Thursday, November 15, 2007

Why run?

Sometimes I wonder what it is with runners that compel us to get up each morning to put one foot in front of the other. My motivation for running has been at a record low over the past couple weeks. Snoozing the alarm 3 or 4 times and then finally turning it off has become a routine. But the body still somehow finds itself stumbling to the door into the dark and cold morning for a run. I know it's not because of upcoming races because there is none for me, at least for the next 4-5 months. It's not because a training partner is waiting because I don't have one right now. Is it guilt, is it the fear of gaining weight, is it the feeling of accomplishment, or is it because we love our sport? I’m sure every runner has their personal reason. For me, there are many reasons and so far the mind has done a good job of choosing one each morning. On Saturday, I will run and dedicate the first 5.5 miles of the run to Ryan (Shay). Feel free to comment on your reasons to run.

Not a whole lot to write about on training. This week consisted of mostly easy one hour runs. I did get in a fartlek on Tuesday and a 3 mile tempo this morning, so there's still a little motivation to run fast.

Mon: 9.3M easy (1:03:34 - 6:50 pace)

Tues: 10M (1:06:20 - 6:38) including 10 x :30 with 1' easy

Wed: 9M easy (1:04:36 - 7:11 pace)

Thur: 10M (1:06:03 - 6:36 pace) w/ 3M tempo in 17:39 (6:00, 5:52, 5:47);


Fri: 4.5M including APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test): Push-ups: 128, Situps: 103, 2-Mile Run: 11:23; 2 mile WU and .5 mile CD; hip flexors and quads were done after the situps.

Sat: 8M (53:20 - 6:40 pace) fairly easy; ran the last 1/2 mile in 2:45.

Sun: 15M (1:40:30 - 6:42 pace) long steady run; first 7 miles easy at 6:55 - 7:10 pace, then settled in at ~6:36 pace for the next 4 miles. cruised the last 4 miles in 6:25, 6:10, 6:05, & 5:49. still felt very good and comfortable in the end.

Weekly Total: 65.8M in 7 runs

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rain, rain stay away

It's been about two weeks since I've been back. Not a whole lot of excitement on the running side and I don't think there will be until I complete this deployment. The weather right now is wonderful for running, low-60s in the morning and dry. I mention dry because in about 3-4 weeks the rain will touch ground and it will be ugly. I will have no choice but to run on the dreaded mill. The dirt/sand will turn into mud and will not dry up till around March. Yes, you got that right.... it will be a few months of treadmill running. The plan is to run easy with maybe one key workout and the mileage somewhere around 50-55 miles/wk. Hopefully this will keep me in decent shape.

Thur: 9.1M (58:51 - 6:28 pace); ran a 4-mile tempo at slower than tempo pace. splits: 6:06, 5:52, 5:47, & 5:40; really didn't feel like running any faster so I just went with it.

Wed: 8M easy; (56:17 - 7:02 pace)

Tues: 10M (1:06:15 - 6:38 pace) Fartlek workout: 3 x 3-2-1 @ ~3k-5k pace; felt good to get in some fast pace running.

Mon: 8.5M easy; (1:00:04 - 7:04 pace)

Sun (28 Oct): 10M easy; (1:08:36 - 6:52 pace)

Sat (27 Oct): 10M easy; (1:07:39 - 6:46 pace)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

American Tobacco Trail 10-Miler - 56:35 (1st Overall)

It's been an amazing two in a half weeks of rest and recuperation leave and now it's time to head back to Iraq for the remaining 5 months of this marathon deployment. My leave was wonderful as I was able to visit family & friends both in hometown Guam and in NC. To make things better I was also able to run 3 awesome races in 3 weekends: Army 10-Miler (DC), Guam Ko'ko' 20K, and the American Tobacco Trail 10-Miler (Apex, NC) this morning. Oh, I can also say that I've won two of the three races.

Of the three races I've ran, the American Tobacco Trail 10-Miler wins the prize for best race. Reasons include: trail race, nice flat course, excellent competition, perfect weather, and good race performance. I went into the race with the mindset to have fun and run a sub-59 since the race was on trails. The race started and I immediately found myself in 3rd place. The two runners up front took off and I had no intentions to follow. They were wearing their running club racing singlet so I knew they had to be pretty good. I came thru three miles in 17:23 (5:44, 5:49, 5:50). The first guy had about a 100 meter lead and the second guy only about 25 meters in front of me. At the 3-mile mark I was feeling too comfortable and I told myself that I'd better put a little more effort into the race. I caught the 2nd runner with a 5:29 4th mile and was still feeling very good. At that point I knew it was going to be a good day. The course is out and back so I knew I'd get a good look at how far I was from the lead runner at the turn around point. I came across mile 5 in 28:27 (5:36). I could now see the lead runner coming back to me and it was only a matter of time before I'd catch him. My 6th mile split was 5:32. A half mile later I caught the lead guy and ran with him for a few seconds. Still feeling good I took the lead and kept pushing never looking back. I came across the 9th mile marker in 50:48, at which I knew a sub-57 was well within reach. I slowed in the last mile (5:47) and finished with a 56:35. The 2nd place runner ended up almost a minute back. I did not know until I got home that my PR was sitting at 56:35. It was a kick in the butt knowing that I definitely could have broken my 10-mile PR. It was my best race this year as I ran negative splits of 28:27 & 28:08. Mile by mile splits were 5:44, 5:49, 5:50, 5:29, 5:36, 5:32, 5:39, 5:31, 5:38, & 5:47. I was awarded a gift certificate which was used to get some new shoes (Saucony Progrid Trigon 5 Ride). It was a good day to end R&R leave.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ko'Ko 20K - 1:13:40 (1st Overall)

My race went fairly well despite the humid conditions early in the morning. I won the race in 1:13:40 with the 2nd place runner a little over 2 minutes back. Coming into the race I was not expecting to run a fast time because of the conditions. I had to remind myself that running in Guam year around is like running in the Southeast during the summer time.... hot and very humid. The race also had an Ekiden (4-person relay) race, which started 15 minutes after the soloist. Personally, I liked the idea because it prevented me from going out hard with guys who may only be running a 5k leg. The gun went off at 5am in the dark. After a couple hundred meters the course took us up a decent hill in which I found myself and two other runners already alone in the front. My plan was to go out at 6:00 pace for the first couple miles. Even with the hill the three of us came across mile 1 in 6:01. A half mile later one runner dropped off the pace and it was just me and a high school runner Chris (later found out he won All-Island Cross Country). After hitting the 2nd mile in 5:59 (12:00) I asked the kid if he wanted to take turns leading every quarter-mile; however, he passed up the offer. I think he was new to the distance and didn't know that exchanging leads would help him. For the next 4 miles (5:53, 57, 56, 54) we ran comfortably stride for stride. I knew that if I kept running at 5:50+ pace then I was only keeping him in the race for the win. Following the 6th mile, I decided to start picking up the pace. We came across miles 7 & 8 at 5:46 pace. After 8 miles I could hear Chris' breathing rate become faster so I increased the pace a bit more. A 9th mile split of 5:44 was enough to put him back about 10 meters. Another 5:46 split and I knew the race was in the bag. Here is an article on the race. My GPS watch registered the course at 12:52 miles.

It felt great to run a race back home again. It also reminded me how tough it is to race here in the beautiful island.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Back home in Guam

Wow! It's been a month since I last posted. Last Sunday I ran the Army Ten-Miler in DC. It was a bad day for racing. Ran 57:28, 54th overall and 20th in my division. It was hot and humid. I know I could have dealt with the heat since I was training in it in Iraq. But the humidity was the problem. It was 87% humidity. Splits were 5:30, 5:37, 5:34, 5:38, 5:43, 5:40, 5:52, 5:57, 6:03, & 5:54. As you can see, everything went downhill after the 6th mile. The good side was that Fort Bragg's men and women's team placed 2nd overall.

I'm currently in Guam spending my last week of R&R (rest & recuperation). What a wonderful feeling it is to be back home with family and friends after 4 years of absence. This morning I went for a short easy run at the War In The Pacific National Historic Park in Asan. I played tourist and took my camera along with me. Below are some pictures. Tomorrow, I will run the Guam 20K Ko'Ko' Road Race. It will be an early morning race as it starts at 5am.

Torpedo missile

A walk into the ocean

Kid drinking on the ride

Running path

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This post is dedicated to Mike Mann, an Air Force running friend who recently lost his battle with cancer. I first met Mike at the Marine Corps Marathon in '03 when he ran for the Air Force marathon team. He was someone who really loved to run and compete. He was also a fast runner with a marathon PR of 2:28. More importantly, Mike was an inspiration to many people. He underwent chemo and battled back running the 2006 Shamrock Marathon in 2:54.

A few links about Mike.
Running Carries Airmen Through Chemo Treatments

Washington Running Report

Running community mourns Mann's death

Sunday, September 09, 2007

What's one more mile...

The original plan was to get in 15-16 miles. It wasn't going to be an issue because my unit doesn't do a morning BUB (battle update brief) on Sundays. Well, that changed when one of my soldiers woke me up at 2am to tell me that there will be a BUB at 0800. Okay, I can still get in about 13-14 miles. I headed out at 0520 for a steady easy run, which turned out to be 14 miles in 1:34:18 (6:44 pace) with the last mile in 6:06. The shoes, socks, and shirt were off within minutes of finishing the run. As I walked out to the shower trailer with a towel and hygiene bag in hand my battle buddy stopped me and told me that our meeting had now been pushed back to 0900. Great! I immediately did a U-turn and put my shirt, socks, and Boston Classics back on. I intended to run only a couple more miles to reach the original plan of 16. I got to 16 and decided to get in one more; 17 miles and a running time of 1:54:00 later I thought to myself "what the hell, six more minutes and I'll be at 18 in 2 hours". I can honestly tell you that there were no thoughts of going any further. The legs felt fine as miles 16-18 were comfortable at 6:25 pace. The body just had no energy left. According to my Garmin (Forerunner 205), I burned 2422 calories for the run. Not sure how accurate the Garmin is with calories burned, but I do know it had to be a lot with the run leaving my body feeling depleted.

Weekly Summary
Mon: 10M (1:12:22 - 7:14 pace) nice and easy

Tues: 13M (1:25:05 - 6:33 pace) 20' tempo (3.45M @ 5:48 pace) followed by 3' easy + 3 x 400m (77, 79, & 71) w/ 400m rec. + 2 x 1-mile tempo (5:33 & 5:37) w/ 1' easy; Legs really didn't get going until about the 3rd mile of the tempo; the 1-mile tempo felt comfortably hard but I could feel fatigue creeping into the legs in the end. Overall, a good workout.

Wed: 11M (1:18:00 - 7:05 pace) easy run

Thur: 13.2M (1:25:47 - 6:30 pace); 4 x 1-mile cruise intervals (5:34, 5:32, 5:22, & 5:23) w/ 2' easy + 6 x 200m (36, 35, 38, 36, 36, & 37) w/ 200m rec. + 2-mile acceleration run (12:35) - started out easy at 7:00 pace and increased the pace every 1/4 mile; last quarter in 1:21. Going into the run I was expecting the legs to be a bit tired. Ended up feeling pretty good.

Fri: 11M (1:17:36 - 7:03 pace) easy run

Sat: 11M (1:14:10 - 6:45 pace) progression run; easy for the most part with the last 4 miles progressively faster (6:38, 6:16, 6:08, & 5:42); last 1/2 mile in 2:39.

Sun: 18M (2:00:25 - 6:41 pace) steady long run; miles 13 & 14 in 6:19, 6:06; miles 16-18 at 6:25 pace; body is done in the end; longest run since Nov '06.

Weekly Total: 87.2 miles in 7 runs

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Tough lost

It was a tough week as I lost a good friend. Erick, a fellow commander and paratrooper, paid the ultimate price for freedom. He was an easy going guy who had a great sense of humor. Erick and I worked together as staff officers before we transferred to take command. He didn't go far though as our offices were only about 50 meters apart. I'm going to miss the mornings at Ft Bragg where we would come into work at the same time and yell "Another day in the double A". Erick, you will be missed!

It wasn't the best week of training, but also wasn't the worst. I missed two consecutive days of running due to operations. Taking a day off from running was probably a good idea as the legs were feeling fatigue on Monday's easy run. Well, not sure if I'd call it a day off since I spent majority of the time on my feet in body armor and in 115 degree heat. It's quite funny that I add on almost half of my weight (which is a whopping 120 lbs) with just my body armor , ammunition, and water. On Thursday I contemplated whether to run easy or put in a tempo workout. I hated the fact that I missed two days of running so it was an easy decision to run the tempo. The workout had me confident that my fitness is quickly improving (at least that's what I think). Ended the week at 60 miles on 5 runs so I'm pretty satisfied.

Weekly Summary
Mon: 10M (1:10:43 - 7:04 pace); fortunate to get in a run before heading out for a few days

Tues/Wed: unable to run

Thur: 13M (1:25:30 - 6:35 pace); 3 x 2-mile tempo w/ 2-min easy (11:24, 11:20, & 11:18) plus 4 x :30 fast w/ 1-min rec jogs; breathing was more controlled in last 2 tempo repeats; felt good on the legs when I added in the quick 30 sec. of fast running.

Fri: 10.5M (1:15:25 - 7:11 pace); last night was very tough and sad; good friend Erick passed away; ended up getting only a couple hours of sleep; really didn't feel like getting up to run, but it was necessary to clear the mind; God Bless Erick.

Sat: 11M (1:13:04 - 6:39 pace); progression run; averaged 6:56 pace for first 7 miles then 6:08 for the last 4 miles; ran last mile in 5:47

Sun: 15.5M (1:44:38 - 6:45 pace); mid-long run; pace slowly progressed during the run; average pace for 5 mile splits were 7:10, 6:46, & 6:25; finished strong with mile 15 in 6:01 and the last 1/2 mile in 2:48. Legs felt real sluggish early on, but better when I took in some Gatorade which I ended up carrying along for majority of the run.

Weekly Total: 60 miles i n 5 runs

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Not my choice of running clothes

I was not looking forward to this morning's mid-long run when I stepped out the door to what felt like an outdoor sauna. The air was extremely warm with almost no breeze. Later found out that it was 90 degrees at the time of my run. It was another run that I finished in soaked PTs (physical training uniform). Shorts that are a few inches above your knees and have no breathing room, PT shirt that weighs a ton when drenched in sweat, white ankle socks with no logos, and a reflective belt around your waist to let the enemy know it's the same 'ol guy out running around the camp again and again. Gotta love the Army PTs. Maybe I should wear 'em in a marathon. I so can't wait to run in my choice of running clothes: splits or v-notch shorts, singlet, dry-fit or no shirt, long sleeve, running cap, beanie..... To bad I don't have the luxury of wearing my choice of running clothes. I've gotten over it so it's really not a big deal now.

About the run: I ran fairly easy for the first six miles which I averaged 7:05 pace. The legs were feeling okay, not fresh but also not too fatigued. I suddenly got into a good rhythm and found myself running steady consistently hitting the miles in 6:35 – 6:40. After a 6:28 13th mile I noticed that the leg-turnover slowly started to increase. I went along with it and the Forerunner alerted me that mile 14 was at 6:19 (.5M in 3:13 & 3:06). Wanting to finish strong I took the last mile 1/4-mile at a time hitting the splits in 1:29, 1:27 (2:56), 1:28 (4:24), & 1:21 (5:45). I got a little too excited in the last 1/4 mile. It was a good way to finish the week of running.

Weekly Summary:
Mon: 9.25M easy (1:06:00 - 7:08 pace)

Tues: 12M (1:22:35 - 6:53 pace); 5 x 1200m w/ 3' recovery jogs; (4:01, 4:05, 4:03, 3:59, 4:04); extremely warm at 91 degrees; struggled and never got into rhythm.

Wed: 10.1M easy (1:11:47 - 7:07 pace)

Thur: 13M (1:24:02 - 6:28 pace); WU, 3M tempo (5:47 pace) w/ 3' easy, 2M tempo (5:41 pace) w/ 2' easy, 1M tempo (5:31 pace) w/ 1' easy, CD; felt like the legs got going about 2.5 miles into the 3M tempo. happy with the workout. still very warm.

Fri: 10M easy (1:11:35 - 7:10 pace)

Sat: 11M progression run (1:13:04 - 6:39 pace); first 5 miles in 35:20 (7:04 pace) then last 6 miles in 37:44 (6:17 pace); last mile in 5:55.

Sun: 15M steady run (1:40:46 - 6:43); steady easy with the last couple miles progressively faster; last mile in 5:45; very warm.

Weekly Total: 80.35 miles in 7 runs

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Run when you can

In response to Eric's comments: I wish I was running out of things to do, then it would mean I can put in more miles. In actuality I'm fortunate that I can even squeeze in an hour of running each day with my current deployed schedule. Here's a typical day for me: wake-up at 0515 (that's 5:15 am), out the door running by 0530 (body and legs still asleep for the first few miles), finish run and gym workout by 0700, finish personal hygiene (that's if we don't run out of water which happens every once in a while - thank goodness for baby wipes) and changed by 0730 in order to be at my command post by 0745; attend daily meeting at 0800; from 0800 to ~2200 (10:00pm) I'm doing my job as a commander which could mean numerous things from being very busy with support operations to the dreaded admin work; i'm usually in bed by 2300 which is normally interrupted by the sound of artillery throughout the night. Sunday's are much better because I don't have the 0800 meeting, which means I can put in an extra 1/2 - 1 hour of sleep and still run a little longer. I still try to finish my run by 0730 or else I'll be crawling in 95-100 degree heat.

Here's how the week went:

Mon: 9.1M (1:05:37 - 7:13 pace) easy; legs a little tight from 5k, but not sore.
Tues: AM - 11.5M (1:16:52 - 6:41 pace) 12 x 1-min w/ 1-min recovery jogs; PM - 4.5M (33:50 - 7:31 pace); very easy run at 9pm
Wed: 9.1M (1:05:41 - 7:13 pace) standard hour easy run. exact route and pace as Mon.
Thur: 11.5M (1:17:59 - 6:47 pace) 6 x 1-mile @ tempo pace w/ 1-min rests (5:50, 5:49, 5:39, 5:39, 5:37, & 5:37); felt fairly good
Fri: 10M (1:13:03 - 7:18 pace) easy run
Sat: 10M (1:08:31 - 6:51 pace) mostly easy w/ last couple miles in 6:14 & 5:55; body very tired with legs feeling like bricks; the last mile was a complete struggle.
Sun: 15M (1:41:18 - 6:45 pace) steady long run w/ last 2 miles in 12:12; a much better run compared to yesterday.

Weekly Total: 80.7 miles in 8 sessions

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Army Ten-Miler

It looks like I'm going to make it to the start line of the Army Ten-Miler on Oct 7. I'll be on my R&R (rest & recuperation) so I'm treating myself to this race. It will be fun and exciting, especially that I'll be running with the Fort Bragg team in hopes of bringing back the Commander's Cup. I have a little less than 8 weeks to get ready so I need to get down to business.

This morning I did cruise intervals, 6 x mile at tempo pace with 1-min rests. The goal pace was 5:41 - 5:50 based off of my 16:51 5k on Sunday. I might have underestimated my fitness because the first couple mile cruise intervals felt like a walk in the park. After hitting the first couple intervals in 5:50 & 5:49, I let the body run what felt like comfortably hard. I hit the remaining cruise intervals in 5:39, 5:39, 5:37, & 5:37. The workout gave me a lot of confidence. If things work out well then I should be able to knock out a 55 on race day.

Today's Run: 11.5M with 6 x 1mile @ tempo pace w/ 1-min rests (5:50, 5:49, 5:39, 5:39, 5:37, & 5:37)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Feels good to finally run another 5k

Ran a 16:51. Time wasn't anything spectacular but I was satisfied with how things went considering it was 90 degrees at the start (0700) and noone to accompany me up front. The goal going in was to break 17 minutes. I knew this task would be a challenge because I didn't decrease the miles going into the race and also haven't been doing much speedwork. A perfect way to determine base fitness.

When the race started about 10 guys took off like it was a mile race. I knew that these were folks who either never ran a 5k or wanted some glory of leading a race. About a half mile into the run I found myself running alone. I hit the 1st mile in 5:24. I was hoping to see 5:18-5:20 for the first mile. I tried to pick up the pace on the 2nd mile but a right turn into a slight headwind got me struggling to maintain the effort. I came through mile 2 in 10:50 (5:26). On the third mile the legs were feeling okay, but the breathing started to get heavier. When I reached the 3rd mile mark in 16:18 (5:28) I gave it all I got knowing that it would be close to running sub-17. Looking back I ran a fairly even-pace race. It would have been nice to run negative splits, but how often does that happen in a 5k.

Overall, it was another good week of running. Two consecutive weeks at 70 miles has me confident that my fitness is coming along.

Here's how the week went:

Mon: 8.5M easy
Tues: 11M w/ 5 sets of (2 x 200m hard w/ 200m recovery + 400m hard w/ 400m recovery); avg'd 35-36 sec. for 200s and 74-75 sec. for 400s
Wed: 8.5M easy
Thur: 11.6M w/ 5 x 5min. @ ~10k pace w/ 2min. recovery jogs
Fri: 9.5M easy
Sat: 8.1M easy
Sun: 13M w/ 5K in 16:51

Weekly Total: 70.2 miles in 7 sessions

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Not much to report

The week of running has gone fairly well. I managed to get in some decent mileage with a couple good workouts. There is a 5k next Sunday which I plan to run to see what my fitness is like.

Here's how the week went.

Mon: 1:00:17 (8.2M - 7:21 pace); easy run
Tues: 1:14:03 (11M - 6:44 pace); fartlek workout - 12 x 1 min. w/ 1 min. recovery jogs
Wed: 1:01:12 (8.25M - 7:25 pace); easy run with the last 1.25M at 6:05 pace
Thur: 1:15:58 (11.5M - 6:36 pace); 4 x 1M at tempo pace with .25M recovery jogs
Fri: 1:10:16 (9.5M - 7:24 pace); easy run with the last .5M at 6:10 pace
Sat: 1:03:55 (9.25M - 6:55 pace); easy run with last .25M at 5:28 pace
Sun: 1:34:44 (14M - 6:46 pace); steady run with miles 8-10 in 18:27 (6:09 pace)

Weekly Total: 71.7 miles in 7 sessions

Sunday, July 29, 2007

90 degrees isn't that bad

I think my body is acclimated to the high temperatures. It was 90 degrees at run time (0515) this morning, but it felt more like in the mid-80s. The morning temps for the last 3 days were at 94 degrees, so it could be the four degrees difference. The high two days ago reached a blistering 125 degrees.

Since I'm not able to put in the long(er) runs (16-20M) like I normally would do back in the rear, I need to start incorporating some threshold running into my Sunday runs to make the best of it. After 3 miles of easy running I ran 2 x 12 minutes at tempo pace (which I’d say is ~5:48 pace with my current fitness) with a 2-minute rest in between followed with 45 min easy. My average pace for the 12-minutes was 5:40 & 5:50 respectively. I slowed in the last minute of the 2nd repeat when I encountered a side-stitch. These side-stitches are a mystery. They seem to show up when they want to… most cases, during our big races. The last one I had was around the halfway mark of Rocket City Marathon. The last 45 minutes of running felt good as I cruised along at 6:40 pace.

Here's how the week of running went:

Mon: Unable to run.
Tues: 1:13:32 including 4 x 5min @ 10k effort w/ 3min recovery (11M - 6:41 pace)
Wed: 1:00:41 (8.2M - 7:24 pace)
Thur: 1:05:24 (10M - 6:32 pace); middle 4 miles (4-7) in 24:20
Fri: 1:07:10 (9M - 7:28 pace)
Sat: 1:03:10 (9M - 7:01 pace)
Sun: 1:33:39 (14.1 - 6:39 pace); w/ 2 x 12 minutes @ tempo pace

Weekly Total: 61.3 miles in 6 sessions

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Running On The Sun

The temperature has not dropped below 90 degrees the past three days. I don't think it will for the remainder of July and most of August. Here's what it was like yesterday: 5am - 92 deg; 10am - 104 deg.; 3pm - 119 deg.; 8pm - 107 deg. It's to the point where easy running is not so easy because of the heat. I think there will be benefits of just putting in some mileage of easy running to stay fit and sustain a good base.

Yesterday, I ran 11 miles which included 4 x 5 min. at 10k effort with 3 min. recovery jogs. I intended to run easy the entire run, but felt the need to elevate the heart rate. By feel I think the HR hovered around 85%. This morning I did an easy 8-miler.

I watched "RUNNING ON THE SUN" (Badwater 135) and could only imagine what those endurance runners went through. If you haven't watched it I suggest you do. It's grueling! The temperature reached a high of 122 degrees today and I thought about what it would feel like to be running in these conditions for 24 - 48 hours straight. No thanks!

Today's Run: 1:00:41 (8 miles - 7:24 pace)
Yesterday's Run: 1:13:32 (11 miles - 6:41 pace); w/ 4 x 5 min. @ 10k effort

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Not a bad week

Today ended a good week of running coming off of minor issues with the Achilles. I was able to put in at least an hour of running each day this week. This morning's run was mostly easy running with the last four miles at 6:30ish pace. I got in 90 minutes of running which to tell you truth is the longest I've ran since being deployed in January. Hopefully the Sunday runs will increase in miles over the next few weeks. It will be tough though because the temperature is still rising. Today's high was 118 degrees. Temperature at run time this morning was 88 degrees; still very warm but better than Thursday when it was in the low-90s. I hit the gym immediately following the run to do some stretching, push-ups and an ab workout. I wanted to test my upper body strength so I did my so-called 100 push-ups test. I time myself how long it will take me to do 100 push-ups without getting up or dropping to my knees. This is no easy test. I started doing this test about two months ago, about once every 2 weeks. I did it in 64 seconds. I was smoked afterwards. 100 push-ups in 64 seconds was a PR for me. My previous best was 69 seconds.

Here's how the week of running went:

Mon: 8 miles in 1:00:40 (7:35 pace); easy run
Tues: 10 miles in 1:09:04 (6:54 pace); last 4 miles at 6:35 pace.
Wed: 8.1 miles in 1:00:08 (7:25 pace)
Thur: 11 miles in 1:14:55 (6:48 pace); ran miles 8-10 at 6:07 pace
Fri: 9 miles in 1:07:26 (7:30 pace);
Sat: 9.1 miles in 1:00:40 (6:40 pace); ran miles 5-7 at 5:54 pace
Sun: 13.3 miles in 1:30:35 (6:49 pace); last 4.3 miles at 6:35 pace

Weekly Total: 68.5 miles in 7 sessions

Friday, July 20, 2007

Easy running

I’ve been taking this week fairly easy making sure not to anger the Achilles. I can honestly say that running a bit slower than normal easy pace feels good. It got me thinking that I previously should have been running my recovery runs a few seconds slower. This morning I ran 7 miles with one of my soldiers averaging 7:44 pace before continuing on for a couple more miles. I was feeling really good and couldn’t resist the urge to finish the last mile strong. I finished with a 6:18 mile, which felt very comfortable. (9 miles in 1:07:26 – 7:30 pace)

Thursday: 11 miles steady with miles 8-10 in 18:22 (6:07 pace). Achilles held up pretty good with no problems. Temperature at 0530 was approximately 90 degrees. (11 miles in 1:14:55 - 6:48 pace)

Wednesday: ran an easy 8 miler starting at 8 min. pace and progressing to a last mile of about 6:35. The goal for the week is to put in at least one hour of running each day. (8.1 miles in 1:00:08 – 7:25 pace)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

4 Kinds of People.....

While everyone’s (Mike, Eric, Greg, and everyone else) running and training is going very well, I’m on the other side of the world trying to stay healthy and injury-free. Don’t worry there’s no whining or crying on this end. I’m satisfied enough that the Brooks Axiom is laced up each morning and put to use.

Last night, before hitting the sack and while the booms went off, I watched “JACK DANIELS – The Art and Science of Running” presented by McMillan Running. This DVD is educational and worth purchasing, especially if you’re a fan of Dr. Daniels training philosophy. In one of his sections, he explains that there are 4 kinds of people (runners):

1. A/M: those who have ability and are motivated
- Champions

2. A/NM: those who have ability, but are not motivated (no desire)
- Coach Frustrators

3. NA/M: those who have no ability, but are motivated
- Self Frustrators; he/she will do everything the coach tells him/her to do and more to improve; easily over-trained

4. NA/NM: those who have no ability and are not motivated
- Forget about them; not interested; Losers (he didn’t say this in the DVD)

Which one are you? I think we all would like to be Champions, but were not fortunate to be born with all the ability (talent). I believe that as long as you make the most of your ability and are motivated to reach your goals, then you’re a Champion in my eyes.

Today’s run: 1:09:04 (10 miles – 6:54 pace)
Yesterday: 1:00:40 (8 miles – 7:35 pace)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Much better

This morning's run was much better than the last couple days. I managed to put in 10 pain-free miles at a fairly easy pace. After Friday's leg problems, I started to get back into the habit of stretching at night before hitting the sack. I think it helps keep the leg muscles loose. Eric brings up an excellent point in his comment about the legs needing to get enough blood flow. I think I get enough blood flow to the legs because I'm constantly on the move throughout the day. I'll just need to ensure to take in lots of fluids as it is very easy to become dehydrated in 110 degree temperatures.

This is how the week went:

Monday: 8.1 miles in 56:18 (6:57 pace); Last 4 miles were painful.
Tuesday: No running
Wednesday: No running; lots of stretching
Thursday: No running
Friday: 5 miles in 33:50 (6:46 pace)
Saturday: 8.1 miles in 55:45 (6:53 pace)
Sunday: 10.2 miles in 1:10 (6:52 pace); Miles 7-9 at 6:20 pace.

Friday, July 13, 2007

More problems...

On Monday, I went on my normal one hour easy run. Halfway through the run my Achilles began to act up. It was bothering me to the point where I had to change my stride to relieve some pounding on the right Achilles. I really wanted to stop and walk back but that would mean 4 miles of walking. The run was painful and it left me thinking that I should take the next few days off from running. Later that day, I had treatment #5 of iontophoresis and treatment #6 the following day. I took Tues - Thurs off from running hoping that the leg will get better.

This morning I ran 5 miles to see how the leg would hold up. The Achilles felt fine, but everything else on my right leg didn't. The calves, hamstring, and soleus muscles were very tight and giving me hell. It may have been lack of fluids and stretching. This was one of those runs where if it wasn't one thing it was another. I was just glad to get the run over with.

Today's Run: 33:50 (5 miles - 6:46 pace)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

First week of July

Here's how the week of running went. I ended the week with 56 miles on 6 runs. I'm happy with whatever runs I can put in.

Monday: Easy one hour run. The legs really appreciated the easy effort. Yesterday’s run ended the week at 64 miles, my highest mileage in about 7 months. (8.6 miles in 1:00:04 – 6:58 pace).

Tuesday: 10 miles including 5 x ½ mi with ½ mi recovery. It felt good to put in some fast pace running. I started to feel a little irritation on my right Achilles during the cool-down. (10 miles in 1:06:19 – 6:36 pace).

Wednesday: 6 miles very easy with my NCO. The right Achilles still feels irritated. I had it checked by a physical therapist and underwent 15 minutes of some type of electromagnetic treatment. The PT put two pads on the achilles and attached some wires to it which felt like needles to the skin. Will undergo five more treatments. (6 miles in 45:45 – 7:37 pace)

Thursday: Thought of not running to give the Achilles a break, but my stubbornness led me out the door. Took it easy the entire run. Same exact route and pace as Monday. Underwent treatment #2. (8.6 miles in 1:00 – 6:58 pace)

Friday: 10 miles at aerobic pace. Ran the first 5 miles easy averaging 7:00 min/mile. Ran the second half in 30:58 (6:12 pace). The Achilles was feeling okay so I picked up the pace to get in some faster leg-turnover. I'm really asking for trouble. Treatment #3. PT asked if I ran and I told her yes only a few miles. (10 miles in 1:05:58 – 6:36 pace)

Saturday: Took a day off from running to give the Achilles a break. Rough and busy day. I missed my treatment.

Sunday: With a ¼ mile of visibility due to dusts and temperatures in the low-90s at 5:30 in the morning, I chose to run on the treadmill. Ran majority of the run very easy. In the middle of the run I did 4 x 1 mile at 6:00 pace w/ ½ mile easy in between. Overall, the entire run felt easy. Underwent treatment #4. (13 miles in 1:31:30 – 7:02 pace)

Weekly Total: 56 miles

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Six Months Later...

Wow, my first post on running blog-land since leaving stateside six months ago to attend an unplanned vacation which was extended to 15 months. The workload has settled down so I hope to drop a post once or twice a week to let you know how the running is going. Yes, believe it or not, I’m able to put in some runs despite the unsafe environment. In fact, running has been consistent over the past few months after not running a single mile in January and February. Getting back into some type of running shape was a bit painful at first, but the fitness seems to be coming along fine. On Sunday I ended the week at 64 miles, my highest weekly mileage since last December when I ran Rocket City. The goal for now is to just run and sustain some type of base, hopefully around 50-60 miles/week. With no Running Circles to accompany me on my runs, I had no choice but to adopt a friend from the Garmin family. His name is Forerunner 205. Forerunner keeps me motivated, accompanies me in every run and even measures the run route for me. I never have to worry about him sleeping in too.

Well, enough about Forerunner, this is about me. Yesterday, I ran easy for an hour covering 8.6 miles (6:57 pace). This morning I put in 10 miles which included 5 x ½ mi with ½ mile recoveries. The splits were all over the place at 2:48, 2:39, 2:46, 2:41, & 2:42. It doesn’t really matter since there are no scheduled races on the calendar, at least for the next nine months. The thing that does matter is that I’m still able to put one foot in front of the other.