Saturday, October 31, 2009

'I gotta beat the bananas!'

Its been almost a week since I've posted anything, but that's because nothing exiting has happened. I have noticed that my left forefoot between the third and fourth metatarsals start getting numb as early as 20 minutes but as late as 35 minutes into my run. I can still run on them, but it eventually feels like I'm running on my ankles. I've never tried running any longer than 1:10:00 like that, but it isn't painful, although sometimes it stings pain. I looked on the internet and they said it could be one of five things: (1) due to new shoes, (2) due to old shoes, (3) Morton's Neuroma, (4) a prerequisite to Type II diabetes and death is immanent, (5) a prerequisite to a stroke and death is immanent. I ruled out 2, 4, and 5 right away. I bought some forefoot gel cushions, but ran without them yesterday. I only went 20 minutes, but left them out for the race today because I had no ill effects yesterday.

Today I ran the Monster Dash 10 miler, my second in October. It was cold, like low 30's at the start. I was one of the few people who wore shorts for the race, but it turned out to be a good choice. In fact, I was thinking that I should have wore a singlet the first five miles of the race. It was a loop course, which I was not too fond of on a windy day like this morning was. Going back was just brutal. I did my first 6 in 45- 50ish, but fell apart from there. Maybe it was the hills, maybe it was the wind, or the fact that I had not taken any water until 4 and a half miles, but I was set up for an epic collapse. So, the title. I ran my first mile in 9:45 because I was stuck behind a good 100 people slower than me. My dad saw me at the 1st mile mark, and at that point there was a bunch of bananas in front of me by about 200 meters. I shouted ' I'VE GOT TO CATCH THOSE BANANAS' at the top of my lungs and then proceeded to pass them (I ended up beating them by a good 15 minutes) and then ripping off several 8 minute miles.

The turnaround point was just brutal too. You went up a hill for about 300 meters, took a right, went up another hill for another 300 meters, and then dropped that distance over a course of 400 meters or so. That was the beginning of the end. I mostly just walked the water stops, but when I started walking, its tough to get back running. No foot problems though, which was an absolute godsend. The crowd support was sparse, it was like there was a mile where there was nobody, then there was a ton of people for a half mile, and so on. Plus, I ran 1:26:13, which is almost a four minute PR! plus, I won the 15-19 age group! I'm excited!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

October snowstorm

When I was in my Political Thought class on Friday, it started snowing. It wasn't real snow though, it was more or less freezing rain that looked like snow. Nevertheless, it was coming down fairly hard, and I decided to run my workout anyways. I was planning to do a few strides across the baseball and soccer fields for 15 minutes or so, something easy. Of course, the snow was melting and puddling up whenever it hit the ground or whatever, which was not good for me. I grabbed my spikes anyway and headed out. It was pretty cold, but that really didn't bother me. I found that the fields don't drain well at all though. I managed a couple strides, but I had to be careful. Even with my 3/8'' frog killer spikes, I couldn't get any traction. I finished the workout, but my legs, shorts, and back of my singlet were all streaked with mud and grass from my kick. I guess I'm lucky I didn't fall.

So the next day I ran Jack's Run at the U of M golf course. If you were paying attention, you'd know I didn't finish last weekend's race because of my ankle. I had talked to a few people in my dorm who had run Griak in their high school days, and they said how hard the course was. Keeping that in mind, I decided to play it conservative for the first 4k and hammer the last k to the finish. Well, the pre race warm up I ran was pretty difficult, but I was feeling pretty good. I guess this was an official meet for the U of M women, since their whole team was there, which was pretty cool. We had our own start box, which made it feel like a big meet, and it was pretty sizable, especially compared to the 20 people or so that usually show up to our races. I stuck to the plan and hit 4k in 20 minutes. The hills were killing me, but it was mostly downhill from the 4k mark. I tried to pick it up, but I just couldn't. I was wobbling from one side of the finish chute to the other, feeling like I was going to pass out. I didn't, and I finished, but it wasn't pretty. I threw up just after I finished, so I've got to figure out what went wrong. I felt pretty good during the cool down, so who knows.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Brooks Adrenaline 10 review

Note: those are not my shoes. Mine are much dirtier. I figured I should hold off on posting a review until I put some substantial mileage on my shoes. I've got 27 miles on them and I cant hold off any longer. These shoes feel awesome, with the exception of the toe box. They feel a lot like the 8's in every respect, although they feel a tad heavier, its not very noticeable though. Whereas you could feel the road under your feet with the 9's, there is none of that with the 10's. The arch wrap feels amazing, I think Brooks got it right when they said that they nailed the cushioning system. They aren't too firm, and they definitely aren't to spongy. I can't speak to the lacing system though, because I took out the stock laces in favor of black and reflective silver speed laces, however, I laced them fairly loose because they fit like a glove. Speaking of, I'll get to the toe box. I think its a little bit cramped, and even though I have wide feet, I fit in Adrenaline 8 size 7.5D just fine, but the same size in 10's feels a bit tighter. I'm actually finding that my toe would go numb after 6 or more miles, but we'll work on that, its no big deal. There definitely is a break in period for the 10's, about 10 miles or so, no big deal.

I'm getting a pair of 8's that I got off ebay sometime next week and will be splitting time between the 8's and the 10's, so that will be an interesting comparison. Also, they get dirty really easy, so if vanity is your thing, forget the 10's, but they still look dead sexy even covered in dirt.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In Hoc Signo Vinces

Its been a while, since Saturday I think? Anyway, so Sunday... didn't go so well. My Grandparents came to the race, so it was doubly disappointing that I didn't finish. I felt all right during the warm up, but could tell something was up. I just didn't feel right. About a fourth of a mile into the race, I had to drop out. My ankle just didn't feel 100%, and my legs just wouldn't turn over. If you were wondering, running a double the day before a race, bad idea. Whatever though, I'll be back and better than ever for Jack's run on Saturday though. It's at the U golf course, so I'm going to have to go easy cause of all the hills- that probably won't happen though.

I did a thirty minute set of run 7 minutes/ walk 3 minutes on Monday for the Couch to 5k program I coach, but I decided not to log that because it was at a really relaxed pace. I went seven on Tuesday, and there wasn't a huge contingent from the TCRC there because it was foggy, rainy, and overall bad day. Makes me wish I'd bought a headlamp. We had a couple new runners, and so the pace was pretty slow. I ran the first mile from St. Thomas to St. Clair by myself in ~8:40, then the next mile with the group was at 11 something. I'm in sort of a time crunch on Tuesdays if I want to get my run done and do core, so I broke away from the pack. It was pretty dark, so I was glad I'd ran that loop probably like a hundred times before. I was alone, no one was out, and I had a Sigma Chi pledge test that night, so I decided I would repeat the Sigma Chi creed for the next five and a half miles. So I was like:

I believe in fairness... decency and good manners... I will endeavor to retain... the spirit of youth. I will try to make my college... the Sigma Chi Fraternity... and my own chapter more honored by all men and women.... and more beloved and honestly respected by our own brothers. I say these words in all sincerity... That Sigma Chi has given me favor and distinction... that the bond of our fellowship is reciprocal... that I will endeavor to so build myself and so conduct myself that I will ever be a our Fraternity.

We didn't have a pledge quiz that night, I was pretty bummed. I now know the Creed like the back of my hand though.

Yesterday was a fun one. I pulled a double, again, not the greatest idea in the world because I'm feeling it a little today. I did a speedwork session; 5x800 then a 200 sprint then a 400 jog. It was raining a little bit when I started, but by the time I got through my 3rd 800 it just started pouring. I had to take off my shirt for the 200 and 400 because it was really really heavy. It was ridiculous. I went out again to do an easy five a half our later and it wasn't raining at all, but there were puddles all over the place. It was tough, my legs felt like lead, but I got through it. I think I ran like 45 minutes and it was ugly, but its over now.

I should probably be doing my stats homework right now, but I don't want to. I'm ridiculous tired, I've gotten up at 5:30 the past three mornings, and gotten to bed at midnight. Its been brutal, I just want to take a nap. I have a Sigma Chi event tonight that I'm still in the dark about for the most part, but its always a fun time hanging out with the brothers. So now I'm just sitting on Dyestat as well as finding a route to run after work. If you were wondering why the title for this post, it means "With This Sign You Will Conquer" and is the motto of Sigma Chi.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I've got a feeling that tonight's going to be a good night

Or should I say last night was going to be a good morning? I wrecked it. That's a Black Eyed Peas reference by the way, but it doesn't really have any relevance to my topic, I was just listening to that song. I did a double today- a hill workout and then a recovery run. My hill workout was at 2:30 in the morning. I came back from the Sigma Chi house after a night of NFL Blitz 2000 around 1, and then just laid around for an hour and figured I might as well be productive. It was pretty nice actually, a little cold but I warmed up after a couple hill repeats. I had a full 12 hours between my first and second runs, but I still felt like crap. I ran somewhere around 9:30's and it was tough; but the course I ran wasn't very flat either.

Thursday was my big run, we'll call it my long run because I felt sick on Friday (my long run day) and only got in a tempo. It was a seven mile route, but I logged it as eight, and I bet I went eight and a half because I can't find anything in downtown Minneapolis. I kept thinking Portland avenue ran east- west rather than north- south, so I got all confused. It chilly and raining when I started, but that cleared up. I'll post the route, but by far the coolest part was the pedestrian bridge by the Mill City Museum over the river. That was just an awesome run overall, I'll have to do that again.

Now its off to dinner, than to start my Art History project that was assigned two weeks ago and is due on Monday. I've got to clean out my spike wells in my XC spikes too. Tempo run+ muddy trail+ empty spike wells= bad idea. If anyone asks you to pay $11 to see Law Abiding Citizen, don't. That movie's not worth it. I'm in for a chill night tonight, because I'm running a 5k bright and early tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ode to running

I love running.
I love cold runs. I love hot runs.
I love running without a shirt.
I love running with too many shirts.
I love doing more loads of running running clothes than you do regular laundry.
I love running at 5am when the rest of the dorm is asleep.
I love those races nobody knows about.
I love shrugging off a run saying it was only seven miles.
I love race numbers.
I love trainers, flats, spikes, and trail shoes
I love 1am runs
I love night runs
I love trail running
I live for coming back with muddy calves and dirt splattered shorts
I live for running in the mud/ snow/ hail/ rain/ whatever nature throws at me
I live for coming back night soaked to the bone, freezing cold, standing in my running gear saying "that was one hell of a night"
I love six hours a week away from everybody
I love six hours a week praying

Because for those six hours a week, I'm somebody. I'm myself. Just me, and the six miles of road in front of me. But then, I'm also nobody...

I don't even really know what an ode is. The only ode I know of is Ode to Joy, and that's a song, so I really don't know what I just posted. That was really just something I made up while I was on a runner's high last night. But I do love running. I even love speedwork sometimes. Plus, I just got back from a brutal speedwork session just now, so that works well. I am writing this over the course of two days, if you didn't notice. Yesterday was fun. It was dark, and cold, but I felt great. I stayed right with my coach Dave, which I don't do that often. He would throw in a surge, then I would counter, and so on. I mean, we weren't going all that fast, sub 8:00's I think, but nothing wrong with that though. I always get killed on the downhills though. Everyone's just bigger than me so when they start going downhill, its all over. No big deal.

Today's workout was brutal. A set of 6 quarters, then a 800 jog, then 6 more quarters. It was a bit chilly, but I was soaking when I came back. I may do a little recovery run in a couple hours, but only if I feel like it. You know, it actually wasn't that bad. I was in the 1:45- 2:10 range for all of them, and it felt pretty easy. I'm going to have to really hammer on my tempo on Friday.

Also, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10's are on running warehouse. I already have mine ordered, I'm looking forward to them.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Every Day is a Beautiful Day for a Run

I can't speak for anyone else, but I love running in crappy conditions. My past four runs have been in a downpour, freezing rain, sub-40 temperatures, and today it was snowing, with a ton of puddles on the ground-- so its been muddy all week. Its a mental thing, I guess. This has been a weird month for weather, we've had like 2 weeks of Fall, and now its snowing. I love hearing people complain about the snow. Its like, yes its snowing, get over it. Some people really need to know how to pick their battles. But whatever, I'm off my soapbox. Today, I did an easy 3.5 in just under half an hour as a recovery from my tempo yesterday. I ran down Cleveland to Randolph, then across, and back up the river road. I think UST had XC or indoor track tryouts today because they had 100 meter intervals marked on the Road, so I ran some along side some of the guys just because I wanted to. I ran through the fake trail on my way back up to school, and that took a toll on my shorts. That's how you know if you had a good run or not, depending on how dirty your shorts are on the back.

In other news, I'm super pumped for my run from work Thursday, although I havent figured out the logistics, I should probably do that soon. I figure I won't bring a backpack, and wear some clothes I can stash at the desk for a couple days. I'll have to write an outline for my Morality paper beforehand, but I don't know when I'll do it. I've got a full day tomorrow, so we'll see. I was watching the Blackhawks-Flames game, and the Flames were just dominating through a period and a half. But the hawks tied it and sent it to OT and won it there. Thank God they didn't go to a shootout, the NHL has a tendency to do that on national TV games.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Rekindle your relationship with running

So, I'm kind of down about this week of running. On Monday, I felt like a running brick, Tuesday was good, a nice 5 miler in the rain. Wednesday was horible. I got through half my track workout and my ankle was just killing me. I did a couple strides after that and an unthinkable amount of core, but still. I didn't even log the half I did because it was so sluggish and slow. I might try again Sunday. So anyways, I need something to spice up my running life. Today I'm planning to run around Minneapolis- around the dome and stuff. My friend Joe, who's girlfriend finished the 10 miler twenty some minutes after me, suggested I run home from work one day. Heck, its only 7 or 8 miles, I'll plan on that next Thursday.

I've been thinking of getting a pair of Lunar Racers, since I've heard great things about them. They're expensive, so I probably won't. Runner's Warehouse is having a spike sale-- $20 on a few plus free shipping. I've been thinking about getting another pair of Dirt Dogs, but I don't really need them and my foot is too wide anyways, ao I'll probably go with some Mach 11's once the time comes. Right now though, I really need some new road shoes. I'll probably get some Ravanna's, and then snag a couple paits of the Adrenaline 10's in January.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dear runners on Summit Avenue

If you run significant milage in Nike Shox, you will get injured.

Just sayin.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Don't stop, people are watching

Wow! So I'm two days out from the Twin Cities 10 and I really think that is one of those defining moments in my life that I'll remember forever. Let me take you through the day and give my race report:

A 5:30 wake up call woke me up and I was on the road to the 'dome at 6:15 or so. It was beautiful out for running. A good 50 or so degrees at race start. I got out of my dad's car, and warmed up around the 10 mile and marathon corrals for about 15 minutes. I was really warm for the race start, and just felt amazing. I was in the 4th corral, the slow corral, and I started in the back of the pack because I thought that would help me go out slow and not blow it in the first four miles. Right out of the gate I knew I was in the wrong corral though. As far as I could see were jackets, running tights, ipods, gym shorts and gelled hair. Rediculous- they looked slow, how could anybody out of this group run fast? I was the only one that I could see in my corral wearing short shorts and I just felt out of place. I heard talk of 2+ hour finishes and 5 mile long runs. Everyone was horsing around and going crazy and I was squatting in the corner saying a prayer. No disrespect to those people I'm trashing, but I just felt all around faster than those guys.

The gun went off, and 15 minutes later I was licking my fingers, doing the backwards sign of the cross, and crossing the start line to bewildered stares. The first three miles were slow, and I tried to stay behind some bros in gym shorts (that's not a term of endearment,) although I jumped from person to person every fourth of a mile or so until I was the only blue bib number in the sea of green ones. We should say here that I was planning to run a 1:30. We went through the first 4 miles in 45 minutes, and by them the pack had thinned out a little and it was time to go. I felt really strong up the hill where I saw my dad and brother and just kept on going. I've ran this route about a hundred times, so I wasn't really surprised I ran that hill well.

I made the turn on Summit Ave. knowing that I had to pick it up a little to make my goal. I saw the lovely ladies of fifth floor Dowling by St. Thomas and knew if anything, I had to do it for them- college students don't get out of bed at 7:30 for no good reason. I really don't remember much of Summit. I was on autopilot for the most part, my feet weren't even hitting the ground. People were packed two or three deep from St. Thomas to Macalaster, which was so cool. There was a giant Viking at mile 8, I remember that. Everyone was all hunkered down in their pace, and then somebody's like "How about that game tomorrow night?" and everybody just went crazy; it was great.

The next thing I distinctly remember was making the turn onto John Ireland Boulevard and running under the huge American flag. That was really special. I was so focused going to the capital, it was great. The stands were still packed as I crossed the finish line. I finished in 1:29:48, 23rd in my age class. It felt easy. Honestly, I could have easily run the extra 16 miles for the Marathon. Can anybody say Minneapolis Marathon? Twin Cities next year? we'll see. Money holds me back more than anything.

4 weeks until Monster Dash. A rainy 6 miles tonight. Later.