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.