Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'll miss the gravel

Looks like the first new section of greenway from Old Fort Park towards Barfield Crescent Park is about to be paved. I started running on it around August of 2008. They've started to put the fill dirt on the sides of the sections which have already been paved or concreted. They are pouring some new concrete sections just before the I-24 overpass. This section is probably the lowest section of the new trail. It had been completely washed away by all of the winter rains.

No new progress that I could see on the section under Hwy 99/New Salem Hwy towards Barfield Crescent. This portion to just behind the World Outreach Church is still just a dirt path. Hopefully this section will start to be developed and turned to gravel once they've paved the other section. The new trailhead on the other side of the Stones River appears to be just about finished. The parking lot has been paved. No grass seed or sod has been laid, but everything else appears to be finished. Link to plans.

Found plans for another trail this morning. It's part of an existing horse trail from the Walter Hill dam. I tried running this trail last summer and got lost. I ended up using my Garmin to find my way back on the roads. I'll need to go out this winter and try it again. I did see alot of horses out last week, so perhaps its' runnable now. It was pretty overgrown or I wasn't actually on the trail.

Making plans for the next race after Moon Pie. Think I'll try for a fast 10k at the Chikin Run 10k. I haven't run a decent 10k, there just aren't that many around the Middle Tn area. Look forward to having one in Murfreesboro. Nice to have some local races in Murfreesboro, without having to travel to Nashville. The course is pretty flat, should be fast. Big plus that the loop around the Battlefield is where we've been doing tempo runs for the last couple of years.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

99 days

Longest running streak ever, I'm on day 99.(only running streak) This morning was tough getting out of bed at 3:30 am to meet the guys for a run a 4:30 am. Seems like everyone has a different goal for the summer, so lots of different training programs. Though I think at least 3 or 4 of us will be racing at Moon Pie.

Still doing speed work to get ready for Moon Pie. Last night was 2 x 3 miles at tempo pace with EB. (that's what made it so tough to get out of bed after 5 hours of sleep) Pretty hot and humid for the first repeat and then rain for the next repeat. Times came in about where we wanted them. We started each repeat a touch slow and then sped up with each mile.

It's been almost 3 weeks since the marathon and my endurance seems to have disappeared. The tempo pace is coming easy enough. Tried to do a 13 mile long run in the hills on sunday but the last 3 miles were tough with the heat. Probably should have taken some water.

Still following the Giro on Velonews. Lance is getting stronger and Levi has slid back in the general classification. Next 5 days will be grueling mountain stages. Sure wish it was on TV. I'll have to watch some of the highlights on Universal Sports. Looks like even Lance is doing the compression socks for recovery.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

new hill route

GW took me on a new hill route this morning. We only did 9 miles, but plenty of hills. Probably get the subdivision names wrong, but we did Briarwood and Bandywood, plus Saddle Drive. Those were the 3 big hills. I don't have the hill on the Moon Pie race on my Garmin, so I can't really compare. These didn't seem as steep, nor as long. I'll try and talk the guys into going out and running the Moonpie course one time before race day.

Found a map on motionbased of the moonpie course. The climb on "The Hill" is about a quarter mile and 100 foot of rise or 7.6% grade. The top is at about 1,050 foot, the race starts at 850 foot and rolls for the first four miles, until you hit the hill. After the hill it's a flat couple of miles and then the last 2 miles are rolling to a downhill finish. Great course for a negative split. Looks like Saddle Drive is pretty comparable to the hill at Moon pie.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ankle sprains

First time back to the golf course, post marathon and I managed to sprain my ankle, yet again. Probably a grade I sprain this time around. Took over a mile to loosen back up. Moderate pain and swelling. No where near as bad as when I rolled it and broke the 5th metatarsal or last grade II at the golf course. This is precisely why I avoided the golf course in the final 3 weeks before the marathon.

Copied from the world wide web................

The term sprain merely indicates that a ligament has been damaged. Sprains are divided into several groups depending on the severity of damage to the involved ligament.

Grade I Sprain

A Grade I (First Degree) sprain is the most common and requires the least amount of treatment and recovery. The ligaments connecting the ankle bones are often over-stretched, and damaged microscopically, but not actually torn. The ligament damage has occurred without any significant instability developing.

Grade II Sprain

A Grade II (Second Degree) injury is more severe and indicates that the ligament has been more significantly damaged, but there is no significant instability. The ligaments are often partially torn.

Grade III Sprain

A Grade III (Third Degree) sprain is the most severe. This indicates that the ligament has been significantly damaged, and that instability has resulted. A grade III injury means that the ligament has been torn.
The lateral ligaments are the most commonly injured. On the lateral side, the ligaments are typically damaged in a direction that goes from the front to the back, with the most severe injury being in the front (anterior) and the least severe being in the back (posterior). Therefore, the most commonly damaged ligament is the anterior talo-fibular ligament and the least commonly damaged is the posterior talofibular ligament.

The sprain occurs when the ankle is turned unexpectedly in any direction that is further than he ligaments are able to tolerate. Typically, the sprain occurs with running, jumping, sharp direction changes, or stepping on uneven ground. The risk factors for having an ankle sprain include, uneven ground, previous untreated ankle injuries, being overweight, or using poorly fitting or worn out shoes.

........end Internet copy and paste................

Don't know if my self diagnosis is correct. I was able to continue the run this morning. The rest of the herd actually picked up the pace once the sun was up and I was able to hang. Pretty big group for the golf course,Speedy, Doc, Preacher and BQ1. I'm icing as I write this morning and already have taken some ibuprofen. Hopefully, it will just be a little stiff tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

time to get back on the bike

Lance at the Giro, photo by Graham Watson

Stage 4 of the Giro yesterday and they are in the mountains. No tv coverage only universal sports internet feeds. I never could get those to work for the Boston marathon, didn't even try for the Giro. I've only been following on Velonews. Lance is back and currently in around 6th place in the general classification behind Leiphimer and Popovich, his Astana team mates.

from Velonews....

“Armstrong was looking good. Tomorrow we’ll see just how good he is,” Di Luca said. “We have to try to eliminate him. We cannot let him hang around and get stronger. Look what happened last year with Contador. He got stronger as the race went on, we cannot make the same mistake with Armstrong.”

Armstrong — now sixth at 28 seconds back — said he honestly doesn’t know what to expect. Tuesday’s climb was fast but he could pace off his teammates and a group of nearly 40 riders. Wednesday’s summit finish will be every man for himself.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Track to Moonpie

Back to the track this morning with Speedy and Doc. Speedy gets excited talking about the track. It is quite a different workout than the marathon stuff we've been doing. We did some kind of Jack Daniels workout, 2 x 200 meters and 1 x 400 meters at R pace, 4 sets. We started at the beginning of the cycle. I've only started 5 weeks out from the end of the cycle with the Jack stuff. We'd talked about doing a Horwill program or something else. Most of the workouts are pretty similar, only difference seems to be recovery time.

These guys are looking to peak for a July 5k, for me the next race is the RC Cola Moon Pie, a 10 miler in 4 weeks. I didn't run it last year, I watched the clock at the 5 mile marker. I've run this race at least 3 times, but never "fast". It's a fun race, lots of rolling hills. Usually a warm humid morning. According to Athlinks, I've run Moonpie 3 times with a pr of 1:09:32. I'd be happy with a 1:07, but really should be able to run a 1:06.

Allergies have started back up. Really noticed it out at the farm on Sunday. Pretty sure its the grass coming to seed. This morning at the track I could smell the honeysuckle, they've always triggered the allergies in the past. Still haven't had to much difficulty this spring.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Post pig

Still pumped about the race on Sunday. The biggest factor in this marathon was the amount of energy available in the last 6 miles. This has to be the increase in mileage. Last year was a huge jump in mileage and this years decision to try running without any rest days all helped. I hadn't really planned on attempting a running streak, it just kinda happened. I was tempted to let it go during the final week of taper, but actually looked forward to getting out and running. I even like the track.

Training partners
Lots of credit to the guys I've been running with this training cycle. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought a 3:05 for a marathon was possible. Sure, I've plugged my fastest 5k or 5 mile time in McMillans Running Calculator and it spits out a 3:05. But, these guys actually had me believing it was possible. I've trained with various groups over the years, RAW and Solano groups in Texas, Atlanta guys, EB here in Murfreesboro and lately the herd here in Murfreesboro. Phooey on the lonely long distance runner, go out and run with a group. Someone is going to pull or push you along and just as importantly you'll be doing the same.

The plan behind this training cycle was from McMillan. I just tagged along with the fast guys and tried to do the workouts they were doing. I modified the times for the speed stuff. Most runs I would just warmup with them and then they'd be gone. Two workouts really stand out as different than other programs in the past, the fast finish long run and the minute on, minute off. I've done marathon pace runs in other programs, but these workouts were faster paced and not as long. The minute on was tough but doable and at first the minute recovery seems like plenty. That workout really made me feel stronger and helped to gauge efforts on the track. Training log on with all of the gory details. Also, did six long runs of 20+ miles.

We knew going into training for the pig that we'd have hills. The fast guys incorporated a hilly course into every long run we did. This was tough, especially on the fast finish workouts. But, its a great feeling to know that you can maintain marathon pace effort with the hills. Speedy and FM went to Percy Warner park and doubled it once. I skipped that workout, those hills were to steep and seem to beat me up to much. In hindsight, I should have probably have done that workout. It'd have been a solo effort, though.

Hydration and Fueling
Dehydration has been the toughest thing for me to figure out in the 13 years I've been doing these marathons. I can't stomach gatorade. I drink plain water on training runs and take succeed caps. One big benefit of the increase in mileage is the way the body adapts. I don't need to take in as much water on the daily runs, but it makes all of the difference in the quality of the long run. I've experimented with different gels and ended up using the Powergel brand just because it's the most readily available. I've always carried my own. Tried the gel flask in the past, but found the individual gel packets work the best for me. In training I took the gels every 45 minutes, starting after 8-10 miles. On race day, the plan was one at the start and then one every 5 miles. Forgot to take the first gel at the start. It didn't seem to make a difference, though I did take an extra gel at mile 23? So, the gel every 5 miles seemed to work effectively.

Sub 3:00 marathon
Never thought I'd be thinking about a sub 3:00 marathon. Seems doable now. This cycle probably had me in shape to make that attempt. I really thought it was doable after cresting the climb at mile 8 of the pig. Reality sunk in pretty quickly around mile 13 when that pace was just a little to quick. I wore the Garmin so I watched my pace, but didn't really adjust my pace based on that, but more on effort. I'd really like to make a sub 3:00 attempt this fall. The guys in the herd will probably be training for a fall marathon, that'll help.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Huge PR !

Flying Pig Marathon race report

Three of us drove up from Murfreesboro early Saturday morning. We left my house at about 6 am. FM drove, Speedy rode shotgun and I rode in the back. Rained until Louisville and then the sun came out. Lot's of limo's headed down from up north to the Derby. The state troopers set up a huge speed trap on one of the overpasses with at least 8-10 cars lined up to catch the next speeder. Pretty efficient operation.

Got into Cincinnati around noon and were able to check into our hotel immediately. I'd called ahead to request a early check in. Parked the van and walked the 3 blocks to the expo. Didn't spend a lot of time at the expo. We were all hungry, but more importantly at least for the fast guys was getting in a run and previewing the course. I needed the run to keep my streak alive.

After we finished at the expo we headed out to look at the course. Speedy read the directions and I drove the course. I've never really been a fan of previewing the race course, but I'm sure glad we did. We rode most of the course, but missed one significant hill at mile 18 that was a complete shock on race day. It was nice to know where the hills where located and when they where over.

The first point of the course preview was the major climb at 6 miles. We rode to what we thought was the top and parked. Actually it was only about a mile of the climb. We did a slow jog to the bottom and the back up to the top and around trying to figure out where the top was located. Slow easy run in the sunshine and then back in the van to ride the rest of the course. Lots of small climbs, but lots of long descents as well. Last 6 miles were about the only flat part of the course, with at least 2-3 small rises along the way. We all thought the course would be quicker on the back half after the climb, from mile 9 on home.

Woke up to rain and 59 degrees on race morning. Little bit warmer than we thought. We all did the garbage bag poncho thing and carried our shoes to the start. We all started just behind the line. This was the first time I'd ever started that close to the front, only 7 seconds back according to the chip. It was also the least crowded corral I've ever seen in a marathon. First few miles felt way to easy. The crowds downtown were great and pushed me a little to quick. I tried to hold back to the planned 7:03 pace but the miles just came much to easily.

Started talking with a local runner around mile 5 about the upcoming climb. My early miles had put me in a position to think a sub 3:00 was possible. I didn't lose very much time on the climb and got it all back on the downhills following. I was wearing a Nashville Fleet Feet singlet, so he kept calling me Nashville. "What'd you think of the climb, Nashville". He was going to start pushing after the climb and push for a sub 3:00. I stayed with him until about mile 12 when I decided that was just a little bit to hot of a pace for me.

I printed off a 3:05 pace band from the Runners World website. I put a red S on the points where I needed to take my succeed caps and highlighted the places to take my power gels. Also laminated it. Lost my first powergel, that I forget to take at the start within a hundred yards of the start. No problem I still had the 4 to take every 5 miles. Hydration and fueling all went according to plan. I took water at almost every available spot. Never took any gatorade. Did take a extra caffeine GU at mile 23.

Felt good until about mile 18 where the miles started to be more work. From this point home the runners where pretty spread out. I don't think anyone passed me from that point home. I just tried to pick off the runner in front of me. Those runners who did pass me, came back and I pushed forward and reeled them back. Mile 23 home was a struggle but didn't lose much time and continued passing runners. Actually able to surge once I could actually see the finish line, a hundred yards away. Finish time 3:05:10. That's a 12 minute PR. FM lived up to his moniker and was the master's winner in a time of 2:47, a PR. Even though they gave his award to some 22 year old, and had him down as a 35 year old. Speedy PR'd as well.


1 6:45
2 6:39
3 6:46
4 6:46
5 6:58
6 6:50 start of the "hill"
7 7:15
8 7:13
9 6:50 backside of the "hill"
10 6:49
11 6:47
12 6:52
13 7:03
14 6:58
15 7:04
16 6:57
17 6:53
18 7:04
19 7:05
20 7:01
21 7:10
22 7:01
23 7:12
24 7:16
25 7:35
26 7:21
.41 2:50

post race thoughts..

Old Man, that's me. Top of the "hill".

FM, Fast Master, filming at the top of the climb overlooking the Ohio river.

Speedy and FM's back