Monday, September 28, 2009

Jerome Hill Climb 2009

It's one of the most scenic races in all of Arizona.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thanks USPS!

Last week my garmin 305 (runner's watch with GPS) broke for the second time. Enough is enough, so I ordered my new one from Amazon ($160 w/ free shipping). Sadly, if I could only take one personal item with me from a burning house, this would be second (family photos would come first).

This gadget tracks your running by satellite. Figures out your time, pace, distance, lap pace, heart rate and a whole bunch more. Then you can download all the data onto your computer and see your splits, a map and other cool features.
My training the last few weeks has consisted of how can I finish the Twin Cities Marathon and stay ahead of the 'sweeper bus' that picks up runners that can't finish the race in 6 hours or at a 13:44 pace.
Before my ankle issues I was hoping to finish in under 5 hours. Anytime beginning with 4 would due. Now, I'm just trying to avoid the bus.
My strategy is to keep my heart rate down and run/walk at a 12 minute pace for as many miles as I can. That way, I will gain 1 minute and 44 seconds each mile over the bus. If I can do this the first half of the race, I will be 22 1/2 minutes ahead of the bus after the half marathon. Then it's along the Mississippi river for the next 7 miles. The plan is to pick up at least a minute for each of those miles. With 29.5 minutes advantage, I will then get to tackle the St. Paul hill on Summit Drive. Someone had the wise idea to put downtown St. Paul on a rise above the Mississippi river. 3 miles and 160 feet in elevation climb. Not Mt. Everest, but I'll need that half hour cushion.
At around the 20 mile mark the baseball game starts. Twins vs. Royals. The Twins are the last team that has a chance to make the playoffs. It's the last game at the Metrodome and I have tickets. If the bus catches me, I'll just take a left towards downtown Minneapolis and go to the game. If I have the lead, then I'll take a right over the bridge (Is this the one that collapsed a few years back?) and continue on. I'll gladly give up the first 6 innings of the ball game to finish the marathon.
Now, back to my first training run with my new garmin. Here's the splits.

Intervals (GPS Interval)
Type Distance Time Total Time Pace Avg HR Max HR Notes
1.Interval 1 Mi 12:01.48 12:01.48 12:02 125 151 (Feeling good, but forgot to apply bodyglide)
2.Interval 1 Mi 12:17.09 24:18.57 12:18 135 150
3.Interval 1 Mi 12:01.36 36:19.93 12:02 141 151
4.Interval 1 Mi 12:18.46 48:38.39 12:19 144 154
5.Interval 1 Mi 12:29.75 1:01:08.14 12:30 140 151 (stopped in Circle K and bought vaseline.)
6.Interval 1 Mi 15:26.6 1:16:34.74 15:27 130 147 (helped a lady push her car into parking lot)
7.Interval 1 Mi 14:27.48 1:31:02.22 14:28 140 164 (vaseline doesn't help much after the chaffing has occurred)
8.Interval 1 Mi 14:07.07 1:45:09.29 14:08 136 151 (near home, chaffing hurts, not gonna do 15 miles as planned)
9.Interval 1 Mi 13:35.02 1:58:44.31 13:36 133 149 (picked up the pace some)
10.Interval 0.43 Mi 5:48.39 2:04:32.70 13:31 134 145

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hoover Dam Marathon and Half

I just found out about this race. It's run at the Hoover Dam from a campground and beach on Lake Mead in Nevada. This is the first year and I got to do it.

Who wants to camp out with me? Run either the half or full on Saturday, October 31st and then go kayaking on Lake Mead on Sunday?

Learn more about the Hoover Dam Marathon.

Tonight I'm going to run 15 miles. It'll be my last long run before the Twin Cities Marathon. I'm hoping I can do it at a 12 minute pace. If I do that and I feel good after, it will let me know what I'm capable of come the big race in Minnesota.

I have a top secret strategy that I used the last two times I ran. The 7 miler on Tuesday was a breeze. I could have easily run further. I felt so good that I'm now thinking 20 miles or more up in Minneapolis.

RIP GARMIN FORERUNNER 305: I ordered my new 305 yesterday. The old one just won't start anymore.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Yearly Totals

2009 489.9 Miles 12:00 Pace (3.5 months to go)

2008 604.1 Miles 12:03 Pace

2007 819.6 Miles 12:27 Pace

2006 371.5 Miles 12:23 Pace (half a year)

Grand Total: 2285

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Three Week Marathon Training Program

It's just 21 days away. Three short weeks. My training has not gone well. First I was set back by an ankle issue. Two months back.

Then, being an older, heavier runner the ramp up of mileage has been slow.

So, today I googled "Three Week Marathon Training Plan". Nothing from Hal Higdon, nothing from Jeff Galloway. Nothing from Runner's World.

Not even an, "Do a long run of 10 miles the first week, followed by a long run of 20 miles the second week and then taper."

Or, "Do a long run of 20 miles the first week. Then, after you've recovered from your injuries pick a new marathon that is 20 weeks out."

So, I then googled, "Miracle" to see what it says. The first result was about the 1980 US Gold Medal Olympic Hockey team. The Miracle on Ice team. Nice motivation, but I need more.

Then the second result said, "For Pat's Eye's Only"*.

I was intrigued and click on it.

Pat, after your injury healed you trained hard and even got in 97 miles last month. You've made a good amount of progress and you could run a slow half marathon today. Get in one final long run of 13.1 miles. Keep the pace under 13:44. That's the pace of the sweeper bus at the TC marathon. The cool Minnesota air and the adrenaline of running a marathon will help you on race day. Have a short taper for 3 days prior to the race. Eat carbs, but don't over do it the week before the race. During the race make sure you have these three things:

1. Gu's for every three miles.
2. Lots of Bodyglide and your race socks.
3. A light rail pass.

If you can only have one of these things, don't forget the light rail pass because at mile 15 there is a station.

So, enjoy the Twin Cities marathon and stop at the 15 mile mark. Chalk it up as a training run and start preparing for the Tucson Marathon on December 13th.

Finally, Pat this isn't the miracle you wanted but it is a good marathon training plan for you.

*Some parts of this post have been made up. But, you've probably figured that out.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Journey to run in all 30 Arizona State Parks

My quest to run in all 30 state parks started this week. I will update this page each time I run in one of our beatiful parks. This time I got to run in Dead Horse Ranch State Park and I started a run at the Jerome State Historic Park.

You can read about each park by clicking on the link. Read about my run on this page.

Western Region
Alamo Lake State Park
Buckskin Mountain State Park
Cattail Cove State Park
Lake Havasu State Park
River Island
Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park
Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park

Northern Region
Dead Horse Ranch State Park -September 7, 2009. This park has three lagoons all in a row. I ran from the park cabins to the first lagoon and did one loop. Then I did a 1 and a half loop around lagoon number 2. One loop around the largest lagoon (3) brought me back to do a half loop around the second lagoon. Then back to the cabins. There are also numerous short trails to run. Then, if you follow Flycatcher Road north you can run for a long time on the trail heading towards Tuzigoot National Monument. I didn't get to run this last trail, but it might be ideal for a long run.
Fort Verde State Historic Park
Homolovi Ruins State Park
Jerome State Historic Park (Park Closed)-September 6, 2009. Some parks are just too small to run. I could have done a 1/10 mile run in the parking lot, except for this park is temporarily closed. Budget cuts. So, with small state parks my plan is to use the park as my start or end point. The Arizona RoadRacers helped me with this. They have the Jerome Hill Climb 4.6 mile race start at this park. This year it was 4.5 miles because the park is gated closed. It goes thru Jerome and up, up and up. About 1000 feet of elevation gain. It's a great experience, even if you can't run it on the day of the race. The fastest runner this year did the 4.5 miles in around 28 minutes. Unbelievable. I was winded after a half mile and 200 feet in elevation gain. This park is not runner friendly. There's no place to run, except for the city streets or past the firehouse up Perkinville Road.
Red Rock State Park
Riordan Mansion State Historic Park
Slide Rock State Park
Verde River Greenway State Natural Area

Eastern Region
Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park
Catalina State Park
Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area
Lost Dutchman State ParkLyman Lake State Park
McFarland State Historic Park (Park Closed)
Oracle State Park
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park (Open Select Weekends Only)

Southern Region
Kartchner Caverns State Park
Patagonia Lake State Park
Picacho Peak State Park
Roper Lake State Park
Sonoita Creek State Natural Area
Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park
Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
San Rafael State Natural Area

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Kudos to my cousins son for winning the Mercy Metric 5k in Cincinnati. I guess he got all the speed in the family, because I didn't get any.

Male 1-18

16 Age
7 Overall

22:28.00 Chip Time

22:31.00 Gun Time

00:03.00 Diff

7:16/M Pace




Tuesday, September 08, 2009

My Personal Records

1 Mi
8:10 (total time)
8:10 (pace)
St. Patty's One Miler
3/15/2009 -finished second overall. An 8 year old beat me by 6 seconds.

3.1 Mi
IronMan AZ 5k
11/22/2008- loved this race in Tempe.

3.8 Mi
Old Tucson Studios 3.8
3/8/2009-ran thru a movie set. Pretty cool race.

4 Mi
West Lafayette - McCormick Road
6/30/2007-Purdue University.

4.2 Mi
Pat's Run
4/18/2009-Arizona State Univ. A run for Pat Tillman

4.46 Mi
Jerome Hill Climb
9/6/2009-Not a pretty time, but looks like a sure PR next year, if I'm healthy.

6.2 Mi
Mesa Turkey Trot 10k
11/27/2008-3rd year I've run this race on Thanksgiving Day. It's a tradition.

7.4 Mi
Sabino Canyon
4/4/2009-This and Jerome are the two most scenic runs.

9.3 Mi
New Times Five and Dime
11/11/2007-You run a 5k, get 15 minutes rest and then run a 10k. This is the total time.

Half Marathon
Lost Dutchman Half Marathon
2/15/2009-I still can't believe I ran it this fast. Maybe I found a short cut.

Rock and Roll Marathon
1/13/2008-My first marathon. I won't be beating this time in Minneapolis.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Jerome Hill Climb 2009

Six months ago it seemed like a good idea. I signed up for the Jerome Hill Climb. I was just starting my marathon training and I thought a nice 4.6 miler up a mountain would be a good training run a month before my marathon. I didn't know I would deal with an ankle injury that would derail my summer training.

So on Sunday I showed up, behind in my training in Jerome, Arizona. Jerome is a tourist town southwest of Sedona high on the Cleopatra Hill. It's on a mountain and although I didn't have to go to the top, I did have to go pretty high up.

I didn't want to get in the way of the racers, so at the start I took this photo. Then I preceded to walk to the line and start with the back of the pack. I knew it was going to be a lot of walking and some running. Runners park at the 1 mile mark and then walk down to the start. The walk down is intimidating. After the start, I made it about 4/10 of a mile before I was walking up a steep gravel drive with many other runners.
You can see in the photo below the city of Jerome. It's right below the letter 'J'. I think we basically ran around that hill and up the mountain.

The night before, my wife, daughter and I stayed in a cabin at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. This picture of Jerome is from that park. The next picture is a close up. At the half mile mark I was breathing as hard as I ever had. It was a steep climb mixed with a 5000 foot elevation. I'll admit, I was intimidated and ended up walking more than I should have. At the one mile mark I looked to the left and there sat my Honda Pilot. I already had my cool tee shirt. Time to pack it in? No, I continued on.

I grinded it out and it became a hike from the 2 mile mark to the 3.5 mile mark. At that time, I didn't seem to be breathing so hard. I decided I was going to run/walk in 1/10 of a mile increment. This seemed to work and I finished the race with a bit of dignity. My two fastest splits were the 4th mile and the last half mile. At the top, the Arizona RoadRacers had water, soda, chips and cookies. It was kind of strange to have a finish line in the middle of nowhere.

Of course, the bad news was that I had to turn around and go down the mountain 3.5 miles to my car.

My plan was to run/walk it back down hill. Most people just walked down, so I got to pass quite a few and I enjoyed the downhill much more than the actual race. Uphill it was taking me about 16 minutes a mile. Downhill was a nice 12:24 pace. Some of it was so steep downhill, that I realized the reason why they didn't race it back down was for safety reasons.

All in all? It was a beautiful race with incredible views of the Verde Valley. I wanted to spend more time in Jerome, but that was not to be. We spent the rest of the day exploring Dead Horse Ranch State Park. Will I be back next year? You bet. With the proper training it will be a great race to be a part of.