Roxy training diary month 47
April 2007


Apr 28.  I had a really difficult 30K race today, but I finished, and I guess that's something.

This is the heaviest week in my marathon training calendar; I was supposed to max out at 40 miles this week and then taper until the marathon in three weeks (May 19).  As it turned out, I spend 33 miles on the road and 5 "miles" on the elliptical for a total of 38, if you want to count it that way.  My 30K time was 3:24, dead last in my age group and 105/109 overall. 

I placed 8/10 in my age group for the cumulative Winter Racing Circuit 2007, so that was a pleasant surprise. 

I think all the training and especially the good half-marathon time last weekend really wore me out.  My legs were all swollen and I just never had a time when I really enjoyed my run today. 

I won't have to run as much for the next three weeks until the marathon.  It'll be nice to "taper" and reduce my long runs (12 miles next weekend, and 8 in two weeks).  That will allow me some rest and recovery so I can be strong for the marathon.

Roxy's Snooker Run

Meanwhile, Rosemary took Roxy and Dylan down to a USDAA agility trial in Pleasant Grove, about an hour and a half south of here.  I wasn't entirely sure I was ready to run some more, but after a bit I decided I was good to go so I strapped Annie in the passenger seat with her Roadie and we relived old times.  She got to ride with the window down and enjoy the scenery.  Then, when we got on the freeway, we rolled the windows up and let the air conditioning rip, which she likes even better.  It was in the mid-80s today, the warmest day so far this year.

Both Dylan and Roxy had good runs.  Rosemary was kind enough to take pictures, so I've posted them here.  I ran them both in Snooker, but I messed Dylan up and ran out of time with Roxy.  Roxy would've gotten her Starters Snooker title if we had qualified.

Body English

Barely Cleared

Dylan Watches

Apr 23. Some of the photos from this weekend's half-marathon are posted here.  They'll probably have them all up Tuesday, although I think those are all the ones of me that they have.  I'll order some and post here when I get them.  I especially like the one of me smoking some poor slob at the finish line; you'd almost think that I was running fast, to look at the picture.  It just goes to show, always keep someone slow around to make you look better.

Apr 21.  As the semester winds down, Roxy's dance card fills up.

Friday brought another herding lesson.  Rosemary and I feel like we can see some real improvement.  There is less time spent chasing sheep or eating sheep poop, and more time actually working the sheep.  Jim is getting better at the training, too.  Shauna only had to hit him with the flag two or three times.

After herding, we all headed down to Salt Lake to pick up Jim's race packet for Saturday's half-marathon.  The Salt Lake City marathon has become huge: there were 3265 of us at the start line.  Local news video is here and here.

I had a pretty good race.  I broke, but did not shatter, my PR from two weeks ago.  I really wanted to finish in under 2 hours, and it was an easier course than on April 7.  On the down side, with so many people in the start, I had a hard time getting my pace for the first couple of miles. 

It took me almost 3 minutes to get to the start line.  (The chip timing system tells you the difference between your "gun time" and "chip time".)

Large races have a group of people who act as pacers, and I started well behind the 5:30 marathon pace runner, but finally worked my way up and caught the 4:00 marathon pace runner a mile or so before the marathoners and half-marathoners split up.

There were split times at each mile, so I could keep track of my mile times easily, and I was able to run the 8 minute miles I needed through Sugarhouse (about mile 7 or 8) so I felt I'd be able to finish with a good time.


In the event, I finished with a chip time of 1:56:20, which was 48/86 in my age group.  I was proud to be about halfway to the top in my group.  I was 708th/2245 overall and 446/949 amongst all men, so I was in the top half of men.   

That time should give me a marathon time of 4:05 in four weeks.  It would be great to qualify for the Boston Marathon in the next couple of years.  At age 50 (next year, in Boston Marathon terms), I would need a qualifying time of 3:35 for the marathon.  That's equivalent to a half-marathon time in the 1:40 neighborhood.   On the one hand, I've dropped 15 minutes off last year's best half-mary time.  On the other, I can't expect to improve at that same rate forever.

When I got home, Rosemary had gone on a geology field trip with her class, so Roxy and I had a father/daughter bonding experience.  We went over to get my hair cut, and Roxy met Randi, who is both my barber and my friend from 43Things.  I'm afraid Roxy was in "shy mode" and even though Randi tried to coax her out of her shell, Roxy was apprehensive, as you can see. 

We hung around the shopping center to work on some Stays with Distractions and even did a couple of Recalls. 

I burned a few calories today, and Roxy needed a celebration of her most excellent stays, so we headed up to Jake's Over the Top for a "strawberry avalanche" that we shared.

Roxy's Sire, Tate, is now 13th in the club's Register of Merit standings.  Roxy says: "Go, Dad, Go!"

Stay is the Loneliest Exercise

Who the Hell Are You?

I Don't Know You, Lady

Ice Cream Healing


Herding Badly After My Run

Apr 14.  I cannot run faster than a herd of buffalo.

That sounds more ominous than the actual situation that led to the observation, so let me explain.

Today's entry on my marathon training calendar said to run 18 miles.  The marathon is five weeks away, and so this is about the time when my longest run and weekly mileage start to max out.  The original calendar has a 20 mile run three weeks before the marathon date, but I have a 30K (=18.4 mile) run that day, so that's the longest I plan to run until race day May 19. 

I struggled with 15 and 16 mile runs earlier, so I was a bit apprehensive.  I had originally planned to go out to the Ogden Valley and run the 30K course.  But Thursday I received one of my regular emails from Striders, the running store I patronize.  They planned a group training run out on Antelope Island, so I decided to change my plans, get up at 5 am, and join them.

The Mountain View trail from the trailhead to the Fielding Garr ranch is 11.4 miles.  I didn't know, but found out, that the trail is well-marked with mile markers (although some are missing).  I thought I might go to the ranch, then run back to about mile 5 and walk the rest of the way.

For your viewing pleasure, here's a short movie of Roxy's herding lesson.


Striders' owner, John, and I were the only ones who showed up at 6:30 am to run. 

So I set out first (he had planned to set up water and Gatorade at the Frary Peak trailhead at mile 6, but the gates were closed).  It was a gorgeous day, with abundant wildlife.  I saw a fox or small coyote and rabbits.  There were plenty of pronghorn sheep, and I already knew they could outrun me.  But when a herd of bison climbing up Frary Peak decided to run on the trail about 200 yards ahead of me, I tried catching up.  It was impossible.  They run faster than me.

I also took a nasty spill (my first-ever fall while running) when my foot caught a rock.  I gave myself a bit of a strawberry on my right leg just below the knee, but no real harm was done.  It was scary for a few seconds, though, until I figured out I was okay.

John's a much much better runner than me, so even though I got a huge head start, he caught up with me at my turnaround point and went on to the ranch, then got back to our starting point about 10-15 minutes after I did.

Amazingly, I was not dead-dog tired when I finished (although I was certainly ready to finish) and I didn't hit the wall like I did at mile 14 on my last long run.  I think it's a combination of the training finally kicking in, and a better carbo loading regimen.

I feel ready for my marathon.  I'm actually looking forward to it.

I felt well enough to meet Rosemary at Jeremiah's for a late breakfast, then we loaded the Rox in the car and headed up to Kelley Creek Farms for a herding lesson.  Roxy did great, but as I started to try and take over the management of Roxy and the stock, I struggled a good bit.  Clearly, I have a lot to learn about herding.  Roxy did well, though.


Apr 10.  Separated at Birth, April 10 edition.  Tip o' the hat to Rosemary for this one.

One's an actor, the other's a biochemist.  Can you tell who is who?


Two Ways of Looking at It

Apr 8-9.  After meeting the Skippers in Las Vegas Saturday night, we ventured out to the new Grand Canyon Skywalk on Sunday. 

It was my first time at the Grand Canyon, so I was very impressed.  John and I took a helicopter ride down the canyon.  We all had our pictures taken on the Skywalk. 

Meanwhile, Annie, Dylan and Roxy had to cool their heels at Ruffledale.

Pictures from the trip are here.


Apr 7.  Achieved my goal of breaking 2 hours in the half-marathon — just barely.

Apr 3.  When we were at the Mall-Wart in Idaho Falls last weekend, a pair of clip-on bunny ears (only $1!  Thanks, Mr. Smiley Face Man!) lept out at me near the cash register, as only bunny ears can.   Since they are blue, Annie got the job of wearing them.

It's clear she was not impressed by the chance to uphold the family honor.

Meanwhile, Dylan received the following Spam email:

From: Participation Confirmation 567-0123

Date: Apr 2, 2007 6:09 PM
Subject: Dylan, regarding your body and fitness
To: [deleted]

We wanted to inform you as soon as possible that we have a 250.00 Fitness and Nutrition gift card that we would like to give* you as part of a special promotion!

You can use your 250.00 to join a gym, buy exercise equipment, vitamins, diet books, anything you want.


If you're a woman and you want men to stop and stare ...

If you're a man and you want women to stare at you when you take your shirt off, then this 250.00 will get you started in the right direction!

Spring is a time for renewal. What better way to ring in the warm weather and sunshine than by giving yourself a healthy start to the season? Get 250 in Fitness & Nutrition Gift Cards for no cost with completion of program requirements and spring into shape.

Well, Dylan is hunky all right.  But he's a dog, which is not a category covered by either of the paragraphs above.  He already gets women to stare at him when he takes his shirt off — in fact he goes shirtless most of the time.  It's true he has really toned pectorals.

I'm just not sure he's ready for a gym membership or diet books.

My picture and a few brief quotes from a recent lecture showed up in the student newspaper, The Signpost.   Lucky me, they were advertising the talk in moving lights on the main campus billboard.  I didn't pick the title, the campus Women's Studies Center did, so "What's Sex Got to Do with It?" was not exactly my idea.  It all went pretty well, though, and I found Azenett's part of the talk very interesting.

Back on track with the marathon training.  I ran 4.5 miles today with my new heart rate monitor.  It was interesting to see how the crappiness I felt correlated with my heart rate.  Not surprisingly, pushing your heart rate above the target zone feels really bad.  I managed to stay between 120-140 pretty much the whole run (my target heart rate is 112 to 146).   Good news: my resting heart rate is down to 60-64 bpm.  That's much lower than I expected.  I guess the exercise is working.

Happy Easter, Dammit.

Now take these off.



Wag More, Bark Less part 1

Right is Wrong

Wag More, Bark Less part 2

Annie-Mal Crackers

Apr 1.  Just back from an agility trial in Rigby, Idaho (actually closer to Ririe, Idaho, but that's another story).

It wasn't one of our better efforts, as a family.

First off, Roxy has forgotten what all the weave poles are used for, while Dylan has merely forgotten about weave poles #11 and 12.

So, the weekend was a struggle for us.

Dylan did qualify in the new AKC game, FAST, on Friday.  That gives him two Novice FAST legs and it looks like he'll be the first in the family to make Open FAST (the next level up).  Saturday's FAST course was wicked hard, and he wasn't entered in that game on Sunday, so it'll have to wait for next month.

Jim ran Dylan in Excellent Jumpers with Weaves on Sunday, and ruined a brilliant effort by Dylan when Jim lost the course.

Roxy struggled all weekend to develop a partnership with Jim.  She had moments of brilliance, but a lot of not-so-great moments as well.  Finally, in the last class on Sunday, Novice FAST, she came tantalizingly close to a qualifying score but missed.  Jim was out of position on the "bonus" — a pair of obstacles to be done at a distance — and the skills that were needed to cover his error were too much to ask of Rox. 

Annie got to come out and visit her adoring public, and had a pretty good time for a retired doggy.  She even posed for a RoxyLog picture, putting her obedience dumbbell skills to good use.

The hotel we stayed in, the Red Lion in Idaho Falls, was nice, but under renovation.  When we arrived, we found this sign posted in the window of what should have been the main lobby. 

I wasn't the only one who found the sign hilarious; as I took the picture, another man with a digital camera showed up to do the same thing.

On Saturday, my plan was to take a 16 mile training run, as scheduled on my training calendar

It is 16 miles from Ririe to Idaho Falls, so that seemed like a good way to get the miles in. 

The run was dead flat, which should have been a bonus.  However, I found there are worse things than hills.  I had a 29 mph headwind, gusting to 37 mph, the whole way.  By mile 11, I was whipped.  I finally gave up at mile 12.  Rosemary, who had been supporting the effort by meeting me every 4 miles, had to give me a ride back to the hotel.  I hate it when I fall short of my running goals.


Previous RoxyLogs
2003 2004 2005   
The Pre-RoxyLog Days RoxyLog January 2005 (month 20)
RoxyLog February 2005 (month 21)
RoxyLog March 2005 (month 22)
RoxyLog April 2005 (month 23)
RoxyLog May 2005 (month 24)
RoxyLog June 2005 (month 25)
RoxyLog July 2005 (month 26)
RoxyLog August 2005 (month 27)
RoxyLog September 2005 (month 28)
RoxyLog October 2005 (month 29)
RoxyLog November 2005 (month 30)
RoxyLog December 2005 (month 31)
2006 2007 2008    
RoxyLog January 2006 (month 32) RoxyLog January 2007 (month 44) January    
RoxyLog February 2006 (month 33)
RoxyLog March 2006 (month 34)
RoxyLog April 2006 (month 35)
RoxyLog May 2006 (month 36)
RoxyLog June 2006 (month 37)
RoxyLog July 2006 (month 38)
RoxyLog August 2006 (month 39)
RoxyLog September 2006 (month 40)
RoxyLog October 2006 (month 41)
RoxyLog November 2006 (month 42)
RoxyLog December 2006 (month 43)