Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April In Review

I closed out April with 113.9 miles under my shoes. Not as impressive as some of my TIR teammates but pretty productive for me. Listening to one's body should be a mantra with long distance running, something I don't do too well. I'm going to try to be better at it though. As I close out the month, my left shin has been letting me know that it's there. So, to alleviate any pain problems later on, I am going to take the next week or so a little easier than normal.

April has been pretty good to me. I became faster by notching two 5K P.R.'s. I am now a sub 24 minute runner. Pretty cool. I can now dare to dream of breaking 23 minutes and becoming a 22 minute and something seconds runner. That would be awesome.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

RTW 5K P.R!

I did it! New 5K P.R! Woo Hoo!

Time: 23 min 53 secs
Pace: 7:42 min/miles
Shoes: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7 (86.62)

Mile 1: 7:30
Mile 2: 7:41
Mile 3: 7:56
0.1: 0:44

It is also my first time going sub 8 min/mile for all 3 miles. Once again, I went all out from the start and just hung on during the last mile. The wheels almost fell off but I survived. The heart managed not to explode out of the chest cavity, just barely.

Karen came and ran also. I think she P.R.'ed too!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mucus Membrane Alert

I woke up with a runny nose. Was that a pun? But then, it was runny not running. Conversations with myself went like this today.

Devil Me: "I don't think I have the energy today."
Angel Me: "Oh, I don't know, the weather seem nice enough, besides, you'll feel better after a few blocks."
Devil Me: "I don't know, the legs are super heavy, I don't want an injury."
Angel Me: "OK, I suppose you can make it up at Memorial Park during your lunch today. Maybe 2 loops? Them crushed granite will prevent injury. Most definitely."
Devil Me: "Never mind, I feel good now! I'm going out there to Run!!!"

Time of Day: 6:01 AM
Distance: 4.24 miles
Time: 36 min 35 secs
Pace: 8:38 min/miles
Shoes: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7 (83.52)
Weight: 174 lbs.
Calories burned: 541.1 kcal

The nose kept on running. So far this morning, I've taken 4 of those tiny Benadryl pills. Very drowsy. I can use a nap right now.

Mile 1: 8:59
Mile 2: 8:42
Mile 3: 8:48
Mile 4: 8:17
0.24: 1:48

I'm going to take Friday off and race on Saturday. Then, a 7 miler on Sunday before Mass.

I hope I'm not coming down with something.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Recovery

After running away from Memorial Park with my tail between the legs (come to think of it, "running away" is probably a bad example in this case) I laced my GTS's again and headed out. Except, being the wimp that I am, I ran with the temps in the 70's. That 10 degrees difference made me go from seeing my life flashing by to just plain old, "why do my legs feel like lead and why are my quads so tired?"

Distance: 4.6 miles
Time: 40 min 19 secs
Pace: 8:46 min/miles
Shoes: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7 (79.28)
Weight: 174 lbs.
Calories burned: 587 kcal

Pace was all over the place.

Mile 1: 8:59
Mile 2: 8:42
Mile 3: 9:03
Mile 4: 8:35
0.60: 5:00

One last attempt at the record books this Saturday before the summer inferno settles around here. I'm going to see if I can achieve New Balance.... and hit 23:59 at the RTW 5K.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My 45th Birthday Wish

I'm not turning 45 any time soon. It's about 3 years and 4 months away for that. But I do have a birthday wish for my 45th birthday. It's 8 minutes per mile pace. I'd like that to be my cruising speed for long distance runs. Perhaps it's heat stroke talking because I came upon the 8MPM pace during today's disastrous run at Memorial Park. This is Holden's Moon program. My streeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaatch goal.

LOL. Maybe my sanity will return tomorrow.

Memorial Park Run

Sometimes the running Gods giveths, sometimes they taketh away. Low 80's and moderate humidity under cloudy conditions didn't sound too bad. My plan was to run 2 loops and notch 5.8 miles. Perhaps I'm not used to even these moderately hot conditions because I was in trouble from the first mile. So I went from two loops to maybe gut out the second loop to am I going to be able to add the extra 10th of a mile so I can get 3 in?

Time of Day: 12:15 PM
Distance: 3 miles
Time: 26 min 03 secs
Pace: 8:41 min/miles
Shoes: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7 (74.68)
Weight: 174 lbs.
Calories burned: 382.8 kcal

I started at the water fountain by the tennis center and when I made the loop, my Garmin read exactly 2.90 miles. How's that for accuracy? I "gutted" out an additional 10th of a mile to notch 3 miles for the day. Some days, you just don't have it.

Mile 1: 8:39
Mile 2: 8:44
Mile 3: 8:38

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I813M

As in I ate 13 miles for breakfast today. How do you eat 13 miles? A step at a time. This is probably the last runner friendly weekend until November. I almost didn't make it out of bed. It was cold and the bed was warm. I also went to bed close to midnight the night before and that 5:30 alarm just was annoying. Somehow, I managed to get out of the house. Man was it cold!

Time of Day: 6:23 AM
Distance: 13.29 miles
Time: 2 hr 06 min 47 secs
Pace: 9:32 min/miles
Shoes: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7 (67.43)
Weight: 173 lbs.
Calories burned: 1686.3 kcal

Best part of these long runs are the burned calories. 1600 plus calories baby! That is like an extra meal for Holden today. Yum! Sometimes I think I run to eat.

Mile 1: 9:53
Mile 2: 10:24
Mile 3: 10:17
Mile 4: 9:40
Mile 5: 9:29
Mile 6: 9:15
Mile 7: 9:26
Mile 8: 9:16
Mile 9: 9:16
Mile 10: 9:19
Mile 11: 9:26
Mile 12: 9:12
Mile 13: 9:23
0.30: 2:32

I wasn't really awake until after mile 3. I wasn't really warm either through the first 3 miles. I was glad I had on a long sleeve. The starting temp this morning was in the 40's. That is wonderful running temperature. Only issue today was a blister on the left pinkie toe. For some reason, it was rubbing against the #4 toe and the blister developed between these two toes. Hmmm. Perhaps I did not do a good job of putting on the sock.

I'm beginning to like running in GTS 7's. They are lighter and a little more flexible than my Kayano's. Through the years of running, I think I've built up enough lower leg muscles and connective tissue that I'm able to run with less structure and cushioning. I still have a new pair of Kayano 13's so I can still experiment. I might also try GT-2130's. Those are supposed to be like the GTS series. We'll see.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Memorial Park Run

I found myself at Memorial Park during lunch hour today. It was nice to be running on softer surface for a change. My knees and other joints thanked me. My quads swore at me though. My legs are so tired. Tomorrow will be a rest day. Then hopefully, I'll feel good enough to run a 13 miler on Saturday.

Time of Day: 12:28 PM
Distance: 4.37 miles
Time: 40 min 18 secs
Pace: 9:13 min/miles
Shoes: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7 (54.14)
Weight: 171 lbs.
Calories burned: 548.8 kcal

Mile 1: 8:44
Mile 2: 9:09
Mile 3: 9:42
Mile 4: 9:29
0.37: 3:14

Temp in the 70's, cloudy and breezy. Not too bad of a condition for a run. I could use a nap right now.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rest Day

I need a rest day to pull back. This non-stop running is starting to take a toll on my left leg. But the weather has been so gorgeous lately that it's been hard not to run. I know what's coming very soon. Hot and muggy. So, hoping to rest up later, I've been taking every opportunity to go out and have fun with my 4 S's (ask EQ what that means and I'd really call it 5 S's because I'd like to add my stopwatch to my "gear"). For Industrial efficiency geeks out there, 5 S's stand for something entirely different. But that would be going waaaay off the running topic.

Time of Day: 7:31 PM
Distance: 4.24 miles
Time: 35 min 36 secs
Pace: 8:24 min/miles
Shoes: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7 (49.77)
Weight: 174 lbs.
Calories burned: 541.1 kcal

Mile 1: 8:15
Mile 2: 8:20
Mile 3: 8:40
Mile 4: 8:30
0.24: 1:51

I got a little too excited in the beginning and started out fast. Thus the positive splittage.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Amazon MP3


This is becoming my favorite music download site. Amazon uses MP3 VBR codec at an average of 256 Kbps. iTunes uses AAC at 128 Kbps which is allows their files to be twice as small as Amazon's. In theory, the bigger bit rate file for the same song yields a richer sounding music. However, in theory, there are differences between the codec's and some claim AAC's 128 Kbps sounds just as good as MP3 at 256Kbps. I don't own a $300 ear phones and have an audiophile's ear to tell the nuances between various codec's so it all sounds decent to me. As for the larger file size, I don't think that's a big deal as memory prices keep falling. Can you honestly fill an 80 GB iPod Classic full of music? If you worked at a radio station maybe. I'm depressed to declare that my 8GB Sansa e280 has less than 5 GB of music.
After only being around for 6 months, amazon MP3 has become the second largest on-line music download site after iPod. (read news here)Best of all, all of amazon's music is DRM free so you can do whatever you want with it, legally.
Can you tell that I don't have much running stuff to blog about today?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cold!

What a great morning. Temps in the low 40's! This is Houston in April? I'll take it! Should have worn long sleeves and gloves. Hands were all but stiff by the end of the run. I had some difficulty unlacing my GTS.

Time of Day: 6:36 AM
Distance: 4.24 miles
Time: 37 min 07 secs
Pace: 8:45 min/miles
Shoes: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7 (36.63)
Weight: 174 lbs.
Calories burned: 541 kcal

Mile 1: 8:53
Mile 2: 8:45
Mile 3: 8:46
Mile 4: 8:41
0.24: 2:01

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Another RTW 5K P.R!

Stayin' Aliiiiiiiiiive!! O.K. I broke down and bought some Bee Gees tunes from Amazon MP3 store. As I approach the apex of my mid-life crisis/celebration I keep regressing my music selection to that disco era, or what I call my own wonder years. Actually, my MP3 player is a hodge podge of confusion, from ABBA, Lennon, Bee Gees to David Lee Roth, Queen, Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, U2, B52's to Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Simon & Garfunkel to Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mendelssohn, Mozart to Beach boys, Phil Collins etc. No rhyme or reason. But right now, I'm "Stayin' Alive.."

I racked another P.R. today. Ran the 5K at 24:01, which translates into a 38 second improvement from the last best time. This means I ran it at 7:45 pace which is stupendously cool. So my immediate reaction after crossing the finish line was, "I missed breaking 24 minutes by 2 seconds.." Since the TIR, I broke a mental barrier about running daily. B.T. (Before TIR) I would always rest the day before a race. Heck, I'd always run with a rest day in between. A.T. (after TIR), I just let my legs decide if I can run or not. So, there has been a lot of consecutive running days. With that new philosophy, I ran 4 miles last night during my son's Tae Kwon Do class. Despite that, or because of that, I ran pretty well this morning.

The weather cooperated as well. Perfect P.R. weather, in the 50's with low humidity. One must take advantage of that.

Mile 1: 7:20
Mile 2: 7:50
Mile 3: 8:02
0.1: 0:47

Once again, my strategy was to go out as fast as I could and hold on for dear life. Dumb, but a strategy none the less.

Friday, April 11, 2008

In Response to Karen

Running Is All Fun And Games.

Where else can you get a dozen adults to ride a minivan together for 30 odd hours with little sleep and minimal hygiene and think it was so great that they want to do it again next year? Where else do you get the freedom to just step out and run? Where else do you get the satisfaction of getting a jump start on the rest of the world by running and witnessing a glorious sunrise? Where else can you meet a greater concentration of goal setting, great looking, great attitude featuring folks that eat the right kind of food? Where else can you meet the least concentration of smokers?

Where else can you find serious folks that don't take themselves too seriously?

I'm tagging, Bill Dwyer, Jon Walk, Jamoosh, Joe Carey and Sarah.

I have 10.3 miles of running left to do for the remainder of the week. So after speed work tomorrow at the RTW 5K, I'll have 7.2 miles left for Sunday. I know the perfect course to run that around Alden Bridge. It looks like the weather will be great for running on both Saturday and Sunday morning. I'll have to go out and enjoy as many cool morning days as possible as I think the end of cool running weather is upon us.
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Monday, April 07, 2008

Suicide Bombing at a Marathon

I ran today.
Then I read this story about a bomb going off right before a marathon start.
Sigh.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Long Run

Weather perfection. Low 50's at start with gentle breezes and overcast sky. Even some cyclists waved and said good morning. Can it get any better than that? I hope this bodes well for my fellow runners and friends tackling the Hog's Hunt 25K/50K today.

Cool thing about today's distance was that I was planning on running a half marathon distance and based on my running experience through the Woodlands, I eyeballed a new route and thought it'd be close enough to 13 miles. So without the aid of Gmaps or my car's odometer, I came pretty close, 13.26 miles according to my Garmin.

Time of Day: 6:05 AM
Distance: 13.26 miles
Time: 2 hr 08 min 34 secs
Pace: 9:42 min/miles
Shoes: Asics Kayano XIII (354.27)
Weight: 174 lbs.
Calories burned: 1691.2 kcal

Mile 1: 10:13
Mile 2: 10:07
Mile 3: 10:09
Mile 4: 9:59
Mile 5: 9:41
Mile 6: 9:35
Mile 7: 9:40
Mile 8: 9:36
Mile 9: 9:27
Mile 10: 9:27
Mile 11: 9:32
Mile 12: 9:23
Mile 13: 9:26
0.26: 2:21

Friday, April 04, 2008

AAC Vs. WMA

I had a Doh! moment last night. My daughter has an iPod Nano. I have a Sandisk Sansa e280. So I've been ripping CD's in both itunes and Windows Media Player. Their standard ripping codec is AAC and WMA respectively. The Doh! moment came when I realized that both players also support the mp3 codec. So by ripping it in mp3 populates both itunes and Window's Media Player. Now I can reduce my music memory in the hard drive by half. That's for CD's you already own.

So, to buy downloaded music, it is also better to buy from Amazon MP3 or Walmart Music Download site where they sell it in MP3 format. This will allow you to play music in iPod and non Apple brands. iTunes only sells it in AAC codec so it will only play on their iPod device and a few AAC supported devices.

I guess I'll be deleting my CD collection and re-ripping them all in MP3 at 256 bit rate this weekend while my running friends run Hog's Hunt.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Reflective Vest

I remembered to wear my reflective vest this morning. Actually, I was too lazy to put on blinkers and a headlight so the path to least resistance was a vest (All of this was bought for TIR I might add). I must say, cars did notice me from farther away and moved out of the way a lot sooner than usual. Perhaps I'll wear it more often (Not that I run this early too often). However, the extra weight caused me to run slower.... :)

Time of Day: 5:46 AM
Distance: 3.69 miles
Time: 33 min 48 secs
Pace: 9:10 min/miles
Shoes: Asics Kayano XIII (336.92)
Weight: 173 lbs.
Calories burned: 468.3 kcal

Mile 1: 9:23
Mile 2: 9:19
Mile 3: 9:00
0.69: 6:06

Negative splitting = good.
9:10 pace = not good for short runs.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Humid!

Distance: 7 miles
Time: 1 hr 06 min 46 secs
Pace: 9:32 min/miles
Shoes: Asics Kayano XIII (333.23)
Weight: 174 lbs.
Calories burned: 892.9 kcal

This was by far the toughest run of the year. Not a single step felt comfortable. Perhaps the 97% humidity had something to do with it. I sweated a lot, drank a lot and keptd wishing the run would end soon. Luckily, I did not get rained on.

Mile 1: 8:57
Mile 2: 8:55
Mile 3: 9:38
Mile 4: 9:55
Mile 5: 8:50
Mile 6: 11:28
Mile 7: 9:02

On Sunday, I went to Huntsville and enjoyed the company of 7 Hill Runners. There was a club run involved. A 5K or a 5 miler. I think this is an annual thing and in past years, it was run in the Hunstville State Park. But to save the park entry fee, this year's event was held at the Lampson Ranch. Brilliant! I love saving money. I could be wrong, but I think the Lampson Ranch is as big or bigger than the park. In fact, it might be bigger than a small country like Liechtenstein. If not bigger, I bet the Lampsons have more Brangus cows than Liechtenstein. I love saying that. Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein...... I digress.

I was also late. I was about 10 minutes late. I felt so bad. They were all waiting for me. Sorry! I elected to run the 5K, being that it was getting a little warm and that I'd already run a 4 miler in the morning. The course was neat. It was mostly all trail with big puddles of muddy water. At one point, I had to do a looooong jump to get over a BIG puddle. Fun!

My time was 26:41 which included a pitstop in the woods. No port-a-potties on the course. :) Everyone got a nice looking medal and a grilled hamburger for post race festivities. So, next year, come on out and join in the fun, it's hosted by great folks, JP and Katy Lampson, it's at a beautiful ranch, on a beautiful trail and you get to hang out under the shade and look out on to the pasture with grazing cows. All this for $3.