Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Time on the Feet

Time: 46:21
Distance: 7.04 miles
Pace: 6:25

I took a few spins through Freedom Park again this afternoon. Not a lot about this run was exciting, just trying to get caught up.

Slow Go for Meagan

Time: 32:09
Distance: 4.50 miles
Pace: 7:08

I was doing my normal run this morning through Freedom Park when a gimpy blond haired girl stumbled off a trail. She forced me to run with her for 10 minutes at a really slow clip, but she was cute so I went along with it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

McMullen Failure

Time: ~70 mins
Distance: 10.07 miles

W/u: 20:32 for 3.00 miles
W/o: 4 x mile, 2 x 400
C/d: 15:19 for 1.88 miles

Simmons took us out to a new location this afternoon that is a bit south of the city. We hit up the McMullen Greenway for some miles on a partially dirt/paved/bridged route. Most of the guys on the team were doing a pre-race workout consisting of 2 x mile, 2 x 400 but Oscar was doing 6 x mile that I was hoping to join. We got in our warm up and a few strides before commencing the effort on the first mile of the greenway.

Mile Splits:
4:39 (2:57), 4:48 (2:51), 4:59 (3:14), 5:05 (7:28)

400 Splits:
65.00 (5:35), 64.03

After the second mile interval I knew things were going downhill. My sickness is still troubling me and I guess it was a bit of a mistake to attempt this workout. However, I had already started the effort and was determined to get something in worthwhile. Oscar was running absolutely great which wasn't good for me. I was left in his wake on the second interval after about 600 meters. On the third interval Mike joined us and proceeded to take the pace out in 65 through 400m. I immediately backed off and thought about stopping at 800, 1000 and 1200 meters. I relaxed the last half of the mile and managed to split just under 5 mins. On my final interval I decided to run with one of the groups doing the pre-race. I felt much more comfortable going through 800 in 2:34 and finishing with a 2:31. The 400s at the end were just to get the legs turning over.

Oscar managed to average 4:40s or just a dip under and I think he finished with a 4:34.

The other news on the trail was that Fasil Bizuneh, who is coached by Simmons, was out doing his second big workout of the day. In the morning he ran a 2 mile warm up, 5 miles at 4:28 pace, 8 miles in 39:40ish and cooled down a mile. That's 16 miles total for the morning with some big chunks running really fast. Well, in the afternoon he came back out to McMullen to do the workout over. Yes, he was going to duplicate the effort from the morning to the best of his ability. I'm not sure what he ran the 5 miles hard in, but just as we were about to leave Simmons asked if anybody wanted to run 8 miles at 4:55 pace. There were no takers.

Starting the Day

Time: 30:52
Distance: 4.47 miles
Pace: 6:54

I took a spin through Freedom Park on my way to Queens for breakfast. Not a lot to report about this run. I still am a little sick but I think that I'll be able to do a workout this afternoon.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Boyce Lot Romp

Time: 60:57
Distance: ~8.75 miles

I forgot Mr. Garmin at home this afternoon but the run was very similar to the one I did last week. I started off with Benny from the Boyce parking lot and ran in the direction of the Footlocker course. I am still store from the game of soccer which forced me to start easy. The pace gradually picked up as I made loops around the park. By the end of the run I was feeling good and was able to finish up the final climb with lots of plantar flexion.

Feels Almost Like Fall

Time: 31:19
Distance: 4.49 miles
Pace: 6:58

Wicked sore. If this were a cross-training blog like Meagan's I would have mentioned that we played an epic game of soccer yesterday afternoon. The weather was great for an hour long game of the sport that brought me into running at the age of 9. My skill on the ball was questionable and my dribbling ability left a lot to be desired. However, I could still place the ball relatively well and pass/shoot accurately. Regardless of my snipe, Meagan does give a pretty good job at recapturing the worldly friendly that was played. That said, my body is wicked sore. I used muscles that have been dormant since the last time I played soccer over a year ago in Mexico. My back hurts, as do my upper quads. It was fun while it lasted but now I have to face the consequences.

This run was really easy through Freedom Park and I ended up feeling pretty good by mile 2.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Week in Review

Time: 429:34
65.10 miles

I took this week pretty easy until Sunday's long run on purpose. I managed to catch a cold the final days in Providence and it has persisted the rest of the week. The sickness started in my throat, moved to my chest just briefly and has now put up lodge in my nose. The best part of the day is when I get to run, but it has to be a little easier so that I don't run myself into the ground. Taking two 2 mile days helped get the legs fresher and it will definitely help in the long run. My immediate goals are to get rid of this cold and stay sharp for Japan.

Jerry Runs a Big One

Time: 84:08
Distance: 14.04 miles
Pace: 5:59

I got up this morning and saw that Jerry's Kids was running the Quad Cities Marathon. I haven't chatted with Jerry in a few weeks but guessed that he would be shooting for mid-2:20s. I left to do my long run with the Queens athletes out at McAlpine and wasn't able to hit refresh every 10 minutes.

My run was fantastic. The legs were really fresh due to the light workload midweek and the weather started cool and dry. I was running with Futsum, Oscar, Benny and Simon for the first 4 or 5 miles and then the Ethiopian went to work. He was going 17 miles but I guess he was feeling frisky early on because by 6 miles we were running around 6:00 pace. Futsum kept at the pace until mile 9 when he decided to back off because now Oscar and I had gone to work. Benny lasted until mile 10 and it was down to two for the last 25 minutes. I felt good the whole way and a good hard long run is something that I think I've been missing in my training. This is not the type of effort I need every weekend, but it reminded how good it feels to finish up the last 6 or 8 miles of a long run at a good clip.

Splits: 7:19, 6:41, 6:34, 6:26, 6:07, 5:57, 5:49, 5:39, 5:33, 5:36, 5:43, 5:35, 5:31, 5:29.

After the run I went to pick up Meagan who made me guess as to what Jerry's Kids ran. I said 2:25 and she seemed a little disappointed at my guessing ability. He crossed the tape in 5th place with a time of 2:25:13. Great stuff. Congrats.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Running in the Rain

Time: 45:37
Distance: 7.11 miles
Pace: 6:25

I spent most of the day watching college football at Chandlers while Sanford napped on my lap. It was a relaxing afternoon and soon it was time to pick Meagan up from work. She tried to trick me into going for a walk with her but I opted to start my run from the apartment like I normally. It was a smart decision because around mile 3 I was running through a downpour. That little bit of a walk would have meant that the entirety of my run was wet. Since I didn't fall for her tricks I was able to get soaked for a little over half of the run. My legs and lungs felt great and it was fun running through the rain because it wasn't all too cold.

A Run to Sanford's

Time: 37:02
Distance: 5.56 miles
Pace: 6:39

I felt great this morning on a run through Freedom Park and ending briefly at Chandler's house. Meagan and I are dogsitting a 6 month old chocolate lab for two days. She is clearly full of energy and loves to jump on people's laps. We took a walk down to the greenway and took turns calling "Sanford" so the dog would have to run while we just stood there. The lazy man dog walk is always the way to go for quick and effective dog tiring.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sleep Helps

Time: 51:21
Distance: 8.02 miles
Pace: 6:24

I slept for 10 hours last night and when I finally got up I could tell that the body much appreciated the extra minutes in bed. I spent most of the day doing a lot of nothing around the house, but in the evening when I decided to lace the boots up I felt great. I was still a little short of breath but as a whole I enjoyed the run. The route itself wasn't too exciting but I got to see some of the action going on at the Festival in the Park. Most of Freedom Park looks like a carnival, but with a little more art. Tons of people were out and about enjoying the 80 degree temps and the start of the weekend.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Feeling Poor at McAlpine

Time: 58:45
Distance: 8.82 miles
Pace: 6:39

Tanya and I went out to Boyce Park to get on the trails at McAlpine. I felt fine going into the run but quickly discovered that I wasn't fully recovered. I felt sluggish and couldn't relax on large stretches that I should have been most comfortable. Tanya is also sick and when I caught her with about 1.5 miles to go she was looking terrible. We ran the last 10 minutes together back to the parking lot.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Better than a Zero

Time: 30:05
Distance: 4.45 miles
Pace: 6:45

I put a few miles in the morning with the intention of running in the afternoon. I caught a bit of a cold or some sort of ailment that has made me not want to run. Usually I would run through an illness of this light magnitude but have opted to play it smart.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Land of Nomar

Time: 28:07
Distance: ~4 miles

I ran a few miles this morning from Craigga's house in Warwick, RI. I couldn't find the Garmin because I left it at Graddy's pad meaning that staying over at the Fountain's is going to save me no time in getting to the airport. The legs felt good this morning and I'm glad to know that Craig's dog, Clyde, will still hump your leg. Clyde hasn't matured in the 4 years since I've seen him, I guess old dogs don't lose their old tricks... or something like that.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Seekonk, MA

Time: 68:17
Distance: 9.59
Pace: 7:07

I put in some miles with Graddy this afternoon once he got done with his big medical school exam on the heart. He was hoping to put in about 20 miles on the day, but I would not be joining him for the duration. Tarpy unfortunately couldn't make it over for the outing as the same blond/female/Olympian mentioned in that post was having an epic shopping spree.

Graddy and I ran one of the standard loops we used to do while running for Brown. "Seekonk" takes you from the campus, across the border and into Massachusetts where our former coach John Gregorek lives. The loop doesn't go past his house or anything but it's still cool to have runs that cross borders. I was thinking while on this run about how crappy some of our loops were. As a team we ran a lot along the Blackstone Blvd which meant that nobody wanted to run there if we had the opportunity to go elsewhere. The Seekonk loop has large portions next to busy streets and crowded intersections. It was never a concern running these routes when there were 20 guys around, but running them solo or with a small group is questionable.

I felt a little sore during the run but nothing out of the ordinary. Tonight I'm going to Craigga's for dinner.

Louie's on the Mind

Time: 26:12
Distance: 3.51 miles

I didn't get in as many miles this morning as I would have liked but that's how things worked out. Instead of the extra minutes I met up with Rick Marshall at one of the better dive diners in the world. Louie's is still as grimy as ever, but the food never changes. The prices are still the same as you can get a grilled muffin, eggs, coffee, french toast, fruit cup and hash browns for the low low price of 5 quid. I'm not sure how much 5 quid is, maybe Wee Man could tell you, but I hope it's not that much.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Week in Review

Time: 511:00
Distance: 73.74 miles

I didn't have a chance to mention that on the warm up of this morning's race I spotted my former coach John Gregorek. He currently works for Asics and was on hand to run the race. I think his goal was to break 19 minutes which is nearly five minutes and 40 seconds slower than his PR. Yea, do the math, he was crazy fast. It's always nice to catch up with John and hear about how well his family is doing. He also had the chance to meet up after the race and briefly chat with the rest of the guys who came to watch.

Perhaps I could have been a little fresher for the race with a bigger taper. I'm feeling good on runs and during workouts, but I need to get comfortable with the burning/aching/cramping sensations again. Jailhouse and I will be coming up with some ideas for what to do next. I'm an alternate of the Ivy League team which means I have the opportunity to break out the spikes and run a fast 5k on the track.

In other news, the title from Saturday's post was my fortune at Shanghai. It fit the environment of the day.

CVS Downtown 5k

Time: 94:09
Distance: 12.51 miles

Shakeout: 13:51 for 1.65 miles
W/u: 22:00 for 2.75 miles
Race: 15:00 (<-- results)
C/d: 27:59 for 3.27 and 15:19 for 1.74

Race day morning started up on College Hill with a short run to shake out the legs. I proceeded to shower up and walk down the hill several hours before the race. A quick stop was made to Starbucks for some coffee and then I walked over to the Capitol. I'm glad that I got to the race early because it gave me a chance to see former Brown coach Bob Rothenberg and his wife Anne. They were volunteering at the race because they are quite possibly the most well connected couple in the RI running community.

There was still much time to spare but luckily I saw Stephanie Pezzullo (Pezz) beforehand and we hung out in the grass field. Tanya showed up a bit later with Sara Hall (Bei), Jenn Rhines (three time Olympian), and a few other elite women (those with actual shoe company contracts). It was cool seeing the elite men hang around the start of the race gearing up for what is more or less a low key race.

I had two goals on the day which were to run in the 14:30s and qualify for the Ivy League Ekiden trip to Japan. Prior to the race the team coach, Jack Fultz, pre-selected five athletes (Steve Sundell [Columbia], Michael Maag [Princeton], Ben True [Dartmouth], David Nightingale [Princeton], Thomas Morgan [University of Kentucky]). You might be thinking Kentucky, that's not an Ivy League school. Well, it's known as the Ivy League of the south, or so I'm told.

Anyway, those five runners were already on the team and four of us were racing (Lucas Meyer [Yale], Zac Hine [Cornell], Murat Kayali [Yale], myself) in Providence. The hitch in this whole thing is that only eight guys make the team. Six athletes run in the ekiden (Japanese relay race) and two are alternates who run a 5k on the track. Thus, I had to beat one runner on the day.

The race started and I was hoping to go through the mile in 4:35-4:40, but I came through a little slow in 4:42. It was cool hearing the three clap cheer of my former Brown teammates. Watch the video below and you can see what I'm talking about.

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

I was just off the pace of a big group I should have been up with. The leaders only ran 4:30 for the first mile which meant my positioning was fine, just a little slow as a result. I hoped to remain focused over the next mile and catch some of the guys who went out to fast. I was running behind Christian Hesch and an older dude in a green jersey (there is some debate as to whether the runner was Sean Wade. He doesn't show up in the results, but I'm almost positive that it was Wade). Going through the second mile mark I think it read 8:24 which was clearly wrong. Hopefully it was 9:24 and just a minute off but who knows at this point.

I passed Hesch in the next section and reeled in a couple of more guys. With about half a mile to go old guy green took off and I thought I was going to lose to him. Meagan's good friend, Gabe Rodriguez, said I better not lose to Sean Wade because he's 41 years young, and at this point I was certain this was Wade. Gabe would have given me endless shit if I lost to a masters athlete. Luckily, I saved enough for the final hill which is about 300 meters from the finish. Half way up the hill Wade was gassed and I rolled past him, but was getting rolled on by two other guys making moves. Part way up the hill is the 3 mile mark (I think 14:25) and then it flattens out to the finish. I didn't think I was slowing that much, roughly to a 5 min pace, because I was still catching people. I crossed the line right at 15 minutes.

At no point during the race did I feel overly strained or lock up. I'm not sure why I ran 30 seconds slower than what I had hoped. My legs felt good and the lungs handled the effort fine. Maybe it's because I haven't gone to the well during a race effort in quite some time and I've forgotten to accept a high level of pain. Two years ago when I ran 14:44, I had run a 5k in 14:54 a couple of weeks prior. I would like to think that I'm in the same if not better shape than two years ago. Regardless, I achieved my second goal of qualifying for the trip to Japan. So I've got that going for me...which is nice.

Lucas and Zac ran great times today which you can find in the results up top. Tanya didn't have the best race, but Pezz almost broke 17 minutes.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

You Will Always Be Surrounded by True Friends

Time: 51:33
Distance: 6.87 miles
Pace: 7:30

I didn't have much time between runs (3 hours) because Ozzie, Craigga, J-Nettles and Clark showed up from NYC. Well, Clark wasn't really there because he's a punk and had law school reading to do. Regardless, the guys were back in town and we put the boots on for a run. It was pretty much a Boring Stories of Glory Days experience but better.

We laughed about how Craigga spends $70 a month for a gym membership he uses twice on average. That's a $35 visit but what is even better is the fact that his workout takes 10 minutes to complete. Essentially, Craigga is paying $210 per hour to work out, but I guess J.P. Morgan hasn't been affected by this whole "recession" thing.

There were some Glory Stories about workouts we had done and races we had run/won. This was definitely one of the best runs I've had in ages. Craigga was hurting by 4 miles and called it a day while the rest of us put in a few more minutes down on the Blackstone Blvd.

It's now a touch after 10 pm and I'm getting ready for bed. CVS is tomorrow morning at 11:15 EST and I hope to run in the 14:30s. I hopefully didn't sabotage my race by playing two light games of Beirut as the class of '06 and eating dinner at Shanghai with the boys. Craigga was true to form and treated the table to several scorpion bowls (of which I didn't partake) and dinner. A large group is currently at Spat's and while I would love to be there, I have business to take care of in the morning.

Seeing the Sites

Time: 30:43
Distance: 4.22 miles
Pace: 7:16

I was out the door and off to see some of the old sites Brown has to offer. First I ran up Hope St. from Graddy's and took a tour of the back fields that have been recently upgraded. It looks like the athletic department decided to pay a hefty some to have the grass turfed over. Being back on the fields brought back memories of my first run with Enda Johnson and Eamonn O'Connor when they spoke Irish to each other which meant I understood next to nothing.

I next hit up the Brown Stadium but it was locked up so I ran up the hill and through Moses Brown HS. It's funny how you can come back to a place and run the exact same roads without feeling like you've missed anything. Finally, I took it down Thayer St. while the traffic was low and deliveries were being made.

I had a few hours back at Graddy's before walking down to pick up my race packet with Steve Chaloner. Since I got down there early I was able to grab all I needed with little hassle. I wanted to see Bob Rothenberg but I didn't come across the feller. Hopefully I spot him tomorrow after the race.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Brown Town

Time: 60:01
Distance: 8.53 miles
Pace: 7:02

I had an early flight out this morning from Charlotte to PVD that Meagan was lucky enough to take me to. Tarpy was big time in picking me up once the flight touched down in the old stomping grounds. Being back on campus has brought back so many memories and it's only going to get better when some of the fellas get here. Tarpy and I went to Blue State Coffee and grabbed a slice from Antonio's once Graddy got out of class. It turned out being a relaxing and fun morning/afternoon with two former teammates.

Graddy has a big test on Monday which means he's going to fail once the crew gets here. Anyway, he was able to escape for some minutes along the bike path. The India Point crossing is newly finished so there is a more direct route to the path. We put in about an hour at an easy clip talking about his time in Durban, South Africa. He schooled me on the four groups of people there: black, white, Indian and colored. However, I liked it best when he said his boss (an educated Zulu woman) asked him who "Hispanics" were after reading about another superior race of people.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Time on the Feet

Time: 40:01
Distance: 6.02 miles
Pace: 6:38

A simple evening run from the apartment to Queens was in store. I wanted to put in a few extra minutes after using the facilities at Ovens but opted to keep the legs as fresh as possible.

Morning Miles

Time: 30:40
Distance: 4.45 miles
Pace: 6:53

I put in a few miles this morning before meeting Meagan at the dining hall. I forgot to turn the auto-split function back on Mr. Garmin so I wasn't receiving splits. The hours are ticking down until I depart for Providence.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gaining Confidence

Time: 52:26
Distance: 8.18 miles

W/u: 23:09 for 3.10
W/o: 2 x mile in 4:35, 2 x 400 in 60-61 with full recovery
C/d: 16:54 for 2.08 miles

I met up with Tanya and we drove over to Johnson C. Smith University for our pre-race workouts. She was meeting up with Pezz, who is also running CVS, to do 2 x 800, 2 x 400. Since Jailhouse is such the slave driver he had me run double the distance at the start. The goal is to run as relaxed as possible and today's weather was quite humid, so I was hoping not to blow up early.

I started with a couple of 200s in trainers because I wanted to feel especially light when I slipped on the flats. Splits:

33.73 (1:18), 32.83 (7:37),
4:34.25 (6:00), 4:34.93 (4:32),
60.83 (3:42), 59.76

The workout ended up going really well. I felt fairly relaxed clicking off 68s during the miles despite the humidity. I was drenched with sweat once the workout was over and just hope that the weather in Providence isn't so damp. I think that I'll be able to go out in 4:35 to 4:40 this weekend and feel comfortable doing so. The race starts with a big downhill so it will be a balancing act of getting out hard without going to the well before 2.5 miles.

I have a little bit of tendinitis in my left knee that I can only feel when I press on it. John Gregorek would say, "don't press on it then."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ho Hum Run

Time: 45:31
Distance: 7.07 miles
Pace: 6:26

Same ol' stuff. This blog is starting to look like Coste's when he's in Brewville.

A Slight Change

Time: 30:24
Distance: 4.45 miles
Pace: 6:52

I made a slight change to my morning run this morning, but it didn't really alter the distance. It, also, didn't make the run that much better. When I got to Queens the dining hall was just wrapping up breakfast which meant I ate a pb&j sammich. Shiiiit. I could have made that pb&j at home.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Freedom Park Loop

Time: 44:59
Distance: 7.00 miles
Pace: 6:25

I need a better route or at least need to mix it up a bit more. It's just too easy to run from the apartment down the bike path and to Freedom Park. I guess it's good to know what you are getting yourself into but when I do, I tend to push the pace more.

Morning Route

Time: 30:33
Distance: 4.44 miles
Pace: 6:52

I threw on the boots this morning and put in some time up to Queens University. This run has firmly become my morning route that ends with breakfast in the dining hall. As far as I can remember the body and legs handled this run well. (I'm posting a few days late and need to get caught up.)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Week in Review

Time: 576:27
Distance: 84.14

I ended up with a good week of training despite not getting in a run over 10 miles. I have taken to doubling most days as it has made a nice routine. I'm not too concerned with the 1k's out at McAlpine or the lousy race I ran this week. I know I'm fit and ready to roll in a week. Next week looks to have some easy runs getting me ready for the race in Providence.

Finishing the Week at McAlpine

Time: 62:11
Distance: 10.12 miles
Pace: 6:08

I got out to McAlpine this morning for longish run with some of the guys from Queens. I started out with Futsum, Alex and Benny but soon it was just me and Benny for miles 5-10. I am still getting used to how quick some of the guys start out their runs. While I'm content to let the pace ease into sub-6:20s, some of the guys can get there by mile 2 or 3. Today I ran to the Footlocker course, ran twice around the loop and returned back to Old Bell lot. The slits were: 7:17, 6:31, 6:17, 6:17, 5:58, 6:02, 6:08, 5:56, 5:41, 5:23.

Look at some of those jumps, not the nice progression I'm used to running. I felt good out there today and was comfortable finishing up well under 6:00/mile. I'm pretty sure some of the others dropped final miles under 5:00 mins which would have been unheard of during my time at Brown.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hog Jog 5k

Time: 57:51
Distance: 8.77 miles

W/u: 24:04 for 3.32 miles
Race: 15:52
C/d: 17:55 for 2.35 miles

I was up bright and early this morning to get down to the start line of the 2nd Annual Hog Jog. The race was in conjunction a bbq festival here in downtown "uptown" Charlotte. I tried to make a routine that I could use for the following week up in Providence but it was a little scattered as I searched for where the race started. The warm up was done along the course except for the last 800 meters that weren't marked clearly.

As I got back to the start of the race, Meagan (my own personal sherpa) met me with my gear for the race. I suited up and went to the front of the crowd. She was sure to tell me that "nobody looked too good, so I had nothing to worry about." Great. Well, her recon skills were on on par with the previous administration's hunt for Bin Laden. I immediately spotted a 6'4" Middle Eastern man with a beard and turban. Rather, I spotted a tall, slight of frame athlete with a goatee wearing a red Zap Fitness singlet. Thomas Morgan had driven down from Blowing Rock, NC to stake his claim at the $250 purse. FML.

I started the race running behind Morgan and went through the mile in 4:35 according to the clock. I would later find out that the clock was about 17 seconds off meaning I was really 4:53. That little bit of misinformation threw me off as I continued to press but didn't really get after it. At one point I was catching up to Morgan but by two miles the lead had opened back up to its original distance. The final mile was really slow as it was mostly uphill, not the really steep kind but the long and drawn out kind that makes a split really slow.

There would be no winnings for me today unfortunately, but I did get to cool down with Morgan and talk about the upcoming trip to Japan. I don't feel great about the race itself because it went from being a good test of what sub-4:40 at the start feels like (really easy because the clock was wrong) to being disappointed at how I should have run harder. Either way I'm getting to taper next week and freshen up for a trip up to Providence.

Since I stole all of Meagan's fun and games last week, I'll let her tell you about dancing homeless men.

Friday, September 11, 2009

McAlpine Run

Time I: 59:13
Distance: 8+ miles
Time II: 11:28
Distance: 1.5 miles

I forgot Mr. Garmin at home which meant I used the markers at McAlpine to know how far I was going. As I mentioned in this morning's post, the Queens team was doing a 5 mile predator run starting at the mile marker of the Footlocker course and running backwards. I warmed up with the team and then finished up the rest of my run. The park was relatively quiet this afternoon but there was a cross country team out there putting in work.

Running Anyway

Time: 32:37
Distance: 4.57 miles
Pace: 7:08

I wasn't sure if I was going to run this morning but then Tanya, who has been sleeping on our air mattress, told me she was going for a jog. I laced up the boots and got in a little over 4 miles this morning. I'm running a low key race tomorrow so while the Queens team is doing a "predator run" this afternoon I'll jog around McAlpine.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Freedom Park Pursuits

Time: 50:08
Distance: 7.12 miles
Pace: 7:02

The afternoon run was very similar to this morning's. Tanya and I put in 7 miles through Freedom Park and up near Queens. The pace was easy allowing the legs to recover.

Tanya is Back

Time: 32:09
Distance: 4.43 miles
Pace: 7:15

Tanya touched down in the Queen City last night without her bags because US Airways left them in San Francisco. She was planning on staying with Meagan and I anyway which meant the air mattress would get another use.

This morning she planned on jogging to campus to get her truck, so I thought I'd tag along. I showed her my loop through the park up to Queens. I felt pretty good on this easy jog as we chatted about the potential field in Providence. Tanya will also be racing the CVS Downtown 5k.

I pulled off another meal in the dining hall thanks to the absent Simon.

I got another follower on this blog. (If you're really in Charlotte, feel free to contact me and we hopefully would be able to meet up for a run).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

McAlpine Repeat Ks

Time: 65:25
Distance: 9.40 miles

W/u: 24:54 for 3.30 miles
W/o: 5 x 1k in 2:54 with 30 sec. rest
C/d: 23:08 for 3.00 miles

This is pretty much my last big workout prior to running up in Providence, RI on the 20th. Jailhouse established the pace at 2:54/k which is about 4:40/mile. The workout originally was going to be on the roads but I don't know of a good 1k course here in Charlotte yet. All the areas that I run have some hills or cross streets and nothing would really work for this workout. Thus, I went out to McAlpine with some members of the Queens team to run on the Footlocker course.

I wasn't thrilled with having to run back and forth on the first 1000 meters of the course, but it had all the markers I needed. I started aggressively, and tried to run strong and tall. I felt good but I couldn't hit the paces right as the way out seemed slightly uphill and into the wind and the way back didn't give me back all the lost time. I split:

3:00.14 (32.10), 2:57.55 (31.57), 3:06.43 (30.72), 3:06.70 (31.80), 3:06.57 for 17:23 total.

I'm not really sure what happened out there but I wasn't on point. I felt relaxed but maybe wasn't getting all the traction I needed on the dirt to run under 3:00. I'm not too concerned with things because I was still able to stretch out the legs and open the lungs.

Morning Miles

Time: 31:42
Distance: 4.43 miles

I ran the same route as yesterday evening and made my way to campus for breakfast. Meagan and the squad had core and pool this morning so I thought that I would do a bit of heavy breathing too. I have my last big workout prior to the CVS 5k this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Double for Dining

Time: 30:43
Distance: 4.43 miles
Pace: 6:56

I ran from the apartment to Queens via Freedom Park. There isn't much to report about this run other than the fact that I got to eat in the dining hall post run. The Queens team was running 20 x 400 this afternoon which meant they were late getting to dinner. After grabbing some food courtesy of Simon's ID card, I hung around the campus waiting for Meagan to get out of her first class of the semester.

Simon Says

Time: 58:41
Distance: 8.41 miles
Pace: 7:00

I held off on running this morning because Simon needed a ride to the airport in the afternoon. We scheduled a time to meet prior to departing for CLT and put in a few miles around Queens. He had just returned from the mountains of North Carolina where the team had competed in an early season meet. Simon Steutzel was the 6th man across the line for Queens, only 3 seconds back from scoring. That's not too bad for a German whose longest run was 10 miles up until a few weeks ago.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Another Freedom Park Run

Time: 45:55
Distance: 7.01 miles
Pace: 6:32

I basically did the same run as this morning except I looped back through Freedom Park for some extra miles. The legs and pace felt strong and I was simply trying to get time on the feet.

Running and Errands

Time: 38:24
Distance: 5.45 miles
Pace: 7:02

I took a spin through Freedom Park this morning before taking Meagan to work. My dad and I spent the rest of the day running errands around Charlotte. Our first stop was to Target where he purchased a toothbrush, next we were off to South Park mall for a sweatshirt. A good friend, Carolina, requested that one be purchased with her name across the front. It's not to difficult to find a UNC baby blue sweatshirt here in the Tar Hell state, or so we thought.

My dad spotted on at Finish Line in the mall and promptly made the purchase, but if were only that easy. The store was running a buy 1 for $35 or 2 for $40 special which meant that I would be getting a piece of apparel too. There certainly weren't any Brown University items, no OU pieces and I couldn't do App State, Penn State, USC, Duke or Texas. I reluctantly chose an Ohio State Buckeyes sweatshirt from the selection and immediately texted my little sister who will be attending the nations largest university in the fall. I told her she better not flunk out now that I have this sweatshirt.

The last stop was to Earth Fare where we had lunch and bought some dinner food for later.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Week in Review

Time: 566:58
Distance: 86.64 miles

I finished up this week's training with a tragic Michigan workout but that's not to take away from the quality early on. There a few runs during the week that were simply miles of running, but I got in 3 workouts that definitely showed the fitness. On Tuesday I ran some mile repeats with Queens and on Thursday I hit the track for the 300/100 workout. I have two weeks to sharpen up for CVS up in Providence. My flight is booked and I'll be heading back to the old stomping grounds for some high quality racing.

Michigan Workout

Time: 65:05
Distance: 10.56 miles

W/u: 22:16 for 3.01 miles
W/o: 33:51 for 6.34 miles
C/d: 9:00 for 1.21 miles

I hate this workout.

I was really tired this morning and slept in which meant that I missed the cool weather of the morning. Meagan and pops planned an outing to IKEA. Shoot me. So it was on tired legs when I was off to McAlpine to run a tough workout in 87 degree weather. Can you guess how it turned out? I'm already trying to establish excuses.

I felt a little sluggish on the warm up but was attempting to get pumped up for the start of the workout. My goal was to attack the first mile and then try and run relaxed as much as possible. The workout was designed to be run on the track but I thought I could run close to the prescribed pace on the dirt.

Target: Mile in 4:40, 2 miles at 5:10 pace, 1200 in 3:20, 2 miles at 5:10, 800m in 2:10.
4:40.90, 5:31, 5:39,
3:44.17, 5:48, 5:47,

The first mile was spot on and while it felt hard I was confident that this workout was going to be a good one. That was until 400m into the 2 mile section at 5:10 when I looked down and saw that I was running over 5:30 pace. Oops. I would never get back to attempting 5:10 pace as it wasn't going to happen. I almost called it a workout at 3 miles, but decided that it would still be beneficial to hammer a few sections of what was turning out to be a mediocre tempo run. The 1200 felt decent but never really got going. I wanted to commit to hitting 3:40 but it again wasn't happening. The only time I felt really good was on the final 800 when I knew I could leave it all out there. I felt great running 2:18 as it came naturally. The turnover felt natural, the footstrike was strong and the knee lift was right.

I'm not sure what to think about this workout as I was able to run 3 harder efforts within a 6.25 mile run. The point of the workout is to continue to press during the "relaxed" portion of the run but without anybody there to push the pace, I just wasn't going to run 5:10 pace. On the plus side, I know that my fitness is where it needs to be heading in to the final lead up to CVS 5k. I just ran 4:40 and 2:18 on dirt in 87 degree weather by myself. I'm not tapered and this was at the end of a good week of training.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Running Vanderbilt Style

Time: 63:46
Distance: 9.40 miles
Pace: 6:47

Meagan, pops and I spent all day walking around the Biltmore House with a bunch of other folks who were all impressed with the expansiveness of the estate. The tour of the house lasted about 2 hours and went along all floors of the house. Some of the highlights included the dining room with an organ, library with a chess set that once belonged to Napoleon and an indoor pool with underwater lighting though it was unfilled. I'm not sure how safe the underwater lighting systems of the early 1900s were, but it was probably top notch during the time of construction. Everything about the house was built to last and the grounds were just as important to George Vanderbilt. At one point he owned all that was visible from the views of the house. I would include more pictures of the inside of the house but photos weren't allowed during the tour.

Front shot of the Biltmore House.

Shot of the house from one of the garden paths.

Vanderbilt once owned as far as the eye could see.

A window.

The front lawn looking away from the house.

We left the house around 4 in the pm and began driving along the road that leaves the grounds. After driving past Bass Pond and seeing some bikers and a lady jogging with her dogs, my dad joked that maybe I should just run from here. I called his bluff as I quickly ducked into a parking lot near a Segway path and proceeded to strip into my running clothes. I grabbed my phone and earbuds and was off. I ran along a bike/walking path that I think is primarily used by guests staying at the Biltmore Inn. There were a few miles of path to be run before coming to the Outdoors Center and stables. I realized that I was a little lost from the main road, but once I got my bearings I was off past the winery and on my way. I put in about 7 miles before leaving the estate's grounds and then dropped my phone off at the Starbucks where Meagan and my dad were enjoying some 'ffeine brew. I still had 20 minutes to run so I continued up the road and happened upon Asheville High School which was quite scenic. A high school also means that there would be a track nearby and so I put in a few laps on the facility. I finished up the run back at the Starbucks and we all proceeded on our merry way back to Charlotte.

*Photos stolen from Meagan's facebook profile.

A Hurried Run

Time: 37:08
Distance: 5.45 miles
Pace: 6:48

My dad came to visit yesterday afternoon which means Meagan and I will be able to explore the city and surrounding areas. This morning Mr. Let'sGoToTheBiltmore got his way and we were all off to Asheville, NC. It's about a two hour drive from the Queen City to one of America's Best retirement spots.

We arrived at the mansion and took a tour of the 170,000 sq. ft. home with over 250 rooms. The Biltmore Estate is situated on 170,000 acres and was built by Richard Morris Hunt while the landscaping was done by Fredrick Law Olmstead. Now if this were 2004 I could tell you all about Olmstead and some of his other creations because I took a class on urban development. In fact, Professor Malone was one of my favorites as he had great slides of photos he took and stories about each one. However, I have forgotten all those little tidbits of information but I did still remember that Olmstead was responsible for New York's Central Park.

Anyway, this run was just long enough for me to put in some miles before leaving. I felt good and wanted to run more but we had a 10:00 departure time.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Good Samaritan

Time: 59:42
Distance: 9.00 miles
Pace: 6:37

Morning run from the apartment to Freedom Park and around. I started off the day right by helping a gentleman who needed directions. I ran a bit on grassy median but otherwise it was on pavement. The legs felt pretty good this morning.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Infamous 300/100 Workout

Time: 53:50
Distance: 8.17 miles

W/u: 21:51 for 3.08 miles
W/o: 15:47 for 3 miles
C/d: 16:12 for 2.09 miles

I felt a little sluggish warming up to the track this afternoon but that could have been due to the hills that are along the route. When I got to the middle school's track the parking lot was full of parents waiting for their sons. I think they just had tryouts for football because some kids made it while others didn't. I finished warming up with some laps around the track and then I slipped into the Lunar Racers.

The target today was to run 12 x 300/100. Three each at 52-50-48-46 with 30 sec rest.

I hit splits of:
(22.59) 50.55, (27.22) 52.36, (27.24) 52.58,
(26.55) 50.07, (27.13) 51.07, (28.31) 50.57,
(28.51) 49.57, (30.14) 50.03, (30.50) 49.77,
(30.10), 49.96, (31.44) 52.20, (29.40) 49.54 for 15:47 total.
Average rest - 28.26
Average 300 - 50.69

Before leaving the apartment to do this workout I calculated that Jailhouse prescribed a workout that would average 79 second 400s (if I hit the 300 splits and kept to 30 seconds on the jog). When it was all done I averaged 78.95 per lap, but didn't hit the splits. I started off perfect running the 300 intervals just as they are supposed to be but the rest was a little quick. When you push the rest on this type of workout, things can go downhill in a hurry. I wasn't able to change gears to hit 48s or 46s.

I'm confident that when I race CVS I'll be able to maintain 4:40 pace or a little faster because I ran 3600 meters averaging ~51 seconds which is 68s or 4:32/mile pace. When I ran this workout last I averaged (28.15) and 52.57 for an overall 3 mile time of 16:08. Today I ran 20 seconds faster and felt better doing it.

Morning Miles

Time: 36:53
Distance: 5.32 miles
Pace: 6:56

I put in a few light miles this morning through Freedom Park. There wasn't a lot going on during this run but I could tell the legs were feeling good. This afternoon or evening I have to run a 300/100 workout on the track.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Freedom & Latta Parks

Time: 68:51
Distance: 10.77 miles
Pace: 6:24

I ran to Freedom Park and searched out Latta Park which is just beyond East Rd. I found the site but it wasn't what I was expected. The overhead shots from made it look like there were trails in the park but it was simply a paved walking path. The park wasn't that big either so I was forced to hit the roads in search of a few more miles. I looped back through Freedom Park before finishing up at the apartment. The legs felt pretty good by mile 4 and the pace got clipping along. Hit splits of: 7:18, 6:53, 6:50, 6:45, 6:27, 6:14, 6:05, 6:04, 5:56, 5:48.

McAlpine Mile Repeats

Time: ~64 mins
Distance: 10.05 miles

W/u: 22:08 for 3.00 miles
W/o: 5 x mile with 3 mins rest
C/d: 16:49 for 2.05 miles

I traveled out to McAlpine with the Queens team for a mile repeat session on a section of the greenway. We arrived to an absolutely packed main parking as several high school squads were racing a meet. I'm not sure which teams were in attendance but for a Tuesday at 4:30 pm, things were pretty serious. I knew that McAlpine is the host location for Footlocker South, but this was something else. The warm up went okay and we found our starting location from the 1.5 to .5 mile markers.

My goal for the workout was to run with Futsum in a relaxed manner. I held off on doing this workout by a day because it was going to be more advantageous to run with a group. Jailhouse had prescribed 4 x mile with the first 800 in 2:30 and getting after the second half with 3 mins rest. The Queens' workout was so similar that it made sense to run with them.

Splits: 4:57.28 (3:04), 4:51.43 (3:20), 4:50.42 (3:08), 4:47.73 (3:19), 4:53.85 for an average of 4:52.14.

I would rank this as one of my better workouts but I was definitely pushing today. I hammered the second half of the 4th repeat and my guess is that we went through mid-way in 2:28-2:30 which means the last 800 was in the 2:20 range. I struggled the last interval as Futsum was able to put a couple of seconds on me by the end of the interval. I was recovering relatively quickly and felt that 3 mins rest was lengthy. The last time I ran mile repeats it was on the track with Carrot Top and I split 5:03.84 (2:02), 4:59.58 (2:00), 4:53.50 (1:57), 4:51.63 (2:30). There has definitely been some improvement in the fitness.

Mike Crouch was running an absolutely stellar effort as I think he averaged 4:33 on the dirt. Pretty sick. He would come rolling by our group with about 300-400 meters to go after starting 15 seconds back. The kid is talented and a tremendous worker. It has been fun watching some of his workouts so far.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Morning Shakeout

Time 31:34
Distance: 4.56 miles
Pace: 6:55

I put in a few miles this morning in preparation for a session of mile repeats this afternoon. I felt great which I hope means that I feel the same out at McAlpine. I was trying to slow down but by the end I was hitting 6:30. Stay tuned for a post later today (or tomorrow) as I'll be getting after in 5 x mile with the Queens team.