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.