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5ksandcabernets: February 2010


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Who says you gotta be training for a marathon to run a 20-miler

Woke up Saturday morning for my first 20-miler since I ran a marathon last December.

Didn't know what to expect since my longest run since then had been last weekend's 14-miler. And with no marathon in my near future, I kind of wondered to myself, "why am I running 20?" But Team Rogue, some of whom are preparing for Boston, others for the Eugene Marathon in early May, had 20 to 24 miles on the schedule, and since I didn't wanna run by myself, I decided I'd at least do 20.

I figured I'd use this long run to practice fueling/hydrating myself in the way that my body needs it. That is, I've told myself that I really don't need a lot of water or GUs during a run, so this would be the first run to practice that theory.

I like the results.

I had a salt tablet and three little cups of water to wash it down at Miles 6 and 17. That's it. No water anywhere else. No GUs. I did have a little brain bonk at about Mile 15, but I kept up the pace and by the time I had my last salt at 17, I felt better. Still, things were a little painful. My legs were just wobbly, and achy the whole run.

But I got a boost at about Mile 19. Some of the sub 3-hour marathoners who train at Team Rogue passed me when we got on Rio Grande. Muz, Jim, Damon. They looked really strong and I felt sorry for myself that I was at Mile 19 and for them, it was Mile 23. Then, figuring there were were just two miles to go, I decided to try to run with them. And then I passed them and stayed in front of them for about a mile.

I looked at my watch. 6:30 pace, buddy. Now at this point, nearing the end of a 20-mile run, I wasn't throwing all the coals on the fire, but the bag was emptying. I finished Mile 20 in 6:31 and there was still about a half mile to go before the run was over. I'm just holding on now, and all the sudden, I hear Muz, Jim, and Damon coming up behind me. Then, swoosh, they were past me. Like I was standing still. I was doing 6:30s, which meant they had to be in the low 6s. They were still talking and Muz, in fact, was telling them to watch the cars up ahead.

When they passed me, I felt a little relief. I could slow down - which I did, to about 7:30 pace and finish the run in one piece, which I did.

So, my first 20-miler since December and I got it done in 8:15 pace and I had no GUs, two Succeed SCaps, and what amounted to probably 24 ounces of water.

And I feel good enough to run 7 more miles today.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

From the fraud files

Borrower buys a condo from Seller, whom he happens to be one of his associates. The borrower takes out a first mortgage with Bank A and a second mortgage with the seller.

Eight months later, borrower wants to refinance the mortgage on the seller. But he doesn't have a job, and he knows no one will give him a loan without one. So, he gets the guy who sold him the condo in the first place to act as his "supervisor" on a made up job.

The supervisor tells the loan originator that the borrower makes about $12,000/month. Our borrower gets the refinance, which, of course, pays off the first mortgage to Bank A and the second mortgage with the seller, who fraudently helped him get the refinance in the first place.

Clever, clever.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to qualify for Boston: More Jack Daniels!

I finished the last mile of my last 5K in under 6 minutes, and I can hold a sub 7-minute mile pace for an entire half marathon.

But I am very weak long distance runner. The longer the race, the worse I perform. My racing times are not proportionate.

I was flipping through my worn, tattered copy of Jack Daniels' Running Formula the other day and noticed how my short-run ability does not match my long-run ability. (Yes. Jack Daniels. That's his real name, folks. And he had nothing to do with that drink.)

In Running Formula, Daniels lays out these cool charts where you input a time in one distance and he can tell you your potential time for another distance. These "VDOT" charts assume that you are properly trained for each distance you run, that you train just as hard to run that 5K PR as you did for the marathon.

Of course, a lot of people are "dis-proportionate" runners. Some people are natural long-distance runners, but they would not finish in the Top 50 of a local 10k. Others, like me, are very fast, with tons of fast twitch muscles, but struggle to hold an 8-minute-mile pace over an entire marathon.

For example...

Last Thanksgiving, I ran a 19:08 5K, a PR by 17 seconds.

Running Formula
says a person who can run a 5K as fast as I can should be able to run a 10k in just under 40 minutes, a 15K in 1:01:00, a half-marathon in about 1:28:00; and a marathon in about 3 hours and three minutes.

Here is how my best times in the 10k, 15k, half marathon, and marathon match up to what I'm supposed to be able to run based on my 5k time

Distance------My best-----How fast I should be--------Difference/Pct slower

Lets throw out my 10k and 15k performances. I ran that 10K PR just 30 minutes after running a then-5K Pr in 19:25. We'll also throw out the 15K PR because I ran it two days after a 20-miler.

So, that leaves us with my half marathon and marathon performances. As you can see, I am very close to my "running potential" on the half marathon. I'm only 4% slower on a half marathon than what I should be based on my 5K time.

The marathon? Ugly. Ugly. I am 20 percent slower than my "potential" according to the Jack Daniels Running Formula chart. Now again, I understand that some people are better long distance runners and I am a much better short distance runner. But 20 percent slower? I think there is, obviously, a lot of room for improvement for me there.

If I can cut my long-run problems in half, I'd be sniffing Boston.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Weekend mileage roundup

Saturday: 14.5 mile run with Team Rogue on a course they call, "Run from Hell." Let me tell you this: there has never been a more aptly named course. There were hills, hills, and more hills. But I took it easy (mid 8s pace) and was more concerned about dodging cars because there was no sidewalk or shoulders on the streets we ran.
I awoke Sunday with a major pain in the behind. You ever had buttocks soreness, soreness so deep in the buttocks that it hurts to hold in gas? Well, that's how sore I was Sunday morning. Still, the weather was great and I just couldn't stay off the Townlake trails. I started off thinking I'd run 7 miles, but ended up with 10 in the books. I think I probably had a calorie bonk at about Mile 8 or so ---  was sooo hungry.
Still, that's 24.5 miles in two days. I call that good base-building.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

From the fraud files...

You know you've got mortage fraud when you ask the purported employer if so-and-so ever worked there and made the money so-and-so said he made, and the employer's response is: "I don't know that person and I never made that much money and I'm the owner." 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Back with Team Rogue

As the 15th Street hill was kicking my booty near the end of the Austin Half Marathon Sunday, I promised that I would start running consistently with Rogue, especially because all they do is run hills.
I didn't really know if I could wake up at 4:30 Tuesday morning for the 5:30 AM start, but I did, and so out the door I went. And let me tell you, Rogue doesn't have a run without hills.
We went north up Congress, through the UT Campus and north up Duval, then back. It was 10 of the most painful miles I've ever run, what, with my legs still smarting from Sunday's half marathon. But I got through the run in one piece, averaging about an 8:20 mile for the run. It was a nice easy pace, and if the gang I was running with (Michael, Lisa, Nedra, Wendy) would have wanted to slow down, I would have been just fine with that.
Hopefully, I can keep this up and get back into the rhythm I had last summer, when I never missed a Tuesday/Thursday Rogue run.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Race Report: 2010 Austin Half Marathon

I missed a PR by 28 seconds at the Austin Half Marathon Sunday, finishing in 1:32:07. Even though I blogged in an earlier post that I wouldn't try to qualify for New York or even try to PR, truth be told, both of those marks were in the back of my mind when the gun went off on a crisp, clear, beautiful Austin morning. (By the way, the start of this race was the most organized of any I've ever run. They used all of Congress Street to start the runners and so you were not crammed in together before the race started and people did a good job of lining up in the appropriate places/pace groups.)

Anyway, I'll skip to the end real quick: When I hit Mile 12 on Sunday in 1:23:16 _ a full 46 seconds ahead of where I was at Mile 12 at the 3M Half Marathon three weeks earlier _ I thought a PR was well in the bag, and though I knew New York would have to wait for another race, I was beaming with pride just a bit.

But folks, if you've never run Austin, what the hills giveth, they taketh away. The beginning of Mile 13 you start up this 60-foot climb (per Garmin). And my calves, which were literally holding on by a thread, were no match. I muscled my way up that hill as best I could. Halfway up, this woman passes me and says, "Come on, don't let this skinny little white girl beat you." All I could say back to her was, "It's what's you have on the inside that matters."

I finally crested the hill, then the spasming started, just 3/4ths of a mile from the finish line. I tried to run through the pain, but it was too intense. I stopped and gave my calves a good stretch, feeling more anger at myself than pain as a dozen or so runners passed me by, one belting out, "Come on, we're almost there." My calves felt decent enough to try to sprint the final way home, but it was like I was running in quicksand. I gimped the rest of the way to the finish line, taking 7:44 to finish Mile 13, and giving back all the time I'd gained on my previous PR and then some.

But, as my good friend Jonathan said afterwards, "Man, you would have been really greedy to think could PR on this course just three weeks after running 3M."

And I guess he's right. I am greedy.

I didn't know how long my legs would hold up because I've done few training or quality runs (except for the 3M half marathon) since running the Dallas White Rock Marathon in December. I told myself on Sunday I'd try to hold my pace the first 6 to 8 miles around 7:00 to 7:10, then push it hard at the end.

Well, anybody that knows me knows I'm a little hard-headed about pace. So after averaging about 7:14 the first two miles - which were uphill, my next 6 miles were between 6:33 and 6:53 pace. And then we hit Veterans Drive and finally Enfield just past Mopac, and I was toast. Three of the last 5 miles took me longer than 7 minutes to complete, including the snailspace I set at Mile 13.

Still, 1:32:07 is nothing to sneeze at considering this course and considering how under trained I've been. I still think qualifying for New York (1:30 in a half marathon) is doable and I know I've got it in me.


Here are the splits and elevation change (in feet) during Sunday's run compared to the splits and elevation during my PR during a mostly downhill course on Jan. 24.

Sunday----------------------------------------Jan. 24 (3M Half)
Mile-pace-elev. change............Mile-pace-elev. change
1 - 7:15---(-111).......................1 - 7:13---(+49)
2 - 7:13---(+105)......................2 - 7:13---(+6)
3 - 6:52---(+5).........................3 - 7:24---(+24)
4 - 6:47---(+6).........................4 - 7:12---(-207)
5 - 6:33---(-103)......................5 - 6:34---(+59)
6 - 6:45---(-69).......................6 - 7:03---(-55)
7 - 6:45---(-36).......................7 - 7:02---(+29)
8 - 6:53---(-1).........................8 - 7:06---(-6)
9 - 7:17---(+69)......................9 - 6:49---(-20)
10- 7:04---(+40)....................10 - 6:50---(-15)
11- 6:56---(-20).....................11 - 6:52---(-60)
12- 6:55---(-40)......................12 - 6:49--(-95)
13- 7:45---(+64)....................13 - 6:31--(-26)
.17- 1:09---(+63)................ .17 - 1:03---(+4)

As you can see, Mile 13 told the tale. I was 1:14 slower on Sunday than I was last month. And look at the net elevation. Hmmmm. What does that mean for me: More hill training. I blew up on the hills Sunday. Just blew up. Good thing I re-upped with Rogue. I'm sure they've got some hill training for me to do.

Austin Half Marathon Race Time

DistanceHALF MAR
Clock Time1:32:27
Chip Time 1:32:07
Overall Place127 / 8361
Gender Place108 / 3373
Division Place9 / 379
Age Grade67.5%
5K Rank151
5K Time22:15
10M Rank119
10M Time 1:09:45
Final 5K Rank127
Final 5K Time1:32:07

Friday, February 12, 2010

New shoes, new shoes, new shoes!!!!!!!

Got home Thursday night and was excited to see a box perched against my door. I knew what that meant: My Brooks Adrenalines GT9s had arrived!
I opened the box, made sure they were the style and size I ordered, put them on and walked around a little bit, then woke up Friday morning and took them for a test run.
Did 8 easy miles in and around the Town Lake area, going up Veterans and Lake Austin Blvd, meandering through the neighborhood and down Exposition and then a five mile loop around the lake (just to get the shoes dirty).
In a word: sweet. My feet felt at home. My legs thanked me for bringing their old friends along.
And just in time, since I have a half marathon coming up Sunday. Alas, for the first time in my short running career, I won't go into a race trying to set a PR.
Since running the 3M Half Marathon last month, I've basically done nothing training wise. Some of that is weather-related, some knee-related, and some shoe-related, so while I may be fast, I don't think I'm nearly as strong enough to run faster than the 1:31:39 I ran at 3M -- especially since Sunday's course is on a very hilly course.
I think what I'll do is this: Run comfortably hard for the first 6 to 7 miles (7:00 to 7:15 pace), and then try to run out or hold on the last few miles. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My new old Adrenalines coming Friday

Did the whole UPS tracking thing to find out when my Adrenaline 9s will should be arriving. Friday. Woohooo. Just in time to run the Austin Half Marathon on Sunday.

Oh, that's right, I don't think I've said much about when my next race is. It's Sunday. A half marathon. A much hillier course than the 3M Half Marathon I ran last month. So, I dont expect to run a PR (1:31:39), and I may not even come close. I've been sooo unmotivated to run ever since the White Rock Marathon in December. The weather. Nagging injuries. Bad shoes. Something is always keeping me off the roads.

I re-upped my membership with Rogue because I find its easy to run when I'm running with other people. Running alone, in the cold and dark mornings of January and February is hard. I did manage to get out of bed Wednesday morning for 7 miles around Town Lake. In my old Adrenalines (the 9s). Felt great.

Here are the splits

1 - 8:04
2 - 7:23
3 - 7:28
4 - 7:32
5 - 7:26
6 - 7:23
7 - 7:31

If 5 is 5K pace and 1 is long run pace, I'd say my effort level for this run was about a 1.5.

I'm going to try to get out of bed Thursday morning for the run with Rogue. They are doing tempo runs. I'm just going to get some mileage in. No hard running for me until Sunday.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

You mean 10 to 20 won't pay the mortgage

File on my desk this morning: Guy hasn't made the payments on his mobile home in decently large midwest city. I called his employer to find out if the borrower made what he said he made on the loan application.
Me: "So, does blank work here - I'm trying to verify his employment and income."
Restaurant representative: "Uh, no... blank has been in federal penitentiary for a while now. That's why we fired him."
Me: "Oh, well, ok."
I guess you can't make your mortgage payments when you are doing hard time.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I hate the new Brooks Adrenalines

Let me start this post about saying this: I am ending my relationship with Brooks Adrenaline.


I hate the new models. Hate. Hate. Hate. I loved the GT9s. I hate the GT10s. Hate.

I know. Hate is a strong word. But I hate them, and more importantly, my body hates them.

See, last Sunday, on Jan. 31, after I just felt like trash during a 10-mile run and could barely average an 8:30 min/mile, I blamed my lack of nutrition for my sluggishness.

Then on Thursday, a 7-mile run in which my pace was 8:46 min/mile, I blamed my right knee on my problems.

But on Saturday, I had no knee problems, was well-rested, felt good. And over the last six miles of a 14-mile run, my pace was 8:30s after starting out the first 8 miles in 7:50 pace.

As Saturday's run went along, as Mile 9 turned into Mile 10 and so on, I noticed how hard my legs were working just to put one foot in front of the other, like I was running with bricks on my feet. And its not like my lungs were working very hard. Its like I was walking, but could do nothing to go any faster.

When I first began running in 2004, I ran in Brooks Beast and as I became more efficient, the support in the Beast became too much and my legs were always fighting my shoes.

Well, that's kind of how it felt on Saturday. Two weeks ago, running 7:30 miles was effortless and breezy. On this day, 8:30 miles were a struggle, and as the run finished up Waller Street in East Austin, I got on my toes and tried to run out the last mile and the best I could do (without causing any cardiovascular stress) was an 8:37 mile.

So, I averaged a pedestrian 8:06 min/mile over the entire 14-mile run on a flat course around Town Lake and my legs felt beat up and achy and stiff from running in the Adrenaline 10s. (Just a few weeks earlier, I ran 7:20 pace over 14 miles on a hilly course and felt like I could have run five more miles in the old Adrenalines). Its like I was using muscles in my legs I'd never used before and they were revolting because of the new Adrenalines.

Anyway, I popped up this morning eager to figure out if my sluggishness was because of the new Adrenalines or some other leg malady. I laced up my old Adrenalines, the GT9s, which have well over 200 miles on them, and went out for a 10-mile run around Town Lake. My legs were still hurting from Saturday's run - and after taking 9:06 to finish the first mile, I thought, "uh-oh."

But, soon, my legs started to feel like themselves again, and I did each of the remaining 9 miles in paces that ranged from 7:21 to 7:53. The weird thing is, and follow me if you can, throughout most of the run, my Adrenaline 9 leg muscles were interfering with my Adrenaline 10 leg muscles. Got that? Weird, I know. I'd say it wasnt until about Mile 6 until I rid my legs of their Adrenaline 10 habits, when my toe off and midfoot landing began to fit the Adrenaline 9s I was wearing.

Crazy, right? Well, I'm not wearing the Adrenaline 10s anymore. Too stiff. Too much support. I wish Brooks would have just left well enough alone. I'm going to wear my Adrenaline 9s until they are shot, and I've ordered another pair of 9s online. After that, I'm either going to where a Brooks shoe with a little less support or switch to Asics.

But I'm done with the new Adrenalines.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Forced base-building

What makes a stiff knee stiffer? Not running for three days.
I hadnt run since Sunday. Deliberately took Monday off. And Tuesday off. Was going to run Wednesday but it was running. So I had to, had to run Thursday or I felt I was going to turn to mush.
My right knee, which I twisted a week before the 3M Half Marathon, is really really stiff and sore and all this inactivity made it cry - no, make that made me cry - "uncle' Thursday morning. The first few miles were brutal, just brutal. I started at Zilcher park, ran down Barton Springs, through Town Lake and past the Austin American Statesman to Riverside.
By then, I'd run three miles and my average pace was about 9:20 or so and I just was not feeling it whatsoever. Soon, though, my knee warmed up a little - and I was able to run closer to 8:00 min/mile pace... By then, though, the seven-mile run was over and I hopped my soggy ass in the car and drove home to get ready for work.
I guess the one good thing about my last two (slow) runs is that I'm base-building. Woohoo.