Sunday, February 28, 2010

Back to Paris Mountain

Went running at Paris Mountain for the first time since October, to run the upper lake loop twice. I've been a little concerned that I haven't had a long run (over 10 miles) since my taper for Myrtle Beach (so, going back to the end of January). I wanted to get started running trails, but didn't want to overdo it. Thought 2 loops would be good, plus running down Sulphur Springs to get in a total of 13 miles. A loop consists of starting at the upper parking lot, taking Brissy Ridge (clockwise) to Kanuga, to the North Lake trail (CW) to Pipsissewa, back to Brissy, then returning the way I came on Brissy back to the parking lot.
A good number of people on the trails as I started at 10am and saw a number of them numerous times. Thoughts on the 1st loop: you sure can fly on the downhills heading to the lake on Kanuga; still some ice on the trails; trails have taken a beating from the mountain bikers riding on wet trails; this is tough - how am I going to do 31 miles on something like this? I'm assuming it will be like this - in parts anyway. I may have to go do some scouting in preparation for the Chattooga 50k. 1st loop in 57 minutes. Headed back out for loop 2. Seemed to walk a whole lot more in the first 15-20 minutes, but then caught my second wind and moved pretty well. The downhills had my hips sore heading back to the lake, but that went away soon too. Sun warmed things up and much of the ice was slowly melting. 2nd lap in 59 minutes, so not much behind my first. Didn't stop and after walking the initial climb on Sulphur Springs - ran down to the lower lot where my wife/daughter were waiting! 2hrs 10 minutes. Didn't feel too bad after all that, but a lot of work to do before I could do that loop 5 times! Aside from thinking that 50k is going to kill me - I doubt I can do it under 6hrs. Still have to see the course though.
I did hit my 30 miles for the week, including two back to back runs (6.5/5 miles & 6/13miles). Running 4 days a week went well the last 3 weeks now, but still getting into a rhythm with it.
Have Reedy River 10k next weekend...will I PR?? Come back and find out!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Green Valley 10 mile Race Report

The 33rd annual Green Valley Road Race has 8k and 10 mile events - I was doing the 10 miler for the 3rd time (2007, 2009) having set my PR here last year with a 1:18:08. I was hoping to run 8 min/mi giving me a 1:20, but I really wasn't sure I'd be able to run that fast. Treadmill workouts always seem harder than outdoor running for me, and last week's runs weren't terribly easy.
The 8:45am start was a little crowded, but ran off the left side to get around some people before settling into my rhythm. Tucked in beside Jim, a fellow GTC-er and Charlotte Marathon finisher, right ahead of me), so I knew we'd have a similar pace/goal. Also saw my first rabbit from 8 yrs ago (She had her music going and she probably wouldn't remember me anyway) right there, so I'd have people to chase. Started off right on pace with a 7:50 and felt fine. Came upon another runner (TD) I see in many races, but she was fighting a sinus thing, so we didn't run together long. That was my slowest mile (8:14) and I'd new I'd have to push to keep the 8's possible. Jim got about 25 seconds ahead of me and stayed there for a bit before I sloooowly reeled him in over the course of 5 miles. Back to running by myself, occasionally passing people. In fact - I don't think anyone passed me after the first 0.25 miles. Hit some climbs and went thru the third mile in 8:05, then ran a 7:41 to get back on my goal pace. (4 miles in 31:52). Kept thinking this race really didn't seem too far and the miles kept coming pretty quick - in my head at least. Got the to heart of the hills and ran consistently 8:04, 8:00 and 7:51 as I passed a few more people and caught and passed Jim around mile 6. So thru 7 in 55:49 - still right on pace. I had started thinking in the back of my mind that a PR was possible, but I didn't know exactly what time I had to beat (1:18 something...). If I pushed hard...I could break 1:19 and then it would be close. Picked off 3-4 others from miles 7 to 9 running 7:45 and 7:48. Was mostly a gentle downhill thru here, some on the Swamp Rabbit trail, but I knew there was a small rise in the last 1/2 mile that I never enjoy. Still saw some people I wanted to catch 50 yards ahead, so kept at it, as I kept thinking I was hearing footsteps behind me to push me even harder. I also knew my wife and daughter would see me finish, so I wanted to have a strong finish too. We got onto the mall at Furman and I passed 2 or 3 more as I was intent on one more guy ahead of me. Passed him with 30 yards to spare and finished with a time of 1:18:32! I was very happy with that (even after finding out I missed a PR by 25 secs or so). I really enjoy the course and the distance - not exhausted afterwards but feel like it's still a good challenge. Any run can be a challenge, but still!
Team DNR All Stars (our relay team for the Palmetto 200) had a good showing, Terry and Dave finishing around 1:16, Kerrie ran well I'm sure although results won't be up until tomorrow, and Kathrin snuck by in 1:36. Christina, Ken and our team leader Chris all ran the 8k too.
Other noteworthy events:
Reedy River 10k in 2 weeks...not sure I can do 7:25's to PR there...
and I finally registered for the Chattooga 50k on June 6th!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Unlucky 13?

On February 13th, my friend Todd was to run his 13th marathon at the 13th running of the Myrtle Beach Marathon - but it was Canceled due to snow (2-4"). After postponing the start 30 minutes on Friday afternoon, they were making the decision at 10pm Friday night. Had already eaten a very nice pasta meal, decided what was to be worn (mostly anyway), watched snow come down and the Olympics on NBC waiting for the scroll at the bottom of the screen.
There it was:

Yep - Canceled.
Sat for another hour or two after the 10:30ish announcement - kind of at a loss. I do understand the decision had to be made - some will Obviously not be happy - but running with cars beside you traveling in the same direction? One patch of ice and that's it. Can you say lawsuit? I wouldn't be surprised if some idiot tried to sue them anyway. I at least only paid the $120 or so entry, no hotel, plane, etc.
I am Very disappointed, and maybe being in the mix of our local track club, can understand their decision (or rather - the city's).
My big question is what do I do now? Find another one (26.2 Run with Donna in Jacksonville next weekend?), start on my 50k training, Run Green Valley 10 miler next weekend and take a little time to decide (and pretend I ran one, taking my 3 week "break"?)?
One more note before I go (but there will be more posts on this!) - some people ran (or didn't) some part of the course and got medals. Who cares? I did at first - upset that they would even hand them out for a race that didn't happen, but then realized the medals mean Nothing. What does it mean to them? Hopefully - not that much. It just shows they got something for an event that didn't take place.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Last post before race!

Latest weather - it's gotten worse: Start temp of 32 and precipitation (rain/sleet/snow), but with a wind of 18mph from the North/northwest making it feel 10 degrees colder. Should stop raining or whatever by the halfway point and get up to 38° by my expected 10:30am finish. Completely unsure what to wear. Will just my running tights be enough on my legs? Standard hat and ear protection or stocking cap and face guard? 3 layers on top? wind breaker? Green Valley shirt?
So many decisions!
Did my last 3 training miles on the treadmill. Felt harder than it should have going at an 8:49 pace.
Looking forward to the Expo, seeing the Palmetto 200 guys and maybe some other Greenville runners. Best of luck to everyone!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Speedwork, weather, Bib

My last speedwork before the big run and nothing new. Hit my times (6 x 400 @ 1:44)and felt fine. Still wary about the shoes though. Seems both my trail shoes and my current pair of 2130's have similar miles on them. But - I was wearing my 2130's when my ankle became sore and my trail shoes (2120T's) sometimes give me a small blister on my right arch after 10-15 miles. Hmmm - tough decision. I'd put a voting thing on here if I thought there would be one cast.
Weather still looks decent - well, now that I check it yet again, it was decent this morning. Now - low of 31° still, but possible snow showers and wind of 14mph from the NNW. (Wonder what the gusts will be up to?). Wind may not be so bad as we run our 10 mile stretch up Ocean Blvd in the NNE direction. Will have to remember to run on the opposite side of the road. High of 44°. Still thinking shorts, but we'll see how the wind is.
My bib # is 4888.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Course video

Getting almost daily emails from the Myrtle Beach Marathon, which isn't a bad thing. Today's had a video of the whole course in just under 3 minutes. Nice article too about the 10 mile stretch along the beach (that we may be able to see between the hotels, etc), and a few curvy sections.
Had my last "long" run today of 10 miles. Meant to go slow, but maybe it was because my wife was pushing my daughter around the loop in her stroller and I went way faster than I meant to. Oh well, felt ok. Those minor things that "may" pop up next weekend...weak left knee? arch blister from trail shoes or do I hope my ankle thing from 2 weeks ago wasn't my shoes and wear my normal 2130's?
May have some company on my 8:50/mile plan. Terry (Charlotte Marathon/BRR/P200) may run with me until he feels he can push it harder after mile 18-20. That would be good for both of us.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Weather update!

I'm again constantly concerned about the weather for Myrtle Beach, not that I'll skip it if it's too bad or anything. I just like knowing what they think it wil be 8 days from now.
Fri Feb 12
Few Showers
HIGH 48°
LOW 34°

Sat Feb 13
HIGH 51°
LOW 35°

So far, no mention of wintry mix. Warmer than Charlotte. Looks like a shorts day! And a very wet one. Hoping agfain the wind stays away.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ice Run, MB update, P200 update

So we had a couple inches of ice come down Friday night, and it never got above freezing on Saturday - so by the time I went out for my 13 mile run Sunday around 11am, there was still plenty of ice out there. Wasn't going to let that stop me. My 0.85 mile loop had about half of it covered in ice, so I ran on the crunchy sheet of ice on the edge of the road when I had to, and slowed down on the rest of it - didn't want to aggravate new muscles of slip and fall. Ipod wasn't charged so I got to listen to the ice under my feet and falling from the branches. There were actually 3 other runners out there after about an hour, and I ran with one guy for 3 laps or so. Nice guy, training for Boston after running 3:15 last year at Myrtle. Sped up to stay with him, then promptly slowed down for my last 2 laps. No need for speed at this point, although I am still doing my prescribed speedwork. Been in the gym lately for those during the week runs - just haven't felt like being cold, wet, or both. Good news for Myrtle Beach though - my buddy is running it. May not be a pleasant experience for him, but maybe we'll get to run together again!
Palmetto 200 update: Still at 11 members - had one "possible" become a "negative". People are picking their spots too - good thing I chose when I did - I really wanted to leg over the Isle of Palms Connector, so it looks like that one is mine. That's it for now. I keep modifying my training schedule for the next 3 months...after MB, we'll see how it works out!