Sunday, January 31, 2010

Long Run 19 at Cherry Creek Park

Ran a long run at Cherry Creek Park this morning. 19.1 Miles Total 2:43:09.

Matt met me at my house and we left about 9:30. Matt's training for an Ultra 50k in February so this was a good training run for him too. Temps were around 40, a bit overcast, but warmed up and the sun came out for most of the run. The plan was to meet Alicia on the other side (west) of the Park and run a few miles with her and then back for the 19.

We ran through the Piney Creek Neighborhood, down by the old library and the creek and then into the Park. Kind of into the wind, hands were chilly, but holding a good 8:15 pace as we warmed up. We made our way over to the bike path and then to the porta-potti just past the 5 mile mark. Stopped there for Gu, water and a bathroom break at 10:20.

Then we ran to the beach area and met up with Alicia, we were 6 1/2 miles into the 19. She brought us each a punch gatorade. (Thanks). That hit the spot. Alicia was dressed warm with fleece and said she'd like to shed a layer after she warmed up, she wanted a 2 hour 14 mile run. So we ran out by the Marina and across the base of the Dam on a nice trail that's there. It goes about 2/3 across the lake and stops, so we did an out and back. Then ran back to Alicia's car at West Middle school. We were hold about an 8:20 pace even with the uphill.

Alica dropped some stuff off at her car and based on the Garmin we were at 9 miles, so I planned a 5 mile out and back to the other side of the park, and then Alicia was going to drive Matt and I back home. I misunderstood that Alicia thought we'd run past her car a couple of times to refuel, so she didn't pack much water or Gu. More about that later...

We had a good run over to the cinder trail and down to butterfly hill, around it and back to the road over to one of my favorite trails through the trees. Today however, the trail was ice packed from the snow, so not so good running. Alicia asked if we should turn around (my first clue that she wanted to loop back to her car). I said just a bit further and it clears up some, which it did. Then we ran over by the boat ramp and along the swim beach to the other side of the lake. A nice little trail through there, again icy so we got on the road.

When we got to the Tower loop, Alicia asked how we got back to her car and I said the way we came but with the road. She thought we would cross over and run back the short way. This is where we realized we misunderstood, she was out of fuel and we were 6 miles away from her car taking the road back, she was concerned she'd crash. So she climbed up the rocks to the Dam and ran back the 2 miles along the Dam road. I felt so bad, that road is narrow, but has great views and not too much traffic on a Sunday. In retrospect I should have known when she dropped everything off at her car and asked to turn back a couple of times. I also wish Matt and I had run back with her on the Dam.

Matt and I were 13 miles into our 19 and about 6 miles from my house so we headed back As we ran back we could see Alicia running on the top of the Dam road. It was an impressive site with the views in the background. Talked to her later and she said it was a great run back and she got in her 14, so all is well.

Matt and I worked back to the boat ramp where the water was shut off, so we headed up to the park entrance to refill our water, which has a pretty steep long hill. Then home along Parker which has a huge hill leading to Bellview. Matt charged up that hill, where I fell off pace. He also charged the hill leading up to chambers. He is really strong running the hills and in great shape overall.

We got to my neighborhood and I was a 1/2 mile short on the 19, so we ran around by Laredo and the park and then through the neighborhood ending at 19.1. An 8:30

Garmin Watch Data for Run

That give me 50 miles for the week (my first 50 mile week of my Boston Training) and 197 Miles for January. That's a really good month for me. Most miles I've every logged this early in the year. Hope I can stay healthy and on schedule or close to it.

Thanks for the Run Alicia and Matt!

Friday, January 29, 2010

City Park Golf Course 7

Ran the city park Golf Course 7 Mile route today. Nice recovery run after a tough week.

Weather was nicer, sunny in the 40's, no wind. Nice to have sun on the run, we are so spoiled in Colorado, 3 cloudy days in a row and we get anxious for the sun.

Good group today, Andre, Bob, Pete, Craig C, Dave, Matt, Jeff and myself.
Bob went around Wash Park.

Pete, Craig and Dave did the duck pond.

Andre, Jeff, Matt and myself did the Golf Course. Nice run, at a decent pace. Haven't done that run in a while.

Ran past the Café's on 17th, nobody's outside this time of year. Reminded me of summer.
Rest day tomorrow and then 19 on Sunday.

7 Miles 56 Minutes

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Middle 3 - 18:21

Ran my First Middle 3 Tempo run of 2010 today. 18:21
My goal was 18:30 so I beat that, with a little help with the traffic lights and Jay.

I was the only one to run the middle 3 today. Craig C ran out with me, but didn't go hard.
Tom and Jeff went around wash park for 9.5, Craig ran back with them. Scott went around wash park at tempo pace. Jay got there late and ran some with Tom/Jeff/Craig, then doubled back to meet me at Downing about 6 / 10 of mile from the finish.

Jay started running about a half block ahead, so it gave me someone to chase through the last half mile and a boost that brought me under 18:30. Thanks Jay. We had a good kick up the last hill to the finish under a 6 minute pace.

I hit all 4 traffic stops which helped keep my pace fast. Oddly my fastest split was the uphill by the country club in 2:50. The hill workouts must be paying dividends cause I flew up that hill, usually the slowest split of the 6. I ran down it in 2:55

It was a cold, cloudy day, but the streets were clear from a light dusting of snow last night, good traction, better than last weeks middle 4.

Garmin Watch Data for Middle 3

7 Miles 50:21

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mile High Hill Repeats X 7

Ran to the hill and did 7 Hill Repeats today. Range was 2:12-2:18. 10 Miles Total

I was dreading this workout since my long run, but it turned out to be pretty good.
My legs were not sore today (except that dang right knee) and I had more energy.

Tom and I left the Y at 11:30, when we got to Confluence we saw Bob, who also invited his daughter Gina to meet us there. Gina's a freshmen at CU Denver.

We ran over to the hill and started the repeats. It was an ok day, 40 with some sun peeking out now and again. We all took off an extra layer as we started hills. I ran the first one 2:12, Tom was right behind me. Bob ran up and down easy with his daughter.

After the 4th one, the rest of the group was at the bottom of the hill. Craig C and Craig M, Matt and Tim. So we had a good group.

Matt was flying up the Hill "wicked fast" (1:49) Craig M wasn't that far behind him. Matt did 4 all under 1:52, Craig C and Craig M did 5 as did Tom who left early to go back.

Bob joined me for the last 3, which helped pull me through the workout. I actually felt better on the last 4 and my times were consistent. I must be acclimating to the hills.

Another runner showed up, random and ran a couple of repeats. Todd was his name. He was young and fast too. Craig M stayed and did another repeat with him after we left.

After the 7th one, I ran back with Craig C, Bob and Gina. We dropped Gina and Bob off at the CU Denver campus where she goes to school, she ran up the hill a few times, not an easy feat I felt good having this workout under my belt. A long tough one, ready for a rest day tomorrow.

Good workout guys, thanks for joining me. It was "wicked hard". Part of my Boston Lingo and accent I'm adapting.

I messed up my Garmin on the last interval. Forgot to start the watch.

Garmin Watch Data for Hill Repeat

I had an acupuncture treatment later in the day. Mainly preventative for my calfs, but they are starting to get a bit tight and a couple of knots. She put needles in them and gave them 30 minutes of electricity. I also told her about my right knee, which she treated with needles and 15 minutes of juice. Also my left hamstring that has been tugging at me, needles and 15 minutes of juice. It was pretty intense, but relaxing except for a few moments. She said the knee might be some bursitis and I should use traumeel on it and the hamstring.

Funny when she applied the juice to the hamstring, I twitched like a frog leg in biology. Zing. Wicked Twitching going on here....

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wash Park 7

Ran the Wash Park 7 mile run at lunch today with the group. 8 of us started, but only 4 went to Wash Park and Back. Jeff, Jay, Craig C and myself. We went at an easy pace and I needed it. I was really sore from the 18 long run yesterday. Felt better about half way through the run and then after we were done.

Bob went around wash park. Dave, Craig M and Matt went down the bike path and 7 mile Andre did a 4 mile Cheesman loop (tired from his trip to China last week).

I went to the Y this morning and did half a Yoga class, Kelly's. I had an 8:00 meeting so I had to leave the class half way through, but it was a good 30 minutes. I stretched out some of the aches and pains. I'd have to say my right knee was the worst pain, can't seem to shake it. It seems to have gotten worse in the last week, which is discouraging, but with the extra miles and intensity I kind of understand why it's worse. But for now I'm going to battle through it. 12 weeks to Boston.

7 Miles 58 Minutes

7 Hill Repeats on tap for tomorrow and then acupuncture treatment in the afternoon.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Long Run 18

18 Mile Long Run today. Ran from my house out to CC Park around the Dam and toward CC Path to the point where it splits to the Highline Canal, then back home on the trail along Parker.

It was windy at the start and I had a head wind. Wind was from the Northwest, could really feel it in the open areas of CC Park, running into it. I dressed warm though.

Felt better than yesterday, but not great. I ran slow, near the slow end of my Long Run range. The wind going out and the hills coming back (with a tail wind thank god), slowed me down. My right knee hurt and I felt my left hamstring tug a few times going up hill.

I tried to think about Boston and the winds there, how this was good training for it, plus the hills. Just keep going and click them off to get 18 in, one of those endurance runs, slow and easy.

Garmin Watch Data for Run

18 Today, 47.5 for the Week

Saturday, January 23, 2010

High Line Canal 7.5

Ran the High Line Canal this afternoon. 7.5 Miles out and back. Didn't get out to run until 2:00 and the wind was up and the clouds had moved in.

Gina walked the dogs out and back while I ran.

The path was clear most of the way, but there was still some bad icy spots and more muddy spots.

My leg muscles and joints ached the whole run and afterwards. Not sure what's up with that. Maybe the mileage is catching up to me. I had a rest day with Yoga (advanced class) yesterday. My pace wasn't that fast around long run pace. Just a yuk run. You have some of those every once in a while.

I have 18 tomorrow, I hope I feel better. Icing stuff now as I blog. Sometimes you feel bad on one day and the next day your great, hope it's one of those days. Then there are times when you feel even worse the next day.

18 is a big jump up in long run, would like to average an 8:30 pace. Probably go over to CC Park around the dam and toward downtown and back.

Garmin Watch Data for Run

7.5 Miles 1:02:55

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wash Park 7 with 4 at Tempo

Ran the Wash Park Route 7 Miles, with the middle 4 of it at a tempo pace of 6:35.
Craig M's idea, good workout. Ran from the Porta Potti at Cheesman to Wash Park and Back.
26:18 for the 4 Miles

53:07 for the 7 Miles

Garmin Watch Data for Run

Chipman was the only one to run a middle 3.
Bob Started with Craig and I then went around the park with Jeff. Tom and Craig ran the 7 easy.

I might switch my rest day and do Yoga tomorrow and run Saturday.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Congress Park 5.25

Ran the Congress Park route today with Alicia. I had a 1:00 meeting so no Yoga today and I took Monday off, so a short easy run was on the schedule. Not too sore from the hills yesterday and the half, but wanted an easy run. Alicia had an hour easy run too, so she did some treadmill work and then met me at the Y.

We left the Y at 11:45 so I could get back for my 1:00 meeting and still run Congress (5.25 miles easy). Also didn't want to get caught up in the faster group pace was a added bonus for an early start.

Hadn't run with Alicia for a while, it was nice to catch up. She has a very tough 1/2 ironman schedule with many Brick workouts and endurance stuff. She had a 6 hour workout on Sunday, 4 hour bike and 2 hour run. She's amazing and dedicated to her sport and fitness. She's planning on doing a 1/2 ironman in Nevada the same weekend as Boston. Also she's doing Moab with our group. So she's on a tough schedule.

We had a good run, parts of Cheesman are still frozen over though, some bad spots where we stopped to walk through them. She's smart and cautious not risking injury on a recovery run. Unlike me who turns around to talk and runs backwards and falls on the ice on New Years Eve.

5.25 Miles 44:58.

Had a good massage on Tuesday night, Tara found some knots in my calfs and worked through them. I think I need to visit the accupuncturist next week for some preventive medicine.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mile High Hill Repeats X 6

Did 6 Hill Repeats today with the group. Range was 2:10 to 2:20, 2:18 average a bit slower than last week..

Tom, Craig C, Craig M, Matt and Bob joined me on the hill today.

Craig and Bob did 6 with me. Matt’s first time on the hill, he did 5, but they were all fast, around 2:00. Bob’s first time on the hill too, he did good and didn’t rest as long as the rest of us. Tom and Craig did 4, went 2 and 2 according to Tom, another draw. That’s why you do 5 Tom, unless you tie on one.

I felt it in my legs and cardio a bit today from the Half Marathon on Sunday. Didn't have that push I have had.

Craig M told me he had his max HR ever on the hills last week up to 178. 5BPM higher than track work. Interesting. I should wear my HRM next week and get some stats.

I messed up my Garmin on the way out and the first uphill interval, but the rest is good.
Garmin Data for Workout

9.6 Miles total with 4 Miles of hills, about 1:24:00 total time. These make for long workouts as I add a hill repeat each week.
Cloudy and chilly in the 40’s. Good weather for January hills.

Massage tonight good timing again. I might switch my rest days around this week depending on how I feel on Wednesday...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Arizona Half Marathon - 1:36:01

Zach and I ran the Arizona Half Marathon in 1:36:01. Way above my expectations on the race. Zach did great and ran very strong, start to finish averaging a 7;20 pace. I think we got a boost from the Altitude drop down to 1200 feet from mile high Denver, running a flat course and a nice cool, cloudy day in Phoenix, temperatures in the 40's to 60 at the finish.

Arizona Half Marathon Race Result

Pre Race

This is a huge race. Largest single day Marathon/Half Marathon race in the country. 30,000 register. 28,000 finishers. About 6000 marathon. Huge half marathon field, 30 corals, 2 to 1 women to men in the half. I had no idea it was this big really when I registered us a few months ago when Zach said he'd like to do his first half marathon before Track Season Starts in the spring.

We arrived at the expo and there were so many people pouring in and out, largest expo I've ever seen. Tons of vendors. Zach and I walked around for a couple of hours, took some pictures and bought matching Arizona 1/2 Marathon Singlets, that we later wore in the race. I also got a hat and a shot glass. After we were expo'd out, we ate lunch in Phoenix and then when We got backed to the parking garage a couple of blocks away, it was gridlocked. Seriously nobody was moving any direction. I was on the 4th floor and could not even back out. People were yelling, cussing and honking, 2 guys almost got in a fight trying to squeeze each other out. Pathetic. After about 45 minutes it broke and we were able to get out. Crazy, never seen a parking garage like that before. We drove to our hotel Mission Palms in Tempe near the race finish.

Zach and I at the big Expo the day before the race.

We got lost on the way to the hotel and then got stopped by a long funeral possession can't remember the last time that happened. But then we made it to the hotel around 2. The Mission Palms in Tempe. I would recommend this hotel if you are going to do the race with a couple of caveats. Don't eat at the hotel not too bad, but pricey and there are better restaurants within blocks, it's a "race" hotel but they didn't really cater to the runners like other races and hotels I've stayed at. The hotel is loud, with planes and noisy night life with ASU campus right next to it but that adds to the fun. Also I think the light rail would be the way to go rather than renting a car (taking the light rail from the airport and to the expo, could save some $$). The buses to the start of the race pick up 3 blocks away, and the finish is about 10 blocks away, a nice downhill walk back with some nice views.

Zach and I ate the pasta dinner at the hotel the night before and went to bed early, although neither one of slept solid. I got more sleep than I usually do though. We got up, had some cereal and fruit (no bananas) and went to catch the bus. Which was an easy walk up the road, buses waiting no lines, it was about 6:15. Arizona doesn't do daylight savings time so it's still dark till 7:30 or so this time of year. Long bus ride to the start, lots of lights and turns, took about 45 minutes. We got there and hit the porta potti's of course, the lines were small and the porta pottis were spread out around the start area ( a good idea). We watched the marathoners start at 7:40. About 6000 of them. I kept thinking, I am so glad I'm NOT running a marathon today. Our race started at 8:30 so we headed over to our start area

We got in the porta potti line again, longer now as more runners arrived for the half. We ate a snack on the curb outside our corral and got in our corral. Some confusion as to the corral being 1 or 2, we had a mix of runners, but the guard said it was 2. I put us in a 1:40 finish time when I registered us, based on Zach's 5k times. I told Zach we were probably in a group that was too fast, so get to the back and just run our pace. John McCain started the race, Zach got a kick out of that, he worked on his campaign a bit with Gina in 2008. We ran right by him as he waved from the podium.

First 5K

We started out at an easy pace or so it seemed. Very flat road, which is pretty much the whole race. You kind of wind your way through downtown Phoenix with crowds cheering. W e were running easy, didn't have to dodge too much running traffic as the road was very wide. I looked down at my Garmin and we were holding about a 7 minute pace pretty easy. Zach was surprised how easy it was. Flat, dry, negative altitude and adrenaline are great fuel injuctors. I told Zach it's easy now, but wait for the 9th mile and then let's talk. He had never raced over a 10k before. I watched my Garmin close and would not let us get faster than 7 min miles nor slower than 8, which was not a problem. A few times I had to tell Zach we were going too fast. Sometimes he would get a burst of energy from a band or passing runners or cheerleaders on the side of the road and would speed up.

You turn right on McDowell Road and that's where you run 50% of the race on a single flat road that reminds me of Colfax in Denver, but with a Phoenix flair. Lots of crowd support during the race. The Marathon has a different course, not even the same start or finish line, so it's all crowd for the half. Amazing how flat it is though. Near the 3 mile mark you turn off the road around Coronado Park (2 blocks) and then back, is the only break you get from this road until mile 8.

We took old long sleeve shirts which we wore the first 2 miles then shed them on the course at a bus stop. Zach had torn his so he could tear away the shirt. I did not think it would work, but it did. We tossed the shirts and we both had matching Arizona 1/2 Marathon singlets. This gave us a little energy boost. It was nice running together in matching shirts, obviously father and son, we got a lot of crowd comments and cheers along the way. Picture Below

I signed up for text messages for 5 people for Zach ($5 for 5) so when we hit the 5k mark at 23:12, it was kind of neat thinking how everyone would get a text with our nice start and be thinking about us. The 5k mark was actually the 3.2 mark according to my Garmin which was pretty accurate the whole way.

10 K
Back on Mcdowell road. Water stops every other mile (odd mile numbers). We had a great 5k and it seemed like we could hold the pace around 7:15 or so. Slowing down a bit at the water stations and surging now and again from the bands, cheerleaders and crowd. We were running smooth and in synch. Passing a lot of runners who were starting to fade. We took a GU at mile 5, thought the water was just ahead but it was just cheerleaders, so we had to run a half mile or so with GU mouth. I told Zach from now on, only take the gu when you see the water cups. The course had bands along the way and cheerleaders of all ages (schools or clubs). Good crowd support at the cross streets. And good water stations.

We crossed the 10k at 45:21. I told Zach congratulations on your 10k PR. He had run the first 10k of the half with a PR. And the 2nd 5k faster than the first. He was feeling good and surprised how much he had in the tank as we approached half way of a half marathon.

10 Mile
I told Zach when we were half way 6.55 miles. We got to mile 8 and finally turned off McDowell road and headed toward Tempe. From the 10k mark to 10 miles is where the half starts to fatigue you, if you started out at a 10k pace you will definitely fatigue in this section. You cross under a couple of highways and for the first time, I noticed some elevation. It actually climbs from about mile 5 to mile 10 very slowly.

At one point just past mile 8, there were some high school cheerleaders on the side of the road with their hands out for high 5's. About 20 of them. Zach went for it, high 5'd them all at about a 6 minute pace. The girls were squealing so loud and smiling, as was Zach and I. I heard a runner behing me say "That's pretty neat". That was my favorite memory of the race. I had to slow him down a bit after that super charge.

We hit the 10 mile mark at 1:13:18. Our pace had dipped a bit on the uphill climb, but overall way ahead of my estimate. Zach started calculating our finish time with a 5k to go. We were both confident we could come in under 1:40. 1:35 would be a fast 5k. That 10 mile fatigue was hitting us a bit, but we were staying on pace. I told him the peak elevation was at the 10 mile mark and it was downhill from there, I was wrong, uphill and downhill lie ahead.

Last 5k

At the 10 mile mark, you are near the Phoenix Zoo and can look down on the valley you about to run to Tempe. It's actually a rolling downhill section. We were holding a 7:20 pace and faster on the downhill parts. We were feeling an adrenaline rush as we knew we were closing in on the Stadium and finish. It was beautiful through here, more rural with palm trees, cactus and desert stretches, some really nice rock formations and views unlike McDowel Road. As the last 3 miles clicked off we got a bit faster, winding through areas, up and down hills. Just before we crossed the Salt River, there was a band rocking out on the road, they had just started playing "Born to be Wild". The singer was on the course giving high 5's. Zach high 5'd him and gave us both a boost. It was a very long bridge across the river but we ran it quick as the band faded into the background.

At about the 12.5 mile mark, Zach started pushing the pace. He always had a strong kick. I wanted to stay with him to be in the finish line photos together (plus a part of me is not ready to be beat by him yet..). So I stayed with him. We passed a ton of runners and were running 6 minute miles the last 2 10ths. You turn into the stadium parking lot and the crowd is cheering like crazy and the cameramen are everywhere and there's the finish. I made sure we finished together. and prayed my hamstring did not twang. 1:36:01.

I was so happy and proud of him. We hugged and congratulated each other, got some water, our finishers medals and took a post race picture together. I think he was a little stunned, I had felt that before a few times. Like Wow, did I just do that? Where did that come from? I did it!

Garmin Watch Data for Race

Post Race

After we got our picture taken at the finisher’s photo area together, we got some food. They had the usual stuff, nothing special but a lot of it, multiple rows. Runners only food area. Wanted a bagel, but there was none. They passed out cytomax during the race and at the finish, I really wanted a Gatorade, but cytomax was the sponsor so orange slices instead. On weird thing, no bags were available. I guess they didn’t want you to stock up on food, only what you could carry or eat there. There was a chain link fence with spectators outside, looking inside and talking to friends/family I felt kind of like I was in a zoo getting fed. Zach grabbed a finishers blanket, more because he wanted to hang it on his wall than actually needing it, he tied it around cape style and looked good with his finisher’s medal.

Once you leave the food area, there was a big area of booths, but nothing great. There was a separate food finish area for marathoners too. I wondered if they got bags. We walked around a bit, got some schwag and a bag finally, but not a lot of great stuff. They had a booth that would engrave your time on your medal for $20 but who has money on them and that’s a lot., Zach said we could engrave them at home with a chisel. I told him to practice on his medal first and then do mine There were a lot of pay booths too for food and other stuff, not very many free booths outside the food area.

The infield of the ASU track stadium was a meeting place. They had signs with Alplahbet Letters so you could find your person, I thought that was smart. Would you go with first name or last name though? I went over to the MGD booth and grabbed a free beer, that I had to wear a bracelet for the day before and through the race. Unfortunately it was only good for 1 free beer. This race could learn a thing or two from Colorado about post race hospitality and beer at the end. I got the impression this race pumps a lot of money into the Arizona economy and McCain even said if your out of towners "spend money" as he started the race. I sat in the sun with the M’s and stretched out and drank my beer. Nice views from a very nice track. I wondered what kind of track records and track stars had run here over the years, being a PAC 10 school

Meanwhile Zach went to soak his feet in an ice bath. They put your feet in plastic and give you an ice bath. He took his shoes off and found he had a few nice blisters and a bloody toe. He was very proud of his bloody toe that left a blood spot on his Asics. A badge of honor for his first half.

We met up and went to the information booth to find the shortest way back to the hotel. We knew it was on the other side of the stadium and the big hill. A nice lady gave us directions and a map. We ended up missing a turn and had to jog across the marathon finish area near mile 26. There were 3:15 marathoner's finishing at that time, they looked good, but didn’t seem to be going that fast. When I was near the finish of my marathon a few months ago, I felt like I was flying at the end.

We walked down Veterans Parkway to the hotel, which loops around the big hill we would climb the next day. A nice downhill walk, about 15 minutes at our slow pace. Throngs of people were walking the opposite direction with families, kids, cell phones. They were going to the finish to watch someone come it. All the way back to the hotel. It was kind of cool, we had our medals on and the sun was out for real now. It had peaked out just as we were starting our kick at the end but went away again.

We went back to the hotel, I grabbed a couple of beers from the hotel bar and we went to the room to watch the Cowboys and Vikings playoff game. I wish this story had a perfect ending. I really do. But the Cowboys got beat badly. We took showers and at half time went to Gordon Biersch on Mills avenue for a lunch and to watch the second half. The cowboys were still in it (sort of) at that point. The bar was packed with runners wearing medals and running clothes very trendy for post race lunch. If you do this race, it’s a must. We had a view of the crowds coming down veterans’ parkway with their runners. Zach and I were texting and emailing on our phones with race results for family and friends and watching the Cowboys get stomped, the bar was 90% Viking fans and they were cheering pretty good against us. We shared a Hawaiian Pizza and watched the cowboys get stomped some more, but did not damper our spirits of the half marathon glow.

We went back to the hotel, hit the pool on the roof for a while, cloudy though. The pool was kind of cool, felt good on my right knee. Then hopped into the hot tub, the jets felt so good. Did a little hot/cold therapy.

At the pool, Zach said, “I guess this is the best Martin Luther King Weekend I’ve ever had.” Me too, Zach, me too.

That night we ate at PF Changs, a race sponsor, about 5 blocks from the hotel. A nice walk up Mills Avenue on a nice night. Again the restaurant was packed with runners and their families, the food was good. The race gives you a 15% off card good through March, multiple visits as a bonus. We walked around a bit in the area back to our hotel. A fun night. Rented a movie at the hotel “Zombieland”, very funny movie, kinda gross but not over the top IMHO.

The Day After

We slept good that night, both of us. We got up about 10am and did a donut run to Dunkin Donuts around the corner from the hotel. Hadn’t had donuts in a while and this was a guilty pleasure treat. We decided to hike up the hill that overlooks our hotel and the ASU stadium. The Hayden Butte Reserve. A couple hundred feet climb overlooking our hotel. We were a bit sore, but we were there and it was there so we had to do it.

It took us about 10 minutes to climb up, the trail has stairs and handrails at the top. A bit steep in parts, could feel it in the quads and hamstrings and also coming down, but a good way to stretch out some sore muscles. We took some pictures going up and down. There were runners running it, it would a great hill workout, maybe run to the observation point and not to the top for each interval.

Zach climbing the Hill.
A view of our Hotel and the Tempe Area we stayed at from the top of the hill

Then we showered, packed, checked out and went to In and Out Burger which was about a mile from the hotel (the only thing not within a 10 minute walk all weekend). Our first time at In and Out Burger, the menu cracks me up, it is so simple, burgers, fries and drinks. It was packed. We had cheeseburgers, fries, root beer and split a vanilla shake for desert. Yum. Zach got a t-shirt (cool to where in Denver because we don't have them here).

Then we flew home. What a great weekend we had. A few things I'd do different but overall very fun and a nice experience with my son Zach. Something both of us will remember for life. On the way back from the race, as we were walking to the Hotel, Zach asked me about maybe doing the full next year. I think he was half joking, but I told him they don't recommend them for runners under 18. Maybe his senior year, but we'd have to see. We might make this an annual trip for the next couple of years to do the half together.

Friday, January 15, 2010

City Park Duck Pond - 5

Ran the City Park duck pond run at lunch today. Nice day for mid January. Sun was out 45 degrees at lunch.

Ran with Craig, Matt, Andre and George. Yep George made it today, been a while.George turned back at about 2 miles, didn't want to push it too much his first time back.Andre did 7, on his way to China for work next week.

I was a bit sore, tight, not as relaxed and easy as I thought I should be.

Rest day tomorrow and then Pheonix half on Sunday.Zach and I fly out at 8 tomorrow morning.

Not sure if I'm taking my laptop, so it might be a while before I blog. I might post a short one with my bberry.

5 Miles 42:30

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wash Park 7

Ran the Wash Park 7 mile route today at lunch.
Was going to be an easy day, no tempo, but we did pick up the pace a bit coming back.

Jeff and Bob did a tempo run around Wash Park leaving early at 11:30, we saw them coming back they were going at a good pace. I'd like to do that workout in a couple of weeks.

Ran with Tom and Matt. Scott left a bit early and went around the park at tempo also, he caught us on the way back at Alameda. That's where we picked up the pace a bit the last 3 miles or so, around 7:20-7:30 range.

My quads were a bit sore from the hills on tuesday on the outside of the quad, both sides. I also felt a tweak in my left hamstring, I want no part of that, so I eased off a bit.

7 Miles 53:47

Garmin Watch Data for Run

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mile High Hill Repeats X 5 - 9 Miles

Week 2 of the 15 week Boston training plan and Week 2 of doing hills on Tuesday.I had a little more company today. Craig M and Craig C joined Tom and I for hill repeats.

Craig M's first trip to the hill. He ran 5 with me, well he beat me up to the top on 2 of the 5. He ran the first one really fast.

A bit faster this week 2:10, 2:14, 2:15, 2:16 and 2:14. Also quicker recovery/downhill interval
Tom and Craig did 4 hill repeats around 2:30. Was fun to watch them battle each other up the hill as Craig and I were trotting down. Like days of old.

It was really nice out, short sleeve weather in the 50's with Sun. A good day for an extended workout.

Ironically there is a urology center of Denver on the hill course. Funny that that is where the Pickled Prostates train for the hills. We were there first though. Maybe they will sponsor our team.

9 Miles 1:16:30
Garmin Watch Data

I messed up my Garmin going to the hill and coming back, that's why the map has a triangle on it and the mileage is off. Trust me it was 9 miles.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wash Park 7

Ran the Wash Park 7 Mile route at lunch today.
Nice out, in the 40's with sun. Side streets have melted a bit, but not quite clear. Some slick black Ice spots. A couple caught me by surprise.

Jeff, Bob, Andre and myself ran the 7.
Good Pace overall, we picked it up as we ran.
I out kicked Bob to the pole at the turn around (cheated a bit by telling him there was a "car back" to get the jump on him.

7 Miles 53:57

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Waterton Canyon Long Run 16

Moved my long run to Saturday for a variety of reasons, mainly to give Zach an extra rest day before his first half marathon next week.

We met Matt at Waterton Canyon at 10 and were running about 10:15. It was windy and cold. Some ladies that just finished running said the canyon was windy and cold, they were right.

Zach and I wore shorts, long sleeve shirts and gloves. Matt had tights and a couple of layers. We were running uphill into a stiff wind on the way to the dam. We saw some bighorn sheep along the way, probably the most I've ever seen there, and close too.

We ran out at an 8:20 pace, took us 51:44 to go the 6.4 miles. The footing was pretty good, a few slick spots, but a lot of dirt road also. We saw a lot of runner there today going and coming.

The river was beatuiful with the snow and the frozen waterfalls and ice. Blue skies and sun above the canyon. Some shady frozen tundra sections too.

We got to the turn around and had some Gu and water and looked at the Dam and ice falls.
Then we turned around and ran down, with the wind to our back and it was warming up. Matt peeled off a few layers. We let Zach set the pace and he did well, sub 8 on the way back, 7:30 at some sections. He had a good kick too. We ran back in 48:40, 3 minutes faster with a total time of 1:40:30 for 12.4 miles. Zach was strong at the end, even Matt said so. I think he'll do great next week in Phoenix

I filled up my water bottle and had a quick gu and gatorade break, said goodbye to Matt and then ran toward chattfield and back for 3.6 miles to give me 16. I slowed down some to about an 8:30 pace. That section has some rolling hills, I thought of Boston and that gave me a bit of a boost, I felt better than last weeks long run (last Sunday actuall). Ended up with an 8:14 average for the 16.

Garmin Watch Data for Run

Thanks to Matt and Zach for a great run

16 Miles 2:11:56

58.5 miles this week (thanks to 2 long runs) 1 Hill workout and 1 Tempo run in 7 days, I am ready for a rest day.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Duck Pond 5

Did an easy duck pond 5 mile run with the group today.
Andre, Craig C, Craig M, Matt and myself
It was warmer today, sun was out, good easy run. Felt good after yesterdays tempo run.

5 Miles 42 Minutes

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Treadmill 7 - 4 at Tempo

I did my first tempo training run today, also my first treadmill run in 2010. Did not make it that far into the year before hitting the treadmill. It snowed about 3 inches last night and was bitter cold, 5 below zero last night and this morning. I worked at home so I went to the Rec Center near my house for my tempo run.

I would have run outside in the cold, but the footing was not good for a tempo run, so the rec center was the best option.

I ran 7 miles. 1.5 Warm up at 8 min pace, 4 at 6:44 pace and then 1.5 Recovery at 8 minute pace. It seemed to take forever but was only 51 minutes. I seem to lock in and stare at the display and numbers which makes it worse.

Nice facility, trails rec center. More open and more equiptment than the downtown Y, less people at lunch too. But I like the Y, seeing the regulars and the runners.

7 Miles 51 Minutes

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Yoga and Recovery Day

I had a massage last night. 80 minutes of heaven. My legs were really tight from the last 3 days, the hills and the miles. Left hamstring was tight running back on Tuesday, Tara worked that, my calfs and my right knee which still tweaks me now and then.

I went to Yoga at lunch. Another cold spell moved in and some snow at lunch so it was a good day to stay inside, stretched some and then went to Yoga. Looked out the window as it was blowing snow. Tough class though. My balance and flexibility were off in my legs, probably due to the massage and the miles, need to work and flush that stuff out. That's why I do Yoga, and hydrate of course.

Supposed to be very cold and snow 3 inches, tempo day tomorrow so I might have to hit the dreadmill at lunch for a tempo run.

I've been sleeping well at night and feel generally rested for the first week of training. Yeah, only 15 more to go.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mile High Hill Repeats X 4

Did the Mile High Hill Repeats workout today. 4 Hill Repeats. The hill is 1/3 of a mile up with about 120 ft of elevation gain. The hill is right next to mile high stadium.

Here's a map of where we start. It's 2.85 Miles from the Y to the start and 2/3 of a mile for each interval, so it makes for a long workout.

View Larger Map

I did 4 hill repeats. 2:24, 2:18, 2:14, 2:19.

We used to do this workout a lot in Jan/Feb with the group, to build leg strength. I've included it in my Boston Training, every Tuesday for 6 weeks adding 1 hill repeat each week. I looked at my log and it was February 12, 2007 since I did the workout last. Almost 3 years, my how time flies.

I sent a group email yesterday asking if anyone wanted to join me and leave early since it is a long workout, got a bunch of "maybe next weeks", only Tom was up for the challenge this week, he did 3 repeats and had to leave. Thanks Tom! Nice Job.

First time I've worn my Garmin on a hill workout. Kinda Cool, link below

Garmin Watch Data for Workout

8.5 Miles 1:12:30

Massage scheduled tonight, good timing 30 miles in the last 3 days, with a rest day tomorrow.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wash Park 7

Ran the Wash Park 7 Mile run with the group today at lunch. Ran it easy, picked it up a bit the last 2 miles or so.

The side streets were icy and slick in the the shade still. Sidewalks were OK and the road from downing was good.

Ran with Andre, Bob, Craig C and Tom. Pete C went down the bike path.

I was a bit sore from the long run yesterday. Took a couple of miles to get the kinks out. Nice day, 38 with sun.

I tried to get some interest in joining me for hill repeats on tuesdays starting tomorrow on the run and then sent an email to the regulars. We shall see who shows up or if I'm solo on the hill.

7 Miles 56 Minutes

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Highline Canal Long Run 15

Ran my first Boston Long Run training run today. Did 11 of it with Zach, a training run for Phoenix, then 4 more on my own.

We ran the Highline canal North from Orchard, out and back. It was snow packed with some patches melted, but mainly packed.

For the 11 with Zach, we had a nice pace. 8:18 going out the first 5 1/2. We slowed to an 8:30 for the 2nd half. Overall 11 miles in 1:32:20. Given the traction and footing that was pretty good. Zach slipped once on a curve and went down. I slipped on a snow back but didn't fall. We were both OK. We had a Gu and water break at the turn around, but other than that it was a steady 11.

After the 11, I filled up my water bottle, had a Gu and headed south on the trail, while Zach waited at the car. The trail was not so good in that direction and it gets more suburban with greenbelt trails. There were a couple of good snow packed hills going out that slowed me down too, plus I got fatigued, my first run over 10 in a while and first time over 2 hours running since the Marathon. You lose it quick.

15 Miles, 2:10:28

Garmin Watch Data for Run

I have my Boston Schedule on my calendar and on my training log. 15 Weeks to go.

650 miles to Boston, - 15 today.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009 Running Review

Overall, I'd have to say 2009 was a good Running Year. Not great due to injuries, but it was a lot of fun and a year to remember.

Total Miles was 1609. That's down from 1924 in 2008.
218 Hours and 20 Minutes were spent running.
I ran on 221 out of 365 days last year. That's 61%, 4 out of 5 days.
My numbers were all down from 2008 and even 2007.
August was my best Month, 195 Miles following a terrible July low of 101 miles.
65 Was my peak weekly mileage. 26.2 the most on any one day.

I did 16 races last year. that's the most I've ever done in a year..

Injuries, a bad year but could always be worse...
I had re-occurring calf injuries in both calfs, then hip injury and finally a right knee thing the last couple of months. The Calf's were the worst and plagued me through the spring and summer. The hip took me out of Pikes Peak Marathon and almost cost me a Marathon.

Let's Review My 2009 goals and see how I did...

PR 1/2 Marathon (Sub 1:30:00)
Fail. I didn't even come close this year. 1:37 at Moab after pulling a calf muscle the week before and again during the race.

PR 1 Mile at Bannister Memorial (5:40)
Achieved. I ran 5:35 at Bannister on May 5th.

PR 10k at Bolder Boulder (Sub 40:00)
1/2 Credit. I had a PR 10k 42:26, but not even close to a sub 40. It felt good to get that old 10k PR from 1996 off the books.

Beat Last Years Time for Mt. Evans (2:47:52)
Fail. 3:00:29 at Mt. Evans, with another calf injury during the race. A painful gut it out race where Craig Carver beat me by a minute.

Pikes Peak Full Marathon
Fail. I withdrew from the race due to my hip injury following vacation. Tried a Burgen peak run that convinced me it was futile. A good decision given that I was able to run the relay and a Marathon injury free, I think. But you always wonder. Some Year I will do this race...

Run 2 Marathons (Not Counting Pikes Peak)
Fail. Only ran 1.

Log 2000 Miles for the Year
Fail, 1609 miles for me this year. After 2008 I thought with a healthy year I would be close to 2000.

Qualify for Boston 2010 (Sub 3:30:00 Marathon - PR)
Achieved. I Saved the best for last. This was the highlight of the 2009 year and my main goal. To qualify for Boston and achieve a Marathon PR. Not only Sub 3:30:00 but I exercised the 3:20 demon I had last year with a 3:19:24. I also felt great after running a Marathon for the first time ever. A memory I will cherish forever. My 5th Marathon.

So that's 2.5 out of 8 goals achieved. 30% not so good. But they were good goals and pushed me to stretch myself last year. I would trade them all for the 3:19:24 Marathon.

Other accomplishments not on my goals.
16 Races
A 10 Mile PR at Snowman Stampede 1:10:34
A 5 Mile PR at Cherry Creek Sneak 33:28
A 7K PR at Running of the Green 28:26
3rd Place at Colfax marathon Relay 2:55 (I was captain)
4th Place Colorado Relay finish (our highest ever) and recaptured our masters title.

So overall a good year. I am still thinking about my 2010 goals and will post them later.

I do want to thank all the family and friends and follow runners that have been with me through 2009 through the good and the bad, the ups and downs.
Thanks for making it a year to remember.

On to 2010...