Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Saturday, January 30, 2010

~22 myles ~3.45

Falcon Trail - 7:00 A.M.
teens to start - 30s to finish, clear, snow trails
mind/body - refreshed
easy effort

Drove down to the Springs this morning to meet up with the CRUD group. And what a group it was, probably 20 or so - largest I've seen. Turns out this morning another group called the Sunrise striders came out to join the run to bolster the numbers. Like I said, bitter cold to start but once we hit the first aid station... yep that's right - aid station on a training run! Rick Hessek had liposuction surgery so he and John Genet were driving around meeting us with water, bars, and gels. Pretty cool I'd say. As I was saying once we hit the Hessek aid station it warmed up nicely and turned out to be a great day.

CRUD group on Falcon Trail
Photo courtesy of Harsha

We started on the Santa Fe trail and then hooked up with the Falcon trail that is on the Air Force Academy. What a nice trail it was too. It's basically a 13 mile loop trail that meanders through the trees, cuts through the golf course, skirts the football stadium, and crosses a few roads. It was really refreshing to be on single track dirt trails again. I'll be back for sure.

My father in law's favorite dog - Babu

Friday, January 29, 2010

10 myles (8 - 56:19)

Daniels Park - 8:00 A.M.
20s, snow on the ground, clear
mind/body - good
Hard effort

Today started the speed work build up for Caumsett 50K. I hope to get in at least 2 speed type workouts per week. So this morning I did 7 x 1 minute at VO2 Max up a 10% grade - times ranged from :58 - 1:01. The last time I did this workout I felt like I pushed a lot harder for those times, whereas today I was spent but not wasted as before. Good feeling.

On another note, here is a message from the Competitor group that I received yesterday in regards to the Phoenix Rock and Roll marathon:

Hi Scott

After much back and forth with the timing company and our events department, it is stated that all cash awards are awarded on gun time and not chip time. Therefore the results will amended to reflect this one the website


So I did win the Master's group AND a check for $1000! Sorry Ken, I guess I owe you a beer now... To be perfectly fair they should award both Ken and I a grand for their mistake, right?

And I have to thank Tim Long for this because his comment prompted me to contact them and review rule #165 in the USATF guidelines. In addition, I scoured their website looking for information about how prize money was awarded - nothing. So I simple asked them to show me where it states prize money will be awarded based on chip time? In the end, they stepped up and did the right thing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

12 myles - 1.23:32

HR urban trails - 11:00 A.M.
mid 40s, North wind, a little muddy
mind/body - eager/strong
easy effort

Clipping along effortlessly at 6:57 pace. Good sign because I took my run to the trails with some elevation. I had a few 30 seconds of 5K pace but nothing too extensive. I will jump back into the two a week speed workouts next week to start my training for Caumsett 50K. Even if I only get a speed workout in once a week I still think I can maintain my leg speed and crank out a 3.15, we'll see.

On another note, GZ got Ken Pliska and myself in email touch. Remember Ken took the masters title at Phoenix RnR marathon. And just to set the record straight - I was racing Ken, he wasn't racing me. Ken was the third person to pass me in the last mile and I was pissed because I was cooked and couldn't respond to the other two. So unbeknownst to Ken, I started a sprint just off his left shoulder with 100 meters go. When I looked back he did not respond at all, he kept his same comfortable pace - nice and steady all the way through. Sure I was trying to beat Ken but it was more out of frustration that the other two passed me than anything else. At the end of the day, neither one of us knew it would turn out the way it did - for money?!?! That just doesn't happen to a mediocre guy like me. BUT if we both knew it was for money then I would not have been close to Ken, he is a 2.20 marathoner and would have been a good 10 minutes ahead... In the end Ken agreed to buy me a beer with the extra change in his pocket.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

10 myles - 1.08:30

Daniels Park - 7:00 A.M.
18 degrees, clear, dry
mind/body - refreshed/strong
easy effort

I felt really good this morning with a 6:51 pace. And just to keep the legs and lungs honest I pushed a middle mile at 5:55, feeling really relaxed. I've been so busy with work that I'm running when I can but I don't want to lose speed leading into Caumsett 50k in 7 weeks. If I can get out and do a speed workout a week then I feel pretty confident posting a 3:15 there.

On another note, remember how I said it was no biggie that I took 2nd masters but crossed the line first at the RnR marathon? Well turns out it was a $500 biggie! First masters walked away with $1000 and second was $500 - shit! Not complaining here because I expected nothing, just saying it woulda been nice to have a grand in my pocket! Even the elites wear chips. Can you imagine if two guys are battling for the overall win and are both leaning at the tape?? Only to find out that the guy who crossed the line second really won.... That's about a $5000 or more difference. So the strategy now is if you are in a large marathon and you're placed in corral 1, start at the back of the corral!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

~11 myles - 1.52:05

Snowmass - 9:30 A.M.
20s, snow - 6 fresh, snowing
mind/body - strong
easy effort

I had a chance to go skiing today as my hotel is slope side, but I chose to go on a little adventure instead. I had no idea where I was going so I just headed out and found the Nordic trail. Turns out there are tons of Nordic trails that were well groomed in and around Snowmass Village. Underneath the 6 inches of fresh pow-pow it was solid but slow and go, probably averaged just over 10 minute myles... And then I found a hill called "anaerobic nightmare" and decided to go up. My goal was to make it to the top without walking.... 3/4 of the way up I realized that I could walk faster than I was running - it nearly buckled me when I got to the top. Anaerobic? Yes. Hell yes! Lungs seared by the cold mountain air and legs pumped and sloshy - stark contrast from the streets of Phoenix just one week ago huh? Today was much more fun!

Friday, January 22, 2010

8 myles - 54:45

Daniels Park - 9:00 A.M.
mid 30s, clear, a little snow melt
mind/body - eager/strong
easy effort

Ended up with a 6:50 pace with relative ease. I'm very happy my body has bounced back so quickly and no injuries to speak of (knock on wood). I ran yesterday as well (6 myles 41:33) but didn't post anything cause I had nothing to talk about.

Work has been extremely busy and it's not letting up anytime soon. I'll be traveling to Aspen for a conference today through Monday so hopefully I can either get some runs in or treks up the mountain with snow shoes. A storm is blowing in so hopefully I can get up there today before it hits, let it snow, and maybe catch a pow-pow day at Snowmass.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

6 myles - 42:22

Grigs - 4:00 P.M.
mid 30s, little snow, overcast
mind/body - recovered
easy effort

Nice and easy (7:03 pace) to shake out the legs after two days of doing nothing and no residual soreness. Been reflecting on the marathon a lot these past couple of days and I've come to conclusion that I gave my best effort BUT there is room for improvement. I think I'm a little haunted by the fact that I nearly cracked the 6:00 barrier (thanks Nick). I may have to go back and see if I can nail those last two myles... OR I may just shoot for something in that range for Caumsett 50K.

Am I becoming a roadie?? Nah. I love the trails and mountains too much. I do, however, have a tremendous amount of respect for those guys who pound the pavement fast all year. Guess I'm just not that disciplined. I am still blown away by those guys who crank out 2.15s and below - just amazing!

Last, here is a picture of Dean Karnazes and I. Some of the people in the CRUD group call me Latino Deano. I dunno, do you think we look alike? When I spoke to him, he actually knew who I was so I thought that was kinda cool. I told him that 4-desert thing he did last year was a cake walk compared to Hardrock - he said HR was on his list... I really didn't say that but HR is on his list.

My stunt double

Sunday, January 17, 2010

PHX marathon 2.37:49 - 31st

What a great day! Temps in the mid 50s, overcast, little wind, sea level, and flat roads - what more could you want? Eh - maybe a trail or two.

I couldn't have asked for a better result - I'm extremely happy! I won't go through the whole race play by play but I will recap the highlights:

My first mile was 5:51. I felt like I just committed the cardinal sin of going out too fast but I was talking, giving the bands the thumbs up, just having a great time and hardly breathing. I really had the confidence I could keep this up. I was running with the majority of the lead women (save it a couple Kenyan women) so it was nice to have the crowd cheering for them and thinking it was for me... Mile after mile I was hitting in the upper 5:50s, even had one mile at 5:27 (probably marked wrong) but I never felt like I got out of my comfort zone until late. I was regularly taking in a sip of water every other mile, ate a Power Gel at 50 minutes, 1.40, and again at 2.10.

Things sorta changed when I hit mile 17 as I started to feel a little fatigued and for the first time I felt myself pushing out of that zone. But from mile 17 to 22 I was regularly hitting 6:05s so I was still on pace to get under 2.40. As Josh Brimhall told me before the race, "a fast marathon is no joke" and he was right. My effort out there today rank among my hardest 50s for sure! When I hit mile 24 I cracked with a 6:20 and I felt like I was going faster... I would speed up for 30 seconds or so and then the motor would quit. I guess you can say I left it all out on the course today. In the end I sprinted with Ken Pliska to the line, I beat him by 3 feet but somehow they gave him the masters win... oh well, no biggie I got my PR and that's all that matters.

When I started training for this marathon 7 weeks ago I thought I'd be pushing it to hit 6:15s. After a couple speed workouts I re-evaluated with 6:08s in mind. And today I end with 6:02s. If I had one piece of advice to anyone it would be: Race the way you train and stay in the comfort zone for as long as possible. When the motor quits -dig deep- and know you gave it your all.

Here are my splits for today:
5K - 18:30
10K - 36:49
Half - 1.16:59
20 mile - 1.58:54

And last I leave you with the highlight of my trip

Frank Shorter and I

I asked him about his 5K race with Pre in 74. It was amazing to hear the story in his words. I got goose bumps.... Frank says he still gets goose bumps some 30 years later. And just for the record, he didn't let Pre win.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Quick update

Days have been long here in Arizona, barely getting any down time at all. My days have been starting @ 5:30 A.M. with a run and ending @ 8:30 P.M. with study hall. Having said that, my runs have been great! On Monday I went out for 35 minutes with ~1 mile @ 6 pace and then this morning for 45 minutes starting and ending with a mile @ 6 pace. The area I have been running is part road, part dirt and with it being dark the locals tell me to watch out for the Javalina's... didn't know what a Javalina was but I guess it's a wild pig that will attack if spooked - haven't seen one yet and besides they don't scare me.... mountain lions, bears, and moose scare me.

I have good feelings for this marathon on Sunday.... I will try to keep you all updated but if I don't and you want to follow online my number is 1666.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

6 myles - 43:48

Grigs - 9:00 A.M.
30s, clear, almost dry
mind/body - ready to go
easy, easy effort

Prescribed: 45 minutes easy effort

Actual: 6 myles - 43:48 - avg. 7:18 - easy effort

I just wanted to get out and get the blood pumping. I'm traveling today and won't get a chance later. 49 myles for the week with two solid tempo workouts, now it's time to taper a bit more.

Tapering has always been an issue for me; how much is too much? Too little? I think I've been on both ends of the spectrum going into a race and since I've been working with Paul I think I've got it dialed in. Decrease by 20% two weeks out and then race week decrease another 20%. The point during race week is trying not to sit around too much and get out for 20 minutes here and there. It's gonna be tough this week with all the meetings but I have a feeling the weather is gonna be great no matter the time.

And just in case your interested here is a little info on the product that was just approved that I will be selling.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

13 myles 1.27:49

South Platte Pkwy - 10:00 A.M.
40s, clear, some snow on the path
mind/body - ready to go!
Hard effort

Prescribed: 1.30 flat/paved long run, easy effort

Actual: 13 myles - 1.27:49 - avg. 6:45 (middle 10K 37:30 avg. 6:02)

I missed out on a key workout earlier in the week so I incorporated here today. My intention on the 10K effort was not to go all out but more of an effort approaching Lactate Threshold (LT). I started easy @ 6:08 pace and hovered around there until the last mile which was 5:50 - very comfortable at 6:08 but 5:50 is more along the lines of LT.

I am ready to go - thanks to Paul. I'm off to Phoenix tomorrow for a long work week and acclimate.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

10 myles - 1.09:15

Daniels Park - 1:00 P.M.
15 degrees, clear, snow on the ground
mind/body - good/coughing
easy effort

Prescribed: 1.15 easy effort with short hill sprints afterwards

Actual: 10 myles - 1.09:15 - avg. 6:55 - last mile 5:21

Today I was supposed to do a 10K time trial but because of the weather and limited traction on the road I was unable to get it in. I'll chalk it up as an easy run. I did, however, do the last mile pretty quick just too keep the legs and lungs honest. I've still been a little sick but feel it's on the way out.

On another note, Team Pearl Izumi-Smith just announced the team for 2010. Check it out

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

10 myles

Treadmill San Fran. - 5:00 P.M.
60s outside, hot and sweaty inside
mind/body - still sick
Hard Effort

Prescribed: 3 x 3 mile @ MP, 2 minute jog in between

Actual: 10 myles; 1 mile warm up 7:30, 8 mile 49:20 (6:10), 1 mile cool down 7:30

I didn't actually follow the plan tonight. I felt so good here at sea level I decided I'd just do 8 myles straight through at MP. I could not believe how easy my breathing was at this pace! I realize I only went 1/3 the distance but I did not feel stressed at all. Hopefully good signs to come. I was couped up in meetings all day and did not feel the best so I am more than happy to get through this workout.

As Phil Collins said "I can feel it coming in the air tonight - O2...."

Monday, January 4, 2010

10 myles - 1.13:02

Daniels Park - 9:00 A.M.
low 20s, North wind, clear
mind/body - groggy/sore throat
easy effort

Prescribed: 1.15 easy effort with strides afterward

Actual: 10 myles - 1.13:02 - avg. 7:18 - easy but harder than it should have been

I barely slept last night with a terrible sore throat. And when I finally did get a few moments of shut eye I was awakened by my wife kicking me.... snoring I guess. I thought the sore throat would pass by now but it seems to get real bad at night - Wassail helps.

So the run this morning was not fun. It seemed a lot colder than 20 degrees and the run just went on forever. I went without my music today as I do in all races. The only time I play music is during my training when I'm all alone and I'm seeing the same old scenery day in and day out. In races I truly enjoy being in the moment and part of that moment is taking in the peacefulness of the wilderness. Somehow I got that feeling this morning on my same old route... very refreshing.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

20 myles - 2.20:29

Santa Fe loop + 10 minute cool down - 11:00 A.M.
40s, overcast, some snow on the ground
mind/body - weak/achy
easy effort

Prescribed: 2.45 easy with last mile at MP

Actual: 20 myles - 2.20:29 - avg. 7:03 - last mile 6:01:71

Despite the sore throat and fever I went out to see what I could muster... actually turned out pretty good. I felt tired/sluggish/reluctant to start but once I started going I felt OK, other than coughing up flem the entire way. Maybe I caused an austere environment in my body that killed the bug because as I write this I feel good, endorphins right? We'll see tonight when the endorphins wear off. The last mile didn't cause me too much stress as my breathing was real relaxed.

Favorite picture of my wife and I