August 31, 2007

A great simulation of a 5K with 1/2 mile recoveries

I ran 5 miles today and did my second attempt at simulating a 5K race. I followed Bruce's suggestion to do it in one-mile segments with a recovery between miles. I walked for half a mile for recovery. My laps were as follows.

Mile 1 - 10:32
Mile 2 - 9: 59
Mile 3 - 9:43

I timed the last half-mile at 9:24.

I didn't carry any water, and I took no walking breaks during the mile. Except for my hat instead of a sweat band, I was wearing what I will run with on September 22. Another difference between today and the race is that today was hotter (mid 80s (F) ) while the race will probably be in the mid 40s. I would like to break 30 minutes for the race, and that will require a 9:40 pace. I'm hoping that with the cooler temperature and the adrenalin factor I can do 9 minute miles which will just break 28 minutes.

I could tell that today wasn't my best day. I only had a one-day rest since I ran Wednesday evening, and I usually have a two-day rest before my Saturday runs. I ran today instead of tomorrow because I'll be gone all day tomorrow.

August 29, 2007

Hey, I'm 40 again

This evening, after the sun had set, I ran a planned 3.5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. By the time I had completed one mile, it was dark, and beautiful. I enjoy running at night because the world seems different. Quiet, peaceful. There is enough light from nearby buildings and parking lots that I have no problem staying on the path. It's nice to look at the lights of nearby and distant buildings. As I went past a golf course, there were people on the putting range enjoying their sport in the cooler evening. I still heard birds chirping nearby. I could see lights reflecting off the water of the Jordan River, and there were black spots all over the river, ducks and geese settled in for the night. During the first part of my run, I saw quite a few runners and walkers and bikers finishing their workouts. I saw two kids, a boy and a girl, walking on the wooden rail that borders the first part of my run, their arms stretched out to provide balance. As I went past the boy, who was about 10, I said, "You're better at that than I am." He made a comment, but I couldn't hear what he said. During my run, I still had sweat all over my face, but not nearly as much as I have during mid-day when the temp is in the mid 90s (F).

It took me about 2 miles to warm up, and during the remainder of the run I felt like I did when I was cruising the back roads of Massachusetts. It was a great feeling! A feeling like I could go on forever. No pain, no huffing or puffing, just cruising at a 10:40 pace.

When I finished my run, I stretched by the large South Jordan sign that is at the beginning/end of my run. After I finished my "wall pushers" and I was standing by the sign, the thought came to me that I'm 40 again. The temperature was in the low 70s (F) during my run, and that lower temperature might have contributed to the success of this run. However, a few days ago I ran earlier in the morning when the temperature was in the mid 70s, and I didn't have this feeling. What ever caused the feeling tonight, it was nice!

I think this is the way that all LSD runs should be finished. No feelings of being tired. No huffing or puffing. No sore legs. Just a great feeling from having a strong, healthy body. Many runners will run LSD until they're really tired, until they can't run any more. I prefer to stop while I'm still feeling great and want to continue but know I need to stop. I prefer to stop while I feel great, so I can look forward to the next run. Running LSD this way is just intuitive with me, the logical and common sense way to run. I was glad when I first read George Sheehan's essay on jogging (The Basics of Jogging) to find that he also espouses this way of running. That essay was the first thing I ever read in the running literature, and I immediately bonded with the essay because most of the ideas he advocated were things that I was already doing. This is why he has been my mentor for all my years of running.

August 28, 2007

If at first you don't succeed, abort the run

I started on my 5-mile run but could tell I was tired. I didn't have the "spark" of energy that I had on Saturday and yesterday. So I aborted the run and did 3.5 slow miles. Depending on how I feel tomorrow, I may skip tomorrow's run. I'll be doing my 5K simulation this week on Friday instead of Saturday, and I want to be well rested for that workout. My wakeup HR was 51. I was out two hours later than yesterday, and the temperature was in the low 80s (F) during my run.

August 27, 2007

Today was a rest run

Saturday was a great speed run, so today was a great rest run of 5 miles. It took me 2 1/2 miles to warm up, and I probably ran 11:00 to 11:30 during that part. I ran faster on the way back and timed the last 1/2 mile as 10:42. In all cases, as I usually do in a rest run, I let my body set the pace.

I was on the trail this morning before the sun was up, and it was a nice mid 60s temperature. I actually felt a little bit cold when I first started, but I was sweating by the time I reached the 1/2 mile mark. My wakeup HR was 50.

Nothing in life is free

One disadvantage of running at sunup or sundown is there are lots of small moths, insects or what ever they are that hit your face and get into your eyes. They hover in clouds near the bank of the river. They are larger than gnats and are a whitish color instead of the dark color of gnats. Most of the Parkway trail is far enough from the river bank that these things aren't a problem, but in a few places the trail gets close to the river and goes through clouds of these things. Ahhh... the price of a great run!

August 25, 2007

Today was a wonderful speed run

I felt great during my 5-mile run this morning. The temperature was about 10 degrees (F) cooler than it has been. My wakeup HR was 50. I felt great and had a lot more endurance than I've had during the past couple of weeks. I was out an hour earlier than I've been getting out, and I enjoyed seeing ducks swimming in the river. When I left home, the shade temperature was in the mid 60s, and it was 78 when I returned.

First attempt to simulate my next 5K run

Today I ran a simulation of my next 5K. I ran about 2 miles with no walking breaks. I went out at a pace of 9:05, which was too fast. I slowed down to a pace of 9:40 - 9:50 and maintained that pace for the rest of the 2 miles. I could have continued that pace for the 3.1 miles, but Mother Nature was calling and I had to make a pit stop at a restroom in a nearby pavilion.

There are three improvements I'll make for my simulation next week.

First, I'll go slower in my one-mile warm up. I ran that mile this morning at a pace of 11:15, which is too fast for a warm up. Next week I'll do more walking during the warm up and will jog at a pace around 12 minutes.

Second, I'll try to go out not quite so fast. Even though I quickly slowed down today, I did waste some energy during that first quarter mile.

Third, I won't carry any water or Gatorade with me, thus having less weight to carry. When I left home for my run, I had forgotten that today was simulation day, and I carried my 24 ounces of liquid, a weight of over 1 1/2 pounds plus the weight of my fuel belt. Next week I'll drink in my car before I begin the run and then again when I return to the car.

To break 30 minutes in the 5K, I need to run 9:40, and I ran close to that today for 2 miles. I shouldn't have a problem completing the 3.1 miles next week, and then I'll just need to bring my pace down to 9:30 - 9:40.

I'll probably do the simulation on Friday next week because I have an activity Saturday morning, and I don't want to run later in the evening.

New LOCO Carumba right out of the box

I ran in my new Carumba today. One reason I like LOCO shoes is that I can use them right out of the box -- no breaking in!

August 24, 2007

Going to a new pair of LOCO Carumba shoes

Even though they have only 255 miles, I'm retiring my Carumba shoes from running so I can use them for my non-running shoes. When I went to Carumba shoes a few months ago, I retired my Mojo shoes from running and used the Mojo for my daily shoes. The Mojo are motion-control shoes, and I wanted to stop using them and use a neutral shoe for my daily shoes.

August 22, 2007

A nice rest run

Yesterday I was tired and reduced my run from 5 miles to 3.5 miles. Today I was still tired but ran the full 5 miles and enjoyed the run. My pace during the run was 11:00 - 11:30. My wakeup HR was 51. The temperature when I left home was 76 (F), and it was 89 when I returned.

Expected temperature for the 5K on September 22

My next race will be a 5K on September 22. The race starts at 9 am and will be in the Daybreak area of South Jordan.

During the summer, races usually start around 6 am to take advantage of the cool night air. This race, however, is starting three hours later, implying that the September temperatures will be cooler. I checked my blog for last year to see what the morning temperature was, and on September 23, 2006 the temp was 44 (F). Thus, September 22, 2007 should be a great day for a race, assuming it isn't windy or storming.

August 21, 2007

Today was not a day for a spectacular run

I felt pretty good when I got up and my wakeup HR was 49, but when I started to run I could tell I was tired. I ran a slow pace from 11:30 to 12:00 for 3 1/2 miles. It felt hot to me, even though the temperature was in the low to mid 80s (F).

I can think of two reasons why I was tired. First, I had good runs on Saturday and yesterday, and I needed a rest day. Second, my wife and I attend a family reunion last night, and I was on my feet for over three hours, including a mile walk around a pond. The good news is that I've been sleeping well.

August 20, 2007

A great rest run

I ran 5 miles again and enjoyed the run. I ran a comfortable rest pace and let my body dictate the speed. The temperature was about 10 degrees (F) cooler than it has been, and it was a nice experience. On the way out I ran from 11 - 11:30, and on the way back I ran from
10:30 - 11, although I ran the last half mile about 10:20. My wakeup HR was 51.

A change in strategy for running faster

Since I ran the half-marathon in April, I've been trying to increase my long slow distance pace. I've been doing this by just running faster, hoping that my body will adopt the higher speed as its normal speed.

However, I'm thinking of running another 5K on September 22, and I would like to break 30 minutes. To do that I would have to run a pace of 9:40 with no walking breaks. I'm thinking I should practice that pace during the next month so it will be something I'm familiar with. Thus, I think that on Saturdays I will run 3.1 miles at a pace of 9:35 and no walking breaks. I will run a restful mile before the 3.1 miles to warm up and a restful mile after the 3.1 miles to cool down. My other three runs will be similar to the runs I've been doing. In addition, I've been taking walking breaks during my five miles because of the heat, but with cooler weather coming up, I shouldn't need to take them.

August 18, 2007

Still tired but a nice run

Today I did another 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. I could tell I was still tired, but not as much as I was on Wednesday. Most of my running was between 10:30 and 11:00, but I did have brief periods around 10:00, with an eighth of a mile under 10. I timed the last half-mile at 10:28, but during the last quarter mile I was running 10:15.

The temperature was 67 when I left and 78 when I returned, thanks to a storm front that is passing through. The sky was overcast and it was nice not to be running in the direct sun. My wakeup HR was 50.

May run a 5K on September 22

South Jordan is having another 5K race in Daybreak on September 22. I'm thinking of running it. According to photos on the race web site, there were only about 50 people who ran it last year. It looks like a small-town race that should be fun to run. I won't get a medal, though, because my age group for the race is 45 and above. I would like to break 30 minutes.

August 15, 2007

A nice rest run

I didn't run yesterday, because I was tired, but I felt ok today and ran 5 miles on the Parkway. I didn't have as much energy as last Saturday or Monday, but I had a nice rest run. My pace for the last half-mile was 10:41, so my pace for the whole run was probably between 10:30 and 11:00. It took me about 2 miles to warm up, and I ran faster on the way back. The shade temperature when I left was about 80 (F), and it was about 90 when I returned.

Can't eat anything before I run

I usually run first thing in the morning before I have breakfast. In the past I've been able to eat something light before I left for the run, but I'm finding now that I'm running faster for my LSD and rest paces, I can't eat anything. This morning I had a couple handfuls of Cheerios, and I had an upset stomach for the first mile or so.

August 13, 2007

A nice 5-miler

I ran 5-miles on the Jordan River Parkway. My wife and two grandkids who are visiting us came with me, and the kids played on a playground that is next to the Parkway while I ran. My pace was about 10:30 - 11:00. Due to getting the grandkids ready, we were late getting out, and the temperature was in the high 80s to low 90s (F) during my run. I enjoyed the run and didn't push for speed.

August 11, 2007

A great run to end my rest week

Boy, did I have a great run today! I had to hold myself back, and even then I ran faster than I have all week. After my half-mile warm up, I ran between 10 and 10:30 minutes/mile going out. Coming back I was between 9:55 and 10:15 minutes/mile, and I went even faster during the last half mile, a 9:48 pace. I didn't force any speed and just let my body set its pace. My wakeup HR was 51. I was late getting out, and it was 92 (F) when I left home.

August 9, 2007

The 2nd run of my rest week

I had a great rest run this morning, 4 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. Even though I was late getting out, the temperature when I left was 76 (F), and it was 86 (F) when I returned. I ran at a comfortable 11 minute pace and enjoyed myself. My wakeup HR was 51.

August 7, 2007

Aborted my run & took a rest day

I felt tired when I got up, but I went out running anyway. After a quarter mile, I turned around and walked back. I could have continued and probably felt better after I'd warmed up, but I decided it was better to rest today and increase my chances of having a good run tomorrow rather than risking losing both days. The temperature was about the same as yesterday, so that wasn't a factor in my being tired. Also, I slept well last night. I had a good running week last week and yesterday, and I think my body just needs more rest.

August 6, 2007

The first run of my rest week

This week is my resting week in which I will do reduced mileage and my rest pace. I ran 4 miles this morning, a reduction of 1 mile (20%). I let my body set its pace, which was 10:30 - 11:00. The temperature was 76 (F) when I left home and 86 (F) when I returned, and it was a pleasant day to be outside. There were quite a few people on the Parkway. My wakeup HR was 53.

I'll race you to that green sign

I saw a family on the Parkway. The mother was pushing a stroller, and two sons were riding bikes. The older son was about 10, and he was about 100 yards in front of his family. As I neared him, I said to him, "I'll race you to that green sign" (a distance of about 100 yards). He smiled, turned around, and took off to the sign. Since this was a rest day, I just continued my pace. As I neared the sign, the boy had turned around and was heading back toward me. As I ran past him, I held out my hand and gave him a "high 5".

Don't ignore pain, even minor pain

On Thursday evening, Friday, and Saturday of last week, I could feel a minor pain in my right quad. At first I ignored it, because I thought it was probably from my sitting at my computer for several hours on Thursday. The pain was very weak, and I didn't notice it much during the day. However, I had a slight difficulty walking, because my right foot felt weak, and, my knees felt a bit weak when going up stairs.

After my run Saturday morning, I decided I'd better do something about the pain, to prevent it from evolving into an injury. I stretched my quads during the rest of Saturday, several times on Sunday, and this morning before I ran. As soon as I stretched my quads, I could feel a reduction in the pain, and by Saturday afternoon the pain was gone. It was also gone on Sunday and so far today.

The moral of this story is that if you experience an abnormal condition in your body, don't ignore it because it may get worse; give it appropriate treatment. I usually don't have any pain in my body, so that minor pain was abnormal. If I had ignored it, it might have evolved into an injury.

Even though I haven't had the pain since Saturday morning, I'm going to continue stretching my quads for a few days.

August 4, 2007

The best run I've had for a month!

I ran 5 miles on the Parkway this morning and did really well. Most of the run was between 10:00 and 10:30. A mile was between 9:30 and 9:45. A few minutes was under 9:30 and above 11:30. As I usually do, I didn't force my pace but just let my body do its thing. I felt fine and enjoyed the run.

Even though it was after 10 am when I left home, it was about 10 degrees (F) cooler than it has been, due to a storm front that has been passing through (lots of rain during the past couple of days). The temperature was 78 (F) when I left home and in the low 80s (F) when I returned. I'm sure the lower temperature helped. And, a 6-7 tailwind on the way back may have helped a bit, too, but the same wind was a headwind on the way out :(

Checked my GPS elevation reading with a benchmark

There is a surveyor's benchmark next to the Parkway, and on my way back, I stopped to read the elevation at that point. The BM said 4314 feet. My GPS said 4344 feet. Considering that my GPS is an old three-satellite device, the 30 foot discrepancy is ok.

August 2, 2007

My first racing flats

If you've been reading my blog for very long, you'll know that I run in LOCO shoes from LOCO has a "Club LOCO" that gives discounts to club members. Anyone can become a club member via email. Each month Club LOCO members receive a discount off of LOCO shoes, and they usually get a free item with the shoes, such as a poly T-shirt, a singlet, stockings, or a cap. This month they gave a free pair of Bandito racing shoes. So, I ordered an extra pair of Carumba shoes (24% discount) and got my Bandito shoes.

I tried the Bandito shoes this morning and ran half a mile with no problems. I want to try them out at distances at least up to 5K, because racing shoes have less cushioning than training shoes (that's why they are called flats), and I want to be sure my feet handle the shoes fine. LOCO claims that the Bandito has more cushioning than most flats, and they felt fine for for the short half-mile run. The Bandito weighs 8.5 oz compared to 9.9 oz for my Carumba.

Later: I've been reading about racing flats and have learned that they may only affect my pace by 10-15 seconds. The web sites I visited emphasized that flats have a greater risk of injury than trainers due to less cushioning. The sites also emphasized that unless one is running 7-minute miles or faster, the benefits of flats don't compensate for the risks of using them. So, I think I'll put the flats away and save them for the time when I'm running 7-minute miles :)

August 1, 2007

Finally had a rest run

It was 10:00 am when I ran my 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. Because of getting out late, it was hotter than it has been but not as hot as last week. I could tell my body was ready for a rest, so I just let it do its thing. My pace varied from 10:30 to 11:30, with most of the running between 11:00 and 11:30. The shade temperature when I left home was 82 (F) and 88 (F) when I returned home.

My wife came with me, and she walked 3 miles. I caught up with her towards the end, and we walked the last 1/8 mile together.

I am significantly faster than a year ago

One year ago, I was a week away from my three-week taper before the Great Salt Lake Half-Marathon. My fastest training run at that time was at a 11:34 pace for 13 miles. Now, a 11:34 pace is a slow, restful pace, and my "high energy" pace for 10 miles is 10:00 minutes. I said 10 miles not 13 miles, because I've reduced my distance since the Salt Lake City Half-Marathon in April so I could focus on getting a faster LSD pace.

If I can cut another minute 30 seconds from my pace by this time next year, I'll be ready to break 2 hours in a half-marathon and hopefully be down in the mid to high 20s (minutes) for a 5K.

Another 5K coming up?

I just found out there is another 5K in South Jordan in September, and I'm considering running it. I don't know any details about it yet. South Jordan is a convenient location for me to do a race.