Friday, October 31, 2008

All Hallows Eve

Time: 28:01
Distance: 4 miles

Gus and I put on our running costumes and headed out for a run just at it was getting really dark. I sported my headlamp through the streets of Brookhaven that were filled with kids dressed up in their real costumes. I didn't pay too much attention to what kids were this year, but I do know that everybody and their moms are dressing up as The Joker, at least that's what the FB shows me. I ran the standard loop but when I got back near the entrance to Brookhaven Village by Starbucks I was a few minutes short of what I wanted to be so I ran around to the back of OK Runner. I put in a few extra minutes to be able to safely call the run 4 miles.

Later in the night I was all suited up with my racing jorts and was ready to go to Scotty Hollingsworth's party, but then I got a bit sicker than I had expected. I ran out of daytime cold meds and didn't want to take the nighttime ones before heading to the party for fear of falling asleep. I started feeling pretty crappy by 10:15 and decided to take those blue pills and call it a night. Lame.

Halloween Morning

Time: 48:49
Distance: 7 miles

I got up and out the door before going in to work this morning and I headed in towards campus. I continued to Pickard and kept the pace nice and easy. I don't think anything too eventful occurred during the run and the legs felt fine. I ran all the way down to Imhoff, turned on Chautauqua and came back past the law school. It was unseasonably warm and I saw a few other people out running which I'm sure won't be the case in a few weeks.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Night Jaunt

Time: 46:22
Distance: 7 miles

Tonight I ran from OK Runner to the Lodge after work. The legs felt pretty good this evening and my cold isn't too bad right now. The conditions were amazing for a late October run, 60s, light wind out of the south and quiet streets. I took a call from Meagan as I was cutting over to Pickard on Cruce. She was just finishing up dinner with Xtina in Atlanta. I continued through campus and then saw the lights were on at the track so I decided to stop and stretch. I was glad to use the time productively on the track because I almost never stretch when I get back from a run at home. The rest of the run was fine back to the apartment. Overall, it was a comfortable first run back in Nompton.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

DC Downtown Monument Run

Time: 54:32
Distance: 8 miles

Meagan and I started out from Jilane's like we did yesterday, but instead we took a little bit of cash and brought our metro cards. Our goal was to run along the Rock Creek Parkway and then run through the Mall from near the Jefferson Memorial. There were quite a few tourists and runners near the reflecting pool near the Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument. It was cool running in an area with so many significant pieces of history about in such a small amount of space. We took a quick spin up towards the Capitol and then ran back near the Smithsonian Castle before taking 12th St. up the Metro Center station. This was definitely one of the best and quickest ways to see the city on my last day in DC.

Meagan and I met up with Owen back in Woodley Park for brunch at Open City, of course. I had the OC Royale which involved 2 eggs (over easy), 3 pieces of bacon, hashbrowns, an english muffin and french toast. I ate it all and helped Meagan finish her pancakes. Oh yea, we also had a chocolate muffin for dessert.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Time: 47 mins
Distance: 6 miles

This morning Meagan and I ran from Jilane's apartment down to Cavert Rd. and headed down the hill near some hotel that looks more important than it probably is. It was much colder this morning and I had to wear a long sleeve shirt with a jacket on over the top. We ran along Rock Creek Parkway until we got to the bridge that has GW graffiti on it. The wind was quite real coming off the Potomac this morning. I'm glad I was wearing two layers and had gloves on. The run was fun and easy. My legs don't feel too banged up from the effort on Sunday and Meagan seemed to be clipping along as well. There is nothing much else to report about today's run other than me feeling a little better with the CVS brand daytime/nighttime cold meds in me.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Day Off

Time: zero
Distance: zero

Running was the last thing on peoples minds today. A group of us met up at Open City for breakfast/brunch. We had a good time rehashing stories from the night prior and talking about our excursion to rubber product stores. The body feels pretty decent, but it could use a day off.

In the evening Meagan and I took the metro all the way out to Fairfax, VA to meet up with her good friend from Texas. We went to dinner at Uncle Julio's and Meagan and I split the matamoros. We saw that frog legs were on the menu and I jokingly suggested we should get them, but we were really wanting fajitas. The matamoros luckily combined frog legs and more traditional fajita stuffing items.

Kermit the Frog.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Week in Review

Time: 372:12
Distance: 51.5 miles

I had a great weekend in DC topped off with a bag of wine and good friends. The marathon was fun to be a part of but it will only be a matter of time before I'm out there competing. My hip continues to feel good which makes running much more enjoyable. Unfortunately, the beer mile didn't not happen out in DC. I had been training and had 5:54 visualized as my time to run. I started coming down with a cold around Saturday evening and I could feel a tickle in the back of my throat on Sunday morning. I knew I was done for by 1 pm on Sunday after the marathon and I proceeded to take a long nap that didn't make my cold feel any better. I guess I wasn't too upset with the beer mile being canceled this time around as it would have posed a logistical nightmare. Oh well. Slap the bag.

Marine Corps Marathon

Time: 114:47
Distance: ~16 miles

The day arrived and normally I might have been a little disappointed that I wasn't competing competitively, but I took solace knowing that I'd be helping Meagan and Jilane run a great race. I didn't sleep great the night before because I was on duty to let Jeff into the apartment upon his arrival from Charlotte. He got in around 1 am and I promptly went back to sleep for another 4 hours. The alarm went off at 5 am and it was time to get things rolling. I had to head over to Colin's house to pick up a hungover Owen and bring him back to Jilane's before the crew made up of Owen, Jeff, Jilane, KP, Aja, Meagan and myself were to leave for the metro.

Outside the air was cold, a little humid but there was no wind which made the weather ideal for marathoning. We boarded the metro in ideal fashion as trains were pulling up just as we were walking onto the platform. The metro was bustling with all the marathoners, friends and family heading to the start of the race. Some people were visibly nervous, others relaxed and joking (Owen and I), others shivered while some fidgeted. We got off the train at the Pentagon and proceeded to make our way near the front of the race.

The howitzer sounded at 8 am and the race was off with our group (injured Team OJ and Team MJ) was only about 6-8 seconds behind the actual start line. It was a little difficult to navigate our way through the mass of people out in front without wasting too much energy. I would say that by a half mile we were into a decent rhythm and despite comments to get me to slow the pace down we went through the first mile right on pace in 7:02.

Our splits for the first 8 miles looked something like this:
7:02, 7:06, 6:29, 6:25,
6:34, 6:43, 6:56, 6:32...

Meagan made a comment around mile four that her stomach was hurting and by mile eight we needed to stop. She and I bombed down the hill and to the facilities while Owen and Jilane continued on with the race. When we reentered the race I could see that the new Team OJ was about 80-100 meters ahead of us and I wanted to use the next mile or two to catch up with them. I actually didn't split the 8th mile (I stole that split from Jilane's log) and the two miles between 7 and 9 were a combined 13:40. And that includes the bathroom break. I don't have a split from 8 to 9 as a result but I bet it was another 6:30 if you consider a pit stop takes 40 seconds.

Meagan and I got to mile 9 and I urged her to take a Gu but she wanted to let her stomach settle. Around this point a Mizuno sales rep from Florida whom I met the day before at the expo caught us and we ran together for about a half mile. Meagan still looked good and we were clipping along but Owen and Jilane were not coming back. Our splits from 8 to 11 look something like this:
13:40 (includes stop), 6:35, 6:32

Meagan still looked good and neither her breathing nor turnover had changed much from the start of the race. After the fast mile on 11, we backed things off for the next couple miles.
6:47, 6:48

Just after half-way which we went through in 1:28:xx, Meagan had to go to the bathroom. Again. At this point I was getting a little frustrated and I knew she was even more frustrated by having to stop. At this juncture I stopped my watch and just waited. Meagan made the comment upon resuming that her legs felt fine but her stomach was still killing her. At some point I basically forced her to eat a Gu in hopes that she would have something for later in the race and considering we were still on sub-3 hour pace with a couple stops, things weren't looking all that bad.

My remaining splits were:
6:29 (coming off a break), 6:48, 6:41, :30.

I jumped out of the race around 16 miles when I spotted Owen. We left Meagan about 15 meters behind two women who were looking strong and I hoped that she was going to be able to use them to her advantage. I was a little upset at this point and vented to Owen about my frustration and hoped for the best as Meagan was going to do a loop around the Mall.

Owen and I made our way across the Arlington bridge to the Arlington National Cemetery and then on to the finish. What a cruel race director or course designer! The finish basically sent the marathoners up a hill for 200m, a hill that you would choose to run hill intervals on, a hill not meant for a finish of a 'thon. Anyway, it was painful to watch the wheelchair participants inch themselves up ever so gradually. The leaders of the race managed the hill a bit better but still some had trouble getting their knees to lift after 26 miles of running.

Owen and I sat in the bleachers at the finish line for about 20 minutes before the first woman started coming in. Actually, there were two women at the finish that were only separated by 11 seconds. The tally got to 5, 6, 7 and then 8. Finally we could see Jilane at the bottom of the hill and one woman was not too far in front of her. Jilane managed to pull off a 10th place finish with a time of 2:58:10. Big ups.

I stood around and waited to see if Meagan was going to break 3 hours. She didn't. I kept waiting and by the time the 3:15 people were coming in I decided to get the eff out of there and I wanted to congratulate Jilane. I walked up the hill and Meagan was one of the first people I saw. She ended up dropping out at 20 miles and curled up into a ball. At least she wasn't the girl who tried to console her and was later seen clutching her hand with a broken finger.

Despite there only being a finish by Team J, the girls raced great. Jilane ran well the entire race even though she felt terrible the first two miles of the race. Overall, the race experience was great and I need to get fit and stay healthy so I can partake in one of these marathon things that people end up getting addicted to. Rumor has it that Team OJ (the original one) might be making a debut in Austin.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Day Off

Time: zero
Distance: zero

Meagan and I were supposed to run 4 miles easy this morning but we were out a little later than expected last night with friends. We went to dinner in Dupont with Owen, Jilane, Ben Stern, Aja and KP. It was a fun time and the food was great even though the service was quite lackluster.

I spent much of the day at the expo meeting up with Brooke who also got into DC last night. We hung out at the expo for a bit and then Aja and Jilane came to pick us up with hopes of going site seeing. Unfortunately, it rained most of the afternoon and we spent most of the day watching college football on Jilane's horribly itchy couch.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rock Creek Park

Time: 50+ mins.
Distance: ~7 miles

Owen and Ozzie were kind fellows and picked Aja Clark and I up from the BWI airport this afternoon. It was great seeing Ozzie again (although there is no way his fat ass is going to run fast at the 8k he's been training for). We immediately headed for Rock Creek Park to drop Oz off at the Nike truck which is a behemoth. I heard the thing was a monster, but it's like a short semi (if I wanted to see a short semi, I'd talk to Wee Man).

Owen, Aja and I headed back to Colin's (Owen's buddy from high school) apartment to change clothing and then we were out the door to return to Rock Creek Park. Owen showed us some pretty sweet trails in the park, trails that he used to run at 5:45 am when he lived in DC a couple summers ago. The trees were turning colors along our route and it was hard to imagine that we were running in one of the biggest cities in the US. Overall, the run was a great way to see the park and catch up with Aja and Owen.

Later in the day we picked up Jilane from work and then headed to the Marine Corps Marathon expo to bug Meagan and her Brooks friends.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Watch Out for that Tree!

Time: 28:16
Distance: 4 miles

This evening after work Scotty D met up with Gus and I for a run from OK Runner. Every night a swarm of birds likes to nest in the trees between Louie's and Starbucks which makes a potentially treacherous pass under their tails. I usually choose to run around the trees and Gus like to show off his machismo by running under the trees. There is usually a pretty good exchange about him telling me I have a "wu wu" while I have to assert that I really have a "wee wee." That is another story for another time. Anyway, this particular evening Gus asked a deeply philosophical question to Scotty as we were running by the bird trees.

Gus: Hey Scotty, you ever wonder what the white stuff is in bird shit?
Scotty: Yeah, umm. I don't know.
Gus: It's bird shit too.

Run was good. Nice and easy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Time: 34:32
Distance: 5 miles

I think I went on a solo run in the morning but I can't really remember at this time where I went. All I have is the time and I can estimate the distance after that. Maybe I'll remember where I went later.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Can Scotty Come Out and Play!?!

Time: 59:42
Distance: 8.29 miles
Pace: 7:12

I ran over to Scotty D's house this morning for a run with my summer training partner. We've been banged up the last couple of months but I think we are both on the mend. Scotty has been able to slowly get back into things these last few days. Check out his blog posts from his site or you can click on the link to the right.

I had planned on meeting Dizzle at his place around 7:30, but when 7:15 rolled around it was still nearly dark. I had a hard time leaving the apartment but when I did it felt pretty good to be out on the roads. I ran through campus, to Brooks and over to Walnut which brought me to his house at 4.25 miles on the nose. The two of us ran casually back to my apartment where I changed and suited up for work.

In the evening I came home to find that Mr. Tom McArdle, my coach and well-rounded muppet, had changed his website on Facebook to I had to check this out and it appears that he is going to start running again. Tom McArdle is the worst coach ever (the two athletes that he was training for the Marine Corps Marathon are no longer running it) and hasn't called in weeks, so who knows what the dude is doing these days. Keith Kelly, former NCAA XC champ and all around great dude, has also started a comeback blog which can be read at There should be some good stories from both these guys.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Brookhaven Double

Time: 42:32
Distance: 5.71 miles
Pace: 7:27

Tonight I ran with Carrot Top from the store at 7 pm. It was pretty well dark by the time we left the parking lot and we headed out to Rock Creek Rd. where we almost caught up to Mr. Gustavo. We hooked a left and headed down the hill and out to 60th. The pace was pretty easy tonight which I needed due to this morning's workout. David lowered his 5k pr to 17:12 over the weekend up in Tulsa. Nice job Carrot Top.

The run was pretty uneventful other than the fact that I nerded it up with an overhead light. However, it was much appreciated on the half-mile section of Rock Creek that is unpaved.

Cutting Shapes

Time: 42:23
Distance: 5.5 miles

This morning I ran over to the OU track to cut a few shapes. I wasn't completely set on the workout that I was going to run but I knew that I needed to put in 6-8 400s around 72 second pace. The warm-up to the track took 14:24.

Target: 6-8 x 400m in 72 with 200m jog.
Splits: 71.54, (60), 71.83, (62), 69.32, (64), 69.42, (2:30).
After the 4th interval I jogged 200m, rested for another 90 seconds and then picked up the pace.
67.01, (30), 66.83, (25), 32.68, (20), 32.77.

I used the two faster 400s to see if I could respond to shorter rest without completely locking up. I finished with a couple 200s because I needed to really cut down the rest to roughly the same about of time it is going to take to drink a sno-cone. This could be rough.

C/d back to the Lodge in 13:02.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Week in Review

Time: 415:55
Distance: 58.75

This was a smarter week of training. I got in a couple good workouts, the legs stayed healthy and the weather isn't too cold or too hot. I leave for Washington, DC on Friday for the Marine Corps Marathon and while I won't be running I hear there is a big race that evening.

Night Run and Some 2 Hundos

Time: 75:53
Distance: 11 miles

I sat around most of the day doing a whole lot of nothing. That's not completely true, but I didn't do much. I read somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 NY Times articles and some of my book about "The Worst Hard Time" during the 1930s. When I finally got motivated to run around 3:40 pm, I also got motivated to eat so I had some toast and oatmeal (at least it wasn't for dinner). That pushed the run back even further and when I finally got out the door it was 6:20 pm. I ran with headphones again for whatever reason and even took a phone call on the run from Kristi. We are grabbing something to eat Monday night after her insurance exam. I felt a little like Dean Karnazes who regularly conducts business on 100 mile runs. Scroll down to the bottom of those results, DK doesn't do too well. Did someone say overrated?

So the run took me on Brooks and over to Sutton Woods. Apparently they have been ripping up the part of Main St. that right where I run to cut across to the park. It looks like a pretty serious project with the possibility of them putting in a roundabout. I'm not sure if the citizens of Norman are ready for a roundabout. If you've had the privilege of driving in Oklahoma, you would know they have a hard enough time merging on the highway. A roundabout is basically a constant merging process. Hell, the roundabout near the Cabazon Outlets just outside of Palm Springs created a cluster.

I made one loop around the trail before heading back. It felt like I was running at a good clip but it could have been the "night time running effect." I ran downtown along Main St. and looked at a few loft apartments above Mister Robert's Furniture. I returned to campus on Jenkins when I spotted that a light was on at the track. I had to see who it was and found that Mitch Henry had just finished his routine. He is still training for the decathlon and will be on the track every evening at 7 pm. At this point in the run I had put 58:30 on my feet but decided to run some 200s. I couldn't pass up the opportunity with the lights.

Splits: 34.01, (61), 33.46, (57), 32.16, (56), 30.26, (52) for a mile in 5:55.

After that I turned of the lights and ran home in 11:28.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

OU v Kansas

Time: ~12 min.
Distance: 1.5 miles

A dude in a Sam Bradford uni and Bill Simms. "It's not barbecue, it's boomer-q."

I got home from work just after the start of the 4th quarter of the #4 OU v #16 Kansas game. The Sooners were in control and up by 3 touchdowns when I decided to lace up the Lunatrainers and head to campus. I ran in along Brooks as some of the fans were leaving to go home. Everyone was looking at me a little funny which I attributed to the fact that I was simply, well, running. I made it close to the Duck Pond and when the looks continued I looked down and realized that I was wearing KU colors. I had on the Brooks HVAC short (I'd post a link from the Brooks' website but apparently they don't feel the need to post it online) along with a Brooks Element Jacket which made me look kinda like this guy. Okay, maybe not but still I overlooked the fact that it was a bad idea to wear my Brooks gear. I was only trying to support the brand. Meagan knows how hard that is for me to do.

I navigated my way through the crowds to meet up with Holly over by his tailgate. I enjoyed a beer with him before moving on to the short bus where Craig and his buddies were hanging out. The set up at the short bus was pretty good, but it would have been better if they had a tv hooked up. The funniest scene of the night was the three motorcycles lined up with their wheels turned to make them look cooler and then Craig's Huffy bike lying on the ground. I enjoyed a few beers and even took a hit from a bag-o-wine. I tried to teach them to slap the bag afterwards but it didn't catch on. I left for home shortly after Craig rode off on his Huffy.

Running to Work

Time: 42:35
Distance: 6.25 miles

I went to bed later than I had planned last night because I was messing around with my phone and knew that I was going to run to work in the morning with it. After getting everything worked out for the morning I went to bed but decided to watch a stand-up routine by Richard Pryor. Comedy Central apparently goes "R" rated after midnight and the jokes were unedited. The video isn't of the routine I watched, but it's still good.

In the morning I grabbed my phone, headphones and put some money in my water bottle and ran to work. The pace was nice and easy as I ran through campus while people were setting up their campers, rv's, barbecues and generators for the game this afternoon. The Sooners lost a helluva game to the Longhorns last weekend and they look to rebound this afternoon against the Jayhawks from Kansas. The run to the store was fine as I took the same route I've been using during the night runs home from work. It's a familiar route that isn't too busy with cars.

Craig managed to score tickets to the game via Nike and he will be leaving a touch earlier than usual but the store was quiet during most of the game. There was a period of time when Craig was gone and Gus was driving down from Edmond when I was working the floor solo when a few customers came in. It was all under control until Gus walked in with a costume that makes my jorts look like the next fashion trend. For a period of time he was even wearing a radio/headphone combo because the Cowboys game wasn't on tv and he had to listen to the game on the radio. It was quite the look and this picture doesn't do the costume justice, not to mention that Gustavo was speaking 30 decibles louder than usual because of those damn headphones.

Sweet Shoes Homer!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Brookhaven Double

Time: 39:07
Distance: ~6 miles

Gus worked at the Norman store today after his day off on Weds. and having to work a health fair at the capitol on Thurs. He ran 4 miles while I ran out to 60th before turning and heading back. A glance at my watch during the turn-around showed me that I was nearly 4 minutes faster on the way out than I was on Monday night. I was feeling good and just went with the pace and weather which was perfect. Gus and I estimated afterward that it was 68 degrees with no wind. As I approached 48th along Rock Creek I decided to throw in a single long surge up the hill. I wanted to open up the lungs and see what it would feel like. My turnover quickened and my arms followed suit for the ~2 min. effort. I tried to maintain form and by the time I hit the top of the hill I was pretty gassed but was feeling good. It was the first time I felt like I had pressed myself to the point of rigging up. The surge allowed me to catch Gus as we neared Robinson St. and since I threw in the hill I decided to shuffle back to the store with Gus through the parking lot.

Campus Loop

Time: 34:49
Distance: 5 miles

This was a pretty lame run that wasn't too exciting. The loop goes in to campus on Brooks, turns on Pickard and comes back Boyd. I think the last time I ran this loop a student was hit on his bike at the intersection of Jenkins and Boyd. I wonder how he is doing. This was the first morning that I had to run with gloves and long shirt. I got a text from Kristi at 6:51 am saying "41....brrrrr." I didn't know what the hell she was talking about until I glanced at the weather reading on my computer and it said 42 degrees. I was fine with shorts and the long shirt, but if the wind had been blowing, like it will be in a few weeks, things would have been ugly.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Night Run Home

Time: 45:51
Distance: 6.25 miles

I did the same basic run as last night except I left work about 30 minutes earlier and I left the beer at the store. I ran with headphones on this evening for the first time in awhile. I'm still undecided if I like running with music or not. I enjoyed it during the run, but it's definitely not as safe, or very safe at all. The legs felt good, the air wasn't too cold and the wind was down.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Beer Was a Bad Choice...

Time: 44:51
Distance: 6.25 miles

After a day at work and staying past closed it was time to get out for a run. I missed the McNellie's Pub Run training event that was hosted by Stu and Holly up in the city. Instead Craig suggested that I take a small bottle and fill it with beer and drink it on the run home. I grabbed one of the orange Fuel Belt 8 oz. containers and filled that sucker up. I downed the remaining for ounces from the Coor's Light bottle which gave me a glimpse of how bad beer miling really is. Anyway, I chatted with Craig and Anna for another 20 minutes before finally leaving for home. I jogged up Robinson before cutting in near the Westwood Golf Course where the streets are much quieter. When it was time to drink I popped open the top and immediately beer started foaming over the top. I put the nozzle to my lips and was greeted with Coor's froth and a bit of liquid. Not a great experience. I drank a couple ounces before realizing that all hope was lost and I squeezed the rest out. Such a shame.

The rest of the run was relatively pleasant. The weather was a bit chilly but I had a decent wind at my back for a majority of the run. The legs felt good as did the hip.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Track Workout?!?! WTF!?!?

Time: 45:08
Distance: 5.5 miles

Well, since I'm running a beer mile in a few weeks it's about time that I take to the track and see if I'll be able to run 75 second quarters comfortably. I wanted to start things off with an easy introductory workout to get me back on the track remaining healthy. (On a somewhat related note, Meagan has some sort of bet going with Jilane that I won't be healthy in 35 days. I'm not sure what the terms are, but I threatened to stop running for 35 days to ensure the victory).

I warmed up to the track from the Lodge in 14:31 at a very comfortable pace. I had a 200 meter workout in the back of my mind that I thought would be a good first step for being back on the track.

Target: 8 x 200m in 35s with 200m jog.
Actual: 2 sets of 4 x 200m.
Set I Splits: (58), 35.76, (62), 35.32, (62), 34.40, (60), 33.54. Jogged 400m in 2:06. Rested and stretched for 2:30 and then did a second set.
Set II Splits: (58), 33.96, (59), 33.93, (60), 33.29, (61), 31.69.
17:11 total.

Not a great workout, but certainly not a bad one either. I felt strong and relaxed the entire way. The first couple 200s were a rude awakening and almost embarrassing to think I should be able to run a full 5k at that pace. Anyway, after settling into the workout the legs adjusted to the pace quickly. The second set was easier than the first and I could have done several more. I cooled down back to the Lodge in 13:36.

The next step is cutting a few shapes...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Brookhaven Double

Time: 44:10
Distance: 7 miles?

It started to rain at some point during the day which meant that running group that meets at the store every Monday and Wednesday nights was nearly non-existent. Gus and I had our shoes laced up and ready to go when David "Carrot Top" Wrenn arrived for a run. He and I were both sporting our newly acquired Nike Lunatrainers this evening. We jogged through the Brookhaven neighborhood and hooked a left on Rock Creek down the hill and ran out to 60th. The pace was easy but it was hard to judge because at 7:15 pm it is nearly dark out. Luckily David had a blinky light on his right wrist and both of our shoes were glowing. At the turn-around we were a little over 23 minutes which meant our return voyage was about 21 minutes. The pace didn't seem to pick up too drastically but by the end I was feeling comfortable with my stride.

Irving Grass Loop

Time: 31:31
Distance: 4 miles

I woke up this morning not wanting to run after yesterday's effort, but I wasn't that sore either. So I crawled out of bed and laced up the shoes for a short and very easy run at Irving Middle School. The cross-country teams in Norman hold their high school meets on a course that goes around a pick open field. It is similar to the grass track but not as symmetrical. I made a few loops on the grass being careful not to turn my slightly sore right ankle. I completed the run feeling much better at the end than at the beginning. Great success.

Izumo Ekiden Review

Last night I had the opportunity to chat with Jeff Gaudette and Owen Washburn about their time in Izumo, Japan. Both are on hand to compete in the Izumo Ekiden race that I raced in last year. The guys were excited to get out there and see what it was all about. I went to bed before the race concluded, but managed to find results.

It looks like the Ivy League team placed 17th overall and was won by Nihon University. There is a lot going on in the results but I will try to explain using the Ivy League team as an example. Sage Canaday started things off and ran 24:47 which placed the team in 19th, Emory Mort took the sash and ran 17:26 for his leg which was the 16th fastest split on that leg and moved the team up to 18th place, Owen Washburn ran 27:09 for the third leg which was the 17th fast split and moved the team to 17th place... Ari ran the 4th leg which is the one I ran last year. He covered the 6.5k distance in 19:47 which is solid considering I ran 19:44.

Owen and Jeff should have a good recap about the race in the coming days.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Week in Review

Time: 590:05
Distance: 83 miles

This week got a little out of hand towards the latter half of things. The good news is that most of the runs were at an easy pace in some good Cali weather. It was fun running with Meagan in Palm Springs and San Diego while it lasted. I think returning to Norman will be good for refocusing on running and getting into somewhat of a routine.

Kenyan Lifestyle...Kinda

Total Time: 135:49
Total Distance: 19.93 miles
Part I

Time: 40:07
Distance: 6.25 miles
Pace: 6:25
Part II
Time: 64:37
Distance: 9.56 miles
Pace: 6:46
Part III
Time: 15:26
Distance: 2.01 miles
Pace: 7:41
Part IV
Time: 15:39
Distance: 2.11 miles
Pace: 7:24

This morning I watched a few races live on NBC's Universal Sports. First up was the 1/2 Marathon World Championships this morning live from Rio de Janeiro. The Eritrean Zersenay Tadese took command early and ran away with it. I think the women ran too. Next up was the Chicago Marathon which was blazed in 2:06:25 by Evans Cheruiyot. The two man battle was impressive to watch deep into the race. I saw that Boaz Cheboiywo rabbitted early on and took the leaders through 10 miles around 4:45 pace.

Part I
I was amped up on 30 ounces of French pressed/plunged coffee by the conclusion of the races and decided to go out for a run. I contemplated doing a workout on the track to get ready for the MCM Beer Mile but that wasn't to be. Instead I ran over to OK Runner and happened to see that Craig's FJ Cruiser was parked out back. I went inside and chatted with him for 10-15 minutes, drank some water, used the bathroom and gave Lance a hard time (Lance is Craig's dog).

Part II
I had the wind at my back for the majority of the first part of the run and I decided to take this next section easy. I ran back east the same as yesterday down 36th and over Lindsey. Along the way I got a brilliant idea to run straight to Scotty D's house, pick him up for a jog to The Library for happy hour and pizza, but then I realized that I didn't have my i.d. on me. I continued running along Lindsey St. and decided to go by Scotty's anyway. He was taking a nap, but was summoned to come out and play. He liked my Library idea but that meant I had to run back to Campus Lodge for me to get my driver's liscense. Scotty biked alongside as I ran to the apartment, made a change of shoes, socks, shorts and shirt, grabbed my i.d. and chugged some water. At this point I had nearly 16 miles on my feet but I was feeling good and thought a few more couldn't hurt. We'll see how this pans out tomorrow.

Part III
Scotty brought his running shoes and was willing to test out his foot on a jog from the Lodge to The Library. We kept the pace slow which I desperately needed. I still was running on 30 ounces of coffee and a lemonade Gatorade that I pinched from Dizzle's house. It's okay though because he pinched it from the OU footbal team. We arrived at The Library where I enjoyed two Brown Owl Ales and Scotty had the IPA. We put in an order for a BBQ chicken pizza that rounded things out. We were getting ready to leave but needed to put in a little McNellie's Pub Run/beer mile training. We both ordered a Coach's Stout and prepared mentally for the run home. After not being able to remember the Irish drinking toast, it was bottoms up. The beer went down smoothly, but it wasn't as thick as a Guinness so it was a bit easier to drink.

Part IV
After 3 beers and half a pizza it was time for the real running to begin. Surprisingly I felt pretty good after a few minutes. I thought I felt a cramp coming on about a mile into the run home but that subsided and I was good to go. This was a good training exercise in running with a full stomach, perhaps simulating the 3rd and 4th laps of a beer mile. I need to start getting in some quicker workouts in order to open up the longs and get the breathing labored. The hardest part in two weeks will be trying to drink a carbonated beverage out of breath.

The body held up pretty good today, but I'll be interested to see how I feel in the morning. I expect everything to be sore including my right ankle which I twisted during Part I today. I made sure to ice my left knee, left achilles, right foot and right hip before going to be tonight. Oh, almost forgot, the title of the post refers to running everywhere in town like the Kenyans, but I don't think they stop to eat pizza and enjoy sno-cones.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Back in Nompton

Part I
Time: 37:36
Distance: 5.85 miles
Pace: 6:26

OK Runner Break

Part II
Time: ~40 mins.?
Distance: 6 miles?
Pace: watch geeked out

Scotty came over this morning and we watched the OU v Texas game on television. It was a good game but OU unfortunately lost 45-35. The offense played well but the defense and special teams gave up some big plays. Shortly after the conclusion of the game we headed out the door--me running and Scotty biking--and ventured towards OK Runner.

I decided to test out the NB 800MF on this run and remembered why I don't train in New Balance shoes. They are worse than Brooks. The MF'er really felt like an mf'er. The shoe is designed for someone who lands midfoot/forefoot, but some 'tard at New Balance decided that forefoot cushioning was a luxury they could forget. I've had racing flats with more cushioning than the 800MF. The upper fits like the 992 and the shoe itself looks like the 1123. Dr. Caniglione would be happy with how stiff the MF'er is. (Dr. Caniglione is an internal medicine guy who has become the "running doc" in the metro area. He shows up to local club runs and offers his services. The only advice he ever gives a runner is that they need a "stiffer" shoe. His favorite shoe is the NB1123, it's one of the few that are posted on the medial and lateral sides. Check out this douchnozzle's review of them. What was he thinking?! Anyway, whenever a customer comes into the store who says they have been to see Dr. C, we can rightfully guess that they need "a stiffer shoe.")

The pace was clipping along by the time Scotty turned off to go home along Berry. I continued on to the store and greeted Gus and Craig. I was told that there was going to be a party over at Gustavo's house for the OSU v Mizzou game. I stuck around for about 30 mins. and then Adam Cohen showed up asking about marathon shoes. He was dressed for a run, so I decided to run back near campus with him. At some point along the way my watched messed up and it didn't record a good portion of the run. The pace was very easy as Adam's latest marathon left him with an upper-respiratory infection. He was still running though. Respect.

Scotty and I headed over to Gus' home, El Cerrito, to watch the Cowboys take down #3 ranked Mizzou Tigers. It was a good time, with some good people. In attendance were: Tim and his daughter, Allie, Jerry, Craig and Carolyn, Tracy Shirley and his wife, of course Gus and his dog, Molly.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Palm Springs Farewell

Time: 66:49
Distance: 10.35 miles
Pace: 6:28

I finished up my running in California with a final run in Palm Springs following the same loop that Meagan and I did on her marathon simulation. I kept the pace pretty easy but picked things up the last couple of miles. The legs were feeling good by the time I crested the top of the hill near the 6 mile mark. My last 8 half-mile splits were: 3:07, 3:04, 2:56, 2:52, 2:55, 2:59, 2:51, 2:59.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Balboa Park Farewell

Time: 89:47
Distance: 11.76 miles
Pace: 7:38

Meagan and I ran to Balboa Park one last time this morning to explore. She was aiming to get in 12 miles and I thought that I would tag along and just continue the trend. We ran along 6th and jumped into the park heading down to see the Haunted Trail which was locked up. After a loop up top we crossed Hwy 163 over the Prado pass and ran down the trails looking for somewhere new to go. I thought I had seen on a map that the trails continue near downtown but across from Park Rd./Ave./St. but all we could find were short steep trails that went nowhere.

Footlocker XC Course

The run took us near the golf course, velodrome and an xc course near the Morley Field Sports Complex which is also where the Footlocker Championships take place but I don't know the course. The only map I could find of the course is terrible so that doesn't help much. However, I did find a video that shows some familiar areas like the dog park and "the trail heading past the tennis courts."

Partial Video of Footlocker Course. (I recognize very little).

Overall the run was good. The legs felt fine and weren't too sore. My hip continues to do well. Parts of the run were really slow as we were running up steep trails on hillsides, but at least we got to run down.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

SDHS Hates Track

Time: 72:07
Distance: 9.63 miles

W/u: 2.11 miles in 18:39
Workout Summary: 6.14 miles in 41:37. 6:47 pace.
C/d: 1.38 miles in 11:51.

Meagan and I got out the door a little later than what would have been ideal and drove around looking for the track that is located near Balboa Park, San Diego City College and, unfortunately, San Diego High School. I was able to find a parking lot that was free near the track, but it involved crossing one of those graffiti covered pedestrian walkways that goes over an interstate. The track itself was sunken down about three stories and was only accessible after descending a series of ramps or steps. (If we had Owen's skills on descending steps, this wouldn't have been a problem). Anyway, we started the warmup and tried to scout out the best possible loop for the two three-mile tempos.

The workout was: mile (5:40), 3-mile tempo (6:40s), 1200 (4:15), 3-mile tempo (6:40s), 800 all out. Everything was supposed to be continuous.

Meagan ran well on the opening mile and hit a split of 5:37 that was run really evenly. We ran up the steps and started the first 3-mile tempo which is a bit all over the place according to the splits: 3:23, 2:56 (not sure if this was accurate), 3:35 (mostly uphill), 3:24, 3:08, 3:37. I'm not sure what that totals but I think it's decent. We returned to the track and Meagan managed to run a 1200 in 4:25 while dodging the PE class full of delinquents. This is where the workout turned into a cluster and completely fell apart.

Just as we were about to run up the stairs I was called over by an older gentleman and he asked if I was from the City College. Hoping for leniency to remain on the track I responded "yes," but that only brought him to tell me that "adults" aren't allowed on the track while high schoolers are present. Okay. Fine. He told me something about the dangers of mixing adults and students during school hours. At that point the convo was getting ridiculous so I asked ask "if he liked track" knowing that any track fan would allow a cute blonde to complete her workout. He said that he loved track and that he was actually the track coach at the high school. Okay. Fine. If he were really clever he could have used Meagan as a recruiting tool for his team saying she is the type of athlete that frequents meets. At the very least he could have used our presence as a teaching tool to show the 150 students what track is all about. But, instead we had to leave. Okay. Fine.
Lady, Coach Ed Ramos, Meb, Dude

Turns out the teacher that asked us to leave was Meb Keflezighi's high school coach, Ed Ramos. He was also Marc Davis' high school coach. Initially, I found this to be a curiosity worth forgiving the guy, but then I did a little more research and realized he's a terrible coach. A Mexican sea horse could have probably guided Meb and Davis to high school glory. I discovered that in the 2006 CIF San Diego Section Finals his boy's team placed 13th while his girls were 19th. The best boy ran 17:09 for 5k while the best girl ran 19:27. Last year the boy's team improved to 11th place at the state meet qualifier while the girls were 21st. The best boy ran 17:15 for 3.05 miles while the best girl blazed 20:02 for 2.75 miles. I'm no shit shiner, but one would think that out of a population of 3,000 students a coach could field a team capable of averaging 17:15 for 5k and 20:02 for 2.75 miles.

After leaving the track we ran back into Balboa Park and I was hoping to get Meagan to do the second 3-mile tempo but it wasn't to be. She was shot and we stopped shortly after cresting the hill. We jogged in the park before heading back to the car.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Balboa Park Exploration

Time: 44:06
Distance: 5.61
Pace: 7:52

The new 'hood.

We left Palm Springs this morning around 10 am and were in San Diego around noon. Our hopes for cooler temperatures were not fulfilled but the change of pace was nice. San Diego has a lot more going on than Palm Springs and Meagan and I took full advantage of the action. We spent the afternoon walking around Hillcrest visiting used clothing and Vespa stores. Later we took a walk down 6th to Balboa Park and ventured into the Museum of Man. After a lot of walking we returned home and got ready for our run that took us back to Balboa Park. I'm not sure where the Footlocker Cross Country course is run, and we certainly didn't find it. The run was solid and involved the crossing of several canyons. I managed to navigate the park fairly well and found Upas St. with ease. Unfortunately, the map I glanced at before leaving on the run was only an overhead Google map that didn't show elevation changes. I figured once we found Upas it would take us back near the house, but I didn't realize that it would also involve a pretty real hill. After charging up the hill I spent the rest of the run wheezing while Meagan ran in comfort because she decided to walk up it.

Deserting the Desert

Time: 38:12
Distance: 5.01 miles
Pace: 7:37

Meagan and I ventured out for one last run in the desert before departing for San Diego. We kept the pace easy while running in the neighborhood just south of E. Palm Canyon. There were a few runners out and some walkers that were enjoying the early morning sunshine.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wedding Bells Run

Time: 65:39
Distance: 8.69 miles
Pace: 7:33

Ran in the morning with Meagan from the house around Palm Springs. This was another wandering run that took us to familiar sites: Ruth Hardy, Old Las Palmas, Avenida Caballeros, etc. We had to get back to the house in time for the wedding which was at 11 am. The legs still feel good but my left knee is a bit inflamed from when I ran into the table in my living room in Norman.

Looking official.

Week in Review

Time: 432:50
Distance: 62.58

Got in some solid mileage this week and the body seems to be holding up well. I would like to do a better job post run with stretching and strengthening, but I have needed to do other things. My hip is doing well but I will need to monitor other parts of the body as they make the adjustment back to running.

I was able to test out a new shoe this week and found it to be a great. The Nike Lunatrainer is pretty different from what I'm used to and is a little radical in terms of shoe design. The shoe fits good and has a lot of surface contact with the road which disperses the energy upon landing. I'm interested in seeing how this shoe holds up over the weeks of training I hope to be doing shortly.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

She's Gettin' After It

Palm Springs Lifestyle

Time: 104:55/92:02
Distance: 15.38/13.86 miles
Pace: ~6:48/6:38

Meagan and I got out for her marathon simulation this morning around 7:30 am.
She was instructed to run a mile warmup, start the simulation at 6:50 and start clipping off 6:40s for the remaining ~12 miles. We were looking to get in about 15 miles total. I looked back to the last time I was in town to find a course that was roughly 10-11 miles which would serve as our first loop and then I had another 4 miles mapped out across the street. This is the loop I glanced at before heading out the door for one of Meagan's more important workouts during this training cycle.

I'll give myself a pat on the back for being able to remember the exact loop and or guiding Meagan through the intersections without a hitch. Our warmup mile was an 8:29 which put us along a street that was perfect to begin the workout. Our first two splits were 7:02 (1) and 6:59 (2) which were run north on a slightly uphill section of Palm Springs. When we started heading west towards the mountain and Ruth Hardy Park the pace dropped significantly to 6:35 (3) and 6:40 (4). I agreed with Jeff that it would be smart for her to run at the pace she felt comfortable so after the first two miles she was on her own to run the correct pace.

Ruth Hardy Park

The fifth mile was definitely the most uphill section and she split 6:49 (5) followed by a 6:30 (6) that was definitely net downhill. We wound our way back through the Old Las Palmas neighborhood, passed the Desert Museum while clicking off 6:26 (7), 6:45 (8) and 6:36 (9). When we got near the condo Meagan had to stopped and make a pitstop which took a little longer than what would be ideal. I believe we were around 9.36 miles of tempo work and my watch messed up during this 5 minute break. The .36 mile portion was run in 2:26 or 6:52 pace.

We resumed just outside of Koffi with a 6:45 (10.36 miles) and the first Clif shot with water was taken. We got things rolling shortly thereafter with a 6:29 (11.36), 6:24 (12.36) and 6:25 (13.36). Meagan wanted to pick up the pace the last half mile which she ran in 3:08 to bring us to our total of 13.86 miles. We did a short cool down of just over a half mile that brought us back to the condo. It was then time to get changed for the wedding brunch and off to the pool.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Palm Springs Living

Time: 70:55
Distance: 9.52
Pace: 7:27

Meagan and I went on an easy run through the streets of Palm Springs. Originally she was going to do her marathon simulation but she wasn't feeling good so we delayed it until tomorrow. The run was pretty uneventful but I was able to show Meagan around Palm Springs. I think she saw everything the city has to offer by the time we were done with our run.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sunny Palm Springs

Time: 61:55
Distance: 10.02 miles
Pace: 6:11

I got up and went out for a run in the flats of Palm Springs. I made a quick tour through some familiar areas before heading down to the busier part of town where my dad was getting his hair cut. I get a good laugh every time I hear the barber/stylist/hair dresser's name which is Brian O'Brien. Hah!

A view of Palm Springs and the mountains to the west.

After a quick stop in to bug my dad I ventured out and made a spin around Ruth Hardy park. I was surprised at how good my legs were feeling and the pace was continually getting faster. My splits for the entire run were 7:01, 6:41, 6:26, 6:16, 6:12, 6:11, 6:08, 5:45, 5:31, 5:32. I was pleased with the way I felt the final 4 miles and how I responded to the change in pace. I hadn't intentionally set out to pick up the pace so drastically but I went with the flow of the run.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Morning Jaunt

Time: 41:46
Distance: 6.40 miles
Pace: 6:32

I was out the door early on a cool morning just as the sun was coming up to put in an easy jog. I ran in on Brooks and then continued through campus before hanging a left on Pickard. I didn't really have a route made up but I thought I would be able to put in about 40 minutes of running. The legs were feeling good and the streets were quiet which made for an enjoyable run. I got the pace clipping along and my splits were 7:16, 6:37, 6:35, 6:30, 6:15, 6:11. I returned to the Lodge, showered and caught the bus to the store. I had three goals for the day: (1) order two pairs of red shorts for a customer, (2) email and fill out an application for a health fair, and (3) put up every shoe in the backroom. By 10:30 am I had completed all of my goals and pretty much was ready to get out of town and head to the west coast.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Campus Loop

Time: 29:00
Distance: 4.32 miles
Pace: 6:44

Just got out the door and ran in through campus feeling decent. The legs were turning over nicely. I wimped out and opted to where a long sleeve shirt which I didn't really need after running for 10 minutes. Oh well.

As I was coming back along Boyd I neared Jenkins where I saw a bit of a commotion. An accident just had occurred involving some unlucky OU student riding his bike to campus and a rusty 1970s Ford truck. When I got there the student was still down on the edge of the street clutching his right leg. His bike had been tossed up on the sidewalk and his water bottle was displaced a few meters away. The driver was nice enough to stop and console the dude whom he hit, but I found it odd that it was necessary to bring out his two little white dogs that were ever so curious as to what just happened. The man was talking to the boy and asking him questions about where it hurt. He was clearly a little reluctant to handle the boy which I thought was smart from a legal standpoint.

There were several good samaritans on hand who offered to call the police and one gentleman was nice enough to stop and direct traffic. Take a look at Scotty's post about the bike community in Norman wanting to make it more "bike friendly." Yea, I think that is a good idea. At least when the shit does hit the fan people are willing to see the injured off to the hospital.