Friday, August 31, 2007

Shoal Creek, Infield

Time: 45:00
Distance: 6.5 mi.

Morning run... ended up being a little bit harder than probably made sense. Did the standard Shoal Creek loop and then added on a little bit (this was really probably 6.75 mi.) on the track and barefoot on the infield.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Time: 35:00
Distance: 5 mi.

Easy evening double with Stanley, Hanley and Paul on the Intramural Fields (IF). Nice to shake out a little bit. Have been feeling a little out of it all day, probably a combination of lack of sleep and being a little scatterbrained. The linked map is the normal IF loop... almost exactly 1.5 mi.

TexasSports has a preview of our "race" tomorrow at Baylor.

Hyde Park, IF

Time: 60:00
Distance: 8.5 mi.

Monk Parakeets are all around IF

Nice easy morning run with Erik. Headed for a loop of Hyde Park to meet Erik's friend Gary on his bike. After about a 5 mile loop with him headed up to IF where we ran into Jake, Kyle and James Valadez. Nice to shake out a bit.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Town Lake, Greenbelt

Time: 101:00
Distance: 15 mi.

Cliffs lining the Greenbelt trail

First mid-week medium-long run morning practice at the Greenbelt of the season. Jake had the idea of starting with a loop of Town Lake, which was okay, though we didn't get quite as far on the Greenbelt. Once we did get on it though we ended up on a section of the trail with a great view over most of the ground we covered, which I hadn't been on before. Legs not feeling great... 6:30s on Town Lake felt a bit faster, and finishing up on the trail seemed a little tough too. Splashed around in the river a few times along the way and jumped in Barton Springs at the end.

Woke up very early again this morning. Weighed in at 156 lbs post-run and post-hydration.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bull Creek, Balcones

Time: 90:00
Distance: 14 mi.

A bit of a mixed up run that was not planned well from the start. Noted to a few guys that we should be planning runs together that make sense for everyone... there was general agreement. Started up Red River and looped around north of IF to Bull Creek (or at least what we call Bull Creek, as there is another Bull Creek park in Austin, and park-area doesn't seem to have an official name, it is just on Bull Creek Rd.). Some of the guys going ~60 mins headed back and those of us going longer looped around somewhat aimlessly until we hit Balcones and headed back the beginning of the Mt. Bonnell run. Finished with about 1/2 mi. on the infield.

Legs feeling a little dead, but woke up feeling generally much more rested.

The "Bull Creek" Park

New shoes! Back in the Nike Elite 3.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Town Lake, Greenbelt

Time: 90:00
Distance: 13.5 mi.

First team practice (for me) of the season. Headed from the track down to Town Lake and the Greenbelt. Nice to get out there again with the guys. I was pretty tired the whole way.

Therapy: stretching, ice bath

Started back on the strength routine with Tray.

Week In Review

Time: 397:50
Distance: 60.5 mi.

The transition week (with just 5 runs) wasn't too bad, though by the end I'm still feeling like I'm pretty beat. Long run + another 6 hours of driving today couldn't have helped that. I don't think we're working out / "racing" until the end of next week, so hopefully I can just bang out some relatively easy miles early in the week. Excited to be back in Austin in the new house, and looking forward to practice tomorrow morning. Two basic things to focus on next week: hydration, sleep.

Lake Draper

Time: 120:00
Distance: 18.5

Lake Stanley Draper

Got up pretty early in Norman to head out to Lake Draper for a long run. Ended up meeting up with some of the guys from the OU team and running the first part of the run with them. We were on the red dirt trails through 5+ and then Jordan and I hit the road that goes the rest of the way around. It was... a bit like running in a desert. Not terribly hot, but no respite from the shade. Between being somewhat dehydrated and pretty tired, I was dragging a little bit by the end.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

2007 Texas XC Schedule

2006 Texas Invitational

I already had a pretty good idea, but TexasSports has posted our schedule for the fall:

08.31Bear InvitationalWaco, TX
09.08Texas State InvitationalSan Marcos, TX
10.12Appalachian State InvitationalBoone, NC
10.26Big 12 ChampionshipLubbock, TX
11.10NCAA Regional ChampionshipFayetteville, AR
11.19NCAA ChampionshipTerre Haute, IN

5 Mile Tempo

Time: 75:00
Distance: 12 mi.

Target: 5 miles at 5:15-20 pace maybe finishing a little faster
Workout: 5:15, 5:16, 5:13, 5:11, 5:03 - 26:00

John Jacobs track

Warmed up from Jilane's house with Jordan to the University of Oklahoma track, which is about 3 miles. Shooting for something similar to last week's 4 mile tempo, but a little longer. We hit the paces pretty well, but it took a little while to get settled. It is pretty humid here, as I assume I'll be getting used to in Austin the next few weeks. Ran 1 mile easy on the track and then did 8 diagonal strides on the inside of the grass before heading the 3 miles back.

Friday, August 24, 2007

OU Golf Course

Time: 80:05
Distance: 12 mi.

The University of Oklahoma

Ran from Jordan's place in Norman pretty early in the morning. No real aches or pains from the drive, but still very tired. It was decently humid too, and I am dehydrated. Went through the OU campus over to the school's golf course for a couple loops.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Day Off

Planned day off for the first (and by far the longest) section of the drive back down south. Washington, DC to Norman, OK... 1350 miles in 20 hours and 30 minutes.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Goodbye Rock Creek Park

Time: 73:30
Distance: 11 mi.

The side of the Pierce Mill barn

Met up with Ben Peisch at the Klingle bridge for my last run in DC. A nice cool morning run, headed up the Western Ridge Trail for a bit then back down the middle trail. About 70 runs since I got here, and over 800 miles.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Day Off

Planned day off. Tomorrow is my last day in DC.

Monday, August 20, 2007

RCP Short Valley Trail, Beach Dr. Loop

Time: 49:18
Distance: 7 mi.

Start of a down week... ran after work with Colin. Nice to take an easier day, as I was pretty tired from a big running / little sleeping weekend. Easy loop just a bit up the Valley Trail and then back on Beach Drive. Calf feels almost back to normal and the rest of the body feels good.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Week In Review

Time: 676:22
Distance: 100 mi.

"Runners like to train 100 miles per week because it's a round number. But I think 88 is a lot rounder." -Don Kardong
Overall a very good week of training... 100 miles on the dot (I promise I didn't plan that) in just 8 runs. I've been counting miles pretty conservatively, as shown by the pace average for the week being about 6:45, but as has been the case for the entire summer I have been actively trying to keep the pace relatively chill while I'm building up and the hilly trails aren't conducive to killing the pace. Running with guys like Nick, Bogden and Peisch definitely helps, and even better, it's been great to have such good running company. Not sure how things will go next week, but I'm not going to try to push it too much. It will definitely be a lower week, and I'm totally cool with that. Take it a day at a time, and get in a good long run and hopefully a workout.

One more week 'til Austin and things really start rolling. Getting very excited... the workout helped that.

Rock Creek Park

Time: 123:51
Distance: 18.5 mi.

Morning run with Nick, Bogden and Reinauer starting from Pierce Mill. The weather couldn't have been more cooperative... a bit overcast and fairly cool. Kept the pace relatively chill, which was good, as we were up pretty late last night and I want to keep feeling good even bumping the milage again. Started with the Superloop (with a brief detour into Maryland), and then did an add on up Beach Dr. together and then I tacked on a little bit by myself down near the zoo. Calf definitely better today despite the workout, so I'm pretty happy about that. Staying in the Motos for the time being to protect it. Last long run in DC.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

4 Mile Tempo

Time: 90:35
Distance: 14 mi.

Target: 4 miles in 21:15 (~5:18 pace)
Workout: 5:15, 5:17, 5:13, 5:02 - 20:49

The Cardozo High School track and view towards downtown DC

First workout of the cross country season! Couldn't have been a more beautiful day. Was a bit worried before the workout because yesterday's ankle pain has moved up to the inside of my inside calf, but after two miles of warming up it seemed like it was getting looser rather than getting tighter. Nick is in town, and I convinced him, Seth and Colin to come down to the Cardozo High School to run around a little bit. They ended up jumping in for some "pacing by committee" which was nice and made it more fun... a bit of a high school running reunion. I stayed focused though and felt very good the whole way, despite being up late picking up Nick from the bus stop. Left calf very tight afterward, but tried to ice it and keep it loose. In total had about a 4.5 mile warmup, 4 mile workout, and 5.5 mile cooldown.

Friday, August 17, 2007

RCP Western Ridge Trail

Time: 81:39
Distance: 12 mi.

"We are speaking of human endeavor and delusional systems. Everyone likes to think they have their own little corner, it can be anything; needlepoint, lawn bowling, whatever. Some guy may gratify himself by thinking he's the best goddamned fruit and vegetable manager the A&P every had, which is fine. It gives people a sense of worth in a crowded world where everyone feels like part of the scenery. But then mostly they are spared of any harrowing glimpses into their own mediocrity, Pillsbury Bake-Off notwithstanding, we'll never really know who makes the best artichoke souffle in the world, will we?" - Quentin Cassidy
More of the miles of trials in Rock Creek Park. Inside of left ankle got pretty sore very quickly in the run. Stopped to stretch and work it out a little bit at about 15 mins and at the turnaround at 42 mins. Tightness and soreness extends up into the inside of my left calf. This is almost certainly the result of switching almost exclusively to the Tangents, which have a very low heel.

The summer seems to be rapidly coming to a close... less than a week remaining in DC.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

RCP South, Dumbarton Oaks, Georgetown

Time: 80:47
Distance: 12 mi.

Buffalo / Q Street Bridge in Georgetown

Headed south in RCP through Montrose Park, and onto the streets of Georgetown. Met up with the C&O Towpath for a little bit and then headed back north.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Cross Country Team History

Every summer for almost the last decade I have prepared for a cross country season... here are the teams from the last 7 seasons:

2006 Texas Longhorns at NCAAs - Terre Haute, IN

2005 Brown Bears at Heps - New York, NY

2004 Brown Bears at Murray Keatingue - Orono, ME

2003 Brown Bears at Heps - New York, NY

2002 Brown Bears at Iona - New York, NY

2001 Amherst Hurricanes at States - Grafton, MA

2000 Amherst Hurricanes at Western Mass. - Northfield, MA

RCP Superloop

Time: 106:30
Distance: 15.5 mi.

Early morning run, got back together with Ben Peisch after his recovery from a bad foot burn. Luckily the "City of Hate" weather seems to have passed for the moment and the last few days have been pretty nice in the morning. Did a slightly altered version of the Superloop starting at the Klingle St. bridge which added on about 10 minutes... pace was fairly relaxed the whole time.

Hopefully the heat and humidity here has prepared me for Austin. I never thought of "heat acclimation" as so much a physical as a mental process. An yesterday's interesting article from the New York Times yesterday addresses this, though:

What will happen as the planet heats and more is asked of our sweat glands? No problem, experts say: the system can easily rev up into a high, efficient gear.

The process is called heat acclimation and is routinely seen in athletes training in hot weather. At first their internal temperatures climb, they sweat profusely, lose large quantities of salt in their sweat and feel miserable. But as the days pass they sweat even more, their salt loss diminishes, both skin and internal temperatures drop, and their endurance improves.
And maybe if there was an inordinate amount of money in collegiate XC we'd get some core temperature monitoring pills just in case.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

RCP North Loop

Time: 86:30
Distance: 13 mi.

One of the paths in RCP along the road

Have started the annoying unconscious habit of turning off my alarm in my sleep... got out a bit later than I was hoping, but I seem to be getting into the "running is the priority" mode and was shooting for a full-length morning run. Ended up making a loop that was a little longer than I was shooting for including the Western Ridge and middle trails as well as some along the road, but just had to rush a bit once I got home. Very stiff heading out the door, including some tightness/soreness in both (but particularly left) knees--starting to think this is the Motos fault. Loosened up a little bit, but back was a bit stiff the whole way.

Monday, August 13, 2007

RCP Middle and Western Trails

Time: 60:00
Distance: 9 mi.

Evening run. Nice hour loop to get some miles in... feeling nice and looser than the usual morning jaunt.

RCP Western Ridge Trail

Time: 46:30
Distance: 6 mi.

Nice and easy morning 6 miler out and back on the Western Ridge Trail with Jilane. Happy to keep the pace chill and get a morning shakeout.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Week In Review

Time: 637:15
Distance: 94.5 mi.

Have gotten up to close to full milage and am looking forward to settling in at this, which will be easier back in Austin with people to run with and no work. Longer runs are feeling good, and I'm recovering decently well. Weighed almost 160 lbs. on Wednesday, which isn't outside of the norm for this time of year, but it would be good to get down a little bit by the end of the month--could be eating a bit healthier. Don't really need to keep up with miles on either the Tangents or the Motos, 'cause I'm really not thrilled with either and will be getting something new (hopefully Elites again) back in Austin.

RCP Beach Drive

Time: 77:36
Distance: 12 mi.

Headed out pretty early up Beach Drive, enjoying the fact that they close the street down over the weekend. Good to stay on a flat and even surface. Went out 41 minutes and then did a bit of a fartlek on the way back... 10 x 1 min with 1 min rest. Good to get the legs going and definitely helps the time go by faster on solo runs. No major physical complaints, though some general stiffness in both knees and tops of feet. Knees at least felt better after running hard.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

RCP North Loops

Time: 123:17
Distance: 18.5 mi.

Started at the Pierce Mill parking lot with JR and headed north. We ran together just for a short time so that I could show her where the trail started and then we split. She ended up with about 90 minutes and seemed to enjoy the park. Because I had some extra time to play with because I started in the park, I explored a bit around the edges of the park in Maryland, running out to the road a few times and doing a few fairly large loops incorporating the Western Ridge and Valley trails, among others. Felt very good through about 90 minutes when my legs started to feel pretty tired.

Also, realizing that I have very little idea what pace I'm doing most of the time, either on the road or on the hilly trails.

Friday, August 10, 2007

RCP North

Time: 81:36
Distance: 12 mi.

After some bitching to Jilane about running early in the morning, headed out into Rock Creek Park. Went north on some of the "middle" trails (where I went on my first few runs here) and looped around a little bit. Definitely been taking a little bit to wake up, but once I got rolling I felt pretty good. Not having anyone to run with is getting pretty old... hopefully Ben will have recovered from his foot-burning episode by the time he's back from vacation on Monday.

On a somewhat unrelated note, Ian Dobson hits the nail on the head in his latest NYRR journal post:

I think optimism is way overrated. Too much optimism means you’re going to be disappointed. But enough pessimism ensures that more often than not you’re going to be pleasantly surprised.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

RCP South, C&O Towpath

Time: 81:30
Distance: 12 mi.

Headed south in RCP on the paved path down to Georgetown where I got on the C&O Towpath for about a mile out and back. Feeling pretty sluggish on the way out and both knees were annoyingly stiff and sore, but on the way back I decided to get the legs moving a little bit with a fartlek. Did 12 x 30 sec with 1 min rest, which didn't feel too bad. In fact, afterwards I felt looser and more awake than I had on the way out.

Still pretty hot and humid, but hopefully some rain today will clear things out.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Time: 30:00
Distance: 4 mi.

The haze of humidity in downtown DC

Ummm... yeah. Wanted to get in a double before JR comes to town, shake out and pad the milage a bit, and I do not think that this weather (hottest Aug 8 in DC history at 102 deg.) would allow for a good recovery run. Thus, I hit the Hall of the States gym in the basement of NGA's building to shake out and stretch. Went for 30 mins and got the best stretch I've probably done all summer. Right knee got a little sore about 15 mins in. First treadmill run since last winter in Austin after the ice storm.

RCP Superloop

Time: 94:13
Distance: 14 mi.

"I've been all over the world, and let me tell you: Washington, DC is the hottest place on it." - John Gregorek

A hazy early-morning view over RCP from Maryland

Given that there was a "heat advisory" for yesterday and today, tried to get out the door a little bit early, and it was still dark when I was heading out. Even at 6am the humidity feels (and looks) like a thick fog. Because there was no direct sun while I was out, it never got too bad, but I was sweating a lot. Skipped a bit of the first trails because it was too dark to navigate them.. hopped on the Valley Trail past the police station. Heading south on the Western Ridge Trail I am fairly sure that I passed DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, who is apparently an avid runner.

Minor soreness in knees and feet. My feeling is that these both result from the Motos not being stiff enough... I pronate some in them and either they're sloppy loose or I get soreness on the top of my feet from tying them too tight.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

RCP Western Ridge Trail

Time: 81:39
Distance: 12 mi.

Headed north on the Western Ridge Trail for some out-and-back action. Very humid, but not as hot as the mid-day excursion yesterday. Body feeling pretty good in general. Almost ran into a deer while I was running with my head down.

As much as I love Eugene, and I do love Eugene, I'm glad we won't be heading out to the Dellinger Meet this year.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Nat'l Mall, Tidal Pool

Time: 67:54
Distance: 10 mi.

Helicopters (including Marine One) often fly over the Tidal Pool, as I saw today

Made the bad choice of not getting out early in the morning... Monday mornings are always pretty rough, and I didn't really want to get out in the rain. You know what's worse than running in the rain, though? Realizing that it's supposed to be 90+ and humid all day and that your "best" option is to go at lunch. So that's what I ended up doing...

Headed out on the Mall to do a few laps of the Tidal Pool, which is relatively shady, then headed up to the Lincoln Memorial and back all the way on the mall. Pace was pretty chill, and it was HOT HOT HOT.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Week In Review

Time: 551:15
Distance: 80.5 mi.

Pretty good week for 6 days of running with one double. Would've liked to get a little better rested this weekend... have gotten used to a routine of being tired most of the time. Especially now that I have a good idea what I'm doing this fall, I'm looking forward to heading back to Austin and getting on the not-9-to-5 routine. Tangents have about 20 miles and Motos have about 130.

Review of training since I've been in DC (8 weeks):

  Week       Milage (days)
June 17 61 (7)
June 24 72 (6)
July 1 78 (7)
July 8 65 (5)
July 15 72 (6)
July 22 82 (7)
July 29 89 (7)
August 5 80 (6)

RCP Beach Drive

Time: 53:50
Distance: 8 mi.

Another early morning, which was a little rough, but given how hot and humid it's been recently I guess I can't really complain. Decided I was due for an easier day and didn't want to feel as crappy as I did last monday. Headed north on Beach Dr. for 4 miles and then turned around. On the way back, I did a mini-fartlek to get the legs going... 10 x 30 sec. with 1 min. rest. Felt surprisingly good, and the Tangents are good shoes for this kind of stuff. Trying to get some work in gradually for the lower leg muscles.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Great Falls Park, Riverbend Park

Time: 126:56
Distance: 18.5 mi.

The Potomac River from the trail in Riverbend Regional Park

Early morning run in Great Falls National Park and into Riverbend Regional Park with Bogden. Got into a decent rhythm, but due to the up-and-downs of the trail we weren't running too fast. It got quite humid by the end and we slowed down a bit. Felt pretty good after this (which was maybe my longest time run?) but then sat in the car for 5 hours driving to and from Lancaster, PA which made back/hips/hamstrings very tight.

Friday, August 3, 2007

RCP North

Time: 82:02
Distance: 12 mi.

Shuffled through a morning run... not exactly sure why I wasn't feeling quite as sharp today, but a bunch of miles yesterday coupled with being dehydrated before I even walked out the door this morning was not a good combo. Really have to stay hydrated this weekend!

Someone give me a black Sharpie

Also, got a pair of the original Saucony Tangents from RunTex to try out, which are a pretty big contrast to the Air Max Moto. Will try to switch off between these, maybe wearing the lighter weight Tangents for my shorter runs.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Nat'l Mall

Time: 30:30
Distance: 4 mi.

View from the Washington Monument to the U.S. Capitol Building

Easy jog around the Mall, looping around the Washington Monument. Did 8 x 1 block strides in front of the Capitol. Wore Streak XCs (what a stupid name) from track last spring to try to work on some lower leg strength, after they wrecked my calves when I ran hard in them earlier this summer. Seemed to work decently well, but right peroneal was a little sore running back.

RCP North / South

Time: 80:00
Distance: 12 mi.

Started south in RCP and then ran into Evan Jurkovich from Drake, and given my general boredom with running alone recently decided to tag along with him for a little ways heading north. Got a little bit up the Western Ridge Trail with him before he turned back. Kept heading up and made a loop finishing up on Park Rd. and the Piney Branch Trail.

Found out about my waiver after the run, but have been thinking about this all day...

Waiver Granted


Congratulations! We received notice this morning from the NCAA that your clock extension has been granted and you will be able to compete in the 2007 cross country season. Keep training and we’ll see you back on campus soon!

Blake Barlow
Compliance Assistant
University of Texas at Austin Athletics

Well doesn't that make life interesting?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

RCP Superloop

Time: 95:00
Distance: 14 mi.

Headed back out on the superloop for the mid-week medium-long run, this time starting on the Valley Trail and heading back on the Western Ridge Trail... also skipped the trail section around the police station which is annoyingly technical. Starting to feel a bit better than I have the last few days. No major physical complaints but hamstrings have continued to be tight and left hip flexor is a little sore.