Category Archives: base run


Put on the racing flats and the body just says run fast. Will have to be careful when I put these shoes on. There were some moments, again, as yesterday with the PureFlows that I felt the form was coming together, the right foot was carrying its share. Now I have a shoe for every occasion, it seems. In fact, the wife pointed to a spot in the hall closet and said, “that’s you’re shoe whore area.” Great pre-travel jaunt.

5.06 miles      38:02     7:30 min/mile



With these two runs, back into the mileage. Yesterday’s run was unfortunate in that I lost my car key (second time, no replacement), which led to a minor adventure and the inevitable outflow of funds (approximately the cost of a new pair of Hokas – glad I got those for free). I include the “looking for car key” mile splits for amusement. What happened was I was wearing gloves as it was 39 degrees F and just lost touch of the key without that skin to key contact – forgot it was in my hand – sigh.

As a further side note, ran yesterday’s run with the Brooks Pure Flows. Quite like the shoe, but may take a little getting used to. I don’t have any other shoes up my sleeves (so to speak), just this little flurry of shoe purchases. I think it will be interesting to be switching out shoes, see the feedback from the legs and joints, etc.

Today: 1:05     7.53 miles     8:40 min/mile

Yesterday: 1:17     7.88 miles     9:48 min/mile

8:51   8:03   9:56   10:11   11:04   10:22   10:00   9:58

For the week, with Saturday to go:

21.46 miles


Easy On That Ibuprofen

Stopped by to chat with some runners in the park and show off my new shoes before heading off for an easy five. I got only minimal crap about the Hokas — “Does that say ‘hokum’?” Since I was in the lot where the runners meet, I headed up into the windy trails at the base of the hills, nothing colossal today. I connected up some trails, successfully circumnavigating the Old Zoo area.

48:55     5.12 miles     9:34 min/mile

9:18   10:28   9:43   9:08   9:18

Glad I ran the double on Tuesday as that puts my miles at 28 after today, and I’ll run another 5 tomorrow. Saturday I have a semi-professional daylong to attend (a meditation retreat) so won’t run with the group. I had been fretting about the missed day, wondering if I might fit a run in afterwards.

Then, yesterday, read a blurb about signs of fatigue in Runner’s World and a light went on — with the sprints and hills and piling on the miles I have been a touch achy. Maybe that’s just part of pushing 50, but if I’m going to be achy, I might as well be in shape is my way of thinking. Surely worrying about missed days might be a sign you need a day off? Happy to take one. In fact, I plan on meditating on the restorative wonders of this day off from lunatic running.

Oh, and the ibuprofen. The New York Times does err occasionally on the side of fear-based journalism (this one study finds that…), but their recent piece on risks of taking ibuprofen before and during (okay that’s nuts) exercise was interesting. I’ve not done it, because I understood it puts a load on the kidneys. But this finding relates to leakage of material into the bloodstream from the intestine, related to ibuprofen use. And the result? — increased inflammation — exactly the thing endurance athletes are hoping to stave off.

Maybe the details are a tad alarmist, but I think it’s worth a read, and it’s here.

Pondering A Commute, Yoga, Holidays, End of the Rest Day, and 5 Miles


The dark side of all this running, is of course, that I’m woefully underemployed at the moment. Imagine a significant commute — over two hours a day, for instance. How would I incorporate that into my running life? I would have to get ingenious, that’s for sure. Early rising is not an issue for me, but there are uglier phrases and words in the offing. Words like “treadmill” and “gym”. But I’d be happy to shed the stress of underemployment that’s for sure.

But a commute would almost certainly contribute to all kinds of tightness in the hips and hamstrings and lower back, what I’ve found (to my delight) to be called the “posterior chain.” I was in my favorite independent bookstore the other day and snapped this pic of some of their offerings. Not so hard to imagine myself curled up on someone’s sofa on the East Coast somewhere, reading a couple of these over the holidays.

A lot of these piqued my interest, actually, but on the subject of tightness, I have to note The Runner’s Guide to Yoga. It’s not that the book rocked my world, though it looks decent, perhaps even quite good. Through a meditation class I’ve been taking (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, known also as MBSR), I’ve been sort of re-introduced to the whole idea of yoga. When I last did yoga, around 2000, I was very stiff and was occasionally asked if I had an injury. Not much has changed there, but in doing just some simple stretching exercises I realized how great it would be for me to do some yoga.

Not just the posterior, but the anterior chain, too, is hanging together quite differently since I’ve been running. I won’t go on and on about it, but suffice it to say I’m excited to do some yoga.

For my “recovery run” I went back and forth several times today whether to run 5 or 7. In the end, I decided it was more important I didn’t adversely impact my workout tomorrow, with the group, than add 2 extra miles to my weekly mileage number. It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen on the weekend, too, so better to stay on the conservative side. For the week, this represents a week without a day off. As long as the runs are calibrated accordingly, this feels fine so far. We’ll see how it goes.

That said, I ran it a little faster than planned. It was cloudy and cool again today in the park. Perfect.

5.07 miles        41:56        8:16 min/mile

9:09   8:32   8:20   7:49   7:34


Photo credit: Thanks to one of my readers. It’s not the route I ran today, but I like the photograph.

Today’s run:

40:39        5.04 miles     8:04 min/mile

Yesterday’s run was identical, except I forgot my watch. It was the same route, 45 minutes, about 9 min/mile pace.

Today I was inspired, though. The body wanted to run where I’d left off yesterday, though I am trying to conserve some energy this week.

I’d just reread a small section of a great* book, Run: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel by Matt Fitzgerald, and chanced upon a simple, somewhat obvious, but as of yet (for me) largely untried method of spurring motivation. Just glancing over the epilogue, this: “Know your personal records and try to break them.”

Now I know, or can easily refer to, my running times for all of my races — but it occurred to me that I don’t know, for instance, the fastest time I’ve run 5 miles in a work out. Or at 2.44 miles (the circle around the golf course in Griffith Park that I’ve run many times). So, wouldn’t it be helpful to know,  particularly if I’m going to run a hard workout, what my fastest time was? So simple. But I haven’t done it. I came up with this quick and dirty list, with the help of my data at Garmin connect:

2.51       18:40       7:27 min/mile (7/12/12)

3.10       21:38       6:58 min/mile (4/13/12)
4.96       37:44       7:37 min/mile (4/11/11)
5.00       39:14       7:45 min/mile (3/20/12)
6.45       53:32       7:20 min/mile
7.00       53:46      7:40 min/mile (12/6/11)
10.0    1:20:50     8:05 min/mile

13.1     1:42:33      7:50 min/mile (race)

16.5     2:27           8:56 min/mile

So, next time I head out for a 10-miler, and I’m feeling jaunty. I will know that I’ve never run one faster than 8:05 min/mile pace. Crazy powerful information that I’ll be making use of, with gusto!


*I so misjudged this book when I first read it — I tossed it aside, my takeaway being that it was about “winging it” (Chapter 6), when there is so much more to this book — it really is a further distillation of Brain Training for Runners, his previous book.

Back of the Envelope (Increasing Running Mileage Safely)

A Realization.

Looking forward to getting the Garmin data storage to work at some point — but in the meantime… It recently occurred to me that the last few weeks has netted me not only a new record for weekly mileage (last week’s 37 miles), but a monthly record that includes 5 straight weeks of 30+ miles per week. Throw in the speed work I also did during a few of those weeks and you have a recipe for injury. I semi-knew this regarding the speed work, but had not really thought about the cumulative effects of all the miles…

I sketched out my recovery week (above). It includes two rest days (one of which I’m in the process of phasing out), a 10-mile effort (originally set for today, but will do tomorrow) and the dictum that a couple days must be easy. Maybe all the days. I’m a little unnerved by the fact of running that cumulative mileage and doing speed work — not to mention the maniacal adventures in the hills! Very thankful to not have sustained any kind of serious injury.

(I’ve also sketched out a possible 40-mile week following. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve not ruled out this exploratory week, as long as the pace is E-A-S-Y. My cousin may be in town — en route to the NYC marathon that she probably won’t be able to get to — so the running schedule may be somewhat elastic.)

Browsing some of the following websites helped knock some sense into me.

A Few Links For the Curious On Safely Increasing Running Mileage:

The first one took me by surprise. Put together by some Australian guy, it has some very down-to-earth thinking on the (overly) general nature of the “increase by 10 percent” rule that many of you readers of running publications will be familiar with. His Guide to Increasing Running Safely is worth a look. Another good one? Pete Pfitzinger has a guide to increasing mileage. A real pro that beat Alberto Salazar in the 1984 Olympic time trials, Pfitzinger knows his stuff. He also expresses some skepticism about the 10% rule. And finally, Strength Running has a smartly titled entry, “Forget the 10% Rule: How to Increase Mileage Safely.” Please note, I’m not suggest anyone toss the 10% rule out the window — just examine its limitations.

Today’s Run

Thought I’d just check in with the body — ditch the planned 10 miler for an easy inquiry into the state of affairs. The weekend runs were quite demanding hill intensive adventures, and even with a day off in between, and given the aforementioned miles, a break seemed in order.

43:08     5.02 miles     8:35 min/mile

8:51   8:50   8:47   8:22   8:08

All in order. This was very comfortable. Even forgot to hydrate afterwards, though I do hit the water fountain at 2.35 miles on this route. Hydration. That’s another post.