Sunday, July 19, 2009

The End of Another Week!!

I should start out my saying I'm in a little trouble this week! Saturday is long run day, but we were unable to run it due to the weather, so we rescheduled for today. I had mapped out a local 8 mile run, but knew it to be verrry hilly and in the worst way. The first 4 miles of the run are basically flat/downhill. There were some inclines, but I wouldn't call them hills. The problem is, the last four miles is basically hills. I warned Corey that this wouldn't be like our normal long run, but she still wanted to do it. I let Corey set the pace for the run, and she pushed the hills the first half, speeding up to a 9:30 - 10:00 pace. The last four miles back though were pretty tough for her. Our pace fell at times, and twice she walked for a minimal amount of time. In the end, we finished the run 4 minutes off the best time for us running together. I told her, with the amount of hills in this run, that is a pretty decent time.

For the week's recap:

Monday - Interval's 10x400 @ around 7:03 pace w/ 45 second recovery in between. Ran 1/2 mile warm up and cool down.

Tuesday - Light Tempo 4 miles in 35:20 (8:50 pace)

Friday - Easy Run 4 miles in 36:11 (9:02 pace)

Sunday - Long Run (Hilly) 8 miles in 1:37:19 (12:09 pace)

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Thinking about this blog the other day, I thought I should give my take on some of the problems associated with running in regards to gear. Today, Ill give my take on shoes. When I started running again a year and a half ago, I bought a mid range pair of Nike's from MCSports, with no regards to anything except that they were in the running section. After I put 400 or so miles on them, I knew I needed another pair. I then decided that I should go to a speciality store and get "better" shoes. The wet test shows my arch as high, so I thought I needed support shoes. After going through various Brooks and Asics shoes, the owner of the store told me to try out what worked best in the past; Nike. He also let me know that there were some people who had arches that were one way, but who needed a more neutral shoe. Thus, I was led to the Nike Pegasus + line. The shoe I ended up getting was the 25th year edition, but I don't know if that really makes a difference. All I know is that the shoe has performed as well as any shoe I have worn. All of the other shoes gave me little blisters along the top of my arch. (Painful!) Usually, they popped up around the 4-5 mile mark on runs.

I have run as little as 3 mile miles and as much as 8 miles at one time in these shoes. I have had no hint of discomfort in my feet. So far, I have 300 miles on the shoes, and knew I was probably getting close to needing another pair. I found them online at Eastbay for around $68 + shipping. There was a sale on for 20% off the order, so they ended up around $60 and I purchased two pair. Ill transition the pair with mileage on them to short treadmill runs until them give me problems.

My only problem with the shoes had been a "sleeping foot" issue in the very beginning. This started around the same time I increased my mileage though, and the issue only arose on treadmill runs, so I will keep an eye on it when the new shoes arrive. Also, I wish running shoes would last longer. If you run 25 miles a week, the shoes will only last 3-5 months, and 5 months would be pushing any shoe. I do quite a bit of road running with races and training, and do trail running later in the year, so shoes tend to wear out quicker.

All in all, if you need a neutral shoe to mild pronation shoe, this would work. The price is attractive, and even if the shoe needs to be replaced after 300-400 miles of running, they are half the price of many competing models.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Between the Week Thoughts!

Today I ran intervals, but that's not what this post is about. Its about how running is slowly changing my body. When I re-started running a year and a half ago, I was closing in on 220 lbs, and I'm one of those people where the weight gets deposited everywhere! Today, I am usually at around 180 lbs. Now, I haven't lost a pound since the beginning of the year, but changes-a-plenty still abound. My pace has inched upwards throughout the past year and a half, with what I think are huge increases this year in particular. What extra weight I do have is slowly being redistributed from my waist area and I feel a thousand times better than I can remember. My resting heart rate used to be in the mid 70's; its now in the high 50's. According to rough calculation, my max heart rate for my age should be somewhere around 182. It is closer to 192 beats per minute. (I have exceeded 182 on more than a couple occasions; usually on intervals)

The most awesome part of this whole thing though is my wife is now involved with me on our running adventures! Never in a million years did I think she would actually go to Cincinnati to run the Flying Pig 10k. Now, she's itching to sign up for the Flying Pig Half Marathon, pending results from the Grand Rapids Half Marathon we have already signed up for! This, and she has already found out about black toenails! The best part about all of this is we both actually enjoy running (especially long runs together) and the company makes it easier for both of us. I would encourage people interesting in running to get there significant others to "join the craze" with them. What helped us was the destination run in Cincinnati. You are kinda of stuck with it if you commit to the sign up. (unless you don't mind just giving them the money) We had a strong relationship before this running thing; but I think its made our relationship even stronger. We may have gotten a little crazier though too; we were talking destination runs in Hawaii in the other day! Who schedules a vacation around a half or full marathon!? Those crazy runner folks....that's who!

I had mentioned before that I had received a Polar RS800 sd and have posted a few screenshots. I have been nothing but impressed with the unit. It is expensive (mine was $300) but I'm one of those people who like to see graphs of all the information, so it is perfect for me. You get all of the heart-rate, pacing, altitude and calorie expenditure information you could ever ask for. My wife now wants a HRM that will help with the pacing. Go figure! I'll give a more detailed review of the unit in the next couple weeks.

That's really about it! I just was thinking about all of this the past couple days. Who willingly puts themselves through the work of 20-30+ miles per week for fun? (and health) In doing this, who willingly buys pair upon pair of shoes because they are leaving the bottom of the shoes on the road? Who purchases BodyGlide (which I had never heard of before) to put on body area's that start to chafe because your moving for that long. Like I said.....those damn crazy runner folk!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Another Week! Another Race! Another PR!!

My wife, her sister, mother and myself ran the Cherry Festival 5k this morning. It was great and I have a new post high-school PR of 26:45 (unofficial; it might vary 1 or 2 seconds) I was thrilled! As you can see by the Polar output, I pretty much ran it through at the same pace. I by accident stopped the Polar at the 3 mile mark or so, but that didn't affect my race. What did affect it though were two area's. About 3/4 to 1 mile into the race, we had to run through the Civic Center area. It was real tight, and with 2000+ runners, there was some speed up slowing down action. Worse yet, it was rolling through that particular area, so I had to push a little harder to keep the pace up. I usually like to run the first couple miles faster, just in case I find out there isn't enough gas in tank with a 5k. The second area was more detrimental, and you can see where it happened by my heart rate drop towards the end of the race. I got caught up in a pretty good group of people, and one particular slower runner who was all over the road. I lost a good amount of time in that area and recovered OK, but there wasn't enough time or distance left to make up for it. Oh well! I'd say a near 4 minute improvement over last year is good enough!

The week went well, although I missed Thursday's run due to work and didn't want to try and squeeze it in Friday before the race.

Monday - 4 miles @ 8:25 pace
Tuesday - 4.2 miles @ 10:59 pace (felt like crap that day....ate like crap all day though)
Wednesday - 4 miles @ 9:36 pace (felt much better)
Saturday - 3.1 mile race in 26:45 (around 8:35 pace)

The next race isn't until September unless we add another in. We have two in September and two in October. There hasn't been any close races we really wanted to enter in August, but that may be for the better as its the hottest that month. Half marathon training officially starts the end of this month, and we have to start training for a very hilly run in September soon, so intervals will be replaced by hills every other week. (that'll be fun)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Finally...A Solid Week of Running!!

This was a great week for running! I got in all of the running I scheduled, which doesnt happen very often! Not only was I relieved, but it felt great and there were no aches and pains!

Monday - Intervals - 10x400 @ 7:03 pace w/45 sec. recovery.
Wends - 4 miles @ 8:55 average pace
Thursday - 4 miles @ 8:47 pace
Friday - 4 miles @ 9:05 pace
Saturday - 8 miles @ 11:44 pace w/Corey

Like I said, it felt great...even the long run on Saturday; and it was warm again. I plan on keeping the same schedule this week with the exception of doing a tempo run today (Monday) in place of intervals, and keeping the pace somewhat slower. I do have a 5k race on Saturday (National Cherry Festival) and we plan on running back to the car at the finish. (for 6 miles total on Saturday) We then have a long break until the next run in September. We have decided though to add a run in September, the Mackinaw Island 8 mile run around the island. This should be a great training run for the upcoming half in Grand Rapids in October. I start that schedule July 27th although I am already training around the week 5 schedule. I wont add any more mileage until week 7 of that schedule, which calls for a total of about 24 miles for the week. The max mileage is 27 miles, so I'm not too far off of that. The long run is where the increase will come in, with a max distance of 12 miles.