Tuesday, April 29, 2008

NYC Marathon

I told you I'd check in from time to time (hopefully at least two or three of you still have me lingering at the bottom of your bloglines).

Since my pals Lucas and Jason are finally taking the marathon plunge I've decided to join them along with some other friends for the NYC marathon on November 2. I'm posting in hopes that a few of my more cosmopolitan running-blog brethren out there might have some travel and accommodation tips for our Tucson gang.

If anyone has some good ideas about where to stay to make the NYC marathon as stress-free as possible please feel free to comment here or email me from my profile. I don't travel too often, and a quick look at the hotel list and area map has my head swimming. We certainly aren't averse to public transit, so if there are good areas to stay where we could use the subway to get around that aren't $400 a night, by all means tell me about them.

As for the running, it's been pretty much business as usual. The log is fairly up to date and tells the tale. I'm pretty much over whatever made me type in orange for a few days last week, or at least I'm healthy enough for yard-work.

Thank you again for all the kind comments after the farewell posts, your sentiments are deeply appreciated.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

All That's Left is Leaving

Race for the Cure 5K-
16:23, (5:16, 5:18, 5:11, :36)

A planned slow start still found me feeling it at one mile in, mile two found me holding ground but not gaining, and for mile three I dug in and gave what I had. No sub-16, but it's not altogether unexpected after only a few speed workouts.

For a few months now I've been thinking of ending this blog, as my interests seem to be floating away from writing about the sport. I still love running, and I still honestly believe my best times are still ahead of me. However, sitting down and concentrating on a post just doesn't give me the satisfaction it once did, and much of the time it feels like a chore rather than something I look forward to. Work has gotten busier, the kids are getting older, and I'm just not willing to set aside the time it takes to keep the blog up to date. The kicker came today as I was driving home and sorting out my thoughts on the race for a post. I just didn't want to write anything. Not today, not tomorrow, not at all.

I've made several friendships with fellow bloggers since I started "Running With Lydiard", and for that I am grateful. Mystery Coach came to my aid through this blog and has offered me wisdom, counsel, friendship and countless hours of his time. I hope he continues to either post here or start a new blog without my mug in the header. I want to thank him publicly here again for all his help.

I've appreciated all of you reading and commenting over the years, and I wish all of you the best for the future. As for me, I'm hoping to spend more time reading about running and training, and I'm also delving back into making music. Dad, husband, runner, other. You know the deal. My family gives me my strength, and I'm eternally grateful for their love and support.

Finally, I'd like to give credit to the late Arthur Lydiard. Without discovering his texts and the network of wonderful people devoted to his wisdom, I never would have started this blog.

I'll make efforts to update my log from time to time, so you can check on me there, and chances are I'll make an announcement when I manage a running milestone, just to let you know I'm still at it. Also, if I come up with something I really feel is worth sharing I'll write a post.

Keep in mind I will be checking in on my running friends from time to time, so no slacking off gang.

Friday, April 04, 2008

At Least I Can Spell "Laparoscopic" Now

The Training: Wednesday was 10 easy in the morning followed by another easy 10K or so with the gang from the Running Shop in the evening. Additional cross-training included one game of billiards post-run. Thursday found me a bit fatigued after two days of doubles with one speed workout, so I took it easy again with eight miles. This morning I ran seven miles and threw in 8x300 jog, 100 sprints/accelerations. If it sounds like I'm tapering off, I am.

The Race: I found out Wednesday evening that the 5K on the track I've been looking forward to on April 11 is most likely canceled. With this in mind I started tapering Thursday for this Sunday's Race for the Cure 5K. I ran 16:23 or so here last year, but it was about 36 hours after running a 5K race on the track. It's a fast and fair course, so between tapering down in earnest while sharpening up I'm hoping for a good day.

The Plan: I've been knocking on the door of a sub-16 minute 5K for two years now, so of course that's the goal. What I'm learning from my recent workouts is that I'm not processing lactate as well as I should be. Having to alter the workout three posts down because I overloaded my system too early showed this, and finding a sticking point at 67 seconds for those 400's on Tuesday hinted at the same thing. With this in mind I'm going to focus on the following for Sunday-

1. Longer warm up to get the blood moving around, the legs warmed up and the body ready.

2. A little more intensity than usual before race, again to warm up the pipes and to get the body processing a bit of lactate before biting down on the first mile. I usually keep it to a handful of strides of increasing intensity. This time I'm hoping to add a few minutes (2-3) closer to threshold or around half marathon pace.

3. Ease into the first mile and focus on splits more than the competition. This isn't part of our local Grand Prix series, so, I have no reason to get sucked out of the gate at supersonic speed in an effort to stay with the lead pack. If I can keep gaining speed through at least the first half of the race it will go a long way towards keeping me from blowing up early.

I'm excited about this race, as it gives me at least one opportunity to go for a PR before the state championship 5K in mid-May.

The Hernia: Yeah, I guess I have one after all. It's a direct hernia, but it's apparently too high up on the abdomen to be causing the recurring hydrocele. The surgeon who examined me is more than happy to do laparoscopic surgery to repair it at the same time the other doc removes the hydrocele, but since it doesn't seem absolutely necessary at this point I think I'll just leave it be for now and hope for the best.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

My Daughter the Eco-Warrior

If the worst our 2-year-old son touches in a grungy public restroom in the park is a loose roll of toilet paper, I consider us lucky. Finn picked up the errant roll and pulled out about three feet of paper before I could stop him while our 5-year-old daughter used the facilities. As I pulled the string of sheets Finn had loosened off the roll and balled them up to throw in the trash, Haiden scolded me: "You're wasting the Earth's resources Daddy!"

This comical interlude happened during my unexpected day off, which included sleeping in until 6:30 (a miracle with our kids), a trip out of the house for professional smoothies (guess mine aren't good enough), and an afternoon at the park. 78 degrees and a light breeze here, which is as good as it gets.

I spent much of yesterday's run scouting for cairns across creek beds and losing the trails I thought I had memorized. The water from the winter rains has finally started to recede in Sabino Canyon, so I took to some of Kiera's trails just to see if they were passable yet (most were). Slow going, but a nice respite from real training.

This morning Mystery Coach took to sort of combining what he prescribed for me last week with what I ended up doing (see the "Quick Change" post below). More sharpening and less anaerobic volume was the order of the day with the races coming up, so I was set for 1 mile at 5:50, one minute recovery, 1 mile at 5:45, one minute recovery, then 4x400 fast and relaxed with one to two minutes recovery. It went down like this:
Mile 1, 5:45
Mile 2, 5:37 (I know, I know)
1:09 (1 minute recovery)
1:07 (1:30)
1:07 (1:45)

The first two miles felt like I was jogging, but I still ran them a bit too fast. I think the 5:37 mile bit into the last two 400's a bit, as I tired some in the legs during the final 100 of the third repeat and during the last 200 of the final repeat. This time the legs bogged down instead of the lungs though, which was interesting.

I'm still on the fence about the 5K this Sunday, as it's expensive and I don't really want to spend the money for what would be more of a workout. We'll see.

Training: 4/1, 10 miles (see above)
3/31, 10 miles on trails, real slow