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5ksandcabernets: March 2010


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 2010 mileage

Total miles run in March 2010: 172.25

Average pace: 7:35 minute/mile

Total miles run in 2010: 447.11

Average pace for 2010: 7:48 minute/mile

Next race: Capitol 10k

Next Sunday, April 11
This is the biggest 10k in the region and the fifth biggest 10k in the country. So, not sure how fast I'll be able to go with all the runners on the course. I'll try to line up near the front and out of the way of the walkers/baby strollers/etc.
The course is hilly in the beginning, running north on Congress past the State Capitol and then left on 15th Street. But after that, just around the halfway point, the race is net downhill. So, I'll go out slow in the beginning (maybe half marathon pace the first three miles - 6:45 to 6:50 pace) and then finish strong to get a sure PR.
Lately, I've been feeling really strong on my morning runs. My legs take about two miles to warm up, but they easily slip into 7:25 to 7:35 pace after that. My 16 miler last Saturday was 7:35 pace and during my 8-miler this morning (Wednesday) my last six miles were in 7:20 pace. I'm not straining. Not breathing hard. And in fact, to keep myself honest, I will sometimes run with my mouth closed, forcing me to run slow enough to use only the oxygen that my nose can deliver.
So, 7:20 is crusing pace. If I could keep this up for 26.2 miles, we're talking about a 3:12 marathon. And a Boston Qualifier. But, whoa, that's more than six months off. For now, I'll enjoy the easy runs, have run during races and stay out of the medic tent.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Just shuffling along

Not really training for anything right now. Next marathon isnt until October in Chicago. So, for now, just trying to keep a good base.

Did 16 miles this morning. First six were and out and back through hilly downtown Austin and just beyond the Capitol, last 10 were around Town Lake. Didnt really have a goal in mind. Just run without breathing hard.

Average pace for the run was 7:35, including a "last-mile party" in 7:05 (Stole that line right from Jess, an injured blogger/runner).

The run put me at 51 for the week, my first 50-plus mile week since September when I was training for Portland.

Ran in my Brooks Ghosts. Neutral shoe. Love them. Just love them. Am also working on my nutrition and hydration during mid to long runs. After dinner Friday night and a Margarita and a glass of wine, I drank coconut water before I went to bed, a glass of water before the run, and two Succeed Salt tablets during the run. One at Mile 6 and about three little cups of water, and one at Mile 12 and three more cups of water. That's it. No gells. No GU. And no water anywhere else during the run.

Felt a little stiff during the middle miles, but felt very strong near the end (hence the last mile party) and could have run another three or four miles at the same pace.

So, the deal now is this: I dont eat anything during runs. (I did have a steak, potatoes, and onion rings the night before - thank God I know where the portapotties are on Town Lake). And I dont drink a ton of water.

Seems to be working just fine.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Best Healthcare Headline

The doctor will see you now

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday run: breezy

I missed Saturday's run because it was pouring down when I woke up, and since I dont have a marathon in my immediate future, I slept in.

So today, I figured I needed to kind of push it for a 12 mile run. I parked near Town Lake and ran up Lake Austin Blvd, Veterans, Scenic, Pecos, and 35th Street, back down Exposition and a five mile loop around the lake. The first 6 miles were very hilly. The last 6 were flat, and the last three were against a stiff headwind.

Completed the 12 miles in about 1:30, a pace of 7:30 min/mile.

Time for food!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Daily Run: Tempo Thursday

Woke up too late to run with Rogue Thursday morning. Damn. They were doing a 3.5 mile loop with 1 mile at half marathon pace, 1 mile at 10k pace, 1 mile at half marathon pace and a half mile cool down. Repeat.

Like I said, I missed that run. But still felt like I needed to do some speed work, even though I really have no big races coming up. So for me, it was a drive to Town Lake, followed by a 4-mile warmup then, a four mile tempo run.

Here are the Tempo mile splits:





Paces were all over the place, but I'll take the workout.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Cool number.
And it just so happens to be the date of my next marathon.....
I just registered to run Chicago. Its out there. This is the race I hope to get my Boston qualifying time. I've got seven months to get my act together.
3:20 --- Here I come!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Brooks Ghost: I love this shoe.

Saturday: 14.21 miles in 1:48:13 (7:36 pace)

Sunday recover run: 11.17 miles in 1:31:42 (8:12 pace)

I've run five consecutive days now for the first time since probably last September when I was training for Portland. I've hit 40 miles a week for the third time in four weeks, the most running I've done since last October, early November, when I was training for White Rock.

I did Saturday's run in the Etonic Praya NC3s. Felt good. After the run, I stopped into Rogue's running store and bought a pair of Brooks Ghost. I had read that a lot of people like the shoe, but they didnt like the sockliner because it was too much for their arches. So, I took the sockliner out of my now shelved Brooks Adrenalines and slipped them in the Ghosts for Sunday's run.

My feet love these shoes. Love them. And I can say that about them after just one run on tired legs.

So now, I can rotate my Etonics and my Brooks Ghosts, and I'll give a better review of the Brooks after a run on fresh legs.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Another shoe change: from stability shoe to, dare I say it, neutral....

Everyone who follows this blog knows I've pretty much run every mile of my running life in the Brooks Adrenalines, from the 4s to the 9s.
They've carried me through hundreds of training runs, six marathons, eight half marathons, and dozens and dozens of shorter races.

Followers of this blog also know that while I love the Adrenalines, I've always felt like something was amiss and from time to time, I'd go into the running store and get fitted for another shoe. I ran El Scorcho in Adidas Supernovas. Hated them. I ran a 2008 half marathon in Asics GT 2120s and did three months of solid training in them. But I suffered the only significant injury of my running life in the Asics and had two sit out for two weeks. Then last fall, just a few weeks before Portland, I tried some Mizuno Waves. Too much cushion.

So, I figured I'd have to settle or the Adrenalines for the rest of my running life. But after my experience with the Adrenaline 10s, where it felt like I was running in too much shoe, I knew I had to do something different.

Usually, when i walk into a running store, the salesperson sees my flat feet and puts me in some kind of stability shoe. I mean, I have a slight arch, but the salespeople don't really notice it. So, the "shoe" formula says flat feet get big old bulky stability shoes.

But I've also noticed something else. All the fast runners around me, or most of them, all wear neutral shoes. No medial postings to get in the way. Nothing stopping their normal running motion. I've always known that the more efficient you get as a runner, the less "shoe" you need. One blogging running friend, Christie, has sworn off running in support shoes, "bricks," she calls them.

Along with becoming more efficient, I've also lost 20 pounds in the last 2.5 years from running.

So I decided to try a neutral running shoe. Say hello to Etonic Praya 3 NC

I actually started having "an affair" with my new shoes last week, ditching my Adrenalines in the corner of my closet. On March 1, I did a mile on the treadmill, just to make sure they were going to be okay in case I needed to exchange them. I ran a tempo run with Team Rogue in the Etonics on March 4, and then I ran each of my four legs at the Texas Independence Relay in my new shoes.

The verdict: The Etonics have replaced my Adrenalines as my every day shoe. And I'll never wear a support shoe again.

The shoes gave me no problems during the relay. It didnt feel like I was fighting my shoes. I'd been having some hip pain before the relay, but afterwards, even though I was running 10k pace for most of the relay, I forgot I had hip pain.

I usually buy my running shoes with 2E width. But the store didnt have any 2Es and so after my run Wednesday morning, I felt a little hot spot under my right foot where it rubs against the sock liner. (Funny thing is I had no issues with this during the relay.) But this is the shoe my feet should be in - a neutral shoe, and there is nothing that a wider size can't fix.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

2010 Texas Independence Relay: Race Report

First the smell/scene: Ben-Gay. Sweaty shirts. Port-o-potties. White panel vans. White lights. 18-wheelers blowing by you on lonely deserted highways. Night lights. Soggy socks. Blisters. Wind. Night chills. Sun. Reflector vests. Camera phone. Kinesio tape. Nipple tape. Ice.

Now, the stats. (Team Name: FW Luke's A-Team. Team pic above.)

Our 10-person team (5 men, 5 women) finished the 203-mile course from Gonzales to Houston in 24 hours, 18 minutes. Pace was 7:11 min/mile. Of the 100 or so teams who ran this relay, we were fourth in our division (mixed adults) and 7th overall.

I ran Legs 8, 18, 28, and 38. They were distances of varying lengths, between 3.5 miles to 6.33 miles. The funny thing is, I've run more than 10 miles hundreds of times. But during this relay, any thing over 5 miles seemed hard. I guess that's because I was trying to hold a pace faster than my half-marathon pace for every run.

My teammates drove from Fort Worth to Austin Thursday night to pick me up. We spent the night in Lockhart, then awoke Saturday morning to drive to the start of the relay in Gonzales.

The race directors staggered the starts for each of the 100 or more teams. The slower teams took off hours earlier than the faster teams. This is so that everyone would finish relatively at the same time. For instance, the slower teams took off around 6 AM Saturday morning. We were one of the faster teams, and we took off at about 1:00 PM Saturday afternoon.

We decided to split our team into two vans. While the members in one van ran, the other van could eat, or rest. We were in the second van, which meant that even though we began running at 1 PM, my first leg of the relay (Leg 8) wouldn't begin until around 5:30 PM.

Here are my splits for each of my legs.

Leg 8: 4.53 miles in 29:24. Pace: 6:29 min/mile: This was purely an adrenaline run. Like I said earlier, I'd been waiting around to run all day and when I finally got the "baton" I was like a bat out of hell. Since it was a staggered start, I ran this leg of the relay without seeing a single soul. We ran on highways and feeder roads and in neighborhoods, so I guess I did see people __ in their cars coming right at me.

Leg 18: 6.33 miles in 42:46. Pace: 6:45 min/mile: Go run a 10k. Then go sit in a cramped van, eat some french fries, and then in 5 1/2 hours, run another 10k. Your body will be mad at you. Very mad at you. As you can see, I'm a bit slower than my first leg. Part of the reason is because it took me 7:20 to complete the first mile. I felt so stiff having waited around so long between legs. It didnt help that the course was mostly uphill. But at this point in the race, you begin to pass the slower teams who took off hours before you did. You are running in the dark and all the sudden, about 50 yards ahead, you see these blinky lights and a reflector vest. Closer. Closer, and then you pass a runner. Then a second. On this stretch of Texas nowhere I passed four runners.

Leg 28: 3.56 miles in 23:41. Pace 6:39 min/mile: I was so glad to see a short run. So glad. Before this run, it took me 20 minutes just to warm up. Again, run a 10k or a run at 10k pace, sit around for five hours, and tell me if you feel like running.
Leg 38: 6.39 miles in 47:45. Pace 7:28 min/mile: My leg was only supposed to be 6 miles. I got lost running through Pasadena. This course had the most turns of any other Leg in the relay. I tried to carry a map with me, but its hard to read and run. Still, 4 miles into the leg, I'm doing ok. Had already decided I wasn't going to try to stay under 7s. Too tired. Just wanted to enjoy this last leg. All of a sudden, I'm in a really scary neighborhood, with lawns undone, cars on jacks, pockmarked streets. And then, this car creeps up behind me, then it pulls up next to me. Guy rolls down his window. I'm thinking, 'Oh, shit.' He pokes his head out and says, "Hey, man, all the runners turned back there."
Turns out, I'd gone about a quarter of a mile down the wrong street. Found out later I should have turned on Austin Street, of all names.
At this point in the run, I totally gave up trying to even keep a sub 7:30 pace and cruised the rest of the way in.

I have to say this is relay was almost as hard as running a marathon. Almost. If degree of difficulty for a marathon is a 10 compared to running a 5K, 10k, etc. Then this relay is an 8.

And I'm ready to run another one.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Texas Independence Relay information

Ok. I run legs 8, 18, 28, and 38.  About 20.5 miles of the 200-mile course.

Here is an interactive view of the Texas Independence Relay course.

I've got my head-lamp, reflector thingys, and other goodies to keep me going.

Team Rogue Tempo run

We had a four mile warm up then four miles at tempo pace followed by a cool down....
I was wearing some new shoes (which I will blog about later) and was feeling pretty springy, even during the warmup. Wasnt sure how fast i was going to run. I just lined up behind the sub 3-hour marathoners and tried to keep up without blowing out a leg or a lung.
Mile 1 - 6:22 --- probably a little too fast
Mile 2 - 6:33 -- This is comfortably hard
Mile 3 - 6:34 -- Staying on pace
Mile 4 - 6:36 -- Glad its done
I've got the Texas Independence Relay in two days, so hopefully I recover by then. I'm running four legs and about 20 miles over Saturday and Sunday.
Should be fun.

Monday, March 1, 2010

February 2010 mileage

Miles run in February: 142.7

Time: 19 hours, 22 minutes, 7 seconds

Average pace: 8 minutes, 8 seconds per mile

Total miles in 2010: 274.86

Time: 36 hours, 19 minutes, 34 seconds

Average pace: 7 minutes, 55 seconds per mile

I'm finally feeling motivated enough to run again. I've put together back to back 40-mile weeks for the first time since November. I'm still not in the shape I was in last year, when I averaged 40 miles a week for the entire year.

My legs are taking an extra day or two to recover following hard workouts on Saturdays. It's Monday night and my legs are still sore from Saturday's 20-miler. I am participating in the Texas Independence Relay beginning Saturday. The race is from Gonzales to Sam Houston, 202 miles and we've got 24 hours or so to get there. I'm not sure how many legs I am running, but I am responsible for running about 2 1/2 hours.

In 24 hours.

Should be fun.