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


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...