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.