Thursday, July 30, 2015

July 30

Some time you just have to say what the fuck and tonight was one of those nights. Maybe it's because I had a taste of running fast while on the hotel DM this past weekend but tonight I just wanted to run.

The plan called for 1 hour with an HR under 132 bpm but I decided to forgo that and shut off the warnings. I was going to run naked for the first time in a long time; no HR, no splits, no pace, no nothing. Of course I was still going to track it but during the run itself I didn't want to know. I was going to go by feel. I didn't even care that it was over 100 and not a cloud in the sky.

Now I still did the easy warmup to bring the HR up gradually but after that I didn't look at my Garmin until the cool down. Once I hit that 1 mile mark I got into it. The goal was to run comfortably and when it was all over if I was anywhere in the neighborhood of 10 minute pace I would be happy as a clam.

It felt good for a change to go without being concerned about anything. The only time I looked at my watch was as I approached the 2.5 mile mark to see how close I was to the half way point. This gave me some idea of where I was pace wise but I wasn't worried about doing the math. I was enjoying the run.

I did start to fade a little not much after the 3 mile mark as I hit a long gentle incline but I was moving right along. I could feel my breathing getting heavier so instead of trying to push it I backed off a bit and finished out the mile. I finished off the run with a good cool down and since my HR was still on the high side with about 3 tenths until the end I decide to walk it down a bit sooner than normal.

So I bet you are wondering how I did? Here goes...

Split Avg Pace Best Pace Avg HR Max HR
2 9:12 7:52 150 160
3 9:09 8:09 158 163
4 9:38 8:42 162 168

Well it's certainly not BQ pace but I was quite surprised with the results based on my perceived effort. I was probably working a little too hard at the end as witnessed by the 168 bpm which was at the end of mile 4 but still not all that bad given that it was 100 degrees.

I love it when a run exceeds expectations and this may have been the glimmer of hope that I needed.

Tomorrow is a rest day and then it will be long run Saturday with a MAF test at the track on Sunday. It's starting to come together.

July total - 116.7 miles

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 29

Well this will be short and sweet just like the 36 minute run tonight.

It was cooler tonight at 96 than it was last night but the lack of clouds made it seem hotter. Still there was a good breeze and I was pretty well hydrated throughout the day so I decided to lighten my load a bit and not bring any water.

On the first mile I was somewhat better about taking the HR up slowly than last night and since I was only going for 2.4 miles I was just doing a half mile warmup and cool down anyway. Even then it was going to be and speedy splits and even a 15:20 didn't bother me.

For the first part of mile 2 I felt like I was a little faster as I danced on the fine line of trying to stay as close to 132 bpm without going over and for the most part I was successful. It wasn't until the latter half where I caught myself going too fast on the slight decline that I spiked mu HR a couple times but I'll take the 14:06. From there it was just try to bring it down over the remaining distance which concluded in a 0.2 walk.

It may not have been much of a run but every mile counts. These 132 bpm runs will be coming to a close next week if all goes well with the MAF test on Sunday. Then it will be a couple weeks at 137 bpm before I push the limits for 2 weeks followed by a 2 week taper. That's right only 6 more weeks before the big day.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28

It feels great to be back home and after some fast DM miles I was looking forward to see how this would translate to being back out on the road and in the heat. I was definitely feeling the positive vibes. Too bad that feeling wasn't going to last for long as reality hit hard.

Tonight seemed like the perfect night for an hour run. It was 99 and cloudy with a touch of humidity and a light wind which I though was going to let me ease back into the heat. Unlike the DM in a controlled environment of a fitness center my HR came up rather quickly, no matter how slow I took it and by the time I hit the half mile mark I was well into the 120s.

As I got to the 1 mile mark my HR had already crossed 130 bpm and I was barely moving. I just had to take what the run was giving me but I had a feeling I wasn't going to like it. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad run it was just that I had the expectation that it was going to be a great run. The positivity of the DM miles gave me too much optimism I guess.

The next 2+ miles seemed like a constant struggle to keep my HR down while maintaining some semblance of a steady pace. Still, I was able to stay in the 128-132 range with the occasional jump over. The worst though was that BBW tried to get me to question my MAF training. While he tried to plant the seeds of doubt I know that I have to trust in the plan and stay mentally strong.

The cool down wasn't much of one tonight either. Even at a snail's pace I couldn't get down to where I wanted to until the  walk over the last quarter mile. This was certainly my shortest distance for the time but an hour run at sub-max HR is an hour run no matter the distance. I'm just a bit disappointed that Sunday was a mile more in the same time while on the DM. That's alright though, I be back out tomorrow for a 30 minute run regardless. With just 45 days until my shot at a BQ I need to stay the course.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

July 26

Today is the last day of travel which meant another early wake-up call so I could get some miles in before my flight. So while the plan called for 90 minutes, I instead opted to do only an hour so I didn't have to deal with the DM timing out.

I have to admit that I've actually not hated these sessions in the fitness center since they have given me a chance to work a few minutes faster than I can on the road. This also allows me to warmup with more control over the HR to bring it up gradually and stay in the lower zones longer.

With the first mile done it was on to the meat of the run. The hope was that I would be able to pick up where I left yesterday and to an extent I was close, but not quite, at xxx. Still it was pretty easy to stay under 130 bpm except that for a cough that sent me into the high 130s.

One observation I did make as I progressed through mile 3 was that as I increased pace, my HR would come up, peak around 132 and then come down gradually to the mid-120s. This allowed me to speed up even more. Learning is good.

By the time I was getting through mile 4 my pace kept getting faster to the point where I was flirting with a sub-10 minute time. I was also running negative splits which shouldn't happen in MAF training.

The fast miles were soon over and it was now time to cool down, which went just as well as the warmup. When it was all done, the run was 1 hour and 5 miles on the button. Now I may have enjoyed doing these DM miles, I cannot wait to be back home running on the street in the heat. That is after a rest day tomorrow.

I also need to figure out what is causing a trigger point in my right shin which is manifesting itself as a flare-up in my PF.

What I really want to do right now is sleep; it's been a long weekend. My brain is a little scrambled and when my Garmin froze I screwed up and dis a hard reset instead of a soft reset which erased all my data. That's what I get for not reading. 2 Well 2 of the runs were messed up anyway but I still would have liked to have the HR and split data.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

July 25

Still on the road and the heavy Florida rains have put the kibosh on any thoughts of getting in a barefoot run on the beach. Just as well because it was still dark at 6:30 when I was ready to go.

I don't know why but I was a bit surprised that there was actually a couple other people in the fitness center when I got there. Generally, no matter what hotel it is, if I'm very early or very late, I have the place to myself. No matter, I have business to take are; a 2.5 hour run.

Again I was able to get a nice, slow and controlled warmup but when I hit the lap button on my Garmin I realized that I forgot to reset it after Thursday's session so the mile was added on the that run instead. Oops.

So after a quick reset I was back on track and and hoping for the same speed I saw Thursday night. Over the rest of the hour (stupid treadmill limits), I was mostly in the 10-teens as well as on point at keeping my HR under 132. Very happy to get in exactly 5 miles in this time.

After dealing with the DM resetting for the next segment, I realized I forgot to pause my watch so I actually clocked nearly 2 minutes longer than I really was on the next mile. I managed to get back on track for the next split before the wheels came off on mile 8.

I was cruising along without issue when suddenly I began to overheat and my HR spiked to 138. This came out of nowhere and I had to hop off the DM to get things under control. Since I was watching my watch and not the screen the machine saw that I wasn't on it and did an auto-shutoff.

With another reset done I got on it and realized that I was going to need to scale it back a bit. I also made the decision to cut the run a little short. Still I was around 11 minutes for the next 2 miles before I did the cool down miles.

When it was all said and done I ran for 2:15 and got in 11.1 miles with 6 under 10:30 so I have no complaints whatsoever. Tomorrow will be another early wakeup call so I can get in 90 minutes back on the DM before I catch my flight (which I just realized I forgot to check in for - hello middle seat). In hindsight I wish I had just booked a flight out tonight but instead I opted to stay for the dinner.

Week ending July 25th - 27.5 miles

Thursday, July 23, 2015

July 23

Sometimes things just work out for best.

Today was a travel day for business and I wasn't really sure I would be getting a run in tonight. Originally I was planning to fly into Tampa, grab my rental, make a short drive to the hotel and be in time for the pre-conference cruise/mixer around Clearwater Beach. Well after a delay getting out and an even later arrival, not to mention a computer issue at the rental car counter, I didn't quite make it.

Having not run last night, I was more than happy to take the opportunity to get in a hour long run even if it was going to be on a dreadmill. If anything it would allow me to go a little faster than usual while staying under 132 bpm.

The warmup actually went slower than I was expecting but that was a good thing since I was able to get more turnover while still keeping the HR well under 120 bpm in the early going. The one thing I wasn't happy with was the bit of heel pain that popped up. It didn't really hurt, it was more of annoyance than anything.

By the time I hit the 1 mile point I had gotten up to a mid-11 pace and comfortably around 125 bpm. I really wanted to try to stay closer to 130 so I started to play with the speed. It's such a fine line and when I thought I had hit it right, I got a sudden HR spike into the high-130s.

This was to be how the run went but without as drastic of a spike. A couple times I did get as high as 134 but for the most part I was under 132. Over the 30 minutes of being at MHR I got better at keeping things under control. More importantly it felt good to go fast. Just as in running downhill, a DM at 0 incline allowed me t o run at a pace about 2 minutes faster than I am able to out on the road. Talk about a confidence builder; I guess the DM does have some advantages after all.

By the time I hit the 45 minute mark I was actually looking forward to the cool down. Not that I wasn't enjoying this sensation of going fast, it was just not something I was prepared for. In all I logged 4.5 miles which is a couple tenths more than I get out on the road in the heat so yay me.

Tomorrow will be a rest day which is ok because I'll be on the busy side and on my feet more than usual. The plan calls for a 2.5 hour long run on Saturday and I really need to find out of the beach is as uninterrupted as it looks on Google maps. I really hope it is because I am giddy with the thought of a long barefoot run on the beach. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July 21

Having to work an hour late has it advantages now that the days are getting shorter. Even though it was still 100 when I got out on the road for tonight's 1 hour jaunt, the shadows were getting longer so I knew I would miss the full force of the sun most of the run.

I'm really happy to be finding consistency in all aspects of my runs but especially the warmup. It's getting much easier to bring the HR up slowly without having the fits and starts like I when the blazing summer began. Now it's a steady progression.

When I hit the fist mile marker my HR was right where I wanted it to be, at 128 bpm, and for the most part I was between 127 and 130 for the majority of the run. Since I didn't have the sun beating down on me I was able to flow through the run without struggling to keep under MHR. It's amazing the difference too. Whenever I hit a patch where I was in full sun, my HR would jump 2-3 bpm almost immediately. It was just a matter of thinking ahead.

While tonight wasn't the fastest weeknight run in recent weeks, I can't complain one bit about the 13:08, 13:32, 13:43 middle miles. As much as I would like them to be faster, they are serving a very important purpose and if I can make the same progress in the next 3 weeks as I have in the last 3, I'll be right where I need to be with a month to go before race day.

Tomorrow will be another late one in work but the schedule only calls for a 30 minute run. I may not get a chance to log the run because I have to get my things packed in preparation for a business trip to what look to be a rainy Clearwater FL for a few days. We shall see.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 19

They say that history repeats itself and I can certainly attest to that with today being so similar to last Sunday but in a more extreme way.

Like last week, I didn't want to get out of bed but today I slept in even later so I wasn't on the road until 8 which may or may not have been caused by a 4th glass of wine last night. It was also a bit overcast and when I saw that it was still only 75 degrees, I was overjoyed. Then I noticed that because of the overnight rain, the humidity was 80%. Yikes! I was in for a sweat-fest.

The plan for today was to do an hour and a half run with the hope of at least equalling last week's effort. It didn't feel as bad as I was expectation due to a light breeze and the clouds which made it feel quite pleasant out. This was going to be a good one, I could feel it.

Right from the get go I felt great. HR was coming up slowly, my stride was smooth and I just seemed to have a little extra spring in my step during the warmup mile. Being right up to speed for the start of mile 2 I felt incredibly strong and was able to open up my stride even as my HR stayed down around 128 bpm. This was good enough for an 11:18 mile which was followed by a better 11:16 mile 3 and an even better mile 4 at 11:01.

Now I know what you are thinking; shouldn't I have positive splits when following MAF? You would be correct but these negative splits are due to the early elevation in the route which starts to see a decline past mile 3. These times, while faster are consistent with last week's splits as well. Just faster.

I really couldn't believe how well the run was going and after an 11:16 mile 5 I was sure I would be able to go a little further today, maybe 7.5 miles or more.

Now last week I was startled by some dogs in 2 yards so this week I was prepared. What I had forgotten was that one of the yards wasn't fenced but the irrigation ditch along the property had water flowing last week which stopped the dogs from coming out. No such luck this week.

This time with nothing to stop them the 2 dogs came tear-ass after me and my fight or flight response kicked in. It was time to fly. Still dogs are faster than people and it's for times like this I carry a small can of mace. As much as I hated to do it, these dogs were coming at me with bad intent and I gave them a few shots.

My heart was racing and my aim wasn't all that good but eventually they stopped their pursuit. I think I got one of them which made me feel bad but you got to do what you got to do. I'd rather have shot the owner square in the face with it instead. Asshole.

Well this pretty much killed the run as my HR was in the 170s and it took me some time to get it down. I was also still pretty pissed off about the whole thing so even when I got back to running I had to slow way down to keep it under 132. About the only good that came out of it was that I was able to lay down a 6:05 pace even if it was for only for a sprint. So much for unintended speedwork.

So while I finished the run in 1:36:02, comparing today to last week, I probably lost 3 minutes so all things being equal, I was probably closer to a 1:33:00 run. Also when I compare the 2 sets of splits for miles 2-5 I was 15 seconds per mile faster. I'll most certainly take it.

The only thing I'm not happy with right now is that after being near non-existent for a few days it's flared up a bit this now. Nothing tomorrow's rest day won't help. I'm also feeling bad for Christine who's foot is a bit achy again. I think I let her ramp up a bit too fast. At least she told me about it at the onset this time.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

July 18

Well it's Saturday with a 3:30 wake up call and if you guessed I overslept again, you win a cookie. I have a good reason thought; Christine and I have both lost our wedding rings so we figured we'd just get them tattooed on. After 22+ years of marriage and a 33 year relationship we had an inkling this may be a safe thing to do.

Regardless, after a smoothie, coffee and futzing around on the interwebs I was still out on the road by 6:30 for a 2.5 hour run on a pleasant morning with temps in the high 70s. Add to that a light breeze and plenty of clouds, it was not too bad for a run.

The warmup was another keeper and really set the tone for the run. Having a rest day yesterday made all the difference int the world and I felt great through the first 5+ miles. My legs really wanted to go, pulling me over 132 bpm on more than one occasion except for a spike caused for a couple of coughs that sent me up to 138 and necessitated a short walk break.

As I passed the five and a half mile mark, that is were the run began to go south. First the sun began to peek through the clouds which heated things up and slowed me down. Then there was the douche nozzle that was too busy on his phone as he drifted over the fog line when he approached me, sending my HR over 140 so I had to take another walk break.

Still I was feeling pretty good but the sun was making it a little harder to keep the pace up and the HR down. That said I was able to run in the mid 12s through mile 9. By now the sun began to wear me down which removed any thoughts I was having about extending the run to 3 hours. This also brought BBW into the equation.I'm not going to give him any credence by writing what he was chirping about but leave it to him to throw a match on a good run.

The last mile plus was slow going but it was a decent cool down. If it wasn't for some more coughing that sent my HR to almost 140, it would have been a great end to the run. It's amazing that something as simple as a couple of light coughs can jump your HR by 10 bpm like nothing. It is what it is I guess; nothing I can do about it.

All in all it was a very good week where I was 24 seconds faster on average than last week and ran an additional 2 miles. Tomorrow is another day though and I have a 4:30 alarm set for a 1.5 hour run where I'm hoping to top last week's effort.

Week ending July 18th - 29.2 miles

Thursday, July 16, 2015

July 16

First off sorry for not posting anything about last night's half hour run; it was hot and slow and short. The most exciting thing about it was that I was able to stay consistently in the high range (128-131 bpm) with only a couple short blips above 132. In all it was a really good run. I can't ask for any more than that.

Tonight the schedule called for an hour run. With temps just above 100 and not a cloud in the sky, it was going to be another slow one. I probably sound like a broken record but MAF training isn't sexy. It's all about building a good aerobic foundation, staying injury free and not stressing my body. It is also keeping me from overtraining.

I'm not sure if it was the heat or just that it was a third consecutive day of running but my legs felt heavy from the get go. At a bit over the half mile mark I was giving serious thought to cutting it short and only doing 30 minutes but I was able to talk myself out of that. I convinced myself to press toward 45 minutes and by the time I hit that turnaround point I had shut BBW out enough and continued on my way.

So while this may not have been my best effort, it was another brick added to the base. The key is that I'm feeling good and not dealing with any setbacks. Even my PF has been behaving the last couple days with little more than a light, random cry. I can tell you that I'm looking forward to a rest day tomorrow and with the remote possibility of rain on Saturday it may actually be a quicker run on Saturday. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July 14

I'm always looking forward to getting back out on the road  after a rest day and tonight was no different although I was a little worried that we may catch a haboob. At least that meant for heavy cloud cover although while it was right at 100, it also was on the humid side.

Once again the plan was for an hour run under 132 bpm so it was going to be a slow one. Even so I'm feeling more comfortable at the slower pace and have been able to concentrate a bit more on my form. Granted this is not helping in the speed department but I'm more fluid and it seems like less of a slog.

Nothing really exciting went on tonight save for a couple of HR spikes that made me walk for a bit. What really gets me though is how unfriendly some runners can be; if someone gives you a wave, or a smile or a hello, have the decency to reciprocate. Not once but twice I crossed paths with 2 younger women and both times they just looked though me like I wasn't even there. Whatever.

At least the run went by well enough and it was over. It is interesting that it seems longer when you run slow for an hour as opposed to running fast fast for an hour. It's funny how our brains work.

What's not funny is the reemergence of my PF. I thought I had it pretty much licked but since I've gone back to wearing minimalist shoes exclusively (Kigos at work, Skora Phase or Fit on runs) in addition to being barefoot as much as possible it's coming back (on a scale of 1-10 it's probably a 1.5). I hope it's just a matter of having to build my foot strength up because the race is now less than 60 days away (==>). At least the Sock Doc treatment relieves any pain so I hope know it's not something more serious.

I'll be back at it tomorrow with an easy 30 minute run.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

July 12

Getting out of bed early on weekends is rough but not as rough as running in the heat of the day. Still I slept a little later than I would have liked but managed to get out on the road just after 7. Once again it was just below 80 but unlike yesterday there was some thin cloud cover to brunt some of the sun to go with a light breeze that made it comfortable.

I decided to run my route in reverse today as to have the majority of the incline done in the beginning of the run instead of more toward the middle. My hope was that this combined with the favorable conditions would provide for an easy and strong run. This decision paid off in spades and I was not disappointed one bit.

Had no trouble keeping the HR down and steady on the warmup mile which is always an encouraging sign. I was just as happy with a sub-12 mile 2 but unlike yesterday the sun stayed filtered behind the clouds which allowed me to keep my pace up and HR down. This allowed me to nail an 11:45 mile 3 and an 11:14 mile 4. With these quick paces I knew I was going to hit my goal of 7 miles during the hour and a half run. Yay me.

The one thing about feeling this good was that I felt like I pushing it too close to the edge so I decided to back it down a bit. Still I was cruising right along and even entertained thoughts of maybe doing a 2 hour run before I thought the better of it.

I was so focused on the pavement ahead of me that I wasn't paying attention to anything else and was startled by some dogs on a couple of yards. They were fenced in and posed no issues but just the fact that they surprised me caused my HR to jump into the mid-140s. This spike didn't last for very long however and I continued on my way. The last 2 miles of the run went by easily with the cool down being just as productive as the warmup.

It felt fantastic to be this dialed in today and logging my best run in recent memory. Everything went my way and I wish I could bottle this one for later. Now it's just a matter of enjoying the rest of the day. With a scheduled rest day tomorrow, I can't wait to get back on the road Tuesday to see how this effort carries over.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

July 11

It's often said that perception is reality. Now this may be true but reality tends to kick perception's ass most of the time too.

Even though I had the alarm set for 3:30, I didn't roll out of bed until almost 5 and wasn't on the road until 6:30. It also turned out to be slightly warmer than I was expecting it to be at 81 but at least there was a good amount of cloud cover.

The warmup mile was going great, pace was ok, HR was down and everything felt right until I came across a loose dog who was not in a good mood. He didn't come at me or anything but it still spiked my HR from the one-teens to almost 140. This was was going to set the tone for the rest of the run too.

After that bit of excitement I walked it down to the low 100s and then started to bring it up gradually until I hit the 1 mile mark. At this point there was still plenty of cloud cover and I was feeling on top of the world. I didn't know where my pace was but I was feeling fast. When I hit the mile 2 split and came in at just under 12 minutes, I was ecstatic. Unfortunately this feeling was not going to last.

Here's where the perception/reality thing comes into play.

While I was feeling great and cruising right along, the second the sun broke through the clouds just before the split, my HR jumped. Yes, even though I was feeling great, and didn't perceive anything different, in all actuality I was perceiving everything to be fantastic, physiologically my body got all defensive and prepared for the worst. It was on.

From here on it was a battle to keep the HR down. While mile 3 came in at 12:33, the rest of the run was much slower. There was nothing I could do but go with the flow.

The next few miles were in the low-13s but by mile 7 I could tell that it was almost over. I had planned to run 2.5 hours (11+ miles) I knew I had to cut it short and only do 2+ hours. Of course I was disappointed but I also have to listen to my body and do what is best.

There's no use getting all worked up about it but damn. It was only 91 when I finished the run and while that seems like it's hot, here in the desert with 30-40% humidity, that is quite pleasant. Or so I thought. Reality is a bitch I guess.

So I'll just have to accept it for what is was and I will be back out in the morning. At least I get to sleep in with the alarm set to 4:30.

Week ending July 11th - 26.1 miles

Thursday, July 9, 2015

July 9

I wasn't terribly motivated to run tonight but with a little nudge from Twitter and the weather, how could I not? It was only 95 and with an heat index of 91 so I made damn sure I was getting out for the hour run that was on the schedule.

It felt great out there and for a change I was able to bring the HR up slowly over the first mile. Part of this I attribute to the cooler temperature but some of it has to be due to getting heat adapted too.

Even with this in mind, I wasn't able to pick up the pace all that much but I could tell there was a little more length in my stride over previous runs. Overall it just seemed smoother than any run as of late which is encouraging. My pacing was more consistent too.

With as good as miles 2 and 3 were going I was temped to tack on an extra mile and get in 5 but we're running for time not distance so it was only going to be a bit over 4 miles on the night. And with that the last mile went pretty much like the first. My HR came down at a fairly steady rate but it could have been better. Towards the end I started to lose focus and wound up picking up speed which raised the HR back up.

All in all it was another productive run which added one more brick to the foundation. Still I'm happy tomorrow is a rest day before the early wake up call on Saturday morning. I just hope for a cloudy cool day.

On another note, the company I work for is putting together a team for the ThrillSeeker Stunt Run so I thought, why not? Well the why not, which I didn't realize until later, was that I'm running the Phoenix 10K Half the next day. So what the hell, it looks like fun and as long as I don't break anything it's all good.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July 8

It was going to be another run in the sun while it was 101. Yeah, that sucked but it made me chuckle.

Anyway, tonight's run was going to be a quick one at only around 30 minutes and I was looking forward to it. After the short walk to get things going I decided to change up a route a bit to break things up. Now I don't know what happened, maybe I subconsciously hit start but suddenly my Garmin buzzed the cool down stats. Nothing to do but hit start again with a couple of tenths and a few minutes lost. Oh well.

That was really all the excitement for the run. Even though it was sunny and hovering around 100, I feel like I'm adapting to the heat. It's still slow going and sometime a chore to stay under 132 bpm but it's getting easier especially when I stay in the now.

They just keep stacking up and that is what's most important. I be back out there tomorrow for another hour on the road to BQ.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 7

I will tell you this, it is hard getting back into the routine after a 4 day weekends. Still, there is no avoiding the inevitable. Finally the DOMS I have been dealing with have subsided so at least i have that going for me.

Once again it was another hot and sunny night with the temperature right around 100 but with a light breeze it felt alright out there when I hit the road. Probably too good as I jumped my HR up to the mid 120s almost immediately after the quarter mile walk to get things going. My feet just wanted to go fast but that is not part of the plan. This made for quite a few fits and starts over the next mile.

Another thing that was screwing me up tonight was my breathing. I wanted to try out some new thinks, primarily breathing through my nose and varying the rate so it wasn't too surprising that I was not having the smoothest of runs. I finally had to give myself a mental slap and to just run, not think and from there things got smoother.

The last 2 miles were by far better than the first 2. A lot if it was that I was just focusing on the run but a lot also had to do with the sun starting to go down which was also affording me more shade. The shade really does make a difference too. I noticed that when I would hit a patch of direct sun my HR would jump 2-3 bpm and drop down by the same once I was out of it. At least the days will begin to get shorted and we are coming out of the it's too freakin hot season and into the merely wicked hot time of year.

All told I felt pretty good about this run and the bricks are stacking up nicely. I'm still a long way from where I would like to be but the heat does not allow for a true assessment of where I am either. With 66 days before the race I just need to make sure I stay healthy and keep building that foundation. I can also take comfort in the fact that it will be 30-50 degrees cooler on the morning of the race and training in this heat will only help/

Sunday, July 5, 2015

July 5

Last night I may or may not have had 1 too many glasses of wine but what I am certain of is that I did not want to get up when the alarm went off at 4:30. It was too easy to hit the snooze and it wasn't until nearly 6:15 that I finally rolled out of bed. And wouldn't you know it, the DOMS were still with me too.

Since it was already approaching 90 I decided not to have any coffee and went with just the smoothie. This would only save me 15 minutes or so but every minute counts when the temperature rises quickly once the sun is out. Fortunately there was a bit of cloud cover so that would certainly help.

On the schedule for today was a 1 1/2 hour run which I figured I'd get somewhere between 6 and 7 miles in. The warmup mile went great as did the next mile which although I never got above 132 bpm came in at 11:51 which was quite a surprise. It must have been the 2 bunnies I saw.

As I got into mile 3 the clouds started to burn off and while the temperature didn't come up much I could feel my energy being sapped. It wasn't long before what had been a good run started to turn and as my HR jumped to 133, I took the first of many walk breaks.

From the 3 mile mark on under the full sun I had to slow it way down and even still I had to walk my HR down especially when on one occasion I swallowed some water wrong which caused a coughing fit which caused a spike up to 135. Later, a couple of sneezes got me into the 140s. It's really amazing how such little things effect one's HR.

Not that it was all bad though. There were flashes of brilliance as well where everything felt smooth and I would be moving along effortlessly in the high 120. My downfall would be that my brain would egg on my legs and before I knew it, the HR would go high. Pacing is what I really need to work on the most.

I'm happy with the way that both runs went this weekend. Most certainly they could have been better but I feel stronger every time out. I just need to stay the course and build one good run on top of the last. I still have doubts in my ability to BQ but I also know that I only need to peak at the right time. The trick is to figure out the right formula in the next 2+ months as well as getting my brain on board.

We shall see.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 4

Here's something I bet you didn't know but you can get DOMS from something other that training. That's right, after a day (actually only about 6 hours) of disassembling a 69 Cougar that has been taking up space in the garage for a year and a half, with Christine, my hamstrings, glutes and quads were sore as hell. But it was worth it and we can't wait to get deeper into it.

69 Cougar Before & After
Even thought I did sleep pretty well, I was actually awake before the alarm went off at 3:30 but I hit the snooze a few times and rolled out of bed closer to 4. Still, I had my smoothie, power coffee, loosened up and was on the road for a 2 1/2 hour run before 6.

The warmup mile went well, as did mile 2 but as I crossed the wash around the 2 and a half mile mile I had to dodge a sign that one of the local home builder had put up in the middle of the path and it got me all worked up. I hate when they do this and in the distance I could see more signs which got me worked up even further. Not good for the HR as I spiked up into the high 140s.

From here on the run was lost. Where I previously was in a groove, I was off kilter the rest of the way. My mind started to wander and every time it did it jumped up tho 132 immediately. The rest of the run was an ongoing battle and frequently I was losing; I just couldn't keep the HR down so I would have to walk. Oh well.

In all it was a quite productive run regardless of the continual HR jumps that make for the occasional walk break. I felt good and strong throughout and in the end that is what matters; quality miles. So, while it wasn't the run I was hoping for, it was still a good one and I closed it off with a half mile cool down.

Today I plan on taking it easy for the rest of the day and tomorrow I'll be back at it again with an hour and a half run. They will be slow and easy but that's the way it is right now. 

One note regarding gear, I made a change today and went with the Fit today instead of the Tempo. After giving it some thought, I'm really not liking the Tempos right now as much as I want too. Compared to the Fit and Phase they feel a bit chunky and while they are easier on my feet whith the extra cushion, I do miss the ground feel that I get from the other 2. I'm also still experiencing that rub on my left foot which I think is effecting my gait as well. I'll probably take them out occasionally butfor the time being they are benched.

And remember, today we celebrate Independence Day, not the 4th of July. Just sayin'

Week ending July 4th - 27.7 miles

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 2

So much for the streak of cloudy runs. Tonight was still on the cooler side at 100 but the sun was out in all it's glory. At least I was home a bit later so I would only be catching the tail end of the heat.

Once again I started off with a quarter mile of walking but like last night it jumped from the 90s to the one-teens as soon as I began the slow shuffle and was up to the high 120s by the half mile mark. I wound up spiking it to 135 bpm shortly after due to some douche in a lifted truck decided it would be funny to gun it so I would get caught in the black cloud. Douche.

For the rest of the run there was little or no excitement; just me fighting to keep the HR down. With the sun and the heat there were a few momentary jumps to 133 but the rest of the time I was pretty much in the 128-132 range during mile 2, 3 and 4. I would have preferred that mile 4 was lower but even with a 13:09 it really wasn't happening. To cap off the run I walked the final .2 to cool down.

Thankfully tomorrow is a rest day and since I took the day off from work I plan on sleeping in before Christine and I begin tearing down a 1969 Mercury Cougar project car that has been collecting dust in our garage for the last year and a half. So excited.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 1

It was another cool (if you call 98 cool) and cloudy day in the desert and with only a 30 minute run on the schedule it was going to be short and sweet. That is, once I got out.

When I got home I normally turn on my Garmin so in case it is low on a charge, I can get it on the charger to be ready when I am. Well tonight I forgot and turned it on just before I loosened up and it was dead. Luckily it only took about 20 minutes or so to get it charged more than enough for a short run like this.

About the only excitement was that the Mission Multi-Cool I ordered came in so I was excited to see how it would help. Now I don't know what I was expecting but it didn't seem to do much although I neck certainly felt cooler. It felt a bit odd having something around my neck but even if it helps a bit it will be worth it. It's also cheap insurance if I get caught in another dust storm; I can just pull it over my nose and mouth so I'm not sucking sand like I was last year when I got caught in one. That's really why I bought it anyway.

Finally I remembered to start out with a quarter mile walk so to get the HR up more gradually. Even still I didn't do a very good job of staying slow as I let my mind wander. I wish I had that bottle of "now" that I wanted to carry over from last night but alas it doesn't work like that.

Once I got my focus the run was pretty nondescript and by the time I know it, it was over. I'm actually pretty surprised that I'm handling this lower HR and slower pace well. Maybe my head realizes this is for the best and is on board.

This makes for another good one in the books and I'll be back at it tomorrow to add another brick with a 1 hour run.