Sunday, April 15, 2012

Martian Marathon: A new PR

On April 14th I ran a half marathon and the kids did the Mini Marathon and Cathy ran her first 5k since she was in high school.

The kids have been training since February. The deal was if the kids log 25 miles before the race, then they run a final 1.2 miles and get to say they ran a marathon.

Kids loved it.

My last training ruin had felt good and I wanted to break 1:50 but I set an 8:30/mile pace instead. I have logged 2700+ miles on RunKeeper but I had never used coaching and recently I have disabled all audio cues. I essentially start RunKeeper when I start the run and then switch to Audible and don't drop back into RunKeeper unless I want to pause (phone call, record idea in Voice Memo or Twitter) or I reach the end of my run. So literally with minutes to spare before the starting gun I went into the coaching menu in the Start screen of RunKeeper and set an 8:30 pace:

Then I dropped into my settings and turned on Audio Cues. Here are the settings I used:

Turns out, current apace and current split pace was a bit redundant, so next time I will skip the current pace and just use the Split Pace. I did not get prompts about total distance or total time. I wanted the cues to only be about speed, nothing else. Especially given that the race organizers were marking off each mile.

Kudos to RunKeeper for making the coaching and audio prompts so simple that I could get it set up 90% right the first time I ever used the feature. I am probably one of the first RunKeeper users. You can read my review of RunKeeper Pro (the old version that cost $10 but added some features) RunKeeper 2.0 and my review after logging 1,000 miles. But even as the program is about to turn 4(as in years, not version number) it continues to surprise and delight me. What an incredible amount of value for a free program.

Now about my race. I love the Martian Marathon. It is perfectly organized race. The race organizers should be proud. The atmosphere is light with a lot of people wearing antennas or costumes

The race route is a flat road race that is primarily a there and back on Hines Drive a pleasantly windy road that follows a tributary of the Rouge River. You don't get to see the river until the last three miles when you cross it twice on some surprisingly flexible bridges.

I started out feeling good but by mile 2, my left foot started increasingly feeling numb. By mile four I was seriously considering taking a DNF. At mile 5 I pulled off the course, took off my shoe, massaged my foot for 10 seconds, or so, I then retied them, significantly looser than before. When I started running again my foot was no better, but a couple of miles later it was definitely getting better. And by mile 8 it was totally normal. Strange.

My pace was consistently ahead of the 8:30 goal, with only 4 splits being too slow.

And my RunKeeper time was 1:51:49. The official chip time was 1:51:36.9 (so I guess it takes me 12 seconds to take my phone out of my pocket, unlock it and stop RunKeeper):

I was 52 of 148 in my Age/Gender division and 446 out of 1791 overall. That barely edges my PR. I ran a 1:51:53 at Dexter-Ann Arbor in 2009. 

I still want to crack 1:50.

Final Note: I finished just ahead of Jeff, of He gave a pretty bad review of the Martian, but I think he's wrong. I had a great time and thought the race was top notch.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thursday, August 11, 2011

thinking about a trip to spain

this link looks useful: Top 110 places to visit in Spain

Among European nations, Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations. It is not too expensive, it has many beautiful places you can visit and there are lovely resorts and hotels all around. The country is easily accessible from road, air and by the sea and the food is fabulous and the weather is good almost throughout the year.
1. Cordoba:Many travellers believe that Cordoba is the most beautiful destination in Southern Spain. The city is testimony to the many different cultures which have thrived over here.  It has been declared a World Heritage Site to preserve its unique ethnicity and the artistic wealth of its buildings and mosques. Small streets, whitewashed courtyards, beautiful alleys and homes are all part of the basic charm of this city.
2. Madrid:The capital of Spain is dotted with Grand Avenues, enchanting palaces, museums and town squares which are bustling with activity. Plaza Mayor seems to be the place where everyone congregates and where the bars and restaurants never seem to close. There is a laid back feel to this lovely town and everywhere you can sense peace and joy.
3. Barcelona:Barcelona has something for everyone. There are great museums and art galleries. The Gaudi buildings will fascinate and enchant you with their quirkiness and colour. Las Rambles never sleeps – there is always some show or performance happening here. The musical fountain at Placa dÉspanya is one of the best in the world.
4. Valencia:Valencia is renowned for the world’s biggest food fight which takes place here in August, but it is also known for the Fallas festival which is held here in March. This quaint old city’s most popular attraction is The Silk Exchange which houses many impressive Gothic Style buildings which were a part of the commercial centre. The Cathedral is also worth a visit.
5. Seville:Due to it’s splendid architecture and the magnificent cathedral Seville is one of Spain’s grand cities. Christopher Columbus’s tomb and the Giralda Bell tower are also other well known landmarks of this city. Located on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, it was earlier the trading hub during Roman times.
6. Granada:If you can go to only one city in Spain then let it be Granada. The Alhambra in Granada is one of the world’s most visited monuments. It is a tribute to Moorish Architecture and has been preserved well over the centuries. The unique beauty of this place can be summed up in these words: “There is no pain in life so cruel as to be blind in Granada”. There are many other places worth a visit also, such as The Plaza De San Nicolas and the Cathedral Museum.
7. Marbella:If you are looking for beautiful beaches, a great coastline and some of the best hotels and resorts in the world, then your destination is Marbella in Malaga. Sit back and relax, life moves at an easy pace here. Enjoy the fabulous views, great food and wine and olives of every variety. What more do you need for a great vacation?
8. Bilbao:The Bilbao Guggenheim Museum has become the iconic landmark of this city. Built in 1997, the museum is sheathed in titanium. The Basilica De Begona was built in 1519 to celebrate the appearance of The Virgin Mary in Bilbao. There are many other impressive buildings and of course the very popular flea markets are also an attraction.
9. Segovia:Segovia’s well preserved Roman Aqueduct is one of the landmarks of this city. The main attraction however remains the Alcazar, a picture perfect fortress from the 13th century. The culture and great heritage of this city are evident in the many museums and palaces here.
10. Palma De Mallorca:A city on the island of Mallorca, it is truly Mallorca’s only city. Modern hotel chains thrive side by side with narrow alleys and old world corridors and plazas. The Cathedral in the centre of the town has now been restored to its former glory.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Year. New Goal.

Completing the 3-mile a day challenge of 2010 was awesome.

The goal for 2011 is the biggest half marathon in the world this spring and the Marine Corp Marathon in the fall.

Never mind. The damn race is already sold out. The previous record was 62 hours. Today it sold out in 28. Missed it.

Guess I need another marathon. But anyways run a marathon, and run it in under 4 hours (I would squeal if I could break 3:50).

My first marathon I just focused on the long runs. I lived by the moto If you can run 20, you can run 26.

This time I want to use Jeff Gaudette's theory of marathon training: 

For success at the marathon distance, you need to training specifically for the physiological demands of the race. In the marathon, this means three things: 
  1. Increasing your fitness so that you can decrease your marathon pace and make it more comfortable
  2. Teaching your body how to burn fat as a fuel source as opposed to carbohydrates
  3. Simulating the fatigue you'll experience the last 10k without getting hurt or becoming too tired in training
Turining those goals into a training plan focuses on:
  1. Faster paced tempo runs that are often broken into shorter, but faster intervals [this seems like two short/fast runs during the week 5-6 miles] 
  2. To simulate the fatigue at the end of the race, this FitnessClass breaks up the long runs over the weekend into two moderately fast paced runs
Long and slow 22 milers will breakdown the muscles and will completely exhaust you, which will lead to a significant delay in recovery. In addition, running for longer than 3 hours and 30 minutes can significantly increase the chance of injury and doesn't produce significant physiological running on both weekend days, this allows you to carry the fatigue of Saturday's run into Sunday, which will simulate the latter stages of the marathon without having to run 20 miles.

This sounds like it focuses on the wall I ran into around mile 21 in Queens/Harlem. Sounds like what I need to do for success.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Trip to Sanoma

Jeff Bundschu of Gundlach Bundschu Winery Visits WLTV – Part 1 – Episodes #773

Jeff Bundschu of Gundlach Bundschu Winery Visits WLTV – Part 2 – Episodes #774

Monday, January 3, 2011

Three miles a day for 2010 is done.

I ran with Nak and the rest of the Run Detroit posse on January 31st to complete The Goal.

Gary and crossed the finish 1 and 2 in 27 minutes and then I circled around to pick up Bo and run another couple of kilometers.

Final numbers:

  • 1097.17 miles
  • 187 runs
  • 5.9 miles per run
  • 15.6 runs per month

I was cruising through the goal until October and November when getting ready for my talk at the ASN Renal Week crushed me.

I had to come back with my fourth 100-mile month ever (Dec '08, Aug '09, Aug '10 and Dec '10) to cross the finish line with 2 miles to spare.

Here is how the year stacked up against the goal:

The nomogram of run distance stacks up like this: 

6-8 miles is the sweet spot, just like last year:

So after three years, the running odometer looks like this: