Thursday, September 25, 2008

Still at it. Marathon goals; Camera

Nothing too much happening this week. Got in a 6.3 miler Tuesday and a 7.2 miler this morning. No real issues. Cooler weather - about 58-60 degrees both mornings, so I actually wore a t-shirt instead of a singlet. I imagine NYC I will have on my GTC long sleeve technical shirt. If it happens to be over 60 - I will then wear a singlet (not the GTC one I have as it doens't quite fit the way I want it to). Am debating whether or not to bring a disposable camera. I imagine it would be good to have photos from the race and the time it would take to take some pictures won't affect my time much. My goals are to 1. Finish; 2. Beat my only other marathon time-4:18; 3. Break 4 hrs. I don't really expect to break 4 hrs - I'd be pretty happy with under 4:10, maybe try to break 4 at Myrtle beach or something if I get to run it. Carrying the camera is the issue. Did a test run with it in my water bottle clip - doesn't quite fit, so it want to unclip from my waistband. I'll see what other options there are. I remember seeing a clip/camera holder at the Rock n Roll San Diego expo, but it was rather expensive back then. I think we can rig something up.
This weekend is a 16 miler. ~37 more days!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Travel, 20 miler?

So I had to travel last week, got in a 3 miler recovery run after the half before I left, did 3 on a treadmill while in Juarez, MX, then a nice 8 miler in the Nice cooler morning back here Friday. Today was my long slow run (after going to Atlanta Saturday!), scheduled for ~20 miles. After the first 18 I did weeks back - I was not feeling that great afterwards, so I was really going to be happy with hitting around 18 this morning. I was also able to sleep in a little due to the cooler temps, so up at 6:20 to start out at 6:45 worked nicely. Got my 2 chocolate (I was out of Vanilla) Gu's, water, fruit punch gatorade and set off on my ~0.9 mile loop. (It's probably closer to 0.85, but I go with 0.9!). Side note - the NYC marathon provides Power Bar Gu's, so I picked some up this afternoon to test next weekend. Also - lemon-lime gatorade, which I still need to pick up. I've only really done water during a run, except for those few occasions where that is the only option!
Anyway - ran a Very consistent 8 minute/lap pace. 40:00 thru 5 laps, 79:51 thru 8, 119:43 thru 12, 159:51 thru 16, 239:58 thru 20, 255:57 thru 22. 13 laps between 7:55-8:04. Walked one extra lap to cool down - so total time out was 3:09:58 for 21.7 miles. Felt great too...and very happy to have done it. NYC is 6 weeks away, so if I can maintain this - I'll be ok!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Asheville Half Marathon

1:58:35. Slowest Half-Marathon time, but considering the course - I am very happy with it. Rested yesterday, waking up at 4:50am and out of the house by 5:30. Drvie to Asheville wasn't too bad (Luckily - I had filled my gas tank Thursday morning, before the onslaught of $4/gal gas prices.). Got my bib, chip, saw a few people from the GTC, did a small warmup run which I normally don't do and started at 8am. Started out comfortably, missed the Mile 1 sign, so really had no idea of my pace until Mile 2, which was just under 18. Perfect for me. Hard to gauge my running wilth all the hills, but I fluctuated with them - never feeling like I was going too fast or too slow. Found a girl (A.L.) and guy (J) running who had a similar pace around Mile 2 or so. Pretty much stayed with them (or within 30 yards) the rest of the way. Chatted and ran up and down hills. Didn't have trouble - even with the really steep ones. We got ahead of J, then I fell a little back a little about the 8 mile mark and followed Andrea a while. I did catch her, but then she was off ahead again going into the last hill, which covered the last 1.5 miles or so. That was where I finally walked once or twice for no more than 30 seconds. At the crest of the hill, you turn left and have 0.1 down to the finish line. That is where my legs felt the effects of the hills - not quite cramping up on me. Hit the wrong button on my watch - so I didn't know my finish/chip time until the reuslt were posted online. Chip-Gun time were off by almost a minute - it was that crowded at the start. Great volunteers! So many water stations - there was only one that was too crowded to get water - but I carried my own anyway - kind of a mental thing, but it did come in handy before and during the race. Very nice crowds along the way - one guy with a water hose to wet us (didn't do too much it was just set to a light mist). Maybe a mile or so was on Beaver Lake Trail, so much better than pavement!! Finisher Award and shirt are both very nice - I will wear that shirt proudly!

My pace was pretty comfortably - take away most of the hills and ask if I could do that for another 13.1 miles- I'd probably say no. So - Looks like breaking 4 hrs at NYC is not very realistic, but beating my previous time (4:18) is!

Light stretching afterwards (and eating/water!) and my legs felt fine. Found out later that A.L. was a bandit. More on that in another post - but it was disappointing after exchanging stories, etc for over an hour. The race did sell out beforehand, and she didn't take advantage of many water stations, and pulled off before the chute/medals - so that was at least something.

Anyway - may do 3.6 tomorrow and see how that feels. Traveling on and off the next 2 weeks to Juarez, Mexico and a trip to Atlanta in between, so hopefully that won't hurt my running schedule too much!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

2009 events/dreams

Not that I am looking past NYC, but I did a little looking at events I wouldn't mind doing in 2009. In chronological order:
Jan 24 - Greenville News Run Downtown - 1st GTC event of the year.
Feb 14 - Myrtle Beach Marathon. Looked at the elevation change (using - seems silly compared to Asheville, Greer or any of the half marathons I've done. Don't know what I'll be up for after NYC.
Late Feb - Green Valley 10 miler. Finished it in 2007 - and it's local so why not.
March - Reedy River Run 10k. Another local one. I like the course even with the McDaniel hill.
Mid-April - GW Parkway 10 miler. Wanted to do this the last 2 years - but couldn't make it up there. Point to point race from Mt. Vernon to Alexandria, VA.
Mid-June - XTERRA Xduro 21k. Part of the XTERRA East Championships in Richmond, VA. Did the 10k Scramble (in 2004 with my older brother) and really enjoyed the unique course. This trail run was new in 2008.
Mid-Nov - Richmond Marathon. My brother lives there and wants to run another marathon (his first in 15 (?) years.

I will have a baby this fall - so doing None of these is a distinct possibility. Can always dream...

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Added a slideshow of some running events I've done...let's see what other gadgets are out there...

course scouting; 8 weeks to NYC.

So I went up to Asheville Friday evening for a concert and thought I'd drive the course for the Asheville Half. First off - if you are going to scout out beforehand - here are some suggestions:
Don't do this in the dark. Especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. And the streets are not well lit. Prepare yourself that the course may not be that inviting I knew this would be hilly - but come on! Mentally I am already putting doubts in my head. I know I will overcome them. Added one good hill on each of my 6+ usual laps this morning and had no trouble. I usually do better on hills anyway - what has killed me in the past - are hills combined with Heat! Asheville is looking pretty good temperature wise - low 60's and maybe rain for Saturday morning. Not bad at all! I am adjusting my predicted time - originally thought 2:02, now maybe 2:05. Either way - my slowest, but that's ok. Finishing the Marathon is my main goal. 8 weeks from today!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Decent week

Not too much new to report. Finished with 2 of the 7 mile runs planned (with one more left on Sunday). With the Labor Day Race - I'll hit 30 miles this week! Going up to Asheville tonight for a concert - but also to scout the Half Marathon course for next weekend. Heard it is Tough, but as long as you understand the last 1-2 miles are uphill and expect hills - it's not as demoralizing. Looking at a few other people's times from the 2007 race and the Spinx Half Marathon, looks to be about 4-5 minutes Slower. At least the temps will be better for Asheville than Columbia. Guess I'll keep my goal at 2hrs, but really expecting about 2:02 or so.
The 5:10am wake up calls are a little tiring, but always feels good to get out and run. I'd say get it out of the way - but I enjoy it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

I'm ok! Eye-bug. 15k race...

So I think I'm fine after my Achilles scare last week. Wed was rest, Thursday was an early morning "test run". Felt fine for my scheduled 6 miles. Slower obviously as I felt for anything odd. Not a great run, but ok. Achilles soreness turned into knee pain. Not too bad at all, almost a weakness (like it was hyper-extended?). Friday was rest, Saturday was originally supposed to be a 20 miler. After that week, and a 15k race on Monday - there was no way I was doing that. I ended up doing just over 7. Was hoping for somewhere between 7 and 13. Caught a bug in my eye and couldn't get it out - that was one reason for the 7. Legs felt fine too, still lingering knee weakness after the fact - didn't feel a thing as I ran. So - the bug. I looked. My wife looked later on. A few hours later, felt something Really in my eye and something came out. Yuck, but felt so much better!
Rested up yesterday (by painting a bedroom) and woke up at 4:20am today to get ready and drive down to Columbia for the Labor Day 15k. A really good crowd, lots of volunteers too. Started off on the cooler side (for Columbia) with even a threat of rain. Sadly - that only lasted ~4 miles, then the sun came out with a vengeance. Then the hills began. Not sure they ever ended! By far the hardest course I have run, combined with my lack of proficiency in the heat and I was not having a great race. Even with that - and not feeling like I was going fast at all (let alone the walking I did) - I was only 2 minutes off my Biltmore 15k run from May in which I felt great at (so I think I remember feeling great!). Did run into one GTC member - Bobby. For the last 2 years - it seems we are Always side by side at some point. So - 100 miles away from Greenville, bend down to check my shoes at the starting line, straighten up, and who is standing next to me but Bobby. He has been my rabbit, but lately I guess my training has paid off as I have finally overtaken him in the last few races. Forget that he is over 30 yrs older! I certainly hope to be in that good of shape in 20 or 30 years! I'll talk more about my "rabbits" over the last 6 years...there's been a few!
NYC is 8 weeks away. eek!
Next week: three 7 milers on Wed, Fri and Sunday.