Saturday, December 24, 2005

Icy Shoulders

In less than 2-weeks, I'll be down in Orlando getting ready for the Disney World Marathon.

I haven't been running on pavement in many weeks. The whole Disney race will be on pavement as it snakes through the different parks. (The race actually starts out on the double lane freeway outside of Epcot.) Obviously my legs work differently on different surfaces so I was happy that the weather today cooperated for my first outdoor run in a long time. Temp was about 45 F and damp. Snow & ice melting all around me.

I did my old trusty "7 mile loop" today. I ran on wet pavement, icy shoulders, muddy gravel, mud, snow and dry pavement. My GPS watch recorded a 8:31/mi pace for the route. I was a bit bummed that the pace wasn't faster. Questioned myself repeatedly about whether I'm actually in any better shape than 6-months ago. The fact is that running is hard for me. It's a physical and mental game. I didn't run the 7 miles at a sub-8 pace, but I could have simply turned around and run the whole 7 miles again at about the same pace. That is a good improvement from 6-months ago.

The minute/mile pace things is really only a concern to runners. I'm sure it sounds like blah, blah, blah, blah to normal people, but it is important to me. It's a straight up measure of how I'm doing. Running is simple. How long did it take me to go this far?

It's Christmas Eve so now...let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

140 Icy Laps Later

Since my last post I've run around and around AND around in circles at the Pettit U.S. Olympic Training Facility.

Pettit is known for being one of the top speed skating facilities in the world. recently, I have taken advantage of the $3 rental of the 450 meter running track that wraps around the outside of the speed skating rink.

Last Sunday I ran for 3 hours and 7 minutes. Today (Saturday) I ran for 3 hours and 8 minutes. I took a few walk breaks. Maybe 10 minutes in total each day. I likely ran 38 miles total in the two session. I can't say either workout was simply easy, but I did fine. No major issues.

Today was certainly easier than last week.

I snapped a picture with my trusty Treo. I'm on the running track right after I got done. (That is ice next to me.)

I have now COMPLETED all of my long runs prior to the Disney World Marathon. I've completed 8 runs of 18+ miles each.

The final home stretch 3-weeks still has plenty of running, but my longest will be 8 miles. I'll keep you posted on how it's all coming together.

I believe I see a mouse!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Running Continues

The running continues as the Disney World Marathon on January 8, 2006 rapidly approaches. As many of you know, this will be my first marathon ever.

Earlier this year (Jan 05) I ran the P.F Chang Rock 'n Roll 1/2 marathon in Phoenix. Completing those 13.1 miles in a bit over two hours (2:08) was an accomplishment. For real runners my time was slow, but I did complete it. I was still running at the end and passing people even.

I tried to take a few months off from thinking about another race after completing the 1/2, but I found myself trying to image a full marathon. TWICE the distance of that 1/2. I thought about how far I had run and then thought about turning around to run all the way back. There is NO way! It's insane.

As May rolled in this year, I ran a local 10k race. I struggled to stay under an hour. My time slipped from the previous year...which had slipped (gotten worse) from the previous previous year. Well you can go back and read the blog entries. I slowly got busy getting in more miles and working harder. I did improve!

The Midwest fall weather cooperated with me. I got to run outside for my long weekend runs. I did a bunch of post here about those. I did a number of iRun Podcasts from my Treo. I got to run with a variety of friends...some new.

As the end of November zipped in, suddenly snow and cold! With temps of about 1F and's snowing right now too. I bundled up for some runs, but under 25F I'm not too interested in running outside. It's also hard to find a place where I can limit the risk of slipping.

So I've jumped on my treadmill for some sessions recently. Last Sunday I loaded up my iPod Shuffle. Got some bottles of water and Poweraid. Lined up some Accel Gels and pushed Start and Play. After 2 hours and 45 minutes I did a cool down walk for 15 minutes. The end result was 18.5 miles. I know I'll be thanking myself come Jan 8th! Man I was sore. The treadmill works the muscle differently than typical surfaces.

Today I ran for 40 minutes to get in a faster workout. Did some 5% inclines and 8 mph pace at times. I got really hot, but it was good.

Tomorrow I'm planning for an indoor track run for some hours. It will be my first ever!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Approaching Horizon

With the Disney World Marathon looming over an approaching horizon, I've racked up some hours on my teadmill.

Man, it is hot indoors compared to be out in the snow! I had forgotten about those 95F+ days in July.

After two-hours on the treadmill, I completed 13 1/4 mile. Ate a banana. Drank a bottle of water and an energy drink. Listened to all the songs I wanted to on my iPod Shuffle. I skipped most of the slow songs.

Yesterday I ran 8 miles on the treadmill and was way too hot. I ran a little slower today.