Sunday, January 31, 2010

6 weeks

Started talking about the snow that was coming on Monday or Tuesday. We finally got it on Friday morning. Probably had around 4 or 5 inches worth before it changed over to freezing rain sometime in the night. End effect was a coating of ice on the trees and the top layer of ice an inch or so thick on top of the snow.

BQ1 changed his workout to Thursday because of the predicted snow. I already had my six mile steady state run planned for that day. Worked out well because Sol needed a workout and he agreed to pull us through the workout. I'd hoped for around a 6:50 pace and the first mile came in around 6:46. Dialed in pretty close to half marathon pace but should be doable for six miles. I ended following off of BQ1's shoulder for as long as I could hang on with Sol pulling us both. Ended up with about a 6:45 or so average for the six miles, quicker than my average pace from my last 10k.

Slept in on Friday morning and again on Saturday morning. Did get out for runs on both days, with a nice run in the late afternoon on Saturday in the daylight. Snow was still crunchy, only 24 degrees and a gray sky all day long. Tough run on the trail out at the Stones River Battlefield. Most of the trail under the trees was just snow covered without much of a ice buildup on top. Sections of the trail out in the open were ice covered and ankle deep snow. Fun stuff.

Sun finally came back out today and the snow was starting to melt on the last 20 minutes of my long run. The first few miles were cold and hard to keep my thumbs warm. Saw P man out on the last couple of miles of his 20 mile run. I'd slept in yet again and missed starting with the guys. Mine was a solo effort all around town on the busy roads, because they were the most snow free. Did run for about a mile with P man when he overtook me around mile six for me, which helped bring my average pace down a little bit. Didn't think I'd find any good shots for the camera on a urban run, but was surprised by the amount of ice on the trees and the reflections of light from the rising sun. Darn, to gray on Saturday for any shots and to cold today. Should have just stuck in my pocket anyway. Oh well.

Dylan and I sledded for a little while on Friday afternoon. We weren't really dressed well enough for the cold, so didn't stay out more than an hour or so. Thought I'd broken my shoulder on one of the runs. Just a tad to old to be flying down those hills that fast. We went back again on Saturday morning with his cousin and stayed even longer, but we were dressed for it this time. I only did a couple of slides and stopped after bruising my hip. Still sore today.

Monday, January 25, 2010

seven weeks out

Hit 60.9 miles this week on 6 day days of running. Didn't run this morning, so still just streaking for 6 days at a time. Seems like every other run this past week was in the rain. The long run last week was pouring rain as was this weeks. Steady state run on Thursday was raining the entire way as well.

Weight is still stuck at 160 pounds. Seems like the same thing happened when I increased the mileage last year. Still hope to drop five pounds by race day. I did start back on lifting weights twice a week. At least that helps to keep the arms firm. The big mileage is about the only thing that seems to melt that last few pounds around the middle of the belly. Never have been able to maintain a constant regime of crunches or sit ups.

The guys I've been running with (the herd) are mostly all back running. Some are running strong, some are coming back from injury and some sharpening up the speed or focused on the next race. All of this diversity makes some of the training runs really interesting. We all usually start off together for a few miles of warmup and then separate as everyone gets into their individual workouts or comfort zones. Nice when we are all able to run from start to finish together, but that is really difficult with the different levels of training/fitness/talent.

BQ1 was able to defend his masters title at the Zoo run on Saturday. He's running super strong. Even able to come out in the rain on Sunday morning and pull me through 11 miles of the Spain loop. We did the loop backwards to get "the hill" over with first. Doesn't really matter how you do that loop its rolling hills the entire way. His scheduled workout called for 20 minutes of "moderate". We started that after the last major hill. Pretty tough workout 14 hours after racing. I was able to keep pace most of the way. Lost ground on the uphills, gained it back on the downhills. Still he pulled away in the last 5 minutes. Guess he was either ready to be done or wanted to see how much gas he had left in the tank. I'll just be glad to maintain that kind of pace for six miles this coming thursday.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

8 weeks out

Not really enough time for a proper buildup for a half marathon. But, at least it gives me a target to aim at for the next several weeks. The Tom King Half marathon is March 13th. I've been able to sharpen up the speed in five weeks the last couple of years off a marathon base. This time around I'm still struggling to get back up to speed and that was only for a 5 mile race.

Still not following any schedule. Been doing BQ1's workouts with him on Tuesdays. Kind of sorta following McMillan on my second speed workout of the week and for the long run. Today I wanted 14 miles. Most of the guys showed up even though it was raining and 47 degrees. I was secretly hoping everyone would stay home and I could either slog on my own or go back home. P man and BQ1 had some Hudson plan workout that was way to intense for me. Speedy and I let them go after about a four mile warmup. We were running the Lascassas loop which has enough hills that I wasn't up for any type of speed workout in the middle.

Looking at the radar this morning before I finally made it out the door, gave me the impression the rain would slack off a hour or so into our run. That never happened, in fact at times the rain picked up and never did slow to more than a steady drizzle. Not to bad for the first 10 miles, but I was ready to be done coming back to the car at around 11 miles. BQ1 and P man were headed back out, so I turned around with them to add some more miles. Couldn't keep up with them and didn't until they'd turned around again and headed back to the car for the cooldown. Thankfully P man pulled me out for one mile out and back to the car to get my 14 miles before he headed back out to finish the rest of his long run.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Tough getting out the door this morning. Yesterday was warmer than it has been, plus most of the guys were running so that was easier than this morning. Way to easy to sleep in or get up for the run, but decide to take a day off. That's what I did on Monday. First mile this morning was cold, 12 degrees and I felt most of it in my fingers. They warmed up by the second mile and the rest of the run was pleasant. Sunshine made it the running highlight of the week.

Going to be tough to drop five pounds to get into racing weight. Stuck at 160 pounds which is about where I always end up running about 40 miles per week. Most people wouldn't even be able to tell the extra five pounds. I know my running friends look pretty skinny when they whine about being fat. Increasing my mileage to around 70 miles per week should get me around 155 pounds. No need for any special diet or fasting required. Jeez, that's one of the key reasons for running is so I can eat what I want and enjoy my beer.

Tougher thing is the comeback from being injured. Still struggling to keep up with the guys. Pretty encouraging workout on Tuesday in hindsight. It felt pretty rough when BQ1 and I were running it. Or should I say as I chased after him. But, when I looked up the times as compared to last year, the times were actually quicker this year. Huh? who'd have thought the speed is still there, just no endurance.

Tougher yet, is going to be racing BQ1 at the Tom King half marathon. Last year I ran it as a PR of 1:27 something. This year I'd like to go sub 1:27. BQ1 is halfway into his training and super strong right now. I've got a long way to go, but should be ready come race day. Personal record? Doesn't look good right now, but the body is pretty amazing in how quickly it builds and adapts.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Holy smokes it seems to take forever to build back the strength once its allowed to lapse. Pee man and BQ1 showed me how much I'd lost this morning. We met at Lascassas Baptist Church to run the Spain hill loop. Coldest day of the year, 8 degrees to start and 10 degrees when we finished. I finished dead last, BQ1 finishing strong and Pee man going back out for seven more miles.

Lots of snow still on the roads out here in the country. Most of the hills were snow covered. The guys waited on me at the tops of all of the hills. Pretty embarrassing that I couldn't keep up. This loop is eleven miles with the last hill crest at eight miles. The last three miles home are almost level. Great for a fast finish long run. The guys took off at around a 6:30 pace which was way to much for me. I'd hoped to run the last three miles at marathon pace or so. Hah, actually only able to muster a 7:11 for the first one, 7:19 for the next and only able to squeak out a 7:15 with the help of Pee man pulling me in the last quarter.

Snow was pretty and the footing wasn't that bad. Little to no wind and despite the cold a pretty enjoyable run. Hands were to warm for periods, the ski mask wasn't needed most of the time, but thankful to have it.

Went back and checked the log for the quickest I've run this loop. Almost a full six minutes faster, yet this wasn't the slowest time either. Lots of strength to build before its time to try another race. I'd hoped to run a spring marathon. After checking out the options it just doesn't fit into more current schedule. I'd need another month, probably May before I'd be in marathon shape. To late in the spring for any of the marathons that are close enough to drive. Think I'll just target a fast half marathon at Tom King. Just hope BQ1 doesn't dust me. It should be a good battle.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow slog

Went out at 5:00 am this morning for a run in the snow. Surprised that the trail was covered for most of the way with about a quarter of an inch of snow. Just enough to crunch underfoot and turn the paved trail completely white. Saw a couple of snow angels, but other than that I had the trail to myself. Almost like a full moon run with the reflection of the light on the snow and low hanging clouds, even though the sun wasn't up yet.

The guys traded emails yesterday afternoon about the run, but no one else showed up. The side streets were still pretty icy in spots, but hardly any on the trail. Temperature wasn't that bad, around 17 degrees with a little bit of a north wind. Tuesday was colder and had more wind.

I started at the Old Fort Park trailhead and ran out to the Cason Lane trailhead and on to the end of the trail. Its right at 3 miles to the Cason Lane trailhead. Had it been daylight I'd have brought the camera. Not to many chances to run in the snow around here. To hear the media, it was a deadly wind chill. Bah. Dressed the same as on Tuesday, didn't even use the face mask. (only need it below 15 degrees)

Overdressing for the cold is almost as bad as underdressing. Layers with zippers seem to work well. Finger gloves covered with mittens. A stocking hat. Two pairs of socks and two pairs of tights, one skin tight and the other loose fitting. Wore my trail shoes which have now been used maybe 5 times in the last 10 years. They're really only good for mud, snow, and sand. I really like the high tops, because I have a tendency to roll my ankles on the trails. If I ran more on the trails around here I'd buy a pair with a plate in the forefoot to protect against the rocks.

Friday, January 1, 2010

4th Dirk's Fat Ass 50k

Coldest one yet. 24 degrees to start, the sun was shining and a cold north wind.

Check out Chris's recap.

I really would have liked to have run the whole thing, but decided 20 miles was far enough. Foot held up well, longest run in over 3 months?

Would have stopped at 14 miles, but David twisted my arm to finish the second loop. He really pulled me through that loop and probably ran an extra mile waiting for me. Good to see him stride on out and finish the third loop. It was really cold hanging around afterwards. Everyone else wisely left after they finished their runs. 3 finishers for the entire distance this year.