Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Running Out West

Running while away isn't easy. I'm amazed that people who travel all the time stay in any kind of shape. I suppose it's like anything: you get used to it. Last Thursday, I flew out to see my sister, brother-in-law and nearly brand new nephew in Westlake Village, CA. Thankfully, that meant missing the storm here and having great running weather out there. A couple runs on the hills out there convinced me I'm not in as good of shape as I thought. It was hard. It got even harder once I left for Phoenix, where I stayed at a hotel at the base of some mountains. The front desk told me about a 10-mile trail that was just great. I decided to head out for it, forgetting to ask if the trail looped back or just went out. This worried me. The last thing I needed was to get stuck in the desert without water for 20 miles. In the end, I turned around after about 3.5 of climbing up rocky trails. Some of them were very steep, steep enough to make me feel like my heart would come out of my shirt. That said, I love trail running, even the pretty technical trails they had out there. Once you get over the fear of spraining an ankle, it's a ton of fun. One day there, I agreed to meet some guys at 6:30am for a run, even though I hate running first thing in the morning, particularly after a cocktail party the night before. After some grumbling, though, it was a great run as the sun came up. It's a tradeoff of NYC not having any trails.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Six-Month Running Stats

Runners, like cyclists, can become numbers dorks. Few of us are going to win races, so it comes down to what the data tells us about how we're doing. That's what makes Nike+ such a good thing. A friend told me he's gotten back into running because of Nike+, since the numbers tell a clear a story about his improvement. I don't run with music, and I don't use Nikes, so Nike+ isn't ideal for me. Lately, I've used Facebook's RunLogger to keep track of my workouts. It's not exact and has very few functions, but it's alright for now. Yesterday, I reached the six-month mark of charting my runs with RunLogger. Here's the profile:

1,031: total miles
29.1: miles per week
7:33: avg pace
5.3: days spent running
Des Moines/Omaha: the cities I'd be between if I just started heading west last August.

Overall, it's not a bad picture, mostly because it doesn't include the peak running time of the spring and early summer. I think the pace is off, since I don't know the exact distance for my runs. Now that I'm doing many of my workouts in Central Park, it's clear I'm training at a 7:00-7:15 pace.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Race Report: Bronx Half

There are some days when things are just out of sorts. Today was one of those days. The Bronx Half Marathon should have been an ideal race. For whatever reason, it wasn't. The weather was warmer than I thought, which actually made me uncomfortable because I was overdressed. Then there was the wind gusts along the Grand Concourse. But mostly, I just never got comfortable. Strange. The mile-by-mile breakdown:
1: 6:51
2: 6:49
3: 6:48
4: 6:52
5: 7:01
6: 6:55
7: 6:55
8: 7:04
9: 7:01
10: 7:01
11: 7:05
12: 7:05
13.1: 7:40 (huh?)

Finish: 1:31:10, 6:58 pace