Monday, November 19, 2012

The hills won, again. 2012 Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon

Personalized tech shirt and monkey kill on the sleeve.

Couldn't ask for a better day for running a marathon. Temperatures in the low 30's before the start and warming quickly. Probably 40 by the time we started and mid 60's by the time everyone was drinking beer. Loads of sunshine and little to no wind. Course records were set. This is the way marathons should be run.

Old fashioned cotton t-shirt and Yazoo/Monkey Marathon Silipint.
Thought I'd learned my lesson the first time I ran this thing in 2008. The hills are tough. Maybe the monkey kill on the sleeve of the technical shirt had something to do with it. Pretty sure I've volunteered every year since that 1st one. Thought that was the smart thing to do. Run 14 miles with everyone and then volunteer at the finish line. Maybe it was EB who talked me into running this year. I was only able to keep up with her until mile 12 or so.

Great swag as always. A tech shirt personalized with your name, a cotton t-shirt, magnetic bumper sticker, regular bumper sticker. Last year Trent sold Silipint pint cups. This year everyone got one when they crossed the finish line. This years was black, last year clear. Lot's of food afterwards, little bit of everything. Beer from Yazoo. The Hop project was very tasty.

Volunteers were great as always. The Nolensville Running club were the most vocal, or maybe it was just where they were located in the valley before 9 mile hill. Water and gatorade at all of the aid stations. Gu at at least one. Most had other stuff to snack on as well. Almost to the extent of an ultra.

My race was great for the first 18 miles. Tried something different for carrying my gels. Wore my Arrogant Bastard Ale bike jersey. It has 3 pockets in the back. I tried it out on my fast finish long run and it worked well, but with only a baggie and one Clif shot block. Didn't work as well with 5 power gels, to much bounce. Did get lots of shout outs regarding the jersey. Did like the fact that it had a zippered front, because it did warm up quickly.

The plan for this race was to hang with EB and come home around 3:30. She did, I didn't. Basically, I out ran my fitness level. Three months of training after three months of only biking isn't a good enough base to run these hills or a marathon. We started at the very back of the pack and slowly moved through for the first several miles.

The first 8 mile splits were right were they needed to be: 9:15,7:59,7:39,8:03,8:19,8:02, 7:26, 8:41

Then next 8 miles were about the same, I slowed a little when EB pulled ahead around mile 12: 8:03, 8:33,8:05,8:00, 8:24,8:15, 8:42, 8:41. Miles 15, 16, were up the back side of three mile hill. Stopped to pee around mile 17. Mile 17 was 9:00 and mile 18 was a 8:35, downhill to the Stone Gates.

Mile 19 through 20 were up 9 mile hill and Luke Lea. This spot was my down fall, yet again. Didn't walk up any of it, probably should have, because I did the walk/run thing the rest of the way home. Every mile was 11:00 plus, except for mile 22 which was a 15:14. Sat down to get a rock/sliver of acorn/something out of the heel of my shoe. Damn groin locked up on me trying to get up and had a volunteer help me get back on my feet. Ugh.

Half of the field passed me in the final 6 miles. Only good thing was the keg had been tapped by the time I slogged across the finish line. Didn't have my first beer until a half hour later, my pint glass was filled with water and then gatorade until that time.

Will I run it again? Probably.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

3 more runs until the Flying Monkey Marathon

No real taper plan for this marathon. No carb loading. I've cut back on the length of runs the last several days. Sunday's long run was only 12 miles with the last 6 miles at marathon pace or quicker. Marathon pace is going to be 8:00'ish. I'm shooting for a 3:30 worst case. I'd hope to be a little quicker, but the training just hasn't happened this cycle.

No long runs greater than 18 miles this cycle. This is a first. I'm not certain if it was the six or so 20 mile long runs for my PR marathon or mileage above 70 miles per week or new training stimuli or ?? On a flat course I think a 3:20 or so is possible given my current level of training. Monkey course, add 10-15 minutes.

Picked up a couple of acorns at my nature stop on Sundays long run. At this point in the run, I'd only covered 3 miles. Super Slow. Really was beginning to wonder if I'd even be able to pull off a fast finish for the day. For some reason I held on to them for the rest of the run. Nothing really unusual about them. No where near as large as those out in Monkeyville. Really started thinking that they would be a reminder to grow a set/HTFU and run what I could today and most certainly on marathon day. No backing down, no caving when it got tough. Last time I ran monkey, I gave in at nine mile hill, the course beat me. Don't want that to happen this year.

Splits from this Sunday's fast finish were: 7:39, 7:49. 7:39, 7:58, 7:52, 7:45. Compare that to the splits before the PR marathon at the Flying Pig: 6:49,6:54,6:50,7:02,6:40,6:44. A completely different world fitness wise. That's where I want to be again, come spring.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veterans Day

Remember our Veterans.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Old school

The Garmin wouldn't turn on this morning. Pretty strange. I'd left it hooked up to the computer all night by accident. Kinda thought it would change my long run. I'd planned on running 18 miles with the last 8 miles at marathon pace. The route I'd chosen is not quite 18 miles, but close enough. It's a course that I've run many times, parts of it or in the other direction. I picked it because it's a single loop with some rolling hills. Also chose to run it the opposite direction to get the biggest hill out of the way in the first 3 miles. That still left a couple of rollers at the end, but that's part of the training.

Started out slow and checked the Timex Ironman at roughly where the first mile on the Garmin usually beeps. It was slow. No biggie. I wanted to ease into my run slowly and have something left for a fast finish. The last few long runs have been to quick at the beginning and no gas at the end. Great morning for a long run, low 40's grey morning. Head wind for the first several miles and it took my hands about 4 miles to warm up. I ended up hitting the lap button 4 times for reference so I could at least see if my fast finish was successful. Near as I can figure, it was right at marathon pace for the last 7 miles.

In the end, no Garmin didn't really change my workout. I started slow, picked it up in the middle and pushed steadily home for a fast finish. It would have been nice to know what my pace was on those miles, but I'm ok with knowing the energy level was there to push those final miles home and even up the couple of rolling hills on the way back. The overall pace isn't where I've been in the past, but it's starting to come back. Just run baby!