Monday, March 31, 2008

Go Long or Go Home

A phrase that a fellow Maniac (and other Marathon Maniacs) says when it comes to races and training. This past Sunday, I learned it well.

With the leftover germies in my system, I wasn't expecting much in speed or endurance when running with the Balanced Athlete group. I also wasn't sure what distance everyone would end up doing either, but I knew that I'd stick to the running more if I was with a group than by myself this time around. I was hoping for a shorter distance of 8 miles like everyone had been doing in past weeks.

I got to the store just after 8am and found out that everyone was going to do about 15 miles. Okay, so no 8 milers. Guess I'll have to suck this up and pray my lungs don't explode out of my chest. As we went towards the Green River Trail, I sucked on my cough drop and did my best to breath. It took almost an hour for my lungs to feel like they were clear, but it was a great feeling after days of gasping. I ran up ahead of the group to make a pitstop at a port-a-potty along the which the guys who were trailing behind decided to rock and shake up the port-a-potty while I was inside. Scary moment there when I dropped my water bottle on the floor. Ew.... I chased the group down and with a pseudo-tough-guy voice, "OK, WHO SHOOK THE PORT-A-POTTY?!" Everyone in typical comedic fashion, all (literally) pointed to one guy. We had a good laugh but good thing we were another mile from a water fountain where I could clean up the bottle!

At this point, we were close to 8 miles out. Then the group splintered off. Some wanted to do some quick tempo/speed work, the rest of us headed back. I was suprised at the pace I was moving at (even with a pitstop). I ended up doing just shy of 16 miles when it was all said and done (15.8 acccording to gmap-pedometer). My pace was at a 9:45/mile. Pretty good for a guy who's doing his best to be on the mend before his 50 mile beating. I'm not the only one who has trepidations about Mt Si. Eric Sachs said that he knows that he's going to be hurting too since his training hasn't been too good (even though he's in better running shape than me, more seasoned, and does more miles per week - about 50 on average). But we'll both be towing the line at 5am on race day, so who knows?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

No turning back now

I paid the fee. I'm now registered for the Mt Si Ultra (50 miler).

The goal is to finish. Not break my PR from last year (10:37), just finish and finish in-tact.

Although you could laugh and think of what I'm doing as of late as a "Couch to 50 mile training plan".

Monday, March 17, 2008

The art of HTFU and the H2O game

A week of no running due to me blaming scheduling conflicts and such - I learned to point the finger to myself and decided that it's time to Harden The F*ck Up. Yesterday was me trying to get back into the game. Although I was shooting for 26 miles but ended up doing 20 + 1-2 miles of walking, I'm satisfied with the lesson. Seems that a 2 liter hydration pack is enough for 20 miles of distance on the run. Beyond that, I need an additional source of water or hydration from somewhere. So after hobbling almost 2 miles to the nearest thing that was open that had a phone, I called a cab to take me home. That's going to be the last time I do that.

24 hours after the run, I'm feeling fine and looking forward to moving my feet some more. Mt Si may hurt me on April 13th, but I'm going to put up a hard fight every mile.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Kisses and Running to Work (a little longer, a little stronger)

A big thanks to my friend Susi for the puppy advice. Daisy has already started to pick-up on the term "kisses!" and is doing less biting/nipping since last night! I'll keep doing the butter trick for the next two days to re-enforce it, but I think we'll be good.

This morning was really cold. 35 degrees in some spots, but colder in others. Frost was on cars and the ground. I'm glad I wore my running pants and had my compression t-shirt on to keep the chill out. The run to Kent Station was great! I was alot faster than the previous run since I was moving at the same marathon pace I did at Gateway to the Pacific marathon (a 9:16/mile), so I ended up at the Kent Station in 1:08:29, arriving well over 5 minutes before the train came. I did cut it close though in my opinion due to leaving later than expected (about 10 minutes). The run from the King Street Station to work was about the same amount of time as Tuesday. It'd be so much faster if it weren't for those damn traffic lights. I can pretty much bank on an 11.75 mile finish today since I obviously have to run back home. So 18.25 miles covered this week and I still have a short run tomorrow along with my Sunday long run. I'll be at my 40 mile week finally!

Want lunch time to roll around already. Want to do my yoga and stretch out some of the kinks!

Update: Yoga went well. Run finished for today.

Home to Kent Station - 1:08:29 (9:17/mile pace)
King Street Station to Work - 9:58 (8:53/mile pace)
Work to King Street Station - 10:08 (8:58/mile pace - Minor detour due to Qwest Field gates being closed)
Auburn Station to Home - 20:29 (9:56/mile pace - WINDY!!!)

Total Distance: 11.75 Miles
Total Time: 1:49:06
Overall Pace ~ 9:17/mile

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Run to Work Day

Yesterday's run to work and return home went actually well. Although I didn't make it to the Kent Station like I wanted, I was able to make it to the Auburn Station instead and get on the last train. I was worried about making it to work on time, but I apparently can move at an okay clip and make it to work on-time, even with traffic lights!

The breakdown:

Home to Auburn Station (middle traincar) ~ 2.13 miles
Time: 20:34 (9:39/mile overall pace)
King Street Station (middle traincar) to Work ~ 1.12 miles
Time: 10:02 (8:57/mile overall pace with traffic)
Work to King Street Station (last traincar) ~ 1.19 miles
Time: 10:25 (8:45/mile overall pace with traffic)
Auburn Station (last traincar) to Home ~ 2.06 miles
Time: 19:21 (9:23/mile overall pace)

Total Distance ~ 6.5 miles
Total Time (according to watch): 1:00:24 (9:17/mile overall pace)

For all the runs, I didn't feel totally knackered and there wasn't really any serious discomfort (even with running on concrete for some spots). I think this will only get better as the weather warms up. Thank goodness for Daylight Savings Time this weekend! Tomorrow, I'm going to make sure I'm out the door with enough time to get to the Kent Station and have ran about 11.75 miles for that day (7.37 + 1.12 + 1.19 + 2.06).

Sunday, March 2, 2008


I totally slacked this morning and the run I intended to do:

Leave home before 7am and run from home to the Balanced Athlete and wait to run with the group
Run with the group @ 8am for whatever amount of time and distance
Run back home after running with the group

This should have taken over 4-5 hours and the distance would have been anywhere from 20 miles to a marathon distance or even longer.

But sadly, I let my slacker side kick in after Daisy gave me a very rude 5:30am wake-up call and after taking her out to do her business, I slept in to the late morning. Missed the run. Missed my chance to enjoy the sunshine and warmth of the daytime that I could have soaked up while moving my feet.

After running some errands, I actually had that little voice inside that gave me a kick in the butt that I needed. I wanted to run while there was some sort of daylight left, so I was able to get home before 5pm and get my gear on and head out just after 5pm.

I decided to run to the Balanced Athlete store and the train station near by since that was going to be apart of my running commute to work soon.

Overall, it was a great run. Even with the light-level dropping along with the temps, I was able to maintain my pace and keep it pretty even. The effort overall was good as long runs go.

The numbers:

7.12 mi from home to Balanced Athlete - Time: 1:10:06
7.38 mi from home to Kent Station @ Skybridge - Time: 1:12:27 (return time 1:12:04)
Total distance ran: 14.76 miles - Total Time: 2:24:32
Overall Pace: 9:47/mile; Effort: Easy, able to talk/sing easily without being out-of-breath
Drink: 24 oz water; Food: 1 pack of Orange Sports Beans @ mile 10.

Good info for the running commute since at an easy pace, it will take me under 1.25 hours to get to the Kent Station. If I run it as a tempo run, fartlek, or interval run, I'm looking at a reaching the same place in an hour or less. Now, I just have to see how long it'll take running to the Tukwila station that's about 12.5 miles away from home. Yeah, I could just calculate the numbers off my pace for today, but I'd feel safer if I would just run the distance to get a baseline number for myself.

But tonight's run, I think I can say that I redeemed myself for the inner-slacker that I'm always going to fight against in this ultrarunning game.