Relaxing at 3:20 AM


Time: 1:06:59 | Miles: 7.01 | Pace: 9:34 | Cadence: 159 | Avg HR: 113 | Max HR: 127 | Calories: 625 | Temp: 57° | Wind: 6 SSE | Humidity: 90% | Garmin Link


3:20 AM. I love these early morning runs. I don’t necessarily love getting up at 3:00, but I do love the relaxed pace and quiet of Iowa City.

I did get a bit of rain this morning, but it wasn’t much.

I ran the new favorite early 7 course. It’s a nice mix of flat and hills with a number of places that are perfect for mixing up the pace if I choose. Or, I can stay steady and just enjoy both neighborhoods and downtown areas.

In the second half of the abandoned quality run yesterday, I’d pretty much made up my mind that I’d push this run to the evening. By the time I got home it was, “We’ll see how I feel in the morning.” By the time I went to bed, I knew I was going to run this early and had done all the night-before prep to get out the door quickly.

And, it was exactly what I needed. Easy, relaxed, comfortable – a reminder of why I love to run. In short, it was everything necessary to put the run from last night in the proper perspective.

I’ll only now need to make up another 4 miles total on Friday and Saturday to make the mileage goal for the week. Piece of cake.

Green Bay 15, Week 17, Quality 2.2


Time: 39:11 | Miles: 4.19 | Pace: 9:21 | Cadence: 159 | Avg HR: 134 | Max HR: 152 | Calories: 470 | Temp: 79 | Wind: 18 S | Humidity: 44% | Garmin Link


This is the second half of the busted quality 2 run for the week.

Just south of Gilbert, I knew I wasn’t going to run the full workout. I didn’t really have to consider it – I just knew. I decided, instead, to go easy to Burlington St., run the hill, then head south toward home on Summit.

Was it the wind that blew me out? Maybe. Was it the thought of 8 200-yard 6:15/mi intervals that got into my head? Maybe. Was I underfueled? Maybe. A bit dehydrated? Maybe.

I’ve logged nearly 1200 miles in this training cycle. It’s important to bear in mind that, with mileage that high, I’m going to have one or two of these runs. While all or some of those things may have contributed, it might be more a matter of numbers than anything else. The odds say that in a sample size that big, I’m going to have a bad run or two. I’ll just write this off as one of those.

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Green Bay 15, Week 17, Quality 2


Time: 53:30 | Miles: 6.60 | Pace: 8:07 | Cadence: 166 | Avg HR: 139 | Max HR: 168 | Calories: 759 | Temp: 79° | Wind: 18 S | Humidity: 40% | Garmin Link


The second quality run of the week and the last for 11 days.

Current paces based on Daniels: E = 8:40-9:44, T=7:25, R=6:18. Plan: 2 mi E + 3 * (2 mi T + 2 min E) + 8 * (200 yd R + 200 yd E) + 2 mi T + 2 mi E. That’s roughly 14.75 miles, most of which is under 8:00 per mile.

This was a bust. I was pretty psyched about the run all day long. When I headed south into a 20 mph wind, neither my legs nor my head were into it. I bailed on the workout at 6.60 miles choosing, instead, to make it an E pace run to the hill on Burlington St. then south on Summit and home. More detail and some thoughts in the next post that wraps up the second half of the run.

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Early Tuesday Morning


Time: 3:19 AM | Miles: 7.01 | Pace: 9:31 | Cadence: 160 | Avg HR: 114 | Max HR: 123 | Calories: 646 | Temp: 54° | Wind: 12 NNW | Humidity: 44% | Garmin Link


This was a very nice early Tuesday morning run, under a clear starry sky. The pace was pretty easy after a day off.

The original plan was to go 6. I like bulking up miles early in the week, if possible, so I decided on Monday night that I’d run my normal 7-mile route clockwise rather than the usual counter-clockwise. That additional mile meant I had to get after it when I got up – no screwing around. I managed to start the watch at 3:19.

Even after I started, though, I wasn’t sure whether it was going to be 6 or 7. I’m always a little tentative in the warmup period, both physically and mentally. When I got to Bowery, I just turned onto the 7-mile route without really thinking about and let the sense of satisfaction at keeping a personal commitment settle in.

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Times Eight

Brooks PureFlow 2Eight pair. I think that’s an endorsement of the Brooks PureFlow 2, the shoe that I’ll run Green Bay in. I just ordered another pair from Marathon Sports. This will be the fourth in Skydiver Blue. I’ve also had two pairs of the black and one of the orange.

The thing is, these shoes were discontinued more than two years ago. They were replaced by the PureFlow 3, a shoe I really came to despise for the incredibly tall and stiff arch support. I put less than one-hundred miles on the 3s before they became my $100 lawn-mowing shoes. I tried them again later, but still hated them after just a single run.

Fortunately, I’ve been able to find the 2s new all over the Internet. The drop is perfect at 4mm. With a 28mm profile at the heels, they cushion nicely without losing ground feel. The soles are extremely flexible. And, the toe box, while snug, is still just wide enough to allow movement. Given my history of pushing my big toe through the tops of my shoes over time, that’s important. That happens most often in shoes with tight toe boxes. I can put the usual four-hundred miles on the PureFlow 2s with the toe box completely intact.

I’m not sure what I’ll switch to when I can no longer find the PureFlow 2s online, but for now, pair number eight is on its way.

New Resolve

So the new year begins. I’m still in the first half of the Green Bay Marathon training, though barely; I’m seven weeks in of twenty-six. The holidays and weather have made it tough to follow a strong training schedule, but I’m certain I can get back on track. Accordingly, that new resolve starts today on the advent of a new year.

I’ve also made it a bit tough on myself. For some reason, I couldn’t count weeks on a calendar. I started this training cycle four weeks ahead of schedule, but only realized it at the end of that period. So, I started again with week one. And, somewhere in the following weeks, I skipped another week in the cycle. I think I’m back on track. Given the history, though, I’ll quickly concede that I might still be off and may only discover it in the next few weeks.

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Cellcom Green Bay Marathon, Week 1

medals126 weeks and counting.

This is the first week of training for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon ’15. This will be my first full Daniels’ Running Formula training cycle, also. I’ve worked two cycles from his program, though both have been abbreviated. I’m excited to reap the benefits from a full 26-week program.

As I mentioned in a previous post, this should be the race that actually sends me to Boston in 2016. Though I qualified at the Quad Cities Marathon in September, I didn’t qualify with a time that would get me in. To do that, I need to shave no less than 2 minutes from my time during the 2016 qualification window. That will have to be in Green Bay. Truth is, my goal for this race is 3:30:00 – another 9-minute reduction from the previous PR. With 26 weeks to train in earnest, I think that’s a tough but attainable goal.

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F.B.I. Director Hints at Action As Cellphone Data Is Locked – NYTimes.com

The director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, said on Thursday that the “post-Snowden pendulum” that has driven Apple and Google to offer fully encrypted cellphones had “gone too far.” He hinted that as a result, the administration might seek regulations and laws forcing companies to create a way for the government to unlock the photos, emails and contacts stored on the phones.

via F.B.I. Director Hints at Action As Cellphone Data Is Locked – NYTimes.com.

Here’s the thing for me. It should be hard for the government to look into my phone. That difficulty comes in two forms: legal and technical. Apparently, the legal obstacles are much lower than we thought. The NSA has been eavesdropping for years and no one has paid any price. So, I have no problem at all with making it tougher technically.

But, really, who believes the FBI and other law enforcement agencies will be permanently stymied by encryption? All we can do is make it harder and hope to stay just a bit ahead.

You’ve Been Recovering Wrong

Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. RICE has been the go-to treatment plan for pain and soft tissue athletic injuries since the term was coined in 1978. The method helps relieve pain by stemming inflammation in the RICE’d region. But in March, the man who coined the term announced that suppressing the body’s inflammatory response to exercise may actually delay healing.

via Outside Online

I gave up the anti-inflammatories a few years ago, after a degenerative medial meniscus tear. I felt like I needed to know how much actual pain I was in rather than mask it and continue to do damage. I think I’m better for it – being able to let my body tell me when I need some rest. This finding suggests staying away from anti-inflammatories for a different reason, and it’s one of those that seem almost intuitive. If blood is the means by which we heal, why would we reduce the flow of blood to a stressed or injured area?

Thinking ahead to Green Bay

With the Quad Cities Marathon behind me, I’m starting to work through the plan for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon on May 17, 2015.

Green Bay is an important race in the quest for Boston. Though I qualified for Boston 2016 at the Quad Cities Marathon, I’m what’s commonly referred to as a “squeaker.” That’s to say that though I met my qualifying time requirement for Boston, I didn’t meet it by enough to be accepted into the 2016 race. I ran 3:39:20 at Quad Cities, a scant 40 seconds below my qualifying time for 2016. For 2015, the cutoff for acceptance was 1:02. So, while it’s a huge milestone to be able to say I’ve qualified for Boston, it really means nothing as far as being able to run the race, just yet.

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iPad iOS 8 Home Button Bug Fix

ios keyboardsSince upgrading to iOS 8 on the iPad, I’ve had this weird issue. The home button recognizes a single press as a double, dropping me into the multitasking screen. I can reset the iPad and it goes away temporarily, but it always returns. Various Apple forums have pointed to hardware issues, but it showed up only after a software update. It didn’t seem like a hardware issue to me.

This morning, I uninstalled SwiftKey, an app I’d installed right away when I upgraded to iOS 8. The problem appears to be solved. I’m not sure what the interaction with the home button would be, but its behavior is back to normal with SwiftKey gone. I replaced SwiftKey with Swype and haven’t had any further issues.

Quad Cities 2014 Training Data

It’s the engineer in me. Or, maybe I’m an engineer because I love this stuff. For whatever reason, I keep pretty detailed training data for each marathon training cycle. If you’re interested, it’s all here in an Excel spreadsheet.

If you can use the spreadsheet and/or formulas in your own training, please feel free. The only tab I didn’t really keep up was the Food Groups tab. That’s for tracking the number of servings from each food group consumed each day. The Plan tab contains some mileage and time calculation formulas that I used for setting quality runs. And, the Cal % tab contains some Daily Activity Time calculations that I didn’t keep up for the duration. Those were originally intended to create totals to guide the carb intake, per The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition.

I haven’t sifted through all the data just yet, but I can always pick out one or two things that are useful for the next training cycle. Let me know in the comments if something stands out to you.