Week 9 Eugene Marathon Training Wrap Up

9 weeks down, 6 more to go. Week 9 was a bit of a recovery week. Overall mileage was down to about 35 miles, but I did have a hard effort on the long run. My plan originally called for running a half marathon race this week, but I couldn’t find anything near me to run, so I just ran a half with a hard effort. I was pleased with the results. I was able to eek out a 1:45 at ~8:00 miles. I know it wasn’t a race, but this was a PB for me (previous last November was 1:54). It’s good to see some of the hard workouts paying off.

This week was also the Treadmill Challenge down at FootZone. This was my first time doing a treadmill challenge and it was HARD. The format is; two runners go head to head. Treadmills are set to a 15% incline, runners control the speed. Person to go the furthest in 10 minutes is the winner. I came up short on my race; don’t recall exactly how far I ran, I think it was .79 miles. The overall winner ran 1.1 miles (9:30 miles? crazy). 15% incline doesn’t seem like a lot or look like a lot, but it’s a significant amount. I am glad that is over.

188913_10152144973743912_1656918552_nI’m not sure if it’s the additional hill work or the speed workout from last week, but my achilles has been giving me some pain. I ended up doing a slow 3 mile workout yesterday with a friend and still had some discomfort. Today, I was able to do a 8 mile run at a relaxed pace with no pain. I think I have a tendency to be overly sensitive to aches and assume it’s the worse case scenario. I am going to back off the mileage and intensity a bit this week to be sure it isn’t anything like Achilles Tendonitis starting up. From what I have read, it can be very difficult to eliminate it once you have it.

Also this week

2013 Tarawera UItramarathon – Some amazing pictures from this event.

The Pros Of Heart-Rate Training For Runners

The Arch Isn’t a Nemesis for Runners: How The Foot Can Naturally Cure Plantar Fasciitis


Week 8 Eugene Marathon Training Wrap Up

Tumalo State Park

Tumalo State Park

Little late getting this weeks wrap up done. Was tired from Friday’s long run and spent some time yesterday getting the motor home ready for a quick trip over to Belknap Hot Springs  that we are doing in a couple of weeks.

Long run on Friday was a mix of everything; Snow, sun, cold and hot. Typical Central Oregon weather. I mapped out a new route that took more to the north side of town, through Tumalo State Park and looped back to home. The route didn’t seem to have much elevation gain on paper but ended being about 1100 feet in total gain over the 18 miles. Average pace was about 9:15 per mile, a little too fast for what my long runs should be, so I need to keep it slower on those. On the week I had about 45 total miles.

This upcoming week is a recovery week. Approximately 36 miles with a half marathon long run Friday. The plan originally called for it to be a race, but I couldn’t find any races this weekend, so I’m just going to find a 13 mile relatively flat route and run it with a medium to hard effort. My hope is to use this as a base to calculate my goal pace for the Eugene Marathon. A good rule of thumb I have read it to take your half marathon time, double it and add 6 minutes to calculate your full marathon time. I set out with the goal of a sub 4 hour marathon (9:09 pace), but feel like I can maybe squeak out a 3:45 to 3:50 time.

Also this week is a treadmill challenge put on by FootZone. They put a call out for runners to take part so I threw my hat in the ring. Format is two runners go head to head on a treadmill set to a 15 incline for 10 minutes. Runners can control the speed. Whoever goes the furthest in the 10 minutes is the winner. I’m a little out of my league on this one, there are some great ultra runners in Bend, but what the heck. I was told it should be fun.

Also this week:

The Top 5 Hip Strengthening Exercises

Can Music Help You Run Faster? Dr. Phil Maffetone Says “Not” When You’re Actually Running

2013 Spring Trail Shoe Guide

Nathan HPL 020 Hydration Vest Review

Nathan-HPL-#020-FrontLast summer when I decided to up my mileage to tackle a marathon, I knew I had to do something about hydration during the long runs. The handhelds work great for shorter runs. I have tried a few hydration belts, but can’t stand having something tight around my waist plus the constant bottle bumping my rear end was driving me nuts.. I also found during a hot run that I couldn’t carry enough water in a 3-4 small bottles with the waist pack.

Enter the Hydration Vest.

This was my first vest, so I didn’t have a preconceived idea of what I was after. The first decision was what kind of bladder size I wanted. There are a variety of bladders ranging from 1 liter to 2.5 liters, If I was going to drop this kind of coin on a vest, I might as well get something that can hold enough water for whatever I planned on doing (hiking, day long runs, etc). You always have the option of not filling it all the way depending on how long you are going to be out. The dry weights between the smaller and larger vests/bladders was pretty minimal, but something to consider.

The other item I knew I wanted was some storage; easy access pockets up front, along with some pockets in the back. The Nathan HPL 020, had both of those. The front has a single zipper pocket along with a mesh sleeve and another shock cord pocket.

Now that I’ve had it a while and put a few hundred miles on it, I’m still very pleased with the purchase.I picked one up for about $80 from a local REI (They can be had for about $50 now I think).

There are several straps to adjust how the vest rides on your shoulders/back, and I will typically adjust them once or twice during a long run. The main shoulder straps

The two pockets up front have plenty of storage for my phone, camera and some shot blocks/gels. I wouldn’t mind having an extra sleeve or two to hold some additional gels. (something the next model up 028 now offers).

Drinking from the tube while running can take a little getting used to. It’s a bite nipple valve so you just lightly squeeze with your teeth to open it up and suck on it. I haven’t had any problems with either the bag or nipple leaking during runs.

Nathan-HPL-#020-BackThe downside to running hydration vests in general that i’ve found are

  • Sweaty Back – These make you sweat more, that’s for sure. You can negate that somewhat by filling the back with some ice before you run.
  • Sloshing Sound – The constant sloshing can bother some people, I can easily tune it out, not a big deal for me.
  • Limited to a single source – This can be a big one for some. With a belt, you can fill one bottle with water and another with some kind of electrolyte drink. You don’t have that flexibility with the vest. I’ve never found a drink other than water that doesn’t make me feel bloated while I run, so it’s a non issue here.

Week 7 Marathon Training Wrap Up

Completed my long run yesterday for the week (17.5 miles, about 40 for the week). Felt pretty good with how I felt towards the end and the overall performance. I am coming down with a cold and was struggling to get out the door. All I really wanted to do was go back to bed and sleep. I told myself to get out and at least run for a few miles, if I still felt like crap I could call it a day and reschedule the long run. Well, a few miles in I figured I might as well get it out of the way. Some days are like that, just trudge through it. You always feel better at the end.

I ended up hitting a bit of unfamiliar trails during the run and got a tad lost. A little bushwacking and off trail running later, I was back on my familiar route. It was a good way to mix it up a little…On the upside I ran into a heard of about 9 deer, we scared the crap out of each other I think.


Deschutes River

Veterans Memorial

There is a Veterans Memorial in Bend that is at the base of the Veterans bridge. I run by this a lot. Most of the time I will stop to catch my breath, take a minute to take in the view and give thanks to those that have sacrificed everything.

Bend Veterans Memorial

Bend Veterans Memorial



First Responders

First Responders


Last Sunday was the Pennywise concert. Had a great time, Lagwagon was one of the opening acts, another of my favorite bands. We arrived a little early and snagged some excellent spots in the balcony to the side of the stage. I must be getting old because I did bring some earplugs.






Advanced Marathon Training Book

I picked up a copy of this and am finding it a good read. I’m not in a position to use any of the training plans right now (Minimum starts at 55 miles per week), but maybe for a fall marathon (Portland again perhaps). They do a great job of explaining the different aspects of what it takes to improve your marathon performance (Lactate Threshold, VO2 Max, Endurance, Speed, Form, Nutrition). The training plans are broken up into Mesocycles, each a few weeks and are focused on improving each facet of your running. Some weeks are more tempo runs (improving lactate threshold), others include strides and intervals to improve form and speed.

I’ll do a more detailed review when I finish it up.

Advanced Marathon Training

Advanced Marathon Training

Other tidbits from the week

Plantar Fasciitis – Misunderstandings Corrected

The Top 5 Hip Strengthening Exercises

Interviewer Sets World Record for Worst Mo Farah Interview (I feel bad for her, kinda)


Week 6 Marathon Training Wrap up

Got done with my long run for the week a few hours ago. This was a tough one. Originally had planned to do about 15 miles, didn’t preplan my route and it ended being 16.5. The distance wasn’t the big deal, but the last 6 miles I had some significant wind in my face. It was discouraging to be pushing it pretty hard then look down and realize I was going about 10:30 a mile. I had also decided around mile 6 to run up  a pretty significant hill to the top of Awbrey Butte, that put some wear on my legs.. On the upside, I’m physically feeling good, just tired.

View of Bend from top of Awbrey Butte

View of Bend from top of Awbrey Butte

Pennywise coming to Bend

Two of my all time favorite bands are coming to Bend this weekend. Pennywise and Lagwagon. I’ve spent many hours running to both of these bands. I used today’s long run to cycle through a few of their best albums. I use my long runs as an opportunity to listen to complete albums from beginning to end. With some artists, I think its better to listen to a complete album beginning to end., Tool comes to mind. They are still holding out on iTunes for that reason.


Pennywise Tickets

Not your bitch anymore


Can o’ Cope on my run

Its been a little over a year since I quit dipping tobacco. Running in Bend, I see a lot of discarded Copenhagen and Kodiak cans on the side of the road. When I see one, I’m reminded of how much of a slave I was to it. Aside from the many health risks, it had negative implications in all aspects of my life; Financial, relationship and social. I’m grateful today that It’s not part of my life. I still smoke cigars from time to time, but that’s a different post.

Other Items from the Week

Pronation Appreciation: Myth Busting For Runners

How to Get Faster with Interval Training

Hydrosleeve: Hands-Free Hydration for your Upper Arm