Mar 30, 2007

p = m v

Imagine a large semi-truck rolling down the highway at 100 mph (that's a lot of momentum!). Now imagine it passing some of the most beautiful scenic overlooks, tempting the driver to slow down and break that momentum. That was me this morning as I roared through my door after a killer workout and was greeted by my 2 adorable puppies, a hot shower and my beautiful wife as she slept peacefully in bed. My momentum was shot and I wanted nothing more than to spend the day at home like a slug : ) Good thing my workout was behind me.

I did a modified 3-2-1 workout instead of a typical tempo (I'm getting bored with those!). Having only 45-minutes, I went with a 2-1-0.5 workout for a total of 7 miles (see below)

Mile 1 - 7:01
Mile 2 - 6:48
Mile 3 - 5:59
Mile 4 - 5:58
Mile 5 - 7:53
Mile 6 - 5:38
Mile 6.5 - 4:02
Mile 7.0 - 2:42
Total Time- 46:03
Avgerage Pace - 6:35

Had just enough time to re-fill my water bottle and head into spin class. Wednesday's class was all about speed so today was to be about resistance. Susanna (if you're reading this), Green Day's "Wake Me Up When September Ends", "Holiday" and Queen's "I Want to Break Free" stood out this morning as good songs.

One of the regular spinners stumbled upon my blog through a google search. How crazy is that? Hi Nancy if you're reading this! It was nice to meet you this morning. I'm envious of your committment to spinning. It makes me want to work harder and go more often!

Mar 27, 2007

It's A Dog's Life

On my way out the door this morning, I asked my dog Kootie (that's him on the left) if he would like to go in my place to run hills. I gave him explicit instructions as to how many reps to do and at what pace to do them at. He yawned, rolled to his side and fell back asleep : ) Oh well. I was just in no mood to do hills today but I sweated out 6 of them, on the treadmill no less, with the steepest incline at 9.5%. The only thing I did different from last time was shorten the climb to 0.25 miles. I kept the recovery to 0.4 miles, which seemed too short given the way I was feeling. I did some light work on my hamstrings and quadriceps afterwards and was able to look down at the pool in between reps and take note of a couple guys who appeared to be strong swimmers. I plan on taking the plunge again tomorrow but am not sure whether to go before or after my scheduled 4 mile run. I've had trouble with leg cramps when swimming after a run, so maybe it makes sense to swim first. Any thoughts?

Artwork: 10-minute sketch of Kootie I did last night

Mar 26, 2007

Ideal Weather

Weather conditions for our group run on Sunday were near ideal. It was perhaps 4-5 degrees too cold to call it perfect running weather but no one was complaining. There was such a sharp, but welcome contrast to some of the group runs we've endured up to this point. Fourteen miles was the scheduled distance so we were to run from the marina (Rocky River Reservation) down to the "tree line" just past Mastick Woods...and back. I had set up a water table at 3.5 miles and Team Coordinator Tracy headed out to the Cottonwood Picnic Area, which is just shy of the turnaround, to provide a second stop for water and gels. The group was relatively small, but a good group nonetheless. With so few, I always wonder if I'm seeing a representative sample of the entire group or if those that show up to group runs are a little ahead of the rest. Anyway, we ended up going a little farther than planned but no one seemed to mind since it was such a gorgeous morning. I spent miles 3.5-7 catching up with the rest of the group after having run alongside some of the half-marathoners who were only doing 6 miles. This gave me an opportunity to run at tempo pace, which was kinda nice since I had to skip my scheduled Saturday run because of work (blah!!).

This is why we like running! Look at that backdrop!

Mar 23, 2007

Something Unusual

Something very unusual happened this morning. I actually got in the pool for the first time in 6 months! I found that swimming is kinda like riding a bicycle... once you learn, you never forget. Except in my case, the bicycle is one of those ancient high wheel types that are inefficient as heck. I had fun though and was really impressed with the pool and the room it's in. one half of the indoor track passes by the pool with 5-6 large windows looking down on it so I shouldn't have been surprised with the wide open feel in the room. The pool itself was a cozy 84°F. I stretched for a few minutes before jumping in and started off with some easy backstroking to get the blood flowing. I then went right into laps but made a point not to count. For now, I don't want to structure my swims at all. I'll do what feels productive in whatever amount of time I've got available (30-minutes this morning). Had just enough time to get showered and changed before heading into a 45-minute spin class. Hey, I guess that counts as a brick!

Mar 20, 2007

Speedwork, Gettin' Tough

6x800 meters this AM. I ran them faster than when I last did 800's and kept to my 2:50 rest intervals in order to make the most of the workout. I started off fast as always simply because I don't want to start off slow. My problem is that I never adjust. Oh well. I'm pretty good at listening to my body and would bring it down a notch if needed. My goal has been to work up to 8x800, leaving every 5:40, consistently running 2:50's (or better). So far so good.

1 - 2:46, 2 - 2:44, 3 - 2:43, 4 - 2:45, 5 - 2:43, 6 - 2:46

I hope these workouts pay off because half the people at the gym think I'm nuts. Seriously. I can see it in their faces when they look at me.

Mar 19, 2007

Weekend Summary

I managed to get my weekend runs done so early in the day that by 3PM or so I was feeling the need to do something else... almost as if I never went out in the morning. Yesterday was especially strange given that I had knocked out 18-miles by 9AM. I felt great during the run with the exception of my shoulders, which hurt because I did some light bench pressing on Saturday after completing my 8-mile pace run, which was in the books by 8AM. I'm still not a morning person, but I'm starting to feel like a morning runner. Baby steps, I guess.

Substituted my planned 3 mile recovery run with a 45-minute spin class this morning.

Mar 15, 2007

Cardio Vision

This morning called for hills and since I've become such an indoor snob, I figured the best way to get 'em done was on a treadmill. Some of the treadmills at EMH have 12" TV's mounted on them, called Cardio Vision (or something like that). I plugged my headphones into a jack near the main controls, surveyed the full lineup of local cable channels and tuned into the 5AM Sportscenter on ESPN. After a mile warmup I ramped up the elevation to 7% and kept the speed constant at 8.5 (7:06 min/mile) for 0.3 miles. Took 0.4 miles to recover and repeated the process 4 more times, each time bumping the elevation up by 0.5% and ending with a 9% grade hill. I don't especially like hills on a race course but I'm a big fan of training on them. Felt pretty wiped out at the end and had to ease into my planned strength training. I'm thinking next week I'll work in some pool time.

Mar 14, 2007

Pi Day - 3.14

Today is Pi Day in the world of geekdom, which includes me since I know enough about pi to appreciate why today is special. I remember memorizing the first 10-12 digits of pi while in college, which was far more than I will ever need to know. I think I did it because I heard the earths circumference (equator) could be calculated to within a few millimeters by using it's known diameter and 10 decimal places of pi. To me that seemed pretty cool at the time. I still get a kick out of stuff like that, to be honest. Coincidentally, we're having pie brought in for a work meeting (informally called pie meetings)

Anyway, my run this morning went well. I should have run at 7 minute pace for exactly 22 minutes, which would have yielded exactly 3.14 miles. Typical me, I got a little antsy and bumped up the pace after about 1 mile, finishing my 3-mile run in 19:58. I followed up my run with some spinning, which is precisely what my head has has been doing since making the connection with today's date. Oh well!

Summary of recent runs
Saturday: 7 miles (marathon pace) - 45:23 (6:30 pace... a little fast but felt great)
Sunday: 13 miles (Team In Training group run) - 9+ minute pace
Tuesday: 40 minute tempo - sluggish at first. Good run overall.

Mar 9, 2007

Run Fast. Repeat.

That's pretty much the idea behind 800-meter repeats. Following Bart Yasso's formula, I'm planning to run all of my 800's from now until 5/20 in 2:50 or better. Does this mean I'll run a 2:50:00 marathon? Probably not, but knowing that I can do the workouts a 2:50:00 marathoner could do will help with my confidence, which can be a huge factor on race day.

For 5AM, I was feeling great. I ate a banana on my drive over and drank a few ounces of water prior to my mile warmup. I didn't save my 800 splits but my first was 2:47 and my last was 2:45. The three in between were in the same ballpark. I was shooting for 34-second laps and was hitting 33's mostly. I saw a few 34's but no 35's. I began to tire a little near the end but could have done more. Strength trained for 30-minutes afterwards.

Mar 7, 2007

Brick By Brick

Did my first brick workout of 2007 this evening. 45 minute spin class at 6PM followed by 3 miles on the indoor track. It's really hard to summarize a spin class since they're all designed to challenge. Tonight's instructor was really good. She had a full house but was able to lock in on certain individuals (including me) to help them make the most of their spin. After a brief cooldown, I headed straight to the track for my run. The legs felt a little shaky at first (no surprise there) but I was hitting 7-minute pace right off the bat and was able to speed up after a mile or so. Run time: 19:39.

Teresa worked evenings tonight so I hung around for some strength training. Got home and busted out some bologna, which I haven't had in years! Probably not the best post-workout meal, but that's OK. It made me feel like a kid again. I even peeled off the crust and fed it to my dogs!

Mar 6, 2007

Got My Days Mixed Up

I just realized that I was supposed to do some 800's this morning, but instead did another 35-minute tempo. Oh well. I'll do my 800's on Thursday instead. Felt a little sluggish starting off but fell into a groove after a mile and gradually increased my pace from 7:30 to 6:00/mile over the next 3 miles. Fourth mile in 6:01 and then finished with an easy mile cooldown followed by some light strength training for about 30-minutes. Run time: 34:40

Today is my brother's 32'nd birthday! Happy Birthday David!

Mar 1, 2007

Black River Reservation

Since I've been somewhat of an indoor snob of late, I figured it'd do me some good to get outside and reacquaint myself with nature. I picked a great spot this evening. When I pulled into the Black River Reservation the first thing I noticed was a fog in one of the clearings. I couldn't wait to change and get in the thick of it. It was warm enough to wear shorts but there was still a wintery bite that made everything seem really quiet. I could hear the ice melting and water flowing down the rocks and down the river. About 2 miles in I came upon a whitetail deer standing off the side of the path. She stood quietly as I passed as did her partner who I encountered a few seconds later. I don't know if I was in a zone up to that point but after, I saw 11 more whitetails along the path, including one badass looking buck. Teresa always worries about me when I run alone but no need to worry sweetie! I had a few friends watching my back tonight!! Total run was about 5.25 miles, although I only intended on 5. Total time 33:14.