Sunday, March 25, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
After my half marathon down in Tucson, I drove back home and stopped three times on the way. Each time I crawled out of my car just to stretch my legs. Specifically my left knee. This race took more out of me than the other two half's. I made it home in one piece and decided to take a few days off to allow my knee to get better. But, on Monday my back was killing me. I haven't had any back problems since I started running. In fact, my back has responded very well to the lose of weight. So all week I have been stretching my back and slowly it is getting better. The knot is on my right side, which effects my pitching in softball. It also effects my head turning for driving and general moving around.
My few days off has turned into having the whole week off of running. Luckily, the softball tournament that was to begin last night was rained out (wet fields). So, I have another week to recuperate before the tournament and hopefully I'll be back to running in the next few days.
I guess it's a sign when at the end of the race I had a race crew member and one of the aid station staff ask me if I was all right.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
I decided to take a scenic drive down to Tucson, by way of Florence, AZ. Florence is known for the state prison and if someone says they've been to Florence, it probably means they were visiting relatives at the pen. I didn't visit, but I did get pictures of the county seat and this beautiful church. They are raising money to repair the court house clock tower, which reminded me of "Back to the Future". I then drove down state routes 77 and 79, which is just stunning. If you like the desert and want to see Sagauro's, Cholla and other plants of the desert, this is the drive.
Now this road is best known for the site where Tom Mix, the TV cowboy died in a car wreck. So, the good state of Arizona was nice enough to put up a memorial. You'll see in the picture, it is at a rest stop with picnic benches and bbq's. Good thing he didn't have his accident 5 seconds earlier or it wouldn't be so conveinent (bad joke).
So, here's my race report. I wanted to PR, so anything under 2:43:07 would do the trick. I stayed at the Red Roof Inn ($81.00) at Ina Road and I-10. Right next to the rail road tracks. That's right, all night long I heard trains blowing their horns at the intersection. I mean, several an hour, all night long. I didn't know we had that many trains in the US. I thought there was going to be a health expo on Saturday, but I was wrong. So I learned, don't rely on buying gu's and gels at the expo.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
*I had to read a bunch of really bad, really dirty lymrics to find this one. Now, that's takin' one for the team.
Friday, March 16, 2007
- Current running shoes
- Wear back up pair (you just never know)
- running socks (I only wear these on runs of 7 miles or more)
- Body Glide
- Running shorts
- Running sweats (if it might be cold)
- Race shirt - I wear my TnT shirt from my first half.
- Throw away sweatshirt (I got it for $2 at Goodwill).
- ball cap
- HRM and strap
- or: garmin w/ strap
- Gu's, gels, nourishment
- fanny pack (on short runs I like to have my own drink, on long runs I use it to keep my gu's and cell/camera.)
- Race Bib, safety pins. I put it on the race shirt, as soon as I have it.
- Place timing chip on shoe, asap
- two bandaids (I have them for my nipples, but I've never had that problem - yet)
- Race morning breakfast.
- Slippers for after the race (I leave these in the car)
- Sweat shirt for after the race
- change of clothes
- Gifts for my supporters (I haven't done this yet, but it would be nice if I had something small for my wife, kids or anyone else that comes out to watch me run)
I read Javamom's blog and having a list for race day seemed like a very good ideal. Some of these things I got from Lisa, Phil and others. If I missed anything, please let me know. I put it on my blog with a label, so I can easily find it for each race. If you'd like it on your blog, please feel free to copy and paste or link to my blog.
I'm on my own road to Terebithia. It's called running and in just two days I'll be running in the third half marathon of the year. The Valley of the Gold Half in Oro Valley, Arizona (Tucson). My legs feel good. My knee is better (not perfect, but better) I got a good 5 miler in yesterday at an 11:48 pace (59:11) and I only stopped once (bathroom break). Good thing, I pass my house around the 1.3 mile mark.
Tonight is the final game of the season for our softball team. If we win, we will be the league champs (which means t-shirts for everyone). The game is at 6:30 at Kiwanis Parks SE field. Come on out and cheer us on. If you fly in for the game, let me know and I'll pick you up.
The knee feels better. It really only bothers me when I've been inactive and my knee has been at a 90* angle. Sitting in the car or at the computer is the worst. I get up and I look like an old man (insert joke here). But, after 5-7 steps, I'm good to go. When I'm running, the first 1/4 mile is slow and acky. But, after that I really don't notice anything. I've been doing some light strength exercises to build up the muscles around the leg. An article I read said the pain in your knee is sometimes just a warning that other muscles in your legs, butt and back aren't strong enough. These, exercises seem to work.
Update: I was walking in a townhome community, looking up at the second floor units trying to find unit numbers. Most of the paths are completely flat, but there is two steps. I didn't see the first one. As my left foot came down I hit it with my heel, missing most of the step, falling forward. My right ankle twisted and I started falling forward. Just three days before a half marathon and two days before the final game in our softball season and I. . .
had a big scare. I caught myself and all was fine. Of course, I looked around to see if anyone else saw my little adventure.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
1. PF Chang’s Rock N’ Roll 2007 Half Marathon January, 2007
My first half marathon. Loved the crowds, atmosphere, bands and it was the first time I ran a long distance and not had to retrace my steps. It was from downtown Phoenix to ASU. The final 100 yards in front of thousands of people, with the announcer calling out my name is something I’ll never forget.
2. Lost Dutchman 2007 Half Marathon February 2007
Oh so scenic. Views of the Superstition Mountains, running thru the desert on dirt roads and hills. I even beat my time from the Rock N’ Roll half ran one month before.
3. Bumble Bee 2006 Big Balloon 5k in San Diego
Ran in downtown San Diego along the bay. At the start of the race, they had grandstands full of people getting ready to watch the parade for the Holiday Bowl (Texas A& M v. California) and we got to start the race in front of them.This was a PR too.
4. My First 10 miler in Gilbert 11/18/2006
Ran along the canal all by myself. I thought it was a big deal at the time to get into double digits. The last half mile, I had to cross Gilbert Road in middle of the Gilbert Days Parade. I even got a few cheers from people watching the parade as I ran right down the street between floats. For some reason there was a large gap at the perfect time.
5. First Run – June, 2006
For some reason, in the middle of the summer in Arizona (yes it was over 100 degrees), I put on my runnin’ shoes and ran about 1/10 of a mile. I finished walking around the block and was convinced I was a runner. Total mileage for that day was about ¾ of a mile and I haven’t looked back yet.
5. Run for Brooke, Sept., 2006
This is probably tied with my first run. Less than 3 months after my first run, I ran/walked my first 5k. I ran it in 42:15, but I felt great about it. I crossed the finish line, handed my camera to a spectator and then went and crossed it again to get a finish line picture.
I DNS’d two morning runs in a row, so I paid the price by running at 3 pm in the Arizona sun. It was in the mid 80’s and not a cloud in the sky. I just wanted to get in a 30-40 minute run and I did with a 30:15 for 2.56 miles. I could have gone further, but I was at my driveway and I was a bit concerned about my knee.
It used to hurt only when I first started walking. Getting up from my desk, car seat, etc. After I ‘loaded’ my knee 4-5 times the pain would go away and I’d be fine. Now it hurts then and for the first 3-4 minutes when I run. Then the pain goes away and I’m fine. I’ll ask about it when I see my doctor. I just got a blood test, so that she can tell me how well I’m doing lowering my cholesterol and weight. In the meantime, I will do the exercises that I found in the last issue of Runner’s World to strengthen my glutes, hips and quads and to stretch my IT band and other things.
Speaking of my legs, I went to see Body Worlds III at the Science Museum. I believe it is also in Dallas and Chicago. It is an amazing exhibit of the anatomy using real human cadavers. Yes, you see actual people that have donated there bodies to science. These bodies have had a type of plastic injected into them and you see them in different poses. If you get a chance, it is a most see. What impressed me most, was seeing an IT band. I’ve read about them in running articles, but to see one was pretty cool.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
I read on another blog, a runner would compare his run with what he had done in the past. He would say it was his 10th best run ever or it was the slowest time this year.
I like to run 5 miles, so I have more of these runs than anything else. I have a lot of 3 and 3.1 milers too, so I might do the same thing with that distance.
So, we can see that my last run on 3/9 was the 6th fastest 5 miler I've done. The fastest being on March 2nd and 7 of the top 8 being this year. The three slowest were back in September and on my birthday in November. That was a fun run, but I'm not sure why it was slower, other than it was only my third 5 miler. Two days later I shaved 5 minutes off the time and added almost a 1/10 of a mile.
5 Mile Runs
1. 57:28 - 3/2/2007
3. 58:05 -1/16/2007
4. 58.11 1/24/2007 (5.08)
5. 58.55 12/4/2006 (5.03)
6. 59:17 -3/9/2007
7. 59:23 1/25/2007
8. 59:29 1/2/2007
9. 59:34 12/9/2006
10. 59:42 2/22/2007
11. 59.57 2/28/2007 (5.06)
12. 1:00:13 2/27/2007
13. 1:00:22 -12/13/2006
14. 1.00.30 12/21/2006 (5.11)
15. 1:01:00 1/29/2007
16. 1:01:06 11/21/2006
17. 1:01:33 11/26/2006
18. 1:01:34 1/1/2007
19. 1:01:51 1/19/2007
20. 1:02:05 12/14/2006
21. 1.02.46 11/9/2006 (5.09)
22. 1:03:54 2/10/2007
23. 1:04:37 9/19/2006
24. 1:07:20 11/7/2006
25. 1:10:53 9/5/2006
3 Mile Runs
1. 31.05 1/27/2007 5k Race
2. 31:13 3/4/2007 5k Race
3. 33:16 12/28/2006 5k Race
4. 34:00 11/12/2006 5k Race
5. 34.35 10/29/2006 5k race
6. 35:06 1/10/2007 3.1 Mi
7. 35:52 9/18/2006
8. 36:10 9/3/2006
9. 36:21 11/13/2006
10. 38:04 9/12/2006
11. 39:10 10/14/2006
12. 39:16 9/13/2006
13. 40:05 8/15/2006
14. 40:17 1/31/2007
15. 41:29 9/27/2006
16. 41:49 8/21/2006
17. 42.15 9/2/2006 5k race
18. 42:49 8/30/2006
19. 43:06 8/16/2006
20. 43:59 8/22/2006
21. 44:40 8/14/2006
22. 44:53 8/18/2006
23. 45:00 8/11/2006
24. 46:27 8/26/2006
25. 47:00 8/12/2006
26. 50:00 8/25/2006
Friday, March 09, 2007
Tonight we won 16-5. I must have had about 5-6 strikeouts and half of them were on guys. I really like striking out the guys. The ladies on our team are really playing well. We had three of them that couldn't make contact this time last year and all of them have improved immensely.
So it's 11:15 at night now and I was planning on doing a trail run tomorrow at 7 am. Can I get up 6 hours from now? Place your bets. Since I will be running alone, I'll decide tomorrow morning.
The Arizona Distance Classic is about one week away. Amy has a college friend in town and won't be making the trip to the Old Pueblo with me. So, do I really want to stay in a hotel by myself. I'm pretty frugal (read cheap). I have two options. One, I can drive down in the morning. It's only a bit more than an hour drive. There's parts of Phoenix that are almost just as far away. Two, I can camp at Catalina State Park. It's right next to the race. Amy thinks I'm crazy to be sleeping in a tent the night before a half marathon. What do you think campers? Should I camp with my son or stay in a cheap motel or drive down that morning?
That being said, the temps in Arizona are heading towards 100 and I have to decide whether I'm going to be a morning runner or an evening runner.
Today, I got to run in the morning. I started around 7:45 am. Not real early, so I didn't feel like I was waking with the roosters. I put in 5 miles in 59 minutes and some change (59:17). It was a good 11:49 pace. I hate the ideal of waking and getting on the street half asleep. But, today I was able to wake, get a bite to eat and then run. It was a good run.
I like running in the evening too. I see more neighbors out walking their dogs or doing yard work. It's nice to say hi, even when I don't know them. The sun has either set or is going down and the neighborhood seems peaceful. Of course, it seems peaceful at 7 in the morning too.
So the pros to a morning run are:
- Great way to start the day
- Get to see the sunrise
- Can run in the neighborhood, canals, or parks more easily
Pros to an evening run:
- I don't have to get up earlier
- More neighbors out to say hi t0.
But, I don't do canals or parks after night fall. Except Kiwanis when softball games are going on.
Let me know if I missed any pros or cons and what you prefer. I, surely don't want to run in the afternoon when it's 100 + degrees.
Two new trail loops just opened in this new park. The San Tan Mountains are to the south of greater Phoenix. They used to be out in the middle fo the desert. But, now that the metro area is growing like crazy, they are right in our backyard. The Arizona Republic did a great article about them and I plan on running booth loops. One, tomorrow at 7 am and the other in April. If anyone wants to join me, just let me know.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
I forgot my sensor for my Ipod Nike +, but I had my Ipod so I could listen to music, use the stopwatch and run around the lake in Dobson Ranch. I ran for 25 minutes, walked for 5, then ran for another 15 minutes. 45 minutes and after consulting Google Earth, I figured I ran 3.61 miles.
That gives me 8.07 miles for today. Closer to the 10 I set out to do this morning.
I decided to go to South Mountain and run the backside on a trail called the Desert Classic Trail. It didn't go up the mountain, just around it and it had a bit of an elevation climb, but not too much. But, it is a trail and trails in this part of the world means gravel, sand and rocks.
It's beautiful running out in the desert and the temp was in the low 60's. But, the trail is rough on your feet and you're always having to watch your step, so you don't get to see much mountains anyway. I did 4.46 miles in 55:14 with a 7 minute rest break to take in the scenery at the half way point. It was a good workout, but not my hoped for 10 miler.
This is a view southeastward towards my home. You can see the brown cloud that we have to deal with. Phoenix has lots of pollution, that's why we need the rain to wash it away.
This is the Father Marcos De Niza stone. It would be graffitti today. It is protected in a large iron case, but I took the picture between the bars.
Monday, March 05, 2007
I finished 54th out of 122 runners and 3rd in my age group(6 total). This was a small race, so they only gave out trophies to the top 3 overall men and women. It would have been nice to get a medal, but if they were giving out medals in age categories, I'm sure there would have been more runners.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Here's the Ostrich Race Tee. I guess it's the same teee they sell next week at the actual festival. This race was fun because it was two laps around the same course. I got to see the leaders coming back, going out and coming back again. The last lap I let the top 5 men and top 2 women know what place they were in. Hopefully, that's not cheating. I didn't know any of them.
Here I am at the finish line. I am #100 which is pretty cool. The only other thing neat about this race was a backwards runner. Yes, there was a runner with a guide running the entire race backwards. And he finished ahead of me. Not sure on his time, but I bet he finished under 25 minutes.
Friday, March 02, 2007
5 miles in 57:28. an 11:27 pace. I like walk breaks, so I can drink, take pictures and rest. But, tonight I just took one at 1.6 miles. I was going to take another around mile 3, but I was enjoying the run and before I knew it I was so close to finishing, I just kept running(kind of like this sentence).
I got back to the softball fields to watch the start of the 6:30 game. I watched a half inning and then headed over to the batting cages. Mike, our coach was there and I took turns in the cage with him. I used my free pass that I got last week. Strange story. I was hitting in the cage last week and I noticed a man 2 cages down hitting softballs. He had his 4-5 year old son in the cage with him. The kid was standing behind him and a few steps back near the gate to the cage. He was jumping up and down every time dad made contact. Ok, this isn't safe. Should I talk to the dad, volunteer to watch the kid while he hits or tell the batting cage operators? Before I decided, the man put a helmet on and started hitting fast pitches with his kid in the cage. I couldn't take anymore of this so I told the guy selling the tokens. He ran out there and immediately got the kid out. I thought the dad had the kid in the cage because he didn't want to leave the kid alone and unattended, but it turned out his wife was sitting on the bench watching both of them. As I was leaving last week, the attendant gave me 6 free tokens.
Back to this week. Our 2nd place team played the first place team tonight. We led 12-9 going into the last inning. I was pitching and between my pitching and our fielding we gave up the lead and headed into our final at bat behind 14-12. This was the kind of game in which whoever bats last wins. And we did 15-14. Now both teams are 4-1 with two games left.
Run 5 miles, batting cages and softball. What a night and we finished it off by having a team party at Chuey's. I hope your Friday night was just as much fun.