Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cheesecake Orbit Revisited

This is my first 13.5 miler since my full marathon...and, judging by how my legs feel, it will be some time before I feel up to entering another half marathon (note that I have registered for one in 2009).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Resuming Lunch Hour Dog Runs

My crazy ultra running coworker has been trying to get me to run with him since I left for my Maui Marathon vacation in early September, but today is the first day that both of our schedules have allowed it...and, perhaps more importantly, my legs have felt good enough that I can try and keep up with him.

Unfortunately, Santa Ana winds are present today, accompanied by wildfires (fortunately, the one in nearby Sepulveda Pass is extinguished before lunch hour) and 90+ degree dry heat. My coworker and I mutually decide to shorten today's run to only 7 miles...and we allow ourselves to stop at every traffic light on the way back to the office.

Despite the harsh conditions, I am able to clock my fastest post-marathon run and one of my faster lunch hour runs. Even better, I do so with absolutely no pain at all in my left knee, not even a slight tingle. Flat sections of my previous post-marathon runs have bothered it, so I am pleased. And this workout features more than two miles on concrete!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I believe I have mentioned before that I am not a fan of out-and-backs. I hate to retrace my steps. I hate running laps too (800m - two laps - is my threshold on a track). That said, both can be means to an end.

For instance, today I am still trying to test my post-marathon limits...unsure if my legs have sufficiently recovered to complete the distance of a half marathon. By planning an out-and-back, I can simply turn back when my legs are starting to have issues.

I am also trying to push my wife to run longer distances, hoping I can get her to consider running an 18km trail race in November. By planning an out-and-back, we can start together, she can find her distance threshold within mine. When she needs to turn around, I can head back, meet up with her, and we can run the rest of the way together

I strongly encourage my wife to run all the way to Miramar Park (4 miles from our home), fully expecting that I can reach Cheesecake Factory (6.5 miles) in the same amount of time it takes her to get there. I tell her to call me as soon as she reaches the park at which time I will turn back regardless of how far I get. She should not have to wait more than 15-20 minutes for me to get back to her...a good amount of time for stretching before the uphill climb home.

I am shocked by how quickly she reaches the park. I receive her call as I approach Knob Hill...which is only 5 miles from home. She has not run many sub-10 minute miles in her training, but, this morning, has already averaged such a pace for three of her four miles! I am actually glad she has called me when she did though. I have been feeling some slight discomfort in my left knee after my run flattened out, so attempting a 13 miler today is probably not a good idea anyway.

I meet up with her and we immediately start our climb. Now that we are running together, I decide to make some course alterations so we can cross Palos Verdes Blvd at a controlled intersection...which adds a little distance. I am pleased that my wife is keeping up with me (I am not intentionally holding back, but I am not pushing my pace either). She is not running like someone who has never run 8 miles before.

As we get closer to home, the road gets steeper for roughly a half mile. My pace really drops here, but my wife needs to walk. She has held a great pace for over seven miles, so she deserves a break.

When we complete our run, she has managed to average 11:19/mile for 8.31 miles...a better pace than many of her shorter runs and a longer distance than she has ever attempted! I am impressed!

Wife's data:

My data:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

2008 = 600 Miles (and Counting)'s run may not have gone as well as I had hoped, but the 5 miler pushed me across another significant milestone: 600 miles in one year! What amuses me is that I have run about as many miles as my crazy ultra running coworker (I must apologize for not running with him wife wanted me to run with her instead).

I may have postponed my next marathon until next year, but I am certainly not done running in 2008. My last planned race for the year is still substantial - a 30km trail run in the mountains overlooking Point Mugu, so I cannot afford any more breaks in my training.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pace Recovers

On the heels of once again feeling comfortable running 8+ miles, I am also regaining my pace. It helps having a wife is running the same five mile orbit and has a good head start. I first see her around 3.1 miles into the run and need the next 0.65 miles to overtake her.

I am pretty excited that my wife has run five miles today since she did nearly the same orbit on Saturday. Even better, she did so while improving her pace (two sub 10 minute miles!). Now if only I can convince her to up her mileage in time for an upcoming 18km trail race....

Wife's data (she started more than seven minutes before me):

My data (note how my pace improves between miles 3 and 4...when I could see her):

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Adding Mileage

I have just returned from running 8.37 miles in 1:22:21...not great, but not bad either. Averaging near 10 minutes per mile is actually pretty decent considering the amount of elevation change. Even better, I did it without walking.

Having totaled more than 16 miles for the week without significant pain, I can say with certainty that I have recovered from the injuries. Next week should be over twenty with at least one half-marathon distance run.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

No More Pain, No More Endurance

Well, I survived five miles on my favorite local trail without aggravating any of my joints. I just had a few issues with actually running the whole distance. That said, this was the most elevation change I have faced since leaving for Maui and this morning was particularly hot (Burma Road happens to be very exposed to the early morning sun) I really should not let myself get too down about it.

I am happy the pain is gone and thrilled my first miles were sub 8, but I am left wondering how long it will take to build mileage for a second marathon attempt.