Thursday, March 27, 2008

Last trip. For this month!

One last trip coming up - starts today. Leaving temps in the 70's for 6 days with highs of 40 and snow showers. Not a good trade, but we'll see how my long run (11miles) turns out this weekend. I've had a sore right heel this week, so we'll see how that fairs as well.
Ran the Duke Cross Country course (Al Buehler Trail) this past weekend. Makes me really wish we had trails like that spread across our area. Nice 2.91 mile loop, gravel (very finely packed). Hilly too, and great to see lots of people on it at 8am on a Sunday morning. 2 loops felt great. Reading the latest Go Magazine on running trails got the urge in me going again...I used to run Paris Mountain State Park trails pretty regularly, among others. Not so much anymore. Maybe this will start me up again!
Registered for the Biltmore 15k set for mid May. Will be good to set a PR for a new distance...Also will register for the Greer Half Marathon. Haven't done that one either. Guess I should drive the course sometime. I like knowing the course beforehand - what to expect, whether I will tire myself out completely in the first half. Being able to look forward to certain landmarks gives me a way to break the race down into smaller segments.
Gotta go catch my plane...missed my workout today - so maybe I'll just walk around the Chicago Airport!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Work) Travel and Exercise (Mexico, Philly & Spokane)

Since I am traveling for work quite a bit over the next 3-4 weeks, I thought I'd ramble about exercising while I am gone, out of my routine. The first part of planning is making sure I am in a hotel that, at a minimum, can keep me occupied with a treadmill and/or stationary bike. Ones near trails or parks are even better. A last resort is having a road outside that is "safe" to run by. Sadly - sometimes you have No choice. My 1st trip - to Juarez Mexico - I will be in a hotel. Just being in Mexico makes it much more difficult to get outside and do anything, no car, poorly maintained roads, dirt/dust and a few crazy drivers. So I am relegated to stay indoors. Instead of my daily runs outside - I will hit the treadmill a few days. This of course has to be arranged so I can still "be a team player" and do dinner with the hosts and my other travel companions. (I don't always do this, but try to be social every so often). I'll alternate days with the stationary bike. Both of these means either early mornings or late evenings (after my food settles). Anyway.

My 2nd trip this month is to just outside Philadelphia. I've been there enough to know what websites to look at for upcoming races, etc in the area. I've also found a great State Park (Tyler State Park) with excellent trails and even a covered bridge. It is frequented by area cross country teams too - so there is plenty to keep you company. Also - plenty of deer! Doubt I'll make it up there this trip as I am only there 2 nights, the first of which is when I arrive).

The last of my planned work trips is to Spokane, WA. The Centennial Trail runs right behind the hotel I stay at. Enough to satisfy any distance run. Good for running in the snow or sun. When the snow is gone - there are bikes to borrow to ride also. Didn't quite make it to Idaho (2 miles short), but considering I hadn't been on a bike in quite a while and I still had to go back, I'd save it for another trip. I'd suggest Riverside State Park to go a little further off track. I know there are Plenty of other trails in WA, ID and MT, but I've only made 3 trips out there so far. Sadly - will miss the annual Bloomsday Run in May. Look it up - reminds me of the Cooper River Bridge Run, but More popular. 12k distance I think, so if I do it - I can have a new PR. Maybe in 2009!

Well - I'll make the best of it, and will have most of the weekends upcoming back here for my long slow runs. One long run in Spokane, but I at least know the trail there.
Until I get back...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Recording an Engineer, & NYC!

I am an Engineer. I like spreadsheets. I also am kind of a pack rat. So - it should come as no surprise that I keep records of my runs - training and races. The 31st Reedy River Run yesterday was my 62nd race/event. 60 of those since 2000 (the 1st two were in Clemson back in 1994 - I wouldn't call myself a runner then, but they still count). Everything is recorded - from my bib number, time, and finish place, to my overall finish percentage. I like stats and have each mile split as well for most of the races. I have separate sheets for each race distance too. I have recently begun looking at them before races to get a feel for how I performed in the same race in previous years. Can't say I change much about my next race based on what I see beforehand - but I like to look anyway. I track my workouts in a similar manner (using the Runners World Training Log), recording temps, times, even shoes/clothes I wear. I don't think it is that odd.
Since I do my long slow runs at pretty much the same location (more on that in another post) - I can easily track my progress on each lap I do. This helps when it comes time to train for a marathon, which I am just beginning to do again.
I registered for the New York City Marathon Lottery last week.
The application process just began and is open until June I believe. The lottery is in Mid-June, so I will know then whether or not I got in. This is my 2nd year in a row to attempt to get in. After 3 consecutive years of Not getting in, the following year you are automatically accepted (So NYC in 2010 here I come!). Worked out fine last year, as my body wasn't cooperatingall the time, but I did my 1st Half marathon in 6 years. My body chose to really Not cooperate that day either - with my knee hurting from mile 4 on. Didn't come up once in training, even on a few 10-12 mile runs a couple weeks before. Very frustrating to have that appear out of nowhere. Was still very happy with my time, but disappointing in how much of a better race I could have had (not just in time, but in how I felt!). Of course - that goes in my log book too.