Monday, March 31, 2008

Long Bull Run

Time: 51:20
Distance: 7.5 mi.

Easy afternoon run with Brian and Dave. We started out on Bull Run and then added on up to North Loop instead of finishing on 45th. Legs pretty tired this afternoon, but a good recovery day with some volume.

Campus Loop

Time: 41:20
Distance: 6 mi.

Easy morning recovery run. I ran down to campus with Erik who had a weight room session with the team, and then I looped back through campus.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Week in Review

Time: 404:00
Distance: 62.5 mi.

A decent week leading up to a pretty good race. It felt good to taper, and I felt good in the race. My mile workout was encouraging, as well.

After trying to put together a race plan or find something good to get ready for since the USA Cross Country meet I did manage to get a new plan. After the Capitol 10k, Gilbert got me in touch with the race director of the Oklahoma City Marathon, who offered to fly me up and put me in a hotel for their half marathon on April 27. That will give me time for two-plus weeks of hard training and then a decent taper to really try to run a good and more serious race.

Here's a tentative training outline. I will do one mid-week workout and then a steady long run for the next 3 weeks and then one race-week workout.

Week of March 31: 10 mile steady/tempo run
Week of April 7: 2 x 4 mile tempo
Week of April 14: ~6 x 1 mile repeats (short rest)
Week of April 21: 4 mile tempo, 800s

Capitol 10k

Time: 70:00
Distance: 11 mi.
Course Map

Target: run a conservative race, maybe 31:30?
Race: 31:38 for 3rd, splits: 4:57, 5:11, 5:30, 4:54, 10:24 [mile 5 marker was off] (:51)

The start of the race on Congress Avenue

There were over 15,000 people

I spent a lot of the first half with guys who are 15 and 46

This is a slow course, and it was a slow day, but I put in a decent effort. I was not enthused by the sticky air as I got in my car to head downtown to the race. It was supposidly close to 100% humidity before it started, but as we stood on the line the sky opened up and it started to rain, which was greeted by the cheers of thousands of people getting ready to go.

I went out conservatively, and was a bit behind the leaders at the mile. My goal was to not feel as flat as I had the last two times I raced at the Diploma Dash and the Daisy Run, and given how hilly the first half of this race is I decided that pacing the first half would be a good call. This proved to be true, but I did get into a little bit of a tempo-ing mentality, especially as the race thinned. I caught the guy in 3rd around 4 miles in and soon thereafter it was clear that I wasn't going to catch Bernard, who was ahead of me, and that I wasn't going to get caught. I finished decently well, though, and did feel much better than I have recently--probably a combination of the longer distance, the more conservative race plan, and having tapered a bit. (And yes, the ringer they brought in to win was wearing board shorts.)

The Austin American Statesman has more photos and a recap. The local Fox station also did a segment on the race.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Time: 35:00
Distance: 5 mi.

Easy morning run with Brian. Legs felt a little flat, though I did play some volleyball last night, so that could be what I was feeling.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bull Run

Time: 40:00
Distance: 6 mi.

Easy afternoon run. I'm trying to taper a bit more for a race than I have since last fall. This is a good 40 minute run that could be a regular short run. Legs felt better than I expected.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Zilker Miles

Time: 75:45
Distance: 12.5 mi.

Target: 4-5 x 1 mile in ~4:45, 3:00 jogging rest
Workout: 4:44.3, 4:46.6, 4:41.7, 4:42.4, 4:44.0 (avg: 4:43.8)

A fairly good solo workout. I used the 1 mile loop from the Rogue site (though none of the markings on the road seem to correspond to this loop) which was fairly good for repeats. I alternated between heading out on Columbus (which I started on, and I think is easier) and heading out on Andrew Zilker. Once I got through three, I was pretty sure that I would be able to make it through five at about that pace without going to the well, so that's what I decided on. I did have to put socks on after the third, though, as I started to get a blister on my left foot.

The loop is easier from the clockwise direction because the only uphill section is short and steep and then the whole second half is gradually downhill. The counter-clockwise direction starts with a half mile gradual uphill and then you have to pound the steep downhill before heading up again before the finish.

The profile of the loop from the clockwise direction

Looking up the hill on Columbus

At the moment I'm glad that I put this off until today, as I felt much better when I woke up this morning than I did the last few days... I'll see how I feel by Sunday, though.

Update: It looks like Google just added Street View on Google Maps for Austin, which will allow me to post more random pictures of the places I'm running.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Time: 30:00
Distance: 4 mi.

Easy half hour on IF in the morning. Good thing I planned to move that workout to tomorrow, as I was dragging ass.

I did get an entry for this weekend's Capitol 10k, though, courtesy of the Austin American-Statesman. Also, I just ran across some "tips for the race" from my friend Gilbert Tuhabonye, who runs one of the training groups in town. This will probably not be a very fast race.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Balcones Loop

Time: 68:12
Distance: 10.75

Running a bit quicker today might not have served much point, but I'm taking a mini-taper down week this week, and I was feeling a bit stressed, so I felt like running hard again. This could be regular, but should be modified to take out the northern section above Hancock Drive, which is not very nice. It could be extended near Windsor or something to the south.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Home to Zilker

Time: 45:00
Distance: 7 mi.

Ran from home down to Zilker for volleyball "practice" with Brian and Barry. For me this meant standing in the sand and pathetically swatting the ball on the few occasions it came my direction. The run was fine... I was hungry and tired after class. My right quad is sore.

Bull Creek, 29th

Time: 40:00
Distance: 6 mi.

Morning run from the house. Got going a bit to try to get the stiffness out of my legs.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 589:00
Distance: 91.5 mi.

A quality and refreshing week of life and training. I'm not killing myself over not getting back much over 90 miles, as I am planning on racing the Capitol 10k next Sunday and am hoping to feel less flat than I did at the Diploma Dash and Daisy 5k races of the last few weeks. I didn't take either of those too seriously, but this should be a more quality effort. Two long drives, though, and back-to-back hard days this weekend have taken a bit of a toll on my legs, though, which are feeling a bit beat at the moment. I will probably try to get in easy efforts on Monday and Tuesday and then do my one workout of the week on Wednesday.

Longer term... maybe I'll do the Oklahoma City Half Marathon?


Time: 111:00
Distance: 17.5 mi.

A square-ish long run with Jordan from his place on my last morning in Norman. We began with 4 miles directly into an unrelenting 15+ mph wind. As soon as I was about to start hating him and running in general, we turned east and got out of the wind. It was fairly nice out there, with very straight rolling roads and farms abound. We got down to a steady pace, which was definitely good. It has been really nice to run with Jordan, who keeps the pace honest and the mood light. It has been a very nice change of pace (literally and figuratively) training with him the last few days. He posted the splits and the rundown:

Hit splits of: 6:59, 6:43, 6:38, 6:35, 6:26, 6:26, 6:09, 6:21, 6:07, 6:07, 6:04, 6:12, 6:05, 6:02, 6:05... We were trying to come up with a name for the run and some ideas were: "Rusty Tractor," "Rusty Wheel," "Midget Horse," "Wild Dogs," and "Dead Squirrel."
I've decided on naming the run "Safari." For one, we were a bit in the middle of nowhere. For two, there were a lot of animals: more dogs than I could count, squirrels (including a dead one), a dead skunk, turkeys, cows, hawks, horses, and yes, in fact, two miniature horses.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

5 Mile Tempo, 300s

Time: 82:00
Distance: 13.5 mi.

Target: average of ~5:10 for 5 miles on Jordan's "Tetris" loop; 6 x 300m in 48-49 with 100m quick jog
Workout: 25:48 (avg. 5:09.6); 6 x 300m in 48-50 (7:59 total)

I met Jordan at the OU track to start warming up for the tempo and 300s. He worked out a loop (that looks a bit like a Tetris piece) for his tempo last week, and we used it again. This time it featured the good old 360 degree Oklahoma wind that is at your face at almost every turn. He led through the first half and then I led the rest. The splits are a little weird, but we started in 5:12 and brought it down to 5:06 for the last mile. The blocks are exact distances here, so it was easy to know when we had gone 1/4, 1/2 and 1 mile at different places in the course.

The finishing point gave us just shy of 10 minutes back to the track for 300s. I wasn't feeling too sharp, and it showed. I was between 48 and 49-high on the 300s, Jordan was 48-45. The jog was a little slower than it probably should have been too.

As it turned out, Jordan was being a milage hero and managed to get in a longer warmup and cooldown than I did. Who does that?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Corn Dog

Time: 60:00
Distance: 9 mi.

Run from Jilane's house with Jordan. As he describes in his log, we ran across a major Corn Dog spill near Norman High School. A tragedy, to be sure, but we had to soldier on. I was thinking of doubling today, but was feeling pretty beat at the end of the day and seem to be still fighting off a bit of a cold.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Time: 85:00
Distance: 13.5 mi.

I headed up for a long weekend in Norman, OK last night and met Jordan at his place in the morning for a run. We headed out on his "Bobcat" run. I'm not sure what makes this a standard run for him, as he has it listed on his log ranging from 12 to 20 miles, and many things in-between. After a few miles we got into a fairly steady pace, just over (and one mile apparently just under) 6 minute pace. It was a little bit windy and there are some rolling hills out in the country outside of Norman. The streets out there are also in one square mile grids, so you can split almost everything. This would make me hammer most of my runs... wait a second...

My legs felt a bit dead... I probably need new shoes relatively soon, but I just calculated that I've got about 375 miles on these, so they should last another week.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Barton Springs Loop Speed Play

Time: 72:00
Distance: 11.5 mi.

Target: fartlek with 5 sets of 3:00 hard, 1:00 easy, :30 harder, 2:00 easy (based on this pre-Big 12 XC workout)
Workout: felt a bit stiff getting started, but we were rolling by the last two sets

Ran from Joe's house down to the road loop at Barton Springs. The loop is about 1.25 miles, so I figured that each set would be close to one loop. It came a bit short on most of them, but we did get closer near the end as we were running harder. The total workout was 4+ loops. I was happy with the effort that we were able to get in. We headed out to Town Lake for a slightly longer cooldown.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Shoal Creek Blvd to Foster

Time: 60:00
Distance: 9 mi.

Afternoon run with Dave. I have been trying to explore up north and since this morning was a bit of a bust of a run, Dave and I headed in that direction. It is almost exactly 30 minutes to Foster Lane, which is where it seems that Shoal Creek Blvd. turns leaves the neighborhoods and heads into strip mall city.

I think the only way to do a loop out there is to head west on Northland about 2.5 miles into the run, cross Mopac, and then head south on Balcones and back around... something like this.

Stop 'n' Go

Time: 39:00?
Distance: 5.5 mi.

Dragging ass this morning. I need to sleep better. A bit of a stop-and-go run with Brian out north west of our place, and we cut it short. I'll do my longer run this afternoon.

I still need a new watch.

Monday, March 17, 2008

IF, 15th Street Loop

Time: 80:00
Distance: 12 mi.

Morning jog starting on IF for 20 minutes and then meeting up with Erik to run the 15th Street Loop. He was only going 40 minutes, so we ran down Shoal Creek and over to the track where he could get weights in. I just ran back up to the house.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 477:00
Distance: 70.5 mi.

A bit of an up-and-down running week. I was okay with taking a day off, and 70 miles in 6 days with no "real" long run isn't too bad.

White Rabbits at Club De Ville

The highlight of the week South by Southwest. Here's a recap of the best stuff Brian, Ian, and I saw:

15th Street Loop

Time: 60:00
Distance: 9 mi.

Easy morning all-house run with Erik and Brian. We ran to the track so that Erik could switch shoes and then finished up down to 15th and up Shoal Creek. Given yesterday's effort, and the long week, this was fine for me.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Daisy 5k, TNT 2-Mile

Time: 95:00
Distance: 15 mi.

Target: get a good long-ish effort in; close to 15:00 for the 5k and 9:40 for the 2 mi. with as much running between as fits
Workout/Race: 15:12 for 2nd (behind Joe), 9:52? for 2nd (behind Bernard); 40 minutes on Town Lake as "rest"

15:12? Ouch!

I wasn't planning on this at all, but was offered a comp entry for both by the Austin Runners Club, so I decided to use this as my longer workout for the week. By the time this came around I had some serious sleep deprivation, so it was an effort to even get up, but it was a beautiful morning and fairly cool. I didn't know quite what I'd be able to do, so two hard efforts were my only real goal. Both races (which shared the first and last mile) were downhill out and uphill back, and I positive-split both pretty well. In the 5k Joe was able to beat the first woman, who started 3 minutes earlier, to win the "Daisy Challenge." Dave ran down to watch me flounder, and we ran 40 minutes on Town Lake in between. By the time I started the 2 mile my legs were pretty beat, which showed in the second uphill mile, where I was over 5 minutes.

By the time I was finished, I was totally beat. It wasn't a terrible outing... 5 miles of good effort and decent volume. I hit the cold pool and lay down outside afterward before getting ready for more SXSW.

Also, Wish, who I saw at the race, did a nice recap (with one weird quote from me about running 14:20).

Friday, March 14, 2008

Town Lake, Greenbelt

Time: 60:00
Distance: 8.5 mi.

Easy (but dehydrated) run with Brian and Dave from 0.0 over to the Greenbelt. Whew.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

15th Street Loop, Ridgetop

Time: 87:00
Distance: 12.5 mi.

Got up, tired again from a night out seeing some music, and hit the road with Brian. We did the 15th Street Loop together and then I ran up around Ridgetop and back by Hancock. I felt better than I expected.

Also, I lost another Nike watch to wristband breakage. Who is surprised? These things are terrible.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Day Off

Impromptu day off. I'm tired.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pease Park Hills

Time: 13.5 mi.
Distance: 90:00

Target: hard effort-based hill workout with decent volume, make myself tired/hurt
Workout: 16 x Pease Park hills (up and over, alternating sides); from ~60 down to ~54 (the far side is longer but less steep, so they work out to be about the same time)

Warmed up with Ian who was just running easy up Shoal Creek a bit, and Joe met us there. We started by doing two hills up the shorter and steeper side before deciding to use both sides. We ran the hills pretty well, and Joe started to push the pace on the last 4, which was good as I needed a little kick in the ass. On the last one I had him wait and run to catch me, as he was definitely feeling better than I was.

I was pretty tired from being up late last night, as South by Southwest is getting started and Brian, Ian and I were up late last night seeing a few shows.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hyde Park, IF

Time: 85:00
Distance: 12 mi.

A very easy 12 mile run to incorporate both Ian--who is in town for the next few days--and Brian's schedules. I did one loop around Hyde Park before Brian got back from work, and then we all went out to IF. Ian is nursing a sore calf, so he would stop every once and a while to walk and stretch it out while Brian and I kept looping. It's nice to have Brian back doing some more serious runs.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 628:00
Distance: 94.5 mi.

I'm getting the milage back up, which is good. I have no idea what I'm really training for, which is okay, but not great. With spring break, visitors and SXSW this upcoming week, it might be a little bit of a down week, which is fine. I got one workout in, which is not good, but I will get in two workouts next week, which is very good. I should relax a bit more about running and everything else, which would be good.

Town Lake Lollipop, IF

Time: 125:00
Distance: 20 mi.

Solo long run, which I was actually fairly happy about. It was nice to have a little space. Because I only worked out once this week, I wanted to make sure that this was a decent effort. I figured that I could run down to Town Lake (4.5+ mi.) do the whole loop (10 mi.) and come back for close to 2 hours, focusing on running steady through the middle 10 miles. I got out the door fairly quick and was running just over 6 minute pace by the time I was on Town Lake. I did the loop in 61:00. I was over 19 miles into the run when I got back to the house at 118 minutes, so I added on a few minutes on IF just running easy to get myself over 20 miles.

Hip flexors and hamstrings were pretty sore by the end of this, but I got in our cold-ass pool afterwards, which will hopefully help.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Reverse Scenic, Town Lake Loop

Time: 90:00
Distance: 13 mi.

Started heading south to pick up Dave... after a short discussion about the fact that we always run the same places, we headed down to do the Scenic, Town Lake run backwards. He was hoping to get some decent volume in today, so I tagged along for a little longer than I was planning on doing. Miles of trails.

Friday, March 7, 2008

4 Mile Tempo, 300s

Time: 81:00
Distance: 12.5 mi.

Target: 4 mile tempo at ~5:10; 6 x 300m in a good effort with 100m quick jog
Workout: 20:46 (5:12, 5:10, 5:15, 5:08); 48, 50, 48, 49, 48, 47 (8:10 for 1.5 mi.)

Mile 1 on Town Lake is on the bridge near Barton Springs

Chilly, windy morning in Austin. Joe and I ran from his house down to the Austin High track. We dropped off our flats and met Stanley, who had run from campus. The tempo was from the 2 mile mark to 0.0 and back. There was a fairly strong wind from the west, so the way out wasn't too bad, but we were fighting it all the way back. I was pretty stiff for the first mile of the tempo, but settled in. If the wind hadn't been so bad it wouldn't have been terrible to make this 5 miles, but the 5:08 at the end was a fight.

Joe and I jogged for 10 minutes and switched into flats before starting the 300s. We knew that one straightaway would have a lot of wind, so we didn't focus on the time other than to try to run even throughout.

Overall, it was a good workout despite the Oklahoma-esq wind. Unlike Oklahoma, however, there has been minimal leg bitage.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Town Lake East

Time: 80:00
Distance: 11.5 mi.

I'm back on a decent routine of running early almost every morning. Today Raul met me at my place and we ran down through campus and downtown to Town Lake, heading east towards the dam. We didn't make it quite that far before we turned around. We were running fairly easy and I felt pretty stiff in my hamstrings, glute and back.

Yesterday the high was close to 80. Today the high is 54 and it is getting colder most of the day. Don't think you're the only one with crazy weather, New England.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Possum Trot

Time: 60:00
Distance: 9 mi.

Just after I turned my midterm in I headed over to the track to get my second run in before my 2pm class. Ideally I would've had more time between the runs, but it was gorgeous out and I was relieved to have the paper done, so it felt good to get out. I was feeling much looser this afternoon and just cruising along at a decent clip. I ran the original Possum Trot, though I did run on the south side of Town Lake where there is less construction. By the end of the run I started feeling pretty tired and was definitely pretty dehydrated.

Campus Loop

Time: 44:00
Distance: 6.5 mi.

Early morning run with Brian around the UT campus. I was thinking about adding on more, but had a bunch of work to do on a midterm paper due at noon, so I figured I would work on that and just double. Body is pretty stiff, but we were running nice and easy.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Northwest Loop

Time: 61:00
Distance: 9 mi.
Map (approximate)

Chilly early morning run. I decided to head northwest to look for a new loop, possibly on the hilly Balcones road north of Mount Bonnell. I ended up staying on the east side of Mopac and winding up along part of the Austin Marathon course. Once I hit the upper part of Shoal Creek Rd. I took that back down. That section was fairly nice, and I'm sure that there is a decent loop that could be made out there for a regular run. On the way out I ran by a polling place for today's primary and some woman yelled to me, asking if I was going to vote today. "Yup!"

Normally I would do a workout today but I wasn't sure how my left foot was going to feel. It was a little sore again, but a bit more generally and not as sharp, from my shin all across the top of my foot. This probably indicates that I'm compensating for it a little bit. Probably good to push a workout back one day.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Possum Trot XL

Time: 87:00
Distance: 13 mi.

Classic New England weather: 50 degrees and raining. This was actually quite refreshing--I commented to Joe during our run yesterday that I thought we desperately need rain to clear the humidity. To try to make this run a little bit longer I added on by going on the south side of Town Lake and looping around near Barton Springs.

Despite being stiff the first mile or two I was able to get in a groove fairly quickly and was feeling very good clipping along. Unfortunately, the slight soreness from the end of Sunday's run in my left foot started to flare up after about 70 minutes. I stopped a few times to try to adjust my shoes, but to no avail... the soreness just got worse all the way in, so I didn't add on to make it 90 minutes.

I'll try to ice this today... I think it is just a bit of tendonitis. Maybe I tied my flats too tight on Saturday?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Week In Review

Time: 603:00
Distance: 89 mi.

I would've liked to have gotten back into the mid-90s, but at least I am building back up. The workout Wednesday was good, and the race on Saturday wasn't bad... I'm moving in the right direction. Continued focus and a little more discipline with the non-running stuff will help.

This was also college indoor track conference weekend. The Texas guys did very well, pulling off a somewhat unexpected win at Big 12s due largely to solid distance performances: wins in the 800, mile, 1000, DMR; 2nd in the 3k; 4th in the mile. The Brown guys had a bit of a rough weekend at Heps featuring a pretty slim squad, scoring just 16 (?) points on the track.

Scenic, Stratford, Town Lake

Time: 120:00
Distance: 18 mi.

Early morning long run with Joe. We met near his house and made up this loop as we were going. I was pretty tired and my legs were a little beat, but I was able to get rolling along after we got off Stratford. It felt good to get back on the 2 hour train. I was very dehydrated.

Update: I forgot to mention that my right hip was sore near the top of my IT band at the beginning of the run and seemed to loosen up. By the end of the run I seemed to have some soreness on the top/inside of my left foot.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

UTSA Diploma Dash 5k

Time: 55:00
Distance: 9 mi.

Goal: Finish in the top 3, run under 15:00
Race: 4th in 14:58*; mile splits: 4:40, 4:47, 5:00?

Joe and I headed down to UT San Antonio for the Diploma Dash 5k. The main appeal was decent 3-deep prize money. I saw that last year it had gone about 15 flat, so I figured it would be worth a shot. I am hoping to race more regularly, so this fit with that as well.

It became clear fairly quickly that there were five guys seriously in it and (by the mile) that it was going to get strung out. Westly Keating led it from the get-go and never looked back. Joe led and tried to fight off Klbet Cherop but couldn't overcome his kick in the final straight. I felt a bit over my head coming through the mile in 4:40 (which I was) so I settled in 5th for most of the race. In the last half mile I was able to track down and outkick Derek Yorek, which gave me some satisfaction given that the race was far more competitive than we were expecting. It was deceptively humid given that the temperature was pretty mild.

1 Keating, Westly 465 14:02.1 14:02.1 4:31 1 1 Pharr TX
2 Cherop, Klbet 891 14:26.5 14:26.9 4:39 2 2
3 Thorne, Joe 752 14:27.2 14:27.2 4:39 3 3 Austin TX
4 Washburn, Owen 797 14:56.0 14:56.0 4:48 4 4 Austin TX
5 Yorek, Derek 887 15:01.2 15:01.2 4:50 5 5

Check the race site for full results and more information.

I was going to run a shakeout in the afternoon, but ended up playing a few hours of volleyball instead. It was a fair trade.

*I am listed at 14:56 in the results, but this picture shows that is clearly not true. They messed up the results and I think took my guess of "14:56-14:58" right after the race to put in a time.

Central Market, IF, Long Tower Loop

Time: 75:30
Distance: 11 mi.

Fairly easy morning run. I started with Brian for the loops around the trail near Central Market and one loop of IF, and then ran a long version of the Tower Loop that included part of Ridgetop. My legs still feel a little bit beat from Wednesday's workout... especially my hip flexors. Originally I was going to run 80 minutes, but when I was getting close to home at 75 I decided that would be fine.

Our pool doesn't make a terrible cold bath...