July 2006 Archives

Week 5

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With a ten-mile run this weekend we're starting to get into the "no, really" phase.

This week was 3-5-3 midweek and 10 on the weekend. I did the 5 mile run as a tempo run at 9:30 miles - mainly to make sure I had time to get ready for work and still catch the train. It's going to be tough on Wednesdays as the runs ramp up.

The "long run" went pretty well. I was being good about keeping my tempo and not speeding up until I stopped to refill my water bottle with about a half-mile to go. I noticed somebody catching up with me and so I put it in gear. I had been averaging a little over 11 minutes a mile but mile 10 was closer to 9:30. Hmm. I suppose it's good that I had the energy for that.

I did some "real" crosstraining this weekend as well - we took a family bike ride to the park and back. Thanks to Google Maps Pedometer I can tell you it was about four miles round trip. Better than nothing.

Weight-wise I was down to 215. I say "was" because Katy made fried chicken, biscuits, and gravy for dinner last night. Wow. I ate like a pig. I'm not getting anywhere near a scale for a few days.

Current chart is here.

Cross Training

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My buddy Hal tells me I should cross-train one day a week as part of my marathon training.

Yeah, right. When exactly am I going to work that in? Does playing Marco Polo with the kids count?

Last night, however, I was working in the yard when I realized that I cross-train almost every week. Pushing a mower, sweeping the sidewalks, edging the grass - I generally spend about an hour on it, and I say it counts.

I'll be checking cross training off the list. Ha!

Week 4

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So, I've been at this for a month now. This was a surprise revelation to me Saturday morning as I was out running.

Pretty normal week - 3.5-4-3 during the week and 9 on Saturday. Not much to say about that really, except that the 9 miler wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Running that far gave me a chance to eat a delicious gel pack for breakfast at mile 6.

Not surprisingly, my weight came back up a bit to 216.5 but I'm confident that my patented "Eat Less Exercise More" plan will continue to provide a downward trend there. As usual, the chart is here.

On Saturday I ran alongside a guy for a while - and he told me his "Running Life Story." A few years ago he ran the L.A. Marathon - starting training two months beforehand because one of his friends wanted somebody to run with. He "struggled across the line in just under 5 hours." Now he runs Boston Marathon qualifying times. After a mile or so he peeled off to go his own way.

I'll be damn glad to "struggle across the line" in under 5 hours. Good riddance, Boston Qualifier Man.


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This is the shirt Mister P is wearing today:


Just when I thought things were starting to calm down a bit. But now? Oh, it's on.

Karma Preview

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Last weekend Mister P completed the New York City Triathlon. The finish of the swim leg sounded truly disgusting:

"The finish was, by far, the most disgusting swim I have ever done. The water was so shallow that your hands scraped a thick layer of muck. But the muck was so deep that you couldn't stand up in it. The water was pitch black from all the dirt / oil / decomposing bodies, and you just sort of had to plow your face through it. People who did not run through the hose at the exit arrived in the transition area with black grimy faces. Gross."

I was going to post a comment along the lines of "I never have to deal with oily sewage water - but then I'm 'just a runner'."

On Tuesday morning I was out when some sprinklers turned on along the hillside where I was running. One of them was way way out of alignment and hit me full force in the face and chest. It startled me enough that I didn't think to step out of the way, and it was on me for several seconds. As it drenched me from the waist up, all I could think of was "do they use reclaimed water along here?"

For those who don't know, reclaimed water is "treated sewage water" that is suitable for irrigation but not for consumption. You can use it to water food crops if they are boiled before eating. Aaagh! Blech! Yuck!

I hurried home in full gross-out mode and got in the shower. I normally take a cool shower after a run but Tuesday it was as hot as I could stand it. I had the heebie jeebies big time.

This morning I ran along that same route and checked for the tell-tale lavender fixtures that indicate reclaimed water usage. It was all "potable green." Still, I won't be posting that comment on Neoprene Wedgie - that just wouldn't be nice.

I decided that I would try to get my picture in the paper when I ran the 5k on July 4th.

Mostly this meant looking for paunchy guys wearing safari vests holding cameras with long lenses. (I know this is a stereotype but it's a stereotype for a reason.) I noticed a couple guys that fit the description on the "out" leg of the out-and-back part of the course. On the "back" leg I made sure I was:

a) On the same side of the road as said photographer
b) Clear of other runners
c) Not looking at the camera, but down the course
d) Not exactly smiling but not exactly frowning

I also think that wearing a t-shirt without a big logo on it would help. As my favorite running shirt right now is a white C9 dri-fit shirt from Target I had that covered too.

Let's face it - even in a 5k you have plenty of time to think through stuff like this.

Sadly, though, no picture in the paper. Maybe next time.

Week 3

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I'm glad to say that week three is in the books. I'm exhausted.

Not from the running - this week was 3-4-3 midweek and 5 on the weekend - but from watching the Tour de France. Getting through three or four hours of race footage every night is keeping me from getting to bed when I need to.

I also appear to have lost more weight this week - I think my metabolism is starting to pick up a little, but a lot of the change this week is simply because I ran on Sunday morning before weighing in. Perhaps that's cheating but I have been weighing in on Sunday morning so at least I have the "consistency" defense.

As always, the updated training chart is here.

I know that it's good to support local shops, and I try to when I can.

My local running store, Runner's Lane, made a lifetime customer out of me this week.

I haven't been in there since late last summer. I stopped by one night this week to get another couple pairs of Wrightsock double-layer socks (love them!) and the owner remembered:

a) My name (first and last)
b) The shoe manufacturer and model that I bought from her last summer
c) That I hurt my knee training for the Long Beach marathon

I was impressed!

Week 2

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I'm still trying to get into the groove here so it's nice that the midweek runs are still short.

Since I did the 5k at pace on Tuesday I took it easy on Wednesday and Thursday. I ran my usual 3.5 mile loop on Wednesday and I meant to do just 3 on Thursday. Unfortunately I am not good at maths while running before 7 AM and so I cleverly tacked on an extra quarter-mile on the way out. Oh well, I wanted to hurry to get ready for work and dash across the parking lot for the train anyway.

Yesterday's seven miles was somehow easier than the six miles last weekend. Maybe I'm just getting used to the turtle pace that I have to maintain to keep my heart rate down. When you run 12 minute miles it takes a while to get anywhere. The seven miler brought this week's total up to 17.1 miles.

I did somehow manage to lose a little weight, down to 218.5 pounds. The updated chart is here.

I must say I was looking forward to having somebody to train with for the Santa Clarita Marathon. Even if we never ran together, knowing somebody else was covering the miles and would be asking me if I did the same was a good incentive. It also gave me another answer to the standard 5 AM question I often ask myself - "Do we really have to get up now?"

But now that Mister P has made known his disdain for single-sport athletes (term "athlete" is used loosely in association with me, to be sure) I'm not sure we're really training together. I will say this though - I have no doubt that Mister P's marathon experience will help him finish well ahead of me this fall.

It's possible that he's just trying to trick / shame me into triathlons.

On July 4th I ran the local 5k - I needed to do a 3 mile run anyway and I thought it would be fun to do. The race course goes right along the parade we always attend so it seemed like a no-brainer.

I parked the car where we usually do for the parade and walked / jogged to the starting area. After wandering around for a while looking for race day registration I got my number and my bag of race crap, including a pretty nice t-shirt. Since I didn't want to walk a mile back to my car to drop it off I stashed the paper bag of stuff in a bush at the junior high school across the street.

There were about 600 runners and walkers lined up at the start. Starting from my traditional "2/3rds back" position I crossed the line about 10 seconds after the gun and tried to settle into my mile one pace. (I planned to run a 9:30 mile, a 9:00 mile, and an 8:30 mile.)

As I came around a corner onto the parade route I saw my family walking along looking for a place to sit. They all yelled greetings as I went by - except for Katy, who shouted something along the lines of "Hey! There are people pushing strollers in front of you! Get moving!" Thanks sweetie!

From there it was pretty routine - slowly passing folks that went out too fast and were gassed out early. In the last mile or so I kept passing this young kid. I would pass him as he walked along panting, and then thirty seconds later he would blow by me, running full-out. This repeated itself a couple times until we got into the last hundred yards or so. I picked up the pace and passed him for good about 75 yards from the finish chute.

I heard his mom talking to him behind me and then I heard a splashing sound. I figured his mom was dumping water on his head until I turned around and saw him projective vomiting on the street. Yikes! Somehow I managed to keep it off my shoes. After that narrow escape I grabbed some orange slices and a bottle of water, recovered my bag from the bushes, and joined the family for the parade.

So, to summarize: Fun run, happy with my pace (9:40 / 9:10 / 8:30, negative splits babeee!), final time 28:25, only beaten by one stroller-pusher, made one kid throw up. Cool!

Week 1

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Week 1 wasn't too bad. It really is week 0 - my training plan (well, okay, Hal Higdon's training plan) is 18 weeks and the marathon is in 19 weeks, but I wanted to give myself a week of slack in case I get hurt or have to travel.

Tuesday and Thursday were slow runs but Wednesday was tempo day - 9:30 min/mile for three miles. It felt good to get out there three days in a row.

Saturday was the first "long run" of the program. Six miles.

Frankly, I was not impressed going in. Six miles? Feh. I can reel off six miles like nothing!

Turns out, not so much. Wow, was that unpleasant. I struggled through the second half of the run, trying in vain to keep my heart rate in the 75-85% range. I can make some excuses - it was hot, the smog was awful, etc - but frankly I am not in as good a shape as I thought I was. I guess that's probably better to figure that out early.

The one fun fact from Saturday? It's the one and only day that I will run further than the riders in the Tour de France rode. The prologue was a mere 7.1 km / 4.4 mi. Take that, pro cyclists!

Unfortunately, the fourth of July weekend really messed with my patented "eat less exercise more" weight loss plan and I did not lose any weight. Click here to see my current training chart.

Well now.

Mister P has declared his intentions to train for the Santa Clarita marathon this fall.

He and I were involved in a little bit of a standoff - "I'll do it if you do it" - but when he sent me an email earlier this month (admittedly in a post-triathlon haze) saying there was "no frickin' way" he was going to I figured it was off.

But now it's on. To be perfectly clear, let me state that it is my intention to train for the Santa Clarita marathon along with Mister P.

This is a good thing. I needed an event to train for, a goal to focus on. I'd very much like to get the sour taste of last year's training unpleasantness out of my mouth. I could also stand to lose a few pounds. And as a bonus, the Santa Clarita marathon is literally in my back yard.

So tomorrow morning it starts once more. A simple 3 mile run.

My goals? First, to complete the marathon. Second, be ineligible to compete in the Clydesdale class. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Just A Runner

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If I did Mister P a favor by giving him the name for his triathlon weblog, Neoprene Wedgie, then he has now repaid it with "Just A Runner."

This is where all my running related stuff will go.

Email The Runner

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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