Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spooktacular 5k - A New PR

First, a BIG thanks to Sarah and Cheryl, Fleet Feet of Huntsville, and all the volunteers who made today's race successful and so much fun! Just to name a few, thanks Carl, Whitney, Madelyn, Eric, Laura, Jane, and others that I'm forgetting.

The Numbers
I ran the 5k in 18:53 for a 6:05 average pace. That was good enough for 15th overall (of 553) and 2nd in the 35-39 age group. I'll link to results when they're available. Of course, Josh Whitehead won. He did it near 16 flat with nobody pushing him. Candace Jacobs was the women's winner in 18:17.


Pre-Race
This morning was a great morning for a race! The course is flat and fast. The weather was great, 48F with just a little rain before the start, but it stopped before the start. Sarah and Cheryl did a great job putting this event together. I think the participation was significantly beyond their expectations. The atmosphere was festive and the feel of the race was less competitive than other races.

Today, Mark and I reversed roles a little. I was actually early! That's pretty out of character for me. We spun our wheels a little trying to find each other and get packets picked up in the crowd. We got our warm up started at about 7:35 with just enough time to warm up and be ready for the start of the race. We did about a 2.5 mile warm up (mostly on the course) with some pickups at the end.

We timed our arrival to the start line almost perfectly. We saw some friends on our way to the line and chatted a little and enjoyed a live rendition of the Thriller video. It was enjoyable!

Mile 1
The start was packed. I knew it would be and I knew that I would have to start quickly to avoid those who start too quickly and then fall off. We ran the first quarter mile or so at about a 5:45 or so pace. After passing a several huffer and puffers, I backed off from that early pace to recover a bit and then settled into my race pace. Mark was with me the whole way. One of my main goals today was not to get beat by someone in a ridiculous costume. I passed almost all of the costumes that I saw early in mile 1. We hit the split in 6:05. That was a little slower than I was hoping for, but still easily on pace, especially considering that it is the only uphill mile.

Mark asked me how I felt, and I replied, "Not good enough to talk!" I really knew that today was my last opportunity to break 19 this year. I may not have another opportunity until April. I didn't want the opportunity to slip, and 6:05 is not a conversational pace for me! I hope I wasn't rude. I was glad to have a training partner nearby.

Mile 2
I felt really good after the one mile split. I wanted to break 6:00 in the first mile, but that just didn't happen. The good part is that I had LOTS of energy. It's not the best strategy to negative split a 5k, but I decided to drop the pace as much as I could. I had several runners ahead to pick off, and just ran them down one by one. I probably passed 5 people There was one costume ahead of me. I think he may have been a gladiator or Roman soldier or something. It wasn't a ridiculous costume, but I wanted to catch him nonetheless.

There is a mild uphill at the end of mile 2, so I powered up it. Mark fell off the pace just a little up this hill, but still ran strong. My watch beeped a little early and clocked a 6:01 2nd mile. They called 12:11 as I passed the split marker, making it more like 6:06. Still on pace to break 19 with a downhill mile to go!

Mile 3
There were 3 people left in striking distance during mile 3. I regret that I didn't finish ahead of any of them. Oh I closed the gap significantly, and passed one, a young 17 year old. Again, I was reminded that a 17 year old's fast is faster than my fast, and he passed me back in the last 100m. It wasn't a matter of willingness to hurt; I was giving it all I had. He was just faster. It was like a linebacker trying to chase a receiver (OK, neither of us are that fast, but I'm making an analogy here). The only way I could have held him off would have been to pass him earlier and build a bigger lead going into the last stretch. I have a lot to learn about racing! Today, though, I was mainly racing the clock. Soon, I'll start racing the competitors, but today wasn't that day.

According to my watch, I ran 6:01 and 0:42 (0.14 by my watch) to finish. There was nobody calling the 3rd split. I think my mileage payed off some today. I was ready to slow down because I was pouring it on during the last 0.1, but I still had some more 6:05 effort in me. I think that's why I closed the gap on that group of 3. If I remember correctly, there was only 6 seconds difference between me and the leader of that group I was chasing. There were probably 15 or so seconds at the 2 mile split.

That's 18:53. That's a PR! I'm happy with the performance! I met my goal of sub 19, but I can't help believing that I could have run faster today. It hurt, no doubt, but I could have and should have run a faster first mile. I'm learning.

Post Race
I saw lots of friends congratulating me at the finish. That was nice! Thanks! Eric Fritz gave me a big high 5 because he knew how badly I wanted to break 19. Carl took a break to come congratulate me in the finishing chute. He and I have spent a good bit of time talking about breaking 19 on our Sunday morning runs. Thanks Carl! He definitely could break 19 on this course.

Then, I ran back to pick up Jeff and finish the race with him. I'm VERY proud of the dedication he's shown! He's been on the track 5 or 6 days a week lately. He's just making no excuses and getting the miles done. KUDOS JEFF!! Congrats on your first race!!! Nice job!!

Congrats to Olivia for running her first race! Great job!

I also saw Ragnar teammates Angie and Elle along with Ragnar driver Bruce. Nice job! Nice to see y'all!

I also got to meet a blog follower, Byron. Congrats on meeting your goal today, Byron!

And the costumes...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

VO2 - 5x600m

Today called for 9 miles total with 5 600m repeats at 5k pace. It is a light VO2 workout. I think that's because the program calls for a race this weekend and it's letting me be fresher for that effort. I'm doing the Spooktacular 5k in Huntsville, and I do plan to give a good effort at that race.

I ended up doing 10.5 total miles and I felt very good during the intervals. My goal was 2:15 (not that I have proven that I can run a 5k at that pace) or less on all the repeats. I did a 200m jog between repeats.
  1. 2:14
  2. 2:13
  3. 2:12
  4. 2:10
  5. 2:03 (I felt good, so why not?)
I also had some good company this morning. I walked a little bit with Jeff and Bryan . Also, I ran 1.5 miles with Lanier and got a first hand report from the inaugural Monte Sano Xterra 9.3 mile trail race. The results are here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Good Start to the Week

Sunday
I knew that Matt and Carl wouldn't be able to run the usual Sunday 10 mile loop with me on Sunday. I decided to get up and go to the Rec Center anyway because I have a standing invitation to any runner in Athens/Limestone to show up at 5:45 on any Sunday morning and join me for a 10 miler. Jeff was there so I joined him for a nice shorter run. I ended up with 8.5 total Sunday morning. The easy miles felt good on my tired legs. And I really enjoyed the company!

Monday
Today, I endured a work-week 15 miler. Of all the runs I've done in my training, I think the work-week 15 milers are the toughest. Seriously, have you tried hitting the pavement before 5:00 AM so that you can run 15 miles before getting ready for the work day? Try doing that once per week for 5-6 weeks in a row, in addition to long runs and tempo runs. It's tougher than I thought it would be!

I really dreaded this run; I started dreading it Sunday afternoon. I had no partner. I didn't want to get up before 5:00 AM. How bad would skipping this run set me back? I was looking for excuses not to do this workout. Ultimately, though, I had no good excuse not to run. So, I made up my mind before I went to sleep last night. I think that's the key. If I wait until my alarm goes off to decide if I'm going to run, I'll decide not to run almost every time. John C. Maxwell teaches making decisions early, and then executing those decisions daily. That's sage advice!

At about mile 5, I wondered why in the world I dreaded this run. I felt GREAT and enjoyed this run more than any other lonely run I've done! So, I dropped the pace and decided to finish with 5 marathon pace miles. Today was a great workout in great weather that put me in a good mood that will hopefully last the rest of the week!

15 miles in 1:56 with 5 marathon pace miles and 11 sub 8:00 miles. I wasn't even tired after the run. I feel so ready for the marathon! I hope I can stay injury free and confident for 7 more weeks!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Peak Mileage Week! 24 Mile Long Run!

This Week
This week is the peak mileage week for the training program. The schedule calls for 87 miles this week. Since I was sick a couple of days and I just haven't been able to squeeze in doubles, I only got 84 miles this week. Ok, "only" might not be the right word, but I didn't quite reach the 87 that the plan called for. I really don't think those 3 miles are going to be the difference!

The Run
Today was the longest training run I remember at 24 miles. Mark and I met up with the Fleet Feet group to start at the Holiday Inn in downtown Huntsville. We ran the whole marathon course, except for the downtown loop. That turned out to be a little over 24 miles.

We started slow, with a 9:00 or so first mile. Then we settled in to a 8:00-8:15 pace that we maintained for the entire run. There was another 9:00 mile when we missed a turn and we were looking to get back on the course. We just weren't paying attention and ran past a painted "M" on the street. We finished strong with 8:05, 8:00, 7:53, 7:32, and 7:10 for miles 20-24.

The Race
I was glad that we ran the course today. I had forgotten about some late hills. From miles 20-24 on the course (18-22 for us today), there are some hills. They may not even be noticeable hills in a 10k race, but at that point in the marathon, you'll notice that it's not flat. We noticed today!

Today gave me a ton of confidence going into the last 7 weeks of training. I never thought a 7:10 mile for my 24th could feel so easy. Granted, a 7:10 mile when you've run 23 8:15 miles is different from a 7:10 mile when you've just run 25 7:17 miles. However, the 26th mile in the race won't be my 84th mile of the week, either. Today, I felt great during and after the run. My legs were tired from the miles during the week, but my heart rate stayed very low during those miles in the low 8s.

I have no delusion that the marathon will be easy. Today reminded me that the distance MUST be respected. However, today also confirmed that my training is preparing me well. Today also reminded me of how much easier long runs are with a partner.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yuck

I still feel yucky. I was barely able to avoid the goose egg today. I did an easy 9:00+ paced 5 miler, and that wiped me out completely. I had to take a nap this afternoon because I was just toast.

At least I feel some better this evening. Tomorrow will be better, I hope. I still have a lot of miles left to run this week!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Last Tempo

Today was the last tempo run in my marathon training program. For the next 5 weeks, I get a steady dose of long runs, marathon pace long runs, VO2 workouts, and races. Then, it's taper time.

I knew this workout would be tough, but I really underestimated how bad it would be. The plan was for 12 miles total with 7 miles at tempo pace. I figured that based on my race performance at the Monte Sano 15k, tempo pace should be about 6:40 per mile. It was harder to hold that pace for 7 miles today than it was to hold it for 9.3 at the race. My heart rate was under control mostly. It was just above the tempo range for the last mile, but not bad. It was just hard to hold the pace today. Some days are better than others.

Matt came over and we ran over to the Athens High walking track as usual. There at the track I saw Jeff and my uncle Bryan getting their workout in. Good to see you guys! The miles on the track are a little long. I manually lapped the watch at the mile markers on the track instead of auto-lapping, so the splits below are for just over a mile, and some miles are longer than others. It came out to a 6:40 average pace overall on my Garmin.
  1. 6:55
  2. 6:40
  3. 6:45
  4. 6:42
  5. 6:36
  6. 6:42
  7. 6:40
I got a twinge in my right calf yesterday that started midway through the run and lasted until the end. It was there this morning, too. It didn't hurt during the tempo portion of today, but it was definitely sore afterward. I'm monitoring and icing it. It doesn't feel like something I can't run through.

Then, when I got home, I started feeling sick and have been at home sick all day. Yuck! Hopefully tomorrow is better. Maybe that's why it was hard to hold the pace.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Weekend Runs

After Wednesday's hard effort on the track, I took it easy on Thursday and Friday to recover. I did 7 or 8 at an easy pace both days.

I really wanted to run the Liz Hurley 5k yesterday, but for a number of reasons, that just didn't work out. Carl had a great run there! I like when he gets to opportunity to run a race because he does so much work to make the other HTC races go so smoothly. There were some other nice times there yesterday. Check out the Women's, Men's, and all Age Group results at the HTC website.

Instead, I met Mark and his friend Aaron up on Monte Sano to do some trail running. I didn't realize how much I missed running on the trails! There were a few cool things about that trail run.
  1. The weather was great for trail running! It was in the low 40s with clouds and a little rain. I could have done without the rain with those low temps, but it was still nice running weather.
  2. I got to try out my new Montrail Mountain Masochist shoes. I like them. I'll probably review them on a later post.
  3. We ran the course for the upcoming Monte Sano 9.3 mile Xterra race. That's a good course! It's runnable, but challenging. We were able to run sub 10:30 pace yesterday, so I would expect some fast finishing times at next week's race.
Today, I did the usual Sunday morning 10 mile loop. I meant to run a few extra before and after, but slept longer instead of running before. We ran the 10 mile at just below an 8:00 average pace. I was proud of Carl's effort today after yesterday's race effort!

After the 10 miler, I saw my cousin-in-law (is that a word?), Jeff, and we did a loop around the track before I headed home. I did 15 total for the day. Today is the beginning of my peak mileage week in the program.

Last, but not least, big props to my friend and Monte Sano 15k pacer Shane O'Neill for setting a marathon PR yesterday in KC! He was 16th overall and 4th in his AG. He had an awesome finishing time on a tough, hilly course!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Back to the Track

The plan hasn't included any track work until today. I get a good steady diet of 5k pace track work from now until the marathon. I almost dreaded the workout today. I haven't run that fast in a long time and I didn't really know if I was ready for it. Matt came over and we ran over to the Athens High track, getting about a 3.7 mile warm up. We ended up with 9.3 total for the day.

The plan called for 6 x 800m at 5k pace. I've adjusted my 5k pace down a few seconds based on Saturday's performance. The goal was 3:04 or less for every 800m.
  1. 3:03
  2. 2:59
  3. 2:57
  4. 3:01
  5. 2:54 (Matt pulled me.)
  6. 2:49
I was content to run the last one at 3:04, but Matt suggested that he thought we could do it in the 2:40's. I told him that I didn't really want to. But when we said "Go" on the last one, I suddenly wanted to. It wasn't easy. It was just slower than "tossing my cookies" pace. But I'm glad he put the idea in my head. Running partners help a ton.

Running fast is fun.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just Past Halfway...

The training program I'm following is an 18 week program. It is based on the principles in Advanced Marathoning by Peter Pfitzinger and Scott Douglas. I do a couple of deviations from their plan. First, I do back to back hard days almost every weekend. They address the concept, but don't include back to back hard days nearly as often as I do. Second, I don't always have convenient races when their plan calls for a race, so I'm racing when it's convenient.

This week is the beginning of the 10th week of the 18 week plan, so I'm just over halfway! I thought it appropriate to evaluate my progress now. The plan definitely gets harder in the next few weeks with both increased mileage and increased intensity. I feel ready.

General Feeling
I was concerned about how my body would respond to all these miles. I spent some time this summer ramping up, so I didn't just jump in at 70 miles per week. And, so far, so good! I feel as good as I ever have! I've had a few minor sore spots, but nothing that has lasted and nothing that has changed my gait. I'm thankful for the luck and blessings that have kept me injury free thus far. I hope that continues.

Race Performance
According to McMillan, Saturday was my best performance yet. Using Jack Daniels' VDOT, that race roughly equals my Cookie Dash 5k VDOT of 52, which is my best ever. I don't think I could have run Cookie Dash faster, but I do think I could have run Monte Sano 15k faster. This summer's race performances disheartened me a bit, so I'm glad to see improvement again. I feel faster than ever.

Heart Rate
My heart rate for a given workout is staying lower. On some workouts, such as long runs and tempo runs, I've increased the intensity to raise the heart rate. On others, I've simply enjoyed the increased comfort of a given pace. Some of this is weather related, I'm sure. But I do believe that some of it is related to improved fitness.

Weight
My weight has dropped some. I started the schedule at 171 lbs. I've been 166 lbs. for about a week now. I'd like to be nearer to 160, but I'm not going to risk slowing my recovery between workouts by not eating when I'm hungry. I'm simply paying close attention to what I eat and limiting or eliminating the splurges. After Dec. 12, BQ or not, I'm eating a cheeseburger, but not before then.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday AM Run

Well, I know that I didn't run hard enough Saturday based on how I felt Sunday. Or is the quick recovery a sign of the loads of miles and hard work paying off? I really think I just didn't run hard enough Saturday. Again, I'm very pleased with the time, but I should have gone out faster and dropped the pace some more on those middle miles.

I was able to give a very good effort on Sunday. I ran 15 total, including the usual 10 mile loop in Athens with Carl. Our average pace for the 10 miler was 7:38. My heart rate was under control for the run and I just felt great. If you can give an effort like that on the day after a 15k race, you didn't run the race hard enough!

I got the extra 5 miles by getting up a little earlier than usual and running an extra lap at the walking track before 5:45. Then, on the way home, I took a two mile route home after the 10 miler. Those two miles were sub 8:00, too.

Today, I avoided the rain and did a shoulder/triceps workout and an easy 5k on the treadmill. I can honestly say that I do now feel the cumulative effects of the weekend on my legs.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Monte Sano 15k


The overall results and the age group results are posted on the HTC Website. Those guys do an amazing job of timely results posting. Thanks guys! I took 1:01:44 to run the 15k which was good enough for 17th overall and 3rd in the 35-39 age group.

One of the first things that stood out to me is the number of runners that were there in the misty, cloudy, foggy, breezy conditions. I mean, running 9.3 miles is not a trivial thing to do, and nearly 300 runners did it today. That was nice to see!

Pre-Race
I toyed with a couple of different ideas for this race. The plan called for 18 with 12 at marathon pace. That crossed my mind. However, I've never raced a 15k. Except for last year's Rocket City Marathon, I've never given race effort in a race longer than 10k. So, I wanted to give it a go today.

I had good rest last night and settled in to my pre-race routine well this morning. I drove over to pick up Matt. We were able to get in a good 2.7 mile warm up with some strides at the end. I felt pretty good and was ready to race.

The First 5k
Before I get too deep into the details, I'd like to give a BIG thank you to Shane O'Neill. He's running a marathon next weekend and didn't want to put that goal at risk with hard effort today. So, he ran this race with me. He's much faster than me, and he's one of the guys I look up to. I admire the progress he's made over the past couple of years. It's amazing. Having him pace me helped a TON! It almost felt like cheating. His knowledge of the course and helpful tips along the way were most helpful. And to think, this wasn't even a marathon pace effort for him!

I simply started too slowly. I should have clocked those first 3 miles near 6:35, and I instead clocked them above 6:40. I was saving too much. Those 20 or so seconds are gone, and there's no way to get them back! Maybe those 20 seconds are what enabled me to finish strong. Who knows?

The first mile was mostly the forming of the packs. There was a lot of passing and getting passed. I don't remember much except that I ran behind Matt for a little while and I ran behind Randy McFarland some. The other memory of the first mile is that there was no cone or sentry for the turnaround. The arrows on the road were very visible, but I possibly would have missed it if I weren't running in a pack that was familiar with the course. Probably both a cone and a sentry would have been good there. I hit the first mile in 6:43.

I should have hung on to that next pack that formed ahead of me instead of letting them get away. There was a little passing and getting passed in the second mile, but I don't remember much about it. There was only one person who passed during this mile that I didn't track down. I ran it in a slower than expected 6:45.

The third mile has a slight rise early, but is mostly downhill. Also, I had someone to track down during this mile. I was able to pass John somewhat easily, though he did resist a little before letting me go. After John, there was another runner ahead that I didn't recognize and neither did Shane. I commented here that he shouldn't finish ahead of me. I should have said nothing. Not only was I unable to catch him, but I was unable to even close the gap. I was more pleased with the 6:27 split for mile 3.

The Middle 5k
The fourth mile is significantly uphill. I am less disappointed in the 6:46 split now that I look at the elevation of the course than I was when my watch rang. There is a turnaround near mile 4 on Old Chimney Road (the picture on the shirt is of the old chimney!). At that turnaround, I saw several familiar faces. Matt seemed no more than 15 seconds behind. Shortly behind him was Linda Scavarda, who ran incredibly well! Congrats on a HUGE PR, Linda! I cheered on some others that I knew and several cheered me on. That's about the only thing I like about a turnaround.

Shane warned me that the rest of the race would be like the trek up to the turnaround. There would be no worse hills, but there would be plenty of them. We headed down Monte Sano Blvd. to the Panorama loop. I'm happy to say that 6:40+ miles are now all finished! The rest of the race was lonely, except for Shane. By running faster miles now, I was leaving the people behind me. I wasn't running quite fast enough to catch the people ahead of me. Miles 5 and 6 were 6:34 and 6:37.

The Last 5k
Shane commented that I may have just run a 10k PR. It wasn't quite, but it was about 35 seconds or so slower than my 10k PR. I hit 6.2 miles at about 41:32 or so. I felt GREAT at this point. I knew that I only had 5k to go, and I was determined it would be the fastest 5k of the race.

The course continues to roll on this last 5k, and there were no runners in sight, ahead or behind. I was just running my pace. 6:36, 6:31, and 6:29, and 2:11 for the last 0.3. With a mile or so to go, Shane took off. He was able to reel in Dink, but not the other guy that I had wanted to reel in.

I was working pretty hard in the last 2 miles. I had a lot left in the tank coming into those miles, and I had to use it somehow. I probably waited too long to drop the pace.

Post Race
There is no doubt in my mind that I could have and should have run this race faster. I felt too good coming into the last 5k. I recovered too quickly after the race. Within 5 minutes, I was ready to run again. I felt great for the rest of the day!

Having said that, I am very pleased with the time. My goal was 63 minutes and I beat that soundly. Next year, I will be sub 1 hour in this race. If I ran this race next weekend, I'd try for sub 1 hour! That race gave me a TON of confidence that I'll break 40:00 in my next 10k.

After the race I did some cool down miles with Matt, Shane and Marty, then I found a co-worker, Jay Allison, finishing up the race, so Matt and I brought it in with him. Since both Matt and I got age group awards, I couldn't resist a trip to Fleet Feet since I was already in Huntsville. Hopefully I'll try out those new trail shoes soon!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Ragnar Results!

I've had the results for the Ragnar Relay DC for a few days and just haven't gotten around to posting about it. Here is the link to the results. We are the ADTRAN Rapid Routers. We were the 29th overall team and the 2nd place Corporate team!! That's awesome!

The only corporate team to beat us was "Saucony Rocks". Hmmm. I wonder what those guys do for a living?!? We had to provide volunteers for this race. What we should have done is to get our volunteers to disqualify team "Saucony Rocks"! Then, we would have won the corporate division! (Of course, I'm joking here.)

First, I have to thank ADTRAN and Fleet Feet of Huntsville. Without their generosity, this experience would not have been possible.

I am very proud of the team effort during this race. I saw everybody on our team run until it hurt and then run more and run faster. Several team members gave PR type efforts during their legs of the race. What a great team!

Justin - Youth and speed. I wish I had more of both! He was clearly the star of the team.

Both Dave and Steve gutted out painful knees to finish up. Dave's long downhill effort was beyond painful for him and he gutted it out. And thanks to Steve for the medical help!

Gene and Kevin just ROCKED their last legs with personal best efforts. How were they able to do that on the 3rd leg? Not to mention Kevin’s 8.2 miles non-stop uphill.

Paul gave an awesome midnight effort chugging up that beast of a hill in the black of darkness!

Eric F. ran 10 miles at faster than my tempo pace. Dude.

Shawn gave a great effort on an 8.8 miler that turned out to be longer! I think he ran faster than he thought he could.

Elle really toughed out an underrated uphill night time run in her first leg. Nice job!

Angie gave a PR effort early and then braved a not so safe part of town in her last leg.

Christie braved Northwest DC in the rain to finish the relay. I was afraid for her as I was sitting in safety at the airport. She was a great hand-off partner!

And I can't forget Bruce who was the fearless driver for Van 2. It was great having you along, Bruce!

This was definitely an experience of a lifetime. If you get the chance to run a relay in the Ragnar series, take advantage of the opportunity! There are a few on the team worthy of special thanks. Thanks Angie for having the idea and being the team captain! Thanks Eric F. for your outstanding project management and organization skills! Thanks Shawn for getting the finances in order for this. And thanks Gene for hosting us Thursday and Friday night and for generously loaning your vehicle to be Van 1.

Big thanks to Angie for her effort in putting together this video. I had to destroy the quality to make it fit on my blog, but you'll get the idea. It was a GREAT experience, and the vid captures some of that!

video

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Every Sunday

It's really nice to have things that are just a fixture on the calendar. The Sunday morning run is one of those things. I mean, I'll go easy or skip if I had a difficult Saturday or if I'm sick or something. By and large, though, I'm going to run at least 10 miles with a good effort on Sunday morning at 5:45.

Today, I might have skipped if Carl weren't waiting for me. Yesterday was humiliating. I couldn't have run another step after 22 miles. It hurt so bad! This morning, though, I felt much better! I'm glad Carl was there to encourage me to redeem myself.

I ended up with 13.5 total, and Carl and I ran our usual 10 mile loop through Athens. I really enjoy that run. The route, the pace, and the company are all solid. It's a great way to start the week!

We ran at about an 8:00 pace with all the miles from mile 5 and beyond below 8:00. It was just a nice, enjoyable run. The weather was great and it restored some of the confidence that yesterday's beatdown took away.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Catch up

I've been very busy this week and just haven't had time to update. Also, I've been living in the aftrglow of the Ragnar relay. So, here's the update for the whole week.

After Ragnar, I just didn't have a good effort in my legs for Sunday. So Sunday was a recovery day. Matt and I gave a good effort at a 15 miler Monday morning. Tuesday was another recovery day.

Wednesday was the key workout this week. It was 12 miles with 6 miles at tempo pace. The tempo run started a little slow at 7:03 for the first mile, but we finished strong with an average pace of 6:41 for the 6 miles. Nice job Matt.

After a couple more recovery days, I ran a 22 miler today. That was the most difficult long run to date. I have had too many short nights this week and they caught up with me on the run today. Today's run hurt really bad. Not my legs, but my abs killed me at the end. I had to stop and walk several times on the last 2 miles. Ugh! Pain! Now that I've stopped running, everything is fine. I had to run in the afternoon today, and that hurt me some, too. I had a strong finish until the last mile and a half, but after that, ouch.

That put me just over 82 miles for the week. Definitely my highest mileage week ever.