Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Quick Update

Not too much going on here. I had my second appointment at the physical therapist yesterday. Things may be getting slightly better with the strained muscle. It's kind of hard to tell. It's definitely not getting worse, so that's a good thing. I'll be going out for 6 miles or so tonight after work. Probably run it right around an 8 minute pace or so.

Keep the song requests coming in.

Since I don't have too much to say today (first time for everything?), I'll give you some quotes I have come across lately:

From the blog "Got Lactate" - http://www.gotlactate.blogspot.com/
As it has in so many ways, running has taught me another life lesson: that by loosening one's grip on something one desperately covets, one may have a far better chance of actually obtaining it.

I think you could apply this to more than running. Feel free to check out the post "Changing Colors, Changing Goals" on that blog. It's a good post about a man's quest to run a 3:20 marathon when he turned 40. Ron off-handedly made the comment on his 30th birthday. He'll be running Chicago on October 12th also.

Other quotes:
The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed. - Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ

To describe the agony of a marathon to someone who's never run it is like trying to explain color to someone who was born blind.
Jerome Drayton

Get going. Get up and walk if you have to, but finish the damned race.
Ron Hill to Jerome Drayton during the 1970 Boston Marathon

We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon. Emil Zatopek

And here's a trailer of the movie "Spirit of the Marathon." It comes out on DVD next week. I was able to see the movie at the theater last year. It's a documentary about the 2005 Chicago marathon that follows a handful of runners of different ability levels. Try to check it out if you can.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

How's Your Gastrocnemius?

I had to move the Bill Gillis/Shouting and Pointing song over to the right margin. I may periodically put a few other past or potential songs on the marathon playlist back in the player at the top of the posts over the next couple weeks. For now you can still get your dose of "A Little Bit of Faith" on the imeem player.
I went to the doctor yesterday. Here's Dr. Garelic's diagnosis on my knee issue. I have a strained gastrocnemius muscle. It basically the part of the calf muscle that starts behind the knee. Here's a picture of the muscle in relation to the lower leg:

I can still run, but he advised me to take 600-800mg of Ibuprofen one hour before running. He also told me to get some physical therapy three days a week for each of the two weeks before the marathon. I was lucky enough to get into Athletico this morning for my first appointment.
My physical therapist there stretched me out and did some analysis on my legs. He then came up with a stretching program to help me try to get the muscle back in good condition. I am also to ice the area after any physical activity, including walking around for an hour.

I am happy with the results and am glad I decided to go get it checked out. I ran yesterday in the early evening after taking a few advils. It did seem to help lessen the pain a little bit, but I could still feel it here and there. I didn't run into any stoplights yesterday, so I was able to keep my legs moving the whole time. That was one of the issues the past week. Any time I'd have to stop, getting started again was really painful. After the legs got pumping for a minute or two, they would feel a little better, but they'd get progressively worse after each stop and start.

Here are the numbers from yesterday:
10 miles total - 2 mile warm up jog
4x1600m @ followed by an untimed 800m
the four 1600 meter times: 6:34, 6:43, 6:43, 6:31
a couple miles at an easy pace to finish out the run.

I'll most likely be running early in the morning tomorrow. I think I am going to push the pace in the middle miles of th 12 mile run. I'd like to put up several consistent 7:40s. I guess while I am talking about pace now I can loosely unveil the goals for October 12th. Here they are:

Best case scenario which would include feeling healthy, good cool running weather, and feeling good that day:
3h:20m or a 7:40 pace
It's a little aggressive and I will make the call that day if I will actually shoot for it. It may be a case where I hang around the 3:20 group for the first 10 miles or so and make the call at that point. Or maybe lag back in the 7:45 range and make a move in the second half if I feel up for it. The downside to that strategy is that if I run a 7:45 for the first half, I'd have to average a 7:35 for miles 13.2 through 26.2. I don't think planning for a negative split at that pace is the best idea I have had. The last 3-6 miles can be brutal. I have run a few sub 8's for the last 5K in the past, so it's possible, but still very tough.

More likely reachable goal:
3:23-3:25 or a pace in the range of 7:45 to 7:50
I think this is possible and would fit in with my natural improvement in times over the years - minus the scorcher last year, of course. I think I have trained pretty hard and very well this season and my level of fitness can support a pace in that range over 26.2 miles. I have been pretty happy with my times throughout training. I do have the minor issue in my leg right now, but I don't anticipate it giving me problems by then. Positive thinking can work wonders.

Last resort goal:
It's still an 8:00 pace per mile, but I have to crack the 3:30 mark. And this year is my best chance to do it yet. I will finish the race no matter what happens - if had to walk on one leg with the other leg that fell off in one hand for a few miles, I'd do that. If I finished last year, I can finish any marathon.

With that being said, no matter what happens on October 12th, the amazing things that we've done here and for FSMA will make this marathon one of greatest successes of my life. I appreciate all of your continued support and can't thank each and every one of you enough. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Above is one of the suggested songs.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nine Runs Remaining

Sorry there haven' t been any posts for the last few days. I have been busy sifting through these suggested songs for the marathon. Actually that's not true. yasoo800 just made the first two requests. Come on loyal readers, I need some music.

yasso800, you'll be happy to know that "A Little Bit of Faith" was on the last 20 mile run playlist. I am trying to figure out a way to post some songs on here. Pictures and videos are not a problem, but I am having a hard time with songs. Hopefully I can figure it out soon so the musical stylings of William Gillis and Shouting and Pointing can be shared with the world.

So, I got in an 8 miler yesterday. I ran the first half at an 8:00 pace and the second half at 7:47. I only went 9 miles today instead of ten because my knee is giving me some issues. I turned around at 4.5 miles because I hit a stoplight. It has really been bothering me when I stop in the midst of a run to grab some water or get stopped by a stoplight. So instead of waiting at the stoplight at McCormick and Howard (which is a long one), I turned around. I ran the 9 miles pretty evenly - 8:01 in the front half and an 8:03 in the second half.

I did run into my buddy Bill again, so I slowed down for about a third of a mile on the way home. I most likely would have come in under 8 in the second half if I didn't run with bill for those couple minutes. Bill did offer me some advice about my troublesome knee and running in general. Bill has to be in his fifties and could be in his sixties. Here was his advice: "The trick is not to think about it. The less you think about it, the less you'll notice it. And the less you think about all the miles you are running, the better off you are. "
After reading some more about the pain I'm having in my knee, I think it's actually inflammation in the hamstring tendons where they insert into the knee. My pain is in the back of the knee and as far as I can tell, there's no swelling. So, I think I am going to try to get into a doctor sometime in the next week to see if there's something I can do to help calm this thing down a bit before the marathon.
The title of the post is correct. Two more runs this week, four next week and three the week of the marathon. The longest run left will be this weekend at 12 miles. Over the next few weeks as there will be less running to talk about, I'll try to recap the previous six marathons and give people an idea of what to expect with this one.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Toughest Part is Over

The last 20 miler is now in the books, wrapping up a tough 54 mile week. I ended up running 5 days in the week and four consecutive days, which is more than I like to do. When this week is in the books every training session, there's definitely a feeling of happiness and accomplishment as you finally feel like you are over the hump. You know there's just a couple weeks left before the marathon and the beating the your body has endured over the previous 13 weeks is now complete. Over the last three weeks, mileage is cut considerably and the minor injuries that have mounted up will hopefully heal in time for the big one.

I ran the first half at about an 8:12 pace and the second half just under an 8:00 pace. It was a warm morning and pretty humid, so I feel good about my time. The hammy felt pretty good, while the knee still felt a little sore at times.
I am beginning to think my knee pain may be caused by my shoes. I have worn the Brooks Adrenaline 6 is the past but finally ran out of miles on those earlier this year. I went to the Adrenaline 8's prior to the start of training. My oldest pair, which I had to wear on Tuesday of this week, now has 305 miles on them. I think they are officially done. I used to be able to get closer to 500 miles in the Adrenaline 6's. Now I am wondering if the second pair is almost done and may be contributing to my knee pain. They now have just 220 miles on them. I ran in the freshest pair today (now with 63 miles on them) and they felt much better. I only have 78 miles left before the marathon, but that would put pair number 2 at 298 miles. So, as of 5 minutes ago, I am thinking about buying one more pair. Although it may have to be my last pair if these bastards are only going to last 250 miles. I may have to move on to a different show in the future. It's not something I would consider doing three weeks away from the marathon though.

The old Ipod took a turn for the worse last night when I tried to update a new playlist. So, I added the playlist onto Tiffany's Ipod this morning and away we went. I am not sure what I am going to do for the marathon just yet. I'll try to swap out the battery in the newer Ipod and see if that gets me anywhere. The last resort is to use Tiffany's Ipod, but as I told her earlier today, I am not sure that's the best idea. I seem to be breaking them lately with pretty good regularity.

Here's what the upcoming week looks like:
Tuesday: 10 Miles @ 8:00
Wednesday: 8 Miles @ 8:00
-I may not pay too much attention to pace on the early week runs-
Friday: 9 Miles, 4 x 1600m @ 6:34 w/800m jogs in between
Sunday: 12 miles @ 8:00 pace, although I may crank it up a little bit
39 miles for the week

In other news, the Cubs are in the playoffs, the Bears appear to be in for a long season and the US won the Ryder Cup. Try not to get too excited.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Music, Please

I'm just about complete with the toughest training week of the year and my Ipod is still on the fritz. The uncooked rice bath didn't help. Rather than go into what else I have tried since then, I will tell you that I have ordered a new battery. I'm hoping that replacing the battery currently in my Ipod will do the trick, but I'm getting pretty close to giving up on this beast.

Luckily, the brick is still functioning, although not without a few hiccups. I have had to reset it a few times over the past few days during my runs. I think the 4th generation Ipods hard drives are much more unstable and the constant jostling it endures while running causes it to lock up with regularity. The improved 5th generation Ipod was seemingly fixed to nullify that issue. Maybe they can work on waterproofing the next one.

Anyway, for the past few years, I have opened up the playlist for the marathon to my friends and family. I am doing the same thing this year. Here's how it works:

I take suggestions of songs from you. These songs can either be songs you really like, songs that inspire you, songs you workout or run to, songs that pump you up or any song you think would be a good song to run to. I will then check out the song and if I feel it can be one of the 50 or so songs that end up being on the marathon playlist, I will send you a CD of about 20 songs that were on the October 12th playlist. If I don't use your song, don't be offended. The marathon playlist is like a puzzle that has to be put together. Sometimes good songs don't fit and many songs get tossed out. I should also add that "Run" or Running" in the song's title is not a prerequisite. So "Born to Run" (Springsteen) and "Running Down a Dream" (Petty) are fine songs, but they will never make the playlist.

Here are just some past examples of suggested songs:
Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
SexyBack- JTimberlake
The Fly, Yahweh - U2
Don't Stop Believin' - Journey
The Stubborn Horse - Mahjongg
Go Cubs Go - Steve Goodman
On the Road Again - Willie Nelson
Look up to the Sky - The Indians
Porch - Pearl Jam
Gimme Shelter - Rolling Stones

Some were used and some were not. Send your requests to me at paulkapellas@hotmail.com or post the in the comments below any post over the next couple weeks. I am hoping to have the playlist finalized by October 10th.

Here's a link to an Irish drinking song that Eddie Vedder recently turned into a song about the Cubs. It's catchy and makes you want to pick up a mug of beer and drink with Ed as he rambles through the verses while you wait for a couple chances to yell "Yeah" with him. If you haven't heard it a million times yet, prepare yourself. It will be around for as long as the Cubs are in the playoffs.



Thursday's run was seven miles. I ran the first half at an 8:00 minute pace. Somewhere in the second half of the run, I bumped into the older gentleman that I see on the path pretty regularly. He stopped me and asked if I was runnning the marathon. I ended up covering a couple miles with Bill and shot the breeze about running and the neighborhood. Bill is a really nice guy and is a vetrean of running some of the many races in the Chicago area. So, Bill's pace was probably about 9:00/mile, but it wasn't the worst thing as my hammy and knee were still bothering me.

Yesterday's run was supposed to be 11 miles with 6 miles at a 7:04 pace. I changed it up a little bit. I ran a couple warm up miles and pounded out three at a 7:02 pace. I backed off the next mile and picked up the pace for the next two miles. I ran those two at a 7:05. I took it easy for mile 9 and then ran a 7:13 10th mile. I closed out the 11 mile run with an easy mile.

The right hamstring became less of a problem as the week went on. It's still an issue, but I think it will be fine as I start tapering. The right knee didn't seem to get better or worse, I guess that's not all bad. I can definitely feel it when I run...sometimes more than others. It's more a a nagging pain than a shooting or sharp pain. I am hoping the reduction in miles that starts next week will give it the necessary recovery time.

The last 20 miler is tomorrow. Wish me the best and hope that my right leg comes out of it no worse for the wear.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What Made Milwaukee Famous

Beer, for one. The Brewers choking in September is soon to be next on the list. I am going to the Cubs-Brewers game tonight to see if the Cubs can cut the magic number down to 2. "What Made Milwaukee Famous" is actually the name of a pretty good, not very well known band. Check them out if you like indie-ish music.

Here what's going on in the peak week of training. There's some good news and some bad news. More bad than good really. The ole' tight right hamstring from the half marathon on Sunday is much worse now than it was during the race. The rest of the legs have mostly usual soreness, although my right knee it a little more sore than usual. Also, my blister issue from the half took a slight turn for the worse. On Monday, I woke up and the two blisters that I had popped the night before were fine. Unfortunately I didn't notice that there was one under the toenail of the second toe on my right foot. In my past experiences, that basically means that nail doesn't have a chance. Through the years, I have lost several toenails because of running. I didn't have any issues with the second toe until the marathon last year because my feet were wet. And now it pops up again because of the aquathon.

So, I popped it to relieve the pressure. Last night, I cut the nail down as far as possible. When it doesn't hurt at all, you know there's not much life left in it. Maybe I'll put up a picture of it in a couple days. Between the hammy, the knee, and the toe, this is all good stuff just in time for the 54 mile peak week.

So, I altered the running schedule this week to fit in the Cubs game and try to lessen the pounding on the legs. I ran 10 last night at just over an 8:00 pace. I was able to get through a slightly unpleasant, not as fast 6 miles this morning. The good news was that the shoes from the half were finally dry so I could wear them this morning, altough they certainly smelled better on Saturday.

That leaves me with 38 miles remaining for the week. I still have 20 down for Sunday and 11 (tempo) down for Friday. That leaves me with 7 for Thursday night. I'll probably do Friday's run in the afternoon/evening as well. Then Sunday's 20 miler will act as a dress rehearsal for the marathon. I will eat a similar dinner to the one I will eat on October 11th, wake up at the same time, eat the same food I plan to eat on the morning of October 12th, consume the same gels, and probably wear the same clothes including my race shoes that currently have just 43 miles on them.

I really don't want to miss any mileage this week and am hoping that not running again until tomorrow evening (and only running 7 miles) will help. We'll see though. October 12th is much more important than any run this week, so there's kind of a delicate balance of staying healthy and getting miles in.

In other news, my Ipod is sitting in a bowl of rice trying to dry out. Don't ask me, I read it somewhere that it helps dry out Ipods that have water issues. Keep your fingers crossed. Right now I am using the old brick that I updated yesterday. Here's what this relic looks like:

Thanks for the comments and video after the "Aquathon" post. As far as my nipples, I could have gone Sampras on you.

Here are few other pics, courtesy of marathonfoto.com from the half:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Chicago Half-Aquathon

I can't take credit for the renaming of the Banco Popular Chicago Half Marathon. That belongs to my friend Rich Cancellare.

Here's your quick recap of the Half Marathon. It should be prefaced that it has been raining in the Chicago area since Friday night. I am not sure it ever stopped until just a few hours ago. There's actually some pretty bad flooding pretty close to our condo, so we're pretty lucky. But back to the race...

Tiffany and I got down there early, found a good parking spot and tried to stay dry until the race started. I was shooting the breeze with the guy who was the 1:35 pace leader. He has run 67 marathons and has only 15 states left until he's run a marathon in all 50 states. My plan was to stick with that guy as long as possible and then slow it down just enough to come in around 1:36.

The plan held together for about 4 or 5 miles, which was also when my water-logged Ipod shut down. The rain never stopped and there was some wind that kicked up every once in a while. Somewhere around mile 2.5 I could feel water sloshing out of my shoes with every step I took. There were some pretty good-sized puddles that the runners really couldn't avoid. So by mile 5, I started to slow down a little bit. I also felt a little tightness in my right hamstring a few times throughout the race. By mile 9, I could really feel my toenails jamming into my pruned toes. At that point, the 1:36 was out and I refocused on finishing at 1:38:00. I tried picking up the pace the couple miles and am pretty sure I did, but couldn't finish strong enough and came in at 1:38:34, good for a 7:31 pace. So it was a couple minutes off of my goal, but given the conditions, I was happy with it. Not high-five happy, but happy that I was pretty close and feel like I would have hit it if mother nature was a little more agreeable. It was easily the worst rain I have ever run in. I have a couple small blisters on my second toe (index toes?) on each foot, but have taken care of them so they shouldn't be a problem in a couple of days.

Here are a few pictures Tiffany took from the day:

Me before the race:

The starting/finishing line before the race:

The "Golden Lady" statue in Jackson Park:

And finally me right after the race:

I took an ice bath after we got home and iced down the hammy a little bit. It feels pretty good. I just need to make sure it doesn't turn into something bigger than the slightly irritating feeling that it is right now.

I also took apart the Ipod. I'll put it back together tomorrow and hope for the best. The week ahead is the last big week of training and looks like this:

Tuesday: 11 Miles, 8:05 pace
Wednesday: 12 Miles, 8:05 pace
Friday: 11 Miles, 6 Miles at 7:04
Sunday: 20 Miles, either 8:00 even pace or an 8:20 first half and 7:40 second half

Total: 54 Miles

Have a good week and stay dry.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


First off, I'd like to thank everyone for their comments, emails and phone calls over the past few days. I really appreciate the support shown both to our effort here and to Ken and Michelle and their families. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they get through this extremely difficult time.

I initially felt a little apprehensive about writing about my running here again. It still isn't the easiest thing to do following these previous couple posts. But the more I think about it, the more I think the best way to continue to do things here is to celebrate Cru and continue to spread the word about SMA. Please continue to pass on the word of our efforts to friends, families, co-workers, neighbors or whoever you think would like to jump in and help us support FSMA. So hang in there while I switch gears to talk about my running, which has sometimes seemed inconsequential in the big picture after the last few days. But running is the vehicle that has given us the means to raise over $31,000 for FSMA, so it definitely has proved to be worthwhile. If you're not up for reading about running at this point, I completely understand. The rest of this post is pretty much related to running.

So , I was able to run on Tuesday morning. I went 9 miles and finished at an 8:01 pace. I don't really remember too many details of the run besides getting the miles in. When I am out running, I can really use it as time to do whatever I want when it comes to what to think. Sometimes I try to focus purely on my time and pace. Other times I can use it to think about Tiffany or family or friends. Maybe sometimes I'll think about fantasy baseball or work. Or I can just listen to the music and clear my head. Or it can be any combination of those things while still focusing on what my watch is telling me. Other times I will try to visualize different parts of the marathon course and visualize running through those parts and seeing the wonderful people who come out and support me. On Tuesday I really didn't look at my watch much and just tried to get some thoughts together about Cru. The result is what you read here on Tuesday's post.

Last night, it was time for the final installment of Yasso 800s. The goal was a 3:10. I headed over to the track after I threw some dinner together. Tiffany got stuck at work late, so I wanted her to be able to eat as soon as she got home. Why, you ask? For those of you that don't know, we are expecting our first child on February 14th. So it's not unusual for Tiffany to be pretty hungry by the time she gets home. At any rate, I got to the track around 6:15 and posted the following times:
Average time: 3:08:04

Tiffany and Bosley (the dog) walked over in time to see the last couple 800s. Bosley was freaking out every time I'd run by them. He has a little bit of separation anxiety. When I say a little bit, I really mean it's pretty awful. After I finished my last 800, I grabbed his leash and took him on a lap around the track. We walked until the half way point and I decided to see if he would run with me. Oh yeah, I should mention that he is a dachsund. His legs aren't very long. He started to run after I did and he really started to motor. It was really funny to see. I then took him off of his leash and let him run to Tiffany for the last quarter lap or so. He was really thirsty and quite tired afterwards. I'll put up a few pictures of him sometime down the road so you can get a mental picture of him running around the track with me.

Back to the real run: I was pretty happy with my times. For those of you new to the blog, the Yasso 800 is an exercise where one runs 800 meters (a half of a mile) ten times with 400 meter jogs in between. Your average time in minutes and seconds supposedly translates (within a few minutes) to a marathon predictor time in hours and seconds. So according to Yasso, I am fit to run around a 3:08 marathon right. Um, yeah, that's not going to happen. A 3:08 is way beyond my current fitness/talent level. That would be a 7:10 pace across 26.2 miles.

The half marathon is this Sunday and I will have a good idea of what I'll want my pace for the full marathon to be based on my time this Sunday. I can promise you it will not be a a 7:10. I do have a 10 miler to get in on Friday morning before Sunday's Half. I'll be sure to fill you all in about Sunday's race.

That's about it here. Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Cru Pics

Sad News

It is with great sadness that I have to tell all of you that little Cru has left the world. Ken and Michelle lost Cru on Sunday night.

It's very hard to put into words what this all means right now, but I'll do my best.

I'd first like to start by saying it is an honor and pleasure to be able to support Cru and his battle against SMA. When I first started this, I did it with the intention of doing anything I could to help Michelle, Ken and Cru and their families.

As of right now, babies diagnosed with SMA Type 1 don't have much of a chance. I felt that if there was a way we could raise money to help the funding of SMA research, we could possibly prevent even just one family from having to go through what Ken and Michelle and their families have gone through and are going through right now. I sincerely appreciate all of your support and your continued support of my running for Cru.

When a baby is diagnosed with SMA Type 1, it's devastating. The joy and happiness that comes with having a baby turns into sadness after learning that the child only has a limited time to live. This beautiful baby which couples have dreamed about forever won't be around very long. Ken and Michelle and their families have shown incredible strength throughout this difficult time. I am amazed every day to find Ken in good spirits. His strength has been unbelievable. It seemed like Ken and Michelle came to terms with the diagnosis and pledged to cherish and value every day they got to spend with Cru while he was still here.

My wife Tiffany and I had the pleasure of meeting Cru one time. As you can tell by the pictures, he's an incredibly cute baby. He was a glowing little boy that day and I feel extremely lucky to have met him. I know Tiffany feels the same way. It really doesn't make sense why this beautiful child had to get this horrible disease.

As more and more money started coming in to help fight SMA, I got the feeling of being part of something much greater than anything I have ever been a part of. The story and love of this little boy has brought people together. You couldn't help but see the growing dollar amount at the top of the firstgiving site and in the sidebar here. You couldn't help but feel like you are making a huge difference, no matter what size the donation was.

I had accepted the fact that while it was too late to really help Cru and his fight against SMA, this is a great cause and no one should have to go through what he has had to go through. In the back of my mind, I had always naively hoped that Cru would somehow get better and there would be some kind of breakthrough in SMA research that would give Cru another shot at life that he deserved so much. I never expected that to happen, but I always hoped.

It's that same hope that drives people and gets people out of bed to face those tough days or to do things that they though they couldn't. While that hope can briefly leave when the awful news comes that Cru has lost this battle, it has to live in everyone else just like Cru's spirit always will.

And it will. Cru may be gone but his spirit and the memories of him will live forever. Rest in peace little Cru. You're in a better place now, you'll always be loved and we'll all miss you.

Please keep Ken, Michelle and Cru in your thoughts and prayers. And enjoy these great pictures of Cru. Thanks again for all of your support.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Thirty Thousand Bucks

This week's wrap up is going to be be short and sweet as the Bears are busy trying to get Chicago's collective hope up by looking decent against the Colts tonight. They are winning 15-13 as I type.

First off, I forgot to mention that we hit the $30,000 mark last week. Thanks to all of you for your continued support. The effort by everyone involved has been unbelievable.
The week ended slightly different than planned. I did get 11 in on Friday morning. I ran it at an 8:04 pace. My knee was a little sore that afternoon and night, so I put off the doubleheader. I woke up on Saturday and felt fine, so I ran the 9 miles with the middle 7 at an 7:04 pace. That left me with a longer run on Sunday. I decided to turn the long run into a short easy run. I figured the 7:04 tempo was much more important than the miles at that point. I also figured staying healthy is more important than tacking on the extra miles as well. So, with the half marathon scheduled and more Yasso's scheduled for this coming week, I ran only 5 miles today. It felt fine. I only had some mild fatigue because of the three consecutive days as well as the tempo run yesterday, but there were no major issues.

With five weeks to go and two hard weeks left, I am feeling good and am looking forward to the half on Sunday. It will be a good test to see where I am at and give me a good idea of how aggressive I will set my goal pace to be on October 12th.

Here's what the upcoming week looks like:
Tuesday: 10 @ 8:10
Wednesday: 9 @ 8:10
Friday: Yasso's - goal of 3:10
Sunday: Half Marathon - goal will be in the 1:35 to 1:36 range, which is a 7:15-7:20 pace

I may change the days around to run the Yasso's on Tuesday or Wednesday so my Friday run can be less physically taxing.

Have a good week and keep on rooting for the cooler weather to continue.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Welcome to Seattle?

The remnants of Hurricane Gustav have made it a little tough to run. I worked an early shift on Wednesday and had planned to run last night but something came up. So I was going to push it to tonight. Unfortunately, it hasn't stopped raining here since this morning as the after-effects of the hurricane work its way north.

So, I am looking at three runs in three days or possibly a double header on Friday where I run in the morning and then run in afternoon or evening. This is assuming the rain has let up enough to run tomorrow. I don't even need it completely stop raining, but running in a constant downpour is not really good. Your socks and shoes get wet in a hurry and it can make for a pretty uncomfortable run.

The positive side to this is that my legs are very well rested right now. Probably too rested.
Speaking of wet shoes, I'd like to share a few pictures of American marathoner Brian Sell's shoes after the Olympic marathon a couple weeks ago. Sell finished in 22nd place with a time of 2:16:07. He likes to run marathon without socks. Apparently he didn't test them in hot and wet conditions because they didn't look too pretty afterward.

Here's the video of the interview after the race. The pictures are pulled from the 2:23 mark. It's pretty interesting to hear his commentary about his strategy and training. If you have a few minutes, take a look. He does work a nice mustache too.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tuesday's Run and a Report from the Analytics Team

I pounded 11 miles this morning. Came in in 8 minutes even. It felt pretty good. Started to get a little fatigued at mile 9, but was able to hold on to the 8 minute pace. I ran the first half @ a 7:54 and the second half @ 8:06. On my longer weekday runs, I do have a slight issue with getting water. I'll run north along the river and hit my last water fountain at about the 2.5 mile mark. Today, I had to run 3 more miles north before I turned around and covered the same part of the path. So basically, I have to cover 6 miles without water. In the morning when it's a little cooler, it's not a huge deal. I definitely get thirsty, but it's nothing I can't handle. If it gets really warm, I stop at a gas station at the turn-around point and grab a gatorade.
Here are some new numbers on visitors to the blog:

Over the past 30 days:
  • 96 unique visitors with 245 visits
  • August 27th had the largest amount of visitors with 15

  • 197 unique visitors with 585 visits
  • July 11th has the largest amount of visitors with 24
  • The blog has been visited by 5 different countries (the US, the UK, Canada, Italy and most recently, Brazil) and 27 different states.
  • The top 10 states are: Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, Michigan, Hawaii, Colorado, Massachusetts, California, New York, with Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin tied for 10th.
  • In terms of cities, Chicago has lead the way with 138 visits.
  • Other cities of note with multiple visits:
Spokane, Washington
La Jolla, California
Henderson, Nevada
Littleton, Colorado
Mansfield, Massachusetts
Brooklyn and NY, New York
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Commerce Township, Michigan
Bloomington, Indiana
Mililani, Hawaii

  • Firefox is the browser of choice of 60.17% of the visitors

Monday, September 1, 2008

Cancellare, Take 2

Last week wrapped up on Sunday with an 18 miler. It actually turned out to be a just short of 19 miles - about 18.82 or so. I once again had the pleasure running with Rich Cancellare for the middle portion of 11.32 miles. We rendezvoused at the lake path at Wilson and ran down to Ohio Street beach and then turned around.

Basically here are my splits:
The first 3.75 miles were run at roughly an 8:25
The middle 11.32 miles (with Rich) were run at a 7:43 pace
The next stretch of three-quarters of a mile was probably about an 8:30 or so.
The last 3 miles were also run at a 7:43.

So, it was definitely a very good run. I felt pretty good throughout and Rich is a huge boost to have running right next to me. He set his Garmin to have us run at an 8:20 pace. We slowly started out ahead of pace and picked it up withou much of a problem as we went along. Sometimes you can get in a groove and pace kind of becomes an afterthought. And most importantly, I felt healthy throughout the run. But as Rich said, the true test can be how you feel the next day. That next day was today and I feel good. Just a little regular post long run soreness. So, it was a very good ending to an up and down week.

The week ahead looks something like this:
Tuesday: 11 Miles @ 8:15
Wednesday : 11 Miles @ 8:15
Friday: 9 miles, 7 @ 7:00
Sunday: the original plan is a 20 miler @ 8:15, with the last 9 miles run under an 8 minute pace

I am unsure if I am going to proceed with both the 20 miler this coming Sunday as well as the 20 miler scheduled for September 21st. I am not sure if running two more 20 milers at this point will do more harm than good. I may turn one in a 16-18 miler and focus more on pace than miles. Or I may just do both 20s. I will decide later this week after I see how I feel on Friday night or Saturday.

Only 6 weeks to go! Have a good week.