Monday, March 30, 2009

end in sight

Less than 5 weeks till race day. Only one more 20 miler. Couldn't be soon enough. This cycle seems to have been marked with wind, rain and cold. Hopefully this morning was the last day of sub 40 degree weather, but I doubt it. Actually warmer in the 32 degrees this morning without any wind, than yesterday and 40 degrees and 20+ mph gusts.

Very thankful for P. to slow down and run the first half of yesterdays 21.85 miles and then S. to show up and pull us home for the second half. Much easier to do those long runs with a group, than all by my lonesome. Wind really took it out of me, not as much energy as the last 20 miler.

Celebrated Darrell's 20th birthday yesterday. We had a pretty large group of family for burgers and hot dogs on the grill. Hard to believe he's 20, time sure does fly.

Running streak is still alive, 42 days as of this morning. Tomorrow, I should be able to get back on the golf course for a run. This past week it's been to wet for the golf course and even for the gravel out at Old Fort.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

wind and rain

Another training run in the rain. This cycle seems to have oodles of runs in the rain and even a race. The rain never was a factor this morning, actually warmer rain than in the past, 57 degrees. The wind on the other hand was pretty stout. I had it in my face for the first 4 miles at marathon pace and it was very noticeable. Because of the darkness, wind and rain, it was pretty difficult to see the Garmin. So, once I settled into pace, I maintained pretty much by perceived effort. I knew I'd have to go a little harder into the wind and counted on it slowing me down. Plan was to go about 7:05 pace and settle for a 7:10 because of the wind. The last 4 miles at marathon pace were considerably easier. The wind was at my back. Seemed like the rain picked up alittle bit, but no biggie. Only problem was I forgot to lube. I'll pay for that when I get in the shower. The splits really show the effect of the wind. First 4 miles slowed because of headwind and the last 4 with a little pickup because of the tailwind or cross wind.

56:13 total time at marathon pace

Very encouraging workout. I've done marathon pace efforts in the past, but typically throughout the cycle. This was the first attempt at the "new" marathon pace. Averages out to a 7:01, that may be a little to quick. But, the rain and darkness really hampered my effort to control the pace at the desired target. The effort was pretty steady.

Lance Armstrong crashed hard the other day and broke his collar bone. Hate it. Quote from him on how lucky he's been in the 17 years of racing and this is the first time he's broken his collar bone. Hopefully he should be back racing in 4-6 weeks. Couldn't have come at a worst time in his comeback. Now his Giro shot is just about gone and even for the Tour de France he won't be peaking at the right time. Damn.

Monday, March 23, 2009

6 weeks

Only 2 more 20+ mile runs in this training cycle. That's only going to give me 6 twenty plus milers for this build up. But, the increased miles have really made them seem a lot easier than in the past. Saturday, I did 21 miles on the Striders training run. Even had enough energy to push from mile 18 to 20 at marathon pace and then a nice easy mile cool down on the grass in front of the Parthenon. That was the first time I've run one of the training runs, lots of people all different paces and supported with water, gu and gatorade/cytomax. Doesn't get much better than that.

Training continues to go pretty well. This weeks Yasso 800 workout went better than expected. I averaged 3:04 for the seven that I ran. Should have run eight, but my glute and achilles were a little tender. Plus, come to find out, I wasn't giving myself enough recovery. Next week I'll shoot for ten. This weeks speed is just going to be 7-8 miles at marathon pace. Trick is going to be figuring out that pace. Somewhere between 3:03 and 3:10 marathon time or around 7:00 to 7:15 per mile. Another pace calculator.

Allergies finally started to react to all of the pollen this morning. Can't complain, other than a little bit of drainage in my eyes last week this has been the first episode this spring. Eyes are on fire, but that's about it. One sneezing fit. May be because I didn't wear my glasses this morning. They actually keep most of the pollen out of my eyes.

We spent most of the day at the farm yesterday. Pulled the tire off the wheel barrow and put a new inner tube in the tire. Much more difficult to change a tube on it versus a bike. One of those big honey locust thorns was stuck through the tire and was still poking into the tube. Spent the rest of the day tilling up the garden. Little weed eater sized tiller didn't seem to beat me up as much as the larger tiller.

Streak is still intact, 34 days.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


So far 29 days in a row without a day off. 172 total miles in March, 278 miles in February and 282 miles in January. Didn't really start to think about running daily until some time in February, I took 2 days off that month and 4 days off in January. In January, 2 of the days off were in the same week as the Fat Ass 50k. Still feeling pretty good, except for this past Sunday. We went 15.5 miles on Sunday the day after the half marathon and I was tired and sore.

Two big benefits to this increase in mileage, weight has dropped a couple of pounds and strength has improved. I'm starting to see the speed pick up and the endurance. I still don't seem to have that extra gear the fast guys shift into on their long runs. Perhaps I can develop that in the coming months.

Only downside to this new level is the projected marathon finish time. Between the McMillan, Noakes and Daniels tables, the projection is 3:03 - 3:07. Geez, I've always thought a 3:10 would be the A goal. Going to try some Yasso 800's tomorrow and see how they play out according to the tables. I've always targeted 3:10-15 in the past.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tom King Half Marathon

Long day today. Got up at 3:30 am to get out the door by 4:30 to make it to Nashville by 5:30. Biggest concern was having something warm and somewhat waterproof for the race setup, then something to race in and then the cool down clothes. I volunteered for the set up crew for the Tom King Half Marathon. One of the first one's to get to the stadium, as it was being unlocked. Lot's of scrawny cats, one jumped out of the trash can and scared the crap out me.

Race set up was wet, seemed like it was raining harder than it actually was when you stood under a tent or tarp. I went through two sets of gloves, between the start and finish line. It wasn't really to bad, though I really felt for those volunteers who would be in it all day long. Got to go onto the Titans field as part of the finish line set up. Only thing I did was set up the tripods for the timing clocks and set one of the clocks out. The grass on the side lines was much nicer than the golf course grass, at least before all of the runners started trampling it.

Got my chip and shirt with plenty of time to change and get a warmup done. It was nice to have the van to change from the wet clothes into the race clothes. I went with shorts, under armour shirt, singlet over that, gloves and a hat. Lubed very generously because of the rain. I carried one gel to take before the gun and one at 6 miles. Only ran one mile or so to warmup and then headed to the start.

Plan for this race was to divide it into 3 separate races. First 4 miles to get onto pace, roughly 6:40. This was based on a soft goal of hitting 1:28, the B goal was a 1:27 and the secret A goal was a 1:26. Training indicated a 1:26 was possible. Next 4 miles were just to maintain pace and the final 5 miles hang on and push it home.

The race itself played out extremely well. The early miles were coming way to easy and I decided the A goal pace was doable and tried to maintain around a 6:35 or so pace. By 4 miles, this pace seem to be maintainable, and locked into pace. Tried to gauge my effort by those around me. The 3rd place female, stopped in front of me to tie her shoe and lost probably 20 seconds or more. She came blasting by me and I tried to hang with her but she was going just a tad to quick, around a 6:23 or so. Around mile 5 is where the leaders went by. That really pumped me up. I picked up the pace considerably and had to back it down. Saw FM2 and P, in the second big pack behind the leader and the 2-3 guys chasing him. Cool to see the fast guys at work. Took my gel at 6 miles and started back. This part of the race really seems to get me going and I almost have to hold back and not go to hard and go anaerobic. This is also the point where you start to share the pathway with everyone. Cool to see those you know and yell for them and have them yell for you. But, also pretty annoying when some won't give way and block the whole path. Plus, this is the part where you get to run through 3-4 puddles of water. Blah. Mile 9 on home was a fight. VP passed me and I tried to stay off his shoulder but lost contact. I was able to hold roughly 6:44 or so home which was a plus. Felt like I left everything on the road. I was spent when I hit the line. Not any fight left what so ever. Actually doubled over before the tunnel, because I felt like I was going to hurl. My clock said 1:27:22 which is over a minute PR. Chip time was 1:27:44, and the clock at the finish said 1:27:34 when I crossed.

Splits. 6:29,6:39,6:36,6:34,6:37,6:35,6:32,6:33,6:38,6:48,6:47,6:45,7:04,0:40

Garmin read 13.15 miles. No way I did the last .15 in :40, so the 7:04 isn't right either. Actually would be 6:43 pace for that last 1.15 miles. So, I did pick it up slightly coming to the line.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

8 weeks out

Starting to feel pretty strong. True test this weekend at the Tom King half marathon. We did a 5 mile tempo run this morning. Planned pace was 6:45-6:50. First mile came in at 6:38, then 6:40 and then a couple of 6:44's. We started the same time as the fast guys, but were only able to see them through the first mile and a half, maybe. S. really helped to keep me going on mile 3 when I seem to always want to relax to much. Somehow, I took a turn to early back into the subdivision on the final mile, and we kept hitting dead ends, which killed our pace. I stopped a 3rd of mile into mile 5. Even forgot to hit the lap or stop button on the Garmin.

Sunday's long run went really well. S. pulled me through the first 11 miles and then I finished up the final 10.5 miles on my own. Wind finally got to me on the last 4 miles home. I wanted to push in at marathon pace, but could only muster around a 8:00 pace. I even ended up walking home the final quarter mile, when the Garmin hit 21.5 miles. The wind just wore me out. Plenty of energy throughout the run. Took a powergel at 8, 14 and 16 miles and Succeed caps at one hour and then every 45 minutes.

Yesterday's picture is a reference to the 5.56 sticker I saw on the back of a pickup truck. I couldn't figure out what it meant, maybe a real short tri? Ends up that's the standard size of the Nato round used by the military. The M16 used that round, so I knew it sounded familiar, but didn't realize what it was until I googled it. Read a great blog post regarding a 5k marathon and a reference to the 26.2 sticker. I use to have one on the back of my car, but it finally peeled off. It's been replaced by the flying monkey sticker.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Danger zone

Spring is in the air. Nice warm breeze this morning. Should hit 70 degrees this weekend. Maybe even jump on the bike. Golf course was nice and soft this morning. Lots of critters out and about. First thing I saw was a fox crossing the road onto the golf course. Guess his only enemy is the car. He's probably the one taking out the baby geese. Haven't seen them yet this year. Did see the skunk this morning, hopefully the fox can weed out a few of the skunk babies. Birds were everywhere, even fighting;), (those bird's weren't fighting).

Halfway through the training for the next marathon. The speed stuff is really clicking now. This is the point in my training were everything seems to be going good and I get to cocky. Run fast on a easy day or something just as dumb. Last year it was doing a long run the day after a race. Yesterday's speed workout went extremely well, even though at the time it sucked. Just need to maintain the discipline to work the next speed workout at the prescribed pace and not to much more. That's how I screwed up this past weekends progression run. Went to fast on the second piece and didn't have anything left for the final push.

Dylan's last basketball game is friday night. They got beat last weekend. Good game, but they didn't take enough shots and kept letting the other team take multiple shots after the rebounds. We didn't sign up for baseball or soccer this year.

Wasn't really thinking about Sammy Hagar and the danger zone album with the picture. It came up on my google search for a danger zone sign. Oh well, I'm probably the only one who likes his music anyway. I know the David Lee Roth fans were all bent out of shape when he was singing for Van Halen. I saw Sammy in concert when he was the "red rocker". Great show, I've got pictures somewhere. That's back when I was shooting mostly slide film though. Need to convert that stuff to digital.

Monday, March 2, 2009

9 weeks out

Nine weeks until the Flying Pig marathon. Two weeks until the Tom King half marathon. Not to excited about the Tom King. Last time I raced it was 2-3 years ago. I tweaked my achilles about 2 miles from the finish and hobbled home. Plus, though the course is flat and fast, it's very boring. The greenway section has no character, only thing good is being able to see the other runners after the turn around.

Training this week went pretty well until yesterday. This was a high mileage week, but only one speed workout. Fridays run was an hour and a half, with the last 4 miles in a driving rain. Saturday's run was shorter, but again in the rain. At least it was only a light rain. Sunday, I woke up to snow and went back to bed. Plan was for a progression run, no way that would work in the snow and ice. The guys went ahead and ran in the snow. I should have went with them.

I waited until 12:30, after most of the snow had melted from the roads. The temperature was 40 degrees, but a steady wind with some really big gusts. Went out to General Bragg HQ's on the greenway and did 30 minutes of warmup. The trees still had lots of snow and still patches of snow everywhere. Next 30 minutes were supposed to be around marathon pace, 7:15 miles. I ended up averaging 7:06, and had to really make an effort to keep from going to quick. I did these miles on the loop at the Stones River Battlefield. Worked well, because it sheltered most of the wind except for maybe a quarter mile worth of headwind and another quarter worth of tail wind. Final 30 minutes were supposed to be around 6:45. It never happened. First mile came in at 6:50 and it was a struggle. Next mile was a 7:16. I couldn't keep the fast pace going and decided to just try and maintain marathon pace. Twenty minutes into the final 30 minutes and I caved. I was spent. Can't believe the lack of energy at that point. Couple of things come to mind: strong winds wore me out, high mileage week, or maybe the late start? Heart rate was higher than it should have been in the last few miles, almost maximum.

Really ready for winter to be over. The cold isn't that big of deal. This morning it was 24 degrees and everything was comfortable except for my face. The wind was blowing enough to make my face hurt. It never really warmed up that much. Everytime it did, I'd be back into the wind. Brrrrrr....... Tomorrow is even supposed to be colder, but at least I'll be running with the herd and can tuck in behind someone for a portion of the run.