The sound I dreaded hearing

ORN: 5 miles, 1 degree, 42:30 or thereabouts.

The real news of the day has nothing to do with running. Today was the day that I heard a sound that I have been anticipating and dreading for several months. Or, more specifically, two sounds, in very close conjunction with each other - a thud, and then a cry.

Yes, Kevin has now figured out how to climb out of his crib. I've been expecting it for quite some time, and, to be honest, was wondering why he hadn't bothered before now. I think he was wanting to get a new diaper (we're starting potty training, and he's finally learned to accept pull-up diapers), and, when I didn't instantly materialize to attend to his needs, decided to go get it himself.

He was okay - more shaken up than anything. He did cut his lip a little, but after a couple minutes of being held and checked out, he was up and grabbing for a new diaper. We have a big-boy bed ready, and it looks like we need to pull it out and assemble it soon.


Insert witty title here

ORN: 5.25 miles, 43:30 (or thereabouts), 1 degree. A little faster than yesterday, but a shorter distance. Today hasn't had anything really noteworthy happen, to be honest, but I wanted to let the world know that I did indeed run today.


Choosy dads chose something else

The other day, I was listening to the radio, and an ad came on for Ace Hardware. Now, Ace, for years, has had the little jingle that goes "Ace is the place with the helpful hardware man." Only now, it's been changed to "Ace is the place with the helpful hardware folks." I heard it, and that, good for them. I'm all for companies trying to get rid of jingles and ads that, unless appropriate*, pretty much single out one race or gender and, by extension, tend to exclude others.

(* Ie, I don't get my undies in a twist by the lack of men in tampon commercials, or the lack of women in Barbasol ads.)

Anyway, I'm wondering when or if Jif peanut butter is ever going to change their slogan. Remember it? "Choosy moms choose Jif." Now, I understand that women are the primary shoppers in most households. But there are about 190,000 stay-at-home dads out there, and we do our shopping too. If it's wrong to use fireman or hardware man (despite the preponderance of fire-fighters being men), then surely Jif can get with the times as well?

Naah. It's never gonna happen. I've complained to them before, and it's not going to change. It's the big problem behind being a SAHD. Most people assume that you couldn't hack it in the real world, and you're constantly dealing with stereotypes perpetuated by movies like these.

Sweaty, sore and tired

but lovin' it!

ORN: 6 miles, 1 degree incline, 51 minutes (and change). Sure, it was a dreadmill run, but, since I wasn't coughing up a lung this morning, I got out and got running again. It was a lot tougher than I originally intended to go, but I felt pretty good in the beginning, and just kept plugging away at it. The last mile or so got tough, but I wasn't going to quit today.

Hopefully, I can do pretty much the same thing tomorrow and Friday, and get in a good long slow run on Saturday. It won't put me entirely back on track, but it will start making up for some of that lost time.


Still not running

Okay, being sick just stinks. Fortunately, it's not a "say goodbye to consciousness and welcome to fever-induced hallucinations" sick, because right now, my wife is on a business trip. So, it's just me and the little one at home. My regular reader(s) know(s) that I am a stya-at-home dad anyway, but, normally, if I am really sick, my wife can come home early and give me a break. Not now - she's down in sunny Florida, and I am in gloomy Michigan.

And, the li'l one is sick too - but, whereas I feel lethargic and stumble through the day, he's careering off the walls and bouncing around. Fortunately, I think we are both better, and unless I am coughing up a lung tomorrow, we are getting out and to the gym for some running.

I need to get some runs in this week, because Saturday needs to be a good, long run. Right now, I have two options - do my long run before climbing into the car for a four-hour drive; or doing my long run after arriving at our destination. Neither sounds better than the other, to be honest - I'll probably decide sometime Thursday or Friday, and it might come down to which has the better route.


Blerg (and the hidden cost of running)

ORN: Nothing for a couple of days now. I've been under the weather - not "confined to bed" sick, but a general malaise that, coupled with a bunch of minor aches and pains, has made getting out and being active pretty much a pipe dream. Anyway, on to the real topic:

A lot of people say that running is an incredibly cheap hobby, and, for the most part, this is basically true. After all, you can jog along in cheap sneakers, gym shorts and a cotton T-shirt, and many people, perhaps most, do. But, even though I am not competitive (in the sense that I am close to being ranked by age, gender or overall time), I still, like many others, buy the tech shirts, Gu, etc. I was thinking about this earlier today, when I made the trip to pick up Gu for the rest of my marathon training cycle, and enough for another possible race. So far, I think I have spent the following over the last year:

Shoes: $400 (4 or 5 pairs, at $80-$100 each. Sounds about right)
MP3 player: $150
Batteries for same: $20
Tech shirts, shorts, socks, etc - $200
Gu/Clif shots/fuel belt/etc - $130

Now, those costs are guesses, but probably pretty close. Some costs are basically one-shots - I don't need another MP3 player, and don't particularly want one. I'm perfectly happy with the one that I have now. Likewise, I really don't need another fuel belt, though I will confess that I wouldn't mind one with a larger water capacity. I'm pretty well fixed for clothes, though eventually I will have to replace the socks, and extra shirts means that I don't have to do laundry as often.

At any rate, I figure that, on average, a long run (anything over one hour outside, where I take along the fuel belt and Gu) costs me anywhere $4-5 (without considering wear & tear on the shoes) to $8-10 (including wear & tear). Without gym membership, the average week of short runs (anything under 1 hour), costs me about $6. So, each week, I spend, on average, probably $10-$20. Not bad, considering that I get about 6-8 hours of activity, and plenty of health benefits in the bargain. It's a much better deal than going to the movies.


Oh yeah, I did some running and stuff too

ORN (Tuesday): Bike workout, 45 minutes, new hill program, new bike. This wasn't the same style of bike that I had been using, and the hill program was definitely not what I expected. The workout was a lot more difficult to get into, and my mind wasn't really on it. I called it after 45 minutes (instead of an hour), and did some weights. I think (actually, I know, that I was stressed over the computer issues, and hadn't slept well the night previous.)

ORN (today): Speedwork, 1.1 mile of warmup (going from moderate walk to slow run - about 10 minutes total), then 2 continuous miles at a sub-7:00 pace. Not much sub-7:00, but it was indeed faster than normal. By contrast to what I was years ago, this is still really slow, but it's a nice improvement from six months ago.

Someone (probably the gal next to me) was wearing a heart monitor, and it kept feeding information to the dreadmill that I was using as well. I know that my heart rate was well in excess of 125 - though I did not check it until I was walking my cool-down. The feed wasn't constant though, so the HR would flicker on and off, which was moderately distracting.

I finished off with some light weights - I'm trying to ensure that I hit different weight machines each day, but still manange to get them all in a couple of times per week. Not sure if it will make any difference in my running, but I figure that it probably won't hurt it any either.

It's alive!

ORN: See another post.

OKay, so, on Saturday, after determining that the Bonus Fairy was good to us (well, to my wife) this year, we went computer shopping. And, we "settled" on something a little closer to top of the line than what we had been looking at several months ago. Instead of starting with 1 gig of Ram, I got 2. And a 19" flat panel. And a nice, fast processor.

Due to various and sundry reasons, it sat, unopened, until Monday. (I had gaming on Sat night, which was a legitimate geek activity. Sunday, I did some other random geek things, but hadn't finished clearing off the desk in order to properly enshrine the new machine.) So, Monday night I pull it out, plug it in, and start going through the initial setup routine.

Halfway through, the whole screen kind of shifts, and then blurs out of focus. I can make out vague details, but print is basically not going to happen. So, I pretty much exit out of setup, power down, check all the connections, and start up again. Same problem.

Nuts. OKay, disconnect monitor, repack monitor, back to the store. Whereupon they plug it in, and it looks fine. I shrug, they shrug, I check the in-store machine to ensure that there is only one monitor port, and discuss possible solutions - among them, that the computer might be the problem.

I go back home, set everything up again, watch as the screen futzes out again. Store is closed at this point, so I have to wait until tomorrow. I'm annoyed, and upset - there is a short period (well, 2 weeks) to bring back some defective merchandise - I'd like to run roughshod over the equipment while it is still under that grace period.

I cart everything upstairs, so that it is out of the way of the son when he goes about his daily demolition derby downstairs, and try a couple more things. I test old monitor vs new machine, new monitor vs old machine, etc.

Yesterday, I pack up everything while he is napping, and, once my wife gets home, take the machine and the monitor back. This time, when they power up the monitor, it looks a little blurry from the get-go, which is a huge improvement over what it did Monday night. After a few minutes, in which it gets progressively worse, they send back for another monitor. They hook it up to my machine, and I tell them that I am going to wander around the store for a while before taking monitor #2 home with me.

Some time later, the monitor is still happy, so I go home, and install some software which is supposed to help transfer all the files from the old PC to the new one. Software is installed, but old machine does not recognize the USB cable. At all. Anywhere. After messing around with it for half an hour or so, I say "To hell with this!" and head for the basement. A few minutes of searching rewards me with an old Ethernet cable I had stuck away. A few minutes work allowed me to set up a LAN between both machines, and, once that was done, the software worked pretty darned well. Considering that, given the inability of the old machine to burn CDs anymore, it was money well spent.

That process, however, takes all of last night. (Not shocking, considering that I shoved something like 20 gig of data over that poor little cable. And that the program needed prodding from me, telling it to ignore certain issues.) So, today, I get ready to connect to the 'net on the new machine, and. . . Nothing.

Kinda like the scene from Empire Strikes Back, where they go to escape, and the hyperdrive completely fails. No connection. Nothing. All lights are green on the cable modem, but no one is home.

Doh! It doesn't transfer the drivers. This might be problematic. I disconnect the modem, hook up the old machine, hook up the modem, find the drivers, and, despite the advice of tech support (since I cannot find the install disk - for all I know, it's in Omaha somewhere), manage to finally get the modem working.

So, I am sitting here now, with a new keyboard (which feels strange as all get out), and a huge monitor, and life is gooood.

Now all I have to do is hook up the remote, and figure out how to watch television on this thing.


Random credit card thought

OKay, I was buying some software today (to go with my new computer - I'll post on it when I have it set up and all my old programs/files transferred), and I noticed something. Usually, when you pay with a credit card, the screen has something along the lines of "Is this amount OK?" Presumably, this helps prevent fraud, though I doubt that many people actually pay close attention.

Anyway, this screen said something like "Is this the amount that you would like to charge to your card?" and my first thought was "No, I'd like to charge nothing, and get this item for free."

Recovery run

ORN: 34 minutes, 4.15 miles (including warm-up of about .1 miles, 1:30), 1 degree on the dreadmill. Today, as has been the case with Mondays for the last month or so, I had a short workout in order to get in the swimming lessons with my son. I was planning on holding back somewhat, depending on how my legs felt, but after a mile or so, everything was going smoothly, and I just started ramping up the speed. I did most of the run at better than a 8:30 pace, and could have easily kept going for another mile or two if I hadn't cut it short.

Either the long runs are starting to bear fruit, or I have just been slacking. Possibly both.


Another PR, and another long run

ORN: Outdoors, 9/1 run/walk split, 19 miles (plus a bit, maybe another quarter), 2 hours, 57 minutes. This is the longest I have ever run, breaking last weeks personal distance record. For most of the run, I felt pretty good, except for the fact that it was cold. When I was out of the wind (or had it to my back or side), it wasn't bad, but the first half of the run (pretty much) was all into the wind. It was in the low 20s when I started, except when the wind blew - and that brought it down to 0, give or take. Even now, the winds is bad enough that the perceived temp is about 10 degrees lower than the actual.

I didn't feel nearly as strong as I did last week - I attribute some of that to staying up too late last night, having wine with dinner (and more after), and being kind of a slug regarding my training this week. I finished, but there were several points where I contemplated calling it a day and heading home. Of course, I was also about 4 miles from home at the time, so running was the quickest way to get back. (I was near civilization - if I had really been feeling bad, as opposed to just lazy, I could have swallowed my pride and called home for a pickup - but "I didn't feel like running anymore" wasn't a good enough justification.)


Half-mile repeats

ORN: 4.5 miles, about 36 minutes, 1 degree incline. Today was speedwork, so I did a mile of warm-up, and then started doing 1/2 miles at a 6:30 pace, followed by 1/4 mile recovery at about a 9:40 pace. I managed to get 5 repetitions in, which was actually one more than my goal. I felt pretty good through all of them, although the last two were kind of difficult, and the last one left me wondering if I had any more gas left in the tank. I like this workout (though I did get stuck on one of the bad dreadmills), so I'll probably repeat it next Wednesday, and try to add another repetition.

I have noticed one thing about the Y lately. Okay, we're all going there to work out. Some people are doing 6 miles on the dreadmill, some are doing weights, some are swimming, some are biking, some are walking for 30 minutes, and some are taking an aerobics class. Yet invariably, we all try to park as close to the door as possible. I can understand the elderly doing so, and those of us with young children, but really - if you are committing to an hour of cardio workout, you might as well park an extra 20 yards away. It can't hurt, and those extra steps do eventually add up.

Pedal to the metal

ORN: No running. Biking, 60 minutes, 21.6 miles, hill program at lvl 13, followed by light weights. Pretty easy day, actually. I was using the more traditional model of the exercise bike, as opposed to the recumbant. Today was supposed to be a cross-train day, and the plan says that these are generally easy, so I try not to push myself too hard. The hills allows it to feel like I am doing som work, but not enough that it bothers me for the rest of the day.

I will confess to taking an afternoon nap - but I blame that on the fact that I woke up last night at 2 am, and took almost an hour to get back to sleep. I was tired when I got up this morning, and tired until I got that nap.

I will also confess that I always get a nice little ego boost from doing my bike workouts. There are a fair number of people at the Y who run faster than I do - I'm not the slowest, but I am a far cry from some of the more zippy runners. But, when I climb on that bike, I know that very few at the Y bike at the same speeds and levels that I do. Most people are levels lower, and slower by more than 20 rpm. I know that some people are certainly faster, but not nearly as many as the number of faster runners. It's nice to know that I am pretty good at something.

Of course, then I follow it with weights, where I seem to invariably wind up behind someone who has arms that a bigger than my legs, and have to take the machines down from 1.3 tons to 60 pounds or something.


Well, that's a sigh of relief

ORN: 4 miles, 35-36 minutes, 1 degree. Again, hamster run on the dreadmill, followed by 30 minutes of daddy & son swim time. (The class might actually be called Mommy & Me or something, but Kevin knows it as "time to be a little fish," and I reserve the right to call it whatever I want anyway.)

Today's run was a little faster than I intended on going. It was supposed to be a recovery run, following Saturday's 16-miler, but I wanted to get in four miles before the swim class started. Sure, the increased speed meant that I did 4 miles, as opposed to 3.8 or 3.9, but that round number does look a little better - and it sits better with me.

I was a little stiff and awkward for the first mile or so, but then the kinks started working themselves out and running got easier. I probably should have gotten out and done more yesterday than just a short walk. I wasn't in pain or anything; I was just lazy, and resting in case my body really needed it.

During Saturday's run, my wife passed by me in the car. She and the son were out running errands, and happened to go by as I was on the final leg of my run. (I know where I was on the road, but unsure of the exact mileage; it was somewhere between mile 14 and 15.) She said that I looked good, and that my posture and stride looked pretty strong, which mirrors how I felt. If the next couple long runs (18 and 20) turn out the same way, I will have no worries about completing the marathon. Actually, I don't worry about it much now; but a couple more long training runs will really go a long way toward building my confidence.


All in all, not a bad run at all.

ORN: 16 miles, outside, about 2:40, 9/1 run/walk split. I'm not entirely sure on the time, but that's pretty close. I stopped the timer a couple of times - when I bought another container of water from a gas station, and when I had to wait for a couple of lights. I wasn't trying for a certain time today anyway.

I really just wanted to get out, for a nice long run. Just me, the road, my watch, and the random dead animals that happen to litter the roadside. I didn't take my music, because I wanted to enjoy the run without any distractions. Inside, on a hamster pad, I need the music for my longer runs to distract me from the mind-numbing boredom that comes with a steady pace and unchanging scenery. Outside, music is nice, but not required - and not always desireable.

Today is my longest run to date, and I felt pretty good all the way through. Taking yesterday off, and stopping at the first indication of possible injury on Thursday was a good move - my knee didn't bother me running. I did stress a couple random muscles - nothing serious, just a mild ache that reminds me that a road is cambered, and that shoulders are not always flat. It was good though - I need those muscles to be strong when it comes to running a long trail race, and they don't get enough of a workout when I am inside.

I did get the chance to start testing some of the various flavors of Gu and Clif Shots. I don't know what will be given away for any given race, so I plan on bringing my own, and I want to find out now what works well on my runs, and which flavors I like. If something makes me kinda nauseus or is particularly hard to swallow, I'd rather find out now, when the only thing that matters is my pride.

I did get a couple "Oh, you wuss" looks from people when I would start my walk breaks. I wanted to turn around and follow them for a bit, and let them know that, by the time they gave me the look, I had already been running (with some walking) for 2 hours, and had covered 12 or 13 miles. I don't need to do the 9/1 splits for anything up to 90 minutes, but I am still using it for my really long runs. I don't plan on always using it, but my current goal is to build my base and stay (relatively) injury-free. If it means that I take walk breaks, then so be it.

During my run, I pretty much decided that I am not even going to worry about setting PRs this year - I will, almost certainly, set a few (since I have never run a marathon, or a 25k before), but this year is going to be about building a long-term, solid foundation and really enjoying the process of putting one foot in front of the other, again and again, as the miles flow by underneath.


Sometimes the best run is no run at all

ORN: 3.46 miles, 30-odd minutes, 1 degree. I was on the dreadmill again, doing a nice and easy recovery run after yesterday's speedwork. At least, that was the plan. From the very beginning of the run, things just didn't feel right. You know the feeling - your stride feels off, the speed seems very out of proportion to the effort, and it's just not "clicking." In my experience, this occurs from time to time, sometimes even in the middle of the run. If I stick it out, and ride it out, it goes away, and I can settle back into a decent pace.

Things got better, but it still didn't feel quite like normal (though pretty close, and not bad, considering yesterday's efforts), when my knee started twinging at about 3.25 miles. I stuck with it a bit, then stopped and tried stretching it out. It felt better, but not well enough to resume running, so I called the run finished then and there.

Had I been out on the road, I could have walked home - I was only planning on going 6 miles or so anyway, and the knee is fine for walking. But running was putting all kinds of stress on it, and, with a long run of 16 miles planned for Saturday, I'd rather take today easy (as well as tomorrow's cross-training session) than have to skip Saturday's run.

On the way home, I decided to take a detour and scope out a possible route for the long run - the various mapping programs are only as accurate as Google maps, and I'd rather not find out the hard way that a connecting road doesn't exist. So, I passed my normal exit and headed for the next one, to scope out the route. My son, who was in the back seat, looked up as we passed our exit, and started pointing to it, saying "Up! Up! Up!". He wanted Daddy to know that Daddy was going the wrong way to get home. Once I explained that we were taking a detour (aka, an extra bye-bye), he was okay with it.



ORN: 4.5 miles, 40 minutes, 1 degree incline. Yep, another dreadmill run. I took yesterday off, after looking at my schedule and realizing that I wouldn't otherwise have any time off between last weeks LSD run and this weeks LSD run. Since that's probably not a good idea, I took yesterday off, and it probably helped with today's speedwork.

Now, speedwork is all relative. What is speedy to me is a sustainable race pace for many other people, but that's okay. I'm looking for personal improvement, not burning with desire to be the fastest runner in America. Anyway, I did about 1.5 miles of warmup (walking, then to slowish jog), and then did a "fast" mile (okay, not real fast, but it was a 7:03 pace). Then, a mile of recovery, and another "fast" mile, with an untimed cooldown walk at the end. Pulse got a little high on the fast miles (I presume), but it felt like a real effort, which is what I wanted.

Next week will probably be half mile repeats - fast half, slow half, continue until dead tired. Depending on what fast and slow mean in that context, it could be as little as 2 iterations, but I'd like to do 5 or 6 fast half miles.

On the way back, I also checked out my planned route for Saturday's long run. I've already driven over most of it, but added a detour to up the mileage. It's a good thing that I checked - the Gmaps Pedometer showed a road that is not there. The gap isn't bad, only a hundred yards or so, and I have no philosophical objection to running over an unpaved surface. (Heck, I prefer trails to concrete.) What I do have an objection to is the possibility that the landowner will be (1) present; and (2) really touchy about me running over that short span of terrain. So, I'll figure out another route.


Recovery? Rest day? Who needs 'em?

ORN: 4.6 miles, 40 minutes, 1 degree incline. Yep, another dreadmill run. Let's face it, almost all of my runs are going to be dreadmill runs. Until it either gets lighter outside at night, or they actually put some lights in more of the neighborhood, I'm not going to be doing much running outdoors. During the day, I would have to push Kevin around in the jogging stroller, which is really meant for short, 2-3 mile jogs, not 6-8 mile runs. So, I take him to the Y, where they can watch him while I do my hamster impersonations.

Today was ostensibly a recovery run from yesterday's long run. According to the schedule, the day after the long run is supposed to be a rest day, but I am trying to get the schedule back on track without losing too many miles. So, I took today pretty easy, though I admit to being a bit on the stiff and sore side for the first mile or so.

I did have an interesting conversation with one of the people at the Y. There is a program for people recovering from heart attacks, or who, for other reasons, find it useful to have a nurse nearby to monitor heart rates, blood pressure, and so forth. So, today I asked her (while I was running along) how accurate the heart monitors on the 'mill were. She told me that they were usually pretty accurate, though for some people they read about half of what it should be. I told her that my reading certainly wasn't low - if anything, it seemed really high.

So, she took my pulse (which was where I thought it was - about 170), and then I resumed running, continuing the conversation. I feel much better about things right now - see, I have the general fitness that I want. In theory, a HR of 170 is about 85% (going with the 220 - 1/2 age idea), or about 92% (going by the 220 - age formula). I can hold that pace, and converse, at that heart rate, for somewhere in the neighborhood of an hour to an hour and a half. I can slow down a little, and probably do that for considerably longer. Strike that - I know that I can. After all, yesterday, I felt winded and sore during the run, but it would have actually been easier to run along with someone, at about a 9-minute pace, for that entire time.

I'm fit. I'm just not fast. I have to keep reminding myself of that. And, remind myself that, I can speed up. Tomorrow is cross-training, and Wednesday is tempo work. I might not see any difference before the end of Spril, but I will before the end of summer.


A new record

ORN: 14 miles, 1 degree incline, about 2 hours, 10 minutes. Technically, this is probably a new record - none of my training runs have been this long (to date). The run itself was, while not disappointing, not great either. It's not because it was on a dreadmill - while I dislike the hamster feeling, that usually doesn't bother me much. (I do have a massive crick in my neck, but that comes from trying to watch the TV while running. I wish those things were lower.)

No, the problem is that today's run was too fast - it's not appreciably slower than my most recent half-marathon times, when adjusted for distance. Take off that extra .9 miles, and sure, it's slower than my most recent time by about 30 seconds per mile - without Gatorade, Gu, or crowds, but alone on a hamster pad.

I need to take things slower on my long runs - if I start out too quickly (as I did today), I just burn myself out. I'm probably going to have to do a run/walk thing anyway, but I'd like for it to be a relatively strong performance.

The run/walk option is due to a potential reassessment of my abilities. Thursday's run forced me to take several days off, most of which I attribute to attempting to go too slowly, at a pace which is only marginally faster than my walking pace. (Yes, I do naturally walk close to 5 mph, without hurrying - it's faster when I actually need to get somewhere.) Anyway, the rest forced me to look at some things in a more critical light (like, say, my diet - which has been abyssmally low in protein lately) and available training time.

It's no big deal - I'm fit, but not fast. My speed will still improve, but even in high school, I wasn't fast - I had an average speed which I could maintain for longer than other. That still doesn't mean that I don't envy the fast runners (like the gal next to me who ran 10 miles at a much faster pace than I was doing.)


Crappy dreadmill run

ORN: 6.5 miles, 1 degree, 60 minutes.

Okay, I'm confused, hurt and really ticked off. My marathon plan calls for today to be an easy, middle-distance run, to recuperate slightly from yesterday's tempo work. That means that my heart rate should be in the 140-150 range, max, and a little lower wouldn't be bad. So, I start my run with a little warm-up walk, and settle into a nice, comfortable 9 minute pace (give or take), slowly easing into it. After about 20 minutes, I pause the dreadmill and use it to take my pulse. I'm curious, but not real aprehensive - this is a "happy pace", which I can comfortably hold for well over an hour at this point.

My pulse comes back at 175 (or something similar - might be off by a beat or two, but it was in the mid-170's.)


This puts it above the moderate-hard level - if that thign is accurate, I tool along, happily and without much effort, at something like 95% of maximum for almost an hour. Now, I admit that after 40-50 minutes, I might have a problem carrying on a conversation - but up until then, I can talk normally and almost sing (depending on the day, I can, actually).

So, I curse silently, and start dialing back down, pausing every five minutes or so and rechecking my pulse. It finally gets into the "acceptable" range at about 6.1 miles, and I run most of another 30 minutes at that pace. It hurts. It's uncomfortable. It's bloody painful, dammit. So bad, actually, that I say, "To hell with this" at the 50 minute mark, and start bringing the speed back up. I finish strong, and in much less pain than I was earlier in the run.

But now, I'm sitting here, typing away and feeling the aftereffects of that horribly painful middle 30 minutes. I'm hoping that the cross-training tomorrow goes well - but if some of this pain persists, I might have to radically retool my training schedule to account for the time I will lose healing.

Which might well mean the difference between actually running the whole thing, and going the run/walk route.

On the plus side - I got new shoes today. Same brand as last time, but slightly larger, for the long runs. The other ones start giving hot spots at about an hour, and blisters at about 90 minutes. The increase in size should prevent the problem.


Yesterday's workout left a mark

ORN: 4 miles, 35-ish minutes, 1 degree incline. Speedwork, so more than half of it is either walking or slog job recovery.

I had originally planned on doing a warm-up, a fast mile (at about a 7:00 pace), then a slow mile, then possibly another fast mile. Well, the warm-up went as planned, and the fast mile was actually at a good (for me) 6:34 pace. I finished it strong, took the recovery, and, when it came around to the second fast mile, I could only manage about .55 miles. I slowed down, took some recovery, and finished with a strong quarter mile. So, while I didn't hit my hopeful goal, I'm very happy with the fast mile. I think if I had taken it at closer to the original goal pace, I would have been able to stick out another .45 miles the second time around.

Anyway, part of it was also the leftovers from yesterdays stairs and hills. I felt a little sluggish, even during the warm-up, so my cross-training next Tuesday will have to be toned down a little if I want to improve on today's performance.