Week 4 April 17-23.. Des Moines Half Training


 

Sunday April 23, 2017

 

4 weeks down, 6 to go!  I am officially 40% done with training. My body feels good overall and the pains I had a few weeks back aren’t as bad. Before I dive into training, just an update on my recent appointment. I recently had some tests done to see if anything would indicate a hernia, it does not appear I have one but an ultrasound was recommended to rule anything else and I got one a few days later. I got a call from my doctor’s office a few days later and no hernia! Whew! the tests came back normal. I was relieved to hear the news and continuing as scheduled with training!

Speaking of training, it was a solid week. This was a cut back week for my long runs… so not as taxing on the body which feels good on the legs. I had one of my better track performances on Tuesday. I did a 1600 and a few 800’s and have run my fastest yet during this training session! Carrie was out there running side by side which helped keep me on target. I had to fight to hold my pace but I ended strong!

My easy runs went according to schedule and the semi-long run on Saturday of 7 miles was good. Carrie ran with me on this run who was getting in 6 miles of her own. We ran together for about 3 miles. At the 4 mile mark she was probably about 15 sec ahead of me but I was on target with my pace that I wanted to run. I felt good overall, just the last 2 miles my right knee was a little sore and the bottom of that left foot starting to feel a little painful. I remembered to keep telling myself that the pain is temporary and to keep on moving forward and maintaining my effort. I closed out with the exact pace I was shooting for and had a consistent run.

Sunday marked the end of the week and an easy 4 mile recovery run. Let me tell you that the recovery runs are sometimes a bear coming off a longer run. In the past I would try to run a quicker pace but I didn’t fight the body and ran on effort.

After my run I helped again as bike support with hydration for Carrie and Kara who were putting in 12 and 17 miles respectively. Kara is training for the San Diego Rock ‘N Roll Marathon with hopes of qualifying for next year’s Boston Marathon. Both Carrie and Kara run the same pace for the long runs and help motivate each other! Kara is not stranger to running and ran in College for North Carolina State with former standout teammate and now elite professional Emily Pritt!

 

 

 

Coaching…

Kudos to Anne who took raced Pat’s Run, a 4.2 mile race on the campus of Arizona State University. Pat Tillman was a former Sun Devil, and Arizona Cardinals football player who later gave up an NFL career to serve his country in the military. Unfortunately his life was cut way short when he died in Afghanistan in friendly fire 13 years ago. The race is a tremendous showing of support as thousands of runners take to the streets.

This was a much needed race for Anne who ran a consistent race. It was her first true race after having fracturing her foot late last year. She’s back to running and fully healed which is what we were looking for.

This year is not just about running for her, it’s about being well-rounded to put her in the best position to come back stronger! This includes yoga, core training, resistant training, biking, and of course running. Anyone who has raced understands the importance of training, not just running but strengthening the body in all areas. This has obviously given her more confidence and a new outlook in both life and running! Congrats Anne!

Meredith is hitting all cylinders at track and on the roads. 2017 has seen a turnaround in her overall pace and what used to feel like a struggle is now her easy run pace. The work at track has improved over the past few months. She’s continuously working at it and pushing herself which is her trademark.  Great job Meredith!

Finally, Coaching could be getting busier…I may be picking up an additional 3 athletes. One is in high school and a former athlete I’ve trained while the other two are between 10 and 13 years old. I’m looking forward to working with kids to help them find their true potential. With children, I find they have amazing speed with unlimited areas of growth. For some, pacing and harnessing their strength to allow them to be effective and efficient runners seems to be a fine balancing act.

We have to remember that they are children and still growing both physically and mentally. They have an infinite means to learn and adapt to changes which if done correctly, can result in great improvements!

That’s it for now.. my breakfast awaits and then its on the couch for a few hours to watch the London Marathon which we recorded overnight as it was happening live.

 

2017 Boston Marathon Recap

Monday April 17, 2017

 

Image result for 2017 boston marathon

 

Boston!

As promised, I am providing a recap of today’s running of The 121st Boston Marathon. For those of you who have not seen or heard of the results, please refrain from reading any further!

 

But first, in honor of the race, Carrie and I took in an early morning run in our Boston Strong shirts as we looked forward to a good run and an exciting race!!

 

 

 

I have to add that a we were running, a police car was driving behind us and the officer was playing the Rocky theme on his loudspeaker! This was so cool and he gave us a wave as he drove by. This was so inspiring to us and I felt a little get up and go at that point :).

 

Ok..so first off, why am I so intrigued with the Boston Marathon?

Boston has always held a close place in my heart as far back as 1995 . It was then when I came across the July issue of Runner’s World in a store. I glanced at the cover and there it was in plain view…Boston or Bust! I thought to myself, how cool would it be to run in the 100th Boston Marathon.. a bit naive looking back at it with virtually no training experience but hell it was fun!

I still have that issue….

 

……as well as the following year’s April 1996 100th Boston Marathon Collector’s Issue!

 

 

I had never run a Marathon up to this point but this one intrigued me. I had no idea on how to train and the race was a wake up call as I finished with a disappointing 4:29:18…OUCH!!!  My first attempt at Boston was not even close. When I look back at it, I really only began road racing around 1990 in Tucson and just got my feet wet with 5K’s and 10 K’s but never the 26.2!

Although I have never qualified for the race, I made one final attempt 5 years later when I was probably at tip-top shape and ran a 3:39:11,  still outside of the 3:10 qualifying time…But for a brief 15-16 miles I was within reach :). Regardless of not qualifying, I have always regarded the Boston Marathon as the Granddaddy of them. The race is steeped with tradition, stories, and uniqueness being the ONLY Marathon where you have to qualify in order to have the chance to see if you register for the prestigious race…the only other Marathon where you have to qualify is the Olympics. I’m a runner and I have a HUGE amount of respect for those who put in the training and earn their way to Boston!

Other tidbits…

The Boston Marathon is always held on the 3rd Monday of April better known as Patriots Day, a celebrated Holiday in Boston. It is also the world’s oldest Marathon. It’s seen its fair share of great moments and unfortunately in recent years some horrific times as well. But through it all, the running community both near and far come out each year to show their support for the city of Boston! Can you argue the point that New York or Chicago ranks near the top of U.S. Marathons? Sure, you’re entitled to it, but show me the longevity of a race with so much history and support year after year.. NONE compares in my mind!

There is so much history behind the race that I could write an entire blog about it from its first race in 1896 to the present… but I’ll spare you the details :).

Recap of Boston 2017….

If you missed my prediction on the previous blog, I had predicted the top 3 overall finishers for both the Men and Women as well as the top 3 U.S. finishers. Take a look at how I did and judge for yourself. Also, click on Boston Marathon for full coverage and highlights of the race.

My Prediction

 

Overall                                                                          Overall

Men                                      Country             Women                         Country

1st–  Wilson Chebet          Kenya                   1st–  Desi Linden            U.S.
2nd–  Yemane Tsegay       Ethiopia                2nd– Gladys Cherono    Kenya
3rd–  Galen Rupp              U.S.                       3rd–  Brigid Kosgei         Kenya

U.S.A.                                                                                      U.S.A.
Men                                                                      Women

1st– Galen Rupp                                                 1st– Desi Linden
2nd– Meb Keflezighi                                         2nd–  Jordan Hasay
3rd– Jared Ward                                                 3rd– Lindsay Flanagan

 

***Actual Finish***

Overall                                                                          Overall

Men                                      Country                            Women                             Country

1st–  Geoffrey Kirui              Kenya                               1st– Edna Kiplagat             Kenya
2nd–  Galen Rupp                 U.S.A.                               2nd– Rose Chelimo           Bahrain
3rd–   Osaka Suguru             Japan                                3rd– Jordan Hasay            U.S.A.

 

U.S.A.                                                                                                   U.S.A.
Men                                                                                  Women

1st– Galen Rupp                                                               1st- Jordan Hasay
2nd– Shadrack Biwott                                                      2nd- Desi Linden
3rd– Abdi Abdirahman                                                    3rd- Lindsey Flanagan

 

As you can I was off a bit on the Men’s side for both the Overall and the U.S.A. however, I fared a little better with the Women’s U.S.A. finishers with the 1st and 2nd place finishers in reversed order.

My thoughts on the race. Like most of the Marathons I have witnessed on tv, the race is usually slow to buildup in the beginning. Let’s face it, it’s a Marathon and the runners are strategists on the course. This means biding your time and running your race.

In the early miles, the pace of the women were somewhat slow even with a tailwind and a large pack around 20 was running strong. The men too had a large pack and running in similar fashion.

I was hopeful the U.S. would have a great showing and that the Galen Rupp for the men and Desi Linden would make it on the podium if not win their respective race.

In the end, Galen did in fact claim 2nd place with a 2:09:58 finish while Desi finished 4th overall with a 2:25:06 performance. This was only Galen’s 3rd ever Marathon coming off of his Marathon Olympic Trials and a Bronze medal performance at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. Rupp had indicated that he wanted to win the race and be the best Marathoner ever! There is no doubt Galen who recently switched to the Marathon has a bright future ahead of him.

For Desi, this was somewhat of a disappointing race for her. Like Galen, Desi put it out there that her goal was to win Boston point-blank. As some of you may know, back in 2011 Desi had that outstanding performance in Boston with an exciting finish down Boylston Street which would eventually result in a very close 2nd place finish. She was outkicked in the end but never gave up.

Carrie and I have had the great privilege to have met Desi several years ago while out on a run at South Mountain. She just exudes confidence and a “I know what I want” mentality that you can’t help but fall love with her tenacity and fight to be the best competitor in the sport. I’m not sure what her future holds and if this was in fact her last Boston Marathon. After today’s race, you could almost get a sense that this was her last Boston. She said she did everything she could and that the other runner’s were just better. I’m sure she will talk things over with her coach and see what is best for her. I hope we she continues to compete for a few more years.

As far as goodbye’s are concerned, Meb Keflezighi ran his final Boston Marathon and is closing out his illustrious career with the New York City Marathon later this November. New York will be Meb’s 26th Marathon which is how he wanted to go out. Today Meb finished 13th against a stacked field. The chances of him winning was slim but you can never count him out. Meb is another runner we got a chance to meet back in October at the Chicago Marathon as our friend CB had surprised us by setting up a lunch with his brother and a few of his entourage. That was an exciting time for Carrie and I and to be able to sit next to him and talk to him about anything was so down to earth!

I can honestly say that Meb cares for the sport and his fans more than anything. He has to be one of the best ambassadors for running and extremely grateful to everyone who has supported him. Today was an emotional day for Meb as he crossed the finish line one last time in Boston..the emotions became apparent with each wave and tear running down his face.

For some running is just that…running. To me and other runners who follow the elites throughout their career, it’s as if you know them to some extent and want them to succeed on every level. Over the last several years there has been a surge in the sport of running and the talent has picked up for the Americans.

Sure the Kenyans and Ethiopians have ruled distance running for so many years, but look at what our veterans have done over the past 5 years as well as the up and comers like Galen Rupp and Jordan Hasay. I’m excited for what the future holds for our young rising stars and in the next Olympics. There are so many runners who have started to make the transition from the track, short to middle distance, and the Marathon.

Today was an example of the that uprise. 6 out of the top 10 men or 8 out of 13 were from the United States!!! This is an incredible stat and I strongly believe that we will continue to see our stocks rise.

I can go on and on and write a novel (as if this isn’t one 🙂 but I wanted to point out that the future looks great for the U.S. in distant running.

So now the sport will transition to outdoor track season and the famous Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon to be held May 26-27th as well as The Diamond League events that showcases 14 track events from May to September around the world!

As you can see, there is a lot coming up to be excited for and we are looking forward to it. It was an exciting day to watch the Boston Marathon with so many emotional storylines that played out on the course.

Congratulations to all of the participants who had the courage to follow their dreams and earn their right to race in Boston. Also, congrats to all of our friends here in Phoenix. The list would go well beyond 20 names. We are so proud of you and the sacrifices you made to put in the time to train with your busy schedules. Well, you made it happen!!! Thank you on many levels… you are an inspiration to so many of us!

 

 

Image result for BOSTON STRONG!

 

Week 3 April 10-16.. Des Moines Half Training and Boston Marathon Preview!

 

Sunday April 16, 2017

 

3 weeks officially in the books for training! But first…Sunday marked our 12 year anniversary! I couldn’t be happier to have a partner who has been so instrumental in helping me stay motivated to do what I love in the sport of running and in Coaching. Thanks Carrie for your support and more! Happy Anniversary!

To kick off our Sunday, Carrie was putting in a 16 miler with a little speedwork as she ran with her friend Kara…they make it look so effortless! I tagged along on the bike for additional support after my easy run.

 

 

Training….

In a nutshell, this week went well. However, I have been feeling a little “strained” lately. Not to get into too much detail but I’ve been having some discomfort in the lower abdominal region and groin where some of the symptoms are very similar to a hernia. I don’t want to get ahead of things but if I’m right (and I hope I’m not) this would not be great timing.

I scheduled an appointment with the Doctor this coming week and hoping to get positive news. In terms of running, the week actually went well. I had a great track workout and didn’t feel any pain until after and it lingered the rest of the day.

On Friday with a shortened workday, I decided to run on the treadmill and get my 10 miles in. Why treadmill? Let’s just say I didn’t want to put myself out on the roads only to encounter severe pain and be out miles from the start. By running on the treadmill, I’m not far from the car if I had to cut my workout short :).

Luckily, the treadmill or “dreadmill” was good to me. Let me preface this by saying my body was looking forward to feeling better strong on this run…and I did! To me the treadmill is easier to run as it acts as a pacer, always in motion regardless of your effort or cadence. You could have a bad day, but the treadmill doesn’t care and will get you the pace that you set it at.

After the 7th mile, I started to feel a little sluggish and tired in the legs. With 2 miles left I stayed focused and finished out my run with no incident. Afterwards, I felt sore but a good soreness like I did something productive. Later that day I went in for a massage work out the kinks and felt much better!

The weekend ended on a nice easy Sunday run. The morning temperature is absolutely perfect and I wish it could remain this way but we all know what’s on the horizon!

That’s how week 3 went, nothing too crazy…

Finally…with the Boston Marathon tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to see how accurate I could predict the field. I guess we’ll find out soon!

Both the men’s and women’s field are loaded with talent and a few of the runners will be making their debuts! I can’t wait watch it live on TV. Yes, I take the day off from work as I have for many years and plop myself down for a few hours… of course after I get in my early morning run of  :). This is such an exciting race and between Carrie and I, we must know over 20 of our friends who will be racing on Marathon Monday! Best wishes to everyone on a great race!

This race will also include Meb Keflezighi who recently announced he will retire from competitive racing after the New York City Marathon later this year. This will be Meb’s last Boston Marathon and I’m sure it will be quite an emotional day for him. Remember, he won Boston back in 2014, check out his interview video at Meb.

So… let’s see how close I come tomorrow with my predictions. I have broken down the list by overall and U.S. finishers. For more on the field, click on elite’s.

Here goes!

My Prediction

 

Overall                                                                          Overall

Men                                  Country                                Women        Country

1st–  Wilson Chebet          Kenya                   1st–  Desi Linden              U.S.
2nd–  Yemane Tsegay       Ethiopia                2nd– Gladys Cherono       Kenya
3rd–  Galen Rupp              U.S.                       3rd–  Brigid Kosgei            Kenya

U.S.                                                                      U.S.
Men                                                                     Women

1st–  Galen Rupp                                                 1st–  Desi Linden
2nd– Meb Keflezighi                                           2nd– Jordan Hasay
3rd–  Jared Ward                                                 3rd–  Lindsay Flanagan

 

That’s all for this week! Stay tuned for my Boston recap after tomorrow’s race!

Week 2 April 3-9.. Des Moines Half Training

 

Sunday April 9th

Week 2 went fairly smooth but best of all….my speed trainers came in from Mizuno the Hitogami 4’s!

 

 

 

I love the shoes and yes its bold in colors and patterns which I tend to stay away from, but the initial feedback after my speedwork is positive. I normally run in one pair of shoes but this round I’m wearing shoes based on the type of workout. I have one for my long run, easy/recovery runs, and speed workouts.

I can wear my shoes a little longer and reap the benefits of fresher shoes! So in short…my new Hitogami’s are light as a feather and fit like a glove with each shoe coming in at 7.8oz!!

The start of the week went well with my easy run, just getting some good leg turnover and trying to stay “easy” with my pace. I know my pace had slowed a little over the recent times which has been a little tough to adjust. I’ve had to come to term with letting go of the past. I’m a competitive person in every sense of the word.. I can be just as competitive but more importantly, being smarter as I get older seems to be the best choice for me :).

My speed workout was done on the road and I have been dealing with some stomach issues, part diet I’m sure and maybe a bug of sorts. Carrie ran with me and it was nice to have company as I pushed through the morning workout.

On Thursday, I led our track group on a fun workout which revolved around the theme “play”. We did something I call Follow the Leader whereby the group runs single file around the track with the anchor runner sprinting to the front. This was a good way to mix in some speed while keeping everyone engaged and motivated.

The next workouts were Fartleks or “speed play” which is a Swedish term. Try throwing in that word the next time you’re at a party and see what type of looks you get :). The Fartleks were done in a manner where I spaced out each runner and had them run at an easy pace for an undisclosed amount of time, I would then whistle and they would sprint again for an unknown amount of time. The sprints could be for 10 seconds or a minute. It’s a bit like musical chairs but nobody gets to sit :). This is a great way to work in surges which comes in handy during a race where you may be required to pick it up to gain some ground.

The final act involved a 400M sprint with each person going one by one, somewhat resembling a relay. The group cheered each other on, encouraging them to keep focus and close out strong. The group did very well and its great to see the cohesion getting strong with the group!

I was off on Friday from work and used this time to put in an easy run for taking Thursday off. I mixed in some slight hills around our neighborhood for the first half. I ran up a nearby street called Equestrian which is surrounded by some nice homes which is always fun to run by. The 2nd half was more downhill and yielded about the same times as I would run on flat grounds. This let me know that I didn’t exert too much energy going uphill… so I executed my run as intended :).

Saturday was my long run day and I work up after a great night of sleep. You see, Carrie’s parents who were visiting for the week left on Friday. Of course I stayed up a little later than usual as we were catching up and having a good time. After a good nights sleep I headed out for my 9 miler.

It’s almost been a year since I ran 9 miles for my long run. Actually probably since our 4th of July training in Portland. I suppose that would make sense since I have not trained for a Half Marathon or anything of substance since then. The long run started out good with my pace a bit quicker due to the early downhills. Around mile 6 my left foot started to flare up which is something I’ve been dealing with on the longer distances. I started feeling tired slightly after that point and the last 2 miles were a bit of a struggle.

Overall, I ran the pace that  I was aiming for but also learned that I am definitely getting back on the horse with training. It was good to put my body through a long run and face some obstacles here and there while fighting through some of the pain. Believe it or not, I love challenging myself with training. If it were easy, wouldn’t everyone do it? Some of us just like challenges :).

I closed out the week with a short recovery run. Carrie and I met her friend Kara for a run. Well, they were getting in 14-15 miles with some trails and road while I stayed behind them considerably slower just to get my legs moving after a long run. It’s good to work on running on tired legs. Mentally it’s a huge benefit when you’re in a race and you know you can push it because you’ve done it in training.

My recovery runs especially after a speedworkout or long run should be done purely by effort and not by pace. For me that may be closer to 9:20, on this mornings run I was just over 9 mins since I had some downhill running at the end. I am trying to make my body understand that concept to help me become a smarter runner.

After my easy run I took a nice epsom salt bath to help relieve some of the aches and pains from the week. I’m going to end the week in this manner as I can just relax and reflect on the training and look ahead to the following week.

Overall, a good 2nd week of training. We were a little busy with Carrie’s parents in town but they are late sleepers and about as casual as a couple from the Midwest can be!

And… in addition to training I will be adding another athlete on the coaching front. One of Meredith’s friends Dolly who is also a Triathlete has a son Max who is in middle school and would like for me to train him. I’m looking forward to helping him reach his goals and find another gear to kick in. His track season is winding down and we will be training soon!

It will be fun working with a younger age group. Children have a lot of speed but an area of development such as pacing and getting themselves stronger to control that speed is just as vital. I’m more than ready to unlock Max’s potential and happy to have this honor.

 

Looking ahead…

 

 

Next week’s blog will touch on the 121st running of The Boston Marathon which will be run on Monday April 17th! I can’t wait for this day and will be glued to the tv!!!!

This is my FAVORITE Marathon that I have never raced before… more about this next week. We have several friends including Carrie’s former Coach who is looking to break the 50 and over record for Boston! This race is one I always hold close to my heart. Those close to me know the significance of it, hell I take the day off from work to watch every second of it! I can’t wait to catch the race live on tv!

This will be Meb Keflezighi’s final Boston Marathon as he has announced he will retire this year after an illustrious career! Additionally, I will have my podium winners listed in my predicted finish from 1st-3rd. If I can duplicate what I did with the U.S. 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon where I correctly guessed the exact order of not just the men but the women finishers from 1st-3rd and the 4th place reserve, that would be amazing and have Nostradamus rolling!

For a list of the official Elite entry list click on Elite’s. This is one race you don’t want to miss and you can also catch it live or record it on DVR by clicking TV Schedule.

Go and have yourself a great week!

Week 1 March 27-April 2.. Des Moines Half Training

 

Sunday April 2, 2017

Another month and a new beginning :). In this blog I’ll be recapping my first week of training. As you may know, I’ve started training for a June Half Marathon in Des Moines, Iowa (Dam to Dam Half Marathon). That being said, let’s get to it!

I’m running about 5 days a weeks with the usual easy, track workouts, long run, and recovery runs sprinkled throughout the week. I love training for a race, going back many many years ago :). I’m slower now but the passion and drive is just as strong!

As a very part-time Coach, I’m used to putting together a program for others and helping them stay motivated to reach and exceed their goals. I get a boost from seeing my athletes succeed, which in turn helps me stay on top of my training… a sort of accountability if you will :).

What’s a typical week of training? Well, here are the nuts and bolts of it!

  • Mondays– easy run..a great way to begin the week and put things into motion.
  • Tuesdays– Track day (some type of speed workout) Toughest 20% of my week.
  • Wednesdays– REST/Strength train
  • Thursdays– Coach track in the am and an easy run on the treadmill after work (a treat for my feet after the pounding on the roads)
  • Fridays– REST/ Strength train
  •  Saturdays– Long run.. one of my favorite runs to gather my thoughts over the long haul.
  • Sundays– Recovery run/Strength train..no pace required, just turning the legs over :). Maybe an epsom bath to take away the week’s aches and pains :).

So how was my first week? I think it went according to plan. I had a strong effort on the track with my mile repeats and since it was a race weekend (5K) on Sunday, I eased back just a little on Saturday’s long run.

 

Speaking of the 5K race…  Image result for runner clip art

Carrie and I took part in the 5K for Healthy Kidneys at Kiwanis Park on Sunday. Carrie’s parents who are visiting us from Iowa came out to watch us race. Thanks John and Sue for supporting us and for the great pictures! In terms of performance, it was a mixed bag for Carrie and I. First, Carrie outran the entire group and was the overall winner, beating all the men and boys! She was pleased with her race and also won a gift certificate to Sole Sports and Road ID 🙂 nice job Carrie!…keep in mind she put in a good 9 mile run to the race since it was also her long run day.

My race was another story..I have been feeling a little nauseous the past few days. This morning was no exception and I had a sub par race. My goal was to put in a sub 8 min race which I can do. I ran 7:59 for the first mile then couldn’t keep the pace as my body was just not feeling well and my body was not responding. I still had a good kick in the end which I will always try to do matter how I’m feeling at the end. I ran a disappointing 8:17 pace but was very happy I could come out and compete :).

Here are some pics from the race…

 

 

On the group track workouts, we had another new member Alicia join us for her first workout. Alicia is friends with Charlene and it was nice for her to come out and participate. It was a good workout for the group as they were developing their 400’s. Overall, I was pleased with their efforts and they all finished strong!

Coaching…

A HUGE shout out to Meredith who competed at the Oceanside Half Ironman. She had a great race and a big PR. She smashed her times on every event from the swim, bike, and run and got a PR by about 30 minutes from her 2015 race! On top of that she got a new run PR! Meredith who is the Triathlete in the group is currently in training for the ultimate Arizona Full Ironman which she has done several times. This was a great start to her spring training and all the hard work she puts in on and off the track, pool, and on her bike.. Great job Meredith!!

Anne is also seeing some great gains as her mileage is slowly progressing. She is no longer running with her brace and had a very good run this morning. She’s gaining more confidence as the days and weeks go by. More importantly, she is loving every second of it and really missed the days she couldn’t run. Her next big goal is the San Diego Rock N Roll Half Marathon in just over 2 months! Anne, keep up the great effort and consistency and there is no doubt you will have a great race in sunny San Diego!

That’s it for week 1!

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the horizon

Saturday March 25, 2017

 

Things are looking up as we head into the last week of March. Carrie and I decided to sign up for a summer Half Marathon race in Des Moines, Iowa. The race is called Dam to Dam, looks like a nice course and we’re taking a few days after to visit Carrie’s parents who live a few hours from Des Moines. We’ve talked about going back to see her parents as its been awhile since she’s been back. They have some friends and relatives in Des Moines and will be able to come out and watch us race!

Training…

I will officially kick off my training next week which will give me 10 weeks to prepare. I typically like a 12 week or 3 month cycle but I’ve been running consistently and will be ready. I have not given myself a goal time at this point, however I’m not placing a great deal of stress on this race. I’m just looking to have a good training phase and cap it off with a good race. Besides, it’s too early to tell what my projected time will be.

This morning I did 7 miles on the canal where Carrie was racing her leg of the Triathlon.. The Tri For The Cure. We got to the race early which allowed me to get my long run in. The recent drop in temps are just perfect.. just a slight chill at the start and perfect conditions throughout the run :). Carrie ran the 2.4 mile leg of the run as part of an elite team that she was invited to take part in and she was excited! She looked strong and ran faster than the previous time back in 2015 and posted a 14:47 finishing time! Her team took 1st place as all 3 women worked hard for their part of the relay.. Congrats Carrie and team!!

 

 

 

Track race…

Last week Carrie and I had a chance to see our oldest nephew Owen race at his local middle school. He was called up to run for the 8th graders (Varsity) as he normally runs for his 7th grade team. He was racing in the 1600, 800, and 4×400. It was a very windy and chilly early evening. Owen displayed brilliance on the oval and posted an impressive 6:01 mile and a 2:49 800! That is incredible as it wasn’t long ago when Owen was running over 8 or even 9 mins/mile. It was good to see him racing and he’s got a bright future in running! Congrats Owen, we’re very proud of you!

 

Coaching…

At the last track workout it was mile time trials! I like to see where my athletes are from time to time with their speed workouts. This is a good measurement to see where each athlete is with their workouts. It paints a vivid picture in terms of how successful they are during the track workouts. Are they running to their potential or taking it easy. It uncovered some vital information that we can build on for future workouts.

In all, I think everyone learned something more about themselves not just as runners but as individuals and their willingness to get outside of their comfort zone. This also provided me with a good baseline reading for the mile and I can’t wait for next week to instill some additional motivating workouts :).

Meredith is getting closer to her Half Ironman which is just about a week away and had a great final long run with some race pace effort progressives where we increased her pace in 2 segments by 10 seconds with a mile recovery followed by another progressive. I ran a portion of it with her acting as pacer for the progressive workouts. I asked Meredith to lead at times to get a feel of doing some of the work and to ensure she was still with me on effort. All in all, she nailed her workout by running the goal pace within 3-5 seconds.. Great work Meredith!

Anne is doing very well and now running 100% with the addition of some track workouts at a moderate effort. The past two weeks its been more about getting her legs out from under and gaining more confidence by the weeks. There has been no signs of pain or discomfort and her foot is 100% healed. The miles are slowing increasing and intensity will soon follow which is a great sign of progress. Way to bounce back Anne!

Cross Country on TV…

Finally, if you’re up for some good Cross Country racing on TV, look no further than the World Cross Country Championships from Kampala, Uganda which will air tape delay on NBC Sports Network this Sunday March 26th at 6pm Arizona time. The course is quite interesting with a huge pit on the course. I’m not sure if race officials will fill in the pit.. if not, this could get messy conditions call for rain.

Check out the video on the course here at race course. The Kenyan and Ethiopian teams have been a dominating force for years and are looking to keep things as they are. Check it out or set your dvr’s!

That’s all from here! Get out and make your statement!

 

March Madness!

Saturday March 18, 2017

 

Well, we’re in mid March which can only mean one thing… March Madness! The University of Arizona Wildcats are making their 34th appearance in the big dance. In fact they’ve reached the NCAA Tournament in 25 consecutive years, only missing it in 2010.

Thursday night the Cats put on a clinic and outplayed an outmatched North Dakota team which was making their 1st appearance in the Tournament. I may be bias, but taking that away this team is poised for a strong run at the Final Four and possibly the National Championship. If you like numbers, this year marks the 20th Anniversary of the Wildcats winning their one and only NCAA Tournament Championship… I like where this is headed :).

Let’s turn our attention to running shall we? The weather is warming up early in the season but the mornings are absolutely beautiful and ideal for running! I’ve been feeling extremely good on my runs. Since stepping into my new Mizuno Wave Riders, I haven’t had the nagging pains nearly as much. In fact, the pain has reduced by some 85-90%! I’m not quite ready to say its the shoes, perhaps some of my eccentric calf raises I did helped?

Maybe it’s coincidence that they have an uncanny resemblance to the colors of U of A??? Either way, they’re pretty comfortable and hopefully they’ll keep me running! Maybe I should take Carries advice and get 10 pairs of them, they may never make shoe that has the colors of “U of A” again :).

 

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My “U of A” Mizuno Wave Rider 20’s!

 

I’m really excited to be running so well at this point and looking forward to a few short races which I’m eyeing in the near future. I’ve been doing my speed workouts and recently Carrie helped pace me at the track for a 1600 and several 800’s. I held my own and was able to put up some respectable splits at this point. Thanks Carrie for pushing me, your easy run is my tough run!

The Thursday Track group got underway last Thursday after we took a week off for Spring Break as the local schools in Ahwatukee were out. The group resumed their workouts and didn’t miss a beat! I love the fact that they come out, ready to work and off they go!

As far as Coaching goes…Meredith who was coming off of her honeymoon in Maui, was adjusting to the time zone change. She didn’t look sluggish, in fact she put in a great workout with her mile repeats. She’s been devastating at the track this year and getting faster with each passing week. Way to go Meredith, this year is off to a great start!

Anne is gradually coming back from her fractured ankle from late last year. She’s running just a few miles several times a week in addition to biking to keep her cardio up and targeting her muscles in a different manner. She’s also been consistent with her yoga and core workouts. This has proven to be vital during recovery. She’s been able to strengthen key areas that will help her get back to running stronger. Functional areas like her glutes, hips, and core have been a strong focus in recovery. Nicely done Anne.. small chunks lead to a complete package and a stronger you!

Carrie is back to running after a successful new PR Marathon and starting to pick up her miles gradually. We are both looking forward to a nice small 5K in a few weeks. Her parents will be coming out to visit from Iowa during this time and will be able to watch us race!

Speaking of races.. the Elites are preparing for the NYC Half Marathon on Sunday March 19th! Get all the info you need at NYC Half Marathon.

You can stream all the action on ESPN3 online at 4:30am AZ time. Yes, it’s early but you can watch the race before you do your run! This year, Molly Huddle will attempt to 3-peat! Last year she got a PR with a 67:41 performance. Molly comes across as a shy and timid person but don’t be fooled, she is a BEAST when it comes to racing and has the pedigree to set the stage for an incredible race!

 

Huddle after her victory last year

 

 

Some in the running world feel she can get chase down the American record held by Deena Kastor. Conditions call for a cold race but with a tailwind…we’ll be watching! Check out the field that should provide some great drama as you wake up to a cup of your favorite coffee!

Women’s Elite field

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That’s all from the desert! Keep Marchin’ on!!!

Marchin’ on!

Sunday March 5, 2017

 

Is it March already? Spring is right around the corner with temperatures hovering close to 80! I don’t know about you, but the longer we can postpone the 80’s, 90’s, and 100+ temps the better!

But before we dive into running, a quick shout out to my beloved Arizona Wildcats on a FANTASTIC victory vs. rivals asu yesterday to close out the regular season. With the win, the Cats clinched a share of the PAC 12 regular season title. Now its time for the PAC 12 Tournament where we can secure a strong seed for the MARCH MADNESS TOURNAMENT! BEAR DOWN!!!

 

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Locker room celebration

 

No. 7 Arizona Claims Pac-12 Championship After Beating ASU

 

My running is going fairly well these past few weeks. As you know, I’ve been having that left foot/Achilles issue that is more of a nagging feeling than anything. The first few days of this past week felt like I might have to take a few days off, but I closed the week strong with a great 6 miler yesterday with minimal issues :). I’m focusing on mid-distance for the next few months as Carrie and I are looking into a Memorial Weekend in Tucson for their big weekend festival of races, the Meet Me Downtown race. We may take part in the Miler and 5K or just the 5K, not sure but this will be our first time doing this race. Being in Tucson always brings great memories for me and its Wildcat country need I say more??

This race gets a huge draw of people and talent from all over the U.S. The race offers incentives for the speedsters who can win some great money and prizes. This should be a great weekend!

In terms of distance, I’m still looking to hit 6-8 miles for my long runs and sprinkle in some shorter miles throughout the week, which seems to be a good fit for me at this point of the year. It’s also a good time for me to look into some new shoes!

Speaking of which.. last week I reached out to Saucony after a pair of my Ride 8’s unexpectedly started to come apart at the sole. The shoes only had 150 miles on it as I was rotating them with another pair which has double the miles on it. I’ve never had a shoe come undone at the sole like this, so I contacted Saucony and it turns out they warrant their shoes for a full year! I was advised to send the shoes in free of shipping as they provided the shipping label for me instantly via email. If the shoes are deemed defective, they will replace them absolutely free! If they’re not defective, I will donate the shoes where they can get re-sole the shoes to be worn by those in need.

It’s also a good time for me to look into some other styles which are in the neutral category as prescribed by a local Podiatrist. As in my previous blog, I had mentioned I was told I am pigeon-toed and land on the outside of my foot which may be causing some of the pain. The remedy is not quite that easy and looking at some other shoes is a good start and if that doesn’t help, orthotics may be my best option.

Aside from running, I went hiking with Carrie this past week. This was her week off from running after coming off a fantastic PR effort in the Phoenix Marathon last Saturday. She’s feeling great with no pain and working in some cardio without the hard impact.

 

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The afternoon hike was simply perfect. A slight breeze and temps in the upper 60’s! We hiked for about 1 1/2 and covered 4 miles. We weren’t trying to go at a blazing speed, just getting some sunshine and targeting the muscles in a different manner. We are so fortunate to live extremely close to the mountains in Ahwatukee. There is a nice little trail on Warpaint which crosses the Desert Classic trail. We did a nice out and back loop and looking forward to going exploring on the trails again. Oh, we did not have any encounters with javelinas, snakes, or coyotes… just a few mountain bikers, hikers, and runners!

On the Thursday Track front, we had a good workout by the Money family. Praveen, Marni, and Ginger all put in a great effort and ran some good times. We focused on the 1600, 800, and 400. I’ve asked them to step it up a bit the past 2 weeks and they’ve responded nicely! our group also grew by 1 with Charlene coming out the join us. She’s been running with us the past several weeks. Charlene is extremely positive about trying something new with track as she is working on developing pace and getting her speed in place. The goal is to have Charlene get out of her comfort zone as we establish a good baseline. As she gets used to running at both the aerobic and anaerobic stages, she will become more comfortable with pacing. Welcome to the group Charlene!

Meredith is on vacation and still putting in some great runs as I see her data coming in! Anne is starting to run as she has been cleared by her doctor and we are incorporating both a mix of running and walking while building the miles cautiously but confidently! We are also working on strengthening the glutes, hips, legs, foot, while working on balance to get that muscle memory back to full strength. The goal is to have her get stronger with each passing day as she re-trains her body run again. Great job Anne! you’ll be back stronger than ever.

That’s it for now…get in some good quality miles and enjoy our great weather!

 

Catchin’ up!

Saturday February 11, 2017

 

February is upon us and moving quickly! By the warm temperatures, you’d think we were well into our spring season. So what’s been happening on my end? I know this is mainly a running blog but I feel compelled to also show another side to a runner’s life. January ended on a somber note. My Uncle passed away after a courageous battle of being hospitalized for several weeks. I don’t need to go into details for obvious reasons but it was a tough time for his family as well as ours.

 

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I flew out to Colorado a few days after his passing and attended his funeral. When I landed the temperature was in the low 20’s BRRR!

 

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At the funeral service, I was asked by my Aunt to do a few readings and I was more than happy to oblige. I’m not what you call a religious person by the standard definition of going to church and practicing in front of the altar. I try to live life with the understanding of knowing right from wrong and being a good sound individual.

Funerals are not something I look forward to (if that’s not an obvious understatement) but it was an incredible service which honored my Uncle’s life as the church was jam-packed with family, friends, co-workers, fellow military buddies as my Uncle proudly served our country to defend the freedom we are so lucky to have today. Uncle was always a prankster, jokester, fun-loving, and devout Catholic. He lived his life to the fullest, how many of us get the chance to do so? That is a question for all of us to ask ourselves.

It’s been years since I saw my Uncle and his family, but the trip had good closure and I was able to see my Aunt, Grandma, and Cousin as well as her boyfriend and re-connect. You never quite know what words to say when you look directly into the eyes of your Aunt who lost the love of her life for nearly 35 years. Somehow, our family was able to comfort her and find peace in this sometimes crazy and unpredictable world. We shared some tears, laughter, and plenty of food over the few days I was visiting. I believed we honored Uncle the way he would want us to.. living life with every intent of being free and expressing ourselves in our own genuine way. We all miss you Uncle… even the “nuggies” you used to give me when I was kid :).

 

Shifting gears a bit, I was able to get in a nice little run while out in Colorado. I knew the 6,000 feet elevation would probably kick my butt, and without question it did! It was windy, hilly, but beautiful.

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It was nice to get some fresh air even if my heart rate was red lining :). The weather during the morning run was actually comfortable in the mid 40’s. I’m more comfortable with chillier temperatures than I used to be so this was right up my alley!

I’m running consistently, not high mileage by any means but getting the legs turning over. I recently saw Carrie’s Chiropractor and had the opportunity to speak with their Podiatrist who comes out every couple of months from Colorado where he practices. He was extremely helpful and provided some good information and assessment. It turns out I am pigeon-toed! Yep, never thought that would be the case, but in addition to that I have a shorter left leg discrepancy of 1-2mm. I also land primarily on the outer part of my foot, especially on that left foot which has caused my some pain over the past few years.

There are some options available including doubling up on my left insole and also cutting out one of the insoles along the left big toe, which may allow my foot to land on the inner portion more than the outer. Basically, we are trying to let the foot pronate which is usually not the case with most if not all runners.  I can and will probably look into shoes that have a greater lateral build to which may help prevent the outer roll. One of the brands recommended is Salomon, so I will be checking them out soon.

The other option is orthotics which can be costly but may help. My condition with the pigeon-toed biomechanics, inverting of the foot, and landing on the lateral portion is not something that has a clear-cut solution, looks like its time for some trial and error and see how I progress. So, I’m starting with the double insoles and will go down the list to see if I get any relief in the near future.

Carrie on the other hand is having a great start to 2017. She had a great race at the Pancake 5K/10K. She won the Double Stack (5k + 10k) with an 18:59:59 5K followed by a 39:49 10K. This coming off of a 100 mile week. Carrie has been tearing it up on the racing scene which is a reflection of her training which has yielded some incredible times! Here are 2 identical pics for her “Double Stack” victory and yes that’s a gallon of water she won…Congrats Carrie!

 

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On the Coaching front, Meredith posted a new Pancake 5K PR by nearly 30 seconds per mile! Her speedwork at our Thursday track has been going extremely well, she has shaved off quite a bit of time on the oval and looking stronger than ever. She ran consistently on race day and continues to show great improvement.. Nice work Meredith!

Some of the newest athletes who have been coming to track including Marni and her 2 daughters Lola and Ginger also ran the Pancake 5K race and did a great job as well. They all have been getting up early to come to track and get in some speedwork. For 10 and 11 year olds to get up and hit the track at 5am, that speaks volumes!! Great example Marni for your dedication and consistency. All 3 of them had a very good race and the ceiling is endless to what you can do! Nicely done!

Finally, Anne got great news this week by having her cast removed for the foot she fractured a few months ago. Her Orthopedic said the foot looks to be healing well! She’s on a conservative recovery but the good news is she can start walking and we will be incorporating running very soon. I know its been a long tough road, but you are going to be even stronger and I can’t to see you shine on the roads again Anne! Safe recovery and healthy miles ahead!

 

That’s all from my end, I hope everyone can get out there and log in some miles!

Latest happenings

Saturday January 21, 2016

 

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If you’re new to Phoenix you may have noticed our weather resembles the Pacific Northwest to some extent. Lately our days consists of windy, dark dreary clouds, with on and off sprinkles, and of course rain. As Phoenicians, we are spoiled with over 300+ days of sunshine, so a few days of the dark stuff is a welcome sight, so long as this doesn’t become a regular occurrence :(.

My running…

As far as running, I’m loving the weather when it isn’t pouring rain. The fact that I have options to either run in the morning or afternoon with the mild temperatures is a bonus! I have to admit, sleeping in..that is 5-5:30am for me always feels good during the workweek if I don’t have to run :). I do make it a point to get up a few times a week to run in the morning because I love to kickstart my day with a nice power run.

The past few weeks I’ve been running more, not necessarily high mileage but consistent mileage. Whether it’s in Ahwatukee, Kiwanis Park, or wherever I find myself running… it’s a great day when I can be out there. I’m feeling good, still have some inflammation on that left foot along my pinkie toe. Otherwise, this ‘ol body is still motivated as ever and off to a great start in 2017!

 

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A week ago I completed a very casual SuperHeroes 5K Run at Kiwanis. This was an untimed event with about 800 runners. I was surprised just how many runners there were. As you can tell, I decided to wear my cape which we got to pick out as participants. I have never raced or run with a cape or anything close to this. I thought, “what the hell” it’s for a good cause and a fun race.

 

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I ended up finishing around 12th place which sounds fantastic but this was not a very competitive field. I was excited to finish this high regardless and ran with as much effort as I normally do for all races.

I think I did better than I thought due to some speedwork I’ve been working in the past month which has helped me generate more power in my legs. I’m going to need it with another 5K in a few weeks.

Speaking of races, Carrie recently completed the Arizona Rock ‘n Roll 10K and won the women’s division. She was actually scheduled to do the Half Marathon but with a slight injury, she decided it would be best to drop down to the 10K with her “A” race being the Marathon at the Phoenix Marathon next month. She broke the tape by running a sub 40 min 10K and got to step on stage and get interviewed :). Congrats to her good friend Kerry Camberg who also got to step on the podium with a 3rd place finish!

 

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Track group…

This past Thursday marked the 25th week of track workouts for the group. A few more members have come on board in recent weeks. At the same time, I think the colder mornings are keeping some in their warm beds :). I love seeing others come out and work up a good sweat as they work on their speed. I have seen tremendous progress in some of the athletes which is a huge motivating factor for everyone.

Athletes…

A special congrats go out to Lane who I have been working with for the past several months. Lane recently completed another Arizona Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon. But what makes this special is that just a few weeks ago he had a very bad stomach infection which sidelined him for about a week of consistent running. This happened to fall on his taper weeks which for him all of the work building up to race week was complete.

Lane managed to put together a great race under the circumstances of his body not being quite 100% and still a bit sluggish. I saw him just before the final right turn and cheered him on.

 

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He ran a gutsy race and left nothing on the course. Way to battle Lane! You showed a strong sense of urgency out there and you should be very proud!

We have a few athletes on the mend with injuries who are working through some PT and rest. I know they are all eager to get back on the roads and track. There is no doubt in my mind that everyone will bounce back healthier stronger! In the meantime, keep up with the exercises and workouts that you can safely do.

That’s the latest happenings.. go out and get some air and put one front in front of the other!