Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Time

I finished off a solid week of training and have another huge week coming up. Christmas has historically been an extremely difficult time for me to train. Most years, I have just been lazy while back at home visiting my parents, only managing to get out on one run a day, but still making sure to hit 110-120 miles for the week. I’m sure this year will be no different, although I will only be home for 4 ½ days, I know it will be a challenge to get myself out and running twice a day.

This past week I hit 116 miles with 5 doubles, which is the most I have done since my injury. We got a lot of snow this past week, so a lot of my running was done out on Lake Mary Road, including Saturday’s 15 mile tempo run. It was a windy day, but we all made the best of it. Brett dominated the rest of us, Steph and Emily looked good, and Danny and I held on strong and fought to the end. Jordan wasn’t so lucky, one of the two casualties of the day but in my experience when training for a marathon you can’t always have great workouts. Just last year I did this same workout with Brett and Martin pre-Houston and I only made it 4 miles. Sometimes that is just the way it goes.

                      Saturday’s Other Casualty: The Lid to Danny’s Fluid Bottle.

Next week, with Christmas being on Sunday, I shouldn’t have too difficult of a time getting all the training in that I want to. I’ll run most of my week in Flagstaff, going 12 and 6 most days, with a 4 x 2 mile workout on Wednesday. Then Thursday afternoon I’ll fly home and get a couple day of sea level training in, which will include a 24-mile long run on Christmas Eve. This will be an exciting run as I’m hoping to get as many of my Southern California friends together for it. So if you are in the Orange County area, give me a call or shoot me an email. Even if you only want to run 4 miles with us, it will be better than nothing.

I hope to hit 120 miles next week. Sunday will be the real test because trying to find time to run on Christmas morning has always been difficult for me. This year I will find a way, and who knows, if I feel good, maybe I’ll even find time to run twice on Christmas! One can only hope.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Response to Scott

My Response to Scott Smith’s Blog;

Dearest Scott,

You have beaten me fair and square in 4 out of 6 races, thus winning the best of 7 series of races that we have competed against each other. It all began when I took a solid lead last year after catching you by surprise at club cross. Yes, I race a hell of a lot better than I work out, let that be a lesson to you. Then we raced again at the US 15k, this time I made the mistake of being unprepared, and you destroyed me and had a phenomenal race. Kudos.

Game 3 was Cardinal: Once again you were annihilating me in workouts, only to get smashed on the track in Palo Alto. That was only my first track race of the season and you had run at least 3 races prior to that. I expected more of a challenge that day. Then came the latest string of race; US 8k, USA 10,000m, Club Cross and you got me each time. Whereas I have no excuse for losing to you, I would say that USAs was a pretty close battle, probably our closest as you only beat me by 3 seconds. So now you lead the lifetime series of races 4-2, in distances ranging from 8k-15k.

I want to now issue a true challenge to you: Scott Smith, do you have the balls to race me over half marathon, 25k or marathon? As we all know, these are my distances, the farther the better I say. I have been giving you the advantage, racing all 6 of our previous races on your home turf. Will you man up and race me on the roads over distances that are not familiar to you? Or are you going to cower away from the challenge?

Think it over.


Sunday, December 4, 2011


Getting back into shape has been a lot tougher than I imagined. November seemed to come and go rather quickly, probably from the excitement of being able to train almost at my full capacity again, as well as, Thanksgiving. In the past 5 weeks I have jumped from running 50 miles to 3 weeks at 99-105 miles. I have only just started doing workouts, and the race in Houston is approaching fast.  With each day that goes by the more nervous I become that I won’t be ready to compete for a top 3 spot.

It has been a frustrating few weeks, even with being able to run more and feeling good on most runs. Then I compare myself to my competitors who are weeks ahead of me in training and much more fit. I also compare myself to my teammates who are beating me significantly on every repeat of every workout that we do together. All this eventually leads to doubt.

Doubt is always creeping into my mind. Was I even good enough when I was healthy to make the team? Will I hurt myself again if I don’t play it safe with my training? If I do play it safe, will I cost myself the race? What am I going to do with my life if I have another bad race on this big of a stage?

Doubt takes over a lot in athletes at any level, there is no denying that. I feel that the toughest part of training for me is to stay positive and focused on the Trials. I know I am gaining tons of fitness each week, and I believe that the training I am doing will get me to the race in Houston ready to run the best that I can on that day. That is until I run my workouts and I realize how much further I have to go to get myself to my best.

My passion is there, I love getting out and running, but my fitness and my fear of reinjuring myself limits my ability to train as recklessly as I used to. I dislike being cautious and limiting how much I run. I’ve always been a guy who has never been satisfied with how much I am running; I never think I am doing enough. This mentality is what got me into trouble with my injury in the first place. So now I am trying to delicately balance my training with my maintenance and rehab of my body.

Hopefully in a week or two I will be able to tell you some more positive details about how I am overcoming my doubt and have had some stellar workout and a great race at Club Cross. But until then, here is my positive self-talk for today: I ran a 12 mile steady state workout this morning, averaging 5:20s per mile, and I kept it steady the entire way. A year and a half ago I did this exact same workout, averaged the exact same pace, and two weeks later I went on to run 2:11:48 in San Diego. So, by using some geometric property (Associative? perhaps) this should mean that I am 2 weeks away from a 2:11 marathon. I just have to let myself gain some momentum over the next 5 weeks and 5 days.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Coming Back

Hi Everyone! I’m back from my little hiatus from blogging. The past few months have not been the most positive for me in terms of running, which led to a lack of enthusiasm when it comes to writing all about it. Well, let’s catch up, huh?

Last I left off I was leaving for Daegu for the World Champs. While I was there my running was on a downhill slide due to a small hip issue I got just before I left.  I assume that the long travel from Flagstaff to Daegu aggravated my hip a lot because once I got there, I wasn’t able to run a step without at least a little bit of discomfort in my hip. I tried to think nothing of it because it didn’t seem to bother me the faster I was running, so I was still looking forward to the race. Unfortunately, I was a lot worse off than I knew, and I struggled and limped through the entire marathon. A bad day thanks to a bum hip.

I found out once I got back to Phoenix and saw our team Chiropractor, John Ball, that my hip joint was displaced due to the muscles and tissues in the hip complex tightening and locking up on me. That’s the best, uneducated explanation I can give on the subject. I had to take 3 whole weeks off of running, which if you know me is pretty much unheard of, since in the past nine years I have probably only taken off 5 weeks total (John says that this was part of the problem).

After taking 3 weeks off I tried running again. I ran 4 miles a couple times and things had not gotten any better, my hip still felt uncomfortable and I had a significant limp. So, in addition to seeing John Ball in Phoenix I started seeing another chiropractor, Kim Wilkens, in Flagstaff and focusing all my massage time on my hip, glutes, adductors, and hamstrings. It was also time for me to start getting into some sort of fitness, so I went to the gym and used the elliptical for the first time in my life, which sucked. I also rode the stationary bike, which was fine.

During week 5 post-marathon I started running 5 days a week on the Alter G treadmill, running 4-7 miles at 70-80% body weight. This was enough that I was able to run without pain and without a limp, so as boring as it was, it was nice to be running again. I continued this process, with a long bike ride over the weekend during the team’s long runs, for 2 weeks.

Finally, after 7 weeks of being a gimp, John, Kim, and Stephanie got me to the point where I could run on land without pain and without a limp. I still took things slow and every other day I alternated running on land and running on the Alter G. Now, I’m 4 days into week 8 and have run 6-10 miles on land pain-free and without a limp each day. I am excited to be running again with the team and cannot wait to start into my marathon training for the trials. Only 10 weeks to go...yay!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

About to Leave For Daegu!

Another Couple of weeks are done, and we are now 3 days until the start of the World Championships, and 11 days until my race. I am starting to get pretty excited, nervous, and mostly anxious to be over in Korea for the big day. I have started to taper my mileage a little bit, hitting ‘only’ 122 and 115 miles over the past two weeks. Training is going very well and I have been feeling pretty sharp on my workouts and fresh on my regular runs. It is a pretty exciting feeling to have a marathon coming up with pretty much everything leading up to it going in the right direction.

            Two weeks ago I continued to taper down my mileage from 131 to 122 miles, which included an easier fartlek on Wednesday at Buffalo Park, and a Fast Finish Steady State run on Saturday. Wednesday was long, but simple, 25 x 1 minute on, 1 minute off, just running loops around Buffalo Park. Even with the unsteady pace I was averaging 5:50-5:55 per mile and feeling pretty comfortable. It was nice to touch on a little bit of speed and turnover. Saturday was meant to be more of a race simulation, which assumes the race will go out in a slower pace due to the heat and humidity. I started the 14 mile workout at a moderate pace, with the intention of running faster each mile, and running the last 4 miles close to an all out effort. The workout went exactly as expected until the last 4 miles, where I actually surprised myself with how good I felt, and ran faster than I thought I would. My splits were: 5:46, 5:40, 5:40, 5:40, 5:33, 5:28, 5:27, 5:22, 5:19, 5:15, 5:03, 5:01, 5:01, 4:47 (1:15:08).

            This past week, I dropped my overall training again down to 115 per week, just a slight taper, still hitting some good distance runs throughout the week. I didn’t have any big workouts; generally at this point in my training I always feel that I am as fit as I can be, so I worry about overdoing it with a big workout that might have a drastic effect. So I kept things simple, had a solid long run on Tuesday, out at A1 Mountain again. Martin and I ran the loop out there in 2:12:06, easier than the last couple of times, but felt much more comfortable the whole way.

Thanks for taking the time to catch up with me!


Week Ending 8/14/11 – 122 miles

Monday             AM: Easy Run from Sinagua Middle school with guys, recovery run from yesterdays workout. 8 miles in 1:00:03.
                        PM: Easy Run with Scott and Brauny after core. 4 miles in 29:14.

Tuesday            AM: Distance Run with guys from Trina House. 13 miles in 1:30:13.
                        PM: Easy run with Tim. 6 miles in 41:07.

Wednesday        AM: Workout at Buffalo Park, ran 3 mile w/u, then 25 x 1 min on, 1 min off Fartlek (8.5 miles), then 3 mile c/d. 14.5 miles in 1:29:48.
                        PM: Easy run from home. 4.5 miles in 30:00.

Thursday           AM: Distance Run with guys at Bagel Run. 11 miles in 1:14:30.
                        PM: Easy Run with Brauny after Core. 5 miles in 34:50.

Friday               AM: Distance Run with guys at Campbell Mesa. 13 miles in 1:28:54.
                        PM: Easy Run from home. 8 miles in 56:52.

Saturday            AM: Workout at Lake Mary Road. 10 min w/u, then 14 mile fast finish run in 1:15:08. Splits = 5:46, 5:40, 5:40, 5:40, 5:33, 5:28, 5:27, 5:22, 5:19, 5:15, 5:03, 5:01, 5:01, 4:47. 10 min c/d. 17 miles in 1:45:08.

Sunday              AM: Distance Run from home by myself. 10 miles in 1:09:57.
                        PM: Easy run with NAU guys in Bellmont. 8 miles in 55:32.

Week Ending 8/21/11 – 115 miles.

Monday             AM: Distance Run with guys at Buffalo Park. 11 miles in 1:10:51.
                        PM: Easy run with Jordan after core. 6 miles in 39:28.

Tuesday            AM: Long Run with Martin at A1 Mountain. 21 miles in 2:12:06.

Wednesday        AM: Distance Run with guys from Gregs. 10 miles in 1:09:24.
                        PM: Easy run with Tim from home. 4.5 miles in 29:50.

Thursday           AM: Distance Run with Tim at Buffalo Park. 10 miles in 1:08:42.
                        PM: Easy Run with Brauny after core. 4 miles in 29:36.

Friday               AM: Distance Run with Martin from Gregs house. 12 Miles in 1:18:46.
                        PM: Easy run with Tim from Lake Mary Road. 4.5 Miles in 30:31.

Saturday            AM: Distance Run from home by myself out to Kachina Wetlands. 13 miles in 1:25:59.
                        PM: Easy run with Jordan and Danny from Cooper. 5.5 miles in 39:37.

Sunday              AM: Distance Run with Martin, Danny and Brauny at A1 Mountain. 14 miles in 1:31:53.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Training Update 8/9/11

            I have fallen behind on my training updates, as the past two weeks have been very busy for the team and myself in Flagstaff. Last week we hosted our inaugural Adidas/McMillan Elite High School Training Camp. The numbers were a little small this year, but I personally feel like it was very successful. Each of us on the team were counselors for the High School kids, leading and following them on runs, giving talks about training, racing, colleges, etc. I had a lot of fun, even though it took up quite a bit of my normal resting and relaxing schedule. I feel like we made a good connection with all of the High Schoolers.

            Other than helping out with the camp for most of the week, I was still able to do my normal training and get a couple really good workouts in. Since I am two weeks behind I’ll just talk about the highlights of my training. Two weeks ago I ran 140 miles with a 4 mile tempo on Wednesday and fast long run on Saturday. I ran 19:48 on the 4 mile tempo, got out a little hard and felt the lactic acid build up pretty quickly, and eventually settled into marathon pace. Saturdays long run was much better; I ran 24 miles in 2:28:20, and was much faster throughout the run than I was the last time we ran 21 on the same loop. We ran each 7 miles in 46:21, 43:55, 39:50 and 17:46 for our last 3 miles.

            This past week I only ran 131 miles, which was still good considering I was juggling counselor responsibilities as well as my training. It was also a good start to my taper since I have only 24 days left until my race. My workouts last week included 8 x 200m strides during my run on Monday, 4 x 2 mile repeats on Thursday, and a Pace Change Long Run on Sunday. Thursday was a tough one since I moved the workout to the afternoon to accommodate the camp run in the morning. I managed a decent workout while staying relaxed, Running 10:12(5:03,5:08), 10:11(5:03,5:08), 10:10(5:06,5:04), 10:08(5:05,5:03) for each of my 2 miles with 3 minutes rest between.

            Sunday’s long run was probably my best workout yet. Which is pretty exciting since I am just starting to taper and feel pretty good on my every day runs as well. The workouts starts by running 5 miles easy, and then starting to throw in 1 mile – 2 mile long surges during the run, while still running a medium pace on the easy sections. I ran 20 miles in 1:52:35, with my first 5 miles in 31:37 and last 15 in 1:20:58. My splits looked a little something like this: 31:37, 5:22, 5:32, 5:07, 5:45, 5:10, 5:55, 5:13, 5:04, 5:59, 5:48, 5:01, 5:01, 5:53, 4:58, 5:03. I started off a little conservative and ended with my last couple surges being faster then my 2 mile repeats were on Thursday. A great workout with a lot of positive feedback going into my last few weeks of training.

Week Ending 7/31/11 – 140 miles (100 on singles)

Monday             AM: Distance run with team from my house. 14 miles in 1:32:38
                        PM: Easy run after core from YMCA. 8 miles in 55:59.

Tuesday            AM: Distance run with team from Gregs. 12 miles in 1:20:36
                        PM: Easy run on own from home. 6 miles in 40:31.

Wednesday        AM: Workout at Lake Mary Rd. 4 Mile tempo in 19:48 (4:44, 4:56, 5:05, 5:02). 3 mile w/u, 4 mile c/d. 11 miles in 1:05:58.
                        PM: Ran on own from downtown before team meeting. 6 miles in 41:01.

Thursday           AM: Distance run with team at Buffalo Park. 12 miles in 1:24:50.
                        PM: Easy run after core with Scott. 6 miles in 41:30.

Friday               AM: Distance run with team at Campbell Mesa. 13 miles in 1:30:04.
                        PM: Easy run with Tim from home. 6 miles in 41:47.

Saturday            AM: Long run at A1 mountain with Lemon, ran much faster then last time on progressive Long Run. 24 miles in 2:28:20.

Sunday              AM: Distance run with Tim at Observatory Mesa. 14 miles in 1:33:06.
                        PM: Easy run from NAU dorms. 8 miles in 53:38.

Week Ending 8/7/11 – 131 miles (96 on singles)

Monday             AM: Easy run with Campers from NAU on FUTS. 8.5 miles in 1:01:06.
PM: Distance run with Campers at Buffalo Park, added 6 miles on my own with 200m strides. 10.5 miles in 1:06:19.

Tuesday            AM: Distance run with Campers at Aspen Corners. 13 miles in 1:26:56.
                        PM: Easy run on own from NAU. 6 miles in 40:52.

Wednesday        AM: Distance run with Campers at Grand Canyon, added 4 on my own. 14 miles in 1:33:09.
                        PM: Easy run with Jordan and Tim from NAU. 4 miles in 29:30.

Thursday           AM: Easy run with campers at A1 Mountain. 6 miles in 42:04.
                        PM: Workout from Gregs House on my own. 4 x 2 miles in 10:12, 10:11, 10:10, and 10:08 w/ 3 mins rest. 3 mile w/u, 3 c/d. 15 miles total in 1:31:30.

Friday               AM: Easy run with Campers from NAU. 6 miles in 41:25.
                        PM: Distance run with Tim from Shultz Creek. 10 miles in 1:13:46.

Saturday            AM: Distance run with team at A1. 14 miles in 1:36:10.
                        PM: Easy run with Tim from home. 4.5 miles in 31:43.

Sunday              AM: Pace Change Long Run at Lake Mary on my own. First 5 miles easy in 31:37, then 15 pace change in 1:20:58. 20 miles in 1:52:35.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Training Update 7/24/11 - 140 Mile Week

            I finished off my first 140 mile week in a while on Sunday with a 14 mile morning, and a 5 mile afternoon. Each day this week I ran between 19 and 22 miles, wearing my usual sweat pants and long sleeve shirts on most of my morning runs. This week had 3 workouts; Monday was a short 10 x 100m fast, 100m easy during a 12 mile run, Wednesday was 5 x 1 mile at 10k effort on the track, and Saturday was a 16 mile steady state with a fast finish.

            Mondays’ workout was meant to be fairly simple; the 100 on/100 off was just like doing strides at the end of a run, however Lemoncello made me work a lot harder than that and I was hurting pretty bad after 10 strides. Lemon went on to do 20, show off. Then Wednesday was another tough day for me, I averaged 4:52 on my mile repeats, but once again was shown up by Lemon as he averaged 4:40 with his last one at 4:32. We had 3 minutes rest between each repeat, and I gladly took every second of it. Running fast up at altitude while attempting 140 miles in a week is just hard.

            Fortunately the workout Saturday went a lot better for me. Our workout was a 16 mile fast finish long run, which ended being more like a steady state workout. Lemon and I warmed up 3 miles with Scott and Aaron, then we did our drills and strides before beginning our long workout. The plan was to run our first 12 miles in 5:20-5:30 pace per mile, then drop it down the last 4 miles to as fast as we can. We started off fine with a 5:27, then the next 2 miles were a little quick 5:14 and 5:11. After that and already losing about 10 seconds on Lemon, I backed off to 5:20’s again.

            I managed to stay between 5:18 and 5:25 until 12, and then it was time to pick it up. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to pick it up very much, but fortunately I had just taken my gels and had a caffeine rush going. The last 4 miles I ran 5:04, 5:13, 5:03, and 4:59 and averaged 5:15 for the 16 mile fast long run. Lemon was nice enough to only beat me by 50 seconds this time. Either way, it was a solid workout. Thanks to Greg and Tim for driving along the whole way and handing us fluids every three miles.

Monday             AM: Distance run with 100/100 fartlek from Gregs. 12 Miles in 1:21:02.
                        PM: Easy run from home. 8 miles in 51:58.

Tuesday            AM: Distance run from Buffalo Park. 14 miles in 1:31:20.
                        PM: Easy run from home. 6 miles in 40:39.

Wednesday        AM: Workout at Coconino Track with Lemon. 3 mile w/u, then 5 x mile in 4:49, 4:54, 4:53, 4:52, 4:51 w/ 3 minutes rest, then 3 mile c/d. 12 miles in 1:16:40.
                        PM: Easy run from home. 7 miles in 47:03.

Thursday           AM: Distance run at Bagel Run. 14 miles in 1:31:36.
                        PM: Easy run from Cooper with Jordan. 6 miles in 39:59.

Friday               AM: Distance run at Campbell Mesa. 14 miles in 1:33:01.
                        PM: Easy run from home with Tim. 6 miles in 41:39.

Saturday            AM: Workout at Lake Mary with Lemon. 3 mile w/u then 16 miles fast in 1:24:50 (5:27, 5:14, 5:11, 5:22, 5:17, 5:22, 5:25, 5:22, 5:20, 5:25, 5:21, 5:24, 5:04, 5:13, 5:03, 4:59), then 3 mile c/d. 22 miles in 2:06:30.

Sunday             AM: Distance run from home. 14 miles in 1:31:12
                        PM: Easy run from home. 5 miles in 33:15.

Week Total: 140 miles (102 on singles, 38 on doubles).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Training Update 7/17/11

Another great week of training in the books, spent 3 days in California with Carolyn, then came back up to Flagstaff to find it warmer and more humid than normal. The humidity and heat is still nothing compared to what it will be like in Daegu, so I’m still wearing my long sleeve shirts and pants to warm myself up more. The week started easy for me, getting just mileage in Monday through Wednesday, then on Thursday I had a solid hill circuit workout at Buffalo Park with Danny Mercado. Friday was easy distance and on Saturday Lemoncello and I had a progressive long run, which went really well. Sunday was another easy distance day.

The hill circuits that we do in marathon training are pretty simple, but end up being pretty tough on the legs after 4 loops. You can see the loop and elevation chart in the link above, as well as a brief description of the workout. The map is fairly accurate, and you can zoom in on the elevation chart to see how steep the route is. This workout is a fartlek run over hills, and it can get pretty tough after a couple loops. I ran pretty close to the best I have done on this circuit; running the 800m long hills between 2:28-2:30 and my 2-mile loops in 13:25, 12:50, 12:30, 12:20.

Our progressive long run had no real specifications other than to continually run faster throughout the loop. You can click the link above as well to view the loop and the elevation chart. Feel free to zoom in on the elevation chart to get a good feel for the hills. On this loop we like to break it down into 3 sections; running up to Wing Mountain, running around Wing Mountain, and running back to the parking lot. Each section is approximately 7 miles (we have to add on .2 miles at the end to get 21).

So for a progressive long run we figured we would just run each section faster than the last. This wasn’t too difficult as the loop normally runs that way anyway. Our times for each of the 7 miles were approximately 47:50, 43:40, and 39:50. Our total time for the 21 miles was 2:11:23, which works out to about 6:15 pace. And as an added bonus I was rocking full tights and 2 long sleeves for the long run as well.

It was a good week, and I put in 130 miles, with 6 doubles. I have not run this much mileage in a while, so I’m pretty excited to be doing it again and feeling pretty good. Not to mention that I get to eat so much more delicious food afterwards.

Monday:            AM: Distance run from Carolyn’s house, 10.5 miles in 1:09:00.
                        PM: Easy run from Carolyn’s house, 8 miles in 51:45.

Tuesday:           AM: Distance run from Parents’ house, 12 miles in 1:16:25.
                        PM: Easy run from Carolyn’s house, 6 miles in 41:15.

Wednesday:       AM: Distance run from Carolyn’s house, 12 miles in 1:20:54.
                        PM: Easy run from Home (back to Flagstaff), 6 miles in 40:34.

Thursday:          AM: Workout at Buffalo Park, Hill Circuits with Danny Mercado, 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d. 14 miles in 1:30:30.
                        PM: Easy run from Home with Jeremy Acosta, 6 miles in 42:08.

Friday:              AM: Distance run from Gregs’ with Lemoncello and Brett, 12 miles in 1:22:00
                        PM: Easy run from Home with Tim Jeffreys, 4.5 miles in 32:36.

Saturday:           AM: Progressive Long run with Lemoncello and Fasil, 21 miles in 2:11:23

Sunday:             AM: Distance run from Home with Tim, 14 miles in 1:31:56.
                        PM: Easy run from Home, 4.5 miles in 30:47.

Week Total: 130 miles; 95 in singles, 35 in 6 doubles.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Training Update 7/10/11

            Only 8 weeks left until the big race in Daegu, and I feel this was my best week of training so far. I got 120 miles (98 on single runs) with 2 solid workouts and a 22 mile long run. I spent the whole week in Southern California, staying with my parents and spending the days with Carolyn and her family. Carolyn had surgery yesterday (Monday) on her ankle. She is in a huge cast now and we’re hoping for a speedy recovery.

Last Monday’s workout was a fartlek run, 20 x 1 minute fast, 1 minute easy, before heading to Huntington Beach to watch my family race the 4th of July 5k. My brothers ran 18:51 and 19:05, and my Mom nearly ran a personal best with a 34:41.

Thursday’s workout was also a good one; I ran it on a half-mile loop around the football practice fields at my high school. Half of the loop was grass, and I estimated the 1k mark, so the times may have been off by a second or two. Either way, I averaged 3:02 for the K’s with only a minute jog in between each repeat.

Saturday was a pretty solid long run; I did 2 loops from Carolyn’s house up to Whiting Ranch and back. Carolyn drove around handing me my fluid bottles every 5 miles, making it a whole lot easier to feel good. I got a whole 60 ounces down too, not too bad for only 22 miles.

Monday:            AM: Workout – 20 x 1 min. on, 1 min off at Mile Square Park. 3 Mile w/u, 3 mile c/d. 12 miles total in 1:14:50.
                        PM: Easy run from Carolyn’s house. 5 miles in 35:24.

Tuesday:           AM: Distance run from Parents’ house on Riverbed, 11 miles in 1:10:27.
                        PM: Easy run from Carolyn’s. 7 miles in 44:24.

Wednesday:       AM: Distance run on Riverbed, 14 miles in 1:28:44.
                        PM: Easy run from Carolyn’s. 4.5 miles in 31:03.

Thursday:          AM: Workout, 10 x 1k around Football Fields at FVHS,  3:03, 2:59, 3:03, 3:05, 3:03, 3:03, 3:01, 3:03, 3:01, 2:58. 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d, 1 minute between each repeat. 13 miles total

Friday:              AM: Distance run with Luis at Cameo Shores. 11.5 miles in 1:20:02

Saturday:          AM: Long run from Carolyn’s, 2 long loops to Whiting Ranch. 22 miles in 2:21:40.

Sunday:             AM: Distance run on Riverbed, 14 miles in 1:28:45.
                        PM: Easy run from Carolyn’s. 6 miles in 40:00.

Week Total: 120 miles, with 4 doubles.

Questions answered:

In my last blog Anonymous asked, “Snick. Seeing that eh LA Dodgers are bankrupt and up for sale, have you ever thought about buying them?”

Well, that would be a spectacular purchase, but seeing as I have just enough money to afford my mortgage payments, I don’t think I would be able to afford anything that McCourt would offer them for. That would be a fantastic purchase though. I’ll work on getting enough money to buy them in another 20 years.

Also in my last blog Running Bums asked, “What types of stretching and ancillary activities do you find most helpful? Do you spend a lot of time on it?”

I do very little stretching to be honest. I stretch occasionally after runs, mostly workouts, and even then its just quick stretches to loosen up a tight muscle. Part of this is laziness, part of it is taking for granted that I’ve rarely been injured, and the last part would be that I know when a muscle or muscle group is tight or sore and have been able to loosen it up or take care of with a small amount of stretching and/or getting a massage to get the muscles loosened up.

Other activities that can be included as prehab and rehab type of activities that I do are core work and plyometrics/drills. I do these much more than stretching. Core work is generally done twice a week and plyometrics/drills are done 4-6 times a week. I feel that both of these are much more helpful for me than stretching. I generally feel more loosened up for a workout when I have a more dynamic routine like skips, arm swings, leg swings, high knees, etc. And for long distance training, core work is almost as important and your workouts. With out a strong midsection, your body will break down before you are halfway through a race or workout.

Some would consider plyometrics and drills to be stretches, and I agree with that. I do these before every workout and race, and after most afternoon runs. It’s a great way to not only loosen up the muscles, but to loosen up joints like the hips.

Thanks for your questions!


PS. For those of you who voted in my latest poll, I lost 6 pounds on my 14 mile run last wednesday, and it hurt so bad.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

            Another solid week of training this last week, along with having my family in town and a trip to the Grand Canyon. I did not quite hit as many miles as I wanted to, but I had some pretty good runs, a great long run, and I still hit 102 miles with only 3 doubles this week. Monday started off with a nice easy morning run followed by a drive up to Portland, and then a flight back to phoenix, where I met my family and the Padillas (family friends) for dinner.

As I mentioned in my last blog, my parents were visiting my Fiancé and me, checking out our new house and celebrating my birthday with me. We played a lot of games, went to the Grand Canyon, and had quite a bit of food from local restaurants. All of this was scheduled around my training, which was easy to do since my parents went out and ran, rode bikes, and/or walked each day as well.

            My total mileage increased this week, even though I only doubled 3 times, due to lots of travel. Had a short, easy workout Monday, a short, harder workout on Thursday, and a nice Long run on Saturday:

Week Total: 103 miles, with 3 doubles.

Monday:            AM: Distance run from Eugene House, 13 miles with 5 x 1 minute on, 1 minute off fartlek in the middle. Time = 1:21:08.

Tuesday:           AM: Easy run from hotel in Phoenix, 4.5 miles in 30:18.
                        PM: Distance run from home with my brother, then added on some, 10.5 miles in 1:12:49.

Wednesday        AM: Distance run at Buffalo Park with team, 10 miles in 1:09:35.

Thursday           AM: Workout from Gregs, 10 min @ tempo pace, 4 min @ 10k pace, 2 min @ 5k pace, 2 x 1 min fast. 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d, 2-3 min between intervals. 10.5 miles total.
                        PM: Easy run from Monica’s after massage, 4.5 miles in 29:54.

Friday               AM: Distance run with guys from Cooper House, on Fort Valley Trails, 10.5 miles in 1:12:13.
                        PM: Easy run on own from home, 6.5 miles in 41:43.

Saturday            AM: Long Run at A-1 Mountain road with Brett, 21 miles in 2:16:54. Took in 50 oz of fluid throughout run.

Sunday               AM: Distance run with Jeremy Acosta from home, 12 miles in 1:19:00.

Questions Answered:
In my last blog Mike said...
Nick, I’ve read before about how the sugar from gels consumed during a marathon are not converted into muscle glycogen and are thus not really too useful during a race. Do you know any more about that?

It is to my understanding that you are correct, the gels are not converted into muscle glycogen, but they do not need to be. The muscle glycogen is stored in skeletal muscles and liver prior to participating in exercise. While exercising the glycogen is converted into glucose, sent to the blood stream, and taken to the muscles that are in need of fuel.

The sugar from the gels, however, will become glucose in the blood stream and then be brought to the muscles for use during exercise. The gels are used by the body immediately to fuel the muscles during exercise (a marathon or long workout).  The gels are essential to maintain blood glucose levels during exercise, which will help exerciser’s maintain their high intensity exercise longer before reaching exhaustion.

In addition to that the gels that I use also contain caffeine to help keep myself more alert toward the end of a marathon. Caffeine has been shown to lower rate of perceived exertion and muscle pain, basically making my brain think I am less tired and sore than I really am. In both cases the gels are very useful during a longer race (1+ hours).


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Birthday Week!

            This has been a pretty fun week for me so far. My family planned a trip out from California to visit family friends down in Phoenix, and then joined my Fiancé and me in our new home up in Flagstaff. This is the first time, outside of races, that my family has come to visit, and the first time that I had a place for them to stay, so it is quite a new experience for me. Being in charge of what is going on around the house, telling them to wipe their feet, and wash certain dishes in the sink. I am finally feeling grown up.

            Today is my Birthday, which is one of the main reasons my family made the trip out here, and so far it has been nice. I got a new cookie jar as a ‘house-warming’/birthday gift from them, filled with about 100 assorted homemade cookies. SWEET!
            Yesterday we took a trip out to the Grand Canyon, and spent quite a bit of time walking around, climbing various rocks, and taking tons of pictures of various views and landmarks. This has been one of the more eventful birthdays/weeks that I have had in a while. The past few years I have usually just chilled out at home or gone out to a small dinner with friends. A nice change from the normal.

Here are some pictures from yesterdays trip to the Canyon:

Carolyn, Sam, and Me viewing from the South Rim.

Trying to throw Carolyn over. Lucky for her I’m weak and do not know the correct form.

Mom, Carolyn, and Me Posing

Sam, squatting on a Phantom Granite Rock from 1.2 Billion years ago.

Dad trying to do a push-up and kiss his soon-to-be age in Millions of years. (54)

Victory as Carolyn and I climb up a steep rock standing 200+ feet above another 1000+ ft. drop.

So there were some fun times. After our Grand Canyon trip we headed back to town to get dinner and play some UNO, which I almost won. Then, I got a good nights rest before this morning’s workout. Hopefully the next few days will be just as fun. It’s nice having a lot of family visiting. It is much better than my usual day of lying in bed.

Questions Answered:

In my last blog Meggie asked, “That sounds ungodly hot -- will you all like slow down or run slower? Is that factored into your race planning?” and Samblackbones asked, “Hey nick - how do you replace carbs during long runs/the marathon? Do you use a customized drink? Gels?”

I figured I would address these together, since they are on a similar topic. It will more than likely be ‘ungodly hot,’ like Meggie said. As I train throughout this summer I am going to do a lot of warm weather runs, with my extra layers to try to simulate the conditions in Daegu. I will do long runs, tempos, intervals, and easy runs to try to get my body used to running in conditions like Daegu. If the pace is quick during the race, then hopefully my acclimatization will have prepared me enough to go with the leaders. However, I do not plan on setting the pace, I will be racing to finish as high as possible, and the race is likely to start off at a much slower pace than my previous marathons. I plan to be prepared for either situation.

During the race, as with all marathons, I will be taking multiple gels and lots of fluid to replace the amount that I am running off and sweating out. I generally have taken gels at 25k and 35k to give my body extra calories, carbs, sodium, potassium, and caffeine I need to finish the last half of the marathon strong. With the temperature in Daegu, I plan on taking more than just the two gel packets I have normally used.

I will also be consuming a lot of fluids to help replenish the amount of salt and water I will be sweating out. There will be 8 fluid stations throughout the marathon course where we can provide our own concoctions, mine will be a mixture of Gatorade Endurance Powder and Water, pretty simple, but its been proven to work for me. I will drink 8-10 ounces of fluids at each station and will be grabbing other cups of water to sip periodically throughout the course and to pour on my head to cool off.

Everything that I plan to do during the race (gels, fluids, pacework), I will be practicing throughout the summer so that my body, especially my stomach, will be able to handle the rough conditions in Daegu. Thank you guys for the questions, let me know if there is anything I missed or could elaborate on.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Training Update: 6/26/11

            Another decent week of training has gone by, with a lot of exciting races and event this weekend. The week started with a solid workout on Trina’s Loop in Flagstaff, then an early run on Tuesday before traveling out to Eugene for the US Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Wednesday was a pretty light day, prerace routine and packet pickup, then Thursday I raced in my first Outdoor Championship, the 10,000m. The race turned out to be very much like a fartlek run for me as our lap splits varied from 67 to 73 seconds every other lap. I was in great position with 1200m to go, however, I ran that 1200m in about 3:17, and that was only good enough for 14th place.

            Looking back I kind of wish I had gone all out with 800m to go. It would have been unlikely that I would have finished in a podium spot, but I mostly likely could have finished higher in the field. That is something that I will hold onto and remember for future championships. Brauny and Scott had similar results as myself, they were 7th and 10th, respectively, neither was a spectacular result, but they weren’t terribly disappointed either.

            The rest of the week has been very exciting. I got a lot of nice runs in and have been able to watch the championship races. Being a part of this Championship weekend has been something that I’ve dreamed about since I was in college. I finally made it eight years later.

Monday:            AM: Workout at Trinas on my own. 1.5 miles in 7:33, 1 mile in 4:47, 1/2 mile in 2:15, 1/2 mile jog after each, 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d. 10.5 miles total.
                        PM: Easy run on my own from home. 4.5 miles in 29:55.

Tuesday:           AM: Easy run from Home before traveling to Eugene. 8.5 miles in 57:03.

Wednesday:       AM: Easy run (pre-race) with Scott and Brauny. 6 miles in 41:13

Thursday:          AM: Shakeout Run. 3 miles in 20:21
                        PM: USA 10,000m race. Finished 14th in 28:57. 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d. 12 miles total.

Friday:              AM: Ran with Adidas/Flotrack High School Group Run, South Eugene High School showed up. 5 miles in 32:58.

Saturday:          AM: Ran with Adidas/Flotrack Girls Run (Run For Grete), 5 miles with them, then added on 7 miles with Danny Mercado. 11.5 miles in 1:20:35.
                        PM: Ran on my own after the races on Amazon trail. 6.5 miles in 41:43.

Sunday:             AM: Ran on my own on Amazon trail, then out to Pre’s Trail. Ran in to Ryan Hall mid run. 12.5 miles in 1:20:35.
                        PM: Ran with Reneau, Shamus, and Megan out and back on Amazon Trails again. 7.5 miles in 47:25.

Week Total: 87 Miles with 4 doubles.

USATF Daegu Summit:

This past Friday morning, after my run Greg and I met with Team USA Officials, Team Coaches, Medical Staff, and Dr. Randy Wilber. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss travel to Daegu, altitude training, heat and humidity training, and strategies for running the marathon course in Daegu. Other athletes and coaches there were Mike Morgan, Kevin Hanson, Keith Hanson, Zoila Gomez, and Pete Rea.

One of the main topics covered was travel to Daegu. Most of us will arrive in Daegu, after 15+ hours of travel about 10 days before our event. We need to know how to avoid jet lag and how to make sure that we get on a regular schedule once we arrive at the World Championships. The most important thing that we can do during our flight is stay up the entire time. If we can do that, then we should be all set to sleep the night away once we arrive.

The Altitude studies that were being discussed and that were recommended for us to take into consideration, didn’t apply to me. The studies were mainly done on participants who live and train mostly at sea level and then go up to altitude periodically to get the training effect. I was told that there have not been any studies done on people who live and train year round at altitude. With so many Elite athletes training up here I would think they would try to get some studies going for that.

Next we talked about the course, which you can see from this map. It is a 3-loop course (2 x 15k, 1 x 12.195k) and has some rolling hills which are not very major. The highest point on the course compared to the lowest point is on 150ft. difference. It should be pretty nice for viewing as well as racing, with fluid stations every 5k, and mist stations 3 times each loop.

Lastly, we discussed in depth the importance of acclimatizing to the hot humid weather in South Korea. Typically during the time period in which the World Championship will be held it is between 82-98 degrees and 80-90% humidity, which gives it a heat index of over 110 degrees. That is hot, much hotter than I am typically going to train in. Since I view being at altitude more important than being in a hot and humid climate, I will be wearing multiple layers of clothing over the next 2 months to try to simulate what I will feel like in Daegu. I also will need to make sure I am sweating as much as possible and refueling all of that sweat I lost. Sounds like fun, yes?

Thanks for reading, see you next time!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Training Update 6/19/11

    Another solid week of training, although it started out pretty rough as I didn’t make it through my workout on Monday but it only got better from there! Monday was a short workout, but I was still beat up from running poorly at the US 8k I suspect. After Monday, however, I have been feeling great on every run, and running them fast. I am pretty excited going into USAs this week. Thursday night I will compete along with teammates Aaron Braun and Scott Smith in the 10,000m in Eugene. This is my first USA Outdoor Track and Field Championship, and first time ever racing in Eugene. This is easily the biggest track race that I have ever run. So Exciting!

    Training: I hit 96 miles this week, with 5 doubles. Workout Monday, was short and rough, but the workout Saturday went very well. Most of my runs this week I wore extra layers to start acclimatizing to the warm weather that I expect Daegu to have during the marathon. I also am starting to carry a water bottle with me on distance runs to rehydrate myself.

Monday:            AM: Workout at Sinagua Track with Brauny and Scott, Mile tempo in 4:46, 600 in 1:38.2, 400 in 66.3, then done. 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d, 8 miles total.
                        PM: Easy run with Brauny after Core from YMCA. 4.5 miles in 30:05.

Tuesday:           AM: Distance run from Trinas with Brauny and Scott, 11.5 miles in 1:21:05.
                        PM: Easy run from Scott place, 4 miles in 29:36.

Wednesday:       AM: Distance run from home by myself, 11.5 miles in 1:10:22. Felt great, average under 6:00 pace on the way back.

Thursday:          AM: Distance run with Brauny and Scott at Bagel Run, added on 30 minutes after they finished, 12 miles in 1:19:43, felt great.
                        PM: Easy with Brauny after core and before massage. 4 miles in 29:25.

Friday:              AM: Distance run with Brauny and Scott from home, 9.5 miles in 1:04:00. Felt good.
Saturday:           AM: Workout at Buffalo Park by myself, 6 mile steady state run in 30:58, splits were: 4:58, 5:17, 5:10, 5:13, 5:09, 5:11. 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d, 12 miles total.
                        PM: Easy run on own from home, 4.5 mile in 30:16.

Sunday:             AM: Distance run on own from home, 10.5 miles in 1:10:29, felt good.
                        PM: Easy run on Ft. Valley Trails, 4.5 miles in 29:02.

Questions Answered:

In my last blog, Anonymous said...  Snick,
At what point in the day do you consume Grandma's Mac and Cheese? And, what is the recipe?”

For those of you who don’t know, Snick is a nice nickname that many people like to give me since I apparently don’t make ‘s’ sounds correctly. It sounds fine to me, but some people find it amusing for some reason.

Anyways, Grandma’s Mac and Cheese is a huge staple in my weekly diet. I make it about once a week and usually have enough leftovers for a 2nd meal later in the week. I learned this recipe from my Grandma, she just called it Macaroni and Cheese, but I felt that she earned a place in the name. ‘Gma’s’ for short is a baked dish, composed with elbow macaroni noodles, 3 layers of cheese, tomato sauce, and topped with breadcrumbs.

Recipe: Boil Water, add 2 cups of noodles, boil until tender. Drain water and mix noodles with 15 oz. can of Tomato Sauce. Begin to layer macaroni with sliced cheese(your preference, I use Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, and Cheddar) in 1.5 quart baking bowl. Make 3 layers, alternating macaroni mixture and cheese. Layer top of dish with breadcrumbs, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

A simple and cheap recipe depending on what kind of cheese you choose. Goes well as both a main dish or side dish.  One time I added meat to the recipe, but it just didn’t go well. I probably used a poor choice of meat though. I have heard of people using pepperoni. I may have to try that next time.

Thanks for your questions,


Monday, June 13, 2011

Training Update 6/12/11

Another week has gone by and I am glad that it is behind me. The week started off with a bang, as I woke up Monday morning and did a 6 mile workout on my own in the howling winds of Flagstaff. It wasn’t too difficult though, just a fartlek. Then Wednesday I had some 300s, which I did with the rest of the guys who were heading out to the US 8k with me, and I got destroyed. I ran what I thought was fast, but those guys put the hurt on me.
Then Thursday I left for Carmel, Indiana for the US 8k Championships and once there I went to the Tom Wood Jaguar Volvo Landrover showroom for the Carmel Marathon Championship Weekend State of the Event Address Cocktail Hour. There I met with Race Management, City of Carmel Officials, Event Sponsors and Partners, and other elites; Steven Haas, Josef Ghebray and Laura Farley. It was a nice social gathering, one of the first I have been to, and it was a pleasure to talk with the people behind the scenes and event sponsors, without which, we would not have a race to run.
            Saturday was race day, and that went nothing like I had hoped. My legs and body felt bad from the first strides of the race. I only was able to stay with the lead group through a mile and a half, before slowly fading back to 18th place by the finish. I ran a 24:36, which was a minute and a half behind winner, Bobby Mack, who ran a very impressive race to get his first US championship. I was also glad to see teammates Aaron Braun (2nd), Scott Smith (9th), and Jordan Horn(12th) run well. As for myself, it was disappointing, but I’m still building toward bigger goals, so I just need to brush it off and train for the next one.

Training Log:

Monday:            AM: Workout, Fartlek, 15 x 1 min on, 2 min off; 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d. 12 miles total.
                        PM: Easy run after core from YMCA. 4.5 miles in 30:06.

Tuesday:           AM: Easy run with guys from Greg’s House, 8.5 miles in 59:52.

Wednesday:       AM: Workout: 6 x 300 at 85-100%, 4 minutes between each. Times = 45.82, 45.31, 43.25, 43.13, 42.43, 45.68. 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d. 9 miles total.
                        PM: Easy run from home. 4.5 miles in 30:16.

Thursday:          AM: Easy run before flight to Indiana. 4.5 miles in 30:36

Friday:              AM: Easy run, prerace in Indiana with the guys. 5 miles in 35:41

Saturday:           AM: Race Morning – 10 minute shakeout at 5:30am. 3 mile w/u, Race at 8:30 am – 8k in 24:36 for 18th place, 3 mile c/d. 12 miles total.

Sunday:             AM: Distance run, Lowell Mesa by myself. 12 miles in 1:16:05.

Week Total: 72 miles

Questions Answered:

In my last blog Maru asked: Hi nick,
very good training blog.

Questions: typical daily routine?

My typical routine, is pretty simple: wake up, eat, run, eat, sleep, eat, run, eat, sleep. On a given day those are the major points. But here is a more detailed breakdown of how things go:
6:45am – wake up, make light pre-run breakfast
8:00am – Drive to meet the team for practice
8:30am – Run (MW - workout, TuThF - distance run, Sa - Workout or Long run, Su - on own)
10:30am – Return home, make breakfast
11:30am – Relax and/or Nap
1:00pm – Lunch
3:00pm – Monday and Thursdays only core work at the YMCA
4:00pm – 2nd run
6:00pm – Dinner
8:00pm – Dessert
10:00pm – Get to bed.

That is the general breakdown of the main tasks that I find important each day. Throughout the week I will spend a lot of time relaxing and recovering. I also will get out each day and run whatever errands I have and will clean up around the house. I just moved in to my new place, so there are still quite a few things that need to be done and straightened up. I do not have a job outside of running, so I have a lot of free time, which has been very nice.

I hope that answers your question. Let me know if there is anything else you would like me to share.