Wednesday, February 28, 2007

0 miles!

It isn't even 6:30 and I am already home, that's a first for 2007. This is the first day in about a month that I haven't done any running. I am icing my leg right know and am doing toe raises (in case I just have shin splints.) My leg will be fine, I just don't want to take any chances at this point.

"Get going. Get up and walk if you have to, but finish the damned race."
Ron Hill to Jerome Drayton during the 1970 Boston Marathon

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

3 miles, 9 min pace

I am a little worried about the pain in my left shin/calf. I was hoping it was just a one or two day thing but it is getting worse today. I Think it is just a bruise but if I keep running on it, it will only get worse. I am going to see how it feels tomorrow, but I think it may be best to stop running until next Saturday and hope it heels. I don't know if I could run 50 miles with it feeling like it does right now.

"We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon."
-Emil Zatopek

Monday, February 26, 2007

4 miles, 9:30 pace

My legs were feeling the 7 miles of no shoes from yesterday. I will probably run 20-30 miles this week, only short 3-6 mile runs.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Vibram FiveFingers

7 Miles, 8:34 pace

Back in January I did some research about the benefits of barefoot running. I learned that it can help your form, reducing injury and strengthening your lower legs and feet. While looking at Barefoot Ted’s website I saw that he had completed the Angel Crest 100 in these things called Vibram FiveFingers. They are foot wear created to mimic being barefoot while giving you grip and a thin layer of protection from pebbles, broken glass, sticks, ect. This is something that really appealed to me so I ordered a pair. This was right before Old Man Winter decided to drop the hammer on the Midwest. It has been so cold that I haven’t gotten a chance to try the Vibrams, until today! I just got back from a 7 mile run with them. It was great! My feet felt so light, and I could feel the ground with every step. It really makes you aware of your foot strike, causing you to strike first with your ball or mid-foot instead of your heel which causes stress on the knee, and just plain hurts. My strides felt very comfortable and smooth. Because these “shoes” have no support, it will take sometime for my feet to strengthen to where I can go on longer runs with them. Around mile four I started to feel the pounding on the balls of my feet, but I had no real discomfort throughout the entire run. I bought the Vibrams with the intent of making them a big part of my training and possible racing in them. After today that seems like a real possibility. If everything goes as planned I hope to run the Flying Pig with them this year. I will have to see if my feet are able to build up to running that far without support and whether my improved foot strike from running barefoot is good enough to make up for the lack of padding normal shoes offer. To learn more about running barefoot go to

Weekly Mileage: 40

"I don't think jogging is healthy, especially morning jogging. If morning joggers knew how tempting they looked to morning motorists, they would stay home and do sit-ups." ~Rita Rudner

I would like to see her try to stop in the middle of my cross walk.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

5 ish miles, 1:15

I went to mt. Airy forest today to run on some trails. I was quite surprised to find that most of the trails were sill covered with ice. I thought the warmer weather would have thawed them out be now. I found out quickly that a normal trail run would not be possible ( I have yet to take to great advice of Kim and Mike by screwing my shoes). I spent most of my time finding huge hills to run up. It was more of an exploration than a run, but it was a whole lot of fun.

"Good things come slow - especially in distance running."
- Bill Dellinger, Oregon coach

Friday, February 23, 2007

1 mile, 8:00

I had to work late today, and didn't feel like doing much running. I am getting within the 2 week period before LBL so nothing I do after this weekend will help me much for the race. I hope to get a couple shorter trail runs in this weekend. They sent me The EDGE model of the 305 instead of the FORERUNNER model, so I have to send it back (EERRRR)!

"Tough times don't last but tough people do." - A.C. Green

Thursday, February 22, 2007

2 miles, 9:00 pace

I haven't been getting enough sleep this week. My strides felt cumbersome and off-beat today. I decided to call it after one loop. I am going to go to bed early an try to get some needed rest. I finally got my Forerunner 305 in the mail today, replacing my lost 301. I can't wait to try it out in the woods this weekend. Some days you have it, some days you don't. Today I don't.

"The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep." - Robert Frost

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

10 miles, 9:30 pace

Nice weather again today. I ran my normal loop around campus. I was feeling very sluggish today but I perked right up when I started running. My pace and breathing were free and easy. I have some interesting soreness in my left calf but I don't think it is a big deal.

I put in quite a few miles on the roads during the week, usually 30 to 40. Their are certain things I have noticed about road runners. They don't seem to be nearly as friendly as trail runners, and they always look so pissed off when they are running. I always wave, or perform some other display of common courtesy when I pass a runner while training. I always get a response on a trail, but on the roads it is about 20%. Running is supposed to be fun, why the scawls? another thing that bothers me about road running: cars that stop in the middle of the cross walk! One of these days I am going to run right over the hood of their car or do a head first slide right over the roof. That will teach them. I will be sure to blog about that monumental event when it happens.

Quote of the Day:
"Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible." - Doug Larson

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

5 miles 7:34 pace

I let a little rain scary me away from running outside today. I settled for a nice tempo run on the indoor track. It felt good. I opend it up on the last mile, ran it in about 6:20, that felt really nice. My calfs are still dead but I am managing.
This is a picture from Lovin' the Hills, I look sweet running with that banana.

Monday, February 19, 2007

10 miles, 9:30 pace

This was the first time a can remember in the last three weeks that the weather didn't screw up my run. I was able to get in my normal 5 laps around campus. It felt really good, and the weather was so nice. It was about 40 degrees. The run started of a little shaky. My calves are still toasted from all those hills on Saturday, and they were really burning in the first 2 miles. I wasn't sure if I would be able to complete the entire run. After the first 2 miles my calves settled down and I cruised from there. My quads felt totally fresh which was a pleasant surprise because I was attacking the down hills pretty hard during the race this weekend. This well be my last week of normal training before I start my taper for the 50 at LBL.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


2 miles run/hike, 25 min.

Every muscle group in my legs got a good workout yesterday so I am still feeling pretty fatigued. We got about 3 inches of snow yesterday so I went out and ran the hill loop outside of my apartment. I also put down some salt in the parking lot. I wear my North Face gortex trail runners. This is the only thing I have found them useful for. I absolutely hate running in the things. The heel is so big. It makes for a very rough run.

Total weekly miles: 56

Lousiville Lovin' the Hills - Race Report

31 miles, 6:46

I want to preface this report by saying this was definitely the most difficult race I have done. The hills started at mile 1 and continued consistently to the finish line. It was about 25 degrees through the race. The ground was frozen so the footing was pretty good. There were frozen horse tracks on some on the trails which were a little tricky to maneuver, but it wasn’t a big deal. It started snowing pretty hard around mile 12. I don’t really think the snow had too much impact on my time. It made me slow down a little on certain parts but it wasn’t a big deal. There were some patches of Ice on the course. I had a pretty bad fall onto my back which bruised up my elbow, but didn’t affect my running. There really wasn’t one section of this course that sticks out as being more difficult then any other. The whole course was full of technical single track trails and huge hills. The web site advertised 17 hills of at least 200 feet climb each. This didn’t count the ones that were run twice. I counted about 23 or so. I was very happy with my performance. It wasn’t until mile 26 that my legs really started feeling the hills, but even after that I was able to finish strong (No bird watching after this one Rob, ha). Although I didn’t even come close to a PR this was probably my best race. I suffered no blow ups during the race and was able to run the entire course, minus the hills. I think the winner (Eric Grossman) finished somewhere around 4:40, and the second place finisher didn’t break 5 hours, which shows how tough the course is. This will probably be my last long run before my first 50 miler at LBL and I am feeling good about it. The race director for LBL was at Lovin’ the Hills. He said LBL was not nearly as difficult as this course. He said there are two big hills and the rest are rolling. I am excited for LBL and I think I am ready for it.

Friday, February 16, 2007

1 mile, 10 minutes

leaving for louisville early in the morning. I hear it is a pretty difficult course so it should be intresting.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Total miles: 11

10 miles, 8:40 pace

final mile, 6:40 pace

Today was a good day. I hate to say it but I think I am getting used to running inside. Today's run felt very smooth and easy. My muscles felt great and my joints did too. Towards the end of the run 2 other guys started running on the track (we will call them guys A and B). I have seen these guys before, I think they may be training for the flying pig. They run at a pretty good clip and I have always wanted to pace with them. Needless to say I got a little carried away. another guy(lets call him guy C) and I began to follow guys A and B they could feel us behind them so they started speeding up trying to lose us. Before I knew it I was sprinting around the track after a 10 mile workout. Probably not the best thing for my training but it was fun. guy C and I stayed with guys A and B for about a mile and a half. After that I did some cool down laps and began talking to the guy C, his name was shaday, he is from Palestine. He has 12 siblings, 5 of which are engineers and he came to UC 6 months ago to get his Masters from UC's architecture program (ranked 2nd in the nation). I talked to him a while about the difference between Palestine and the U.S. he told me how he wanted to go home to Palastine but when he gets back their he will wish he is back in the U.S. I then told him the old cliche "The grass is always greener on the other side." He had never heard that before, and thought it was the greatest thing in the world. He even had me repeat it so he could commit it to memory. He was talking about how he likes to jump rope and I told him that I used to be on the wrestling team in high school and we used to jump rope all the time. After I mentioned wrestling I spent the next 10 minutes answering question about Hulk Hogan and other famous WWF wrestlers. It was a good time. I guess that is one good thing about going to a gym, there are more people to meet and talk to. I am glad that today was a much better run then yesterday.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

1 mile, 10 minutes

Not much went right today, just bombed a midterm, o well tomorrow can only be better.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ice Sucks

1 mile, about 15 minutes

I'm glad I got in 10 yesterday because today was not happening. The rec center was closed so I was forced outside. It was in between my first and second step on the sidewalk that I realized I was not getting very far today. I shuffled and skated about a mile around the block and decided to call it a day. I did have my first experience running on ice so I guess it wasn't I total loss. I hate ice. It sucks to run on, it sucks to fall on, I don't even like ice in my drink.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Active Recovery

10 miles, 10:00-10:30 pace

My legs felt GOOD today. I had the usual soreness but my legs weren't tired. Once I started running I couldn't feel any evidence that I had raced the day before. This was the most I have been able to run the day after a race and it felt really nice. I decided to do some hills because my quads didn't get to much action yesterday with that flat course. I ran a nice two mile hill loop right outside of my apartment. the down hill section is pretty steep and about half of it was still snow covered so it was a lot of fun. Technical down hill running is my favorite. Today reminded me of sled riding as a kid. I always hated walking back up the hill but that never stopped me from sledding down. I thought I might stop after 3 loops but I was having to much fun running down through the snow I had to keep going.

This Week:

Monday 10
Tuseday 10
Wednesday 5
Thursday 10
Friday 5
Saturday 31 (LLTH)
Sunday 10

Total: 81 (probably more like 60 again, but we will see what happends.)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Last Chance for Boston - Race Report

26.2 Miles, 4:18

Well I missed my last chance to qualify for Boston by 1:08.....That's hours not minutes, ha. It was cold out this morning, really cold. After running the first mile I wasn't sure I was going to finish this race. I put on an extra coat and just started plugging away. I got warmer after a couple miles and the icicles on my eyelashes went away. This race is in a business park, a one mile loop repeated 26 times. Not my first choice for a race, but when you live in the Midwest in February you take what you can get. There weren't too many spectators out today because of the weather, but the people that were their were really Great! You could always count on someone cheering you on twice a mile, I'd say that's pretty good.
The loop was very flat. The combination a of flat paved course has never been a good one for me. It helps your time but your legs really fell it when you are done. to help break up the constant rhythm I did some high knees and but kicks every other mile. I think it really helped. I ended up with a PR which was kind of weird. I lost my watch early this week and I was just running this for training so I didn't pay much attention to my pace. I ran the last five miles with my friend mark, who I first talked to on a message board and meet for the first time today. We really helped each other out at the end of the race. He finished one lap ahead of me. I finished in a time of 4:18 and some seconds. Besting my PR from the towpath marathon of 4:19. These were both very flat courses but they were not similar runs for me.
After the towpath I practically collapsed at the finish and couldn't get off my back for about 2 hours. people would come up and ask me if I was OK as I lay lifelessly on the grass. After this race I felt good. My legs were a little tight from the constant flatness, but I was walking and breathing well. I guess I am doing something right in my training. I didn't run any extra miles as I thought I might. I thought about it but it was damn cold, I called it a day. Congrats also to Kim, who I meet for the first time today! I know she wasn't too far behind me, and she was looking strong.

Total weekly Mileage: 58

Saturday, February 10, 2007

tune up

1 mile

Feeling good. Ready for a nice training run tomorrow.

Friday, February 9, 2007


1 mile

So I only ran 1 mile today, but I did get outside for the first time in a week! I know running a mile is pretty much pointless from a training perspective but my view is as follows: When I miss a training run it is because I am too lazy to put on my running clothes and get out the door. If I get in the habit of running at least 1 mile, even on my days off, it will eliminate my problem and will really help my training. It is a mental thing. I will probably run 1 mile tomorrow, to rest up for Sunday.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

5 on the track

5 Miles

I had 10 on the schedule, but I'm not one to follow schedules all that closely. I have some random aches in my legs, no real pain. I will probably put in 3 miles tomorrow on the track, one or two on saturday then try to add on some extra miles to my marathon on sunday to get in a nice long run.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Speed work

5 Miles totals

1 mile warm up

1 mile run


1 mile cool down

I forgot my watch today so I couldn't keep track of my times. It was probably better that way because I was feeling a little sluggish.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


10 Miles, 8:30 pace

Another day on the track. I woke up much more sore than I usually am after a 10 mile run. I am sure this is from running on the evil track. Todays run went pretty well. I worked on my breathing, was able to mantain circular breathing (breath in for three steps, breath out three steps). Thats all there was to it.

Monday, February 5, 2007

This week

Monday: 10 Miles, 9:00 pace

Tuseday: 10 Miles, 9-10 min pace

Wednesday: 5 miles, Speed work

Thursday:10 Miles 9:30 pace

Firday:10 Miles 10:00 pace (hopefully outside)

Saturday: 1-2 miles, this is my one day taper plan

Sunday: 26.2 Miles, 10:00-10:30 pace Last Chance for Boston Marathon

Total Miles: 72 (we will see about this, maybe closer to 60)

The cold wins again

10 miles, 8:48 pace

I really wanted to do my usual loop around campus today but with the cold I figured I would just run on the track inside. It wasn't much fun. Keeping count of how many times I had circled the 200 meter track was more difficult than running itself. I felt like a hamster in a wheel, going around the track 80 times to achieve my 10 miles. I hate running on such flat surfaces because I always have strange aches and pains when I am done, caused by constant rhythm with no hills to break it up. I think this track could become my home for most of this week, O well, what ever it takes to put in the miles. I haven't seen a trail in over a week, not cool.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Speed work

7 Miles total

1 mile warm up: 6:37

1 mile run: 5:49

4 X 400: 1:22, 1:25, 1:23, 1:23

2X 800: 3:12, 3:07

1 mile cool down: 7:35

2 miles, after I realized I was only 2 miles away from a 60 mile week: 8:15 pace

Total Weekly Mileage: 60.48

The combination of the cold and the fact that I wanted to get in a speed workout today kept me inside. I had a great workout on the indoor track. My legs felt fresh despite running at least 10 miles a day the last 4 days. I can feel my recovery skills starting to come around. I ran 1 warm up mile, than wanted to cut it loose and see what I was capable of for a mile. It was the first time I ran a mile all out since my senior year of high school when our Baseball coach told us we had to run under a 6 min. mile to make the team (what does running a 6 min. mile have to do with playing baseball anyway? I would like to see David Wells run a 6 min. mile.) Back in those days I was in shape from wrestling season and was able to pump out a 5:49 (The coach was impressed, but that didn't stop him from seating me on the bench all year.) I love baseball but it never really loved me back. I think I should have gotten the point when we were running laps around the field my sophomore year. I was lapping everyone and my coach told me I should join the track team (I am pretty certain he realized that track and baseball were both spring sports....) But I digress. Where was I? O yes, running the mile today. Well I was pleased that I was able to match that PR today. I would have loved to beat it, but am confident that if I had not run 13 miles the day before I could have beaten that record. It doesn't bother me as I have no desire to be a miler. I am still very new to speed work. Since I started training for my first marathon with a 2 mile run on a mid October evening in 2005 I may have completed one or two speed work sessions. I didn't really see the point in focusing on this type of workout when I wanted to run ultras, not 5K’s. When I was out In CA earlier this year for the Calico 50K I ran the last 5 miles with an ultra old-timer. He told me the secret to improving your cruising speed was to incorporate a solid speed work routine into your training. He explained something about muscle memory. This advice coming from a man who has completed 12, 100 milers and to many 50 milers and 50K's to count. I am willing to sink or swim with this advice. So from now on I will try to do 2 speed work days a week. When I got done with my original planned 5 miles I was doing some crunches and calculating my weekly mileage. I realized that I had run 58 miles this week and because I was only 50 feet from a track, why not go for 2 more to make it an even 60? So I hoped back on the loop and hammered out two more miles and left with my head held high, good show.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

And the Wind Blows

13.38 miles, 9:34 pace

It was pretty cold today, but it was the wind that really got to me. The water that would splash out of my water bottle was freezing to my clothes. I didn't run to my friends house because I didn't want to get to far away from my apt. and have trouble with the weather. I ran a pretty flat rout up U.S. 42 through Reading into Sharonville to Sharon Woods and back home, with 2, mile long side roads with some hills. Pretty smooth run, no real issues with my body.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Is it spring yet??

10 Miles, 9:40 pace

Man, it was so nice through December I was hoping it would be a mild winter. I wasn't able to catch a break in January, I even went to Southern California to run a 50k, it was 14 degrees at the start!! February is looking even colder. they are talking about wind chills below zero for this weekend! Hopefully all of this cold outdoor running will help me out in the spring. I did the loop around campus again today. I was pretty busy during work today and didn't eat much all day, so before I left the office I got into the fridge and at a turkey sandwich left over from lunch, an English muffin, a bagel, a bag of cheese-its, drank to glasses of water, then went out and ran 10 miles. Not exactly a text book pre run meal, but i figured it would be good training for encountering stomach problems during a 100 miler. It turned out I didn't have any stomach problems at all. I am starting to find out that my stomach is one of my biggest assets. I can eat anything available at aid stations without any problems. Its weird because I never eat sweets or candy besides when I am racing but it never bothers my stomach. The run went well today and I think I will get in a long run this weekend of about 15-20 miles. I will run up to my buddies house, I've done it once before its a pretty good run, but a little tricky because a large part is on busy roads with no side walks.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

tired but getting it done

10 Miles, 9:30 pace

I was feeling the effects of my 13 miles yesterday, but I was able to keep a steady pace. I ran the loop around campus again, it is very convenient to do at night because it is well lit and I am always less than two miles away from my car in case something goes wrong and it has some good hills. In the past month I have been focusing on implementing the "ChiRunning" Skills into my running, relaxing my lower legs, full body lean, using gravity and my core to lessen the load on my lower legs. It has really help my recovery time and it helps me run the same distance with less effort. My toe is still hurting but I think it is teaching me to land more gently with my feet which will help my knees (I just hope I am not over compensating for the injury only to cause another injury, but I don't think I am.) Feeling good about building up the miles. I know I need to start incorporating a lot more speed work into my training if I want to improve my times but right now I need to build up my miles for LBL then I will work on my speed. I have been thinking about Burning River 100 today, I think Mike has talked me into going for it.....