Wednesday, April 26, 2006

40 Percent

That's the chance of me running San Diego now. I just haven't been able to train as well as I hoped, and with classes winding down and graduation a couple of weeks away, I doubt I'll get in some quality running time. I figure it's better to save my $90 registration and put it towards a race I can properly train for and hopefully PR. Something in the fall, perhaps.

With June clear of a marathon, I can now aim towards some half marathons at the end of May in Laguna Hills, CA. I really need to work on my speed training if I want to get under 9:00/mile. While I have Boston as a goal in the distant future, my more immediate target is to beat the time of one of my favorite singers, Josh Ritter. I posted something about Josh a few weeks ago and his fantastic album, The Animal Years. He ran the Phoenix RNR Marathon in January and managed a time of 3:34. So, now, beating Ritter's time is my main motivation.

On tap for this week is to get in a couple of short runs and a longer run on Sunday (16 miles?) with FJ.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

the best intentions

I had grand designs on running like a madman this week, possibly up to 32 miles. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened. I haven't run once since the 13 miler on Saturday. I was hoping to run tonight, but I have some reading for class to do and to top it off I've been feeling like I'm coming down with something. I've been fighting it off with lots of water, Robek's smoothies with Immunibek, 2 oz. wheatgrass shots, and so far it hasn't gotten worse. I'll see how quickly I read tonight and how well I feel afterwards before I decide on the run.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

how's the go going?

The hardest thing about running is getting started. I just don't mean the physical act of taking the first step on a long run but also the idea of starting over again after you have finished. For a couple of weeks there I was basking in the glory of another marathon completed, but with the San Diego Marathon as a possible race, I had to start up again. I allowed my body to recover for a couple of weeks, but now I have to step it up if I'm going to be in shape for San Diego, and this time I won't be part of Team in Training. If I do San Diego, it will mark my first marathon outside of the TNT family. So far, I've found it hard to get motivated to wake up at 6:30AM on a Saturday morning to go for an extended run. Not only do I have to motivate myself to run, I also have to motivate myself to show up at the trails. I have made myself some promises for this year, not quite resolutions, but goals or points of action, and chief among them is to be more proactive about many, many things. One of them is being proactive about improving my speed and fitness. With school ending soon, I can't really blame that any more for taking focus away from my training.

With all of that said, I ventured out on my longest run since the marathon--13 miles. I've done regular four mile runs in the last couple of weeks and two six mile runs, but nothing topping double digits. My goal was to run a 9:00/mile pace, but by mile 5 I was already laboring at a pace that was slightly above 9:00/mile. I didn't expect to shave off any time for the next three miles because it was all uphill, climbing up to Angeles National Forest past the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Once I reach my turnaround point perhaps I could make up some time on the downhill. It was a pleasant day with some cloud cover. It helped that I was shaded for most of the uphill portion and the lovely view of the stream running along the trail helped distract me. Still, when I got up to the turnaround point with only five mile left, I was exhausted. I couldn't believe I ran twice this distance only a month ago.

On the way down, I ran into FJ, my running partner from last fall. We had been planning to run together in the future, but as it turned out yesterday, we just missed each other by about 10 minutes. He ran 14 miles. It would have been nice to run with someone because it does get lonely and taxing trying to motivate yourself to keep going. If FJ had been there, it would have helped a great deal.

I ran the remaining four miles after chatting with FJ at a sub 9:00/mile pace. I cancelled all walkbreaks but two and got to the finish line at 2:07. Shave off about five minutes I spent catching up with FJ and that makes for a time of about 2:02 for 13 miles. Not too bad for my first long run in four weeks.

Next Saturday the goal is to run 16 miles. Hopefully FJ will be free to do so on Saturday and we can catch up on music and reality TV while we run.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Josh Ritter

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If you're a Bob Dylan or Bruce Springsteen fan, pick up Josh Ritter's The Animal Years and thank me later. It may just be the best album of the year.

Friday, April 07, 2006

horse race

I've been watching what I eat the last couple of weeks, except for last night. I had dinner with a friend and gave in to my craving for a big, fat burger. I've been good for so many days that I think I earned one good/bad meal. I may have lost a couple of pounds since starting this "diet," and I would love to be at about 155 by marathon time in June.

Speaking of running, I'm running a 5K tomorrow at Santa Anita Park. The race finishes in the infield of the horse track and afterwards we get to stay in the park and watch the races. It's a tough finish since your feet sink into the dirt, but it's also exhilarating as you enter the park and feel the inner racehorse in you gallop to the finish. It has only been three weeks since the marathon, so I'll try not to push myself too much, but it's tough to do when I see others passing me. The competitive fire just starts burning and next thing I know I'm no longer running an "easy" 3.1 miles. After this week I'm going to amp up my running. The longest run I've done since the marathon was six miles last Sunday, which felt really good.

In other news, work really drains me even though I really don't do much. I'm getting burned out with school and work. School wraps up next month, so that will free up more time, but I'd prefer if work wrapped up. If not for the money I would have been long gone, focusing instead on school.