Sunday, April 29, 2007

Thinking out loud...

The San Antonio Marathon is November 11 this year.
That's 193 days, or about 6.5 months from now.
My goal is to break 4:00 (9:10 m/m), in that race or in Dallas in December.
My PR is 4:17 (9:49 m/m), so 4:00 is sufficiently ambitious.
The McMillan Calculator says I can run a 3:51 (based on a 1:49 half marathon). Even Galloway's Calculator says 3:53.

My mileage is around 25 per week right now, which isn't that much, but I think okay for the offseason. I'll be designing the training plan soon and I'll post it here. I'm thinking it will probably have two key runs in the week, and lots of junk miles because I loves me the junk. I'll have one long run, and the other alternating between a tempo run one week and a medium long marathon pace run the next. I've never really done any tempo runs or speedwork of any kind other than the bridge, so that should be interesting. I think I'll have three 20+ milers and 6-8 weeks over 50 mpw.

How does that sound? Too ambitious? Training plan not difficult enough?


Weekend workout wrap-up

Early Friday evening, Claudia and I headed to the pool, but forgot that the gym closes at 8:00 on Fridays and the pool closes 30 minutes before that. That only left us with 10 minutes to swim so we reconsidered and just ran a bit. I ran 2 easy miles and then 1.5 laps in my barefeet.

Saturday morning I got up and headed out to the park to run with the club. 3 miles early by myself and 5 miles with the group. GPS watch says it was 9:37 pace average.

Saturday afternoon, we made it back to the gym to get in our swim. It seems like I'm improving already. I started out as planned with 4 laps, leaving every ninety seconds and then switched to 4 laps leaving every 60 seconds. After a couple laps, I confused myself with trying to count the intervals between laps instead of the laps, because that's what really counts, since four laps with 60 second starts really only stresses my cardiovascular system 3 times (or maybe it is 4, I dunno... No wait, I'm right. I should count the intervals because the first lap isn't any more difficult than those before), but anyway, I started losing track of how many I had done. I was feeling good so I made sure I did more than 4, I think 6 or 7. Then I returned to several laps with 90 second starts. I think there were 16 laps total.

Sunday, we tested Claudia's new bicycle and rode down to Burke-Crenshaw Park and around on the dirt roads behind the park a little. It was about 5 miles or so.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursday morning on the bridge

Believe it or not, I actually got myself out of bed at 4:00 this morning to go run the Kemah bridge. Everybody likes to get done early so they can go to work, so we start at 5 and try to get done by 6:00. There was about 7 or 8 people there Thursday morning.

I ran the warmup loop around the parking lot and two laps on the bridge and then another lap around the parking lot to cool down. I didn't find it all that difficult, but I'm still going to have to get in better shape if I'm going to answer my the Kemah Bridge Challenge, and run 10 laps without stopping.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Running, Swimming, Ditching

Since my last post...

I ran 4 or 5 miles on Thursday, I think. Or did I? I know I went to the gym on Friday to run and swim but then they had a swim meet so we couldn't swim, but the leisure pool was open and only for a half hour longer so we did that first and swam a little but mostly played basketball in the pool and went down the slide a couple times, but that was Friday, so maybe I don't remember what I did on Thursday, but maybe I ran on Wednesday then.

But I'm sure I ran 5 miles on Saturday morning with my beloved club, and then 6 miles on Sunday morning with Broadway Joe and his beloved club. We ran down in Texas City from Anchor Park and it was very nice. They have some nice trails and a nice 5K loop and a nice long levee to run on. It seems our clubs might try a new level of cooperation, offering both club's members a service which is greater than the sum of the parts. (You know how it is, since we're both competing with a certain gargantuan for-profit running club, that looks like a non-profit company, and even has coaches and support crew that volunteer their time as if it were a non-profit, but isn't non-profit at all.)

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway, tuesday night I ran 5K in a mess of loops around the indoor track at school, and then 12 trips across the pool. The pool is always an experience. I think it went better than last time, and I tried to follow some kind of a pattern so I could track my improvement. The first time I just swam until I was exhausted and rested until I could swim again. This time I started out with one trip across the pool, which was taking around 27-30 seconds, and then resting until the end of the minute, and then leaving again. After 4 trips it was too much, so I changed it to 90 second starts, which I could maintain for the rest of the workout. Next time I think I'll start with the 90 second starts and switch to 60 seconds for the middle laps.

Anyway, I'm at work so I can't blog too long. But I have to tell you, I just got back from a Podcasting Summit, that I really only signed up for to get the free lunch. But anyway, I'm sitting there with my friend Claudia and my other friend Yong, and we finished our food and we're sitting, planning our exit, thinking one goes this way and the other that way and so forth and so on, but there really was no good way to do it. Any way to go would be mildly awkward on some level, since they had people standing by the doors, probably for just that reason. Eventually though, Claudia and I just bit the bullet and got up and walked straight out, and we totally ditched Yong. He looked at us with such shock when we got up. The keynote speaker was talking at the time and he had made the rounds and chatted with us a little before the start and we all agreed that he had figured us out and were just there for the lunch. Anyway it was funny. I think Yong is still there. I feel a little bad about it.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Where do all my pens go? I buy them all the time!

  • Friday, dinner and drinks with JD and Jaclyn and Broadway Joe. It was a lot of fun, and incidentally, I am not very good at drinking. I was half drunk after only half a beer.

  • Saturday, 4 miles long run with the club on Saturday morning.

  • Sunday, 3.1 miles consisting of 14 laps around the little track at school.

  • Also Sunday, 300 meters in the pool. Is that good or am I out of shape for swimming? What is it like for normal people when they first start swimming? I'd swim 25m across the pool and have to wait at the other end for several minutes before crossing back. A couple times I tried to go back right away and I couldn't make it and had to stop and doggiepaddle it back in shame.

  • I wish I had more time for swimming and other sports as well. Like ping-pong and bowling and pool and skating and more running too.

    I'm very excited about going to the Cirque du Soleil on Thursday night. And next week we'll go see Itzhak Perlman with the Houston Symphony. I have to admit, I'm budgeting very well this month. Those two things aren't cheap, and I had to pay 700$ for the rediculous UH fee bill this month also. But I've been ordering from the value menu and packing a lunch every now and then too. How very mature of me! WTG Keith!


    Friday, April 13, 2007

    Mobilize the Geeks : Spirit of the Marathon

    Hi Bloggers,

    Christy's right. We should mobilize and get a special screening of Spirit of the Marathon here in Houston. As she mentioned here on her blog, you can send an email to and tell them to come to Houston for their special screening. Whoever they hear from the most wins. Email your club members, bloggers seem to have representatives from all of them.

    Stupid New Yorkers with their Biggest Marathon in the World probably think it should be there and probably assume it and wont even send any emails, they'll just assume it! They're so self-centered! New Yorkers. And LA? Please. Those people are too cool to care about anything. They show up at the Lakers games in the third quarter and talk on their cellphones the whole time. And Chicago! Well, they already get the official screening, we're competing for a second special screening, so Chicago doesn't count. That leaves us as the fourth biggest city in the world, so we should get it. And we've got the spirit of the marathon bleeding from our pores. That should help.


    Saturday, April 07, 2007

    Congrats JD!

    While I was rolling over, hitting the snooze and pulling the covers back up over my head, Das Mixture's own JD was finishing up 10 laps on the Kemah bridge. Congrat's JD! I'm sorry I wasn't out there to meet you, but the cold rain and my stuffy head and fever said "no." We should arrange some way to deliver your award. I can't promise it's going to be worth all that effort, but I can promise this, it will be the most beantastic medal you have.

    Rock on like JD. (and JC - haven't forgotten you buddy!)

    Friday, April 06, 2007

    I am not happy today.

    I say that and giggle because it reminds me of a couple times when I was at the Galleria Skating Rink and there was a middle aged asian man training a bunch of little tiny asian girls, not more than 10 years old, and they were all skating around, 100 times better than me, and he just kept yelling at them, "Faster!," "Bend your knees," "Faster!" and one time, as one little girl looked at him sheepishly, he turned and said mournfully, "I am not happy today."

    In general, I am not happy today because I'm still feeling miserable from the cold that hit me on Wednesday night. And my long run is scheduled for tomorrow, and it's supposed to be cold and rainy. Cold and rainy is not what I want to hear at this moment. Otherwise things are going great. I study biological science. I love my classes. I've got a crazy teacher, he wears dark glasses.

    If I still feel bad tomorrow morning, I'll postpone the long run until Sunday. Actually, lets just plan to do it on Sunday and make sure I'm recovered. That's what Sundays are for, making up for lost miles. Sundays are for forgiveness. I'll run 10 on Sunday and I'll dedicate those miles to Jesus! Thanks Jesus for all the forgiveness and everything else. Big props to the Big Man! Whoo hoo! Rock on!


    Thursday, April 05, 2007

    14 laps around the 360m track.

    14 laps Wednesday evening on the indoor track at school. I think it's about 5K.

    But I was feeling a little under the weather, and now after the run, I'm feeling a lot under the weather. I'm feeling cold even though it's not cold, and everything is louder and brighter than it should be. On the other hand, I am wearing JD's medal for when he answers the Kemah Bridge Challenge, which is helping. Anyway, I've been sleeping a lot, but I'm ready for some more sleep, so see you later.


    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    Still doing my runner impression

    7 miles through the neighborhood this morning. That's more weekday miles than I've had in a long time. Mmm mmm good.

    I plan to get back to something like 30-35 mpw for a month or so, then build, then add some tempo runs and marathon pace running, and put all my eggs in the basket of some lucky November/December marathon and see if I can't break 4:00. Hows about 2 7milers, 2 3milers, and a 10-13miler? How does that sound? Good? For the off-season?

    One of JD's comments tangentially brought up a good point. Are we never going to have another blogger gettogether? Just because we're defunct as an official club doesn't mean we can't all take a lap around some large thing and then eat some terribly unhealthy food once in a while.

    Or should we just meet up at the races? Who's running BlueBell?


    Monday, April 02, 2007

    The Kemah Bridge Challenge

    April 2, 2007.

    Okay, this will be the official post with all the necessary information for future reference.

    Inspired by crazy Kemah Bridge Ultrarunners like Bob Linza, Buddy Brown, and Mark Henderson, I've decided to challenge the moderately crazy runner inside the rest of us to push themselves with some extra laps on the bridge. And I'll even back it up with a custom award of undefined form, handmade by myself, or possibly my friend Claudia if I can convince her to make some also.

    Completion of the challenge consists of running 10 complete laps on the Kemah Bridge with only as much walking as you realistically feel that the walking didn't count. One lap is defined as the entire round trip, over the bridge and back, run the safe way, looping around under the overpasses on both sides, staying on the left side of the road at all times, like this. This distance is approximately 1.92 miles per trip, making the entire run about 19.2 miles.

    Previous Award Winners are:

  • James David Dykas : April 6, 2007 : 10 laps in 3 hours 25 minutes

  • Questions you may have:

  • Who are you to pose a challenge like this? You haven't even done this yourself! - Fair point. You're right.

  • Is your "handmade award of undefined form" really worth this much effort? - Likely not.

  • How will you officially verify that I finished? Will you be there? - It's my backyard, so maybe I can be there. Otherwise I'll verify it by your lack of shifty eyes and your overall demeanor when you tell me you finished it. You could also provide a photo, as suggested by DirtRunner, to help convince me and the world. It would also help commemorate your achievement, which is nice.

  • How well equipped are the aid stations? - The aid stations are as well equipped as you equip them.

  • What will the award be like? What will it be made of? - The medal is still undesigned. Knowing myself, it might have a monkey on it. They might all be different. As far as the material, it might be made of clay, or metal, or nuts, or shells, or wood. I've also done some work with macaroni in my early years.

  • Where is the best place to park? - There's a little japanese restaurant named "Ichibon's" right where the start/finish is on this map, that's where the CLFC people park when they run the bridge.

  • Good luck!

    Bridge Challenge Roll Call

    Ten loops on the bridge, as defined here, = 1 homemade trophy commemorating your mental instability.

    To answer some questions:

    Steve, no I don't have to be there, but it's possible that I can be since it's my backyard. And many times, the water that you stash there will still be there when you loop around, but one time, a guy from the club put a cooler with some provisions there and somebody stole it all.

    JD, I don't know exactly what the award will be like, but probably not hobo-related. Maybe they will all be different (assuming I have to make more than one). Unless you really like hobos.

    Christy, I'll make sure yours can be worn like a medal.

    Steve and JD might try it. I might even have to do it also. Christy will do it if Sarah does it, and Sarah secretly wants to do it.


    10 miles Saturday morning

    I didn't know how far I wanted to run. Probably 8 or 9. I started out with Ed and Robin from the club, around 6:00 AM. About 6:05 it got cold and started pouring, and about 6:10 it stopped raining altogether. We headed out from the parking lot at the Seabrook trails and headed south towards the Bridge. I ran about 6.7 miles in the first leg, over the bridge, down the boardwalk, and back to the trails. I stopped at the park for some candy and a very small amount of chit chat and then finished up my 10 miles on the trails. It was raining again, very hard, with lightning also and not mud, but huge pools of water on the trails. I kindof enjoyed it, but was a little frightened by a few lightning strikes that were too close for comfort. When I got back to the pavillion my GPS said 9.9 miles, so I had to continue on just a little further. I was afraid the people in the club would be upset by my running through the lightening and not finding shelter, but instead they cheered and said 'go!' as I ran by.