Wednesday, November 29, 2006


The Pacific Northwest weather we have been dealt this week has me seriously questioning the rationale behind scheduling a early February marathon. Freezing temps, snow, the possibility of icy conditions tomorrow- definitely not the greatest training weather. Spending 5 days down in sunny SoCal has made the harsh contrast in weather even harder to bear. Sheez, I am getting soft! ;-)

** I know things could be much worse so it's just a matter of sucking it up!**

I have been horrible about updating my blog so big thanks for the few of you who still stop in, I appreciate it. I had a great time down in SoCal- I got to spend time with Deb and my family / friends. A lot of love and laughter...good times.......definitely a time to recognize and appreciate the gifts we have been given.

My running or lack thereof, in the last week is not much to write about. I took it VERY EASY during my recovery week only running twice for a total of 22.5 miles. That slacker momentum has built some steam into this week but I still have a chance to redeem myself and pull out a semi-decent week of running.

On another note, pretty excited about turning my nutrition around. Found some good info surfing the net including J-girl's website. Stop by if you get a chance - a ton of great info regarding nutrition, etc. At least I have been feeling inspired- in a push to get vegetables into my diet, I have started throwing a ton of organic spinach and celery into my breakfast protein / fruit shakes. Besides turning the shakes a muddy green color, the difference in taste is pretty insignificant. As we go full bore into the holiday season remember to respect your body!! I know, easier said then done but I'm going to make a conscious effort. Of course I'll start after the pizza and beers at Steven's house on Friday! ;-)

Next up, I need to start throwing some weights around in the gym and start cycling / swimming again. No off season in my house!!

Hope all is well. Stay warm and be safe out there!


Sunday, November 19, 2006

V02 Max Testing And Other Boring Running Stuff

It's been a long time since I've had a PR of any kind so I'll take it. I ran 71 miles this week which is a mileage PR for me. The legs are feeling pretty good. I did a 22 miler at Forest Park yesterday and capped it off with 11 miles in the rain today. I bit of slow start as I was feeling the 22 from the day before but I got it going soon enough. Also, happy to report that the aerobic pace is getting quicker. The route today was slightly rolling with some hills thrown in and I was able to maintain a 8:35 / mile pace with an ave HR of 147 (low Z1).

I was able to finagle my way into a study being conducted at the NSRL (Nike Sport Research Lab) that involves several VO2 max and sub-maximal HR tests based around the testing of some running garments. Not too sure on the specifics of the actual garments they are testing but I think they are gauging the workload during exercise and the recovery 1-2 days after since we have to come in for daily blood lactate testing for the 3 days post-test.

I did my first VO2 max test this past Tuesday and before I give you the results, let me give you my excuses! ;-) I did a 20 / 11 / 5 mile run the three days before the test and all of my running has been very aerobic in nature for the past couple of months. It was a definite shock to the system to get on the treadmill and go for it at paces I haven't seen in ages, if ever! I was hooked up to the system measuring oxygen uptake (mask with all breathing in/out of mouth with nose pinched off) and started running on the treadmill with an increase in pace every two minutes. I started at an easy 8:30/mile pace and felt in control as pace increased into the low 6's but once I hit 5:40/mile pace, the check engine light came on and I had to stop the test about 1 minute into the 5:40 pace.

A couple of observations:
1. It probably was not a good idea to head into this test having run 36 miles in the previous 3 days.
2. It is very tough if you haven't been incorporating regular speedwork into your training.

I am sure my body was fatigued since right before I quit, I was monitoring my HR and saw that it maxed out at 190 vs. the 200 I have seen before. Okay, enough with the excuses- my V02 max tested out at 59-60. I guess I don't need to worry about winning any marathons regardless of how much training I do! ;-) Having said that, I am all about improving my running economy and am sure that I could boost that V02 max number with regular speedwork but rather than V02 max, I'm more concerned with what pace I can maintain while running at marathon-specific HR. More work in that dept. coming up in the next couple of months. It was still an interesting test and I have to hit the NSRL two more times in the next month for more testing so it should be interesting.

Run Summary - Week of 11/13/06
7 Days Running
71 Miles Total
Mon 5
Tue 3.5 (Testing)
Wed 11 (5 am / 6 lunch)
Thu 10.5 (4.5 am / 6 pm)
Fri 8
Sat 22
Sun 11

I am headed down to Cali next week to get some much needed sunshine and time with Deb and the family. I checked the weather forecast for Orange County and i'm looking at sunny days (high 60's / low 70's) with the exception of a cloudy Wednesday- I'll take it!

I hope you all have a healthy and happy Thanksgiving next week. Count your blessings, do not take anything or anybody for granted, appreciate the "gifts" you've been given, and remember that the glass is always half full! ;-)


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Punching The Clock

Where does the time go? Days just seem to blend into one another...I can't believe it's almost time for Thanksgiving! I've been pretty much holed up in my cave up here as the weather hasn't been cooperating for the most part. A lot of treadmill running that ends up driving me batty but, at the very least, I still got in all my workouts this week.

Here's my public service announcement for the week:

DO NOT try to squeeze two workouts out of your workout gear...not a great idea.

I think I did it ages ago but the faded memory was just that...faded. It explains my lapse in judgement this past Friday. An 8 miler before work on the mill, hung up my gear in the locker and came back at lunch for another 8 miler. I tossed the gear on and was already into my first mile before I was aware of the "problem". Whew- the gear can get pretty ripe....*doh* Let's just say I wasn't making any friends on the treadmill at lunch.

We are still getting tons of rain here but we had a brief respite for most of the weekend. Mother nature smiled on us and I was able to do my long run yesterday and all but my last mile today in dry weather (although it was COLD today in the low 40's during the run). The skys opened up again in the afternoon and it has been raining pretty hard ever since...aaah the Pacific Northwest, you gotta love it.

A couple people out in Blogland are following the aerobic *low HR* training method right now. I've been trading emails with Paul who is a very knowledgeable and FAST Aussie Ironman athlete. It's funny but he emailed about the urge to "test" yourself and go faster while restricting yourself to strictly aerobic low HR's. It was funny because I had a temporary lapse in judgement on Friday and gave in to the urge. I busted out a 6:45 mile during the tail end of my second workout. I am blaming the double mill session that day...enough to crack even the strongest of the mentally strong. Let's just say I'm not even close to that category so I ramped up the mill and all was good for 6 minutes and 45 seconds. Of course my HR which has been used to sitting at 148 was asking: WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON!?!? As it shot up to 177 but it ended soon enough....and it was still approx 8 beats below my AT. No way in hell I could maintain that pace for a marathon...maybe a 1/2 mary on supa-fresh legs but yes, I will definitely make time for some speedwork before February!

Run Summary - Week of 11/6/06
7 days running
69 Miles Total
Mon 6
Tue 6
Wed 5
Thu 5
Fri 16 (am 8 / lunch 8)
Sat 20
Sun 11

On another note, I read Choke by Chuck Palahniuk last week...whoa...pretty friggen bizarre

Have a great week!


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Rain Storm

It's been raining pretty hard this weekend coupled with some pretty strong wind. Definitely the kind of weather better suited to staying indoors with a hot cup a joe vs. running but what can you do right? It's O-R-E-G-O-N...Pacific Northwest...RAIN...that's how we roll.

Saturday I ran 21 rainy miles and half of those miles were into a pretty stiff headwind...definitely not my best day running. It was pretty quiet out there too without any runners on the long out and back. I always wonder what the drivers are thinking as they pass by on days with horrible weather....I got a couple honks but wasn't sure if they were of the "hey, good on ya for getting out there!" variety or of the "hey dumbass, get off the road it's pissing rain and we can't see you!" variety. I'm sure they were leaning toward the "dumbass comment" but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Today I ran 10 miles and, while it wasn't as windy, the rain was still coming down pretty strong. I even saw one cyclist out there other runners though. We gave each other "the nod" ,in passing, as in yeah, we're getting stronger out here while everyone else is couch-surfing! ;-)

Just want to note that I really don't have a problem cycling or running in the rain. I'd much rather run in the rain vs. HOT temps and we get tons of rain up here so no way around that. It's just the rain this weekend was much stronger then the typical Oregon drizzle. It reminded me of the Cali rains.

I had to make a quick run to the Nike store for brother Ray so ended up using that as an excuse to pick me up a pair of the new Air Structure Triax 9 GTX. I really love this shoe and have been using them for all of my training in the past couple of months - pretty cool that they came out with a Goretex version for the rainy season up here.

Also, on the reading front, I am no Steven (besides running, he also reads FAST) but I have read a couple books in the past month. I'm into the non-fiction stuff ...the following are all pretty good reads:

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzalez
Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men And Mountains by Jon Krakauer
Nature Noir: A Park Ranger's Patrol in the Sierra by Jordan Fisher Smith
The Last Season by Eric Blehm

Finally, my running week in review. I am still working on increasing the mileage and still subscribing to the aerobic training (HR<150). I'm not sure how you guys/gals pushing the mileage envelope do it when it is peppered with speed/intensity. I'm all aerobic/all the time and just barely hanging on. If I threw in any intensity now, I'm sure my legs would explode! I'm hoping it'll lead to increased durability in the long run though. I had to do the mileage this week on 6 days of running since work constraints and a last minute deadline had me miss my Monday run *argh*. I made it up with some doubles later in the week though so it's all good.

Run Summary - Week of 10/30
6 Days Running
68 Miles Total
Monday *OFF*
Tuesday 6
Wednesday lunch / pm 5/5
Thursday am 8
Friday lunch / pm 5/8
Saturday 21
Sunday 10

Have a great week!