Monday, December 31, 2007

Looking back and looking ahead

Last year I ran 1555.9 miles. That is by far the most miles I have ever run in any given year. I averaged 30 miles per week with my longest week coming the first of November at 52 miles. That was the peak week of training for Sunmart 50k. November was also my highest mileage month with 183.

I ran the Houston half-marathon with Jakeb which was the high point of the year for me. I ran the Surfside Marathon (4:11:05). I set a 10k PR at The Bayou City Classic (47:56). Jakeb and I ran a trail race in Austin at Walnut Creek Park called The Maze. It was one of the more fun races I have ever run and gave me the desire to run more trail races. I ran a midnight 25k in July called El Scorcho (2:14:44). It was a bit disorganized but it was fun to run a race in the middle of the night. I finished the year by running farther than the marathon by finishing Sunmart 50k (5:49:15).

I started running in May of 1993 and in 14 years of running 2007 was my best year yet.

In 2008 I think I will try to keep the miles up and take the year as it comes to me. I do have a few hopes and plans. I am signed up for the Chevron Houston Marathon this month and I hope to finally break four hours. My marathon PR is 4:00:55 set at the Dallas White Rock Marathon in December 2006. I wish I hadn’t walked through that last water stop.

If marathon recovery goes well I will start training for the Ouachita Trail 50 miler. I have been intrigued by that race for a while so maybe this year will be the year I can run it.

Mixed in the training for the OT50 will be the Bayou City Classic, which our family tries to run every year. I may run the Seabrook Lucky Trail Marathon as a training run for OT50. I am most excited about training with Jakeb for the Hog’s Hunt 25k the first week in April.

After the OT50 I have no plans. In fact it is such a pinnacle experience (pun intended) for me I cannot allow myself to look past it.

Happy New Year!

Tapering again

I ran 19.5 miles last Friday. I would usually run an even 20 but I had run an out-and-back to McLean Park and over the Brazos river bridge on 2004. Then I ran back home and that portion of the run ended at the house at mile 19.5 and I didn’t think a half a mile was going to make that much of a difference to my marathon training.

This past Friday I ran 14 in 2:01 (8:40 pace), which is faster than I intended to run. It felt pretty good though. I’ve run 6 and 8 miles since then. My taper has a little more intensity than normal. I want to be rested enough but there have been times when I have been a bit lethargic going into the last week before the marathon so I am trying something new. Hopefully I won’t blow up because of it.

Houston is just two weeks away.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

To the Track and Back to Mute Math

I am not a fan of cold weather so this morning’s 61 degree temperature was welcome. I ran a 1 mile warm-up to the track. Then at the track I ran 4x800 (3:22, 3:25, 3:28, & 3:26) with 400 recovery. Afterwards I ran a 1 mile cool-down back to the house as I listened to Stare at the Sun and Obsolete by Mute Math. Such a good groove to run to…

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Wild-eyed and crazy!

I was running my 5 mile route this morning by Brazoswood High School. As I neared Slade Field three guys is an old beat-up red car screamed out of their window in my direction as they passed. It scared the mess out of me because I was in my own world listening to Radiohead’s In Rainbows. I shrugged it off and kept running.

The three wise guys (not in a biblical way of course) turned around and I heard them screaming again as they approached behind me, “You better run! We’re gonna get you.”

I thought to myself “What a bunch of bucketheads.” Then I got mad as I thought about the fact that I pass other people, both women and men running and walking in our neighborhood all the time and what if these guys had been harassing them instead of me.

They told me to run so run I did; right at them as they came towards me. I started screaming at the top of my lungs and the driver kind of swerved all over the road wondering, I'm sure, what kind of crazy guy they had decided to chase and was now chasing them back. I thought for a second about throwing my ipod at them as they went by but that would have been stupid because I don’t really have $150 laying around to replace it.

So instead I chased after them, which I knew was a race I could not win, all the while screaming at the top of my lungs “STOP!” They slowed at the stop light at Dixie Drive and Brazoswood Drive and actually pulled into the Slade Field parking lot.

I started to sprint towards them and had to run about 300 yards. As I approached them they were already near the street. I ran in their direction still yelling “YOU BETTER STOP!” - all the while trying to look as wild-eyed and crazy as possible. The driver pushed on the gas and the tires screeched as they retreated toward Lake Jackson. The old red car had Louisiana license plates.

I don’t have a clue what I would have done had they stopped. I know what I did was not that smart because one of these days something like that is going to happen to me and they will have a weapon. I just wanted to freak them out a bit and let them know that not every person running down the side of the road is an easy target for their stupid games.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sunmart Pictures

Here are some pictures from Sunmart on Saturday.

New Template

My old template was ...well old and apparently not compatible with blogger anymore. Because I do not have time to mess with it I threw together a new template. Some day I may work on one I like better.

Monday, December 10, 2007


I ran the Sunmart 50k in 5:49:35, an 11:14 per mile pace. At first I was a little disappointed with the outcome but I had to remind myself that it was hot and the hills were more than I had bargained for.

The first 18.5 miles I ran close to a 10-minute pace but the last 12.5-mile loop I started fast-walking most of the uphills, which really took a toll on my overall time.

I ran with my ipod but there was a point at which I realized how different it was to run in the woods and how stupid I was being to ignore it in favor of tunes. So I turned off the music and just existed to run with my thoughts.

Physically I felt pretty good at the finish but I am sore today. I do not feel any worse than when I run a marathon.

Sunmart is a very well organized fun race. I like trail running a lot. I hope to run this race again and others like it.

This afternoon I looked up the results on-line and found out that I finished 99 out of 520 runners and 15th in my age group out of 40 so I feel better about how I did. It is all about comparisons, huh? How sad is that?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Taper Madness

I am in the late stages of my taper for Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance 50k. Typical taper stuff is going on. I am worried about whether I trained enough. I am eating too much and not running enough so I am gaining weight. My lower legs have hurt a bit which is weird because they haven’t given me any problems in training. I have far too much nervous energy that is not being burnt off by running.

The next two days I am off and Friday morning I will run two miles just to loosen everything up. And then Saturday I race. This is another first, to run more than 26.2. I am excited to race and celebrate the way of life - the running life - I am happy to live …

“Running is a way of life, and racing is a celebration of that life.” - Jenn Shelton via Riding the Wind (Anton Krupicka)