Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: 12.24 Miles

With today being my last run of the month I can post my total run miles for November: 125.37 Mi

Today we were scheduled to do a 14 mile long run. We didn't quite make it to 14 and ended up finishing up at 12.24 miles.

Our average pace was 10:24/mile and we completed the run in 2 hours and 7 minutes. I burned 1514 calories and can tell because I am still hungry even after a big dinner. This run was hard on my body. My legs, hips, and knees are aching right now. I soooo enjoy running in the morning over the evening.

(See my Garmin Map and Splits:

We stopped at 12.24 miles because we ended up running this evening and got started a little later than we wanted. It got dark fast and it was actually dangerous out. Our little town turned into a freaking race track tonight and we had a couple of close calls with cars tonight. Even though we were on the sidewalks and I had on a reflective shirt and shoes we were very uncomfortable. So when we made it to the parking lot where we were parked at 12.24 miles we decided to call it a night.

This week is going to be a taper week for me going into the 50K Trail Run on Saturday. I plan on doing 2 miles on Tuesday and 2 miles on Wednesday just to keep myself loose and used to moving. I might even try and get in a few minutes on my new trainer on Tuesday or Wednesday but Thursday and Friday are going to be rest and preparation days. I am getting nervous and excited all at the same time for this race!

Thanks for Reading,


Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Toy and Future Training

Today was supposed to be a 14-mile run but we needed to get some Christmas shopping in so Annie and I went to the mall this morning and will do the run tomorrow morning instead!

The reason for this post is to talk about my new training tool! Yesterday I found the CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer on Amazon for a great price and Annie decided it would be a nice Christmas present for me:

The way this works is that I place the back wheel of my Quintana Roo Tri bike onto this device and it allows me to ride indoors. Think stationary bike but with my own bike. This will help me acquire the necessary volume required to do the upcoming Triathlon Training plan since I can ride while catching up with the Tivo. It should be here on Tuesday or Wednesday.

On Saturday, December 5th I am running in the 50K Texas Trail Run. This is 31 miles and I am pretty sure my butt is going to get completely destroyed - I can't wait!

The following Monday I am going to begin a 20 Week Triathlon Training program that will lead me up to the April 24th LoneStar Olympic Triathlon in Galveston. To view the training program click here.

This Tri is located in Galveston, TX, which is right on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. This means the swim portion will be in the ocean! Since swimming is my weakest of the three disciplines I am going to be using The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD from and will do a review of the DVD compared to my performance. From what I have watched it looks to be a great training tool and if I can follow it then my swimming should become a strength.

Good times to come and I can't wait to start the training but first I need to get in the 14 mile run tomorrow and focus on the 50K next week.

Also, I found a way to import my Garmin data online and then I can link it to the blog. So here are my Garmin Splits from the Turkey Trot:

Thanks for Reading,



Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Trot - 5 Mile Race

Happy Thanksgiving to all ....

Just a quick update on the 5 mile Turkey Trot Annie and I did this morning. First, it was cold -- 41 degrees!!! The organizers said that they had over 5000 people racing and I believe them because it was some crowded running!

At the starting line a young girl held up a sign that said, "6 minute mile pace or less start here." So, I was planning on doing about a 7:30 pace and went about 15 yards or so behind that. I was guessing maybe 100 to 150 people were in front of us. Seemed about right. I overheard some guys talking about all the marathons they did and saying they would do this race, "Around 35 minutes .." Perfect, I thought, I can run behind these guys and it should be good. Annie started right next to me. She was hoping to do a 9 minute/mile pace but by this time it would have been very hard to fight to that area since the starting area was already elbows to assholes!

Our local Congressman, Kevin Brady (a vocal opponent of all the wasteful spending going on in DC), was the official starter and he wasted no time in firing off the gun. So the race begins and it takes us maybe 30 seconds to cross the starting line. Once we cross the pace is incredibly slow, like a 10+ minute/mile pace. We were right in the center and were getting sardined from the sides - hundreds of people were passing us and with that many people we were stuck in the middle. At this point I had to make a decision: Either slow it down and just do a 5 mile training run or put my shoulder down and pass a heck of a lot of people. Well, if you read this blog you probably know what I did next!

I made my way to the outside and jumped up on the grass between the road and sidewalk and passed a ton of people. I didn't even say goodbye to Annie, I was so frustrated with the people in front of me I just took off. In hindsight, I probably should have just reeled it in and enjoyed the run but as usual I am an idiot meathead that cannot control my competitive nature!

I never really found any open space but was able to bust some butt for the rest of the run and zig-zag my way through the rest of the race.

Here are my splits according to my Garmin 305:

Mile 1 - 7:25
Mile 2 - 7:14
Mile 3 - 7:17
Mile 4 - 7:17
Mile 5 - 7:08

Total Time - 36:27
Avg Heart Rate - 177 BPM
Max Heart Rate - 194 BPM
Total Calories - 611
Average Pace - 7:16/Mi

Overall I am quite pleased with my results and actually a little surprised. On Tuesday I ran 5 miles pretty hard and did it in 38 minutes. This was with two days rest and I was very fresh. Today I was coming into the race after 13 miles running the previous two days and my legs were not feeling top notch because of those last two days. As you can see from my Garmin stats above I ran pretty much the entire race in the Anaerobic Heart Rate Zone with an average of 177 BPM. A year ago I would have been able to hold this zone for maybe a minute before I had to considerably back off. Today I was able to hold it for 36 + minutes and could have done another mile or two. It was uncomfortable, actually at times I was hurting. I kept saying to myself, "Pain is just weakness leaving the body ..." and this got me through.

I am very proud of Annie. This was her first race and she did it in 43 minutes. That is a pace of around 8:30ish. She has been doing the Higdon marathon training and most of her runs are in the 9.5 - 11 minute/mile range so she really ran a great race today! She said her legs felt a little rubbery around mile 3 because the initial adrenaline rush was wearing off but she was able to HTFU and keep her pace for the next 2 miles. She wants to do a couple more races like this before her marathon so she can get used to that initial rush. All the long hours she has been logging during training is definitely paying off! I am very happy for her!

After we finished we ate some pancakes and sausage (complimentary!!) and a banana and then went to find the car so we could warm up. They had some unofficial results posted but the line was very long to see them and we were freezing (yes I know I am a wimp). So once they are posted online I will update the blog.

Annie and I both had a great time at the race. It was very well run and a they had a ton of volunteers! We may make this a Thanksgiving tradition!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family!

Thanks for Reading,


***Official Results: Finished 293/2300 + and 25/143 in Age Group ***

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: 7 Mile Run

Annie and I got up at 5am this morning but didn't make it out of the house until 5:45. We were both moving rather slow! We wanted to get in 9 miles but because of our tardiness we didn't have enough time before work. So we settled for a nice 7 mile run!

We finished the run in 1 hour and 8 minutes. That is about a 9:40ish pace which was a nice easy paced run. I thought about busting it for the last 2 miles but with our race coming up tomorrow decided it would be better to take it easy and save the energy.

The Turkey Trot 5 Mile Race we are doing tomorrow morning is the GE Run Thru the Woods:

I already picked up our packets and got the customary crappy cotton logo T-shirt. Cotton is not a friend to my nipples!

We are going to leave the house around 6:30 am. We have to park at the Woodlands Mall and walk a few blocks to the race start. From what I have heard this is a very big race with a few thousand participants so it should be a good time. I am not sure if I am going to try and bust arse or do this as a training run. Will probably just wait until tomorrow morning and see how the legs feel, but being the overly competitive person that I am it might be rather hard to take it slow!

After the race we are going to do our annual scouring of the Houston Chronicle to see if there are any Black Friday deals worth fighting the crowds for! After that it is football time and then a big old Turkey Dinner with our best friends. Should be a nice relaxing day!

I will post up some pictures and results of our race tomorrow during the Green Bay/Detroit game!

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: 5 Mile Run

Just checked my workout logs and I'm up to 101.62 miles running for November. Still have three days left with 9 miles, 5 miles, and 14 miles scheduled. That is a lot of miles for me!

Annie had to be at work early this morning so no morning run for us. She was going to do her run mid-morning, she was working a split shift thing today. And I just finished up my 5 miler. I was going to go to the gym to try and hit the treadmill but traffic was awful and I just didn't feel like driving anymore so I just busted it out in the neighborhood.

It has been awhile since I have ran without Annie. This is sometimes a bad thing because I tend to set my pace too hard. Higdon wants us running at slower than race pace to build up your base and this technique has been doing wonders for my conditioning. Well, maybe it is because I am a meathead or maybe it is because I am just impatient but I ran too hard. Five miles in 38 minutes flat. That is a little over a 7.5 minute pace. The reason this is stupid is because I have a 9 mile run tomorrow and a 5 mile race on Thursday. Since I pushed it I will more than likely feel it on my next two runs. Now I am not sure if I should bust ass on Thursday or treat the race as a training run.

Oh well what ya going to do?

Tomorrow is a 5am 9-mile run!

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Programming Notes & Rest Day

First, the day after my long run I still feel great. I am ready for the 50k run.

I'd like to clarify what my future training plans are for the foreseable future. It is always good to write down your goals so you can come back later and reference them.

Here are my upcoming races:
  • Nov 26th, 2009 - Run thru the Woods - 5 miles (Turkey Trot)
  • Dec 5th, 2009 - Texas Trail Run - 31 Miles (5oK)
  • Feb 14th, 2010 - Austin Half Marathon - 13.1 Miles
  • April 25th, 2010 - LoneStar Olympic Triathlon - .9 Mi Swim, 24Mi Bike, 6.2 Mi Run
5Mi Run thru the Woods:
The 11/26 run is this Thursday. Annie and I are both doing this and it fits perfectly with our current Hal Higdon training plan. This race is in the Woodlands, which is like 20 minutes from our house, so we decided it would be fun for both of us to run. No real goals for this race other than to just get my training in. I should try and run it at a 9 min/mi pace (45 mins) but inevitably my competitive side will kick in and I will bust it from the starting gun because I can't help it.

50K Texas Trail Run:
The next event is theh Epic 50K Trail Run. I get anxious just thinking about this race because the distance of 31 miles on State Park Trails is intimidating. Heck 31 miles in my car is sometimes intimidating - especially in Houston traffic! I usually get agitated when I hear people say their goal for an event is too: "Just Finish". To me that is code for: "I didn't put in the time training that I should have and this race is going to kick my butt and I really am not ready for this!"

Now that being said, and that my own hypocrisy never really even surprises me anymore - I really want to Just Finish! Not because I don't want to set a goal but because I have no idea what to expect from this race. I have never done one of these. I have never talked to anyone who has. Race reports I have read really have given my no indications of what to expect. I have only run one small portion of the trail and supposedly this is the easy section. If I was doing a 10k and said I wanted to Just Finish I would hope my readers would bash the heck out of me in the comments and tell me to HTFU. But with 31 miles on hiking trails and no idea what to expect I am okay with Just Finish (This one time!).

13.1 Austin Half Marathon:
This race is not about me. It is all about my wife Annie. Annie is signed up to do the FULL Marathon. Seven years ago Annie had a herniated disk and had to have surgery on her back. It was a long and painful recovery but she worked very hard and now her back is as good as ever. I think in a way this marathon represents to her that she has finally beat the back issues that had limited her so badly in the past. Annie has been into fitness and clean eating a lot longer than me and was one of my main inspirations when I decided to change my lifesyle. She has supported me on all my races and I want to be there to support her. So I am doing the half mary. I plan to do it in about 1:50 minutes or less and spend the rest of the day cheering for Annie!

LoneStar Olympic Triathlon:
After the 50k run I am going to begin training for this event. I plan on doing the Essential Triathlon Swimmming DVD that is listed over to the right --->>> and following a 1/2 IronMan training program. This Tri is being held in Galveston and is an ocean swim in the Gulf of Mexico. From all the reviews it is considered a great event and I am excited to be competing in it this year. This is my "A" event that I will be focusing on it for the next 5 + months. I need to really make some positive strides with my swimming and biking so after the Trail Run this blog is once again going to become Triathlon Only driven. The good news is that with all the running I have been doing I should have one heck of a base to begin.

That is the Reader's Digest version of my upcoming training and events. I am not really sure what I am going to do after the LoneStar Tri. I think that depends on if I enjoy doing an Oly distance Tri or not?

Thanks for Reading,


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: 18 Mile Run

18 Miles - 3 Hrs 8 Mins 44 secs - 10:29 pace/mile - 2251 Total Calories Burned - Avg Heart Rate 136

Them there are me stats for this mornings run. The weather was cold and it rained the entire time so absolutely perfect for a run!

Here is a Google Earth view of the Kingwood Greenbelt trails we ran:

What a difference a week makes! Last weeks long run which was a mere 12 miles damn near ended me. This weeks run of 18 miles was relatively easy. Well, as easy as running 18 consecutive miles can be!

We parked the car at a Walgreens on Northpark Drive, just down the road from the house, at about 7:30am. It rained all of last night and was still raining. Annie and I talked about postponing until Monday morning when the weather was supposed to be better but we decided to Harden the F up and just do the run in the cold and rain. This ended up being a good decision. It was uncomfortable in the beginning but after about 2 miles my body adjusted to the weather and I was feeling pretty darn good. Aside from ringing water out of my hat every few miles it was pretty refreshing running in the rain. If I had to do it again I'd have worn my trail running shoes instead of the Asics because they are Gore-Tex!

During the run I hydrated with fruit punch flavored Gatorade (40oz total) and every 30-45 minutes I took in a pack of Vanilla Bean GU. The GU is about 100 calories and the Gatorade is 70 calories per 10ozs. So I took in 400 calories of GU and 280 calories of Gatorade for a total of 680 calories. I burned 2251 calories so just by simple comparison you can see I am going to have to increase my intake if I want to go longer distances. This was about right for this distance. However, about mile 16 I could tell I probably could have used some more fuel. I was still able to finish strong - the last mile was my best split of the day! But as I continue to learn how my body responds to these increased distances it is important to understand the impact nutrition intake during the workouts has on overall performance.

After today's run I am even more stoked to do the 50k trail run in two weeks. The reason is twofold: One is that over 18 miles my Avg Heart Rate was an extremely low 136 BPM. In my opinion, this means I have the conditioning for the longer distance. Two is that my legs feel pretty darn good. They felt good during the run and feel good now. I have no need for ice or advil and this is a sign that I have put on the necessary miles in training to successfully complete the 50k. I actually think that the determining factor for me having a successful race is going to be my nutritional intake. If I get the right amount of calories in then I should be able to finish this crazy race!

Tomorrow and Monday are off days. I might slowly spin the bike around the neighborhood just to loosen up and maybe get a brief swim in on Monday.

Thanks for Reading,


Friday, November 20, 2009

Rest Day - 18 Mile Run Tomorrow

I am resting up right now for the 18 miler tomorrow morning.

It is 9:30 on a Friday night and I am getting ready to go to bed ... the life of a Triathlete!

Will report back after the run.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: 5 Mile Run

The alarm clock went off at 5am today and Annie and I looked at each other and decided to run in the evening! Neither of us slept good and it didn't take much convincing to stay in bed for another 2 hours.

Annie got home from work around 6:30 so we got on the running gear and hit the road. It was dark so we put on bright reflective clothing and went for our run. 5 miles was no problem tonight, even after 9 miles yesterday! We ended up doing the run in 47 minutes and that included a couple minute hiatus to play with a neighbor's puppies.

Up to 30 miles run for the week!

Tomorrow is a scheduled off day and we will rest up and get ready for the 18 mile run on Saturday.

Thanks for Reading,


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: 9 Mile Run

Did 9 miles on this cool, crisp Texas morning!

It is amazing how some days the run is hard and other days the run is easy. Today was one of the easy days!

Getting ready to settle in for a marathon catch up of, "Californication" Season 3. I On-Demanded the first 8 episodes and can't wait to watch it. This show is hysterical.

Tomorrow morning is a 5 mile run.

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: 4 Mile Run

Here is a little something I picked up for my upcoming Trail run - a First Aid Kit!
I got this little sucker at REI and it has everything in it that a injury prone person like myself could need - bandages, gauze, scissors, tape, antiseptic spray, bee sting stuff, stuff for pain, stuff for your stomach and much more! I am ready for the trail run!

Back on the horse today!

Got up early and put on a long sleeve running shirt and a knit hat - It was only 40 degrees - which is like the end of the world for us Texans!

The good news is that today's 4 mile run was very strong. My legs felt great and with each step I got progressively stronger. According to my training schedule this run is supposed to be an easy one that lets you recover from the long weekend run. That is exactly what today was! The 4 miles was done in 37 mins which is about a 9:20/mi pace.

On Sunday I blogged about how difficult the 12 mile run was and I'm not taking any of that back. Yesterday I felt awful all day long. My body was sore all over. Last night I actually took a heating pad with me to place under my neck and popped aspirin all day long. Luckily though I recovered enough for today and am looking forward to the 9 miles scheduled tomorrow.

Tomorrow morning is 9 miles.

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: 12 Mile Run + Time to HTFU!

Today was the hardest, most exhausting run I have had in my life. It was harder than any of the Triathlons. It was harder than the 10K I ran at a 7:20/mile pace. It was harder than any wind sprints or laps I ever had to do playing football. It was even harder than the 16 miles I did seven days ago!

Now everyone has bad days while training and you should just chalk it up to that, but this was somehow different. And Annie had the same experience. We both were sucking wind the entire run. Our nutrition and hydration were spot on and neither of us can figure out why it was so hard. The only thing we can come up with is that it is actually part of Mr. Hal Higdon's training plan. Last week he had our long run set at 16 miles and we slowly had worked up to that distance and did quite easily. Then this week it was only 12 miles. We went into this morning's run thinking this run was going to be a breeze, no problems, and we were horribly mistaken!

So just to give a recap: We got out of bed a little late and started around 8am. We walked outside and it was hot and humid. My sunglasses immediately began to steam. It usually takes me about 2 miles to find a nice groove and this did not happen the entire run. About 4 miles into the run my right foot was numb. I have been having some minor comfort issues with my right foot since I bought new shoes. I have been adjusting how tight I am tying the laces and today I think the were a little too tight! So I stopped running and adjusted the laces. It felt a little better but overall I am not very pleased with this pair of Asics. I cannot remember the type of Asics and I am not at home to check but I will let everyone know later.

After about 8 miles of struggling I told Annie we just needed to Harden The F*** Up and finish the run. She agreed and we sucked it up for 4 more miles. The last half mile almost ended me. It was only 5 minutes long but felt like an eternity. I could not have done another mile. My legs were sore, my ankles were pounding, my breathing was all over the place .... I was toast. This was the first time since I began running seriously that I felt like I was going to vomit while running and it happened on multiple occasions today!

As I sit here my legs feel beat and I am going to go home and take a nap before I go to bed!

Tomorrow is an off day and I imagine that it will be much needed. Then on Tuesday we do 4 miles, Wednesday is 9 miles, Thursday is 5 miles, and the weekend long run is 18 miles. I am dreading the 18 miles right now!

Thanks for Reading,


Friday, November 13, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: 5.1 Mile Run

Run Miles this week: 32.1

Tomorrow is an off day and then we have a 12 mile run as our long run scheduled for Sunday. In Higdon's plan he had us do 16 miles last weekend and only 12 miles this weekend. I am guessing Higdon suggests doing it this way to let your body recover but also to help prevent overuse injuries. It is pretty funny to me that I think of a 12 mile run as being short.

Annie and I got up at 5am again today to get our 5 miles in. It was 48 degrees out so I had to go with a long sleeve DryFit shirt today and I am glad I did because it was still 48 degrees when we got home 47 minutes later. Nothing to really report about this run, pretty ho-hum. My legs are still feeling good!

Tomorrow is a fun Saturday of working, chores, and cleaning. Sunday is the 12 mile run and a Steelers thrashing of the Bengals. Glad it is the weekend!

Thanks for Reading,


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

7 Mile Trail Run

Text message to Annie from me at 3:00PM: "Call me if you want to go on an adventure!"

That is how the trail run idea came about. I was over in West Houston this morning for work and at lunchtime I hit a Subway and realized it was right next to an REI. I went inside and ended up finding some Trail Running Shoes (Salamons) on clearance and also picked up some trail runners socks. I was ready.

We were supposed to run 8 miles this morning but we both went to bed late and decided to get a couple extra hours of sleep and run in the evening when I got home. And Annie had an off day so it worked out perfect.

A couple of hours later we were on our way to Huntsville State Park, which is the site of my 50K! We found the trail and got our gear on and started to run. The trail was awesome - roots, sand, leaves, and elevation changes. I was loving it ... but some others, Annie, were not! She did not pay proper respect to the roots and ended up taking a tumble or two or three! I can joke now because she wasn't hurt and ended up landing in the sand but the fact is you have to pay extra attention to your footing because one little misstep can end your day rather quickly!

We ended up doing 7 miles. Hal Higdon wanted us to do 8 miles but we ran out of daylight and those trails were a little spooky when it got dark!

After this trial trail run I am stoked to do the 50k race. Pretty sure it is going to take me 6.5-7 hours to finish and I am going to be in a great deal of pain when done but for some reason I can't wait to do it!

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: 4 Mile Run

Higdon's plan called for an easy 4 mile run today and that was exactly what I did!

Actually slept in to about 7am! Since the Steelers were on late last night I didn't get to bed at my normal early hour. It was actually fun to not run in the dark for once on a weekday.

The weather was a little warm out, around 78 degrees, so I decided some hydration was needed. I was going to wear my nathan's hydration belt with gatorade in one of the 10 oz containers but Annie suggested I try the hand held container she has been using. She doesn't really like the hand held container because it starts to hurt her arm after a few miles. It straps to your hand and has a compartment to stores keys and stuff. I only filled it up 1/2 way (10oz) and really enjoyed running with it. I barely even noticed it was in my hand! I think on my under 5 mile runs this is going to be my hydration mechanism of choice from now on.
Here is what it looks like:

As for the run, my legs were a little sluggish. They still felt fine but I had to focus to get myself in the groove. I wanted to keep myself in the 9-9.5 min/mile pace time and I did with a total run time of 36:50 over 4 miles.

Tomorrow morning at 5am Annie and I are scheduled to run 9 miles. This should be a good test of my conditioning of where I think I am and where I actually am relative to my upcoming 50k event.

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, November 9, 2009

Rest Day

Some updates:

  • I received, "The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD" in the mail today. A big Thank You to Kevin Koskella from for sending it out to me. I am going to watch it over the next couple of days and then after the ultra trail run bust some butt working on my swimming and give everyone a day-by-day review!

  • My legs feel great today after the 16 mile run yesterday. It had a little fatigue last night and ended up going to bed around 9pm. I was a little tight when I woke up but after a shower and some coffee I felt fine. I had to drive about 150 miles today and even when I got out of the car I still felt fine! So that is good.

  • I need 21 points from Mendenhall and the Steelers Defense to win my fantasy league game. It is a PPR league so receptions to the RB are good (trying to send a message to Ben).

  • Tomorrow is a 4 mile run and I am looking forward to it!

  • Going to go buy some trail running shoes and some heavy duty socks this week and begin training with them.

  • Annie and I got a new couch in the game room. It is big and ugly but oh so comfortable!

  • Steelers 24, Broncos 10.

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: 16 Mile Run

16 miles in 2 hours and 42 minutes. This is a 10min/mile pace, which is exactly what we were trying to run. Pacing is made simple by the Garmin 305!

Annie and I got out of bed around 6am and had some coffee and a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter. This has become my standard go to breakfast pretty much every morning and I don't want to do anything different on long run days! It was 60 degrees and overcast out so it was a perfect day for running! I planned on a GU vanilla bean each hour and had 20 oz of Gatorade on my hydration belt. I rubbed some body glide on my feet to prevent friction from my socks and on my nipples to prevent tons of pain! Body Glide is a gift from God for us endurance cats!

We went and parked at a Walgreens in Kingwood and did our run on the Greenbelt trails. These are a series of concrete trails that meander around the community for like a 100 miles. Lots of people were out running and biking today so it was fun to be out. The first 10 miles were relatively easy. My HR was between 138-144 for the entire time and my legs felt great. Around mile 11 we planned to refill our hydration belts at a water fountain in front of the library. Well, we got to the water fountain and it was broke. We were about 3 miles from the car and forgot to bring cash or credit with us so no stopping at a gas station. On mile 12 I took the last swig of my Gatorade. Being the planner that I am I had a gallon of water in a cooler in the trunk of the car and we made it there at mile 14 and we both were thirsty! We quickly filled up our hydration belts and took off to finish the last 2 miles of the run.

The water at the car really paid off because as soon as I hydrated I had a new bounce to my step. Annie said the exact same thing! We finished off the last two miles and then slowly walked back to the car and did a series of stretches. Got home and slammed some whole wheat waffles and had another coffee! Very solid run today!

So now the question is could I have done another 15 miles that would be required to complete the 50K trail run that I just signed up for? Actually, I am not sure. I need to break it into two parts: Conditioning and Body. I am pretty confident that if my body can hold up my conditioning will be fine. I felt fine after today's run. My legs feel like I ran but I am in no way limited right now and probably could have done another 5-7 miles without much fatigue. And I guess I really will not be able to answer this question until I do it. So on December 5th I guess we will see!

Thanks for Reading,


Saturday, November 7, 2009

That didn't take long ....

I let it marinate for about 12 hours and I have decided to .... do the 50k Texas Trail Race!

Just signed up 10 minutes ago. Already paid so no turning back now!

It is amazing at how excited I am about the ensuing pain that is going to be thrust upon my body in a little less than a month!

See the post below for more details ....

Should I do this? Am I Crazy?

After you read what I am about to write you will understand the title of this post.

Ok, over that last year I have been doing a lot of running. When I first started all this running I wasn't even sure if I actually even liked it. Let me rephrase - I was positive I didn't like running! Well, in the last 2 months something has changed and I am actually enjoying the heck out of running - there, I said it!

Not really sure when or how it happened but I look forward to waking up in the wee hours of the morning and pounding out some good miles. My body feels great afterwards and my fitness level is at a place I never thought even remotely possible.

So that brings me to the "Should I do this? Am I Crazy?" portion of the post:

Surfing around the web looking to find a running race to do in the winter months I came across this little ditty: Texas Trail Runs . This is a trail run in a State park (see map) about an hour from my house. If you clicked on the link you will see that on December 5th they are sponsoring a race with two distances - 12.5 Miles or 50K - I am kicking around the idea of doing the 50K!

How many miles is 50K? Well, I am glad you asked because I did a little conversion and the total miles would be 31 miles. Thirty-one miles over wood trails, horse paths, and campsites.

Now why the hell would I want to do something like this? Really, I cannot explain what the heck is going through my mind. I like to push my own limits and a race like this would do more than push. Every other event I have coming up or have completed I never once had a doubt that I may not finish. Well, with this one a big DNF (Did Not Finish) is a very real possibility. The longest run I have completed to date is 16 miles. By the time this race occurs I will be up to 20 miles in a single run and actually hitting the taper period of the Hal Higdon marathon training that I have been following. So the timing of the 50k could not be better to coincide with my training. Then once I finish this up I can jump right into my Tri training with some major ego-altering confidence!

Also I have been doing some reading about these ultra-marathon trail races and from the sound of it these are not as physically abusive to your body as running on concrete can be. Now, 50k is 50k and I am not under any delusions that it will be anything other than completely exhausting BUT my joints will respond better to grass and dirt than concrete - at least that is what I am telling myself!

Now here is my issue. I want to do this, but I do not want to go alone to the race. After 31 miles my body probably will not be in any condition to make the hour drive home. Annie works retail and it may be hard for her to get off on a Saturday 3 weeks before Christmas. Most of my friends are lazy beer drinkers (like I used to be) and will in no way get up at 4am on a Saturday and hang around a state park for most of the day as I attempt to run myself to death in the woods - they all think I have lost it anyways since I began Triathlon. Annie is going to see if she can get the day off and then she can do the 12.5 miler. Or as a last resort I might get a hotel room close and just crash out until I can go home!

So, fellow crazy workout buddies, let me hear from you - should I do this?

Thanks for Reading,


Friday, November 6, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: 4 Mile Run

The Hal Higdon plan is pretty easy to follow. Basically, the miles you run during the week add up to what your long run is on the weekend. Example: We ran 4 miles, 8 miles and 4 miles. This totals 16 miles. On Sunday our long run is 16 miles. Pretty simple, eh? Every third week he does back off the distance of the long run so your body can recover. I am a big fan of simplicity.

This morning Annie and I got up when it was still dark out again and did our 4 mile run. Usually, Annie sets the pace and I follow. When I lead I tend to push too hard and spend too much time in the anaerobic HR zone. According to the experts (Higdon) this run should be done in a more aerobic zone. We both have Garmin 305's so this is easy to do, but I sometimes tend to drift away like the ADHD tard that I am and forget to use the Garmin. But today I wanted to set the pace because the last couple of Friday's we have been going too slow, IMO. I did not want to kill us but I wanted to keep us around a 9 minute mile. When it was all said and done we did the run in 35:53, which is just a tick under that 9 minute mile so we did good!

Overall another good workout. Annie is making me go out and be social tonight to some douchey wine bar or something. I want to do the long run tomorrow but she wants to do it on Sunday. We will probably do it on Sunday because I am sure I will be hanging around with a bunch of morons wearing Ed Hardy shirts and will need a drink or two to deal. It is amazing how once your life becomes centered around fitness and clean eating going out to clubs and bars really suck.

Thanks for Reading,


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: 8 Mile Run

Annie and I got up in the wee-wee hours of the morning and did an 8 mile run. The alarm clock went off at 5am and I really didn't want to get up. I told Annie I wanted to sleep and she told me to get up. It is days like these when it is awesome to have a training partner!

The run went well. We did it in about 1:18, so a little under 10 minute/mile is what we averaged. It was another beautiful crisp morning and I absolutely love running in this type of weather!

Tomorrow is a scheduled 4 mile run but Annie has to leave for work at 6am so we are going to make tomorrow our rest day instead of Friday and run the 4 miles on Friday!

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD

Ok, so if you have been reading my blog for any length of time you know that I struggle with swimming. More specifically I struggle with the Open Water Swim. I can pound out lap after lap in the indoor pool but when it comes time to race in a lake my form and fitness seem to escape me! I have never had any formal lessons and everything I have learned about swimming is from the Total Immersion book or fellow Triathlete Bloggers. I am at a point where I need to either hire a coach or try a different approach. And since I really do not want to shell a bunch of cash on a swim coach I will go with the different approach!

So, I have decided to try an instructional DVD titled, "The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD".

This is a Tri-specific swim video created by Kevin Koskella who has over 27 years experience coaching and competing in Triathlon. It was recommended on the forum and is one of the few instructional videos that I found geared strictly for Triathlon.

I have been emailing with Kevin and have agreed to review the DVD on the blog. So over the next couple of weeks I am going to set some baselines for my swim times at 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters ...etc. Then I will follow Kevin's program to the letter and do a review (P90X Style) after I complete each section. Then when it is all said and done I will go back and measure my performance against the previously set baselines. But the true indicator of success will be how I perform in the Olympic Tri I have scheduled in April.

I am pretty pumped to get started with Kevin's program and am looking forward to sharing it here on the Carrot!
Thanks for Reading,

Hal Higdon Training: 4 Mile Run

Today was an easy 5am run. It was pretty crisp outside so both Annie and I enjoyed our run. We did an easy aerobic pace like Higdon recommends and did the 4 miles in a little under 40 minutes. It was a little hard to hold back and just focus on staying in my aerobic zone, especially after running hard at my last race, but we both did it!

The funny thing is that I was just about hitting a nice groove when it was time to quit. This make me look back to when I began training for Triathlon and I struggled just completing 3 miles. Know I barely break a sweat doing 4 miles!

Tomorrow is an early 8 mile run!

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday Rest Day

I was unable to do the 15 mile run today. My legs just did not have it in them this morning. Yesterday's race took more out of me than I guessed it would and my ambitious plan of doing 15 miles today got axed. I was thinking about it and for the 46 mins of the 10k yesterday my average HR was 181 bpm! That is an extremely long time to be in the anaerobic zone so that is probably why my legs need a little recovery time. Just as a comparison, when I run at a 9 minute pace, even on the long runs my Average HR is usually around 137-142.

I updated my training calender with the rest of the Hal Higdon program. My final long run before I begin my Tri training program will be 20 miles so I have a cool goal to work towards!

Thanks for Reading,