Running Down to Pine

Running From Strawberry
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Part of today’s training run was a 3 mile descent down AZ 87 from Strawberry to Pine.

What was that low distance whistle blowing this morning? Could that have been the excuse train? It id not ride close to my house, but its wail is distinct.

It was a great day to mix up the running routine, get out of town. The training schedule called for 8 miles today, two notches up from Sunday’s 10k run. I devised a plan/challenge. When I am in town, I meet friends for Breakfast in Pine at the Randall House at 10:15am. My idea was to incorporate in the run the long hill down from Strawberry to Pine– I measured it in my car the other day, and clocked 3 miles from the intersection fo Fossil Creek Road to the Randall House.

I prefixed the fill by doing a 1.8 mile loop around my neighborhood, just in case my energy waned, I would not by stuck down the hill. I felt okay, so I hit AZ 87 and climbed this side of the hill to the crest.

Going down felt great! There was not a whole lot of traffic, and I ran on the left side, facing oncoming traffic, so I could dodge to the thin to non shoulder if vehicles were approaching.

There’s very little good running surface once you hop off the road, a few short patches with some firm footing, and the one passing line, but the rest is slopping gravel.

I got down to Pine, passed the restaurant and continued south until I got to the Rimside Grill, and turned back, to stop at the Randall House (which, by the way, is the best place in town to eat!). I clocked 6.7 miles, which is okay.

And no, I did not run back up the hill, not this time (probably not ever); I got a ride home with a friend.

If only all runs could be downhill….

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Phoenix 10k

Phoenix 10k
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Thanks to snafu with the clock on my iPhone I almost did not make it to the start line (it made a daylight savings time adjustment although Arizona does not do that).

As is I did not have time to check in at ye TeamD booth, I forgot to adjust the basal rate of my insulin pump (I remembered a the 1 mile marker), and I never was able to untangle my iphone headphones.

But I just plodded along and did my 6.1 miles, at pretty much my usual turtle pace. It was weird at about the 2.5 mile marker when all of these really fast runners went by; then I realized it was the front of the pack lapping me (this route is a 5k loop down twice). They were like a heard of gazelle (and I was the hippo in the pond, standing agape).

The weather was warm and sunny, the course flat, and most importantly, I finished. I need to get back to the define training schedule and maybe I can feel more comfortable come January 17 going double this distance/







It was about 49 degrees at the outset, and felt good to be running again in sleeves. Once the sun poked out it was nice. I started out on my usual loop, but spontaneously decide o go in a different direction, and found a nice new shortcut that removes some running along our busiest street in Strawberry (busy means 1 car every 15 minutes).

Took on some hills on this one, had a few good spurts.






Up From Zero

This is the giant flat bottomed divit in my training:

Two Three weeks ago was my last run- 5 miles in Barcelona. Three days later I was coming down with something, on the long flight home (the last leg in a 29,000 mile trip in two weeks), I knew I was falling to the mat, a TKO. I got to Phoenix Wednesday night, coughed all night at a friend’s house, managed to drive home, and spent 8 days hacking and not sleeping. My doc diagnosed it as a secondary bronchial infection riding on a normal virus.

I feel like I am still getting out of it, but know I need to ge the shoes back on the road, so just set out for an easy short loop. Just to see if I could.

Actually, it was not horrible, but need to climb back up the curves; was planning to do the Phoenix 10k next week.

On the Brisbane Waterfront

After breakfast and a walk with my local friend Cyprien, I had a good sense this would be a great route- mostly flat and a lot of visual stimuli to occupy the mind. There was some sort of rock concert going on at the stadium across the river, lots of colorful people strolling about!

Given Coach Dave’s pace advice, I took it easy on the pace today, but just t make sure, I found a little kick at the end.

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All in all a good outing today, although I collapsed back at the hotel after a long shower. I’m clinging to hope that I do not catch the virus that was swirling at my friend’s house I stayed at for my first night.

And I cleared 10 miles this week, the weekly distance plots will keep arcing upward!

Running Down Under

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It’s upside down here in Australia.

Or maybe I am.

I landed this morning (which technically is yesterday afternoon) in Brisbane, Australia, after a 25 hour plus jaunt the included a bus ride to San Francisco airport, a short flight to Los Angeles, a loooooong flight (12 hours) to Auckland, and another 4 hours to Brisbane.. I feel good for getting at least 6 hours of sleep on the long haul.

But I was determined to get some exercise in today. I am staying tonight with a colleague, Phil, who technically lives in “Indooroopilly” (gotta love the names of places here), and he advised me of how hilly it was around here. He was not kidding, but suggested a walk up to the reservoir, where there was a great view of the city:

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and then explore running through some of the neighborhoods and up a trail to the peaks of the hills of a large city park area. I ended up walking up the trail parts, because it was pretty damned steep. But it was lovely terrain:

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And I jogged gently back down the steep parts.

So today was more run walk, then run, but I got in 3.5 miles and was out there more than an hour.

California Must Be Good for My Soul

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There must be something about California that is good for me. Oh, there is an obvious thing, and she is the reason why I am here a few days for the Big Trip.

But wow, something unexpected happened in today’s run.

It felt good.

I got here yesterday, and between dealing with a flat tire on the way to the airport (and almost missing the plane) and a flight delay (the reason I did not miss the plane), I just did not feel like doing the Sunday short run. And knowing tomorrow morning was going to be busy getting ready to go, I opted to mash them both up with a 5pm run.

The smaller roads where I am (near Rohnert Park) are pretty, but there are almost no shoulders. But once out on Redwood highway, the route was easy and there was room for me.

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But rather than plopping along, I felt a little more energy, and managed to run at about a minute per mile faster than I had been doing at home. I am caring less about times and records, and more about just feeling good about running. Today was a refreshing change.

Wait a minute, am I smiling?

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I am not quite ready to change the blog name yet. It’s a long way to go.

Where’s My Gas?

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I missed the Thursday run, with all day travel back from Boise. Today’s training was for 4 miles, but I pooped out at 3, and at that I was doing walk breaks the last 2. I’m just not feeling any energy, but know I need to keep at it to build that “foundation” Coach Dave describes.

And now the fun begins as I begin tomorrow a trip that will have me make a world loop between then and October 6.

I am going around the world in search of my running gas.

My Own Private Idaho (Run)

I arrived in Boise today in order to be here for a presentation tomorrow at Boise State U. It’s my frst time in Boise- what a pretty place! The mountains were tremendous flying in.

My original plan was to run this morning, but ran out of time getting ready. I’m glad I opted out, cause it meant I could do an early evening run on the greenbelt here, a great trail right along the river. There were some beautiful homes backing on the river, some mega houses too. Maybe the peak was seeing a deer dash across the trail right in front of me.

It is still slow easy going on my runs. I’m not feeling any spark yet, but just plugging along. I should get another in Thursday before I go.

(ignore this as I try to get my twitter tools working…)

RunKeeper is a Keeper

I’ve got a new equipment routine now for running. Out is the iPod Nano with the Nike iPod+ and In is the iPhone 4, now using the RunKeeper app, which actually measures with GPS where you ran (I did get the new Nike+ GPS app, which some report is better GPS data than RunKeeper… more later). So what I get is a detailed map and record:

and has hooks to post to twitter, etc. And I can play whatever I want on the iPod, including podcasts… and I now have a camera when I run.

I still have numerous data tasks. RunKeeper does not have a blog widget, so I am adding each run to DailyMile. I do a data tweet to my Flowing Data which collects data listed on my Run Alan Run display. I add the time and distance to my Google spreadsheet which dynamically updates the stats on my sidebar, THEN I write a blog post.

Today’s run was supposed to be the 4 miler scheduled for yesterday, which was not possible since I flew back from Boston, and that took all day. It’s hard to rack up miles in a plane.

I’m also looking at the Runmeter iPhone app, which has a lot of compelling features. So many apps, so little time!