Friday, January 28, 2011


Finally. It's been one of those weeks that's seemed like it was never going to end.

Went for a 4mi run last night. I was on the fence about whether to run or rest because my hamstrings were still sore. But I had a run on the calendar and I wanted to try to stick to the plan. Plus, my mileage has been pretty low lately.

I'm glad I went ahead with the run. My hamstrings felt fine during the run, and felt fine this morning. During the run, I kept catching myself drifting into a slower pace and kept having to pick it up. Today is a rest day, so hopefully by tomorrow's run I'll be just about back to normal. I have a 7mi run on the schedule for tomorrow. Weather should be nice for a sunny and cool afternoon run.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Two days later

Ran a 400m time trial two days ago.

My hamstrings are still sore.

Not painful as in "I think I pulled something" sore. Just achy and tight.

I imagine more experience runners are chuckling at my surprise to all of this. But I am surprised that I'm more sore from running a 400m time trial than I was after running a 5k, a 10k, or even a half marathon.

One thing I forgot to mention about the time trial: I'm impressed with how close the McMillan running calculator was in predicting my 400m time trial results:
McMillan prediction: 1:24
Actual time: 1:21
Not bad. Well done, McMillan.

Last night I did an easy 3.5 mile run. The run went pretty well considering my aching hamstrings. Actually they didn't hurt at all during the run. But my legs did feel weaker than usual.

I've got another easy run on the schedule for tonight, then a rest day tomorrow.

It's good to be on the downhill side of Wednesday. Why is this week going so much slower than my vacation week last week?


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A few things

Some things on my mind today:

1. I'm surprised by how tired my legs are from last night's 400m time trial. Maybe the most tired my legs have ever been after a run.

2. The Cowtown 10k has been upgraded from "Possible" to "Locked in" status on my Race Schedule. The race is on Feb. 26. Should be fun. It will be my wife's first 10k. Plus, we have alot of friends running one or another of the Cowtown events. I haven't run a 10k since last September. I feel a new PR coming.

3. Official results have now been posted for the 5k I ran last Saturday. Turns out my memory is failing. My official time was actually 24:48, not 24:28. Sidebar has been updated accordingly. (why couldn't it have been faster than I remembered instead of slower?)

4. I'm feeling great about the upcoming training schedule that I start officially on Saturday. Maybe the best I've felt about a training schedule since I started my half marathon training late last summer. I believe it will really help me improve, and I'm excited that it includes so many of the types of runs I enjoy the most: easy-pace runs in the 5-7 mile range.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My 400m time trial

If you are new to running like I am, you might be tempted to think that a 400m time trial is easy because it's only one lap around a track. But as I learned tonight, you would be wrong. Turns out it's hard. Crazy hard.

Before I get to my time trial summary, here's a look at Michael Johnson setting the current 400m world record, which remains safe after my attempt tonight:

I ran my 400m time trial in the dark, so I don't have a video of myself for comparison. But to give you an idea, watch the video above once again, and imagine me at just past the half-way point as Johnson crosses the finish line. Either that, or watch the video above at just over half speed if there's a way to do that.

Before beginning my 400, I followed some advice I found in a running forum and did a warm up that included an easy 1/2 mile run, some dynamic stretching, and some strides.  Then I found the 400m starting line and got ready to go. I thought maybe I should try to pace myself. But I decided just to go all out. After all, it's just one lap, right?

So, off I went, full bore. Around the first 100m, feeling good. Thinking about my breathing and my form. Down the back straight-away to the 200m mark, feeling okay. Still thinking about my form, trying to keep my strides quick.

Somewhere around 250m-300m I remembered something else I read online in the same forum where I found the warm-up advice. It was basically something like "don't just go all out, or else you'll burn out at 300m."

Well, guess what.

As I approached the 300m mark, turning into the final straightaway, my thighs suddenly felt like they were burning. To say I was hurting doesn't begin to describe how deep I was in the hurt locker. I seriously thought I was not going to make it the whole 400m. But I was absolutely determined not to quit. I would finish that last 100, even if I had to vomit while I ran. I would finish.

Did I mention how insanely hard that last 100m was?

Well, I did finish. My time was 81 seconds. Only 38s off from the world record! Watch out, Michael Johnson.

But seriously, this was really a worthwhile exercise. It's fun to find out just what I can do, and to have another milestone to try to surpass. It also gives me a whole new perspective and appreciation for world-class runners like Michael Johnson, who can run the 400m almost twice as fast as me, and for elite marathoners who can run 26.2 miles at a pace that's faster than my pace was tonight.

This week

Yesterday I posted my new training schedule for the next couple of months. That schedule starts next week.

I had planned to do three time trials this week, but plans have changed. I'm now doing only one.

Tonight I'll head to the local track and run as hard and fast as I possibly can for one 400m lap.

The one and two mile time trials will have to wait. I missed two runs last week, which combined with the pre-race rest days made for a very low mileage week last week. If I do all three time trials as originally planned, I'll have two very low mileage weeks in a row. I'd rather work on getting my mileage back up this week, so I'm doing just this one time trial. I'll get in some regular runs later this week.

Monday, January 24, 2011

New training schedule

River crossing over beasImage via Wikipedia
Have a plan
Last Saturday's race brought my last training cycle to a close. I don't like to run without a plan, so it's time for a new training schedule. I spent some time over the weekend thinking about it, and came up with the training schedule posted on my calendar on the training tab above.

This new training schedule takes me through to my next 5k on March 26. I may also do a 10k on Feb. 26. If so, I'll tweak that week a bit, but won't change anything else. Or I may make sweeping changes at any time.

This new training schedule also lays a foundation for half marathon training coming up in April and May.

It's hard to put together a training plan without goals. So, here are my goals for the next couple of months:
1. Weight loss: time to attack the "love handles"
2. Improve endurance: I think my low mileage over the past 6-8 weeks is partly to blame for my falling off at the end of the two 5k's I did this month.
3. Continue speed/core work: it's important to practice running fast.

I should also mention "staying injury free," which is always a goal.

Fortunately, the first two goals can both be achieved the same way - longer, slower runs. The third goal will be achieved by keeping a weekly speed workout and a weekly core workout on the schedule.

The Plan
With those goals in mind, beginning on Jan. 29, my training plan will follow this basic pattern:
Long -- recovery -- medium -- rest -- speed -- recovery -- rest

More specifically:
(Saturdays) Long run: 7-10 mile range.
(Sundays) Recovery run: 4-6 mile range.
(Mondays) Medium-distance run: 5-7 mile range.
(Tuesdays) Rest (core work)
(Wednesdays) Speed work: usually a tempo run or intervals.
(Thursdays) Recovery run: 4-5 mile range.
(Fridays) Rest.

Weekly mileage will increase at about 8-9% per week until I get to about 30mi/week a couple of weeks before my race. Then things start to level off and taper slightly during the two weeks leading up to my race on March 26.

Details about the various types of runs
Here are my current training paces:
Easy/Long run pace: 9:23-9:53 min/mi
Tempo pace: 8:04-8:25 min/mi
400m intervals: 1:43-1:50 per 400m (about 6:52-7:20 min/mi)

I calculated these paces using the McMillan's Running Calculator and a recent 5k race time.

Tempo runs will roughly follow the 30/60/10 setup (30% of total time at easy pace, then 60% of total time at fast pace, then 10% of total time at easy pace). So, e.g., a 35min tempo would be 10min @ easy pace, then 21min @ fast pace, 4min @ easy pace.

Interval workouts will include about a 1mi warm-up and a 1mi cool-down at easy pace. Each interval will include 400m at interval pace, then about a 2min slow jog or walk. 
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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Rascal Roundup 5k Race

Thoughts on today's race:

- It was COLD! - about 30 degrees when we arrived.

- It was really alot of fun watching my wife and kids run a 1k together. It was my kid's first race. They had a blast, and all want to do another one some time.

- It was also really cool to see my step dad David run his first 5k (that's him in the Harley gear in the photo below).

- Even though I didn't PR today, I still had a pretty decent time of 24:28, which was good enough to take third place in my age group. So I scored my first age-group award, which is a medal that is like a dog-tag (there was a kind of camo theme to the race, so I guess Army dog tags go well with the theme).

- Post-race, they had some fun stuff for the kids, including a bounce house (behind me in the photo above) and face painting.

As I mentioned above, I didn't PR, but I'm still happy with my time. My splits for the first two miles were right about on target (7:39; 7:48). The third mile, things started to unravel (mile 3 - 8:08!?!). Here's my excuse:

See that hill around the 2-mile point? It killed me.

So what did I learn? I think it turned out to be a good plan to go out easy and save something for the end. It helped me get through the hills. I'm sure I finished faster than I would have if I had burned up too much during the first half of the race.

I need more hill work.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Week in review and race goals for tomorrow

Cupid's foot, as used by Monty Python's Flying...Anyone recognize this famous foot?Image via Wikipedia
Before I get to my goals for tomorrow's race, I want to briefly recap this past week. The short version is that I've had a sore ankle this week, so I haven't run since Monday.

I think I may have twisted my ankle late last week. I first noticed it was sore on Sunday, so took a rest day. Monday it was still a little sore, but not too bad, so I went ahead and went for an easy 4mi run.
Tuesday I spent most of the day on my feet. I've been on vacation all week, and on Tuesday my family and I went to the Ft Worth Science museum. When we got there, we found out that we could also get free admission to the Ft Worth Stock Show with our museum passes, so we checked that out too. But by Tuesday night my ankle was pretty sore and had some swelling, so I passed on the intervals I had planned for Tuesday night.

Wednesday was supposed to be another run, but I decided to rest my ankle because it was still sore. Thursday and Friday were scheduled rest days because of my race tomorrow (I never run the two days before a race).

As I write this, my ankle is still a slight bit sore, but not bad. I don't expect it to be a problem during the race. After the race might be a different story.

Okay, goals for tomorrow.

Tomorrow's race is a relatively small (I think) local event. My whole family will be participating tomorrow. My wife and three kids are all running a 1k fun run at 8:10am, and then I'll run a 5k at 8:30am. 

The 1k will be my kids first race, so I'm really looking forward to seeing them run. Two of the three are looking forward to it; the other is somewhat apprehensive. I told her it was optional because I don't want this to be something that is forced on her. She may sit out and watch with me, or she may run. We'll see. 

Another really cool thing is that my Step-Dad is running his first 5k tomorrow! He started running a few months ago and has made amazing progress. I'm secretly hoping he gets hooked on racing and together we can get my Mom into running too! Again - we'll see.

So goal #1 is to really take it all in and have fun and enjoy the event and all of the firsts.

As for the race itself, my primary goal is to run a disciplined race. I want to focus on sticking to my target paces, especially for the first mile. I want to start off at a reasonable pace instead of taking off too fast like I've done so many times in the past. 

So I'm setting goals for miles 1 and 2 as follows:
My goal for mile 1: finish between 7:40 and 7:45
My goal for mile 2: finish between 15:20 and 15:30

I'll be keeping a close eye on my 1/4 mile splits, especially for mile 1. I want nice, even 1:55's.

If I hit these goals, then mile 3 will be a great learning experience. Will I be able to maintain the 7:40 pace since I didn't use up so much energy during the first 2 miles? Will I be able to pick up my pace? Will I still need to slow down like during mile 3 of past 5k's? The idea is to learn something about myself, rather than focus on a PR. I just PR'd two weeks ago, so I feel like I already know where I'm at right now. I'll get more out of tomorrow by sticking to the plan and seeing if running even splits improves my running.

I'll also be sporting this:

It's a long-sleeve tech shirt I customized using some t-shirt transfers by Wilton. The instructions say to use the transfers on a cotton or poly/cotton blend shirt, but I found that they also worked on this 100% poly tech shirt, at least so far. I'm hoping the transfer stays put, because it will be cool to be able to do some other fun stuff with my running shirts. 

Let me know if you would like more info on how I did the custom text on my shirt.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Next week: Time Trials Week!

Cold War ClockImage by ckaiserca via Flickr
One of my goals for 2011 is to establish PR's for the 400m, 1 mile, and 2 mile distances.

I've decided to try to do all three in one week (bad idea?). My next 5k is coming up on Saturday. After that, I'll have a one week break until I begin my next 5k training session. So, I'm thinking it might be a good opportunity to have a little fun and see what I can do. My plan is to spread the three time trials out over the course of the week, doing one time trial every other day. That gives me a good 48 hour beak between each one.

Hopefully I can use a track for this. Otherwise I'll be at the mercy of my sorta-accurate Garmin and my poor hit-the-stop-button skills.

Since I have no idea what times to aim for, here are some predictions made by the McMillan running calculator using my last 5k time of 23:50:

400m: 1:24
1mi: 6:52
2mi: 14:40

I'll use these time predictions to try to pace myself, and as goals to aim for since I have no current PR to try to beat.  Any local runners want to join me? Competition makes times faster :)
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

5k pacing

Next week I have my second 5k race in two weeks. Since I feel like I ran as hard as I could last race, and since I don't expect to make any measurable improvement in only two weeks, I've been thinking about how to approach this next race. I've decided to experiment a bit with it, and try to be more disciplined with my pacing.

Looking back on my last two 5k's, I see a common trend. The table below shows my splits from my last three 5k's, but it's the most recent two (K and SB) that interest me the most:

The table shows my pace for each mile, my pace for the last .1, and my average pace for the entire race. Also, for each race a second (color) column shows the difference between the pace and the average overall pace. The image is a screenshot from Excel. Since Excel can't display a negative time, I used red to show negative. So if my pace was faster than average, it's green. If it was slower than average, it's red.

Here's what jumps out at me: As a new runner, I fall into the trap of sprinting out of the gate and paying the price later in the race.

With that in mind, here's my goal for next week: DON'T fall into the trap of sprinting out of the gate and paying the price later in the race.

Stated another way: Aim for even or negative splits.

I did some searching online for articles about race pacing and found several good ones, including a few linked below. I also found some workouts for negative split training:

Last night I tried one of the 5k negative split workouts at the link above. I did the 5x1000m intervals, where each interval is supposed to be faster than the last. Interval 1 is at tempo pace (8:04); interval 2 at 10k pace (7:57); interval 3 at 5k pace (7:40); interval 4 at 5s faster than 5k pace (7:35); and interval 5 as fast as you can go (??). 2min walking/rest between intervals. Also did 800m warm-up and cool-down. 
Here were my splits: 
I1: 5:02 (8:08 pace) 
I2: 4:58 (7:56 pace) 
I3: 4:48 (7:43 pace) 
I4: 4:43 (7:39 pace) 
I5: 4:42 (7:34 pace) 
I was a little slow on most of these, but it's hard for me to run a specific steady pace when I'm running this hard, and I was really trying not to go too fast so that I would accomplish the negative splits.

Tiger cub, exhausted after playing all day wit...Image via Wikipedia

And, no kidding: this was a tough workout!

So over the next several days I'm going to work on coming up with some target splits for next week's race. And I'm going to commit to following them, especially at the beginning of the race.

Here are links to a couple of articles on race pacing that I found interesting:
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hood to Coast

2008 Hood to Coast 17Image by cachew via Flickr
Last night my wife and I went to see the new Hood to Coast documentary. Maybe it's because I'm relatively new to running, or maybe it's because I'm not living in the northwest, but before I heard about this movie a few weeks ago, I had never heard of the Hood to Coast race. Turns out it's a pretty big deal. It's a 197mi relay race from Mt. Hood, through Portland, to the pacific coast. It's run by 12-person relay teams. Each runner does three 5-7 mile legs instead of a single 14-16 mile leg. I can see how this would add to the challenge because by your last leg, you've probably been up for 30 hours or more. Maybe you could squeeze in some sleep, but it just seems like I would have a hard time sleeping during an event like that.

I thought the documentary was very good, and I can't wait to watch it again. I hope it will be coming out on DVD soon. It followed four teams through the race. Periodically they would show a map to update the location of each team. I found myself wishing the teams weren't so far along, because it meant that the movie was getting close to the end (I was really enjoying it and didn't want it to be over!).

Each of the four teams had some sort of a unique story: a woman who had a heart attack during a previous HTC race; a family that lost a family member while preparing to run a previous HTC race; a group of older (masters) runners who feel like their running ability is on the decline (but they are still really fast); and a group that included at least a couple of people who had never done any running (and whose training apparently consisted of resting and beer-drinking). The mood of the movie swung from the sad emotions of the family remembering their lost family member, to the comedy of the new runners who seemed to have no idea what they had gotten themselves into. It was a fun ride, and I give the movie two big thumbs up.

It was fun to watch reactions of others coming out of the theater. My wife and I met two other couples, both included a runner and a non-runner (or close to non-runner). The runners in our group were pretty pumped, talking about how we should do a relay and joking (kinda) about how we should get a HTC team together. The non-runners thought it was kinda crazy. But, especially for the runners in the crowd, it seemed unanimous that the movie was inspiring and fun to watch.

Hood to CoastImage by garda via Flickr


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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2010 Year end report

This is my year end report generated by A few notes about it:
- I didn't start logging miles until late in January.
- From January through March I was on the Couch to 5k program.
- Mileage increase beginning in August was mostly because I decided to try to run a half marathon in December. Weekend runs started getting longer.
- Really wish I had hit 100 miles at least once. I got close a couple of times. Maybe this year.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Super Bowl XLV 5k and Freeze Your Thorns Off virtual 5k

As mentioned in my earlier post, I managed to set a new 5k PR today of 23:50. I'm really surprised by my time considering how unprepared I felt for today's race. On the other hand, I decided to give it all I had, and set some challenging goals.

Some goal splits scribbled on arm and hand

Here's something I learned today: If you want to get all of the fast runners in your area to show up to a race, offer a chance to win Super Bowl tickets! There were 988 runners at today's race, and some very impressive times. In my age group (35-39) there were five guys with times under 19 minutes! My time put me at 18th in my age group out of 74. I think this was the most competitive group of guys I've seen in my age group. The overall winner ran a sizzling 15:21. The overall masters winner was a 55yo male that ran a 16:38 (which put him 9th overall)!

Race conditions were great. The course was fairly flat, and the weather was sunny, calm, and cool - I think the temps were around 40-45 at the start. Low 40's are great for racing, but not so great for waiting for the race to start, so I waited until the last minute to get out of my warm car and head to the starting line. I did a slow jog to the start to warm up a bit. I actually timed things pretty well, because I only had to wait a couple of minutes before the horn sounded and we were off.

For some odd reason, there was a short sign in the middle of the road just past the starting line. People weren't able to see it until they were right up on it. So the result was alot of chaos and juking in the middle of the pack at the starting line.

Once I made it past that initial obstacle, I started off at a pretty fast pace. I checked my Garmin at about the 1/2 mile and my pace was low 7's. I knew I better back off a bit or I'd have a DNF or at least some walking in my very near future. Mile 2 I just pretty much zoned out and cruised. I started checking my pace more often during the last half of mile 2. I could feel myself slowing down, and I was starting to struggle to keep my pace. By the start of mile 3, it was a constant battle to keep my pace under 8. Mile 3 may have been the toughest mile I have ever run in my life. My heart rate was red-lining and my body ached like crazy. My legs were screaming to slow down, but I pushed on. With about 1/3 mile to go, I could finally see the finish line. It seems like there's nothing more motivating that seeing the finish line. I focused on the finish, determined not to quit so close to the end. As I made the final approach, I saw the finish line clock was around 23:40. I kicked hard and gave it all I had, determined to cross before 24.  Official time: 23:50 :)

Post-race, they had a pretty good band playing and some Sun chips and Snickers bars to snack on. I had some Sun chips, and saved the Snickers for my kids.

I was also surprised to receive a finisher's medal as I crossed the finish line! 

Finally, this race report wouldn't be complete without mentioning my other motivation for running hard today - my entry in the Freeze Your Thorns Off virtual 5k. From time to time, while running the streets of Richardson, I let my mind wonder to the desert landscapes of Arizona, as I virtually participated in The Boring Runner's 5k event. It was pretty cool to think about Adam's group in Arizona, along with other participants from all over, all participating in a virtual 5k today. Thanks, Adam, for providing me with a fun mental diversion to help pass the miles during a challenging race today!

New 5k PR!

23:50 :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ready to race (x2) tomorrow!

Tomorrow morning I'll be running two 5k's. Actually, I'm running at the Super Bowl XLV 5k, and I'll be using that race as my entry in the Freeze Your Thorns Off virtual 5k. This will be my first race of 2011, and my first 5k since October.

In a way, I feel a bit unprepared for this race. Here's why:
1. I took ten days off from running while sick with the flu over the Christmas holidays, and I've only been back running for about a week and a half since then.
2. I only learned about the Super Bowl XLV 5k a few days ago, and registered on a whim (why not? It was only $10, and I get a great long-sleeve t-shirt and a chance to win tix to the Super Bowl!)
3. No course map available for the Super Bowl XLV 5k - ugh! I feel like I'm racing blind without being able to scout the course in person or at least on Google maps ahead of time. I know this really shouldn't bother me so much - it's not like I'm not going to have a crowd ahead of me to follow :).
4. No past year's results to check out for the Super Bowl XLV 5k. I always look at past year's results to get an idea of what to expect in terms of size of the field and runner's abilities in my age group. I know it changes from year to year, but I look anyway.

On the other hand, I'm feeling great today and the weather tomorrow morning is supposed to be pretty good for racing (assuming the rain holds off until tomorrow pm like it's supposed to). I've had a hard time setting a time goal for this race, but here's what I've come up with:

» Finish under 30min - This means I decided to take it easy and just be happy that I got out and ran and took a chance on winning some Super Bowl tickets.
» Finish under 25min - This would require a good amount of effort.
» Finish under 24:22 (PR) - I'm still wondering how I managed this time back in October. If I did it once, I can do it again, but it would be a very good time for me.
» Finish under 23:30 - A very challenging goal, but anything can happen on race day.

Super Bowl XLV logo                

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Foto Friday

A cool gift from my wife - it's a photo collage of 2010 running pics:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011 Goals (part 2)

A few more things to add to my original 2011 goals post:

- I've been inspired by Adam over at The Boring Runner to establish a 1 mile PR in 2011. Along those lines, I also want to establish PR's for the 400m and 2mi run. I went back and found my fastest 400m training interval, which is now shown as my 400m PR. Since that was part of a 5x400m interval workout, I think I could beat it if I just ran one 400m flat out without having to save anything for later intervals. The 2mi distance gives me a chance to compare my current running ability to where I was back in my Army days. The Army's physical fitness test included a 2mi run, so back in those days it was all about the 2mi run time for me. It will be interesting to see if I can get my 2mi time back to where it used to be (I think it was around 13 min at my best).

- I want to blog/journal more consistently. I've be journaling my runs for about a year and blogging for about six months. I like being able to go back see where I've been. I wish there weren't so many gaps in my blog entries, though. I want to improve this year.

- Start taking more photos on my runs. I have only a handful of photos from the past year. I wish I had more.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Can I Get Faster At 40?

Found an interesting article today about performance potential for us old guys seasoned runners. Timely for a guy like me that's turning 40 this year, but still hoping my best running days are ahead of me.

Check it out:
Ask The Experts: Can I Get Faster At 40?

2011 Goals

marathon timing chipImage via Wikipedia
2010 was the year I started running. Sort of my Running 101 year. I began last January with Couch to 5k, and finished with a half marathon in December. But the one thing I'm most proud of is that I managed to be consistent with my running for the entire year. Everything else I accomplished can be traced back to simply being consistent. There were too many people and things that kept me motivated to list here, so I'll save that for another post. But, I will say that I love racing, and found that having an upcoming race on my calendar was huge for keeping me going.

So with all of that in mind, here are a few things I'd like to accomplish in 2011.

First, continue being consistent with my running. Pace and distance improvements are great, but at this stage I still feel that I'm very much a beginning runner, and as such, I'm told that consistency is key. So I've set a mileage goal of 1000 miles for 2011 in order to help me achieve my more general goal of running consistently. It will take a year-long, consistent effort to reach 1000 miles. That's an average of about 19 miles per week. It's very reachable, but only if I stay consistent.

Second, I want to keep a busy race schedule. I think it will help me achieve my first goal because racing is such a big motivation for me. The last thing I want is to show up on race day feeling unprepared. So on days I don't feel like running, I think about the upcoming race and how much better prepared I'll feel if I got in all of my training runs. That's usually enough to get me out the door. So in 2011 I plan to run 7-9 races. That's about one race every 5-6 weeks when you consider that not much racing goes on in Texas between mid-July and mid-September. I think that's about right. (although I have 2 races this month - how did that happen?)

Third, I want to get more consistent with core training. I would like to look back on 2011 this time next year and see that I became as consistent with core training in 2011 as I did with running in 2010. My goal is at least one core training workout per week.

So that's really about it for 2011-specific goals. I have other goals that I keep listed on my goals page, but those aren't necessarily goals that I feel like I have to accomplish in 2011 (although running a full marathon is something I would like to shoot for in late 2011). I'm sure that over the coming days and weeks I will think of other things I'd like to accomplish in 2011, but I think this is a pretty good start for now.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Super Bowl 5k!

The San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl XXIX troph...Image via Wikipedia
One of my goals for 2011 is to run more races than I did in 2010. That means at least seven, but I'm aiming for 7-9 races this year.

I'll be getting a quick start on this goal by running my first race of 2011 this Saturday. Last night, on a whim, I registered for the Super Bowl XLV 5k. The registration fee was only $10, and they are giving away a pair of tickets to the Super Bowl. Plus, I get a long-sleeve t-shirt. The race will be run through what looks like a pretty nice park area that I'm not familiar with, so it's also a good chance to check out a new park. It's a bit out of the way for regular runs, but it's always nice to have options when I have the time to drive a bit for a run.

My primary goal for this race is to win Super Bowl tickets. Other than that, I'm not taking the actual race too seriously, although it may really depend on how competitive I'm feeling that morning. Considering that I'm just coming off a bout with the flu, I'm not really feeling 100% ready to go out and PR. But who knows? Anyway, it's always fun to go run a race. I can't wait to win those Super Bowl tickets and post my first race bib for 2011.
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Monday, January 3, 2011

On the road again

Good gliding weather: Well-formed cumulus humi...Image via Wikipedia

Despite what my DailyMile widget over in the margin might say, I have been back to running the past couple of days.

Saturday afternoon I decided to try to go for my first run in about a week and a half. The weather was nice - sunny and 39 degrees, no wind. Almost perfect running weather (I prefer it closer to 50). I headed down to a local park that has about 6 miles of running paths. It's great for runs when I'm not feeling my best because I can get in a long run without ever being more than about a mile from my car. So I got to the park and got going, and almost quit immediately. Each step I took jarred my aching sinuses, so I was feeling a sharp pain in my face over and over again - not fun. I experimented with clenching my jaw and holding my face muscles tight- which helped a bit. Eventually after about a mile or so the pain eased up (or I just got used to it). Other than the sinus pain, the run went pretty well. Physically, it felt like I hadn't really lost anything. But mentally, it was way more challenging than normal for a 3.3 mile run. But I got through it just fine and decided to try to get back on the training plan on Sunday.

The training plan called for an easy 6 mile run on Sunday. I headed back to the park on Sunday afternoon, enjoying more great running weather. The sinus pain was gone, so physically the run went great. Mentally - still more challenging than normal. Usually I have a pretty good feel for how far I've run - I'm usually accurate within a 1/4 mile or so. But on Sunday the run kept feeling alot longer than it actually was. The first time I checked my distance on my Garmin, I expected to see about 4 or 4.5 miles...instead, it was less than 3.5. Guess I'll need to recalibrate my mental Garmin just a bit.

So, it's good to be back out running again. Just in time to get started on my 2011 goals...

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