Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black friday

Back yard battlefield.

Only one more day left in the long holiday weekend. Paula and the boys will be putting up the rest of the Christmas decorations. Pulled everything out of the attic today. We put up the outside stuff, but no lights this year. Seems like the lights only last one year anyway. May put some in the bushes. Did put up the trees, one small one upstairs and the other downstairs in the living room.

Thanksgiving was at Paula's sisters house this year. We watched the first quarter or so of the Titans game before we went over to their house. Good to see the Titans able to control the game. Everything clicked. Did the turkey and ham and all of the trimmings. Ate way to much and laid around the rest of the day. Paula, her sister and mom and dad all went shopping later that afternoon. Told my brother-in-law that was good, that way we wouldn't have to do the "black friday" shopping. Wrongo, they only went to one store the whole 3 hours they were gone. Think I accidently let the "f" bomb slip.

Paula wanted to get up at 3:00 am and hit the stores at 4:00 am. She had read all of the sales circulars and planned her strategy of where to go first. I woke up at 3:00 am as usual and woke her up, but she decided she didn't really feel like getting out of bed. Cool by me, I went back to sleep. She woke me up 20 minutes later because she couldn't get back to sleep. Argh, so much for missing "black friday".

Got to the first store at 4:15 am. Not a parking place anywhere and lines of cars trying to park. I dropped Paula off and circled around to the back of the building and snagged the only spot left, behind a 18 wheeler. Recession wasn't evident in this store, I found Paula in line at the very back of the store. Two lines snaked all the way from the front of the store around to the back and started back up to the front. Wow, I took her spot in line and she continued shopping. Lines moved rather quickly, they had plenty of staff on hand and kept everything orderly. Next store was a big box electronics store. We had to wait outside for 10 minutes before we could even get in the door. They were even better organized, pallets of items and plenty of people buying. Lots of big screen high definition tv's coming out the door, as well as guitar hero. The one item we wanted was already gone. We didn't go away empty handed, to many deals. One item to pick up at Walmart, the store was a disaster area. No organization and complete chaos. Walked to the rear of the store, saw the lines and couldn't get out of there quick enough. Last store was just as organized as the others and lots of deals.

Hopefully next year Paula, her sister and mom, go back to tradition and do the "black friday" shopping and I stay at home.

Did a easy 10 mile run from the house this morning. Didn't start until after 8:30 in the morning. Wore a compression support on my ankle to keep my achilles warm. I have a touch of achilles tendinitis, which didn't really show up until Friday. This makes the Rocket City marathon a no go. The achilles is just slightly swollen and hasn't stiffened up yet. I took it easy on the recovery. Didn't run the day after the marathon, probably should have. Tuesday was an easy 4 miles, Wednesday an easy 6 miles and then 8 miles on Thursday. I was able to get 4 miles at a 7:12 average pace, without any issues.

Rode my bike for 20 miles Friday afternoon. Just did an easy spin because it was kinda cool for the bike, about 55 degrees and overcast. Plus, I hadn't been on the bike in two months. I wanted to head out on the country roads, but just rode down to the greenway and out to the Stones River Battlefield. Good thing, the greenway breaks some of the wind. Not much wind, just enough to make it chilly. Had 2 close calls on the greenway, that's why I really would rather be out on the country roads. The walkers, kids and dogs make you slow down and even when you announce "on your left", the person in front doesn't always move to the right but left right into your path.

Went to the Beer Depot next to the Slick Pig (best smoked wings) this afternoon. Damn, what a beer selection. Never seen such a selection of beer. I bought a six pack of Sierra Nevada Porter and Highland Brewing Oatmeal Stout. Can't believe I haven't been in that store. It's been open for 3 years and I didn't even know it was there. It's in the old "grog shop" location. Same building, use to be a liquor store.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Random post race thoughts

Ok, little secret, I really had visions of a 3:20 at the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon. Pretty cocky, I'll admit. I thought if I was in shape to run a 3:15 marathon or even a 3:10, 3:20 would be within my reach. Running effortlessly for the first 14 miles it seemed within grasp, especially when I knew I already had 4 minutes in the bank for a 3:30. Reality struck around mile 16 when I was struggling to keep up the pace on the downhills. By mile 17 I was slowing as runners were catching me. Once I started to walk up 9 mile hill the race was over.

Big deal, once I was walking and slowed down, I saw the deer and the turkeys. It wasn't like I was completely zoned out for the first 18 miles, just focused. I still saw the monkeys and the signs that reminded me that I was an idiot for running this marathon. Percy Warner Park is still my favorite place to run in the middle Tennessee area. Every detail about this race is geared towards making this a fun and inviting event for the runners. It's also family and spectator friendly. I can see why volunteers come out in the cold for hours to help the runners, they're angels. If I don't run it next year, I'd definitely volunteer in some capacity. (even if it was an unofficial, adult beverage aid station at the crest of 9 mile hill)

I'm glad I brought a chair. I set it up right in front of the finish chute. It gave me a place to stow my pre-race warmup clothes and post race warmups. Surprised more people didn't bring chairs. Had the family came, I'd probably have brought a small tent for them to crash until I came across the line or just to stay warm for the first couple of hours. The large field for the finish area had lots of room for the kids to play. I fire would be nice, but I doubt the Park Service would allow it. I wonder if they would allow a grill? A cheeseburger would have been great.

First race where my shoelace came untied, very unsettling. It was coming up the hill before 3 mile hill, mile 7, maybe 8. I've never had a shoe come untied in a race, nor a marathon. Probably, burned up a bunch of energy blasting up the hill after that. (M7,7:32,M8,7:32,M9,7:45)I know EB told me stop and tie it. I wanted to wait until the top of 3 mile hill. She'd brought a honey bear container with water, because she didn't want to take any of the water on the course. It started leaking from the start so I carried it until mile 14. My right arm is still sore today, don't know why, I've carried water for distances up to 50k?

Seemed like I didn't take in enough water on the course. I was purposely only doing water about every 2 miles, but it seems like I must have missed a station or 2. I know I forgot to take my succeed until an hour after I should have. From mile 18 until the finish I took water and gatorade at each stop. Glad I brought two pairs of gloves, one with fingers under a pair of mittens from the start. Once my hands warmed up; I just wore the gloves until around mile 20 or so when they started to get cold and I switched to just the mittens.

Stayed comfortably warm most of the race. Didn't overdress. Did get a little chilly in a couple of spots, especially after I doused my legs with water at one of the aid stations. Saw lots of tights, glad I didn't wear them. Had this been a flat course marathon I'd probably have gone with the arm warmers and a singlet.

This course did seem to beat my legs up a little bit more than a typical marathon. Only 2 small blister issues, that weren't even an issue until post race. May explain the soreness in the top of my foot and outside of my shin on that leg. Should have run yesterday, but waited until this morning. I went 4 miles and it really helped get a lot of the soreness out of the legs.

Race swag was terrific. Not to many races where you get a long sleeve technical shirt with YOUR name on it, plus a t-shirt. All marathons have a medal, but what do you call it if it's made of wood? A bumper sticker and a tattoo. Plus, post race door prizes for everyone, pick what you want. The bib has your name on it or your alias. I wore a bib on my back with "Old Man".

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Humbled by the hills

Only picture from the race

Holy crap the hills ate me alive at the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon. No excuses, I rationalized walking up 9 mile hill when it appeared the runner who just passed me wasn't gaining that much on me. That was the beginning of the end. From that point I walked almost every incline to the finish. Couldn't decide if it hurt more to run or walk. Did manage to squeak out a sub 4:00 marathon, by coming in at 3:50. Big gap from the 3:30 I was targeting. Hit the halfway mark at 1:41, 4 minutes in the bank for a 3:30 finish.

Glad to have EB pacing me through the first 14 miles. She definitely helped to hold me back. I had way to much energy in the first half and charged a little to hard on the ups. Only real mistake other than starting to walk was forgetting to take my succeed cap after the first hour. Didn't take the first one until a little after 2 hours. Never did completely cramp up on the course, but everything was super tight from about mile 18-24.

The carb loading and taper were perfect. Plenty of energy in the first half, the hills just suck it all out of you. Still haven't decided about Rocket City. I'll have to see how the recovery goes the next couple of days.

Only negative of the entire race was the turn at the bottom of 9 mile hill and back up towards the flag pole. Seems like I left half of my big toe on the pavement in that turn. But, that's one spot were I had a huge cheering section. Lisa and Jill rode their bikes to that point, plus Alexa and Luke were there as well. Very enthusiastic. Thanks!

Counted about 10 people who passed me from mile 18 to the finish. Unfortunately, I'd passed at least 3-4 of them only 4-5 miles earlier when I was still feeling really strong. Really glad for the group of 4 who picked me up at mile 24 and pushed me to the finish. I'd been trying to hang on to the various runners as they passed me but couldn't keep the legs moving. Three of these guys pulled me all the way through to the finish and two came through with the exact same time. Thanks, guys.

First marathon I've ever run where the beer didn't need to be put on ice. Yazoo Pale Ale and Dos Perros on tap. I enjoyed a few of the Dos Perros, got a Yazoo poster as a door prize and grazed on the GIANGANTIC spread of food. Great marathon. Top notch on every level. Capping the race at 200 runners makes for a nice intimate race, no big race logistic problems. Able to get a great massage. Can't think of a thing I'd do any differently.

Brought the camera but only took a couple of pictures before the race. Wore the Garmin and the Timex, but left the Ipod in the car. According to the Garmin, I only ran 25.79 miles? Missed a few of the mile splits on my Timex, no problem. This wasn't exactly a stellar race effort.

Some post race thoughts.

Couple of pictures I forgot were in the camera

Saturday, November 22, 2008

marathon excuse list

The Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon is not my goal race. Well, it started out that way. I just wanted a fall marathon. It's close and definitely challenging. But, it's not a course that is meant to be run fast. I really would like to run a 3:10-3:15 marathon. That was the target back a few years ago after I'd run a couple of marathons and had visions of a Boston qualifier. According to the McMillan calculator I should be capable of 3:05. Always seemed out of reach, but with the increased miles this year, it seems a more reachable goal. But, it'll take a hell of a lot of work to get there.

The byproduct of the increased miles this year is a little more speed, maybe endurance. Or perhaps, I've just HTFU. It finally got me to a sub 19:00 5k, just barely. As of today my mileage is 2,325.73. I'll end the year with right at 2,500 miles or more. First time ever over 2,000 miles. It actually is getting easier, lots of tough days sure. The one constant is it's still fun. Sure some of the long runs aren't fun, at times. Then again some of the hard stuff isn't either. But, the satisfaction when I'm finished is what keeps me going. So, all of this has helped to make some of those lofty 3:10 goals seems very doable.

Back to the monkey. I'm subtracting 10-15 minutes from the finish time of this race to gauge my fitness and the possibility of running Rocket City as my A marathon for the fall. It's 3 weeks later, plenty of time to recover and not lose any fitness. The one gianormus x-factor are the frickin' hills at Percy Warner Park. I wilt on the hills. Usually I can gauge my fitness level before a marathon by how well I run the double loop of the 11.2 at PWP. This will be my first trip back for the double plus since last year.

Excuse list

Hills. They either will kick my rear end or I will conquer.

Taper. It was to long, nope. It was to short, nope. Two weeks seems, just right.

Carb loading. This was an experiment. One big positive has been the loss of energy from the carb depletion phase which takes away all of the usual taper jitters/apprehension and such.

Training. Not really much structure to the training plan this cycle. Probably should have run a little longer mid week run. Probably need to approach 60-70 miles per week to get the "fast marathon".

Weather. Looks like we'll get temps at around 33 degrees to start and warming to around mid 40's, with sunshine and little to no wind. Almost perfect for the runners, tad chilly for the volunteers/spectators. Paula and the boys are staying home.

Colds. Pretty certain I've managed to avoid getting any of the crud or chest colds that are going around. Slight cough yesterday, probably just allergy related.

Fueling/Hydration. Should not be an excuse. Plan for 5 powergels every 4 miles, after mile 8. Water every 2 miles, with a succeed cap every hour and I should be golden. Need to make sure and water log tonight. Last solid carbs 4 hours before the gun fires. Probably carry a bottle to make sure I have fluids.

Pacing. Plan to average around an 8:00 pace, which may mean a 9:00 pace climbing the bigger hills and 7:00's on the downside. Unknown is the how much will be left after the beating on the downhills.

Injury free. No injuries or strains on the day before. Phantom aches and pains from taper never lingered.

I've left off a few I'm sure. Bottom line, Percy Warner Park is one of my favorite places to run in the middle Tennessee area. Having a marathon within the park is sweet.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dirk's Fat Ass 50k III

Started thinking about the 3rd running of the Dirk's Fat Ass 50k, a couple of weeks ago. Puppymeat shot me an email last night and wondered if it's still a go. I'll be out on January 1 running a 50k from General Bragg's HQ at 8 am. I need redemption for my DNF last year. Come out and join me.

Last year we had 14 runners. The inaugural run we had 6 runners. 30 runners this year would be a success. The course will remain the same, 3 loops on the asphalt of the Stones River Greenway and Stones River Battlefield. I'll use the General Bragg Headquarters as the staging, start and finish area. This is an unofficial race, no entry fee, no bibs, no times, no awards, no wimps, just the satisfaction of starting off 2009 with 50k in your log book. Or just one loop for 10 miles or 2 loops for 20 miles. We had some folks do different distances.

The course starts at the General Bragg HQ in Murfreesboro, TN. The course out to the battlefield is basically a lollipop. One mile to the battlefield, a two mile loop and the one mile return to the pavilion at Bragg. From there, a six mile out-and-back to Cannonsburgh. Each loop is around 10 miles and only minor elevation changes, no real hills. Bathrooms at the battlefield, the start and at Cannonsburgh.

Report from Fat Ass 50k III

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

carb loading

I've never tried the carb loading routine before a marathon. Decided a week or so ago, that I'd experiment before a marathon to see if I could gain any benefit. I'm not going the new school direction of only loading, but the old school method of depletion and then loading. One of the blogs I follow, Fast Master used a 10 day depletion cycle and then a 3 day loading phase. His approach is to extreme for me. I'm going with 3 days of depletion and 2 days of loading. Today is day one of the depletion, all proteins and minimal carbs. Basically an extreme Atkins diet.

I'm not expecting to lose much weight, perhaps a pound or two. I'm still at 155 pounds, which would be the lightest I've ever run a marathon. Usually weigh in at around 160 on marathon day. Whatever weight is lost, should be replaced in the carb loading phase. Ideally, I'll hit the starting line at 155, with my glycogen stores packed to the hilt. That's the primary goal of the depletion and then the loading. The body is tricked into loading more glycogen than normal. That's the theory, I'll see how true it is for me.

Only real negatives I can see from this experiment is the moodiness, loss of energy and general fatigue from the depletion phase. I've seen that effect before, but hopefully I won't experience but 2 days of that. Don't expect any of that today, probably just the urge for some carbs. The bigger concern is porking up to much in the carb loading phase. I'll just need to make sure and eat sensibly with moderate portions and not splurge or gorge myself.

Still need to get my marathon excuse list ready. I'm still adjusting this last week of training on the fly. This mornings workout was 6 miles, with a one mile warm up and cool down. The middle four miles were supposed to be at marathon pace of 7:15, but came in alittle hotter, not much though, averaged 7:10 pace. Monday was a complete rest day from running, but did do a weight workout to keep the metabolism brewing. Saturday did a super easy 8 miles at 9:00 pace, followed by 10 miles on Sunday at 7:45 pace. Workouts are feeling easy, which they should.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Wow, the weather looks like its coming around nicely for the little jaunt in Percy Warner Park on November 23rd. I favor cooler weather to run a marathon. Overcast and 45 degrees would probably be about ideal. When the temperature gets above 60 degrees my performance suffers and I start having dehydration issues.

Weather is one factor that is uncontrollable for the marathon. The only adjustment would be to slow down the pace if the temperatures weren't favorable, for me above 60 degrees. Don't know if it's the accountant in me that makes me so obsessive about the race or I'm just OCD. Read a great book about performing at your best. "Programmed to Run", Thomas S.Miller, PhD. Bottom line, you put in the training and you get it back on race day. Reap what you sow.

Taper time just makes me edgy. I'm still 9 days out from the race. Got my bib number from the website, 477. The first year Trent let runners pick their bib number. He continues to let the veterans keep the same number. He's -1. Don't know what the numbering scheme is this year. Some numbers are into the 500's and this is just the 3rd year of the marathon. 139 monkey virgins, 76 veterans and 28 coming back for the 3rd time. Almost half the field is from out of state. (I dumped the entrant list into an Excel spreadsheet, just for grins) Longest distance probably goes to the runner from Austria or maybe its Australia. The monkey has truly gone international.

Easy 4 miles on the gravel on the "under construction" Old Fort Parkway, Barfield connector trail this morning. They've put down another 6 inches of the super small gravel and flattened and smoothed it out. Super nice running surface. That was me without any rhythm listening to Willie sing a jazz version of Caldonia with Wynton Marsalis.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

marathon pacing

What pace should you run for your marathon? Even pace, negative split or put some time in the bank? I usually tried to put time in the bank, by going out a little quick, knowing I would slow in the latter stages of the race. I've changed that approach the last couple of marathons and went for the even split. Negative splits have been a pipe dream I've accomplished, perhaps in 2 races. (no marathons)

Hal Hidgon has a good article about marathon pacing with a local quote. My ideal marathon goal has been a 3:15 and "pipe dream, stars align, and everything comes together", a 3:10. According to Higdons chart, a 3:15 is a 7:26 pace, I've used 7:24 as the "marathon race pace" in the past. Best effort to date has been a 3:17 at Rocket City in 2004. The strategy for that race was a Boston qualifying time of 3:20, so I went out at a 3:15 pace.

Monkey marathon pace is going to be 8:00 average hopefully. The hills are going to slow each mile by at least a minute, but the downhills should get about 30 seconds back. The downhills at PWP beat the sh*t out of your legs. Couple that with the gut sucking the uphills will take out and any kind of pacing strategy quickly goes out the window. I figure the marathon should be about 10-15 minutes slower than my best marathon effort. Knowing all of this, I'll probably run with my Garmin and my Ipod. Oh, the horror. Never have run PWP with the Ipod, I actually enjoy the quietness of the woods. So, the Ipod my stay home. I may even go old school and leave the Garmin home as well.

This mornings workout was another made up modification of my last marathon training program schedule. It called for 2 x 20 minutes at marathon pace. I did 6 miles at marathon pace. Or what I'd thought was marathon pace. The target was 7:24 per mile. I averaged 7:15's. Hmmmmm, back to 3:10 pace. Easy workout, "no chain". Makes my thought to attempt another 3:15 at Rocket City even more feasible. First I've got to make it through the monkey.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Beauty of the morning run

Thank a vet today.

Reminded this morning of one of the best benefits of the early morning run, sunrises. This mornings was spectacular. Almost missed it. I was headed home, with the sunrise off to my left. The reds against the almost complete cloud cover was amazing. The clouds had the swirly look of snow clouds. Not cold enough for that, but made for a great sunrise. Bet as a runner I've seen more sunrises than most people.

Got up at 3:30 this morning for my speed workout. Got distracted reading about tapers and didn't make it out the door until almost 5 am. Pulled out my log books from prior years to find what taper I used for my Boston qualifier at Rocket City in 2004. Two weeks, with lots of rest and not much running. I ran the Mid-South Marathon in Wynne, Arkansas 5 weeks earlier.

Googled "best marathon taper" and got Runners World, Ten Things to Avoid in a taper, McMillan, Pfitzinger , and Letsrun. I'm going with 2 weeks of taper. I've tried 3 weeks in the past and thats way to long. Really like the idea of running the day before the marathon, its worked for me in the past. Typically only a couple of miles. Just enough to loosen up the legs.

This mornings workout is a modification of the speed workout from the Rocket City training. It was 3 x 800, 600, 600 at 5k pace. I did 6 x 800 meters instead with equal recovery a little quicker than 10k pace. Pretty easy workout and total of 7.1 miles for the morning.

Monday, November 10, 2008

2 weeks out

Hay is in the barn and all of that. Training for this marathon just hasn't been at the same level as the BQ attempt at Rocket City in 2004. Saturday was the perfect day for a long run, but wanted to do my last one two weeks out on Sunday. Saturday I went 10 miles nice and easy from the house to the Greenway. Leaves were crunchy under foot and the sunrise over the river was spectacular.

Dylan and I went to the MTSU game later in the afternoon. Great day for a football game, 60 degrees and sunshine. Raiders just eked out a win. They dominated the first half, but per usual fell asleep in the second half. Turned cold once the clouds moved in with the wind and the temperature dropped a couple of degrees. Dylan and I met Paula and Darrell at Mellow Mushroom after the game. We've been Mellow Mushroom fans since 1996 and our days in Atlanta. The "mighty meaty" is my favorite, but I really did like the new "buffalo chicken" last night with an oatmeal porter. They took the jerked chicken off the menu. Plus, the beer selection at the "shroom" is the best in "boro".

Back in our Atlanta days Taco Mac had the biggest beer selection, but Mellow Mushroom was a close second. We haven't tried the Flying Saucer in Nashville or any of the other places with big beer selections. We have made quite a few trips to the Blackstone brewery in Nashville, great food and beer. Whenever we are out of town, a micro brewery is always first on the list for food. We have yet to be disappointed with that tactic. Lots of good food and beer.

Sunday's run was supposed to be 18-20 miles. I decided 18 miles with either some tempo in the middle or marathon pace would be a good workout. Speedy and FM2 were heading out to Lascassas to run the St. Johns loop. I wanted to tag along and try and get a few fast or marathon pace miles. Fast stuff didn't happen. FM2 stayed home and I couldn't keep up with Speedy from the start. Only managed 3 miles at a sub 8:00 pace. The hills just ate me up. The back half I started to cool off and Speedy was out of sight. I slowed considerably, couldn't keep up the monkey pace. Average pace for the run was 8:33. Not the way I wanted the last long run to go.

The rest of Sunday was a lazy day. Finished mowing the grass and laid around all day watching football. Good to see the Titans can change the game plan and come away with a win. That seemed to be the thing they haven't done in the last couple of years. Dylan rented Batman for the WII. I just can't get the hang of those computer games. We ended up watching the movie, "Agent Cody Banks".

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Could see the importance of recovery in this mornings tempo workout. Last weeks tempo effort the day after 8 miles at real marathon pace wasn't an adequate recovery run. Yesterday's easy 5 miles didn't take anything out of this mornings tempo workout. Average pace was 6 seconds quicker per mile and perceived effort was "comfortably hard" versus "feels like a 5k" last week. Speedy and PS, pulled me through the workout this morning. Almost the exact same course as last week, rolling hills, but nothing compared with the hills of PWP.

First run with PS, he's training for Rocket City. He's about the same level of runner as Speedy and FM2. I just chase after these guys and try to keep them in sight. Be good to get someone else to run with us during the week.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

falling back

One of my favorite times of year. The leaves are falling, the mornings are cool, sunrises are awesome and the colors just seem brighter. But, the whole spring forward, fall back with the clocks is a pain in the ass. First 2 days at work going home when its dark are difficult. The mornings aren't that big of deal, just seems like forever for the sun to come up.

Took Monday as a scheduled off day from running. Did my regular weight workout instead. Tuesday it was time for another speed workout. Planned to do 8 of the Yasso repeats. Ran down to the greenway, which gives me a 2.5 mile warmup and 2.5 mile cooldown. First repeat was to conservative, but did dial in the rest, at or under target. Number 5 was a little hot, thought I was letting up, and then number 6 came in at 3:06. Sheeeit. Little to quick, took way to long to recover and then started number 7, but caved after a 100 meters. Slogged it back home for about 9 miles worth of work for the morning. Don't know if its the recovery is to short, 1:30 versus equal recovery per Yasso, or I'm just chicken shit. Felt a twinge in my plantar on the warmup and the achilles felt a little tight. Everything felt good during the speed work and on the way home.

Glad the election if finally over. Flipped the channels for awhile last night and the same crap on every channel. Watched the Green Mile instead. Going to be a very interesting next four years. Hate to even bring it up, but big pet peeve. Double Standard. Notice any of the tip toeing around issues or comments from the different broadcasters or news channels? Seriously doubt any of the mud slinging that has been directed at Bush over the last year, will be any kind of news fodder for our new president elect. Take the typical shot of the radicals shooting their weapons into the air in other countries. We had that right here in Nashville last night, would have made a great news clip. Didn't see it anywhere.

This mornings workout is 5 miles of easy on the MTSU gravel loop from the house. Loaded up Dylan's Ipod, mine keeps crashing, probably just about dead. It's the first generation shuffle. I'd like one of the bigger Ipods, but that wouldn't work for running. The new shuffle, like Dylan has is perfect. It holds twice as much music as the old shuffle and is about half the size.

Monday, November 3, 2008

3 weeks out

All the training is done. Some will start a taper now. My taper is going to be 10 days. One more 18-20 miler next weekend. Trent's probably right, pretty foolish to try and train for the monkey. Best training would be to run in the park every weekend. I've been once in the last 6 months. Geez, just hope I finish in under 4 hours. Just not feeling as strong on the hills this cycle.

Weekend went by way to quick as usual. Can't wait to read the rest of the Ironman recaps. Sounds like Jill and company had a great time. That may be the best way to "do" an Ironman for the first time. Only thing we did exciting this weekend was play a game of laser tag at Phazer Kraze. Dylan has decided that's were he'd like to have his birthday party.

Saturday, Speedy pulled me through 13 miles of hills at Spain Hill at real marathon pace, after I warmed up for a mile. One bad patch climbing Spain, slowed to a 8:00 mile. Last 3 miles are all down hill, so pretty easy to pull the average pace back down.

Sunday I went back out to the new Barfield connector trail. Saw 2 other runners out, plus a couple with their dog and a gazillion deer. The trail has been smoothed and graveled from the start to the bridge, 2 miles. The access road, mostly dirt and gravel from Hwy 99 adds three quarters of a mile one way. Crossed the bridge and able to run on another side for a half mile or so of freshly smoothed gravel and then another mile or so of single track dirt road/trail. I was able to get 8.75 miles of gravel/dirt without repeating any sections, all just out and back.