Wednesday, December 31, 2008

out with the old

Needed 2.1 miles this morning to have even miles for the year of 2,579. Would have added a mile to get a more even number of 2,580 but this was my last run before the Fat Ass tomorrow. The taper this time wasn't kind. The combination of fewer runs, less miles and holiday food helped to add 6 pounds. All of that should be gone by this time next week. Really surprised at the number(pounds). I only gained 3 pounds on the taper for the Monkey marathon.

Weather has changed again. Yesterday was sunny and 60 degrees. Nice to have the windows down and the sun roof open. Went to the bank before the lunch time rush in Green Hills. Made a stop to check out Trader Joes in the old Wild Oats location on the way back to the office. Hate driving in that part of town, way to much traffic. Decent beer selection, but the main reason for stopping was to check out the "house" brand beers. They had 6 packs for $5.99 for most of the major beer types. I picked up three Stockyard Oatmeal Stouts and three Kennebunkport Porters. This store is about half the size of the old Wild Oats. I didn't browse any of the store, quick trip to check out the beers and back to work.

Very gusty winds this morning. Temperatures in the mid 30's and winds of 22 mph, gusting to 33 mph. Glad today was only 2 miles. Sure hope this wind is gone by tomorrow. Weather forecast calls for temperatures in the low 20's tonight and sunny skies and highs in the low 40's. The window for the 50k should be around 35-41 degrees, sunny skies and winds from the north around 5-10 mph. About the same weather as the last couple of years.

Monday, December 29, 2008

back to work

Christmas Eve
The long holiday weekend is over. Mine started on Christmas eve. Paula had to work and I was off until Monday. Had to take a personal day on Friday, because it was a work day. I cooked omelet's for the boys. Dylan and I had a ham and cheese. Darrell's was a portobello mushroom and cheese. I've pretty well figured out how to make a good omelet. First thing is a six inch non-stick pan with a pat of butter. I saute the main item of the omelet and then add two eggs. Keep the pan moving so the eggs cook and slide in the pan, until they are done enough for the flip. Add some cheese and fold and they're done.

Dylan and I went out to General Bragg's HQ's to gather some kindling for the fire for the Fat Ass 50k on New year'S day. We emptied the fire pit container and stacked enough fire wood to have some that would be dry. Also did a little exploring down the railroad tracks. The wind was howling something fierce. We took Lance with us. He really enjoys getting out.

I took the boys out to mom's for a couple hours. We left murfreesboro around 1:00 and hit torrential rain around harding place. Saw one wreck from a car which had hydroplaned in the downpour. Visited with mom and my sister. Mom showed us a bunch of the genealogy stuff she's been working on. Pretty cool stuff. Really interesting story behind the Mormon testament given by a couple from Utah.

Christmas Day
Dylan was up at 4 am, but we didn't get up until 5:30 am. Usual busy christmas, seems like every year they come and go quicker. We opened ours presents at home and then went over to Granny and Pop's. Did the christmas breakfast and ate way to much. We had quite a spread, regular pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes, country ham, bacon, biscuits, hash brown casserole, sausage balls, and sausage links in croissants. All the adults were cooking except for Paula and her sister. The boys were playing.

Went back home to rest for awhile. I took the day off from running, so I raked the leaves in the yard and piled them up in the street and smoked a cigar with a beer. Really nice day. Later in the afternoon we went over to Paula's sister for a late snack fest. Lots more food. Ate way to much again. Watched Will Smith in "the pursuit of happyness". (don't know if that's how they spelled the title, but it's a big premise of the movie) The movie was a yawner for me. The kids played Rock Band.

The boys slept in and Paula and I went shopping. Didn't really buy anything, just checked out all of the different stores to see if any bargains were to be had. Did stop by Total Beverages on Thompson lane. I went into the liquor side of the store to check out their high ABV beer selection. Wow, just as many, maybe more than Barleycorns. No need to go to Nashville for the high octane beer. I picked up a 6 pack of Old Rasputian, a russian imperial stout. (edit: I missed the singles rack)

The Old Rasputian is the best of the different beers I tried this weekend. Followed very closely by the Arrogant Bastard Ale. The Fat Tire I had tuesday evening is a really good beer that would qualify as a session beer. Same as the Flying Dog Old Scratch. The 4 pack of Flying Dog Horn Dog is gone, it was very good. Different style beer than I'm used to drinking. The big disappointment was the Duvel. Just don't see the big deal about that beer. I'd rather drink 3-4 of the Yuengling Black and Tan's. That's a decent beer for the price.

Got a easy 6 mile run in the mud on the new section of the trail on the Murfreesboro Greenway. Darrell went to Florida for 2 weeks with Granny and Pop. We bummed around the rest of the day. Picked up some movies and Mario Kart for the WII at Hastings. We'd been trying to buy that game for the last several weeks, but can never find a copy. Dylan and I played mario kart and watched the "Dark Knight". That's one of the better Batman movies. Pretty scary portrayal of the joker. Even scarier to think the world really has monsters like that character.

Took down most of the Christmas decorations. Only thing left up is the tree. We should be able to get it all put away in the next couple of days. Watched the Titan's game, what a pitiful game. Titan's looked ragged and the Colt's looked hungry and strong. Don't think they'll have enough for the Chargers next week. Just hope the Titans show up to play in 2 weeks and don't get knocked out. Glad to see Vince play. He's a lot more exciting to watch than Collins. Went to the theater to see "Marly and me". Pretty good movie for anyone who is a dog lover. Everyone who has owned a dog can relate to this movie.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

against the wind

we were running, against the wind. Well I was anyway. Didn't run with the fast guys today. Did my own 25 minute tempo run. Nice and warm again today, but lots of wind. 54 degrees with winds from 19 mph, gusting to 29 mph. Sure felt like a brick wall when I turned into the wind after my 2 mile warmup and started the tempo work. That part of the route goes out 1.5 miles, I turned around at 1 mile after talking myself out of not even doing the tempo workout. Glad I stuck with it. First mile adjusted for the wind was about where it needed to be. The second mile with the wind at my back was right on. Turning home, the wind was at my side for another mile which came in a little quick. Ended up with about 3.7 miles of tempo work for the 25 minutes.

Wore the heart the monitor for this workout. Tried to keep the heart rate at 164 bpm, ending up averaging 166. That's about 1 tick below where I was running tempo workouts at the first of the year. Don't have near the endurance, though.

Did another weight workout this morning. I've really slacked off on the weights in the last month. My back has been sore the last couple of days. I think its because of the lack of weight training. I'd always been under the impression the running helped my back. I guess the cross training with the weights is equally important. All about strengthening the core. Also started to do some different variations of the wall stretch for my calves. They've started to tighten up on me again.

Really need to buy another pair of shoes. I'm not as happy with this second pair of Asics Gel Cumulus. This pair seems to have a wider toe box and tighter heel cup. That may be what has been aggravating my achilles.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Run down or cold?

Overslept this morning until 5 am. Supposed to meet the fast guys at 4:30: set the time on the alarm, but evidently not the alarm itself. My back up alarm, Lance, little fur ball even slept in. He usually wakes me up around 3 am most mornings. Must be the cold weather. We stayed home all weekend. Paula made a pot of chili on sunday. Nice not to have to get out in the cold. Monday was a scheduled day off for running, didn't even do any weights.

Did make it out the door this morning for an easy 6 miles. It turned into a progression run kinda by accident. Felt good. Temperature was 28 degrees and little to no wind. Versus sunday's long run which was not very pretty. I had hopes of hanging with the fast guys for 18 miles. Temperatures were around 34 degrees and the sun was shining. Nice day for a long run, except for the 18 mph north/northwest wind. First 3 miles were cold and I decided, I wasn't going to be able to hang with the guys. I did my own thing. Last 4 miles home into the wind were especially cold. Brrrrrr. Took forever for my thumbs to thaw out.

Final work day this week for me, today. I took friday off. Paula is only off on Christmas day and Friday. Hard to believe Christmas is already here again. Got fewer Christmas cards this year than in years past. I'll have to look through them this week and see who's staying in touch.

Friday, December 19, 2008

For the love of beer

Went to Barleycorn's a couple of days ago after work. Bought $20 worth of high ABV beer: a 4 pack of Flying Dog Horn Dog, a bomber of Arrogant Bastard Ale and a single Duvel Belgian Golden Ale. I'd tried a couple liquor stores in Murfreesboro for the high ABV beers and only found one with 2 different kinds. Haven't tried the store on Thompson Lane, yet. Barleycorn's is one of 3 different recommendations from the Beer Advocate website. The others, Mid-Town Wine and Spirits and Frugal McDougals. Barleycorn's had about 20-30 different kinds of high ABV beer, at least. It's a very small section of the store, 12 foot wide perhaps. I didn't go next door and check out the "regular" beer selection. Tennessee, being ass backwards doesn't allow the sale of the high ABV beers except in liquor stores. That's why some liquor stores will be co-located with a beer store one side and the liquor store on the other side.

Tried the Horn Dog last night. Great beer. Poured a reddish to dark brown color, similar to a Nut Brown. Very little head. Would be easy to down a few of these, but it'd kick your ass. Liked this one better than the Gonzo porter. I'm not a complete beer snob. I've really come to enjoy the taste of the imports and micro brews the last couple of years. But that doesn't stop me from drinking a 22 ouncer of the cheap domestic stuff on a pretty regular basis.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

2,502.66 miles

Wow, what a jump in mileage over the previous years. As of this morning I've run 2,502.66 miles and still have 14 days left in the month. Probably sprain my ankle or something tomorrow.......

Started off January with the intent of putting in more miles by running 6 days a week versus the normal 2 days off per week. I've pretty well kept to that schedule the entire year. Took off extra days during the taper for my fall marathon. Other than that, not to many extra days off. No real major illness or injury that sidelined me for any extended time. Week off in March with a sprained ankle. Week off in May, due to a strained calf.

The increased mileage did help me to achieve my sub 19:00 5k goal. Other than that, the only benefit seems to be the ability to hang with the local fast guys for alittle longer. But, only for a little while. I'm still just a middle of the pack runner. I have seen some room for improvement in some of my race times and will set out for trying to make some of that happen in 2009.

Drizzly run this morning with FM2 and Speedy. They both are coming off of colds so it was a pretty easy 8 miler. Haven't really done any speed work in over a month. May try some hill repeats on Friday.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Rain turned to sleet late yesterday afternoon and was actually snowing as I left the office and headed into Nashville for our office christmas party. My car was covered with snow and everything was snow covered at the office. The closer to Nashville I got, it all turned to rain. Heading home after the party the snow line was around Hickory Hollow mall southward. We got about 2 inches worth at our house.

Paula's christmas party is tonight. She didn't go to my party. Just didn't make sense for me to drive all the way back to Murfreesboro and then back into Nashville. No way would she even think about driving to Nashville on her own, plus why have two cars to make the 72 mile round trip.

I had a good time at the party. It was at Ombi. They closed for our party, which was pretty cool. Tried a couple of beers I've never had before. The first was a high alcohol content Belgian blonde beer, Popering's Hommel. It was actually almost like a pale ale without the high alcohol taste of the only other high alcohol beer (Gonzo Imperial Porter) I've ever tasted. Next beer was a Fort Collins, Black Mountain Mocha Stout. This is the style of beer I've really come to enjoy. I enjoyed a few, plus some great gumbo, oysters and humus.

Called speedy on the way home to see if we were still a go for our 4:30 am hill run. This morning all of the slush had frozen and the roads were to icy to run. We decided to run on the golf course instead. We only did one loop for 4 miles. It was a really slow pace. The snow slowed us down, but the bigger thing was dodging the giant puddles and ice. It was cold enough to freeze the top, but still left some real cold water to dunk your foot. Added bonus, it was a full moon so no problem seeing were we were going.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

cold rain

Typical Tennessee winter weather pattern. Cold, windy and temps in the 20's two days ago. Warms up to the 50's and then the rain comes. This morning, 39 degrees and a steady soaking rain, plus steady wind. YUCK. Whenever it's cold enough to snow, no moisture in the air, usually clear skies. Just as well, snow around here shuts down everything.

Tried out a new loop course this morning. I've run most of it before, just connected it all together this morning to make a loop, instead of the usual out and back course. Estimated it at 8 miles, but it came out to 9 miles. Good thing about a loop on a windy day is only having the wind in your face for a couple of miles or so. This loop goes by some nicer homes on Riverview adjacent to the Stones River Country club. Lots of little rolling hills in quiet subdivisions. One busy section on Sulphur Springs road, but its wide enough and has sidewalks, so new issues. Only a small section of road on Haynes with no shoulder. This will be a good route for some marathon or tempo pace runs to practice running the small rolling hills at the end of the Flying Pig marathon.

Google Maps street view image of one of the houses from the loop this morning.

Finally have just about got the cold, windy, run in the rain clothing figured out. Tights are essential for warm legs with wind and anything below 39 degrees. I usually wear the loose fitting tights, but the "tight" tights are the way to go with the rain. No getting around wet feet. My shoes and socks were soaked by 4 miles. Coolmax, polyester or technical t-shirt or long sleeve shirt depending on the distance. This morning was a coolmax t-shirt under a wind proof, breatheable bike jacket. Wore a hat to keep the rain out of my eyes, with a beanie over the top to keep my ears warm. Most important is the glove selection. Short distance you can get away with a lightweight pair of windproof gloves. But, they usually absorb all of the rain and are only good for about 4 miles. Lately I've been wearing a pair of lightweight leather motorcross gloves. They block the wind and don't absorb the rain as quickly.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

marathon observations

If you want to run a fast marathon, you need to run on a fast course. Or so it's said. Lots of truth to that. A course without any hills is easier to run than a hilly course. Any hills or even rises after mile 20 seem like mountains in a marathon, like the hill at the golf course on the monkey marathon at mile 23. I think a course needs a few rises and falls, rolling hills at least to give your legs a break from the same motion. The Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, Alabama is a "flat and fast" course. It does have a few hills, very minor. The year I finally qualified for Boston, I knew it was the day when I hit mile 17 or so and floated up and over the one major hill on the course. It only rises about 50 feet, not a hill by Tennessee standards.

I've run several of the fast marathon courses over the years chasing after that elusive Boston Marathon qualifying time. Kansas City was a DNF. Austin's old course wearing race flats, ouch. Kiawah had to many turns and I strained my calf. Country Music Marathon way to hilly. Chicago and Mid South marathon dehydration problems. Really the only course that wasn't PR friendly would be Country Music. But, its the local marathon, like the Flying Monkey, so I made an attempt.

Trent started a thread on the strider board with marathon elevations to the same scale. He pulled the information from or really he probably ran most of them. This is really helpful to see the true rise and fall of the courses as compared to other courses. Below is the official, "flattened" out course map of the Flying Pig marathon and the Motion Based map. The official map doesn't show the several little hills at the end of the marathon. Pretty sneaky, huh?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

frosty cold

Yesterday we went to the Discovery Center in Murfreesboro. Lots of cool stuff for everyone. Saw a really big gecko and a corn snake. I was surprised we had something like that in Murfreesboro. Dylan's favorite part was the 2 story tall slide. Could have spent 3-4 hours there, easily. But, we only went for about 2 and a half hours. We planned on going to a afternoon movie, immediately afterwards. Forgot to bring my camera. Jeez.

Movie was the Quantuam of Solace, the new James Bond flick. It was ok. Best part for me was the opening scene car chase. No gadgets like the old Bond movies. This is the first one I've seen in over 10 years, at least. I don't think I've even seen any of the ones with Pierce Brosnan.

Speedy and FM2 wanted to try a new route today. It was a out and back from Lascassas Baptist Church. They were going 16 miles, I only wanted 13 miles. I've done this route from the house before in the summer or early fall. Way to exposed for my liking but I'm ready to run on some different routes. The guys took it easy on me and didn't drop me until I made the turn around at 6.5 miles. Kinda nice taking it easy. Seemed like a headwind the whole way back, but mostly all downhill.

New out and back route on Hwy 96.

Elevation map of the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon from Sportstracks.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

few old pictures

The boys from Atlanta.

Atlanta boys at a trail race in North Carolina

Dirk and Dylan, MTSU game day

Dad, Rocket City marathon late 70's early 80's?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

windy morning

Pulled into the parking lot to meet speedy this morning to rain blowing sideways and temps at 44 degrees. We both were really tempted to just go back home, but went ahead and got our run done. Nothing fancy, speedy did a tempo yesterday so we did an easy pace for him which is about marathon pace for me. Wind was pretty fierce when it was in your face and the rain was blowing.

Trying to plan out the next race and plans for the spring. Current plans are to maintain about 40-50 miles per week. Next race is going to be the Fat Ass 50k on January 1. Talk on the strider board about another race on the 11.2 in Percy Warner Park. I'd do that again, but not really racing it. Wonder if anyone is going to step up and volunteer to organize and score it?

Next major race is going to be the Flying Pig marathon in May. Plenty of time to build up with the Daniels program for a fast marathon, 3:10 or 3:15. Need to check out to get a B race in case the Pig doesn't work out. Maybe pace the 1:45 group at the Country Music half marathon in April.(if Peter will have me back after last years debacle).