Monday, May 31, 2010

Sweaty Long Run and Versatile Blogger

On Saturday I went for my last long run before the Rock and Roll San Diego Marathon. (8 miles at 8:05 pace) The last long run before a long race is always fun and humbling at the same time. On the one hand I don't have to kill 2.5 hours of a perfectly good Saturday morning, but on the other hand I couldn't help but remind myself that in a week I will have to run 3x that far.

Of course, since I had my first stepback week in 7 weeks, I am now hungrier than a pot head who is all out of Doritos. I'm not sure what it is, but for some reason, whenever I pull back the miles I am even more hungry than I was when I was actually running enough to support those calories. I assume that my body is just acting like a bear before hibernation and needs to take in as much food before the race. So, for the most part I'm strapping on the feedbag and going with what seems right.

What are your taper tips?




If you follow any number of blogs, you’ve noticed the Versatile Blogger awards going around. Barbie, Aron, EricaH, and Rio all tagged me to fess up and spill 7 random things about myself. I’m a TOTAL sucker for these lists so I was more than happy to oblige:

  1. The first time that I ever safety pined a race bib to my chest (belly) was the Kansas City Marathon in 2007. If I do something, I like to dive in head first. I’ve been pretty addicted to the whole marathon thing ever since.
  2. I’m a VERY outgoing guy. (Voted most outgoing HS senior year!) If you don’t believe me, you will the next time you see me. I’ll be the guy with his pants around his ankles dancing on the bar singing “It’s Raining Men”.
  3. However, even though I'm outgoing, I’m just as content being alone with my thoughts – which is probably why I like running as much as I do. In fact, as I am sitting here, I’m watching one of my favorite movies: Cast Away. The movie has 45 min or so with no speaking at all.
  4. I’m a hair guy. The first thing I notice about someone is their hair. I’m also a smell guy. I remember when I lived in Kansas City I always looked forward to stepping off of the plane (and out of the germ filled terminal) and into the fresh Midwestern air. Of course, I could do without the smells of cow shit (when the wind was just so) but that is the price you pay I suppose.
  5. I’m a pretty emotional guy – usually at the most embarrassing times. I’ve shed tears after 3 (maybe 4) of my 7 marathon finishes.
  6. The only time that I have been outside of the country was walking across the Mexico border. (and I didn’t even catch Montezuma's revenge!) I THOUGHT I would break this streak last summer when I went to the Virgin Islands. Turns out I went to the US Virgin Islands. FAIL!!!! However, as irony would have it, as a traveling consultant during 2008 I worked in 14 states. My taxes were a nightmare.
  7. The previous post, where I announced my wife was pregnant, was my 700th blog post. I’ve been doing this for over 2.5 years and honestly I don’t think anyone can shut me up that I’ll stop any time soon. What started as a way to collect my thoughts and random observations of the world has become my own personal journal. I hope everyone has enjoyed the ride – I know I have.

Always one to share the love with all things viral (e.g. herps), part of the "rules" of the versatile blogger award state that I share the love with either 13 or 7 other bloggers. Since 7 and 7 seems to make more sense, here are the 7 that I've tagged (for no particular reason):

Jeff @ Running Through Phoenix
Meredith @ inspiREDtorun13
Pam @ Thirty Shmirty
Cynthia @ Balls in the Air
Kim @ iLaxStudio
Glenn Jones @ The Running Fat Guy
Georgia Snail

Friday, May 28, 2010

Going to be a dad!

Never have I experienced something so small having such a profound impact on my life.



My wife is due on Dec 13! The above was taken at approximately 11 weeks where we got to hear the heart beat and actually got to see the little guy/gal move. (And me being the already dorky dad, I got the whole thing on video)

I hesitate to mention the spirituality of pregnancy, but I can’t help but feel some sort of primeval force telling me to reproduce. ”Me Adam….me make children….me get children mow lawn and take out trash…” Some people don’t have that urge, and I get that. But I certainly do.


Social media has made life very interesting when announcing major life changes like this. Everything needs to be very well choreographed – lest Aunt Betty finds out via the town hobo who saw the baby news on Facebook. I’ve found that the prayer chain of notification goes something like this:
  • Weeks preg – 9: Tell parents face to face (where possible) during a very elaborate mother’s day celebration
  • Weeks preg – 11: Tell grandparents, aunts, uncles, and town hobo
  • Weeks preg – 11.5: Post on Facebook
  • Weeks preg – 12: Post on blog
  • Weeks preg - ??: Start viral media blitz involving Twitter, YouTube, and those guys who write words with plane exhaust

So, fetal twitter accounts aside, I'll probably create a baby specific blog that my wife can post on too. If you have some baby fascination (and who doesn't?) you will be able to hop over there and catch the posts about our new little lime sized addition. That said, I may pop in with an update or two when I am too lazy to run when I feel that it is warranted. So, you can look forward to the regular ho-hum updates of me cranking out the miles and trying not to poop myself. The latter skill I can only assume will come in very handy 7 months from now.

Funny Foto Friday: Google Suggestions

Sad that so many people searched for this that it comes up in the suggestions. Their is dumberest than me! :)

I'm going to admit, I've ALWAYS wondered why the Kardashians are famous too, Google.



Thursday, May 27, 2010

I are running

As I looked through my posts the last two or so weeks (honestly, I read my own posts more than I should admit), I realized I hadn’t had a lot of nudity lately had many full on running posts lately. So, here goes….an entire post dedicated to putting one foot in front of the other:

Overall, my running has been going well. This is one of the first times I’ve approached 40 miles a week and had NO pain. I think that it’s mostly due to my foam roller. I’ve always been good about stretching but have still battled with SUPER tight calves (get it??? picture of calves?? I'm on a ROLL!) and shin splints. Now however, after each run I put myself through about 10 minutes mind numbing, white spot educing pain that no man, never mind a wuss like me, should ever need to endure. After I am done I have no pain! Although, I can’t help but wonder if it is sort of like the old saying “How do you get your foot to stop hurting? Hit your hand with a hammer!”

I normally train the full 18 weeks for a marathon. This time I crammed it all into about 8 weeks. *Knock on wood* I’m still relatively healthy. I maxed out at 39 miles per week and have done a tempo day and a track day nearly every week. Gosh, if I knew that I could train for a marathon that quickly I wouldn’t have wasted the full 18 weeks all of the times before! Of course, I’m kidding…sort of.
Click to enlarge

I’ve said this before, but not only am I a boring blogger, but I am a boring runner. Case in point, I give you my last three running routes:



At 5:00am, I’m less worried about varying the scenery and more worried about being able to find my way back. With sleep matted eyes, repetition is key.

Finally, for the numbers junkies out there, here are the details in this week’s runs. I finally took a well deserved stepback week. Step back in miles, but not in intensity:

Tuesday
6 miles: 7:09 overall pace (5 miles at tempo of 7:02)

Wednesday
5 miles: 8:07 overall pace (recovery...sort of)

Thursday
6 miles: 7:31 overall pace (2 mile repeats at 6:31 & 6:23 pace and an 800 repeat at 6:21 pace)

Next week I'll bring back up the miles. Being a marathon week, this may be a little counter intuitive however I'm REALLY going to try to run RnR SD like I would a normal training run. Just much much longer.

Don't forget! You still have time to enter to win some sweet sweet Scape sunscreen.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Try it Tuesday: Scape Sunscreen & $30 Giveaway!!

I live in Phoenix. The same place that was 102 on Friday which was actually LATER than normal for the first 100 degree day (“normal” is approx the first week of May). As a result, I sweat. When I go running or biking I usually end up looking a bit like this:


And unfortunately, sometimes end up like this:


Enter: Scape Sunscreen. Scape has developed a sunscreen that not only protects you from even the harshest sun (SPF 50) but it also doesn't slow you down. "Comedogenic" is the word they use. What that means is that their stuff lets the skin breath which keeps your core body temp down - and who doesn't love that?

Of course their sunscreen has all of the UVA / UVB protection that you could ask for and just enough zinc to make you FEEL like that hot lifeguard without the white paste on your nose.

I've used it on my last few long runs of 2.5 hrs+ and it has worked great. It isn't greasy, but it still goes on silky smooth. The BEST part is that the pro-pack that I received had 4 different applicator methods. Of course, it had normal sunscreen and a tube of chapstick. But it also had a foam applicator that was GREAT for those hard to reach areas and a face "stick" that looked similar to a deodorant stick that went on really clean, fast, and smooth.

The pro pack I received (for free, without any request for a positive review...blah blah blah) retails for $30, however just the normal sunscreen is only $14 - not a bad deal when you consider that it can even be applied to wet bodies. Here is what I thought:

Pros:
  • Waterproof, sweatproof, and run-proof (as in into eyes) – for those of us that do more than ‘glisten’
  • Doesn't coat your skin like plastic wrap and therefore keeps you cooler
  • More application methods than there are for makeup
  • Can apply it to wet or sweaty skin (triathletes, this stuff is for you)
  • SPF 50 means business

Cons:
  • The chapstick style really just tasted like I was putting sunscreen on my lips
  • I have a bit of a zit problem and the face stick didn’t say that it was “oil free”. I haven’t had any breakouts yet, but I am still leery. (So, not a "con" but a "maybe-con")
  • Putting on sunscreen takes time and motor skills (neither of which I have at 5am in the morning)

Overall I like Scape Sunscreen and am really going to try to put this on before each of my long runs and long rides. However, if I were doing a review on the face stick, I’d have to break out the Fail Whale eating the seal of approval. I’m still a bit nervous about zits - but honestly the convenience of the stick might just outweigh the risk. But, since it was all of the products as a whole, the Scape Sunscreen gets my seal of approval. I’d totally buy this stuff and will buy it again when mine runs out.



BUT WAIT!!! There is more, oh so much more. The folks at Scape sent me an extra Athlete Pack to give to one of my readers. That is $30 worth of sunscreen all for you! It comes with all four of the sunscreen application methods: Normal sunscreen, foam applicator, chapstick, and face stick.

Here is how you enter. It seems like these are the standard ways, so it shouldn't be anything new here (in fact, I copied these off of my last giveaway!) Leave a new comment for each entry. Not only am I boring, but I am lazy:
  • Follow my blog. Let me know if you already do or if you're new! (+1!!)
  • Visit the Scape website and let me which TWO time Ironman World Champion only lets Scape Sunscreen touch his toned muscles. (+1!!)
  • BONUS: Link the giveaway on your blog, tweet it, put it on Facebook, whatever you want! (Leave a comment for EACH thing you do...again - I'm lazy) (+1+++!!)
Winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday June 1st. Get all the entries in before then!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Running Long and LOST

This weekend I ran as far as I will ever run for RnR San Diego on June 6:

19 miles 8:11 pace (8:22 pace with a 3 min bathroom break)

It was a good solid run. I did 10 miles by myself and then picked up my wife on her bike for the last 9. I really wanted to hold the 8:10 pace so I probably pushed it a little harder than I should have towards the end of the run. Today, every time I try to sit on the toilet, my hamstrings are paying the price. For some reason after long runs at a highish pace, my hamstrings are the most sore.

Honestly, I wish that I could say that I’ve ran 3 of those 19 milers and was able to maintain that same speed, but I honestly just didn’t have the time in the training cycle. This is only my 6th week back running after being laid up for 5 weeks and I wanted to follow the 10% weekly mileage increase rule. Of course, I only loosely followed the rule….If you can figure out how 10% gets me from 0 a week to 39 miles a week by only increasing 10% at a time let me know. So, math aside, I’m not injured and I think that I’ll be able to run San Diego somewhere around a 3:35 as a normal training run. Either that, or I’ll fail spectacularly and will have the pictures to prove it.

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So last night I, just like many others I assume, watched the season finale of LOST. Rest assured that it hurt my head as much to watch as the beers I drank during the show hurt my head today.

Each week my wife gets a weekly basket of farmer’s market fruits / vegetables and each week they include something ‘weird’. Well this week I feel like they must have planned for the LOST finale because the ‘weird’ item was a coconut!! I decided to capitalize on the irony and go to town:

I'm not sure how Hugo on Lost stays so 'plump' because getting into coconuts is a pain in the ass. I had to break out heavy machinery and get to poking


Coconut "milk" is all the rage, so I poured some out and tasted it. Creamy but not too strong. I could see how people like that stuff

When I was beating the thing into submission opening it with a hammer, the coconut opened perfectly to have an umbrella drink!


So, of course I had to test it out

Hope everyone's week is going well. Tomorrow should be less busy so I should have a chance to get all caught up!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fitness Magazine and RoadID

I’ve been on a pretty good hot streak with blog contests. By that I mean that out of the 400 or so I’ve entered in the last few months, I’ve been able score loot in 2 or 3 of them. I feel so lucky that I’m actually going to have a contest of my own next week!

One of the contests I was fortunate enough to win was a subscription to Fitness Magazine from “Berryfine” over at From Fat to Fab. First, go check out her blog. She is funny, direct, and sincere all wrapped into one. Second, go ahead and take a gander at Fitness Magazine. It seems like (from a guys point of view) it is a cross between a health magazine, Cosmo, and Maxim magazine. I’m not sure how you can go wrong with that. If there are pictures of explosions or a “jokes section too funny for work” I may never let my subscription expire.

I wanted to let her know that I truly would appreciate the subscription, so I decided to take a cover from a while ago and perform some analysis on the “articles”. Because that is what I will be reading**:


And, if for some reason I don’t end up liking what it has to offer***, I’ll let my wife read it (which is why I entered in the first place – free presents…happy birthday hon!).

The other contest that I’ve won recently was a RoadID gift cert from EMZ over at If I can't convince you - at least I'll confuse you. Go check her blog out too, she is going on a wicked awesome vacation to NZ where her hubs is from. ("Wicked awesome" being my best attempt at a NZ saying) While nothing is funny about the gift, I HAD to take a picture of the envelope.


Home Simpson stamps exist!!?? Why have I been using crappy snowflakes on mine then?

Tape on the back – the funny part of which wasn’t the tape so much (because I do that on half of the envelopes I send too) it was the apology FOR the tape!! Haha


So, thank you ladies for the kick ass prizes! Come back for some giveaway love next week



**Wait, there are pictures in this magazine? Bikinis you say? Strange, didn’t notice.
***I dunno, green hair or something? I mean, blond, brunette, red, gray or pink, I’m pretty equal opportunity.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Funny Foto Friday: McDonalds McMarketing

I can only assume that the marketing wizards were too busy coming down off of a double quarter pounder with cheese coma to be bothered by such McDetails - like counting the McNuggets.




I've got quite a few good posts lined up for next week. As my wife would say, "get excited!!"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kickin’ some girls HS track butt

I can only imagine what google searches THAT title is going to bring to the blog – let me explain…

I don’t have a lot of regrets in my life. I make decisions after careful dart throwing consideration and stick with them. Examples include:
  • Drinking….nay, LOVING Crystal Clear Pepsi: Clear, crisp, refreshment
  • Buying a Playstation 3: Yeah, I don’t play it a lot, but it earned me like 5 “man cards”
  • Moving to Phoenix: I’ve totally learned to love swamp ass

However, I’ve often said to my wife while reading my local hometown paper The Record Democrat (circulation 1,704) that I totally should have gone out for track while in High School. Each week I’ll turn to the sports “section” and check out the local high school sports teams. They hold their own it seems (which is certainly a nice departure from the crap bombs that we threw up when I was in high school). One thing that I’ve really started to check out are the track meet results.

This time of year there is always some sort of meet at least once a week. The paper does a good job of not only telling who won, but listing each event’s finishing times. The boy’s (guys?) times are always basically out of reach for me: ~10:45 for the 3200 (5:22 pace) but the girls are a much more achievable 11:30 (5:45 pace). I have to think that if I trained specifically for the 2 mile run I could totally be competitive for that.

So, in summary, one regret that I have is that I didn’t go out for girls track while in high school. Although, I suppose there was the whole issue with me being a boy and all. Details details.....

Looking back, do you have anything that you wished you would have done? And no, putting all of your money in Google stock doesn’t count – which would be the first thing I do should I get my hands on a flux capacitor.

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My ankle is just a bit sore (maybe a 1 out of 10 on the pain-o-meter) so I abandoned any speedwork this week and am just getting in the miles. 8 yesterday at 8:03 pace and 5 today at 8:19 pace. I’ve been doing them on the treadmill so that I make sure to stay slow and not go out and blast some 7:10 miles. Yesterday’s run went really well, but today’s run was like running in the depths of hell.

For some reason, the hotel “gym” was about 90 degrees. Bleh. I propped the door open with a dumbbell but I had still successfully soaked through my shirt, underwear and shorts by the time I was done.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Try it Tues: Recovery Socks

We’ve all seen them. You can buy them in running stores, at race expos, and even in the diabetic isle at Wal-Mart**. Compression socks.


Since I’ve always had calves wound tighter than a meth addict with a Starbucks problem, I’ve always wanted to try them. So, about 6 months ago I bought a pair of black Recovery Socks at the Twin Cities Marathon expo when I was having issues with a stress fracture. Here I am wearing them while stretching out after the RnR Mardi Gras Marathon (the poka-dot purse is not mine...i'm more of a leather kind of guy):

The scientific premise behind the socks is that they use graduated pressure that is heavier at the foot and lessens as it works up toward the knee, aiding in blood flow back to the heart and lungs. Thus, freshly oxygenated blood can return more quickly to the legs. Also, while actually running, the socks are touted as helping to compress muscles, reducing unnecessary vibration and thus reducing fatigue and discomfort. Translation: basically it squeezes all of the bad blood out of your legs like toothpaste out of a tube.

Since I was tired of washing my black Recovery Socks so often, a few weeks ago I bought a pair that were a wee bit more obnoxiously colored***.



I normally wear the socks after each long run. I’ll usually stretch, foam roll, shower, and then put them on for as long as my wife will let me (until I leave the house for the day). They feel snug while you have them on, however not so tight that they are restricting. I assume it is what having pantyhose on feels like. I’ve found that they help to reduce swelling and discomfort in the short term and help speed soreness and recovery in the long term. Here is what I think overall:

Pros:
  • If compression is good for the gout, it has to be good for runner’s legs
  • There are plenty of internet stories that sing the high praises of compression technology.
  • Even if the above links are wrong and it is only a perceived benefit, isn’t 80% of running mental anyway?
  • Elites use them, so that is good, right?
Cons:
  • They make you feel like a bit of a human sausage
  • I sweat. Knee high socks = sweating even more
  • If you try to put them on with sweaty sore legs after a hard race you'll end up looking like a fool - guaranteed
  • At ~$30 for each pair, they are not cheap

The verdict? I think they work. I’m not sure why or how but I feel like the extra circulation that they provide has to be helping something. After all, isn’t increased circulation what Viagra was all about****? While I can’t speak to Viagra’s recovery properties, I CAN say that after I wear these socks I am ready for action sooner rather than later.

So, Recovery Socks get the official Boring Runner Seal of Approval.


**Right next to the full sized cut outs of Wilford Brimley
***I like my socks like I like my women, loud green
****I’m asking because I honestly have no idea

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Brick workouts and Beard shaving

Well, as promised, here is what I ended up with after a week of only shaving my neck. As you can see, I still have trouble growing hair anywhere on my body.

Here is what I hoped it looked like

And in my mind, this is what I assumed that I always looked like:

Anyway, mission accomplished - it bugged the shit out of my wife. So, Biggest Loser Bob aside, I had a pretty good brick workout this morning. I started out a bit late on the bike going 11 miles. I am still going to do a 16-17 mile run tomorrow, but wanted to get out there and keep my legs loose. I always feel a bit flat at first if I don't run from Thursday to Sunday.

I was originally just going to do the bike, but I decided to turn it into an official brick (bike/run) workout - including the fast transition. The main purpose of turning this into a brick workout was to break in a new pair of shoes! I recently won a pair of Brooks on a twitter contest. I normally would have just dove head first, but they came a 1/2 size too small. Instead of creating a big deal out of it, I just decided to use them for my short runs. In short: they seemed a bit tighter than normal but nothing that seemed to be that big of a deal. I cranked away the 2 miles in 15:20.

I could see how you would want to practice these ahead of time to get used to them. The first quarter mile of the run was tough - even after only 11 miles or so.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Funny Foto Fri: Father of the Year

I have to be honest, I'd comment something like the below. Sarcasm is the true test of friendship.



Do to popular request, beard pictures on Saturday - right before my wife pins me down and shaves it off.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Running, Training, and falling behind

Today I got in a solid 5 mile recovery run – OUTSIDE!!! (Yesterday was a 8 mile run w/ 5 @ tempo of 7:08) I didn’t go into the details before, but I’m not actually IN Chicago. I’m in St Charles, IL. Which is so far outside of Chicago it might as well be in Iowa. (55 miles from Lake Michigan) This unfortunately means that instead of runs down the magnificent mile, I run down this street (literally – taken from google maps). It is sort of like saying that you live in NYC but instead you live in Albany, NY.


I’m sure that my wife has blocked it out of her memory, but I like to try to grow random facial hair when I am away for training. I try during training because I don’t have to worry about pissing off any client Grizzly Adams haters and my wife can’t shave me while I am asleep – which she has threatened to do. I decided to try a full on beard this time. Let me tell you….it…looks…..DUMB. I haven’t shaved it off yet, but I look like a mix between Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite and Spencer Pratt. So, essentially an immature tool.

The consulting company that I work for is a worldwide company - as is the training. So, at my table of 5, there are people from: San Palo, Tokyo, Brussels, and London. Of course, as my luck would have it, the guy from London is an Ironman. And he is a FAST one at that. Around a 3 hour marathoner. I got to go for a (treadmill) run with him on

Apologies for not being caught up on blogs this week. They are working us harder than a pot dealer in a hippie commune. BUT, for those of you that post on a regular basis know: It is only a matter of time before you get a flood of comments from yours truly. I promise only half of them will reference poop or boobs.

Monday, May 10, 2010

And so it begins

I’m a traveling consultant by trade. Have you seen the movie Office Space, with the two consultant Bobs interviewing everyone to see if they should keep their job? I’m sort of like that without all of the the home wrecking and crying**. Companies bring me in for my snarky comments and quick wit my project management skills and feel no guilt when they wave goodbye after a job well done…or after I grab all of the office supplies – whichever comes first.

This means I travel – a lot. I am currently out of town M-Th every other week. (Last year, it was EVERY week – 130+ hotel nights!) So, that means I get a lot of views like this (taken on Sunday night):



And this (more Sunday pics):


And maybe a little of this (you should have seen the guy next to me looking at me strangely while I was taking this…(Listening to a little Starship – We Built this City (on Rock and Roll)))



This week is different. This week I am training in Chicago. That means a Sunday afternoon flight and a Friday evening flight. That makes for a CRANKY Adam (if there ever was such a thing***). It is funny how much a day on either end of my ‘normal’ travel schedule can throw me into a complete funk. Does anyone else get like that? A slight change to the schedule throws you into a complete self-deprecating tailspin? Before I know it I’m tossing around my clothes, cussing at them to get into the suitcase faster.

However, always in search of the silver lining, I will get to see some very close friends while I am here and will get a reprieve from the 98 degree temps of Phoenix. That, and the training center that I go to has unlimited.soft.serve.ice.cream. Wowza.

The Redhead posted about moving cross country the other day. Having done this less than a year ago I offered a novel of my own perspective. I closed my comment with “turns out, it’s not where you are, but who you’re with that really matters” - A Dave Matthews Band song line, but something that still rings true. And while I could literally draw a map of each home on my 3 mile loop in Kansas City, come to find out, home is where my wife lives – and I can’t wait to get back.

Where is HOME for you? Is it where you live now?

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For those of you that CRAVE a running update, I’m scheduled for 36 miles this week. Most of them will be on the treadmill, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make. Ever mindful of the 10% week over week mileage increase rule (32 last week) I figure the 12.5% increase is doable. Besides, I’d like to think of myself as a give 125% kind of a guy. 125% in two respects: both giving back to running community as well as giving the herps.



**Or the jump to conclusions mat
***He still smiles, but only shows half of his teeth – which is still more teeth that most humans ever show

Friday, May 7, 2010

First Ever TRACK workout!

As you can tell from reading this blog for days, months, or years (3 and counting), I'm a bit strange I'm not very good at suspense - hence this post title. Speed....in circles.

There is something fun if not a bit masochistic about speed work. Kind of like reading about Heidi Montag: you know that you're not supposed to enjoy looking....and then laughing, but you always do. (10 surgeries and counting!!)

Like I said before, on Thursday I wanted to not only do my first "speed" session in about 6 months but I wanted to do a ladder session. I learned about them over on Steve in a Speedo's blog. They are intervals in increasing and then decreasing distances. What makes them hard is that once you start going back down in distance, you have to speed back up!!

So, I cowgirl'd up (I think that is the proper use of that term?) and jogged to the local middle school dirt track and got my circle run on. I didn't wear a shirt in case I ended up barfing all over myself. Like insurance!

I was going to do 400/800/1600/800/400 meters in the following paces:
400: 1:30 (6:00 pace) (1/4 of a mile)
800: 3:12 (6:24 pace) (1/2 of a mile)
1600: 6:35 (6:36 pace) (1 mile)

Here is what I did!!
400: 1:18 (5:13 pace ) OPPS! Too fast
Recovery: 2 min jog, 1 min walking rest
800: 3:08 (6:17 pace) Better, right on track
Recovery: 3 min jog, 90 second walking rest
1600: 6:23 (6:32 pace because it recorded as 0.98 miles) perfect
Recovery: 3.5 min jogging / walking rest (didn’t stop watch inbetween)
800: 3:03 (6:01 pace) A bit fast again, but that is ok because I am TIRED
Recovery 4 min jog (started to head home because it was too dark)
400: 1:32 (5:55 pace) Perfect – hold in the barf
Jogged home at 7:30 pace

All in all it was a great run. What did I learn?
  • Doing the different distances made it go much faster
  • My outside leg got just a TOUCH sore from all of the turning in one direction, so half way through I switched it up and ran the other direction
  • Boys lacrosse practice on the field next door looked fun - and I wonder if I would make the team. We could talk about video games and juice boxes (or whatever 7th graders talk about now)
  • On those 400s a few seconds either way can really make a difference on the pace
  • I kinda felt like I was a NASCAR guy going in so many circles
So, overall a great workout - that I'll do again.

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Oh, and I guess I did a long run this morning. Not as much fun to talk about as a track workout, but I got in a solid 15 miles at 8:12 pace (2:03 total time). That puts me at a solid 32 miles for the week. Not bad and everything is holding up just fine!!! *knocks ridiculously hard on wood*

Funny Foto Friday: Don't Tase' Me Bro!

I'm sure everyone has seen this one.....

I'm not sure why, but this picture makes me laugh EVERY time I've seen it. I think it is mostly the look on the kid's face....mixed with a bit of the look on the cop's face. "You wanna run little F'er?!?!? Taste TASER!!"

Well, let this be a lesson I suppose. If you play with the bull, sometimes you get the horns (or the taser).







A trip down memory Lane:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

McMillan Running Calculator

So, unfortunately I didn’t get a run this morning. I had planned a day of speed, but my alarm clock had different plans. I’m staying in a different hotel this week and they have alarm clocks that look like they are complex enough to bring down a fighter jet with a missile.

That means when I thought I hit snooze I GUESS I turned it off – either that or somewhere in North Dakota a predator drone bombed a barn. So, I got up at 6:40 instead of 5:00. Eeek!! (why is it that you are never well rested when you oversleep?) Either way, fortunately I’m going to get home early enough tonight that I’ll just do it then. Just like the rubber limbed mom on the Pixar move The Incredibles, flexibility is key.

Like I said during my Race Report for the Arbor Day 5K, I haven’t done speed work in 6 months. That stops today. I’m planning on doing a type of ladder workout that would have me doing all sorts of various distances at various speeds:

400m / rest / 800m / rest / 1600m / rest / 800m / rest / 400m / die

Makes me want to barf thinking about it – which means that it will probably be a good workout.

Since there are so many distances that I’ve never done before (400 / 1600) I was at a loss for exactly how fast I should go out. Enter: McMillan Running Calculator. If you haven’t heard of it, it is a calculator that some say “predicts” what your race speed should be. For example, if you’ve completed a 2:00 half marathon, it says that you should be able to complete a 4:13 marathon. SHOULD. I’ve mostly used it to go down the distance scale vs up. Less as a predictor more as a pace guide. For example, when I entered a 3:25 marathon, it told me that I should be able to run a 1:37 half marathon – makes sense. Maybe those big brain McMillan folks do have their head on straight. (Bonus points to anyone who "gets" the picture on the right)

In addition to race pacing it’ll also tell you how fast you should be doing your tempo or speed work. That way you don’t push so hard you crap your pants**, but you push hard enough to get some benefit, you know just like Goldilocks – it is JUST RIGHT.

So, using the website here is what I am going to try tonight, wish me luck!
400: 1:30 (6:00 pace)
800: 3:12 (6:24 pace)
1600: 6:35 (6:36 pace)



**You have been warned - hopefully you read this first.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hello Governor

I'm on the road again this week, so no pants after 6:00pm! my run was on the hotel gym treadmill. I had a solid 7 mile run w/ 5 at tempo (7:08). It honestly started out shaky but ended up being not too bad. I'm not sure why, but it takes me a pretty solid 20 minutes to get into any kind of groove. But, after that time I was able to knock them out.

This week, Hertz finally decided to pay me back for all of the rental cars with strange brown stains on the seats and give me a Mercedes GLK 350 rental. Let me tell you...it.is.nice. Almost a little too nice, you know? I sometimes hear in my head my dad telling me to not eat in the car and keep my hands off of the windows. But, in order to fit the part, I've started to wear a monocle and call everyone Governor.

If you're in the US and you've seen the news this morning, they caught the guy who they believe loaded down an SUV with "explosives" and parked it in Times Square. Cool. However, I can't help but notice that the news people keep telling their audience what he did wrong!! "Well, you see Suzie, he didn't even have the propane tank valves open...." "You're right Ken....and his fertilizer wasn't high quality enough and it didn't have any fuel oil...." REALLY? Do we need to be telling every disgruntled 17 year old step by step instructions on what NOT to do? I suppose that they could just find it on the Internet, but aren't most 17 year olds too busy looking at Internet porn anyway? Believe me, if 17 year old kids knew what Robin Meade looked like on CNN Headline news, they would watch!

Finally, guys are funny in the gym. The hotel that I am at this week has a pretty small gym that is a converted hotel room. Just enough room for 2 treadmills, an elliptical, and some free weights. There were three of us guys in there doing our guy stuff (scratching, farting, whatever guys do) when a lady walked in. Immediately the guy who was lounging around on the bench pretending to play with the free weights started cranking out rep after rep and the guy on the elliptical started going about double the speed that he was going before. Me? I'd like to think that nothing changed. But, she did come in right after 20 minutes - so maybe I was just able to find my groove with a bit more estrogen in the room.

Monday, May 3, 2010

$50 Gift Card Winner!

To say that my latest contest had a great response would be like saying the Phoenix summer is 'a bit warm'. I had about twice as many posts as I thought, which is certainly a good thing!! I'm going to spend most of tonight checking out everyone's new blogs and getting them added to my reader.

So, without further ado, the winner is: Lisa @ Early Morning Run! Lisa isn't letting her heel keep her from getting out there - mixing up biking with some of that crazy hot Bikram Yoga.

Shoot me an email Lisa using my contact information on my profile and I'll get the gift card sent over your way!

So, since not everyone could win and I am in the giving mood, I thought that I would share a few links that I've came across over the past few days. First, Powerbar is giving free samples of their PowerGel Blasts. I actually reviewed these a few weeks ago so go check that out if you want an unbiased opinion. (In summary, they would be worth getting for free on a website.) Next, while it isn't free, it is a really good deal. GU is selling a multipack performance energy sampler for $19.99. It basically comes with everything that GU makes: Gel, Roctane steroid infused gel, chomps, and pre/post drink. I ordered one a few days ago and it was on my doorstep within 3 days.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Race Report: Tempe Arbor Day 5K

Distance: 3.1 miles (Garmin 3.29....)
Time: 21:35 (Honestly, I think my time "should" have been around 20:30ish)
Place: 15/521. AG: 12/186 (My "age group" was 18-99 years old)

Update: I received an 'official' email from the Race Director that stated that the race was indeed 3.28 miles (5.28 km). So, using the same 5K measuring stick, I'd say that a 20:30 finish is not too bad all things considered.

On Friday, Running Laur, Jeff, and myself all ran the Tempe Arbor Day 5K. I didn't post the race report for this race yesterday like I had originally planned because I wanted to let it simmer. Like fine wine, sucky races need time to age and mature - lest I drop TOO many F-bombs during the race report (like I did during the race).

The Tempe Arbor Day 5K was a benefit to plant trees in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe. Since the entire race was to benefit trees, I figured that I'd give some love to the trees as well.
I think we both felt "funny" afterwards

The race had a GREAT turnout - twice the number of people that they expected. As a result, the announcer went from promising that "a tree would be planted for every finisher" to "a tree would be planted for every 2 finishers". Gotta love the media spin.


After a bit of a delay to sign up the few last day-of registers, we were off. Because I had warmed up with a mile jog before, I knew that I would have the wind to my back at the beginning of the race and needed to make sure to use it to my advantage.

Mile 1: 6:08

Here I am at around the 0.5 mile mark, in approximately 12th place.


Mile 2: 6:45
While the first mile seemed to zoom by, the second mile certainly did NOT. Honestly, the reason why this race wasn't a good one is probably because of the second mile. There was a pretty gusty wind that blew into my face, there were 2 hair pin turns (out of 4 during the race), and there was a fairly decent sized hill. I punched it as much as possible but didn't have much spring in my step. The fact that I haven't done any speedwork in 6 months or so was certainly showing. The other thing that was showing was the spit on my shoulder. I tried to spit to the side but with the wind it landed directly on my shirt. Awesome.

Mile 3: 6:48
I honestly don't remember much about this mile, but I do remember that I picked up a LOT of speed once I got out of the wind. My splits got back down in the 6:20 range (which just goes to show how slow the first chunks were).

Extra 0.29: 1:51 (6:20 pace)
So much happened during the last part of the race that it deserved its own section. There was a bit of confusion around one of the hair pin turns and I accidentally ran past it a bit. I MIGHT have accidentally said a swear word directed at the SUPER friendly volunteers. For that I am honestly very sorry. Unfortunately, I lost two places overall dropping from 13th to 15th. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

When I finished, I found out, they were giving away full sized Chipotle burritos. While I immediately grabbed one, I soon realized that there is no way that I would be eating it ANY time soon. I normally sweat when I eat hot food, and It seemed like I was doing enough of that already.
Not even burritos were spared from my lovin'. Fortunately, Jeff was spared....this time.

I stumbled wandered around a bit and watched Jeff and RunningLaur finish. They both looked strong at the finish, but agreed that a shorter race course with less hair pin turns (and wind) would have been better.

Overall, it wasn't a good race but it was still a fun experience. AND, it was certainly a learning experience. I learned:
  • Not running any speed work for 6 months is not conducive to running a fast 5K
  • I need to work on my core. The day after the race, my stomach was SORE
  • Even though the race was long, everyone ran the same course so I suppose I shouldn't complain
  • While hugging trees, be careful to not get splinters in your crotch