Thursday, June 29, 2006

Pace Booster Workout

This morning's workout was a pace booster run with the purpose of elevating my aerobic threshold. It's a 70'/35' - total run is 70 minutes. Warm-up then run at approximately 50-60 seconds slower than 5k pace for 35 minutes, then cool-down. After my warm-up, I hit the track to get the workout on. I can feel that my legs are not fresh because I had just run about 8 3/4 miles 11 hours ago. The goal was to keep the pace steady at 6:05-6:15, while checking my watch only at the mile splits. I ran the first 4 miles in 6:04, 6:03, 6:00, & 6:01. I was quite surprise because the pace felt comfortable and not hard. I ran the last couple miles in 5:55 & 5:53. The meat of the workout was supposed to be 35', but I decided to run the full 6th mile to make it a 6M pace booster run. I feel my aerobic threshold is improving. The workout gave me confidence on my current fitness level.

I went for a 5M shake out run after work. During the run, I thought about the mileage I'd just run over the last 24 hrs. The completion of this run put me at 24 miles in 24 hrs. This may seem a lot, but it's nothing to what my friend Fred was putting in daily when he ran the length of Japan.

Today's Runs: Am - 1:10:54
Pm - 35:57

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A late afternoon run again

Like the past couple days, I wasn't able to put in a run in the morning. I told myself throughout the day that I was going to run after work regardless of what time I got off. I left my office at 7pm. My body was anxious to run again. I wanted to put in a decent run, but at the same time not running too much since tomorrow's planned workout is a pace booster run. I needed to ensure that I kept this run easy or else I'd be feeling it tomorrow morning. I ended up doing an out and back course, going out 31 minutes and coming back a little faster. I felt really good today and I think my body is accustomed to the hot weather. Wait a minute, I come from an island and a very hot place.... I should be used to this weather.

Today's Run: 1:00:30

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tired and hungry

I took an unexpected day-off due to my busy work schedule. I really hate missing my key worktout days, which are normally Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. It wasn't a bad day to miss since the scheduled workout was 80 minutes of easy running. I could have put in 30-60 minutes of easy running after work, but decided not to because I was feeling very tired and had not eaten well the entire day. All I was looking forward to was eating and getting to bed.

Today's Run: No running

Monday, June 26, 2006

One run, different terrain

The great thing about running is that we can still put in a workout regardless of the time of day. Early morning before work, lunch time, or in the evening. For me, I prefer running in the morning when it's cooler. It's the best way to start out the day and you actually get the workout out of the way. This wasn't the case today. I had to run in the late afternoon because of my work schedule. Sometimes my best runs are in the afternoon or early evening. The body is already awake and the muscles are warmed up.

What was an easy run didn't seem easy because of the humidity and heat. I made today's run interesting by running on different terrain. I hit the pavement and then headed for the trails. It was really nice to hit the trails, especially because there was lots of shade. From the trails I headed for the golf course and ran on the clean-cut grass. I ended up running about 9 1/4 miles.

Today's Run: 1:04:45

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Feeling good

It was a smart decision to take a day off from running yesterday. My legs felt a whole lot better in today's long run. I ran on-post (Ft. Bragg) where the roads are normally free of traffic. I started out the first few miles around 7:15/mile. By mile 4 the, body settled into a steady pace and I found myself running comfortably about 6:40-6:55 pace. The weather this morning was overcast and around high-70s with the humidity at 90%. I was already soaked in sweat, so I knew it was very important that I took in some electrolytes. At about mile 10, I stopped by the shopette to pick up a powerade. The cashier gave me a strange look when I gave her a wet dollar. I apologized and told her it was hot out there. Hopefully she understood.
I planned out the run to where I'd end up at the track at 1:25. The track is about a mile from where I'll finish my run. Like almost all my long runs, I finished the last 20 minutes at a faster pace. I ran the next couple miles on the track and looked at my watch only at the mile split. I hit the 2 miles in 6:04 & 6:02. This was good news because I was feeling good running by effort. I exited the track and headed back to where I'd finish. I picked up the pace in the last mile running it around 5:50.

I have one more week of base mileage, then I'll begin another phase of training. It's hard to believe that i've done only base mileage for the last 11 weeks. I can tell my level of fitness is high so things will be interesting for me.

Today's Run: 1:45:05

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The legs deserve a day off

I woke up this morning debating whether I should run, cross train, or take a complete day off. Lately, my legs have been feeling fatigue, heavy, and tight. I looked back on my running log to see when the last time I took a day off from running. It turned out to be 3 weeks ago. I still remember the last time I took a complete day off (no running or cross-training), my body felt like crap the entire day. So, I decided to get on my bike trainer and watch some television. Afterwards, I hit the gym for some upper-body and ab workout.

Tomorrow is my long run. I plan to run for 1:45. We'll see how the legs feel.

Today's run: No running / biked for 40 minutes.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Not feeling it

I'll be honest with you. I really didn't feel like running today. My body and legs were still very tired. I normally use Fridays as recovery runs, so I forced myself out the door to run short and very easy. Short it was. I didn't even hit 30 minutes.

Today's run: 29:22

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Beat down!

Beat down! That's what I felt like after my run this morning. The NC summer weather is definitely here. As soon as I opened my door in the early morning I could already tell that today's run was going to suck. By the time I started my run around 0640 the sun and humidity was kicking. I couldn't run earlier because my company formation is at 0630.

Today's workout was a 90 minute "thirds" progression run. It's basically running the 1st third easy, 2nd third medium, and 3rd third medium-hard. If we're talking pace then it corresponds to around 7:00-7:15 (1st third), 6:30-6:45 (2nd thrid), & 6:00-6:15 (3rd third) pace. I do this workout to build my endurance and stamina. The workout is tough in itself and I knew it was going to be suck with today's weather. I averaged 7:07/mile for the first 30 minutes. The pace was easy and I was feeling good, but I was beginning to sweat a lot already. I ran the 2nd 30 minutes steady and averaged about 6:34/mile. At this point, I'm an hour into my run and I can tell that my heart rate and breathing is higher than I want it to be. The legs started to feel tired and the mind was telling my body to take the last third easy or end the run earlier. I think what makes a runner mentally and physically stronger is when he/she reaches the "I quit" zone. I've been through this zone many times during marathon training. Instead of increasing the pace, I decided to keep the same pace for the first 10 minutes of the last thirds in hopes of feeling better. I then told myself that I was going to hurt either way, so I ran the last 20 minutes hard. I think the pace flunctuated between 5:50 - 6:10. It definitely felt harder. I looked like I'd just got out of the shower when I finished my run.

Today's Run: 1:29:43

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Signal Corps Regimental Association Run

I did not do much running today. In fact, we had a Signal Corps Regimental Association run of 4 miles. It was at a very slow pace, which I didn't mind since my legs have been fatigue lately. It was nice to see all the other Signal units running as a whole. The amount of Soldiers running was a brigade plus. I'm always amazed to see the amount of Soldiers running in a brigade or division run. The sight is awesome. I remember my last division run in May during All-American Week. The division command group reached the turn-around point (2 miles) and there were still units that had not left the start line. The interesting part of today's run was seeing all the orange guidons (Signal color is orange). It was great feeling to have my guidon and company run in the regimental association run.

Today's Run: Did not time; 4M

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Can't beat the heat

This morning was a slow easy run with my company. It was actually what I needed to give my legs a little recovery. It's sometimes tough to put in the easy/recovery runs when running alone. I've noticed that all it takes is to find someone slower than you and run at their pace. I ended up running 4.7 miles with my company.

Because I wasn't able to run my scheduled workout, I decided to put in a late afternoon run. I leave the office at 1830 and cannot believe how hot and humid it is. I later found out that the temperature during my 2nd run was in the high 80s with 85% humidity. I started my run with a 20 minute warm-up and headed for the trails. The warm-up felt like an actual workout itself. Immediately following the warm-up I went straight into a stride workout, 10 x :30 with 1 minute recovery. I ran the repeats hard at about 5:00/mile pace and on rolling trails. I like to incorporate strides or fartleks in my weekly schedule to get some leg-turnover. I wanted to finish off the workout with 20 minutes of cooldown, but the legs and body were pretty beaten from the heat. At the end of the day, I still ended up with about 12 miles.

Today's Run: am: 41:00; pm: 49:48

Monday, June 19, 2006

What's the hurry?

What was suppose to be an easy run didn't turn out as easy as I wanted it to be. I ran with my good friend Bob and a couple of Fort Bragg runners training for the Army 10-Miler. I really wanted to go easy and run according to how the body felt. The guys started the run at about sub-7:00 pace and kept it at that pace for most of the run. I mean the pace wasn't fast at all, but it was an easy day. I wanted to take it very easy since I was coming off a long run yesterday and a progression run on Saturday. My legs were feeling a little fatigue from the last couple runs. I found out that I was the only one who put in a long run yesterday. That may explain why they were running at a decent pace. This is the first time running with the 10-miler guys and I can already tell that each workout ends up being a race. For now I plan to continue training on my own, especially that I've been very successful at it.

Today's run: 1:05:36

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sunday Long Run

This week ended with a good long run this morning. Even though it was a solo run I managed to put in a good workout. I'm accustomed to training alone, but the long runs become a mental challenge when you're running alone for almost 2 hours. Many people (non-runners) tend to ask me what I think of during my runs. I'm sure you've been asked the same question many times. I try to stay focus and concentrate on my form, breathing and pace, but that's not always the case. Sometimes I'll think of the things I need to accomplish for the day and plan it out during the run. Today, I thought about my good running friend Fred Schumann and what he has accomplished and put his body through. If you read my first post you'll see a picture at the end of it. Fred, a 1988 Olympian, is the runner to the right of me. He and a few other Guam runners were my Sunday running partners when I was back home. I'm currently reading Fred's blog on his journey running the length of Japan. I can only imagine the pain he went through running up to 86km (that's 2 marathons) a day. It is inspiring knowing what he has accomplished.

As of now I don't have a marathon planned on my schedule, so I'm keeping my long runs around 15-17 miles or up to 2 hours. This should keep me at a good base mileage. I ran the first 1hr 25min. at a steady pace about 6:50 - 7:10. I then finished the last 20 minutes slightly faster at about marathon pace. I was feeling good towards the end of the run. I then got carried away and ran the last couple miles around 5:50. Today's long run reminded me of my last training cycle when I was training for the Austin Marathon in February. In Austin, I ran my marathon PR of 2:38:18.

Today's Run: 1:46:45

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Progression run

Today was a fast finish progression run. I ran 80% of the workout at a steady, easy pace and then progressed to a faster pace for the remainder of the workout. I felt very stale early in my run, but around 20 minutes into it the body felt better. For some reason it takes my legs and body some time to warm up. I ran the first 64 minutes at an easy pace and then the last 10 minutes faster at about 5:45 pace. The pace felt good and comfortably hard. I actually wanted to run more, but tomorrow is my long run so i'll save the legs. Tomorrow, i'll run for about 1:45 or about 15-16miles.

Today's Run: 1:14:29

Friday, June 16, 2006

A run with "11"

My back feels a bit more tight and sore from yesterday's ruckmarch. It must be because of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). However, the legs feel just fine. I'm still taking most of the week easy and just putting in the miles. Today I plan to run easy for an hour. I invite my friend Jacky, a fellow Signal company commander, to join me in an easy run. Jacky is also brown skin, skinny and likes to run. Our Signal Battalion Commander gave Jacky and I the name "11". Hope you got it. Inviting Jacky on the run worked out perfectly because it forced me to go easy. We run on the trails talking about our experience in command. About 40 minutes into the run I find myself doing most of the talking. Jacky is still running good but he's having a little trouble talking on the run. I can hear that his breathing rate has increased. We've only been running at about a 7:30 pace, but there are quite a few small hills/inclines on this trail. I wanted to ensure he got a good workout, so I picked up the pace (about 6:30) in the last mile and told him to stay with me. In the end, he got in a good workout and I got in my hour of easy running.

Today's Run: 1:00:03

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I'd rather be running

This morning I had to do a ruckmarch with my company, so I don't put in a run. Instead, I put a 50 lb rucksack on my back and force march for 6 miles. The rucksack weighs almost half of my body weight (124 lbs). I don't mind doing ruckmarches, but I'd rather be running. Before the ruckmarch, I decided to use a different set of boots than the one I normally use. This was a bad idea. On my way back from the march I begin to feel hot spots on my toes and heels. Also aside from the blisters, my shoulder blades feel sore and tight. It looks like i'll be taking my Vitamin I (Ibuprofen) over the next few days.

In the early evening I go for a shakeout run in hopes of loosening up any muscle soreness. I take it easy and run about 7:00-7:10 pace.

Today's Run: 36:06

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Rain or shine..... I chose shine

It's been a long time since I've seen rain that seemed to never stop. This was the case here in NC or the east coast. We accumulated 5 inches of rain due to a passing tropical storm. The rain poured and poured for about 6 straight hours. Sadly, I had a change of command ceremony in the morning and was not able to play in the rain. Rain or shine, lightning and thunderstorm, freezing cold or hot and humid, I'll still be running. Well, it's probably not a smart idea to be running in lightning and thunderstorm. Last week we had a lighting/thunderstorm in the morning and I still ran. I was probably the only stupid person out playing catch me if you can. I remember being soaked like I just came out of the shower. However, it was an awesome feeling when I finished that run. I was also glad that I did made it back safely.

I decided to run in the late afternoon since I had to attend the ceremony. This turned out to be perfect. By the time I started my run (7pm), the skies had cleared up. The roads were dry and the sun was out. I ran comfortable and steady at 6:45-6:55 pace for about 7 1/4 miles. The run felt good and easy.

Today's Run: 49:32

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Keeping a base

My level of base fitness feels high. I don't have any races on my schedule. For now I plan to keep a good base. Tuesdays are usually my fartlek or speedwork days, but today I feel like putting in an easy medium long run. I run along the roads of Fort Bragg. The great thing about Bragg is that there are many places to run (roads, grass, trails) and most of it are rolling hills. My legs feel good and recovered. I take off and settle into an easy and steady pace at about 6:50/mile. Throughout the run I pick up the pace to about 6:30. I don't want to make this run a hard workout so I ease off a bit. The plan is to run around 75-85 minutes. I'm still feeling good around 70 minutes so I decide to go another 15 minutes. My legs begin to feel a little fatigue at the end of the run. I love this feeling because it teaches my body and legs to run fast when they are fatigue. I believe this is what gets me through the marathoon.

Quote: "I've always taken the philosophy that you have to dream a little in this sport, if you stay in your comfort zone, you're not going to do anything special." - Deena Kastor

Today's Run: 1:25:03

Monday, June 12, 2006

Not much of a workout...

Today is an easy day. In fact, it is easier than I want it to be, but I don't have a choice. Mondays are my company runs, so I take my Soldiers on their long run of about 5.5 miles. When I say long run I mean long for my Soldiers and short for me. We run for about 45 minutes at a very slow and easy pace (not really easy for them). As painful as it is for me to run easier than easy, I have to admit that this run will help my legs recover. I finish the run and feel like I didn't even get in a workout. I planned to run about 35 minutes in the late afternoon/early evening to put in some mileage. By the time I leave my office my watch reads 8:10. I decide not to run because I'd probably be eating dinner around 9:30.

Today's Run: 45:24

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A run of laughter

I meet up with my friend Jaime at Callahan Gym, our normal sunday meeting point and start of friday's 10-mile race. I want to put in a decent run of about 10-13 miles or 90 minutes. My quads are a still a bit tight, but feels okay. We decide to run the race route to discuss how we were feeling and what we were thinking during the miles of the race. I already know this is going to be a run of laughter. We start the run a little slow (about 7:15 pace). After about 10 minutes of running we settle into a comfortable easy pace of about 6:50 - 6:55. We tell our story about the race. Jaime's story and my story are completely opposite. I felt good almost the entire race, while he was struggling to hang on in the 2nd half of the race. He tells me that he was "swimming" by mile 6. That 5:22 4th mile must have broke him. He also mentioned that he wanted to strangle a few spectators during the uphill portion of the last mile. As mentioned in the earlier blog, the last mile is part uphill. A few spectators were encouraging Jaime to catch the runner up ahead, which was me about 150 meters in front. Jaime said that his legs felt like bricks and was not getting anywhere. I could not help but laugh. We finish the 10-mile route in about 68:30. Jaime decides not to run any further, so I say "laters" and continue my run for another 20+ minutes. Today's run felt very easy and enjoyable compared to the race.

Today's Run: 1:30:00

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Today is a scheduled day off, but I decide to go for a very easy recovery run to loosen up the legs and flush out some waste. My legs are a bit tight from yesterday's race, but not sore or beaten up as they normally are after a long race. This means that i'm either in good shape or I didn't run hard enough. I plan to run about 30 minutes, so I run around the neighborhood. It's 7am and I head out the door. Beautiful morning - clear skies and about 68 degrees. As I run I look at the houses and think that all the neighbors are probably still sleeping. I see no other runner or walker on the roads. The only thing awake are some squirrels that run towards the trees when they hear my footsteps. As I roam the neighborhood I lose sense of the time. I look at my watch and notice that i'm almost at 30 minutes of running. I then head back home running over my intended time.

Today's Run: 37:30

Friday, June 09, 2006

10th Annual Army Birthday 10-Miler, Fort Bragg NC

I've been stationed at Ft. Bragg for the past 3 1/2 years and have never ran the Fort Bragg Army Birthday 10-miler. It's because I've either been deployed to OEF or TDY (temporary duty) for school during this time of the year. The Army Birthday 10-miler is the biggest running event on Bragg. The race determines Ft. Bragg's top runners, who will then get together to train as a team for the Army 10-Miler held at Washington DC in October.

The Army Birthday 10-miler will be my 2nd 10-mile race in 3 weeks. Two weeks ago, I ran the All-American Week 10-miler and won it in 57:34. It was a good race, but I was running all alone by mile 4.

It's 0545 (5:45am) and people start rolling in. I put on my mp3 player and go for a very easy 15-minute warmup. The last couple days my legs felt like crap, but this morning it feels light and fresh. 0605 - I begin stretching and think about my race plan. The race plan is to run smart, by effort, and negative splits. I want to win the race, but at the same time I don't want to throw out the race plan by going out too fast.

0630 - The cannon goes off and we are off and running. I run right beside my training partner Jaime. I met Jaime back in April at an 0n-post 10k race, when he came in 1st and I was 2nd. From that race, we got together and trained a few times. Back to the 10-miler race... The 1st mile is a little downhill so we expect it to be fast but not insanely fast. We hit Mile 1 in 5:32 and there are about 6 runners in the lead pack. The 2nd mile is uphill and I come across it in 5:52. Around mile 3, three runners (including Jaime) surge and open about a 10 meter lead. I had to make a decision whether I go with the lead pack or hold back. I decided not to go with them because it was still early in the race. The leaders really picked up the pace because i'm now about 20 meters back. I later learned that they dropped a 5:22 4th mile. From miles 3-5 I kept a steady pace at about 5:40. At mile 6 I decided that I'd better do something or else i'll end up in 4th place or worse. I then picked up the pace and caught one runner. I asked him if he wanted to work together to catch the next runner (Jaime), who had about 10 seconds on us, but he did not respond. I surged and he did not go with me. I hit mile 7 in 5:30 and caught Jaime. We ran together for about a 1/4 mile and then I put about a 5meter lead on Jaime. At this point, I was feeling really good so I kept on pushing the pace. There was still 1 runner in the lead, but he had about 200 meters on me. I knew it was almost impossible to catch him, but I thought he might slowly come back to me. My mile 9 split was 5:37. The last mile is slightly uphill before it enters into the stadium for the finish. Once I crested the hill I realize that I will not catch the leader. However, I still run hard to the finish. Despite the uphill, I run my last mile in 5:32. After the race, I ask myself what would have happened if I went with the lead pack at mile 4. Maybe I might have hung with the leader and battled it out till the end, or my legs might have been shot with that fast 4-mile split. I will never know.

I finish 2nd overall in 56:35, about 40 seconds behind the 1st place runner. I'm very satisfied with my performance, especially that I cut a full minute from the 10-miler only 2 weeks ago. My splits for the halves were 28:34 / 28:01. This is a very good sign of fitness because i've been mainly doing base mileage with a few fartlek and pace booster workouts.

Today's Run: ~1hr 33min. (Race, WU & CD)

How I got into running....

I've decided to keep a blog of my running. Before I begin posting blogs, I'd like to give a brief background of how I got addicted to running. I grew up in an island (Guam) in which baseball was the most popular sport. My brothers, sister, cousins, and friends all played baseball. I started playing baseball since I was about 6 years old. I was very competitive in the sport. If you were a very good player, you made the all-star team, and then had the opportunity to leave the island to compete in the Pacific, Micronesian, Far-East, or even stateside tournaments. Being from Guam, it wasn't very easy to travel to other places. Plane tickets were and are still not cheap at all Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I've traveled to many different places (Saipan, Palau, Tawain, Nevada, Ohio) for baseball tournaments.

Fast-forwarded to my sophmore year of college. During one baseball game, I dove a little late into 3rd base and my left hand caught the base. One of my fingers got injured (luckily it wasn't broken) and I was left watching the rest of the game from the bench. I was still injured when my next game came around. I hated not being on the field with the rest of my teammates. Because I was very active and hated sitting on the bench, I told my coach that I'd be outside running around the stadium so I can stay in shape. That day I discoverd the beauty of running.

One of the things I enjoy about running is meeting other runners. The runners in the picture are my close Guam friends who I first started running with. From L-R: Kaz, Vicki, me, & Fred.