Archive for the ‘Five-O’ Category

Quick one, this time.

A little late on last week’s post…my fault.

Little early with this week’s post … not necessarily my fault.

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 2.04.43 PM

Apparently, it’s about to go down.


Good news first

Having a blast running. I mean, not just getting fitter and stronger, but really enjoying it. To the point where I can’t get wait to get outside everyday. Two-a-days no problem. I say this to say, when you find something you like, you gotta stick with it. Because passion’s hard to come across. At least for me. Not gonna preach more than that.


Waiting game

Two hurricanes (Iselle and Julio) are moving west towards the islands. Hoping that nothing comes of it. No one needs that kind of drama. At minimum we should get a lot of wind and rain. That said, best to prepare, right? Flashlights. Water. Food. First Aid. Check….No running. Check-minus. I see a lot of fitness memes out there lately about squats (“He squats”, “She squats”). About to become my go-to exercise.


Still Positive

Tough to plan the rest of the summer going forward, but I feel confident that I’m in sub-20 5K shape. Confidence and speed comes with the speedwork sessions during the week. Going to get inside today and wait these out.


Tracking Goals:

I’d be happy in August if the following occurred:

  1. Hit 48 miles in a week in late July-August. [This would have been the 48-mile week. Not going to happen. Oh well.].
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety. [Biggest success of the season, so far. Lots of runs, little pain.]
  3. Drop weight. [Down a couple pounds from the beginning of the season. Not bad. Will probably be down a bit over the weekend.]
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually. [Good success here as well. Put in 3 miles at about 6:30 pace on Wednesday afternoon ]
  5. Run increasingly faster in three 5K races. [One race. Next Saturday. Maybe.]




Got a cold early in the week. Actually started the previous Thursday, but I attempted to run through it. Not the smartest thing in the world, but I thought I had a shot. Sniffles, sore throat, congestion last until about Wednesday. Took until Friday to really start feeling strong again. Back up and running now, but that’s for next week’s post.


Not Bad Otherwise

Other metrics are still good. Weight actually went down while I was sick. Guess that’s not TOO surprising. Heart rate crept up about 6 bpm. It will be interesting to see how quickly I can bring it back down. Rolling around 43 bpm in the morning before I got sick. Discovered the connection between MyFitnessPal and Garmin Connect this weekend as well. Going to have a lot of fun playing around with those sites. MyFitnessPal tracks calorie consumption and Garmin Connect tracks exercise, and the sites share information. I’m sure an integrated site would be better, but for now, I’m just getting a kick out watching the two sites sync. Nerd. I know. Only hurts a little.


Still Positive

Got a good feeling about this upcoming week and rest of the summer. Sure, I’m not going to accomplish a lot of my goals that I set out. But, I’m still in some semblance of shape, and I’ve got better control of my diet than I’ve ever had before. Just need to put it all together for a few more weeks. Going to see some results in 2014. I feel it.


Last Week:

Sun: 3 miles

Mon: 0

Tue: 0

Wed: 0

Thu: 0

Fri: 0

Sat: 0


Tracking Goals:

I’d be happy in August if the following occurred:

  1. Hit 48 miles in a week in late July-August. [44 this week is planned. Going to be some tough miles coming back. 13 runs planned.].
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety. [Probably one of my longest stretches without getting injured. Something’s going right here. ::knock on wood::]
  3. Drop weight. [Still down 5 pounds from the original goal. I see great things happening this weekend here. Got a good meal plan for once. Lots of protein. 5 meals plus workout drinks. Just need see the results to stay motivated.]
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually. [Alright. We were rolling 6:50-pace on easy runs (83-88% MHR) before the week, probably around 8:10-ish now. Should see that drop back. Started three weeks ago around 8:30, so all is not lost.]
  5. Run increasingly faster in three 5K races. [Geesh. Sign up for the dang race already. Maybe this week. Maybe.]


Three more weeks. Time to close this thing … out.



Change of Plans…Again

Sometimes plans go out the window. And when you want to keep a thing going, you just do it. Prior to Week 7, I was working with a high(er)-mileage, lower intensity plan designed to build endurance. Generally speaking, the time commitment was about 9-10 hours a week. I’ve since changed the plan – a familiar occurrence over the past 3 years – and benefitted greatly.

After starting work in Hawaii, I decided that I didn’t want to put 9-10 hours into running. For a while, in fact, I was walking back and forth to work, which took about an hour and a half every day. The walks didn’t mesh well with running. For a couple weeks, I didn’t run at all, just trying to get my bearing in a new state, and work out the more important details (food, apartment, money). In all, for 3 weeks, I didn’t run. I played basketball a couple of nights a week though, and that may have been enough to save me from falling out of shape altogether.



Around Week 10, the first of the month or so, I decided to start running again. I tried at first to start over with the low heart rate runs that I was doing before, but my pace had dropped from around 8:30 to 10:00. Enough of that. On Saturday of Week 10, I sped up. A lot. All runs would be at 83-88% heart rate or what Greg McMillan refers to as the steady state pace. I still run mornings and nights, but either 3 or 2 miles depending on the day. I included a weekly speed session on Wednesday mornings of either 3-mile tempo, 3×1600 or 6x800m length. On Saturdays, I planned to do a long run of 10-12 miles depending on the week.

Basically, I switched to the same plan that netted me a 17:44 5k in 2011, except that I’m running a lot more frequently upwards to 48 miles instead of 21. I’m not lifting weights now, though I’ve committed to pushups, sit-ups and squats after (mostly) every run. And the long runs are a little bit longer 10-12 miles instead of 9. I still take every fourth week off from any speedwork and shorten the long run.


So Far…So Good

Results have been nice since the switch. I dropped 10 pounds initially, through running, basketball and so silly dietary habits, but have since put back on about 5 of those pounds. My morning heart rate has been the most pleasant surprise, moving from 54 bpm at the start of Week 10 to 43 bpm, in the middle of this week. The pace for the 3-mile runs at 83-88% heart rate also moved down from 8:30 to 6:49.

All said, not a bad go in the last 3 weeks. Really trying to build off the lessons from previous running plans. Last summer, I consistently ran fast 3 miles runs in the morning, but did not include any long runs for endurance, run frequently enough to keep my weight down for speed, oh, and didn’t include any speedwork at race pace or below. I’ve tried to correct those mistakes now to become more complete runner. So far so good, with a month to go in the training regimen.

The weather is predictably nice for running, that is, I can always run. But the temps are consistently around 80 degrees with a similar figure for percent humidity. I have to remember when I’m comparing my progress to previous years, that I’ve never consistently pushed this hard in this sort of heat and humidity. Just hoping to keep the train going. Speaking of which, I’ll probably switch to daily updates again as well. Blogging helps keep me motivated.


Last Week:

Sun: 2 miles (morning) / 2 miles (night)

Mon: 3/2

Tue: 2/basketball

Wed: 3/2

Thu: 2/basketball (double-header)

Fri: 3/2

Sat: 9


Tracking Goals:

I’d be happy in August if the following occurred:

  1. Hit 70 miles in a week in late July-August. [Alright. Not going to happen. Looking for 48 miles in the middle of August but faster than originally planned].
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety. [Still good, though I am battling a cold this week.]
  3. Drop weight. [Down 5 pounds when I originally set this goal. Been as low as 10 pounds down. Really need to decide what to do here. Felt pretty weak when I dropped lower.]
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually. [Yeah. The pace has improved…because I’m running at 83-88% and not 75% heart rate. That said, I still want to improve. So…that means faster than 6:50 pace on three-milers and faster than 7:30 on the weekend long runs.]
  5. Run increasingly faster in three 5K races. [Alright. I give up. There will only be one race. August 16.  For all the marbles. Now to pick it and stick with it.]


Stay motivated!



What a week!

Set a couple of “mini-goals” last week, involving mileage and stride rate. Worked out pretty well. Didn’t adjust mileage on the plan overall, but I did go upwards (to 60) last week. A personal best for me. The goal for stride rate this week was to improve to 175 bpm from 166. In the end, I averaged 174. Nice improvement from the previous week, and it took some concentration on what I was doing with my feet at various points during the week. The better news is that my stride rate picked up naturally as well. As in, I didn’t really have to think about it towards the end of the week. Like to get that rate to 180 this week.

The real story…not sure why I saved it for second…was completing the planned 60 miles with a move from Dallas, to San Diego to Honolulu. The breakdown was:


Dallas – 4

San Diego – 53

Honolulu – 3

Suppose you always have time for the things you care about, right? After three weeks of tough, high heat/humidity runs in Dallas (70+ degrees with 70+ percent humidity), everything came together in San Diego. Much less humid, perfect temps in the mornings. Closed out with one final effort in Hawaii after my flight arrived on Saturday. First of many miles to come here, I suppose. And there we have it. This 16-week plan was to have runs in  five states: Indiana, Arkansas, Texas, California, and Hawaii. And it’s all done in week 6. Great feeling.

So, yeah. I met this guy in San Diego too:


Meb was at a local event in San Diego hosted by Jim Ryun to commemorate Ryun’s sub-4:00 high school mile. Got a picture with Meb as well. Felt bad for him because we all swarmed him on the field to get one. Appreciate him taking the time to promote the sport. Lots of other talents and legends there as well: Eric Avila, AJ Acosta, Sarah Brown, Deena Kastor, Mary Slaney, Jearl Miles Clark, Joaquim Cruz. Fortunate to go there with a friend and a lady who turned out to be a baller in the world of USA Track and Field. Knew EVERYBODY…she did. Made it easy for me to meet people. Pretty…effin’…cool. And inspiring.


Last Week:

Sun: 4 miles (morning) / 0 miles (night)

Mon: 0/13

Tue: 4/3

Wed: 8 miles (4x1mile w/ 0.5-mile jog, 1 mile Warm & Cool)

Thu: 5/0

Fri: 6/8

Sat: 6/3


Tracking Goals:

I’d be happy in August if the following occurred:

  1. Hit 70 miles in a week in late July-August. [60 miles this week. Personal best. Set the tone with a 13-miler on Tuesday to say to myself that I wasn’t going to fall behind. Up to 62 next week.]
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety. [No problems this week.]
  3. Drop weight. [Ah travel. Ran hard. But ate just as hard. Didn’t lose a pound for sure. Probably didn’t gain one either though. No net change for the season. Going to see if I can take control now that finally on the island.]
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually. [Massive gains this week. Previous fastest run at the 75% heart rate limit was 9:11. This week, broke 9-minute pace three times this week at the 75% heart rate limit. Best pace was 8:27 on a 6-mile run Saturday morning. Volume is starting to pay off.]
  5. Run increasingly faster in four three 5K races. [Will pick a race this week that I will run in two weeks. May decide to run an additional race in August to restore the goal to four.]


Great effort last week. Need to keep pouring it on here. Will begin the new job this week. And trying to get used to the decent running routes here. That is, those without lots of tourists who don’t want to be run over. Approaching something that feels like me being in great shape to run. I don’t think I’ll be in personal best shape until these runs start approaching the 8:00-mile mark. Plus, the speedwork would have to improve considerably. I was running repeats at near 5:30 pace when I PR’d three years ago. So far this time around, I haven’t planned to run much faster than 7:00 on the repeats. That said, the long easy runs are making my shorter speedwork feel really easy. Closed in 6:16 on the repeats on Wednesday – just out of curiosity. Maybe I won’t have to run all that fast in practice on speed days to reap the benefits. We’ll see.

Making progress. I’ll take it.

See you next Sunday!



Working it.

A couple things have become apparent after this week:

(1) I’m going to have to adjust my mileage upward. I planned to hit between 10-12 hours/week based off an estimated 11:00-mile pace at 75% heart rate for most of my easy runs. The problem is that I’m averaging around 9:30 per mile at 75% heart rate, so I’m cheating myself out of overall running time. Case in point: this week I completed 58 miles in 9 hours, 10 minutes. Have to do some math, but I’d like to get back to the 10-12 hour range I’d set out for myself at the beginning.

(2) Run cadence. Bought a Garmin footpad before I left Indianapolis, and I really haven’t been using it well. At some point today I remembered to check my stride frequency during my long run on Saturday. The real challenge is increasing turnover without increasing heart rate above 75% on the easy runs. If I’m going to improve overall – for fast or slow runs – my turnover has to improve as well…to the point where I’m more comfortable. Elites average between 180-200 strides per minutes (spm). Last week I averaged 166. Next week, I’d like average 175.

So there you have it. More mileage. More strides.


Last Week:

Sun: 0 miles (morning) / 0 miles (night)

Mon: 8/0

Tue: 7/0

Wed: 8 miles (4 miles tempo, 2-mile Warm & Cool)

Thu: 8/4

Fri: 8/3

Sat: 12


Tracking Goals:

I’d be happy in August if the following occurred:

  1. Hit 70 miles in a week in late July-August. [58 miles this week. Personal best. Will increase next week.]
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety. [No problems this week.]
  3. Drop weight. [Down 1 pound this week. Steadily lost 1/5 of a pound through the back half of the week. Will up carbs to support running and dropping protein load in return.]
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually. [Improvement: At 75% Heart Rate: 9:11 mile/pace on the long run. Same as two weeks ago. Only difference is that this week I ran the pace in 89% humidity.]
  5. Run increasingly faster in four three 5K races. [Will pick a race in Hawaii once I get there. May decide to run an additional race in August to restore the goal to four.]


Whew. This was the last full week in Texas. I won’t miss the humidity, but I will miss home. Next week, I run in three states: Texas (Sunday), California (Monday-Friday), and Hawaii (Saturday). It’s going to be a huge challenge to get the mileage in with two flights, a convention and in sum…a move. That said, I do feel fortunate to have the opportunity to travel and work. I’ve certainly been without either for extended periods of time. As I said, last week, I’ll do my best to get the mileage in. Helps to keep this blog to stay accountable.

Stay motivated!



Memorial Day Weekend.

Great time to catch all the Great American documentaries on the History Channel. Particularly looking forward to a couple on the History Channel. One involves the World War II leaders’ actions during World War I. The other is about a pivotal engagement in the Korean War. Still struck by the fact that the United States and China were once combatants. Fascinating stuff. Keeps life in perspective.

Up and down week running. 33 of the planned 43 in a down week. Hoping that the two days of rest did me some good. Think I’m going to commit to one long run in the morning as opposed to two-a-days. Starting to get a little tired of it mentally. Physically, I’m holding up fine. Need to establish some dietary discipline. Not easy with the BBQ going early and late in the week. Last week to spend time with family in Dallas before heading out to San Diego and ultimately Hawaii next week.


Last Week:

Sun: 3 miles (morning) / 3 miles (night)

Mon: 6/0

Tue: 0/3

Wed: 0/6

Thu: 6/3

Fri: 3/0

Sat: 0


Tracking Goals:

I’d be happy in August if the following occurred:

  1. Hit 70 miles in a week in late July-August. [33 miles of planned 43 in a down week. Up to 58 next week.]
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety. [No problems this week.]
  3. Drop weight. [Not making progress here. Trying something new.]
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually. [At 75% Heart Rate: dropped a 9:07/mile run during this week. Season best, but only 3-mile run. Flirting with sub-9:00 miles lately, would like to see a complete run under pace.]
  5. Run increasingly faster in four three 5K races. [Neglected to pick a race at the first possible opportunity here. I suppose I could always time trial myself next weekend. Nah, I’ll change the goal to three.]


A little discouraging this week, as I got tired and distracted. But I’ll keep trying. Slow runs. Slow songs. Consistency. Need to get to bed earlier to set off the morning runs. Lots of obstacles this week. Food. Family. Expected bad weather. Need to prepare for the move. I’m going to try though. Let’s see what happens.


Five-O – Week 3 Recap

Posted: May 17, 2014 in Five-O
Tags: , , , ,

Happy Saturday!

Going in to this summer’s plan, I anticipated that there would be runs in five different states. Indiana was last week. That’s 1. This week, I ran in Arkansas (Sunday), and Texas (Tuesday to Saturday). That’s 2 and 3. California and Hawaii runs should take place next month.

I keep getting chased by the smallest of dogs. One little one in the neighborhood outside the hotel in Little Rock. Gotta be honest, I’m always freaked out..somewhat. Must have been about this small:

chihuahua dog

Really mean though. Not like the one in the picture. Unless the one in the picture becomes mean when I pass by. Then, the one I saw was just like the one in the picture. Probably ran after me for 100 meters or so. And since it was an out-and-back route, I knew I had to see him again. Fortunately the second time, he didn’t do much but bark. Really annoying how owners just sit there and let it happen. One day I’m going to pick up one of those barking mutts and punt it.

Got behind in my mileage early in the week. After hitting the Sunday morning run properly, I missed Sunday night (3 miles), Monday morning, and night (4 and 4 miles). Was able to make up the mileage with great efforts on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then hang on the rest of the week. The real surprise was pulling an 8-miler Friday night and then an 11 on Saturday morning. The goal is not so much the mileage, though I seem to mention it a lot. The goal is really just getting time on my feet. I want to run between 10 and 12 hours a week this summer, and mileage is just a proxy for that.


Last Week:

Sun: 4 miles (morning) / 0 miles (night)

Mon: 0/0

Tue: 5/6

Wed: 8 miles (8×0.5 miles w/ 0.25-mile jog, 1 mile Warm & Cool) / 7 miles (night)

Thu: 4/4

Fri: 0/8

Sat: 11


Tracking Goals:

I’d be happy in August if the following occurred:

  1. Hit 70 miles in a week in late July-August. [57 miles this week. Personal best. Down to 43 next week and then up again to 58 in two weeks.]
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety. [Feet appear to be getting stronger with distance. Really benefitting from slowing the pace down.]
  3. Drop weight. [Tricky. Down 3 pounds from Friday to Friday, but up 1.5 pounds from Saturday to Saturday. I’ll reserve judgment, but need to be mindful of intake. A plan.]
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually. [At 75% Heart Rate: 10:45 two Saturdays ago; 9:28 pace last Saturday; 9:11 pace this Saturday.]
  5. Run increasingly faster in four 5K races. [Didn’t pick a race last week. Will pick one tomorrow morning. Goal: Likely to be something north of 20 mins. Just get on the scoreboard.]

Alright. 4th week down week. Easy week ahead. No speedwork or long run. Time to consolidate those gains.

Stay patient and motivated.