Saturday, July 18, 2009

Week #4 in the Bag

This was one of the easier weeks of my 16 week training program. I guess it was to let me recover from last week's 14 miler. Next week's schedule is back on track towards marathon distance. I have on schedule, an easy 2 miler, 6 mile tempo run with warm up, cool down and 8:36 pace for 4 miles in the middle, and a 16 mile long run. Then for the next 2 weeks, the long slow run climbs to 18 miles and 20 miles respectively.

Today's run was an easy 6 again which was the these for all the runs this week. I promised to run 3 with Alex this morning at 6:30 so I left at 6 to put in the first 3 miles by myself. Feeling good and having cooler weather to play with this morning, I elected to add a little speed work by warming up then running as fast as I could for 1 mile and then cooling down. I managed to clock 7:45 pace during the middle mile with peak speed of 6:43 pace according to my Garmin. These times are about 30 seconds off my peak from last year but that's understandable since I haven't paid much attention to 5K distances or speed work during that time.

Today I'm retiring my Asics Gel-Kayano 14's. One very big positive about this particular model for me has been the fact that I've never had a blister in these shoes. In fact, these are the first pair of shoes ever to never give me blisters on my long runs. Unfortunately, I came to this realization too late as this model has been superseded late last year and all the remaining stock in my size has been sold out now. I'm not sure why these did not give me blisters but it felt as if the toe box on the 14's were roomier than 11, 12 and 13's I've worn. Somehow these were just right. I've bought a pair of 2130's which are also last year's model. I'm hoping Asics had the same design philosophy on the 2130's as they did on the 14's. We shall see. I'm breaking the new ones next week. I'll find out on the 16 miler whether these are keepers or not.

Happy Trails!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Penguin Sport Wash Results

Time for Penguin Sport Wash update. I just went over to my dryer to sniff at tech clothes. Yes, it is a strange site to be sniffing clothes but I've been trying out a couple of different brands here. My first impression was the smallness of the cap. WIN detergent came with a larger cap that looked like a Tide liquid detergent cap. You pour a full cup for a full load and half cup for half load. Simple. Penguin is a little vague here. The cap is smaller but there is no instruction other than, use one capful. For what size load? There is no answer. I resist the urge to pour two capfuls. After the wash, I sniffed all over getting strange looks from my dog. There is no fragrance and I'm confused because the clothes don't stink but it doesn't smell good either. There is a vague hint of vinegarish smell. I'm now wondering if I didn't use enough detergent. But after a delicate drying cycle, the clothes come out smelling neutral. It doesn't smell at all. There is no locker room smell nor is there any fragrance. It's just neutral. I guess I'm just not used to that.

I'll see if their claims of restoring wicking power to older tech clothes is true next time I go running.

Penguin Sport Wash

I have really soggy running clothes that need some serious washing. I have a separate laundry basket for my family's tech gear and this week, I deliberately just dumped my really really soggy clothes in there for the Sport Wash test. Stay tuned as I'll be running a wash through later today. This test might not be fair though as I'v now washed my clothes through the WIN wash twice. After the second washing, the clothes came out smelling really good.

Be a Runner

Week 3 of 16 for Chicago Marathon in the bag. This week was tough. The heat and humidity combination has been hovering in the danger zone all week. Not much fun with maintaining pace at the distances I was supposed to be at this week. I remember how this used to bother me during my first year of running back in 2004. Now I just shrug the shoulder and look for any positives. This week's positives are the fact that I was out there running in the heat. 4 miles at 6 PM on Tuesday afternoon, temps in the upper 90's. Who does that? That was just a recovery run so there was no pressure except to finish. Thursday's run was supposed to be a tempo run and stupid me, tried to run the 8:30 pace. Ran that for a mile and a half before succumbing to heat. But the 5 miles were complete. Temps were 98 when I started. Who does that? This morning started out at 75 at 6:30 but once the sun peaked out, it quickly went over into the mid 80's. Weather channel said the humidity at 6:30 was 99%. 99%? Who runs in that crap?

Apparently I do. Conditions that might kill an average American is what us runners here in Southern Texas just run through. Adapting to the conditions by slowing down, hydrating extensively and looking out for signs of heat stroke. I saw a lot of us out there today. We're just a lean mean running machine.

If you want to be a runner, there are multitudes of running organizations out there in the Houston area. Go join one. You'll find out that they are all just regular folks like yourself that made a lifestyle choice.

I'm recovering at my favorite spot. Starbucks. Enjoying my frst cup of coffee and pondering what to eat. I burnt 1800 calories. I can eat a huge meal and not tip my body weight balance. That would be one of the side benefits of running.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Week #2 Recap

14 weeks to go to the starting line of the Chicago Marathon. Week #2 ended with a hot, humid 12 mile long run. I was so sweaty that the Kayano's were sloshing by the 5th mile. That must be a new record for me. Interestingly, I must be acclimating to this weather, I wasn't feeling totally defeated by the end of the run although I found it impossible to maintain a 10:10 pace.

Next weekend's long run is 14 miles. I few point drop in humidity will be great.

Distance: 12 miles
Time: 2:11:25
Pace: 10:57
Calories: 1570 burnt
Shoes: Asics Kayano 14 (314.4 miles)

I just bought my next pair of running shoes. Asics GT-2130. Last year's model on sale for $65. I also bought Penguin Sport Wash to see if it'll get the stink out. This will be my second product in tech detergents. Last week I bought and used WIN detergent. The classic smell was gone from most of the tech clothes I had in the wash but one still had a very slight hint of it. So I was pleasantly surprised. The only downside was the strong fragrance.