Wednesday, June 29, 2005

06.28.2005: Hill Training #1

Distance: approx. 5.7 miles (Indian Run and hill running)
Time: N/A
Location: Rose Bowl
Notes: Great turnout and everyone had a great time--well, as great as it could be considering the agony we were putting our bodies through. I felt a slight twinge on my left knee during the hill runs, but I was able to keep it up. No problems with it since. The Indian Runs are killer especially when Jimmy is doing it with us. The burrito after practice was very tasty.

During practice I also got into a great conversation with FJ about music. We have the same appreciation for music and current bands. It's going to be a lot of fun running with him this year. We already share a common interest in television and pop culture, but to find that he's also into the same music is awesome. It's always great to talk to someone about music.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

06.27.2005: 5 Miles

Distance: 5 miles
Time: 42:28
Location: Pasadena, CA
Notes: The last Nike Run for this series. Kiley and I ran together in what was supposed to be the 10-10:30 minute/mile group, but we were overachievers. Our pace wound up to be 8:30/mile. We felt good, though.

Also, I bought a new pair of shoes this weekend. It was time to retire the Brooks I've been wearing for eight months. After practice on Saturday, I swung by Run With Us and bought a pair of Asics Gel Foundation VI. I tried on three pairs, including the same Brooks shoes that have served me well, but the Asics just felt light and comfortable. The others also felt great, but the Asics felt slightly better. Besides, there's nothing wrong with change. The shoes felt fine today, but I'll need to get accustomed to them. I think I offended the Nike people tonight when they asked me to try on their shoes and I declined. I told them I wanted to break in my new shoes. The guy looked down and frowned when he saw the Asics.

Tomorrow: the first hill training!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

06.25.2005: 4 Miles

Distance: 4 miles
Time: approx. 38 minutes
Location: Rose Bowl
Notes: Very easy run. Barely broke a sweat.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

06.22.2005: Loop da loop

Distance: 5 miles
Time: 51:50
Location: Claremont Wilderness Park
Notes: It's been a couple of weeks since I last ran this ass-kicking trail. I decided to run the loop clockwise this time to see if it was easier, but feeling lazy, I set my run/walk intervals at 2:1 expecting to finish slow. Remarkably, I completed the course in record time. On analysis, the improvement may be due to running the course clockwise, implying that clockwise is an easier route. However, I noticed no difference in difficulty or distance of the uphill portion of the trail. It's pretty much equal, roughly 2-2.5 miles uphill. The clockwise route, in fact, is less gradual in its steepness.

I can also attribute the improvement on the run/walk ratio. I think I put out more effort during the two minutes I'm runnin than when I was doing a 3:1 ratio. Or it could just signal an overall improvement in my running. We'll have to study this. Perhaps in a couple of weeks I can complete the trail in under 50 minutes. With hill training coming up, I'm ahead of the game in running hills. With the 5K coming up on 4th of July, I'm hoping to finally crack the 24 minute mark. I'm just not built for speed.

On an unrelated note, they need to empty the Port-a-Potty at the start of the trail. That thing is nasty, especially with the hot weather we've been having.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

06.20.2005: 5 Miles

Distance: 5 miles
Time: approx. 42 minutes
Location: Paseo Colorado
Notes: I did not win the raffle again. However, earlier in the day I won tickets for Tuesday night's Spoon show at the Avalon. All in all, I felt good during the run. I ought to get back to running the hills of Claremont. I felt a little out of breath during the hill portion and somewhat weak. My lack of sleep might have something to do with the lethargy, and staying up late again tonight does not help.

Monday, June 13, 2005

06.12.2005: Mud Run

Distance: 10K (~6.2 miles)
Location: Camp Pendleton
Notes: Hard-bodied, shirtless guys plastered with mud. Marines ordering me to "GET DOWN!" What's not to like?

06.13.2005: Nike Run

Distance: 5 miles
Location: The Yard House in Pasadena
Time: approx. 43 minutes
Notes: I didn't win the raffle again. Damn them!

Friday, June 10, 2005

06.09.2005: About 6 Miles

Distance: roughly 6 miles
Time: roughly an hour
Location: Venice/Santa Monica boardwalk
Sights: Brandon Boyd, lead singer of Incubus, riding his beach cruiser; an odd-looking male model getting rubbed down with oil by a female assistant before posing for a picture; rugby game on the beach; an obviously first-time rollerblader falling on his ass several times; a not-so sweet transvestite.
Sounds: mumblings from the homeless
Smells: Pot

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

06.07.2005: 5 Miles

Distance: 5 miles
Time: 54:28
Location: Claremont Wilderness Park

Good run. I walked the first seven minutes, but still finished the loop in 54 minutes, perhaps the fastest I've run it.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

06.06.2005: Nike Run #1

Distance: 5 miles
Time: approx. 44 minutes
Location: Pasadena (Paseo Colorado)
Grub: 1/4 turkey sandwich and sundry fruits

No shirt again. Nike isn't giving out free Dri-Fit shirts again. Damn it! Not only that, but my raffle losing streak continues. I have yet to win a damn thing. This one new girl from the Team came for the first time and was about to leave when I told her there were more prizes. She pulls her ticket from the trash, and wouldn't you know it, she wins the next prize. Damn!

The running went great. I ran with the 10-10:30/mile pace group since from past experience the runners tend to go a minute faster than their publicized pace. One time I ran with the 9-9:30/mile pace group and almost brought up the rear. With the 10-10:30/mile group, I'm one of the faster runners. It's all about the ego.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

3rd place

Below are pictures from the Fiesta Days 10K in La Canada-Flintridge on Memorial Day where I somehow managed to finish 3rd in my age division.

Racing to the finish
Coach Jimmy and I were in the same age division. He won the division and finished 7th overall with a personal record of approx. 37 minutes. My time was 50:51. The guy between us was the second place finisher who was a minute faster than I. I don't know his name, but I do recall he needed some deodorant.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

06.04.2005: Step Back!

Distance: 3 miles
Location: Rose Bowl
Time: approx. 31 minutes
Breakfast: Eggs, Italian sausage, potato pancakes, sourdough toast slathered with blackberry jam, several cups of coffee.

Today was a step back day in training, so we only did three miles. FJ and I are in the same pace group and we passed the time discussing reality television, TV pilots, "Heat Vision and Jack," and other matters of importance.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

06.02.2005: The Loop

Distance: 5 miles
Where: Trails up in Claremont Wilderness Park
Time: approx. 54 minutes

I set my time for a 2:30 to 1 run/walk ratio, slower than usual, but I was still exhausted halfway up the hill. Perhaps I was exerting myself too much running up or it just wasn't a good running day. Regardless, I still managed to run the loop in the fastest time yet thanks to stopping only once during the descent. I'm hoping that the climb up the hill will feel easier very soon. It doesn't seem to get any easier, but it's always a wonderful feeling of triumph once I reach the top of the trail and I know all that follows is a downhill sprint.

The gloomy weather and the drizzle made for good running conditions, but my glasses kept fogging up. Apart from that, the weather was most welcome. Here's hoping for more cloud cover the next few weekends.

Apart from the weather, I wore shorts that were not to my liking. From experience, I realize that I like shorts that are sturdy and do not ride up. I also prefer small pockets in the back that zip closed so that I can put keys in there and they won't bounce against my leg as I run. The ones today were thin, no-nonsense shorts, but they kept riding up between the legs and the keys kept on twisting in the side pocket. Comfort when running is of the utmost importance.

One last thing, whenever I run on trails, I always worry that I'll trip and fall headlong down a ravine. I doubt I'll ever grow out of that fear, but I just hope that it's not a premonition of some sort.