Sunday, January 18, 2009

18M Long Run

18 miles in cold, rainy and windy conditions. Throughout the run the rain was a steady mist, which wasn't too bad, until the last mile when a downpour dropped on me. Was glad that I only had to deal with it for a few minutes. The long run went well. Got into a good rhythm after the 4th mile and clicked off 6:30ish pace for the remainder of the run. Ran the first 9 miles in 61:08 (6:48 pace) and the last 9 in 59:12 (6:35 pace). This long run capped off a good week of training and mileage. I'm just hoping that the legs doesn't give me anymore issues so that I can move forward with marathon training for Rotterdam (11 weeks away).

12-18 Jan

Mon: 8.7M @ 6:55 pace
Tues: Noon - 12M @ 6:49 pace including 8 x 3' hard with 2' easy; PM - 6M @ 7:24 pace
Wed: 10M @ 7:00 pace
Thur: AM - 5.5M @ 6:34 pace including 2 miles in 11:04; Noon - 8M @ 7:13 pace
Fri: 7M @ 7:22 pace
Sat: 9M @ 7:01 pace
Sun: 18M @ 6:41 pace

Weekly Total: 84.2 miles

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Easy days

Took it easy today and yesterday as I'm still experiencing a little soreness in the legs. Yesterday was a very easy 7 miles in 51 minutes. Was very proud of myself because I had a first mile split of 8:08, which doesn't happen too often. The legs felt a lot better and loosened up in this morning's run. Did 9 miles averaging 7:01 pace.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I practically acheived my "I'll be very happy with" APFT goal. Did 121 pushups, 101 situps, and ran 11:04 for the 2-miler, a 385 APFT score. The run was very cold and slippery from black ice on the roads. Came through the mile in a pedestrian 5:39, finished off with a 5:25, and then continued on for a 25 minute cooldown before rushing to get changed for my morning meeting. The 2-mile run actually felt like a short tempo workout. Four hours later during lunch time, I went for an easy 8-mile run. I should have ran in the evening instead of during lunch because the legs and body just wasn't feeling it. Felt like I was running on empty and the HR was higher than normal for an easy run. 13.5 miles total for the day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Feeling a little sore

It seems like the recent daily mileage combined with yesterday's hard workout session have introduced some new stress to the leg muscles, specifically the quads. I already knew the quads were going to be a bit sore because I was beginning to feel it late yesterday afternoon sitting at my desk, which is probably not the best thing to do following a run. Unfortunately, my job requires me to spend most of the day on the computer. Last night, I was proactive and got on the foam roller to break down the developing soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue in the legs. I think it helped significantly because the legs didn't feel too bad in today's run, an easy 10 miles at an unexpected 7-minute pace. I'm still feeling a bit tightness and soreness in the legs though, so I'm not planning to run very hard in tomorrow's 2-mile of the Army Physical Fitness Test. As of now, my "I'll be very happy with goal" is 120 pushups, 100 situps, and an 11:00 2-mile. I think the situps will be a tough challenge with the sore quads. One thing for certain is that there is no plan for another 400 APFT score.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Good day of training

It was a good and tough day of running. Ran with my German friend and co-worker, Jurgen, during lunch hour. He's at much higher level of running than me, but it was good to have someone to run with and chase after. Following 20 minutes of easy running we did 8 x 3 minutes hard followed by 2 minutes easy. I tried to stay within 20 meters of him during the hard periods. I succeeded in doing so with the exception of the last repeat when the legs were done. I ended up running the 3-minute hard periods at 5:05-5:15 pace. In the evening I ran a very easy 6 miles. 18 miles total for the day.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Ran 8.7 miles at 6:55 pace during lunch. Was only planning to do 8 miles, but then kept going to make it an hour of running. The weather was great, sunny at about 40 degrees. Following the run, I did my usual weekday routine of abs/situps, pushups, core exercises and stretching. Since I have an Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) on Thursday I wanted to see where I currently stand with my muscular endurance on pushups. Initially, I was going to see how many pushups I could in 1 minute, but then decided on the opposite - how long it would take me to do 100 pushups. I knocked out 100 pushups in 62 seconds. I was very happy with this considering I have 58 seconds remaining to try and knock out 25 more; my pushup personal best in the APFT is 124. Twenty-five pushups in 58 seconds doesn't sound like much when I could do 100 in 62 seconds, but believe me it is no easy task when you're already at muscle failure. For those unfamiliar with the APFT events they are pushups (2 minutes), situps (2-minutes), and a 2-mile run.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Coming around

Today I did my first run over 10 miles since the weekend before Christmas. 15 miles in 1:41:32, 6:46 pace. Felt good and was just cruising along steadily. Ran in the afternoon when the temperature was much bearable in the 30s. It was a smart decision.

I'm quite impressed that I managed to put in a good week of running, especially the last 3 days with 10, 10, and 15 miles, after having some issues with the right leg. I'll have to be careful not to come back too fast and aggravate the leg. Here's how the week went down.

05-11 Jan

Mon: 7M @ 7:20 pace
Tues: 7M @ 7:15 pace
Wed: 8M @ 7:17 pace
Thur: 8.25M @ 6:44 pace
Fri: 10.1M @ 7:04 pace
Sat: 10M @ 6:48 pace
Sun: 15M @ 6:46 pace

Weekly Total: ~65.4 miles

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Painful, but a good run

I don't think I've ever felt so much pain during a run. Pain from the freezing cold that is, not from an injury. It was 8 degrees (F) with clear and sunny skies. I really thought it wouldn't be too bad because the sun was out. I was wrong! Only a mile into the run I began to feel the stinging and numbness in the toes. It only got worse. The toes were frozen for the duration of the run. It probably didn't help that I was wearing a shoe (Brooks Axiom) that is mostly made out of mesh. Despite being miserable from freezing, it was a good training run. I did 10 miles averaging 6:48 pace, best of all the pace felt very comfortable. Things are going well so far.

Today: 10M @ 6:48 pace
Yesterday: 10.1M @ 7:04 pace

Thursday, January 08, 2009

More progress

Thanks to the nightly foam roller massages, core exercises, stretching, and ICE (removed the "R" since I haven't rested), the right ankle is improving significantly. The last couple runs have been pain-free runs. I did 8 miles yesterday in the compact snow and 8.25 miles today on the cycle lanes and sidewalks, which are the only surfaces besides the roads that are free of snow. In today's run I was itching to get in some steady pace running; so I ran the first 6 miles fairly easy at 6:50ish pace and then the remaining 2.25 miles at 6:00-6:10 pace. The last couple miles felt very comfortable, which is a positive sign that I didn't loose much, if any, fitness over the last two weeks.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Freezing runs

My hat is off to those who live and run in the Northeast or whatever place where the temperature stays below freezing throughout winter.

Yesterday almost a foot of snow greeted us for the new running year. As I looked out my office window and watched the snow continue to fall, I couldn't resist going for a run during lunch. I went for a run in the heide and oh, what a beauty it was. It was an easy 51 minutes, right at 7 miles.

Tonight's run, which was around the same distance and running time as yesterday, was a bit too cold for me. It was freezing at 14 degrees. The achilles felt fine during the run, but the slight pain has now transitioned to the bottom back of the foot. Anonymous brought up a good point about heel spur or plantar fascitis. As stated in my comment, I'm icing it and treating as a possible plantar fascitis.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Some progress

On Tuesday I had the achilles checked out by a doctor, who said it wasn't too bad and that I should give it some rest by taking a couple weeks off. She recommended applying RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and taking anti-inflammatory pills, which I've been doing both since I encountered the injury. Is it me or do all doctors say the same thing? I really wanted to tell her that I wouldn't be here if I hadn't tried any self-treatment. Frustation was setting in.

I did take the doctors advice though and gave the legs some rest, one week that is. The achilles has been feeling a lot better. However, it was tough to tell because it was never in pain while walking. So, I decided to see how it'll feel on a short run. I ran a slow and easy 4 miles in 30 minutes. The achilles didn't hurt at all, but there was still some stiffness on it. I did some drills on the grass afterwards and the achilles felt better. I'll give it some more rest over the next couple days and hope that I'll be back to some normal running by the end of the week.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2008 Year in Review

Here's a look back at 2008.

1) Completion of a longgg 15-month deployment. I spent 2007 and the first quarter of 2008 in Iraq. It was a good deployment for me and I was very fortunate to run and stay fit while deployed.

2) PRs. 2008 was no doubt my best running year despite being injured all of April/May and the last week of December. I set new PRs in almost every distance (10K, 15K, half-marathon and marathon). I could have easily ran PRs for the other distances had I entered a race.

3) Amsterdam Marathon - 2:35:37 (PR). This was my breakthrough marathon, finally running sub-6 minute pace (5:56) for the distance and improving my PR by almost 3 minutes.

4) Rotterdam Half Marathon - 1:13:39 (PR) - In addition to Amsterdam Marathon this was one of my best race performance of 2008. It was a 2-minute PR and the race boosted my confidence leading into Amsterdam.

5) The traveling year. I traveled to and ran in six countries (Iraq, Kuwait, US, Japan, Netherlands, Germany), three states (NC, MN, CA) and one island (Guam) . It was an extraordinary experience running in different conditions and temperatures from 110+ to 20 degrees (F), desert to roads and trails, mountains to flatlands and humidity to dry air.

To sum things up 2008 was a busy year. It was an excellent year of running. Interestingly, I didn't even reach 3000 miles (ended up with 2847 miles) and still set many PRs. I look forward to these PRs being broken in 2009.

Happy New Running Year!