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 16 2012

Coming Soon…

Another week just about done and training is going fairly well in the respect that – it’s going! I’m finding myself very fortunate to be finding times for runs at all with some of the insanely busy schedules I endure. I ran tonight quickly… a quick ride out to the park, a quick 5k run and another one done.

So what is coming soon? Some information about the park I’ve been running at – presented in spectacular style! It should be fun… I think I’ve teased it on here before perhaps? If not I tease it now. Not this weekend unfortunately… but hopefully sometime next week I’ll have those pages up. There’s something to look forward to eh?

…and something else that is coming soon. Seems like the latest craze is obstacle course type runs. There was an article about them in Runner’s World recently, the Warrior Dash to be specific. I remember the first time I saw the promo video for the Warrior Dash… I was like “woa… what is this craziness and where did it come from?” Well that year (2010) there was no Warrior Dash in Kansas City. The next year there was, and I brought it up at work to show my co-workers. One of my co-workers commented that he would actually in fact be running a race called “Ruckus” and told me all about it. It sounded quite intriguing and looked like quite a run itself.

Long story short this year there are now THREE two such events Ruckus, Warrior Dash, and (there was to have been a third…) the Commando Run.

The Commando Run is cancelled. I actually think that’s for the best though – reason being it was the same date as Ruckus. You hate to see two events going head to head like that competing for patrons. Well no matter, it’s cancelled and they’ve transferred all of the registrations to Ruckus which looks to be a stellar event! Great!

Just in case though – just in case… you’d like to run Ruckus on March 31st (that’s real soon) and haven’t signed up yet…. I’m happy to provide you with a special promo code for $10 off your entry fee! During the sign up process just enter the special code: ” runsometimes ” – and instantly get $10 off! Great huh?

You must sign up by the 28th at the absolute latest though!

I can’t make it there this year, and I can’t make the Warrior Dash either. Bummer. I definitely plan on attending one or more next year though… so, tell me how it goes? 🙂

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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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Mar 8 2012

Hospital Hill Run 2012

Well the new graphic is up… if you don’t see it hit refresh a couple times or hold shift and hit refresh… yes … now you see it?

So why is 2012 emphasized? Cause it’s not just any year… its 2012! The 39th running of Hospital Hill! My 6th consecutive, and either your first, your last, your 20th, your 2nd, or somewhere in there… in any case… I’m excited to be blogging about it again and ramping up for it. Today is basically the end of week 1 in training. Sure there’s tomorrow, and true enough sometimes I do find myself running on a Friday and tomorrow might even hold that promise… but I’ve got time to write at the moment and so NOW becomes the end of week one (don’t worry, it simply extends week 2 – no time lost!).

So… what did I get done in week 1? A fair amount… let’s see:

5+ mile run
3.1 mile trail run
3.1 mile trail run, at a 1:00min faster pace than previous…
30 min treadmill/weights.

Sounds good for a week. All I’m really missing is all I’m ever really missing… some long runs.

Only 86 days to Hospital Hill Run!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 months 25 days!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!! That sounds close!

Well time to train! Drink some beer… I got time… right?

You know racing season is looming closely when:

KC Marathon registration opened today!
Marine Corps marathon registration opened – and sold out in two hours!
Fort Leavenworth has FINALLY announced their first race of the season:
“SHARP SAFETY DAY 5k – 8 a.m. – Saturday, March 31st 2012 – Harney Sports Complex.”

See ya in week two! How many times have you run HHR?

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