Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Clear Lake Fitness Club Spring Program

Get in shape.
Stay in shape.
Improve your speed.

Climbing the rock wall, running the track

Hi America, It's good to see you.

Things have been busy for me the last few days. I visited the climbing wall at UH, which I've never done, and have been putting it off for a year or more. It was a little scary since I might embarrass myself and everyone there seems really good at it already.

Oh, here's a question, when I climb the wall, am I supposed to use the grips for my feet as well?, because that's what I was doing, and there a girl there that was only using the grips for her hands and her feet were going on the very small, sometimes imperceptable, ridges in the face of the rock wall. She was really good, she was like spiderwoman. But there were other people, clearly not as skilled as the one girl, that were stepping on whatever they could too. But maybe it's cheating, maybe the purists don't do it.

I had fun though, it's a difficult workout, especially since my upper body is rubbery and only good for typing. I felt like I made it pretty high, about 6 feet from the point where the auto-belay thing holds you. If you want to go higher you have to have a human belay you and climb on the other section. The handholds get harder as you go up, and it's more strenuous on my hands and forearms than anything else I do. It usually ended when I grab and slip and fall slowly and gently all the way back to the ground.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAanyway. I ran Monday at the UH Recreational Center. 24 laps around the old 360 meter track. I think that's about 5.5 miles, and I ran 12 reps of speed on the short legs in the middle miles. It's interesting to run there because there's lots of people and you can look down on the first floor at the soccer games and basketball games and badminton and racquetball and the rock wall, but it still gets boring after 8 or 10 laps or so. A lot of people run there, but sometimes only like one lap. That's all, they run one lap.

Well, thanks for stopping by. I know you're busy.
See you soon, America.

"Live Like Keith" Tip of the Day:
Dream. Plan. Work. (stolen from MonkeyBuddha)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

7-point-something with the club

This morning, my long run, something like 7.4 miles or so. I still don't really have a schedule. For the time being I think I'll keep kicking around running what I feel like running. Then for a couple months I'm thinking of settleing in for about 30 mpw, with one 10 miler, a couple 7 milers, and a couple short runs scattered aboot. I also ran 3 on Thursday night, I don't think I blogged it.

I just noticed this morning, when I tried to check my TMC results, that Roger Soler's Sports website esta nonfunctionaldo. I'm sure he's decided to skip town with my $50 and not bother to manage the TMC anymore.

My friend and I are going to go embarrass ourselves on the UH climbing wall today. I've never tried it and since my upper body strength leaves everything to be desired it should be quite funny. Tomorrow, I'll be embarrassing myself on the ice rink at the Galleria. Feel free to stop by either venue for some humorous photo opportunities and a chance to use your first aid skills.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Back to form

Ifs you knows me, you knows that I loves me the junk miles.

3 miles yesterday morning.
3 miles this morning.

Mmmm mmmm good.

Its easier these days to get out the door since there's no marathon looming. As much as I love marathon training, I love unfocused running just as much, and I alternate between craving one and craving the other. So now I get to run aimlessly for 6 months or so and she's just what the doctor ordered.

On another note, it has been mentioned in comments that both JD and Christy, are up for the Lucky Trails Challenge. I'm a little bit jealous of them, and a little bit relieved that I have a good excuse not to run it too. I'll see you both at the finish line!

Anyway, back to the front.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Seabrook Marathizzon - March 17 & 18

Hi Bloggers,

As you may know, the Clear Lake Fitness Club puts on a marathon every year called the Seabrook Lucky Trails Marathon. We've always had a marathon and a halfamarathon a 4-person relay on the Sunday before St. Patrick's Day, and this year there's an additional half marathon on Saturday. There's an article about us and how we rock! in Runner Triathlete News this month, and about how we're giving a bunch of money to the bridge over troubled waters. It's a little less than four weeks away, and this is basically the last long race in the area until October.

So with two days of races, there's even the possibility that you can run both Saturday and Sunday, and then you get a third medal. I'm part of the committee to organize it and the third medal is cool enough that I wish I could do it. Instead I'll be running the first leg of the relay and then working at the finish line, expediting the process, making things go smoothly, awarding medals, karate chopping the bandits right in their necks, "Hayahhh!"

(Just between you and me, we're a little more than 60% full for both days, despite having doubled the number of runners, and there's more than 30 crazy people signed up for both days.)

So come on down and run with us if you want to. There'll be hamburgers and hotdogs and chicken and rice and beans at the end, and I think we've got the nicest race packet I've seen, except for Sunmart. We're giving all the runners, including everybody on the relay teams, a technical shirt, a running hat, and running socks, and some other bridgolatta. All you need to bring are your shorties and you'll be good to go.

I renovated the marathon's website this year, I hope you like it. And there's a form to volunteer that looks just like a regular old form, but I worked real hard on it.

Talk to you later...
Love, Keith.

Monday, February 12, 2007

My Cholesterol Test Results

Last Friday, The University of Houston gave all faculty and staff and students free cholesterol screenings, I guess as a Valentine's Day gift. I've never had it checked before and I was kind of worried, since I'm pretty active, but my diet could be improved a small amount. Not to mention, I wasn't thrilled about decreasing my blood volume even a small amount just one day before a marathizzon. But I did it anyway, and the results are in. It's official, I'm STRONG LIKE BULL!

That's even what the nurse said, she yelled it, "STRONG LIKE BULL!" But the doctor was even worried a little. He said I should increase my pizza intake and he described in detail how they even have some with more cheese built right into the crust. And then he wrote me a prescription for some curly fries and he said to take them twice daily with food. And he said to watch out for stuff that's "baked - not fried," but he said I could have that stuff once in a while, as long as I bread it and fry it also.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

TMC Recap - Boy -> Man -> Superman

I'm sitting on my sofa, watching the New Yankee Workshop, enjoying my pre-breakfast ice cream sundae, and refectizzing back on my TMC. It has been a long season, full of ups and downs. I fondly remember that naive young boy that started this journey. Such energy in his young eyes.

Things started fast with a 4:17, which stands as my PR today, when I ran with crazy old Dean Karnazes in his 50 marathon / 50 day / 50 state adventure. I surprised myself and had a little extra left at the end for an adrenaline fueled last 2 miles.

My San Antonio race wasn't quite so enjoyable, aside from being with some good friends, I had difficulties early and difficulties late, and I finished completely drained, overjoyed at the idea of being able to stop running.

My Sunmart 50K was even more difficult, when the modest hills and trails of Huntsville State Park were more than I could handle (with composure at least). I finished my first ultramarathon that day, but the wide-eyed little boy that started this train was gone.

The beginning of 2007 brought me my Houston Marathon debut. I ran a decent race but died at the end again.

And last came Surfside, and as raceday came, I felt unprepared again, as I always feel right beforehand. It was windy, and I put my head down and trudged up my 13 miles into the wind. I struggled through the tough miles, just long enough to get to the tipping point, where you are close enough to the finish that you don't need any glycogen anyway. Close enough for the adrenaline to kick in. For me this is about mile 23½.

And so you see the journey from boy to man, and ultimately to the √úbermensch you see today. Weakness is no longer required in the house of Keith.

So that's the end. I'm now enjoying my post-breakfast ice cream sundae, contemplating what's next. For a while I was debating only how fat I should get, and what type of eating contests should I enter. But with a very long and steady run yesterday, I realize that I'm in decent shape. It won't be long before I have a new goal and a new plan. I've been home all day, and I'm even feeling a little couped up already.

Later, Keith.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Surfside Marathon - 4:47 or 4:48 or something

Hi America, how are you? You look good.

There was a big question mark going into this race as to when I would finish. I was looking back at my training log in the days before and it seemed the farthest I'd run since the Houston Marathon was 6.75 miles. Changos! I caught a cold a couple weeks ago and it severly interrupted the training I had planned for between marathons.

If you don't feel like reading and just want to know if your faster or slower than me, I'll tell you. I finished in 4:47 or 4:48, I think. Houston and San Antonio were under 4:30, and I thought maybe I could run something comparable today, but the sand and the wind slowed me down. In truth, I feel like this was a better race for me than either of those two. I was tired, but aside from a few walks through some of the water stations to drink and to gel-up, I ran the whole way to the finish. Both Houston and San Antonio (and of course Sunmart), the wheels came off near the end, and I had many unplanned stoppages, just because it was hurting too much.

Anyway, I want to back up and tell you about my carbo-loading day too, because it was very nice. We went to Maggiano's Little Italy, since I had a Chili's giftcard, and Maggiano's honors them too. I had the biggest cube of lasagne ever created. Plus there was a bowl of broccoli asiago soup which was excellent, and a creme brulee too. It seems I've finally learned the capacity of my stomach (it's 6" x 6" x 6" + 250mL + a creme brulee).

There were a lot of familiar faces at this race, including Susan, Rick, Liane, Hugh, Vicky, Kevin, Tamsin, and Omar from the CLFC. Not to mention Barbara, Edwin, June, and Jamoosh from the HRB. There was even a professor from my school there running the half. Incidently, did you know that Susan from CLFC is totally amazing? She ran the RR100 miler last weekend to finish her Texas Trilogy and ran the marathon today as a recovery run. You should check out her race report from last weeks 100 miler, she PR'd, despite being almost completely blind by the end of the race, due to an electrolyte imbalance.

Where was I? Ah yes.
It was a little cold and a little windy, but I think not as windy as last year, and the sand wasn't blowing like it was last year either. I was prepared for the worst and brought 5 gels with me in case I was having a rough day. I felt better than expected and postponed the first gel until after 16 miles, after the turnaround to head back to Stalman Park. The turnaround to run with the wind for the last 10 miles made a huge difference, and I'm sure my pace in that part was faster than fighting the wind. I don't know my splits since I forgot my watch again. And this time, it left me totally in the dark, since nobody was calling out the times, except for one guy at the south turnaround, and that didn't really help because I didn't know the distance. But it's funny, since three of the five marathons I've run for the TMC, I've forgotten my watch. By the time I was ready to finish this morning, I thought the time could be anywhere between 4:30 and 5:00.

But as I mentioned, I'm pretty happy with my time, and even though it's my second slowest marathon, I feel like it was my second best marathon effort, behind my run with Dean in October.

Right now, I'm ready for some downtime, and I'll probably take a week off from runnizzing, and probably 5 or 6 months off from racing. But I'm already looking forward to getting back to training. December, or January, I'll see if I can't break four hours.

Anyway, thanks for reading.
Love, Keith.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Recovering from a cold

Here is how my recovery is progressing...

Tuesday - 30 minutes swimming.

Thursday - 30 minutes runnizzing on the bridge. I felt terrible and stopped after only one loop. I've been symptom free for several days, but it doesn't mean that I have enough energy to go past mile 1.

Saturday - 60 minutes runnizzlizzing. Better. I slept in and missed the group run, but I got an extra 5 hours sleep, which I think I needed. I finally made it out to the Seabrook trails around 1PM. It only occurs to me now that I was saying "good morning" to everybody and it wasn't even close to morning anymore.

I still feel strange from that time I worked out, which is like 12 days ago already. Not sore, just very tight.

Well, it's too bad the Colts win by more than 7. I guess I'm out one dollar.