October
31
Posted on 31-10-2007
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

I woke up this morning, slightly sore from yesterday’s 6 mile run.  I took the first half mile slow, but sped up as I approached the park, finishing that mile in 8:24.  I was already feeling winded, so I regretted the fast start at first, but I increased my speed in the second mile, running that in 7:31.  I was really feeling it then, but I continued on and ran the third mile in 7:48. 

Planned workout

8 mintues warmup

3 miles at 8:15 pace

8 minutes cool down

Actual workout

8 minutes warmup

3 miles at 7:54 pace

8 minutes cool down

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October
30
Posted on 30-10-2007
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

With thoughts of control, I set out on my 6 mile run today.  This week, I ran my first mile in 9:34 as opposed to last week, when I ran the first mile in 9:13.  The result?  43 seconds.  Today, I ran 6 miles in 53:26, compared to last week’s 54:09….or if you want to go really vintage, we can go back to July 18th, when I ran 5.72 miles in 66:26.

Planned workout

1 mile warmup

6 miles at 9:15 pace

1 mile cool down

Actual workout

1 mile warmup

6 miles at 8:54 pace

1 mile cooldown

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October
29
Posted on 29-10-2007
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

Today was one of those days when I woke up and didn’t want to do anything.  I lingered in bed, then I lingered on the toilet.  Then, I lingered in the kitchen making breakfast, then I lingered over my email.  I  was down on a lot of stuff – the USF loss, the Buccaneers loss, my run on Saturday, my lack of progress on my dissertation defense, etc.  In short, I wanted to crawl right back in bed and try to sleep my problems away….not that any of them were really big problems.  It was one of those mornings that I really didn’t want to run, but I knew that I’d feel a lot better if I did.  So, I headed out the door.

It really was a beautiful morning.  I walked for a half mile, took a deep breath and started into my run.  My goal was to run the first mile in about 9:15.  I knew from experience that if I just let myself fall into a natural rhythm,  I’d hit that pace.  It turns out, I was faster.  I ran the first mile in 8:38.  As soon as I hit the lakefront park, I felt myself straighten up.  My arms moved in perfect rhythm with my legs.  My breathing was easy.  I was warmed up and in a groove.  I cruised around the lake, running the 2nd mile in 7:32.  At that point, I was a little winded, but I was able to slow my pace slightly and push through the last mile.  I had to stop twice for traffic to pass on two main streets, so it was a little disappointing to finish my 3 miles in 24:01.  I sprinted out the last tenth of a mile at 5:02 pace, but to no avail.  I was smiling, though.  I still made my goal of 8:15 miles and I had a new outlook on the day.

Planned workout

8 minutes warmup

3 miles at 8:15 pace

8 minutes cool down

Actual workout

8 minutes warmup

3 miles at 8:01 pace

8 minutes cool down

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October
27
Posted on 27-10-2007
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

Last night, I was up somewhat late.  We attended a high school football game and I made sure to take in some extra calories in preparation for my 12 mile run today.  I managed to get up at around 6:30 and I was out the door just before 7.  I wore my microfiber, long sleeved running shirt, but the air was not as cool as I suspected.  Still, it wasn’t hot, so I set off.  I foxused my thoughts during my warmup on starting off slow.

My run starts out well.  My goal for the first mile is 11:15-11:30.  My goal pace for the whole run is 10:30 per mile, though in the back of my head, I think it would be pretty cool to finish under 2 hours.  My memories of this week’s 6 mile run serve me well in keeping my pace slow over the first mile.  I cross the 1 mile mark in 11 minutes.

I continue to remind myself to slow down over the 2nd mile.  As I approach the waterfront park, it gets continually more difficult.  I’m in the presence of other runners and I subconsciously speed up.  I run the second mile in 10:23.

As I push comfortably into the third mile, I notice that the park proper is fenced off.  Tonight is Octoberfest and Loverboy will be playing to thousands of beer guzzling, brat eating revelers.  It’s a paid admission event and access to the park is already restricted.  It’s not a big problem as the street is closed to traffic, so I can just cruise along the fence on the street.  Unfortunately, my water fountain is inside the fence, so my 3 mile and 9 mile water breaks are just going to be walk breaks sans water.  I wistfully pass by the water fountain.  I complete the 3rd mile in 9:45.

I take a 1 minute walk break.  I pass a camp of women participating in some kind of breast cancer related event.  The area is more crowded than normal, but nothing compared to the Race of the Cure crowd I experienced earler in the month.  I start running again and head toward the famous St. Petersburg Pier.  If you’ve ever watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play on Monday night football, you’ve likely seen the St. Petersburg Pier lit up on the way to a commercial break.  It’s a half mile from the street to the end of the Pier, so adding this to my run adds a total of 2 miles to the trip, allowing me to follow basically the same route as my 10 mile run two weeks ago.  Running back to the street from the end of the pier, I pass the 4 mile mark.  I’ve run the 4th mile in 10:18.

I’m still feeling quite comfortable.  The sun has risen, but it’s quite cloudy so the heat hasn’t been a factor.  In fact, it’s started to rain.  It’s a fairly light drizzle, so it’s really no big deal.  During the fifth mile, the rain picks up and it’s starting to get a little annoying.  Still, I’m comfortable and I complete the fifth mile in 9:44.

The rain picks up a little more as I cruise past the airport.  I reach the USF College of Marine Science.  I’m down to 2 weeks until I’ll defend my Ph.D. dissertation here.  I’m behind on putting my presentation together and I try not to think about it.  I run through the rain, past the research vessels, and onto the main part of campus.  Just before the Dali museum, I hit the 6 mile mark.  I’ve run the 6th mile in 9:49.

I turn and run back to the campus buildings where my first and only water break awaits.  I linger at the water fountain and take a slightly longer than usual walk break.  I’m halfway through my run and my legs are feeling a little tired, but nothing bad.  I’m still comfortable except for the rain and I retrace my steps.  The rain has actually gone a little beyond annoying.  My shirt is soaked.  This shirt is normally very good at drying out, but when it’s continuously raining, it doesn’t have much of a chance.  I’m also running along the water where drainage is pretty poor.  I’ve stepped in a number of puddles and my shoes are awfully wet too.  I’m certainly carrying a few extra pounds.  I run the 7th mile in 11:14, thanks mostly to the extended walk break.

I’m still in a good rhythm as I run past the airport and back toward the Pier.  I pass the Yacht Club and the rain is still falling.  I’m starting to really feel the added weight now, but my rhythm is good and I just go with it.  Back on the Pier, I finish the 8th mile in 9:34. 

As I reach the end of the Pier, the rain finally stops.  I welcome the change but that damage has been done.  My shirt will dry out, but the wet shoes are with until the end.  Tasting my next walk break, I speed up.  I run the 9th mile in 9:06 and take a 1 minute walk break.

During the walk break, the stiffness in my legs becomes apparent.  It takes a slow acceleration to get back to speed when I start running again.  I’m in the home stretch, though and I soon fall back into a good rhythm.  I know I’ve got a fighting chance at finishing under 2 hours if I can maintain a steady 9:30-9:40 pace the rest of the way.   I run the 10th mile in 10 minutes flat because of the walk break.

My legs are very tired.  I give very serious thought to walking again at 10 miles and I stumble for a step as I quickly convince myself that 2 hours is in reach and I should keep going.  I round a corner and pick up a tail wind toward the bridge back to the neighborhood.  The incline of the bridge is tought, but I take it slow and steady, the descend the other side with nice control.  There is fortunately no traffic to stop me as I cross the street.  Breaking my rhythm now would result in another walk break, I’m sure.  I continue on.  I run the 11th mile in 9:37. 

I’ve got about 9:30 seconds to run the last mile in order to finish under 2 hours.  My legs are very tired, but the thought of pulling this off is carrying me on.  My heart rate is at a steady 165 and my breathing is comfortable.  The key is to just keep my legs moving.  Usually when I get a side stitch, it starts small and slowly develops to a painful level over the course of several minutes.    I’ve now developed a very painful side stitch over the course of about 2 seconds.  At the same time, my shoulders have tightened up and my legs have stopped moving.  I wobble and stop.  I’m physically unable to run.  I won’t be finishing in under 2 hours.  I walk for about a tenth of a mile, then try a low jog.  It doesn’t last long.  After another tenth of a mile, the stitch returns and my legs wobble again.  I’m so close, but my muscles are telling me I’m out of fuel.  There’s nothing left in the tank at all.  At 11.95 miles, I jog again and barely make it to the 12 mile mark before the stitch comes back with a fury.  I’ve run 12 miles in 2:02:45 – a 10:13 per mile pace.

Planned workout

1 mile warmup

12 miles at 10:30 pace

1 mile cooldown

Actual workout

1 mile warmup

12 miles at 10:13 pace

1 mile cooldown

 I’m not sure exactly why I bonked in such a fashion.  These runs are getting longer and it may be time to start taking in some calories during the runs.  The added weight of the rain may have played some part, but with 13 miles to run next week and more than twice that to run in the marathon, I need to take a closer look at my diet in the coming weeks.

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October
23
Posted on 23-10-2007
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

Last week, after my 3 mile experiement, Paul noted that I should be careful not to mess up running long.  During my 10 mile run, I felt that I had mastered the art of starting slow and finishing strong.  I certainly did okay during my 7 mile run on Saturday.  Unfortunately, things were not so good today.

I set out for my 6 mile run with the goal of running 9:15 minute miles.  With that in mind, I hoped to run the first mile in 10:00 to 10:15.  I ran it in 9:13.  That didn’t worry me too much.  After all, I’ve been starting fast on my three mile runs lately and turning in great times.  Still, I slowed during my secind mile….at least I thought I did.  A ran the second mile in 9:00.

Things were getting worse, though.  I was starting to get tired.  Still, I ran the 3rd mile in 8:54.  I was like a runaway train.  No control at all.  I sinoly couldn’t slow down.  At about 3.3 miles, I came to a water fountain and took a 1 minute walk break.  I really needed it.

I ran the 4th mile in 9:19.  It was my slowest mile of the whole run, but only because of the walk break.  I ra nthe fifth mile in 8:39 and I was dead.  I had to take another walk break.  I ran the 6th mile in 9:02 and I was exhausted when I finished.  There was certainly no finishing kick today.  I stumbled to 6 miles, staring at my Garmin the whole way.  I averaged 9:01 minute miles…much better than my goal pace, but I certainly didn’t execute my plan for the run, and I didn’t enjoy it at all.

Planned workout

8 minutes warmup

6 miles at 9:15 pace

8 minutes cooldown

Actual workout

1 mile warmup

6 miles at 9:01 pace

1 mile cooldown

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October
22
Posted on 22-10-2007
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

Given my speed performance last week, I decided to skip the two weeks of 3 mile runs at 8:30 pace and go straight to 2 weeks at 8:15 pace.

Planned workout

8 minutes warmup

3 miles at 8:15 pace

8 minutes cool down

Actual workout

8 minutes warmup

3 miles at 7:58 pace

8 minutes cool down

I went out with a goal of completing the first mile in 9:15 or less.  I completed it in 8:24, which was a bit faster than I actually wanted to.  The second mile was run in 7:40 – a fast mile and I certainly felt it.  I slowed down slightly in the 3rd mile, completing it in 7:49, for a total time of 23:53.

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October
21
Posted on 21-10-2007
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for quite a while. We met up with some conference buddies at Walt Disney World on Friday for the EPCOT Food and Wine festival. We arrived on Friday morning and checked into the All-Star Music resort. Luckily, our room was ready. So, we dumped our stuff and met up with the gang at the Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom. After some fun there, we took the monorail over to EPCOT, grabbed some margaritas, then walked over to the Germany pavilion for an 8:30 dinner reservation at the Biergarten.

The food was good and I enjoyed a couple of glasses of Riesling. On the way back to the park entrance, we caught rides on the Maelstrom in Norway, the Gran Tour with the 3 caballeros in Mexico and Test Track. We left the park just before midnight and my head didn’t hit the pillow until almost 1 am.

Somehow, I managed to roll out of bed at 6 for a run. I left the room into the darkness. The air was cool, but humid. I walked over to the All-Star Movie resort as a warmup, then started my run.

It’s a little weird running past the All-Star resorts in the dark. Already, there is a lot of bus activity as people head to the airport for early flights. The theme park traffic hasn’t quite started to stir, but I know I’ll run into some of it before I’m finished. I cruise past the All-Star Movie resort, not 100% sure where my route will take me today. I’ve noticed a sidewalk that runs from the All-Star resorts all the way to the Coronado Springs resort, but I have no idea how long it is. I pass the All-Star Music resort, the All-Star Sports resort and the All-Star resorts’ security gate just before hitting the 1 mile mark in 10:11. My goal for the run is 10 minute miles. I can definitely feel the wine from the night before, but my legs are starting to fall into a rhythm and I let them go.

I cross the street and cruise past McDonalds. I cross briefly under the marathon route. Above me passes a portion of the 20th mile. I wonder how I’ll feel when I’m running that in January. The incline up the overpass might feel like a mountain. I round a corner, past the Blizzard Beach water park. They are testing the sound system, and telling the imaginary guests to please gather all of their belongings and immediately exit the park. I light mist has begun to all and the voice seems strangely eerie. I pass the 2 mile mark in an additional 10:02. Basically right on pace.

Shortly after the 2 mile mark, I reach the Coronado Springs resort. Unfortunately, the distance was not as far as I had hoped. I turn around, mulling in my head how to handle this. Traveling back to the All-Star resorts involves crossing traffic twice. I do some quick math and decide to run back to the overpass, the turn around and run back to Coronado Springs. I run th 3rd mile in 9:38.

The sun is starting to peak out over the horizon as I reach the overpass and turn again. I pass back by Blizzard Beach. The sound system is no longer being tested and I imagine they’re preparing the park for the day’s guests. I run the 4th mile in 9:46.

I reach Coronado Springs again and head back toward the All-Stars. The sky has brightened, but only a little bit. It is a grey morning and the mist turns into a light rain. Fortunately, my body is pretty warmed up, so the rain doesn’t effect me too much. It stops after a few minutes. I’ve run the 5th mile in 9:10.

I run back under the overpass, and past McDonalds. The morning cleaning crew is waiting to cross the street from their parking lot to the All-Star resorts. I wait briefly with them, then run across the street when the signal changes. I run past the security booth, completing the 6th mile in 9:08.

Knowing that I will not reach my goal distance if I run straight past the All-Star resorts, I make a right turn into the All-Star Sports resort. People are beginning to awaken and I encounter quite a few making their way back from the food court with trays full of pancakes, bacon, and waffles. Some families make their way to the bus stop decked out in their rain ponchos. I meander through the All-Star Sports resort and then cross the parking lot to the All-Star Music resort. I run through the Rock and Roll section, past the Country Fair buildings and into the Jazz section. I’ve got about a half mile to go. The heavens open up. The rain is pouring down and I slog past the Calypso building, across another parking lot and into the All-Star Movies resort. I run through the Mighty Ducks section and the 101 dalmations buildings. I make a right turn at the Fantasia pool. There are several families quickly making their way through the rain. Poncho use is rampant. I run past the Fantasia buildings. I’m soaked from head to toe, but I’m still quite warm. I run to the Herbie the Love Bug section, make a lap around the Winner’s Circle and head back toward the Fantasia pool. Near the main building, I hit 7 miles. I’ve run the 7th mile in 8:52 and the whole training run in 66:49.

Planned workout

8 minutes warmup

7 miles at 10:00 pace

8 minutes cool down

Actual workout

8 minutes warmup

7 miles at 9:32 pace

8 minutes cooldown

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October
17
Posted on 17-10-2007
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

Based on my recent runs, I decided to go out faster than normal this morning.  I was also testing the “lap” button on my Garmin to see how well it would work for recording my one mile splits.  I took off and completed the first mile in 8:23.  The second mile, around the lake was finished in 7:52.  I got pretty tired around 1.5 miles and contemplated a walk break at 2 miles.  I ended up slowing to an 8:45 pace for a while and I seemed to recover fairly well that way.  I completed the third mile in 8:11.  The final mile was certainly more torturous than usual, but I think things worked out.  I’ve been increasing my 3 mile pace by 15 seconds per mile every other week.  Right now, my goal pace is 8:45.  It’s due to go to 8:30 next week, but I think I’m going to skip that and go straight to 8:15.  I accomplished that today, so it’s clearly not too big a jump.

Planned workout

8 minutes warmup

3 miles at 8:45 pace

8 minutes cool down

Actual workout

8 minutes warmup

3 miles at 8:09 pace

8 minutes cool down

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October
16
Posted on 16-10-2007
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

Like yesterday, I set out a little faster than I wanted to today.  The prospect today was running to the lakefront park, running three times around the lake, then running back for a total of 5 miles.  I took a single 1 minute walk break at the three mile mark and finished my 5 mile run in 44:38 – a new personal record.

Planned workout

8 minutes warmup

5 miles at 9:15 pace

8 minutes cool down

Actual workout

8 minutes warmup

5 miles at 8:55 pace

8 minutes cool down

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October
15
Posted on 15-10-2007
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

Today I headed out for the standard Monday morning three mile run.  I planned on going out with a 9:30 first mile, attempting to average 8:45 per mile.  After finding it easy to take the first few miles slowly on Saturday, I had some trouble this morning.  I found myself hitting 7:00 minute mile pace a few times and I was constantly reminding myself to slow down.  I finished one mile and arrived at the lakefront park in 9:15.  That was 15 seconds faster than I wanted to do it, but not too bad.

That’s when I kicked it up a notch.  I zipped around the lake and passed the 2 mile mark in 17:15 – an 8 minute mile.  Better yet, I wasn’t feeling winded at all.  I cruised through the last mile in 8:15.  It would have been faster, but I had to wait for traffic to pass.  If it sounds like I’m bragging, I am.  I know it’s not all that fast in the grand scheme of things, but it sure felt good.

Planned workout

8 minutes warmup

3 miles at 8:45 pace

8 minutes cool down

Actual workout

8 minutes warmup

3 miles at 8:30 pace

8 minutes cool down

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