Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lunch hour run continued

One very important piece of equipment on noon runs is a visor or a hat. I went from not owning any to owning three. Today's 50 ish breezy temp made for one comfortable run. There was also a 6: 30 pace last half mile that nearly blew my heart. But since Friday is a non running day, Greg and I let it rip.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Habit Forming

Habits form in many ways. Most are subconcious. Some can be forced. Seeing some co-workers running during lunch hour for many months, I decided to give it a go. My initial hesitation rested on being able to get it all done within 60 minutes and also take a bite for lunch. Well, after several trial and error, I have it down. 5 minutes to change, 35 minutes to run 4.3 miles, 5 minutes to shower, 5 minutes to change back and finally 10 minutes to eat a sandwhich. 60 minutes.

Initially, it was too much of a hassle to get this all done. Now however, it is anticipated. I look forward to it. It also makes the day go by faster. And because lunch hour happens everday, habit forming. I also find that the afternoons go by faster and I feel so much more relaxed both mentally and physically. Since I gave myself Friday off, I am able to bank 17 miles for the week at work. I don't see a downside yet. let me know if you do.

I am alternating 1160's and 760's. So far so good. I now like both pairs. I seem to have finally adapted to running on slightly lower heeled running shoes. Amazing how your body is able to adapt to differing situations. I am still suffering from shin pain, especially on my right leg but daily icing sessions at night seems to be keeping it under control. Next 2 weeks will tell the whole story as I am scheduled for an 18 and 20 milers respectively. If all goes well, one of these shoes will become my weapon of choice for the Houston Marathon.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Memorial Park

As per my last entry, I went over to Memorial Park after work last Wednesday. The real reason was to exchange my Houston Half tech shirt to a larger size. Apparently, a lot of runners had sizing issues with this year's shirt. Striders sent out an email about a shirt exchange for this date at Memorial Park. Since Wednesday was my free after work day, I decided to run at the park for old times sake. Come to realize that I had not run in Memorial since 2007. Wow.

And guess what? I loved it! The crushed granite still is an awesome running surface. The best part? The next day, there was zero joint issues what so ever. I am totally acclimated to running on concrete. However, you really can tell that natural surfaces are so much better for your bod. It definitely takes less pounding. That and the view is pretty good there at Memorial.

So now I'm thinking that I'll run there regularly on Wednesday nights after work. Change of scenery keeps running interesting. Amazing how running is an all terrain activity.

Cumulus 11, 1160 & NB 760 ST

The lighter shoes experiment continues. After a harsh intro to 1160's, I took em over to Memorial park last Wednesday and logged 2 loops. The legs did not protest and I cruised on for 9 min. pace. So the shoes isn't so bad after all. I figured that the heel of this shoes is lower than the ones on Cumulus and was causing my heel to strike the ground a little harder than normal. Let's just hope my feet learnt the new height and made necessary adjustments.

Thursday, just to be safe, I ran in my aging Cumulus. It is manifesting end of life characteristics but I was afraid to put 1160's back on for a road run.

I did the same for the 16 miler long run on Saturday. Incidentally, Saturday was rainy, breezy and in the 50's. Optional walking was not allowed. Just stopping to refill water bottles caused stiff muscles.

So 16 miles and the shins have not gotten any worse.

I was thinking hard and long about taking Sunday off from running when Allison asked if I wanted to log 45 minutes of running with her Sunday morning. So, Cumulus came along for it's farewell run. We ended up running 5 miles and change. Weather was colder, in the 40's, but it was dry. Short sleeves and gloves was perfect attire for this run. I was happy that I could maintain a 8:19 pace for this run after 16 miles on Sunday.

So, I thought about taking today off from running but just in case, I took my gym bag to work. A co-worker asked if I wanted to do a quick lunch time run. So why not. Except the only shoes I had were the 1160's. I was bracing for a rough ride but alas! My legs have adapted to the lower heels. I ended up running smoothly for about 30 minutes. Awesome!

Finally thought for the day. After a rough run last Tuesday, I went ahead and ordered a pair of NB 760's. At that time, I wasn't sure if I was going to make it in the 1160's so there were going to be my just in case runners. They are not that different from the 1160's sans gels but it seems to have a little more cushioning. I'll find out for sure tomorrow. God willing, I am planning on a nice lunch time 4 miler.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Less Is Less

Running Shoes. Every runner has an opinion on what is best. I have one too. Ha ha. I have been on a multi year experiment with my running shoes. As my legs build up in strength, I feel I am able to step into shoes with less structure. I started out in Asics Kayanos, progressed down to GT series and am currently running in Cumulus. Well my latest buy is the current model 1160's. The latest version is lighter than my Cumulus, which in running shoes parlance means less support or cushion.

My ultimate goal is to have the most efficient gait possible and have least amount of shoes possible, all the while not ending up as a running cripple.

If these 1160's work out, they will become my weapon of choice for the Houston Marathon. I'll keep you posted on my experiment.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Running Family

Saturday run with Allison. Sunday run with Alex and Hunter. Children do mimic their parents. My kids have watched me run for the last 5 years. Now they've picked up this life long hobby.

We are planning to run the Thanksgiving Turkey trot, just like last year. Allison and I will find myself on the 5 miler while Alex will line up with teen 3 miler.

My goal this time is to P.R. I feel if I aim for P.R. at all distances, I'll align myself into running a P.R. at the next Marathon.

Run on friends.
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Saturday, November 06, 2010

Marathon Training

My 16 week marathon training has started. I am training for the upcoming Houston Marathon. Biggest question mark at this time is figuring out a target pace. My fastest is 9:59 pace so theoretically anything faster than that would be fine. However, I'd love to finish one in 9 min. Pace. We'll see how the training goes. After many years of running, my legs seem to tolerate daily running. I'm hoping for a greater mileage load than previous trainings.

Reflecting on my Houston Half, I was surprised to hear so many of my colleagues having a difficult race. For whatever reason, it did not affect me as much. I'm going to notch all of that to adjusting my pace for the conditions. My humblest moment of the race came during the first 8 miles. I saw Jim Braden very early on. He was half a block ahead of me. I planned on reeling him in. However, Jim slowly pulled away. I eventually lost sight of him after the 8 mile marker. Jim won his age group. The 75 year group I believe. WAY TO GO JIM!

Today's run called for a 6 miler. Allison wanted to come along, which meant that it was going to be a hard run for me to keep up with her slow run. We finished in 8:17 pace. I thought my lungs were going to explode in the chilly 36 degrees weather. I'm tickled to death that we have a common hobby. I just wish I can keep up with her better.

Run on friend!

(I wrote this entry with my Droid X. Hopefully the typos are kept to a minimum)
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