Monday, November 24, 2014

Day 2,886: A rare hot day

With a race in three weeks that's supposed to be in the 70s, I haven't really had a chance in a month to run in weather that hot.

Until today. Somehow, 70-degree weather greeted me and so I was able to shed the extra layers and run in conditions that likely will be similar to that of the Honolulu Marathon.

And ... it felt good. Around Mile 2 I felt myself sweating a good bit. I happened to be running in the same place where I trained all summer and had easy access to water fountains but I didn't drink any.

My legs felt pretty good late in the run when I ran in Piedmont Park. I passed two middle-aged guys while pushing the little one in the BOB stroller. One of them said laughing, "It's ok to be passed by a kid."

When I got home I could tell that running in cool weather for a month has affected my hydration -- I drank two 17-ounce bottles of Gatorade with no problem.

So I probably won't get another chance to have a training run in weather this hot before the race. I hope when the time comes my body remembers all the miles training through the summer in Atlanta.

Time: 1:02 p.m.
Temp: 70 degrees, 64 percent humidity
Gear: Technical T-shirt, short (Marine Corps Marathon, "Mission Accomplished"), shorts, Skechers Go Run 3.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Day 2,884: 1,900 miles FTY

Today I had to run across town to maintain a geocache for a friend and that 6.6-mile run put me over 1,900 miles for the year.

With three full weeks to go before the Dec. 14 Honolulu Marathon, it looks likely I will reach the 2,000-mile mark by then.

Although today's run went pretty well, on the way back I could feel just a tinge that my right hamstring wasn't fully back. I didn't feel pain but it just didn't seem completely normal.

I guess I'm going to have to wonder for a while whether I really can and should run a second marathon in three weeks' time.

Time: 9:43 a.m.
Temp: 41 degrees
Gear: Technical T-shirt, long (William's Run 5K; this is one of the most comfortable technical shirts I have), T-shirt, short (Inman Middle School 5K '09), shorts, Skechers Go Run 3.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Day 2,882: Skechers Go Run 3

One of the things about coming off of marathon training is that nearly all of my running shoes are at the end of their lifespan.

The training journey started out with the venerable Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 31 but ended with more minimalist shoes -- the Saucony Kinvara 5 and Skechers' Go Run 2.

So when I went looking for the next pair of training shoes -- and the possible shoe that I will wear in the Dec. 14 Honolulu Marathon, I decided on Skechers next installment, the Go Run 3.

What really helped is that the retail $80 shoe was being sold for $39 (the same price that I bought the Go Run 2s in April). Clearly this brand has not caught on very well yet.

Today was the first day that I wore this shoe for a run. And my initial impressions were that it was a Saucony Kinvara 5 in Go Run 3 clothing!

Interestingly enough, when you compare the two shoes, they are very similar -- the Go Run 3 boasts a weight of 7.0 ounces for size 9 (Kinvara: 7.7 ounces). Both have the same heel-to-toe drop of 4 mm.

(In contrast, my Go Run 2 shoes weigh 6.6 ounces and have a 5.2 mm drop. The Nike Pegasus shoes are clodhoppers by comparison with an 11 ounce weight and a 10 mm drop.)

The Go Run 2s are more like minimalist racing shoes -- what I didn't like about them was that in training runs I could feel every piece of gravel I ran over. But the new Go Run 3s are much more cushioned, making the run enjoyable.

My only complaint with the shoes is I feel like the laces are too long (I substituted an old pair of Nike laces in my Go Run 2s).

And although both pairs of Skechers shoes I run in are size 10 and are fine, next time around I might want to get size 9.5.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day 2,880: Super cold

This morning it was 24 degrees or so when I got up so I tried to put off my run as long as possible. So I ended up taking out the little one in the afternoon.

It was still cold ... and then didn't get much better. I took off my windbreaker at the North Highland Avenue/Ponce stoplight only to put it back on at the PATH trail near Mile 2.

I recently ordered a pair of Brooks Spartan Running Pant III - Short because I've been looking for a pair of running pants with as short of an inseam as possible so they don't drag on the ground under my feet if I am wearing them inside without shoes on.

These fit the bill -- last year I wanted to get the previous version -- the Spartan Pant II short but they were sold out in my size.

So as soon as I saw these for sale I bought them. At $85 they were a little more than I wanted to spend on a pair of running pants but I've worn them three times already as winter has come to our area sooner than in previous years.

Time: 1:40 p.m.
Temp: 31 degrees (only rose to 33 degrees by end of run)
Gear: Nike windbreaker, Technical T-shirt, long x2 (Nike white, Beltline 10K), running pants, Skechers Go Run 2.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Day 2,877: I'm not ready ... yet?

After running six-miles a day for six days, I decided to ramp up my training, sticking to the marathon program's final weeks leading up to race day.

That meant today was a 9-mile tempo run (11 miles total). Instead of training at an 8:45/mile pace, I decided I would do so at a 9-minute mile pace.

Things went well for the first mile. But I found it difficult to maintain my pace and during the first three miles, I could feel a slight tinge in my right hamstring.

To add insult to injury, somewhere right after five miles, my left calf muscle cramped up. It's been years since I've had this happen in a training run.

So I just ran the last two miles back home. It's obvious that I am not ready for this kind of running yet. I think rest will be better for the next few weeks, so I'll just plan on running less mileage.

This is one thing I didn't see coming, especially after previous marathons. In 2010, I ran in the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler just three weeks after running and finishing an excruciating ING Georgia Marathon. I had no problems getting back into shape. I ran a 5K at 7:47 pace just 20 days after running in the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Less than a month later, I made a 5K PR (22:20) in the Race 2 Recycle.

It puts into question what kind of condition I'll be in for the Honolulu Marathon. There's no time limit to finish the race so I can take all the time I want if I still want to run in it in a few weeks.

Time: 9:37 a.m.
Temp: 43 degrees
Gear: Technical T-shirt, long (Fall Five Miler), T-shirt (Surgeon General's Run 2009), shorts, Nike Air Zoom Pegasus+ 31.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Day 2,873: The 11-day recovery

Today's run started out like the previous 10 days after running in the Marine Corps Marathon. It was grueling.

But after the halfway point of my 3-mile run, I felt like I was running a lot better. It was nice to finally have some speed back.

Coming back along North Highland Avenue, I caught up with a dude who was way faster up the hill. I talked to him about the Charleston Marathon, which was on the shirt he was wearing.

The pace was pretty fast (my data shows I got down to 6:13/mile) and I could tell I had trouble talking and running.

In any event, I was able to make it home. My mile time for that last mile was 7:49.

Despite a little foolishness, I'm back to some kind of regular running speed, 11 days after running in the marathon.

Time: 8:04 a.m.
Temp: 46 degrees
Gear: Long-sleeved T-shirt (Ted's Montana Grill), shorts, Skechers Go Run 2.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Day 2,869: 6 days later

Today was the first day I ran more than just a mile. It also was one of the coldest days so far this season.

I wore my Marine Corps Marathon finisher shirt -- a double-thick technical mock turtleneck, in keeping with the race's tradition.

It was at least 40 degrees (my Garmin data says 37 degrees). The shirt was warm enough for me to do my run in. It's good news because when I got the thick and heavy shirt I was wondering exactly what I should do with it.

I felt like I had good lateral speed but my left quad just felt depleted. After the run I felt like I'd run a half marathon.

So I guess it's back to taking it easy at least for a few more days.