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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thunder Road

After a pretty decent night of sleep, I got out of bed at ten after six and went downstairs to eat my light breakfast of a bagel with peanut butter and a banana. Washing it down with water, I then hoped in the shower and finished getting ready as Katie and I left our house at ten till seven to go pick Kristen up, and then head uptown. Once we got by the Convention Center, they dropped me off and I said my goodbyes, and went inside to take my gel, kill sometime, and, yes, use the bathroom again. I definitely wanted to do everything possible to not have to stop during the race, like I did in Feb.

The line to the bathroom was long, and once I made my way to the start, the National Anthem was already underway. I knew it was almost go time - yet I could tell I had missed my opportunity to get up near the front of the pack. In fact, I had missed my opportunity to get in the middle of the pack. Seemingly, a lot of runners grew frantic as the countdown started and we were all pushing our way to get lined up.

I managed to stay pretty calm, because I knew my chip laced to my shoe would trigger the computers to show my accurate result, like everyone else in the race. Still, once I crossed the Start Line, being so far in back, I had to fight my way through the crowds for the first mile to find any kind of room. Thinking I was going to be very slow the first mile given the crowds - and given the downhill of the start, I actually overcompensated and hit the first mile split about a minute faster than I had planned.

Oh well - I knew it wasn't drastic enough to ruin my race, so I pumped the brakes and eased into more of what I thought was a slower/smarter pace. I did slow considerably, yet was still faster than I wanted. Picking up on the cues, I decided to not fight my legs and trust my training and try and keep my pace where it was - because I could tell that it was definitely easy and comfortable and I was totally in control.

It was around the 3rd mile when I came up to a yellow shirted pace runner. I asked him what he was going to run and he told me 3:15. I considered this a sign of progress, as I was working my way up and making up ground from the chaotic start. I ran with the pace runner for less than a mile, for he told me that I shouldn't waste too much time in hanging with him if I was going to try and hit 3:10. Also, his pace seemed too easy and slow - despite the plan of starting off over goal pace. While I clipped off from the pace setter, a runner up ahead heard me mention I was shooting for 3:10, and said he was going to do the half in 1:30 and that he had run a 3:08 in a previous marathon. I thought I would feel the pace off him for a little bit, but I found myself leaving him unintentionally, and decided to not hold back.

As we went down south on Providence Rd., I saw my first of many supporters. Mike Mitchell was in his Appalachian State black Track and Field hoodie, and I told him as I passed "the pace feels so easy!" I was definitely enjoying the race so far. Before I got to the 5 mile split, I recognized my high school 4x800 state champion teammate Brain Baum! This was a surprise. I hadn't seen him in at least a year or two. We ran together for maybe close to a mile, while he was trying to hold to a pace that would garner him a 1:35 Half. Seeing my Dad like I had planned at the corner of Sharon Ln. and Providence, I shed my long sleeve shirt and threw it to him and got a little boost from his encouragement, as well as seeing the Blackwood family on the corner too. Going down Sharon Ln., I started to pull away from Brain - so I gave him a pound and wished him luck, and then headed into the tree lined street of Arbor Way - the entrance to the affluent Foxcroft neighborhood.

Now, despite being a native of Charlotte, I figured there would have to at least be someplace that was unfamiliar to me on the course. This neighborhood was it. It was a rolling, pretty, old-money type neighborhood with big yards, and pretty people out cheering on the runners sipping cocoa and mimosas. Miles 6-8 ran through here. I took my first energy chews right before I entered the neighborhood and finally found a rhythm to my pace for the long haul that seemed to settle me in and allow me to enjoy taking in the scenery and energy of the event.

Continuing to run alone, I cruised down Sharon Rd. towards Myers Park while giving the customary "good job" to the random people I passed. I passed Mike M. again around mile 9, and he said "How Ya Feeling?" to which I responded "good - just have to pee!" Before I was out of ear shot - he told me David was about 15 seconds up ahead. Of course I had my eyes open for him, Oelz, and Alan (my buddy who was doing the half) from the beginning, but hadn't seen or heard from them the start.

When I left Mitchell, I spotted David up ahead, but thought I had better take care of business before I came up to him. Realizing that I had been running sub 7 minute pace for the last 4 miles, I decided it was safe to use the porta john I saw up ahead during mile 10. I knew I couldn't hold it forever, and so I slid in and out and figured from looking at my watch it cost me approx. 35 seconds.

Heading onto Queens, I passed the Blackwoods for the second time and started slowly reeling in David. I was running a little faster this 11th mile to try and make up some time from having to use the bathroom. I passed Mark and Andy, and again my Dad who snapped a couple more pictures, and continued to make progress on David. After splitting the 11th mile, I took a couple more chews and started my way down Kings Dr. This was familiar territory, as this part of the course was the same as the Half Marathon from November. I got a big boost from the folks at the corner of Kings and Morehead, and started making my way up the hill. After we crested the hill and turned off Morehead - I finally came beside David and we exchanged pleasantries.

He said he was feeling pretty good, and we both commented on how we were obviously going along faster than our goal/plan, but that we both generally felt in control and were allowing the feel of the race to dictate our pace. It was pretty much perfect timing when I caught David, as it was just before the turn off for the Half Marathoners and the Full Marathoners. While the first half of the race I generally was running with people either beside me or within a few strides of me, as soon as David and I left the Halfers, we noticed that we were pretty much all alone. Thus, the perfect time to have someone with you. It was David and I, a few people strewn out behind us some 20 meters or more, and maybe 4-5 people spaced out rather far in front of us. Pretty thin.

We worked together miles 13-15, and I personally got some more "boosts" from familiar faces in seeing the Blackwoods, Dad, Jason Martin, Gary, and my sweet Mother in Law during this stretch. That 16th mile, as we turned up Mint St. David told me he was going to hang back on the pace, as we started creeping into the low 6:40s. (7:15 is pace for 3:10 - Boston Qualifying, both of our goals) I totally thought he was being smart, and not wanting to jeopardize the prospect of a good start to fall apart later was definitely a seasoned move.

The marathon is totally a strategy race, and one where you have to be patient and practice restraint. Yet for me, this was one where I was going on faith, hope and trust as I was keeping the pace well under goal, and not doing anything intentional to alter it. I guess I was in tune enough with my body, and also familiar enough from having a marathon under my belt, to trust my ability to maintain - and sensed that I still had a lot more in the tank. Ideally, I was hoping to keep the pace where it was 6:45-55, and be able to drop it the last 5 miles.

For the first time I was without people surrounding me, or a familiar face, and was in the midst of the more desolate stretches of the course as I passed Panthers Stadium and went into mile 17. Here, I took a couple more energy chews, tried to keep my focus, and think of all the 8-10 mile tempo runs I had done in my training, and tell myself I could hang on. Actually, I was also looking forward to getting out of downtown and into the, what I would hope to be, fun stretch of NODA and Plaza Midwood.

Before I left downtown, I saw wifey, Kristen, and Emily and gave them high fives as I passed, playing off the crowd and absorbing as much as I could of the cheers to give me another boost. I took that buzz as I went went away from uptown via windy, desolate, Caldwell St. It also seemed that the weather was turning greyer and gloomier here, but perhaps that was also enhanced by the state of mind I was in given my place on the course.

I saw my Dad and the Blackwoods again around mile 18, and I could tell that they were getting pumped up since I was holding a strong pace and making my way up through the rankings. Sensing that gave me a big boost, and I continued on up into the funky section of Charlotte - NODA.

This is where the race really shined, in my opinion. Obviously the last 6 miles of a marathon are the most grueling, but the folks did their part to keep you encouraged and motivated. Whether it was outdoor parties, music bumping from cars, guys playing guitars on their front lawns, Chariots of Fire playing from large amplifiers, or the homemade "Wall" that we passed through, the locals did their part in giving back to the community with their fun and honest support.

At mile 21 I took my last supplement, a caffinated energy gel, which I was told had protein in it as well. This was the magic ingredient/placebo that was going to get my through to the finish. Before I started cruising down The Plaza, I passed my Dad and the Blackwoods, as well as Mark and Andy, at mile 22 and totally fed off their buzz as they were really rooting hard and pumped as I was high up in place than when they had seen me last. Up until this point, no one in the race had passed me, and this would hold true to the finish.

I think seeing that support was huge, as my 23rd mile was my fastest mile of the race! I'd like to venture and say that that doesn't happen very much. Anyway, I did pay a little bit for it on mile 24, as it was here that I really started to feel the pounding, and had to make a strong mental effort to keep it up. Right before the big hill going up Hawthorne, I passed a recognizable "quality" runner - as he was someone who had edged me out the last few hundred meters of the Lung Strong 15k. I took energy from passing him, and charging up the hill - and savoring the fact that I was less than 2 miles from being finished.

As we made our way back into downtown, I spotted four or five runners ahead, one of them being a female, and noticed I was catching up to them. I thought, picking off a few more people is a good goal to ensure I finish strong. I was able to catch that group before I rounded my last turn and hit the straight away to the finish. With around 200 meters to go, I saw Mr. and Mrs. Oelz cheer me on, and charged HARD up the to the finish, while also catching my wife, and all the other friends on the side near the tape who were yelling for me. I ran alongside the chute and gave them five and finished feeling totally pumped up. I had done what I had set out to do....and then some. A lot of some. While I kept thinking (from about mile 20 on) as each mile ticked off, that I would be close to breaking 3 hours, I just wanted to make sure I finished as well as I could and put as much distance from breaking my goal as I could. I had pretty much done that - 3:01:50 as I took my last step. I wasn't sure until later what my accurate 'chiptime' was, but I realized right away I was surely sub 3:01.

A new HUGE PR, a negative split of 1:30+ from half to half, a strong finish, and a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon!

Thanks to everyone who was out there cheering me on, and to all those who sent me messages. Your support was huge. Thanks also to my wife who rolled with my training without complaint, and who always made me feel good each time I put on my running shorts with compliments of "I wish I had your legs!" haha. I joke, I joke.

Marathon (26.2mi): 3:00:40 (Chip time), 3:01:50 (Gun time)

10k split: 43:22
1st Half (13.1mi) split: 1:31:07
20mi split: 2:18:13    /   {13.1-20mi  47:06, 6:49 pace}
2nd Half (13.1mi) split: 1:29:33
                                    {last 10k, 20-26.2mi  42:27, 6:49 pace}

Overall (of 1,290): 27th Place (Gun), 24th Fastest (Chip)
8th Place Division (of 88): Male 25-29

Mile Splits:
1.) 6:34
2.) 7:14
3.) 7:02
4.) 6:53
5.) 7:18
6.) 6:52
7.) 6:56
8.) 6:54
9.) 6:44
.2) 1:22

Pace: 6:53.44 per mile

Link to results

Friday, December 10, 2010

Final Shake - Out

Jogged/did Strides around the block in the neighborhood to shake the legs out and make sure everything is primed and ready to go. Defintily ready and legs feeling fine.

Mile: 1

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Last run

Got home from work, changed clothes, and set off for 3 miles around the neighborhood. Pace was around 7:05, 7:20-30 for the next two. Legs felt fine, and nothing else to report. Just looking forward to the Race Saturday.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cold as (fill in the blank)

Even though it was only 3 miles, the thought of being outside for 20+ mins was not appealing. Definitly the coldest run of the year. Probably high 20's and almost dark by the time I set out to trot around the neighborhood.

Splits: 7.15, 7:35, 7:30

Legs felt fine.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Final Long Run

Welp, here we are. Less than 1 week away from the marathon. It's nice to look back and see all the work put in over the last 18 weeks, and relish the excitement building up to the race. Such attention running a marathon garners (I suppose the first few anyway) from friends and family; I guess that is part of the fruits of the labor. Anyway I am trying to be in the moment, and enjoy this time before the race. Soon it will be over, and be only a memory. Speaking of which, I was commenting to Katie the other day how I really feel like the days just fly by. Perhaps the winter months make the days seem even shorter, but when I get off work, run, and lay around for a bit during the week, I find myself in bed thinking "here we are, another day gone, another day in the morning." I digress...

So, after waiting 10 minutes by my clock, I figured Dave wasn't coming since he is never late (and also because I didn't have my phone, wondered if he assumed a different entrance to McAlpine), and decided to start the run. The route was just out to Harris and back for 8 miles total. Some nice symmetry where the long runs of this training phase have been bookend by a couple of 8 milers. Funny how much easier this one felt, not to mention about 60 degrees cooler as well!

As I was just heading back from the turnaround post, Dave passed me and I waited a couple of minutes for him to catch up so we could finish our run together. We averaged around 730's for the last 4 miles, while I would say (since I left my watch at home) my first 4 miles were in the 740s.

The legs felt fine once again, and the pace seemed comfortable. Just bidding my time until Saturday!

Friday, December 3, 2010

4 at 4

Met David after work, at 4pm, for 4 miles at Freedom Park. Obviously we took to the streets, and stayed around Myers Park. It was cold, so our pace started out a little quicker than the slow 8 mind pace, and remained there pretty much for the next 30 mins. Legs were feeling good, and nothing negative to report.

Miles: 4
Time (approx): 7:25, 7:45, 7:36, 7:30

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Feeling out the pace

For the "workout" this week, I saught advice from Carson and Deal, and both suggested I simply do a shorter tempo run at marathon pace, in order to become more familiar with the ideal pace.

Met David at Freedom park, and after a mile warm up we went into a 5 mile 7:00 min/mile tempo run. We actually averaged 6:59 pace, and it was nice to see that all of our miles were right on target from the beginning. That tells me that I am getting honed in on what the pace needs to feel like for my goal.

After a 1.35 mile cool down we were finished. Temperature was cold.

Miles: 7.35

Monday, November 29, 2010

Taper Time!

What a treat/reward to cut down the miles and intensity from here until the marathon. For today's easy run I just ran 4 miles, doing the standard loop from the house around the neighborhood.

Temperature was a little chilly, so my pace was a little quicker due to trying to get warm. Averaged around 7:40 pace.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sailing through paths

Getting in shape definitly has it's rewards**. The level of fitness I currently am at, really makes running enjoyable. Aside from a little bit of mental burnout, my body has started to show signs of real improvement as I am able to naturally run quicker paces, feel smoother with my stride, and not feel as taxed from the distances. Today I had no mind of running low 7 min paced miles, but there I was clipping off 7.04's and feeling strong and smooth. I know my mind is trained well enough to engage my body in a pace that is right for the distance, and even though right away I was moving along faster than I anticipated, I wasn't worried about struggling later. I slowed a little after the first couple of miles, but after 5 miles or so I was rolling along and dropping the pace again.

Splits: 715, 717, 727, 722, 707, 705, 704, 704, 700, 700, 2 miles around Old Bell hills (730s ?)
Time: 126.22
Pace: 7.11

This week, with the 15 mile 'workout' Wed. and this nice 12 miler, I am getting more confident that I can do what I need to do to Boston Qualify on Dec. 11th.

**weekly mileage for the last 16 weeks: 15, 21, 28, 35, 26, 43, 35, 43, 23, 36, 33, 54, 45, 35, 28, 50.

Friday, November 26, 2010

auto pilot

This was one of those runs I referred to earlier, where my attitude about the days run was sort of sour. I knew I needed to run, but with the lingering grey/damp weather and sluggish temperment from too much Thanksgiving food, I was not thrilled to take out an hour of my afternoon and do some mindless running. But, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (last week of "bailing hay"), I decided I would get out there and knock it out. Just wanted to get in 7 for the day, and so I set off up Burnley and ran towards Starmount. I weaved over to the eastern side of the neighborhood, crossed the bridge, and came out and finished up in Huntington Farms, per the normal route. My pace here was definitly easy and relaxed. It was slow for an easy day, but I didn't feel too banged up or have any issues with nagging pains. Again, I was pleasantly lifted from the run, and afterwards I was glad I showed perserverance.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Free afternoon to take to the trails

Since work closed at Noon today, I was all set to do my final "longrun/second to last workout." Yea, since I didn't get in my long run last weekend, I decided to not make up the 17 I missed, but to go for 15 and implement a faster pace during the middle of the run. I sort of came up with the idea** on my run the night before, where I would run easy for 6 miles, and the focus on hitting consistant 7.00 minute miles exactly for the next 8 miles, and then take on a easy cool down 1 mile to wrap up the run.

The weather was great, and I set off from the Sardis lot and ran the wooded trails around Charlotte Christian and Boyce Rd, before coming out onto Sardis and running back to the lot. I had to make a couple large circles around the vacinity of the lot but when my watch split 46.20 I figured I was right around 6 miles, given my pace which was just under 8.00 min/mile. I popped another energy chew and took off down the greenway to Harris Blvd. The first mile(7th mi. of the run) I was a little slow, but the second mile(8th) I made up for it, and on the third mile( 9th) I finally came very close to hitting an exact 7 min mile. Once I hit the 4 mile mark (10th) near Harris Blvd, I split exactly 7 mins, and did so again and again on miles 5 and 6 of the hard phase (11th and 12th of the run). Sensing that I would likely run into some old face since it was a holiday afternoon, I came across Willy Rittase from East Meck/UNC at the entrance to the park. We recognized each other, and while I paused to say hey, he ended up jumping in and head with me towards the Sardis lot. Since we were talking, I ended up going 7:12 and fell off pace, but then I told him I wanted to make up for it and he agreed to go with me. We reached the parking lot in 649 for the last mile, and that allowed me to finish exactly as planned.

The first couple miles of the Faster Phase, I was struggling to adapt to the pace with ease, but once I hit a few of them around 7 mins it felt as if I was just rolling and could keep going like that for a while. The pace sunk in, and I was hitting my splits to the tee. It was a nice feeling afterward, and I chatted and cooled down with Willy for a little over 10 mins and while jogging to complete the run.

Miles: 15.3
first 6: 753 pace
next 8: 706, 651, 659, 700, 700, 700, 712, 648
cool down: 10.30

**The idea behind this was to get the legs tired, and THEN work on feeling the pace I hope to be running in the Marathon.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bailing Hay

Like Weezy F Baby, and Hova before him - I do these blog posts in one take. Like the former has said "Through the pencil and leak on the sheet of the tablet
In my mind 'cause I don't write ish, 'cause I ain't got time", I pretty much do these with-out rewrites - cuz Like Jigga man "I don’t do too much blogging
I just run the town, I don’t do too much jogging." But despite not blogging a lot or "jogging" a lot, I do run quite a bit. At least during these waves of dedication I seem to not mind undertaking, aka marathon training. And while I've been on these running 'kicks', I've let this blog serve as a glorified running log. The blog is actually perfect for a running log. Anything that is known as "log" should mesh well into a blog. Just natural. But with that, it takes extra time and effort after the run to record my thoughts, times, pace, whatever onto this blank viral pad. Of course, I realize I could utilize such a site that is set up and intended for recording runs, where I would have to do is essentially "paint by number", but on the rare occasion when I simply am not just regeretating numerical facts from the days effort, it's nice to have a little freedom to "freestyle" if you will, about whatever it is I'm typing about. And in this last paragraph - I'm not sure really what that is! One take, baby, one take.

Definitly on runs, being alone and useually not with company or not wearing headphones, and especially at night when there isn't much to look at, I do get the sense I'm shedding stress, and clearing my mind - obvious to the fact when I start thinking about how I might construct my next post. Sometimes I do layout in my head what I'm feeling and what I'm thinking about DURING my run, so I can go back and broadcast those sentiments when they were most true, later. If I didn't sort of capsulate the energy and mood and thoughts of the run in my mind, and notate it so I can recall it later - I would loose the spirit of the moment, which would be easy since I don't really post these entries until the day or so after. If I could type right when I come in the door - they would be most true, but given that I have a life, and like Jay Z and Wayne, I don't do too much blogging or write stuff down - I am blessed with a good memory, and you are cursed to have read two paragraphs or nonsense. I guess what I'm trying to say is true love is blind. (haha)

Recaling on the mental filing the night's run, I remember telling myself from recent runs - runs that have come in the last couple of weeks when I simply feel like I'm doing chores rather than relishing in getting my body fast - I set my mind on auto-pilot and got out the door and didn't think about anything until I was already 100m. from my house. I really didn't want to dwell on the fact it was cold, already dark at 5pm, and raining. Conditions that don't really get your fired up to go put in work. I numbed myself to the frustrations, and knew that soon I would be warmed up and feeling better. That happened just before mile 2, when I realized I was starting to enjoy the exercise. At this point, I was already soaked, but I was clipping off 7:30 miles and starting to appreciate the time alone in the quiet, unwinding from the day. It's over the next mile I started to recall my last few weeks of running, trying and chronical my workouts and regularity with my training. With the marathon only 2.5 weeks away, I was looking for confidence builders that I was going to be ready to go. I know that I have not been as dedicated AS POSSIBLE, but isn't there always a little more room for improvement - and if not, do you have anything else to show for your time except running? Given that, I did start to get pumped thinking about what I have done with long runs, workouts, and started to feel satisfied - while also trying to plan out the last couple of weeks to maximize the time that is left.

While thinking about all of this during the run, I then shifted from feeling like it was a chore, to enjoying the moment, and being thankful for the last few months I have thrown myself into this - and the resulting fitness it has gotten me in, as well as the kinship from my running buddies, and the centered well being it has given me those late afternoons and early mornings. With a baby on the way, I really don't know the next time I will be in the place that I am at, and I really am thankful for everything, and for the good health God has blessed me with. Along with the Thankful spirit of Turkey Day, perhaps a voicemail I got late in the afternoon from my friend Mike Mitchell telling me he wasn't going to be able to do Thunder Road due to the diagnosis of a stress fracture, made me more sensitive to the good fortune I've sustained. **I feel for you Mike, but I know once you do cross that finish line later on down the road, it will be all that much sweeter. Thanks for the encouragement and partnership over the last couple of months during our training. I'll be running hard out there for you too man!**

With good vibes going, I thought of a saying that was thrown around the old Broome-Kirk gym, where a little italian flat-topped man would say things like "the hay is in the barn" on pep talks before Southern Conference meets. What I think he means is, once you get to that point where you can't really improve given the limited time, you just have to trust that the "hay in the barn" will sustain you - and by sustain you he means carry you through the race. I am not at the place where the barn doors have closed, but I definitly am tying up those last few bails of hay and getting them in the barn before the doors close in about a week. And so, given that this was just a maintence run - not a work out and not very long either - and that it was not idea conditions, I felt like I was just out there bailing hay....doing what I needed to do, a responsible farmer, getting the farm ready for the winter, aka Thunder Road.

As I've said in previous entries, once I'm out there - or at least finished, I never regret that fact that I went for a run. Sometimes you just have to put yourself on cruise control and not think until you are away from your starting point, and the natural endorphines are slowly released, giving you that clarity and calmness.

So for days like today - when I really feel like scribbling some non-sense, and trying to capture a few feelings of being a distance runner, I'm glad I have this forum to over-express the details of the run. And if there are 37 spelling and gramatical errors, and if this were a paper that I received back from Mr. Hicks, my highschool english teacher, I'm sure it would look like a Tarintino movie - blood colored ink all over it, just remember - ONE TAKE.

Speaking of details...

7 miles
54 mins

Monday, November 22, 2010

Easy 3 and Easy 9

Appalachian State University taking on University of Florida at "The Swamp

Rough day for the Mountaineers.

Logged 3 easy-paced miles before I set out to tailgate and partake in the festivites Saturday. After flying home Sunday, I rested my tired body and didnt run again until Monday 11/22. Met David at his house and ran down the Greenway to downtown and came back through and ended by way of neighborhood streets in Dilworth. The pace was low 8's, and very casual. Nice to get some decent miles in, and enjoyable given the comfortable weather.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

updates from Hilton Garden Inn - Nashville

what's up people?! Just got back to my room and decided to throw the ipod touch on and listen to some jams insted of turn the TV on. I enjoy music when I've had a couple beers, and thought I'd give you an update on the training and life. As I am currently in my hotel room thinking I need to go to bed soon in order to be up at 4am for my 5:30am flight, figured I might as well do a blog post. It's kind of my way of unwinding and I also wanted to get up my solid workout from last night - but keeping with the training log I need to first go in date order of my runs since my last post. So............

Sunday - I should have run, but I was lazy and didn't run. Felt kind of guilty since I only ran 3 days for the week, but whatever.

Monday - Katie and I have been going to the hospital for some child birth classes the last 3 mondays at 630, which I must say have kept me from going to a couple of Bobcats games, but it's a sacrifice worth making in exchange for my soon to be here little Girl. So once I got home from work, I had just enough time to squeez in a 4 mile run. Katie made Chicken and Dumplings, one of my favorite meals, and I had to get back to eat that and be off to class. Did the 4 miles in a nice low 7 min pace. I must say I was surprised my legs felt as good as they did, given this was the first run since the 20 miler.

Tuesday - David and Oelz came over and after work we set out from my house. It was already dark when we started, and we hit up the nice hilly 8 mile route through Montclair and Huntington Farms, and tacked on some more in Montclair to give us 9.5 for the day, in 7.50 pace. Again the legs felt surprisingly good - and it was a nice run all in all.

Wednesday - Track workout. Wanted to revisit the 3x2 mile, but thought we would tack on a little extra distance for good measure. We met at AG Bell at 5:40 and did a 1.6 mile warm up, and then were off on the dark track (they had turned the lights off so we were going to be doing this in the dark, with cool temperatures. Must say it was a cool setting). First set we did 4k (2.5 miles=10 laps). Splits, 6.24, 6.24, 3.03. Felt real comfortable. Took just over 2 mins rest and we were at it again for the second set. 3.6k for the second set (9 laps, 2.25 miles). Splits: 6.04, 5.57, 1.29. This one felt comfortable the first mile and dropped it at a nice pace and held on with ease. Waited a bit and after 2.40 rest was off for the last set. 2 miles (8 laps would be the distance here) splits: 5.45, 5.37. After the long break I felt a little sluggish but was able to push it through the first mile, and finally get in a rythem and drop the hammer for a solid last miles. Maybe a little faster than necessary for marathon training, but as has been typical for the week - my legs felt good and I decided to get after it. I think I went through the last 400m in 65 seconds. Ended with a 2.4 mile cool down.

for the 6.75 miles of the "workout" I averaged 6.00 min pace, so it was a great day on the track. Running on the track always gets me jacked, and im reminded why I enjoyed more success in running in oval circles rather than dirt path courses.

11 miles for the day on this Wednesday.

Anyway, that is the catch up in training. As I'm here in my hotel, I can report that I didnt' run as I was busy with visits, and am hoping I get to get in a run tomorrow, because Saturday I am not going to be running with the APP UF game, since I"ll be in Gainsveille.

Goodnight to my blog readers. Gotta get some sleep and call wifey.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Good Long Run

Simple Title huh? It's funny, if I were to compare the 20 mile run I did for my first marathon earlier thisyear , to this 20 mile run, simple would be the word to describe the overall feeling in comparison. I know it sounds odd, but this 20 mile run didn't feel that bad and was actually pretty easy. Of course that is relative, but this 20 miler even felt easier than the 16 and 15 mile long runs earlier in the fall. I think one main reason I felt good was the light week of running I had up until today. I didn't run Monday, ran EASY Tuesday, short workout Wednesday, and didn't run Thursday or Friday. So I had some pretty fresh legs. The weather was perfect, and I was able to run almost 11 miles of it with company, which always makes it easier mentally.

Jason and I were planning on meeting to knock out this long run since earlier in the week, but when he insisted on starting no later than 9am, I stuck my heels in and said I'd meet him at 10am after he had gotten a head start. I was content to run the last half solo, if that meant I could catch up on sleep. Which I needed - the jet lag, and 3 hours of sleep I got Thursday night were rough on the system.

So when I pulled into the Sardis lot of McAlpine at 10am, Jason and David were finishing up their first loop, and when I joined in they were at 9.5 miles roughly. Both of them were doing 20 miles, so I was going to accompany them for their remaining 10.5. The three of us set off down McAlpine Greenway where we would basically do the standard stretch of "out and back with course" route that is protocal for a 10 mile run. I'd say we kept the pace around 7.50-30 for those 10 miles.

Once we got back to the lot, David and Jason were finished - so I paused quickly to down some water and take a couple Cliff shots. I started back down the Greeway, but took a left and ran up to Boyce Rd. Park, and meandered through those trails before heading out to Sardis Rd. where I would come back down towards the parking lot. Once there, I took a right onto Old Bell Rd., as I wanted to do some hills during this portion of my run. I was around the 15th mile when I headed for the hills, and was able to roll through there fine without loosing much pace. After completing that I needed about 4 more miles, so I cut back through the trail up to Charlotte Christian and went along until it fed back onto the Greenway about a mile in. I took a left and headed towards the Monroe Rd. bridge, checked my time, and headed for the car. I kept the pace pretty comfortable, around the 740 range - but the last two miles I started to pick it up. Feeling well enough, I wanted to try and simulate running around my goal marathon pace for miles 19-20, thinking it would only help come race time. My last two miles were 7:30, 6:45. I got going a little too fast the last mile - I actually was on 6:20 pace for the last mile, but I pressed the brake a little bit and still finished strong.

Miles: 20
Time: 2.33.40
Pace: 7.41

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Progressive Tempo with Bohle

Needing to do a workout, Bohle decided to join in on the action and lead me on a different route, which left his house and meandered up the streets to the trails near Loyola Marymount University. I told him 7 miles would be a good distance, and I wanted the effort to be uptempo. Other than that, we just allowed the run to develop organically into this: 7.31, 7.08, 7.09, 7.09, 6.43, 6.23, 5.57.

The big take away from this run, was that I was very excited I showed the speed to get under 6 min mile for the last one. I haven't run ANYTHING under 6 in a run this year, so even though it was a shorter tempo, it was a positive sign to feel my body get into that next gear.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

West Coast easy run

(Marina del Ray, L.A., where I ran)

Got up at 5:30 this morning to get ready and head to the airport for my flight to L.A. at 7:45. Slept on the plane for most of the way, which I useually don't have a problem doing. I also have window seat as my preferred seat, so I can prop my head against the side. Anyway, got to L.A. around 11am, and after my lunch meeting, went over to Chris Bohle's and hung out for the afternoon. After my lunch was digested, I left his place and jogged down the L.A. River which lead me to the Pacific Ocean in about 25 mins. There, I headed south and jogged along the path at the beach down the coast for about 10 more mins before heading back. Finished in 1.04.39 for the run, and figued it was about 8 miles. My legs actually were still pretty heavy and dead, I think from the race, and I chalked it up as a nice recovery run with a beautiful backdrop.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday shake out

Hit up the neighborhood for an easy 5 miles, to get the kinks out from yesterday's race. Kept it nice and slow, which was easy to do, and rolled through in 8 min pace average.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dowd YMCA Half Marathon

With Mike Mitchell, who beasted it despite treating it as a "training run" as well: 4th place, 1.19.40, for the former App teammate

Splits: 6.23, 6.52, 6.24, 6.45, 6.26, 6.38, 6.22, 6.42, 6.25, 6.37, 6.28, 6.33, 6.28, 1.15(.1).

The plan was to run the first 9 around 6.45-55 and then the last 4 hard - around 6.20s. With the idea of tempoing for the first 9 miles, and then running hard the last 4 miles, I obviously was a little quicker than I wanted to be, and wasn't able to drop my last 4 miles as much as I wanted. Still, throughout the first 9 miles I didn't feel like I out of my comfort zone - and that I still had some in the tank to make the last 4 faster.

After the first mile totally got me off pace, with it being pretty much a downhill mile the whole way, I tried to back off and find my pace. From looking at the splits above, you can see that I really didn't maintain an even pace as I wanted - with big fluctions in pace per mile. I was okay with being faster than planned, as long as I felt like I was still saving some for the end. With the up and down gradual descents and ascents on the course, I hovered around the top 15 for the first 5 miles or so, then found myself around the top 10 going into mile 9. The last half of the race was much more uphill than the first half, and that also made it harder to drop the pace as well. I felt strong and comfortable for 12 miles, with the last mile being uphill - I could tell that I was struggling to really get into that next gear. However, I picked off a couple guys the last 4 miles and moved into 8th place, where I would stay until the finish. There was 2-3 guys ahead that I was trying to work on catching the last 2 miles, but I was only able to close the gap and not pass them.

The conditions were cold - mid 30's to high 30's and probably low 40s by the time the race was over. I consumed 3 energy chews prior to the race, and put 3 in my shorts to take along the way. I had one around mile 5, 9, and 11 - where at that point realized I was starting to feel sick of eating them and spit half of it out.

It was nice to have some support along the way. Dad showed up at mile 6, 9, and 12, and helped me push through the pain. Oelz cheered me on around mile 10, and Jason was on the last mile up Morehead as I fought to the finish.

Result: 8th place, 1.25.54

I was happy with my time, and placed 2nd in my age group. Avereged 6.36 through 10k and 6.33 for the race overall.

With warmup and cool down, I totaled 17 miles for the day.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Maintenance run with Mitchell

Mitchell came over and we ran the same route as Thursday, minus tacking one mile at the end, for just over 6 for the day. Good pace, easy, and the weather was cold and wet.

6 miles
730ish pace

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Getting Chilly

While Tuesday's run was the first where it was noticable cool until I was warmed up about a mile or so in, today was the first run that required long sleeves! It was in the low 50s if not already in the high 40s when I set out, and I was definitly cold until about a mile in. Never got warm in the dry fit long sleeve top - and that being said, the weather was perfect for running...once you get comfortable.

It seems like the last few times I've set out to run I start to pysch myself out the first mile or so with thoughts of "I rather be doing something else", "this is going to take too long" "I don't want to keep doing boring runs!" and other such negative vibes. However once I get going, I'm glad I'm out there doing it - and sometimes, like today, I end up tacking on more miles that I planned just because I want to keep going! The thing about running is you have to sometimes just get yourself out there and be patient. Thinking about how long you have to go, how longs its going to take, and other such things can weigh you down - but hardly ever, at least in my case, do I regret it once I'm in the middle of it, if only even at the end of the run.

These temperatures, while to me seem a little unseasonal given this early in November, are some of the best conditions to run. Today I averaged maybe my quicest run, while at an effort that was entirely natural for the called upon routine day. But, with it being 2 days out until my Half Marathon race, I definitly am "training through" whereas most times before a race you want to take off or do the minimal amount two days prior to race day. As Thunder Road is the goal, I'm treating the Half Saturday as a training run, and not sacraficing valuable days of training for the upcoming 13.1 this weekend.

Time: 54.30
Miles: 7.35
Pace: 7.24

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Out and Back

After taking yesterday off, I wanted to try and keep my progression going with longer runs, so I chose to take on a new route via an out and back. Went from my house down to the Freedom Park Greenway, down Queens Rd West, to CMC, and back. Plan was to turn around at 35 mins, but went a little longer so as to reach the intersection of East Blvd, in 35.30. First few miles were in the upper 730s, and picked it up a little bit on the way home, making up some time with throwing in pick ups the last 800 meters. Closed with a 7.06 mile.

Mapped out the run and 9.2 was the distance.
Time: 1.09.24

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pounding the Pavement

Finally posistioned myself to take on a long run. After missed weekends, races, or staying out too late the night before, I was ready to go out and run 16. I didn't really feel like driving anywhere for the long run, and figured getting a long run done on some roads would help my legs later on for Thunder Road.

Taking the lead from Jason's long run, I mapped out an additional 8 mile run to pair with my standard H-Town route(also 8 miles). Took on the new loop first, which ran me down the Freedom Park Greenway, up Tranquill's big hill, down Selwyn, up Park Road, and back through Archdale. Once I completed that loop, I stoped and used the bathroom at home, slugged some water and a power gel, and started on the second half of the run - which by my earlier accounts is listed as quite hilly as well. I managed to stay under 8 min mile pace, close to 7:45-7:55 which is my comfortable easy pace, and tried to pick up the pace a little on the second loop. I didn't make much of a concerted effort to go faster until the last few miles where I was in the mid 7 range. Closed my last mile at 7:33.

Weather was good, wore sunglasses throughout which didn't bother me at all, and generally felt pretty pain free. What I noticed was that the fatigue came in the form of pain from the constant pounding, flaring up the last few miles.

I was pretty spent afterwards and needed to just lay around, but other activities were lined up the rest of the afternoon which prevented me from doing so, and also I was going to the Filmore to see a concert that night. Standing on my feet from 8-11:45 was hardley pleasant, and if I ever have a chance to go to a concert where I'm not just chilling on the lawn, I think I will pass.

Pace: 7.48

Highest Mileage for the week: 54

Saturday, October 30, 2010

H-town greenway lite run

October surely has been one of the most beautiful months of 2010 here in Charlotte. Caught up on sleep during the morning, and after a light breakfast - Katie (my wife) and I went to the park over in Huntingtown Farms for some exercise. While she walked the greenway for the first time (she was really surprised that we had such a park near our house), I jogged around 4 miles doing the path and neighborhood combo twice in about 31 mins. Easy pace, and nice to not have the dead feet and tight legs like I had yesterday.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tight Legs and Dead Feet

One of the things I have never been able to totally figure out, is why sometimes when my legs are worn out - my feet fall asleep and get tingly, a product I'm sure of also the feeling of tightness in my ankels and achilies. I first remember noticing this at App., and there were times it lingered for a few weeks. It's really uncomfortable, and something I just run through. I had this sensation today on my run, and while I am clear of knee problems, I am hoping that it will subside in the coming runs.

Did 7 miles at a pedestrian pace of I'm sure over 8 min pace for a good bit of the run. Not concerned with that, just trying to build for a good week of higher mileage, and working on the discipline of consistency.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pulling a Brett Farve

....that's what Sterger said.

Hit up McAlpine solo after work Wednesday, low on sleep and coming off 3 consecutive days of higher than average miles and quicker than normal pace. I had received some feedback from Brian Deal, and old teammate of mine at App. State and a recent 238 marathon at Chicago this October. One of his suggestions was a 10 mile tempo run going first 3 miles at 6:55, next 3 at 6:45, and final 4 at 6:25, with the idea to get the legs tired, then run hard. That was his philosphy for his marathon training, and evidently it worked pretty well for him.

I realized after the first mile that my legs were not up to the task given the factors listed above. I stayed with it for the first 3 miles as 650s were not too much to ask for, but I was not able to drop it in the 640s range the 4th mile, so I decided to stay under 7 for the 5th mile and change it up. Ran the next few miles without expectation, and slow enough to recover for a final push for the last 2 miles. I hit 730s for the next 3 miles, which were on the 5k course, and on the last 2 miles back made one last push to finish strong.

I think this "audible" was still a nice workout - given that I defintly got the legs tired, then ran hard.

Splits: 6:52, 6:50, 6:54, 6:53, 6:50, 7:39, 7:35, 7:36, 6:53, 6:43

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

power in numbers

Coley, David, Oelz and I ran from my house and did the 8 mile loop that I normally do: Montclair, Archdale, H-town farms, greenway, park rd, and back. Started off around 7:30 pace, and everyone was conversing and the run was really going well. The distance seemed to go faster running with company, and it was fun we could all get together. Coley is coming around in great shape, despite some shin splint pains (although that did give him the excuse to get a leg sleeve!). I dont think he was planning on doing 8 miles, so when he asked what was the short way home - I had to tell him we basically were in a circle and I couldn't help him out.

Didn't get a lot of sleep the last couple of nights, so I eat a Cliff shot before the run and had one about 20 mins into it. Coley said he was hungry so I gave him my other gummie.

About 4 miles into the run, Dave and I started putting a little space between Oelz and Coley, and up the tempo for the second half of the run. I think those caffenated chews really get me going. Coley noticed it too that he picked it up the last little bit too.

Splits: 7:29, 7:47, 7:22, 7:35, 7:23, 7:24, 7:10, 7:06.

I added on one more mile for 9.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Misty McAlpine

Was good to get back on trails! Mitchell and I took off from Sardis lot and did the 5k course and came on back - then tacked on almost a mile, putting the run just over an hour. My legs were feeling really fresh, but I guess I was low on energy, because around mile 5 I started to feel a little faint. Mitchell was coming off an impressive 18 mile run, where he had some really good splits. I know he hammered the last 6 miles of that run Sunday, so he was satisfied I'm sure with the pace.

It had rained a lot earlier in the day, but the sun was out and the temps were comfortable in the 60's. It definitly was muggy...and misty, so it was kind of a cool setting.

Pace: 7:50

Sunday, October 24, 2010

'Night Moves'

Almost scraped the run for the day, but around 6 I finally had enough laying around and being tired, and left my house for a run. My plan of doing 17 was definitly out the window - so I was just trying to salvage something. Really didn't plan out what to do until I left home, then decided to do the 8 mile loop in Huntington Farms. I noticed my pace was not too slow and that I felt relatively good. Came through mile on in 7.35, and decided to just maintain. After I completed the loop, I decided to tack on another mile. Here, I started opening up my stride and ran some quick surges.

Let me also back up and say, that I took a Cliff Shot Block(gummy with caffeine) before, and during my run. Consumed one piece right before I left, and then had another after 20 mins, and my last one after 40 mins. As I noticed that I was feeling better as the miles clicked off, I realized how great these things are. The first time I had them was at the Lungstrong 15k, and they kept me going and lifted me to well under my goal time.

So, after 9 miles I was still feeling good and decided to tack on one more mile. Kept this mile kind of quick as well, and when I finished 10 I really was disapointed that I couldn't keep going. I don't know if I really wanted to do 7 more miles, but I think I could have added 2-3 more with no problem. Still, it was a good run, and I didn't have the time to keep going as I was meeting Katie and Kristen for dinner.

Miles: 10
Time: 1.14
Pace: 7.24

Saturday, October 23, 2010

beautiful day

not a cloud in the sky, and the temperature was in the 70s. This called for a little 40 min run. Decided to not worry about how far, just to get in 40 mins plus easy and stay in the familiar confines of my neighborhood. Probably hit around 5+ since I was feeling it was an easy 8 min pace.

Miles: 5
Pace: 8+
Time: 40.24

Thursday, October 21, 2010

more treadmills

After getting done with golf around 4, and checking into my hotel around 5 - I thought I would just bust out a run in the quickest fashion, so I could meet my father in law for dinner later on. I was at the Hampton Inn in downtown Little Rock, and the weather was still in the 80s. Given that, I just decided to watch some ESPN and get a quick run in at the fitness center. This run sucked a whole lot worse than the night before, and only had the patience for 4.5 miles. The pace was definitly more slow as well.

Time 35.44
pace: 7.56

Flying Saucer for drinks, and Boscos for dinner...down at the River Market, Little Rock.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

running with machines

man has it been a while since I ran on a treadmill. Didn't check into my hotel till around 9pm, in Texarkana. Since I was off the interstate...and in Texarkana at night, this was my best bet. Grabbed my IPOD and hit the Hampton Inn fitness center. The Giants were playing the Philies. So with TV, Ipod, and a treadmill, my longest run ever on such a contraption was underway. Thought I'd try and do around 3-4 miles, but was able to tolerate more than I thought I would since I was starting to get into the game, and my music was good, and my legs were feeling fresh. Really, this was workout day, if I was back home - so I did decide to turn up the pace and crank it down to sub 7 min pace for a few miles, and close in 55.02.

Miles: 7.5
Pace: 7.20
Time: 55.02

Giants won game 5.

Monday, October 18, 2010

working out the tightness

I was mad sore from the race - mostly from running in my race flats. So with Sunday off, I got about 6 miles at an easy pace after work when it was dark outside.

Time: 48.39
Pace. 8+

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Race up near Lake Norman. Wasn't sure what to do in this, since this was my first 15k. Thought I'd go 6:30-45 the first few miles and try and work my way down. Figured I wasn't going to be able to go much faster than my 8 mile tempo, but wanted to break 1 hour. (3 20 min 5ks, consecutivly). The weather was perfect, and Mitchell worked his way to the front, and once the gun shot off I was about 5 secounds from the starting line and it only took me a few seconds to break out and find my space. I was surprised when I split 6.12 first mile. I knew this was a little quick, but it didn't feel that fast so I decided to not fall off from the group I was in. The next two miles we weaved our way through this park which had a couple rolling hills. Immediatly, I could tell I was doing fine on the inclines, and able to get a stride or two on the group in those situations. Came out to the main road out in the neighborhoods of the Peninsula Club, and took the lead for the pack I was in for the next few miles. Around mile 5 I decided to make a little surge and try and seperate from the pack I had been in since the start. I was able to successfully put some space from the pack I was in, but knew I had some time if I was going to catch the group in front of me. They were about 45 seconds up, if I had to guess. Anyway, I maintained my pace and tried to put some moves to close the gap the rest of the race. Around 8 miles on this straight away directly into the sun, uphill, I just started to close my eyes and try and do what I could to catch them, as they were getting closer. With one mile to go, the newly formed group I had just entered had started to fall apart, and from then on it was justAlana Hadley and I. She is the young phenom female runner who is mad good and looks like she is my 11 year old sister (if I had one). She is strong, and I wasn't able to pass her. I held my pace through 9 miles, but with .3 to go - I didn't really dig in and kick (until the last 20 meters downhill).

I knew I beat my goal, and when I saw my time I was happy and figured I placed pretty decently as well. It was a great atmosphere, and I was able to get in some good cool down miles with Mitchell after the race to make it a "long run." Also caught up with Compton, and some other runners, such as Chris Lamperski.

Splits: 6.12, 6.21, 6.10, 6.21, 6.16, 6.09, 6.12, 6.19, 6.14, 1.58 (.3 mi) = 58.15
Pace: 6.15

Friday, October 15, 2010

mcalpine and collegiate meet

Met up with Mitchell and did about 6 miles after we watched the finish of the mens's collegiate meet which featured teams such as GA Tech., Fl. State, and Queens.

Time: ?
Miles: 6
Pace: ?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

3x2 miles

Warmed up about 11 minutes, and then started the first repeat from the Sardis lot at McAlpine. Goal was take it out in 630 the first mile and maybe just a little quicker the second mile. We saw Mitchell running about 800 meters into the first repeat, and he joined in. After starting out a little quick, we gauged our pace and found our pace. It felt comfortable and not too bad, and after getting a little slow about a mile and a half in, was able to pick it back up and finish on target for the first set. Rested 2 minutes, and then went off on the second repeat from the Start Line of the course heading to Margaret Wallace Rd (and then back). Still felt pretty good the second repeat, and pulled away a little bit from the group of David, and Oelz, finishing quicker than the first set. Rested 2 minutes from when I finished then started the last set out in front, heading back to the Sardis lot. Wanted to go around 6.10 the first mile and sub 6 the last mile for this third set. Came through the first half in 3.04, and thouoght I was holding pace, until I realized I was slowing down and hit 6.16. Once I had a mile to go, I realized I was feeling pretty dead, and wasn't going to be able to do what I wanted. Tried to hold on, but I knew I was slowing, and with about 400 meters to go, I got up on my toes and was able to kick it in.

12.50(6.30,6.20), 12.30(6.20,6.10),12.52(6.16, 6.36) ((6.24 ppm for 6 miles))

Here is acomparison from the last time I did this workout (although it was on the track).

Cooled down for about 10 more minutes and called it a day.

Miles for the day: 9

Monday, October 11, 2010

back on the saddle

The homecoming weekend put a little damper in my consistent training, but with the marathon still 2 months away, I figured it might have served as a nice little break for the legs. Speaking of legs, they felt pretty fresh (no surprises there), but they did feel a little more sensitive (shins and knees) than usual. I think it might be time for me to hang up the old Pegasus and start using my new pair for every run going forward. The route was pretty hilly, but I still managed around a 7:30 pace for just under 6.5 miles.

Miles: 6.4
Time: 48.08
Pace: 7:31

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

executed as planned

Wasn't sure what times, or splits, I was to try and aim for during this 8 mile tempo. I did know that we were running an out and back (Sardis to Harris), and that the course was well marked and fast, so I thought I could probably negative split (come back faster) after the turnaround. I threw out 645-7 for the first 4, then 630-15 the second 4. I was happy I was able to do a little better than this. I felt strong, aerboically and in my legs. I felt like I was really pushing myself as hard as I could - but the splits will show that I just don't have much speed right now. I can hold a solid pace, but I can't get under 6 min. Not complaining about the workout at all - it was just what I needed at this phase. However, I can tell that a couple workouts designed to get more turnover and higher intensity, albeit with less duration, would help me be able to shift into that other gear. (Not that I am planning on going sub 6 for any miles during the marathon, but pushing my body faster and harder in some workouts in the future, will make 6:02 not feel like an all out sprint - thus making 645-7 feel even easier/slower, etc.)

Splits: 6.37, 6.39, 6.45, 6.42, 6.20, 6.15, 6.13, 6.02 (51.37)

Including warm up and cool down, I talleyd 9.5 miles for the day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

running with company

It had been over a week since I ran with anyone, and after such a period of time, I was happy to have someone with me aka David Brinkley. We did the 8 mile route up in Huntington Farms at a nice clip of around 7:30 or a little under. The weather was very nice, and the legs felt good. Hopefully I have some in the tank for the workout Wednesday.

Miles: ~8
Time: 59.08
Pace: 7:25-30

Monday, October 4, 2010

primin myself

does that subject header make sense? I think it's what I'm trying to convey. Today's run I was just trying to get some easy miles on the feet, and work out some kinks from yesterday's long run. While one would think I might be feeling pretty banged up and slow, I actually felt pretty good. Not too weird of an occurance when you have been in the game this long....not unusual to feel the 'burn' TWO days after. So while I could have opened up some heat on the run, I refrained, and loosed my legs on some strides after the run.

Also, wanted to note I ran with my ipod on, and on the rare occassion I run with music, I must say...I love it! What a boost of adrenaline it can provide when the right songs are on.

Miles: 4.9
Time: 38.06
Pace: 7.46

Sunday, October 3, 2010

breathing so easy, working the legs (15)

Got to McAlpine around 4:30 Sunday afternoon, right after the Panthers took their 4th loss of the year. It was a pretty afternoon, and the soccer players and exercisers were out in full force. Katie came along and put a blanket down and did some reading - I told her this was going to take about 2 hrs, but she was cool with it. Ran from the main park entrance to Harris, course, Old Bell neigborhood, and course again. Was under 8 min pace the first 8 miles, 9 and 10 miles were the old bell hills, and the rest of it was just a few ticks over 8 miles. After 12 miles I felt a little short on energy, but was able to push through reasonably comfortable. That's when I would be taking an energy gel. Next long run, I'm packing one in my shorts.

Miles: 15
Time: 1.59.41
pace: 7:58

Friday, October 1, 2010

feeling the strain

My body served as an experiement in lack of sleep and the bodies ability to recover, this week through my training and poor choices of when to go to bed. Friday, I was feeling pretty tight and sore still, where useually I am still able to crank out something decent pace - wise, and not notice the knots and bruises as much. Just got 8 miles in. Ran from home and did my huntingtown farms/greenway loop. One of my favorite routes to do from home, but also one of the more hilly. Weather was comfortable.

pace: 7:47

Thursday, September 30, 2010

5 mile shake out

Time: 38:40

Easy effort to just put some miles on my feet. Slow and tired and a little tight from yesterday's workout. Running on the grass yesterday I think wore the muscles out a little more than normal, plus not having a recovery shake!

Check out Jason's blog

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

fartlek in florence (alabama)

Took my talents to McFarland Park, right on the edge of the Tennessee river for this workout. Jogged from my hotel and at 18 mins started my first interval. Threw in a mixed bag of intervals, with some 5 on 2 offs, 3 on 130 offs, 4 on 2 offs, 230 ons, 1 offs, 2 on 1 offs, and in random order. McFarland Park was occupied mainly from an old golf course, with some light car-type track trails around the fields. It was like running on a grass field country course. Accumlated 36 mins of the work-out, and concluded with almost a mile of cool down. Legs were pretty sleep for the first half of the run, but then they became more responsive and I was starting to be able to open up a little better on the fast parts.

Time: 1.02
miles: 8+

Monday, September 27, 2010

sloppy 7

Hit up McAlpine with Mitchell after work - where we ran from Old Bell lot in the rain out to Margaret Wallace and back (then I added on some).

Miles: 7
55 mins

pace, 8.00

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cool wet weather was welcomed!

Time: 1.35.16
Miles: 13
Pace: 7.20

What a wonderful run. Just when I was getting a little discouraged with the runs, I can only feel that a break from the heat attributes to better runs (faster) more than I realized. Didn't make it out to McAlpine, so I chose to run all around the neighborhoods to log 13 for the day. Immediatly, as I came through the first mile in 7.34, I could tell that the run was going to be pretty good. With overcast cools skies, and a steady mist/sprinkle for the first half of the run, the weather was more than ideal for a quality long run. Feeling comfortable from the get go - and being that I wasn't running my longest run - I decided to hang on to the natural pace for the first 9 miles. With 4 miles to go, I had enough in the tank to try and pick it up for the last 4, and was able to average 6.56 pace for those last miles. The effort to get under 7 wasn't all out - maybe 85%, so I was upbeat at where my training has gotten to this point.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

57.22 time
7.37 mi.
7.47 pace per mile

started around 10:15am this morning, with the sun already shining bright. Thought it wouldn't be so hot yet, but it was warm. Not a cloud in the sky, so when there wasn't shade it was very warm. For almost October, I'm tired of this heat! First mile was pretty slow, around 8:10 pace, then got a little more on pace. Last mile felt like I was going hard, even though it was only 7:44. I guess that's runing in the heat.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

old bell hill workout

(6:00, 6:14, 13:52, 6:21). Goal was 6:10 for .9 mile hill loop, which is 6:50 pace per mile. After the second repeat, I decided to call an audible and run the loop twice on the third one. First repeat I ran a little too hard, and my legs felt burnt from there on. I thought since I was going to struggle to hit my times, I would run the the third one twice to keep my heart rate up and to work on a longer effort which in essence may be better for marathon training. The workout was great. I was pleased with the effort, despite the 90 plus degree temps and doing it solo. I did a 3.5 mile warm up in 29.15, and the work out was 4.5 miles. Between repeats I allowed 3 mins rest. I concluded the run with a mile cool down in 9:17. 9 miles total for the day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

night run

Miles: 5
Time: 39.18

Ran around my neighborhood, and enjoyed the cool temps of the night. Legs felt pretty good considering my long one yesterday. Probably off tomorrow, as I'll be going to my sister's volleyball game after work.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

14 in the AM

Met with Mike Mitchell at the Margaret Wallace entrance at McAlpine at 8:30am. His old HS team-mate, John Wadsworth, joined us. Ran all over the greenways and trails, and started the run comfortable at probably over 8 min pace. I had forgotten my watch, so I had to ask Mitchell what are time was at the end, and along the way never knew for sure what our pace was, other than just a guess on feeling. The pace seemed pretty good for the distance. It felt like it averaged under 8 min pace, although going on his GPS watch, we didn't finish until 1.54.40, which is around 8.11 pace. That to me, feels like the watch rounded up, and we might have done more than 14 miles. Regardless, my legs felt pretty good. The last couple of miles was tough - just fatigue and continued pounding started to wear them thin a little bit - but the energy and endurance was acceptable. Also, I got stung by a bee on the last mile, and thus really picked it up, given the adrenaline boost that provided. Closed that last mile in 7:36, fastest split from Mitchell's garmin.

Ended the week with about 43 miles. Most so far. Staying on a nice track with the training.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Prepping the Legs

Miles: >6
Time: 46.30 (?)

Legs continued to feel less than par. Ran up into Huntington Farms, and down Colchester hill to the greenway, and back. Kept the pace slow in hopes to work the kinks out for the long run on Sunday.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Junk Food run

Managed to run, despite McDonalds for Breakfast at the airport, Budweisers on the plane coming home, and Wedney's for Lunch after we were home. Total trash in take. Still, went out to try and run 6-7 and finished with about 5 miles. Ran around Starmont behind us, and just slogged it through in well over 8 min pace.

Time: 39.15
Miles: 5~

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Vacation Runs


-Location: Manchester, NH
-Time: 30 mins.
-4 miles or so, around 8 min pace. Just did 15 mins out and back. Legs felt tight and not very great. Sore too.


-Location: Portland, ME
-Time: 44:55
-6 miles or so. Went out in 24 mins at a slow 8 min pace, then on the way back picked it up. The last 15 mins, threw in some surges for a 'fartlek' style close. Legs felt better.


-Location: Ellsworth, ME
-Time: 59:20
-8 Miles or so. Went out 30 mins, and came back quicker. Pace was pretty good from the get go. Legs felt the best they have in a week.

(The weather was cool and comfortable on the runs, being that it was in New England, and I ran in the mornings before 9am each of those days.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Slow 8

Miles: 8~
Time: 1.06.40 (?)

Ran at a very pedestrian pace, and just was able to slog along for over an hour getting some miles in for the week. Heading off to New England for vacation next week, so not planning for runs this weekend. Still dead from the workout on Wednesday.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

doing it to do it

One of those runs just had to force myself to slog through 4 miles. Should have gone 5-6, but it was hot, I wasn't properly hydrated, and I had better things to do!

Miles: 4
Time: 31:08
Pace: 7.47

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Workout # 1: 7 Mile Progressive Tempo

So - the time finally came to do a workout. The goal was 7:30, 7:30, 7:15, 7:15, 7:00, 7:00, 6:45. I figured this was probably doable, and would still accomplish the desired effort I was looking to spend.

Met with Oelz and Jason, and we started at the starting line of the 5k course at McAlpine, and ran towards the Sardis/Old Bell parking lot. There, we would turn around and come back - reaching 4 miles - and then proceed to finish the 5k course. We started out a little quick - I think being geared up for the first workout of the year. We stayed around the times we wanted to hit, and once we started on the 5th mile - which was mile 1 of the course, we dropped it to just under 7 min pace. Jason went a little ahead here, and on the 6th mile - I started to feel the lactic acid setting in through my whole body. Just tried to keep the pace, and managed to have a good split for that "hill" mile, and then still close the 7th mile with my fastest split.

The effort to stay on goal - or the pace we had established early - was a challange, which is what I wanted. Perhaps if we went out more on pace and slower in the beginning it wouldn't have hurt as much in the end - but these kinds of runs are also runs designed to train your body to feel the pace. I think that this work out later in the year, will easier to gauge appropriate pace, after we get a couple more workouts under our belts.

Legs felt pretty good, the oxygen debt I experienced is to be expected given where I am with still building my base. I am pleased with the run.

Splits: 7.10, 7.20, 7.15, 7.05, 6.51, 6.58, 6.47, .49 (last .1 of the 5k course).

After ward we did a cool down mile.

Miles: 8

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

out and back negative split

Decided to keep the pace right at 8 mins for the first 3 miles, so at 24 mins I turned around and came back. I wasn't feeling super great, so my pace was barely faster coming back until about 1.5 miles to go. It picked up a little bit, and I ended up at....

Time: 47:05
Miles: 6
Pace: 7:51

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Couple of runs at DeBordieu

FRIDAY 9/3: Since we got in around 5, I hung out at the house for about an hour until it was a little cooler, and set out to run 6. I had mapped a route that kept me on the streets of DeBordieu, although the total exceeded 6 miles by a little bit. The weather was warm, the streets were hard, and the run stayed pretty slow.

Miles: 6.25
Time: 50.10
Pace: 8:01

SUNDAY 9/5: Deciding to get up early and get my run out of the way so I could play golf and have fun in the afternoon, I was out the door around 8:15 to take on my 10 mile task. The weather was still cool, and I set out to do the 6 mile loop, plus an add on on the other side of the colony. Again, the route was over 10, but that was fine. I felt pretty good - kept the pace easy so I could sustain it throughout, and was actually having to hold myself back on the last couple of miles as I easily could have picked up the pace.

Miles: 10.5
Time: 1.24.42
Pace: 8.04

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Asheville, NC - Bent Creek / Arboretum

Passing through Asheville from my trip to Knoxville, I drove into the section of the Pisgah National Forest that is wedged between the convergence of I-26/I-40, and parked off Bent Creek Road at a trail entrance. The weather was probably around 80, sunny, and low humidity (compared to Charlotte). I asked a guy who had just gotten back from a run, if he knew how I could get in 6 miles, and he gave me directions for a 6 mile loop he knew off the top of his head. I paid close attention, and decided to try that instead of doing an out and back. Realizing there are more than 50 miles of trails back in the forest, I hoped I wouldn't get lost.

The first two miles were up hill, but nothing too steep. It was a great workout running uphill, and the trails were great for running. I found the place where he said I turn, and from there the run went down hill for at least a mile. This lead me to the NC Arboretum, where I passed through a gate and started running along some river. Here the trail stayed relativley flat, and I got stung by a beer on my thumb.

After being stung, I piced the pace up - and was really feeling pretty good. I started to loose my barings here, and ended up at a parking lot entrance that I wasn't so sure what it was. I started running up one trail, back down it when I wasnt sure, back up it when I second guessed my self, then back down when he kept ascending and ascending. Once I got back to the parking lot I had run just around an hour, and from my effort I would say it was easily over 8 miles.

Here I found a nice lady who was leaving, and I was able to get a ride back to my car. I told her I was turned around and had run longer than I had planned, and needed a ride back to my car. She was nice, and it was fun to hitch-hike!

Great mountain trail running, good uphill workout, and good quick pace through out 2-3 miles of it.

Time: hour
Miles:8 +
Effort: Hill workout / Tempo

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Feeling empty

Ran from David's house with he and Mike Oelz, two of my Charlotte Marathon buddies. We did some loops around Dilworth, and kept the run pretty easy, as a recovery and just logging some miles. It was very hot, and I hadn't eaten enough to feel strong - something I need to make a better effort in doing. Legs are staying fresh, but I need to go into all of my runs with a little more gas in the tank.

Miles: 5.25
Time: 42.50
Pace: 8:15ish

Monday, August 30, 2010

easy recovery

I am thinking about doing a post on the importance of nutritional intake post run for improved recovery. I think because I have bought into that school of thought, my recovery run with Oelz and David at Freedom park surprised me after doing almost double my normal mileage, the day before.

Miles: 5.23
Time: 42.20
Pace: 8.05

Met at the Freedom Park entrance on Princeton around 6, and from there we hit the greenway on the south side, ran up to Selwyn, back down Queens and into the park again before tacking on a little extra to get us over 40 mins for the day.

My legs felt surprisingly good after my long run. I was expecting much rougher seas. It was a good run though with David and Oelz. We talked about all doing the Charlotte Marathon - and as I write this, we all have now signed up!

I talked to Mike Mitchell and he is signing up as well tonight. I got to say, I am pumped up now to have 3 good friends all investing into this experience. I know it will be rewarding, and something we can all look back on with pride.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

back to the Long Runs

Ran with Jason Blackwood and David out at McAlpine during the last part of the day, to try and stay as comfortable as possible in dealing with the summer weather. Lately, my runs have been an avenue in connecting with old friends (Mitchell/Blackwood), as well as spend quality time with those guys I still tend to see more regulary anyway (Brinkley/Oelz). Nothing says 'quality' like half naked, sweaty bodies side by side for an hour straight! HAHA.

Goal was to go for 8 miles - about 3 more than I have run so far. I could sense that point at which my legs were used to stopping, around mile 5, and from there it was just getting through it. The pace stayed comfortable, but my stomach did not. Defintily had some issues the last part of the run, but was able to manage it accordingly.

Tacking on the hill leading up to Boyce Park at the end was pretty tough, and with that we closed our run at almost 8 and a half.

Miles: 8.4
Time: 1.10.24
Pace: 8.22

After the run we all did 6 "striders", to work on turnover and loosen the legs up.

Week: 27 + miles

Friday, August 27, 2010

comfortable 5

Miles: 5
Time: 39.00
Pace: 7.48

After a long day at the Nashville airport, I was able to get home, rest, and meet David out at McMullen for a nice 5 miler before dinner. The weather was humid, but since we started at 6pm the temps weren't too bad. Plus, the shade at McMullen is pretty nice. Kept it conversational and logged another run under 8 min pace. Felt good.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

morning shake-out

Time: 30.37
Miles: 3.5
Pace: 8.40

Able to do my first morning run in sometime. Took a little while for my body to wake up, but a nice slow easy run was probably just what I needed. Ran from home and stayed in Montclair/Maddison Park.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

cool temps and ipod

Miles: 5.5
Time: 40.12
Pace: 7.18

Temperature's cooled off today with readings around 80 degrees around dinner time. As I had planned to go work out at the Y, I found myself back home gearing up for a run due to the Harris branch renevating its workout room for the next 3 weeks. I hadn't run with the ipod in quite a while, and decided to bring it back out.

Another solid run. Ran the out and back, from my house across Woodlawn and Seneca, down to Park Rd, turned into Montford, and then continued a little ways down the road until I turned around at the 2.75 mi mark. Once Eminem hit the player, my pace picked up considerably. I already started out with a nice pace of 7:30's for the first two miles, and closed my last two miles in 14.06. Good weather, staying off the sugary candy, and some upbeat tunes made for a solid run!

Monday, August 23, 2010

low on energy

I felt like I was going to have to stop and walk, or else I was going to fall over. it wasn't my legs burning, or my lungs screaming for air - it was my body feeling as if I was about to shut down because my batteries were about empty. When I look back as to why, I think it stems from the light lunch and massive amount of sweet candy I had during the afternoon. Combine that with 90 plus temps, sun, and humidity, and sometimes your body doesn't wish to run 6 miles with ease. The good news is, like i mentioned before, that my legs are still feeling great and that I can change my eating patterns for the future so I don't have to run into that kind of feeling again.

Location: Boyce Rd Park
Time: 43 mins
Miles 5 +

Sunday, August 22, 2010

McMullen Creek and Uptempo

Continuing the theme of combined runs into singluar posts, I must give account for the last couple of runs for the week.

Friday David B. and I went and ran somewhere neither of us ever have run: McMullen Creek Greenway. I really can't believe that I never have gone there having lived in Charlotte my whole life. I knew it wasn't a huge park, but that it did have enough trails and greenway space to accomodate a decent run. I was surprised at how shaded it was. Although it wasn't as much 'dirt trail' as I would have hoped, the shade and natural environment still proved to make it a better alternative than a lot of other places. As we started out, we were enthralled with coming and going Charlotte Catholic high school cross country runners in the midst of their practice. What a huge team of boys they had. There must have been 25. Definitly bigger than anything we ever had at Charlotte Christian.

From what I could gather, the trail seemed to be pretty much designed as an 'out-n-back.' It had accurate mileage posts every quarter mile, as well as wooden bridges interwoven through the dirt path and paved sections. I do not know how far the greenway goes, but at 2.25 miles David and I turned back and headed for the parking lot from where we just came. Being that it was the typical hot/sunny/humid afternoon, the shade was very welcomed. The pace stayed comfortable and 'conversational.'

Miles: 4.5
Time: 34.57
Pace: 7:46

Closing out my week with a run Sunday gave me what I was reaching for with my goals for the week. I ran 5 days this week, and 21.5 miles. Although I still have not done a long run, I am okay none the less because the mileage has gone up gradual and there is pleanty of time to tack on the long runs going forward. These last 2 weeks were to be my "base before the base", and as such my legs are feeling ready to begin the 16 week training phase.

Didn't get my run in on Sunday until after 8pm. Ran the standard 4 mile loop at a tempo and pace that was quick from the first few steps, lasting the entire run with a pace around 7:15-30. At times when I felt a little tired, it was not felt in my legs - just my breathing. That is a good sign. My legs are responding so far to the last two weeks well, and my Oxygen intake will be more efficient with longer runs and workouts that will be soon to come.

Miles: 4
Time: 29:30
Pace: 7:22

Thursday, August 19, 2010

run in the rain

Combining a couple runs in this post. I'm enjoying not feeling like I have to make a new post for each run, but when I do post I'll try and at least have a little recap of that run - for sake of the marathon running log.

Stayed at home, and once I hit the door I was out in the downpour and wet from the time i got out of my driveway. It has been a while since I ran in the rain, and I rather enjoyed it. With temperatures still in the mid 80's at least, the rain was not cold, and it felt good as it was not storming - just solid rain. Was debating on doing 3-4 miles, and decided to go for the latter. The weather was too ideal, and my pace was not too sluggish. Kept the pace between 7:45-8:00, and generally felt good most of the way. Concentrated on my posture and stride, and was able to turn over my legs a little better today.

Wednesday's run was a slower 4 miler - doing the common neighborhood loop from my house. No rain, and just hot temps. Pace was around 8:35-40, feeling tight and slow probably mainly from lifting legs on Tuesday. No pain though, so no problems.

Monday, August 16, 2010

5'er, repitition is bringing that old worn out feeling back

short hand post:
5 miles~
McApine, 42:05
8:20-25 pace. Started slow and picked it up gradual second half. Kept it conversational, and ran with Mike Mitchell.

Lifting tomorrow and taking off from a run until Wednesday. Goal is 20 miles and 4-5 days. Last week of casual scheduling until crunch time 16 week plan for the marathon Dec. 11th.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

trails and back to backs

With the first week finishing with a little 2 mile night jog tonight, the weekend was able to close my start back into running with back to back runs, thus concluding the first week with 4 days in total - 2 of which done at McAlpine.

As this now brings the race to 17 weeks away, I am happy as it feels this season of training is off to an easier and better start than when I undertook my first marathon training last November. I would attribute that to the base of miles that are still somewhat fresh from that whole go around as I got my body back in shape for the race in Fort Lauderdale back in Feb.

Definitly going 5 miles out of the gate, twice, on the first week is something I didn't do in week one of Ft. Lauderdal, and is by all accounts more comfortable than the long 4 miles I did back then as well.

Yesterday I met with David and we started from the Old Bell lot and did just over 5 miles in just under 40 mins, and the pace seemed overall pleasant. We kept the pace steady throughout, and ran to the course and tacked on a lap around the lake before heading back to the parking lot off Sardis Rd.

Those 2 runs at the trails being the meat of the week, I also did 3 miles with Oelz around our neighborhood on Wednesday. It was pretty hot -and it was just nice to be able to get another day of running under my belt.

After watching golf from....well, I won't say because it's absurd at how long I sat on the couch and watched the PGA Championship...I was feeling restless and decided I had no reason why I shouldn't go knock off a couple miles to get some energy out and shake my legs out from yesterday's run. Let me also just say regarding the last Major golf championship that went on today, the coverage you have to sit through with CBS almost makes it unwatchable, as they show 4 mins of golf shots, and then break for commercial for 4 mins, cycling all throughout the round. But what a round it was, ending in heartache and legislative BS rule calling on the comeback kid, Dustin Johnson. It's a shame he got the screw job from the tight ass rules committee with his 2 stroke penalty being applied after a very hard to justify sand trap rule after he finished out in a tie for 1st and seemingly heading to the playoffs. It wasn't to be, and so we have another unknown player winning another major, with Phil Mickelson being the only rootable player to grab one of the big ones in 2010. From all that though, it will be nice as Bubba Watson appears to have locked up his spot on the Ryder Cup, adding another cheerable talent to the last interesting golf match of the year.

5 miles (saturday) 39:35 (7:55 pace per mile)
2.1 miles (sunday) 17:38 (8:22 pace)

Week 1 of 18: 15 miles

Monday, August 9, 2010

all but invested (financially)

When you hit the muggy trails of mcalpine on a hot summer's early eve, no matter how long it has been since your last visit, for me , I am always brought back to the origins of some of my fondest memories of running, conjuring up that feeling of being home. Highschool was lived out on those trails - and to have an old running buddy from then, and one from App - (but who none the less spent many runs on those trails - as did all highschool runners who ran competively in Charlotte) was pretty cool.

I have been blessed and lucky this week to have gotten to run with Mike Oelz, Mike Mitchell at McAlpine and Bohle and another old familiar face in one such Justin Cross (both of whom actually have a great upstart company in LADC)on the trails around Marymount University in Los Angeles. The latter being a farlek workout -which was one of the runs I can count on one hand with since the June Miles at Myers Park - and the one today with Oelz and Mitchell being an easier paced 5 mi. (Most miles I have done since the Marathon). Speaking of Marathon, that brings me to where I am currently.

I have given a good amount of thought lately as to running another Marathon this December. I probably wouldn't be thinking about this right now, but maybe it's good that I am - Mitchell is thinking about doing Thunder Road and Oelz is thinking about Kiawah. With the ability to run with my buddies, AND being able to knock one out before the baby is born in Jan., all gives me good reason to ponder such a thought. Not to mention, it wouldn't be so horrible to get to see what I can really do in a marathon not getting lost!

In the few runs that I have thought about potentially getting back to another race by year end, I have been upbeat as I am thinking it may not be as ardous to get back into the shape I was at in Feb. Perhaps the remnents of my training are there, just have to wake them up a little bit, and they will ready to serve as a foundation for great endurance and strength.

So it was muggy...and hot...and it felt like I was back in the comforts of home ((even passed old rival coaches and runners from Providence Day (rival school up the road from my CCS)). The closeness of my running buddies from spread across the country, and the great gap in difference of weather experienced on each of those runs, was just enough to decide, "let's go back at it for another 26.2" (exactly that mileage please).

Now just got get signed up - /

Monday, June 28, 2010

Stephen Haas

I celebrated my old teammate, Mike Mitchell's wedding this weekend, and from it I got a chance to see a few people from years past. Mike ran for North Meck, who boasted one of the best cross country teams in the country in 2000. Stephen Haas was their number one runner, and he was so good that he was one of the best runners in the country during his Sr. year of high school. I remember watching him battle Ricky Brookshire at McAlpine during States in 1999, and Stephen winning easily in 2000.

I met Stephen my freshmen year at Appalachian State when he came up to visit one week. Mike introduced me to him, and I have kept an eye on his career from time to time ever since.

I knew that he was running professionally, but when I got a chance to talk with him briefly at the wedding I learned that he was now focusing on marathons and half marathons. I was very impressed when he told me he ran his first marathon in 2:18 after only 8 weeks of true training, and that he was going for 2:10 on his next one -Chicago coming up in October. He also told me he ran a half marathon last weekend, but didn't say what his time was. I looked it up and he clocked an astounding 1:05:22.

So anyway, I found this article on Stephen today and it got me pumped up to go run. I hope you'll check it out.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Final Mile

Jumping into these track meets this month has really been a good experience. Like I said before, it had been 6 years since I even put on a pair of spikes or raced a put on track event. Going 524 on my first race a couple weeks ago, and then 518 last week, I was hoping to keep the trend going and break 515 on this last race of the year. (Even though next week is the last meet, I will be out of town)

Being the hottest day of the year so far didn't help my chances, but I was optimistic non the less. This time I actually had a run under my belt since the last Tuesday meet, and I was thinking I had to be in a little better shape. With it being so hot, I really didn't feel like doing a lot in terms of warming up. Didn't think I really had to, and thought it would just zap my energy more.

So after 2-3 mins of jogging and some strectching I took the starting line, shirtless we were most of the men, and went off. Was hoping to come through in around 230 and hold on to get under 515. Hit the first lap in 120, and realized I hadn't gone out fast enough. Tried to slight increase the pace the next lap, but wanted to feel good enough going into the last half that I could finish strong. Under estimated my pace and came through in 240, splitting 119. I definitly felt the best going into lap 3 of all the miles this year, but I was just not in good enough shape to negative split. I held on and cross 1209 meeters (because of the mile it's longer than 1600 so you start behind the line) in 402, and then had a good effort finishing 520 flat. I was competitive the last lap and was able to pick off a couple people, but my overall speed was not there today - I think due to the weather I was slower than last week although I felt stronger than last week.

Anyway that's that. It was fun for the last few weeks, and now I have a little springboard to keep me running through the summer. I now have my sights set on doing, potentially, the Virginia Beach half marathon Sep. 5th.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A little bit faster now!

What happens when you race a mile off zero training in 3 months (see previous post) and then race 1 week later with no running since...

Well, after last weeks mile where I went out in 68 - I decided I would try and pace it a little more evenly and see what happens. I wasn't even sure I could improve on a 5:24 given the last 7 days off, but at least I would attempt it with a differnt strategy. Plus I had my long time teammate / running friend Mike Oelz racing with me, so that made it a little more competitive.

It was sure hot though - 90 plus with humidity. Not that it really comes into play on a 5 minute all out run. So, I ended up going almost entirely even splits - which is hard to do no matter what kind of shape you are in when you are giving a full effort. Useually you either go hard and hold on, or negative split and finish faster. I went through in 1:19, 2:39, 3:59, 5:18.

After an easy first lap, I did a little surge on the back stretch and passed Mike and settled back into the pace. I didn't have to out kick any girls the last 100m this time, although I knew they were close the whole race.

It was hard for me to finish well, I know I still have some more left - but it's hard to conjure it up when you aren't used to dealing with the pain.

Anycase, it was an improvement, and I plan on running this week and trying it again and see if I can go lower.