No more 5k’s or 10k’s in downtown Austin!

July 30, 2008

Yes that is a possibility. There’s a “Street Event Closure Task Force” the City Council has created to evaluate what to do about the traffic disruption created by Special events, like 5k’s, 10k’s and street festivals. The recent changes to City regulations already make races unaffordable, you can’t spend $10,000 to $25,000 to put on a 10k without charging people $80 and having lot of people show up. And that’s just the cost for barricading and the police, forget t-shirts, food, etc.

So for all of us that value the benefits of the races we’ve come to love it’s time to speak now or forever hold your peace, because the Task Force can recommend changes that would effectively make 5k’s and 10k’s as we know them as part of the fabric of the running community a thing of the past. Now think about that, a handful of people making a decision that the 10’s of thousands of race runners over a year may not even know will change what they’ll be able to do.

Want to make your voice heard. Attend the next task force meeting on Monday, August 11th at 5:00 p.m. in room 1029 at City Hall (they will validate parking)


Steady state adjustment was successful … kind of

July 30, 2008

So I had a rough weekend after the Saturday run and dehydration. Had to take a break Sunday and Monday and I finally started feeling better Monday afternoon after a call with a client. So I thought I’d try and make the adjustment to my steady state run today that I planned after last weeks run. I did manage to make the paces I planned to but that doesn’t mean the run was really successful.

It was the same warm-up, but 3 miles this time, and then 8 miles with a progression. First two miles were 7:40, then 7:10 for the next two and the goal was to run the last 4 between 6:40 and 6:50. The last 4 were more like between 6:30 and 6:40 which was faster than I was planning. So in theory it was a great Steady state run … but … yes there’s a but, it wasn’t a smooth run. Even at 7:40 I didn’t feel that good, my breathing sped up at 7:10, earlier that it normally does. There was a mile and a half where in the 7:10 part of the run where I really was in the “zone”, no thinking just feeling smooth. Apart from that I had to concentrate quite a bit on my arms, my foot strike etc to keep in control. My foot strike was also noticeably harder, could hear the slapping. So basically the paces were on but it wasn’t quite at the comfort and control it should have been. So I guess it’s time to try the same thing next week … unless Steve has something up his sleeve.

Rogue Women’s Triathlon

July 28, 2008

I spent a good part of this weekend helping out with the Rogue Women’s Triathlon. First a little about what this meant for running and then some words on the Tri and volunteers. Running, well, like I said in my last post Saturday was a brutal run for me. The high point of the day was when Austin Energy turned my electricity back on after the meter mix-up. I was just wiped out though. I thought I would get a run in Sunday and Monday but with the Tri and the recovery needed from Saturday I think I’ll aim to get 70 miles in between Tuesday and Saturday.

The women’s tri was put on really well and I’m amazed at the amount of work that goes into a tri for 500 people. Now there were a lot of things different about this Tri like Mimosa’s for finishers and some great food … soft serve ice cream … need I say more. The other thing that was interesting was a number of volunteers were from Team in Training as part of trying to raise money as part of their commitment. I was helping with the run course and all the volunteers assigned were there to help their friend help raise money for her for the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. It was a great group of people, very conscientious, very responsible and cheerful given they were there at 6:00 am and some didn’t leave till 10:30. Wanted to thank all of them for their hard work and making the run course work so smoothly.

And as for Leilani, Ruth, Carolyn, Ron and Steve … I’m impressed with the effort it takes to put something like this on. I’m still trying to recover, I can’t get over how much I’ve had to sleep and hydrate today just to feel like I’m surviving. Actually, on the short drive back from New Braunfules to my place on East 5th I ended up stopping 25 minutes into the drive (only 15 minutes from home) and pulled into the parking lot of a Starbucks and took a 30 minute nap. I did get a chance to talk to a few of the people that participated as they were trying to get back into the transition area to pick up their gear and they all seemed to really enjoy the triathlon and especially the finishers medals/dog tags.

Roughest run of the training season so far

July 26, 2008

Today’s long run was probably just what I needed. I can only describe it as brutal. I needed to run 21 miles today to get up to 65 for the week.  I was probably a little early in thinking I should rethink the Tuesday run that’s coming up. Friday was a bad day for me from a food and hydration standpoint and then when I got home my power was out, the meters in the Condo complex got mixed up so they turned my power off instead of the person that wanted theirs turned off. So I think there was much water loss all night, at least it’s on now so I can take a nap.

I didn’t feel good from the beginning and I think we started off between an 8:15 and 8:20 pace which is where I stuck for a while. It was around that wooden foot bridge before we make our way up to St. Edwards that I did pick it up a bit and felt pretty good. I felt good all the way through to Amy’s water stop on S 5th. Then it was when we got back onto Rabb where I started to feel a little iffy, it had been a while without water and because of my poor hydration Friday I knew I’d pay for it. I couldn’t have been happier to see Steve when we did … I really should have stopped at somebody’s house and gotten a drink on the way … next time. I guess there was some confusion with start times and place with some of the group or something so Steve was scrambling to catch some of us to get us water … the effort is much appreciated and I was really glad Steve was standing there before we were about to head onto Barton.

Once we got on the trail I ran one mile a little too fast, edging close to a 7:00 min pace and knew I couldn’t do that today so slowly started to back off. It was really all about putting one foot in front of the other for the last 5 miles and focusing on form, staying upright, using the arms etc. The mental challenge today was good, it’s something that I tend to remember at a tough point in a race. The progressive pace run we do on Shoal Creek for example, the last 3 miles are just insane. Whenever I’m at mile 22 or 24 in a marathon and see people walking and feel a little pain myself I always seem to remember the pain of the PP run and think to myself, ok I’ve felt like this before and managed to push through it, just keep going … it’s amazing how well your body responds.

Is it too early to visualize the race?

July 24, 2008

So this is where you’ll all think I’m weirder than you already do. If you look at the CIM elevation profile you’ll notice there’s a decent amount of up and down even though the course is 340 ft downhill overall.

Around mile 11 at CIM is probably the “longest steep” decline in the race, followed by an equally steep uphill. If you’re wondering what that decline would feel like for those in Team Rogue running 16 on Thursday in the morning it’s a little steeper than the hill we’ll run down on 35th after passing Exposition. That steep uphill might on the CIM course might actually be almost exactly like running from the corner of 35th and Pecos to 35th and Exposition which we’ve all done many times (I’ll sure I made error in all this). Now that’s all according to a rough look at the CIM elevation profile and also the gmap-pedometer Ruth sent us for our run on 7/24:

The CIM course has some even steeper but shorter spots on the course. Since there are so many rolling hills we run in Austin it’s a nice opportunity for us to get a feel for what the different parts of the course at CIM will feel like. For me a very steep down hill doesn’t necessarily mean I can use that for all the speed because of the pounding on the quads, and then since there are some steep uphills I do need to get used to pushing a little harder on them than I like to now before it’s too late.

In the past I’ve enjoyed making elevation adjusted estimates on paces for Boston and the ever changing Austin marathons. I think I might need to try and do that CIM in a few weeks to see how I would break this race into parts and start gearing up and preparing for that over the last 10 weeks leading up to the race.

New plan for progressive/steady run next week

July 23, 2008

I commented last week about looking at how the steady state run goes this week before trying to change things up next week. Up to now I’ve been sticking to the progressive approach and this week and the last two have gone well. Apart from the 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down I’ve consistently been around a 7:40 pace for 2 miles, followed by 2 at 7:20, then 7:00 and then between 6:30 and 6:40. Today my last mile was closer to 6:20 which might be goal pace at some point but not where I am for a half based on my current fitness. Since this has been three straight weeks I’ll try and change things up a little next week. It’ll be interesting since it’ll also be my first week at my 70 mile target.

Next week I’d like to try and ramp up the progressive part of the run earlier and then try and hold a steady state run a little longer, but not that close to half marathon pace … probably closer to marathon pace. So the rough plan for next week will be to do the 1 mile warm-up and then get down to a 7:00 pace after 4 more miles and then try and run the last 4 miles around a 3:00 hour marathon pace. So 6:53 and no faster than 6:40. If that seems to go OK next week then I think gradually increasing the miles done at that pace will be the goal through the rest of this base phase. Of course all this depends on how things are going week to week but at least it gives me something to focus on  about as I’m running during the week and motivation to keep the pace under control on easy runs.

Running in Tuscany while on vacation

July 20, 2008
On my vacation two weeks ago in Italy I managed to get some running done in Florence, San Gimigiano and Lucca. I did take a couple of pictures while in Florence and San Gimgiano. Running is a a great way to see a city, early in the morning even in the most touristy of cities you can be in front of a historic site and be the only person in sight. It’s also the only time you can really run in a place like Florence where it’s hard to walk without bumping into people during the day.

Florence was well Florence, lots of historic sites and statues to see. San Gimigiano (pictures below) something out of a movie, weather was nice and cool in the morning and the rolling hills with the towers in the background. The other place I really enjoyed running was Lucca, it’s a town east or Pisa and an hour or so drive WNW of Florence. They have a pretty wide wall that goes around the entire city, it’s closed to traffic and people bike and run on it. The first day I got there we did rent bikes to go around the city and then I decided to go running on the wall as well, it’s a 4k loop … and yes you crazy Team Rogue “it ain’t a run if it ain’t more than 10 miles” people that is all I ran that day, ONE 4k loop.

Ponte Veccio - Florence

Plaza Veccio - Florency

San Gimiganno

San Gimiganno

San Gimiganno

San Gimiganno

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