Friday, December 30, 2011

6 months of wind

Hate running in the wind. Even this morning, first couple of miles were into the wind. It was a warm 44 degrees compared to yesterday's 28 degrees. Still it felt colder for the first mile or so, because of the freakin' wind. Don't know why suddenly the wind is such a big deal. Jeez, when I lived in Texas the wind blew all of the time. Don't remember it being such a nuisance.

Somewhere in the last couple of days, the running streak hit 6 months. Still going. That's about the only running related victory for the year. Every year most of the message boards have a thread about running accomplishments or PR's. Nothing for me. I've run a 50k, a few marathons, a couple of half marathons. Lucky to not have any running related injuries this year. No plans to let the streak end any time soon. Though the toughest running months of the year are coming up. January and February are usually the coldest months of the year.

Dylan ran last night in the fun run the Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation department sponsored. They had a pretty decent turnout, maybe 60 people. Good to see in Murfreesboro. I walked around in the opposite direction, hoping to run into Paula and her Dad, but missed them somehow. They took the inner loop around the pond. Surprised they haven't finished paving the road or making a parking lot.

Next race for Dylan will be the Zoo run. I'm running as well, but it won't be fast. Not enough time to squeeze in enough speed work in the next 3 weeks. Should still be a little bit of fitness from the marathon build up. The Fat Ass 50k, this Sunday shouldn't be more than a long training run. Only goal is to finish in less than 5 hours.

Friday, December 23, 2011

handcuffs behind Gentleman Jim's

That's no place to be 2 days before Christmas. That's not exactly what I was thinking when I saw the dude in cuffs surrounded by the 'boro's finest. Well, at least 3 squad cars worth. I was more worried they'd be wondering why I was running into the adjacent park. (it's a prime poop spot, just went all the way in the back, so I would know if they did notice me.) Wonder if he'll make the bizarro news? "A female employee of a local tattoo shop accidentally shot herself in the calf Thursday when she began to wipe a water ring off her desk and knocked a gun onto the floor, causing it to discharge."

The holiday season is in full stride. Didn't gain any weight over thanksgiving, but have managed to put on 3 pounds in the last week. It's the combination of fewer miles and lots more sweet foods. Not about to give up on any of the sweets. I'll burn all of this off on January 1 in the Fat Ass 50k. I've been practicing my ultra shuffle the last couple of runs.

Started looking at miles run for the year. Right now I'm at 2,482 miles with one more week to go. edit to add (I ended the year with 2,533 miles). Only biked for 365 miles. Most of that was after I broke my collarbone in May. About the same mileage as last years, 2,409. Most ever is still the year of the Pig in 2009 with 2,749.

Ran past the rubble of the old Murfreesboro hospital this morning. Such a shame that hardly any buildings from the 1800's are still standing. (the hospital was built in 1927) Even more disgusting is the demolition of a civil war era building for "spec" building space. Someone must have to much money if they can continue to build strip mall space when other spaces have been vacant for years.

Won't be able to make the "fun run" next thursday. Sadly, Murfreesboro doesn't seem to realize that 80% of the workforce commutes to Nashville every day. They can't make it back to town by 5:30, they'll still be stuck in traffic. At least they've got the trails and continue to build more. Maybe I can get someone to take Dylan, that's great stuff for the kids.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rocket City Race Report

Overslept by 20 minutes. Actually had the most peaceful sleep ever before a marathon. I didn't wake up once during the night. No tossing and turning. Usually I'd be up every hour or two. Guess sleeping in my own bed does the trick.

Paula and Dylan drove down with me. We had to make one stop, because I'd forgotten lube for my feet. Trip down wasn't bad, just at 2 hours. Hadn't checked the weather before we left, and surprised to find temperatures at 35 degrees. I'd thought it would be colder, but not quite as windy. It was overcast as well, which made it seem even colder.

Got my bib and found the W brothers. We all went up to their room to chill out for the hour before the start. I decided to go with shorts, calf sleeves, beanie hat, mittens, a compression long sleeve and another layer for the wind, an armless Fleet Feet t-shirt. Didn't wear my race ready shorts with pockets for my gels or succeed caps. I planned to carry them.

Left the hotel with about 15 minutes to go, because the lube that I just bought, I'd left in the van. Went back out to the van to lube up. Had all of my stuff ready to go and the cannon fired. Holy shit! I thought they'd started the race early and I still had one shoe off. Figured out quick enough that was just the start of the wheel chair race. Gathered up my gels and succeed caps and somehow lost 2. To late to get anymore. (mistake, should have grabbed 2 more) Jumped out of the van and jogged to the start.

Should have hung back in the van another 5 minutes or more. Last time I ran this race, I stayed in the hotel lobby until the masses moved to the start. Oh well. This did give me enough time, 10 freakin' minutes to go find a spot to take a leak. Found a loading dock adjacent to the start that was out of the wind. Talked with another masters runner who was running his first marathon. His half PR was a 1:14 and wasn't sure what to expect. Never saw him again.

From the gun, I decided my strategy would be to run as close to 6:49 as possible. When the wind was at my back a few seconds quicker. The first four miles were a loop around downtown and then back by the start for the stretch heading south. Mile 1-4 splits (6:50,6:51,6:36,6:43)

Met up with KC and we ran together for awhile. The 3:00 pacer was a no show. We knew once we made the turn around mile 15, the wind would be in our face. Saw JL ahead earlier and had thoughts of keeping him in sight, but wisely decided to let him creep on ahead. Mile 5-10 splits (6:41,6:48,6:46,6:53,6:52,6:57)

Seemed like we had a pretty good little pack together until about 10 miles. This part of the course is a slight downhill and the wind seemed to be at our backs, so I picked it up a smidge. According to the Garmin I was on a 6:47 average pace at this point. Hit the half way mark at 1:29:40 with 20 seconds in the bank. Mile 11-15 splits(6:44,6:49,6:52,6:54,6:59)

Mile 15 was the first slow mile, but it was into the wind, expected. The bigger surprise was the next mile a 7:34, yikes the wind was kicking my ass. Sucked it up and trudged on, but lost contact with the group. This is when my quads started tightening up. I hadn't taken any of my succeed caps. Dropped one when I took a gel. Didn't really think they would be a problem. I knew from the start that I only had 2, so I counted on taking one at about 18 miles and then another around mile 22. I had been drinking powerade/gatorade every other water stop and my gels were on schedule. Mile 16-22 splits (7:34,8:43,9:44,10:10,9:58,11:24,12:00)

Did the first walk at mile 17. Quads were tight and cramping but not locking completely. Continued this off and on for quite awhile. Tried to latch on when BQ1 went by and the same when his brother finally caught me. At mile 21, I stopped completely and drank at least 4-5 cups of powerade/gatorade. Another couple of miles of the run/walk before everything loosened up enough to slog the last 3 miles home. Might have helped to that the sun came out somewhere in the last hour. UGH. Mile 23-26 splits (10:52,8:37,8:36,8:16) and 7:34 pace for the .32 according to the Garmin. Only able to get to close to 8 minute mile pace after the cramping eased and able to run nonstop.

BQ1 finished in 3:09 (plus 3rd in age group). His brother continued the family tradition and qualified in his first marathon with a 3:14. DT got his qualifying time as well with a 3:17. Celebratory beers all around sure tasted great.

Cramping quads is a new one for me. Must have been the cold, wind and not enough sodium. Odd that the calves held out, but the sleeves really help there. The decision to stop completely at mile 21 was due to the cramping in my neck and jaw plus the quads. Probably looked like Dr. Jekyll because of the way I was holding my head.

(edited to add splits, after reading BQ1's log entry from his race)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Marathon mistakes

Rocket City1997AlabamaDNSITB band
Blue Angel 1998Florida3:49
Rocket City 1998Alabama3:49
Kiawah Island 1999South Carolina4:00 Calf strain
Dallas White Rock 2000Texas3:30
Kansas City 2000 Kansas DNF Achilles
Austin2001 Texas 3:23 left gels at start
Austin 2002 Texas 3:39 wore flats
Country Music 2003 Tennessee 3:33 heat and hills
Chicago 2003 Illinios 3:40 dehydration
Mid South 2004 Arkansas 3:37 dehydration
Rocket City 2004Alabama3:17Boston Qualifier
Boston 2005 Massachusetts 4:10 fueling
Flying Monkey 2008 Tennessee 3:50hills
Flying Pig 2009 Ohio 3:05 out to fast
Snickers 2011 Georgia DNF shoes
Greenway 2011 Tennessee 4:49 hills, cold

I've finished 15 marathons, started a couple and DNF'd (did not finish) and even had a couple of DNS (did not start). Looking back I've made lots of mistakes. Even when I ran my best marathon, I could have run smarter. For this sub 3:00 marathon attempt, I'm going to try and not make any of the same mistakes.

Going out to fast
Laid out the splits from my PR marathon at the Flying Pig. Even though this was a 12 minute PR, I didn't stick to the plan. Like most newbie marathon runners, I ran how I felt and the early miles felt great. It wasn't until the halfway point that I slowed down to planned marathon pace. To late at that point, because even though I thought I could pull off a sub 3:00 that day, I went out to fast for the first 6 miles for even that time. I gave up 2:30 in the back half of that race. Not my worst crash and burn, actually it was the closest to even splits of any of my marathons.

Trying something new on race day
Ugliest example of this was the Austin marathon. I decided racing flats would shave some extra seconds off my time. The final 6 miles of this marathon were torture. I could see the blood coming out of my flats with each foot strike. When I finished and took off my shoe, the one toe was a big bloody mess. Actually had a repeat of this at the Snickers marathon, not quite as dramatic, but a whole lot earlier in the race. Caused my second DNF.

Time in the bank doesn't work
Tried this strategy for most of my early marathons. Never did work. Goes back to the going out to fast.

Adjust for the conditions
I've only run a couple of marathons that were to warm for me to run at my potential. 60 degrees or warmer and I need to slow down. Sometimes, it just makes sense to not go for the fast time. I've accepted that a DNF or DNS is the smart choice on some occasions. The DNF at Kansas City really should have been a DNS. I finished Kiawah with a calf strain, that should have been a DNF.

I picked the Rocket City marathon for several reasons. It's a fast course. Mostly because it's pretty flat. One little rise at around 18 miles, but no real hills. Weather is usually cooler without much chance of a warm day, versus a spring marathon. It's a small field, no half marathoners to dodge or run around. It's close (2 hour drive), I'll be sleeping in my own bed. This is the 35th year, they know what they're doing. Nice to finish and go inside to eat and relax afterwards.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

few random thoughts

Nice to have the van when you finish a 10 mile run in a steady rain
and can climb in the back to change into some dry clothes. Even nicer
that it’s still 60 degrees and raining instead of 30-40 degrees. Only
24 more days until race day. We’ve been pretty lucky this cycle in
regards to the weather. No really cold days. No really miserable
cold, rainy runs.

Greenway here in Murfreesboro has been pretty deserted for the last
several weeks. Really since the change in weather and the Middle
Half. Most of the regulars still out every week, nothing as colorful
as these folks. Some new faces and so old ones that don’t come back.

Don’t know why I’m having blister issues this cycle. First was a
blister deep under a callus, that I thought was a stone bruise.
Didn’t realize it was a blister until a week later. Second was a
blister that developed during my last fast finish long run. Didn’t
know I even had a blister until I pulled off my shoe and saw my red
sock from all of the blood. Strange that I didn’t notice it during
the run. (but it was a pretty intense workout with the pace and wind)

Put some moleskin on that blister 2 days later to do my speedworkout.
The moleskin stayed in place until mile 4 of the workout and then
slipped. I ended up caving on the last 2 miles of that workout trying
to run through the blister discomfort. (big sissy, I know) Tried to
convince myself that I need to be able to run through that
discomfort come race day, but it just wasn’t working. The pace kept

Muscle must really weigh more than fat. I’m weighing in at 150
pounds. That’s about 5 pounds lighter, than the last cycle. Must be
the lack of weight workouts. Did my second weight workout since I
broke my collarbone back in May. Never really had much muscle, but
it’s noticeable now. Need to keep this going to tone some of the
muscle. More importantly, I think it helps keep the body more erect in
the latter stages of the race when I become fatigued. (least that’s
what I’ve read, and tend to believe.)

Fun little marathon this weekend at Percy Warner Park. Still one of
my favorite places to run in Middle Tennessee. Don’t think I’ve even
been out there this year. I’m volunteering to work the finish line.
This gives me a chance to get in a long run, without having to run
the entire race. Maybe next year, will be my return to the Monkey.
I’d still like to run a 3:30 or better.

May rethink the strategy to try and run a fast 5k in the spring. I
barely broke 19:00 on 50 miles per week. It would an interesting
experiment to run 60-70 miles per week with 5k specific training and
see how much more I can chip off. Guess I’m scared of getting hurt
trying to race any distance before my goal race. It’s happened to
many times, and its way to much training to waste chasing one PR at
the expense of another.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

5 weeks

Found out where the edge is for no carbs on the long run. Perfect morning for a long run this morning. Met the W brothers at LBC for a planned 22 miler. Easy run for all of us. BQ1 needed to test his hip and only needed 16 miles. Pretty strange having daylight for the entire run. Cool to start but never really an issue. Would be perfect marathon weather. Most of the sugar maples were bright oranges and reds. Rising sun made the colors pop more and later, bright blue sky and no clouds.

Seemed like each of us had lots of energy and had to remind each other to hold it back. Didn't feel like that for me for the first couple of miles. At some point the pace seemed right and I actually felt like pushing up the hills. I only planned on taking 2 succeeds with plain water. Took the first one at 10 miles and the second at 16 miles.

Felt really strong when we dropped BQ1 off at the start and headed back out for another 6 mile loop. That feeling fell away quickly around mile 18 when I started to struggle. The pace didn't really fall off much, but the last hill took way to much out of me. I lost contact with G and stopped to pee and catch my breath. Managed to run mile 19 at 8:00, but that was the last decent mile. Pace fell off to 8:30 for the next 2 miles and I was beginning to crash. I've been in this place before, that's the only thing that kept me going for the last 2 miles. Once the Garmin clicked over to 21 miles I stopped and walked it in.

Training is still going well. 73 miles this week. No quality workouts at all. All recovery from last weeks fast finish long run. I haven't looked at next weeks schedule except for the Yasso 800's on Tuesday. It would be nice to have both the W brothers pulling me around the track for that workout. Don't know if that will happen, most of our mid week quality workouts are different.

The stupid/silly running streak thing is still going. Think it's at 131 days now. I've about given up on the notion of going 80 miles per week. I may bump the daily runs to 10 miles to take a crack at it, in the next few weeks. Really about the only way to get there is doubles and they just aren't happening.

Monday, October 31, 2011

6 weeks

Did the 3rd 20 miler in the buildup for Rocket City on Sunday. Well, at least it was supposed to be 20 miles. G and I met a Lascassas Baptist Church at 5:30 and ran a combination of routes we'd done in the past, but in reverse. Only did them in reverse because I needed 6 miles worth of fast finish at marathon pace. This route put the climb up the hill on Oregon in the early miles instead of in the last six miles.

This was G's first 20 miler and the first time he's trained to run a marathon. He's beat me at every distance, except for the marathon. I expect that to fall as well, but hopefully not in his first one. Though his brother, BQ1 showed they are both running machines.

Great morning for a long run, about 32 degrees and no wind. Really like this time of year with the leaves changing and the sunrise. Awesome stuff. We both took it pretty easy most of the way. My plan was to start the marathon pace push at mile 14. G decided to go as well, but of course as soon as it was time to go, another hill. Thankfully, it was a short one and we were able to maintain a 6:48 pace. We held pretty evenly for the next 3 miles where G said he was going to back off. He decided to go one more mile with me.

I ended caving in the last half mile and only got 19.5 miles with 5.5 miles worth of marathon pace. I started to cramp up and shut it down. G, soldiered on and got his 20 miles. Pretty impressive, first 20 miler and 4 miles worth of fast finish. He was pulling me along the entire morning and especially in the marathon pace push.

Fat Ass 50k

Start time: 8 am, Tuesday January 1, 2013. What the hell, I'll be back out. 

Location: General Bragg HQ's trailhead,1540 W. College St., Murfreesboro, TN, 37129

This is an unofficial Fat Ass run so there is no entry fee, no awards, and no wimps. There is some aid and some post event refreshments. It's an out and back course so you can do any distance you want.

I'll provide water,  and gatorade (General Bragg HQ). Please bring something to share as well.

The course starts at the General Bragg HQ on the Stones River Greenway and goes out to Stones River Battlefield, around the battlefield and back to the greenway and on to Cannonsburg and then back to General Bragg's HQ for one loop. One mile to the battlefield, a two mile loop and the one mile return to the pavilion at Bragg. From there, a six mile out-and-back to Cannonsburgh. Each loop is around 10 miles and only minor elevation changes, no hills. Bathrooms at the battlefield, the start and at Cannonsburgh. The 50k distance is 3 loops. The pavillion at General Braggs HQ's serves as the starting and ending point, as well as the aid station.

The inaugural run.

Year 2.

Year 3.

Year 4.

Year 5

Year 6

Battle of Stones River Anniversary, December 25, 2011.

Battle of Stones River, from Wikipedia.

Jan. 1, 1863 The armies spend the day reorganizing and caring for the wounded.

150th Anniversary Events

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Yasso 800's. I think most marathoners have at least heard of them. The marathon program I'm using now and for my PR effort has them scheduled about 7 weeks out. Last time I ran them, it was the confidence boost I needed to attempt a 3:05, when I had been training towards a 3:10. (actually they had me secretly thinking I could pull off a sub 3:00). I've also been injured pushing to hard several years ago.

This mornings effort sucked. Really almost expected it. I'd been wondering how in the world I was going to run 8-10, 3:00 800's when I was having trouble running 60 seconds at 6:00 pace. Warmed up for a mile with G in the misty/drizzle. The temperature was 45 degrees and a pretty strong wind. Ran 4 repeats and didn't hit a single one on target.Closest was about 4 seconds off.

Changed directions on the track and increased the recovery a little bit. I'd been taking a 400 meter recovery at a slow jog. This time I walked for a 100 meters and then slogged the remaining 300 meters. I was startled by another runner on the track and switched directions so we'd both be running the same way. I hit the start line about 10 yards behind this runner and started out for rep number 6. He was moving quicker than me, but stopped at 200 meters. I kept going and had my fastest rep of the day, 3:01. Damn. Just where I should have been all along.

Guess, I need someone pulling me on the track. That, plus it felt like the wind was blowing in my face for 300 meters of each of the laps. Plus, the cooler weather had me feeling aches and twinges I haven't had in awhile. I ran one more rep, but it was another slow one and called it a day.

The running streak has me feeling strong. I just don't seem to have any 5k speed. That's okay by me, don't really need it for the marathon.

Monday, October 17, 2011

what to do

One of the bad dreams that keep race directors awake happened to the Middle Half on Saturday. Never mind that this was the 5th year for this race. Awesome technical long sleeve shirt to those runners who have run all 5 years. How many races do that? This race has been a first class event from the very first year. Somehow, a interesection was blocked wrong. Most of the field ran an extra half mile.

The local running forum board started the "discussion" within hours of the finish. This the take I find spot on:

Edward. "Yes, the course was long due to an error in parking a police car. Life happens. Yes, I am certain that the race director is beside herself. 2,250 racers really wanted a certified course to actually be followed by those to whom they rely on being directed. We can anticipate a better-followed directive next year. Any runner who has raced more than once understands that "things" happen. Runners deal with those things. Clearly, paying for an accurate course is part of the entry fee, especially at a much-anticipated event like the Middle Half. So, is running through the 'Boro with police support, water support, crowd support (especially the little ones who did not grow tired of being high and low-fived).

Merely a suggestion: consider that we now have a new PR for 13.6 miles run on a beautiful October morning, amidst a multitude of happy campers.
Or, you could be miserable like me and blame the extra length on why I couldn't stay with, catch up to, or even see, runners who had a much better day dealing with the extra length than I did. Not that I am bitter. As my father would have said, quit your bitching, tie your shoes, go run and just get over it. Oh, and wear this year's shirt, because NO ONE is going to miss seeing you in that. lol 364 days to go to Middle Half #6 (leap year, don't ya know)"

Most runners eventually think along similar lines. I did see some runners visibly upset when they finished. I was wondering the same thing for the first few runners coming in a few minutes later than I expected. Hopefully most will be glad for great weather and accept the time for the unique distance.

About the only thing they can do at this point is damage control. They've acknowledged the error on the website. It would be nice to have a new column on the final result to give an "equivilant" half marathon time. That's the math most of the runners are doing in their head. Non-runners don't get that part.

In hindsight, I don't really see how it could have come out differently. A race of this size has the course being the responsibililty of the local police. Even though the lead vehicle,a police car, may have wondered why they weren't following the course. They wouldn't have questioned it because it was a closed course. What are they going to do? Stop the race and question the officer blocking that intersection? Hey dude/dudette you should be blocking east/west traffic not north/south.

I could see where the course should be patrolled before the start to make sure everyone is in place and appriopriate intersections are blocked. Then again, lots of the cross roads don't get blocked until right before the start.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Music City Half Marathon

Picture from this thread on the Nashville Striders board.

Ended up going to the Music City Half Marathon on Sunday morning. The W brothers drove, picking up Dr P and me on the way out of Murfreesboro. BQ1's hip was still bothering him. so I used his bib and he spectated. Big crowd at around 500 or so. Parking was a breeze, the R lot with the finish line was within 100 meters of everything. Plenty of parking, plenty of porta potties and beer.

Beer was the deciding factor for this race from the beginning. I was really on the fence about the race because I just wanted a long run, and didn't want to race. The W brothers, though have an eye for the local races that have beer. Not that many in middle Tennessee. The Zoo run 5k, Octoberfest 5k, The Flying Monkey Marathon and this race are the only one's I can name. Sure, other races may have beer, but it's domestic swill, not local micro brews. Great to finish a race and enjoy a Yazoo, Blackstone or fine German beer, instead of some watered down American attempt at beer.

I did a easy 4 mile run before the start, trying to time it within about 10 minutes. Plan was for 18-20 miles easy. Lined up towards the back, so I wouldn't be tempted to try and run fast. Still, the first mile was under 8:00 and I was holding back. Took almost 2 miles to get everyone scattered out pace wise. I settled into a pace of about 7:50 and planned to hold that till the end.

Seems like the half marathon crowd is different, or maybe it was just me. No one really seemed to be racing. It was all fun in the sun, lets have a good time. I was ok with that, that was my plan. Just struck me as odd that most people didn't seem to be racing. At least that was my thoughts until we hit mile 5. Then I was thinking the leaders should be coming back our way. That thought made me pick up the pace.

Seemed like I was holding back until I saw the leader. He was all by himself. 2nd place wasn't even close behind. Dr P was 5th. All of this got me down to a 7:10 pace and I forced myself to slow down. Only slowed to 7:40 or so. Once I got close to a runner I'd reel them in and then back the pace back down again. I still needed to got 20 miles and didn't want to fade in the end. Plus, I didn't want to take any gel or gu. I carried some just in case, but didn't plan on using them.

I continued passing runners around the lollipop section of the course at mile 6. It was really tough to keep from racing once the course doubled back on itself. Ended up just making a game of passing runners and trying not to go to hard. Last 4 miles were 6:58, 6:47, 6:42, and 6:43. Nice way to do a long run and the beer and sunshine at the end made it all worthwhile.

Monday, September 26, 2011

fall and allergies

Really thought the allergy thing was mainly spring and summer for me. Didn't realize how many different wild flowers bloomed in the early fall. Counted nine different wild flowers along the greenway on last Saturdays easy run. I had some chest congestion last week that must have been from allergies. Nothing to really slow me down. The sneezing fits are annoying, but they don't last. Sure isn't anything that would stop me from running. Really thought the running helped with the allergies, more than it aggravated. Nothing compared to having to race with a mask because of allergies. Sure didn't slow him down any. Galen Rupp, 10,000 meters American record holder.

Eleven weeks out from Rocket City. 72 miles total for the week after yesterdays long run. This was the first week of 70 miles this cycle. Second time this cycle I've done the long run without a gel/gu during the run. Only succeed about every hour and water. Helps that the temperatures are below 70 during these runs. Soaked in the hot tub after the long run and then put on the zensa calf sleeves for a couple of hours. That really helps to keep the calves from tightening up and recover from the workout.

Trying to decide if I should go to Nashville next weekend and run the Music City Half Marathon with the W brothers. Hate to pay for a long run and don't want to race. The schedule calls for 18 miles easy. The guys will be racing and should be in shape to crush their half PR's. The timing is about 4 weeks to early in my training cycle to race it. I'm probably ready to run half that distance at my half marathon PR pace. It's a sunday race, saturday is the Shelby Bottoms Boogie. It's a 15k and a 5k. I've done that 15k in the past. It'll be on the same course as the half marathon, the greenway in Nashville along the Cumberland river. Same course as the Tom King half marathon. Not exactly, but close enough, still the same boring greenway.

I set my half marathon PR at the Tom King half marathon. I've run 1:27 there and in Memphis. Don't really want to race another half marathon until I'm in shape to try and break 1:26. That should be in a about four more weeks. Only thing going for the Music City Half marathon is the Blackstone beer afterwards. Then again, the following weekend is the Octoberfest 5k, with Spaten beer. Last year it was Paulaner. Yummmm, beer. Not enough races in the middle Tennessee area with beer afterwards. Hate to not make it to at least one of them.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

long way out

Trying to coordinate my training plan with the plan the W brothers are using. We’re all doing at least 2 speed/quality workouts per week and some type of long run on the weekend. We’re 12 weeks out from Rocket City. Last week we were able to do one speed workout together and an easy run. I attempted to do their workout on Sunday’s long run.

My plan called for 16-18 easy miles. The W brothers were going 16 miles with the last 30 minutes at a moderate/hard pace. We tried a new route, which seemed to drop continually for the first 7-8 miles. Only a couple of small rises before mile 9 and only a few more on the rest of the run. The fast guys hung back with us until about mile 8 before they picked up the pace and took off. It was nice to have a different route. I ended up just chasing in the last 5 miles and never really got to close to catching them. Overall pace for the run was about a minute slower than planned marathon pace. Still to early in my cycle to start doing fast finish long runs.

Guys were talking about some new tapering plan in a book by Inigo Mujika. I couldn't find much about it on the web. I’ll wait and get the cliff notes version after these guys are done reading the book. Seems like the volume is cut more than in traditional tapers, but the intensity level remains high. Pretty much what McMillan does in his taper. It did emphasize the importance of recovery. That’s one point that I’m really trying to make happen this cycle.

This mornings recovery run was at a 9:33 average pace. That’s about the ultra shuffle pace I use in a 50k. I start out super slow, close to a 10:00 mile and gradually speed up. This morning I never speed up. None of the guys I run with can run this slow. This is the same kind of pace I used in the last marathon cycle, except on the golf course. I’m not getting on the golf course this year, I can’t seem to run out there without tripping in a hole.

This is the 3rd week of miles in the mid 60's. Next week I'll increase my daily runs to 9 miles. I'm targetting 70-75 miles per week for the next 3 weeks. The increased miles and the streak haven't been an issue. Endurance is coming around, but the ability to hold speed it isn't there yet.

Found a cool link that summarizes a couple of the more popular marathon training prorams.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Went out yesterday to watch the Chikin 10k here in Murfreesboro. I was excited when this race started in 2009. This year the turnout has dropped,slightly. Have to think its because of the decision to make everyone a winner. Really though, that should have increased the overall turnout. Very odd. Maybe it was the heat? Race day entry was $40. But, early registration was only $25. That's a heck of a deal for a form fitting, gender specific technical shirt. This years shirt was the best yet. The 2009 shirt was the gaudiest shirt I've ever received from a race. The only thing going for it, is that its a technical t-shirt. The 2010 shirt fit better and didn't have the crappy design.

The reason I didn't run it this year was because they didn't have age group awards. The last two years, the top two spots in each age group, won a years worth of sandwich's. This year every 25th runner across the line gets that award. Cash to the overall top 3 runners. No way, I placing in the top three. I couldn't tell if they did anything for the masters runners, but that would have been a long shot anyway.

Still can't figure out why this 10k can't get more runners. First year, about 580 runners. 2010 about 550 runners and this year the number of finishers was 493. Perhaps the warm weather kept some runners from toeing the line. (paid, but didn't race. they did have an option to get a shirt without racing) It was warm and sunny, maybe 75 degrees to start. Not ideal conditions for racing a personal best. Great weather for the spectators and the race supports Alive Hospice.

Perhaps it's the course? The start and finish are on the new greenway, pretty narrow for more than 500 runners. They did reverse the start this year and change the course slightly. Though it still has a portion of the course that is run on grass. The portion through the Stones River Battlefield is one of my favorite places to run in Murfreesboro.

Maybe its the date? It's a Saturday race, that shouldn't be a problem. But, it is on a holiday weekend. Monday is Labor day. There is another race in Nashville on Monday. It draws about 900 runners for the 10k and 900 for the 5k, at least over the last 3 years. That race has been going for several years. I ran it one time and won't be back because the lead vehicle took a wrong turn. I'm pretty sure that only leaves one other 10k in the middle Tennessee area. It's a great distance to run, but to early in my fall marathon training for any of the current races. Looking through this thread on the Nashville Striders site. It does appear that several new 10k's will be run this fall. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...............

Monday, August 29, 2011

it's a process

Four weeks down in the build up for the sub 3 marathon attempt in Rocket City. Fitness level is coming back nicely. Pleasantly surprised when I saw 37 bpm on the heart rate readout of the Garmin. (that was resting, seeing how low I could get it) Never was much of a fan of the HR monitor, but it is kinda cool to compare numbers. Used it on the two of the quality workouts this week. The new/refurbished Garmin 305 didn't arrive in time for my steady state workout on Wednesday. I'll continue to wear it for the quality stuff, so I can compare to the previous training cycle.

BQ1 is really running strong. He was on my heels on my progression run and he was going 17 miles. At this rate, he's going to be the one running sub 3 and I'll be chasing him. Still, way early in the training and plenty of time to build some speed. Did have some speed on the one workout where I needed it this week, just not the endurance. Seems like the endurance takes the longest to build.

Biggest surprise this week was lack of hill strength. Shouldn't have really been a surprise, no hill repeats so far this cycle. I'll start them this week. I was able to run up the hills with a little more authority versus several weeks ago. The big difference was trying to go up the hills at a quicker pace. An hour into my progression run and one of the steeper little hills(Dolly Parton) made my heart feel like it wasn't going to explode. Stopped to catch my breath. (named for the same type of hills on the White Rock Marathon course in Dallas) Ended up just running the last hill(Spain) at a moderate pace and then going close to marathon pace to finish the workout.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

week 3

Still don't have my Garmin/GPS. But, I did get a new heart rate monitor strap. It arrived on Friday. Called Garmin on Wednesday, because they never did contact me by email. I'd tried calling them on Monday, but the hold time was 20 minutes, that's about how long I ended up waiting to talk with them on Wednesday. They don't have anymore new Forerunner 305's, just refurbished ones. Still going to repair/replace mine with a refurbished one for $79. That's a smokin' deal, considering the new heart rate monitor strap and new 305's are still $139 plus shipping. I wasn't really interested in the newer generations of GPS, the face is smaller and I think I'd have a harder time seeing the numbers.

No GPS, so I'm at the mercy of everyone else's, running on routes I've already measured or guesstimates based on my Timex times. Got 2 miles before the guys showed up this morning. It was a easy one mile out and back. Storm was brewing in the distance with lots of lightning. Really thought it was just heat lighting because it was so frequent. Pretty cool display, lots of low clouds and just before sunrise. Ended a tenth of a mile short of 17 miles. Only because I was so far behind everyone when I finished. Still a decent long run.

Starting to feel stronger on the runs. Weight is back were it should be. Just need to make it to the starting line healthy. Discussion on RunningAhead regarding the need for long runs. This is the article from Running Times. My take away, recovery is very important. That's the one thing I've noticed comparing my training plan with the plan the W brothers are using. It doesn't do much good to have 2 quality workouts a week and a long run if you haven't recovered enough to pull off the workouts.

I'll be running six long runs of at least 20 miles. Plus mileage of close to 70-80 miles per week. The W brothers will still be running as quick or quicker than me, with less mileage. I've tried that route before and it didn't work for me. I need the miles. That's one cool thing about running, what works for one doesn't necessarily work for the others. And there's always someone who can pull off the spectacular. How about winning a marathon without any long runs farther than 16 miles.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Finally this silly streak thing is starting to pay off. First decent long run in forever this morning. Still a long way to go, but at least there was enough gas in the tank for a sorta/kinda fast finish. (still 30 seconds per mile slower than PR shape) Big bonus looking at the weather for the next 10 days, the heat has definitely broken. Lows below 70 degrees everyday. That should help for next weeks long run.

The brothers W decided to go out to the hills for this mornings long run. They wanted 14 miles, I planned on 16, but was only able to get in one mile before they arrived. We went back out to Wilson Hill. Lots of rolling hills and one climb that we do twice, because the course is a lollipop from Kittrell Middle School.

Last week was a down week with total miles in the high 40's. This week ended with 53 miles. Should hit low to mid 50's for the next 2 weeks and maybe hit 60 miles before another down week. Glad to have the W brothers committed to Rocket City. Sure is nice to have someone along on the long runs.

Second week in a row without riding the bike. That's one thing I hate to give up in the marathon buildup. Great blog entry about all of the answers to everything asked on bike forums. "Hey, little round glasses pocket protector collared shirt skid lid rear view mirror sandal wearing schwalbe marathon running pletscher two-leg kickstand tourist – good job." Talking about me?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

death of a Garmin 305

Picture is a little out of focus, but the far right contact is gone. (8 gold colored/brass contacts are smooth on the side with the battery, and almost spring like on the other half of the watch)

First couple of hints earlier in the week. On three separate runs, it would just turn off. It would turn back on, but shut off a couple more times before the end of the run. Thought it wasn't getting a good enough charge, because it wouldn't connect to the cradle for recharging. Cleaned the contact points on the bottom and that seemed to get it to charge.

Today, it shut off again, three different times during the run. Googled and found this thread on the Garmin website. Tried the soft/hard resets. That didn't work. Downloaded and reinstalled the firmware. That didn't work. It would charge completely, but shut off completely after removing from the cradle. Decided to crack open the case and see if the contacts for the battery were corroded. The case separated and opened rather easily. Sure, enough one end of the watch has several connectors, one was completely corroded and the other was gone. Corrosion must have eaten the metal completely. I was able to get the unit to turn back on by prying the remaining good contact up to make contact where the other contact had been. Don't know if I'll attempt to solder a connection or not. (edit to add) Tried to solder but what was left of the contact broke off after soldering.

Time to buy a new Garmin. Can't complain to much. I've had this watch for 3 years, and 5 months. I've run right around 9,000 miles with it. Pretty cheap, if you look at it that way.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

First week done

Ended the first week of the 19 weeks leading up to the Rocket City Marathon. I'm going to make another attempt at a sub 3 hour marathon before I turn 50. Decided to go ahead and start the program. Three quality workouts this week. First two went really well, the third, it'll do. To early in the cycle to worry about not completing the workout as planned.

Today's workout was supposed to be a progression run. Plan was to run 30 minutes at 8:30 or so, the next 30 minutes at 8:00 pace and the final 30 minutes at 7:30 pace. Seemed easy enough on paper. First 30 minutes were a little quick. The next 30 minutes, were tough to keep at 8:00, mostly the pace was a little quicker, up to around 7:30 or so towards the end of the hour.

This is about when my Garmin just cut off. Not once, but 3 times. Damn thing. It's been giving me signs that its about to die. Completely dead on 2 runs this week. Hell of time, trying to get it to connect to the cradle to charge.

Final 30 minutes were tough. 7:30 felt comfortable at first, but was real work in the final 20 minutes. One big positive of the workout was blocking out the blister on my toe that started after about 30 minutes into the run. That plus, I did continue past 2 bailout points to shorten the run and bail on the last 30 minutes of work. Did decide not to add a couple of miles of cool down at the end. I was pretty much toast when I finished the 11 miles. Didn't take any water, so that may have helped a little in the final 30 minutes, especially because of the heat and humidity.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tougher than Boston?

The 6th Annual Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon sold out in less than 4 minutes. Boston, look out. I ran it in 2008. Great race, everyone should have it on their bucket list. If you didn't get in, I'd imagine volunteers are still needed.

Discussion on the Nashville Striders board about registration. I'd rather it remained a small race. I think the current limit is 200 runners. That's part of the appeal of this race, none of the big race logistic problems. Plus, it's so much more. Running in Percy Warner Park in late November is always a good time. Being out on the road with 199 other like minded folks is even better. Then add some food and beer afterwards. Runner nirvana.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

maintaining the base

no idea what that says, other than its in German.(closest I can get, "the new freedom of speech")

Still in base building mode before the next marathon. Time to get out the schedule and put it to pencil on the calendar. Should be about 19 weeks out from Rocket City. That gives me 3 weeks to maintain a base of about 40 miles per week before starting to increase the miles and intensity of the workouts. I've averaged 40 miles per week for the last 3 weeks.

Today was the longest, long run in quite some time. The W brothers and I ran 14 miles. Decided that's just a little to far in the base building phase. All the other guys turned around at 5 miles or before. Think I'll stick to about 13 miles for the next 3 weeks. The average pace continues to improve. But, the biggest help this morning was taking a succeed cap and drinking a sports drink during the run. Also, helped to down a powergel at 7 miles.

Looking forward to the boost from the cooler weather. That probably won't happen until early September? Hard to believe how far I've got to go in this cycle. I'm still thinking sub 3:00. BQ1 has already started his Rocket City buildup. His brother is going to start at 16 weeks, like me. They're both way ahead of me in the fitness curve. Tough work for me to hang with them on the workouts. Sure makes the easy days more enjoyable.

Oh, yeah and the silly streak thing. Still going. Today was day 33.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

26 days

The running streak is at 26 days. It's getting easier. This mornings long run was hot and humid for the first 9 miles. Glad to have a big group to chase. The last 3 miles were pretty tough. Pace is better, but need to start taking a succeed cap before the next long run.

Amy Winehouse is gone. Such a waste of talent. Really enjoyed her voice. Looks like the 27 club has added another member.

The Tour de France finished this morning. Didn't even watch the last day. Cadel Evans finally won it all. He toasted the Schleck's in the time trial yesterday. Never was a fan of Cadel, took me awhile to figure it was him they were referring to as Cuddles on the forums. I just didn't enjoy watching him race as much as Andy Schleck. Though, I will have to admit, he put it all out on the last 2 stages in the Alps.

Yesterday, the brothers W and I rode up the Rutherford county version of Alp de'Huez. It's only about 10-12% grade, but only about 15 miles from MTSU. Tougher climb than I remembered. That's just about the right distance of bike ride, for a runner who isn't biking very often. We saw another copperhead on the road, think we've seen one every time we go out in that hollow. Don't know if it's because of the hills or lack of traffic? Must be the lack of traffic. Local farmer was shot and killed this weekend in that hollow.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

no whining

I'm probably one of the biggest whiner's in the group of runners that I run with regularly. But, Andy Schleck was really called out for his comment following stage 17 of the Tour de France. I can't find the particular quote, but something about the steepness of the descent. He doesn't appear to be as good of a descender as some of the other riders, maybe that's his concern?

Only 3 more stages left in this years Tour de France. Today’s stage was epic. It really made me a believer in Andy Schleck. I’d discounted him heavily in the last couple of days because of his comments about stage 17. Plus, I’d been swayed by comments on some of the forums about how much he complains. His response last year was that he still “had the fire in his belly”. He showed it today. WOW!

Tomorrow’s stage is the last day in the Alps with a climb of the Alp d’Huez. Voeckler was able to stay in the yellow jersey and should be able to keep it at least one more day. Saturday’s time trial will determine the winner of the overall race more than likely. Cadel Evans may not be able to best Voeckler and Andy Schleck. Should be another great stage. Sunday’s stage is primarily just a parade to Paris. It’ll have a sprint finish for the Green Jersey on the Champs Elysee's.

Monday, July 18, 2011

last week

If you haven't watched any of the tour, now's the time to start. The last week of the Tour de France is this week. Today was a rest day. Tuesday they head into the Alps. If anyone is going to take the yellow jersey from Voeckler, its now or never. Cadel Evans appears to have the best chance. Can't discount the Schleck brothers, but they just seem to be marking others in the climbs in the Pryenees.

Can't wait for the final showdown on Alp d'Huez. It'll be on stage 19, the day before the time trial and the final parade ride into Paris. The yellow jersey may actually be decided in the time trial. It depends on who can gain or lose time in these last few mountain stages. Cadel is probably the strongest time trailist. Should be an exciting end to the tour.

Went out on the bike again on Sunday. Great day for a ride, the sun was behind the clouds the whole time. Only got two and a half miles in for my run before the bike ride. So, I've already broken the one silly rule I made for my running streak. No biggie, my streak, my rules. One mile per day, just seems to easy.

This mornings run actually felt cooler. Maybe I'm becoming acclimated to the warmer weather? Still running super slow. I'll take that, because the fitness level hasn't returned. Seems like every year older, the comebacks take longer and longer.........

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

the heat is off

Somebody at USA Today was asleep when this image came across their desk.

Looks like the heat has broken, at least for the next week anyway. Yesterdays run at dawn was hot and humid. It was 78 degrees or so when I left the house and probably lower 80’s by the time I got home. First time I’ve had to stop at 3 miles to catch my breath, even though I was only going about 2 minutes per mile slower than my normal easy pace. (10 minute miles) Today, 72 degrees and about a minute per mile quicker and I could breath. Aaaaggghhhh.

You know it’s hot outside when the critters that normally enjoy basking in the sun are trying to come inside. In the last 2 days at work we’ve had blue tailed skinks and a snake, inside the lobby. Both were just babies, the skink was only about an inch or two long and the snake wasn’t much bigger. The little snake sure had attitude, though. He flattened out, coiled up and tried to bite me several times. Neither one wanted to be back outside, it was the 2 days were we were the hottest this week.

Second week of the tour started yesterday after a rest day on Monday. I’m really enjoying this tour. Maybe, because Contador has so much time to make up. Looks like the Schleck brothers might be on the podium. Still early, as the mountain stages haven’t started yet. The first week was marked by loads of crashes, more so than normal. First time for a motorcycle or car to cause crashes, that I’ve seen. That’s pretty scary stuff.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Decided over the weekend, the best way to get back into shape for another decent marathon is a running streak. This won't be the first time I've done the streak thing, even though they are pretty stupid. Damn, near ended it this morning and it's only 7 days along. Streaks have been around for quite some time. Even have some kind of club and running forums dedicated to running streaks. The only stipulation is a minimum of one mile a day. I decided on my last streak, my daily minimum would be four miles.

Only took me 4 shots to get this picture. Shows how much traffic is on this little road out in the country. Set up my camera in the middle of the road with the self timer and used the ground to hold the camera. Kinda like the way it shows me suspended in the air. Doesn't show how hot it was for that early in the morning.

Tour de France time again. Seems like each year I'm watching less and less. It's only a couple days in at this point. Great scenery and the easiest way to see the French countryside, without leaving your couch. If I had a treadmill, I could probably watch more of it without falling asleep on the couch. Never did get together with a group and ride on trainers and watch the stages, that would have been pretty cool.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ten pounds

May try and lift one of these, instead of carrying it on my belly.

Time to get back to the running. The shoulder has almost completely healed. Still sore after a run, more so on the bike. The range of motion is back 100%. Just can’t pick up anything of any weight. Typing on the computer all day long aggravates it as well.

Never realized how much extra effort is needed to push those extra pounds. I’d been pretty lucky on not gaining any weight when I wasn’t running. But, the combination of only a couple of runs and eating way more processed food than normal packed on close to ten pounds in the last two weeks.

I’d been pretty good, up until we went on vacation. Only managed to get one run on vacation and it was tough, eighty degrees and a ocean breeze. Didn’t follow the lemmings and run barefoot on the beach.

This morning I attempted to pick up the pace and my old long run pace felt almost like a tempo effort. Ugh. I thought the heat was what had been slowing me down. That, plus the lack of running.

Also, reinforced the notion that most runners are pretty healthy and don’t get any sympathy when they tell someone they’ve put on a few pounds. I know when a fellow runner complains they’ve put on weight, most of the time it’s only obvious to them. Same for me.

Props to the Big Horse. He’s run 8 straight sub 3:00 marathons at 200 plus pounds. Simply amazing. I’ve been following his blog since he went sub 3:00 at the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011


Yesterday was my first day back running. (4 weeks since my accident) Planned on only going 2 miles when I headed out the door. Once I got going , I rationalized that I'd already been walking 4 miles every day, might as well run that far. Ended up running 5 miles. Shoulder wasn't that sore while I was running. Actually more arm swing when I was walking. Even though my pace was slower than my typical ultra shuffle, I still managed to work up a sweat. Felt great to get the heart rate elevated. Sure wasn't getting that from walking.

Today I got back on the bike. Little discomfort at first but tolerable. Shoulder was more sore on the bike than from the run. Only managed a little more than 10 miles. Rode past the locked gate and kept on going. Easy to see what kind of speed I was going when I hit the ground. Probably at least 20 mph. Wouldn't think that would be enough speed to break something?

Pretty certain I broke the hamate in my right hand. Doctor looked at it on my last visit, but I didn't get it x-rayed again. They said it wasn't broken when they took the x-ray in the ER. It's still pretty sore. Not much they can do for it anyway. Still can't figure out how it hit the pavement.

Monday, June 6, 2011

four miles

It sure does seem like a long way when you're walking. I plan to walk 4 miles each day this week. Did 5 miles yesterday, guess I'll consider that my long walk. One big problem with the walking is the time involved. I'm back to pretty much full stride walking, now that I'm trying to let my arm swing on the injured side. It takes me about 18 minutes to walk a mile, about double the amount of time it takes to slog the same distance.

Still just isn't the same as running. Four miles running works up a decent sweat when its this hot. Walking hardly any sweat and I'm out for at least 72 minutes. At least in the morning, before the rises up to much. Going to have to start waking earlier, to get back to the house. It has been nice to sleep in every morning, even if it is only until 5 am. (silly dogs think its time to get up)

May attempt a run on Thursday. It will be 4 weeks. Doctor said that would be about when I could resume running. It'll probably take a few days of walking to break up the scar tissue and soreness in my shoulder.

Got an email last week from the Rocket City Marathon. Seems real early to start thinking about a fall marathon. But, that's less than 6 months away. Three months to get back into a running base and then a 3 month marathon training cycle. Seems doable. Wonder if it'd be a stretch to think a sub 3:00 would be possible. Really kind of like to break 3:00 before I turn 5o. Clock is ticking.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

training wheels

Guys at work thought I might need these before I get back on the bike again.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Piles of cicadas

It appears the onslaught of cicadas is starting to taper off. They've been so thick in places, that the piles were deeper than most of the snow falls we get around here. Least it seemed that way from the one's blown up against the interstate dividing walls. One of our dogs likes to eat them and the others are scared of them. They were attracted to the noise of my saw this weekend when I was cutting up some wood. Pretty freaky when they would swarm around me while the saw was buzzing.

Week 3 in waiting for my collar bone to heal. I've been walking so I don't go completely crazy from not running. It's not the same, but it's better than nothing. Stopped bringing the dogs because they're to slow. I did find out the other day, how much movement is enough to aggravate my shoulder. Didn't realize how much motion is in the arm swing when walking. Running would add even more directions of movement. Crap.

Haven't really gained much weight, only about 5 pounds. The walks help some, but mostly I've cut back on portions. The appetite just isn't as great, as when I'm running. Did start back drinking coffee during the day at work since my injury. Once, I get back to running I'll cut that out and just go back to the one cup in the morning.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Who care's?

Oprah's last show is today or tomorrow or was it yesterday? Regardless, whoopity shit. Never was a fan. Smart woman, made her millions several fold. Never cared for her or her show. Only thing I wanted relating to Oprah, was a marathon time faster than her 4:29 in 1994. My first marathon was in 1996 and it was 3:50 or so. Really struck a nerve with her commercial; it shows clips of a lot of other TV farewell shows. MASH, stood out for me. Big fan of the show and watched the final show. Oprah just doesn't compare to that or any of the other shows in that commercial.

American Idol is coming to an end. Yawn. Watched it last night, even though I said I wouldn't. Just have zero interest in Lauren or Scotty. Haley was my favorite. Surprised she made it as far as she did. Really thought James would have been the winner, but wasn't surprised when he was voted off. Wish I had a brick to throw at Randy for every time he said "in it to win it". No shit. J Lo brought the sex appeal and never really hid who her favorites were. Steven was the bad boy of the bunch. Really enjoyed his off color remarks. This was the first time I've watched the show in the last couple of years.

Who'd have thought a broken collar bone would be so painful. I seem to have just as much pain as day one. It's just not as constant. I've run with a broken toe. I think it was two weeks later. But, still the pain levels were complete opposite. Went out to runningahead to seek the advice of the masses. Looks like a long recovery.

It's been 2 weeks since my accident. Go to the doctor on Friday. Imagine, my prognosis will be to continue with the sling. Alternative would be that it's not healing properly and surgery is needed. Don't see that happening. We'll see if he still thinks I'll be able to run in 4 weeks. Can't imagine trying to run, now. I'm only taking the pain meds at night. Pain is tolerable, but seems to peak towards the end of the day.

The drugs the riders in the Tour take must be some really good stuff. I can't imagine riding with a broken collar bone the day after it happened. (Tyler Hamilton, 2003 TDF broke his collar bone in the 1st stage and went on to finish the tour)Perhaps, now 2 weeks later, if it could be taped into a position that wouldn't move? Actually thought how I could pull that off. Be almost impossible for me to tape on my own. I'm sure Paula wouldn't do the taping either.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


isn't it ironic? blog about staying injury free from running and break my collar bone in a bike wreck.

my running was starting to click, on pace for 30+ miles this week. thursday morning I went for a bike ride. it's getting light enough that I was able to leave the house at 5:30 am and get in an hours worth of riding before work.

only got 2.4 miles down the road before I wrecked. stupid mistake. actually the second time this exact thing has happened. riding down Thompson Lane to get on the greenway at the Thompson lane trail head. crossed over the river and noticed two deer off to my right. glanced over to make sure the gate was open to the trailhead. thought it was open. only slowed enough to make sure no traffic was behind or in front of me. turned left into the trailhead and the DAMN gate was locked. must have done a panic stop and grabbed to much front brake. I went over the handlebars and slammed the ground. guess I laid on the ground a second or two, because some women stopped her car to ask if I was ok. Kinda thought I was at that point. no blood or road rash, shoulder hurt alot. I waved her off and called Paula to come get me.

Bike seems ok. Brake lever is pushed to one side or the handlebar is bent. The chain came off the crank. Doesn't look like any scratches or any other damage. But, that's only the quick assessment while still in a pain medicated stupor.

X-ray at the ER shows a fractured clavicle and separated shoulder. Looks like all of the impact was absorbed by my shoulder. Strange that my jersey wasn't ripped, nor my shorts. Just a little road rash on my hip and shoulder. Gloves did their job, no road rash on my hands. Right hand was bruised enough that it was x-rayed as well. (even though I told them it wasn't necessary)

Just another reminder of the importance of a bike helmet. Luckily, my head never hit the ground. I can only imagine a face first or head first impact.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

10 commandments for staying injury free

Looking through some old Runners World booklets for an article on collapse point. Didn't find what I was looking for, but this instead. (circa 1986) Someone's more modern version. Found this instead of a picture of the tablets.

I. Thou shalt not become a slave to running
II. Thou shalt not train on legs that are dead
III.Thou shalt not experiment with a different pair of shoes during a race
IV. Thou shalt not run through any type of muscular or skeletal pain
V. Thou shalt not attempt to make up miles "lost" due to injury
VI. Thou shalt not increase mileage by more than 10% each year
VII.Thou shalt not do more than one long run per week
VIII.Thou shalt not do more than one hard workout on successive days
IX. Thou shalt not get carried away by an exceptional race and immediately plunge
into a higher level of training
X. Thou shalt not be afraid to rest

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

20 miles isn't enough of a base

Reality check workout this morning. Met BQ1 and the preacher for a 2 x 2 mile run at 10k pace. Tough workout, but should be doable for someone in training for a 5k. This was the second week of BQ1's buildup for his next 5k. I'm just hanging around trying to do the workouts. Last week I was able to hang on for 90% of the speed workouts. This morning, I couldn't even hang on to 10k pace from the start. It was a struggle to run a single mile at half marathon pace. Holy smokes, the endurance sure does disappear quickly.

This really shouldn't come as a surprise. I've only averaged 20 miles per week in two of the previous three weeks, and 34 miles this past week. I conned myself into believing that riding the bike a couple times a week would make up for the low mileage. It did to an extent. I'm stronger on the hills, but the endurance and turn over is back to almost zero. Pretty evident that low mileage with some cross training doesn't work for me.

No way I could use the FIRST program to run a 5k PR. That's the running program that has you run 3 times a week and cross train on the other days. (30 minute 5k'ers ?, that's not exactly racing) ((turn off snob mode, I'm old and slow to)) I've looked at it in the past and decided it was to intense to attempt alone. The stats look great, "went from a 4:00 marathon to a 3:30". Big freakin' deal. But, I guess it really boils down to the individual. Some runners don't need a lot of miles to run close to their potential. Or the bigger miles really increase the likelihood of getting injured.

I think Jeff's got the right idea. Run relaxed at a fast pace. That's exactly the feeling I've had in races that I've run well. It takes work to get to that point and several different workouts seem to get me to that place. The minute on/off workout seems to get the legs ready for the quicker turnover. Don't seem to have any of that right now. Can't seem to get to 5k pace. Longer runs at half marathon pace seem to be the staple. But, the biggest thing missing right now is the long run. I need to get back up to about a 12-13 mile long run, at a minimum.

Friday, April 22, 2011

GPS and getting faster

I've been following a thread on the Nashville Striders board about runners wanting to get faster. My first response is run more. Duh, you want to get faster run more miles. For me that's pretty easy to correlate to race results. When I don't have a specific race or goal in mind, I'll average 35 or so miles per week. I know at that kind of volume, my 5k time won't be anywhere near as quick as if I'm actually running 50+ miles per week and doing some speedwork.

I guess the bigger question is; "do they want to go faster and put in the required effort". I think the majority are content where they are with their running. That's ok, good for them, at least they're getting off the couch for some portion of the week. I've gone the other extreme. I'm the one running before the sun comes up, in the rain, snow, wind and what ever else mother nature throws out for that day. Don't get me wrong, I'll whine to those around me, but at least I'll be out getting the work done to try and see some improvement. Perhaps even more important is I actually enjoy running. Most days are fun. Not always, but the good days for outweigh the bad ones.

I have no illusions that I'll ever be as fast as the fast guys that I know. No problem. But, I do have goals that I'd like to attain. For me its just about getting out the door and doing something. I run so I can eat whatever I want and to drink beer, and not in that order.

This morning the brothers W and I met to do a speed workout. None of us had a planned workout, just the need to get in some speed. We wasted 10 minutes trying to program one of the GPS's for a particular workout. I probably have ten or so workouts already in mine, but none that struck anyone's fancy this morning. We gave up on the programming and decided to just head out for our warm up and then decide what the workout would be. We ended up just running three times approximately a half mile. Only know that because of our GPS watches. We actually just ran from landmark to landmark or more specifically "that yellow sign to the main road" and so on. Old school stuff. Really that's all it takes to get a little bit quicker. Run lots and some of it alittle faster. It's nice to have the GPS to give you some feedback during the run or when you're back home, but it isn't necessary.

I've been running for about 23 years. It's only been in the last few years that I've become obsessed with the GPS. I probably could count on one hand the number of times I've run in that time without it on my wrist. But when we go to the track, I'll put on the Timex, along with the GPS. Both give me data that I use to train with for future races. I just looked at my training before my last 5k PR. The thing that stands out is the mileage. Roughly 58 miles per week. That was the average for the 3 months, including the month of the race.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Purity Dairy Dash 2011

Couple of the fella's from the herd and their kids.

Took the #2 son to the Purity Dairy Dash yesterday with his mom and nephew. We made the same trip last year, except I ran as well. This year, I didn't race, just ran out with him to try and get some pictures. Few of the fella's from the herd raced in the 5k which followed the 1 mile fun run. They also had a 10k which started after the 5k.

Blustery morning for a race. Little bit of spitting rain. Temperatures stayed right at 50 degrees and the wind was constant to downright breezy at times. Would have been almost perfect except for the wind. I really enjoy this race, big crowds and always see lots of people I know. Really wish I'd have been in race shape.

Dylan came in 3rd place in his race, again. This year he started at the front. He's got a lot of speed, he just needs to learn how to maintain an even effort. Pretty cool watching him race. I ran with him for about about 200 meters after the start and then about the same in the last quarter or so for the finish. Didn't really get a decent shot of him running. (need to try some different settings on the camera)

Jogged out to the spot on the 5k course where the runners pass 3 times. It's the T intersection of the new course. About a quarter mile to the T, turn left 180 degree turn and then the one mile point, back past the T at a 1.5 miles out, then another half mile or so another 180 turn, back to the T and then home. Fast, flat course that's for sure. I really like that they eliminated the greenway section. (the 10k course uses it)

I tried out the video mode on the camera, but didn't get the shot I wanted. Lead pack of about 5 runners, and then a couple of runners by themselves and then the preacher by himself and then the rest of the field. The fast guys sure make it look easy. I waited until the W brothers ran by, side by side and then I jogged back to the finish.

Only a few minutes before the lead runner was finishing. His time was a smokin' hot 15:06. Guess the wind didn't slow him down any? Four runners under 16:00. Only a matter seconds between the next 3 places. Fastest 5k finish I've seen in a Nashville race that I can remember. Video I took was kind of choppy, the guys were going by to fast.

The herd ended up with a masters sweep in results, but no free Ice Cream. Only the overall winners of each race got the free ice cream. Well except for the fun run, where the top 3 finishers got an award. Dylan got an MP3 player. EB did get her years worth of ice cream. We didn't hang around long enough to see those awards. To cold with the wind coming off the lake.

Start of the 1 mile fun run. Dylan started at the front this year, versus the back last year. He's behind the kid with the gloves. (he was 2nd)

Raced to the plan. Let everyone go out to fast. Everyone in front of him at this point was toast after less than a quarter mile. He actually listened to the Old Man. The 1st and 2nd runner are out in front, out of the picture. Pulled back to them after everyone else faded.

Just before the turn for the last quarter mile home. 3rd place at this point.

Kick to the finish.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring marathons

So you train all winter in the cold and come race day you get temperatures in the 70's or 80's. What the hell? Then the next weekend, the temperatures are back to normal just like the averages the marathon promoters quote in their marketing smack. Ugh. (the Country Music Marathon is the last weekend this month, I'd bet money it'll be in the 80's by noon)

What's the ideal temperature for a marathon? 41 degrees according to a quick search of the web. Sounds about right to me. Any cooler and your body shivers to stay warm, any warmer and you start sweating? Geb gave up three minutes when he raced in hot weather. Mortals multiply by 3 or 4.

Fortunately, I've never been faced with those kind of temperature extremes on marathon day. My warmest marathon was Boston in 2005. The temperature that day only got into the 70's. To warm for me to run the race I wanted, but not hot enough to completely implode. I do that well enough when the temperatures get above 60 degrees. I even ran/participated in two marathons this spring in almost ideal temperatures.

Boston is coming up in about 8 days. You can bet everyone running the race is wondering what they'll get weather wise. (if they were actually lucky enough to get in before it sold out) Geez, funny how quickly the window to register has closed and not so much for those who qualified but didn't get in. I had months before it sold out. Sure doesn't seem that long ago.

I'm trying to get my running mojo back. I've run a few times in the last couple of weeks. Seems like I've got more aches and pains now from not running than when I actually do run. Old age, perhaps? Damn, I'm not that freakin' old.

Got back on the bike again this past sunday. The temperature was in the low 60's when we started but it warmed up really quick. Great day for a bike ride. I plan to start riding a little more frequently as cross training and let the legs get a little break from the running. (though I do seem to run best when I'm running high mileage)

Great thing about the bike, I don't mind the heat. Bring it on, the hotter the better, just so long as I've got some water. Sure is fun blasting down a hill with the wind in your face. Worth every bit of the effort grinding up the hill. Though it did seem some of the hills we rode this past weekend didn't quite give back as much speed on the backside as the effort to climb them implied? Fastest decent this ride only 39 mph.

The fast master at the top of one of many hills from this weekends ride.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Ran an easy 6 miles yesterday. First run since last weekends marathon. Foot felt ok. Sunday, but no long run today. Time to switch up the training, maybe a fast 5k? Went for a solo bike ride in the country. First ride of the season.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Boston and marathons

When I first started running I didn't know anything about marathons or even about Boston. Dad was a runner and he only ran one marathon, the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, Alabama. That's the same course I eventually ran my Boston qualifying time. It was my second time on that course and about my 13th or so marathon.

SeanV2 has been soliciting runners input for a Boston questionnaire on for those who have qualified for Boston. Check it out. Boston is still one of those marathons that has to be run to be appreciated. I've blogged about it plenty.

Marathon pacing

Boston, more than a feeling

Marathon excuse list

Marathon observations

Boston 2005

The Boston Jacket not written by me. Mark Collis is the author.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

done with marathons

swiped from the web. Holler and I'll take it off.

Blah. Wind, cold, hills. They all combined to kick my rear end today. Big expectations leading into the Greenway Marathon in Nashville, TN. It was going to be the sub 3:00 that didn't happen due to the DNF in Albany, 3 weeks ago.

Let's talk about the wind first. It wasn't that bad, only about 11 or 12 mph hour. But, when the temperature is around 39-40 degrees it's kinda chilly. Lot's of the course was sheltered from the wind or it was at our back. But, the wind chilled my legs more than I envisioned. Should have gone with the calf sleeves at a minimum or even tights. Damn. Really thought I'd be running quick enough that I'd be over heated with the calf sleeves and certainly with the tights.

Downhill start from the top of the Percy Priest Dam. Nice conservative start, I was the fourth runner back for the first mile or two. Eased up behind the 2nd place runner but he was going just a touch to quick, so I backed down a smidgen. Then the freakin' hills started. Jeez, I knew we had some rollers before we crossed the bridge over the Cumberland, but I must have mentally blocked their steepness. They weren't that long, but the sure sucked the life out of me. Took what the course gave me and realized real quickly at about 9 miles that a 3:00 wasn't happening today. I was on pace for a 3:05.

Ok, no big deal. I can get back on pace on the flat section along the river, roughly 9 miles worth of flat. It just wasn't happening. I couldn't get on pace. I got a side stitch. What the hell, I never get side stitches, except maybe on shorter races with a whole lot more effort. Bejessus, what the freak is going on. Calves start to tighten up. Can't blame it on the hydration. I carried a bottle from the start. I was taking my Suceeed Caps on schedule, powergels as well. I was ready to call it a day before I even hit the half way point. Gave up third place and then a whole lot more places.

Stopped at the aid station that Chuck was working. Felt like crap. Ready to go home and be done, but I was almost at the most distant point of the course. At least until I got my sorry rear going again around the loop and the turn around point. Still giving up spots when Bill M. and ? passed me. Ok, no sweat, I'll tuck in behind them and ride my way home to a 3:30. That lasted all of about a mile, maybe two.

At this point I couldn't really decide if it's the cold slowing me down, my sore foot or what. At 18 miles when the Monkey crew passed me, hell bent on a 3:45 I decide I'm pretty much toast. I'd been doing the ultra shuffle for the last several miles. I walked up the hill to the top of the bridge and didn't stop walking all the way home.

It wasn't all bad. Annette caught up with me at some point and walked me home. She's a 50 stater from Chicago. What can I say runners are good folks.

I won't talk about the time, it was my slowest marathon ever. But, that's to be expected, I walked it home from 18 miles out.