Monday, January 30, 2012

New Gear and a Longish Run

Since last Tuesday I have decided to get my run on all non-basketball days (and with only three basketball days left I think I can handle this).  I plot out my training calendars and logs on a Monday to Sunday basis with Sunday being my long run day of the week.  Last week was like this:

Monday: Rest day - even though I should have taken advantage of the better weather, the roads were still icy from our storm the previous week.
Tuesday - Refed two games and freaked out that I hadn't run in two weeks.
Wednesday - Pulled out the shoes and braved the mostly melted park path for 4 miles.
Thursday - Went back out to the park and put in 4 tempo miles
Friday - Two more basketball games
Saturday - One Basketball game
Sunday - 6 mile long run.

The significance of last week being that I did physical activity everyday but Monday.  More importantly I went for a 6 mile run, something I had not done since December 30th.  Really? It had been 30 days since I had done a pure run of 6 miles (anything over 4 really).  But honestly it was just what I needed.

The Sunday run was going to get done one way or the other, especially since I had set up a time and place with my running buddy.  And you know as soon as you commit to a run with someone else you aren't going to back out of it without good reason.  Saturday night I even went and got out the new gear from Christmas.  I got a fuel belt (an Amphipod with two 10.5 oz. water bottles) and a reflector vest (complete with flashing lights, also Amphipod).  Now mostly I was after the reflector vest because we were running at 6:30 in the morning, and it is still quite dark around here at that time.

Sunday morning I met up with my friend at the prescribed time and we set off, me in my new (Xinglet, I believe) vest and him with his dog.  We were greeted by warmer weather and wind.  It was in the upper 40s with about a 10 mph wind or so.  But it was a great run, we clipped along at about an 8:30 pace and went in search of an extra mile on our normal 5 mile loop.  I found that I needed to adjust the vest only once and it was a simple thing to do while on the run.  I adjusted the shoulder bands to keep them from rubbing the neck, but I still need to tighten them down a bit.  We ended the run right at 6 miles, in front of his house at an 8:26 pace.  It was a great run.

Honestly, during the run we saw exactly zero cars.  Now, I beleive we would have stuck out like a sore thumb had we, but if it gives the wives a bit of peace of mind that we are safe then it is entirely worth it.  So if you need a safety vest because you like to run in the dark, and don't like to sneak up on cars all ninja like, then I recommend the one I have (I didn't even notice I was wearing it, once it was tightened up).

Anyway, enough with that.  I grabbed another 3.5 today at lunch in at an 8:10 pace.  Felt really good.  Have basketball tomorrow so (probably) no running for me.  Back at it on Wednesday if everything feels good.
Until then have fun guys.

Friday, January 27, 2012

What a Pair (of runs, silly) w/Pic

I have my own little slice of the great Columbia River to run next to whenever I feel like it, and thus take advantage of this on a weekly basis.  This week, in an effort to get back out to running consistent miles, I have taken my leave from work at the lunch time hour in hopes of getting back into a groove.

Wednesday I escaped and was hoping to get 4 miles in.  I had worked two basketball games the night before, and the path down by the river was still slightly covered in ice/slush, so I wasn't sure how the run would go, especially since it had been two weeks since my last run.  I had to make do with a strange set of clothes, I had all of my winter gear in the car, tights, track pants, long sleeve shirt, and a long sleeve compression shirt, not the clothes for a 55* day and slight wind.  But I made do with some substitutions from my gym bag and hit the road.  The path was mostly clear, and for long stretches the pavement was clear and dry, and I fell into a nice groove.  I ran south into the wind for two miles then turned it around and ran with the wind for the last two miles.  I even managed to get each mile in just a bit faster than the previous one, so I felt great about my 4 mile run. So much so that I decided I could get out again the next day with more appropriate clothes.

Yesterday instead of going south along the river I decided to head north.  The first mile of the north route takes you through a neighborhood, then drops you back onto the river path at WSU Tri-Cities, where I followed the path for another mile.  I took a pause at the end of that second mile and snapped this photo at the top of one of the hills.

It was an absolutely great day down by the river.  I even managed to get yesterday's miles in at a tempo pace, pushing 7:45 m/m for the run.  I felt great to push the last mile back to the car maintaining that quicker pace.

Basketball the next couple of nights, so hopefully I will be back out on Sunday.   Until then remember to have fun guys!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ahhh! January is almost over!

Apparently it is January 24th!  I didn't get the memo...

The month has absolutely flown by.  I started out with the greatest of intentions, run everyday and get to 100 for the month.  Then basketball seasons really got going, then winter arrived and so here it is January 24th and I have all but fallen off the bus.  Let's start at the beginning

I started off the new year with a nice crisp 4 mile run.  I ran the Cookie Challenge miles for 6 consecutive days before basketball refereeing got the better of me.  But the day off on the 8th was glorious.  I followed up that off day with another on Monday and hit the court again on the 10th.  It dawned on me after that basketball game that the reason my legs were sore and tired was (besides the 1+ hours on my feet) basketball burns the equivalent of 4.5 miles of running for me.  So I ran 4.5 miles the next day to test the theory.  And sure enough the calories burned were nearly identical.

And that, my friends, is the last time I ran...Janurary 11th.  This is primarily because I have had basketball on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and then I haven't wanted to run on Sundays (Friday and Saturday I work 2 games each).  I had every intention of running last week, but winter finally found its way to the inland Pacific NW and we got snow.  Snow I can run in, it was the 2 inches of ice that fell last Thursday and Friday that did in my desire to run.  I have no complaints, it is afterall, my fault that I haven't run.  But it isn't like I wasn't expecting this based on how basketball and running worked last year.

So here I sit, with an obscene amount of pent up energy, dying to get out of doors and tear the pants off a great run, but alas I have basketball again tonight, and will save my 'running' for that.  I hope that tomorrow I can find a clear patch of road or sidewalk to grab a few easy miles (just to prove I still can).  But mostly, I just want to close out January strong, especially basketball season, then focus on February and start building up for this summer's marathon.

Anyway, I really wanted to drop a quick post as a reminder that I am still around.  I hope to be on and mentioning all sorts of crazy running antics soon enough.  Enough rambling, have fun, and stay safe out there.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Cookie Monster got the better of me.

I volunteered, signed up, saw get free cookies, whatever the case was, and joined up with the Cookie Challenge from one of the great people over on RunnersWorld's The Loop.  The challenge was to run three miles daily for as long as you could.  The following is my attempt and realization that I couldn't manage this challenge.

I had every intention of making it through this challenge to the bitter end.  So much so that I had a nice ramp up plan to go from 3 miles everyday building up the long runs.  I got off to a good start last week too.

Sunday - 4 miles - 34:48
Monday - 3.5 miles - 29:07
Tuesday - 3.2 miles - 27:12
Wed. - 3 miles - 25:51
Thurs. - 3.3 miles - 26:21
Fri. - 3.4 miles - 29:27 + 1 Basketball Game
Sat. - No Running + 1 Basketball Game

So there were days early on that I wanted to call it all in.  Monday and Wednesday I was dragging, but managed to make it through the day.  But I was persevering.  That was until Friday.

For me the real challenge began then.  I have mentioned that I referee high school basketball, and It does provide a completely different set of challenges.  So Friday morning I headed out and got my miles in, then turned around and got my game on.

My legs did not respond the way I thought they would, or I should say exactly how I thought they would. 

My knees were sore, my shins sore and my left heel/PF are bothering me. So I didn't run today before my basketball game in hopes of making it through the game.

I have to say that even had run today, I would be out tomorrow.  My legs are still bothering me, so I am out.
It was with much consideration this morning that I made this decision.  I am looking forward to my longer term goals, and honestly, my legs need to be fresh for the rest of basketball season, plus I have marathon training to start after that.

So, thanks to the folks on The Loop at RunnersWorld for giving us this challenge, and I really enjoyed making an attempt at this, but I realize I will have to build up more to get to a serious streak.

So I think I will enjoy my day off tomorrow, and get back after it Wednesday after my game on Tuesday.
Til next time, have fun out there guys.