Another first for my running

This weekend was a blast. I ran my first official trail race. It was a 30k race at Walnut Creek Park in Austin, part of the Rogue Trail Series. It’s such a different way of running, a lot more up and down, cutting back and forth, uneven terrain, a little water to run thru and a grilled burger at the finish line. For this coming season of training the crew has been discussing trying to get in some trail runs. After the run this Sunday it’s obvious I do need more strengthening of my lower legs so we’ll hopefully manage a trail run every other weekend for a little variety.

Going into the run this Sunday I wanted to try and stay relatively easy for the first two 10k loops and then pick it up for the last 10k. Things went according to plan and the first two loops were around 55 minutes and the third loop in 50. I’m not sure if the first two laps were easy, it seemed to take 10k just to warm up but my breathing was under control It was a nice feeling to be able to open the legs up in the last lap and a good sign of where my fitness is.

Finishing the First 10k Lap

The next race in the series is at Emma Long Park on May 13th. That course is quite a bit more technical and I’ve only ever run the 10k version before so running 3 laps to get 30k will be challenging. Now it’s back to an easy week of running and then a base building phase of two to three months with the trail races in between.

Oh, my better half finished first overall woman and has the coolest hand made trophy to show for it.



Boston Marathon 2012 under the belt

This Monday was a not so great day to PR at the Boston Marathon. Although I do know of two Team Roguers that did! That completely amazes me. For me the marathon was a, finish it run. The plan was to run easy and run between 3:15 and 3:30, it ended up being not easy but slow at 3:40. The weather as you’ve probably heard was warm, I guess hot, the start was 85 degrees and stayed around there throughout the day. This week has been a good recovery week, the first run was painful in the quads but I feel good about being able to finish the 30k in the Rogue Trail Series this weekend.

So what did Boston hold for me this year. Well first and foremost I got a chance to eat at Penang, a Malaysian restaurant. And I got to eat a whole crab, which was fabulous.

I didn’t know if I’d manage to eat the whole thing when I started but did. It was truly a marathon event, must have taken 45 minutes to work my way through it but worth every minute. So some crab was had, then some Sushi for dinner, after which we find out about some salmonella outbreak. Luckily no issues.

The next day we woke up and went running with Larry, Jim and Edward on the Charles and then the regular breakfast, sit around more eating, drinking and just pretty much not doing anything until the race on Monday. I take that back, we did do something. For dinner on Sunday we ate at a place we all vowed never to go to again (Vapiano). You can read my yelp review on why you should not go there on Marathon weekend.

Ok after that it Monday. Yay!! Well yes, all plans of any time based run were thrown out the window and it was just a long, slow slog through the course one mile at a time. This has to be the first time starting mile 4 I just walked through every water stop, gatorade first, then some water and then some water over the head to cool down. That was the routine for 22 miles and it kind of worked. It was hot day, there was no pressure and it was a matter of finishing without needing medical attention … goal accomplished.

Now onto this weekend. It’s exciting and scary. I just realized I’ve never run a 30k trail race. Luckily the course at Walnut Creek park is pretty tame compared to what real trail runners would call a trail so this should be ok for me. I’m sure my more experienced trail running friends are laughing right now as I talk about Walnut Creek as a “trail race”, gotta start somewhere. This year may be the first for me to complete the entire trail series, barring any conflicting work travel. I’m looking forward to the variety the series will add to this summer of running.

Well that’s it, thanks for reading my rambling.

Zero to Sixty in 2.5 Months … Boston Marathon in 3 Days

Looks like I’ve finally managed to get back into somewhat of a training routine over the last couple of months. It’s been a ramp from an 8 mile long run to a couple of 20 mile long runs and now the Boston Marathon in 3 days. I’m pretty pleased with where my fitness is. Starting back up in February I wasn’t sure if I’d manage to run regularly with a new job, moving into a new house, and quite a few other life events. Being confident I can cover the distance is a great stepping stone to get my fitness back to try and run another fast marathon at CIM in December.

So what does Boston 2012 hold for me? I sincerely hope a somewhat comfortable 26.2 miles. This won’t be an all out effort but also not a slow jaunt. If things go as I would like to I’ll come in around 3:15, which is not a sure thing these days. The most important thing is to keep my eye on the prize which is to keep healthy, and recover quickly so I can come out of Monday, keep running regularly to continue to build my base and get a nice 7 month training season for CIM.

The great thing about Boston is … well it’s the Boston Marathon. The course has great support on the route and a unique atmosphere. It’ll be nice to be able to enjoy the event and not get wrapped up with all the nerves of trying to PR. I’m also looking forward to seeing the sea of Rogue singlets and outfits out and about in Boston and during the race. Tracy, Larry, Jim, Asia and everybody else from Rogue heading to Boston … have a great run, you’ve all put in the work and will kick ass.

Here’s to a new year of running

2011 was a running year to forget. The running gods were kind to me in 2009 and 2010, with lots of PRs and injury free running for a year and a half. 2010 ended with my mileage at over 3000 for the year a 60 per week average, and a marathon PR of 2:48. 2011 was the complete opposite, my mental focus and desire to train just wasn’t there and I’d be lucky if I managed to run 1000 miles the entire year.

It’s amazing how difficult it is to start running again. I wish I knew hot to turn the mental demons off but haven’t managed it yet. Maybe it’s time for a new years resolution for me. The most difficult thing has been comparing my running to the glory days of 2010, running an average of 20 seconds a mile slower for any pace range is tough to put aside. Of course, all I can do is keep running at the fitness I have, I’m not going to get faster staying in bed. Time to lace up the shoes and just run. Guess that’s the mantra for 2012, just run! Keep checking in to see if 2012 is the beginning of my new running career, I sure hope it is 🙂

Fits and starts

Fits and starts … that pretty much describes my attempt at starting to train regularly. It’s been a year now since I’ve trained regularly. The last month included the end of my first semester back in school (while I’m working) and a wedding so I guess those are my excuses. Now that finals are over I’ll try and use this month to run … the goal is 4 to 5 days a week … a 2 to 3 day improvement over the last 3 months!

Getting back on the saddle

The running gods have been very good to me the last three years. I managed to break 3 hours at CIM 2008, ran my fastest half marathon in San Antonio in 2010 in 1:19:19 and three weeks later ran a 2:48:30 at CIM 2010. Since that race my running has been a little lack luster and it’s time to try and get back into the swing of things. To help give me a kick I decided to sign up with Rogues’ Team Rogue Local Elite. My times in 2010 qualify me for the perks and privileges for the slower or Silver members of the team. I’ll need to get back in the shape I was in last year to stay on so that should add some needed motivation.

The lead-up to CIM 2010 was near perfect. It included getting married to Asia and a year where I averaged 60 miles a week. I barely missed a run or a gym workout and managed to stay injury free with some of the most intense training I’ve ever done. The lead-up to the race wasn’t ideal but the more than fifteen 20+ mile long runs and consistency the preceding year helped me PR and break the 2:50 mark.

The intensity the year and a half leading to CIM 2010 had it’s toll though. After CIM 2010 my motivation to keep training at that intensity just wasn’t there. I needed a mental break. I think most people do. Since the beginning of this year my training has been spotty, enough to keep some of my fitness but my training has favored sleep over miles 🙂 I think I’m mentally rested and now it’s time to lace up the shoes on a more regular basis.

So what next. Well, a break from marathons. Yup. It’s time to switch it up and try some 5k and 10k training. I feel like I can run 20 miles every weekend right now and need a change, something to energize the mind and body so it’s going to be the type of running I dread. That pain in the chest that is just unbearable for me but what I need right now. So I’ll be running with Carmen Troncoso and Rogue. I’m looking forward to working on speed again, giving up some of the base and endurance I’ve built up the last few years. Not sure what the result will be but it should be fun.

Still running thanks to …

Well the credit goes to Asia, not just for getting me to wake up and run but also for keeping me running. Since May my weekly mileage has been 46, 46, 53, 57, 66 (Madison Marathon), 43, 63, 70 In addition to the miles the gym has become a regular part of the week. At the gym I can finally keep up, well almost, with Asia’s core workout. Her “suit-cases” still make me cringe; as she’s doing 20 of them I stop at 10. This is much better than a month ago when I would cut most things in half and beg to stop at 2 sets instead of 3. She would oblige and then I’d eat some ice cream when we get home, now the little blue bell ice cream packs and cones are finished that little treat has ended. Guess I’m really training again. I hope I’ve put the mornings of Asia waking up, running and coming back to me still in bed are a thing of the past. This post is written permission for her to yank the covers off and kick me in the ass to get me up, ok, maybe a tap on the shoulder instead of a kick in the ass.

It’s been slow going getting back into running. My close to 5 months off from training since CIM really did set me back. In early May every run was a struggle and I put my fitness at a 3:10 marathon, if I could run that far. I might be back in 3:00 hour ish shape as long as I can get my endurance back up but feel a sub 2:50 in October at Chicago will be a struggle. Time to just run, get the miles in and see where I end up closer to the date. I really need to not go this long without running 🙂

The group at Rogue is great as usual. Some new faces in the crew, the paces too rich for my blood at times, but that’s all part of the fun of training with new people. This Thursday was an eye opener, our “easy” hilly run turned into somewhat of a medium effort. It was fun to finally let the legs loose with the crew. I think the hip issue is holding up but I do need to try and get it worked on a little soon. The gym work is helping for sure but there’s still some tightness I need to get released.

More to come I’m sure, sorry for the rambling stream of consciousness post.