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5ksandcabernets: May 2009


Sunday, May 31, 2009

May 2009 mileage

I ended this month with a 6.33-mile run around Town Lake in Austin. I
did a one-mile warm up, was feeling good and then did three miles in
7:03, 7:03 and 7:07. I know it's not a good idea to run this hard one
day after a 14-miler, but I felt pretty good. Still, by Mile 4, I was
ready to ease up a little and make the rest of the run an easy one
like I had planned to in the first place.

Lo and behold, as I am nearing the Run-Tex water stop under the First
Street bridge, I run into Karen, a running friend of mine from Fort
Worth who was in Austin to be a with a friend who was about to to have
a baby. Karen was running with two other guys from Run-Tex who were
nearing the end of their long runs. They were doing a form of Gallo-
walking: running four minutes, walking one. I've never trained that
way, but I was a little tired and decided to run with them and was
glad when the one-minute walk breaks came.


Here are the monthly running stats

Total mileage: 180.7
Time: 23 hours, 59 minutes, 52 seconds (Had no idea I was 8 seconds
from running an entire day for the month)
Pace: 7:58

May 2008 running: 128.94 miles in an 8:39 pace

May 2007 running: 81.32 miles in 9:13 pace

Total miles in 2009: 846.29
Time: 4 days, 16 hours, 46 minutes, 7 seconds
Pace: 7:59

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

My run included a Twix, a Kit-Kat, and some breakfast tacos

Under the new training program I am doing with Team Rogue in Austin, I am just beginning to ramp up my weekly mileage.

I ran 14.2 miles today, giving me 51.67 miles for the week. I've run more than 50 miles in a week many times, but this is the first time I've run so many miles in a week before I actually start to train for a marathon.

Today's 14-miler felt pretty good. It seemed a little cooler outside and not as much humidity. I finished the run in 1:47:55, a 7:35 pace. There were five water stops and I hit the stop button on my watch each time. Two of the water stops were at this guy's house and he had Twix's and Kit-Kat candy bars and Gatorade. That was refreshing. And the important thing is the chocolate didn't give me any stomach problems.

Because the weather was favorable, I did most of the run - even the hills - using less than 80 percent maximum heart rate and in fact, my heart rate for the entire run averaged 76 percent of maximum. I "put the hammer down" - as they say - over the final two miles, running a 7:11 for Mile 13 and a 6:39 for Mile 14.

My average heart rate for Mile 13 was 80 percent/max with a high of 88 percent. And my average heart rate for Mile 14 (The 6:39 mile) was 90 percent with a high of 92 percent.

As you can see, I was really booking it at the end.

Afterwards, I had an Endurox recovery shake and a lot of us went to eat breakfast tacos at some place called Juan in a Million on the East Side of Austin. Very Yummy.

I'm going to hold my mileage at 50 miles for a few weeks and see how it feels before I go up to 55 miles a week. But so far, so good.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

No job yet, but I did find a barber

I had several goals when I came to Austin.

Spend more time with son: Check

Find a job: uncheck

Find a running group to train with: Check

Find someone close to where I live who can cut black hair....



I've been an Austin resident 19 days and I thought it would take forever to check that last category off. A week or so ago, I went to a SportsClips in Westlake and let a woman cut my hair because I needed a haircut realllll bad. She did ok. But what did I expect, huh? I have yet to see a black person in Westlake - I don't actually live in Westlake, per se. But its just a half a mile away and its where the nearest grocery store is to me - and so I certainly couldnt expect a nice looking haircut in Westlake.

So Tuesday afternoon I had plenty of time on my hands to drive around and find a place that could cut black hair. I found myself on streets like Lamar and Stassney and Manchaca. Then I saw a school. And a lot of kids walking around (it was around lunchtime). And most of the kids were black and hispanic. I thought there has got to be a black barber around here. So I kept driving and voila: A place called Legends Barbershop, which happened to be next to a gun shop in a run-down little strip mall.

But, hey, that was okay with me. This has got to be the place, I thought. I walked up to the door, looked in and saw... one white guy cutting hair. Hmmmm. Should I walk in? Maybe he can only cut white hair? But then I took a closer look and saw two black guys waiting for this white guy to cut their hair. And I figured, these guys look like regulars so this white guy must be alright.

Turns out, this guy - can't remember his name right now - cuts hair just as good as any black that has ever cut my hair. I only had to tell him one time what I wanted, using terms that I normally use with black guys - and the white guy got it perfectly. Just right. Made my day.

Now that I have found a white guy who can cut hair, I need to find one who'll give me a job.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Boston 2010: I'm going for it!

On Saturday, for the second long run in a row, I found myself stride for stride with guys who've run marathons in the low 3s or sub 3s.

This past Saturday, after starting the first 7 miles real conservative (8:20 miles), I decided to just let my legs carry me as fast as they wanted to without racing. I wound up doing the last 5 miles in a 7:16 pace, and ended up passing a few of those low 3s-marathoners, who I am sure were taking it really easy.

The total run ended up being about 14 miles in a pace of 7:48/mile.

Perhaps I ran the last few miles a little too fast, but my lungs felt great, my legs felt great, and the next day I was able to do a 7-mile recovery run in about an hour.

This strength I seem to have on long runs has me pondering what my next marathon goal pace should be. I am hoping to one day qualify to run Boston, and at my age (40), I need to run a 3:20 qualifying marathon. That is 33 minutes faster than my marathon pr, which I ran in Fort Worth on Feb. 28.

I know I can run better than what I ran in Fort Worth. And the speed I am maintaining on these hilly courses in Austin and in this heat has given me the confidence that maybe a 3:20 is not that far out of reach.

So after Saturday's long run, I talked to one of the Team Rogue coaches, Steve Sisson, who just so happens to be the assistant long distance women's track coach at the University of Texas. I also talked to fellow blogger Sadie, who runs with Sisson's group. Sisson's group emphasizes the Lydiard way of training for marathons, high mileage and not much quality (intervals, tempo runs) until close to the goal race.

Now, when I say high mileage, I mean upwards of 80 miles a week. That's what Sadie ran leading up to the Austin marathon. The coach I'm running with now, Carolyn Mangold. has suggested I get to at least 60 miles a week during marathon training and I think that's a good idea for me, seeing as though I've ever had a week with more than 55 miles. (Since running the Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth on Feb. 28, I am averaging about 38 miles a week. So ramping up another 20 to 25 miles should not be too hard.)

Still, I will probably transfer to Sisson's group because his features many runners who are faster than, or run right at the same speed as I do. Carolyn's group _ and Carolyn is a great coach and a really nice lady _ has runners who are much slower than I am. And in fact, I usually end up running by myself during her group runs.

So, Sisson's groups meet Tuesday and Thursday mornings for stretching and then runs of 8 to 10 miles, and they also meet on Saturdays for the long run (with the rest of the Team Rogue runners). The weekday groups meet at 5:30 a.m., which is 30 minutes earlier than I would run on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Fort Worth. So, that'll mean I'll have to cut out some wine drinking if I want to be able to get up with time to get dressed, use the bathroom, and make the 12-minute drive from my apartment to the Team Rogue training center.

But I'm sooooo motivated.

Boston, here I come!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Me and the kiddo hanging out this weekend

I'm sure I'll get my fill of Elmo and poopy diapers, but it'll be worth it. Hope everyone has a happy Memorial Day Weekend.

Noah and I will.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Trying to remove foot from mouth

Remember the post last week in which I wrote that somebody sounding like a Russian mail-order bride was on using someone else's pictures to contact me? And remember I wrote that I contacted the "real" person to alert them that they were being defrauded.

Some of you who read that post commented that I was sooo smart in looking this woman up. And one of my good blogging pals who knows people in high places at even said she would contact the dating web site to out that woman.

Well, turns out that woman was the real thing.

After I sent an email to the "real" person telling her about the "fake" person, the real person sent this reply:

"Its me on match.... but I have decided I have much more important things to accomplish right now than surfing endless profiles for love."

Then she added;

"Really, my ad is that bad, not that I have anything against russian's either? LOL."

I felt like a total fool. I sent her an email apologizing.

Her reply: "I appreciate you looking out for me...thanks"

By the way, I haven't went out on any dates yet.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What it feels like to run under a 7-minute-mile

With all of these hills in Austin and all of the hot weather and humidity we had last week, I've yet to have a "blow-out-the-lungs" kind of run.

I've been more concerned with getting through the run in one piece. And being new to town has slowed me down some as well. I've done several runs on the East and Northeast side of Austin with Team Rogue-issued maps in my hands. So I've been more worried about questions like, "Do I Zig here or Zag," than how fast I can go.

But this morning, I decided the lungs needed a good workout.

Yes, I still had the map of the Rogue Running map in my hand. And yes, the map didn't properly name one of the streets I was supposed to turn on and I wound up running next to a graveyard. (Ironic, huh?) But I'm becoming a little more adapt at running and reading maps, and more important, these streets are starting to become more and more familiar.

And the weather was fantastic. As Jess wrote the other day, "This weather is going to drive me to injury!"

(For non-runners, this means: When it's cool outside, you can run faster. But because many runners are just coming off marathons, or are building up a base for their next marathon, the hot weather is good because it makes us run slower, allowing our bodies to recover. Fast running equals little or no recovery and more susceptible to injury. Slow running equals more recovery and less susceptible to injury.)

Of course, this morning I didn't care about running slow. At. All.

My goal for the 8-mile run was to do a one-mile warm up, then just let my legs go as fast as they wanted to go without turning the run into a race. In other words, a nice little tempo run, which is between my 10k and half marathon pace. I was making this the same kind of run I'd do on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I lived in Fort Worth and ran with my Lukes Locker buddies. (Ohhh, for the good old days).

Here are the splits..

1 - 8:48
2 - 7:32
3 - 6:50 by now, I'm warmed up pretty good. Breathing controlled. Avg. heart rate for this lap was 80%
4 - 6:58
5 - 6:49
6 - 6:38
7 - 6:54
8 - 7:00 ended the run with a half-mile cool down.

Totals: 8 miles in 57:32. Pace: 7:11.
Pace over last 6 miles: 6:52.
Avg heart rate for entire run: 81 percent.
Max heart rate: 89 percent.

This route had a lot of hills. (Every route in Austin does, it seems). But I was glad that I was able to be pretty speedy without my heart rate ever hitting 90 percent of maximum, which would then be 5K speed.

The run felt good, really good. I never had to "fight" myself to keep my speed below a 7-minute-mile pace. I'd stop at a light or for water, and then I'd take off and I'd easily get back into my goal pace. My lungs never felt too stressed and though my legs started whinning just a bit near the end, I could have easily done another few miles keeping a sub 7-minute-mile pace.

Tomorrow I plan on doing an easy 5-miler (keep my pace between 8 and 8:30 or even slower if my legs complain) and then I'll rest Friday and run 14 miles Saturday. That will put me at 43 miles for the week.


Conversation I overheard while stretching this morning at the Team Rogue headquarters.

Lady 1: So, are you still dating the doctor?
Lady 2: Yes, and it's going good. You know he has been busy lately. He had a lot of (inaudible) this week and last.
Lady 1: Oh?
Lady 2: And did I tell you about my involvement with a tri(athlon)? I'm going to host a triathlete this weekend.
Lady 1: Really
Lady 2: Yeah, see (the doctor) is participating. And I got online and it asked anyone wanting to host a triathlete should sign up. They asked me about my house size, bedrooms, bathrooms, part of town I live in. If I'm a smoker. And you know I told them Hell No.
Lady 1: I bet.
Lady 2: Yeah, so they matched me up with somebody and I'll be hosting them.

"Whooopeeee," I thought to myself. I was only listening/eavesdropping because I thought Lady 2 was going to have a good story to tell about the doctor.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How do moms do what they do

Seeing Noah so much has been as fun as I thought it would be and as rewarding. He loves attention. He is always saying, "Daddy, daddy, daddy," before he does something he thinks is totally amazing, like telling me what a rock is, or throwing his basketball at his mini basketball hoop.

I have to admit, it is also hard work. All last week, I had Noah for about four or five hours each day by myself because they were laying tile down at Nancy's house and she didn't want him around all that dust.

When you are in charge of a 21-month-old, you have to find creative ways to do things like cook, or go to the bathroom, or even read the paper. Turns out, I don't have those skills yet of being a multi-tasking father. Because the minute I'd walk in the kitchen to try to clean up or cook something for me, Noah would either walk in the kitchen behind me, or he'd want me to play with him. So, I'd play with him and wait until he was napping to get in all my errands.

By the end of each day, I was very tired.

So, to all you mothers out there, I raise my (wine) glass to you. You should get paid for what you do. Raising children (and I only have one) is hard work.

But I'm looking forward to it.


The job search is going slow....slow....slow. I've got a lot of contacts, and a lot of people telling me they know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who can get me a job. But right now, I'm too far away on the six degrees of separation thing. My money is still ok... for now. So, I'm not panicking. Yet.


The weather has been so nice in Austin the last few days that I have probably run a little more than I'd planned to run so early in a marathon schedule.

Monday was in the low 60s with virtually no humidity. My original plan was to do 8 miles. I was going to do the Town Lake Boulevard/Exposition loop for about 4.5 miles then do a 4 mile loop around Town Lake. Now, I'd taken Sunday off after running 12 miles in 70-degree, 100-percent humidity on Saturday. So, needless to say, my legs were pretty fresh.

I do the neighborhood loop, then I get out on the lake, running from the foot bridge under Mopac east to 1st Street, where there is a water station set up. I was supposed to go over the First Street bridge and go back to Mopac. But at this point, I was feeling pretty good, and decided to run all the way to the I-35 bridge before turning back. (Ok, ok. There was also a very very very pretty girl running ahead of me and, well, I sorta missed the First Street turn).

So, I wound up doing 12 miles. I have never run that many miles on any day other than Saturday or Sunday. My pace for those 12 miles was 7:57, though the last 9 miles my pace was more like 7:30. It takes me a few miles to warm up before I start, "feeling good."

Anyway, I didn't feel like running at all this morning, but the weather was sooooo good that I got out and did a slow 5-miler around Town Lake, running from the foot bridge under Mopac, east to the Congress Avenue Bridge, over the bridge, and back west to my car under Mopac. It was actually 4.9 miles. Near the end of the run, when I knew it'd be 4.9 and not 5 miles, I thought about running the extra tenth of a mile just so I could put a whole number in my logbook. But, nahhhhh, why run an extra minute. So, I stopped, stretched, and drove back home.

I'll get that .10 on another day.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Apologizing to the Austin crowd

The other day, I wrote that the Austin runners are not as friendly as the Fort Worth runners. My head was fuzzy when I wrote that.
I wrote that as Noah was in another room saying, 'Daddy, daddy, daddy.' and I wrote it from my Iphone.
I wasn't thinking clearly and couldn't edit properly.
Three Austin runners reached out to me before I even moved to town. Bloggers at Seejessrun,
and Littlemissrunnerpants, and Therunaround have either told me where to run or helped me with what spots to live in. Before I was even an Austin resident, Sadie from Therunaround, met me at 5:30 in the morning to run 5 miles around Town Lake because I'd complained so much about getting lost.
Sigh. blink. cough.
Austin: I apologize.
I'm sure as soon as I'm here for a couple of months, I'll have as many Austin running partners as I did in Fort Worth.
Guess I'm just missing my old friends.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Quick impressions of Austin

•There are runners everywhere and they are fast. During this morning's
12-miler, I did a few miles with a former Air Force officer whose best
marathon is a 2:40-something.
•There are a lot of cliques within the running community. I haven't
received an invitation to join one, though it's just been a week since
I got to town.
•Piggybacking on point two, the runners in Fort Worth are nicer than
the Austin runners.
•All of the restaurants ate great. Fort Worth has nothing on Austin eateries.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

A match made in cyberspace?

Because I'd driven back and forth to Austin so much for the last 20 months, my personal life has been, well, not much to write about.

So the other day, I took the online dating plunge. meet Kevin. Kevin, meet

So far, I haven't 'met' anyone offline, though I have received some very interesting emails from some women (or maybe men) who I presume to be Russian-mail order brides. Or at least they want me to think that they are hot Russian women looking for an American groom.

This one woman in particular communicated with me a few days back and said it was nice to meet me. I look at her profile. Great pics, but stilted-sounding profile and I immediately get suspicious. Then she communicates with me again by asking me out for coffee. The message hit my server at 5 a.m.

And then I was really suspicious. I mean, what woman is going to ask any man out for coffee when there has been no phone communication whatsoever. I'm like any man, when a nice looking woman shows interest, I'm flattered. But I'm not stupid.

I googled the woman's screen name and it turns out, she lifted pictures and some of her description from a "real" woman who blogs. I emailed the woman (I won't give out her screen name here) and told her what was going on.

This is going to be interesting.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Where are the Austin porta-potties?

I am soooooooooo far behind on blogging and reading everyone else's blogs because I'm getting settled into my new Austin digs.

But, I have found time to run: Saturday (9 miles with Team Rogue), Monday (7 miles - was supposed to be 6, but I got lost) and this morning around Town Lake (7 miles).

I will say this about Austin: There are tons of runners and they come in all speeds and sizes. On Saturday, about 50 or more met at the Team Rogue training center/shoe store off 5th Street and I-35 for a 6 a.m. run. I ended up running with these two guys, Cameron and Jason. They talked the whole way. I just concentrated on breathing. Finally, they asked me what marathon I was training for and what my time goal was.

"Philly or San Antonio," I said. "And I hope to qualify for Boston. A 3:20"

I must have sounded so proud. Then I asked them what there marathon goals were.

Both were going to run Portland. And both were trying for sub 3 hour marathons.

Just hearing someone say a "sub 3 hour marathon" nearly took my breath away. I kind of fell back a few steps and ran behind them. Then I hear Cameron telling Jason that he was not going to allow himself to run any faster than 7:30 miles while base-building.

Allow himself? Yeah, these guys are pretty fast.


The reason I got lost on Monday's run was comical. I met more Team Rogue runners at 6 a.m. on I-35 and Manor and the running coach gave us directions for this new route we were taking. I was kind of glad we were not running on the trails because my brand new Brooks Adrenalines are just filthy. Problem is, the turn by turn directions didn't tell you that sometimes there would not be street signs, or that E. 32nd street would turn into another street that was not listed on the directions.

And then, my bowels kept trying to explode. The day before I had a nice Italian dinner at Vespaio's (plenty of cheeses and wines with my meal) and at about 6:30 Monday morning, I thought I was going to go right in my pants. (See, when I ran in Fort Worth, I knew exactly where the port-a-potties were. In Austin, I'm going to have to scout on some places when I don't run on Town Lake.)

Somehow Monday, I didnt have to turn in some alley, though every time I had to stop and read the directions to figure out where I was going, the urge to go came back stronger and stronger.

The route was supposed to be 6 miles, but I took so many wrong turns that I wound up doing 7.

Oh well, at least I got to see what the Northeast side of Austin looked like.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Austin City Limits: I'm its newest resident.

I am officially an Austin resident. The movers came about 10:30 Friday morning, took two hours to load my stuff down three flights of stairs, another three-and-a-half hours to drive to Austin and just under an hour to unload.

Their timing was perfect. As soon as they were done, the cable guy shows up. Great. When they told me the "window" for the cable guy to show up was between 5 and 9 p.m., I thought I'd be sitting around all evening waiting. But he was in and out in no time. And so, I've got no toilet paper, and no food in the refrigerator but I've got cable.

And I also stopped at Specs for wine.

So, I'm all set now.

I'm debating whether to run Saturday morning. I had Rudy's BBQ for dinner just a few minutes ago and it was the first ting I've eaten since before the movers left my Fort Worth apartment. I'm sorta dehydrated (It was in the 90s in Texas) and sorta tired, so I'll just see how I feel in the morning.

I also need to get myself signed up with one of the local marathon programs because training for the early marathons is about to get in gear. I've heard a lot of good stuff about
Rogue Runners, so I will probably sign up there in the next few days.


On the drive down, I thought alot about the people I was leaving behind, particularly, my running buddies. They feted me with happy hour after happy hour last week. During one happy hour, a bunch of runners chipped in and bought me a wine cellar _ guess they got tired of me complaining when restaurants serve my wine too hot or too cold.

My last day in Fort Worth _ Thursday _ was the most emotional. At our normal Thursday morning run _ my last _ more runners than usual showed up, many to see me off. After that, we ate breakfast at Panera's and I was certainly surprised when they broke out a cake for me. First time I've eaten cake so early in the morning. Needless to say, it was bittersweet.

Later Thursday, some more of us had a few good-bye glasses of wine at a neat little wine bar downtown Fort Worth. Over the last four years, I've been emotional three times: When I first saw my son via sonogram; the day my son was born; and Thursday. Knowing I wasn't going to be hanging with some of my best running partners was harder than I thought to deal with.


After I get myself unpacked, I need to refocus my effort on finding work. The last two weeks, I've looked for work, but my concentration has mainly been on moving and saying goodbye.

Now that is done.

It's time to get myself a job. Play with my son. And find a marathon to run in.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Look what I found in the closet

This has been a crazy week for me, my last week in Fort Worth. I am literally living out of boxes as I pack for my move to Austin.

Anyways, I'm going through a box in my closet and I find all of my running bibs from the past few years and my medals from my marathons and half marathons.

In the first picture are my running medals. Four marathons, six half marathons. Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz have got nothing on me.

In the second picture are my bibs/medals. I counted 31 bibs in all since 2004.

Anybody got a bib that matches some of the bib numbers I've got?

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

I needed a Sham Wow for this run

I was going to run 13 miles today. Notice, I said, "was"

Here's why I didn't.

Temp: 73 degrees. Humidity: 82 percent.

Hmm. Those are almost the same conditions as the Oklahoma City Memorial Half marathon I ran last Sunday, save for 25 mph winds.

No winds today. I started off well enough. We had a group doing 10 miles at 7 a.m. So, I got to the meeting place at 6:30 and did three miles in right at 24 minutes. Then I took a GU and we were off for the 10 miler.

The air was thick. My legs felt springy during the first 3 miles. But on the re-start, the springiness was gone, replaced by stiffness and a whiny quad muscle. This route featured two huge hills. If you are from Fort Worth and you know anything about Ranch View Street (or Drive or Blvd - not sure which), then you know that these hills climb and climb and climb.

I was basically doing a 13-minute mile up the first hill and nearly a 17-minute mile up the second one. The humidity just zapped my strength today. Me, Roberto, and a new guy who runs with us were leading the pack of about 25 runners for much of the entire time. By the time we got near TCU, Roberto and I had had enough. Kaput. We stopped, walked and decided to cut the run short by two miles. (Roberto had already run 6 miles before everyone, so ended up with a 14-mile run). I ended up with an 11 mile run. My time was 1:36, for a pace of about 8:40.


This is the first training run where I've had to stop from tiredness or dehydration since last summer. I took my shirt off midway through the run and was still squeezing water out of it at the end of the run, when Roberto said, "Man, Kevin, looks like somebody keeps pouring water on top of your head."

At this point, I needed a Sham Wow.