Sunday, February 28, 2010

hills build strength

Target race is coming up in two weeks. After six plus weeks of 60 plus mile weeks, I'm still not in race shape. Didn't realize how much was lost until Speedy mentioned his VDOT and I looked up mine. Pretty eye opening the gap that needs to be closed to be in the same shape as my last decent race. The 5k race coming will just be a bench mark to build on for the remainder of spring and summer 5k attempts. The short speed stuff is coming, but I lack the strength or endurance to pull it all together for 5k.

Decided to go run a long run on the hills with the fast guys again this weekend. Thankfully they weren't in any big hurry with a pace that was manageable for me. One thing that really stands out in all the different programs all of the guys are using for all of the different race distance they're training; is hills. Everyone is doing some kind of hill workout. For me, its the hilly long run. Ideally Percy Warner Park every three weeks is a great strength builder. Haven't been out there in forever. Maybe this spring.

Wore my new Road ID on the long run as well. First time I've ever worn one on my ankle. Comfortable enough, didn't even know it was on. It's been a long time since I've worn any kind of ID when I run. In the past I'd go to X Mart and get a dog tag engraved with my name, address and telephone number. I'd lace it to my shoe and forget about it, until I changed shoes. Since I've moved back to Tennessee, probably 7 years have gone by since I've worn one. Plus, I wear a different pair of shoes on each run. Usually only 2 shoes, but never on successive days.

Bottled up our batch of home brewed English Brown Ale the other day. Color is a rusty almost caramel and the ABV calculates to 4.4%. Pretty successful brew, the flat beer tasted pretty good. Real test will be in 10 days after it's carbonated and settled some. Went out to Mom's and picked up a case of 750 ml Fischer Pils bottles with the flip tops and a case of Grolsch 16 ouncer's with the same. The Fischer's are from the early 70's when we lived in Germany. Cool old bottle, the stopper portion is ceramic versus the hard plastic used on the Grolsch. She also gave me an old 5 gallon carboy that my grandmother had picked up in Mexico. Sadly, we did manage to break one old wine carboy. It was probably older than the other one, looked to be blown glass, little thinner and almost a round shape. Luckily neither of us were cut when it broke.

Monday, February 22, 2010

sunny days

3 days straight of sunshine here in Middle Tennessee. Bring on spring! Able to get two runs in with shorts instead of tights. Saturday warmed pretty quick and lots of runners on the greenway in shorts. I'd worn tights and actually felt overdressed. Sunday's long run was in shorts, but did wear the calf sleeves. Much to the amusement of the guys. Today's run was even warm enough to leave the Zensah calf sleeves at home. But, the gray has returned and talk of snow again this evening. At least another month of cold weather, but the trend should be towards warming.

Saturday, Darrell and I made a trip into Nashville to All Seasons Garden & Brewing Supply. They are one of the few places in the area that sell beer brewing supplies. I've been wanting to home brew for several years. Last year I made a batch of beer with one of those 2.5 gallons Mr. Beer kits. I did several things wrong, but the beer turned out ok. I have a case of one liter flip top bottles from that brew, so just need another 6 pack or so of 12 ounces bottles to brew a 5 gallon batch. We bought the Brewers Best beer kit, which included everything for a brew except a brew pot and the ingredients for the first brew.

Sunday we brewed up our first batch of beer, a Nut Brown Ale. Brewing beer is pretty much like brewing tea, with an added step to put in the alcohol. Darrell wanted to go for the all grain brew, but we decided to stick with the malt extract kits for our first couple of brews. (part of the kit is a can of malt extract, the other option is to use all grains to create your own "extract"') One item I thought would make the next brew easier would be a floating thermometer and a wort chiller. But, after reading a thread in a runningahead forum decided next time to let the wort cool overnight.

Should have our first bottles of beer to sample around the time Darrell turns 21. We went by the Yazoo brewery with the intention of touring the brewery. But after standing in line for awhile, the decision was made that it would be more fun if Darrell was able to have a sample and a pint or two in the tap room instead of watching me indulge. This was my first trip to the brewery and they should be moved down into the Gulch in the next month or so. This will enable me to run by at lunch and fill a growler pretty easily. Don't know why they are moving, the old Marathon factory is a pretty cool looking old building. I'd imagine it'll probably be torn down in the next couple of years if no other business moves into Yazoo's space. (edit to add) When Yazoo moves out of Marathon — clearing the way for locally owned liquor company Corsair to start building a unique distillery on the premises — the taproom will be blissfully three times larger. And the restrooms will be heated!(from the Nashville Post)

Monday, February 15, 2010

2 pounds and 4 weeks

.........and a whole lot of speed to build up. Made the decision last week to switch from the half marathon to the 5k at Tom King this year. I've run the half 3 times at Tom King. Twice in 1:27 during marathon training. I've only trained once, for the half distance only and that was a 1:28, but that was in Memphis. Just can't see attempting another half when I'm not in shape to run it to my potential. Last year, while in marathon training, I thought a 1:26 was possible and just about got it. Perhaps with a little more taper and not after running a 20 miler the week before. But, after training this spring, it seems the marathon training is what got me in good enough shape to run those times. Or the buildup from my last injury is just taking longer.

Maybe I'm just a little impatient this cycle. I jumped into half marathon training about 3-4 weeks after BQ1. I seemed to chase after him more times than not. The fast finish long runs were probably the most revealing. I just couldn't keep the pace going. Plus, the last couple of steady state runs were way more work than last year. It's coming back but slower. Fourteen miles chasing the fast guys on the hills on the St. John hills were tougher and I couldn't maintain pace attempting a fast finish, even with the downhill to assist me. Part of this was because of the form drills from the previous day. The drills were a bit more work than I anticipated. Good stuff, hope to see some results from those in the coming weeks.

The forms drills came from Pete Magill's, Younger legs for Older Runners. This is a great web site. I was really interested in his 10 week program for the 5k for the upcoming Carlsbad 5000. But, he's pulled it from his website after 2 weeks and is going to write it up for Running Times. Scratch that, its still on his site.

So, with four weeks until the race I'm going to concentrate on speed and form. I've only got two more pounds to drop to get to 155, which is the lightest I've ever raced. Dropping the weight is a non issue. The speed on the other hand is going to be tough. Thursday I tried some repeats at race pace and it was tough to find it and to consistently hold it. Probably need to go back to the track. That's what I did in 2008 for my only sub 19:00 5k in the last 10 years. Somewhere, somehow I've got to build some strength and endurance. I'd have thought the 60 miles weeks would do that.

This mornings run should be interesting. We got a couple of inches of snow overnight. I really enjoy running in the snow, but this will be the 3rd day straight with snow. It's ok for the easy days, but really makes getting the quality runs difficult to execute. Ready for winter to be over.

Monday, February 8, 2010

5 weeks out from the Tom King half marathon and 5k

Worked the Predators 5k on saturday for my last tokens to run in the Tom King race. Big turnout for the race with 1,600 preregistered. Sure don't see how anyone can run that quick with the wind and cold. It was around 34 degrees at the start, which wasn't bad. I was actually to warm at times, because I'd dressed for the wind. It was chilly. Can't imagine running downtown, with the wind tunnel effect, in shorts and a singlet. Brrrrrrr. The winning time was 16:07. First winter race for me at the finish line, and the number of puking runners just seems to stand out. Hot day, I could see. Always cool to see everyone coming across the line.

Training this week was ok. Only did one quality workout, seven miles at steady state. One more this week for eight miles and I'm switching to shorter, faster stuff. Maybe back to the hills for some repeats to continue and build strength. Did manage to get 60 miles this week on seven days of running. That makes fourteen days in a row, running. Not trying to have a running streak, but really is the only way to get the mileage without doing doubles. Not that I'm against doubles, they're just to hard to pull off.

Did manage to drop 2 pounds with the increase in mileage. This should help come race day. Not that I've got that much to lose. Probably why it takes several weeks worth of increased miles before those pounds actually drop. In the last 4 weeks I've averaged 60 miles per week.

Sending off my registration for the race today. Can't believe its' $50 for a half marathon. Guess I'm just a little out of touch with the race fees. I only race maybe twice a year. Seems like the last couple of marathons were around $65. Best deal out there is the State Park running tour. This weekend is the Frostbite half marathon. If, I was in shape and could swing being gone all day that race is a bargain. One of these years perhaps we can get a group together and race one of them a month and trade off on driving or something. The fact that they usually start around 11 am is the deal breaker for me. One day.