Hughes Blog
Thoughts on Software Development, Project Management, Parenting, and Running.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Plano Pacers 3K
Today marked the end of Road Racing Season with the Plano Pacers 3K. The last time I ran this race, it was scheduled for Christmas Day, and while I was running Logan got hit with a errant snow globe and had to get stitches in her eye.

On Wednesday, I had a good track session with Coach Vaughan - 1200 (3:55), 1000 (3:15), 700 (152.7). That workout felt really strong. I figured with the 11:16 two miler, I should be able to post a 10:30 3K.

It was really a warm morning, low 60s but with a strong south wind. The course was out north, back south - so a finish into the wind. I had a pretty good warmup. I jogged the course, which I had never run. The last umpteen times I had run this race, it was a nice loop at Bob Woodruff park. Since then The Pacers moved all their races to Harrington Park across town.

The start was in the parking lot with two 90 degree turns in the first couple of hundred meters. The road was a bit wet, and those turns were crazy, but we got through those and I found myself in back of a pretty large pack of fifteen or so. I was able to pick through about five of these guys. Meanwhile a big group of eight to ten was ahead of me and pulling away. They got to the turnaround at least ten seconds or more ahead. As I suspected three turned at the 3K turnaround and the rest headed out for the 8K. I made the turn and noticed a guy kind who was calling to a kid on my tail. Then this guy took off and so did the kid behind me. A pacer! I followed these two but I was not able to reel them in.

And so I finished in 10:40, not bad, but also not what I had hoped for. Fifth overall, and first master.

And so, now it is back to circuits for about six weeks, then hills, then speed, then track. With some Triathlon mixed in!

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Thursday, December 25, 2008
Workout Notes 2008 Week 51
This was not a great week. Marissa had the sniffles over the weekend. And then Fran got really sick, and I dont know if I mentioned that she has Mono (presumably from kissing the mailman), so when she got a cold it was REALLY bad. And of course this hit me as well. Luckily I hit that sucker hard with some AlkaSelter cold medicine on Tuesday, followed by a series of doses of Mucinex. But this also required me to do several easy workout days.

The week was already screwed up because of the race last Sunday. So instead of speed work on Monday, the usual routine, I swam instead. Tuesday, I felt like crap. And it was cold and windy outside, so I did 10 miles on the stupid lifecycle. Wednesday I still felt like crap. And it was still really cold and windy outside. So I did 4 easy miles on the treadmill. Finally on Thursday I went out and did some speedwork!

I was under orders to take Friday off of work and drive the family down to Cat Springs Texas to visit my father in law. After a week of horrific weather, it was spectacularly beautiful on Friday morning. The sun was out and it was in the 50s. I was walking out the door to go swimming when I realized that I must ride the bike instead. I turned around and put up the swimming stuff, got out the bike and took a ride in shorts for the first time in months. Wow!

I had two really nice runs down in Cat Springs. Saturday was really warm, but Sunday was back to cold and windy.

Not a bad finish to otherwise strange week.


Monday Dec 15 - 3x(200 on 3:15, 200 as 50 kick 50 swim 50 kick 50 swim, 200 pull, 4x 50 on :50, 200 pull) 3000M (163)

Tuesday Dec 16 - 32 min lifecycle 10 miles (163)

Wednesday Dec 17 - 4 miles easy treadmill (162)

Thursday Dec 18 - 12x30(60) Carpenter Park - 7.3 miles run (162)

Friday Dec 19 - Mckinney airport loop -16.9 ave; 80 cad, 2:17 ride time - 38.9 miles bike.

Saturday Dec 20 - 92 min run from Ga-ga's house. 11.5 miles run.

Sunday Dec 21- 58 min run from gaga's house. 6.75 miles run.

Weight: 162-163

Total for the week:
Run - 30.0 Miles
Bike - 48.9 Miles
Swim - 3000 Meters

Total for Dec:
Run - 102.7 Miles
Bike - 89.0 Miles
Swim - 15000 Meters

Back to Week 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 * 6 * 7 * 8 * 9 * 10 * 11 * 12 * 13 * 14 * 15 * 16 * 17 * 18 * 19 * 20 * 21 * 22 * 23 * 24 * 25 * 26 * 27 * 28 * 29 * 30 * 31 * 32 * 33 * 34 * 35 * 36 * 37 * 38 * 39 * 40 * 41 * 42 * 43 * 44 *45 * 46 * 47 * 48 * 49 * 50

Coach Vaughan Running Program

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Monday, December 22, 2008
Workout Notes 2008 Week 50
Monday I continued the newly issued speed program from Coach Vaughan with an 8x70 grass work out. Tuesday I punched up 25 50's with 40 as the goal pace. That was a strong workout. Wednesday was supposed to be a track workout. It was really cold and really windy. Coach Vaughan could not make it to the track either. I also needed to take Logan to her soccer practice, so I asked Fran to meet me at Pearce HS track. Well she started complaining about that. And Logan was complaining about practice. All of that put me in a bad mood. I did my warmup and strides. And I got to think about the fact that my race was Sunday not Saturday, which meant that Thursday Track would be plenty of time for recovery. So I just did a few more strides, blew off the speedwork and did a long jog. Thursday I went to SMU and did the programmed workout. It was not quite as cold and windy as Wednesday, so that turned out to be a good call. Saturday Terry and I dragged Vic for a ride down to Preston Road and back. This was a fairly relaxed 40 miler. Then Sunday was The Dallas White Rock Marathon (and Relays.) I ran the final leg which was 6+ miles. Once again I posted some of my fastest times for this distance in 8 years or more.


Monday Dec 8 - 8x:70(:80) Carpenter Park (162) - 6.75 miles run.

Tuesday Dec 9 - 500WU, 5x(5x50 on 1 in 40, 250 pull) - 3000 Meter Swim (163)

Wednesday Dec 10 - 50 min easy distance (pearce) +10x100 strides - 7.25 miles run

Thursday Dec 11 - SMU 2000; 3x600 - 7.6 miles run
2000 - 78.5; 2:40.6 (82.1); 4:03.3 (82.7); 5:26.9 (83.6); 6:50.0 (83.1)
(15 min)
600 - 38.9; 1:17.6(38.9); 1:56.0(38.2)
(400 jog)
600 - 37.6; 1:16.8(39.2); 1:55.0 (38.2)
(400 - jog)
600 - 38.9; 1:17.0(38.1); 1:55.7(38.7)

Friday Dec 12 - 500WU; 2x150 in 2:15 on 2:45; 4x75 on 90; 6x50 under 45 on 1; 300pull; 300as25 kick, 50 swim, repeat; 6x50 under 45, on 1; 200 pull; 2x100 on 1:50; 4x50 under 45 on 55; 100 easy - 3000M Swim (163)

Saturday Dec 13 - Preston & LBJ with Vic and Terry (ave 15.5; cad 74; ride time 2:34) 40.1 miles bike.

Sunday Dec 14- Dallas White Rock Marathon Relay - 10.4 miles run
6.1 mile relay leg: 5:47, 6:02; 6:09; 6:13; 5:39; 6:14; 1:25 (37:32)

Weight: 162-163

Total for the week:
Run - 32.0 Miles
Bike - 40.1 Miles
Swim - 6000 Meters

Total for Dec:
Run - 72.7 Miles
Bike - 40.1 Miles
Swim - 12000 Meters

Back to Week 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 * 6 * 7 * 8 * 9 * 10 * 11 * 12 * 13 * 14 * 15 * 16 * 17 * 18 * 19 * 20 * 21 * 22 * 23 * 24 * 25 * 26 * 27 * 28 * 29 * 30 * 31 * 32 * 33 * 34 * 35 * 36 * 37 * 38 * 39 * 40 * 41 * 42 * 43 * 44 *45 * 46 * 47 * 48 * 49

Coach Vaughan Running Program

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Friday, December 19, 2008
Workout Notes 2008 Week 49
Week 49. Really? Three more weeks in the year! Yikes!

Thursday was the first track workout of the fall season. In fact, I think I only have three track sessions on the calendar this fall. Still it was fun to get on the track. Coach Vaughan punched up 3x1000. Since I had no real idea of pace or time, so I figured I'd start at 82 pace and see what happenned. One the first one I hit the first lap in 82 - perfect, came back with an 83 but then finished with a 38. Then as I was getting ready for my second one, Coach Vaughan turned up. He had wanted me to run this workout on Wednesday not Thursday since I had the Penguin Run programmed for Saturday. So he cut it down to 2x1000. Heck anyone can run one more. For the second 1000, I came through in 78; came back with another 78 and finished again in 38 (with the last 400 at 76). Really nice workout. Felt great. Strong.

Thursday night I asked the kids whether I should run the Penguin Run vs the Rudolf Run on Saturday. They wanted more penguins (the very cool penguin awards), and I suggested that if they wanted penguins, then they should run the race themselves. And so on Friday, Reagan unexpectedly announced to her Gymnastics coach that she would NOT be at practice Saturday because she would be running the race with her dad! And on Saturday that's exactly what we did, adding two more penguins to the gaggle.

Sunday I wimped out on riding the bike. It really was not that cold (40s), but Vic and Terry were elsewhere, and I was not that motivated to find another group to ride with. Nor was I that motivated to go solo. So I took the lazy man approach and knocked out an easy, recovery 12 miler. That was my first week with no bike since Aug 25, when we were in Austin for soccer!

Monday Dec 1 - 12x:45(:60) Carpenter Park (164) - 8.0 miles run.

Tuesday Dec 2 - 400WU, 4x(4x50 pull on 55; 200 as 2x(25 kick, 25 stroke, 50 swim); 8x25 on 30 as 2x(3x25 swim, 1x25 kick)) 200 pull - 3000 (165)

Wednesday Dec 3 - 61 min, 8.0 Mile Run. (163)

Thursday Dec 4 - SMU 2x1000 - 7 miles run.
1000 - 82.8, 2:45.8 (83.0), 3:24.2 (38.4)
1000 - 38.7, 78.6 (39.9), 1:58.6 (40.0), 2:36.6 (38.0), 3:14.6 (38.0).

Friday Dec 5 - 500 WU, 3x(300pull on 5, 2x150 on 3, 4x 50 on 55) 2x50 on 55 - 3000

Saturday Dec 6 - Penguin Run - 2 mile race - 5:38.1; 11:16 (5:38). 5.7 miles run.

Sunday Dec 7 - 12 miles run, 1:36

Weight: 163-165

Total for the week:
Run - 40.7 Miles
Bike - 0 Miles
Swim - 6000 Meters

Total for Dec:
Run - 40.7 Miles
Bike - 0 Miles
Swim - 6000 Meters

Back to Week 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 * 6 * 7 * 8 * 9 * 10 * 11 * 12 * 13 * 14 * 15 * 16 * 17 * 18 * 19 * 20 * 21 * 22 * 23 * 24 * 25 * 26 * 27 * 28 * 29 * 30 * 31 * 32 * 33 * 34 * 35 * 36 * 37 * 38 * 39 * 40 * 41 * 42 * 43 * 44 *45 * 46 * 47 * 48

Coach Vaughan Running Program

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Sunday, December 14, 2008
Dallas White Rock Marathon Relay
Three years ago I ran in the Marathon Relay with a couple of guys from the office. I was in the middle of rehabing my hip so it was not really a race. Four years ago, was the last 5-man relay team that I had put together. We had won our division for each of the previous five years. This year I recruited James off of that team and then added Karl, Scott and Victoria. I was not sure that this team would win the division, but we would have a good shot at placing.

We settled on the following order: Scott, Vic, James, Karl and with me running the anchor.

The weather was not good. Very warm and 20 mph winds gusting to 40!! The south winds meant that Karl and James would be fighting most of the wind. And Karl had to do the famous Dolly Parton Hills to boot.

Vic and I drove down to the first exchange together in her car. I dropped her off at 7:30 and then drove to the last exchange. I had over two hours to wait, so I curled up in the back of the car and had a nice cat nap. At 9am I got up and got moving. Hydrated, had a couple of snacks. Hit the portapots. Etcetera. At 9:30 I stated my warmup.

I jogged south on the race course and after about six minutes I found Vic jogging back to me. She told me that Scott ran about 41 and she ran her 38. We got back to the car and Scott texted me that he had run 40, which was a bit slower than he wanted. I finished my warmup. Vic had my T5s ready to go. It was 10am, the leaders had come though. The portapots had big lines, but I knew that there were some a quarter mile down the road, so I jogged down there - no lines! I was ready.

Shortly after 10:15 Karl turned up. He was a couple of minutes late, but not too bad. I took the baton and was off! I immeadiatly started picking off the marathon runners. It was at least 65 degress and these guys were all suffering badly. They made great windblocks however! I concentrated on my pace and picking these guys off, and I did not even look at my watch for the first five miles! I was just running hard. When I hit Swiss Ave, I lengthened my stride and ran hard down the hill. I picked off my first relay runner here. Also, as I ran down Swiss Ave, there was a film crew taping - the race was being broadcast live on TV. This guy filmed me executing one of my use-the-marathon-runner-as-a-windblock and then pass them manuevers.

Finally at Mile 5 I looked at the split on my watch. Wouldn't you know it, it was 5:39. There was no way I was running 5:39 after five miles. I did not look the elapsed time. I just kept powering on. Mile 6 was 6:14. That seemed more plausible and/or the two mile split of 11:53 also plausible. Anyway, no time to analyze that, there were two young guys in front of me to catch. I came through the finish with 2:52 on the clock. Not a bad run.

Then the fun began. Someone gave me a heatshield blanket. Then someone gave me a hat. Hey I need five of these. Then someone gave me a shirt. Hey I need four large, one XL. Then five medals. Then some lady grabbed all of this crap that I had collected and told me that I had to get a mug shot. Ok - two photos later and with an armload of crap I finally got out of the finisher area. Where is Vic?

While I waited I reviewed the splits on my watch: 5:47 - this was not a complete mile; the handoff was about 150 meters from the mile marker. 6:02; 6:09; 6:13; 5:39; 6:14; 1:25 (37:32) although I stopped my watch well after I finished. So for the five miles 21-26 I ran 30:17. I'll have to check this, but this is likely to be the fastest five miles in 8 years. Not too bad. Certainly better than the 31 that I ran at Sugarland four years ago.

Anyway, the best news? We won our Division (odds and ends), and this was the sixth time I had won this division in the White Rock Relays!

Good job Karl, Vic, James and Scott!
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Wednesday, December 10, 2008
November Workouts
November was not too bad. I started doing some speed work during the first week of the month and ran my first race on Thanksgiving. Relative to October, I had more run miles and more bike miles, the latter seems somewhat surprising! I managed to work out every day during the month!


First Week of November
Run - 48.3 Miles
Bike - 101.6 Miles
Swim - 6000 Meters

Second Week of November
Run - 37.0 Miles
Bike - 72.0 Miles
Swim - 6000 Meters

Third Week of November
Run - 37.9 Miles
Bike - 35.1 Miles
Swim - 6000 Meters

Fourth Week of November
Run - 30.5 Miles
Bike - 67.2 Miles
Swim -3000 Meters

Total for November:
Run - 153.7 Miles
Bike - 275.9 Miles
Swim - 21000 Meters

Total for 2008:
Run - 1340.90 Miles
Bike - 2506.9 Miles
Swim - 264952 Meters

Back to: January * February * March * April * May * June * July * August * September * October

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Workout Notes 2008 Week 48 (Turkey Week)
The key to consistency is routine. That is probably stating the obvious. And its also why holiday weeks suck. Since one is out of the normal routine. Anyway I made a plan and almost stuck to it. But truth be told, Victoria messed up the plan.

Monday was pretty normal - did my usual intervals on the grass during lunch break. But I took Tuesday and Wednesday off. Tuesday I had a good swim at the pool by my house. BUT, on my way over to the pool, a girl drove her firebird right off the side of the road in front of me and into a brick wall. Very freaky and scary. In particular because 2 or 3 boys died in a crash at this exact same spot. In fact they hit the very same wall. Except that they destroyed the wall so it was built bigger and stronger so that this girl could hit it again. Anyway, I was so freaked out it took me about four or five tries before I could dial 911. I kid you not I could not even dial a simple 3 digit number that only had two unique digits. The airbags were deployed and this girl was wearing her seat belt, but she had an abrasion on her head and was bleeding and was unresponsive. Several people gathered and one women was getting really mad about the wall, when she told me that it was one of her boys that was killed at that spot. Wow. Not good. Anyway they hauled the girl away in an ambulance. I think she was going to be Ok.

And then I did my swim. It was hard to concentrate.

Wednesday, Terry and I met early for a ride around White Rock Lake. We passed a guy on our way to the lake and he was still with us when we got there, so we gave him a tour of all the best hills.

And then Thursday came, which was Thanksgiving Day. And what did I give thanks for? My first road race in FOUR FREAKING YEARS!!!!!!!!! Yippee!!! And by the way my fastest 3 mile time in ten years. Do you think I had some pent up aggression? Yeah.

And that brings us to Friday and Saturday, where the girls, all three of them, were playing in the texas cup soccer tournament. 10 games on Friday and Saturday. I had to be at the fields at 7:30am each morning, and we were there until 7:30 pm each night. So if I wanted to run, that meant getting up at ODarkThirty. So I managed an 63 min run on Friday. Saturday morning I could not find my watch, so I just ran a similar loop.

And that brings us to Sunday. The plan was to swim. But Vic had other ideas, and talked me into getting on the bike. So we did our 40 mile loop. Afterwards I watched the Redskins, then we had a Gymnastics party for Reagan's team. And that was that.

Wow what a week.

Monday Nov 24 - 12x:60(:70) Carpenter Park (163) - 8.4 miles run.

Tuesday Nov 25 - 500WU, 2x( 3x150 on 2:30, 150 kick, 3x150 pull on 2:30, 150 kick) 100WD - 3000 Swim

Wednesday Nov 26 - Ride with Terry White Rock Trail/Lake - 27.9 mile bike

Thursday Nov 27 - Sachse High School Turkey Trot 3 mile race. 7.75 miles run.

Friday Nov 28 - 63 min run, 7.4 miles run

Saturday Nov 29 - 60 min run, 6.9 miles run

Sunday Nov 30 - McKinney Loop with Vic, ave 14.9, cad 70, 2:37 ride time - 39.3 miles bike.

Weight: 163

Total for the week:
Run - 30.5 Miles
Bike - 67.2 Miles
Swim -3000 Meters

Total for Nov:
Run - 153.7 Miles
Bike - 275.9 Miles
Swim - 21000 Meters

Back to Week 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 * 6 * 7 * 8 * 9 * 10 * 11 * 12 * 13 * 14 * 15 * 16 * 17 * 18 * 19 * 20 * 21 * 22 * 23 * 24 * 25 * 26 * 27 * 28 * 29 * 30 * 31 * 32 * 33 * 34 * 35 * 36 * 37 * 38 * 39 * 40 * 41 * 42 * 43 * 44 *45 * 46 * 47

Coach Vaughan Running Program

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Sunday, December 07, 2008
Don Zetnick Arlington Winter Run
I was having a hard time deciding whether to do this run or a 5K run in Allen Texas that was much closer to home. The Arlington Winter Run had long featured really unique hand painted ceramic penguins for awards. Over the past 12 years I had collected five of these penguins. On Thursday night I asked the girls what they thought and they all said I should get another penguin and give it to them! Of course I told them that if they wanted a penguin then they should run the race and earn one.

Complicating matters was the usual logistics for the hughes family kids. Logan had 11:15 soccer game and Reagan had Gymnastics practice from 8 until noon. Fran had Logan covered, but I would have to be at Reagan's gym at noon. The Allen race suited that plan. With the Arlington race the probability was lower. But as it turned out, this dilemma was solved in an unusual way.

Apparently sometime on Friday Reagan decided that she was going to win herself a penguin. And she announced this to her gymnastics coach at friday's practice: "I am going to miss practice tomorrow because I am running with my dad." When I got home on Friday night she told me the same thing. Then she made me pull down all the penguins from their home in my office. She examined them carefully. Then she made me pull up all of the race results for the last three years. It was clear that to win a penguin (place in the top three in her age group) that she would need to run sub 20 minutes. She should have no problem doing that. But she had never, ever run two miles before. Ever.

We got up at ODarkThirty on Saturday and drove across town to the race. We got registered. Put on our chips. And we went to look at the Penguins. This year they were not ceramic - they all had FUR!! Not quite as cool as the ceramic ones, but still pretty unique awards.

Finally we got ready to race. It was pretty cold, and Reagan was layered up. I told her if she got hot to wrap her jacket around her waist. She wanted to start the race in the middle of the pack so I walked her to that point and left her to run her race. I went to the front of the pack to start.

Like last week, this race has tons of kids from the local schools, and they all go our hard from the start and fade after the first quarter mile. This race has a tight start and so it was harder moving through them at the start. After 3/4 of a mile I was pretty much clear of the kids. There were two were right on my tail however. I came through the mile in 5:38. The kids tested me twice at about 2200 meters or so. I recovered both times. For the last 800 meters I was able to keep in front of them.

The race finishes with a right hand turn about 80 meters from the line. As we approached the turn I heard the first kid, Ethan, yelling at his Buddy Logan to get it in gear. I surmised that we had broken Logan. Ethan on the other hand came by me at the turn and taunted me by saying, "you are not going to let me beat you are you?" The first thought that popped into my head was "dude, you are less than half my age." But then I thought, ya know good point. I dug down and found another gear. Ethan responded. I dug deeper. At this point we were both kicking like crazy and I felt like I got him at the line but I was not entirely sure.

They pulled my chip and then I jogged back along the course. I was really surprised when I found Reagan about a half mile from the finish. She had her jacket wrapped around her waist and she was running with really beautiful long strides and a fast turnover. I yelled, "Go Reagan Kelley, you are moving girl!" A women running next to her told me, "she is doing really well." Which of course I could see. She immediately ripped off the jacket and handed it to me. I had to pick up my pace to run with her into the finish.

She picked off a bunch of little girls and boys in the last mile and right at the finish she was challenged by a girl that she passed and she had to kick it in too!

In all of the excitement I did not see the time on the finish clock. But I was confident that she ran well enough to get a penguin. And sure enough, she won her age group in 17:59 and that was also better than all of the boys her age!

I won first masters in 11:16, which got me a large penguin and I was fifth overall and I finished 7/10 of a second ahead of Ethan in the mad kick fest.

Penguins 2008
Penguins! From the Left: Bob Smeby, Reagan, Chris, a friend of Ed and Bob, Ed Park.



Next up: The Dallas White Rock Marathon Relay.
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All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012