Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Thursday, December 31, 2009

3288 for 2009

Daniels Park - 11:00 A.M.
mid 40s, clear, still snow
mind/body - a little sluggish
easy effort

Prescribed: 1.15 easy effort

Actual: 10 myles - 1.10:18 - avg. 7:02 - much easier than yesterday

I end the year with 3,288 myles. What does it mean? Nothing really. Other than the fact that it's the most myles I've run in a calendar year. Oh, and it's also farther than driving from San Francisco to Boston (3179)... For the decade I've run 16,599 myles - not bad considering that's only going back to 2003 when I starting keeping a log book.

On another note, I can't wait for tomorrow cause I am gonna put the hurt on some French fries and chips and salsa - all in one sitting. My New Year's resolution for 2009 was to avoid all fried food because I had an affinity to chips/salsa and fries, especially after races. Well I succeeded, save it that ONE Sun Chip I ate back in January.... Did you know Sun Chips are fried? They sound healthy but actually they get their name because the sun is used through solar panels to heat the oil to fry the chips - very clever marketing. Through the year it has been more of a challenge staying away from tortilla chips than anything else. Hmm imagine that.... me being Mexican. I got around it by having the waitress bring me fresh tortillas to scoop up the salsa - worked like a charm. 2010's New Year's resolution will be a bit more of a challenge but I'm not gonna tell you yet cause you'll think I'm crazy.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

13 myles

South Platte Pkwy - 11:30 A.M.
30s, overcast, partially icy path
mind/body - feeling strong
Hard effort

Prescribed: 30 minutes mp (6:15); 5 minute jog; 30 minutes LT (5:50); 5 minute jog; 1 mile VO2 (5:15)

Actual: 30:40 - 5 myles - 6:08; 8 minute jog; 29:50 - 5 myles - 5:58; 8 minute jog; 1 mile - 5:35

This is probably the best (albeit the toughest) workout I've done to give me some sense of pace.

The path was relatively clear with ice in some stops that didn't slow me down too much except going through the round-abouts. The first 30 minutes I decided to go at a pace that felt comfortable and see what I landed on for an average - came up with 6:08 and I feel very confident with that number. I don't know what will happen late in the race but that's what I'm gonna shoot for.

The second 30 minutes was much, much tougher. It's amazing what 10 seconds per mile will do to you. For the first 3 myles I knew I was pushing it faster but felt like I could hold on.... not so. Last two myles was like pushing molasses through a cheese cloth - sa-low. And it hurt. Even though my last mile was 5:54 I really pushed over the top to get that.

And then came the VO2 mile... Mama Mia! Dead legs, burning lungs, and a feeling I haven't had since High School - the urge to throw up! (on the short stuff) 5:35 is all I could muster but I'm OK with that because I gave it everything I had.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

12 myles - 1.24:38

Daniels Park - Noon
mid 40s, cloudy, melting snow
mind/body - good
easy effort

Prescribed: 1.15 easy effort
Actual: 12 myles - 1.24:38 - avg. 7:03 - nice and easy

Just my standard easy day to break up the hard days. I contemplated doing my tempo workout today because it was nice weather but glad I didn't. I didn't feel the best today, must have been Qdoba from yesterday... At any rate the body is healthy with no minor aches and 3 weeks to go till the marathon. I just looked at the results from last year and it appears I'm gonna have a tough time cracking the top 30 overall - gotta hit 2.39 (based on last year's results). Some fast people out there!

I need a trail, some rocks, and a hill to even the score with these fast people!

Bra-Bra put his helmet on so Myles wanted his on

Monday, December 28, 2009

10 myles

Daniels Park - 11:00 A.M.
40s, starting to see a little pavement, clear
mind/body - eager/strong
Hard effort

Prescribed: 1.15 easy with 10 x 1 minute on a 10% grade

Actual: 55:35 easy to and from hill; 10 x 1 minute (58:00-1.00:45) on an 8% grade; last mile 5:07:55

This nasty little hill has a source of pain for me for the last 4 years now - today it was no different. Last year was the first time I have ever gone under a minute and today I put them all under a minute. It's 0.18 of a mile (according to Google maps) and has a calculated grade of 8%. The road was pretty clear so I finally got the traction I wanted last week. This was more of a strength workout at VO2 max so I still didn't know how fast (or not) I was going.... soooo I decided to see how fast I could do the final mile of my cool down.

Lungs and legs were primed while the flat road was pretty clear. I had no idea how fast I was going so I just pushed whatever I had left in the ol legs. Legs started to get weak at the 3/4 mark, lungs felt great. 5:07:55 was the final number. And just to be sure I went back with the car to measure it, exactly a mile. My VO2 max mile mark is set at 5:15, based on my LT and mp so I was pretty close. This VO2 max mile was supposed to be part of another workout later in the week but I had to give myself confidence early for the week and will probably do it again for the other workout.

You know what's amazing?? Doing a 5:07 26 times in a row! That's a 2.14 marathon - simply amazing! And 2.14 is only a 'decent' marathon compared to the world's best. Man! Much respect. Give me a hill already...

Myles just before Christmas - the smile says it all!

2010 race schedule

Landing on a race a month has been my strategy in years past, starting in January and ending in September, this year has been a bit tricky. Family, job, and money have got me to stay closer to home in 2010 (save it a couple races). So without further adeux here it is:

As much as I've planned and talked it over with the board this is still 'tentative'. I would really like for the family to join me in New York and see the sights, just don't know if it's possible yet.

As far as goals are concerned; I'd like to set a PR in the marathon and 50K distance, get a faster time at Hard Rock (if I get in), and get a top 5 at Where's Waldo. Sure I have a goal for every race but those are the big ones for me.

Hope to see you somewhere on the 'trail' in 2010

Saturday, December 26, 2009

20 myles - 2.32:56

High Line Canal/Chatfield - 11:00 A.M.
20s, clear, 4 more inches of fresh pow-pow
mind/body - good/feeling fast
Hard Effort

Prescribed: 1.15 easy pace (7:05) followed by 1.20 at marathon pace (mp) (6:15)

Actual: 9 myles - 1.18 easy pace (8:40) followed by 9 myles - 57:36 mp (6:24) followed by 15 minutes cool down

Defeated by the snow - again.

I started out at Chatfield going North on the High Line canal to C470, much more snow than a couple days ago - probably 4 more inches on top of the 3 before. Although there were tracks this time - I would much rather no tracks because at least it's smooth with less slipping. Because of the snow I had a very slow pace. I was hoping the loop around Chatfield would be somewhat free of snow... not so.

I had planned on doing 13 myles at mp around Chatfield, just extending my 9 mile loop by doing a two mile double back - didn't quite work out that way. The dam had the most snow on it with snow drifts everywhere - my first two mile split was 14:08 - damn! The faster I tried to go the more I was spinning the wheels. Worked over I got to the road, which was snow packed/icy. I felt fast but I wasn't fast - does that count? There was a four mile stretch that had some asphalt showing in which I clocked a 25:02/6:15 pace and felt good. But that was it. By the time I got around to mile 9 on the loop, the snow got deep again. I finished on a 15 minute cool down doing 10 second leg pick-ups just to round out the 20 myles.

This week I was 'supposed' to dial in the mp but I think I'm further away from knowing than when the week started. Conditions were less than ideal but my perceived effort has gotta be worth something - doesn't it? If anything the run today showed me I can run a 6:15 pace feeling good 2 hours into a run.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

10 myles - 1.13:29

Daniels Park - noon
17 degrees, snow packed roads, clear
mind/body - not really wanting to run
easy effort

Prescribed: 1.15 easy as recovery

Actual: 10 myles - 1.13:29 - avg. 7:20 - easy

Just puttin' in the myles today - didn't have the urge or desire to be out there. I've got a tough workout coming up over the weekend so for the sake of taking a day off tomorrow I 'had' to be out there today.

On another note, ultras are all about ugly feet as shown in Andy's blog. That prompted me to show you my worst feet. This picture was taken after Hard Rock 2007 - a very wet year. Whose feet look worse mine or Andy's?

This is what happens if you soak your feet for 32 hours
(yes that is actually dirt under my skin)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

11 myles

South Platte Parkway - 11:00 A.M.
20s, snowing, 3-4 inches of fresh pow-pow
mind/body - good/feeling fast
Hard effort

Prescribed: 15 minute warm up/cool down - 6 x 1 mile cruise intervals @ 5:45 pace, 1 minute jog

Actual: 30 minute warm up/cool down - 4 x 1 mile (6:02, 5:56, 5:58, 5:59), 1 minute walk

Snow affects speed work - no question.

I parked my car in the usual spot just off of Broadway and C-470 and 'jogged' down to the South Platte Parkway. I was hoping for the path to be plowed - yeah right! Not only was it not plowed but no tracks, so it was 3-4 inches of fresh that was cold and slick underneath. I gave it my best effort to do these 'cruise' intervals but I got worked over in the process. The effort I was putting in was way over the top just to crack 6. If I had to guess I would say my perceived effort was 5:35 - just a guess though. I stopped at 4 intervals because I couldn't do anymore. Defeated I 'jogged' back up to my car for a total of 11 myles. I'll be back South Platte parkway!

Mexican word of the day: JUDO "I yonly ben here wan tine - judo know me"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

12 myles - 1.25:19

Daniels Park - noon
40s, cloudy, dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

Prescribed: 1.15 easy recovery

Actual: 12 myles - 1.25:19 - avg. 7:06 - nice and easy

Just the routine easy run today. Nothing out of the ordinary. Trying to get into the Christmas spirit while on my run today but it just isn't there. We have the rest of the year off with my company but it really isn't 'time off' with the laundry list of things to do. We are launching a new product the first part of January so as you can imagine that if time was really 'taken off' all the i's and t's would have missing parts. So bringing it back to the Christmas spirit - stress of the impending launch is preventing me from dipping into the joyous season. Sorry family.

On the bright side of things we watched a couple movies on our theater system last night. Really cool with a Samsung LED TV, Samsung Bluray player, and Tannoy speakers for the surround sound. Your all invited anytime to see the man cave.

Mexican word of the day: CHICKEN WING. My wife goes to Las Begas to play bingo so Chicken wing

Monday, December 21, 2009

10 myles - 1.07:02

Daniels Park - 11:00 A.M.
50s, overcast, dry
mind/body - good/strong
Hard effort

Prescribed: 1.15 alternating easy pace (7:10) and marathon pace (6:15)

Actual: 10 myles - 1.07:02. Avg. easy pace - 7:20. Avg. marathon pace - 6:02.

This week is all about dialing the marathon pace (mp). And today I was all over the board but only because I chose to run on my home course that has a bunch of rolling hills. When you're trying dial in a pace, hills don't help. So I resorted to perceived effort which I've had success with before. My mp looked like this: 6:00, 6:13, 5:57, 5:58, 6:05. The first two splits were up hill so it was really hard to predict, the next two were downhill and seemed easy. Finally on the last one (relatively flat) I scaled the effort back a tidge, feeling really comfortable, and nailed what I 'think' my mp will be. By the end of the week I will know for sure.

Mexican word of the day: JULY. "Ju tol me ju were goin to tha store but ju went to see Jose. JULY to me! Julyer!"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

25 myles - 2.58:36

Highline canal - 11:00 A.M.
40s, North wind, clear
mind/body - good
easy effort

Prescribed: 3 - 3.15 easy pace/steady effort on flat pavement

Actual: 25 myles - 2.58:36 - avg. 7:08 - easy/steady pace on dirt and pavement

I haven't done one of these long, flat runs in over a year and I can honestly say I don't miss it. Sometimes these long, flat runs are tougher than going on a 5 hour run in the mountains. Physiologically I was fine but felt like I was crawling the last 4 myles when in reality I had a negative split coming back: out 1.30:23 and came back in 1.28:13. I don't think I've been on a run of 20+ myles when I didn't get achy muscles and today was no different. But now I also know that those aches work themselves out after a couple more hours.

Good solid week with 65 quality myles. Over the next 3 weeks I'll work on really dialing in my expected marathon pace. I honestly feel it's somewhere between 6:10 and 6:15 right now. btw 6:07 pace would put me in the 2.30 range...

Mexican word of the day: WHEELCHAIR. E.g. "We only have one enchilada left, is OK because wheelchair"

Friday, December 18, 2009

9 myles - 54:13

Chatfield loop - 3:00 P.M.
40s, clear, no wind
mind/body - hesitant/strong
Hard effort

Prescribed: 60 minutes marathon pace (6:15) on flat pavement

Actual: 9 myles - 54:13 - avg. 6:01 - mostly flat on pavement

First mile was 5:37... "wait a minute, this isn't a 800 meter repeat - slow down!" So I did and settled in. But even after I settled in I was still hovering around 6 pace - breathing was relaxed and legs felt great. The question is, can I keep it up for 17 more myles?? I'm a little nervous to put up this kind of time because then my expectations change. I'm still gonna shoot for something in the 2.40 range but if I'm clicking off just above 6 pace for 20 myles in the race then I'll shoot for two thirty something.

I feel good about this workout but realize I still have a lot of work to do - speed work that is. The comforting thing is that I'm light years ahead in my training now as opposed to when I set my PR of 2.50 back in 2003.

On a side note: when I put "hesitant" as my state of mind at the top. I think what I really mean is "fearful". I'm either fearful to know how slow I've gotten or fearful of the pain I'm about to inflict upon myself - either way "hesitant" is always associated with speed work.

Almost forgot Mexican word of the day: MUSHROOM. Example: When all my family get in the car there's not mushroom.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

14 myles - 1.40:03

Daniels Park - 11:00 A.M.
mild - mid 50s, no wind
mind/body - good
easy effort

Prescribed: 1.45 - 2.00 hours, flat and easy

Actual: 14 myles - 1.40:03 - avg. 7:08 - some hills

It's finally nice enough to go for a run without a beanie and tights. High pressure sitting over Colorado will give us a few more days of mild weather so I better hit it before the snow. I felt pretty good today with no aches or pains (which I always fear after speed work). I'll take a day off tomorrow so that I can do more speed stuff on Friday and a longer run on Saturday.

On another note, my basement (or man cave) is nearly complete with the media package coming yesterday. TV is real nice - Samsung LED. I'll test it out on Sunday watching my Cowboys beat up on the unbeaten Saints - No more Mr. Niceguy in December!

Last, I want to teach you all Spanish. Since there are 14 days left in the year I will give you 14 days of Mexican Christmas. Think of it as my gift to you. Today's word is: CHEESE. An example using the word: Maria likes me, but cheese ugly.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

9 myles

H.S. track - noon
50s, clear, North wind
mind/body - good
Hard effort

Prescribed: Yasso 800s - 10 x 800 in 2:40-45

Actual: 2 mile warm up, 10 x 800 (2:38, 2:38, 2:38, 2:38, 2:39, 2:36, 2:38, 2:37, 2:39, 2:39), 2 mile cool down

Now that's what I call consistency! I let the first one be my guide for the whole set, whatever I came up with I would try and hit for the remaining 9. This was not an over-the-top, lactate spilling effort either. I was very comfortable -tired- but comfortable the whole time. 9 and 10 were a little more difficult as I started to feel the fatigue and dead legs. As strange as it may seem, this workout is supposed to be predictive of a marathon time. Strange but I think it's been confirmed - we'll see. My goal for the marathon is 2.44

On a more important note, today is Myles 2nd birthday. Happy Birthday little man!

Wearing the Pink Floyd and already trying to ride the tricycle

Monday, December 14, 2009

8 myles - 55:43

Grigs - 3:00 P.M.
mid 40s, clear, calm
mind/body - hesitant/sore throat
easy effort

Prescribed: 60 minutes easy with strides at the end

Actual: 8 myles - 55:43 - avg. 6:57 - 6 x 100 m strides

I was really surprised at how easy this pace was. Even with the little bit of elevation I was hardly breathing - good sign. I have plenty of speed work ahead of me this week so today was a much needed "easy" day.

On another note, check out this link - Pretty cool -huh-! That picture was taken two years ago in Steamboat during the Mountain RATS stage race. I normally don't like to pimp myself but it's such a rarity that I get air time - just had to let you know.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

16 myles - 1.58:51

Daniels Park - 8:00 A.M.
20s, strong North wind, cloudy
mind/body - good
easy effort

Prescribed: 2 hours easy/flat with last mile at marathon pace

Actual: 16 myles - 1.58:51 - avg. 7:25 - last mile 5:55 (oops) - 800 ft. of climbing

Strong North wind going out so it was slow and go. On the way back it was smooth sailing with the wind. My last mile was a little fast but I couldn't gauge very good with the swirling winds, at times it felt hard and at times I was comfortable. My targeted marathon pace is supposed to be 6:15 as that would put me in the 2.40 range.

Good solid week. I got the most important workouts in but only ran 4 days. Hopefully next week will be back to normal with no travel plans.

Friday, December 11, 2009

18 myles - 1.59:34

Kaysville - 11 A.M.
15 degrees, clear, some snow on the road
mind/body - hesitant/strong
hard effort

Prescribed: 20 mins 5:50 pace, 1.20 easy pace, 20 mins 5:50 pace

Actual: 18 myles - 1.59:34 - avg. 6:38. 20:01 - 3.4 myles - 5:53 avg; 1.19:12 easy pace; 20:21 - 3.4 myles - 5:59 avg.

Tough workout! It was cold to start and the lungs didn't seem to be working in the first 20 minutes as I struggled to keep it under 6 pace: 5:57, 5:58, 5:50. Most of this was flat so it was a little concerning to me but I attribute it to the cold. During the middle 1.20 I felt real easy keeping it just above 7 pace but really dreaded the final 20 minutes. I took a Power Gel about 10 minutes before starting the final 20. To my surprise the lungs felt great and even felt I could have picked up the pace, ended up with: 5:56, 6:05 (?), 5:54. I wanted my last mile to be my fastest but I certainly was feeling it being mile # 18. In the end I'm happy with the result.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

9 myles - 1.05:58

Treadmill - 8 A.M.
-10 degrees outside - nuff said
mind/body - dreading it/strong
Hard effort

Prescribed: 60 minutes on the TM - 7:10 pace with 1% increase in incline per quarter till you can't go anymore - 800 recovery flat

Actual: 1.05:58 - 9 myles - 7:13 pace (8.3MPH). 4 sets: 1% to 6% incline per quarter, 800 flat.

Treadmill and speed work should never go together but today it was inevitable with the cold outside. Anyone who went outside today either died or was happy with about a mile run - 10 below this morning.

I made it up to 6% incline at which point I couldn't go anymore. I found myself starring at the light switch on the wall to focus and asking it to take me to a happy place... man I hate the treadmill - it's making me go crazy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

11 myles - 1.56:12

Coyote Ridge - noon
Effing cold!
mind/body - good
easy effort

Prescribed: 1.15 - 1:30 easy effort

Actual: 11 myles - 1.56:12 - avg. 10:33. 1 minute 5K, 4 minute easy for 50 minutes

Cold is about 4 degrees above zero. Effing cold is minus 10 with the wind chill! I really took the "pretty boy/roadie" comment to heart so I bucked up and went out on the trail for my normal 11 mile loop that normally takes about an hour and 15 minutes. With the cold, blowing snow, and 6 inches+ of snow on the ground we were slowed down big time (we meaning Aric Manning and myself). Aric is out in Colorado meeting with Pearl Izumi over the next couple of days to go over the 2010 team so I took my turn to entertain him today on local trails. Entertain or torture?? I don't know what the appropriate term would be. At any rate, we cut through the snow and wind to come back cold and frosty. The little speed work we did was more to break the rhythm of the slow leg turn over trudging through the crusty snow. In the end, good times all around but glad that one is over. Reminded me of Turquoise Lake 20 mile snowshoe race in Leadville.

Now that's frosty!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

14 myles - 1.46:56

Daniels Park - 1:00 P.M.
12 degrees, snowing, South wind
mind/body - not soft
easy effort

Prescribed: 1.45 medium long run, easy effort

Actual: 14 myles - 1.46:56 - avg 7:38 - easy effort

Pretty boy (that's me apparently) snapped out of the soft mode today. And actually I enjoyed this run far more than any ol' run on the TM. With this run I feel like I salvaged the week and will get back on track next week. I'll be traveling next week, going back to Utah so I will at least know where I can run. 6 more weeks until the Arizona RnR marathon.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

11 myles - 1.18:35

Treadmill - 4:00 P.M.
20s outside, a little snow
mind/body - eager
Hard effort

Prescribed: Rock Canyon 1/2 marathon or 20 minute @ 5:50 pace, 1.20 slow, 20 minute @ 5:50 pace

Actual: Kenyan cut-down starting at 7MPH, increasing 0.1MPH every 400 m, up thru 10 MPH in 53:34. Remaining time @ 8.7MPH - 11 myles - avg. 7:08

Big difference between what I was supposed to do and what I actually did but at the end of the day I ended up getting some speed work in. This is 3rd time I've done this workout and only the 1st time I've been able to finish it w/o stepping off. It is a tough workout, especially since I hate the TM so much. I really had to concentrate and focus on finishing this workout. Maybe that's going to make a difference as far as mental toughness when it comes time to push through the last 3 myles of the marathon in 6:10 or so. I'm gonna try to get out tomorrow for an hour and 45 but the cold weather is settling in again.... man I'm getting soft in my old age.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

10 myles - 1.13:49

Treadmill - 4:30 P.M.
5 degrees outside - nuff said.
mind/body - not liking the TM
easy effort

Prescribed - 1.15 easy effort

Actual - 1.13:49 - avg. 7:22 - easy effort

I had not run in two days and seemed to be fighting a cold so I did not feel up to doing anything. Finally dragged myself out to the TM and actually felt OK by the time I got into it. Hamstring is a little sore from Monday but nothing to be concerned with (at least I hope not). I may be forced to hop back on the TM today as the weather is still chilly - dreading it already!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

8 myles

Jeffco Stadium - 10 A.M.
mid 50s, sunny, clear track
mind/body - reluctant/solid
Hard effort

Prescribed: 15 minute warm up, 8 x 1K in 3:15, 15 minute cool down

Actual: 15:05 warm up, 6 x 1K (3:19, 3:16, 3:15, 3:18, 3:18, 3:20), 20:20 cool down

I knew when I hit 3:20 with a much harder push on the 6th one, I was cooked. I didn't want to over-do it just to get 8 reps in. I'm happy with the result and feel like some speed is coming back.

As you can tell from the "prescribed", Paul Dewitt is coaching me again. I have registered for the Arizona Rock and Roll marathon on January 17th and I needed an extra kick of motivation to get the speed work in. If all goes well (with the speedwork) I will get my marathon PR out of the way early for 2010. Currently my PR is 2.50 but I think I can lower it by 7 minutes with the right training. We'll see how it goes and if I stay healthy.

Right after this run on Monday, I went into a solid two day meeting so I haven't run since. I hope to get out the next two days for a couple hour runs and then on Saturday run a 1/2 marathon race in Pueblo to finish the week off.