Sunday, September 23, 2012

fall is in the air

Another cool morning for the long run. 18 miles this time, longest of the cycle so far. Right around 49 degrees for my 3 mile solo run before the guys showed up. Clear skies and no wind. Great running weather. Probably never got over 51 degrees before we finished. The guys were doing 5 miles worth of fast finish. I only was able to keep up with them for the first 3 miles before they picked it up and I slowed down.

BQ1 mapped out a 15 mile route that was part of the HOT 100 route.Nice rolling course with no hills that come close to those at Percy Warner Park. Great course to get a good rhythm without having to struggle up any killer hills. Nice to have a different route. Easy pace for my solo effort and for the first 3 miles with the guys. They picked it up and I slowed to around 8:00 pace.

I carried a handheld bottle for my water. I also carried a gel and some succeed, but didn't plan on taking them unless needed. Felt pretty good at my pace and really only slowed for the last 3 miles. Not the usual slog slowdown, but enough to bring the overall pace down to 8:17 overall. Better than the 16 miler two weeks ago.

Lots of deer out this morning. Also had a horse that ran parallel to the guys through two fields which was pretty cool to watch from my vantage point about 20 yards back. Big black horse, came racing back towards me after finishing running with the guys. Farmer just down the road had a lots of donkeys and one baby. Great morning for a run in the country. Also nice that the starting point for all of these routes is only 8 miles from the house.

Finished out the week with 52 miles on six days of running. Almost hate to take a day off. May not, but no plans for a streak. That would just be stupid. Pretty sure I'm done with the bike for the year. Haven't ridden it in two weeks. The days are just to short and I don't like riding in the dark.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Making progress in the return this go around. Not as quickly as I'd like, but can't get greedy. This week I ran 44 miles total in six days. Only one day off and no bike. Only one weight workout.

Made it back out to the trails at Percy Warner Park to run the red and white trails. It was the best effort to date. Cooler weather made a tremendous difference.

Minute on and a minute recovery workout showed my speed still needs lots of improvement.

Progression run this morning went ok, little warmer than last week. Planned on running 30 minutes easy (8:30 pace), 30 minutes moderate effort (8:00 pace) and 30 minutes harder effort (7:30 pace). Wore the heart rate monitor and planned on around 140, 150 and 160 bpm for each segment. Didn't quite work out to plan. The first 30 minutes were way to easy, didn't hit 140 until almost the last mile. It was a slower effort than a ultra slog pace; 10:00, 9:31 and 8:45.

Next segment went better. Ran about 152 bpm for the entire 30 minutes and felt really comfortable. Had the Garmin display set to only show heart rate and distance. I didn't want to know the pace until I downloaded. 7:42, 7:36, 7:47 and 7:49. Little quicker than I wanted but it was on the greenway, nice and flat.

Last segment just couldn't seem to get the legs to turn over. Only able to get the heart rate above 160 on the rises. Mostly it was stuck around 158 bpm and felt almost like a tempo effort. Happy with the results. 7:20, 7:32, 7:25 and 7:34. Total of 12 miles on the morning.

Tough thing about marathon training is balancing all of the workouts with everything else. I'd like to get one trail run, one speed session and one long run in each week. I'd also like to run with the guys at least once a week. This past week worked out really well. Did end up running solo for the progression run, only because I didn't want to run the hills with the guys or go back out to PWP. Next week I'll have to try meet the guys for at least one run.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Great morning for a long run. Started out a little after 5 am to get in 5 miles before the fellas showed up. Back out to Spain Hill. Couldn't find out how much that property went for at auction. Surprised to see the fast guys pulling into the parking lot. They had a workout mixed into their long run and went the other direction. Temps were in the low 50's and a fog in the air.

I was only able to hang with the guys for a couple of miles. It was nice to have them pull me out of my slog. My first 5 miles were at a 8:50 average. The guys were cruising up the hills after a couple of miles at 7:30 pace or better. Let them go and settled into a comfy, honest pace. They were a good carrot but I lost sight of them after a couple of miles.

Carried some water, but no gels or Succeed caps for this run. Felt really good, but couldn't really seem to pick up the pace on the downhills. Overall pace for the 16 miles was 8:34. Nice negative split and I felt really good in the last few miles home. P man did help pull me home for the last mile as he came back out to add on some more miles.

Only saw one deer and that wasn't until I was almost home. She bolted across the road directly in front of me. Kinda strange, but the hunters were out in force. Never did see them, but heard shots for the last several miles. Think it's dove season. Couple of other runners out as I was stretching afterwards. The fog did provide some really cool effects for some great magazine cover shots. One that really stood out was the guys heading up a hill framed by the road and trees with the sun behind them and the fog as well. Kodak moment, that's what makes being a runner so special.

Big difference in elevation on Strava versus Garmin training center. Strava shows the run at 914 feet of gain and the training center 2,464 feet. More inclined to believe the Strava data. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Guest appearance

Yesterday's workout was a fail, initially. Set up the workout for 10 x 2 minutes with one minute recoveries. Did a 2 mile or so warmup and hit the lap button for the workout to start. I count down the seconds so I know about when the recovery piece should start, but it didn't. Kept going forever, or so it seemed, (2:57) I was running up a hill. Damn Garmin never beeped. Stopped and reprogrammed the workout that I did last week, 10 x 25 seconds with one minute recoveries. Think I must have picked the 3 x 2 mile workout. Damn, oh well still got a little bit of a workout.

Today I got back up at 0 dark thirty to meet the herd at Pittard. Couple of the guys had a serious half marathon workout and the others were going to hang on at their own paces. My plan was just to warmup with the guys, hadn't seen them in awhile. But, when the time came to go on, I went with them, just for grins. I'd already done my workout yesterday. Ended up running one mile at about my old marathon pace, 7:02. That was surprising and the heart rate was actually within a beat or two of those efforts as well. Sure couldn't pull off 26 miles worth of that, now. But, it was encouraging to see that I haven't completely lost what little speed I use to have. Even did four tenths of a mile worth of their 1,000 meter repeat. Still lots of work to keep up with these guys.

Athlinks shows that I've run 12 half marathons. My PR is a 1:27 at Tom King. I'd really like to run a 1:25-26. That's about the shape I'd need to be in for a sub 3:00 marathon. My last race at the Middle Half was at a pace to run 1:30 (42:46 at the halfway point), but I failed miserably with a 1:33:51. I've only run the Middle Half one other time and that was the first year. This years race is on October 13th. Five more weeks to build strength. Won't have enough speed to make another crack at 1:25, but sure as hell would like to break 1:30. Goal race is still the Flying Monkey Marathon on November 18th. The half marathon will just be a fun race.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Back out to Percy Warner Park

Ran the 11.2 plus Luke Lea this morning. Looked like a really crappy day for a run. Lot's of rain on the drive into Nashville from Murfreesboro. When we pulled in to the park, only 3 other cars where in the drive. Very odd, must have been the holiday weekend and the early morning rain. The rain let up about the time EB and I started running. I haven't run the  11.2 since January. Thankfully, it didn't rain much during our run and cooled it off considerably from the heat of the previous day. Usually the first trip back is a sufferfest. The bike rides over the last couple of months must have made me stronger on the hills. I wasn't as out of breath, but no speed.
Both of these screen shots are from Strava. The top is the 11.2 and Luke Lea. The first highlighted green segment is 3 mile hill and the second one is 9 mile hill. The third is Luke Lea. (no big deal right?) Only two real climbs for the entire loop. This description is better than anything I can write. Today's trip didn't disappoint, lots of wildlife and almost zero humans. Big plus was a owl in flight directly in front of us across the roadway.

The bottom elevation is the white and red trails from the Stone Gates at Belle Meade Boulevard. That route seems tougher to me than the 11.2, steeper climbs anyway and the keep on coming. Running on the trail just seems tougher than the road. You have to keep your eyes on the ground, so you don't trip. Even then, its not a guarantee. Lots of near falls every time I'm on the trail.