Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mid-Week 5M

I've gone from complaining about rain to complaining about the heat. (hard to make me happy!)

I went for a run earlier in the week, but waited until too late in the day, and it was too hot. As opposed to the race situation, i wasn't able to push myself to go 5 miles straight. I took a (long) break in the middle, and even with that it took me 48 minutes. (Compared with under 43 for the race).

I often get asked what the point of running races is. If you're not going to win, you can just run on your own. This is one of the reasons.

In other news, I actually crosstrained yesterday. Some stationary bike and weights. Definitely need to do that more.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day 5M

Ran another race this morning. Still not in race shape, and in fact was thinking of not going if it was raining. But the rain cleared up (sort of) and I went.

I spent the first mile wanted to stop and walk. Then I decided to push to mile 2 before stopping. Then at mile 2 I said to myself I'll force myself to get to 3.1 miles (5K). This is the anniversary of my first race ever. Back then it was a 5K and so I wanted to compare.

Like usual, I forgot to check my old time before leaving. So when I passed 3.1M at 26:26 I had no idea how that compared to my past. (Actually, it was better. That first race 9 years ago has no net time, but the official time was 27:59. There weren't that many runners back then so I probably took less than 1:33 to hit the start line.)

Well, I really wanted to stop and walk then. But then I decided to just slow down a little instead. I tried to take it a little easier from then on. Looking at my mile splits it doesn't really seem that I was successful, but I felt a little better during the fourth mile.

By the last mile I was hurting again. But now it was too late to stop! I just forced myself to keep going through to the finish line.

Final splits:

Final (net) time: 42:28, for an 8:33 pace.

I spent the first few miles thinking how this race was going to be crappy and make for a depressing blog post. In the end, I'm happy with it. No, I'm not in good shape at all. And yes, it's way off my PR. But it was good to push myself again. Most of my long runs lately include a break. I just can't tough it out these days. But forcing myself to just make it through this race - even at a slower pace than in the past - is good mental training. Because of the pricing change (and my overall conditioning) this is only my second race of the year. I'd done 10 by this time last year! So it was good to be out there again...

By the way, for those into numbers, it's been 9 years since that first race. And this is road race #63 for me. I wish I'd also kept track of all the miles since day 1. Unfortunately, I've only done that the last few years. But all my recorded miles so far come to 2730. That's more than running from NYC to LA. (Yeah so my 9 years is like 1 summer for Dean Karnazes. It's still cool!)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Another 10

Real busy at work this week, and didn't run at all during the week. Doing the once-a-week weekend warrior thing is really a killer.

Anyway, I did go out for another 10 this week. Thanks to a friend who went running with me, I left earlier in the day and so it wasn't so hot. We stopped at 4.4 miles to rest for a few minutes, and then about a minute after starting back again, we came upon an injured cyclist. She was literally lying in the woods at the side of the path and we waited with her until the ambulance came. Her friend thanked us for helping out, but I was thankful for the chance to really catch my breath!

I love having these graphs. Here's how you can analyze this run. There are basically two parts: the first 4.4 miles, and the second part. In each one I start off slow, then speed up, then taper off as I get tired, and then speed up when the end is in sight. You can also see my HR gradually climbing in each segment. Not nearly as high as last week, but did hit 172 at the end. (I'm not sure about the wavering up and down which seems pretty regular. I'm not sure if it's real, and I have to play with the "smoothing" a little more.)

Anyway, I've still got work to do, but this was better than last week.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

6 + 2.5 + 1.5 = 10 ?

Tough run today. Wanted to wake up early to run and be back for French Open. Instead I woke up at a normal time, watched tennis, and then went for my run. Bad idea. (Though I did enjoy seeing Federer get the trophy!)

It was really hot out there. I think it was 81, but "feels like 89". I managed to keep running for the first 6 but had to take a break then. My heart rate had gone as high as 180 - which I've never seen before. Considering that my resting heart rate last week was 54, that's quite a jump!

I took a long break - like 5 minutes. Including sitting, drinking, and catching my breath. I started out again slower, but didn't have it in me to run the whole 4 miles I had left. Maybe I should have eaten first, but more likely it was the heat. I was really struggling.

I stopped again for a long break at 8.5 miles. I'd wanted to stop earlier, but wanted to have as little left as possible for my last push. Even then, I could barely finish the 1.5 miles. I really slowed down, and started breathing slower to settle myself, and was able to finish.

Anyway, I'm glad I did the ten miles. With the two long breaks I don't think it's the same as running 10 miles straight. But it was a good workout, and I'm sure I gained from those last 4 miles. It certainly took a lot out of me. I was wiped the rest of the day. And even after a nap, my heart rate was still 74. (It's 66 now -10 hours later.)

Strangely, I didn't feel the need to eat a lot afterward. I ate a normal dinner tonight, and though I'm a little hungry now, I look forward to weighing myself tomorrow morning. (I'll deal with my weight in another post.)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

How dedicated am I?

I ran during Hockey. The Stanley Cup Finals. In one of the most entertaining games.

I woke up this morning to run, but didn't feel like going out in the rain. Tonight, I got home from work at 7:45. I was tired and hungry, and the game was starting at 8. I ate a little and started watching.

In the meantime, I looked up the weather and saw that it was really supposed to rain tomorrow. Sigh. I really got to get over this rain thing. I sed to run in the rain, but until I really get back into the schedule thing, it's hard to do. In any case, I decided to go out during the second period, so as to be back for the third.

So there I was running a planned 4 miles. I felt pretty good the first couple of miles, and was surprised to see my pace in the 9:40's. I felt faster, but chalked it up to running after eating. After a few miles, I decided that since I was going so slow, I could up the pace for a mile, and run this like a tempo run. I picked it up, and noticed the pace to be 9:56. Ok, I figured it would take some time to recalculate. And then it went to 9:57. What the...??

Oh yeah. I changed the corner field to "time of day" on Sunday. D'oh! Turns out I was going faster.

First couple of miles at 9:22. The tempo mile at 8:13. Then back to 9:12 for a bit, before a cooldown at the end.

All in all a good run. It was worth it.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

"National" Running Day

This doesn't even make the news. Basically, it's only being promoted by running web sites - read by people who already run. It's a start though. Maybe the 2nd annual will be bigger....

(I actually thought about wearing running shoes to work. But I have a big seminar to give, as well as office hours for new patients.)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


I went to the medical students' graduation today. For once they gave me the right hood - as in the same one I had when I graduated myself 10 years ago.

I know. I haven't changed a bit. :)