Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Arbitrary Fartlek

Time: 34:47
Distance: 5.29 miles
Pace: 6:34

This afternoon was out fourth Let Me Run practice. We took the boys down to the greenway to run. I've been trying to get the boys to work on pace better and run as a group more. It's definitely a slow going process right now. The practice ended with a hill sprint race on the grass field near Hillside Road going up to Park Road Montessori. I won.

After practice I felt that I needed to get in some extra miles. And, the only time my nose isn't stuffed up is when I'm running. I wanted to breathe freely so I tightened the running shoe laces and headed back out towards Freedom Park.

Just as I was nearing the greenway, I got to thinking about how I haven't done anything too hard or fast this week. I decided that once I hit Freedom Park, I was going to pick up the pace significantly and run hard until my form broke down. Then I would run easy until I felt recovered. I repeated this routine for 5 hard efforts and the pace and splits ranged significantly.

#1 - 50.37 for .18 miles at 4:36 pace, (84.56 for .21 miles at 6:43 pace)
#2 - 44.47 for .16 miles at 4:31 pace, (1:56 for .28 miles at 6:53 pace)
#3 - 52.77 for .20 miles at 4:27 pace, (1:50 for .27 miles at 6:53 pace)
#4 - 53.54 for .19 miles at 4:35 pace, (1:46 for .25 miles at 7:01 pace)
#5 - 40.95 for .16 miles at 4:10 pace, (ran home)

This mini-workout, if anything, was fun to do. My buddy Tarpy, likes to run fartleks at the beginning of new cycles because they are easier on the mind. Getting mentally up for 10 x 3 mins hard, 1 min easy can be less taxing than 10 x 1k in 3:00 with 1 min rest. Today's effort was also good for me to work on form. Every marathon cycle that I do gets me further away from the track and workouts that keep the legs sharp. Aerobically the body adapts to running efficiently and the lungs seem to grow, but the quickness in the legs slowly disappears. Running hard for no particular distance or time will help me transition back to some faster, tougher work.

Solo Miles

Time: 35:52
Distance: 5.26 miles
Pace: 6:49

I put in a few solo miles this morning after Meagan got back from her sick shape cutting session. Just time on the feet for me.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Still Can't Breathe

Time: 47:10
Distance: 7.04 miles
Pace: 6:41

I ran a little bit later this morning. I felt stuffed up all last night and this morning. It's not so bad when I'm running, but as soon as I stop the nostrils clog up. I think this week is going to be pretty light in terms of training.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Allergies or Sick?

Time: 39:23
Distance: 5.28 miles
Pace: 7:27

Last night Jenna came over to hang out before Meagan got back from Stanford. We watched some bball and kept an eye on the storm that brought wind, hail and thunderstorms. For a few minutes there I thought I was back in Oklahoma. I miss the days of out running tornadoes. We also drank the last of my two Guinness from St. Paddy's Day and tried a Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar. Guinness out of the can is nothing like a proper pour at a pub, but the nitrogen widget is pretty sweet to see in action. The Rogue was good with a nice malty finish, but a little too sweet for a second round.

Around the time Jenna showed up I started sneezing and my nose started running uncontrollably. I was able to sleep through the night, but in the morning I couldn't breathe much out of my nose. I'm not sure if it has to do with the high pollen count this time of the year, or if I'm actually sick.

I ran a short loop with Meagan this morning before she headed off to work. She is also sick, but her symptoms started out west. The legs felt pretty good on the run.

In the afternoon I ran a little bit with the boys during our Let Me Run practice. I decided not to truly double as my allergies/sickness were bugging me.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 459:45
Distance: 65.79

This was a decent recovery week post marathon. Usually, I would only run about 30 miles after a big race. However, I didn't quite wreck myself out there on the Tobacco Trail. The softer surface definitely allowed me to recover much quicker than pounding out 26 miles on concrete and asphalt. I was glad to be able to help out Caitlin and Ben in their respective workouts later in the week. Ben told me that we ran the last four miles of the tempo run faster than he ran the Shamrock 4 Miler a week prior.

McAlpine Meet Up

Time: 74:34
Distance: 10.49 miles
Pace: 7:06

I headed out to the Old Bell entrance at McAlpine this morning for some miles. I wasn't planning on meeting anyone, but about 20 seconds after I started my watch Ben and Meagan Hovis, Stephen Spada, Val Matena and Mike Beigay came rolling up. It was perfect timing as now I had a group to run with. I wasn't looking to go fast and I didn't have enough time to run very long so it was a great chance of events.

We put in miles through the park and eventually picked up John Compton. I had a good time and enjoyed the gentle pace. It's only been a week since the marathon and I didn't take any true down time. The race didn't beat me up too bad, but I know for the next cycle to go well I'll need some easy days.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ben's Workout Partner/Bitch

Time: 73:30
Distance: 11.93 miles

W/u: 15:02 for 2.01 miles
W/o: 8 mile tempo
C/d: 14:38 for 2.00 miles

I continued my role as pacesetter this morning with Ben Hovis from the McMullen Greenway parking lot. I'm turning into the next Martin Keino (scroll down). *Warning: Nerdy Track Lesson*

Check out this article I found on the legendary pace setter on the European track circuit. Martin is the son of the legendary Kip Keino who won Olympic medals in Mexico City and Munich. When I first started following the sport, Martin Keino was nine times out of 10 at the front of the race rattling off perfectly executed even splits for the likes of Hicham El Guerrouj (mile world record holder), Daniel Komen (former 5k world record holder), Haile Gebrsallasie (former 5k/10k world record holder, current marathon wr). Martin could handle all types of races from the 1500 to the 5k. He would take the real "hitters" to as far as 1000m to 1200m in a 1500m race in unthinkable times. If anyone could earn the claim of being a human metronome, it would be this guy.

One last thought, I had never heard of pace setting referred to as "king makers," and I really like it.

Originally, Dan Matena was scheduled to join the workout, but he went to the wrong parking lot and was left out to dry. Ben Hovis and I warmed up on the first mile of the greenway. We were able to discuss what he wanted to do this morning. He had just driven back from a big time high school 3200 (girls/boys video) at the Raleigh Relays. His goal was to run hard for 8 miles hopefully hitting 5:30-5:40 miles. We would start a little off the pace and work into the pace. I was game to helping out his cause.

5:48, 5:39, 5:33, 5:19 (a little off as I hit the lap button on the watch to get back on the markers),
5:31, 5:24, 5:33, 5:14 for .95 miles or 5:32 pace.
Total of 43:50 for 7.92 miles

There will be a little bit of disparity between my splits and Hovis' because I was going according to Mr. Garmin and he was hitting it at the mile markers.

I didn't feel good until about 2.5 miles where I finally was able to relax. I'm not sure what it was but I didn't feel comfortable early on. I'm pleased with the effort as I ran in the Forward Rides and don't think it limited me too much. I was glad to help out this morning and enjoyed being at a good training site that I don't use often.

Caitlin's Workout Partner/Bitch

Time: ~72 mins
Distance: ~11.08 miles

Since Meagan is out on the west coast chasing a fast 10k time at Stanford, I decided to be another good female runner's workout bitch. Caitlin was doing a workout to get her ready for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. Her goal was to run hard for about an hour. Pace was to vary between 6:10 and 6:30. This is what she had to say about the workout.
Made the times, but felt absolutely horrible through miles 4-6. My quads felt like shit the entire time and I thought that I was going to stop after six miles. Luckily, Jordan was pacing me so I did not want to stop because of that and because I got everything back under control

we didn't really warmup just ran into wasnt planning on this but whatever. started at main, went to lower boyce, then came back on the straight away, ran to 4 mile mark (that is where i felt the worst), turned around, calmed myself down and slowed my breathing down, ran back onto the course and on the back loop.
1 - 640
2 - 612
3 - 613
4 - 606 no wonder why i felt so horrible
5 - 614 crap
6 - 611 felt like crap
7 - 620 calmed down
8 - 613 made mental effort to stop thinking about quads
9 - 608
didn't get the last half mile. probably about the same pace.

cooled down a whopping 12 minutes and did not need any more. i owe jordan a beer or three
I stole all that from a quick sign up on Athleticore. I'm unfortunately not going to use the site. Instead I'll just keep track of who is running fast. I forgot Mr. Garmin at home so I didn't have much of an idea of the pace during the workout. I tried to keep things honest and would back off if I felt like Caitlin was struggling. She hung tough in what turned out to be a pretty good workout.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Morning Jog

Time: 38:53
Distance: 5.40 miles
Pace: 7:12

I put in a few miles this morning solo. It was a good morning to be out and the legs are feeling good. I'm running a workout with Caitlin later this evening.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The New Karhu Forward Rides

Time: 44:44
Distance: 6.01 miles
Pace: 7:26

I've started wearing a new shoe as of last week. I've switched models of Karhu kicks from the Fast Fulcrum_Ride to the Forward Fulcrum_Ride. So far I have about 50 miles on the new shoes and really like the performance. The heel fit is much more snug, the toe box is comfortable, the laces lock in the foot securely and the ride is great.

I have run in a lot of shoes over the years, and I have to say that I'm quite pleased with this one. The cushioning in the forefoot is also much more plush than the Fast Ride. Karhu isn't a brand that is going to provide maximum cushioning, but sometimes I was looking for a bit more under my metatarsals when I wore the Fast Ride. With this Forward Ride, I feel like the toes are more comfortable on the really easy days where my pace isn't fast and I'm not running quite as efficient.

The run with Meagan this morning was pleasant. We put in a few miles around Freedom Park before she had to depart for the west coast. Meagan will be racing the 10k at the Stanford Invite on Friday night. I haven't found a website that is going to broadcast the race live. Regardless, it would be difficult to stay up for the roughly 1:00 AM EST start time.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Normal Routine

Time: 52:36
Distance: 7.04 miles
Pace: 7:28

I got up and ran with Meagan this morning before going out to visit accounts. The calves and quads are nearly no longer sore. We made a few loops around Freedom Park.

Today's lesson for Let Me Run is on setting goals. I need to do that for my next running cycle.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Comfortable Recovery

Time: 38:24
Distance: 5.01
Pace: 7:40

I made a trip up to Greensboro today to show the Craft apparel lines to a potential new account. I timed it just perfectly to drive straight to McAlpine to meet some Charlotte Running Club members. Caitlin, Jay and Aaron were doing some up tempo work which allowed to tag along for the warm up. I put in half of my run to the Old Bell entrance before wishing them well on the workout. I jogged slowly back to the start of the Footlocker Course. My calves and quads are just a little sore after about 60 hours from finishing the marathon. I was able to convince myself to do a couple dynamic stretches near the benches and then I headed home.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Let Me Run

Time: 65:04
Distance: 8.83 miles
Pace: 7:22

It was the start of the Let Me Run program this afternoon at the Park Road Montessori School near Freedom Park. I volunteered to coach a small group of 4th and 5th graders with Melissa Bell who is the manager of the Inside-Out Sports store in Charlotte. The program is going to be a lot of fun and today's lesson kicked things off well.

Earlier in the day I agreed to meet Caitlin and Jay from the Dowd YMCA for a run. When Jay showed up I was a little surprised to find out that they were planning on running 10 miles. I really only wanted to do 5 or 6 at a really easy pace. Since I was along for the ride, I didn't complain. The legs were a little sore, but not horrible. I really think jumping in the pool post-marathon helped the legs recover a tremendous amount. Also, the pounding on the Tobacco Trail certainly saved the legs a bit.

I wrapped up the run when Jay and I got back to the YMCA. He added on a few more miles while I opted to head home.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 689:10
Distance: 99.87 miles

This was probably a bit much for the week of a marathon. I mentioned in my race recap that I underestimated the competition at the Tobacco Road Marathon and overestimated the amount of work I could do the week of a marathon. Both of these mistakes brought a sub-par performance on Sunday. However, I will still take a 2 sec. personal best despite the miscalculations. I'm fairly pleased with the race and happy that I was mentally focused/tough on race day. Making the jump from high 2:20s to low 2:20s is going to be a challenge, but I'm up for it in the coming months.

I'm yet to talk over the race with my coach, but I have some ideas for the next cycle or phase that I will be entering. When I ran Oklahoma City I toed the line feeling incredibly fresh. I got halfway feeling like the race wasn't a big deal. Tobacco Road was a whole different story. I felt flat at 5k and just didn't have the incredible bounce in the step that you want. It's a good sign that I was able to run faster on a dirt course feeling sluggish.

If I had a "do over" I wouldn't have raced on Saturday, only worked out once during the week and put in a total of 50 miles prior to the race. As it was, I worked out Tuesday, Wednesday, raced Saturday and had a total of about 75 mile heading into the marathon. Live and learn.

Tobacco Road Marathon Review

Time: 2:27:17
Distance: 26.2 miles
Pace: 5:38
Place: 2nd

And the streak ends. Three for three wasn't meant to be this morning in Cary, NC. To be honest, I was lucky to get second and run a slight PR on this day. It's hard to complain when you PR, but 2 seconds over 26.2 miles is practically nothing. I'm a little disappointed with the performance, but proud of how I handled myself during the race.

The race started from Brooks Park which is a really nice baseball facility in Apex or Cary, NC. I'm not exactly which city we were in. After getting my race bib from Bill Shires that morning I jogged around a little bit to warm up the legs. We were brought over to the starting line just before 7:00 am and I was able to scope out the competition. I spotted Gavin Coombs who a week early ran Gate River in 46:48 which is 5:02 pace so I knew he was fit. However, this was his first marathon and overhearing a gentleman who knew Gavin, I learned he was going to run conservatively for 2:30. I figured that I might be able to get away early on so that he wasn't a factor.

Also on the start line was a little Kenya, a Hispanic looking guy with a low bib number (turns out he was actually Moroccan) and one or two others that might be able to run around 2:30. One guy who was visibly absent was Chuck Engle who I predicted would be at the race.

The countdown to zero sent us on our way down a hill and out of the baseball park. The pace felt really slow and I found myself in the lead. We hit the mile in 5:52 and then the Moroccan took off and gapped a runner from TrakShak in Birmingham, AL by about 10 seconds. After our second mile of 5:22 which was mainly downhill, the TrakShak guy backed off the pace and I was joined by a half-marathoner. As we approached the turnoff where marathoners when left and half-marathoners went right, I was solidly in second. I wish I had been registered for the half because I would have easily took home the victory. In fact, the top 4 marathoners all split faster halves than the winning half-marathon time of 1:15:57.

The turn at the splitting point marked the entrance to the Tobacco Road Trail. The surface is similar to McAlpine's, but softer because there is a bit more sand. It would be a fantastic training surface, but it made racing a little less efficient. I stayed back about 30-40 meters from the lead feeling decent, but not good enough to make a move to close the gap. I was only about 5 miles into the race when Gavin came striding up from behind me looking fantastic. He's a tall, lanky runner whose strides just eat up ground. I already wasn't feeling great and Gavin's conservative race was out the window. He was making a move to catch the leading Moroccan.

I took my first CarbBOOM at mile six. I like starting early so if I start having stomach issues late in the race, I've already consumed some calories. The race made a hairpin turn around 7.5 miles which gave you a chance to see how others were fairing. At this early stage it was the Morrocan, Gavin, myself, TrakShak, little Kenyan?, some people and Bill Shires around 8th.

I started to have negative thoughts at this point in the race. I wasn't feeling great, I wasn't in the lead and I wasn't going to win. However, I was still in the money and it would have been dumb to drop out that early on. Besides, I still would have needed to get back to the start somehow.

The turn around point gave us a glimpse at how the race was going to be handled in terms of traffic. The marathoners on their way out were pretty good about getting over to the side to allow safe passage on the far side. However, it meant that you couldn't run the tangent each time.

At 11 miles I saw Meagan who was doing her long run for the week. She said that the guy in second (the Moroccan had been caught and passed at this point) looked to be struggling. But, then she asked me how I felt and I said "terrible." Why did I feel terrible? Well, I definitely overestimated the amount of training I could do this week which included a workout on Tuesday with Aaron and Jay, a workout with Meagan on Wednesday and a race yesterday. I also underestimated the competition because TRM was in it's first year and I figured almost nobody would show. And, I underestimated the marathon distance as being something I could handle with no problem.

I continued to clip along as best I could. After passing halfway in 1:13:30 I knew that I was still running well despite the general fatigue. The clock read 1:16 something because they started the clock at 7:00 am instead of waiting until the actual gun went off. Dumb. Looking at the splits, I was 18 seconds back from 2nd and 49 seconds back from the lead.

I could tell that I was gaining on the Moroccan, but I wasn't sure how my body was going to hold up. The race was now approaching half-marathon walker territory from both directions. Miles 14 to about 17 the course took the leaders through a sea of bodies. There were half-marathoners on the left walking out to the turn around point, and there were half-marathoners on the right running back from the turn around. Unfortunately, it wasn't greatly organized in terms of getting those participants to clear the center lane for the marathon leaders. A couple of times both the Moroccan and I had to weave through others.

Ironically, this is the section of the race that I felt the best. I went from being hunted from the 4th position, to hunting 2nd place. The Moroccan was coming back and finally the catch was made around 15 miles. I dropped my most consistent splits of the day during this portion of the race. It helped that I was fueled at this stage by two or three CarbBOOMs and we were no longer running on a soft surface. On one side the path was paved with asphalt, on the other it was dirt/sand. I became much more efficient and felt stronger for whatever reason. I even had thoughts that I might be able to catch Gavin as he only looked to be about 30 seconds up around mile 18.

The race hit dirt again for about mile from 18.5 to 19.5 miles. My only complaint with my properly fitting Karhu Racers came when I stepped on a rock and it rather hurt. When Gavin made the turn at 19 miles and he came back towards me, I made sure to put an agonized expression on my face. My hope was to get him to back off knowing that I was in the hurt tank. However, when I made the turn and approached the Moroccan, I made sure to put a relaxed expression on my face telling him that there is no chance you're going to catch me. Whether or not this worked, there was still a lot of running to be done.

The gap stayed about the same until 21 miles and then I started to slowly fade. The course entered half-marathon territory again and the traffic became an issue. I squeezed through in between those participants going out and coming back from their race's turn around. At 22 I was pretty much finished on my hopes of catching the leader. I was now running for second place.

With 4 miles to run I became a little light headed and my vision was 100 percent. I needed water soon. As I approached the intersection where the race left the Tobacco Trail I missed the water. I grabbed at two water stations on my left but a half-marathon got in my way. I grabbed at a station on the right and missed the cup. I was struggling.

As you look at the splits below, I was doing everything possible to stay focused. It felt like I was running 6:30 pace, but fortunately was still maintaining a good effort. I started looking back every couple of minutes to see if I could catch a glimpse of 3rd place. I almost wanted to see him just so I knew how much of a cushion I had. The last 5k was the worst section of a marathon that I've ever had in my three races. I didn't bonk, but I came close to it. Walking crossed my mind, but I managed to stagger to the finish safely.


5:53, 5:22, 5:35, 5:25, 5:40,
5:28, 5:31, 5:36, 5:38, 5:38,
5:29, 5:42, 5:42, 5:28, (:09 to get the splits back on the course mile markers), 5:30,
5:25, 5:37, 5:27, 5:40, 5:31,
5:39, 5:33, 5:50, 5:48, 5:47, 5:46, 1:28 for final .2 miles.

After the race I was cooked. Lightheaded. Queasy. Numb. All accurate descriptions of how I felt. I hydrated as best I could and got a massage to help flush out some of the junk from my legs. By the time the awards ceremony rolled around it was already 12:30. It took longer to give out prizes than it took to run the marathon. The timing company was using this new system where the timing device was on the back of the race bib. No chip necessary. I could have hand timed the race quicker. Results took forever and were wrong initially. This flub would be my one criticism of the event as nobody told those waiting what was going on. An update would have been nice. The other criticism would be the traffic flow of the participants. It's tough enough to run 26.2 miles, but to weave through runners isn't fun. There needed to be more people directing half-marathoners to one side in order to allow safe passage of the lead marathoners.

Other than that, it was a great race. Good setting. Relatively flat course, though not easy. A lot of the stretches on the Tobacco Trail were long and gradual uphill sections. When you look at my splits and see miles of 5:27, 5:40, 5:31, that was just the terrain dictating the pace. For a first time marathon, the event provided everyone with a great experience. At least I enjoyed it.

I'll hopefully post some pics later. It wasn't the most spectator friendly course, but I'm sure there will be some photos to come. Thanks for the comments on my quick post right after the race.

Tobacco Road Marathon


2nd place overall.

Gavin Combs, former NC State runner, won in 2:25:xx.

Didn't feel great, but ran tough.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tobacco Road Marathon Preview

It's the night before the race and I'm going to be getting up in about 5 hours to drive out to Cary, NC. I have most of my stuff packed and have all the coffee fixings ready to be made in the morning. I realize that the race scenario is definite not the idea set up but I'm still confident that I'll do well. It'll be interesting to see who shows up to toe the line. I noticed that the North Carolina Marathon was today and Chuck Engle took the victory. We've raced before at the Tulsa Marathon where I paced the winner through 16 miles and my first marathon at Oklahoma City. Chuck works for Marathon Guide and I would be shocked if he wasn't at the start line tomorrow looking to grab the victory. I doubt he knows that I live in North Carolina now so it will be good to catch up.

I'm looking to go through halfway in around 73 minutes and then drop the pace. I believe a 2:25 finish time is reasonable whether I have competition or not. I've run some really solid workout in the lead up to this race despite the minor set back. My achilles hurt my training for two weeks recently, but I'm still fit and ready to roll.

Here are a few of the key sessions I ran during 2010:

Any pre-race predictions out there? Bring 'em.

Shamrock 4 Miler

Time: 61:03
Distance: 8.92 miles

W/u: 13:31 for 1.58 miles
Race: 20:40. 3rd place overall
C/d: 26:52 for 3.34 miles

I got up this morning to attend the Shamrock 4 Miler with Meagan, but was quick to check my RSS feed where I read everyone's running logs. Tim Budic had a post about the National Marathon that we were supposed to be running this morning and Paul Mainwaring talked about his calf recovery to the point of being able to compete this morning in Ballantyne. Paul stated that he was running simply because if you run all of the Grand Prix Series races, you get a 250 point bonus. Well, how much is a 250 point bonus? It's huge. Scoring goes as such... Runner wins a 5k in 15:00 and you run 16:00, then 15/16 = .937 x 1,000 = 937. The winner takes home 1,000 points. The longest race in the series is a 15k and say the winner goes 48:00, you run 51:00, then 48/51 = .941 x 1,000 = 941. I pretty sure I'm doing the math correctly according to the GPS website scoring table. I'll need more time to explain why this scoring system might be flawed and it will come in a later post. At first glance it looks flawed as beating someone by a minute in a 5k isn't too different from crushing them by 3 minutes in a 15k. Perhaps I'm wrong and I'll figure it out later.

Point being, if I wanted those 250 bonus points then I needed to lace up the flats. Not the best situation considering I'm racing Tobacco Road Marathon tomorrow morning at 7:00 am in Cary, NC.

I drove up to the Stonecrest Shopping Center and registered for the race. Did a light warm up and tried to convince myself to not get carried away with the race. It looked like there was a great local presence for the first race of the GPS. The gun sounded and a group kinda formed at the front. I ran relaxed early on with the course being downhill. When we turned to head back, I was firmly in 3rd place and pushed a little to go after 2nd. I didn't make up much ground and the course became tougher. I didn't want my calves to blow up or my quads to take a beating so I gradually backed off.

Pretty soon I heard footsteps behind me around 2.75 miles and knew someone was approaching. John Compton was running me down and made me refocus the final 1,000 meters. I finished well off Bert Rodriguez' lead and about 15 seconds back from second. I'll take my splits of 4:58, 5:04, 5:21, 5:08 (according to Mr. Garmin. I think race marker splits were 5:01, 10:05, mess up, 20:40).

Running 5:10 pace was fairly relaxed and I don't think I did too much damage for tomorrow. Now it's time to rest up, watch some basketball, nap and refuel for TRM.

Friday, March 19, 2010

UNCC with Simon the German

Time: 39:09
Distance: 5.05 miles
Pace: 7:45

This evening a group of us drove up to UNC Charlotte to watch some Queens athletes compete in the distance events. It was first time going to their track facility and I was quite impressed. Great stands, good track surface, and a nice location to warm up. Someone talked to the track gods and asked for perfect weather because it couldn't have been better. The temps were chilly for spectators but ideal for distance runners and there was no wind to speak of. It was a bit like a night at the races in Palo Alto, CA where the Stanford track lights up with some of the very best US distance talent a few times each spring, only this didn't have quite the same talent level.

We watched Maraya run a provision DII time in the 1500m with her 4:36 or so. Then we go to see Patricia, Jess and Holly each run personal bests in the 5k. The night finished with Brian and Benny racing in the 5k. Both hit times around 15:15. Dan Matena was also in that race, and while it wasn't the best result, he hung tough for the duration.

Sometime during the women's 1500s Simon and I laced up the shoes for a run around an athletic field. It was a nice night and I wanted to catch up with the German after his recent trip out to New Mexico.

After the Conference Call

Time: 38:58
Distance: 5.30 miles
Pace: 7:20

Meagan and I drove out to Boyce this morning to meet up with Jenna. I totally forgot that I had a 9:00 am conference call when I agreed to meet at that time. The girls headed off while I paced around the parking lot conducting busy. After a relatively short call I went out to find the ladies. They just happened to be near the pond right when I was approaching so I joined their little group. The pace was slow and comfortable. The weather was excellent. I think spring might be here.

A Loop with Meagan

Time: 40:52
Distance: 5.42 miles
Pace: 7:32

I put in some nice easy miles with Meagan this afternoon after she got off from work. It was a nice day out and the park was busy with activity. The legs are feeling good and I'll be ready to run fast this weekend.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tourney Time

Time: 37:04
Distance: 5.28 miles
Pace: 7:01

This afternoon is the start of the NCAA bball tournament. I selected Kansas beating Kentucky in the finals. Not very outgoing, I know. Usually, I'm all about picking the upsets and over analyzing everything. Then when it comes to the Final Four, it's always 3 #1 seeds and a #2 or #3. I just went with it this year and placed Kansas St. and Duke in the Final Four as well. It'll be fun watching college basketball highlights on the weekend for the next month.

I ran solo this morning after having a few pints of Guinness last night at Tyber Creek. It was my first time hitting up the bar just of South Blvd. I had a good time, though it was incredibly loud. I couldn't pass up a St. Paddy's day here in Charlotte despite the approaching marathon on Sunday. Besides, haven't you heard about the benefits of Guinness? I know Da Wee Man would have my back. That guy is the image of fitness.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Loop Shake Out

Time: 36:29
Distance: 5.27
Pace: 6:55

This afternoon I went to see Ryan Danner who is a local sports medicine guy that is opening a new practice in Charlotte. He used to work for Carolina Sports Clinic but recently left to start his own operation. I met him at his office location off Park Rd. in south Charlotte where he recently received a table, some Graston tools and a couple of other key pieces of equipment. I wanted Ryan to take a look at my achilles in order for me to know that all was good and racing a marathon on Sunday wouldn't be a problem.

He warmed up some of the muscles and tendons first and then whipped out the Graston devices. It's the first time I've had those implements used on my legs and I'm not sure of what to think. I understand the principle behind their use, but I'm not sure why the actual tools are so important and expensive. Ryan found a couple of "gritty" parts and was able to flush out some of the build up. He also did active release therapy (ART) which is also something I've never had done. I've heard and read a lot on the technique and definitely see it as being useful/helpful.

When I left the session my left calf felt generally more relaxed and looser than it had all week. The marathon is still a go.

I laced up the shoes for a short run through Freedom Park to help flush out some of the junk. The achilles felt a little sore from the Graston, but nothing I was worried about. I iced my lower leg upon returning then I went out in search of Guinness.

Meagan's Mile Repeats

Time: 74:51
Distance: 10.32 miles

W/u: 16:11 for 2.01 miles
W/o: 6 x mile w/ 3 mins. rest
C/d: 10.04 for 1.24 miles

It was an early morning to be up and out at McAlpine for a workout with Meagan. She was needing to fit in her mile repeats before heading off to work all day. Her coach generally doesn't assign target times to hit and prefers the athletes to figure out the pace based on a hard effort. Meagan told me that she would like to hit about 5:40s which seemed like it would be a good first 10k type workout.

The trail was pretty quiet with only a few morning walkers out. It was colder than I expected too. After my workout last night my legs were feeling good, but I was just a little fatigued in general. It definitely was going to take a few intervals to get the legs and lungs opened up.

5:44, (2:59), 5:36, (3:00), 5:33, (3:01),
5:32, (3:00), 5:35, (3:00), 5:29 for 48:36 and 7.08 miles total

Pretty solid workout for Ms. Nedlo. I had pacing duties on the morning and allowed Meagan to sit off me each mile. I tried to listen to her breathing and adjust the pace based on feel. We dialed in on 5:30s with relative ease and it didn't seem like she was pressing too much until the last interval. When we had completed three of the miles, I asked for Meagan's watch as I could see the workout was going really well. I wanted to start quickening the pace without her knowing 400, 800, 1200 splits. She stayed right on the pace throughout and finished up strong. Her first 10k of the season will be out at Stanford in about 10 days. I think she can run close to 35:00 which would be over a minute PR.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Still Looking for Fitness Gains

Time: 105:43
Distance: 15.15 miles

W/u: 20:31 for 2.77 miles
W/o: 8 x 1200 w/ 3 mins rest
C/d: 33:10 for 4.02 miles

With some hesitation on the mind, I headed off to meet up with Jay, Aaron and Caitlin from the main entrance to McAlpine. I saw on the CRC website that they were doing a 1200m workout and I wanted to tag along. I wasn't too concerned with pace or effort as I wanted to get something in that would continue to familiarize the legs and lungs to marathon pace.

Caitlin was doing 5 x 1200, while Jay and Aaron were going to do eight intervals of the same distance. Since the goal was to feel relaxed I let the body dictate the pace and gradually the pace dropped.

3:56.4, (3:01), 3:56.7, (3:07), 3:52.0, (3:02), 3:49.0, (3:09),
3:48.0, (3:05), 3:44.6, (2:57), 3:42.6, (3:15), 3:36.1 for 52:02 and 8.36 miles.

Solid amount of work this evening with a good group. I was controlled for most of the way. Our course started at the 3200 mark of the Footlocker Course and ran to the 4400 mark. (As a side note: the Queens team always debates whether or not the final mile of the course is short. I take the side that it is. And, I think I found where it's short. I'd say that it's off from 4k to 4.2k). Regardless of the slightly short course, I was pleased with the workout. Finishing with the last three intervals at 5 minute pace wasn't taxing. The lengthy rest allowed me to log some extra miles around the duck pond before starting again feeling well rested.

The cool down was long for me, but I didn't feel nearly as lightheaded as I did last week.

Miles on the Feet

Time: ~44:20
Distance: ~6 miles

Meagan and I ran from Queens University to Freedom Park and around the Booty Loop. I was just looking to boost the daily total before working out with some Charlotte Running Club members this evening at McAlpine. The legs are slowly getting less sore. I forgot Mr. Garmin this morning so I don't have actual stats. Oh well.

Video Found

I found a short replay of the video I was looking for over the weekend. It's Bernard Lagat running the 3k at the World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar. He makes a great move the final 200m. The best element has to be the announcing of the commentators who make the US tandem sound like a joke.

Here is the US announcing style (it takes a couple seconds to load).

Versus, the British announcing style.

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

No wonder track in the US is only watched during the Olympics. I can hardly sit through a viewing of the first video because there is no added excitement or context as to what the race means.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Good Start to the Week

Time: 63:24
Distance: 8.96 miles
Pace: 7:04

Meagan and I ran together for the first time in over a week. The route was familiar and the weather was better. My legs are still sore, but they are coming around gradually. I'll be in a good spot by the end of the week. This is the first time in a couple of weeks that my training has started off well. I almost headed out the door for another short jog in the evening, but opted to watch the Liverpool v. Portsmouth game.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 545:19
Distance: 74.58

I got back on the horse this week and logged some pretty decent mileage. I had no idea what my totals were going to be at before just adding everything up. My fitness aerobically is still where it needs to be in order to run a solid marathon. I don't think that the 2:20-2:22 that I was gearing for will be possible. I do believe that I can go out and run a PR/PB in a week.

I'm registered for the Tobacco Road Marathon. The manager over at Inside-Out Sports in Charlotte, Melissa Bell, came through big time. She put me in touch with the race directors and they got me into the race late in the game. I hear the weather might be poor which is a bit of a concern because most of the race is on dirt. The softer surface will definitely be easier on the legs, but a wet and soft surface might shake things up a bit.

Next week's training shouldn't be too crazy as I'll taper a little. My guess is that I'll have about 50-60 miles on the legs going into the race on Sunday. The goal now is to get the quads recovered in the next few days.

McAlpine Miles

Time: 95:12
Distance: 14.44 miles
Pace: 6:35

I met up with Sean and some of the athletes that were still in Charlotte for spring break. We started at Old Bell and made a few loops around the Footlocker Course. It was an enjoyable run and we spent most of the time recapping last night's track action. For those who don't know, I a big time fan of track & field and racing in general. I can sit in front of a screen watching the athletes perform which I don't think many people find interesting.

I love the pre-race routines, the nerves and jitters as the athletes line up for the race. I like comparing the form and strides of the runners while they change gears from a relaxed pace to a sprint. I look at arm carry, forward leans, side to side motion, knee lift and back kick. You can learn a lot from watching both efficient and inefficient runners compete their best. The best part of watching races is seeing the tactics being used against one another and trying to predict who and when the contenders are going to make their moves.

As I mentioned above, there was a lot of track action taking place yesterday. A couple of NCAA meets were being held in two very nice indoor venues. The DI meet took place in Fayetteville, Arkansas while the DII meet was in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both meets were aired on the CBS Sports website and coverage was actually respectable. There were some great performances at the meets that I'll let recap. Rojo/Wejo (site founders) pay little to no attention to DII nationals, but my readers should know that Tanya Zeferjahn, Meagan Nedlo and Nelso Mwangi of the Queens University of Charlotte all took home All-American honors.

The really big time athletes (ones who get paid to race from footwear manufacturers like Nike and Adidas) were competing at the World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar. Universal Sports aired the action live which was a treat. I didn't get to see Bernard Lagat run his 3k, but he dominated the field the final 400 meters. I can't find the full day 3 broadcast to watch Lagat's race. I found the 2 minute replay with the American announcers who are utterly terrible in their play by play. The full broadcast uses British announcers that are incredibly knowledgeable about the athletes, the races and what winning means to some countries.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Three Queens All-Americans

Nelson (800m), Tanya (5k) and Meagan (5k) all earned All-American
honors tonight in Albuquerque.

Fantastic runs for Nelson and Tanya to grab 2nd place in their
respective races. Meagan went from 9th to 5th the final 80 meters.

Fun time watching the meet online tonight.

Just Checking the Fitness

Time: 69:40
Distance: 10.31 miles

W/u: 22:14 for 3.01 miles
W/o: run something hard, don't mess up the achilles
C/d: 21:34 for 2.80 miles

Sean B. and I drove to the PDS track this afternoon for some harder running. He's now being coached by the famed Joe Vigil and his training is a bit ridiculous right now. Today's workout called for Sean to do a tempo run at 4:40 to 4:45 for as long as he could go. This is coming after yesterday's mile workout, and Friday's threshold run of 8 miles at 5 minute pace. Basically, I was at the track to watch as I'm not in the kind of shape to hit 4:40s.

I wanted to do something to make my time at PDS productive and I just made it up as I went along. It ended up being 1 mile hard, 800 jog, 2 miles at marathon pace and 4 x 200. I started out running with Sean on the first lap and realized I was quickly going anaerobic. I backed off the pace and started doing my own thing that I was content with. Sean struggled through part of his workout before dropping out at two miles in 9:34. He then did 4 x 400 and a 200.

My splits: 4:57, (3:46), 5:22, 5:27 for 19:32 total and 3.50 miles.
200 splits: 33.51, (63), 32.67, (63), 31.37, (65), 30.18, (62) for 6:20 and 1.00 miles

I can't believe how quick that first 200 felt. I haven't run strides enough this year and I need to get back on some sort of speed maintaining program. It's hard to balance speed and strength in a marathon phase, but I never like getting too far away from running relaxed 60 sec. quarters. I was pleased at how I dropped the pace each hard 200. However, I used to be able to run 12-16 reps in 29-30 with less rest.

Sore Quads All Over

Time: 37:16
Distance: 5.33 miles
Pace: 6:59

A few miles were run in Freedom Park this morning. I just wanted to boost the daily total with this run. My quads are still giving me troubles and I'm considering going to a drug store in order to replenish my supply of Epsom salt. Has anyone read the package of Epsom salt? You can use it for anything. Some of many uses are: aches, pains, laxative, plant food, sugar substitute, pet deodorizer, laundry soap, and dandruff eliminator. Okay, I may have made some of those up, but the first 4 are definitely legit. Why is that? What's so special about magnesium sulfate? And why is "Epsom" capitalized? So many questions, so few answers.

My achilles didn't hurt.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sore Quads & HR Training

Time: 36:28
Distance: 5.26 miles
Pace: 6:55

I want to say that my legs are thrashed, but it would be a bit misleading. They aren't and they shouldn't be, but they sure are sore. The workout didn't do much to increase the level of fatigue which is a good sign a little over a week out from TRM. I have to get the quads used to pounding again while taking the time to properly recover.

The Jordan of old would have run longer than 5 miles or doubled on the day because the achilles is better. However, I decided that after running 17 miles yesterday, I better continue to be smart and allow the body to recover some more. I felt stiff on the run this morning and stretching doesn't seem to help at all. I continue to use a massager after runs.

My coach Jeff Gaudette aka Jailhouse Jeff (that is a story for him to tell you) recently has been updating his online coaching website. I'll give him a lot of respect for the website's clean and efficient experience. Jeff was a classics concentrator at Brown so I have no idea where he learned his website creating skills (perhaps he aced CS2, an intro computer science class you took to boost the GPA). Most recently, Jeff posted an article about heart rate training that I think is particularly interesting. I don't do much, or any, of my training based on heart rate, but the article is informative. Also, it links to a pretty cool heart rate calculator that is simple to use and provides a description of different training zones.

I would encourage my readers to take a took at what Jeff has put together as I think it can apply to most peoples' training programs. Also, feel free to use Jeff as a resource. I know Allen Strickland received a bit of guidance in his lead up to the Shamrock Marathon.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Achilles Track Tester

Time: 87:09
Distance: 12.16 miles

W/u: 21:09 for 2.85 miles
W/o: 6 x mile with Jay w/ 1 min. rest
C/d: 28:05 for 3.31 miles

I got a big confidence booster tonight on the AG track. The goal of the workout was to run relaxed, focus on form and, most importantly, make sure the achilles didn't act up. I met Billy Shue, Jay Holder, Aaron Linz, Jason and John at the track for some mile repeats. Jason (the guy from this morning's workout) was attempting his first speed session in 5 years. First session in five years and it came as a double, that's commitment.

We warmed up around the neighborhoods and returned coming by the Myers Park HS track. I slipped into my properly fitting Karhu Racers and got to work.

Working out in lane two, Jay led intervals one and two. I took over for three and four. Aaron, from lane one (it's about 15 meters short) controlled the pace on mile five. I then took off on the final repeat.

Splits: 5:32, (67), 5:38, (70), 5:33, (70), 5:20, (72), 5;15, (65), 4:53 for 37:55 total and 6+ miles.

That felt good. Very comfortable. No discomfort. Shoes felt great. Excellent weather. Good company. Fun night to be on the track.

I stayed tucked behind Jay for the early part of the workout and broke out later on. I realize that if I race in 8 days I will need to run sub-5:30s for 26.2 miles without rest. The most encouraging part of the workout came when I closed in 4:53. I didn't look at splits and just kept squeezing the pace down. It was hard to judge the effort in the dark, but when I finished it felt like a 5:05 effort. I was surprised to see a sub-5:00 split tossed in there.

The cool down was the ugliest part of this workout. I felt horrible. Hungry. Lightheaded. My vision blurred about 15 minutes into it and I thought about stopping, but we were still a ways from the cars. I slowed down a bit and focused a bit harder. I was definitely low on fuel reserves. When I got back to the car I ate a CarbBOOM! and hurried home so that I could slam some food and beers.

Tired Morning Legs

Time: 40:04
Distance: 5.52 miles
Pace: 7:15

I woke up early and drove over the the Dowd YMCA in hopes of running with the Charlotte Running Club crew. Nobody showed up. Well, almost no one as I would later learn a guy named Jason was there. We waited around and then Tim Rhodes of RFYL fame arrived to run with a buddy. I nearly ran with Tim and his friend, but they were taking too long with some light stretching in the hallway. I tried to catch Jason who left a few moments before I decided to forgo the run with Tim, but my legs weren't going to speed up.

I jogged around the neighborhoods and Freedom Park for a little over 5 miles. I never felt great, but the achilles never hurt. I'm running a track workout this evening with Jay Holder in order to evaluate whether or not running a marathon next weekend would be a wise decision.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Standard Loop

Time: 36:39
Distance: 5.30 miles
Pace: 6:55

I went for a short run this morning with thoughts of doubling in the evening. That didn't happen because my legs are exceptionally sore from my rigorous training routine. That's a joke. I went from running 100 mile weeks to two 30 mile weeks and you would think the legs would like it. Not so much. They are sore all over. The calves are a little tender but the quads are fatigued. So quick that the body forgets the pounding. The good thing is that my aerobic system seems to be good.

I opted out of my double to let the legs recover a bit. After the run I did a few eccentric loads, some stretching and iced. The achilles felt good out there.

In the afternoon I went over to Inside-Out Sports to meet with Melissa Bell and staff. I really enjoy their two locations especially because some legendary dogs get to hang out all day. Another reason I dropped by was to find out about getting a spot in the Tobacco Road Marathon. I need to post more later on where my head is at, but I will say that the National Marathon is out. I wasn't running when it was time to speak with race directors and plan travel. Also, I don't think I'm where I need to be in order to race with the leaders in the 2:20 to 2:22 range. However, I still want to run a marathon that weekend and I have a handful to select from including TRM, Shamrock, Atlanta and High Point.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sean's Track Workout

Total Time: 36:21
Total Distance: 4.80 miles

Run #1: 22:00 for 3.00 miles
Run #2: 14:21 for 1.80 miles

I tagged along for Sean Brosnan's track workout this afternoon in order to see how my achilles handled a light double. First we went to the Myer's Park High School track but found out a girls soccer game was being played and access to the facility was out of the question. Next, we drove over to Charlotte Preparatory School and asked Coach Newman if it was cool for us to use the track for about 20 minutes. He was understanding, but warned us that the athletic director was a stickler for the rules.

I ran Sean's warm up along the trail in McAlpine before he got to work in spikes. He ran a bizarre workout of: 100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170, 180, 190, 200 with 2 mins rest. Each interval was to get progressively faster. I think the goal was to start the 100 in 15 sec and close out the 200 in 25 sec. I timed the workout and Sean looked relatively comfortable hitting the splits. He finished with a 25.5.

We cooled down a few laps on the track before heading off. Just as we were leaving Coach Newman yelled, "wow, you guys still out here?" Obviously, our 20 minute workout was a calculated estimate to allow us to get on the track. He wasn't at all upset, but rather respected the fact that we had just finished up. I think there is a big difference between someone asking to use the track to walk the outer lanes and banging out fast intervals like a committed athlete. Coach Newman respected the work and actually invited Sean and me to attend some of the team's practices this spring. Pretty awesome when the track coach is really into the sport.

Pretty awesome that my achilles is feeling good.

Making Deals

Time: 41:03
Distance: 6.14 miles
Pace: 6:40

This morning I took a run over to the Charlotte Running Co. where I waited to speak with Scott Dvorak. I had dropped off an order proposal last week for Karhu shoes and it was accepted today. So that means mid-August runners in Charlotte will have access to Karhu kicks. Previously the only local store who carried the brand was TrySports.

Any pain that I may have had was immediately gone for the return trip home. I felt great running easy in the Racer. When I got home I massaged, stretched and iced the lower calf.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Wanting to Run Hard

Time: 35:27
Distance: 5.32 miles
Pace: 6:39

We had a beautiful afternoon here in Charlotte and I was able to enjoy my run through Freedom Park skins. That's right shirtless. Meagan is out in Santa Fe, NM where it is snowing and I'm running skins here in North Carolina. I also broke out my Karhu Racers for the first time. This pair is actually my size which means no blistering. I wanted to see if going to something more minimalistic would increase or decrease the discomfort in my achilles. I'm not sure if it was the weather, the shoes or my less negative attitude on the day, but my achilles didn't really hurt during the run.

I had been running with a heel lift and a light orthotic to limit my movement in the shoe for the past couple of runs. I decided to forgo all that stuff and see how the achilles handled a more natural path. I was really encouraged by how the achilles/calf felt on the run. I think it is the first run in two weeks where I wanted to run longer.

This morning I spoke with Ryan Danner who is a local physical therapist who is opening his own practice in a few weeks. He gave me some advice about the achilles. None of his recommendations were anything I had not been doing, but hearing it from a trained and knowledgeable source helped reiterate that what I was doing is helping.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 223:07
Distance: 31.80 miles

Another low mileage weeks of training. The achilles is slowly getting better, but it's not where I want it to be. I really thought I had caught it early enough so that I would only miss a few days of training. That being said, this is nowhere near the level of pain or frustration that I was feeling about a year ago this time when my right achilles was injured. This time around it's my left achilles and I haven't pushed it to the point of not being able to walk comfortably. Also, I never let it get to the "crunchy" or "creaky" stage where you can actually feel and hear the inflamed part of the achilles.

I'm not sure what my thoughts are on the marathon right now.

Trying to Run Long

Time: 73:57
Distance: 10.28 miles
Pace: 7:11

I tried to run long this morning with Meagan before she headed out west to New Mexico. I made it the full distance, but didn't feel fantastic. I was somewhat hesitant about my calf/achilles that is still slightly irritated. I took it nice and easy on the hill at McAlpine trying not to dorsiflex too much. This was one of those runs where you're so focused on the afflicted area that you don't really enjoy being out on a beautiful day. I was too concerned with each step of my left foot and whether or not the pain was getting better or worse. Some steps felt good and there was little to no discomfort, while other steps felt iffy and I was worried the achilles was tightening up.

When I finished the run and got back to the Old Bell parking lot I was sure to stretch the calf really well and massage my leg with a roller. I then strapped on a big one. A bag of ice that is in order to reduce some of the swelling.

I continued to ice, stretch, massage, stick and ice throughout the day. I don't think the run set me back at all which I can take to mean that the leg is healing.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Short Update

Time: 51:37
Distance: 7.04 miles
Pace: 7:20

I ran with Meagan and Ben Hernandez this morning from our place. We headed down into Freedom Park at a nice easy pace. Once in the park Meagan needed to do an uptempo section for 2 miles and I joined her. The change in pace felt good, though my legs weren't used to running fast. Or running at all for that matter.

I really need to go back and recap the last couple of weeks while I've been dealing with this achilles niggle. I will say that this was my best run in two weeks in terms of feeling the least amount of discomfort. I also didn't have a chance to properly warm up the surrounding muscles before leaving to run which tells me the achilles is almost better. I wish I could have been out racing the Corporate Cup or the Reedy River Run this morning. I'm not even sure what the plans for the marathon are at this point.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Best Run in Weeks

Time: 36:11
Distance: 5.41 miles
Pace: 6:42

I gave my leg a proper amount of time after waking up to get warmed up. I was sure to massage my lower leg with both my hands and a roller to increase blood flow prior to the run. I had my best run in a couple of weeks as the achilles felt nearly 100 percent. A couple of times during the run I completely forgot about the niggle and just ran. During previous days, I have my good steps and my bad steps with my left leg. Sometimes I feel the discomfort and other toe offs I don't.

This was the most encouraging run too because while two weeks is not an ideal amount of time to take off from training seriously, it's not the much time at all. I can tell my legs and body is general is really fresh and wants to run faster, but I have to consciously slow down. I even had some thoughts about signing up for the Corporate Cup that is tomorrow, but thought that might be a bit much. However, I did test the achilles with a few strides on a side street just to see how much force I could apply at toe off.

When I got home I was sure to repeat my massage, stretching and icing routine.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Still Frustrated

Time: 35:53
Distance: 5.27 miles
Pace: 6:48

This wasn't a particularly good run here in Charlotte. I gave my body a good amount of time to wake up before going on my run. I felt fine for the first 20 minutes and didn't notice the achilles that much. Then for the next 5 minutes I think the discomfort slowly increased to a slight pain, but didn't get any worse. At one point I thought I was going to have to stop because I was noticing the achilles more and more, but I kept focused on my foot plant and the pain subsided.

I'm going on about day 10 of this achilles nonsense and I really thought I had caught it early enough so that it wouldn't wreak havoc on my training. That certainly has not been the case. I'm still fit, but the mind is having it's doubts.

My days of complete rest don't seem to help the healing process significantly. I try not to take many as I think the increased blood flow during exercise actually helps injuries like the achilles. Obviously, you can't train as fast or go nearly as far, but using the muscles around the injured area will hopefully produce quicker results.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pub Run in Carrboro

Time: 25:29
Distance: 3.8 miles

Tonight I ran with the Fleet Feet Carrboro Pub Run Group. I didn't get to partake in the beer drinking after the run because I attended the tri team meeting and had to drive back to Charlotte. After taking Monday and Tuesday off from running I was expecting today's run to be great. It wasn't. Still a bit of a niggle down by the achilles that makes running manageable but not completely fun.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Meagan's Blogging Intervention

Okay, it's time someone staged an intervention, and it looks like that responsibility falls on me. This is Meagan, the beautiful, talented, brilliant, beautiful girlfriend of your beloved blogger JoKin, and I'm here to stop the insanity and post a long-awaited update on Jordan's behalf. That's right, I've commandeered this blog for at least the next five minutes.

The truth is--and trust me, this sentence sounds strange to my own ears--Jordan's been incredibly smart over the past week. His Achilles hasn't been feeling 100%, so instead of being stubborn and pushing through he has forced himself to get plenty of rest. If this means falling asleep on the couch for a mid-afternoon nap, so be it. If it involves playing "Modern Warfare 2" for hours on end instead of heading outside for a run, that's the price that must be paid. Life can be so hard sometimes.

In all seriousness, he has been doing the right things, everything from contrast bathing to pool jogging to massaging with a variety of lubes unparalleled this side of the Uptown Cabaret. His body seems to be feeling better every day, and I have no doubt that he'll be back on his feet and overtraining again in no time at all. If anything, this time off should preserve his legs and keep them fresh for the upcoming race (for proof that this style of buildup works for JoKin, see his "training" leading up to the Oklahoma City and Charlotte marathons). I think this whole thing could be a blessing in disguise.

So friends, family members, fellow runners and followers of the sport, I urge you to send positive thoughts and well wishes in Jordan's direction. His spirits could use a boost. An injured Jordan is a grumpy Jordan, and I don't think I can deal with this for much longer. Thanks.

Another Day Off

Time: none
Distance: none

I took the day off completely. No pool. No walking. No running. Lots of icing, stretching and massaging. I did hop around on my left foot to show Meagan that the injury was slowly healing.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pool Jogging

Time: 20 mins?
Distance: doesn't matter

I jumped in the pool this morning for about 20 minutes of light aqua jogging. It sucked. I hate the pool. I did my fair share of pool running in college because of injury.