Monday, May 31, 2004
1. Too much racing--I raced three times in May, every other weekend since May 1st. This was probably too much racing, plus it affected my ability to do quality training. I was always in either taper or recovery mode. Even before today's race I had decided to race less and focus on good workouts, long distances and quality races.
2. Too tired--I didn't sleep well this week and especially last night (I probably got about three hours of sleep last night). This, combined with too much racing, made me generally rundown and sluggish.
3. Not a good taper--I didn't taper very well this week, and then to top it off I did yardwork on Saturday. My legs were very sore yesterday and still sore this morning.
4. Harder race--this race had a fair number of hills and it was hotter and sunnier than my last race.
I'm not really discouraged; I've had a lot of great races so it was inevitable that I would have a bad one. I think I know what to do to minimize the possibility of future bad races, so all I can do is learn from my mistakes.
Here are my splits for anyone that's interested:
Saturday, May 29, 2004
Two more days until the Memorial Day 20k.
Friday, May 28, 2004
"[Steven Gortmaker, professor of society, human development, and health at the School of Public Health,] notes that on any given day, 30 percent of American children aged four to 19 eat fast food, and older and wealthier ones eat even more. Overall, 7 percent of the U.S. population visits McDonald's each day, and 20 to 25 percent eat in some kind of fast-food restaurant."
We are killing ourselves and our children! The problem appears to be related primarily to development and national wealth, so as other countries grow and increase their GDP they are experiencing similar problems with health and nutrition.
Check out these obesity maps that show the increase in obesity in the United States over the last 20 years.
I honestly we are facing an epidemic and a national health crisis. This is one of the many reasons our medical insurance and health system is so insufficient--it is being stretched too thin by preventable health problems.
Let's all run, walk, bike, swim, whatever, and teach our family and friends how to live a long and healthy life!
Thursday, May 27, 2004
Distance: 6.15 miles
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Also, today is my Anniversary! Thanks for 13 great years, Angela! Here's a picture of my wife and daughter from our summer vacation last year in St. Lucia.
Distance: 6.11 miles
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Distance: 6.12 miles
Sunday, May 23, 2004
Distance: 10.33 miles
Now they have re-defined the terms "Organic Food" and have made the organic guidelines so loose as to render to term "Organic" almost meaningless. If any US readers eat organic foods you should contact your senators and representatives and protest these recent guideline changes. Otherwise we may never know what we're eating and have little control over our diet and our health.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Distance: 6.07 miles
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Distance: 6.32 miles
Monday, May 17, 2004
2/14/04--58.39% (snow, ice and slush)
As you can see, a nice steady increase from race to race (with the exception of the "slush" half on 2/14/04), and a ten percent increase since my first half less than one year ago. I hope I can keep the upward trend going. My next half is tentatively scheduled for June 19 in San Antonio, but it will almost certainly be a hot and difficult race, so it may not be the most suitable race for a PR. We'll see!!
Sunday, May 16, 2004
The race was nice, a smaller field without a lot of hoopla. We ran on a running/biking trail that stretches to the Northwest from White Rock Lake, stopping just short of LBJ/IH 635 and returning on the same route. We had to deal with bicyclists (not the nicest bunch) but no automobiles, and the route was pretty and often shaded. It felt pretty hot after the first hour but never got terribly uncomfortable. There were lots of Team in Training folks out today and I saw a couple of my old teammates and some coaches I know.
The only problem with the race was the port-a-potties. They were late, then they were delivered to the wrong part of the park and were probably about a ten minute walk away. Before they delivered them I decided I needed to take some action so I hopped back in my car and headed down the street to McDonald's.
Here are my splits. You can see where I started to burn out, around mile 8. To make 2:15 I needed to do mostly 10:18 splits with some 10:12s mixed in for the slower early miles:
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Also, yesterday was my birthday. I enjoyed a quiet evening with Angela and Lela. After some presents (and a rice krispie treat with a candle!) we went to Gloria's, Salvadoran food--chips, salsa, black bean dip, pupusas, tamals, fried plantain (my favorite!), rice, beans. Delicious!
The best part of all (other than being with my family) was that my wife gave me some shorts, 34 inch waist, and they were too BIG! That's right, too big. About a year ago I was having trouble getting into size 38 pants, and now it looks like I can wear 32. I haven't worn 32 since high school. She also gave me two large shirts and one medium shirt. The medium fits fine, as does one of the larges, but the other one is too big! I love it when clothes are too big rather than too small.
To top everything off I got the results from last week's physical and everything was great--my cholesterol was very low and every other reading was normal. The doctor said to stick with my exercise regimen and dietary changes. It's nice to see a pay off after all of the work!
I'm off to San Antonio for a quick business trip. I'll probably do an easy 30 minutes on the treadmill tomorrow and then no more walking until Sunday. I'll post my race goal later this week, but I'm definitely hoping for a PR.
Sunday, May 09, 2004
Today while doing my long walk at the lake I ran into some members of DFW Racewalkers, the local racewalking club that I've been meaning to join. I slowed down my pace to chat with them (dropping from sub 11:00 miles to about 12:55 miles). Then I stopped my watch at a water stop and forgot to start it again. So I know I went about 10 miles today but I'm not really sure of the pace. It was a great day for a walk--it was overcast but didn't rain, the tempertature was in the 60s, lots of wildflowers and wildlife around the lake. Overall just a pleasure to be up and out and moving. I wish I could have walked longer but I don't want to push too hard the week before the North Trail Half Marathon next Sunday. Now it's time for some Mother's Day festivities. Happy Mother's Day to any mothers who happen to read this blog!
Saturday, May 08, 2004
Just a quick post to say that my family made it back in one piece, exhausted and happy to be home. Here's a picture of HRH Lela surveying her kingdom.
I took Friday off because I was at the airport late the night before picking up Angela and Lela. Today is my normal day off, and I'll be doing an abbreviated long walk tomorrow (10-11 miles) as I taper for the North Trail Half Marathon next Sunday. I hope everyone is getting some nice training this weekend.
Friday, May 07, 2004
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Distance: 6.16 miles
The eventual winner was Jefferson Perez of Ecuador, bib 140 (yellow singlet and white hat on the right). His time was 1:18:42, a 6:20 pace!!!
Here is a photo of the Women's 20k field:
The winner was Yelena Nikolayeva of Russia, bib 412, with a time of 1:27:24, an amazing pace of 7:02!
The Russians are very strong racewalkers, taking 5 of the fifteen medals awarded during the cup. Racewalking has a much bigger following oversees than in the US, and unfortunately for the US the results can be seen at world events like this.
Their speed and endurance is just amazing. I wish I could move like that!
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Thank you for visiting the Victoria & Albert Museum on 05/05/2004. Attached is the coat of arms that you designed during your visit to the British Galleries.
I assume that Angela and Lela were there today and sent me the lovely coat of arms you see to the left. It's so nice to know they are thinking of me slaving away here while they have fun in London!
6 x .50 mile intervals/.25 recovery
5:06 (this was slower than race pace in last Saturday's 5 mile race!!)
I used my Garmin Forerunner for my intervals for the first time today. The Forerunner has several different options for interval training--Speed Time/Rest Time, Speed Distance/Rest Distance, Speed Distance/Rest Time. I used Speed Distance (.50 miles) and Rest Distance (.25 miles). It worked really well, alerting me when to stop the speed interval and then counting down the distance of the recovery interval. It made my interval training much easier and more consistent. This little Forerunner is a wonder! I can't recommend it enough.
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
In 1999 the National Academy of Sciences did an analysis of Trans Fats and issued a report. They were attempting to determine an appropriate and safe level of Trans Fat in a normal diet (as has been done for other types of fats and sodium). Here is the statement they issued about the safe level of Trans Fat:
"The National Academy of Sciences’ report is the first attempt by a panel of experts to set a safe intake level for trans fat. The panel found that, like saturated fat, trans fat promotes heart disease. Furthermore, the panel concluded that the only safe intake of trans fat is 'zero.'"
What has amazed me about Trans Fats is how pervasive they are. I went through our pantry and threw away so much food it was unbelievable. Examples include:
>>Hot Cocoa Mix
>>Rice and Noodle dish mixes
>>Cream of Wheat
Even the new Snicker's Marathon energy bars have Trans Fat! It's supposed to be formulated for athletes but they put in an ingredient like Trans Fat.
The list goes on and on. Even my favorite hard candies, Caramel Nips and Coffee nips, contain Trans Fat.
As I've become an athlete I've developed a greater awareness of my health and the food I eat. I also think about the food my daughter eats. If she develops bad food habits now, at the age of four, what chance does she have to lead a long and healthy life. So my wife and I have been reading labels and paying more attention to where we shop and where we eat. I do a lot of shopping at Whole Foods Market now, trying to avoid (where possible) pesticides, artificial ingredients, weird additives, etc. It's more expensive, which I don't like, but I think it's worth it.
While we're on the topic of nutrition, I'm also a vegetarian. I was a vegetarian for about 8 years, then off the wagon for about 4, but now I'm vegetarian again. My wife and daughter still eat meat, although they don't eat much (we don't cook any meat at home, so they only eat meat when we go out).
Anyway, I just thought I would share my thoughts with the blogging community. Maybe I'm being a little reactionary, but better safe than sorry. Below are two good links on Trans Fat:
Trans Fat 101
Ban Trans Fat
Monday, May 03, 2004
Amazingly, this was a "warm up" race for Ollie. His real goal is a 24 hour race in Rotterdam on May 29th. In racewalking there is a designation of "Centurion" for any walker who completes 100 miles in 24 hours. Since this wasn't an official Centurion event Ollie is not yet an official Centurion, but the Rotterdam race is official. Good luck, Ollie!
Sunday, May 02, 2004
Here's a summary of my training to date:
Miles this week: 35.7
Avg. Pace: 11:12
Miles this year: 633.2
Avg. Pace: 11:19
Cumulative Time: 4 days, 23 hours, 23 minutes, 04 seconds
Total miles walked since I started racewalking (5/4/2003): 1542.1
For more details, visit my training log here.
Since my family is out of town I slept in and didn't get to White Rock Lake until 9:30. I'm not used to spending so much time in the sun! Normally I start walking at 6:00 and watch the sun come up, so today was a new experience.
Since I raced yesterday I didn't push hard, just went at a decent pace, two loops around the lake. A basic loop is about 9.25 miles so my total mileage for today was 18.5. I can feel it! I'm pretty sore, especially my legs. After a long walk I can't always straighten my knees for a few hours so I looked pretty silly at the grocery store. But that's the price we pay. The payoff is worth the pain.
Distance: 18.50 miles
Saturday, May 01, 2004
I waited in my car until right before the start, then went to the starting area and did some quick stretches. I met up with another racewalker that I know and we talked for a while. There were probably a little over 1,000 people at the race so it was a nice size (I always prefer smaller races). Then finally we were off and I started to warm up within seconds.
The course was fine, nothing too exciting or difficult. We skirted White Rock Lake for a while, then headed off into some of the neighborhoods around the lake, then back to the lake for the finish. There was only one "hill," and this being Dallas our hills are more like bumps for some of you.
I added a little kick for the finish and ended up finishing in 50:42, 18 seconds below my goal time of 51:00! My goal pace was 10:12 and I finished with a 10:08 pace, tying my PR pace for the 5k.
One reason I finished ahead of my target is my handy little Garmin Forerunner. This wonderful Training Watch/GPS is loaded with features, one of them being a Virtual Partner (see the screen shot to the left). With Virtual Partner you can enter your goal distance/time, distance/pace or time/pace, and the watch will tell you if you are ahead or behind your goal. You get a little running icon of yourself and your "virtual partner," so if you are ahead of goal you can envision yourself kicking the virtual partner's butt!
Unfortunately I am a knucklehead and I misread the Garmin screen. For most of the race I was ahead of pace but I thought I was behind (in the first half mile I was behind pace, naturally, and the feeling that I had to catch up was with me the whole race even though it is VERY easy to tell if you are ahead or behind). I kept trying harder and harder and kept seeing myself slipping behind, when actually I was pulling farther and farther ahead! I tend to speed up during races so I kept hoping I would speed up enough to catch that wily Virtual Partner. It was only until the last .75 miles that I realized I was ahead of pace! Then I felt AWESOME and kicked in to try and get a little faster.
According to the Garmin GPS I actually walked 5.17 miles, not 5, making my pace 9:48! I doubt the race was off by that much; it's probably a combination of the race course being a little long and how I ran the course. Dodging people, diverting to the side for water at aid stations, and how you take corners can all affect your distance. In any case, both paces were below my goal pace so I'm pleased. I hope everyone else racing today had similar good luck and a good time.