Thursday, May 31, 2007

Recent Running

I wanted to get some kind of speedwork in on Tuesday, even if it wasn't stellar. It wasn't, but at least I did get something in: 5 x 1200 in about 4:54. 9 altogether that day.

I took Wednesday off because I was dead tired. We had to get going early anyway - had to take Mom to the ear doctor.

For today's run I wanted to at least get down to 8 minute pace. I did, but only for the beginning and end of the 11-mile course. The overall time was 90. I was sweating buckets.

Gotta decide about the West Virginia Marathon today...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Recent Running

Yesterday I did 4 on the mill and then met up with George, Rob, Bob H., Tom B., Laura and company for a run at Rocky River. Good to see everyone. We did 6 there.

Today I was going to do 15-16, but as my legs were getting tired I changed it to the 11-mile Substation course. Although I had been slowing down, I managed to pick it back up for the last 2. Finished in 92.5 minutes. Not too bad.

After some chores, but before lunch, I got out again to do my 3-mile Presidents course. This was much better than expected - 22 minutes.

I'm still learning the nuances of this GPS thingie. Today I set lap on auto (so it takes a checkpoint every mile) and I ran a course for the second time (not sure I liked this)..

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Medina 4-mile, Diana and Allissa

It was pouring rain for parts of today's 4-mile race, but that didn't slow me down too much. Being so fat and out of shape did. I did it in 27:51. Probably a pw for a 4-miler, but I'm too lazy to look it up.

Dave, Carol and Debbie and I went to the Pricess Diana exhibit at the Western Reverse Hysterical Society today. Then we went to Allissa's graduation party.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Lies, Damn Lies, and GPS Data

This is also a subtitle of a section of an article about measurement, but I think it applies to what I'm about to say. I had considered using "Sex, Lies and GPS Data, without the Sex" as the subject, but I like the Mark Twain thing better.

I got my Forerunner 305 toy a few days ago, and now I've had a couple runs with it. I'm still in the process of figuring things out, but I've noticed a few things and have a few questions right off the bat.

For one thing, based on doing some of my standard courses with the device, everything is shorter than I thought. Even the courses that I measured on gmaps pedometer. Even the ones where I drove the course. This may be because I cut tangents when I run. Or it's because I'm losing the signal under trees and the device thinks I'm cutting tangents when I'm not. Regardless, I find it mildly upsetting to learn that my 6-mile course is really 5.85 miles, and that my 11-mile course is really 10.87 miles.

Here's something weird: I've checked the distance from my house to the end of the street several times. I've come up with .28, .30 and .31 miles. I can imagine that it all depends on EXACTLY where I started and where I crossed the street, etc. But when I measured it walking, I came up with .34 miles. Everything else seemed longer by walking than running as well. These are just preliminary findings, but has anyones else experienced this?

Another thought: This may be a silly question, but does arm movement have an effect on distance?

One other initial finding: after determining that at least some of my courses are shorter than I thought, I figured that running at the track would come up with distances much shorter than I've logged. This is for a couple of reasons: 1) running four laps in the inside lane is indeed less than a mile, and 2) with all the turning, the forerunner may lose some distance and determine tangents. But here, the distance measured was *long*. The first 4 laps showed up as 1.04 miles. Subsequent miles were also long. What's this all about?

The main thing I'm doing here initially though, is gathering data. This early analysis (especially when I map it out) is interesting, but I can do more later. This applies to the HRM data too. That's another story.

ORN: Just my 3-mile course today. This one actually did measure out very close to what I thought. This was my most decent run of the week, since the marathon. Now I've got a 4-mile race tomorrow.

Recent Running

I did 10 yesterday, but it wasn't easy. Still sore and tired. Got over to the track to get some slightly faster stuff in. 86 minutes. Not too terrible.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Today's Run - 2007-05-23

I strapped the heart rate monitor on today and went out for my second GPS run. Once again, my course proved shorter than the GPS said, once again by the same amount - .13 Miles or so. This was for the 11-mile new subs route.

Once again, I ran slowly anyway - over 9 mpm pace. But it really wasn't all that bad. I'll come around. You'll see...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

First Run with GPS

Of course I learned that I hadn't been running as far or as fast as I thought. I did my 6-mile "east" course and learned that it's only 5.85 miles. I could only manage about 9 mpm today. This is going to be interesting as I continue to use it.

Cleveland Marathon

I ran ok for a while, but then I got tired and slowed down.

Many of you recognize my standard race report, which applies to about 60% of my races and 80% of my marathons. It did last Sunday. But what did you expect? Let's consider the excuses:

10) I have zero race experience for the year.
9) Cleveland was windy as usual, although it has been worse other years.
8) Temperatures were in the low 60s. Not bad, but I still would've liked 10 degrees less.
7) With all the traveling this year, training in general has not been where it should be.
6) With all the traveling this year, I haven't been able to do as many quality long runs as I wanted.
5) Since my last race (Columbus, last October), I've had several illnesses and at least one major injury.
4) I got home from Portugal only about 36 hours before the start.
3) With all the traveling this year, I have managed to put on a few pounds.
2) They've been more than a few pounds.
1) I'm old, bald, fat and ugly.

They had big numbers for this year's race: over 9,000 for the marathon, half and 10K. I think there were something like 2,800 marathoners. The start of the combined full and half didn't seem very crowded however. I didn't have any real plan, other than I wanted to run smoothly. To do under 8 minute pace would be nice. Negative split would be grand. So when I figured out that my first couple miles were at 7:30 pace, continuing at that pace seemed as good an idea as any.

It was nice talking with TJ Hawk and his buddies, as well as Mike George and his brother a good part of the first 11 miles or so. TJ mentioned that after the race he would clean up as much as possible and change in his car in order to get to church on time. I told him that God wouldn't mind the smell. TJ replied that he didn't think so either, but some of the people may mind. Paul Lane, running on TJ's other side, said that TJ may wind up with a pew all to himself.

The half marathoners peeled off, and things got lonelier as I headed east on Chester toward University Circle. The half-way point was 1:38 and change: still 7:30 pace. It was probably somewhere about the circle itself where I began to slow down. I wasn't watching each and every mile split like usual, but I figure those 7:30s slowly became 7:45s or so.

Even while slowing, I was still passing folks who were slowing more. I went by and talked a bit with Nancy Schubring, an old running acquaintance from Michigan. By the time I was heading back towards downtown on North Marginal (miles 19-24), I began slowing even more. Going up the short hill on West 3 was difficult for me - it felt like a mountain at that point.

So the wheels never came off completely, but there was a general slowing. The last mile was decent, and I finished in 3:22 and change.

This had been the 30th edition, and I'd been there for the 1st, 10th, 25th, and about seven others. This may have been my slowest. But now that I've got my 1st race of the year out of the way, they can only get better now. Right?

Getting Home, Saturday Run, other stuff

I got home from Portugal a day earlier than originally planned. This would help for the marathon. Mom would be staying with us for a few days, so she and Debbie picked me up.

Saturday I did 3 on the president streets. No big deal. I then went to the expo. No big deal there either. Actually kind of boring. Big, but boring. The course bus tour was interesting. No information about the race, but plenty about Cleveland. Saturday night we took Debbie out for her birthday - Olive Garden.

Stay tuned for the race report.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Dan in Iberia III - this time it's Portugal

I arrived in the morning on the Sunday before work. Since the afternoon was free, colleague David and I took a cruise on the Tagus River. It was nice and peaceful. The river opens up to a large bay, so it seems extremely wide. We saw many fine sights. I had seen many of the same things from shore during my previous trip, but it was nice to see them by boat as well. Some of them were:
The Parque Noches area, which has extremely modern architecture and is where my client's office is and where a triathlon was in progress. We could see the runners along the shore.
The Tower of Belem - a castle guarding the mouth of the river.
The 25th of April Bridge, a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Statue of Jesus Christ, a replica of the one in Rio de Janeiro
Other neat stuff.
Almost every day brings fish for lunch and then fish for dinner. Not that I’m complaining; the food’s great. Like the Spanish, the Portuguese like to have huge lunches, and then small dinners late in the evening. Of course this means that I have huge lunches AND huge dinners to go along with my huge breakfasts. Thank goodness the dinners aren’t quite so late as for Spain – I haven’t had to wait until 8:30 for dinner yet.

But back to the fish: here’s how it goes every time. They place a huge chunk of fish in front of me. It takes up the whole plate, and it looks and smells great. Without thinking, (my brain shuts down whenever there’s food to be had), I slice a big piece and get it into my mouth as quickly as possible. And then, “Aaaargh – what’s all this hard, sharp stuff?” And then I spit out the bones as delicately and politely as is possible, which it isn’t. I wish I had a euro for every fishbone I’ve eaten on this trip.

Once upon a time, a lady appeared to 3 children, told them she was the Virgin Mary, and made some predictions that may have come true, depending on your belief system, and where you heard about it. Each year many thousands of pilgrims converge on Fatima on May 13 to commemorate the anniversary of the first appearance. They actually arrive the previous day in order to take part in all the activities and to watch the procession that night.

So there I was, a pilgrim converging upon Fatima on May 12, just like the 500,000 other pilgrims. This wasn’t just any anniversary either; this was a special one: the 90th. I had signed up for a tour of Fatima along with some other places, and we arrived with all the multitudes. Most of the people were arriving on foot. Many were camping. Thousands attended a mass that overflowed into the basilica courtyard. Others were lined up to pay respects to a shrine at the exact place of the appearances. Many crawled or scooted on their knees. It was all quite a spectacle.

There were plenty of other sights to be had this day: a gothic cathedral and monastery in Batalba. Another one in Alcobaca. Lunch at a fantastic little seaside fishing and beach village called Nazare’. And finally, there was the walled medieval village of Obidos. Obidos is a bit like Rhodes, and perhaps Toledo, even though I’ve yet to go there. It was a stunning setting. I’d have liked to have spent more time there and in Nazare’.

Speaking of stunning settings, I spent another day in Sintra, along with another consultant I’m working with, Ravish. I’d been to Sintra as part of another tour last year, but all I did that time was walk around the village. It was ok, but I didn’t even know what the deal was about the palaces and castles in the area. Having enough time made a big difference.

Ravish and I took a train from Lisbon to Sintra, and then took a bus to the top of the Big Hill / Mountain. At the very top is Pena National Palace in a spectacular setting. The palace itself is like something out of a fairy tale, with fantastic structures, shapes and colors. And did I mention the view? It was great; we could see the sea many miles away on three sides of us (Sintra is in the middle of a large peninsula, which includes Lisbon far to the south).

Next we headed down, but not too far down, to the Moorish Castle. This was about 1,000 years older than the palace, but it was impressive in it’s own way. There were walls galore, and a steep walk to the top. The walls are built on the side of a cliff, so it appears to be a very high wall. In fact, it is a very high wall. As it was for Pena Palace, the panoramic view was wonderful.

Then it was down again. This time way, way down, back to the village. We toured the Sintra National Palace, which had only some very nice views. Some of the 16th century rooms were neat.
And that’s about all the ways you can cook shrimp, I mean… that’s about all the ways you can see Portugal from Lisbon.~

Monday, May 07, 2007

Running in Portugal

Today I wanted to run fast, so I stayed in the hotel and just did the dreadmill thing. Not bad - 10 x 1200 in 4:47. Altogether 13 in 91 minutes. Tomorrow I'll explore.

I ran over to the university today. It's close, and there's some trails there. I ran around, getting lost a few times. It's probably a mile and a half around. I'll check that when I run *only* around and time it. I spent a lot of time trying, unsuccessfully, to get into the 400 meter track. Maybe they open it later. Decent but slow run overall - 1:03 - I'll call it 7.

For some reason my quads were extremely sore last night. Must have been Monday's speedwork or elliptical running. Strange that it didn't hit later Monday or Tuesday morning. They were still sore today, but I went over to the university again and did the trail loop 5 times. I figure each one is about 1.6 miles and the times were: 17:31 (with some extra), 13:47, 13:00, 12:57, 12:13. Along with the run there and back and a bit more extra, I'm calling it 10 in 82.5. I need to recover these quads and get in a long run, some speedwork and then a taper. All in a week and a half.

I set out in a different direction for a change, and - I found my way over to the big green hill. Didn't have time to do much else. I'll explore more there later.

20 on the dreadmill. I didn't have much more time than that, and I wanted to ensure a good pace. I also wanted to get this one last long one in before the race. Decent enough of a run. The last 9 were at MP. Altogether, I did the 20 in 2:26.

More dreadmill running. Not so great this time, but I wanted to get 6 in to get 60 for the week. Just barely managed.

This was a really nice run. I felt good and strong, but a lot of it was slow because of the hills and trails. I found my way to Monsanto park, like I did the other day. This time I hit the hills and trails a lot. The hills are pretty durn big. It's a beautiful park. I managed to run for 2:09, so I'll call it 15.

I only did 6 today - tough to get out the door. Once I did, I started slow, but then got moving ok. I did 2 loops around the university in just over 12 minutes each - not bad. Altogether a decent run after all. Here's something from today's post to DRS:

After being such a strong proponent of measurement, I suppose it was time to
get a GPS. So I ordered a Forerunner 305 just before the deadline for the
rebate. It's bound to be oodles of fun to figure out. I'm mostly concerned
with getting too caught up in technology at the expense of running enjoyment
and running improvement. I hope that this will not be the case here. Stay
tuned... details at 11.
ORN: I'm in Lisbon and I did a few loops of the university grounds. Nice,
soft dirt trails. Only problem is that there aren't enough of them. I figure
the longest loop possible is just over a mile and a half. But this was
pretty nice.
I suppose I ought to write about yesterday's run as well. I'd been able to
see this Big Green Hill from my hotel room. It looked pretty inviting. I'd
been running at the university, which has some nice trails, but I only wish
there were more of them. So this time I found my way over, past the zoo, up
and across a pedestrian bridge over train tracks and a highway, and up the
Big Green Hill into so-called Monsanto Park.
What a great place to run. The hills are big and bad, but it was very quiet
- at least on a Sunday. There are well maintained trails galore. I had a
really nice, peaceful but challenging Sunday morning run there.

Dan Horvath, Brunswick, Ohio, USA, but currently in Lovely Lisbon

I wanted to get one more speedwork session in before the marathon. So I did 10 x 1200 on the mill once again. It turned out not too bad - I did them at about 4:46 (15kph) with the last one just a bit faster. Altogether 12 in 82. Now I'm ready. I think.

Feeling very tired, I didn't get out as early as I wanted. So with only an hour to work with, I made it over to Monsanto Park to explore a bit more. I did go past one area where I ran Sunday. Lotso big hills and trails again. But it was extremely slow going. I'm calling it 7 in 63.

My last run for this trip, and it was a good one. As always, the weather was perfect. I got over to the university and did 6 loops. Each one generally got faster, and I did a few faster than any before, so I'm happy with this run. Here are the splits: 13:16,12:31,11:49,11:53,11:30,11:04. Altogether, 10 in 78.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Today's Running - 2007-05-05

I'm finally feeling better. Still tired, but generally better. I did 3 on the mill and then 14 on the towpath with Dave and Amy. Not the greatest run, but I'll take it. Just happy to be (almost) normal again.

Taking off for Portugal today.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Jury Duty, Val's Visit, Recent Running, Etc.

Debbie has jury duty this week. She's involved with a civil suit.

Valerie came to visit for a day and I got to see her for a change. While Debbie was at jury duty, we took mom out to lunch and to the park. When Debbie got home she worked with Val to do the final alterations on the dress.

I've felt sick since Monday. Don't know what it is. No appetite (none!), extremely tired all the time. I felt a bit better yesterday and ran 6 with no problems. But today's 5 was awful. I'm hoping to get better soon.

Hinckley is Back

Okay, okay. Hinckley never really left. But a lot of us did; we hadn't been meeting there for our Sunday morning runs for quite some tim...