Sunday, May 31, 2009

Time to Get Serious

The month of May has been a blur. I have managed to run consistently, 4 days a week. My weekly mileage is still on the low side at, 27, 27.4, 17.4, and 25 over the last 4 weeks. I even snuck in one of my favorite races, the Malibu Creek Trail Challenge. It is 14 miles in the Santa Monica Mountains. This was my third and slowest attempt at this race but it was good to be running. I haven't seen the physical therapist since April 24th. I've been running without any really significant pain and have eliminated walk breaks for the most part.

This month I put in some miles in Boston, some miles in Baltimore, and some miles in Carpinteria, CA with a few more thrown in at home and at various SoCal running destinations with the CA Cruisers. Mother's Day weekend we ran at a new destination; Powder Canyon; in La Habra Heights. The run has some nice rolling hills through both wooded terrain and open meadows with a mix of fire road and single track. I really hope we keep this in the regular rotation. This weekend we did another one of my faves - the Crystal Cove Beach run from Corona Del Mar south to the "wall". The tide was super low so it was great to run on the hard pack sand at the water's edge.

The really exciting news is.......State Number 14 is now on the schedule. Joe and I swapped a couple of emails a week or so ago and we are planning on meeting on Labor Day weekend to run the Heart of America Marathon in Columbia, Missouri. The registration forms calls it one of the oldest and toughest marathons. We'll be running the 50th anniversary edition. I'm always a sucker for a gimmick. Take a look at the reviews on Feel free to join us. It should be fun and you can't beat the $25 registration fee. I've paid more than that for some 5K's.

I've got 14 weeks to race day. I usually train using Hal Higdon's programs I found on-line back in 2004. This time around I'm going to give Bart Yasso's training schedules a try. I found them in his book "My Life on the Run" that I picked up while in Big Sur last year. I like the long run progressions. The mid week runs seem to get a little long, with a fair share of 8 to 10 milers sprinkled in. Those may be tough to fit into a weekday but we'll see how it goes. None the less I am excited to be continuing the 50 state journey, healthy at this point, with high hopes of staying that way for awhile.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Running Concierge

I just spent the end of last week, through the weekend, and into this week in Boston. Our annual industry trade show was there. When I found out last year that the show would be there, I hoped I would be able to attend. Thanks to being part of two teams that launched new products at the show I was given the green light. While my main focus was the show you know that running was a close second on my mind.

How could I go to Boston and not run? Boston is a running town. Or at least I imagine it so. We were staying at the hotel adjacent to the convention center. I had scoured the net for some suggested routes in the area and the hotel had a feature sponsored by Runner's World magazine. They had mapped out a 3 mile and 5 mile route from the hotel. Pretty cool.

Even cooler, when I arrived at the hotel and checked in there was a message on the room phone. I checked to see if some of my workers were checking in. The message was from Paul the Running Concierge at the Westin inviting the guests to join him the following morning, Friday, for a 3 mile jog around the area. How cool is that. I had already planned to run and now I had at least one partner.

I showed up at the fitness center at 6:25 the following morning and met the Running Concierge and 6 other folks. Two of the other runners were from my company. I had no idea they were runners. Cool again.

The run was a fun little jaunt around the south end of Boston, a recent redevelopment area. Our route took us just short of the North End and Hanover Street, home of some great Italian food.

The other two employees and I met up again on Saturday morning. We ran a 5 mile loop suggested by the RC, Paul. I took Sunday off and then met Paul for another 3 miler on Monday.

Tuesday Paul had invited anyone who was interested in joining in on a 5 miler. He was helping a fellow Westin employee train for a half marathon. I decided to venture out on my own instead and plotted a route to get me over the the Boston Marathon Finish Line. I couldn't travel to Boston and not see a running landmark as famous as the Boston Marathon Finish Line. It was, what else, pretty cool to see. It is 3 foot wide yellow band painted across the street. The route turned out to be about 5 miles.

On my flight home I was catching up on back issues of Runner's World and I came across a little blurb about Westin Hotels and their Running Concierges. They are piloting the program in several major cities. Westin Hotels are out of my personal price range but it a really great perk that lends a lot of credence to the popularity of running.