Saturday, February 27, 2010

Week In Review

Another running week comes to an end today. In terms of running, it was a tough - but good - week. It started with a Monday long run (I know...who does their long runs on Monday? Um, me) of 15 miles. Took me awhile to get into my groove...about half the run, to be exact. I topped it off with a 15-minute ice bath afterward. The other two key runs this week included a hilly 8-miler (7:44 pace) on Wednesday, and an 8-miler (with the middle 4 at tempo pace; ~7:10/mi avg.) this morning. The gaps were filled in with three easy recovery runs.

Here be the numbers:

Runs: 6
Miles: 43.5
Time: 6:08:51

This is my highest weekly mileage in many years (since 1984, I think). It also caps my highest monthly mileage ever (barely) at 162.7 miles. The weekly mileage will continue going up (body willing) until it hits 60 in a few weeks as I continue preparing for the marathon in May.

Have a great week!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

DOL and...Could I Possibly Be...?

So I just returned from a two-hour visit to the DOL office, where I renewed my driver's license. I was planning on getting an "enhanced" license, but thanks to my birth certificate not having an official seal of the Office of the Registrar of Vital Statistics (and Beer Can Stacking), I could not get one. But that only added insult to injury. What was the injury? Ha! I'm glad you asked.

Adding to the "go-to" fodder of stand-up comedians everywhere, I sat for two hours waiting for my number to be to an older gentleman whose emanating scent alternated between what I would describe as a musty gym locker and a week-old dirty diaper. I'm quite confident that I surpassed David Blaine's breath-holding record. But even so, my nostrils are raw and I seem to have lost my sense of smell (temporarily, I hope). I fear that his odiferousness has seeped into my clothes and [dear God no] the pores of my skin. I also became quite nauseous by the end of the ordeal. So if anyone sees my new driver's license photo and wonders why I look the way I do, well...there you go.

Something else of (non running-related) note:
I think I could possibly be...preggers. What the h*#@ am I talking about? Check this out:

1. Not sleeping well
2. Low back aches
3. Ravenous appetite
4. Lower energy level
5. No sign of 'monthly cycle'

I'm not "showing" or gaining weight - yet. But I fear that I will. Stay tuned.

Have a great day, everyone.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Today I officially hit the 300 mile mark for running mileage so far this year (307.8 to be exact). This is, by far, the earliest I've ever hit that mark. I've never been a high-mileage runner, even back in high school when I was faster than I am now, so this is new territory for me. I'm currently on pace to run 2037 miles this year. It's exciting to do this while in my 40's, even though I know there are people who run much higher mileage at much older ages. So far, my body seems to be adapting to the mileage fairly well, aside from my right knee (that has good days and not so good days). I do have to stay on top of things like stretching, icing my knees (or taking ice baths) and using the foam roller. I'm still working on getting the proper nutrition right after running to aid in recovery.

I didn't start increasing my mileage until December of last year. Here are the weekly mileage totals of my previous 10 weeks (from oldest to most recent):

30.0 (back-off week)

This week should total 43.5 miles. For me, this is as consistent as I've ever been with my running. My body likes this kind of weekly mileage. I'll be gradually increasing it the next few weeks (peaking at a 60-mile week) in preparation for my first marathon in May. Hopefully the consistency, and the adaptation by my body, will continue!

Friday, February 19, 2010


Today, I sadly say farewell to my first pair of Brooks Defyance 2 shoes. I normally don't get too nostalgic about my running shoes, but these were special. When I started running in January 2009, after several years of not running due to chronic injuries, I wore the same overbuilt shoes I ran in before I had to quit running. I could tell that the problems would resurface, so after consulting a friend of mine, I settled on a pair of Brooks Defyance 2's - a more neutral trainer. They were the shoes that brought me back to the running world. I ran my first "comeback" race in them last June. I trained for my first half marathon in them.

As the miles built up, they moved further down in my shoe rotation. Recently, I mostly ran my short recovery runs in them. But after 521 miles, and because of some recent knee issues, I need to put them out to pasture for good. Now, even my follow-up pair of Defyance 2's are up to 300+ miles, so they won't be far behind.

So farewell my old friends. You helped me to get back out there.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Week in Review

A nasty head cold decided to take up residence in my noggin long about Wednesday morning. I felt the dreaded sore throat, but fortunately only missed one day of running...which I ended up making up today (Sunday) anyway. Running through this thing actually helped, I think. I feel like it broke up a lot of mucous and cleared out my sinuses. I'll spare you the disgusting details of what happened during some of my runs when I tried to help the process along.

Here are the numbers:

Runs - 6
Miles - 40.7
Long - 14 mi
Total time - 5:46:44

Despite the cold, I had a really strong 8 mile hilly run on Wednesday. I can feel my mileage base carrying me lately. I just feel stronger, even on days I'm feeling a bit "off".

Next week is a bit of a back-off week in my marathon training plan (week 4, officially). The schedule calls for 38 miles with a "long" run of 10 miles. Due to the mileage base I mentioned feeling pretty good about, I'm going to bump up the long run to 12 miles and put in around 40 for the week. Soon enough, the weekly mileage will reach the 50's and peak at 60, with my long run topping out at 23 miles. I'm actually looking forward to it!

Here's wishing everyone a great week of training!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Running The Sahara

For some, running around the block is a big accomplishment. For others, a 5k, 10k or a marathon. Then you have your ultramarathoners, who are a breed apart. Taken to the extreme, there are those who choose to run across states and countries. But what about continents? And inhospitable deserts?

About Running the Sahara
Running the Sahara chronicles an attempt by three ultra marathoners to run across the entire length of Africa’s Sahara Desert, tackling not only the elements, but also unimaginable physical and emotional obstacles. Their goal is to run through Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya, and Egypt, anticipating two marathons per day, for eighty days - without a day off. The expedition spans 4,300 miles (6,920 kilometers) and passes through six countries. Charlie Engle from the United States, Kevin Lin from Taiwan, and Ray Zahab from Canada, have run together in marathons before. But this expedition is different. It’s a grueling test of will – a story about the human spirit under fire – and a chance to accomplish something that no known person has ever achieved.

About the Premiere
If you live in the Seattle area, Running the Sahara premieres at the Admiral Theater (in West Seattle) on Wednesday, March 10, 6:30pm. Please use this link,, and enter promo code GROUPSALE (case sensitive) to receive $5 off the ticket price. Advance online purchases are available until 4pm PDT on the day of the event and are available at the door for $35. Your ticket includes admission to the screening, a Running the Sahara DVD, and a post film Q & A with ultra runner and film star, Charlie Engle. Charlie will be available to autograph DVD's.

This should be a great event! Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Yesterday morning I woke with a slightly sore throat. I still ran my scheduled 8-mile hilly trail run and felt pretty good. Last night, this cold kicked in. Didn't sleep well at all. Woke up with a stuffy nose, sore throat (hard to swallow) and an overall achy and lethargic feeling. I only had a 4-mile recovery run scheduled for today, so missing it won't be a big deal. I also got my long run in for the week (14 miles on Monday). I'll rest today and see how I feel tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

State of Being

I'm feeling a bit philosophic tonight. This has the potential to be a very odd post...but here goes. Let me see if I can phrase this question properly - have you ever felt that running felt more like your natural state of being than NOT running? In other words, once you start a run, your mind and body say "ah...normality once again!" Or, when you're walking around the house or in your yard, your body is dying to break into a jog, just because it seems more the norm than walking? To be honest, I've only had this sensation a few fleeting times. This could possibly go along with that "I feel like I could keep running forever" feeling. This I've also had in a fleeting and very rare instance. I've never really reached the level of fitness as a runner where I would know whether or not the "running as normality" affliction is possible. I like to hope that it is, since as a runner, this is a state of being I'd like to achieve one day.

Any thoughts?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Week Wrap-Up

This ended up being a great training week. Funny how running has its ups and downs just as life in general does. I started the week with a "long" run on Monday of 12 miles. This was "week 2" in my marathon training plan, so the long run only goes up from here. I threw in a nice 6-mile progression run on Wednesday on a hilly trail, then capped the week with a 6.5 mile tempo run with the Mill Creek Running Club this morning (7:08 pace, which was admittedly too fast). But all in all, I felt strong this week. My knees have been a bit achy, but I've been icing them regularly and it seems to be helping, as they felt fine this morning. Oh, and I gotta say (not just because I'm a Brooks ID member, either) that I'm REALLY loving my Brooks Launch shoes! Every time I wear them, I like them more and more. They just feel fast (whether I really am or not!) I'll run my next half marathon in them, and may even try to run the full in them in May. We'll see.

Here's how the week played out:

Runs: 6
Miles: 38.5
Long: 12
Time: 5:28:07

I should be back over 40 miles next week, as I build to a 60-mile week later in the program. That could be interesting, but I'm looking forward to that uncharted (for me) territory.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and happy running!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mill Creek Running & Multisport Club

Here's a link to the Mill Creek Running & Multisport Club, which I recently became a part of. Great group of friendly & encouraging guys and gals! If you're in the area, come out for group runs on Saturday mornings, either at 5:30 am or 7:00 am. All paces welcome!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Brooks I.D.

I was just selected to be a Brooks I.D. ("inspire daily") member. I have yet to learn what all this entails, but I'm excited (and a bit surprised) by it. More later...