Archive for August 2015

4.14 miles in 30 minutes on the treadmill – good solid push after a slacker week.

Tonight was a good solid speed work out – alternating 8 mph periods with 9 mph periods. Finished out 30 minutes with 4.14 miles on the treadmill. Definitely a solid run. It felt good to get moving as I really haven’t had a good running week at this point.

I gave myself a 0.2 mile warm up at 4 mph and 6% incline to stretch out the legs before resetting the treadmill and doing the run.

I also took a 5 minute at 4 mph cool down walk after the run.

I used to do warm ups and cool downs all the time but fell out of the habit – I need to start doing them regularly again. The warm up meant I didn’t spend much of the start of the run working the kinks out and the cool down left me feeling more energized and yet still relaxed after the run. All positive things!

As a bit of a recap for this past week:

I posted about a 10.5 mile run and then another 0.5 mile test run with dogs after on Saturday.

On Sunday I did 13.1 miles on the treadmill practicing run / walk cycles of 5 minutes at 7 mph and 1 minute at 4 mph walk. I need to practice the run / walk cycles more as we are only about 5 weeks out from the 12 hour Lemming Loop and I will need to be doing quite a bit of the cycles in that event. I had planned to go longer but it was getting pretty late and the treadmill broke me mentally. I used to be able to do 20 milers on the treadmill but apparently that wasn’t in the cards that night.

Monday was a planned rest day.

Tuesday, I had some running around to do and didn’t get my run in. Getting to be a common theme…

Wednesday – I decided to take a second crack at running with the dogs – I took Sven out first and he was excited to go…in fact too excited. On Saturday, he ran very well with me with only minor pulling but he kept pulling and trying to lead on this run. He also kept trying to cross in front of me and tripping me up. By the end of a half mile run he was better but I could tell my form was way off. I then took out Arrow and he wanted to go hard too…for about 50 meters…then he kept trying to drag behind and not go. I kept coaxing him to go and we would get going and it would be ok, but then he would drop and sit again. We also had a bit (friendly) pooch who was off leash come bounding up and I wasn’t sure how he was going to react. So I had him sit and he did very well and kept under control (positive points there). But it was a struggle to try to settle into a pace with him as he just kept wanting to stop – basically he just wanted to run free which was not going to happen.

Basically I saw hope for running with both of them but I think in the Sven may be the real runner – the one that enjoys it. Arrow wants to chase Frisbees and balls instead.

I am still playing it by ear but as I watch their personalities, I suspect that my goal of running with both of them together may not happen. They are just too different. I might give it a short try on the weekend as a test.

Anyway, long story short on the dogs is that my legs and back were messed up after those short runs because of the bad form and being pulled in every direction. That blew off any hope of a run on Thursday as I was still pretty messed up.

Tonight’s run (Friday) ended up being a test to see if things had straightened back out…and they had. So, there is yet another thing I need to watch out for while running with the dogs – I need to maintain my form no matter what they are trying to do!

10.5 miles this morning followed by 0.5 miles with the dogs. More thorough recap of my runs this morning.

I got a bit of a late start this morning as I had to wait for some lightning to pass and then needed to confirm that I wasn’t going to get caught out again by the next storm like happened a couple weeks ago.

After putting out some speed last night my legs really weren’t interested in more speed today so I figured I would go slow and steady. There was a good bit of mist as I got going and I figured it should be cooler but I was wrong – things did get pretty warm out there so deciding to stay at a slower steady pace was definitely the right move.

I ran 10.5 miles in 1:44:36 in the end – based on what the gps stuff is telling me I kept my pace strong and steady the whole time. Nice.

As I finished I quickly checked the radar as it was starting to get dark again outside but since it seemed like the bad stuff was holding off for a bit longer we strapped the harnesses on the dogs and decided to take them out one at a time to do a bit of running together practice.

I have never run with dogs before so this is going to be a training experience for me as well as the dogs. Because of this I decided that running with one at a time to start would help me get trained as well without getting frustrated.

We have 2 male dogs (both now fixed) – Sven born on Christmas Eve 2014 and Arrow born on New Years Eve 2014. Sven is the more dominant (not that Arrow is quite ready to let him be alpha) but also the more laid back (and perhaps lazy) so I decided to start with him as I figured Arrow is the faster and the most likely to really want to run and I could give him more time if I ran with him second.

Sven did excellent! He tried to lead a few times but was easy to pull back into line to let me lead. He never tried to cut me off either. Definitely more work to get him fully under control but when we were running he showed no sign of stopping to catch scents or to mark – so that is a very good start.

I paid extra attention to his gait to see how he was running so I could how hard he was working to keep up and how hard he was working. It looked like between 5.5 – 6 mph he was at a light trot and then he would break into a gallop at just over 6 mph. So he should be ok at my standard pacing lately.

I ran him for a half mile and he seemed very pleased with himself when we were done. A positive experience all around. Excellent.

Now for Arrow – I had to pull him back in pretty good right at the start because he wanted to fly but I got him back under control. I fairly quickly had to switch hands with him as he wanted to be nearer the side of the road. Nice that each dog by default wanted a different side – should make it easy to train them to run together later.

Unfortunately, we were weren’t far from the house when someone started using a nail gun and spooked him. He cut in front of me and then turtled and I had to leap him to avoid tripping and face planting – almost pulled my quad. I calmed him down for a minute and then tried to go again but he fought and only wanted to pull away from the direction we had heard the sound. I tried to calm him again and then tried once more. He wanted none of it – so I turned him toward home and he ran well with me back toward the house. Too bad that he only got maybe 0.1 of a mile but I didn’t want to force him and have him be upset every time we try to run.

So I will try again with Arrow and he should do better – he is a very accommodating and eager to please dog so he will get there, but it may take some time.

Looking forward to continuing the train with them – it should add an extra interesting element to my training!

4 miles tonight in 29:11 – Apparently son’s birthday cake was full of rocket fuel…

I ended up missing out on a planned run last night as we took our son out for supper for his 9th birthday. By the time we got back and got the kids to bed, I had no energy left for running.

So I figured I needed to get some running done tonight even though we did his actual birthday cake tonight. After a swim with the kids after work then some big pizza for supper followed by the birthday cake, I didn’t think I would be able to do too much…but I had to try!

I decided that I would try to just do 2 miles fairly quickly and call it a night. Amazingly as I was going, I kept feeling a bit stronger and stronger. I think the birthday cake was kicking in.

I hit 2 miles at just over 15 minutes and decided to see if I could push out a total of 4 in less than 30 minutes. It took a major effort but I made it happen – 4 miles in 29:11. At the 3 mile mark I was thinking about trying for 5 but I realized that 4 was the max for tonight as I got closer to the 30 minute mark.

Pretty happy with the run in the end. Happy with the effort and results but very happy that I managed to make myself run at all!


I have fairly hefty mileage planned for the weekend – it is supposed to be cooler so hopefully the mental game is there and I can make it happen!

10 miles in 76:47 – wanted speed but needed distance – treadmill helped me do a bit of both tonight!

Ok – time to get focused again!

The last of the house guests and family / friend visits, etc are done for the summer. For a while I was doing ok at handling both but in the end the running slid (but at least 2 weekends ago was solid with 13.1 and 19.1 miles on Saturday and Sunday but since then I have only done 3 runs including tonight – not a good thing)

But at least tonight I was antsy to get moving and get some miles in! I needed to get a longer run in to get my miles up and keep rebuilding my endurance but the thought of a long slow slog tonight was kind of horrifying.

On the other hand, I really wanted to get some speed in to get energized.

In the end I compromised – I would try for 10 miles on the treadmill but I would do it doing 5 minute run / 1 minute walk cycles with the run cycles done with some speed if I could manage it. At least that way I should finish feeling energized instead of drained.

I did the first 5 minutes of running starting out a 7 mph and then every minute bumped the speed up 0.2 to 0.3 mph. After that initial leg stretch, I did the remaining 5 minute running periods with the same kinds of progression but started at 8 mph instead. This meant I was able to usually hit 9+ mph for a minute or 2 before I got to the walking period.

I could definitely feel that in the legs and cardiovascular wise but in the end it paid off. Not only did I push out that 10 miles in 76:47 (looks like my fastest 10 miles this year) but I walked off the treadmill feeling energized. Excellent! Mission accomplished.

That should help sustain motivation!

5 miles tonight on the treadmill tonight – decently strong run tonight. Also recap of last week of running.

It has been tough getting runs in the past few weeks due to various visitors and house guests and tonight was no exception. The summer heat can limit runs but the socializing this summer seems to be doing more damage!

Tonight was no exception but I forced myself to get in 5 of my planned 10 miles. I took the first 10 minutes easy at 7 mph and then bumped the speed up to 7.4 mph for 7.5 minutes. I then pushed the speed up again to 8 mph for 12.5 minutes. I took a 1 minute walk before pushing the speed up to 8.2 mph until I hit the 5 mile mark. 39:38 in the end.

A decent run and a good leg stretch.

Last week I had a few runs that I tweeted but didn’t write up:

Thursday – 10 treadmill miles in 82:02 with 1 minute of walking

Saturday – 13.1 miles in some heat outside – slower run hampered by running out of water at about mile 10 making the last few miles pretty rough in the heat. 2:13:28 – not speedy for sure but it felt good to get it in. Felt very good after the run.

Sunday – 19.1 miles in weather that got a fair bit hotter than I expected. After running out of water the day before I made sure I had a lot with me for this longer run attempt even though it wasn’t quite as hot. I still ended up running out of fluids too early even though I had almost 2 liters with me – lots of fluids and I still lost 4.5 pounds on the run. Ouch.

In the end this run took longer than I had hoped and I ran out of time to finish up the planned 20 miles before friends came over a small pool party my wife was throwing.

After I was done I ended up having to put down a bunch of liquids and lay down for 15-20 minutes to let the body absorb. Even still I had a few leg cramps when I got up – nothing too major or permanently damaging but definitely showed that I did not drink enough.

Looking back at my notes from last year and the same length of run usually had me carrying about 3 liters of liquid. Makes sense – I will carry more on the next long slow run!

Overall that was 42.2 mile week which is great – I am still rebuilding my mileage and the 2 decently long back to back runs was a major confidence booster! Basically even during Goofy Challenge and Dopey Challenge training 19 to 20 mile runs were normally proceeded with 10 mile runs not 13.1 – so very solid. Based on that, I could probably pull of a Goofy or Dopey Challenge right now – it wouldn’t be pretty but it could be done…that helps my confidence and my mindset.

So training continues with increased focus!