Friday, August 31, 2007


I am tired tired tired. Heading out for a cabin weekend shortly and will therefore not post until at least Tuesday. Here ia a picture of where I'm going....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gates' Gate

What better way to wait out traffic than to go for a lovely run through Medina, then take a dip in Lake Washington as the sun sets, eh?

Mile 1 = 9:31
Mile 2 = 9:09
Mile 3 = 8:56
Mile 4 = 7:37
last 0.2 = 6:37 pace

Total Miles = 4.2
Average Pace = 8:42

Talk about negative splits! There were a lot of downhills on the way back, but plenty of uphills too. Afterwards we jumped in the lake and watched the sun set. However, traffic was still bad at 8pm. Thanks again Seattle!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Early Bird

Chicago is two hours behind my Pacific time and, since I am arriving in Chicago about 14 hours before my event I will not have time to acclimate to the time change. Therefore, I will begin my acclimation right from home!

Week of September 17th - start waking up at 6am
Week of September 24th - start waking up at 5am
Week of October 1st - start waking up at 4am

This way when I wake up on race day I won't be overly exhausted! Has anyone ever tried this before?

Pace Tat

How cool is this?

Over the Lake

I did not run on Monday, sadly, but I think my Tuesday performance made up for it. My body was obviously happy for the rest I gave it. This run goes in two sections: section one is from work to the last bus stop before the 520 bridge (~3.4 miles). Then....wait for the bus.....take bus across bridge - this ended up being about 15 minutes total this particular time, but its been longer. Section two is from the bus stop to home (~3.2 miles). Here are my splits:

Mile 1 = 7:53
Mile 2 = 7:11
Mile 3 = 7:44
Mile 4 = 8:21
Mile 5 = 9:44 (a big hill, my nemesis, but I'm usually at about a 11:30/12 pace here)
Mile 6 = 8:11
Last 0.6 = 6:51

Total miles = 6.6 miles
Average pace = 8:03

Monday, August 27, 2007


I woke up at about 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, tinkered around and drank coffee, guzzled water and mentally/physically prepared myself until 11:30ish. Parked the car on the trail and headed's what happened:

Mile 1 - 8:39
Mile 2 - 8:41
Mile 3 - 8:44
Mile 4 - 8:35
Mile 5 - 8:47
Mile 6 - 8:37
Mile 7 - 8:32
Mile 8 - 8:41
Mile 9 - 8:49
Mile 10 - 8:49

The first ten miles were great. I had placed the car in a spot where I could stop back at about mile 7 where I took a quick drink break, maybe a minute or so, then headed right back out. As you can see, I start slowing down in the next 10 miles, but things didn't really start feeling bad until Mile 15.

Mile 11 - 9:06
Mile 12 - 9:11
Mile 13 - 9:21
Mile 14 - 9:13
Mile 15 - 9:29

This is where I paused because of pork chop (which I don't even like) hallucinations. Over two hours into it and my body was screaming at me. For the food I didn't eat and the water I didn't take with me on the run. Yes, I didn't have anything to eat before my run - at all, unless a vanilla latte counts. I staggered off the trail at a park figuring I'd find a water fountain and I did. I also opened my eyes to the hundreds of feet of blackberry bushes that line everything in Seattle. And they were ready to eat. I spent about 5 minutes shoveling those down my gullet; I was clearly in survival mode. Back to the run.

Mile 16 - 10:38
Mile 17 - 10:05

Stopped again for some blackberries - had thorn cuts all over my hands and my fingers and purple juice on my chin.

Mile 18 - 9:55
Mile 19 - 10:43
Mile 20 - 8:25

After struggling through 18-19 I killed it on mile 20. I just wanted to get home and also to prove I could complete a negative split. So there.

Total miles = 20
Avg Pace = 9:09

I think for my first 20-miler this was a decent pace. Mentally and physically it was hard at times, but at least I know I can do it. If I can power through those tough stretches and just keep going, then I can significantly lower my overall pace. I have 2 more 20-milers scheduled so have the chance to feel more comfortable with the distance before the race. Then, it'll only be 6.2 more and I'm home free!

Casualties of the day: open wounds on hands from blackberry bushes, bloody toe (?), NO chafing!, lingering soreness today in my joints, specifically the outside of my left knee and some bones in my feet. I think everything is blue pain, so I'm not too worried. Heading out for an easy easy 4 miles right now.

Lessons learned:

*Food: Do not go out for 20 miles on an empty stomach, no matter how gross it feels to eat before a run.

*Water: For this long of a run I am going to have to plan water stops for myself. This might mean hiding bottles along my route at certain check points. Perhaps also with a Clif bar or gu.

Topics on my mind:
*salt tablets
*sleeping pills
*race attire

I am very freaked out about the date coming closer but am oh so excited to run back on my old stomping grounds.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Easy Like

Even though I have been less than diligent in keeping up with my Hal Higdon schedule, I am still trying to follow it from here until the end. That is, with necessary modifications. Tomorrow Hal tells me to run 12 miles. This is supposed to be my recoup week from last week's 20 mile long run.... However, since I did not do the 20 miler last weekend I think tomorrow will be 20, or as close to it as I can come.

My plan is to drive to the trail, not run straight from home, so as to avoid the torturous few miles it is uphill back to my place. I will again bore myself with the Burke Gilman trail, but I will download the latest TAL and imagine the glory of finishing my first marathon to pass the hours.

Wish me luck peeps.

(Picture of the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle to keep it interesting.)

The Story So Far

I have been training for the Chicago marathon since June. The race is on October 7th and I am in the final stretches of training. I have had several roadblocks, including summer, laziness, school, work, travel and beer (not in that order). Here are some of the items that have gotten me through it:

These are the shoes I've been training in. Just these, no rotating. Not sure if this is a smart idea yet....I might get another pair soon and use those during the marathon. These are Asics GT-2120.

I always took pride that I could run without aural aids, but alas, I was wrong. I love listening to music and This American Life and NPR to pretend like I'm up to date on world issues.

The Burke Gilman trail in Seattle is the longest path around and what I've been doing my long runs on. It is beautiful in parts, but has become boring. There is also ONE drinking fountain along the whole damn thing. What is up with that?

I got a cool breathable hat, and that's about all there is to say about that. Mine is actually the above model, but blue.

Ice baths! Nothing sounds crazier than soaking your body in a tub full of this, but it does the damn trick. Thanks Maritza for the tip.

Then, of course, my newest favorite addition - the Garmin. This thing is amazing. I could go on for hours, but won't. The apparatus and act of using it has its downfalls, but overall its a pretty cool deal.

I will have more to report soon, so check back later!