Saturday, November 27, 2010

Running in KSO

I ran tonight in my Vibram FiveFingers KSO (Men's) barefoot running shoes rather than in my Vibram FiveFingers Bikila (Men's), even though I am mostly running nowadays in the Bikila. The difference is tremendous, and while running in the KSO is still a good run, the Bikila was really designed for running rather than for general sports and provides a much better running experience.

Despue that, I still have my original KSO's, and while they are wearing out a bit, they are still fine for now. I try to rotate the shoes a bit, so I dont completely wear out the Bikila shoes too quickly. I wear the KSO on less important runs.

Tonight I ran 8km around RBS. I ran at a slow and easy pace, just to get some light running in, and burn a few calories.I ran up Yarkon, Across Yarden, and then 2 laps around Dolev. I then ran back across Yarden, down Yarkon and finished 8km at home.

It was a ncie pleasant run at an easy pace.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

38km run to Rehovot

This morning I ran a 38km run to Rehovot.

I started, as usual, before the group because of my slower speed. I was nervous about running it this time because I had been a bit under the weather for a couple days earlier this week and, while I was feeling better, I did not know if I had all my strength for such a long run. For a variety of reason and technical details that all fell into place, I ended up deciding to run it today.

I started my run at 5:15 AM, and man was it freezing cold! Much colder than I expected. I normally warm up after 3 or 4 kilometers, but I was freezing for a long time - until about 6:30 or so, after Presidents Forest.

I ran, as usual, in my Vibram Five Finger Bikila barefoot, or minimalist, running "shoes". Even after running for many months already in the Vibram's, the other guys in the group are still surprised when they see me running the long runs in them, and they always ask me how it feels, etc. Many times other people also notice and ask questions. Like today, at the end of the run, I was getting a drink and someone asked me about them. He is a runner training for the marathon, and has seen the Vibram's before but never saw anybody actually run long runs in them. They definitely draw a lot of interest.

Anyway, the run was great. I was running solid, at a good pace. I even took the hills well. The first two water stops did not exist. This run was supposed to be a non-stop run, meaning no stopping at the gas stations for breaks - just stopping for a few seconds at the side of the road to sip some water before continuing on. As the marathon gets closer, we are starting to simulate the marathon runs, as closely as we can. That means wearing the same clothes that the runner plans on running with in the marathon, using the same energy gels, salt  tablets, drinks or whatever you prefer, as you plan to use in the marathon.

So, the first two water stops didnt exist. There was no water where it was supposed to be. That meant I was looking at hitting about 21km before drinking water, as the third stop would be at about the 21km mark for me. And even if there would not be water there either, there was a gas station there so I could buy water. Thankfully, the water was there, though I still felt very strong at that point.

Continuing on, I felt strong through the next water stops, and plowed through Mazkeret Batya, 30km mark, which is always a problematic spot for me. After Mazkeret Batya I always seem to struggle. The run after MB is less pleasant, the conditions are harsher, and the MB stop always kills me. Not stopping at Mazkeret Batya was great for my run. I just plowed right through, stopping momentarily at Kiryat Eqron for a sip of water and iced tea, and then continuing on to Rehovot.

Even the Rehovot section of the run was pretty good. I felt strong through most of Rehovot, starting to weaken only in the last 1.5 kilometers.

My final average pace was 6 minutes per kilometer. We were supposed to run today about 15 seconds slower than marathon pace - most of my running was in the 5:45 per km zone, and the early hills are what slowed me down more to an average of 6. So that is a pretty good pace, whether I run 6 at the marathon or slightly better..

Sunday, November 21, 2010

running in the dark

In an attempt to make up for lost running, last night I ran 18km.

Running around the neighborhood a dozen or more times is not very pleasant, so against my better judgement I ran out to the highway.

In our rural area, the highways are not lit up at night, except at the intersections. As soon as night falls the highways are pitch black. That is great for going out and seeing the stars, but not great for running. But I did it anyway.

I ran across Kishon and back, to try to get a bit of mileage before hitting the highway. Then I ran up and out of RBS, out across Road 10, and out on Highway 375. After the satellites I turned around, ran back to RBS, again across Kishon and back and then concluded with a run home, totaling just over 18km.

It was a good run, albeit very dark. I ran it at about my expected marathon pace. I could not run parts of it faster, simply because of how dark it was, caution was needed. Stepping on rocks, animals, staying on the shoulder when cars were coming close, and more were all issues one must contend with when running in the dark.

Not a good idea, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hitting the Low Point, And Hopefully Bouncing Back

Running has its up and downs. Pretty much every runner goes through the ups and the downs, the times where it is easy to get going and run forever with tons of motivation and inspiration, and the times where you let every ache and pain become an excuse to not run, where you find every and any scheduling conflict to avoid running.

I have been going through one of those low points the past 2, 2.5 weeks. I have run, but very little. I even had big plans, scheduling runs and all, but when the time came to actually go out and run, I kept finding excuses why I could not go at that time. The next 2-3 weeks is a crucial time for marathon training. It is the last 2-3 weeks of serious training, as we begin cutting back before the marathon after this 2-3 week period. That means I have to conclude my preparation and be ready for the marathon during the coming 3 weeks or so.

Tonight was a group run - a speed workout. The schedule called for another 800m interval run. The total run on any given night, including the warmup run, is between 11km and 12km. Because I have not been running enough, I wanted to get in a longer run, and the speed workout was less important to me.

So, I started my run earlier than the group. I ran around half the perimeter of RBS, and then up to Dolev. I did 12km of loops around Dolev, about 8 loops, and then ran back down the second half of the perimeter of RBS. I finished my run at just over 17km.

Hopefully I can keep the motivation up and get out of the low point and train properly over the coming weeks.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Marathon And Running Inspiration

If you are looking for inspiration to continue running, or to motivate you to run better, you need look no further than yesterday's New York ING Marathon.

The 34 year old Chilean Miner, Edison Pena, who trained for the marathon while trapped in the mine, yesterday ran the marathon. He ran into trouble during the run, experiencing knee pain, after the halfway mark. Pena had to walk the last 12 miles, but he did not give up and drop out, but continued on and finished.

From the NY Post:
Pena ran into trouble in The Bronx, and and had ice packs strapped to the knees he injured during his subterranean ordeal.
“Bad, bad, bad, very bad,” Pena, 34, told the Post as he walked past the mile 20 marker in the Bronx today. “My knee hurts a lot."
Hero miner Edison Pena dreams of finishing the marathon, but pain from a knee injury suffered during his ordeal flared up as he ran on First Avenue.
The determined miner grimaced with each step. At the finish, the 34-year-old was draped in a Chilean flag as his favorite music — Elvis — played over the speakers.
"I'm here because I want people to feel free," Pena said. "I want them to strive for their own freedom. That's why it was worthwhile for me to come this far to run a marathon. ... I struggled with myself, I struggled with my own pain, but I made it to the finish line."
"I want people to feel free. I want them to strive for their own freedom... I struggled with myself, I struggled with my own pain, but I made it to the finish line."

That, my friends, is what it is all about.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chilean Miner trained for NY Marathon while trapped below

I you ever thought, and complained, that your training conditions were not good enough.. one of the Chilean Miners spent his time trapped in the mine training for the New York Marathon.

From the NY Post:
The 5-foot-5, 145-pound Peña earned his nickname, "The Runner," because he logged up to six miles a day through the underground tunnels, killing time during his ordeal.
"We [were] inviting him to be a guest; we [were] not inviting him to run. That's nothing short of mind-blowing," New York Road Runners president and race director Mary Wittenberg said earlier this week. "Now we've had several conversations, and he wants to run. He absolutely 100 percent wants to participate."
Peña, who gave the crowd a thumbs up as he flashed a huge smile, will be one of a record 120,000 runners who will hit the pavement on Sunday morning in the New York City Marathon.
Other people on the same flight with Peña unfurled a large Chilean flag and sang songs as he was escorted through the airport.
Peña, 34, was one of the most depressed of the trapped men, asking rescuers for Elvis music and a picture of the sun. Now Peña -- who was the 12th miner rescued at 10:11 a.m. on October 13 -- will get a chance to run in one of the world's most famous races.
"He's very confident he can make it," said Chilean Consul General Julio Fiol. "He's been preparing for this. The idea in his mind is to participate and come to the finish line. He's not going to beat anyone, but he's practicing to finish."