Thursday, November 27, 2008

2008 Mesa Turkey Trot

Rain was in the forecast and as I went to get the paper in the morning the ground was wet. But, the sky was clear. Here's a picture of the start of this years Mesa Turkey Trot. Three races were on the schedule. A one and two mile untimed fun run, followed by the 39th running of the 10k race.

The course is a nice one. A two mile loop around the park on closed streets, then about four miles thru a neighborhood and on Power Road, a busy thoroughfare that is half closed. Thousands of runners make it a fun race.

My plan was to do 10 minute miles. All six of them and to finish strong to come in under the 1 hour and 2 minute mark. Maybe get under 1 hour. In 2006 I did this race in 1:11. Last year was my PR of 1:07:59 at this race. This would be my fourth 10k race and I was hoping to PR.

You can see it was overcast at the start. But, I didn't think it would rain on us. I shedded my sweatshirt and left it at the start. I felt sluggish in the beginning, but was running in the 9's, so I just kept at it and figured I'd find out what I had. Lot's of traffic, so I ended up weaving in and out and around runners, strollers and walkers. My first mile was done in 9.41. A good time for a 10k race.
The road we start on has lots of desert shoulder to run on and lots of runners where taking advantage of it. The problem was that they were also off course and not running the full 10k. I kept on the street and stayed on the course. No big deal. My second mile was done in 9.32. I was actually getting faster. I figured I was banking my time for later. A lady passed me with a jog stroller. Music blaring. Not my choice of artists, but it was nice to hear. Too bad she was faster than me. I never saw her again.
Mile 3 was done in 10.49. Took a quick walk break around 2.5 mark. I was congested a bit and that left me a bit winded. Mile 4 was done in 11.04. Another walk break and I ate a GU. Vanilla Bean. I've been eating a few more carbs, so running out of gas was not a worry for me this time.
Being well rested, I cranked it up a bit and ran a 10.37 and a 10.34. I actually ran some 8 minute fartlek's in between some walk breaks. It's nice to run that fast late in the race, but I can't sustain it for a long stretch. I was playing leap frog with about 20 runners.

The last portion of the race is in Red Mountain Park. It has a beautiful lake and lots of grassy areas. I kicked in in gear and did the last .2 at a 7.59 pace. It's tough to do because you're running on a concrete sidewalk (see picture) and there's not much room to pass people.
Today, for the second race in a row I PR'd. My finish time was 1:04:36. I bettered last years time by 3.23.

The New D Tags

This race used the new disposable D Tags. It comes on your race bib and you just loop it onto your shoe laces. No need to collect them after the race. Mine is still on my shoe.

Here's hoping that any of you with races today had a great day and a great race. And for everyone I wish a Happy Thanksgiving and lots of good health.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Body for Life

Book #3 is Body for Life by Bill Phillips. I've read it before, so this is the second time. It didn't stick before, so I'm hoping I can be a gym rat and improve my strength with this book. You may have heard of it. He's the one that has a contest where you can win money by following his program for 12 weeks. I'm not doing the contest, but I am following his weight lifting program.

It's basically based on an intensity program or reaching high points. For example you'll do an exercise working your chest and you'll do reps of 12,10,8 and 6. Then you'll do another 12, followed by 12 working your chest with a different exercise. As you do this the intensity level is supposed to go from a moderate level 5 up to an intense level 10. As the weeks go by, the weights should go up because you are increasing your 'high point' when you do the two final reps of 12 each. Every other day you do weight training, alternating between upper body and lower body. Not sure if I explained it right. So, check the book out at your local library or splurge and buy a copy.

Tonight I was trying to find the proper weight level for me. I probably could have done a little more. But, it'll give me a baseline to work from.

The Weight Loss Game
Viv, over at "Excuse #1, I'm not Fit to Run" had a weight loss contest and I was one of the winners. I got to get these cool shorts and tee from Brooks Running. I've worn the shorts already and they are great.
Thanks Viv!

No running tonight. Tomorrow morning is the Mesa Turkey Trot 10k that I'll be running for the third year.
Hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving Day!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Which Miles Count?

My foot is still bothering me, so I've been going over to the Tumbleweed Recreation Center to run on the elliptical machine. Last night I spent 33 minutes on it. Followed by an upper body workout and then 1 mile on the treadmill and then some more weights.

I like to keep track of my mileage, but I'm not sure how to do this. I have around 1600 miles run since I started back in 2006. 99.5% (I'm guessing) are miles on the road. Non-machine aided mileage. I know people count treadmill mileage in their weekly total and I'm ok with that. But, do you count miles on other machines? Like the elliptical or stairmaster or some of the other machines? And is their mile really a mile? I'm at a crossroads deciding how to record these miles. Let me know what you think.

Book #2, 46 to go!
Adios to Tears by Seiichi Higashide is about a Japanese Purvian that was arrested and sent to the US japanese internment camps during the second World War. The US, in it's infinite wisdom thought that there were Japanese citizens of South American countries that might attack the US. So, we rounded them up and brought them to Texas. I knew about the internment camps and I even live close to the site of one, but I never knew we went to other countries and rounded up suspected Japanese and German aliens. Loved the book and if you get a chance to read it, I think you'll love it too. It was loaned to me by my mother in law, Cathy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ironman Arizona

Susan Dickson of Grand Junction Colorado was in Tempe Town Lake Park, less than a 1/4 mile from the finish when midnight struck. She doesn't get to call herself an Ironman (unless she was one already) and she is considered DNF or DID NOT FINISH.

This is her turning the corner on Rio Salado Blvd and heading toward the finish line. I heard Mike Riley say over the loud speaker, "We have one more runner. She's not officially an Ironman, but we know she is."

Her story is one of thousands of great one's on this day. I watched the final 3-4 hours at the finish line and it was truly amazing. I took a bunch of pictures that you can see on my Facebook page. I cheered, gave high fives and marveled at what these total strangers did the entire time I was there. If you get a chance to see an Ironman event live, I would encourage you to do so. It's amazing.

So, like so many people do while watching these athletes. I made a vowel. Next year. I am going to be back in the stands with as many friends as I can find, cheering these athletes on to victory. It was more fun than any pro sports event.

What? You think I'm crazy enough to want to swim, bike and run for 140.6 miles?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Arizona Ironman

What the heck. My 5k race I was going to run was cancelled. So, I thought I'd run the Arizona Ironman..

What, you say. You can't do that without training. It's 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and 26.2 miles of running.

Sorry, I guess I got you confused. I ran the Arizona Ironman 5k. It's the charity race the day before the triathletes take the stage.

It was pretty cool. We started at the new Tempe Arts Center and ran along the Tempe Town Lake. There were about 225 runners and the weather was ideal. Maybe in the 60's. I think most of the runners were family of a triathlete that will be racing tomorrow.

I got to meet Paul from Houston. His daughter and son in law are racing tomorrow. He and I ran this morning. I told him I really wanted a sub 30 minute race. But, I've been having tendinitis issues with my left foot. The good news is my legs are well rested. The bad news is, I'm not sure how my foot will hold up. My plan was to do a 9 minute first mile, followed by a 9:30 and a 10 minute mile. That would get me under the goal of 30 minutes. I, in fact did a 9:10 first mile followed by a 9:41 second. I was feeling really good and ran the entire way, except for a water stop around 1.6 mile mark. Maybe 20 seconds worth of walking and drinking. The second mile was rolling hills (three of them - just like Boston). Just kidding, the hills were maybe 30 yards in length and were not an issue.

In mile three I watched as a man about my age was in front of me. I figured I better get ahead of him if I wanted any hope of a medal. Heck, it's just good practice to race against the closest runners to you. I tracked him down and was within 40 yards of him when we started the final portion of the race. I did mile three in 9:15 and as we turned onto Rio Salado and saw the finish line I pour on the gas. My pace for the last 1/10 of a mile was a blistering 6:57. I speed past bib # 99 and finished at the same spot the triathletes will be finishing IMAZ tomorrow. Turns out #99 wasn't in my AG, but was 2 groups older.

My previous PR was 30:16 and today I finished in 28:49 (garmin time). A new PR and under 30 minutes. You can click on the graphs below to see a map and my splits.

Good luck to all those athletes competing in Ironman Arizona tomorrow. I'll try to stop by to see you in action.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fourth Picture, Fourth File

Viv is part of a virus going around the blogs. You're supposed to post your fourth picture from your fourth file on your computer. Here's mine.
It's a photo from around 1985 of an apartment across the street from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. It was the second place I lived in after college. I shared it with two Econ grad students, Pete and Chris. I got real cheap rent, because my room was the second floor porch that you see in the photo. No heat, except for what came thru the door from the living room and from my space heater. I have to include the next photo too.

That's my first car. An early 80's Toyota Corolla Hatchback. Rust color. Even the hubcaps. It's in the parking lot of home #3, a cool apartment with green shag carpeting. I took over payments from my brother Thom, on that car. Not sure what the numbers are for. I scanned this image from a real photo.

On The Running Front

No running this week. I've been on the elliptical machine, stationary bike and I've lifted some weights. My plan was to run the Dobson Ranch 5k on Saturday morning. It's a small race and I was hoping to place in my age group. Kinda by default. Well, the race was cancelled. I guess it was too small.

My choices for running this weekend are to do the Gilbert Days 5k that is tonight. Or the Nike Cross Nationals Citizen 5k on Saturday morning.

Or I guess I could do the Arizona Ironman. Is it to late to sign up for that? Maybe that's something you should train for? Let me know which race you think I should do.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Day at the Gym

I never go to the gym. But today I did. I'm trying to give my foot a rest to see if the pain (tendonitis, I think) will subside. I went and paid my $4 to the city of Chandler and tried out the Elliptical machines. There's two different kinds. One that goes straight up and down and is like climbing stairs, but not the stairstepper and one that goes in more of a running motion.

I got on the harder one first and after 15 minutes and 1.08 miles I was really feeling it in my thighs. Then I played around on some of the weight machines. No plan, except to work my arms a bit.

For the finally, I went to the other Elliptical machine and ran for 25 minutes. Much easier, much faster and my feet never hurt a bit.

There's one less kid in our family today. My son is now an adult. That makes two adults, one kid and me. Happy Birthday, Tyler. As an adult, he'll have to work on his birthday. But, we wanted to have a birthday dinner, so we'll be dining at Someburros, while Tyler works. Maybe , we can get him to sing happy birthday to himself.

Amy, Pat, Tyler, Emily

Friday, November 14, 2008

11 Miles of sore feet

The first 7 miles were good miles. I ran down the canal with Karen, Candace and Kristina. My new Nike's protecting my tender feet. But, the last 4 miles my left heel started hurting and my tank was running on empty. I forgot to bring any GU's. Kristina gave me some chocolate covered coffee beans and they tasted good. The last mile I just limped on home like a nascar crossing the finish line on empty.

But, I got my minimum of 11 miles and I ended up running about 82% of the time.

On Friday, I drove by a bunch of crazy women decked out in pink, wearing funny hats and having a blast walking 20 miles a day for three straight days. Seems like every year I happen by these gals and I usually stop and cheer. Learn more about it.

Have you read the book, "50/50" by Dean Karnazes? Here's your chance to read it for the price of postage on Ted's Running Journal.

Just finished "Bowerman and the Men of Oregon" by Kenny Moore. It's a great biography about Bill Bowerman, the legendary coach at the University of Oregon and cofounder of Nike. Just a quiwincidence, coincidence (something like that) that I bought my first pair of Nikes at the same time. They were even part of the Bowerman Series of shoes. I'd loan it to you, but I got it from the Chandler Library. The book, not the shoes.

48 by 48

48 pounds lost before I turn 48.

Hike the Grand Canyon before I turn 48.

Run either the Twin Cities Marathon or the Chicago Marathon before my 48th.

48 Books read

Run in the 48th state.

So this is the plan for the next year. As all good goals I do reserve the right to change all or part of it as I find I cannot achieve the goal.

It started on November 7th and so far I've achieved:

I ran in the 48th state - Arizona.

I've finished book #1 -Bowerman and The Men of Oregon.

I'm down 1 pound.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nike Air Zoom Structure Triad 11+

1/10th of a mile splitsMile splits

What do you call a shoe with that many names? Fast!

My feet have been hurting lately, so I thought I should go try some new shoes. I tried on the Brooks and the Asics (the brand I've run in for over a year) and they both seemed like I was running on concrete in my bare feet. But, the znike Structure? They felt like a babies bottom. Not that I run on babies bottoms. They felt like Bill Bowerman made them just for me on his wife's new waffle iron (If you don't get that, you'll have to read the book).

Anyway, tonight I ran in my Air Zooms for the first time. Four miles. Four sub ten minute miles. Four miles of my feet not hurting. But, hey maybe it was the new hat I wore.

67% of my run was under a 10 minute pace:

Just the other day I got my first notice from a driver on the highway. He had a 13.1 decal on his car. I passed him. He saw my decals and passed me up to give me the thumbs up.

Today, I read an article about the mayor of Tempe promoting Ironman Arizona by holding a mini Ironman (if there was such a thing) against the local media. Only four journalists took him up on the challenge. Do you think it was because of the distance? I read on. Instead of 2.4 mile swim, they were going to swim 24 yards. Instead of a 112 mile bike ride, it was 1.12 miles. And yes, only a .26 run.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Phoenix 10k

It's been a busy weekend. Mostly work, which is a good thing. But, I did get to squeeze in 'The Phoenix 10k' formally know as the New Times 10k. The last two years it was run in downtown Tempe due to our metro area building a new light rail line. I ran the 5k in 2006 and I ran both the 5k and 10k last year. This year, they lost their sponsor but are back on their home course in downtown Phoenix. The 5k is run at 7:45 am. The 10k is run at 8:30 am. It costs $20 to run either race and for an additional $8 you can run them both.

It's like Ernie Banks says, "Let's Play Two".

I decided I was going to run the 5k as best I could. My PR of 30:25 was not a real goal, no way can I do three consecutive sub 10 minute miles. But, I wanted to get as close as I could. It's chipped timed, so I didn't worry about getting across the starting line quickly. The temps were around 55-60 and we had clear skies. No wind, although it got windy and rained later in the day. According to Garmin I had an opening split of 10:21. I was pretty happy about that. The course is a 3.1 mile loop around the state capitol around downtown streets. The asphalt felt really hard this morning. My left heal has been bothering me lately, so I held back a bit. I passed four different bands and we had people cheering all along the course. My second mile was a 10:32 pace. I was pretty happy about that. Around the 2.5 mile mark I was getting pretty tired trying to keep the pace. I had a choice, I could take a quick 1 minute walk break and finish strong or end up limping home with a 12 minute split. The walk break did me good. My third mile was done in 10:54 and my .1 was at an 8:15 pace. After the walk break I ended up passing 27 other runners. I counted to keep myself distracted, more so than out of vanity. Well, maybe a little of both. I didn't count the guy in the wheel chair. He was inspiring. It was an everyday wheelchair and he was alternating powering his wheels. Kind of like a someone in a canoe paddling on the left and then the right.

Garmin told me I finished in 33:06 for 3.14 miles. I don't have the official times from the race yet.

That gave me 10 minutes to rest before the 10k event. The bathroom lines were long. I looked for a private corner to pee, but none where to be found. I ended up waiting til after the 10k.

My plan was to do the best I could in the 10k. But, plenty of walk breaks were anticipated. This race would require two loops of the same course I had just run on. We passed the same bands, the same buildings, the same corners. At one point I was coming up to a corner and there was a man with his shopping cart and all his worldly possessions looking at me to see if he could cross the street. He was willing to wait. I was still 10 yards away from him and there weren't any runners behind me. I gave him the sign to cross and I ran just behind him. Lives cross sometimes in interesting ways.

I was about 2 miles into the 10k or 5 miles in, counting both races when I got a bit disoriented. I thought we had to go further out and we were turning around. heading back to the capitol grounds. I even asked the runner next to me if we had made a wrong turn. This has never happened to me before, but we were further along than I thought we should have been. I was OK and we continued on. This 10k had over 1000 runners. I wasn't going to race it, as much as just run it, so I started in the back. How far back? The very back. I tried to be the last runner to cross the timing mat. I wasn't even in line when the gun went off. When I crossed the line, they were ready to start taking up the mat and pulling down the balloon arch. I say this because it was a double loop, so during the race we hear police on motorcycles telling the runners to move to the right. I didn't know why, until a few seconds later the leaders of the race come running past us (like we were standing still). So the last half of the race I got to watch all the leaders run by at 6 and 7 minute paces. My splits were 10.49, 11.59, 12.08, 12.22, 13.03, 12.39, 10.40 and I had a time around 1:18:xx. 10 minutes off my PR for a 10k.

Last year I ran both races in Tempe in 1:48:15. This year I ran both races in 1:48:17. When you run both races (and yes, they give out awards for combined time), it's called the Five and Dime. I missed my PR by 2 seconds.

I did get a nice looking black baseball cap for free from a domestic violence group, but didn't see much else at the various vendor booths. The rest of the day was filled with showing homes and writing offers. A good but tiring weekend.

48 by 48
I'm still working on goals for my 48th year on this planet.

Friday, November 07, 2008

47 by 47

Who could ask for a better Birthday present than what I got when I stepped on the scale this morning.

Yes, that's a low since I started running. And it's 47 pounds lost on my 47th birthday.

It took me awhile and while I wasn't thinking about a 47 by 47 goal. I am now thinking about 48 by 48, 48 things to do by 48 and all things 48. You'll see my plan in less than 48 hours and it'll make you smile 48 times. This will be the year of 48.

So, if you know of anything I should do 48 times or for 48 hours, minutes or seconds. Or anything else to do in the next year that is 48, let me know.

Things I won't do:

Run 48 marathons

Eat a 48 ounce steak (although tempting)

Run for 48 hours

Climb Camelback Mountain 48 times

Go to 48 Diamondback baseball games

Race in 48 races (well maybe)

Birthday Plans

It's a low key birthday. I'm sure I'll be getting some presents from family and we usually go out to eat in the evening. But, tonight I have a softball tournament and I'm still watching my weight because of Viv's Weight Loss Challenge that doesn't end until Sunday. I'm in first and would like to get first pick of the really cool prizes she's lined up. So, the dinner has been postponed until sometime next week.

Last Nites Run

It was just a short 2 miler. I ran it all, except for the very end when I walked a bit before turning my secret agent GPS unit off (Garmin). It was cold here, around 65 and I was freezing. I ended up wearing my PF Chang's Rock and Roll sweat shirt over my running shirt. It's nice to have the cooler temps. But, I'm the kind of guy that complains when it's too cold and complains when it's too hot. Luckily, I complain to myself. And occasionally on this blog.

So, remember to give me some ideas for my 48th year on this planet.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

1:07 from winning the NYC Marathon.

Candace, Karen and I had our long run this morning around the same time as the New York City Marathon was taking place. We finished in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 50 seconds. Only 1 minute and 7 seconds slower than the winner, Marlison Gomes Dos Santos. We did beat Paula Radcliffe by over 14 minutes ( we could have beat Santos, except for all the walking we did to correct someone's ponytail).

Of course, we didn't run NYC and we ran about 16 miles less.

Karen asked about my graphs and were I get them. SportsTracks is my preferred site to download my GPS data from Garmin. It doesn't cost anything and it gives me what I like.

1. Either a satelite or map view of where I ran.
2. My time, pace and calories burnt on the summary page.

3. My pace when I am running (under a 10 minute pace).
4. My pace when I'm jogging ( between 10-13 mpm).
5. My walking pace. As you can see, today the three of us jogged about 80% of the total run.

6. My splits. I can even change the splits from 1 mile increments to any distance I want. Tenths of miles, half miles or every two miles. I can even put a single split in, if I want to know my 10k time or 5k time.

Our run today went well. We saw 5 stray cats and 11 rescued Llamas. We didn't count the numerous walking, running and biking humans.
We did pass one couple and the woman was not only talking to the guy, but she was pointing (at his chest) and very animated while they run. He looked like he was calculating how many more miles he had to go before the misery was over. I'm glad the gals I run with don't do the pointing at the chest thing. It'd give a whole new meaning to 'chaffed nipples'.
Congrats to Candace, it was her first double digit run, ever.