Friday, February 29, 2008

rabbit or wind

Speedy is still recovering from the flu. Shoot everyone at work has had the flu or stomach virus, or whatever other kind of crud that's been going around. Guess I lucked out, I only felt bad one day. Everyone in our house has had it has well. Anyway, no Speedy to push or pull me through the 6 mile tempo run this morning.

Ran from the house to the greenway with the wind in my face the first five miles. Two miles were warmup and then supposed to hit 6:40's for six miles. 6:55'ish that's it. Thought it was the wind and I'd pick up the slack at the five mile turnaround. Nope. Started raining. Two more miles at 6:55'ish and I decided five miles of kinda, sorta close to tempo was good enough for today.

Three mile cool down actually clicked right into the 8:00 half marathon pace. That's good, the workout was semi-beneficial Can't blame the wind, guess I need a rabbit to push or pull me on the tough days.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ouch with the old

Now I remember why I haven't worn the old trail shoes. Last time I remember wearing them was the Grasslands's 25 mile run in 2002? Fun time, it even earned a nickname that year as the mudfest. But, the reason why I haven't worn the shoes except maybe once or twice at Long Hunter State Park, is blisters.

Funny how some memories fade quickly. I remember the shoe sucking mud and the beautiful countryside we ran in. I stopped and took a bunch of pictures along the way. The race that year only offered 2 options a 25 miler and a 50 miler. I ended up running extra, because I took a wrong turn. That was the longest time I'd been on my feet even at the marathon distance, up to that point in time. The course is a giant clover leaf design with four different loops on mostly single track horse trails.

This morning I put the old shoes on to run the golf course. Still a light dusting of snow in spots and I thought the extra traction would be beneficial on the slippery surface. The increased traction was great. It wasn't until I finished, that I realized I had a blister on my achilles and after removing my shoes, one on the other achilles as well.

Hate to throw out the shoes, they've probably got less than 50 miles of running and plenty of sole left. Think I'll use them next week, but prep the hot spots. The ultra folks use tape or body glide to lube potential hot spots.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ahhhhhhh Technology

First of all, thank goodness for and radar. Woke up at 4 am in order to meet at Fleet Feet. It was raining pretty hard when I got up to make the coffee. Didn't last long and the radar showed the shower was moving through and no more rain close. That's cool, didn't want my first run with the Garmin to be in the rain.

Secondly, the new headlamp was more than I imagined. I didn't turn it on until I got to the greenway. First impression, it seemed like I'd left my glasses on. Got use to that real quick. It gave off enough light to see the trail ahead and to read the Garmin. That'll help save some battery life and keep from having to hit the backlight button. Also, it picked up the reflection of the mile markers and animal eyes. That's one of the main reasons I'd decided to get one, after seeing something in the path on the greenway that didn't move when I approached. Never did decide what it was, but I sure don't want to get that close to a skunk. Plus, at x-mart, this thing only cost $9.95.

Last, and definitely not least the Garmin 305. This thing rocks! This morning I decided to see what my heart rate would be for the target half marathon pace, 8:00 miles. Dialed into a heart rate of 144 to hit the right pace. The heart rate varied by 4-5 beats depending on the terrain. Worked great, I was able to maintain a pretty even pace for the entire run, except for the last mile home. The wind picked up and was in my face and I headed up a hill. I didn't allow enough of a heart rate creep to account for both and the pace slipped to 8:18.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Naked legs

Ok, copied this from someone else's blog.(LS:)Finally, seems like anyway, a run in shorts. I hate wearing tights, but its a necessary evil. Actually moved the temperature threshold when I start to put on the tights. Use to be anything below 32 degrees, shorts. Now days, its 39 degrees, plus a degree or so if the wind is blowing.Temperature this morning 41 degrees.

Forgot all about my new headlamp I bought at x-mart on Saturday. PJ really got a kick out of making fun of me when I was trying it out. I'll try it for the first time on the road tomorrow, along with the NEW GPS. Getting ansy for that to get here, should be today. I'll be at the peak of running geekdom with the GPS, Ipod and headlamp.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Late start this morning. Didn't start running until 6:30 am. Nice change of pace, being able to actually see everything instead of running in the dark. Kinda reluctant to head out the door because of the rain on the radar. Able to get most of the the 10.8 miler done before the rain really started coming down hard enough to be annoying. Really spitting a little snow and sleet, instead of rain anyway.

Pretty gray morning, but did see the largest single group of turkeys ever in the wild. Had to be at least a hundred or more wild turkeys. I heard them before I saw them, which I rarely ever hear them. This was on the front side of the "big" hill on the Lascassas loop. Except I was running it backwards from the direction I usually run it.

Coolest part of the run was the coyote. I saw him loping across a field towards the tree line and road that I was headed towards. As I rounded the corner, he started across the road, saw me and bolted back the way he'd come. This isn't the first time I've seen a coyote out here, but the best look in broad daylight and to see the difference in the different gaits. I was downwind when I first started watching until we met on the roadway.

Garmin should get here tomorrow. Busy since Friday. Stayed home with Dylan and fixed the garage door. Saturday lots of running around. Sunday up to the farm. Bob scared everyone after I doused a pile of tobacco stalks with camp fuel and he lit it. Small explosion and ball of flame; he singed one side of his face.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Could have gone back to bed

Dylan is home sick. Normally, if the radar shows the rain is already here it's pretty easy to just go back to bed. Even the dog doesn't want to go outside. Two things pushed me out the door this morning. Running six times a week, I'd already used my off day and Speedy was waiting for me at Comcast.

Just a light rain and 51 degrees. Speedy opted to stay dry with a jacket. I went with the tight under armor long sleeve with a coolmax tee to break the wind and shorts. Most importantly is the hat, need that to keep the rain out of your eyes. Changed the course to stay on the flats as much as possible, only the last half mile of the tempo was on a rise and into the wind. Rained lightly the entire time and heavy downpour on the 2.5 cooldown.

Seven weeks into the increased miles and six days a week routine and it seems to be paying off. The 5 miles at tempo went well. We averaged close to 10k pace for the most part, except the last half mile or so. At one point I pushed ahead because the pace felt to easy, but I could feel it towards the end.

From Speedy's journal entry."Met Dirk for a 10 miler, paced him through a 5 mile tempo in the middle (6:28, 6:29,6:30,6:35,6:48) 32:50 for five miles 6:34 pace. We ran a flatter course than we have been running. I kind of wanted to get a feel for his fitness level. I think he is coming around." Really makes a big difference having someone pace or pull or push.

Ordered the Garmin 305 yesterday. It should be here Tuesday. Hopefully the heart rate monitor will help with this type of run. It's been several years since running with the heart rate monitor. Probably just use it for 2-3 runs during the week.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Not me. I don't do diets. The recent beef recall, doesn't change anything. I've always been a carnivore. I haven't fallen for any of the hype or benefits of any alternative diet choices.

As a runner, I watch what I eat. Not very much fried food. I tried soy milk, it works well for smoothies. I'm not going to give up dairy, I like yogurt with my granola cereal every morning. That's actually helped drop a couple of pounds. Pizza without cheese, forget it. Nor beer, geez I run so I can drink beer and eat what I want.

I currently weigh 154. Only weighed 147 in high school, but I was a skinny runt without any muscle. I don't really need to lose any weight, sure don't want to look like I belong in a concentration camp. Perhaps a couple more pounds could come off, but it's not like I'm going to win any races or anything.

But certain items don't work well for a runner. Donuts before a long run. Chinese, Mexican or any other fried foods, not good if your long run route doesn't include a convenient restroom.

Yesterday was a off day. Today, easy recovery run on the golf course. Except for the fact that I ate to much of Dylans cereal straight from the box last night. Sure paid for it this morning. Felt like my belly was a beach ball and it was going to explode at any moment.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Easy day

Hard sometimes to go easy. But, it seems whenever I don't, I end up getting hurt. This mornings workout was supposed to be 4 miles at half marathon pace. Piece of cake, each quarter was coming in 2-3 seconds to fast. I know if I try and slow down to compensate, it always ends up being to much.

Finished the 4 miles, averaging around a 7:52. Started the 2.5 miles home, nice and easy. Today's route was an out and back to the greenway. Pace stuff on the greenway and then back to the house. Don't know why, but it seems like I pick up the pace when the sun comes up and the traffic picks up. Jammin' to the tunes on the Ipod shuffle, a heavy metal tune starts up. Must be the high beat of the drums, but my legs wanted to go. I did for almost a mile before I realized, I was supposed to be cooling down. Backed it down again and cruised on home. Shame I finished before the snow flurries started.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Into the wind

Yesterday's run went really well. Very warm, 61 degrees and windy, 30 mph gusts. I started out doing Spain Hill backwards. I wanted to have the wind at my back until the sun came up. Wind was so strong on the way back that even ducking my head down and pushing the pace felt like a struggle.

Found another benny of running the golf course this morning. Even though it was windy and cooler, 41 degrees; the wind is never in your face long on the golf course. I think the holes are laid out east to west? So every hole you turn around and head back in the opposite direction.

Saturday, only got in 14 miles. Felt really good. The Rock is coming around, this weeks pace was about 30 seconds quicker per mile. I keep giving him crap, but before long he'll be making me suffer.

Wanted to put something on my blog about Sheldon Brown. Here's a man that touched the lives of countless people on the web and in person. His website has helped just as many with his advice and practical knowledge.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

50 miles

Been throwing around the idea of doing a 50 mile race. First off I'd really like for it to be on the trails. Secondly, I don't really want to travel to far, either. Talked with Puppymeat and he suggested doing a 12 hour run instead. Makes sense, lot of the 50 mile races have cut offs. Most of the 12 hour runs are multiple loops of a short loop, usually a half mile to 3 or 4 miles. Bigger benefit is having all of your food and drink readily available each loop.

Really seems feasible after doing the second loop on the golf course this morning. Each loop is 4 miles. This mornings run was almost surreal. The dusting of snow we got yesterday was still on the shaded and windblown spots. They were almost a dayglo white, compared with the putty colored grass. The frozen spots were shiny black, not to many. Plus, with the cloud cover the lights really reflected on the frozen grass.

So far I've only looked at a couple. The Delano is to soon. Nice and close, though. This one in Indiana sounds promising. I can't find out anything about the one in Kentucky.

Actually I volunteered at the UltraCentric race in Dallas, a few years ago. Same concept except 24 and 48 hours. I was a lap counter. It was on a quarter mile track that year. This past year they did a larger 2 mile loop on the roads at Meadowmere Park in Grapevine, Texas. (Dylan's birthplace) Grapevine, not Meadowmere Park, though I've done many a run through that park.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

rest day

Great day to sleep in. Can't get to excited about running in the wind, 24 degrees and ice on the shoulder of the road and greenway. I love to run in the snow, ice not so much.

Got a email from Peter this afternoon. I'm back as a pacer for the Country Music Half Marathon. I'll be one of two pacers for the 1:45 group. That's 8:00 miles. Did it last year and it was a blast. Can't find the write up, I wanted to add it to the blog.

I'll keep the miles and the tempo's with Speedy, but not be in such a big hurry to add any real speed work until the latter part of March. Need to concentrate on pace and that's a real good excuse to get the Garmin 305. I'll order that this weekend. It's Paula's birthday present to me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

rain, what rain?

Got up at 4 am to get in a couple of extra miles before joining the Fleet Feet group at 5:30. But, it was raining pretty hard and according to the radar it looked like it would last for awhile. I went ahead and dressed accordingly. "Tight" tights, singlet, high visibility yellow rain jacket, hat, gloves, ipod in a baggie and old lightweight trainers. Instead of driving to Fleet Feet I headed out into the rain from the house. That would give me an out, should it start raining to hard or I was really miserable.

It was raining pretty steady and came a real downpour, not even a quarter mile from the house. Luckily the downpour only lasted a 100 meters or so. It continued to rain, but stopped completely about a mile or so out from the house. The wind was pretty brisk on the way out. I went 4 miles out to Bragg HQ's and turned around. I'd forgotten one thing when I headed out but was able to "adapt and improvise". Coming back on the greenway I could really smell the fresh earth, almost like when a field is newly plowed. Reminder that spring is only a couple of months away.

On the return of my out and back the wind was at my back coming up Thompson Lane. Usually can't seem to feel the wind when its at your back. I was thinking that while JC was singing "your own personal Jesus". Felt the wind this morning it was a warm gentle push. Not continually, but just every once in awhile, must have been the gusts.

All in all, a pretty good birthday morning run. At least until Paula told me she couldn't open the garage door. Seems the spring that winds the cable that pull the door up are broken? Guess I'll be waiting until a repairman can come and fix it. I was able to finally get the door up, and hold it up for Paula to back out. But, now the door won't even close all of the way. Happy freakin' birthday.

Monday, February 11, 2008

busy weekend

Slept in on Saturday, but still able to get out early enough to get in 5 miles before starting with the group at 7 am. Did another 8 miles with Jason and the Rock. Had to do the last 2 miles by myself, though. Still felt pretty good, better pace than last weekend. Ended up with 15 miles.

Met Paula's sister and family, plus her mom and dad for a trip to the Williamson County Ag center to see the RV show. RV's for everyone, except the million dollar plus Prevost's. Paula wants to get a pop up camper to pull behind the van. We used to have a hard side Apache pop up camper when we lived in Georgia. Should have held on to that. Be nice to just have a hunters special to leave up at the farm, but wouldn't be able to trailer it anywhere. No big hurry to get anything.

Had a late lunch at Cracker Barrel. I just had a blackberry cobbler and some bisquits. Paula and I were going out to eat at Ombi for my birthday and valentines for dinner. Really like the big fireplace and rocking chairs. I played Ryan a game of checkers and then we ate. Played another game against Dylan. Don't think I've ever been at Cracker Barrel that wasn't packed.

Paula and I got to Ombi about 5:15. We were the first one's there. I had a Yazoo beer and Paula had some wine, plus the crab cakes to start. Crab cakes were really good. Paula had a salad, just the typical, nothing fancy. Paula had the scallops, with curried artichokes. She didn't care for the artichokes, I thought they were pretty good, but to spicey for her. Her scallops were good, but that's only thing she liked from the entree. I got one of the specials, a pistachio encrusted trout. Excellent, best fish I've ever eaten. Rice was very good as well. I was pretty full and gave Paula half of my trout. We split a dessert, a chocolate coated peanut butter ball. It was rich, but not overly. Paula didn' like that either. I ended up eating all of it.

Sunday morning slept in even later. Got another 10 miles in really slow. Slower than my long run yesterday, but it was a really nice day. Hung out around the house and read about half of the "Duel in the Sun". Everyone came over around 3 pm to celebrate my birthday. Peggy made a pecan cake that tasted like pancakes, it was wonderful. Had some pecan ice cream as well. Went in to work after they left and worked until 9 pm or so.

Friday, February 8, 2008


It wasn't on my run this morning. Speedy paced me through another 5 miles at tempo/half marathon pace. I was really feeling the effects of that small cigar I smoked last weekend. YUCK. Really enjoy the cigars, every once in awhile. Downside is my running is affected for the next two weeks from just one tiny little cigar.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Golf Course

Got my run in this morning on the golf course. The best thing about the golf course is the soft surface. I'm no golfer, so I don't know all of the different spots on the course, but they seem to have at least 2-3 different levels of grass cuts. I don't run on the rough or outside the white markers. A fellow runner and golfer showed me how to run the course, from hole to hole and avoid the greens. This gets as close to running on a shag carpet as you can get. I really think the benefits of doing this twice a week have really helped me to be able to pick up my mileage and increase to six days a week.

Other states where I have lived had either trails or crushed stone pathways to run on. Sure wish Murfreesboro had such a place to run. The Stones River Battlefield has a short trail, but it isn't quite long enough, plus you have to run on the asphalt to get to it. That kinda defeats the whole purpose of running on the trail. The new medical center complex is supposed to have a walking path around it. I'm pretty certain it will be asphalt.

The good thing about running the golf course in the winter is the ability to see where you're going. We usually run before sunrise. I guess all golf courses are off limits to runners. On a cloudy morning the light reflects off the clouds, same thing on a full moon. Only downside to the winter is having to get up at 3:30 am to get out to the course. Summer time you don't have to get up as early, but the course is almost always damp to wet from the dew. Plus, the chemicals they put on the grass to kill the weeds and make the grass grow are pretty strong. You can smell them when you run and also on your legs when you finish. Or it's the gray water they use to water the grass?

The biggest benefit to running on this particular golf course will have to remain a secret. Most runners could probably figure it out. I've only run on three of the courses here in town. I know someone else who runs on another, and that still leaves two more courses that we haven't tried out yet. So, where I run will have to remain a secret. I don't think the groundskeepers have a issue as long as we're off the course before the golfers show up. I'm certain everyones official position is the golf course is restricted to golfers between x:am and y:pm 365 days a year. I'd bet they don't really have time to try and run off one crazy runner. If so, I'll move to the next course and hope my ears don't burn to much because I let the secret out.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

Bah, voting is a pain in the ass. Can't fault the folks working the polls, guess they're all volunteers. Most are very cheery. Drove pass the place where my voter registration cards says I was supposed to vote. Instead I went to Sportscom, where I'd voted early a couple of times. Evidently that's where I erred. Sign on Sportscom said voting was at Kingwood Baptist, had another couple follow me over there. Waited 10 minutes in line to find out I should actually be voting at Siegel Middle School. Four voting machines at Kingwood and only 10 minute wait to get to one.

Siegel Middle school had the voting in the back of the school this year, in the hallway in front of the gym. Only 2 voting machines and a 20 minute wait. One thing I noticed from both voting places, was the lack of younger voters. Seems like everyone must have been at least 30+. Maybe just the time of day, 8-9 am. But, I feel in order to be able to complain about the elected officials, I need to vote. So I do.

Got my run in this morning with the Fleet Feet 5:30 am group. We did 6.25 miles and then I added another 2 miles. This was my ninth run in a row, since a day off. Tommorrow will be a day off. Wore a old pair of shoes because my new pair was still wet from the golf course yesterday. Need to buy another pair to alternate.

Friday, February 1, 2008

3 x 3:30

Nope, not some new speed workout. I've gotten up at 3:30, 3 times this week to meet Speedy for a 4:30 run. Yesterday, he talked me into my first speed workout in 5 weeks. We ran the same course we'll run this morning. Start at Comcast and do a 10 mile loop through the neighborhoods and outskirts of town. The plan was 40 minutes at marathon pace, but ended up doing 5 miles at about half marathon pace. Comfortably hard workout, I was ready for it to be over at 4 miles, but pushed 1 more mile.

This morning was supposed to be our 2nd golf course run this week. Rained like mad yesterday and the temperature is actually 42 degrees this morning and still lots of gusty winds. Monday's golf course run the temperature was around 22 degrees and the grass was crunchy in spots. No way it has drained enough to run today.

Tommorrow I'm going to sleep in till at least 5 am. Think I'll go 15 miles on Saturday with the Rock. I'll start early and get in 5 miles before I swing back and run another 10 with him and who ever else shows up. And Sunday, look out. Sleep in to 6 am or better. Need to rest up for some kind of football game that night. Always a lot of hype, but never much of a game. This one should actually be closer than those in the past. Giants by 3.