Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Speed Work

I met Tanjie and Matt this morning for an out and back warmup on the Swan Creek trail. Then Matt and I did some speed work followed by an out and back cool down on the Swan Creek trail. Tanjie snapped some photos on the warm up on the trail. It was so dark that we didn't even know it was foggy until the flash showed us! Nice run, guys. I'm glad y'all could join me.

We did 1 mile (6:38), 2 x 800m(3:10, 3:14), and 4 x 400 m (1:24, 1:27, 1:23, 1:21). The total mileage including warmup and cool down was about 7.75. I really like that the last two quarters were the fastest. That's going to be my theme for the new year, to finish strong. I want to finish workouts and to finish races strong.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Trail Runs

This weekend was spent on the trails on Monte Sano. I wanted to give trail runs a shot before committing to Mount Cheaha. I had never done a trail run before Friday. I was concerned that it wouldn't be something I could do because both of my ankles are weak and one is arthritic. If anything, I think trail running will strengthen my ankles.

Friday, I met Mark at Monte Sano and we ran the Mt. Mist trail up to the South Plateau loop, then ran around the Family Bike Trail and the Fire Tower Trail. Then we took the North Plateau loop down to Cold Springs Trail and called it a day at 11 miles total. He took it easy on me by running those easy trails. It was an absolute blast!!! There were a couple of deer sightings and it was just beautiful there.

Saturday, Matt and I rode over to Monte Sano and met Mark for another trail run. I forgot my Garmin and that frustrated me, but Mark had his to keep track of mileage for us. We started the same as Friday, but took McKay Hollow Trail to Arrowhead and Natural Well Trail and back up a steep climb on McKay Hollow Trail. That was quite a bit more difficult than Friday's run. It ended up being somewhere around 13.5 miles. Beautiful!!!!

I'm hooked on trail running. Mount Cheaha is definitely something I want to do now.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Tuesday was the second hard run since the marathon. I'm pain free, and feeling as well as I did before the race. I did 2 warmup miles, 3 x 1 mile repeats (6:37, 6:35, 6:32) and then 2 cooldown miles for 7 total. Yesterday was an easy 4 mile treadmill run at 8:45 - 9:00 at 1.5 incline. Today was, well, Christmas so I did nothing except eat junk. :)

I'm still thinking about running the Mount Cheaha 50k. I probably will, but it depends on how the next few weeks go.

And I'm considering what to do with this blog. It was a blog for the Rocket City Marathon. Well, it's over and I'm recovered (and this blog was a HUGE help to me in accomplishing that goal), so now what? Still thinking about that, too.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What next, part 2...

I had my first pain free run since the marathon yesterday. I think I may be fully recovered. I did 11 miles total, mostly running at about an 8:15 pace with 2 pickup miles at 7:30 and 7:18. It felt really good, and I missed running more than I thought I did.

I ran 2.5 easy treadmill miles on Monday after the race, and my knee was sore after that. Then I ran 6.62 outdoor miles on Thursday. I ran them at about 7:30, and that was just too fast too soon and it hurt like mad. My knee was killing me until yesterday. Yesterday's run was fantastic.

I think I may have found my next race. While I was in Fleet Feet Friday to pickup the Rudolph Run packets, Leigh picked up some gear and the girls got some much needed new shoes. Dink recommended a race for me to try next, the Mount Cheaha 50k. I told him that I missed signing up for Mountain Mist because I didn't know if I was good enough for that race. He confirmed that I was ready for a challenge like that, and that Mount Cheaha is a fantastic race. Anyone want to train with me for that race on Feb. 28? I've got a reluctant "go" from Leigh. It looks like a brutal challenge. I need to hit the trails soon.

Another reason I LOVE Fleet Feet... Where else can you go and the owner spends nearly an hour with you chatting about running, races, and gear while helping you pick out your stuff? Every time I go there, it's a great customer experience.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rudolph Run 5k and 1 Mile

Today was Leigh's first road race!! She did great, too! No walking through the entire 5k. Nice job! I'm proud of you! Pick another one and train again! I did the 1 mile with Erin and Lindsey. They both did great, too! No walking for either of them through the entire mile! And it was tons of fun! They announced 750 registered runners for this race today. NICE! The results will most likely be posted at the HTC website when they're available. I didn't see many Limestone runners that I recognized, but I'm sure Tanjie will summarize the Limestone county results on her blog.

I want to congratulate several finishers that I knew in this 5k race, in no particular order.
  • Leigh Patterson - Yay! Are you hooked now?
  • Martha Bowen - Thanks for training with Leigh. Nice job!
  • Lynn Dozier - I knew you could do it!
  • Sarah Brewer - Just one more step in preparing for the CM half!
  • Madelyn Patton - It must have been easy after the Rocket City Marathon last Saturday!
And just a few pics from the race can be found on my Facebook page.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What next?

The marathon was much more fun than I expected it to be. Someone told me that means I didn't push hard enough. That's probably true. I know I could have run it faster. I will run my next one faster. But I had an absolute blast AND posted what I consider a respectable finish time. That's enough for a first marathon.

One thing I just noticed is that I negative split my first marathon. My second half was 3 minutes faster than my first half. I planned to do that, but did not expect to do that. I'm really happy about that. I know it's more because of a conservative start than a strong finish, but the finish was strong enough. I'll finish my next one even stronger.

One thing I failed to mention in my VERY long recap is how giddy I was for the first 15-16 miles. I had a goofy grin on my face that I couldn't remove! I was truly taking in the moment, saying, "I can't believe I'm running a marathon!" And I felt MUCH better than I expected to.

So, what next? I definitely want to run Rocket City again next year. I want to train harder for it and run it faster. But what about the immediate future? I need a big race to train for to keep myself in shape. I didn't sign up for Mt. Mist because I didn't think I was worthy of that race. After the marathon performance, I believe I could finish it, but it's too late to sign up now. Oh well. I'm thinking about the Black Warrior 50k. I've never done trail running, and I don't have any trail shoes. I'm also considering the Country Music Half Marathon (maybe even the full 26.2? Naa, it's too soon). And I'll support as many local, shorter races as I can by running or volunteering.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


There are several people deserving of a BIG "Thank You!"

First, my wife, Leigh, is most deserving. I started basebuilding back in July. Do you have any idea how gross my clothes are after running hills in July in Alabama, then letting them sit in the trunk of my car all day? Well, Leigh does. And I ALWAYS had clothes to work out in. ALWAYS. Plus, other than calling me crazy several times, she has been amazingly supportive. She was my personal aid station and photographer at the marathon. I LOVE YOU!!! I am so blessed and thankful for such a wonderful wife! Good luck with the Rudolph Run Saturday! I'm so excited for her first 5k!!

Second, my friend Mark Freeman sent me thousands of text messages to make sure I was not slacking. I mean, this guy would even ask what I was eating. He held me accountable! We both wanted to be below an 8:00 average pace for the marathon. He was; I wasn't. It must have been the cheesecake. Also, he says I talked him into running the marathon. I say he talked me into it. Either way, thanks, buddy.

Another person that I could NOT have done this without is Matt Davis. Matt realized several weeks ago that he wasn't going to be able to run in the Rocket City Marathon because of scheduling. But he still trained with me! Oh, he was easily ready to run the marathon Saturday. Search the blog for Matt and see how many times he drug my lazy head out of bed. He even ran a 20 miler with me knowing he wasn't going to run the marathon. And Leigh calls ME crazy. Thanks, Matt! We'll pick out another race and train like madmen again.

I've blamed Angie Reed for ever getting me into running. She was the first person I met who actually liked to run. I had tried running several times before in my life, but I always hated it. I didn't know that it was possible to like it. After hearing her talk about running, I decided to try it open to the possibility that I could like it. The next thing I knew, I was training for Cotton Row and then I was hooked. She volunteered at Rocket City Marathon. She also dubbed my fat pictures as "Eric at large" which I think is hilarious. Thanks, Angie.

Thanks to Kevan Moore who has cheered for me in this effort like no one else! He checked on me and congratulated nearly every training long run. He has shown genuine enthusiasm that I believe only Kevan is capable of! On the day that I ran 20 miles for the first time, he came over and mowed my yard. I sure wasn't looking forward to walking behind that lawn mower after 20 miles! Thanks!

And there are several others who encouraged me along the way. Mike Greene was always checking on me, bragging on me, setting an example for me with his training habits, and gave me lots of advice. Tanjie Schrimsher and Whitney Hollingsworth direct the only two races that I know about in Limestone County. I really appreciate it! Both of those races were very important parts of my training. And Tanjie writes a great blog about Limestone County runners. Any time she mentions me, traffic to my blog spikes!

And thanks to all the volunteers and police officers who made the Rocket City Marathon the great event it was! I was sure to thank them as I ran by Saturday.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Race recap

Again, what a blast! Results are in.

I saw Tim McNeill (fellow Athens runner) and his family in the hotel lobby just before heading out to the start line. Nice run today, Tim. Then I saw Joey Butler on his way out. He had a VERY strong run today at 3:22. WOW!!! Nice job, Joey. That's Tim and me below.

It was cold at the start. I'm guessing low 30's? I knew I would warm up, so I didn't want to overdress, but I was literally shivering waiting for the starting gun. Part of the shivering was excitement, but most of it was cold! I started far back because I knew I was going to start slow. Thanks to my training accountability partner, Mark Freeman, who started with me even though his pace was far more aggressive than mine. Good job Mark!! It was awesome keeping up with your training for this race. We're going to have to pick another race to train for soon. This dude sent me a text message every day to check on my training. It's a ton easier to train when you know you have friends who really care about your training. Below is Mark and I shivering at the start.

I stuck to my plan for mile 1. Slow and easy. About 1.5 miles into the race, Philip Stewart caught me and we ran together and chatted until near the 3 mile marker, hitting the 2 mile split a little faster than I planned. I made up for it in mile 3 by slowing just a bit. Somewhere past mile 4, someone lost their breakfast. YUCK! It was still there on the way back. EWWW! That's awfully early to be having that problem.

Here's Mark Freeman just past mile 5.

Leigh was waiting at Airport road just past 5 miles with a fresh water bottle.

I had a fairly lonely run until just before the 7 mile mark at Whitesburg Elementary where I met up with Glen King. It was a brief meeting, but it was good to see him running pretty good. Then, just past the 7 mile mark, I met Ronnie Nelson and chatted with him for a bit. He said that he had read my plan on the blog and was expecting me about now. :) Good to see you Ronnie!

Just past the 8 mile split, I met a nice lady, Debbie, from Columbus, GA, who was a multi-time marathoner. She encouraged me pretty good and we had a nice chat up till just past mile 10. Then, Philip Stewart caught me again. He was running pretty strong today! We had a nice chat until near the 12.1 mile aid station. In the pic below, that's Phillip and I chatting it up near mile 11. Just ahead of us is Debbie.
I hit the halfway split just behind my target of 1:48 and was happy to see Whitney Hollingsworth there calling the splits. Thanks for volunteering! It was an absolute blast and wouldn't have been possible without the hard work and sacrifice of the volunteers.

Then, it got lonely and difficult! I didn't see anyone I knew again until Leigh, like clockwork, was waiting at Mt. Gap Road just shy of the 18 mile marker with a fresh water bottle. THANKS and I LOVE YOU!!!
Other than the brief water bottle exchange, I didn't see anyone I knew at all between mile 12 and mile 20. That was a long 8 miles. My feet were starting to hurt, but other than that I was feeling pretty good. I wasn't hitting my planned pace starting at 18 miles, so I started to realize that 3:30 was a long shot. I was getting discouraged, then I met up with Eric Fritz and Emily Johnson. Eric's a solid distance runner. Emily is downright impressive. She held off my sprint at the end of the Monte Sano 10k back in August to finish just ahead of me. She outright laid a BEATDOWN on me on the last 10k of the marathon today. We ran together for a bit, but she was running very strong and left Eric and I pretty far behind. She was about 5 seconds ahead at the 21 mile marker and opened that lead up to 1:10 by the finish. Tom Holt (fellow Athenian) also passed me near the 21 mile marker and finished strong.

From then until the end, I was alone again. And I was beginning to fade. People were slowing badly beyond the 22 mile split. There were people walking, and others were stopped and stretching out cramps. One guy was laying on his back in the grass in someone's yard. He said he was fine, though, and got up as I was running by. No one looked to be in serious trouble, but I sure was passing folks who were fading. And I got passed by a few, too.

The one break in the lonesomeness was when I saw Angie Reed at Airport Road for one last word of encouragement before the end. "Finish strong, Eric!" she said as I ran by. Thanks for the cheering and for volunteering to help with the race, Angie!

Beginning at mile 24, I started hurting. I wanted to STOP! I kept telling myself, though, that I didn't train this hard to stop 2 miles short. Oh, it hurt, though! What hurt? EVERYTHING! I slowed more than I wanted to, and told myself over and over that 2 miles is nothing. Nothing.

The last mile is no doubt the longest mile I have ever run!!! There was no kick at the end. I was just thinking FINISH!!!

The race directors let Leigh put my finishing medal on me, and that was VERY special to me. I'm so thankful to have such a wonderful wife! I LOVE YOU!!!

When I stopped... OH THE PAIN! It took a good 45 minutes before I was anywhere near normal again.

At the finish Mark was waiting on me. Thanks, bud. Also, my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and nephew were there to congratulate me. My parents brought my daughters there to congratulate me, too. And, last but not least, a good friend who has been incredibly supportive of me in this, Kevan Moore, showed up just to congratulate me. Dude, thanks! You've been just about as excited as I have about this. Sometime next week, I want to eat a cheeseburger at Five Guys with you! I definitely thought more than once that these people drove all the way from Limestone County to see me finish! Thanks for your support!

And unofficial splits for those who care.... 3:33:21 gun time (which is when I started my watch) and 3:33:02 chip time.
  1. 8:51
  2. 8:26
  3. 8:23
  4. 8:11
  5. 7:57
  6. 8:10
  7. 8:00
  8. 8:03
  9. 7:59
  10. 8:01
  11. 8:03
  12. 7:57
  13. 8:02
  14. 7:54
  15. 7:54
  16. 8:02
  17. 7:55
  18. 7:40 (my first in the 7:40's, a little late)
  19. 7:44 (my last in the 7:40's, a little early)
  20. 7:53
  21. 8:12
  22. 7:55
  23. 8:18 (starting to hurt)
  24. 8:04 (hurting)
  25. 8:15 (really hurting really bad)
  26. 8:13 (can't adequately describe the pain)

Quick Race Summary

WHAT A BLAST!!!!! Today was so much fun! I guess that means I'm officially crazy to think that running for 3.5 hours solid is fun. 3:33:21. I was hoping for sub-3:30, but I'm still VERY pleased with the time.

Again, I must say, the distance MUST be respected!!! It is FAR! There's no way to describe the pain I was feeling at about mile 24 or 25. And it hurt a lot worse after crossing the finish line!

BIG thanks to Leigh for being my mobile aid station. I didn't have to stop at an aid station because she was showing up along the course to swap water bottles for me. Thanks and I love you!

I saw a lot of Athens folks at the race. I'm sure Tanjie will summarize the Limestone county finishers on her blog soon after the results are posted. I really appreciate that service.

I will give more details in a later post... gotta go celebrate, then I'll finish the update.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oh yeah...

I blabbed so much in my earlier post about thanks and goals that I forgot to mention my training. I missed yesterday's workout because of a whacked out road schedule. Deadlines here, presentations there, phone calls somewhere else, and then it's too late to do anything except sleep. I read that there's nothing that you can do in the week of the marathon to make you more ready, so I didn't sweat it.

Today, I took a leisurely 2.5 mile lunchtime jog around downtown Seattle. It was hilly, cold, and wet (of course it was wet, it was in Seattle), but it felt great. I really wanted to go farther, but I knew better. I love Seattle; it's one of my favorite cities. I finished the run at Pike Place with a mocha from the first Starbucks ever (along with the University of Nebraska women's volleyball team, tall girls!). Then I walked over to a recommended lunch-only local sushi joint. Yum.

I'm excited.

Getting Closer

Thanks to everyone for all the encouragement! I've gotten blog comments, phone calls, emails, Facebook messages, IM's, and SMS text messages with words of encouragement for Saturday. I've even gotten a couple of in-person (Do we still know how to talk face to face these days?) comments. THANK YOU!!!

I'm excited! My legs feel great. The encouragement has boosted my confidence. The only real negative now is that I've probably overdone the "fueling" this week and will have an extra pound or two to carry, but oh well.

Here's my plan...
  1. 9:00
  2. 9:00
  3. 8:30
  4. 8:15
  5. 8:15 (43:00 for 5 mile split)
  6. 8:00
  7. 8:00
  8. 8:00
  9. 8:00
  10. 8:00
  11. 8:00
  12. 7:50
  13. 7:50 (Hope to be around 1:47+ for the half split)
  14. 7:50
  15. 7:50
  16. 7:50 (I've been crashing at 15 on my long runs that start too fast. Hoping to make it through that barrier Saturday with the slow start)
  17. 7:50
  18. 7:50
  19. 7:40 (I hope I feel like speeding up!!!!)
  20. 7:40
  21. 7:40
  22. 7:40
  23. 7:40
  24. 7:40
  25. 7:40
  26. Whatever I can manage!!!!
That's my plan for a perfect day. It's ambitious, I know. That'll put me home in sub 3:30, and gives me some wiggle room on those last few miles to still hit 3:30. That's ideal and I won't be crushed if I miss that. But that's my plan. Plans may change based on how I feel. I may split them all above 8, and I guess I'll have to live with that.

I've been told that I'm crazy for thinking 3:30 is possible for a first marathon. I've been laughed at for mentioning 3:30 as a potential goal. I hope to prove that wrong, but I was told that by a far more experienced runner, so there's probably a lot of validity to it.

That's my first goal. 3:30 on a perfect day. My second goal is 4:00. My third goal is to avoid the DNF.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Easy, easy

Three easy miles is what the schedule called for today. My wife asked if I would run with her, so I was more than happy to. Today was another LDF for her, 2.5 miles. She made it!!! I'm very proud of her. She has toughed it out on some cold, miserable days, and through sickness and an ankle injury. She's really making progress! The 5k will be a breeze for her.

Thanks to all who encouraged me after my discouraged Sunday post. I'm ready. I believe y'all.

And another commercial before I go...

I got some new shoes back in early November, the Asics GT 2140. I loved my Asics GT 2130's. The GT 2140's are almost identical, but more comfortable at the top around the ankle. They're a very subtle upgrade. I loved the 2130's, but I really love the 2140's.

On cold days, you need some Mizuno breath thermo gloves. I was skeptical of the claims of these gloves, but they were the same price as other gloves, so I tried them. These are very nice gloves and they work as advertised. When I wipe sweat from my brow, my hands warm up.

Of course, you can get this gear at Fleet Feet. I love that store. They have great customer service, very friendly and knowledgeable employees (I look forward to chatting every time I go there), and they are GREAT at supporting the local running community.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Last hard workout

Today was a carbon copy of Thursday's workout with faster times. 2 miles tempo, 2:00 rest, 2 800m cruise with 1:30 rest between, 2 400m speed with 1:30 rest between. It was much colder and dryer today, though. Big thanks to Matt for joining me and for pushing me on the last 400 for a strong finish.
  1. 7:03
  2. 6:53
  1. 3:11
  2. 3:12 (both were too fast)
  1. 1:28
  2. 1:22

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Race Day Approaching...

I just wanted to share a few more random thoughts on an off day as Rocket City Marathon race day approaches. I only have one more scheduled off day before the race. That doesn't mean that I'll only take one more day off. I have to travel some this week and my schedule will get whacked out just a bit on the road. Traveling this week is a bummer, adding some to my anxiety.

Friday night I made the mistake of driving the course. I don't think I should have done that. It took over an hour to drive it, and the distance really sank in. I'm completely intimidated now! It really hit me when we crossed Airport road on the way back and I realized that was around 23 miles and we still had to go all the way back downtown. Whew.

I'm afraid I won't sleep this week, especially Friday night. I have no idea what pace I should run. I want a respectable time, but I don't want to bonk. My tapering workouts have seemed harder than I think they should.

Several have told me that they read my blog and think I'm ready. I guess I just have to trust them! I'm nervous already, and it's a week away.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Taking It Easy

I'm taking it easy for the next week. After reading this article in Running Times I don't want to use the word "taper". I'm peaking, not tapering. I guess tapering by another name is still tapering. Anyway...

I took yesterday off and I shouldn't have. I was scheduled for 5 miles and I just didn't do it. I have no excuse except that I was late to bed Thursday night. I slept plum till 6:30 Friday morning and got too busy with work to fit it in any other time during the day. I'll accept scolding for my slacking. I deserve it.

Today, I was scheduled for a 65-75 minute run. I got up at the way too early (for a Saturday) time of 5:45. Then I met Matt and we ran the Duck and Run course and headed east on Washington to Athens High. We did 10 miles at a shade over an 8:00 pace, and I again worked on finishing strong.
  1. 8:20
  2. 8:12
  3. 7:56
  4. 8:08
  5. 8:18
  6. 8:09
  7. 8:13
  8. 8:09
  9. 7:41
  10. 7:10

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Great News!

First, thanks to all who have asked. I've gotten emails and messages and been asked in person about the ankle. Thanks for all your concern and encouragement along the way! We're almost there!!! The ankle is much better! It is still swollen, bruised, and tender to touch. Moving side to side is not pleasant, but running forward is pain free! So I ran this morning, and ran pretty hard.

My goal was 2 miles @ 7:03, 2 x 800 @ 3:21, 2 x 400 @ 1:31. I met Matt on my way over to Lake Athens High... er... I mean the Athens High 1.5 mile track. It was wet and soupy. We were hurdling and dodging puddles a lot! Also, it was much warmer than I expected this morning. We took two minutes between the 2 miles and the first 800, and 1:30 between the others.
  1. 7:10 (just a tad over a mile 1.04, it wasn't as slow as we thought, Matt)
  2. 6:45
  1. 3:13
  2. 3:18
  1. 1:26
  2. 1:24
Nice, strong finish. I hope I'm ready! And I'm thankful that the ankle is better.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Not Very Smart

I LOVE to play racquetball. I've always had a knack for it. I picked it up very quickly. Even without focusing on it, I still play at a pretty high level (middle of the pack A player for those who know racquetball's divisions). That's not true of other athletic endeavors for me. I stink at tennis. I'm not a good golfer. I'm terrible at basketball. But racquetball has just come naturally for me.

Now, I'm more fit than ever (thanks to running), and that makes it even more fun because I'm able to track down so many would-be winners by my opponent. I'm able to smile and talk trash when my opponent needs extra seconds between points to rest. So, when I was invited to play racquetball after work yesterday, I just couldn't resist. It's just so much fun!!

Well, the one thing that I didn't want to happen, happened. Yep. I rolled my ankle. I was aggressively tracking down a ball, jumped to get a good angle on it, and landed on the side of my foot and fell to the floor. I felt a huge empty spot in my stomach. I could just imagine myself trying to beat 6 hours in the marathon on crutches! The good news is that the shot was a winner. :) The better news is I was able to finish the game and play two more games, so there will be no crutches. But as soon as it cooled down, it hurt.

Ugh. It's swollen, sore, and bruised. I'm resting and icing. I was able to go 2 of my scheduled 4 miles this morning. The pain is bearable, but I'm going to rest and ice and hope for the best. I'm going to give running another try on Friday to see how it goes. Leigh (my wife) and Mark are not happy with me right now. Sorry. It was dumb, I know. No more risky behavior before the marathon.

Oh yeah, the boring stuff. Today's exercise... 2 road miles 8:00, 7:35 + weights.
  • 10,10,9,6,3 chin ups
  • 3 x 10 bent dumbbell rows with 55 lb. dumbbell
  • 3 x 10 upright rows with 85 lb. barbell
  • 3 x 30 back hyperextensions
  • 3 x 10 weighted oblique twists
  • 3 x 15 side bends with 55 lb. dumbbell

Monday, December 1, 2008

Speed Work

It was cold, dark, rainy, snowy, sleety, and windy this morning. Gutting it out this morning is something I'll definitely call to memory sometime during the race. Running west was particularly miserable with the wind pelting the sleet right into my face. I had to "reachdown" both to start and to finish this AM.

Today called for 4 x 400 @ 1:31, 2 x 800 @ 3:21, 4 x 400 @ 1:31. I took 1:30 rest in between. I have been taking 2:00. That 0:30 REALLY makes a difference!

  1. 1:25
  2. 1:31
  3. 1:20
  4. 1:31
  1. 3:15
  2. 3:20
  1. 1:26
  2. 1:31
  3. 1:34
  4. 1:23
I was fading fast at the end. I really had to gut that last one out. I had a goal of finishing strong because I want to finish all my remaining workouts strong so that hopefully I can train my body to finish the race strong. I thought I was going to puke on the last one, but I did "reachdown" and finish it strong. I've heard that you should finish speed work feeling like you could do more. I didn't feel like I could have done more today!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Random Thoughts on an Off Day

Today is a scheduled off day. So, I thought I'd ramble a bit today.

Some have asked why I do this and what on earth do I write about. Well, my first post explains my reason for blogging. I was always the fat kid in elementary and Jr. high. Then, I've been fat since starting "desk jobs." I'm just hoping to show that an overweight kid or adult can stop being overweight and run a marathon. By the way, here's how.

I don't get to have a running partner every day, but I know that I have some daily readers (believe it or not!). So, if I slack off, I have to answer to all 3 of my readers (4 including my wife). So, just writing the boring details of my training helps me and keeps me somewhat accountable.

Also, it has helped others. I've had a few people tell me that they've been inspired by reading this and seeing my progress. That's what I was hoping for. I know a few people who have never run a race and are planning to do a 5k this year. Some most likely wouldn't have if not for this blog! Several are targeting the Rudolph Run 5k on Dec. 20 which benefits the Blount Hospitality House (a GREAT cause). I won't be running it because it's just one week after the Rocket City Marathon, but I will be there cheering them on!

And just one more reason for this.... I never want these pants to fit again.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

One more thing...

You may notice that my first sub 7:40 mile was mile 3 today. Maybe you didn't notice that. Anyway, I was running north on Beaty St., finishing up the Duck and Run course before I headed off to the track. I saw a group of people out walking their dogs and visiting. I'm glad the Cocker Spaniel was on a leash! The dog put a little pep in my step to get me sub 7:40. :)

I tried to recognize them, but they were bundled up pretty good for today's murky weather, and I was pretty focused on beating a 7:40 average pace today.

As I ran by, one of them lifted her arms and cheered me on, "Go! Go!" and said, "That's the guy who's training for a marathon!" Thanks for the encouragement! I wish I had been able to recognize you and be more cordial back. Anyway, accept this post as my greetings!

13 miler

Today's long run was scheduled to be a 13 miler. I was really disappointed in the run (1:39:44) until I looked at the splits and saw the strong finish. It was my first long run with my new Garmin 305. Wow! How do people train without these? Yeah, I really like it.
  1. 8:03
  2. 7:52
  3. 7:39
  4. 7:37
  5. 7:41
  6. 7:37
  7. 7:54
  8. 7:48
  9. 7:47
  10. 7:31
  11. 7:58 (Really not indicative of the effort required. Uphill, through a gate, and I had to wait on traffic. This felt MUCH more like a 7:30 mile than an 8:00 mile)
  12. 7:10
  13. 7:01 (Yeah, baby!)
I must remember on race day to start slower than 8:00. I have to remember that, so I can finish strong.

Then, I played 5 games of racquetball, just to be sure I had enough exercise. :) Actually, it's because I really miss racquetball.

My weight was 163 this AM. I'm not focused on weight loss over the next two weeks, but if I toe the starting line nearer to 160, I think that will be a big advantage late in the race.

Friday, November 28, 2008

After Thanksgiving.

I really need to work off yesterday's casseroles and pie. I did feast. My approach to this time of year seems healthy and sustainable. I view it as a holiday. Enjoy the day, the family, and the food. (And boy did I enjoy it!) Don't worry about it. Let it be a day, not a month. Let it be a lapse, not a collapse. Then, go right back to a healthy lifestyle. That approach has worked for 2 years now. I don't think yesterday will undo all of my training.

Yesterday was a scheduled off day. Today, I did an EASY 7 miles. VERY EASY, between 8:40 and 9:00 pace. I just wanted to run. I really want to get after tomorrow's long run (13 miles) and finish it STRONG.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hills Are Fun!

Today I planned for 10 miles with 6:00 total uphill time. The uphill time was one long run and 4 short runs up Thomas Drive. The actual total today was just over 9 miles.

I met Matt and we drove over to Hughes Road to run out to Old Madison Pike and back. Then we went across Hughes to Thomas Drive. We ran those 5 miles at about an 8:00 pace. I forgot my watch, so I'm guessing the pace. But it was 5 miles in roughly 40 minutes. Luckily Matt's brain was working a little better than mine, so he had a stopwatch to time our hills. During those 5 miles, we sounded like babies. Waaaa!! I don't want to run today. Waaaa!! It's cold. Waaaa!! It hurts. Waaaa!! I didn't sleep enough last night. Waaa!! Waaaa!! Waaaaa!!

Then, we did the first hill sprint. Wow! It was amazing how both of our moods changed! It was just FUN!! Each of the 4 short ones were fun, too!

On the last hill, Matt decided to make it a race! He's much faster than me on short flat distances, but on the hills, I can take him. At the beginning of the hill, it's a little flatter and he opened up a lead. As the grade increased, I caught and passed him. I thought I had overcome, but then I remembered that it flattens just a little near the top. I was giving it all I had, but so was he!! He took me by about a half step at the end. That was a RUSH!! Without his push, I probably would have turned in a 1:05 on that last hill and been satisfied. Instead, I broke 1:00 and was dissatisfied because he finished ahead of me!
  1. 1:56 (I think)
  2. 1:00 (almost...)
  3. 0:59 (WOOT!!! I finally broke the 1:00 barrier!)
  4. 1:03
  5. 0:57 (thanks for the push, Matt!!)
Then, since I'm taking a vacation day today, I went to the gym and did a chest+abs workout.
  • 3 x 12 dumbbell presses with 55 lb. dumbbells
  • 3 x 12 military presses with 30 lb. dumbbells
  • 3 x 10 unassisted dips
  • 3 x 20 leg raises (I'm glad these are getting easier. 2 x 20 used to be impossible)
  • 3 x 15 decline sit ups

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Easy 4 + Easy Weights

I did the dreadmill today because I wanted to do weights, too. It was just easier and more time efficient to hit the dreadmill. Did the first mile in 9, second in 8:34, third in 6:40 and fourth in 6:30, then walked 0.25. How do my legs feel better after running than they did before? Well, they do.
  • Unassisted chin-ups, 14, 8, 6. I was really pleased with the first set and disappointed with the others.
  • 3 x 10 upright rows with 75lb. barbell
  • 3 x 30 back extensions with 25lb plate.
  • 3 x 10 oblique twists
I'm looking forward to hills tomorrow and turkey Thursday. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008


Today's schedule called for hills. I didn't really want to drive to Madison and fight traffic in the rain, so I opted for speedwork instead. I'll do hills Wednesday, with better weather and less traffic. I was supposed to do 4 x 1 mile @ 6:42 and 2 x 800m @ 3:10.

I didn't come close. 3 miles with 2 minutes between each, 6:38, 6:40, 6:39.

I needed a partner this morning. I snoozed twice, and then spent 15 minutes doing nothing except trying to decide if I were actually going to run or not. If I had a partner, then I would neither have snoozed nor had the do or don't discussion with myself. And a partner hopefully would NOT have allowed me to quit after only 3 miles. Counting warmup and cooldown, today's mileage was about 7.25. I'll accept that as better than nothing. It's still slacking, though.

The lesson learned today... Running is a daily thing. Some days you feel better than others. Saturday's run didn't exempt me from today's run. Every day. Even if it's a rest or x-train day, every day stands alone.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

22 miles!!

It's a long post today, but if you've been following the blog, it's worth reading. Besides, it's a post about a long run, so it can be long!

I finished 22 miles today. Actually, the total distance was a smidge over 23. Woot!!!!! It felt GREAT!!! I mean, the whole time it just felt awesome! Sure, I got tired, but when I finished I felt like I could have run 10 more miles! I hope today's run gives me the confidence I need in 3 weeks.

BIG congrats to my wife today. We both are celebrating a longest distance finished (LDF) today. She wanted to try for a two miler today. She nailed it, and even sprinted at the end! I ran that with her, and, of course, counted that toward my 22. I'm so proud of her!!!

After the 2.5 (.25 warmup and cooldown with her), I started my 20 more miles. After about 1 mile, I saw Phillip Stewart, and joined him for about a mile and a half. He was winding down a 20 miler at about a 9:00 pace. On long runs, it's always good to have a companion! Then, at about the 7 mile mark, I saw Matt playing with his kids near the creek on the trail towards Hwy. 72, and they cheered me on like it was race day! Then, with about 3 miles left to go, I saw Eddy Burks at the beginning of the trail toward Hwy. 72. I joined him and introduced myself and stayed with him for the entire out. I continued on towards Lowes, and threw what little bit of a hammer I had left for the last two miles to clock the last two miles in the 7:40's.

The GREAT news is... NO PAIN!!!! I hope I can keep the nagging injuries and aches away for the next 3 weeks. Now, I begin to reduce my mileage to hopefully peak on Dec. 13.

I'm so geeked for the ROCKET CITY MARATHON!
  1. 8:15
  2. 9:06
  3. 8:08
  4. 7:57
  5. 8:00
  6. 7:55
  7. 7:50
  8. 7:51
  9. 8:10
  10. 9:01
  11. 7:49
  12. 7:41
  13. 7:55
  14. 7:49
  15. 8:01
  16. 7:58
  17. 8:39
  18. 9:13
  19. 7:41
  20. 7:46
All of the 9+'s were either water bottle refills or running with someone else at their pace. Given how good I felt, perhaps there's a lesson to learn about pacing early on.

When I turned the corner to get to my house, my lovely twin daughters were waiting on me... One had a cup of peanuts, and the other had a cup of gatorade! They were congratulating me on finishing my long run! That made the run all the better!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Weights / Rest / Lots of eating

Today was scheduled rest day before tomorrow's attempt at 22 miles. I did go to the gym and lift some weights.
  • 3 x 12 bench presses with 55 lb. dumbbells
  • 3 x 12 military press with 30 lb. dumbbells
  • 3 x 10 unassisted dips
  • 3 x 20 leg raises on the situp bench
  • 3 x 40 Swiss ball crunches
  • 2 x 10 decline situps
  • 2 x 12 weighted crunches
I thrashed my abs this morning. I can tell that they'll be sore tomorrow.

I was 164 lbs. after breakfast this morning, so I ate like a pig today. I had Thanksgiving lunch at work, then a nice dinner with my wife this evening. I'll probably be all the way back up to 238 lbs. tomorrow! Maybe the 20 - 22 miles will burn some of it off!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mile repeats

The schedule for today called for 4 x 1 mile at 6:42 and 2 x 800m @ 3:10. I did a easy jog over to the Athens High 1.5 mile track at lunchtime. The route I took got me there in about 2.25 miles. I took the same route home, but had to take a quick detour and it was probably about 2.4 miles back home. Today was about 9.7 miles total.

I felt a little better than I expected and was hitting the miles too fast. So, after the first 2 miles with 2 minutes of rest between, I did the last 2 miles with no rest between them. Finishing the second mile in that 2 miler was tough, but I got close to my target pace. I probably should have done 2 x 2 miles today.
  1. 6:28
  2. 6:30
  3. 6:35
  4. 6:43
  1. 3:13 (I thought I was going to die!)
  2. 3:09 (Easier than the first 800, but still hard!)
This was a much better effort than yesterday. I was a little concerned about doing hard workouts on back to back days. Since I didn't really give yesterday a good effort (just forcing myself to DO any workout yesterday was a BIG win), I opted to go ahead and do this workout today. I'll take tomorrow off and aim for 22 miles Saturday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I really wanted to run yesterday, but I just didn't have time. I left my house at 5:20 AM to catch an airplane. Then, I worked all day (even on the plane), had a business dinner, and finally got to my hotel at 9:30 or so, with an unfinished slide deck that I had to present this morning. Whew! I thought about waking up at 3:30 AM to run before leaving, but I'm just not that dedicated yet. And, a sleepless child kept me up until past midnight, so running 10 miles at 3:30 AM was just too much to ask of my body. Wimpy, I know.

I finished the slide deck at around 11:00 PM and had to meet my colleague at 7:00 AM this morning. I knew that 5:00 AM would come early, but I was NOT going to miss the opportunity to run at this altitude.

So 5:00 AM came, and I threw on the shoes and braved the dark. The temp was about 45, but it sure felt colder. With a breeze from the north, it felt REALLY cold. And I didn't have cold weather gear. My arms and hands literally hurt. Today's run was simply miserable.

Today was one of those days that was much more about discipline and finishing than it was about quality. Pace was simply not a concern I had. I'm several hours behind on my sleep over the past couple of weeks, and I feel it. I didn't want to get up. I didn't want to stay out in the cold. I didn't want to run 10 miles. I couldn't see where I was going. (I did meet 3 other runners along the way with head lamps. I thought about following one of them so I could see ahead of me, but didn't because I thought that might creep them out.)

Anyway, my last two miles were the strongest, and that's good. Just a shade over 8:00 pace. It really is harder to breathe at this altitude!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Off / weights

One quick thing to begin... I can't leave my buddy Matt hanging. When I invited him to run Saturday, he turned me down because he had already run 20 miles. So, I'm gonna let him off the hook for that!

No running today, but I did do some light weight lifting. A guy at the gym was particularly talkative today so I wasn't able to focus on my workout like I wanted to.
  • About 10 minutes of racquetball drills to warmup
  • 3 x 10 chin-ups, actually 12, 10, 10. Pleasantly surprised.
  • 3 x 30 back extensions with 25 lb. plate.
  • 3 x 10 bent dumbbell rows with 55 lbs.
  • 3 x 15 side bends with 55 lb. dumbbell

Sunday, November 16, 2008

18 miler

Long runs have a way of humiliating me. I need it, for sure. I planned to do 22 miles today. When I got started, I knew I wouldn't finish. I started too late. I simply didn't have the 3 hours available that I knew it would take. It wasn't a terrible run. I accomplished a lot in the 18 miles, but I missed my goal. Next week, I'll try to get 22 in.

I'd be lying if I said my knee didn't hurt at all, but it sure does feel better than it has in a long time after a long run. I think I can get to the start line from here.

I ate lunch, and then started my run less than 30 minutes later. Big mistake. My stomach was not right for the whole run, and still isn't. To make it worse, I started too fast. I was struggling a little at 6 miles, so I knew this run had disaster written all over it. 4 miles short of the goal is pretty much disaster.

But hey, the weather was FANTASTIC!

  1. 7:27
  2. 7:25
  3. 7:31
  4. 7:36
  5. 7:33
  6. 9:10 (Walked some to refuel)
  7. 8:30 (Water bottle refill)
  8. 7:23
  9. 7:36
  10. 7:45
  11. 7:38
  12. 7:46
  13. 9:06 (Walked to refuel)
  14. 8:20 (Water bottle refill)
  15. 8:04 (out of excuses now, just running out of gas)
  16. 8:05
  17. 8:14
  18. 9:11
I could have gotten two more miles in. 4 more, I'm not sure about. But I was out of time.

Hopefully next time I can start a little slower and hit 7:40-ish on the last miles.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why do I run?

I had more than one friend tell me that visible bruising is not something to just run through, so it's been a week since I ran. I missed it! I was planning to do a long run today, but I decided to go easy today and take advantage of tomorrow's glorious forecast to do an afternoon long run.

It's been a tough week with stress, sick kids, travel, concern for others well-being, lack of sleep, etc. I've just been totally overloaded. Well, last night, I had a long Bible study which set my mind at ease. Then I got some very good sleep.

Then, today I ran. No iPod, no buddy (though I did invite Matt, but he couldn't make it), no nothing. Just me. It was completely therapeutic! I'm sure I smiled the whole time!!! The previous week just melted away. As I hit mile 5, I noticed how easy the miles were for my body. I noticed how great it felt just to be out there. I never before thought 7 miles could feel so good!

I think I finally have some insight into why I run now. When I finish hard workouts, I'm rewarded with the accomplishment of overcoming that voice telling me to slow down and stop. When I don't finish hard workouts, I love the challenge to do better next time. When I race I enjoy the camaraderie of other runners and the challenge of beating my goal time. When I do easy workouts, I'm rewarded with the joy that running CAN be easy. There was a time (not very long ago!) when there was no such thing as an easy run! I am renewed. I am refreshed.

That's why I run.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Well, I finally got in a workout today. It was my first one of the week. I needed the time off from running because of my knee. But I shouldn't have been lazy and ditched exercise altogether. It's been a busy and absolutely crazy week, but I still should have worked it in somewhere. At least I've kept my diet under control so the damage may not be too bad. Anyway...

3 sets of 15 50 lb. dumbbell presses
3 sets of 15 leg presses. Not sure how mush weight was on the machine.
3 sets of lunges with 35 lb. dumbbells
3 sets of 15 military presses
40 minutes on the exercise bike w/ avg. HR of 132. (a bit lazy, I know)

Looking forward to running again... Once, it took much discipline to make myself run. It takes as much discipline now NOT to run.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Time Off

I really don't want to do this. Really, I don't. But I have to take a few days off. I thought I was over the bruised knee last week. The training went so well with minimal pain. The long run + race went right according to plan. The goal was 20 miles with a 1:40 half and I turned in 20+ miles with a 1:40:23. Just about spot on. The tempo workout last week was better than perfect.

Often times I've said to myself or to my running partner (Mark heard this at least 50 times Saturday), "You just have to run through that." Well, that bruised left knee just won't go away. It's been a month now, and it's been nagging me. Visible bruising is probably not something I should just run through. So, I'm giving it this week to heal up. I'll probably post info about my other boring workouts and maybe some random thoughts this week. But no running at least until Saturday's long run, a 22 miler.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Yes, You Can

My wife brought my attention to a nice article today about a good friend of mine and how he has overcome adversity. I wanted to share it with my readers because it is both inspirational and running related. I'm super happy for David's accomplishments! I'm glad I know David.

Winning over MS

Saturday, November 8, 2008

HTC Half Results

So, my estimated time was quite optimistic! Instead of 1:40:12, I was 1:40:23. The optimistic number was probably the last time I saw. Really, I was so exhausted and spent, that I wasn't very aware of what was going on around me.

78 of 563 overall and 9 of 50 in my age group. Not bad for a rookie runner. Just back in February, I was barely able to run 3 miles! YOU can do it, too.

Anyway, as always, Tanjie's blog links the results with an emphasis on Limestone County finishers. I really appreciate her work in this. Hmmm.... Had I known that the title of top Limestone County finisher were at stake, I may have tried harder to overtake Glen! Really, I don't think I could have. Glen was just running strong today! Congrats on being the top Limestone County finisher.

And a huge congrats to Whitney Hollingsworth for winning her age group! Non-runners do not know how HUGE an accomplishment that is, especially in a race that large! Whitney is just such a solid runner, consistently at the top.

Overall results and age groups are at HTC's website.

Huntsville Half Marathon Recap

I met my friend Mark at the start of the HTC Huntsville Half Marathon at about 6:45 this AM. The training schedule called for 20 miles, so Mark and I ran 6 miles together before the race start at about an 8:10 pace. We finished just about 10 minutes before the race start. The goal that I had set for this race was 1:40. I crossed the line at about 1:40:12. I'll link to the official results when they're available.

What a great turnout for today's race! There were over 1000 entries for the half and the 5k combined. I didn't get to visit as much as I normally do before and after the race. Before, I was busy getting in my 6. After, I was completely toast! I tried visiting, but I just couldn't make myself be friendly. I could only think about how bad I hurt!! I've never felt as bad after any run or race as I did today at the end of the race.

I didn't set the Garmin up to auto-lap, so I don't have mile splits. But I held around 7:25 to 7:35 for the first 10 and about 7:55-8:05 for the last 2.5, and all I had for the last 0.6. Mark was my pacer, and I had told him that he should leave me behind if he has something left. For the last 5k or so, he took off. One day I'll catch him if he slows down. Nice run today, buddy. I enjoyed the 17 mile visit.

During the first mile, Glen King and Whitney Hollingsworth passed me. For the rest of the race, all I saw was Glen's back. He was REALLY running strong today. Nice race, Glen! Congrats on shattering your PR by 4 minutes. I was able to pass Whitney somewhere past mile 11, but Glen was barely in sight then. I entertained the thought of trying to catch him, but my legs talked me out of it.

I'm relatively pleased with the finish. I was fading in the last 5k, but I was not getting passed. Only one runner passed me (well two others did as I stopped at the last aid station, but I easily tracked them back down) in the last 3.1, and I passed 5 or 6, maybe more.

That last quarter to half mile, I really gave it all I had, which was a mistake. There was nobody really in sight to try to pass, and I saw the clock pass 1:40, which disappointed me a little. I was in some pretty serious pain when I crossed the line.

Then, Mark and Glen joined me for a one mile jog so that I could get in my 20 for the day.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Off Day and Half Preview

Today was a day off from running and I slept through the alarm that was supposed to get me up to go to the gym. And tomorrow, I can't run or go to the gym because of other obligations. So, I'll take a couple of days of rest to get ready for Saturday's race, the Huntsville Half Marathon.

My schedule calls for a 20 mile long run Saturday. This half is in a tricky spot for me. It's too long to make the race a tempo workout, and it's too short go at long run pace. So, as weird as this seems to me, I'm not really that concerned about my time in this race because I'll need to find 7 more miles after I finish the race. I'll just leave some low hanging fruit for a PR in my next half.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I've attempted something similar to today's workout 5 times, but I've only completed it once before today. The goal is 3 miles @ 7:30 pace, 6 x 800m @ 3:21 each, 3 miles @ 7:03 pace. Man, that workout is HARD!! But the triumph of finishing it is pretty sweet!

It was a little chillier than I expected this morning! I met Matt on my jog over to the Athens High 1.5 mile track where we did the required 6 laps before jogging back home. Well, I didn't jog all the way home. I had my wife pick me up at Matt's house because I was completely toasted. 3/4 mile more was just too much to ask.

I don't have the exact splits for the first 3 miles, but they were right at 7:30. The Garmin had them at 7:10, 7:16, and 6:53. But it beeped and auto-lapped before I hit a good known mile marker on the track. It was just a few seconds optimistic this morning. Those splits were more like 7:25, 7:30, 7:15 or so. Estimating.

The 0.5 miles were... 3:12, 3:17, 3:20, 3:19, 3:17, 3:15. After the 4th one, Matt pointed out that we carried on a conversation for most of that 0.5 mile. Hmmm. We must be getting fitter! A conversation at a 6:40 pace? That was impossible not very long ago.

Now, this next part is the hardest part of the workout! I've always struggled to finish it. Running 3 miles at 7:00 pace isn't that bad. Running 3 miles at 7:00 pace is very difficult after running 6 pretty hard miles before it. I'm VERY pleased with these splits!
  1. 7:01
  2. 6:53
  3. 6:55
As I was running that last mile one from a group of men more senior than I asked if I were on my 10th lap! I just grunted, "Almost!" A grunt was about all I could manage at this point!! I see those men most mornings that I go to the track. It's good to see so many people getting out and exercising even when the weather isn't the most comfortable.

BIG props to Matt for finishing this workout on his first attempt. He was about a quarter mile behind me at the very end, but what he accomplished today is VERY impressive! This was my fifth attempt at this or a similar workout. I'm only 2 for 5 on finishing it. So, way to go, dude.

Today's total, counting warmup and cool down was just a shade over 12 miles.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hill Repeats

The plan for today was on again off again because of some personal things going on. But I was able to get the workout in, and it was a great one!

The schedule called for 10-12 miles with 10 minutes of total uphill time. Because of time, I had to opt for the lower end and only 9:00 TUT. Hopefully next week I can get 12 miles in. I drove over to Hughes Road in Madison and ran up and down the path that runs along Hughes Road for about 5 miles. Then I went to Thomas Drive and did 3 long hills (0.28 miles) and 3 short, steep hills (0.16 miles).

  1. 8:02
  2. 7:43
  3. 7:27
  4. 9:44 (Explanation to follow..)
  5. 7:53
During the 4th mile, I had to take a tech support call from my wife. It lasted a few seconds into the 5th mile, also. I tried not to slow down, but I had to stop and walk to be of any help to her at all! She needed to know how to set the interval timer on my stopwatch. :) She got her workout in this morning too! One day soon, I'll post about some people who have recently started running. And some even credit my blog for getting them started!

Times for the long hills...
  1. 1:56
  2. 2:05
  3. 2:03
Times for the short hills...
  1. 1:06
  2. 1:05
  3. 1:01 (Man, I REALLY want to break 1:00 on this hill, but I haven't ever. I really thought I had done it as I was chugging up that hill for the 3rd time. I WILL!!)
The I ran a couple of cool down miles at 7:43 and 7:55. Counting the 5 miles, uphill and downhill, it all came out to right at 10 miles.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Easy Long Run

This is a recovery week, so this weekend's long run was only 10 miles. And I took them fairly easy. I met Matt at 6:00 AM to start. He already had 4 miles in before he met me and did another 1 after I quit. Nice job, buddy!

The coolest thing about marathon training is that I can say (and really mean) "only 10 miles"! This was my first run with a Garmin Forerunner (borrowed, not stolen or bought, thanks Angie!!). It took a little getting used to, but I really like this device! I only got splits for the last 8 miles because I didn't know to press the start button. Anyway, here they are...
  1. 8:02
  2. 8:08
  3. 8:04
  4. 7:56
  5. 8:06
  6. 8:03
  7. 7:57
  8. 7:44
I really like that the last two were the strongest. That 7th is an uphill mile with a fence.

Oh yeah, I played 6 games of racquetball after the 10 miler.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Easy + Weights

The schedule called for a 10k race. I did 6-ish easy miles instead. It wasn't quite as cold today, but still chilly. Then, it was off to the gym to do some weights before work. I'm trying to do better with the weight training. I should do no less than 2 days per week.
  • 5.8 miles in 45:28, about 7:50 pace
  • 10, 8, 8 unassisted chin-ups
  • 3 x 15 bent rows, 100 lb. barbell
  • 3 x 15 upright rows, 65 lb. barbell
  • 3 x 25 back hyperextensions
  • 3 x 15 side bends (for obliques)
  • 3 x 15 oblique twists
And of course, some walking around the neighborhood with the kids Trick or Treating! Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tempo Run

At the dark, early, cold hour of 6 AM I met my good friend Matt for a tempo run today. We jogged to the 1.5 mile Athens High track and did 5 miles. Our goal was 5 miles in under 37 minutes. We flat out smashed that goal with a 35:56. What a great run!!! He says that I was pulling him. I say he was pushing me.
  1. 7:21
  2. 7:26
  3. 6:56
  4. 7:09
  5. 7:02
By the time I jogged back home, I had put in about 9.2 miles for the day!! And it felt like just a couple. Running with a friend makes the miles easier!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Today was just an ordinary day off from running. I did weights this morning at the gym. I mixed it up a little bit and did barbells instead of dumbbells today. That's probably not good because of my lack of symmetry, but I just felt the need to mix it up a bit. It also helps me to realize how weak my upper body is! I need to work on that sometime, probably after the marathon.
  • 3 x 15 bench press with 115 lbs.
  • 3 x 15 military press with 75 lbs.
  • 10, 8, 8 unassisted dips
  • 2 x 20 leg raises
  • 3 x 50 Swiss ball crunches
  • 3 x 25 weighted crunches

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Half Tempo

Today's (yesterday's, actually) schedule called for 2 x 4 mile @ 7:03 (tempo). I really wanted to get this one in. It was COLD! And dark! I started at about 5:50 or so and jogged over to the Athens High track. Then I took off my jacket (mistake!) and started my 4 miles at tempo.

The leg felt ok, but just ok. My left knee hurt, but I ignored it and refused to adjust my stride or gait to ease the pain. Then, the knee either quit hurting or went numb. I could still feel a little tightness in my left hamstring. I just pushed through it, wanting to do this VERY challenging workout. About 100 yards or so from the end of the 4 miles, my left hamstring tightened up with the familiar pain that I've felt there before. UGH! I was so close to 4 miles that I hobbled through, walk/limp/jog/hopping. I'm sure it was funny to watch. But I knew that I was nailing the pace. I wasn't going to stop! After the 4 miles, I walked home. Jogging was too painful.
  1. 7:15
  2. 6:59
  3. 7:08
  4. 7:02 (with the walk/limp/jog finish!)
That fourth mile was HARD!! I really wanted to try for another 4, but my leg just would not. Sigh. Weights and rest are planned for tomorrow and another tempo attempt is planned for Thursday (if the leg is ok). Even though speed is on the schedule, I'm trying tempo again.

This is a recovery week, so I won't feel too bad about missing some miles this week. I'm going to try to get well because I'm about to hit peak mileage for the training program. I need to be healthy for it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Unfinished Workout

Today's schedule called for 2 x 4 miles @ tempo (7:03) pace.

I jogged over to the Athens High track as my warmup. It was pretty cold this morning, so I added 5 minutes to my warm up time and wore a jacket. I was feeling pretty warm after about 20 minutes and did some quick stretching. (Really, it was procrastinating because I knew how difficult the workout was going to be!)

Regular readers may remember a ding to my left knee that I got playing tennis. Again, I dove; I didn't fall. That's my story. Well, that just hasn't healed up yet. And the pain has affected my stride. I looked pretty ridiculous trying to run this morning. It was hurting pretty much through the whole warm up. It was cold, and I was favoring that left side. I almost wish I had a video so I could laugh, too.

When I started running near tempo pace, my hamstring tightened up just a bit. That's probably related to my stride being messed up because my knee hurts. So, I slowed down after a whopping 0.5 mile tempo run and Gallowalked the rest of the way around the track and back home. The total was about 5 miles.

Tomorrow's workout is 4 miles easy, so I'm gonna say I did tomorrow's workout today and then try for tempo tomorrow if the leg is ok.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I'm trying to figure out what my goals should be. I've been told to pick 3 goals.
  1. A goal for the absolutely perfect race. Perfect conditions and some good luck thrown in
  2. A second goal that is more reasonable but difficult
  3. The third goal is one that I could live with, but anything worse is a disaster
I'm not going to tell (m)anyone what my ideal perfect lucky goal is. My second more reasonable goal is to finish. Period. Well, there's a 6 hour limit at the Rocket City Marathon, so 6 hours is my second goal. My third goal is to survive.

I was completely humbled on the 20 mile run! I tried to start slow. I really wanted no sub-8 miles early so that I could finish strong. I don't think the few early sub-8's made the difference. I was simply exhausted!

The good news is that I have 3 more runs >= 20 miles. Hopefully I learned something on this run and can do better on the next ones and be ready for race day.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

20 miles!?!

I met my good friend Matt this morning for a nice 20 miler. I have a completely new respect for the marathon distance now. It is simply amazing what happened to my mind and body during that last 5 miles. I was warned, but I did not believe it. Now that I've experienced it, I know it's real.

Oh the hubris at 12 miles! "I feel GREAT! This is going to be easier than I thought!" That was simply pride before the fall! I will say that it was in some ways easier than last week's 18 miler because I had a partner. It's amazing how much more pleasant running is with a partner.

I don't really have splits. The whole 20 miles took 2:53 for a rough average of 8:37 per mile. My iPod / Nike+ started acting up again. (I need a Garmin Forerunner 305.) Most of the first 13 or 14 were near 8. Some below (as low as 7:40, maybe) and some above (one as high as 8:50, but most others sub 8:15). The last few were nearer to 9:30. And that seemed almost impossible to maintain.

It hurt. I wanted to stop. I finished. Now, I'm off for an ice bath.

And a big shout out to Matt for hanging in there with me. That last mile from your house to mine was MISERABLE!!! I needed a partner to keep me going at the end!

Thanks to my good friend Kevan Moore for mowing my lawn today! When I got home, he was on his way to my house to mow my lawn. He wouldn't be talked out of it! He says 20 miles deserves it. He's been cheering me on and encouraging me the whole way. I appreciate it bud! After painting at the church building today, I don't think I could have also mowed the lawn.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I took today off for two reasons.
  1. The schedule called for it
  2. My hamstring problem from yesterday
My hamstring is MUCH better. I expect to do the long run this weekend. I'm even thinking about an easy run tomorrow. I'll see how the leg feels when I wake up.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Failed Tempo

Wow. Failed tempo is a recurring theme here. Last week it was the proverbial wall. Today, it was a recurrence of the hamstring problem I had back in week 2. Yet again, I was running too fast.

I was going to do 3 race pace miles and some cruise 800's before doing 3 miles at tempo pace. Somewhere during my second race pace mile, I saw my good friend Matt doing speed work. He was doing .25 mile repeats. I am tired of running alone, so I joined him. Man, he was NAILING those repeats and I was trying to keep up. We're talking 1:20-ish, some sub 1:20. I couldn't keep up for the first two, but then I was able to keep pace with him. On about the 6th one, my hammy just tightened up. I was planning to do 3 tempo miles after the repeats, but I had to stop.

I think I've learned enough to stop early. I didn't try to run much more after the pain started. I should be OK for this weekend's long run, 20 miles.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Easy 4

Today was scheduled for 4 miles. I did that on a treadmill in 31 minutes, which is probably too fast for an easy run. On treadmills, though, I catch myself speeding up so that it will be over sooner. I hate treadmills. Dreadmills. The iPod doesn't help. The TV doesn't help. I hate them. 4 miles is my treadmill limit, but I may need to see about lowering that. Did I mention that I hate treadmills? I would have run outside, but I wanted to weight train today, too.

After the dreadmill and stretches, I did some weights. My upper body is weakening with this whole marathon training thing. I must improve the frequency and intensity of my weight training.

  • 3 x 12 dumbbell presses, 55lbs.
  • 3 x 12 military dumbbell presses, 30lbs.
  • 3 x 8 dips (struggled to complete because I'm getting so weak)
  • 100 Swiss ball crunches (2 x 50)
  • 40 leg raises (2 x 20)
  • 30 weighted crunches (3 x 10)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Crusie / Speed

Today was scheduled for 2 x 1 mile @ 6:42, 4 x 800m @3:10, 2 x 1 mile @ 6:42, with 2-3 minutes between each interval.

  1. 6:49
  2. 6:35
  1. 3:03
  2. 3:14
  3. 3:19 (long quarter, I love that excuse)
  4. 3:05
  1. 6:41
  2. 6:38
All I can say is WOOT! I'm clearly pleased with that. But I was completely trashed at the end. I could barely walk! I kicked it in on the last quarter of that last mile because I did NOT want to be above 6:42 on my last mile. Today hurt pretty good. I mean really good.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

18 Miler!

18 miles has always seemed like an insane distance to me. Even though I finished today, it still seems insane!

I chose to sleep in a bit today, so I didn't hit the track until about 9:00 AM or so. It is AWESOME that the weather was fit to do that today. It was ugly, slow, and painful, but I was determined to finish. I'm still learning this fueling on the run thing, and I learned some today. At about the 12.3 mile mark, my iPod crashed, so some of my splits are way off. Here they are, but they are not really 1 mile splits.
  1. 7:54
  2. 8:09
  3. 7:49
  4. 7:38
  5. 7:50
  6. 8:16 (get used to the 8+)
  7. 8:14
  8. 8:07
  9. 8:27
  10. 8:10
  11. 8:14
  12. 8:35
  13. 12:36 (restroom break, water bottle refill, and ipod crash)
  14. 9:35 (About a 1.2 split, the out on the Swan Creek Greenway)
  15. 10:41 (about a 1.3? split, the back up to the nearest 1/4 marker on the track)
  16. 8:49 (pretty accurate)
  17. 10:23 (I'm totally guessing because I left the track)
  18. No idea, I was just glad to be home.
And before I started the 18 miler I jog-walked about 1.8 miles with my wife, so I'm somewhere near 20 miles total for today.

I'm going to try my best to stick to this schedule because Saturday is the only day that I have to completely blow on a long run. I was completely worthless for the rest of the day!

Liz Hurley Ribbon Run 5k

First, I have to hand out some congratulations for friends in today's Liz Hurley 5k. Then, I'll post about today's training. Be sure to check out Tanjie's blog for a complete list of Limestone finishers. I chose to sit this race out to continue my training and sleep in.

  • Congrats to Julie Carden for finishing her first race! Solid run! When's the next race, Julie?
  • Congrats to Jenny Persall and her son Michael (11) for finishing today's race!
  • Congrats toMike Greene for breaking the ever so difficult 19 minute barrier today!
  • Congrats to Scott Michael for solid PR today. I will have to pick races that Scott doesn't run in to get another age group win!
  • Whitney Hollingsworth continues to amaze me! She just consistently takes the women's masters! That was particularly impressive today with such a large field! Congrats Whitney!
Age group results
Women overall results
Men overall results

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Failed Tempo

I tried to do a tempo run today, but failed fairly miserably.

My goal was
  • 3 miles @ 7:25
  • 6 x 800m @ 3:21
  • 3 miles @ 7:03
Well, I got about halfway.
  1. 7:23
  2. 7:22
  3. 7:10
  1. 3:13
  2. 3:12
  3. 3:31 (and I was walking the last 50 feet because I was completely out of gas)
Then I called my wife to come to the track and pick me up and called Mark Freeman for some encouragement! I may try to knock out the last 4.5 miles this evening before bedtime. That's probably better than nothing. I know that it's not good to do a long run that way, but maybe I can get away with two shorter tempo workouts instead of one long one.

I'm pretty sure one problem this morning was nutrition, or lack thereof. I ate nothing before my workout, and I ate light yesterday. Eating nothing really worked for workouts of 6-8 miles or less. For workouts that break the 10 mile mark, I have to eat something before I start.

I'm gonna do an easy (maybe 9:00/mile pace) 45-60 minute run Saturday and a long run Sunday.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Scheduled (but undeserved) Day Off

I did not deserve today off, but any run today would have been almost impossible. A treadmill was my only option because I wasn't staying in the safest part of town (both traffic and unsavory characters). My schedule calls for a rest day between the long run and the first run of the following week. Tomorrow will be a hard cruise/speed or tempo workout. No matter what, I'll run tomorrow morning. The decision has been made.

Since I'm behind, I have two options moving forward.
  1. Cruise tomorrow, 4 easy miles Friday, tempo Saturday, rest Sunday, long run Monday (that means a 4 am start... ewww), off Tuesday, cruise/speed Wednesday, 4 easy miles Thursday, tempo Friday, off Saturday, and long run Sunday
  2. Skip tempo or cruise/speed this week and do my long run Saturday
Any more experienced readers have advice here? Would a skipped cruise or tempo workout be terribly detrimental? The risk with option 1 is that the schedule is so tight, there is no room for flexibility (travel). Also, the rest is limited with option 1, so there is risk that the quality won't be there for the workouts. Which is the worst to skip, tempo, cruise/speed, or rest/recovery?

At the risk of undeserved kudos, I'm pleased that it isn't worse than it is. I've been traveling 5 weeks in a row and I've managed to record some strong training runs on the road in unfamiliar places and on awkward schedules. I'm only up a couple of lbs, and that has been in the past week.

I'm really excited about the long runs coming up. I can't wait to record a 20 miler!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Attempted Long Run

So I decided that I would attempt a long run this morning. It was beyond ugly. If I ever wanted to know what my body is capable of after back to back nights of 4-ish hours of sleep, I found that limit today. Sunday, travel and work hindered my bed time. Last night, I just couldn't fall asleep and then didn't sleep well when I did doze off.

I really needed to hit the road no later than 4:00 AM this morning to have a chance at completing my 16 miler. But I just couldn't force myself up any earlier than 4:00 AM, so I didn't hit the road until 4:30. Then, I knew that I wouldn't finish the 16, but I sure didn't feel good enough to have a chance for a decent speed workout. So I slogged out 10 miles. I wanted to do at least 12. Man, I hit a wall at like 8. I was up 3 lbs. this morning from Friday. Ewww. Chubby! My knees felt every ounce of those lbs. I bruised my left knee playing tennis last week, (The truth is that I fell, but if anyone asks, I dove.) and it was terribly sore this morning, and still is. Nothing major, I expected it to hurt. Splits, ugly as they are, are below.
  1. 7:48
  2. 8:23
  3. 8:28
  4. 7:39
  5. 7:32
  6. 7:36
  7. 8:20
  8. 7:45
  9. 8:09
  10. 8:41
Today was one of those days that I ask myself the question that everyone else asks of me. "Why am I doing this?" That was painful, disappointing, and ugly. But the important thing is that I ran 10 miles farther than I would have run just a short year ago.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Awful Weekend (for training)

I had just a terrible training (otherwise great!) weekend. Mark, I need a good scolding!

I wanted to run the Monte Sano 15k last Saturday. Thanks, as always, to Tanjie for her timely posting of the age group results with an emphasis on the Limestone County finishers.
I had planned a trip to visit my sister in the foothills of the Smokies because of fall break, so I missed the race.

Well, this trip was about the kids, and the kids had a BLAST! I had fun, too, visiting with my family and watching the kids play and have fun with their cousins! It was a great trip! I had very limited cell phone, Internet, and TV, and that was just fine.

It was relaxed, but BUSY! I had some time to run Saturday, but I was still trashed from Friday's tempo workout, so I (wisely, I think) took Saturday off. Sunday, there was just no time to run. The return trip had me up late Sunday night, so I had no energy to run today. And my diet all weekend was horrible. Fast food, sugar, and salt. I'm up about 4 lbs. Chubby.

Now, I'm having a delima... Do I do speed (cruise) work or long run tomorrow? I'm really not sure which I should do. I'll make up my mind in the morning! Either way, I'm still behind schedule. The good news is that this week and weekend will be much more like normal, but it does have its own set of challenges. More regular posts and workouts to follow. I hope I get away with this lapse this weekend.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I finally got close to a tempo workout today!

Schedule called for...
3 miles @ 7:25
4 x 800m @ 3:21
3 miles @7:03

I jogged over to the track around Athens High for warm-up. Then I started on the workout using the quarter mile markers to gauge distance. I headed down the new greenway and then took my usual shortcut home for the last 4 miles of the workout.

3 miles at Goal Pace. I've got to get more consistent with these splits.
  1. 7:31
  2. 7:21
  3. 7:19
800's. More consistency would be nice.
  1. 3:13
  2. 3:26
  3. 3:17
  4. 3:20
3 miles at tempo pace. Consistency? I'm just trying to survive at this point!
  1. 7:07
  2. 7:10
  3. 7:32 (uphill, a little rough, and a couple of gates to go through so I'm pleased with this split)
Counting warm-up and cool-down, I did just a smidge over 10.5 miles today. Clearly, I was fading on the last 3 miles, but I'm ok with those splits. I don't think I could have done them any faster. That last mile is a tough mile. I'm not sure I could run it under 7:00 if it were my first or second mile. I don't have a chance of 7:03 on that one for my 9th or 10th mile.

I'll probably do my long run Sunday. My legs feel great and this is by far my best week of training. I really hope I can ride this momentum until the next recovery week, which is Halloween week. I have a very difficult two weeks ahead, though. I'm scheduled for runs of 16, 18, and 20 miles. Those are distances that seemed unfathomable just a few short weeks ago. Heh, who am I kidding? They still seem unfathomable!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Unscheduled Day Off

Today was not supposed to be a day off, but I took it off. I was VERY late to bed because of travel so I slept late and that just messed my whole day up. Plus, I had a TON of work to do, so a lunch run was not an option. I played a match of tennis tonight to finish up the league that I signed up for back in the spring.

I'll do today's scheduled workout tomorrow. I need to nail that workout. The thing that has been missing from my training is a solidly finished tempo workout. Hopefully, that's tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Easy Day

Today's scheduled workout called for 4 miles. I ran those at about an 8:00 pace. It felt slower and I felt like I could do more, but I didn't. It's an easy day for a reason!

Perhaps I was a little giddy with yesterday's post, but I just couldn't help it! I know a 1:17 ten miler is nothing to get excited about, but I expected to be unable to complete the workout! And the hills. And the view. And the trails were so well maintained. And the weather was perfect. And there were prairie dogs and squirrels. And I really felt like I had a lot left in the tank when the workout was over. It was just one of those workouts that make me thankful that I'm able to run and more thankful that I do.

Today's work (not workout, but work, that thing I do to provide for my family) schedule required me to be on my feet for about 9 hours. I treasured the brief time at lunch that I could sit down! Yesterday felt good... yesterday, but at about 2:00 this afternoon, all I wanted to do was to sit down!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hilly and high altitude

First, results from last weekend's race are available at http://northalabamarunner.blogspot.com/. Age groups and overall results are available. I was 2nd in my age group and 14th overall.

Today's workout was GREAT. It just felt awesome! I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get through today's workout. The last time I was at this altitude, I ran one 7:30 mile and thought I would die.

Today, not so. I ran 10 of the hilliest and most beautiful miles I've ever run! See the image below.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was considering quitting this thing. My knee was killing me. I was willing to concede that I had bitten off more than I could chew. The next time I get discouraged, I need to read this post to try to remember how I felt today! After chugging up one of the many hills today, I turned around to come down. A complete stranger running in the opposite direction reaches out and high fives me! That was cool.

Enough rambling.

Today's workout called for 10 miles with 8 minutes of uphill time. I probably had more like 40 minutes of uphill time. Even better. Average pace was a smidge over 7:40.
  1. 7:26
  2. 7:32
  3. 7:59
  4. 8:27 (The hills and altitude start to show their teeth!)
  5. 7:56
  6. 7:30 (I start to show my teeth back!)
  7. 7:32
  8. 7:50
  9. 7:31 (How about that for a 9th mile?)
  10. 7:55
Did I mention that today's workout just felt great?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Day Off - Much Needed!

Today is a scheduled off day. Man, I need it! My legs are tired! This weekend was brutal with the 10k race and the 14 mile long run.

Also, I attended a wedding about an hour and a half drive away on Saturday. Congrats Joe and Leah!! Then, I gave a short presentation before the Lord's Supper on Sunday morning. And finally, I was asked to do a sermon on short notice Sunday evening because our preacher is sick. You can get the sermon audio and the PowerPoint slides at http://www.eastside-church.org/. I was happy to do that and I always try to be prepared for something like that by studying the Bible regularly, meditating on it, and jotting down notes from my study. What a busy weekend!

I only have two races on my calendar for the remainder of the year.
I'm considering the Vulcan Run 10k because my training plan calls for a 10k race on Nov. 1 and I really want a 42 minute 10k this year. Undecided.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

14 Miler

This week's long run was scheduled to be a 14 miler. I made it!! That is a long way, and it is over halfway. Whew! I still have a LOT of training miles to log before I'm ready, but I really feel like I'm finally making some progress.

I saw my friend Matt out running today, and I'm glad of that! He has been battling some shin splints and wisely took some time off from running. That 1/4 or so we ran together sure did go fast! Well, as fast as a 2:00 quarter can be. What I mean is that it was good to have some company even if for a short while. Get better and get back out there, buddy!

I averaged about a 7:48 pace today. 7:45 was my goal, so I'm pleased, except for the last two slow miles. I also tried eating on my run. I've gotta get used to food while I run if I'm going to survive a marathon. I ate a granola bar at 5 and 10 miles, about 360 calories total. Splits...
  1. 7:34
  2. 7:44
  3. 7:35
  4. 7:41
  5. 7:48
  6. 7:54
  7. 8:04 (stopped to tie my shoe, that's my excuse)
  8. 7:50
  9. 7:53
  10. 7:49
  11. 7:55
  12. 7:46
  13. 8:07 (hill is my excuse)
  14. 8:07 (no excuse!)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Elkmont Rails to Trails 10k

What a great day for a race! The weather was perfect! And a big thanks to Whitney Hollingsworth for putting on this race. It was GREAT FUN! There are so many nice people who run! I met several people today, and that's always nice. I'll see you at the next race!

The course starts with a short but noticeable uphill climb on Veto Road. Then, the next 1.5 miles or so are seriously downhill. I should have taken more advantage of that than I did. It flattens for a short time around mile 3, then it turns to the trail and the next 3 miles are steady uphill. There is no flat or downhill portion of the last 3 miles. It's not steep at all, but it's uphill.

I finished in 44:24 and took second in my age group behind Scott Michael who beat me by about a minute. I didn't get all the splits, but I'll list what I have.

  1. 6:56
  2. 14:22 (for miles 2 and 3)
  3. 7:26 (mile 4)
  4. 6:59 (mile 5)
  5. 8:40 for the last 1.2 miles
I wish I had every split. Oh well. Mile 4 killed me. It was the first uphill mile, and I should have kicked it in sooner. I did NOT get passed in the last 3.2 miles, which was good. I passed at least 6 people in the last 3.2. I had too much gas at the end which tells me that I didn't try hard enough early enough. I wanted to go sub 45 and I did. When I saw the clock, I knew that I could go sub 44:30 if I kicked it in, and I kicked it in and had way too much in the tank.

Of course, Tyrone Harris was the overall winner. I'll post a link to the results as soon as I have a link.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Off / weights

No running today. I needed today off after yesterday's workout! I did weights at the gym. And, admittedly, I chatted more than I lifted. I should have focused more on my workout.
  • 12, 6, and 8 overhand grip chin-ups
  • 3 sets of 8 dumbbell presses, 55 lb dumbbells
  • 3 sets of 8 upright rows with 65 lb. barbell
  • 3 sets of 35 back hyper extensions with 25 lb plate
  • 70 and 80 Swiss ball crunches
  • 20, 10, and 10 leg raises on an inclined sit-up bench
I did sign up for tomorrow's race, the Elkmont Rails to Trails 10k. I haven't written as much about that race as I did about the Duck and Run 5k. That's mainly because I walked to the start of the Duck and Run. I could sit in my back yard and see runners in the Duck and Run!

I am excited about tomorrow's race and I'm glad to have another race close to home. I really like a 10k race. I've never run on the rails to trails, so I really look forward to this. I have two goals for tomorrow: PR and negative split.

A big thank you to Whitney Hollingsworth for putting on this race!

Of course, I'll update with details from the race.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Slow but long

It was a challenge just to get in the workout today. I knew there would be days like this. Days where that I just have to make time for it. My biggest problem is sleep. I've got to get my sleep patterns under control. I needed to do today's workout yesterday, but I was traveling home yesterday, so that didn't happen. I didn't sleep well enough or long enough last night, so today's workout was very difficult. And I forgot to bring my iPod, so I didn't have a good way to get mile splits. And if I sat here and thought longer, I'd come up with more excuses.

I ran the UAH spring road race 5k course, then about a mile over to Hillmont, did hill repeats there, back to UAH, and ran the 5k course again. Counting a very abbreviated warm-up, cool-down, and the downhill recovery of the hill repeats, I ran about 11 miles total.
  • 1st 5k loop - 25:23 (eww, that's slowwww!, about an 8:11 pace)
  • The almost 1 mile over to Hillmont was about 9 minutes (of course I had to stop for Jordan Lane traffic)
Then I did 4 long hills and 3 short steep hills.
  1. 1:29
  2. 1:36
  3. 1:32
  4. 1:41
  1. 0:45
  2. 0:37
  3. 0:36
  • The almost one mile back was in 7:23, even with a stop for Jordan Lane traffic. Better.
  • The last 5k was 25:32. I really wanted to beat my first 5k loop, but the hills just took too much out of me. When I finished, I was really surprised that it was that slow.