Feb 27 2013

Back from the Cruise and into…

For those of you keeping score at home: (redacted), (redacted), (redacted), and Jenny… and Tad? I did NOT perish on the cruise, nor was I on the ill-fated Carnival Triumph! I’m back, despite not having posted since Jan 30th, and have yes been enjoying all the snow same as you.

What a difference a few thousand miles makes eh?

From this: (here’s our ship, my daily view, and the beach)
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To this: (a view early Thursday night before the snow really piled up)

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But that’s ok with me. I don’t mind the snow… I actually like it.

The cruise was very nice… prior to leaving (this was my first cruise) I had wondered about running on the ship. There’s actually as much opportunity to run as you like, without being a nuisance to anyone too!

They have a “jogging” (their words, not mine!) track on top of the ship. This was pretty neat! I really wish I could have used it more. I ran on it one morning and it was amazing. I had this thought that my GPS would be showing little circles out on the ocean slowly going south… nope. The ship was booking it south. So much so that I have some amazingly fast stats to go along with the really boring GPS graph… see for yourself:

The track was fairly small… here’s the sign from it:
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Sorry about the bad picture there… but it says 11 laps is one mile. Well I believe I ran 22 or 23… I lost count. So roughly two miles. As you see from the (previous) above graphic though I quite incredibly ran over six miles in 17 minutes at a pace I can’t even reproduce on my bike going downhill. The best part of course though as you can probably imagine was having that sea view. It was very nice, if a bit warm and slightly crowded. There were plenty of other people up there running too.

Another experiment I wanted to try was running on the treadmill on the ship. I know I know you’re saying… why on earth would you run on the treadmill on the ship? Well it was just an experiment! And check this out… how often do you get to wear your GPS watch on a treadmill — and have it do anything? Landlocked – that’s going to be one boring Garmin Connect activity… you’ll be lucky to register any movement at all. Here though I clocked along at another furious pace:

The stats are a little less fluctuational here since I’m running in one direction… previously I was running against and with the ship as I did laps, subduing the speed and exaggerating it accordingly.

So… that’s the skinny on running on a cruise ship. After doing a little research it appears that nearly all ships have the running track and quite probably most of them are better than the one I was on, but I found no faults and enjoyed it all thoroughly. The gym where the treadmill was was also quite nice looking out over the ocean with extremely spacious and adequate changing rooms, showers, and a dry sauna and a steam sauna.

Well that was that. A fun experience … would definitely go again, although I do think I prefer the woodsy outdoors opposed to the “beachy” – but hey I won’t pass it up… especially from February in Kansas.

…BUT as I told you… I enjoy the snow! I went for a nice run Saturday (right after about we got 12″ snow here locally in Lansing) after I had noticed while driving around that most sidewalks looked plowed. Well it was cold… and only some of the sidewalks were plowed, almost none of the ones I was going to run on… and as much as I wanted to hit the local dirt trail, even I know where to draw the line. My shorts and non-snow-shoes probably wouldn’t do too well in 12″ (and more in drifts) on the trails.

So what to do? Well I was running by the deserted local Elementary school (it was Saturday!) and I’d oft wondered… just how far was it around that parking lot? Heck… why not take a few laps. So lap it I did. The second time around I discovered it was .57 miles around the perimeter. I tested this the next time around by predicting my mileage at the loop (these are the crazy things you just love to do while wearing a garmin) and wa-la. The science was solid. So anyway I did a few laps here and eeked out a measly 4 mile run:

Zoom and and look at the southern portion… yep that’s a parking lot! Was it a boring run? No it wasn’t! It was ok! So the point is: the miles are where you make them! Sidewalk snowed up? Dying to run outside? Try a big (plowed) parking lot! Preferably one you can run to… wouldn’t you feel dumb for driving to one? No you wouldn’t? Me neither… but I’d rather run there.

See ya soon. I start officially training (yes that’s right, I’m not even training yet!) March 10th. So see? If you’ve been slacking off you’re fine! You got time! March 10th will mark 12 weeks out. I think. 🙂

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Mar 29 2012

Goal Establishment and Running Logs…

65 days – 2 months 4 days – until Hospital Hill Run 2012… when last examined specifically I had it at 85 days.

I’ve really been keeping up with my running log – and by that token I’ve also been keeping up with my running for the most part. The running log is great… if you’ve ever read my “About” page … that’s why this site is here… so I can keep a nice, easy, accessible running log. I even went today and resurrected my 2011 running log and linked it off the running log page… I can now compare the two side by side… and it looks like 2012 is going marginally better… I’ve really felt this time like I’ve quite kept up with it all. Usually I’m concerned about long runs – or more specifically the lack thereof as most of my runs tend to be 3-5 miles especially in years past but I’ve knocked out quite a few this year of distances over 7 miles. That’s a great feeling… to know you’re ready.

I was discussing training with my running bud and I mentioned to him that my next upcoming race, the Rock the Parkway half marathon was “in the bag/piece of cake/no sweat/done easily” — I hesitated for a moment before I sent that off as you don’t really ever want to be too over confident… but wait… why? Yes why the hell not? 13 miles!? I can knock that out in a couple hours man! (or less)… so… I sent it off. This is a blatant violation of certain unspoken runner’s creeds in which every task or race set before you will surely result in you “crawling across the finish line/leaving in an ambulance/finishing in 1+ hours more than it really will” etc etc ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Not discounting that… I’ve done it and will continue… but I regress…………………………………

Ok so its in the bag. Now what? Set a goal my friend! I like to set lots of goals. Don’t worry… you can always settle later by recalling and quoting any number of mishaps and misfortunes / sunspots etc. Starting with the first goal you’ll of course want to set the world record, then simply win, then set a personal record, then a course PR, then do better than last year… etc! Lots of goals!

Well my goal for Rock the Parkway, besides beating all comers will be to finish in 1:45ish. This is going to be the first of 4 half-marathons done in quick succession for me and this one should set the stage for things to come. I really want to run sub 1:45, and then I’d like to eventually run 1:39. I don’t know if the latter is possible, but if it is surely the former comes first. My current HM PR is 1:46:59 so I’ll need two minutes off of that for 1:44:59. I’ll actually settle for 1:45:XX.

SOOO….. Rock The Parkway… 1:45ish (sub 1:50) sounds good to start the season. The eventual goal will be a new PR/CR at the Hospital Hill Run. Hospital Hill is one tough course and I’ve had at least one good year on it… I was getting faster and faster each year until I wrecked it last year and had to invent new rules. So we have:

2007 – 1:56:32
2008 – 1:54:57
2009 – 1:51:37
2010 – 1:48:42
2011 – 1:54:51

This year I’ve conservatively set my goal at sub 1:54:51 — better than last year. Follow the goal chain up though and quickly we get to Course PR. I’d love to run sub 1:48:42. At Hospital Hill though!? Tough!!!! I really have no idea how I got that time in 2010. I believe that this year though, going in, I’m going to have a great idea of what I can do as I have not one, not two, but three lead up halves.

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Mar 20 2012

Unnecessarily verbose recollections of recent trail and track training

Yesterday I ran on good ‘ol Ken Bernard Park Trail. It was a fairly good run – and a quick one at that; punctuated near the end by a freshly rotting corpse of house cat laid out in the middle of the trail in such grotesque fashion that it was all I could do to retain my lunch. I can see it now in my mind’s eye: a grey cat which had it’s mouth open as if mewing with fangs bared and quite normal looking besides – save for a trip down the spine where the hind legs had a hole blown out of them by a dog or a shotgun. It was here at this exposure that several thousand scavenging consumers had assembled to wriggle about and waft waves of repulsiveness into the air. Stumbling forward from here I was able to continue and finish the run – stunned by my beautiful trail’s new addition.

As I departed my beloved well liked trail I ran into some geo-cah; no wait, wtf? Tick on my leg. Not attached thank GOODNESS but a little fat and enough to leak a discernibly and surprisingly off-yellow fluid as I crushed it and madly looked around for more. I don’t like ticks if it isn’t right now plain… and they’re just coming into season. Usually when RUNNING through the woods they just don’t have time to attach… but I suppose as I stumbled past the previously mentioned carcass one found time to go for a crawl. I believe next time I shall take precautions.

Well I left the well liked likable trail behind and that was a training day done, yesterday.

Today there was a nice rain falling which is at times a joy to run in. I set out with not much time on my hands – and smartly decided on a speed work out. These are hard to come by at times – not because of any other factor than the strange but perceptible characteristic of becoming harder and harder to set out for proportionately equal to the amount of time that has lapsed since the last. Conversely, now that I’ve got one down I expect to knock them out regularly for the rest of my training. Other “unique” runs follow the same pattern… a treadmill run is hard to commence if you’ve not done one in a while, a long run seems like there’s never a good time to start one since you haven’t done one in so long, been so long since you drove to a trail you’d rather not bother tonight, etc.

BUT! The pattern breaks somewhere… and tonight was the night! First track run I’ve done since June 2011. Love being able to pull that up on the Garmin logs, assuming I’ve labeled each run correctly. And you know what’s even more amazing? My postulated theory is right. Each track run of the past is surrounded by many more on each side date-wise, tapering off on each end. The other obvious factor becomes training goal and time off but believe me – sometimes it’s hard to get going on something and when you finally do – you’ve broken the ice and can continue. Great 🙂

So tonight’s speed workout wasn’t much… at least not anything to warrant the time spent here – but it was fun and enjoyably different to be on the track again. I ran there knowing the start line for the 100m on the south side of the track was .47 miles from my house. And was it? Yes it was. Comforting, those things that are constant. Well that aside I decided to see if I could run a sub 7:00 mile and ran 6:30. Good, but not great. I jogged a couple laps and decided to see if I could run a sub 1:00 quarter mile. I even turned on 90% at the end. 1:20! Terrible! I think? I’ve not done speed work in a while. No matter though – that just sets a nice high time which can be more easily broken next time – as I’m sure to return soon right? Oh, and I believe I was also hampered by unwelcome images of a rotting cat corpse which had me gagging and staggering at least once. Yuck.

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Mar 11 2012

Long Run Down.

Wow it really feels good not only to just get a long run in the books – which for me is the more major accomplishment – but also great to just nail it and have a great run.

I headed out on a rainy and 45 degree overcast Sunday morning after the time change, but up early enough to have a few coffees and not really notice it. As I was having a couple cups of coffee I set the Garmin 405 to charge for a little while and perused the official Hospital Hill Run training plans… I located the Advanced plan and noted it called for an 8 mile run in week one and a 9 miler in week two. Since I’d not run longer than 5 miles in over two months I figured I’d shoot for 8 miles as a warm-up anyway… I’d settle for no less. I didn’t really have a particular route in mind other than I kinda wanted to throw in a trail run… as I’m really addicted to those now. Well whatever route I ended up finding – I told myself if I somehow returned home with less than 8 logged on the Garmin I’d run in circles (or around the block) to make it eight.

I headed straight for the trail – Kelly Grove – but instead of hitting it I just decided to see how far I could go down this road. The pavement quickly gave way to gravel and I found myself surrounded by cattle and farms on an extremely quiet and still softly raining Kansas Sunday morning. This was a great feeling and the route was a pleasure to run on… I think I just may return here for many more miles in the near future. Up a couple of hills and I reached a road closed / minimum road maintenance sign which guarded a mud-pit of a road where the gravel ended. No matter, I was doing fine on mileage and turned around. On the way back I attempted briefly to hit up the Kelly Grove trail but unfortunately it was just too muddy — at least for my street running shoes… and my purpose today was to log miles. What little I ran of the trail was as always though a joy… just a minor disappointment that I was unable to complete the circuit.

Heading back the way I came I was over 5 miles but didn’t even feel like eating the gel I’d brought. Despite having no breakfast and only a couple coffees… I felt really strong and no signs of slowing, didn’t even need the gel! Well on the way back I decided since this was Hospital Hill training I would add a couple of nice hills and headed for them. They added some decidedly nice mileage *and* hills which left me feeling that this was a very productive run. I did finally scarf the gel at mile 7 but I was still feeling so good my second fastest mile of the day was mile 9. I felt sure I could go for 4 more… and though I had no time in mind and ran a little slower than I will want to eventually at Hospital Hill I was 100% satisfied with the run and on QUITE a runners high which did not dissipate for at least an hour after the run… heck, even now hours later I still feel great about it. I gotta start days like that more often. I love running sometimes.

Today’s Run on Garmin – 9.1 miles, 124:44 9:19 pace

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Dec 9 2009

Winter’s Here (at long last, an update!)

It’s Winter – well actually no it’s not technically I suppose – but you’d never know it from the projected possible negative 14 windchill tonight (and an outright temperature of -2). I do believe that’s just about the coldest forecast I remember. We got a decent snow the past couple of days too.

Winter in name or not, the running season is definitely under the weather.

What of Gobbler you ask? Well I just got too darned busy to train for it.

So what have I been doing since Sep 28th? The date of the last blog post? Glad you asked!

Ran:
Sep 29th – 3 Miles
Oct 1 – 3.5 Miles
Oct 6 – 3.5 Miles
Oct 12 – 9 Miles
Oct 17th – Kansas City Half-Marathon 2009, 1:49:31
Oct 23rd – 2.75 Miles (loosen up run after KC Half)
– No Runs –
Nov 21st – 3.47 Miles – Haven’s Wooded Trail Run 5k (went off course for extra mileage!) – 32:27
Dec 1st – 4.6 Miles
Dec 4th – 3.5 Miles
Dec 7th – 7.2 Miles, Rudolph’s Red Nose Run – 57:25

Seems like my training has fallen off SOOOO much… but looking back at the data now, its not as bad as I thought it might be. Almost 1 month hiatus between Oct 23 and Nov 21 (and Gobbler Grind would have been Nov 22). I did run twice on the treadmill the week leading up to Nov 21, but that’s it! I was concerned about my fitness for the Haven’s Trail Run, but it was fine!

Then didn’t run again for a bit – and decided to run the Rudolph race – which I only JUST found out about at the Haven’s Trail 5k.

…and now I’ve found out that there will be a Half-Marathon for the first time ever in Leavenworth Kansas!!! I’m stunned!!!

I mentioned in an earlier post about the storied past of road races in Leavenworth Kansas (actually there were next to none). And then in 2009 there were suddenly three – and now in 2010 there is another one to look forward to, and a half-marathon at that!!!

Here’s the website: http://www.fivetrailshalfmarathon.com/

Well I’m getting excited about running again after that long month off – and my new Runner’s World came today. Will winter dampen my spirits? Quite possibly, but I’m already looking forward to the closest upcoming race I could find, a trail run on January 31, 2010.

More info coming soon and some race reports if I can get around to it. SOOOO busy!!

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Sep 28 2009

Those last 4 runs, and what’s next…

Saturday August 29th 2009 – Great Escape Run 10k Ft. Leavenworth – Didn’t go.

Saturday September 5th 2009, – Clinton Lake 8.5 Mile Trail Run – Went to Kansas City Irish Festival instead.

Saturday September 12th 2009, – 3 Mile Creek 5k River Run, Leavenworth – *DID* go! Got 2nd place in my age group (30-34), 7th overall, with a time of 22:05.

Saturday September 19th 2009, Steeple Chase 5k – Had a garage sale that morning, instead of running!

So… 1 for 4. With the economy down I just really can’t afford to do all these runs you know? And though I blew some money at the KC Irish Fest (it was mostly worth it) made some of that right back by not going running – and the garage sale!

Well next up for me there’s:

Oct 17th – Kansas City Marathon (running the half hopefully)
Oct 24th- Nike+ “The Human Race” (just a solo run)
Nov 21st – Haven’s Park Wooded Trail Run, Leavenworth KS (Doing this one I think)
Nov 21st – Turkey Trot 5k – Fort Leavenworth (would go if I could!)
Nov 22nd – Gobbler Grind Marathon, Overland Park (hmmm….)

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Aug 17 2009

FIRST Training, Week 3

Yes week 3 is here already, hard to believe… of six scheduled runs I’ve completed four, and neglected perhaps the most important two: the two long runs, 13 & 15 miles.

Well as you well know by now this is the ALMOST FIRST program in which workouts are carefully evaluated and measured against other activities that are simultaneously scheduled – and then usurped. So yes, I missed the 15 miler this weekend, but I did manage to get in Week 2 Run 2 which should have been this:

ALMOST FIRST, Week 2, Run 2:
7 mile run; 1 mile easy
5 miles @ MP
1 mile easy

Actual Run:
6.85 mile run; 1 mile easy
4 miles @ MP (faster actually)
1 mile @ 10:10 (MP + 1:13)
.85 mile “easy”

So — pretty darn close. Only problem was I was beat at the end. Granted it was hot and humid, but I should have been able to knock this one out pretty easily. Oh well… could have been a lot worse I’m mostly happy with it. The MP Miles averaged to: 8:35 pace it was just under 8:37 MP anyway. Good.

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Aug 13 2009

Third Fourth FIRST Run

Hmm… well about that third run… yeah that was that long weekend-er run… 13 miles or something. That’s crazy!!!

OK – Well I’m sure there’s plenty of time left to do lots more long runs right? I mean who wants to do a 13 miler in August!? This is the ALMOST FIRST program remember!?

15 miler for this weekened…. Hmmmmm…… maybe! Maybe not! I’d like to… so we’ll see.

For now though we have DUN DUN DUN!!!!!! THE FOURTH FIRST RUN!!!

And you’ll never guess what…?

I did it completely!! Killed it!!!

Last week’s Run-1 was tough:
10-20 minute warm-up
3 x 1600m (1min. Recovery Interval)
10 minute cool-down

OUCH!!!! If you remember I managed:
13 minute warm-up
2 x 1600m (3:45 Recovery Interval)
8 minute cool down

This week’s Run-1 was:
1 mile warm-up
4 x 800m (2 min. RI)
10 minute cool-down

And what did I actually run?
1 Mile Warm-Up
4 x 800m (2 min. RI)
10 minute cool-down

YEA!!! NAILED IT!!! I even kept pretty good pace:
1×800 – 6:30 pace
2×800 – 6:21 pace
3×800 – 6:34 pace
4×800 – 7:04 pace

Pace for these runs is – remember – my 5k record pace of 6:47 – So I think that went well.

Updated Marathon goal time: 3:45:55. That’s a 8:37 pace. I needed to figure out my goal MP for sure because I have a LOT of MP and MP + X runs coming up where MP = Marathon Pace and X = number in seconds of which to run slightly slower for training.

I would have liked to lay this all down (writing on the blog) sooner… but I’ve been so busy I’ve barely had time for these runs! (And not enough time for a 13 miler…. yet….)

There are quite a few races coming up soon, and should I run any, I’ll be sure to report back here.

Also got my daughter out running with me now too (she’s 11) so… maybe I’ll have more to say on that soon too! Well… back to being busy.

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Aug 6 2009

FIRST Two Runs…

Yeah so, last year as you know, I tried the Hal Higdon plan. I think I only made mileage ONE week, of the eighteen week training program… that’s not really following that program I know… but whatever. This one I may fare better with — at least I’m hoping… I’m really going to try to stick with it. It’s the FIRST (Furman Institute of Running & Scientific Training) Marathon program – not to be confused with the FIRST First Marathon program (which does exist), its just the FIRST Marathon program. Confused? Hahahahaha ok so anyway…. Tonight I had one hell of a workout and it was only run 2 of week 1! The run 1 of week 1 was no easier… this program just jumps right in, has you running like crazy right away! This Saturday I have a 13 miler to do, I wasn’t planning on running a half-marathon this weekend, but I suppose I’ll try it…. I may come up a couple of miles short 🙂 That’s right I’ll just revise this as we go along. Since FIRST only comes in one flavor (hard as hell) I’ll just create my own program which is only slightly easier, its called ALMOST FIRST. Just how tough is this thing? First run: 10-20 minute warm-up 3 x 1600m (1min. Recovery Interval) 10 minute cool-down Ok, so thats a nice easy warm up — good. I think those intervals are supposed to be at 5k pace though, which for me I’ve determined is 6:47, based on my current 5k PR of 21:05. For not being a race, just training, that’s a fast pace! Ok so here’s what I ACTUALLY ran (remember this is the ALMOST FIRST plan): 13:40 minute warm-up 2 x 1600 (4 min recoveries) 8:16 minute cool down So – ran the warm up. Just down the street, and back a bit to the local track (its less than half a mile from my house… awesome!) where I proceed to run intervals! First mile is a doozy… I knocked it out at 6:51 pace which I was 100% satasfied with. Killed it! But tired though, so ok… walk 1 lap… and shit!!! Time to ramp up again already!? Well I manage a 7:30ish pace this time, which I’m pretty happy with too, cept now its time to quit. Here’s the garmin: first training week 1 run 1 Garmin Week 1 Run 1 So… I’d say I came darn close to getting this one right. Total time, 40:08. We’ll see how long it takes me next time. That was two nights ago!!! Tonight I did Week 1 Run 2 which is supposed to be: 6 mile run; 2 miles easy, 2 miles @ ST 2 miles easy Ok I think “ST” is Short Tempo? No matter, … it should be 5k pace + 20 seconds. So, 7:07 pace. Here’s what I actually ran: 6 mile run; 2 miles easy 1 mile tough pace, 1 mile grimacing through a sorta tough pace 2 miles run/walk/run/walk I’m now officially too tired to add all this shit up, so here’s another picture: FIRST week 1 run 2 More, better posts soon. For now… I’m tired!!! I was pleased with this run too though. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……

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Jun 1 2009

4:01:17

Minneapolis Marathon
May 31, 2009 in Minneapolis, MN

Number of Finishers: 1,201
Number of Females: 524
Number of Males: 677
Average Time: 4:26:10

My Numbers:
bib number: 828
age: 30
gender: M
location: Lansing, KS
overall place: 411 out of 1201
division place: 44 out of 83
gender place: 292 out of 677
time: 4:01:17
pace: 9:13
15 k: 1:23:12
16 m: 2:23:32
gun time : 4:02:37

Race Report coming soon…

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