Sunday, September 19, 2010

Duck and Run 5k

I haven't posted in a while.  That's mostly because my life has been consumed by two things over the past week. Work and the Duck and Run 5k.

This weekend was my first attempt to direct a race.  WOW!  It's a lot of work.  My wife made this happen.  She deserves all the credit for the success of this event.  And I must say that this event was a resounding success.  We made very good proceeds for KALB and everyone at the race had so many positive things to say and seemed to have great fun.

I was more nervous for this event than I was for my first marathon.  I had nightmares the week before the race.  I kept dreaming that I'd never get the race started on time because I'd be running around getting nothing done.  I dreamed that half of my volunteers backed out Friday night.  I dreamed that the police didn't show up.  I dreamed that I totally botched the scoring.  I dreamed that someone got ran over by a car that ignored traffic control.  I dreamed that we ran out of food.  I dreamed that we ran out of water.  I dreamed that we had 500 people sign up on race day.  I dreamed that the leaders missed a turn and got lost in the last mile, causing about half the field to go the wrong way. I guess the only thing I didn't dream was the classic showing up naked dream.

I'm glad to say that none of those nightmares came to be.  It was a great event (if I do say so myself) and I'm SO glad that I did it.  Now, I need a week to recover from this.  And here is my sage advice for anyone considering becoming a race director.  Don't!

We had 263 finishers, and the largest age group was 11-14. There were 85 runners between 11 and 19.  Almost all of those were from Limestone County. I can't describe how happy that makes me. I believe the sport of running is very healthy in Limestone County.  I'm going to do my part to keep it that way.

The community of Athens came out big time to support the runners. There was much cheering and fun to be had by all.  I even had a couple of local celebrities at the event, Bill Holtzclaw and Mayor Dan Williams!

As a result of work (ugh, but it pays the bills and supports my running addiction) and the Duck and Run 5k, I had to put a hold on my marathon training.  I had a 35 mile week with no long run.  I will not be running near 3:00 this year. But Athens had a good September 5k.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Early Long Run

Ahhhhh! Ahhhhh!

Well, that didn't translate to the written word very well. Just imagine Robert Plant as he's belting out the screams in "Immigrant Song".  That's how I felt after today's run.  Good screams.  I wanted to shriek with joy at the end of 18 miles with 10 miles at marathon pace today.  Finally, a good run.  A run that required me to maintain a challenging pace for a long time.  A run that I was able to finish and want some more.

What is marathon pace?  That's a good question.  Today, with my bruised confidence, I just wanted it to be below 7:30.  But after two miles at that pace, we realized that it needed to be faster.  So, we dropped to 7:20 and 7:10 and then 7:05.  Next time, I'll try 7:05 as a start.

Today is the kind of run that reminds me of why I like marathon training.  I had a challenging schedule this weekend with NO time to run on Saturday.  So, I adjusted my running schedule all week so that I could be recovered and ready to hit the long run early Friday.  Getting 18 miles in before work means wake up and smell the asphalt no later than 4:45 AM.  Ouch.  Getting it done when it ain't easy is what marathon training is about.  Marathon training teaches you to overcome the overwhelming desire to give up.  I could have given up on this week, but I found a way and I'm glad I did.

I asked Matt if he wanted to join, and he did.  He's as crazy as I am. It's beyond awesome to have a training partner who'll join you with a crazy schedule like that.  And Matt really pushed the pace this morning.  I couldn't have done today's workout without him.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cooler Weather... Don't Go Away!

This morning Matt and I met for a 10 mile run with 4 miles at tempo pace.  Man, it felt so good outside this morning.  It was warm enough for shorts and warm enough to sweat, but it wasn't so warm that it slows you down.  My weather records say 64, but it felt even cooler than that.  Nice.  I don't think the rest of the week will be so pleasant.

We decided that our tempo pace should be a little quicker with the cooler temps and (supposed) improved fitness.  We were aiming for 6:40 pace for  the tempo miles.  We hit 6:36 overall pace with 6:42, 6:31, 6:30, and 6:40.  It wasn't miserable, which is good because a tempo run shouldn't be miserable.  It was uncomfortable at the end, which is good because a tempo run shouldn't be easy.

Maybe progress is happening.  I have a lot of work to do and I have to improve in my willingness to hurt, especially during training.  But just maybe I can run a 3:05 in December.  3:00 still seems out of reach.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chugging Along

Even though I didn't travel this week, I didn't have a great week of training.  I got in most of my miles.  I got in all of my quality miles.  I only missed recovery miles and I traded one recovery run for a spinning class, which is effectively the same thing (elevate the heart rate without stressing the running muscles). However, it was a struggle to get it done this week.  I'm tired and stressed.  I knew the month of September would be a huge challenge.  My calendar is overrun.  I'm overbooked.  I have too many irons in the fire.  And then some additional stress has been added.  Ugh.

Anyway, I did the miles: 12 on Monday and 14 on Wednesday.  Then, I did a lazy (can a 20 miler be lazy?) 20 miler at an 8:00 average pace on Saturday.  The weather was beautiful and I just enjoyed being out in it.  I didn't really think about how fast (slow) I was running.  I just ran.  I honestly didn't look at my pace until mile 16, and decided to finish as fast as my tired legs would allow (about 7:40-7:45 for the last 4 miles).  It was mind clearing, but probably not the best way to run for marathon preparation.  It did reduce my stress considerably, though.

I should have gone to Monte Sano and run the 10k and 5k, but again, I'm afraid of the reality that is my slow 10k and 5k pace.  Some time soon, I'm going to have to run fast.