Lost some time there. . .

Now that blogger has switched to the dark side, I've realized that, away from my computer, I can't blog, because I never can remember the stupid password I chose, and my last couple attempts to create a new one have been less than successful.

So, anyway, I lost a fair amount of training, as almost always, by going on vacation to the in-laws for Memorial Day. We went to baptize our daughter (who was just perfect through the whole ordeal, despite a mega-poopy diaper that threatened major leakage), and I used the trip to catch up on some much-needed sleep. I still got in one good run, and did a lot of chasing after the son, but it's not the long Saturday runs and several quality workouts that I would normally do over the weekend.

Still, I am going to count the two hours of pushing the mower around the yard yesterday as cross-training, so it wasn't a total wash. And I did manage to get in a run for today, and should get in decent ones for the rest of the week. I might even start posting every couple of days again. . . .


Well, that's a new kind of pain

I'm starting to get a little more serious about training for Chicago. All winter long, I've been maintaining and improving on my base, but I haven't really been pushing it all that much. But, since May is almost over, and October is suddenly a lot closer on the calendar, I'm starting up some of my harder workouts again.

Yesterday was hills. Sure, they are dreadmill hills. But, thanks to this handy little chart I found on a random Google search some time ago, I can see roughly how tough my effort really is. Judging from the chart, since I don't slow down for the higher elevations on the treadmill (in other words, if I start at 7.4 mph, I will finish at 7.4 mph, or faster, and only very rarely will I drop below that pace for any reason), I'm doing something of a speed workout as well.

And today was ostensibly a recovery run. I probably took it a bit on the fast side, but what's really left me sore was the water running. It wasn't deep water running, but doing some water running exercises in the local pool. Water depth ranged from 3 feet to neck high (where I turned around, because I have all the floatation properties of a brick). For such a short (and low-impact) workout, my legs are sore. Hopefull tmorrow goes well - though I am thinking that, based on my hill workouts, I can go easier on the speedwork. Maybe I will alternate weeks of hills and real speedwork or something.


OKay, my life has been really boring lately. . .

And thus, no new posts. I was reading around this afternoon, and figured I ought to at least drop a random post that says "Yes indeedy, I am still alive and running. In fact, I started my long runs this last week, and should see my weekly mileage hit an average of 40 or so by early June."

See, not too exiting, huh? I'll try to think of something interesting in the next couple of days.


Well, knock me over with a feather - a new PR

Or, perhaps more appropriately, how did that happen?

Saturday was the Borgess Run for the Health of It half marathon. I signed up for it a while ago, intending mainly to use it as a benchmark, a test run to see how much I had lost in the last couple of months. I've been doing my short runs, to the tune of 25 or 30 miles a week, but I think I have had only one double-digit run since Chicago, and most of my runs are in the 4-6 mile range. Still, I figured that I had enough of a base that I could bluff my way through the race, though I wasn't expecting a good time.

And, Saturday morning, I really wasn't expecting a PR, or even a decent time. See, I spent a good chunk of Thursday evening, and almost all Friday afternoon, asleep. Dead to the world. Sick with my usual spring sinus infection. And, sure enough, I was congested Saturday morning.

But, my general rule is that, if I am too sick to run (or race), I am too sick to hang out with my friends, and I had told some friends that I would see them Saturday night. So, if I wanted to touch base with some people I haven't seen in over two months, I had to run.

I drove over there, and wandered around. It was a pretty late start (8:15), and a smaller field, so I got there in plenty of time at 7:30 or so. I got my bib, noticed that there were no swag bags to be seen, and tried to clear my sinuses and limber up. I was feeling okay, but not great, when the race finally began.

I noticed two things quite quickly: 1) Kalamazoo is much hillier than my treadmill; and 2) this course was going to hit quite a few hills early, which probably meant that I would have to deal with them again later in the race, only climbing uphill at the end. I also noticed that I have some problems with even pacing, though the hills and some oddly placed mile markers account for some of it.

Mile 1 - missed it. 7:48 or something by the clock, which meant closer to a 7:00 for me.
Mile 2: 14:46
Mile 3: 22:02 (7:16)
Mile 4: 29:47 (7:44)
Mile 5: 37:06 (7:18)
Mile 6: 44:45 (7:38)
Mile 7: 52:24 (7:39)
Mile 8: 1:00:13 (7:49)
Mile 9: 1:06:52 (6:39) short mile
Mile 10: 1:15:49 (8:51) long mile
Mile 11: 1:23:25 (7:35)
Mile 12: 1:31:24 (7:58)
Mile 13.1: 1:39:05 (7:40)

Somewhere in the early parts of the race, I caught up with another runner, and ran most of the race with him, probably about miles 4-11 or so. I fell back because the pace was getting to be too much, mainly due to the hills. For the record, however, he only finished about 30 seconds ahead of me, so I think that, had I trained for hills, or not been sick, I could have stuck with him.

I did manage to do my usual mad sprint for the finish line. This time, however, it was just not to be. In the last half mile, a runner had past me (going uphill), and, when I could finally see the finish line and started picking it up, he was about 20-25 yards ahead of me, with perhaps 100 or 125 yards to go. I almost caught him. Almost. He took off as I came up on him, and we hit the mat at almost the same time. In fact, it is the same clock time, but his name comes first, so I presume that he beat me by some infinitesimal fraction of a second. His chip time was a full 4 seconds faster though, so either way, I got beat.

Still, I made a PR. And not just any PR - I cut 4:44 off my time, and that's on a much hillier course than where I made my previous PR. I paid for it, with some good sized blisters and really sore muscles (which together kept me from running until tonight), but it was worth it. Marathon training now begins in earnest - and Chicago, I am coming for you.