Sunday, August 26, 2012

There goes the neighborhood

Noticed an auction for a 494+ acre farm out on one of our regular riding/running routes on my Saturday bike ride. It backs up to Spain hill. (Casons Knobs) What an awesome property. Don't think the neighbors are to thrilled about it. At least 5 houses for sale on the road leading towards the farm and once I looked on line at least a dozen in the small subdivision across the road. Sure would be awesome to turn that farm into a patchwork of trails. I'll be following this over the next couple of years to see how it turns out. Most of the small farms that come up for sale, end up only being subdivided into 2 or 3 tracts of land with a single home. Guess the neighbors think this is going to be turned into a major subdivision.

Got a total of almost 34 miles of running this week. Hope to hit 40 next week. I'm still trying to build my base to about 50 miles a week before I start attempting any kind of real workout. Doesn't look like I'll be getting any speed back before the Middle Half. Maybe when it cools off I'll pick up a little bit of speed. 

Been watching the Vuelta Espana all week. Think it has 2 more weeks to go. Its another grand tour held in Spain. Didn't realize the Pyrennes where on the northern border of Spain. I can see why some of the pros train in the area. Great roads, lots of climbs.

What the hell's up with the USA Pro Challenge? I haven't seen any listings for it on tv. Is it only available on the interwebs? It's only 7 days long, but in Colorado. Would appear to be a marketing dream. Guess the US marketing folks are so burnt by LA, that they can't get behind a cycling event? Oh, its only on NBC sports channel the old Versus channel, the one my crappy satellite network doesn't carry on my plan. It requires an upgrade. Pfftt. Veulta Espana will have to do, would have liked to watch Hincapie in his final race.

Check out Jeff's blog post about the myth. I've rambled my thoughts plenty over the years.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

To long

Didn't realize it's been almost 3 years to the date, since I've been out to the trails at Percy Warner Park. Got off work an hour early to meet EB. Trails seem more worn, but just like I remembered them. Single track that either climbs up a hill or back down the other side. Few spots on the tops of ridges that are somewhat level, but very few.

Uploaded the run into Strava, because the elevation shows up better than the Garmin software. Not very many runners use Strava. Like it for the bike, but prefer Running2win for logging my runs. Another really good site for logging runs is RunningAhead, great forum.

Love running on the trails. Awesome stuff. Now just need to get out there once a week. Had my ass kicked by the trail and EB. Good times.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


That one's off the list. (thought it was on the list, must have been the other list in my head) Finished my first Century bike ride on Saturday. It was the H.O.T. 100 starting in Lascassas. Me and the guys had been talking about it for quite awhile. Just never really seems to win out over running. This year the bike won. G committed before me, so I had to go ahead and sign up as well.

Hot topic on the running forums is always the accuracy of GPS devices. Someone is always finishing a 5k race and their GPS measures a different distance. Lots of factors, that I won't even talk about. Only thing I know is the bike odometer seems to be more accurate. We rode 102.5 miles according to my bike odometer and 100.9 miles according to my Garmin 305. Probably right in the ball park of the accuracy claims made by Garmin. The number that I'm more concerned with is the average pace, in this case 18.3 mph average on the bike odometer versus 18.1 mph on the Garmin 305. Not big, but G's difference was staggering. He only showed 17.6 mph avg, yet he beat me home by 5 minutes. Only difference being his Garmin 305 was on his wrist, versus me mounting mine on my bike.

Rest stops or feed zones, whatever you want to call them were placed just about the right spots along the course. One in Readyville, we went by twice, one after the first big climb on top of the ridge, and the last one in Statesville about 23 miles from the finish. Lots to eat, oranges, cantaloupes, watermelons, grapes, peanut butter and jelly sandwich's, Oreo's, peanuts, bananas, ice, water and Heed. One new thing for me was a cracker with peanut butter, a slice of banana and a drizzle of honey. Yummy. Pretty similar to the spread for an Ultra. The last stop is the one where we dilly dallied. I sat down took off my shoes and drank an entire bottle of ice cold water.

Sag support was awesome. The boys, (mine) both asked what is the SAG wagon? I had my answer, but really thought it must be some kind of acronym (Support and Gear) or something. This is one of the explanations I found on the interwebs. This ride had lots of support, at least 2 vehicles making trips up and back each 20 mile or section. I saw them in action on at least one flat and another mechanical. Plus, we saw two of them in action when they came back and picked up J, one of G's tri buddies.

This course has two climbs of significance, Petty Gap and Dolittle. We've been up Petty Gap before. G rode up it the first time in his big ring. Not as much gas this time, must be the heat. Last time it was in the 60's this time at least mid 70's, maybe warmer. Dolittle was a long climb and it was about 60 miles into the ride. We had a truck that  wouldn't go around us the entire way up the hill. Annoying as hell. I stopped at almost the top to let him go by and then stopped again at the summit to wait on J. Only waited for about a minute and then rode on. G had passed me on the hill, thankfully he waited for me at the real top of the hill.

One thing for certain a Century is easier than a marathon. Least if you take your time and dilly dally around at the rest stops, don't hammer the hills and coast the down hills. First rest stop, I had to wait on the guys. I'd started out slow, but DT went flying by so I latched on for a couple of miles. After one mile hot mile at around 28 mph I thought I'd better slow down and let that train fly on without me.

New respect for the tri-athletes. I can't imagine hammering through 100+ miles and then running a marathon. Perhaps the swim cools them off enough that the heat from the bike and run is welcome. NOT. Saw a couple of runners starting out as we finished our ride. No thanks, no triathalons for me. Guess the ulitmate all around stud has to be the decathlete. Saw a picture of Bruce Jenner on a Wheaties box from 1976 last week.

My quads were pretty sore for the rest of the day, and I was a little bit tired but not as drained as a marathon. Did a 10 mile run this morning and surprisingly felt really strong. But, it was overcast and cooler, even rained for the last quarter mile. Enough bike for the time being, I'll keep it in the rotation for cross training but time to get serious for a half marathon in October and the Monkey in November.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

So it begins

I'll call this mornings workout an AT run. It's based off the McMillan plan where the first phase has some up tempo runs that are run at half marathon pace. Not having run a half marathon in some time, I based it on my heart rate for the last time I ran these workouts, 160 bpm. Pulled a distance of 2 miles out of thin air, mostly because it was a third of the total distance I planned on running. Seems like the first workout of this plan is 20 minutes. Close enough for starting out.

Thought it was cooler this morning when I started. The 68 degrees according to the thermometer on the deck felt cooler. At least until I started to crank up the pace to get to 160 bpm, then it felt really warm and muggy. The first mile came in at 7:28. I had the Garmin set so all I was looking at was heart rate. Felt like stopping, but continued on until it beeped to let me know the second fast mile was done. Heart rate rose to 164 for that one and the pace had slowed to 7:40. Yikes, lots of work to be done. Probably would have been discouraged seeing those paces as they were being run.

I've been at this place before. Patience is the key. The paces will drop. Just can't get to gungho and try to accelerate the program. That would just lead to injury. Probably best to wait another week or two before I try and run with the herd. Still trying to get in some bike rides, but missed some because of all of the rain.

Reminded again this morning why I don't like riding my bike on the shoulder of the road on Thompson Lane. Someone dropped a box of nails for a nail gun, over a hundred nails. I've flatted twice in the last month, need to buy some new tires and tubes.

Scored a comp entry for the Murfreesboro Half Marathon. (Thanks to BQ1 and SS) I really like this race. I've run it twice, never to my potential. It's going to be the A race this fall. It's just about the ideal size at around 2,500. It's a fast course and its the hometown race. The Tate's have done a bang up job since the start. Really hate last years race was marred by the police blocking the wrong turn.Plenty of time to get into shape.

Registered for the lottery for the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon on day one. Last year it sold out in 4 hours. That's quicker than Boston. Glad Trent has decided to keep it small. The weighted lottery is really the only fair thing to allow those who have run it before and the newbies to have a shot at running. Awesome that he also considers military service as part of the weighting. Can't give those folks enough credit. I'd still really like to run 3:30.