Sunday, November 30, 2008

November 24th to 30th 2008

I think I'll start posting my weekly training, so here it is:

5mi, 8:12 pace, HR Avg 143
Cycle to/from work 11 miles

No running
Cycle to/from work, 11 miles

3mi, 9:00 pace, HR Avg 125 - Easy run the day before the race

1mi warmup
5.25mi race, 7:17 pace, HR Avg 160 - Turkey Trot

6mi, 8:11 pace, No HR, equipment problems

12mi, 8:15 pace, HR Avg 140 - Long run

6mi, 8:55 pace, HR Avg 133 - Trail running with Jim

38.25 miles running
22 miles cycling

Turkey Trot

Well, what can I say about the Turkey Trot? It was a fun race but I was disappointed in the way I ran it which was slow! The course was a mixture of grass, dirt trail, dirt trail with rocks and a sandy/dirt track. As a bonus, there were a couple of short steep hills, some single track and a log to jump over. The grassy areas were wet and by the second loop around it was getting muddy and slippery. I expected the course to be slow and wasn't looking for a PR, but when I downloaded the Garmin after the race, I noticed my HR was only averaged 160 for the race when it should have been around 168-170 which means I didn't run hard enough. The course also turned out to be 5.25 miles instead of the 5 miles that they advertised ... I didn't mind though. Overall it was really nice to run a race on Thanksgiving morning with the temperature about 55 and sunny skies!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cycling HR

Most days of the week I cycle to work. It is about 5.5 miles each way with the trip to work being mostly downhill or flat and of course the trip home is mostly uphill or flat. If I had to guess, I would have said that my heart rate didn't average over 85 on the ride to work and 110 on the way back. I also figured that I wouldn't get higher than 135 max for the ride home. Those numbers were based on my resting and maximum heart rates which are 44 & 178.

Last week I wore my Garmin on the ride to and from work to see what my heart rate really was. Here is what the ride to work looks like.

Average HR: 106
Maximum HR: 136

Here is the ride home from work.

Average HR: 126
Maximum HR: 157
The graph shows a shorter distance because the satellite didn't lock in right away and I didn't feel like waiting for it.

So the way home is 20 BPM higher than the way to work. Should these rides be considered a workout? At first I thought not, but after riding to and from work for a few days in a row, I can definitely tell that I start getting tired because the hills start getting tougher, especially the last 1/2 mile to the apartment which is all up hill. I guess the morning ride is more like a super easy recovery run with no pounding on the legs. The evening ride is a bit like an interval workout because I usually try to power up the hills as fast as I can.

Now the question is will the cycling help my running out????

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Two years ago I used to be a regular stretcher. I did a lot of running at the gym and it was convenient to stretch on the mats after running. I started thinking that stretching didn't matter and that I didn't need to stretch - so I stopped doing static stretching and just did some dynamic stretching before running. Well, for pretty much most of 2008 I have been experiencing really tight hamstrings and as a result, most of my running started really slow until my hamstrings warmed up and then I could pick up the pace a bit. I didn't really give too much thought to why my hamstrings were sore and tight all the time, I assumed it would work itself out on its own, but it didn't.

Since I'm going to start my marathon training at the beginning of January, I started looking back at my old logs from 2006 when I was in top shape and ran my marathon PR. I was really surprised to see that that my average weekly pace was around 8 minutes per mile - compared to lately when 8:40 or so was the average, so I started to wonder how I could have slowed down so much in only 2 years! After much pondering and some reading on the web, it finally struck me, stretching!!!! I know, Jim has been preaching to me about stretching forever, but I thought that dynamic stretching was even better than static stretching, apparently I was wrong - at least for me. I know, some people don't have to stretch at all, but I'm not one of them. So about 4 weeks ago I started to stretch again, 2-3 times per day, in the morning, after a run and before bed. At first, it was hard, I was soooo tight I couldn't even get close to touching my toes. I could also tell that my right hamstring was a lot tighter than my left and even lifting my leg in the air while lying down caused pain. Here is my favorite stretch, the lying hamstring stretch. There are more great stretches to try at

I am happy to report that my hamstring tightness and soreness is pretty much gone and after 4 weeks of stretching I can tell that my range of motion has increased, I can easily touch my toes now! About a week and a half after starting to stretch regularly I also noticed that my daily pace started to pick back up and now it's averaging about 8:15 over a week instead of 8:40. Looks like I will be a regular stretcher from now on!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Turkey Trot

I just signed up for the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. The race is called the Turkey Trail Trot, formally known as the 'Turkey Beach Trot' since the race used to be run on the beach. Apparently races are not allowed to be held on the beach so it was moved to Golden Gate Park. The race takes place on a cross country course around the Polo Field. I am looking forward to running this race and then feasting on some holiday fare.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Running in the Rain

On Saturday, I wanted to get in a long run of 12 miles, unfortunately the radar had nothing but green all over it - meaning it was raining and there was no end in sight! Normally that would mean a treadmill run for me, but since I don't have a treadmill anymore or a gym membership, I decided to suck it up and head out into the rain. I did wait about 2 hours though until it started to taper off a bit. Once I got outside, the rain was falling lightly, but I was well protected with my hat and jacket. I decided to head up the hill on Stanyan since I had never run that way before. It turned out to be a great move, I ran through this really nice neighborhood up some windy roads and found a great lookout spot where I took the opportunity to stop for a moment and enjoy the view. That's when the rain started really coming down! But I didn't mind, I was enjoying the view and peacefulness up there too much! The hill climbing fun was not over though, and I kept heading up hill until I reached the Mt Sutro Tower. By this point, I was totally drenched, including shoes and socks so there was no point in hopping over puddles and I just started running through them! I felt like a kid splashing through the rain as I made my way down the hill! Here is a cool picture of the Sutro tower from Wiskinator on Flickr.