Sleepless in suburbia

Okay, technically, I am not in a suburb, but last night was a sleepless night. The little one was snorky and fussy pretty much all night long, from sometime after 1am until sometime around 6am. And, since my lovely wife went back to work today, I was up all night. Needless to say, we didn't go anywhere today, although I did get in 3 miles on the hamster pad down in the basement.

I'm still not guessing much on a time for Saturday's half-marathon. I plan on putting some effort into it, but I doubt that it will be as fast as I would like or hope (though I could be pleasantly surprised, after the 10k). It's more of a long training run than anything else, but it should be a good benchmark for my current abilities.

Looks like it's time to go see if I can get another bottle into the little one. Hopefully, she'll sleep until dawn or so after that.


Woohoo! I placed!

(Or, how I love small races.)

Today was the Lakeview Health & Fitness Expo, a new local event that was created as a fund-raising alternative to a candy drive or bake sale. They had a rock wall, a inflatable bouncy thing, the obligatory six or seven chiropractors who always seem to be present at these things, a 1 mile fun run, a 5k and a 10k race.

I decided to go ahead and do the 10k race - after all, my training runs are about 4-5 miles, so a 10k is pretty easy, and it's a good indicator of how fast I currently am. So this morning, I get up, get dressed, and head over for the run. I wasn't really worried about it, and I certainly wasn't planning on placing. It was just a 10k training run, nothing more, nothing less.

The course was described as having "slight elevation changes". I suppose that is true - when the course begins, and within the first couple hundred yards starts climbing a hill. And, the middle of the 10k happened to coincide with the stretch of road that I used for my hill exercises last summer.

Yarite. I finished 9th overall, with a total time of 45:39. I also placed first* in my age group (woohoo!), and even got a little medal for it. Sure, it was a small field, but I did have competition, although I wasn't even close to the rabbits who took first, with 37:56, 38:23 and 39:30. I saw them, early on, but wasn't in any shape to keep up. Still, I could have run a bit harder, and I still finished earlier than my guesstimation time.

* Technically, second, I suppose, but since you are yanked out of your age bracket if you are in the top 3, I am going to claim it. I got the medal for first. :)

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Well, that was smart

Yesterday, I did a hill workout. Sure, it was slow, and on the treadmill, but any workout where the lowest incline is 3.0, and the highest is 9.2 or so is probably reasonably tough. So, instead of taking it easy today, I decided to do a tempo run. Ouch. I'm sure it will make me stronger, eventually.

The rest of the week should be pretty easy, since I am doing a little "mini-taper" before a 10k race on Saturday. I'm not really racing it, but I do want to see how fast I can do a 10k without really trying. My guess is somewhere between 48 and 50 minutes, but I'm not really sure. If all goes well, and the course and weather are kind, I could get down toward 45, but I don't see that as being too likely.

Oh, and for cross-training: today, the son threw what amounted to a 4 hour tantrum. If that didn't train me for being cross, crabby and cranky, not much will.

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Might as well start recording those too

I started recording my bike miles as well. I generally don't bother, since I use the spin bikes (when I bike after a run), and the best I can do on those is an estimate, along the lines of "Well, I biked for 10 minutes, and it was a moderate pace, so it was probably about 3 or 3.5 miles." But, since the current "100 mile sprint" thing at the Y allows for bike miles too, I might as well record them on something which can give me a distance.

So, today was hills, on a higher level than I probably should have done. At least I kept it slow, since I have no desire to injure myself before Saturday's race.


Good luck tomorrow, Boston runners

Short blog entry, merely to wish good luck to everyone running in the Boston Marathon tomorrow. Tough course, bad weather - sounds like fun, wish I was there. I'll watch it on TV, and root for everyone running, from the first runner to the last.


"Emergency Stop" isn't

OKay, finally catching up again. So, last Wednesday (no, not the 4th, I'm talking about March), I was running at the Y near my in-laws, when I had a conversation with the lady two treadmills over. (This will lead eventually into a rant about BQ times, I promise - but not in this post.) She and I talked marathons and running for a while, maybe 10 minutes, and at a volume that wasn't disturbing anyone. So, curteous souls that we both are, when a gentleman stepped up the the hamster pad between us, I wished her good luck and we stopped talking by mutual agreement.

Fast forward a few minutes. I have my headphones on again, volume at a level where I can hear the song above the increasing whine of the dreadmill's motor (I'm starting into my final couple of miles, and speeding up a bit), when the gentleman slips. And falls.

Now the treadmill is still moving. He wasn't running fast, not much more than a brisk walk, but it's still a painful fall, and then he's being abraded by the belt as he's trying to get up. His glasses are off, he can't see, and I reach over and smack the big red "STOP" button that is oh so conveniently situated on the handrail on this model. And, lo and behold, the treadmill starts to stop; which is to say that is slows down a tad. Meanwhile, my earlier conversation companion is telling me "Hit the stop button," and I am telling her "I did. I did," while mashing at it again. (She and I are actually still running during this - I was pleasantly surprised aferwards that neither of us fell too!) Eventually, the program decides that "STOP" really means "STOP," and not just "Hey, could ya slow it down a notch?" and the belt grinds to a halt.

The guy is scraped up, but says that he is okay in response to our questions. He leaves after a couple minutes, and I hope that he was really okay. Scary stuff - you think that hitting that button really will stop you in an emergency, and it turns out that all it does on that model is dump you into cool-down mode. Kind of makes me wonder what the emergency stop on my home model would do. . . and I think that I probably ought to check it out sometime.

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Working on rebuilding the base

I haven't been training with a heart rate monitor (my dreadmill came with a free one, and I pretty much got what I paid for it - sometimes it's accurate, sometimes it's off by a little, and from time to time, it tells me that I am dead), so I have been going by perceived effort.

It's not a bad idea - I try to do my long runs at a very easy pace, my base runs at a faster, but still conversational pace, my tempo at the point where I can talk, but probably shouldn't, and my real speedwork (or attempts thereat) at a speed where I can't spare the oxygen. Tonight, since I got almost no sleep last night (both kids tempermental, and the smallest up at all hours), my run was much more difficult than it would normally be for that pace.

If I had wanted to, I could have carried on a conversation. I passed on it, however, since (1) it would have been difficult, talking over the fan and the television; and (2) people look at you funny if you make talking to yourself a habit, so I try not to indulge, even when in the privacy of my own basement.


That was a bad idea

Still haven't caught up, but I thought I would mention this:

If you do intervals on (say) Tuesday night, then Wednesday afternoon is probably not a good time to do a tempo run. I suffered through it, and even did a nice 3 miles at my current hopeful race pace, but it wasn't a pretty sight.

Today was a longer recovery run. The most difficult thing was watching the woman two dreadmills down who was doing (what I hope) was a long tempo run, and thinking "I could do that, probably." I might have been able to (though it would have been a fast pace for an hour run), but I really needed to do a recovery run, and not beat myself up so much.


Yes, I'm back

I was on vacation (actually, we all were - off to see the in-laws and catch up on sleep), and the internet access that I thought I would have, I didn't. I won't post much tonight, but I will try to catch up, including thoughts on a long slow run, how "Emergency Stop" on a treadmill isn't, a rant on Boston qualifying times, and some other random thoughts.

For what it's worth - I did actually run a fair amount last week, logging over 30 miles, despite missing two days.