Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tempo run

Today, I decided to do that ever important tempo run, and it was great. I went farther than normal at my race pace, which was the goal. I need to do more of these, and increase as much as I can each week, but am now running out of time...I needed to be doing these several weeks ago, and did not do as many as I had planned.

I was hoping that running at altitude last week would help me....maybe it did....ha! The workout was great.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

800's on the track

After doing a mile warmup, I did several 800's at race pace. It was an interesting workout. My speed doesn't seem to be improving any, but I did these 800's easily enough. I think I need to do more tempo runs, as they may help my speed issues a little more. Right now, I am doing well just to complete my workouts as they come up. I am a little tired, and I want to run well in the Dr. Pepper 10k, but I am not improving on my speed, and it's been so hot, I have not had good workouts to speak of.

Maybe next year, I will not compete at all during the summer months, and just run early and keep some basic mileage up.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Running with the wind at Canyon De Shelley, Arizona

Well, I finally returned from the Navajo Reservation, and I have to admit, it was one of the most inspirational trips of my life. It was full of good conversation, service work to the Navajos, a lot of great road trips, eating Navajo tacos, and just enjoying life. I got to do some real trail running for a change...not the San Angelo State park, or the short, and not very challenging trails out at Abilene State park. I was actually able to run at Canyon De Shelley, and with that, one of my dreams came true. I have always wanted to do that, but let me tell you, the trail we ran was intensive and one of the hardest runs I have ever done. The trail was mostly rock and hard packed gravel and some soft sand in places. To make it even more interesting, it started raining midway down, which made the rocks slippery. The friends I was running with were younger, stronger, and faster, but I stayed with them, even though I thought the pace was a dangerous one considering the conditions. However, the payoff was at the bottom of the canyon, and once we hit the bottom of the canyon, we came across an ancient Pueblo (Anasasi) ruin that was at least a thousand years old. We stopped and took some time to look, transfixed with what lay before us! Then, we had to run out of the canyon, and that was no easy chore, but it was exhilerating.

We also got to do a lot of hiking in such places at Mesa Verde, Colorado, and climbed rocks at Shiprock, New Mexico, and Chaco Canyon in New mexico. It was an unforgettable trip, and we finally arrived last night, and as we approached Sweetwater, we encountered the most intense rain storm I have ever driven through. What a way to end a trip!


Friday, May 16, 2008

Heading to the Mountains

Well, today is my last day in Abilene this week, so I wanted to get a good workout in. I went to Redbud and it was sort of cool, but humid. The clouds came up and there was a nice breeze. I got in a good 10-mile run, and was able to stop and hydrate every 2.5 miles. That helped a lot. I just kept a smooth easy pace, and it felt good to get a few miles in. I will be traveling all day tomorrow, going to Shiprock, New Mexico, and will soon be running in the mountains. Looking forward to it all.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Running with the Navajo

Well, this has been an interesting week. I have concentrated on doing more speedwork, even in the heat, and all is well. I did some one-mile intervals the other day, and tomorrow, I am trying something new: 2-mile intervals. I will take a small rest break in between, but will run them at race pace, just like the one-mile intervals. It should be a tough, but good workout. Then, on friday, I plan on doing a ten mile run out at the state park, running the hills and trails in the early afternoon before heading to the Navajo Reservation. Saturday, I will head toward Shiprock, New Mexico and will spend the week out there working with the Navajo, and I will be taking 20 McMurry students with me, so it should be interesting. There are several other runners that will be going with us, so I should have some company to run in Navajo land....I am looking forward to that. It will be my easy week, or cut-back in mileage week, so I won't have to run that many miles, but it will all be at 5,000' and above, with lots of hills and mountains, and desert heat.

Monday, May 12, 2008

One-Mile Intervals

Today, I wanted to keep up my speed work, so I decided to do some more One-Mile Intervals. Of course, every time I do speed work, the wind is blowing like crazy, so nothing has changed in that regard. However, I was determined to complete my workout, so I ran one mile as a warmup and continued running my intervals at race pace. It turned out to be a great workout, and I completed all my intervals with only a three minute recovery period in between each, and ended the workout with a nice one mile cool down.

It always feels good to do what you set out to do, but even better when it is succesful. Last time I attempted this workout, I quit in the middle of my it was good.

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Great Run

Today, I was still a little sore from my strength and conditioning workout yesterday, and I decided to just go out and run and see how I felt. I started out with a nice pace and the farther I ran, the better I felt, so it was a nice workout, and pretty fast for running through all those hills out by my house. I guess my hill training is finally paying off.

It was nice to have a good workout and it felt great to run faster.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cross Training Day

Today was one of those days where I just wanted to do something different, so I ran a fast three miles on the treadmill and then switched to lifting weights. I did what I call a circuit training set, by running three miles, and then starting right in with bench presses, dumbell flyes, dumbell rows, dumbell presses, upright rows, triceps extensions, and dumbell curls...then finished the whole workout with crunches and stretches...all with no rest between sets. It's really a tough workout, even with light weights. Next time, I will do two sets, and that will be one tough workout for sure.

It is good for a change of pace.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Terrible afternoon in the wind

Well, I guess I have had too many good workouts in a row, so I was due a bad one. Actually, it wasn't too bad...I did a tempo run today, and I met my speed goal, but the wind was so bad, it took a lot out of me, and I finished a mile short of my mileage goal. However, I made up for it, I think by doing some fartlek at the end of my run, even though I stopped short of my mileage goal.

Sometimes, I get too caught up in mileage. I should just be satisfied that I met my pace goal for my tempo run, but I know I am really hard on myself at times. I pout inwardly when I don't complete my workout goals.

Plus, I have to attend graduation this weekend, and we start our first graduation at 10:00, so I will have to postpone my 15 mile run until sunday morning. I am also a stickler for my usual workout schedule. I have been doing long runs on saturdays every morning for quite a while, and I am becoming obsessive about it, I think.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Running in the Rain

My monday run was my hills/trails workout day, so instead of going out to ACU, I ran out at the State Park. I like the long hills that are out there, as well as the "lack of crazed motorists" that sometimes like to do us all in. At any rate, the trails are a nice diversion from the roads and Redbud. I go back and forth in one route out there that takes in the roads and trails, and I charged up all the hills, and raced down the hills for striding and speed training.

It was also raining, and I loved the smell of the rain as it dampened the ground, the trees, and the plants. At one point, a deer was standing in the road looking at me, and she was so beautiful.

A great five mile run and a good speed workout.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Running with the Coyotes!

Saturday morning was a very interesting run. At the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, the biological department has created a natural habitat for the animals that inhabit the prairie, and that includes such things as Burrowing Owls, Prairie Dogs, various birds, lizards, snakes, and of course, Coyotes.

At the entrance to the nature trail, there is a sign posted that says: "Coyotes in Area, Pets are at Risk." So, being a nature lover myself, I enjoy these challenges, and these opportunities to engage in a run with the animals.

It was a cool morning, windy, of course, but otherwise a good day for a long run. I sat out about 6:00 in the morning, and got to see the sun rise over the city of Odessa. There is a trail that loops around the University and measures about 3 miles all together, but there is a trail that goes right down the middle of the habitat.

I was on mile 14 of a 15 mile run, and I zipped down that trail through a Mesquite tree forest, basically. They were pretty good sized trees. Suddenly, I look up and there is the biggest Coyote I have ever seen, sitting on the trail right in front of me. I decided to keep running, and about the time I got fairly close, he turned and ran off into the mesquite trees. It didn't really scare me, as I knew that Coyotes would not really attack humans, but I guess you never know. As someone pointed out, I was on his turf, and you never know how they will react if frightened, or God forbid, rabid!

It was a nice adventure, though, and I did see other animals out there. The Prairie Dogs were huge, and made all kinds of noises as I sauntered on by. There were rabbits everywhere that sat on the edges of the trail, watching me run by.

All in all, it was a cool run. It was nice for a change of pace, as well. Odessa is certainly not my favorite place to be, but while there, I got vaccinated for tetanus, yellow fever, and hepatitis for my trip to Africa. So, it was productive, and as a runner, I am always looking for a cool place to run, and this was a cool one!


Friday, May 2, 2008

Wind, heat, and Speed Work

Yesterday was hot, (90 degrees),and windy, (20-25 mph), and looming ahead of me was my second weekly speed workout. I was wondering if I would have time to get out there, as I had a late meeting with a student, and was pushing it timewise before having to pick up my better half from work.

I quickly changed clothes and ran a mile for a warmup, although sometimes it seems better not to warm up too much on a hot day, but when I got out there at Redbud, I saw the clouds coming up, and the breeze was fairly nice, even if it was blowing too hard. So, I began my 800 meter intervals, and felt so strong that I was way under my planned pace on all of my splits. I was, of course, 10-14 seconds slower going against the wind, as I was going the other direction. The stiff breeze did come up and keep me cooler than I realized, and the workout was a great success. I did a one mile cool down and sprinted for the car and arrived about 10 minutes early to pick up Beth. I was pleased with the workout, and I think I am getting faster, which is key this training period.

Today, I am going to do some light work on the treadmill, and lift weights for upper body. I am leaving this afternoon for Odessa to get a Yellow Fever vaccination for my Visa to Africa, so I will spend the night there and run on the trails outside of town. It is a great place to run long runs...I will do a 14 mile run in the morning. The last time I ran that trail, I saw about 5 Coyotes running along the path I was on. They didn't bother me, and I certainly didn't try to bother them, but it was an interesting experience. Hopefully, I will have a great long run in the morning.