Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hospitable week

(13, 8, 5, 8, XT, 14, 5) = 52; Week 10/24 (in 23)

Deficit (5R, 8VO2max, 11, 7 w/8*100striders, 13) = 44 Miles

Running conditions this week were very amenable for running - no rain and no snow. I haven't seen such a strech of sunny days in Redmond for a while.

Mon - 44F, cloudy (surprise, surprise!) - 13 Medium-Long : Make-up run for the long run I missed at NY when my flight got cancelled due to the wind storm.

Tue - 47F, cloudy - 8 GA w/ 10*100m striders: Twisted my left ankle after just running half a mile. I continued on with my run. It was hurting quite a bit at the beginning but the pain eased off as I continued running. I hope this does not start hurting after it cools down. Luckily I just have a 5 mile recovery run for tomorrow.

Watched AI & the Nuggets at Key Arena. It was a close game - tied at 99 before the Sonics fell apart.

Wed - 38F, Sun, Fog, Frost on ground - 5 recovery - Beautiful combination of weather conditions. Our local weather forcaster asks us to take out the sunscreen & forcasts a string of sunny days!!! My ankle was pretty iffy when I began the run but became better as it warmed up. From previous experience, twisted ankles recover faster when I'm active than when I wait for it to heal. I wonder if my ankle joints are a bit succeptable to twists. I've had a bunch of them now...

Thur - Windchill 28F, Sun - Missed my gloves. I don't think I needed any sunscreen inspite of the bright sunshine :) Got hounded by 3 black dogs. My ankle was much better. Skipping my XT w/o last night was a smart move.

Fri - PM - 60 min XT

Sat - 47F, Sun - 14 Medium-Long - Today was yet another beautiful day. It was a little chilly in the morning so I waited till it was 1pm before I headed out. I was able to head out in just my T - no need for a second layer.

Sun - 39F, Sunny! - 5 Recovery. Got to watch the Sonics-Clippers game. It ended up being a total mismatch.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Solid week after RNR AZ

(XT, 10, 5, 10+XT, XT, 18, 5+XT) = 48, Week 9/24

Deficit (13, 5R, 8VO2max, 11, 7 w/8*100striders, 13) = 57 Miles

Mon - I had planned to get in a 5 mile recovery run but I bailed out. I had returned pretty late from the airport and just did not feel like going out in the 20F temps. I guess I did not feel guilty since it was a rest day on schedule.
PM- XT 60 min

Tue PM - 10 GA - On the dreadmill! I didn't get to run in the morning. I went to sleep pretty late. Also, there was more fresh snow overnight so the path would have been pretty icy. It was a nice run but I need to stay off the TM!

Wed - 5 Recovery - Trail was snowy/icy/slushy. Hopefully it clears up before tomorrow's tempo run. It's still better than the TM!

Thur - 10 w/5 @ LT - Windy, Cloudy, Light Freezing Rain - Some of the snow/ice has melted off the trails but there were still some parts where the footing was pretty bad. Snow is just tedious to run on but ice is treacherous. The good thing about running the half 'thon is that I seem to have locked onto tempo effort. For the portions where I was running completely on snow/ice I focused on tempo effort rather than tempo pace.

I though about spring and how good it would feel to wake up to bright sunshine & run in the 50Fs... Reminded me of the "Sound of Music" classic ...

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad"

PM: 60 min XT - To compensate for my chocolate milk vice & pizza for lunch

Fri PM: 70 min XT

Sat - 18 - SUNNY 41F, NO RAIN, NO SNOW - A saw a couple of runners smiling as they were running. I knew exactly why they were smiling - I was smiling myself... It felt so good to have the sun shining into my face after all we've been through in the last few weeks. My eyes seemed to have become unaccustomed to such brightness!

Sun - 5 Recovery - 44F, cloudy: Typical WA day. Felt pretty good but I was careful to keep it at recovery pace since I have to get in a make-up 13 miler tomorrow.
- 60 min XT

Friday, January 19, 2007

Eugene for Vancouver

I've decided to run the inaugural Eugene marathon instead of Vancouver. There have been quite a few positive vibes about it lately. It's quite a legendary running city with the all those national championships (as the race website puts it you'll be "running in the footsteps of legends"). I'm sure the race will be well organized. It looks like a very fast and scenic course! Also, I wasn't too excited about the Ultima sports drink at Vancouver. From what I heard last year it's organization was a mess.

This means I'm now one week short in the 55/24. I'll cut week 15 (the recovery week). I might try to squeeze some of the runs in other weeks if I am feeling strong.

I also signed up for the Mercer Island Half today. This is a hilly course. I did the half marathon loop as a training run in May. If I can PR on this it will be quite satisfying.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

RNR Arizona Half Marathon Race Report

Phoenix, AZ, 8:45am
Temperature: 30F-36F
Humidity: 40-25%


I had considered running the RNR full but resisted the temptation - I did not want to waste time tapering and recovering. I could fit the half into my training without any interruption. I've never spent so much ($69.5 on entry fees + travel) on a half marathon. However, in this case I was getting to visit my cousin (who I had not seen for a while) and check out a bit of AZ. It was also his first half - there's nothing like seeing someone reaching a first running milestone. I remember my sister making it to both my first half and marathon. For my first marathon she was actually pretty sick but still drove down from NY to DC.


1) 1:34 - My predicted time on the entry form. 1:34:20 would correspond roughly to the same fitness level as my marathon PR.
2) sub 1:37:08 - My half PR from 28 odd months ago at the BAA half. The BAA half was a more difficult course than at Arizona.
3) sub 1:39:45 - My time at the Autumn classic half in Oct. I ran that race with minimal training, on a course which I suspect was long.
4) sub 1:42 odd - My PW. I choose not to remember my exact PW :) In fact I'd like to forget everything about the "Boston's Run to remember" half!


At the expo I was lucky to have a chance to get Frank Shorter to sign my bib. He was also nice enough to pose for a snap with my cousin and me. I also had an awesome FE with Frisco (Jon), Spingoddess (Aubrey), Coleman (Robert) and Runprincess.


I had been looking forward to running in warm conditions in AZ. I had wondered if I would be able to adjust to the heat after running in the Seattle winter. Of course the weather gods presented me with the coldest day of the year in Phoenix. The effect of the low AZ humidity was pretty interesting. My legs got unusually dry by the end of the race. I've run for much longer in much colder conditions in shorts but I've seen nothing like it. I was actually bleeding...

A random observation was that there seemed to be a lot more females than males at the half - looking at the results it looks like the female: male ratio was 12:7.

I spent the last few minutes before the race waiting at the porta-potty line before giving up and heading to the start with 8 minutes to go. My predicted time of 1:34 got me to corral 1 which was pretty cool. There were over 20 corrals with a wave start for each corral. I did the "right" thing and lined up at the back of the corral. The start was delayed by around 15 minutes. I did not mind the delay - the corral felt warm and I spent time people watching. Finally, after the nation anthem the mayor kicked off the race.

Unfortunately, the whole race went by so quickly I hardly remember how the miles went by... Having the bands around was nice but I did not really get a chance to appreciate them.

mile 1 - 7:00
mile 2 - 6:52
I remember wondering if I was going out too fast. Someone around me was telling another runner that he was shooting for 1:32. Looking back I think it was more of a case of this being the flattest part of the course.

mile 3 - 7:09
mile 4 - 7:03
There was reasonable crowd support throughout the course. There were high school cheerleaders at a few points. There were folks with signs waiting for their runners to go by.

mile 5 - 7:06
mile 6 - 7:08
I was impressed that the mile markers seemed spot on (or at least they correlated with my Garmin's GPS. I've only seen something similar happen on the Boston course).
mile 7 - 7:14
mile 8 - 7:15
mile 9 - 7:17
I remember having covered around 8.4 miles at the 1 hour mark. I've never run a race distance in-between a 10k and a 25k so this was the farthest I've run in an hour.

mile 10 - 7:30
I was tiring a bit. Mile 10 and 11 had most of the inclines on the course. I kept reminding myself that I needed to stay close to a 7:25 pace and I'd have a PR.

mile 11 - 7:52
I don't know what I did here but I ended up running 300 odd ft extra. It was more of a 7:26 pace mile. There were a few turns and perhaps I did not cut tangents well?

mile 12 - 7:18
The most scenic views of the race...

mile 13 - 7:10
mile 13.11 - :49

I was glad to finish but I realized why a marathon finish feels so much more satisfying. It was a hard run but I was not completely spent. I was hardly sore - I could walk with ease & climb stairs. It's nothing like a marathon finish where you get to reflect on your achievement as you hobble/limp around.


I'm pretty satisfied with this result. Hopefully, this race indicates that speed-wise I'm not too far off from my PR shape (of course aerobically I'm not there yet). I'm just on week 8/24 of the 55/24 so hopefully there's more fitness to gain. A goal time of 3:14 at Vancouver might be realistic.

The event was very well organized. The half marathon and the full had different finish lines & start times. The routes for the two races were appropriately channeled. It's hard to believe that there were actually 35K runners in both events. The wave start for the corrals also prevented any bottleneck. The course was fast - flattish with moderate inclines. The water stops and the finish were well stocked (I guess getting to them before most surely helped but it looks like they were prepared for the other runners as well). The Accelerade was appropriately diluted on the course while at the finish it was more concentrated (which was nice). I won't hesitate to come back to run the full some day (to check off AZ). Though, if I do come back to AZ I might want to think about the Tucson 'thon too - downhill or flats :)


Chip: 1:34:49 @ 7:14
Gun: 1:35:01
OA: 414/20245
Male: 344/7647
AG: 60/933

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


To taper for the RNR half I switched week 8 and week 5 of the 24/55. As a result this week is a recovery week for me with just 4 runs!

(X, 9+XT, 7+XT, X, X, 3, 13.1 -race!) = 32, week 8/24

Tue (Sunny, 48F!) - 9 w/10*100m striders - It was very difficult to get out of bed today since I had gone to sleep late (old habits die hard). I ended up with just about 6 hours of sleep which is towards the lower limit of my acceptable sleep range. Once I got out of the door it felt great. A rest day surely helps. Along with the striders this was a reasonably high quality run @ faster than GA pace.
PM - 60 min XT

Wed (Windy - windchill 25F)- It snowed last night but there was not much accumulation. Another high quality run. While returning I was running into a steady wind so I was glad I had my gloves on. Running with shorts posed no problem. It looks like I'll be able to get through winter here in shorts. I'm lucky I don't have to run here again for the rest of the week. There's a brutal cold front moving in.
PM - 60 min XT
Sat- 3 miles tempo: A brief warm-up followed by a couple of miles near half-marathon pace to loosen my muscles after a couple of rest days. It was chilly for AZ (45F). I headed out with my cousin on a path along the highway in Laveen. The last two pics provide a neat contrast between winter in WA & AZ.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Week 1 - 2007!

(9,5+XT,10,5+XT,XT,17,4+XT) = 50, wk 7/24

Mon - 9 w/4 @ LT - Rainy - Resolution run? Maybe not, but it's probably a good omen to get in a run on the first day of the year. In 2005, I got in 20 on the 1st and it turned out to be a great year. Last year I didn't run and it ended up being a horrible year. So hopefully this tempo run holds me in good stead for the rest of the year.

Tue, 7:30am - Recovery 5 miles: I managed to catch a break from the rain. It was really nice outside (54F, 29-38mph winds). I've started running my recovery runs based on HR. Today I tried to keep my HR under 150bpm.
- PM: 60 min XT.

Wed, Rain, Windy- GA 10:

With the double digit runs starting to appear on my schedule mid-week I'll need to start waking up earlier. When I started running today it was still dark outside. Well, the sun does not rise till 7:57am but it's pretty bright around 7:30am (I noticed when I was in NY that the sun rises about 40 minutes earlier in the north-east).

I had yet another encounter with a dog on the trail (runner:dog::flower:bee). By now I know better then to try running when a dog tries chasing me (aka. Like Bruno along the Charles river did). It's interesting how dog owners try to justify their dog's (mis)behavior:

Me: Immediately stopped on seeing dog in my path.
Friendly Dog Owner Lady: "She's very friendly she does not bite. She's jumping on you because she thinks you're stopping for her".
Me: "Sorry. (For stopping and being pounced upon by your dog". I commence running. The dog continues chasing me. I stop.
Friendly Dog Owner Lady: "Clair! He's not stopping for you". To me - "Push her away."
Me: Gently pushed Clair.
Friendly Dog Owner Lady: "Push her away hard".
Me: Yeah right. Clair does not look like the dog to be pushed away hard.
Finally, after a few moments Clair lets me go...

Thurs 37F - Recovery 5 - Managed to keep HR below 148.
- PM: 60 min XT

Fri - 60 min XT AM.

Sat - Long 17: The first half passed pretty quickly. During the second half I was running into a steady wind (34F) and for a bit missed having gloves on. For the rest of the run I was happy not to be burdened with gloves and other unnecessary apparel. I saw quite a few bike-run couples on the trail (one running and the other providing company on the bike. It must be so tedious to ride so slowly on a bike).

Sun - Recovery 4 + 60 min XT. Slow run again based on HR. I again managed to dodge the rain. It was windy but warm (mid 40s). This was another "make-up" run. Now I just have a 14 mile long run to make up (which I'll perhaps add to week 10).

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