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monday, december 14, 2009

Running Log/Long Run

Distance: 13 miles
Time: 1:39:00

Comments: Once again my schedule got screwy and running went onto the back burner. I was slammed busy Saturday and then went down to Tucson on Sunday so see the guys not finishing their marathon.

So today was the long run. Since I skipped the race, the goal was crank out 13 miles at or near goal pace. I wasn't able to meet that particular goal but I bargained myself into a fartlek-style effort over the same distance.

I took off at quite a bit better than goal pace and held up until about mile four when I could really start to feel the effort. I gutted it out another mile and stopped at the 5 mile mark with an average of 7:16 per mi up to that point.

I rested about four minutes and then took off at recovery pace - shooting to hold my pace no slower than a minute over marathon goal pace. I reeled off five miles at 7:53 min/mi average pace. Then gave myself another four minutes to recover. read more

posted by kleph @ 7:00 am | comments

thursday, december 10, 2009

Running Log/Track Work

Distance: 6:17 miles
Time: 42:53

Comments: Deadlines kept me from hitting the road yesterday and I really wasn't into this workout either. Not avoiding it, like sometimes you feel, but just not excited about it either. Kind of odd.

Since the marathon in Tucson is this week hardly anyone was at the track. And half of those that were weren't running. Coach ordered up mile repeats just like last week which I was less than thrilled to hear about but ces't la vie.

This ended up being kind of an odd run. Because I pretty much did it solo (and in the dark, of course) I had no benchmark to measure my effort by. So I concentrated on consistency and keeping under the rough target times for each lap. read more

posted by kleph @ 3:00 am | 0 comments

tuesday, december 08, 2009

Running Log/Recovery Run

Distance: 5 miles
Time: 41:23

Comments: A cold front blasted through and nixed my workout on the track yesterday. Work eclipsed my run in the a.m. but I got out in the afternoon as the sun started to set. It was pretty chilly to start but pretty nice once I got started.

I felt pretty solid most of the way and averaged about 8:15 min/mi pace the whole way. Which was a little disappointing since I was kind of feeling like I had a stronger pace this outing. But the important point here is I felt strong the whole way.

Conditions:
Hour: 5 p.m.
Surface: concrete/asphalt
Weather: evening
Temperature: 50 degrees
Humidity: 33 percent
Wind: calm
Location: Chandler, Arizona read more

posted by kleph @ 1:00 pm | 0 comments

saturday, december 05, 2009

Running Log/Long Run

Distance: 12 miles
Time: 1:44:20

Comments: With my sporadic training regimen as well as the unhealthy combination of weird exhaustion and hip soreness, Coach suggested just focusing on distance today. No pace or max effort with this one, just run it consistent and strong.

As a result it went pretty well. I started off achy, with the now-expected hip unhappiness. Warmed up and felt pretty strong after that. The overall average pace was unspectacular - 8:42 min/mi - but I never felt like I was at the end of my rope, either.

Conditions:
Hour: 9:40 a.m.
Surface: asphalt/concrete/dirt
Weather: clear
Temperature: 42 degrees
Humidity: 31 percent
Wind: none
Location: Chandler, Arizona read more

posted by kleph @ 7:30 am | 0 comments

thursday, december 03, 2009

Running Log/Track Work

Distance: 6:14 miles
Time: 42:50

Comments: After feeling shellacked for pretty much the last three days I took yesterday off and hoped I could recover enough for a good workout tonight. So I got out to the pitch-dark track and began braving the chilly weather with a hopeful mindset but not exactly confident.

Coach Dean dialed up mile repeats. Five miles with three minute breaks in between; alternating 10K pace and 5K pace between them. This is a pretty long an intensive workout for the track and I was a bit worried about my ability to complete the whole thing.
read more

posted by kleph @ 3:00 pm | 0 comments

sunday, september 13, 2009

I Did A Green Run 5K

Race: I Did A Green Run 5K
Official Time: 21:26
Actual Time: 21:29

Comments: This was my first race in quite some time. Initially, I didn't even plan to do this one but when I was cleaning up the website a few weeks ago, I realized I didn't have a 5K personal best time. Hell, I can't even remember ever running one. This one, part of the Arizona Road Racers summer series fit well into the schedule so I signed up.

I got out there about an hour early and Rob met me. He later blamed me for making him do this race but I have a hard time believing he wouldn't have been out there anyway. We got the chips and numbers and then headed out for a warm up run around the course. This turned out to be a good idea since the course was mostly a kind of trail run with small washes and lots of sandy dirt. read more

posted by kleph @ 5:00 am | 0 comments

saturday, july 25, 2009

Chocolate Milk: The Miracle Post-Workout Recovery Drink?

Chocolate milk never was a favorite of mine. I like both chocolate and milk well enough but the mixture of the two seemed oversweet and, frankly, unnecessary. Until this week I probably hadn't consumed the concoction in well over three decades.

It turns out that this childhood dietary staple is gaining something of a reputation as a magic bullet for endurance training and, after a period of skeptical resistance, I've decided to give it a try.

Although the use of chocolate milk as a post-exercise panacea has been vogue among the fitness cognoscenti for at least five years, I first heard about it at Owen Anderson's running camp earlier this month. As surprised as I was when my fellow runner floated the idea I was pretty much shocked when Coach Owen proved to be enthusiastic about it. read more

posted by kleph @ 10:00 am | 0 comments

friday, july 10, 2009

Owen Anderson Running Camp

Owen Anderson is a renowned researcher, author and coach who specializes in training, sports nutrition, and injury prevention. For the past 15 years he has espoused a "neural system" for training that focuses on high quality running and strength rather than the traditional emphasis on mileage. His website, Educated Runner, is a treasure trove of information about his approach and methods.

Anderson has repeatedly visited Kenya to study the techniques of the phenomenal endurance runners that hail from the African nation. His training program integrates the practical observations of those experiences with a formidable amount of research.

Each year he holds a number of week long training camps to educate runners on his approach and I attended his inaugural one at the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR from July 4 through July 9. The opportunity to run in a place where so many legends of American running have made their mark was an amazing experience.
Day One: Welcome to Eugene, OR read more

posted by kleph @ 12:00 pm | 1 comments

thursday, july 09, 2009

Running Camp: Day Six

Woke up feeling completely shellacked. After several days of rising with unexpected amounts of energy the piper seems to have arrived in the evening for payment. I was sore, groggy and definitely in the throes of fatigue. The unrelenting succession of high-quality workouts -- even as limited as many of them have been -- finally reached the critical point.

For the morning jaunt we headed over to Hendricks Park, a wooded hill on the east side of campus that has a number of trails through it. None of these is particularly long so instead of doing a single trek we all sort of wandered about the area until we got in the mileage. I hit three miles and headed back to the car but the others put in a bit more than that. read more

posted by kleph @ 10:00 am | 0 comments

wednesday, july 08, 2009

Running Camp: Day Five

I woke up feeling surprisingly good today. After the six-mile trail run I did by accident yesterday, I was dreading the morning. But the expected soreness and fatigue just wasn't there. Thank goodness.

Since there was no intense running slated for the morning workout Owen pushed it back to a relatively late 7:30 a.m. We gathered downstairs and trundled over to the front gate of Hayward Field and did the first sets of our exercises on the flower beds facing the front gate (they required an elevated surface).

Then we headed to the lacrosse field with the actual grass surface to do our warm up lap and the rest of the exercises. The basic lesson learned through all of this is I lack coordination and explosiveness -- not exactly a news flash.

Then returning to the dorm for the glory that is a cafeteria breakfast. As mundane as the food tends to be, I have to admit I'm learning to like the ease of access to it. I'm loading down on food and, stunningly, finishing it all no problem. read more

posted by kleph @ 9:00 pm | 1 comments

tuesday, july 07, 2009

Running Camp: Day Four

Up early but not early enough to get my notes written down. I'm starting to fall a bit behind and it's not good given the sheer volume of data we have to contend with. Chas had the coffee ready and, once again, it proved to be the difference between disaster and survival.

Before we got started we all wished Owen happy birthday which today happens to be. He was somewhat evasive when we asked how old he is though.

We got into the cars and headed over to Lincoln Street which is a pretty well known site for hill training here in Eugene. It's a pretty long incline with sections that boast slopes of various degrees of cruelty. Rather than gaze upon its humbling glory we took a warm up mile around the pretty much level block. It was still there when we got back. read more

posted by kleph @ 7:00 pm | 0 comments

monday, july 06, 2009

Running Camp: Day Three

Slept pretty hard last night. The exercises have a lot of usually-unworked muscle groups protesting quite a bit. Oddly, the stiffness isn't accompanied by fatigue or weariness as I was expecting. Perhaps the concentrated effort over the last month to prepare for the camp has stood me in good stead.

Chas proved to be a lifesaver by providing coffee for us prior to the cafeteria opening. Having that to get started helped more than I could probably express. I picked up an overpriced Oregon coffee thermos for the task and it's proven a solid expenditure.

Once again we blearily bundled into the cars and headed over to the Tom & Bill McChesney Memorial Track at the South Eugene High School. This venue was a lot more like the kind of track I grew up running on -- a bare-bones prep school spread. Authentic right down to the crude obscene graffiti spray painted on the track. read more

posted by kleph @ 11:00 pm | 0 comments

sunday, july 05, 2009

Running Camp: Day Two

Today we got into the nitty gritty. We got up early and bundled into the cars and headed over to the Eugene Running Company. In addition to being a great running store it's also become something of a hub for the town's running community. The renowned running writer Joe Henderson, a Eugene resident, starts his marathon training group runs from there. And so we five intrepid campers along with our stalwart coach were on hand to get our week-long adventure started with him.

The run itself was a wonderful introduction to the massive advantage Eugene presents for anyone interested in running. Besides an ideal climate (the weather was pleasantly cool and this was supposedly a hot day the town is littered with fantastic places to run. Our course this morning was the North Bank Path along the Willamette River. read more

posted by kleph @ 9:00 pm | 0 comments

saturday, july 04, 2009

Running Camp: Day One

Eugene, Oregon has taken up a pretty big portion of my headspace devoted to running since my high school days. Back in the mid-1980s this was the mecca of running, a quasi-mythical place where folks a heck of a lot better than I could ever hope to be resided and ran ran ran.

So when the opportunity to attend a running camp here arose I found myself powerless to resist. Running guru Owen Anderson decided to hold his inaugural camp at the University of Oregon this year and my coach recommended it. While I knew it would be something productive but, honestly, I was more sold on the possibility of running at the place I knew only from the running magazines I read devotedly a quarter-century ago.

Turns out Eugene is pretty much like every other college town in America. The University of Oregon campus is arrayed with resplendent swaths of grass outlined by sidewalks leading to the staid buildings of higher education. Even the dull utilitarian architecture of the dorm was reassuringly familiar in its own way. read more

posted by kleph @ 9:00 pm | 0 comments

wednesday, december 31, 2008

Midnight Madness 3 Mile Run

Race: Midnight Madness 3 Mile Run/Walk
Official Time: UNK
Actual Time: 19:20
Garmin link

Comments: Another year, another NYE Midnight Madness run at Rose Mofford Sports Complex in Phoenix. This even has become a downright tradition with me since I did it in 2006 and last year.

Happily, each time I've run it I've been significantly faster as well - cutting 50 seconds off last year and a solid half-minute this year. But there was a lot of work behind that achievement - a total of 519 miles run in 2007 and a whopping 918 miles last year. read more

posted by kleph @ 6:59 pm | 0 comments

sunday, december 07, 2008

Holualoa Tucson Marathon

Race: Holualoa Tucson Marathon
Official Time: 3:24:48
Gun Time: 3:25:04

OK. The first point to address is the unvarnished fact that this race was a major disappointment. The goal was to qualify for the Boston Marathon and I missed it by three minutes and forty-nine seconds. To get that close and come short was a massive gut punch and I'd be lying if I said otherwise.

Now, aside from that there was a lot of progress here. I bested my previous PR (set at the Sydney Marathon last year) by 6:49 - an improvement of about half-a-minute per mile. More importantly, despite my knee and hip problems this year, neither was a serious issue during or after the race. read more

posted by kleph @ 3:34 pm | 0 comments

sunday, august 31, 2008

Nike Human Race 10K - Lima, Peru

Race: Nike Human Race 10K - Lima, Peru
Official Time: 44:38
Watch Time: 44:38

Well, to kick off the real running portion of my training I decided to run this big race production Nike put on this year - The Human Race. These have been more common in recent years but I guess Nike decided to kick out the jams and make this one one of their bloated advertising crossover productions.

Whatever, it promised to be a decently organized 10k with lots of people - exactly what I need to get myself motivated for the next three months.

So I went and watched my beloved Crimson Tide wipe the field with Clemson last night and slept a glorious sleep of the righteous. I got up at 6 a.m. - about three hours before the start - because I wanted to at least mimic my marathon preparation. read more

posted by kleph @ 4:22 pm | 1 comments

sunday, march 09, 2008

Valley of the Sun Half Marathon

Race: Valley of the Sun Half Marathon
Official Time: 1:32:05
Watch Time: 1:32:09

A really good little race. I took five minutes off my last half marathon and a full ten minutes off the one I did in January. More importantly, I achieved my dual goals for this one - I reeled in another negative split and I bested my ideal half-marathon time.

The breakdown of my times suggests I slowed somewhat over the course of the race but not a great deal. My 5K split was 21:27 (6:55 pace), my 10K split was 42:38 (6:52 pace) and my 10 mile split was 1:09:57 (7:00 pace). read more

posted by kleph @ 6:53 pm | 0 comments

sunday, february 17, 2008

Lost Dutchman Half Marathon

Race: Lost Dutchman Half Marathon
Official Time: 1:37:10
Watch Time: 1:37:09

For a race I swayed back and forth over the past week over if I was even going to run at all I had a phenomenally great finish.

It turned out to be a personal best for the race (besting the Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon by half-a-minute) which is somewhat even more astounding given the hilly layout of the thing.

But, actually, that's probably not the most important achievement for me today. I reached the halfway point at a bit past 50 minutes (forgot to record the split as I passed it) which, in light of the 97:09 finish, means I ran my first reverse split race. read more

posted by kleph @ 6:00 am | 2 comments

saturday, february 02, 2008

London's Run 10K

Race: London's Run 10K
Official Time: 42:57
Watch Time: 42:55

I went in to this one with a target pace and target time. While I wasn't expecting to blast through my 'ideal' times I was hoping to show some progress in terms of getting back into running form. Needless to say, I haven't.

I was shooting for a 6:45 per mile pace and a sub 42:00 race. Not even close. I stumbled across the finish line at almost 43 minutes with a pathetic 6:55 per mile pace. I don't think I'm progressing, I'm regressing.

And it certainly isn't the race's fault. It was a bit chilly this morning getting up but not bone cold like it has been. And for the event itself temps were pretty much ideal. Moreover the the flat dirt course should have made for an excellent showing. read more

posted by kleph @ 8:00 am | 0 comments

sunday, january 13, 2008

Rock 'n' Roll Arizona 1/2 Marathon 2008

Race: Rock n' Roll Arizona Half Marathon
Official Time: 1:41:53

I was considering the idea of bumping up to the full marathon if I was on the ball training-wise. Well, I wasn't and though I pondered it back and forth quite a bit over the past few weeks, I decided to play it safe and stick to the half. In the end it turned out to be the right choice but it certainly wasn't easy (I know I could have survived the full but it would have knocked me down for a few weeks as well).

Anyway, my running companions all flaked out on me and I ended up going solo. That made the pre-race logistics kind of a problem - I was resigned to driving myself and heading out hours early to get parking - but my dad eventually offered to drop me off and pick me up. This actually worked like a charm. read more

posted by kleph @ 3:00 pm | 0 comments

monday, december 31, 2007

Midnight Madness 3 mile Run/Walk

Race: Midnight Madness 3 mile Run/Walk
Official Time: 20:10
Actual Time: 19:50

I ended my running year last year with the Midnight Madness 3 mile Run/Walk. It was a fun little diversion and given the way things turned out for both the year in general and my running specifically - it seemed kind of obvious I needed to repeat the race again in anticipation for 2008.

Instead of just a diversion of a race, I had a specific goal going in - a sub-20 minute three mile. That would be significantly below the 7-min-mile pace I'm trying to get a full marathon in. It would be a solid bellweather of the work I have in front of me. read more

posted by kleph @ 6:30 pm | 0 comments

sunday, october 28, 2007

The Seven Bridges Walk

The marathon last month gave me a hankering to see more of Sydney from street level and about a week ago I stumbled over the website for the Seven Bridges Walk. This event consists of a roughly 25 kilometer course around the west side of Sydney Harbor crossing seven bridges that span various waterways.

It’s not a race and the course, though marked, was not closed. You got a “passport” which you could receive stamps at each of the bridges to show you had crossed them. There were also about a half-dozen “villages” set up with aid stations, water and concessions. read more

posted by kleph @ 6:00 pm | 0 comments

sunday, september 23, 2007

Sydney Marathon

Race: Blackmore's Sydney Running Festival Marathon
Official Time: 3:36:59

The second marathon effort this year turned out to be a world of difference from my first disastrous venture back in January. Instead of pushing myself for a specific time I concentrated on building strength for the race. The result was a much stronger effort than I had any reason to expect.

My final time was 3:37 (chip time later proved to be just under that bar), well below the 4 hour race I was expecting and positively obliterating my horrible 4:20 from January.

I started out a lot faster than I expected pulling in a 1:44:40 half. That put me dead on for a 3:30 marathon and I made a bit of an attempt at it but the long, long inclines on the second half of the course got me and my reverse split blossomed to a 1:52:18. There just wasn't anything left in the tank at the very end. read more

posted by kleph @ 4:00 pm | 0 comments

thursday, january 18, 2007

Fellow Travelers

Over the past few days while I have been laid up trying to recover from my race I have spent a bit of time online searching out the stories of other folks who suceeded in crossing the finish line of the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon and 1/2 Marathon on Sunday.

Turns out there were a lot of people from all walks of life who showed up for both the races - a total of 36,617, to be exact. These folks went out, did their best and then quite a few of them sat down and posted an entry about it on their websites.

I'm sure every runner will be able to relate with the tales of triumph as well as heartache to be found in these many entries. But if you haven't run a race yet you should really take some time to go through them all. There is one that will resonate with you, I promise. I wish I had found blog entries like these to inspire me during those long months of training. read more

posted by kleph @ 7:00 am | 7 comments

tuesday, january 16, 2007

...and what came after.

Arriving home after the race meant facing my last huge challenge of the day - the stairs. It's just two short flights but it was like climbing a mountain without the benefit of porters. I did it on my own but every one of the 16 steps was as hard as the final mile of the marathon. Especially after sitting down for 45 minutes on the ride home.

But I made it. Under my own power. And somehow found a little extra strength to crawl into bed as well. Dad had bought my ice for my ritual post-run bath. I told him not to bother. I certainly couldn't handle any more pain and I was more than a little worried I would pass out due to the extreme level of fatigue.

Mom had a few pain pills left over from an operation she had last year. These turned out to be my saving grace. I'm not really big on self-medicating oneself but these worked to cut the edge off the agony so I could at least approximate comfort. The pain didn't go away, but it stayed in the corner on the other side of the room for a little while at least. read more

posted by kleph @ 7:00 am | 2 comments

sunday, january 14, 2007

Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon 2007

Race: P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon
Clock Time: 4:20:22
Chip Time: 4:20:02

After almost a year of preparation, effort and worry raceday finally arrived. The good news - I was able to finish my first marathon. The bad news? It was a complete and total disaster.

My hope had been to at least get in spitting distance of the Boston Marathon qualifying time for my age group of 3 hours 15 minutes. I came in almost a full hour behind that at 4 hours 20 minutes and change.

The mile splits tell the story. I stuck with the pace group starting out which had me reeling in 7:20 min/mile for the first six miles or so. I got to the halfway point at 1 hour 41 minutes which put me at a 7:44 min/mile. By the 20 mile marker, which I crossed at 2 hours 55 minutes, that had slid to 8:46 min per mile. The final tally was 9:55 min per mile. read more

posted by kleph @ 10:00 am | 0 comments

sunday, december 31, 2006

Midnight Madness 3 mile Run/Walk

Race: Midnight Madness 3 mile Run/Walk
Official Time: 20:45
Actual Time: 20:38

The idea was to get in a nice relaxed little run here a fortnight prior to the marathon. No pressure. No strain. Just enjoy the thing.

So, of course, I found myself pushing it. The pace works out to 6:40 per mile or so. The first one was relatively slow so I'm a bit nervous to think what the mile two split actually was.

I headed out a bit early due to my uncertainty about the New Year's Eve traffic and unfamiliarity with the location. It turned out to be no problem at all so I got there almost an hour before the race. I got my bib and my t-shirt and just sort of waited around. read more

posted by kleph @ 6:00 pm | 9 comments

sunday, december 03, 2006

Runner's Den/Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon

Race: Runner's Den/Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon
Official Time: 1:37:56
Actual Time: 1:37:38

After going back and forth all week on whether or not to run this thing I finally decided to do it on Friday.

The plan was to head out and take it easy - putting in an 8 minute mile pace or more. And that's how it started. But at about halfway I felt pretty good about the effort and tried to turn in a strong reverse split. And that's pretty much how it turned out.

There was no chip timing so the time on my watch is what I'm relying on. Doing the math, it looks like I averaged 7:27 for each mile over the whole race. My first mile was at just more than 8:30 and my last one around 7:00 even. Extending that time out to a marathon would put me at right at a 3:30 race. read more

posted by kleph @ 7:00 am | 0 comments

sunday, november 12, 2006

Phoenix New Times 10K

Race: Phoenix New Times 10K
Official Time: 41:52
Actual time: 41:57

My first race here in Arizona and it went quite well, in retrospect. I didn't hit my goal of breaking 40 minutes but I was well under the minimum limit of 45 minutes I set for myself.

Most importantly, I bested my last 10K time by almost five minutes.

Progress. There you have it.

I took my dad to the airport this morning and then went to the location of the race right after. I was almost two hours early so I took my time getting my gear in order and put down two energy bars while waiting. read more

posted by kleph @ 7:00 am | 0 comments

sunday, may 21, 2006

Raceday: RbK 10K

Race: Carrera RbK 10 Kilometros
Start: 9:00 a.m.
Location: Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Weather: clear, sunny, cool, 60s
Official Time: 46:52
Actual Time: 46:15

Well, it was every bit as tough and grueling and nasty as I expected. It was awesome. This was a great race for me; I had everything I needed in the tank, the blisters didn't act up and I came in with a slightly better time than I was shooting for. read more

posted by kleph @ 6:00 am | 0 comments