Saturday, September 29, 2007

Half Way There And It's About Time!

Week 9 of marathon training and I've reached the half way point finally. I've also missed more runs during this training season than I have in the past, but I'm not stressing out over it. Most of the misses were due to work and travel schedules.

Like this week for example. Instead of 3 EZ runs, I only managed one, albeit a fun one. Tuesday morning, 5:30 am, Las Vegas strip. It was chillier than I expected, felt like in the low 60's maybe, and I'm glad I decided against going shirtless. This is the view alongside the Bellagio, where I was NOT staying ($500+ a night? No way to hide that expense report).

I easily ran into a dozen or more die-hard runners out there despite the early hour. Unfortunately, no Elvis sightings to report. Sigh.

On Wednesday I was in Minneapolis but missed my run. On Thursday I was back home but missed my run again. On Friday I wasn't supposed to run, but I half-heartedly went out for 2-3 miles just to keep the joints working.

This morning, I wasn't looking forward to my 7-mile pace run, but I knew I could not ignore it. I've yet to hit any of my pace run goal times, but I've been coming close. My past two weekend attempts at this distance were 1:02:13 and 1:01:31. Today, 59:32. Yeah baby. It's about time.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tour des Fleurs 20K

It was a beautiful morning yesterday, even if I had to get up at 5:30am. Race time was 7:30am. A 15-mile LSD was on the docket, but this 20K presented a nice change of "pace" :-)

Plus, I got to run with the one and only Runner Susan! I called her when I got to the race, and she was just arriving with her friend from Ohio, Marta, and her mom.

Marta's fast. And she ran NYC last year, and she's running it again this year with Susan. They're going to have a blast. Anyone out there running NYC - go over to Susan's site and let her know. How can a meetup in NYC go wrong?

The race was at White Rock Lake, over some of the same route as the White Rock Marathon. Susan and I ran the first 3 miles together, and then we split up. The rest of the race just kind of flew by. I didn't really have a goal time in mind since this was just a training run. Instead, I was thinking about the hot dogs and beer that Susan said they laid out last year - that sounded really good during the run. By the time I finished though, all I wanted was water. I saw the free beer, but no sight or smell of hot dogs anywhere.

I finished in 1:59:22. Marta finished ahead of me, and Susan was behind me just a bit. Somehow I missed both of them at the finish! Oh well, we'll just have to do this again next year.

Monday, September 17, 2007

My Other Running Log

As marathon training enters it's 8th week, I can last longer out there, but I'm sure not getting faster. Not even in the shortest distance. That brutal reality hit home when I crossed the finish line last weekend in my 5K Corporate Challenge in 25:38. That's slower than the first 5K I ran this year, back in March. Plus, it was held on a Sunday, so I had to choose between a 5K race and a 14-mile LSD run. Right, some decisions are just too easy.

That might explain why I continue to flirt with missing most of my pace run target times. My EZ runs are no gimmes either. In their place, I've decided to enjoy what I can from my runs ...

... like last week, when I was in-and-out of Washington D.C., and managed to get in 2 early morning runs. Yes, it was tough getting up at essentially 4:30 AM CST, but there was no other way. On Tuesday, I did about 4 miles from Dupont Circle to the Washington Monument and back. It was 9-11, and it was a bit sobering to see all the flags at half-mast encircling the monument. On Wednesday, I extended the run to reach Congress before turning back, for about 7 miles.

Everything's relative, but I don't travel as much as I used to. When I think of all the places I've been, there's a slew of run-of-the-mill impersonal nameless faceless places interspersed with an occasional spectacular 5-star locale. The views from my hotel window are like a running log ;-) of my life on the road. All exist now only in my fading memory, except that I started keeping track of them here. Better late than never.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Let's Try That Again

Tomorrow is pace day. It's 6 weeks into marathon training, and I've yet to hit my first pace run on pace! For a while, it was the blood donation explanation, but I think that has since expired. Maybe my timing for a 3:45 marathon is just too ambitious. Anyway, I'll give it my best shot again tomorrow for a 6-mile run and see what happens. C'est la vie!

I think I've dropped 5 lbs since this thing started. I now hover between 155 and 160. If I could eat normally instead of thinking I constantly need to fuel up like there's no tomorrow, I'd be lighter and faster. Food is now mostly viewed as carbs, protein, or hydration. Things like taste, expiration dates, and "how old are these leftovers again?" are no longer relevant.

For an entire week, I went to Central Market for lunch (it's like a Whole Foods), and I'd get the same thing - a small salad from the salad bar, and a big tub of cottage cheese. I never ate so much cottage cheese in my life. After a week, the taste just got to me and I couldn't take it anymore. I took a week off, and darn if I didn't start yearning for that cottage cheese again! So back I went, and now it's a regular cheese on, cheese off, thing.

Alcohol is verboten too. That's usually not a problem as I'm not a big drinker. Of course, as soon as I took this stance, we had an obligatory client dinner at an old traditional steak house in Tampa last week. "Yes, I'd love an ice tea on the company nickel please". Then I followed that up with a wedding reception for S.'s cousin at the Four Seasons here in Dallas. "Yes, I'd love an ice tea from the OPEN BAR please. Make that two ice teas." %$!@^#*&!

In other news, summer is so over already. School started two weeks ago, and we now have two 6-graders who have moved up to middle school and a new kindergartner started in our old elementary school. Soccer, volleyball and gymnastics are back in full force. The local race season is heating up again too, but I'm not signed up for anything. Oh, except my first corporate challenge 5K coming up week after next. And possibly the Tour de Fleurs 10K/20K after that (yes, Susan, I'm still thinking about it!).