Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year'e Eve run

Well - it didn't hit me that it was New Year's eve until dinnertime - I guess working threw me off. I did take a long lunch and run 11 miles. I started up this week on the final 7 weeks of the FIRST Marathon plan. Instead of the 3:40 pace, I am going by the 3:50 pacing and I will follow that come race day! So that meant speedwork Wed and tempo run today. Took to the treadmill for speedwork, as it was too blustery to run at the track at 5:45am. Today's run was nice - 40°, light rain. Planned an 8:46/mi pace and hit it on the nose! Was very comfortable too, but the cold gets to my knees afterwards. 15 planned for Saturday. Haven't done 2 long runs like that (within 2 days) in a long time (ever?), but hope to get them back to back to prep for the Chattooga 50k. That's my main goal for 2010 (an ultra).
The trip up to VA/DC/MD/DE was good. Got one good run in on Rock Creek Park. Again - a cold rain with 18" of snow on the ground. Didn't get far before my shoes/socks were soaked, but it was not an issue. Tried running on the main trail, but it was too much under water, so I stuck to the paved part for the first 45 minutes. Barely saw the pavement and continued to slosh thru puddles and slush. Came out on the closed section of beach drive and saw some other runners. Ran with them for almost the next hour - were members of the Montgomery County running club - doing maintenance marathon miles. Very nice people. Ended up with about 10 miles in that morning and felt great! Will have to total my miles up and give a final year recap I guess!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Still running! 2010 plans

So I made it thru the first week after the marathon without doing anything stupid (related to running at least!). Had a decent 5.1 miler Friday along with yoga and walking another 0.5 mile, then slept in a little and ran just under 7 today. Felt fine even with a decent pace, but still nowhere close to where I was - but I didn't expect to be. Doing another short 4 miler tomorrow morning - my schedule will be a little off in the coming week with some travel coming up, but I'll get those runs in!
I am starting to get excited with the prospect of slowing down during the marathon and seeing if I can run an even split, and possibly hit the wall later, like mile 26. Not planning a whole lot for 2010...
Feb - Myrtle Beach Full Marathon
Mar - Reedy River 10k

Lots of maybes...just going to wait and see how MB goes. Ideally - would do the Chattooga 50k (or another Ultra on Trails run). Then another marathon in the fall with my brother - leaning towards the Marine Corps Marathon in DC.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Back to Training!

Well, my soreness lasted until this morning, so 2+ days. Still a tender spot here and there, but I'd say I'm at 90%. Walked some Sunday, more on Monday and today spent 30 minutes on a stationary bike - tomorrow I will try to run and see how it feels. Only concern right now is what happened after Spokane (and NYC?), my left ankle/shin area. It has kind of been there for a couple of weeks, never more than an annoyance, but it is still there. I know it is an overuse injury (or could become one quick), but I'll see how 3-4 miles feels in the morning. Oh yea - back to getting up at 5am. Some parts of training are not as enjoyable as others!
I had many comments this week about why? and how? I do this running thing. Mostly of it is enjoyable, there is a sense of personal accomplishment, certainly it keeps me in shape. Hard to pinpoint. How? is easier...it just takes time and commitment! Running does Not come easy for me (nor speed), but dedicating a part of your life towards a goal and it can be accomplished.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thunder Road Marathon Race Report

Saturday Dec 12th started off at 3:55am with my alarm going off (It really started earlier due to a 1 year old's molars starting to cut in) to meet my BRR friends Terry and Kathrin for the drive up at 4:45am. Got there smoothly and hung out at packet pickup (very easy, friendly people, nice red shirts). Met up with Todd and Tom and debated what to wear as it was ~28° at the start. Decided correctly to not wear gloves or a hat, long tights under race ready shorts, and 2 long sleeve tops plus my light jacket to block the wind. Had my Gu's, water bottle, thought I'd try out an electrolyte replacement pill, and had my emergency power bar plus my disposable camera. A Full load!



Todd, Me, Terry (Pre-race)



Started off from downtown at 7:50am with a good number of runners in the full and half (the 5k Jingle Jog started later). Tried settling into my pace pretty early and resisted the urge to stay with the mass of people that seemed to be rushing ahead. Had to keep remembering most were just running the half. Saw fellow GTC member Julie as she went by. Many miles later - saw Jim too as he passed. Hit my steady pace early, but still was 10 seconds/mile faster than I had anticipated. Stayed about 8:25 for the first 10 miles or so, and running 4 or so miles in there with Todd helped that even if it was on the edge of my comfort level. (Having hit my lap button on the 10k mat, once we got to the 7 mile marker - I thought for a second we had run a 6:44 mile. My math skills certainly decline during a race!) It really was nice running with him as we used to do the same races, not often getting to run with him though. I eventually had him go on ahead and could see him for many miles within 2 minutes of me. Leaving downtown - we ran thru some nice neighborhoods, including one section with a narrow divided road, completely tree-lined. Was very peaceful running there. Water stops every 2 miles, a few bands (alot less than I was expecting - but some good music when it was there). Some large areas of cheering people - gave some kids high-fives and thanked as many volunteers as I could. Saw Kathrin who was cheering us all on, especially her boyfriend Terry in his 1st marathon - he had bad cramping at 15 after running pretty well, and had to walk the remaining of the course, but he did finish, so hats off to him!



I knew I was ahead of my goal at the half (1:51), but felt good. My right ankle was sore, not badly, but overall felt fine. Still don't know where that ankle thing came from. Settled into 8:45's or so from mile 12-18, when I started feeling it. I had gotten hungry about mile 16, so started in on my power bar. I'd take a bite, pack it away and ended up finishing it around mile 25 (it had gotten pretty difficult to wash it down my mouth was so dry). I knew I had not hit the 9min/mile pace in Spokane until 16, but I wanted to put it off as long as I could here. After an 8:59 on mile 19, I broke into the 9's with a slight side-stitch. 9:19, 9:35 and 9:50 got me thru 22. I would walk every mile at this point, not for long, maybe just for 20-30 seconds or so to mentally rebuild and trudge forward. Somehow, I felt invigorated the next 2 miles - surprisingly good, running 9:34 and 9:37, before hitting 10:18's each of the last 2 miles. I knew I would PR and not feel horrible, so I didn't push myself as hard as I could have. Made it the last 0.2 miles and clocked in at 3:53:40! Another 8 minutes off my Windermere time.

The last 3-4 miles I watched Todd stay about 1-2 minutes ahead of me, knowing I would not catch him. Was good to see him up there though and motivate me to keep moving. GTC Jim ended up a few steps ahead of me at the finish - I hadn't been sure if that was him the last mile or not until we crossed. One guy ran with an "I'm getting married today" shirt on. He got Lots of cheers - and a story in the Charlotte Observer paper Sunday (but no other article on the race itself, go figure).

As for the course/hills - they were there. Not so terrible, more prevalent as I'd heard in the first half, but every hill the last 6 miles was demoralizing. The NoDa section had a "wall" setup for us to all run through - that was a nice touch, although 50 yards later when the crowd disappeared, it was back to suffering. Ran past two old haunts of mine/Todd's from our college(post-college) days - Amos' and Tremont Music Hall. Lots of good times and good bands there.

After the finish - did not have the emotion like Windermere, got my finisher medal (will have to change it one day as the skyline pictured now has 2 fewer since 2 more have gone up) and another shirt (white - Guess a mistake was made somewhere! Works for me - the shirts are nice) and the all important space blanket. I had gotten a little chill the last 2 miles, and took awhile to warm up (after going inside and changing out of my sweaty shirts and into 3 layers and the blanket). Hung out with Todd, finished 1 min ahead (and Rachel his wife) until they headed back to their hotel and I walked back to find Terry. (Tom finished in 3:08 and had already gone - even fast runners get cold!). Saw them with 0.25 miles to go and walked with them to get the story. I knew he'd finish somehow, no matter how bad he felt, and he felt Bad for awhile.

Made it home 4:15pm, had a x-mas party at a friends house (exhaustion set in around 7) and got home and crashed around 9:30! Think I've been talked in to running Myrtle Beach in Feb...stay tuned!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Tomorrow is the day!

Excited. Nervous. Those (hopefully) phantom aches that just appeared - how did my Right ankle get sore and Why is my left one acting up again?? Just hope I feel ok tomorrow. The 4:45am meet time to drive the 90 miles will come early.
Weather still looks good. Low of 29°, high of 46°. Temps supposed to be around 33° at the start, and 42° by noon. As long as the wind that is here today (10-15 mph) calms down as expected to the 5-10 mph, it should be great weather for running. Still slightly unsure of clothing - specifically headwear. Usually go with a hat, but could go with just the headband to keep my ears toasty. Tough call! :-)
Guess my next post will be the results...wish me luck (to finish, then to finish strong, then to break 4 hrs!). Thanks.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

3 days until...(and some stats) + My Prediction.

Now there is No rain at all for Saturday. Nice! Cold isn't a problem and it's staying consistent as we get closer. Trying to properly carbo-load this week and find any last tips out on the web and my growing collection of Runner's World. Trying to, but not getting, the extra sleep I keep reading about. Get to bed early, just to be awake for 2 hours in the middle of the night by a wide-awake daughter. She is adorable though, even at that time of the morning, so what can I do?! One last 3 mile run tomorrow, then I can start packing for my race. This is the 1st marathon (this and 3 others) that I have been in my bed the night before. Also the first one that starts and ends basically in the same location (downtown Charlotte), the other 3 were point to point. This will be the 4th marathon state for me and my 12th overall race of the year (5k, 10mi x2, 10k, Marathonx2, 8k, 7k trail, the Blue Ridge Relay, a 30k, and half-marathonx2. 50th race in 4 yrs and 85th race overall. Am on my 5th pair of shoes in 2009 (three still have miles left).
I made my race prediction today: 53min for 10k, 1:53 half, 2:54 20mi and 3:56 finish.
(FYI - I beat my Windermere Prediction my 4 minutes...not expecting to this time. Did you hear there are hills on this course?!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

4 more days...

Guess my post yesterday disappeared. Pretty basic - just a weather update (it was wintry mix for Saturday, high of 39° and low of 29°). Similar forecast today for Sat: High 42°, low 29°, but showers are back. Blah - would rather have snow than cold rain. Maybe it'll start later in the day.
Did my last speedwork today - 8 quarters. Only hit my pace on the last one, but didn't try too hard initially. A brisk 36° out this morning.
Consdiering my pace for the race...keep reading bits and pieces. If I do hope for a 3:56 (9:00/pace), should shoot for 1:55 half and a 2:00 2nd half. Hmmm, I ran the first half of Windermere in 1:55. That didn't work. I am stronger this time, and there will be hills, so maybe. 3 more nights to ponder this!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Counting down: 6 Days to go!

For my 10 miler this morning, decided to wait until the temps would be closer to what they are projected to be race day - 39°. Had to wait until 11am to go out, but that was fine - two nights in a row up until 11:30pm makes sleeping in a treat! Tried out my race day attire, just was missing the rain. The FIRST plan for a 3:40 marathon had me going out at a 8:23/mile pace to mimic the marathon. It was so nice to actually feel somewhat fresh - and for the 1st time in a Long time! I did hit the goal too - ran a 8:19 pace for 10.2 miles! Obviously had something left in me (the 8:03 pace for Spinx still is fresh) but not sure how long I could hold that. We'll see what happens and how the hills affect it!
Current weather projection: Showers. Low 37, high 44. Brrr.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

One week to go!

One week from today is the Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon. Spent some time on the website today - can't help but looking at the elevation chart. Compared it to NYC, San Diego, the Paris Mtn run I did last weekend. No need to look at Spokane - that would just depresss me. Paris Mtn is the closest...and that was spread out over 12.4 miles (well, not really spread out!) instead of 26.2. Oh well - little to do now. I ran 6 miles of hills Tuesday as one last tough run. Calves are what was feeling it on that run, but my time was good for that course (ICAR) compared to other times I've run it. My last "long" run is 10 miles tomorrow. Funny how anything under 15 doesn't seem long anymore!
There will be music along the course. Every little bit helps although it is rare it helps too much.
I should be riding up with some BRR teammates - they were very kind and offered me a ride up there!
Finally a race with GU - my race fuel of choice! But what flavors?!? Still may carry mine if I don't know the flavors.
Still no time goal...planning on going out comfortable and hopefully will hang onto the 4hr pace group when it catches me in the last few miles. If not - no big deal. (I will be disappointed, but for good reason and I really am ok with that - I haven't run enough to truly feel 100% ok with it).
Weather for race day: Few showers, low of 40, high of 52. Great temp wise (it had a low of 38 two days ago, so it could change), but rain is not great when it is a cold rain. It had rain for Fri, Sat and Sun recently, but now just Sat - so my fingers are crossed!
Starting to get excited/nervous. Wonder if I can squeeze in a marathon movie/book this week?!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

last 2 weeks...

Have some family in town over the Thanksgiving Day holiday, so haven't had much computer time. Last weekend's final long run was sort of successful - I completed the 19.6 mile run. Time-wise was fine, but I slowed down considerably the final 2-3 miles. I got cold, was very hungry and had zero energy. Makes me re-think my pre-race food. Usually it's just a bagel or two. During my long run today (tapering long run was only ~13 today) I tried to eat a protein bar while I ran and that seemed just fine. No hunger/energy issues, just got worn out by the hills. What hills? Paris Mountain. Decided to join in the GTC's training run for the 20k road race, so we ran the course. I'd never done that before - only the mountain and back once almost exactly a year ago, then before the Blue Ridge Relay, I did went over the mountain to CVS for the 6.5 miles (after 6 miles around the Furman lake). Still walked too much, though I got off track thru the neighborhoods (but didn't), didn't enjoy the angle of the shoulder along Poinsett Hwy, but finished in 1:50.Knew a handful of people (BRR pals Terry ran and did fine, beating me by a good 8 minutes; Kerri had just finihsed when we were starting; Kelly was up towards the front the whole way and was off running some more when I finished). Weather was fine...started about 39°, but warmed to the upper 40's. Shorts were fine. Other random notes:
Terry is doing Charlotte and drove the course recently. Not pretty. All hills up or down. I did register yesterday though. I have no real time goal. Breaking 4 hrs would be nice, but I'll take a finish, even with supposedly being in the best-shape/most-prepared ever.
Still planning on driving up that morning unless there's weather issues to deal with or Elenia really wants to see me race.
Started working in my new (unworn, but bought in Spokane back in May) 2130's, just after the 2150's came out. Dealing with a blister that consistently forms on the tip of my 2nd toe, right foot. That's a new one, but started with my previous shoes. What to do??
Speedwork last week had me doing 8x800's. Yuck. So the Yasso 800's would have me finishing a marathon in 3:26. I don't think so!! I rheard someone ask him about that at the Richmond Expo, but didn't stick around to hear the answer. I knew better for my case at least.
"See Dane Run" - another running book on my shelf I have now finished. A Good read. More soon!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Richmond Half Marathon Race Report

Saturday November 14th was the 2nd McDonald's Half Marathon (as part of the Richmond Marathon). Drove up Thursday and spent some time with my brother and his family while planning on pacing him for the run. Coming off my PR 2 weeks ago and him getting back into running this year (last time he ran more than 11 miles was his last marathon in 1995). Went to the Expo on Friday...was very nice. Well organized, good long sleeve technical shirts & goody bags. Not terribly interested in clothing for just running the half. Bought my brother some Balega socks as I have enjoyed running in them (turned out - that's what he was already running in, he just didn't know it!). Spoke to and purchased an autographed book from Dane Rauschenberg ("See Dane Run") about him running 52 marathons in 52 weeks. Started it already and it looks pretty interesting. Seemed like a nice guy; remembered the Spinx Race Director's name and that he is considering coming down to talk to our local Greenville Track Club. He's looking to set his PR Nov 21st in Mississippi. Guess it makes sense he would go to the big races even when he is not running in order to sell his book. Worked on me. Looked around some more, saw a booth for the Bourbon Chase (relay). Spoke to the guy there and said maybe one year and registered for a free entry (~$900 value!). Got some other flyers, checked out disposable timing chips and left.
Race day: Left at 6am for the 7:30am start. No bagel for my usual pre-run meal, so just had toast and one of my granola/Kashi bars. Worked out just fine. Had my single Gu and hand held water bottle as we parked in my sister-in-law's work garage, about 2 blocks from the start line area. Was a little cool out as expected, so we donned out $1.02 Salvation Army bought sweatshirts from Saturday after the Expo. Excellent purchase. Had on my GTC long sleeve Tech shirt and my RaceReady shorts. No need for gloves as it was only about 54° with very light rain (wonderful running weather) that turned to just clouds. Wind died down before the race actually started. The remnants of Ida had passed thankfully (we drove up in it and it was horrible).
So the race: Planned on breaking 2 hrs (9:10/mi pace), which gave us starting positions in the 1st corral, but we chose to start in the middle of Corral 2. Started off slower than expected due to the crowds (9:38), but came back with an 8:38 and stayed around there for most of the race. I didn't feel particularly good, nothing in particular, just comes down to not being "fresh" I guess. I brought along a disposable camera and got some shots. Few minor hills ,Very vocal, large crowds along the course, especially Bryant Park with its rolling hills and tree-lined paths. Lost a little time there on some hills (8:55 pace for Mile 8), but picked it up and got progressively faster the last 3 miles (and our fastest 3 miles, with Mile 13 at 7:47). just when I started feeling better. Maybe it was just having to control my pace and run slower than I am used to in races? Nah...
I frequently said we were going a little fast, but it all worked out as we finished together in 1:53:39. The end was interesting, slight uphill, then a Steep (I mean Steep!) downhill before becoming a steady downhill, with both sides full of cheering people for a good hundred+ yards. Very nice! No issues afterwards, later on - didn't even feel like I had run and I went out for an easy 4 miler the next morning. One last 20 miler coming up the next weekend before the taper begins.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

and 20 = 1000!

I took it a little easy this week and didn't worry too much about my paces for my speedwork and tempo runs. I wasn't too confident in completing today's scheduled 20 miler though. Didn't have ankle pain this week, it just never felt 100%. So I went out at 6am (with only 1 Gu - somehow, I used up my stash) and decided my 7:30 lap time was a good start, but I'd back off if needed. My goal was to just finish it this time. My 1st "20" for this training cycle was actually 18, but on trails at Paris Mtn. My 2nd one ended at 16 with pain. If I didn't make this one - I was sincerely thinking about skipping the Charlotte Full. Still dark of course and ~44°, but I knew it would get up to the mid 50's after 3 hours or so (and I was right) - and it was good weather for running. Settled into my pace and kept it for 15+ miles. Then it got more interesting (although I did watch a heron at the lake on and off for 45 minutes, eating fish, wading around and flying back and forth across the water). Last 5 miles dealt with a little lower back pain (that poor posture again), some ab soreness (ab work twice a week isn't enough I guess) and the heavy legs. Took a few more walk breaks the last few miles , but finished my 20 miler! 20.4 to be exact in 3:05. No complaints about the time - it's just as poorly as I was feeling - the next 6 miles would not be pleasant, and with hills to boot? ugh! Why am I even considering a 31 miler?
Charlotte is 5 full weeks away, so one 1/2 marathon next weekend, one more Long run (20 again) and then the taper begins. Guess I need to register for it before it's too late!
Anyway - so today's 20 miler brought me to 32 for the week, but the big threshold I passed was going over 1,000 miles for the year! Going back and calculating - I hit 952 last year. Had never really thought about yearly mileage until recently (running article or another blog maybe?), but I like that number. With my schedule - I hope for another 200 in the remaining weeks!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Training

This week is going all right. Not paying too much attention to my scheduled paces - today disregarded them completely for my 6 mile (non-tempo) run. Met my written down times for speedwork on Tuesday, but happen to write them down wrong, so I ended up 4 secs slower per lap than I was supposed to have done. Oh well. More important to not injure myself ,which I feel very wary of right now, like I am close to an injury and not leaning closer or further away from that point. My long run is supposed to be 20 again...not sure how I'll handle it. Run and walk a bit more than usual, just to stretch it out? We'll see!

Spinx Run Fest Race Report

So I really wasn't sure how well I would feel for the Spinx Run Fest Half Marathon on Saturday. Weather turned out great. The light rain kept it cool, even with the temps hanging around 60°. Saw a few of the GTC crowd and met up with my co-worker and his wife who were also running the half (and her dad who was running the 5k). Saw a few costumes as this was Halloween. Skipped one last bathroom pitstop due to long lines before heading to the start line and that played into the whole race. Started off just outside Fluor Field (home of the Greenville Drive) and a downhill, and the first 7 miles or so were relatively downhill. I missed the first mile marker (how I don't know as they were about 8 feet tall!) and came thru the 2nd mile in 15:30. Ooops. Was expecting, planning, hoping for more like 16:45. But I felt good, slowed down just a little bit to 7:50,s then 8:10's. Ran with some people on and off - my rabbit (Linny) passed me after mile 2 or 3 and stayed about a minute ahead of me, knowing I would have a hard time catching him. Another GTC friend, John, ran near me for a while as we watched Linny ahead of us. Found another person I ran speedwork with Many years ago, I still see her around and we still have similar times. Coming off the Swamp Rabbit Trail onto Cleveland Street (Swamp Rabbit was very nice, reminiscent of the Centennial Trail out in Spokane, but without the raging river and remote feeling; spongy-surface gives too much for me though) started the hills and I started making up time. Left my friends and slowly made up some ground, keeping a good minute and a half off my PR from 2001. Made it to 10 miles in 1:20 and some change. My 1:47:00 time could possibly be broken. I was torn after the first 2 miles about whether or not to stop for a bathroom break, and ended up deciding against it - didn't want to waste that minute, and it took my mind off my running! I finally caught Linny with 2 miles to go and he helped me along and I knew I'd break my PR. He let me know what was ahead and I had no trouble with the hills - and no pain, just the heavy legs that I am becoming all too familiar with. A few too many fumes on Augusta Road too, but we made it to the outside of the stadium together and I took off as we entered the warning track. Could see the finish and knew it was almost over...1:45:35! Wow - who knew I had that in me. I sure didn't. I hadn't come within 13 minutes of that my last 2 attempts (granted, I wasn't pushing in Asheville, and that had Serious hills, and the heat of Greer killed me), but to break an 8-1/2 year PR is wonderful to me.

So now - of 9 race distances I keep track of (2mi, 5k, 8k, 10k, 15k, 10mi, half, 30k and full), Eight of them have been broken in the last 18 months - the only one standing is from April 2001 - Cooper River Bridge 10k where I ran 46:04 for a 7:25 pace. There are still 2 (2mi & 15k) I know I can improve on because I have run faster than that in longer events. That 10k though - that will be tough...


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Missed workouts & Charlotte Jeopardy

Been a while, so I'll get to the point. Training took a downturn - and I am hopeful it is nothing serious. After the soreness after my Oct 18th run, I was cautious. Movced my runs around while I was in Philadelphia for much of the week (rested Tues, tempo on Wed, speedwork on Fri). Came close (3 secs/lap off) to my speedwork times and the tempo run was good. Long run was supposed to be 20 last Sunday and finally had a good run. Fresh legs, energy, my mood was good and I was thinking about my upcoming races. After 10 miles or so, felt fine, eventually started getting a little of the usual feelings when you are running for 2+ hours. No problem. All of a sudden, after 15 miles, some pain in my left knee (outer left side). Decided to walk a bit, then the soreness form the week before showed up and I knew that I would not run anymore that day. Walked the next 1/2 mile and ended up with 16 for the day. Not sure where the knee pain came from - but still has me worried. Again, rested Tues and did no speedwork/tempo run this week at all. Instead, ran 5mi Wednesday (after ~4 hours of sleep) and 4 more Thursday - the knee seemed ok, although my legs never had that good feeling -a nagging hamstring, sore toe, weird things to make me not enjoy it too much. But the Spinx Run Fest Half Marathon is Saturday and I am Not going to go after my PR (under 1:47:00) - goal to is get thru it and be able to run Richmond in 2 weeks. Charlotte isn't off the table, but it is in jeopardy.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another unsatisfying long run.

Sunday morning's run was 18 miles, and again - it wasn't great. I hit my expected splits every mile, had no pain/soreness to deal with, and my last mile was by far my fastest, but it still wasn't great. Legs felt heavy as I began and never had the "spring" in them that I am looking for. Ran hills every other mile, but only thru 12 miles and had no issues with them. The temps were cool - 40 degrees at the start, but it got very windy the last 8 miles or so.
Am I expecting too much? That this should be getting easy ? (at least easier?!). OK - maybe I shouldn't have my hopes that high. I'm starting to think ahead to the 50k...and it seems impossible. Running another 13 miles (a half-marathon?!) after what I had just run? Come on...seriously? I still think this will get easier...it's just got to!
20 miler next weekend. Hope I feel better. My throat started not feeling great last night, plus I am traveling this week to PA, and I woke up this morning with some soreness in my lower left leg. Just a bit of a strain, but why did it wait almost a full day to become sore? I am planning on working out while I'm up in PA, so we'll see how that goes!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Post-Charlotte plan

My brain is currently trying to convince the rest of me that it will be possible for me to run the Charlotte Marathon on Dec 12th, and then 4 weeks later, run my first ULTRA! The Salem Lake Frosty 50k.
I told you how much I enjoyed the course when I ran the 30k last month...well, that would be an ideal course for my first one. There actually aren't many that are appealing to me - one who does not like heat, but may actually consider one of the SC ultra series events (Buncombe 34, Chattooga 50k, Lynch's Woods 50k or the FATS 40/50).
Yes - my training is going well, and I could use Charlotte as a training run (while still hopefully having a PR and breaking 4 hours!), but I did not recuperate well from either NYC or the Windermere Marathon's. I did too much too soon afterwards (the following weekend both times). I'm samrter now, in better shape, and obviously deluded.
More soon!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

lost post. Long run. Chicago.

Wrote for a good 30 minutes solid on my run today and lost it.
(recovered it, here it is:
Last weekend I ran for 3 hrs and 15 minutes on trails. A 30K race the weekend before that that was on the comfortable side. 17.7 the weekend before that. This would be my fourth week in a row at more than 30 miles (assuming I ran 16+ miles today) - my 4 week highest total Ever. I was thinking this 15-16 miler would be relatively easy, I could even get a little bit of a workout by adding some hills into it. With the Chicago Marathon going on today - had a little motivation going as well. Was I overconfident?? You bet!

With the Charlotte Marathon being a somewhat hilly course, I added my hill loop into the first 5 laps and decided that was enough of hills for a while. My pace was fine, but little nagging things made me worry a little bit - and that wasn't enjoyable. My left heel had been bothering me at times the last few days. The 30 minutes on the stationary bike Friday made my knee a little sore in one spot that afternoon. 8 or 9 miles in or so - my left quad has some soreness...that went away mostly. I decided ahead of time that the planned 15 miler wasn't enough, because I missed that one cool down mile earlier this week and I wanted to hit 30, so I was going to add in another mile today. Not knowing exactly how much I was adding (distance wise) for the hill loop, I ended up adding it in one more time on my last lap - my fastest of the day. My pacing was good for the whole run, but it just wasn't that good of a run, you know? Ended up doing 16.8 (May not be exactly right - my mileage for that hill loop may still be off), but I did hit over 30 for the week!

Came home and watched the online coverage of the Chicago Marathon. No World Record as thought possible for the males, but a 10 yr. Event record was broken by 3 seconds! Very exciting. Was glued at the computer for ~2 hours (watched the females finish too - Deena didn't quite stick around, but it was a tight race until the last mile).

Not repeating it right now.
The gist of it: Ran 17+ miles each of the last 3 weekends expecting this 15-16 to be easy. Was never fun, maybe due to adding hills into the first 5 laps. One thing or another nagged on and off - my pace was fine but just not a good, satisfying run.
Still hit over 30 miles for the week - that's 4 in a row. I've Never done that before and my most mileage ever in a 4 week span.
Also - Watched the Chicago Marathon online coverage today - exciting to see the course record set by 3 seconds! Too bad Deena faded the last half - I've always liked her. Maybe I'll be up there next year.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Moon shadows & ultras

So Thursday morning I ran my usual morning tempo run out at Oak Grove. Was very pleasant running under a very bright moon that cast my shadow as I ran at 6 in the morning. The run was wonderful to -was not too difficult or even uncomfortable for my 5 miles at a 7:50 pace. Only thing wrong was I ran 1 lap short on my cool down, so 6.5 miles total instead of 7.7.
Had some slight heel discomfort the last day or two, so skipped yoga and instead did 40 minutes of cardio (10 min elliptical & 30 minutes stationary bike) and some ab work before and after. Doing my long run Sunday, so hoping it will not interfere.
Been seriously looking for an ultramarathon to do next year. Having recently finished Ultramarathon Man and now reading one of the Marathon and Beyond publications - I really want to. So many good sites out there on training and recommendations (Umstead, JFK50 to name two). My friend Tom (from work) is a much faster/better runner than I am and is also interested. That is further enticing us...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Trails - Long run!

Doing the 30k last weekend on trails made me want more, so I headed out to Paris Mountain this morning for a long run. I was scheduled for 20 miles, but after browsing an old Runner's World magazine, I remembered about running for time, not distance for long runs. This takes into account terrain/hills, etc, so my new goal was to run for 3 hours. After going thru different routes, I finally settled on the following: Starting at the Upper parking lot, I'd run Brissy Ridge to Kanuga, do the North Lake Loop to Pipsissewa and return back on Brissy Ridge (the way I came). Then down Sulphur Springs, taking Mountain Creek to the office/lake, turn around, Mountain Creek back Up Sulphur Springs to the upper parking lot. Nope - not done - then do the North Lake loop again! I have that at about 18.1 miles, so close enough to the 20 I was needing.
Started at about 8am when the park officially opened and headed down Brissy Ridge. It's pretty gentle thru here and a couple of very nice spots to look out over the northeastern side of Greenville. Fog had it mostly covered this early though. The 2 mile long Kanuga trail makes it a little tough in spots, but there are some downhills to keep you moving. The North Lake is just plain nice! Nothing strenuous and the sun started to come out in places - the lake was beautiful!! Only went around to get on Pipsissewa to take me back to Brissy. Only a mile, but seems longer. Got back to my car after the 1st 6 miles in 56 minutes and refilled my water bottle, took my 1st (of 2) Gu. Time to head Down Sulphur Springs. Decided to do this section only once because it would be too dangerous with tired legs - it's steep and fast! 9 minutes to the bottom and then somewhat flat all the way to the office/lake. I have old times for some sections of the mountain - I'll have to look them up.
http://www.sctrails.net/Trails/MAPS/ParisMt%20map.html
Cutting this one short, but will finish the post soon!
(October 7)
I'm back.
The flatter section back to the start of SS was fine, but I knew the test would be once I started climbing back up. Sure enough - I walked. Quite a bit - heart rate increased to what had to have been its max (seemed ridiculously high). I eventually started running at the top and pushed to get back to my car. It was a 2hr 10min run at that point, so I knew I was going to be longer than 3 hrs as I refueled and headed back out to do the North Lake Loop. Still ran out of gas and ran that 6 miles 8 minutes slower than the first time. Still - a 3 hour and 15 minute run for me, my longest training run (and only ran longer in my 3 marathons!). I was beat afterwards, but luckily took no falls. I did leave my water bottle at the upper parking lot though - not sure where else it could have gotten to, but I haven't seen it since. Guess I'll go get a new one at Fleet Feet this week.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

mid week update

Not much going on - did my speedwork yesterday and it was easier than it had been. 2x1200, 2min RI's, 4x800, 2min RI's. 2 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down. I had never been good about doing the warm up/cooldown thing before, but really take advantage of it - especially the cooldowns where I can push 10:00 minute miles. Tomorrow is a tempo run of 6 miles ,5 @ a 7:50 pace, so not too terrible.
The temperature has come down dramatically, and fast too. Low's in the low-50's. Had to pull out a long sleeve technical shirt (sleeves pushed up, but still) for my run Tuesday. I expect I will be in shorts for the majority of the winter again, with the move to a lunchtime run at some point too.
Last ramble - My long run of 20 miles this weekend. Doing so well on packed dirt got me thinking about venturing away from Oak Grove and the only real place to do that locally is Paris Mountain. So I mapped out a 19-20 mile run. From Sulphur Springs parking lot, run the Mtn Creek trail to Lake Placid, around it and back, take Sulphur Springs up to the top parking lot. continue back down and finish that loop. Do Mtn Creek, Lake loop, Mtn creek back and do Sulphur Springs to the top parking lot. Get on Brissy Ridge to Kanuga, do the North Lake loop, to Pipsissewa, back to Brissy and return to the top parking lot, continue down on Sulphur Springs and I'm done. 19.5 miles is what I have that at. May change it up a bit...having tired legs coming Down Sulphur Springs may be too much, I have a route that has me ending with the out and back on Mtn Creek, so a gentle 2.6 miles at the end. We'll see. With the temps being nicer - I can feel ok about starting at 8am. I amy just be a little overconfident, but it'll be worth a shot and good training no matter how far I end up!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Salem Lake 30k Race Report

Seems like I Just completed one of these! This is my last race until the Spinx Half Marathon on Halloween though. This race was in Winston-Salem, NC, so I woke up at 3:30am to be out the door by 4am. Steady rain the whole way and got there at 7am feeling not so tired. Got my bib and t-shirt and met 3 women who were volunteering had on their BRR shirts. We spoke some and it was nice that they recognized Do Not Resuscitate! Two were on Mixed Nuts, one of which was runner #11 - so we commiserated on the last leg and how unfriendly it was! I rested in my car mostly as the rain came down and had a difficult time deciding on what to wear. It was still 60° and a steady rain (and it would rain the whole race), so I decided on my Marine Corps training T-shirt and no jacket. It was the right call. Walk up to the start about 7:45am. The race is on a dirt path around Salem Lake - about 6.5 miles, then 2.5 miles or so on a paved Greenway, then back the way we came. It's been a Long time since I've done an out and back course (Michelin 5k from 2007?). Started on time and we were off. About 390 or so doing the 30k, another 330+ doing a 10k, but thankfully, that started after us. It thinned out pretty quickly and I tried to settle into a 9min/mile pace. That was my goal - giving me under a 2:47, but I really thought I could do a 2:42 without pushing too hard - this was just supposed to be a training run after all. Never quite found anyone with my pace the first 8 miles or so...some people would pass me and I'd pass a few others. Of course I started out faster than I intended - 8:40, 8:31...and an 8:22 early on. I did run with an older guy from Fort Mill, SC from mile 8 to the turn around. That was nice - he was going faster than he expected to also (and we picked it up some with two 8:22's), but was planning on slowing down at the halfway point. There was only one other person I ran "with" - but that was only for a mile or two. I was still feeling rather good until I got a cramp in my abdomen. Don't usually get that, but it stayed a little while (mile or two) then went away without affecting my pace much. I was still doing my miles between 8:28 and 8:41 until the last 2.6 miles. I was mentally pushing myself to keep the pace, slowly passing people, feeling tired, but not overly so. I knew the last 2 miles I would be close to the 2:40 mark, so I pushed to make that. My posture was suffering, but I felt good overall as I came down the final stretch to finish in 2:39:27! Last 2 miles were my slowest at 8:46 and 8:50. I could feel it immediately afterwards - tried to refuel (gatorade, banana, krispy kreme donut, water) and used some cold water bottles to roll my legs. Couldn't do a whole lot for my lower back. Wandered around the finish area, chatted with a few people I had met on the course and generally tried to keep moving for a little bit. Being soaking wet and the rain still around had me quite cold so I eventually slowly walked back to my car to dry off and change. Still had ~3 hours in the car to get back home, but I was certainly glad I had made the trip!
Being 5 minutes faster thru 18 miles than in my last marathon bodes well for my quest to get under 4 hours and still being 12 full weeks out.
The course only had 3-4 minor hills, short ones at that, but the packed dirt was nice to run on. I haven't even mentioned the lake. Wonderful! Very little straight shoreline as we wound in and out of every bend on the wide trail. Water stops every 2 miles or so was nice too. My hand-held bottle was able to last the whole race because of that. 2 Gu's kept my energy level up too. I can not say enough about how nice the course is to run on, and the race was managed very well - loud volunteers at each water station, good crowds at the 10k finish pushing us on (both ways), and remote enough most of the time to enjoy the scenery.
Once I got home - other than my lower back being sore that afternoon for a while (and sleepy eyes) - I felt great. That evening - I didn't even feel like I had run at all that day. Kind of scary! Hope it continues!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Carrying on...30k Trail Race

So - it's hard to believe it's barely been a week and a half since the BRR. We have another group Barley's night tomorrow and I'm sure it will be discussed even more. The April 2010 American Odyssey Relay Run Adventure is what we're shooting for. I have a suspicion that Every other relay we do will seem easy compared to the BRR. Looking at the course legs for this one, seeing Very Hard, the elevation - and it makes me thingk it's only Very Hard because of the mileage. Whatever! Looks like most of us have said we're in - so that's good.
My training since has gone well. My soreness after BRR last a day and a half, then I was back doing my tempo run (7 miles), speedwork (ladders down from 1.2k to 400m), then my long run this past Sunday. I covered 17.3 miles in 2:33. Because of my poor hill running in the BRR, I added a decent hill climb/loop into my route and went up 4 times during my run. I'll be better prepared for the next race with hills! Speaking of next races - I got the go ahead to do the Salem Lakes 30k this Saturday morning. 6+ miles out around the lake, plus an extra 5+ miles on a Greenway, then turnaround and come back. I will PR as I've never done a 30k event before - always a plus. With an 8am start, I'll want to be up there by 7am, so give me 3 hrs to get up there just in case, and I'll have to leave at 4am. Fun! I did get a full 8 hours the night after the BRR ended - that is the extent of making up for lost sleep, but I'm pretty used to it by now. Kerrie may join me for that race - she's done it before and enjoyed it - would make the drive more enjoyable; we certainly had fun on our last road trip! I had some left ankle soreness after my long run, but was fine for my speedwork this morning. Whew. Want to keep up my 30+ mile weeks! I must say - I am looking forward to my day off from runing/working out tomorrow. I wasn't thrilled with doing 3miles @ 7:02 pace with a 1 minute rest interval. I was ready to stop after the first mile (after the 2 mile warmup), but pushed thru it and was close to my marks. 7:03, 7:06 and 7:03. I'll take it! Next up, 6 more on Thursday. Oh - calling for some rain on the weekend - that would make the run fun now, wouldn't it?!

2009 Blue Ridge Relay Race report (Complete)

This is the complete race report, in the order the events took place!

So where does one start after being on a team that ran 211.3 miles over the course of 31 hours and 47 minutes? Yes - that was our finishing time, right at a 9:02 minute/mile pace. First thoughts on the race...

That was fun! Surrounded by so many good people, some serious and not so serious runners, but all out doing what we (mostly) enjoy. I was Completely impressed with our team (Alex, Kerrie, Joel, Christina, Todd, Kathrin, Chris, Jeff, Mike, Dave and Terry). They were a great group to hang out with, had fun during it all, and worked hard on the toughest of runs. Driving the course while our runners were out there and seeing what we were going to have to contend with, then coming thru and beating our projected time is just amazing. Before the race - looking at the elevation charts and how each leg was rated - we knew we were in for some mountainous terrain, but the legs were SO MUCH HARDER than they appeared to be. If you are familiar with our Paris Mountain, that is just a blip compared to what we covered.

ok - Getting to the start.

Met up at Chris', packed the vans (SUV's; our suburban was great, roomy and carried everything!), picked up our last 2 runners and headed up to Boone, NC to our hotel. We moved around some people from the van they would be riding in during the race so we could bond with other members, and that worked out well. We all shared running histories (5k's to 39 marathons!?), personal stories (digit-master), and just basically got to know each other. The drive went by very quickly, even with the slow twisty roads we were taking. Arrived around 9pm and proceeded to watch some college football (Clemson vs GT; 5 of us were Clemson grads) and the Steeler - Tennessee game. Heartbreak for Clemson, and OT for Pittsburgh and it was after 12 midnight when many of us went to sleep. The carbo-loading (beer) helped get past the nerves of the upcoming event. 4:30am wake up call was too early! Van #2 held runners 7-12 (Mike, Todd, Kathrin, Kerrie, Guz, and Terry, in that order) and we had decided to go to the start and support our teammates. Not the smartest thing to do as sleep would be our dear friend that we couldn't get enough of for the next 30+ hours. But we made the 90 minute drive up to Grayson Highland State Park, VA, got our bibs and shirts (Very nice long sleeve!) and milled about waiting for Runner #1 (Joel) to start at 7:40am. Sun was slowly coming up, the fog was all around us, overheard someone say a mountain lion was seen in the park...we were all excited.
7:40am, we lined up against the other teams in this wave start, including Fred Flinstone. 6-10 teams started off in waves from 6:30am - 1pm starting times, based on their projected pace.



Haven't even gotten to the start, but I'll continue soon!




The Start
So Joel took off running and our van had 5+ hours to get to the first Transition Zone. As I said, sleep would have been most beneficial down there road, but we had none of that! Stopped in the park at an overlook, took some photos and waited for Joel to come by on his 4 mile run. Looked good as he ran into the fog. The fog would come back in the night and wreak havoc...but I am getting ahead. No sign of the mountain lion either (and never did see one).

So we didn't have an address for where we needed to be (Bald Mountain Baptist Church anyone??), and we didn't really want to follow the first 6 legs to get there, so we rambled around and finally followed a very nice guy in a tow truck who led us in the general direction. Found it and beat the race officials there. We were Very early! Needed some food - so off we went again. Filled up the gas tank, got some snacks, and one of us even had an omelet, which wasn't the best choice it turned out! Headed back for lack of anything better to do. Settled in, threw a frisbee around and met some other teams (Cupcakes, Fleet Feet Females, Make it a Case) from all over (Many Clemson alumni, Alabama, GA, SC, NC, Ohio...). Team Thwack was kind enough to give us there paint pens to decorate our van with nifty slogans such as "Guz says Go", Attack the Hills", and Go Tigers". The sun was out and it got quite warm. Sunscreen was essential. Probably would have been a good idea to stay off our feet a little bit, but again, that didn't happen. That thought didn't occur until it was 4am, we hadn't slept, and we were feeling the effects of our 2nd leg). So Van #1 eventually arrived, we heard a little about the first legs (went out too fast) and Mike got ready.

Van #2 - 1st legs.

So Mike hustles off down the road with a slap of the wrist bracelet (some handed it off more smoothly than others!), we say our goodbyes, and we wouldn't see them for another 5 hours. Mike's leg - #7, was a 5.4 mile medium run with rolling hills. I ended up being the timekeeper of the van and had a printout of projected start/finish times. He cranked out the run in 40 minutes, and looked strong coming in to the transition zone where Todd awaited. Note - Mike had been having ankle issues, and we should have had ice in the van, but didn't quite remember that at this point. We got used to having camera's ready on the runner's entrance to the changeover, at the exchange, and when the next runner took off. Have to capture every moment! So Todd's leg - 5.9 "Moderate +" miles. It's already fuzzy - was this the leg that drove so much harder than the rating? However it was - Todd cranked it out in 50 minutes. Some very nice views of the New River too. We had driven ahead and although parking was tight, were prepared for him coming into the Community of Todd. Seriously! What are the chances? I took this...timed it just right!

Kathrin was our Runner #8 and she had an easy 5.2 mile run. Pretty flat and along the New River - beautiful scenery. The Mountains were looming ahead. After her 53 minute run, Kerrie













was ready to go. She had 8.2 hard miles with some good climbs, but she's a strong runner and looked fresh as we passed her halfway thru. Her uphill finish led her to me, Runner (and Leg) #11. I had 6.3 hard miles. Being runner #11, and with the rules giving special instructions regarding the Blue Ridge Parkway, I had to wear my reflective vest. The support van could also not follow me on this leg, so it was just me, a few more runners, and some weekend traffic enjoying the views. We had already seen quite a few of the same people during these exchanges, frequently starting off on legs around the same time. Two of these started off before me, but I passed them on the way up the first hill. Oh yeah - this hill seemed to go on and on. And get steeper. I did stop for a photograph (may take forever to get it developed), and must admit I did walk a little. Very disappointing. But - I started cruising before the top and pushed pretty hard. Passed another there and eventually caught and passed 2 others before we exited the Parkway, made some sharp turns (Heard later that some people took a wrong turn and went a mile further than they were supposed to), and headed to the Uphill finish of the leg. My leg time was ~52 minutes (kind of forget to start my watch immediately with the whole get the wristband thing). Terry was our last runner, #12, and had a hard 9.1 miles. Make that a Very Hard 9.1 miles. There was a ~4 mile climb in the middle. He was also running some on the Blue Ridge Parkway, so we could not shadow him at all, but he made excellent time, as he would the whole event. The 2nd Transition Zone was our next stop, close to where we began the day 12 hours earlier at this point. That will be in the next post!

(I'll eventually compile these in order in one LONG post!)

So the 2nd Transition Zone was at the Tanger Outlets in Blowing Rock. We pulled in and parked near our Van #1 who I think had been there for hours. Many got some rest on the grasssy area and they got some food to tide them over. We still seemed to be going along ok, but food was high on our list. Joel was raring to go for his next leg, had his night wear on (Legs that were running from 7:30pm-7:30am had to wear a reflective vest, a flashing light on both the front and back, and carry a flashlight or headlamp) and was waiting for Terry 30 minutes before his expected finish. I found a little burger place in the outlets (Pat's almost world famous cheeseburger grille) and Me Mike and Todd sat down to eat (Sorry Terry - we didn't wait). Natalie took care of us. She was fairly busy as no one had warned her ~200 vans would be swarming on their parking lot! Kerrie, Kathrin and Terry soon joined in and we chowed down! French Fries were particularly good! Now came the big decision - stay here, curl up on the grassy area and get some well needed sleep or go ahead to the next Transition Zone (Note - I always get Transition Zones and Exchange Zones confused!), sleep there, and wait for our next round of runs. I was inclined to stay there - besides being tired, the grass looked nice and we didn't quite know what the next place would have for us. The drive there (Plumtree Presbyterian Church) was interesting to say the least. Can't tell you how far in miles, but it was a Wonderful thing we didn't choose to do the drive After sleeping. So we drove thru Blowing Rock - a Very cozy town, lots of people out and definitely somewhere I would like to visit again. Mike had found a Plumtree Pres. Church on our Garmin and off we went. We passed many runners and we were all glad we weren't out there. Sun was setting, they were on a major road, going uphill, and there was Lots of traffic barrelling down towards them. We finally realized you couldn't wear enough safety equipment to slow the traffic down. Turns out - when Garmin told us we were there - there was nothing to be found as we were in Minneapolis. We backtracked, turned around, re-backtracked because we hadn't gone far enough and Finally arrived after just using the maps on the Garmin. There's no way we would have made it in time if we had slept first. Whew! So now it was time to rest and have a turkey sandwich if desired thanks to the locals. Everyone stayed in the van except for me who ventured outside with 2 fleeces and tried to get comfy under a playground/picnic canopy. An hour later I was still awake, but the rest must have helped some. Mike was then getting ready for his Leg #194.3 mile easy run. I headed up the road to wait for Alex to warn Mike to get ready. In the darkness, you couldn't tell who Anyone was - even as they passed you - the headlamps hid their face. One guy came in to the exchange zone yelling "Run For Your Life!". That was quite hilarious at 11:30pm. So the exchange was made and we knew we'd have to hustle as Mike is one of the fastest of our group. Not much talk between our vans sadly. We got to the next zone (Green Vally Fire Dept) and Todd prepped for Leg 20 - 7.5 miles Hard. Mike finished in 32 minutes and his first words were "I need ice". Uh oh. His ankle was sore for that whole run and he knew he should have iced it afte his first run. The possibility of him Not running his last leg would have had severe consequences - we had been concerned with Kathrin's knee - expecially for her last leg, but she held up great. If Mike couldn't run - Todd would have had the Mountain Goat Hard climb after this long, hard leg, Kathrin would have had 9.4 hard miles, we knew Kerrie would be fine, and my run would have been easier, as Terry's would have, but Joel (Runner #1) would have had to at least start the last leg - 6.8 miles Very Hard! Neither him nor Runner 2 Dave felt inclined to run anymore. So we iced mike's ankle and went ahead to the next zone. Todd's route was Tough. There was one Long 2 mile climb toward the end, but he did great in 1 hr 7 minutes. Kathrin was up next with a 2.4 mile downhill run thru the town of Spruce Pine, ending at an Ingles. We didn't have much time there and she flew in 22 minutes later! (Note - all times are approximate as I just used my regular watch to check the times when I remembered. I kept track of everyones starting/finishing times so we could be ready for the next runner coming in). Sorry - no photos from me at night. Kerrie took off and Kathrin was so excited with her time! She also felt good, so we were all quite relieved and happy, now only if Mike was ok. Kerrie had a moderate 6 miler, then I'd be up. We got to the Penland School and did our own thing. I had originally projected Kerrie to be in after 55 minutes, but knew she was a faster runne than that, so I slowly made my way to the start much earlier than planned. It's a good thing, because I wasn;t there but a few minutes when she came in on her uphill finish. She handed me a flashlight that I immediately put down and got the wristband and off I went - headlamp going. I had a Moderate 5.2 mile run, quite a bit of it on gravel with a few turns. There ws someone a few minutes ahead of me that I felt I would catch at some point. I'd see him a turn or two ahead of me, at least his back flashing light. Then the fog came in. Hard. I could not see. The headlamp made it feel like I was looking thru binoculars. I would have rather been able to see where my feet were landing on the gravel, but I had to concentrate hard just to stay on the road. You couldn't see which way the road would turn - it was not pleasant and about to get worse. I was following the left edge of the road, guy ahead of me nowhere in sight and I seemed to take a very gentle left, then start downhill. I stopped, looked back up and could nothing, wondering if I went the right way. A minute later I realized it was a driveway as I was in a cul de sac with a couple of parked pickup trucks and I Knew I had gone the wrong way. Worst thing was that it had been all downhill. So I turned and sprinted back up the hill and upon reaching the road again, another runner came into view. He was faster than I was so I at least had someone to follow for a little bit. That helped tremendously. My van passed and that helped for a few seconds - wish I had told them to slow down! There was one steep incline that I walked up for a minute. Again - disappointed. I eventually made it off the gravel, the fog got better, and I started catching up to the first guy I was following. The last 2.25 miles were all uphill, but I kept moving, caught the guy (Christian, from the NC coast) and we ran the remaining 2 miles or so together. Finished Uphill again, feeling stronger as I went. Passed off to Terry after a 50:17 run. It was ~3:30am. Slowest pace of the event for me - and that was the "easiest" of the legs. Go figure. Terry had a short, easy 3.2 mile run, so we got moving again. It's odd - right now I have no recollection of the next Exchange Zone. Terry finished in no time and Joel was off again in his last run.


Last Transition Zone!

It was about 4:ooam and we had 5 hours until we were up again. I think I was pretty beat by this point and I rested on the drive to the next Transition Zone. It was interesting how our van's energy seemed as depleted as the 1st Van's, but ~6 hours later. After their 2nd runs, they were pretty beat when we had energy before our 2nd runs. Now we were in their shoes. We found the starting spot of our next run, parked among many vans at the church. Some of us decided to go ahead and get pancakes, while I had recently finished my run and was not particularly hungry yet. I slept for a good solid hour I think, then it was daylight and we were up for the duration. Talked to some other runners - a Clemson grad on an ultra team, 3 others from the Greenville Track Club who were last minute additions, Team "I Need a BRR-Ache" whom I always was at the exchange zones with, and others who were just friendly enough to say hello. I eventually got my pancakes - they were good and the $ went to a good cause too. Mike was scheduled for about a 10am start on the hardest leg of the event. 6.5 miles, rated "Mountain Goat Hard". It went up to the top of Hawksnest - and the name is appropriate. It went from 2900 ft to ~4200 feet in the last 5 miles! A little aside here - most every leg as I've said was not necessarily rated correctly and the elevation maps did not do them justice. This one however did - and it was as bad as it looked. There were no surprises here - but Mike was up to the task. His ankle was ok and he took off when Alex passed the wristband. First 1.25 miles were a very gentle uphill and Mike passed us his shirt when we passed. He overtook 3 or 4 people early on and set out on an even pace. We passed some goats on the way up the mountain and waited for Mike - just to make sure his ankle was holding up. He was in the same gear, doing fine and we went ahead to the top to wait. 56 minutes for that leg - amazing!! Little more ice and some Aleve and he was fine. Everyone who finished (especially those from the other van) always said how good it was to be finished. I got to hear that from everyone but Kerrie and Terry before I was done.

Todd was next on a very hard 9.4 mile run, going down the other side of the mountain before flattening out the last mile or two. That really makes it harder - especially when you are expecting it to be downhill the whole way. Plus - the flat section was dead straight, so you knew your momentum was gone. Todd finished it in 1:21 though. The sun was out and it was getting hot - the small creek there would have been nic to get in, but Kathrin was up next on her 5.2 Hard leg. So we're now at leg 33 of 36. We were ahead of schedule by about 15 minutes, so the cut off time was not going to be an issue. As we drove ahead on this leg - we went up a steep section where 4 people were walking...did not bode well for Kathrin and she let us know when she finished in an hour - "That hill was just Mean!" She was in good spirits otherwise - and of course, glad to be finished! Kerrie went for her 4.4 mile moderate run, so we had to hurry to the next exchange. Our exchange was on the lower end of an uphill, but Kerrie pushed it to complete her last leg in 40 minutes. I took the wristband and started uphill. After 40 yards or so - I knew then it was going to be tough - my legs had Nothing! I knew the first 2 miles of my 4.2 hard leg were all uphill...it was relentless. I ran/walked for much of it, but was running for a decent amount as I crested the top, then had a slight downhill as I got back on the Blue Ridge Parkway (Having two legs on there is the main reason I chose to be this runner). It was flat to a gentle downhill the rest of the way and I felt better as I went along, pushing harder to make up for the time spent walking. The photo is from the one overlook from the rest of the van as I ran. Finished the leg in 38:50, so not bad considering. Passed off to Terry and we moved on. Passed him flying down the road and saw all these other teams on their last leg also. The staggered starting times were designed for this...we passed the Solo runner. Yepp - one guy ran the whole thing, starting 6am Thursday morning, so we knew he'd finish. (I don't think he should be allowed as he didn't compete in the "Relay"! But still - what he did was incredible! Finish time was something around 57 hours). It was certainly a wonderful site coming down off the mountain into downtown Asheville. We met our other group who already had a nice big meal and waited for Terry. We didn't have to wait long as he powered home on the 6.8 hard downhill miles in 1:04! He almost ran right over the team finishing at the same time - we never even had a chance to run over the line with him - but he was motivated and ended up with the same finishing time as that team - no complaints there. We did get our group pictures, talked with our team members and others at the finish line - and we were gone, back to Greenville.
We obviously enjoyed it and it took all of 2 days to talk about doing a relay in 2010. Initial thoughts are the AOR one from Gettysburg to DC in April! Stay Tuned!

Links:
My photos:
http://www.kodakgallery.com/ShareLanding.action?c=17okjm9d.a1jgm95x&x=0&y=tw12hn&localeid=en_US&cm_mmc=site_email-_-site_share-_-core-_-view_photos_button

Kathrin's Relay Report:
http://applestrudelandpeachcobbler.blogspot.com/2009/09/2009-blue-ridge-relay-race-report.html

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Blue Ridge Race Report 4

Last Transition Zone!

It was about 4:ooam and we had 5 hours until we were up again. I think I was pretty beat by this point and I rested on the drive to the next Transition Zone. It was interesting how our van's energy seemed as depleted as the 1st Van's, but ~6 hours later. After their 2nd runs, they were pretty beat when we had energy before our 2nd runs. Now we were in their shoes. We found the starting spot of our next run, parked among many vans at the church. Some of us decided to go ahead and get pancakes, while I had recently finished my run and was not particularly hungry yet. I slept for a good solid hour I think, then it was daylight and we were up for the duration. Talked to some other runners - a Clemson grad on an ultra team, 3 others from the Greenville Track Club who were last minute additions, Team "I Need a BRR-Ache" whom I always was at the exchange zones with, and others who were just friendly enough to say hello. I eventually got my pancakes - they were good and the $ went to a good cause too. Mike was scheduled for about a 10am start on the hardest leg of the event. 6.5 miles, rated "Mountain Goat Hard". It went up to the top of Hawksnest - and the name is appropriate. It went from 2900 ft to ~4200 feet in the last 5 miles! A little aside here - most every leg as I've said was not necessarily rated correctly and the elevation maps did not do them justice. This one however did - and it was as bad as it looked. There were no surprises here - but Mike was up to the task. His ankle was ok and he took off when Alex passed the wristband. First 1.25 miles were a very gentle uphill and Mike passed us his shirt when we passed. He overtook 3 or 4 people early on and set out on an even pace. We passed some goats on the way up the mountain and waited for Mike - just to make sure his ankle was holding up. He was in the same gear, doing fine and we went ahead to the top to wait. 56 minutes for that leg - amazing!! Little more ice and some Aleve and he was fine. Everyone who finished (especially those from the other van) always said how good it was to be finished. I got to hear that from everyone but Kerrie and Terry before I was done.

Todd was next on a very hard 9.4 mile run, going down the other side of the mountain before flattening out the last mile or two. That really makes it harder - especially when you are expecting it to be downhill the whole way. Plus - the flat section was dead straight, so you knew your momentum was gone. Todd finished it in 1:21 though. The sun was out and it was getting hot - the small creek there would have been nic to get in, but Kathrin was up next on her 5.2 Hard leg. So we're now at leg 33 of 36. We were ahead of schedule by about 15 minutes, so the cut off time was not going to be an issue. As we drove ahead on this leg - we went up a steep section where 4 people were walking...did not bode well for Kathrin and she let us know when she finished in an hour - "That hill was just Mean!" She was in good spirits otherwise - and of course, glad to be finished! Kerrie went for her 4.4 mile moderate run, so we had to hurry to the next exchange. Our exchange was on the lower end of an uphill, but Kerrie pushed it to complete her last leg in 40 minutes. I took the wristband and started uphill. After 40 yards or so - I knew then it was going to be tough - my legs had Nothing! I knew the first 2 miles of my 4.2 hard leg were all uphill...it was relentless. I ran/walked for much of it, but was running for a decent amount as I crested the top, then had a slight downhill as I got back on the Blue Ridge Parkway (Having two legs on there is the main reason I chose to be this runner). It was flat to a gentle downhill the rest of the way and I felt better as I went along, pushing harder to make up for the time spent walking. The photo is from the one overlook from the rest of the van as I ran. Finished the leg in 38:50, so not bad considering. Passed off to Terry and we moved on. Passed him flying down the road and saw all these other teams on their last leg also. The staggered starting times were designed for this...we passed the Solo runner. Yepp - one guy ran the whole thing, starting 6am Thursday morning, so we knew he'd finish. (I don't think he should be allowed as he didn't compete in the "Relay"! But still - what he did was incredible! Finish time was something around 57 hours). It was certainly a wonderful site coming down off the mountain into downtown Asheville. We met our other group who already had a nice big meal and waited for Terry. We didn't have to wait long as he powered home on the 6.8 hard downhill miles in 1:04! He almost ran right over the team finishing at the same time - we never even had a chance to run over the line with him - but he was motivated and ended up with the same finishing time as that team - no complaints there. We did get our group pictures, talked with our team members and others at the finish line - and we were gone, back to Greenville.
We obviously enjoyd it and it tool all of 2 days to talk about doing a relay in 2010. Initial thoughts are the AOR one from Gettysburg to DC! Stay Tuned!
Links:
My photos:
Kathrin's Relay Report:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Blue Ridge Relay Race Report 3

(I'll eventually compile these in order in one LONG post!)

So the 2nd Transition Zone was at the Tanger Outlets in Blowing Rock. We pulled in and parked near our Van #1 who I think had been there for hours. Many got some rest on the grassy area and they got some food to tide them over. We still seemed to be going along ok, but food was high on our list. Joel was raring to go for his next leg, had his night wear on (Legs that were running from 7:30pm-7:30am had to wear a reflective vest, a flashing light on both the front and back, and carry a flashlight or headlamp) and was waiting for Terry 30 minutes before his expected finish. I found a little burger place in the outlets (Pat's almost world famous cheeseburger grille) and Me Mike and Todd sat down to eat (Sorry Terry - we didn't wait). Natalie took care of us. She was fairly busy as no one had warned her ~200 vans would be swarming on their parking lot! Kerrie, Kathrin and Terry soon joined in and we chowed down! French Fries were particularly good! Now came the big decision - stay here, curl up on the grassy area and get some well needed sleep or go ahead to the next Transition Zone (Note - I always get Transition Zones and Exchange Zones confused!), sleep there, and wait for our next round of runs. I was inclined to stay there - besides being tired, the grass looked nice and we didn't quite know what the next place would have for us. The drive there (Plumtree Presbyterian Church) was interesting to say the least. Can't tell you how far in miles, but it was a Wonderful thing we didn't choose to do the drive After sleeping. So we drove thru Blowing Rock - a Very cozy town, lots of people out and definitely somewhere I would like to visit again. Mike had found a Plumtree Pres. Church on our Garmin and off we went. We passed many runners and we were all glad we weren't out there. Sun was setting, they were on a major road, going uphill, and there was Lots of traffic barrelling down towards them. We finally realized you couldn't wear enough safety equipment to slow the traffic down. Turns out - when Garmin told us we were there - there was nothing to be found as we were in Minneapolis. We backtracked, turned around, re-backtracked because we hadn't gone far enough and Finally arrived after just using the maps on the Garmin. There's no way we would have made it in time if we had slept first. Whew! So now it was time to rest and have a turkey sandwich if desired thanks to the locals. Everyone stayed in the van except for me who ventured outside with 2 fleeces and tried to get comfy under a playground/picnic canopy. An hour later I was still awake, but the rest must have helped some. Mike was then getting ready for his Leg #194.3 mile easy run. I headed up the road to wait for Alex to warn Mike to get ready. In the darkness, you couldn't tell who Anyone was - even as they passed you - the headlamps hid their face. One guy came in to the exchange zone yelling "Run For Your Life!". That was quite hilarious at 11:30pm. So the exchange was made and we knew we'd have to hustle as Mike is one of the fastest of our group. Not much talk between our vans sadly. We got to the next zone (Green Vally Fire Dept) and Todd prepped for Leg 20 - 7.5 miles Hard. Mike finished in 32 minutes and his first words were "I need ice". Uh oh. His ankle was sore for that whole run and he knew he should have iced it after his first run. The possibility of him Not running his last leg would have had severe consequences - we had been concerned with Kathrin's knee - especially for her last leg, but she held up great. If Mike couldn't run - Todd would have had the Mountain Goat Hard climb after this long, hard leg, Kathrin would have had 9.4 hard miles, we knew Kerrie would be fine, and my run would have been easier, as Terry's would have, but Joel (Runner #1) would have had to at least start the last leg - 6.8 miles Very Hard! Neither him nor Runner 2 Dave felt inclined to run anymore. So we iced mike's ankle and went ahead to the next zone. Todd's route was Tough. There was one Long 2 mile climb toward the end, but he did great in 1 hr 7 minutes. Kathrin was up next with a 2.4 mile downhill run thru the town of Spruce Pine, ending at an Ingles. We didn't have much time there and she flew in 22 minutes later! (Note - all times are approximate as I just used my regular watch to check the times when I remembered. I kept track of everyones starting/finishing times so we could be ready for the next runner coming in). Sorry - no photos from me at night. Kerrie took off and Kathrin was so excited with her time! She also felt good, so we were all quite relieved and happy, now only if Mike was ok. Kerrie had a moderate 6 miler, then I'd be up. We got to the Penland School and did our own thing. I had originally projected Kerrie to be in after 55 minutes, but knew she was a faster runner than that, so I slowly made my way to the start much earlier than planned. It's a good thing, because I wasn't there but a few minutes when she came in on her uphill finish. She handed me a flashlight that I immediately put down and got the wristband and off I went - headlamp going. I had a Moderate 5.2 mile run, quite a bit of it on gravel with a few turns. There was someone a few minutes ahead of me that I felt I would catch at some point. I'd see him a turn or two ahead of me, at least his back flashing light. Then the fog came in. Hard. I could not see. The headlamp made it feel like I was looking thru binoculars. I would have rather been able to see where my feet were landing on the gravel, but I had to concentrate hard just to stay on the road. You couldn't see which way the road would turn - it was not pleasant and about to get worse. I was following the left edge of the road, guy ahead of me nowhere in sight and I seemed to take a very gentle left, then start downhill. I stopped, looked back up and could nothing, wondering if I went the right way. A minute later I realized it was a driveway as I was in a cul-de-sac with a couple of parked pickup trucks and I Knew I had gone the wrong way. Worst thing was that it had been all downhill. So I turned and sprinted back up the hill and upon reaching the road again, another runner came into view. He was faster than I was so I at least had someone to follow for a little bit. That helped tremendously. My van passed and that helped for a few seconds - wish I had told them to slow down! There was one steep incline that I walked up for a minute. Again - disappointed. I eventually made it off the gravel, the fog got better, and I started catching up to the first guy I was following. The last 2.25 miles were all uphill, but I kept moving, caught the guy (Christian, from the NC coast) and we ran the remaining 2 miles or so together. Finished Uphill again, feeling stronger as I went. Passed off to Terry after a 50:17 run. It was ~3:30am. Slowest pace of the event for me - and that was the "easiest" of the legs. Go figure. Terry had a short, easy 3.2 mile run, so we got moving again. It's odd - right now I have no recollection of the next Exchange Zone. Terry finished in no time and Joel was off again in his last run.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Blue Ridge Relay Race Report 2

The Start
So Joel took off running and our van had 5+ hours to get to the first Transition Zone. As I said, sleep would have been most beneficial down there road, but we had none of that! Stopped in the park at an overlook, took some photos and waited for Joel to come by on his 4 mile run. Looked good as he ran into the fog. The fog would come back in the night and wreak havoc...but I am getting ahead. No sign of the mountain lion either (and never did see one).

So we didn't have an address for where we needed to be (Bald Mountain Baptist Church anyone??), and we didn't really want to follow the first 6 legs to get there, so we rambled around and finally followed a very nice guy in a tow truck who led us in the general direction. Found it and beat the race officials there. We were Very early! Needed some food - so off we went again. Filled up the gas tank, got some snacks, and one of us even had an omelet, which wasn't the best choice it turned out! Headed back for lack of anything better to do. Settled in, threw a frisbee around and met some other teams (Cupcakes, Fleet Feet Females, Make it a Case) from all over (Many Clemson alumni, Alabama, GA, SC, NC, Ohio...). Team Thwack was kind enough to give us there paint pens to decorate our van with nifty slogans such as "Guz says Go", Attack the Hills", and Go Tigers". The sun was out and it got quite warm. Sunscreen was essential. Probably would have been a good idea to stay off our feet a little bit, but again, that didn't happen. That thought didn't occur until it was 4am, we hadn't slept, and we were feeling the effects of our 2nd leg). So Van #1 eventually arrived, we heard a little about the first legs (went out too fast) and Mike got ready.



Van #2 - 1st legs.

So Mike hustles off down the road with a slap of the wrist bracelet (some handed it off more smoothly than others!), we say our goodbyes, and we wouldn't see them for another 5 hours. Mike's leg - #7, was a 5.4 mile medium run with rolling hills. I ended up being the timekeeper of the van and had a printout of projected start/finish times. He cranked out the run in 40 minutes, and looked strong coming in to the transition zone where Todd awaited. Note - Mike had been having ankle issues, and we should have had ice in the van, but didn't quite remember that at this point. We got used to having camera's ready on the runner's entrance to the changeover, at the exchange, and when the next runner took off. Have to capture every moment! So Todd's leg - 5.9 "Moderate +" miles. It's already fuzzy - was this the leg that drove so much harder than the rating? However it was - Todd cranked it out in 50 minutes. Some very nice views of the New River too. We had driven ahead and although parking was tight, were prepared for him coming into the Community of Todd. Seriously! What are the chances? I took this...timed it just right!


Kathrin was our Runner #8 and she had an easy 5.2 mile run. Pretty flat and along the New River - beautiful scenery. The Mountains were looming ahead. After her 53 minute run, Kerrie
















was ready to go. She had 8.2 hard miles with some good climbs, but she's a strong runner and looked fresh as we passed her halfway thru. Her uphill finish led her to me, Runner (and Leg) #11. I had 6.3 hard miles. Being runner #11, and with the rules giving special instructions regarding the Blue Ridge Parkway, I had to wear my reflective vest. The support van could also not follow me on this leg, so it was just me, a few more runners, and some weekend traffic enjoying the views. We had already seen quite a few of the same people during these exchanges, frequently starting off on legs around the same time. Two of these started off before me, but I passed them on the way up the first hill. Oh yeah - this hill seemed to go on and on. And get steeper. I did stop for a photograph (may take forever to get it developed), and must admit I did walk a little. Very disappointing. But - I started cruising before the top and pushed pretty hard. Passed another there and eventually caught and passed 2 others before we exited the Parkway, made some sharp turns (Heard later that some people took a wrong turn and went a mile further than they were supposed to), and headed to the Uphill finish of the leg. My leg time was ~52 minutes (kind of forget to start my watch immediately with the whole get the wristband thing). Terry was our last runner, #12, and had a hard 9.1 miles. Make that a Very Hard 9.1 miles. There was a ~4 mile climb in the middle. He was also running some on the Blue Ridge Parkway, so we could not shadow him at all, but he made excellent time, as he would the whole event. The 2nd Transition Zone was our next stop, close to where we began the day 12 hours earlier at this point. That will be in the next post!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Blue Ridge Relay Race Report 1

So where does one start after being on a team that ran 211.3 miles over the course of 31 hours and 47 minutes? Yes - that was our finishing time, right at a 9:02 minute/mile pace. First thoughts on the race...

That was fun! Surrounded by so many good people, some serious and not so serious runners, but all out doing what we (mostly) enjoy. I was Completely impressed with our team (Alex, Kerrie, Joel, Christina, Todd, Kathrin, Chris, Jeff, Mike, Dave and Terry). They were a great group to hang out with, had fun during it all, and worked hard on the toughest of runs. Driving the course while our runners were out there and seeing what we were going to have to contend with, then coming thru and beating our projected time is just amazing. Before the race - looking at the elevation charts and how each leg was rated - we knew we were in for some mountainous terrain, but the legs were SO MUCH HARDER than they appeared to be. If you are familiar with our Paris Mountain, that is just a blip compared to what we covered.

ok - Getting to the start.

Met up at Chris', packed the vans (SUV's; our suburban was great, roomy and carried everything!), picked up our last 2 runners and headed up to Boone, NC to our hotel. We moved around some people from the van they would be riding in during the race so we could bond with other members, and that worked out well. We all shared running histories (5k's to 39 marathons!?), personal stories (digit-master), and just basically got to know each other. The drive went by very quickly, even with the slow twisty roads we were taking. Arrived around 9pm and proceeded to watch some college football (Clemson vs GT; 5 of us were Clemson grads) and the Steeler - Tennessee game. Heartbreak for Clemson, and OT for Pittsburgh and it was after 12 midnight when many of us went to sleep. The carbo-loading (beer) helped get past the nerves of the upcoming event. 4:30am wake up call was too early! Van #2 held runners 7-12 (Mike, Todd, Kathrin, Kerrie, Guz, and Terry, in that order) and we had decided to go to the start and support our teammates. Not the smartest thing to do as sleep would be our dear friend that we couldn't get enough of for the next 30+ hours. But we made the 90 minute drive up to Grayson Highland State Park, VA, got our bibs and shirts (Very nice long sleeve!) and milled about waiting for Runner #1 (Joel) to start at 7:40am. Sun was slowly coming up, the fog was all around us, overheard someone say a mountain lion was seen in the park...we were all excited.
7:40am, we lined up against the other teams in this wave start, including Fred Flinstone. 6-10 teams started off in waves from 6:30am - 1pm starting times, based on their projected pace.



Haven't even gotten to the start, but I'll continue soon!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

FIRST, Paris Mtn, BRR, Thunder Road

Much to say, so I'll get to it!
FIRST - the Run Less Run Faster book I got at the book sale for $3 motivated me to change my whole marathon training for Thunder Road December 12th. Based on my recent runs, training and races, I decided I would push myself and use the Boston Marathon qualifying plan (oh - it's for 34 year old females) to break 3:40. Yes - that would be a 21 minute PR! Ouch. I did modify it so instead of doing two twenty milers on the weekends I have my half marathons planned (Oct 31 and Nov 12), I moved them a week off, so I'll only do 4 twenty milers instead of 5. If I only run a 3:43 becasue of that, so be it!

My Thunder Road training called for 13 miles this past weekend. Some Blue Ridge Relay teammates were going to run Paris Mountain (Altamont Road), so I decided to run 6 miles before meeting them. Ran the 5k Furman Lake loop twice, then met them and started off from McAllister's Auditorium. My legs were very heavy during the 1st six miles, but I guess warmed up for the rest. started up the base of the mountain and eventually slowed waaaay down. Had only driven over once before doing so today, and ran to the top once - nonstop I might add. Go me! Not as good this time as I walked 3 times before making it to the top. This climb pretty much mimics my last leg of the BRR, so I figured the 6 miles beforehand would handicap me to some extent...the next 4+ miles downhill were fine and the days total was 2 hrs 10 minutes for ~13.5 miles.
Today was speedwork and again, I didn't do it right. My plan called for 4x800 @3:23 w/2min Rest Intervals. Last night - I wrote it down to take to the track (Mauldin Middle School, newly paved) as 4x800@ 3:32 w/2min RIs = 1:16/lap. What kind of dyslexic math is that?! I is an engineer.What I Actually ran was 6x400 @3:25 (meaning to run 3:23's). Had the BRR headlamp going so I could see my pace in the 6am darkness, also to dodge the 5 others out there. Was tough, but good to know I could manage it. PLan is for 7 miles Thursday, 5 @8:23 or so. May do a few easy ones int he morning, we'll see how I feel.

Blue Ridge Relay starts Thursday and I am very excited. Our whole team is. Emails are flying back and forth discussing who is bringing what (whiffle ball/bat, gatorade, and lights). People are trying to figure out what exactly we're doing, what is needed, etc. It's crazy, but will be a blast!
Leaving Thursday 4:30pm so we can arrive in Boone, NC (3 hours away) in time for the Clemson-Ga Tech football game (and the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL opener also). There will be beer to be had! We may be twittering...I don't know. I don't do that.

Last post before heading off to VA....Team Do Not Resuscitate!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Let the Marathon training begin!

16 full weeks away - and alot can happen in that time, is the Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon. I did 30 miles this week, which is high for me in pre-training, but now I get to do specific runs each week, including speedwork. Not looking forward to that. With the constant worry about nagging "injuries" - that may not help. Had a new ache this week - Thursday night and during my extra Friday morning run, my right arch was sore. My right calf fluctuates with soreness, but then today - I ran for 1 hour 59 minutes - 13.8 miles and there was no pain anywhere! I felt good and even did one decent hill at the end. Looking forward to the cooler temps this week - lows in the low 60's!
Started reading Ultramarathon Man last week. Stayed up and read an hour and a half last Wednesday night - all about his 1st Western States 100. He's got raw talent - it's not like anyone can go out and do what he did. Crazy...
Have a group meeting this Wednesday to go over our Blue Ridge Relay stuff. So it's probably more of a reason to drink and eat pizza. Ok - just drink, but we'll eat too. Less than 2 weeks away. Aside from the hills, and being restful , I'm ready.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Books. 2 more weeks. 3 more weeks

Books: Yesterday, Greenville Literacy Association has their Really Big Really Cheap Really (something) Book Sale at the former McAlister Square Mall. I've gone for many many years - initially as a volunteer coordinator for Hands on Greenville the first few years. It has always gotten bigger and bigger - meaning more crowded, almost at an unacceptable level. I got there 30 minutes before the doors opened and got my typical spot in one of the 3 lines, about 200 people back. After all the mayhem - I got 3 of the books I was looking for, including Run Less, Run Faster and Ultramarathon Man. Also found Marathons and Beyond, Literary Running stories, and a few others. Can't wait to get started!
My 16 week training plan for the Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon starts in 2 weeks. I'm still ahead of the game, so that's encouraging. Looking back now - I am ahead of where I was for Windermere, but about the same as NYC. Can't say my speed is quite there, but that's ok. I just tell myself it is still summertime.
3 more weeks until the Blue Ridge Relay - I think our van has figured out who is running what legs. Once it is set in stone, I'll pass it along. I will say - mine won't be that many miles, but I think some good uphills.