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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