31 December 2013

December Running and 2014 Races

I ran an easy six miles this morning to finish off a 20 run/150 mile December. My runs/mileage were 24/139 in October and 20/146 in November. Looking back over the last three months of running, several things jump out at me.  First up, switching my long run to Saturdays with a shorter recovery run on Sundays and sandwiching them between my Friday/Monday rest days has been working great for me since I made the schedule switch six weeks ago.  Second, Monday is a perfect rest day for me and I have been consistently keeping it as such since mid-October.  Third, periodically dropping the mileage back by keeping the weekly long run in single digits is helping keep the legs fresh.

Going into next year, I have signed up for my first four races of 2014 - three halfs and a marathon. The last Saturday in January and first Saturday in February have me running a local race with the Running From An Angel half marathon at Lake Mead and travelling to Death Valley for the Death Valley marathon on Feb 1st.  That is going to be a big weekend for the family with my first marathon and my wife running her first half.  After that, I have the Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam half marathon in March and the Rockin Rabbit half in April.  After that, we will wait and see.

28 December 2013

putting in the miles

I closed out the final full week of  2013 with a 17.1 mile run this morning. It finished up a 41.7 mile week on four days of running. Those are potentially my longest run and biggest week since 1994.

The run felt great but my calves are a little sore when walking down steps.  That is pretty standard following my long runs.

15 December 2013

Hoover Dam Half Marathon - 12/14/13

I knocked out my second half marathon yesterday.  It was the Hoover Dam Half Marathon put on by Calico Racing.  We started at Lake Mead's Boulder Beach area and did an out-and-back to the top level of the Hoover Dam Parking garage.  The route was similar to my Thanksgiving Day 12K with the middle portion of this race going through the five tunnels of old railway bed before starting the steep drop to the parking garage.

The race had three distances - marathon, half marathon and 10K.  The half started an hour after the 10K and 58 minutes after the marathon.  My wife ran the 10K so after cheering her on at the start, snapping a few pictures and making her laugh as "What  Does A Fox Say?" blared from the YouTube app on my phone as she ran by my photo spot, I went back to the car to get ready for my race. As the start time approached, I was surprised to see how many people were lining up for the half.

At 9 AM, the race began. I hit start on my GPS and dropped it in my back pocket as I crossed the line.  We started out with a short 1/4 mile up the road before turning onto the River Mountain Loop Trail. The route continued uphill until it reached the old railbed shortly after the two mile mark.  At that point, the trail leveled out until the five mile mark where it started the steep down hill.  Around the three mile mark, I had a couple runners pass me and since I was feeling pretty good, I picked up the pace and went with them.  Looking at the GPS post-race, I clicked through Mile 4/5/6 in 27:11.  Unfortunately, we started back uphill shortly after the turn around and they pulled away from me.  At about 6.5 miles I grabbed a cup of HEED from a water station.  I don't normally drink HEED and in hindsight, it was a mistake.  Soon after that, I got a stitch on the right side of my stomach and I never get those.  The next 1.5 miles were pretty slow as a result.  Around Mile 8, the cramp finally worked itself out and I picked up the pace as I went back through the tunnels on the way back.  At Mile 10, I turned back onto the paved River Mountain Loop Trail and began a two mile descent back towards the finish.  Just before the 12 mile mark, the route passed the turnoff to the short downhill to the finish (seeing the finish line was a cruel tease) as we began a short out-and-back to make up the total distance. My wife was there with the camera and I posed for a few photos as I went by her. 10 minutes later, I was at the finish line with a chip time of 2:15:09 and gun time of 2:15:14 which put me pretty much mid-pack for the half finishers (173 out of 383).

This was my second race with Calico Racing with my first being the Twilight Ascent at Red Rock in September and they put on a very well run event.  I have a few of their events on my schedule in 2014 including my next race, the Running From An Angel Half on January, 2014.

07 December 2013

Weekly Mileage

I hit a new top distance today with a 15.64 mile run that was about 2/3 on trails near the bottom of Kyle Canyon with the remainder on roads.  It was a cold, windy run with some light rain/snow coming down in the middle half of the run.

With that run under my belt, I took a look at my mileage over the last 12 weeks.

...drum roll...


A typical week consists of five runs with a long run on Saturday and days off on Monday and Friday.  My current goal is to get my weekend mileage up to 26 miles with a 20+ run on Saturday and the remainder as a shorter recovery run on Sunday.  Almost there...