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Post  Joel H on Thu May 31, 2012 9:56 am

Hmm...last time we saw 66 at 1:42pm was probably February or March....I think the low today was 72 or something...does that count? I just walked my son to school for his last day of Kindergarten and I am now drying my shirt with a fan pointed directly at it. Today was also the first day my clothes officially had a stream of water coming down while it was drying (not just drips of water, a complete line of water streaming down the shower). That means it is OFFICIALLY summer running.....YIPPPIPIEIEIEIEIEIEIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!
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Post  Joel H on Thu May 31, 2012 10:04 am

@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:Been to that Odessa (Texas that is), and I think I'll pass on the excitement. (Although I really still need a marathon in TX, but I jsut can't run so many like I used to do)

You could come run this race with me in December: http://www.50statesmarathonclub.com/afterworld.html. It is the Day after the end of the world marathon. It is run by the same group that puts on the Texas Marathon who gives out finisher's medals that are the size of a dinner plate. Here is a link to the 11 version, it weighs about 2.2 lbs (my wife ran the 1/2, so I can vouch for the size and weight).

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XhVQml-prmM/TSSkotdYqTI/AAAAAAAABQo/Ft6G3b7RaCs/s1600/texasmarathon4.jpg

I don't know what they plan on doing for this race, as far as medals go, but I bet it might have something to do with the logo at the top of the page. Also, not sure if you like loop courses but it is a 4 loop course for the full marathon.
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Post  Mark B on Thu May 31, 2012 11:14 am

@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:Been to that Odessa (Texas that is), and I think I'll pass on the excitement. (Although I really still need a marathon in TX, but I jsut can't run so many like I used to do)

I haven't made it to that corner of the world quite yet (well, I probably flew over it), so I am a little curious about it. What's the terrain/vegetation/climate like? I see that Odessa/Midland is in the middle of the Texas oil patch, so I imagine oil rigs dotting the horizon...

@Joel H wrote:Hmm...last time we saw 66 at 1:42pm was probably February or March....I think the low today was 72 or something...does that count? I just walked my son to school for his last day of Kindergarten and I am now drying my shirt with a fan pointed directly at it. Today was also the first day my clothes officially had a stream of water coming down while it was drying (not just drips of water, a complete line of water streaming down the shower). That means it is OFFICIALLY summer running.....YIPPPIPIEIEIEIEIEIEIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

Dang, Joel. That's some serious perspiration! I've lived in some hot places, but I don't know that I could match that experience. Shocked

@Joel H wrote:You could come run this race with me in December: http://www.50statesmarathonclub.com/afterworld.html. It is the Day after the end of the world marathon. It is run by the same group that puts on the Texas Marathon who gives out finisher's medals that are the size of a dinner plate. Here is a link to the 11 version, it weighs about 2.2 lbs (my wife ran the 1/2, so I can vouch for the size and weight).

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XhVQml-prmM/TSSkotdYqTI/AAAAAAAABQo/Ft6G3b7RaCs/s1600/texasmarathon4.jpg

I don't know what they plan on doing for this race, as far as medals go, but I bet it might have something to do with the logo at the top of the page. Also, not sure if you like loop courses but it is a 4 loop course for the full marathon.

That medal/hubcap seems perfect for Texas! One thing I'll say for the state, is that it doesn't seem to take itself too seriously. Wink

--

Hey Michele, have you run a marathon in Washington state yet? There's a new one now in Vancouver, my adopted hometown, and it's supposed to be pretty good.
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Post  ounce on Thu May 31, 2012 12:28 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@ounce wrote:
@Mark B wrote:
@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:Just don't rub it in, Mark. It is actually cool here right now - temp of 82, dewpoint is 56, humidity is only 36% . We are expecting a cold front to come through tomorrow/Friday (of course, when the moving truck will be here), and then the days before I leave are only supposed to be in the lo-mid 80s.

Ooo. I have to admit, that sounds nice. I'd be very happy to get some nice warm weather one of these days. On the upside, we did just get our very first strawberries of the year out of our garden. Mmm...

But JUST one of these days. You're welcome to come run the marathon with me in Odessa. Southwest flies there. I'll need a rabbit.

I would LOVE to see Odessa. It has such a rich history and an amazingly diverse mash-up of cultures. And to see the Black Sea would be very exciting. Still, it's a lot of packs of peanuts from the West Coast to there, so that might now work out so well.

Wait.. you didn't mean that Odessa? Let me look farther down in my Google search.

Oh. There.

Well the Ector County Library does look nice, I suppose ...


You can always visit where W lived in Midland as a tyke.
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Post  Mark B on Thu May 31, 2012 12:46 pm

@ounce wrote:
@Mark B wrote:
@ounce wrote:
@Mark B wrote:
@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:Just don't rub it in, Mark. It is actually cool here right now - temp of 82, dewpoint is 56, humidity is only 36% . We are expecting a cold front to come through tomorrow/Friday (of course, when the moving truck will be here), and then the days before I leave are only supposed to be in the lo-mid 80s.

Ooo. I have to admit, that sounds nice. I'd be very happy to get some nice warm weather one of these days. On the upside, we did just get our very first strawberries of the year out of our garden. Mmm...

But JUST one of these days. You're welcome to come run the marathon with me in Odessa. Southwest flies there. I'll need a rabbit.

I would LOVE to see Odessa. It has such a rich history and an amazingly diverse mash-up of cultures. And to see the Black Sea would be very exciting. Still, it's a lot of packs of peanuts from the West Coast to there, so that might now work out so well.

Wait.. you didn't mean that Odessa? Let me look farther down in my Google search.

Oh. There.

Well the Ector County Library does look nice, I suppose ...


You can always visit where W lived in Midland as a tyke.

Ooo. Tempting.
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Post  Mark B on Thu May 31, 2012 12:54 pm

Low HR Run: 50 minutes (4.09 miles)

Weather: Showery, mild and muggy. 58 degrees, 57-degree dew point, 90% humidity. Gear: Free 3.0 v4s, shorts, T, jacket (shed) and hat. Fuel: Carried water in handheld.

I was pressed for time this morning, so I only had time for a sub-hour run outside. It was warmish this morning but very muggy and showery. Not tropical, mind you, but still.

This was one of those runs when my legs wanted to go faster than my body would allow. I was happily and smoothly bopping along at a sub-10 pace until I got to the ravine. After that, my body hit the brakes and my HR started going up too high. Drat, said my legs, but they slowed down... reluctantly.

I was going to do an hour but I realized I was running short of time (I have an appointment this morning), so I turned earlier.

Walked first and last 5 minutes as usual. Avearge HR 131. (Note: Tried latrine squat this morning before the run rather than my usual regime. It was faster and seemed pretty effective.)
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu May 31, 2012 1:15 pm

@Mark B wrote:Hey Michele, have you run a marathon in Washington state yet? There's a new one now in Vancouver, my adopted hometown, and it's supposed to be pretty good.

No, I have not - nor Oregon, but I do have Victoria, BC and Vancouver, BC.
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Post  Mark B on Thu May 31, 2012 1:25 pm

@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:
@Mark B wrote:Hey Michele, have you run a marathon in Washington state yet? There's a new one now in Vancouver, my adopted hometown, and it's supposed to be pretty good.

No, I have not - nor Oregon, but I do have Victoria, BC and Vancouver, BC.

Well, what's keeping you?

There are two great marathons in Oregon: Eugene and Portland, and the promising new one in the REAL (and first) Vancouver.

You ought to add them to your to-do list! Approval
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu May 31, 2012 5:47 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:
@Mark B wrote:Hey Michele, have you run a marathon in Washington state yet? There's a new one now in Vancouver, my adopted hometown, and it's supposed to be pretty good.

No, I have not - nor Oregon, but I do have Victoria, BC and Vancouver, BC.

Well, what's keeping you?

There are two great marathons in Oregon: Eugene and Portland, and the promising new one in the REAL (and first) Vancouver.

You ought to add them to your to-do list! Approval

I had a lot to do this past 4 yrs - the next 4 are up to her Laughing
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Post  Mark B on Thu May 31, 2012 9:08 pm

@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:
@Mark B wrote:
@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:
@Mark B wrote:Hey Michele, have you run a marathon in Washington state yet? There's a new one now in Vancouver, my adopted hometown, and it's supposed to be pretty good.

No, I have not - nor Oregon, but I do have Victoria, BC and Vancouver, BC.

Well, what's keeping you?

There are two great marathons in Oregon: Eugene and Portland, and the promising new one in the REAL (and first) Vancouver.

You ought to add them to your to-do list! Approval

I had a lot to do this past 4 yrs - the next 4 are up to her Laughing

That's right! It's time for you to go have some empty-nester fun.

Boy, I can't imagine what it will be like for us once Alec graduates from high school... in 2019?! Shocked
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Post  Mark B on Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:24 pm

Lab Testing/Form Drills

15-18 x 50 feet repeats (I lost count) in the Nike Sport Research Lab

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Gear: Prototypes

It's been a while since I was called in for full lab rat duty at Nike, so I jumped at the opportunity when asked this week.

I wanted to find out if all the work I've been doing on my form - starting barefoot running and migrating to Free 3.0s for my shod runs - would show up in all the equipment they use to measure runners during shoe testing. It feels like I'm running more on my mid- to fore-foot, but am I really? It's kind of hard to watch yourself without running into a tree.

This actually ended up being an even better opportunity for dissecting my form than usual, because it was a two-in-one session: not only did I get festooned with little reflectors for a forest of motion-tracking cameras, I also ended up with a sensor in the shoes and instrument pack wrapped around me to record just how pressure was distributed through my foot (and shoe) during weight-bearing.

Once loaded up, my job was to run at a decent clip for 50 feet, with my foot striking a force plate in the middle of the floor at just the right spot -- without altering my gait to hit it. Piece of cake, right? Well, it does take a few tries to get it all coordinated, especially when trying to run with consistent form at a speed faster than my usual training - or even racing - pace.

"Little too fast!"

"Little too slow!"

"Whup! Don't look at your feet!"

"Perfect! Two more times!"

After a few tries, I got it dialed in. The analysts confirmed that I was indeed running with more of a mid- to fore-foot strike (woot!), which matched my perception. Running faster and landing lighter feels really good. Very Happy

Oh, and the prototypes were the bomb.
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Post  Joel H on Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:50 pm

J.E.A.L.O.U.S!!! No other comment needed! Smile
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Post  Mark B on Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:38 pm

@Joel H wrote:J.E.A.L.O.U.S!!! No other comment needed! Smile

Very Happy

Yeah, it was pretty fun. But the best part this time was getting confirmation that my body is, indeed, starting to figure out how to run the right way. This has longer-term implications than just about anything else I could do right now, so I'm pleased.
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Post  Mark B on Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:53 am

So I spent a while last night going through my training logs since I started doing low HR training back in the summer of 2009.

I've tracked my progress (and catastrophes) with MAF tests, but I hadn't really gone back and looked at the times and HR numbers as they progressed over time. I wondered where I am now compared with how I was back when things were going well - and maybe more importantly, when they weren't.

I'll spare you the numbers (there were a lot of them), but one thing stood out: impatience, ego and toxic ambition.

While I started with a HR close to 138, I tended to start letting that HR sneak up more and more as time went on. I can see now that at least some of the speed gain I was enjoying back then was simply the result of me running at a higher intensity.

It finally got up to the point, after I got my hard-won PR in Eugene in 2010 (3:46), that I was flirting with running in the 9s or even upper 8s -- but doing so by routinely pushing my "low HR" runs up into the 146-148 range. (!)

Is it any wonder I flamed out? What was I thinking?

The crazy - and scary - thing is, it made sense to me at the time.

This is one of the reasons I swore off racing this year. I had to set other priorities for myself (weight loss, aerobic base, improved proprioception and form) and eliminate the distractions of racing to keep me on the straight and narrow. Even now, I find myself letting my HR inch up more than it should on some of these runs, wanting to go just a little bit faster. I can't let myself fall into that trap again. I need to see if this experiment really works, and I need to keep the variables limited to ensure that apples remain apples.

This isn't really anything new for me, but it's something of which I need to remind myself from time to time. Especially when I catch myself fooling around with a Daniels' calculator in my off time, projecting different speeds at lowered body weights...

... and looking at Boston qualifying times. Suspect
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Post  Mark B on Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:03 pm

Low HR Run: 120 minutes (10.14 miles)

Weather: Overcast, mild. 48-50 degrees. Gear: Free 3.0 v4s, shorts, T. Fuel: Coffee and oatmeal before. Carried handheld with nuun.

My longest run since Tecumseh! My training partner and I headed out on a nice cool morning out to the Salmon Creek Greenway Trail a few miles away from my house. I was working to keep my HR closer to my target (see post above) while trying to feel my way into the right form. I didn't always find it, but but when I did, I could feel my whole body relaxing into the run. I really noticed it when running downhill. After seeing my HR rise on downhills last week, I tried consciously relaxing, finding my center of gravity and letting gravity take me down. It was sort of like when you lean back in a chair and find the perfect balance point - once you find the balance, it's easy to move one way or the other. (I don't know if that make sense, but it's the best explanation I can come up with right now).

We did a little walking up some of the hills and the climb out of the greenway, but that kept the whole run nice and easy. It was a good run.

Walked first and last 5 minutes, as usual.

Average HR for the entire run: 134
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Post  ounce on Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:12 pm

@Mark B wrote:So I spent a while last night going through my training logs since I started doing low HR training back in the summer of 2009.

I've tracked my progress (and catastrophes) with MAF tests, but I hadn't really gone back and looked at the times and HR numbers as they progressed over time. I wondered where I am now compared with how I was back when things were going well - and maybe more importantly, when they weren't.

I'll spare you the numbers (there were a lot of them), but one thing stood out: impatience, ego and toxic ambition.

While I started with a HR close to 138, I tended to start letting that HR sneak up more and more as time went on. I can see now that at least some of the speed gain I was enjoying back then was simply the result of me running at a higher intensity.

It finally got up to the point, after I got my hard-won PR in Eugene in 2010 (3:46), that I was flirting with running in the 9s or even upper 8s -- but doing so by routinely pushing my "low HR" runs up into the 146-148 range. (!)

Is it any wonder I flamed out? What was I thinking?

The crazy - and scary - thing is, it made sense to me at the time.

This is one of the reasons I swore off racing this year. I had to set other priorities for myself (weight loss, aerobic base, improved proprioception and form) and eliminate the distractions of racing to keep me on the straight and narrow. Even now, I find myself letting my HR inch up more than it should on some of these runs, wanting to go just a little bit faster. I can't let myself fall into that trap again. I need to see if this experiment really works, and I need to keep the variables limited to ensure that apples remain apples.

This isn't really anything new for me, but it's something of which I need to remind myself from time to time. Especially when I catch myself fooling around with a Daniels' calculator in my off time, projecting different speeds at lowered body weights...

... and looking at Boston qualifying times. Suspect

This must've been reflective weekend for you and me, except you analyzed whereas I posted figures.

I've pondered on my training for Odessa during the long, hot summer and how it'll relate to running the marathon and the other 4 in successive months. The thinking side of me is just saying to pound the miles and the time will come because it's so durn hot and will only get hotter, so time isn't important, right now. Besides, I have more weight to lose. The thinking side will win out. The emoting side wants to assess and re-assess the speed because, by golly, the days they're a wasting. Emotions say I have more PR's in me and we've got to strike while the iron is hot. Silly emotions.

I do have more PR's in me, but they'll come. The thinking side allows the emotions to do the negative splits. That should suffice, well, it'll have to suffice. The thinking side is testing the emotions by not carbo-loading for long runs. A 13 mile long run is on the schedule for this Friday. Thinking side knows running injury-free is the greatest gift I can give my emotions.

Mark, I've tried a couple of nuun's on Sundays. Not wanting to cause unnecessary muscle rippling due to carrying a bottle, I do 1 nuun before I leave to run. Plop it in 7 oz of water and chug. Might switch to the S!Caps, since it's a capsule.

We'll get to our goals.
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Post  Mark B on Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:40 pm

Barefoot Run: 2 miles - on the treadmill!

Weather: 68 degrees, 95% humidity outside, less muggy inside. Gear: Bare feet, shorts, T (shed).

The pavement was wet outside (don't want to sand off my soles), so I decided to try something completely new for me this morning: a barefoot run on the treadmill! I was curious to see just how it'd turn out. I ended up being happy to be done at 2 miles. That treadmill belt isn't rough asphalt, but you can feel it in the skin of your feet after a while.

I started out at a 12/mi pace and held that as I warmed up. I checked my cadence partway in, and found it I was running at 90/180, which was good to see. I picked up the speed to a 10/mi pace after about .75 miles, but found that a little too fast - my HR revved - so I eased it back down to 10:20 before I hit the first mile split. I don't usually hit splits on the TM, but it seemed like the thing to do today. I varied my pace based on HR for the second mile between 10:20 an about 10:54. And after two miles on that belt, I was ready to be done.

I'll say one thing for the TM - when you're running barefoot, you *know* when you let your heel down too hard after your foot touches. After hundreds of soft touchdowns, the whole platform shakes! I suspect that might encourage toe running, which isn't necessarily a great thing, but it does keep you from wanting to bounce off your heel into the next step.

I could feel the heat under the belt but it wasn't enough to bother me. I did feel the texture of the belt on the skin of one of my feet. Must not be touching down quite right there. It didn't blister, which is good. But boy, did my feet get dirty! (Note to self: Bring damp cloth to clean feet to avoid tracking up carpet.)

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I can imagine trying the TM again from time to time - you really have to concentrate on form - but I'm thinking I'm going to want to do the vast majority of my barefoot work outside. It feels less like work when you're not on a machine.

Average HR for entire run: 128
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Post  Joel H on Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:47 pm

Hmmm...no wonder your speed was so much higher back then. You were working awfully close to your marathon pace by creeping up your HR 8-10 beats. Stay focused and keep your HR down where it needs to be, your body will thank you for it later.
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Post  Tom H on Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:06 pm

Loved seeing your 10 mile run posting, and that you were able to keep yourself reined in at a HR of 134. It'll be interesting to watch how things develop here in your year off and focusing on getting stronger, healthier and modifying form without the race pressure.
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Post  Mark B on Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:46 pm

@ounce wrote:This must've been reflective weekend for you and me, except you analyzed whereas I posted figures.

I've pondered on my training for Odessa during the long, hot summer and how it'll relate to running the marathon and the other 4 in successive months. The thinking side of me is just saying to pound the miles and the time will come because it's so durn hot and will only get hotter, so time isn't important, right now. Besides, I have more weight to lose. The thinking side will win out. The emoting side wants to assess and re-assess the speed because, by golly, the days they're a wasting. Emotions say I have more PR's in me and we've got to strike while the iron is hot. Silly emotions.

I do have more PR's in me, but they'll come. The thinking side allows the emotions to do the negative splits. That should suffice, well, it'll have to suffice. The thinking side is testing the emotions by not carbo-loading for long runs. A 13 mile long run is on the schedule for this Friday. Thinking side knows running injury-free is the greatest gift I can give my emotions.

Mark, I've tried a couple of nuun's on Sundays. Not wanting to cause unnecessary muscle rippling due to carrying a bottle, I do 1 nuun before I leave to run. Plop it in 7 oz of water and chug. Might switch to the S!Caps, since it's a capsule.

We'll get to our goals.

Yes, we will, Ounce. What I'm (slowly, grudgingly) learning is that you can't rush changing your physiology. You can try, but it usually comes back and bites you in the butt, leaving you in a position worse off than when you started. I think you're making great, steady progress right now. Keep at it - think water wearing away stone - and you'll find that Odessa and the four marathons that follow will just keep getting better.

One nuun tablet in 7 ounces of water would be pretty potent Shocked - trying an S-Cap before might be easier to manage. Save the nuun for a refreshing after-run dehydration drink.

And just for the record: Boston is not a goal for me anymore, though I do hear the echo of its siren call from time to time. I just have to remind myself: I have better goals now. Wink

@Joel H wrote:Hmmm...no wonder your speed was so much higher back then. You were working awfully close to your marathon pace by creeping up your HR 8-10 beats. Stay focused and keep your HR down where it needs to be, your body will thank you for it later.

Yep! Interesting, isn't it, Joel? I've heard many times before that runners often run their slow runs too fast and their fast runs too slow. This seems to be a case of running the slow runs too fast. It doesn't seem that there much to be gained - other than racking up useless ego points - by those runs. So, I need to remember to keep the stimulus low and allow the speed to build up gradually. And if I don't get speed, I'll get endurance... and that's what I'm really working toward this year.

@Tom H wrote:Loved seeing your 10 mile run posting, and that you were able to keep yourself reined in at a HR of 134. It'll be interesting to watch how things develop here in your year off and focusing on getting stronger, healthier and modifying form without the race pressure.

You're right, Tom. I went back this weekend and realized that I've run two marathons a year for the past four years. Even if every one was a PR, rather than a string of struggles or outright disasters, it would be time to step back and give my body a chance to try something a little different. Or even, a lot different. geek
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Post  Mark B on Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:31 am

A quick follow-up to yesterday's escapade...

Holy cow! My calves (more the soleus than the gastroc) are sore this morning! I must have been more up on my toes than I'd thought.

I need to be careful about that: I'm sure that my calf muscles could use a little conditioning, but of the tenets of learning barefoot running is to keep your calf muscles relaxed. I clearly tensed up on the TM, which probably explains why two miles felt so much more challenging than when I'm going barefoot outside.


One other geeky note: When I look at the post run photo (above), the rub-off from the belt does a good job of showing where - and even how - my foot comes into contact with the ground. The greatest contact is up front, in an arc from the head of my 5th metatarsal (pinkie toe) across the ball of my foot to my big toe, with contact simultaneously snaking back to touch-down on the medial side of my heel as my foot naturally flattens out to absorb the shock. Kinda cool! And it it also explains why I'm seeing more wear on the soles of my Free 3.0s on the medial side of the heel, even though I know I'm running more on the forefoot. Interesting!
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Post  ounce on Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:15 pm

Definitely not staying on the lateral side of your foot throughout the step.
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Post  Mark B on Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:44 pm

@ounce wrote:Definitely not staying on the lateral side of your foot throughout the step.

Which, given the somewhat deformed nature of my feet, is a good thing. My foot needs to flatten out, or metatarsals 3, 4 and 5 crash into each other.
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Post  Mark B on Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:14 pm

Lunchtime walk: 2.2 miles

Weather: Mostly cloudy, cool and breezy. A bit of rain.

A walk from my office to - and then along - the Columbia River. I had a spot of rain when I started, but it passed quickly and the rest of the walk was nice. I crossed paths with a barefoot walker, which made me smile, but I didn't strike up a conversation or offer up some brilliant insight, like, "Hey! You're not wearing shoes!"

Yes, I was wearing shoes. And work clothes.

The sore spot on the sole of my left foot didn't bother me much and my tightish calves felt fine.
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Post  ounce on Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:43 pm

Question on nuun and the like. If I'm going out on a 90 minute to 2 hour run, I have consumed 1 tablet before the run or immediately after. So what am I not thinking of to continue doing it before or after a run? I understand the gradual ingestion by it being in your bottle.

I think I'm going to end up getting the S!Caps, because it's in capsule form and easier to administer, as long as I keep it dry.
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