Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday Speed Work

Tuesday is normally the speed work day. I was out of town Monday through Wednesday, so Lanier and I agreed to switch to Thursday. Tuesday was just a 9 miler for me. Wednesday, I did not get to run. I could give a list of excuses, but the bottom line is that I lacked the discipline to get it done on Wednesday. Would that have happened if I hadn't been traveling? NO!! But that is still no excuse. I don't see an opportunity this week to make up those lost miles, but I'll try.

Today's speed session was mediocre. I am tired and it showed in my lap times. Also, my diet was completely out of hand this week. I ate terribly, and my body reminded me this morning that garbage in gives garbage out.

I have to thank Lanier this morning. If he hadn't been there, there's a good chance I wouldn't have done speed work this morning. It's great to have a partner.

4 x 1 mile @ 5k pace with 2:00 rest between was the plan.
  1. 6:18
  2. 6:15
  3. 6:22
  4. 6:17
I was hoping for 4 miles at 6:15 or less. I didn't really come close. I guess I can take some consolation in the fact that not very long ago I would have considered that a GREAT workout. Today, I am disappointed in those lap times. I'm determined to improve.

Today also had a memorable quote... Lanier and I were chatting about the pace of the last mile before we started it. We both wanted a bit of redemption. I commented that I was so tired that I didn't think even a 7:00 mile would be comfortable. Then, I said, "If I wanted to be comfortable, I'd still be in the bed."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

8 Mile

Today's schedule called for speed work. The travel yesterday and the difficult workouts over the weekend just drained me. When I woke up this morning, a speed workout was the farthest thing from my mind. I did set the alarm, but it just wasn't enough sleep, so I turned it right back off and slept another hour.

But, all day long I wished I had run. So, when the work day ended, I changed quickly and hit the road. I decided to postpone the speed work until Thursday when Lanier will be able to join me. Speed work is better when you have someone to complain to during the rest.

I was going to run 8, but it just felt so good to be running, so I ran 9. I may have run 12 or 13, but Mark was waiting to meet me for dinner. I didn't want to keep him waiting. I hit the first mile in 7:34 because I was trying to get to the cross walks while I still had the walk sign. So the first mile had some fartleks built in. That didn't feel so bad, so I decided I'd push a little on this run. This was one of those runs that I grinned the whole way. I was just happy to be running. I love to run.
  1. 7:34
  2. 8:14 (traffic)
  3. 7:58 (traffic)
  4. 7:38
  5. 7:31
  6. 7:14
  7. 7:23 (traffic!!!)
  8. 6:35
  9. 8:13 (cool down)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday 10 Miler in Athens

The weekend just isn't complete without the Sunday morning 10 miler in Athens. There were 7 folks who showed up today, but Mike had to drop out because of tightness in his calf. Thanks to the Madison Co. folks for driving over to join our running group.

We also had a new guy, Lee, join us today. He's a good bit faster than me, but enjoyed the run today. He said he'd be back.

I drove there instead of running this morning because I was a little late getting started and I was still a bit tired from yesterday's 20- miler. Carl, Lee, Lanier, and I were in the lead pack this morning. We started slow, but finished strong to do the 10 miles in 1:13:44. for about a 7:22 average pace. Carl and Lee certainly were stronger than me at the end. I didn't get the feeling they were nearly as glad to be finished as I was!
  1. 8:45
  2. 7:48
  3. 7:25
  4. 7:33
  5. 7:19
  6. 7:15
  7. 7:07
  8. 6:59
  9. 6:51
  10. 6:39

Saturday, April 25, 2009

(not) Happy Trails

I finally got back on the trails this morning. This was the first trail run since McKay Hollow Madness. I understand now why spring and summer trail running isn't as popular as fall and winter trail running. It was so HOT today! It's 87 now and it was in the 80's for much of the run. Yuck. I had forgotten how much of a difference the heat makes. I may be forced to adjust my Cotton Row goal! I somehow managed to run about 19.5 miles and I was totally spent.

I ran Alms House to the finish of the Mountain Mist 50k. Then, I refilled and ran part of McKay Hollow Madness. I skipped Natural Well and Arrowhead trails and went straight up Death Trail. From there, I took North Plateau to Cold Springs back to Bankhead down to my car at LT parking lot for 19.5 miles total. I thought about doing a rain dance to make it an even 20, but I could find no compelling reason to do so. The car with AC and fresh clothes just looked too inviting.

And the heat was only part of the misery today. Apparently, I was the first on many of the trails this morning because I took down tons of spider webs. I fell twice during the first mile and after 2 miles, I was covered in mud, spider webs, and worms. Yep, worms. There was a ton of vegetation growing near the trails, so I may have some poison ivy on my legs, too. Then, later in the run when I had broken a good sweat, I had a combat box of insects orbiting my head. When I looked at my shadow, my head looked like Saturn because of the ring of insects around it. I love trail running, but I didn't really enjoy today. I may be finished with trail running until the fall. Unless, of course, I can find some friends to share the misery with me.

I struggled to get out the door again this morning. Today, it was mostly because my plan changed about 5 or 6 times before this morning. I had 2 5k's that I considered. I thought about running CMM on a whim (the full, not the half). I even had a hotel booked, but the show stopper was the $130 late entry fee. That totally discouraged me from running that race. My pain threshold was $100. I would have run it for $100. Then, I had other runs with friends that didn't pan out. So, I wasn't really excited about a long trail run by myself. But, I knew that I needed a good long run because I missed about 20 miles last weekend with a short (5k) race and illness on Sunday. So, I gutted it out anyway. I hope it will pay off in my conditioning.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ad hoc

Today was about as ad hoc as a workout can be! I woke up and running seemed like a chore today. I just didn't feel like it and I didn't want to. Then, I couldn't decide what to do. My schedule called for 10 x 400m at 5k pace. I've already had 2 and a half hard workouts this week, so I wasn't really excited about anything at 5k pace. I needed an easy run.

I ran to the track at about an 8:20 pace and felt much better after the warm up. (Getting out the door and through the first mile is no doubt the most difficult part of any workout. Well, except for Tuesday's speed workout. That 6th 800 at 5k -15 s was the hardest part!) So I did 3 and a half 400's. I saw my buddy Matt about halfway through the 4th 400. He had just finished a speed session and was cooling down. I opted to join him on his cool down run which we did at about 8:20. Then I ran home at around 7:30 pace for 6 miles total. So it was neither easy nor hard. But I did something, which hopefully is better than nothing.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Easy mid-week

I did an easy mid-week 8 miler this morning. I left the house at about 6:00 AM. I ran my usual route around the neighborhood to the new (how long can I call it new?) Swan Creek Greenway to the Athens High walking track and back.

I started easy. and ran about 3 at an 8:30 pace. I ran the 4th in 8:00 and then realized I was behind schedule for the rest of the day and booked it home and pulled the last 3 in at 7:25, 7:12, and 7:11. So I guess it wasn't totally an easy 8 miler. It was supposed to be, though.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cotton Row Course

I met Mike this morning to run the Cotton Row Run 10k course. I really love that course and I'm looking forward to the race. I have a goal for that race, and I'm going to work like mad to be ready between now and then. Then, I'm hoping for reasonable weather. A nice 43F temperature like today on Memorial Day would be nice, but that won't happen! Meeting my goal for this race will hurt. Mostly, between now and then, I'm mentally preparing for the pain.

Today was a great run. I'd probably consider this a tempo run. It was maybe just a tad slower than what my tempo pace should be. My watch had us averaging 7:04 per mile, but it was overly optimistic this morning. I started it a little early. Also, it was consistently alarming and auto-lapping before the mile markers on the course this morning, and it had us running 6.31 miles. Mike manually lapped his watch at the course marked splits, so his splits are much more accurate. Mike told me to push hard at the end, which we did. That was FUN! We ran maybe a 5:10 pace for the last 0.1 mile.
  1. 7:20
  2. 7:00
  3. 7:07
  4. 7:36 (Mountainwood!)
  5. 6:49
  6. 6:49
  7. 1:49
After that, I ran the 5k course at about an 8:25 pace.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It's Tuesday

It's Tuesday, so that means speed work. The schedule called for 6 x 800m at 5k - 15 seconds. Since I ran a 5k at 6:15 on Saturday, I was aiming for 3:00 per 800, with 2:00 rest in between. WOW that was hard!

I met Lanier at the foggy and soggy Athens High walking track at 5:00 AM. I don't remember rain in the forecast, but it obviously rained last night. Matt told us last week that he wouldn't be able to join us today.
  1. 2:59
  2. 2:59 (long quarter)
  3. 2:58
  4. 2:55
  5. 3:02 (long quarter)
  6. 3:01 (totally gassed)
Well, until about 4 weeks ago, I had never run a single 800 under 3. Today I did 4. I guess I'm ok with that, but I'm not ok with how I finished today's workout. I did not finish strong, and that has been something that I have been focusing on. I had nothing left, and that's disappointing. I'm going to have to work harder to finish my longer runs.

After the fourth one, a gentleman walking there asked us if we were track runners. :) We're a little too old, but we are trying to get a little faster!

After the speed intervals, Lanier and I ran over to the downtown area to cool down. The easy cool down miles felt GREAT!! Today was between 6.5 and 7 miles total. I love these Tuesday speed sessions. (Really, Lanier, no matter how much I complain during the rest intervals, I really do like it!)

Before today, I took a couple of days off. Sunday, I wanted to run but I had an awful stomach bug that left me feeling pretty dehydrated. I ran a fever (100-102) all day Sunday and had aches and chills to go with it. That was the first Sunday 10 miler that I have missed with the exception of the day after Mount Cheaha. I was disappointed, to say the least.

Yesterday, it was like I had not ever been sick. I was almost instantly 100% again. But I took yesterday off anyway, giving my body another day to recover.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cookie Dash 5k

I didn't have a ton of confidence going into this morning's race. I had been out of town all week on business. That means that my diet, my schedule, my sleep, and my hydration are all out of whack. Plus, I was determined to get in the miles, so I woke up early every day and ran while on the road. A week of late nights with customers, early morning runs, all day on my feet presenting, and 3 meals a day of restaurant food is not a good way to lead up to a race. I just felt tired and yuck.

I planned to take my family with me and sign the girls up for the 1 mile fun run today. Everyone was on board last night. Then, the alarm went off and I was on my own!!! Nobody else would get out of the bed.

The morning started off schedule and rushed. I didn't get there until about 7:40! That meant that my warm up would be cut short! I scrambled to get my number on and out of the car and as soon as my feet hit the ground, I was jogging at my warm-up pace. I didn't even get 2 miles of warm up in. I ran about 1.7, with a couple of strides at the end. I wasn't ready, but it was time. I was thinking 21:00-ish just because of how hard the week had been, how tired I was, and how out of sorts I was. This just didn't feel like a PR day.

After waiting for a few minutes "reluctantly crouched at the starting line" (those who were there and happen to listen to Cake will understand)... GO! The adrenaline kicked in. The thought of 21 was long gone. I had set a goal of 19:30 for a 5k back in January. I really made my mind up to go for it about when I heard the word "GO!" I know that I'm tired and I know that this is not a fast course, but I'm going for it today.

I had never seen this course before. I had been warned about the first mile, but I didn't know exactly what to expect. It is uphill. It's not Waterline, Lake Trail, Madelyn's "dragon", or even Mountainwood, but the rise is definitely noticeable. Then, there's a cone turnaround at about 0.6 miles. Talk about a slow first mile! I started near the front. I want to give deference to the lead runners. I'm no rabbit. But I don't like having to zig-zag excessively in the first mile. So I look for the known fast kids and get just behind them. The packs had mostly formed by the time that we got to the cone turn around. I only got passed one more time after that (details later), and maybe passed 3 more before the one mile split.

Joe Francica passed me at around the .75 mile mark. I didn't know him, but I introduced myself after the race. I kept him in my sight. I wanted to keep him in range just in case I had something in me at the end. On the way back from the first cone, several friends were greeting and encouraging me, and I was happy to cheer them back.

Just past the 1 mile marker there was an aid station. No aid in a 5k for me, but I thanked the volunteers. Then, there's another turnaround at the 1.5 mile marker. I saw several of the same faces. Then, we passed by the aid station again. My mouth was dry, but I knew I would choke running this hard, so again, no aid for me. Thanks volunteers. Then we passed the 1 mile marker again and very shortly after that the 2 mile marker.

After that, Joe had another runner in his sight, John Geiger, and he picked up his pace to pass him. I didn't want to let him get away, so I picked it up, too. John certainly didn't yield and was encouraged by the passing and they stayed close. Then we go to another turn at a culdesac. This is NOT a fast course!!! I kept the two in sight and closed the gap a little on the turn. Near the turn, more greetings and cheering. Thanks and good job Greg, Joey, Bud, Glen, Whitney, Philip, and Angie, and I probably forgot someone.

I could see the 3 mile mark ahead, and I wanted to kick it in. I just had nothing left. I wanted to reel in Joe and John, but they were racing, too! I was hurting and wondering if I had enough to just hold the pace. I did the math to know that I couldn't slow much and still break 19:30, so I was fighting it. I just didn't have the guts or desire or heart or whatever "it" is that enables you to pass someone late in a race. I have to work on that. But right now, I just don't see racing as a competition against other runners. It's a competition against myself. I'll probably never make a move on other runners until I change that mindset.

I did finish strong, I thought, and crossed the line in 19:26 for a 5k PR on a course that doesn't yield many PR's. That was good enough for 12th overall of over 400 runners and 2nd in the 35-39 age group. Splits were
  1. 6:18
  2. 6:08
  3. 6:08
  4. 0:51
I know that adds up to 19:25, and I don't know where the extra second is.

After the race, I quickly regrouped and went toward the finish line to encourage and cheer on other runners. I was walking toward the 3 mile marker cheering folks on. Just past the 3 mile marker I saw Angie running very strong. She asked me to run to the finish with her, so I did. She REALLY kicked it in here. She was passing folks left and right. It was great to see her finish strong like that! You're ready for the CMM half next weekend, Angie. Good luck!

Big congrats to Whitney Hollingsworth. It's just a given that she's going to win the women's masters if she shows up. She's so strong! Several other friends had nice times today also. Overall results and age group results are now available . Big thanks as always to the race directors and volunteers.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thursday - Friday

I did another 10 (ok, 11) miler in DC on Thursday. The weather was much nicer Thursday. There was a little wind, but the sun was shining (when it came up, I was out just before dawn) and the temperature was about 40. That's very nice running weather. I pushed a little harder Thursday and kept all my miles under 8:00 except for the first one. Most were close to 7:40 with a 7:20 mixed in. I was beat when I finished.

I just missed peak cherry bloom time. That was last week. There were a few cherry trees in bloom, and those were beautiful. Mostly, Tuesday and Wednesday's rain had beaten the blooms off. Still, Wednesday and Thursday's runs were very scenic and rewarding.

This morning, I did a 5 miler at a very easy pace, maybe 8:40 or so. I took a different route and it was quite boring. Maybe taking today off would have been a good idea. I'm just ready to be home now.

Anyway, I look forward to tomorrow's Cookie Dash 5k. Maybe I'll see you there.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Running Rewards

It's really hard for to imagine how that running could could be more rewarding to me than it has over the past few weeks, or even the past couple of days. Yesterday, I did a very challenging speed workout. The start time was an obscene 4:15 AM because of my schedule that day. I didn't ask for or expect it, but my usual speed workout partners showed up and pushed me for that workout. I may not have begun or survived it alone. I've felt better ever since knowing that I did that workout.

Then, today's run was just great. I ran a cool, rainy, wet, awesome, historical, Washington, DC 10 (OK, 11) miler. I almost didn't go because I just didn't want to. But once I started, I didn't really want to stop! I ran an easy, leisurely 8:30 - 9:00 pace until the last 3 miles which averaged 7:35. It was a great day for a run. I was soaked to the bone when I got back to my room.

Along the way I met a congressional staffer who is training for an adventure race in a few weeks. We ran about 4 miles or so together and he gave me a unique perspective on business in Washington, DC. After chatting with him, I'm nowhere near as discouraged with our government as I was before our chat. Running definitely rewarded me for going out the door and bearing the first mile this morning. I saw things I wouldn't have seen without running and met people I wouldn't have met without running and learned things I wouldn't have known without running. Below is the route I ran.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday Speed Work

I had to get an early start to get this morning's workout in. I mentioned to Matt and Lanier that I would have to start at the obscene time of 4:15 AM so that I could be at HSV by 6:00 for a 7:00 flight. I secretly hoped that they would balk at the idea and stick to their 5:00 AM routine and I could skip this workout. But NO. They had to be real friends who make sacrifices to accommodate my wacky schedule today.

I'm glad they did! Realistically, I would have skipped this workout if they hadn't been there. Thanks guys. I certainly enjoyed the company and needed the push.

The schedule called for 4 x 1 mile repeats at 5k pace. I haven't run a 5k in a long time, so I guessed that my 5k pace would be about 6:20 based on Saturday's 10k performance. 6:20 was the plan. We took 3 minutes between miles. I need to work on shortening the rest interval.
  1. 6:20
  2. 6:10
  3. 6:18
  4. 6:16
I was well pleased with that, but it was uncomfortable. My shoes felt like cinder blocks on that last mile, particularly the last 0.25 mile, which was into the wind. My feet were so heavy. If you're supposed to leave the track feeling like you could do one more interval, then I did too much today. I may have been able to pull out another half mile, but no more.

With warm-up and cool down, I put in about 7.5 total miles today, with 4 very hard ones. On the cool down run home, when I turned to go home, Lanier mentioned that he was going to run some more around downtown. WOW. I'm glad I didn't have time to join him. Otherwise, I would have had to join him or make up an excuse not to!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday 10 Miler in Athens

I met the group in Athens for our usual Sunday morning 10 miler. It has become more of a 13-14 miler for me. There were 10 runners there today, and some who had missed a few in a row showed up today. This is a really good group of folks. I absolutely look forward to this run every week.

I didn't stay with the lead pack today. The leaders were Mike, Carl, and Matt. It did cross my mind, but I decided to go a little easier today. Scott and I hung back at about an 8:15 pace. That pace felt pretty good after yesterday's pretty hard race effort. I was tired at the end and probably only could have run another 2 or 3 miles.

I'm still keeping the circle on Cotton Row Run 10k. That's the race I'm training for.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

3M River City 10k

Today was a great day for a race! The weather was almost perfect, except for a North-Northwest breeze. The temperature was near 40, and the sun was behind clouds. The course is flat and fast. If you don't PR on a day like today on a race like this, you're having a bad day. Bad days happen, but that's what it would take not to rock this race today. There were several very fast times today. This was a great choice for the RRCA Alabama State 10k championship.

I ran a 40:57 and was second in the 35-39 age group. I wanted to BREAK 41:00 on a 10k in 2009. Today, I did that! And, I did smash my previous 10k PR of 44:24.

The overall results are available here. David Riddle was the overall winner, and several of my friends had GREAT times today. Congratulations to my good friend Madelyn Patton for winning the female masters title. Congrats to Glen and Barry who rocked PR's today, too.

First, thanks to Glen for giving me a ride down there. I'll be happy to drive next time. I enjoyed the company. Also, thanks to Mike Greene for talking me into this. I didn't believe I could run a 41:00 today. Mike believed I could go faster and convinced me of it. I would have probably settled for a 43:00-ish without Mike's encouragement. Now I know I can break 41:00 and 40:00 is next. Thanks, Mike. I need to learn to run harder during races and Mike is teaching me to do that.

I did a 2.1 mile warm up with Glen and Dink and a 3.4 mile cool down with Glen and Barry for 11.7 total today.

I don't have a lot of comments about the race because after the first packs formed, I did not get passed and I only passed a couple of runners. It seems like I'm in a sort of no man's land right now. There are a lot of sub-40 10k-ers out there and there are a lot of near 44:00 10k-ers out there. One runner that I passed was a 10-ish year old kid. I remember hearing someone near the start saying that the little boy was going to get run over starting up there in the front. Well, he ran the first mile with me in 6:25 and finished the race in 42:00-ish. So, someone would have to be hauling it pretty good to run him over! He proved his worthiness to be near the starting line!

Adrenaline kicked in at the start, and I started way too fast at about a 5:35 or 5:40 pace. That only lasted about 100 yards and I caught my error and slowed down and hit my stride at about a 6:30 pace. I was able to hold near that pace for most of the race. The only exception was the fourth mile. The last half mile or so of mile 4 was right into the wind and I clocked that mile in 6:44 which really disappointed me. Splits below:
  1. 6:26
  2. 6:40 (slowed too much from the early pace)
  3. 6:25 (grooving again)
  4. 6:44 (ewww. Really disappointing, into the wind.)
  5. 6:37
  6. 6:32 (Now I'm getting back to where I need to be, but too late.)
  7. 0.2 miles in 1:30 by my watch, but 1:32 by the chip.
Miles 2 and 4 were awful. Mile 5 I'm ok with because I was hurting and talking myself into holding on. I know I have room for improvement, but I really gave it all I had today, except for mile 2. I'm not sure why I slowed down so much there except that I wanted to be sure I had enough in the tank to finish strong. Mile 4 was the wind and I just need to work on running into the wind.
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Friday, April 10, 2009

River City 10k Tomorrow

I've taken yesterday and today off hoping to have fresh legs for the 3M River City 10k tomorrow. I probably should have put in some easy miles yesterday or today. Without a definite plan, I tend to miss workouts. I need to recognize that and plan better. Oh well.

I'll probably eat a little crow here, but I'm going to put my goal for tomorrow's race out there. The River City 10k is the fastest 10k of the spring. If I'm going to get a 41:00, that's the race. 41:00 was a 2009 goal, so I have to go for it tomorrow. I don't know if I have a 41:00 in me. I guess I'll find out tomorrow. I don't really care who finishes ahead of me or behind me tomorrow. I'm racing against a number.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cotton Row Practice

I met Mike Greene this morning at 5:30 at the Cotton Row Run start. We ran the 10k course first (45:47, 7:23 avg. pace), then the 5k course (24:23, 7:52 avg. pace). I usually run easy on Wednesday, but I know that Mike won't let me do that. All in all, though, we did a very manageable mid-week pace with some fast sections mixed in.

I love the 10k course. I hope to run it several more times before Memorial Day so I can map it out in my mind before racing it. It is definitely a negative split course, which we did easily this morning. If you top the big hill in half of your goal time, you're in very good shape. One thing that I found interesting about this morning is that our lackadaisical effort of 45:47 beat my 45:53 race time from a year ago. I guess I've improved a little.

This morning was my first run on the CR 5k course. It's not as interesting as the 10k course. I probably won't run the 5k in addition to the 10k this year, but I'm still undecided. I wanted to run it easier, but it just didn't work out that way. It seems that once my body hits a 7:30 or faster pace, anything above 8:00 feels painfully slow. I can start at 8:00 or 8:30 and run that pace for 15-20 miles. But if I go faster, I can't seem to make myself slow down. the 7:52 pace felt VERY easy after the 10k run. That's a good thing, I guess.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday Speed Work

Today was the fourth Tuesday in a row that Matt and Lanier met at 5:00 AM for speedwork. I missed last week because of shingles, but I was glad to be back again this week. The schedule called for 8x800's. I was feeling like mixing it up, so we did a pyramid of sorts. 2x400, 2x800, 1x1 mile, 2x800, 2x400 for four total miles of fast running. I did just a smidge over 6 miles total including warmup and cool down. It was almost fun.
  1. 1:24
  2. 1:25
  3. 3:04
  4. 3:03
  5. 6:32
  6. 3:07
  7. 3:05
  8. 1:32 (lazy)
  9. 1:20-ish (Matt blazed this one in 1:16)
My times may be off a bit because I forgot my watch. I'm just going by memory of what Matt called out at the end of each interval. Matt, correct me if I'm wrong. I almost didn't make this session at all, so I was lucky to be there with or without a watch. I turned my alarm off this morning and didn't even remember doing it! My wife woke me up at 4:52 or so asking if I were going. I somehow made it there by 5:02. Thanks Leigh!

Matt was again at the front, but at least I was finishing with him today on all but the last one. I know now that if I'm in a close race with Matt, I can't let it come down to the last quarter or half. If I don't have an insurmountable lead by that point in the race, he'll destroy me. He's just faster on those distances than I ever can be.

Yesterday was 4 miles at 8:00 pace on a treadmill followed by a push/abs workout.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Saturday and Sunday

Man, I wanted to race this morning. I haven't given a good race effort in a while. McKay Hollow was a good effort for that day, but I was sick that day. I set my alarm thinking I could go and give the HTC Scholarship Fund Run 8k a go. I've never run an 8k, so that made it all the more interesting.

When the alarm went off, I wanted to go, but I could just tell that I didn't have it. I was still a little fatigued and sore from the shingles this week. So, I just went back to bed, but not back to sleep. I couldn't sleep for wishing I were racing.

I wasn't going to miss running, however. The weather was just too perfect. So I headed out at about 10:30 for an easy 10 miler. Man, it felt great! I ran at about an 8:15 pace for most of the run. I had a couple of really slow miles in there where I saw folks I knew and stopped to chat, so the average pace is off. I really had no goal for this run other than time on my feet, so I enjoyed the visits with people that I don't see every day. The run felt so good that I kept going after 10 and did 12 miles total.

After that, I took the girls over to Rainbow Mountain to hike the trails there. They LOVE doing this, and I really enjoy it, too. It's one of my favorite things we do together. And they can hang in there for a 2 mile hike without the first complaint. Nice! Simply joyful times.

Mike has a good post telling about today's run. It was a GREAT 10 miler. I actually did 13+. Big kudos to Lanier who hung with us at the front, without a single complaint. He's been improving every week in our speed work, and today he hammered out those faster miles, even at the end of the 10 miles. Nice job, Lanier. My watch was about 0.4 off from Mike's, and includes my run over to the Rec Center before the group started.

  1. 7:30
  2. 8:08
  3. 8:39
  4. 7:52
  5. 7:32
  6. 7:35
  7. 7:25
  8. 7:17
  9. 7:19
  10. 7:16
  11. 7:11
  12. 3:45 (0.57 miles, 6:30 pace, had to finish strong)
The trot home was at a 7:52 average pace and felt slow! 11 out of 13 miles were sub 8:00 today. Thanks for the push, Mike, Carl, and Lanier.

Friday, April 3, 2009


I tried some hill repeats this morning, but my body just isn't ready yet. There is still this constant pain on my right side that's there whether I run or not. Running doesn't make it worse, so I guess I'm good.

I drove over to Hughes Road and ran along Hughes Road to Thomas Drive. I went up Thomas Drive to Stoneway Trail. There is a 0.3 mile stretch on that road that is pretty steep. So, I repeated that 0.3 mile stretch twice. Well, maybe 1.75 times. I slowed to something that barely resembles a jog by the time that I got near the top on the second repeat. WOW!! That was hard.

There is a 0.1 mile stretch toward the top that is the steepest section, so I decided to repeat that 4 times since I clearly didn't have another repeat of the 0.3 in me. Well, I could only get 3 of those in. Whew. I'm going to have to work on this hill some more. It will make me faster. I did 5 miles total today.

And, just for the record, these could by no means be called "hill sprints". Maybe I could call them hills at 5k, then 10k, then half marathon, then marathon, then long run, then recovery run pace. I tried, but I just couldn't hold on for any of the repeats. I just didn't have it today.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Back Out There

I got back outside today. 3 days off was just too much to handle! I miss running! I wanted to go out there today, even if it did hurt!

I went for an easy run this morning. I did 10 miles at an 8:30 pace. It was probably too much, but I really didn't want to stop. I wasn't able to wear my HRM because the strap goes right on top of my shingles rash. Yuck. I don't know what my heart rate was, but the pace felt very easy. The run felt really good except for the constant pain on my right side. But that pain would have been there whether I ran or not.

There's no need to worry. I checked with the doctor and he said that if I feel like exercising then it is ok to exercise. I'm still staying in because I'm still contagious to anyone who hasn't had chicken pox.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Stir Crazy

Since the shingles diagnosis, I've been cooped up in the house. I'm contagious, so I want to be considerate of others. Also, I know that I need rest to recover, so I'm trying to get plenty of it. I didn't know how painful shingles was until now. That has made rest next to impossible. But I'm either getting used to it or it's getting better.

I want to run very badly, but my wife is being the voice of reason and encouraging me to take one more day off. For once, I think I'll listen. Tomorrow I hope to run again.

I was thinking about my 2009 goals, and I'm a little behind.
  • Break 19:30 in a 5k.
  • Break 41:00 in a 10k.
  • Finish a 50k trail race.
  • Run Rocket City in 3:25. Maybe in 2010 I'll aim to BQ.
I've finished a 50k, but the 5k and 10k have me a little worried. 6:17 for 3.1 and 6:36 for 6.2? I'll try. Those goals may be too lofty. I'll have to join Mike Greene some more and learn to hurt and to race faster than I train to get there.