out of the fridge before it got warm. So at least I had a cold beer with my sandwich in the dark.

When I got up this morning, the AC was working so that was a good sign. Run took 28:38. A little slower than Tuesday. I should have known, I was thinking that I felt comfortable around mile 1 and mile 2. I guess that means I wasn't pushing hard enough. Lazy ass.

Anyway, looking forward to my LSD run this coming Sunday. Goal is to go 9 miles in 90 minutes. We'll see how that goes.

Let there be light...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Tweener day

Since I run 3 times a week (2 - 5K's and one LSD) every other day is a tweener day. In the early days of my running, I used to love tweener days since I did not have to run.....(that sounded strange.) Now however, I get the blah's on the tweener days. Sure I still workout, I go to the Y for weight training or swimming. Or, sometimes I take the bike out for a ride. Still, for whatever reason, other forms of exercise doesn't seem to be as satisfying anymore. So does this mean that I have now crossed over the invisible line to the runner's world? I'm also starting to use "only" and "5K" and "10K" in the same sentence. How strange.....

Anyway, tomorrow is Thursday and that means that it is my running day. Hurray!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

5K at 5AM

A little hard getting out of bed after a long sleep deprived weekend in Chicago. However, rolled out of bed I did and running clothes I wore and gingerly walked out the house I did. After some ankle stretches, I started the chronograph on my trusty Timex and off I went. It was a little humid but without the sun bearing down on me, it was quite an enjoyable run.

I've been practicing Danny Dreyer's ChiRunning for about a month now and I am very happy with the new form. I am no longer suffering any knee pain. Once again, I leaned forward and relaxed all the muscles Danny told me to relax.

By the time I reached the end, it was 27:53, about 40 seconds off my P.R. My short term goal is to break into 26 minute and also to run 9 miles. So I don't know if the two goals are divergent but I need to get both done here soon. At least, I am going to attempt a 9 mile LSD run this weekend.

Happy running!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Illinois

Running towards your past...

I took my family back to my hometown of Skokie, IL. this weekend to visit my parents. Sunday being my LSD (Long Slow Distance) day, I was looking for a 9 mile course I could run. Well, I checked to see how far my old high school was and Yahoo Maps told me it was 7.4 miles round trip. Long enough I thought. I stepped out the door and started running into nostalgia. I was sad at first, as it was 1984 when I graduated amidst the hype over George Orwell's 1984. I think long hair was on its way out, Detroit made bad cars and Japanese cars were still cheap imported brand that did not last too long.

I also marveled at the fact that when I was in school, I always felt that the school was very far away, I never thought that it was runnable, let alone walkable. It is amazing what self confidence does to one self. I only conquered 8 miles last weekend, and here I am, thinking to myself that I had it easy this morning because I was running less than 8 miles.
The day was a little hot, a bank clock/thermometer told me that it was 8 something and that the temp was 78. I don't know how accurate that was but it sure did feel hot.

The run went well. I saw some high school kids playing tennis as I ran through the campus. The school looked the same except for a few new things. I popped a Carb Boom gel pack with a gulp of water and off I went, back to present day and back to my folk's house. All in all, a good day.

Perros - Dogs

OK, what do you do if you are on a 3 day business trip? Well, you take your running clothes and shoes and go running early (5K). I found myself in Monterrey, Mexico last week and that is exactly what I did. I left the Crown Plaza at 5:30 AM, and walked down to the river bank. There was a trail along the river, so I took it. Never mind that it was pitch black, so much so that I was afraid that I was going to trip over something and fall. 15 minutes into the run, I come across a runner! He is running in the opposite direction and despite my, "Hola!" keeps on running.

As I was enjoying the run, and with the day getting a little lighter, I am heading back to the hotel and starts to worry about stray dogs. I try to push that idea aside and I concentrated on my form. Then I heard it. 3 distinct barking coming from the other side of the river. I scanned the river area but could not make out the dogs but the barks were getting louder. I wondered for a very few seconds whether the dogs were going to cross the river. I decided not to find out and I think I ran the last mile fasted ever! I was totally out of breath by the end but I was in one piece. What a rush!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Training towards Chicago Distance Classic

After going 8 miles, my longest distance ever, I have signed up to run the Chicago Distance Classic on August 8th. I hope my shortened training will take me over the 13.1 miles.