Friday, April 30, 2010

Run Two

Time: 41:36
Distance: 6.01 miles
Pace: 6:55

Run number two this evening was an easy six miles through Freedom Park. That's it.

Solo on the Booty Loop

Time: 56:47
Distance: 8.55 miles
Pace: 6:38

With Meagan out on the west coast I was solo on this morning's run around Freedom Park and the Booty Loop. The pace was noticeably faster too. I didn't feel nearly as sore after the speed development session as I did last week. The legs definitely have a bit more pop in them.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Speed Development

Time: 65:16
Distance: 9.02 miles

W/u: 42:47 for 6.01 miles
W/o: 2 x 100m @ 85%, 2 x 50m @ 100%, 2 x 100m @ 95%
C/d: 22:29 for 3.01 miles

I drove over to JCSU this afternoon for some speed development. Last week beat me up pretty good, but I know it's all a process to getting the fast twitch fibers to start firing efficiently again. Today's workout on paper seemed pretty easy, but trying to run near all out and relaxed is a challenge at this point. I basically strain off the line and run tense until the tape.

I put in 6 miles from the track to the cemetery and was able to meet up with Simon and Jenna. She was going to join me in the embarrassment of sprinting on JCSU's track. I even brought spike at her suggestion because there might have been some "races" planned. Simon was doing a swift 12 x 300 workout with a minute rest and ended up probably averaging 43 high to 44 low.

I did some drills and light strides prior to slipping into spikes for the first time in about a year. It was fun getting that fast feeling again. Once you put spikes on, you know it's time to run fast.

I didn't time any of the workout except my final 100m. I did the first effort with a floating start and all the others were from a standing start. I had plenty of rest between sprints, I'd guess around 2-4 minutes. The race between Jenna and I wasn't even close as her blades were no match for my raw strength. Just kidding, it was definitely the slowest 100m race in recent history on that track. Even the Mondo surface couldn't bring us to respectability.

Any guesses on the final 100m? I hand timed it with my Garmin so the accuracy might be a little off based on when I could hit the buttons. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the time knowing I was already starting to feel the effects of the two 50m efforts.

Free pair of Balega socks to the individual who gets closest. Mini-contest ends Monday at 12 pm EST.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Runnin' with the Flights

Time: ~64 mins
Distance: 8.81 miles

W/u: 22:47 for 3.16 miles
W/o: 14 x 400 in 67 w/ 1 min rest, hammer #11
C/d: 23:24 for 2.90 miles

After Let Me Run got out I headed over to Caitlin's to start the warm up to the JCSU track. She was doing some 300s while I was scheduled to cut shapes. The last time I did some shape cutting was back in the marathon build up and it was snowing. The pace for today's effort wasn't too bad and I only had 14 of them. On February 12th, I did 25 x 400 w/ 1 min rest averaging 68.31 and last year in August I did 12 x 400 w/ 1 min rest averaging 64.15 on AG's track. The second workout was before I knew the track was a little short.

I took a good amount of time warming up properly this afternoon. I did some drills, very light stretching, and an easy stride on the grass. I also got back to doing a couple of 200s before the workout at pace.

32.72, (81), 32.87, (4:00). Switched into flats.
67.32, (60), 65.95, (61), 66.75, (59), 66.53, (59), 66.57, (60), 66.07, (60), 66.70, (60),
66.78, (60), 66.12, (61), 67.xx, (60), 62.00, (61), 68.85, (61), 67.70, (60), 64.84 for 35:01 total and ~3.75 miles. Average 66.37.

I'll take it. I was happy to just be able to lace up the flats and hit the times. The soreness is slowly leaving the legs and I was still able to complete the workout hitting all the times. I was thankful to have Caitlin's little track group out there as they jumped in with me on number nine over the last 200m. I also had them jump in my hammer interval on number 11. I didn't let them pass me on that one.

In a few weeks I'll be averaging 64-65. That is, if it's not 80 degrees and humid.

Shakeout Miles

Time: 22:21
Distance: 3.08 miles
Pace: 7:15

Just some easy miles on the legs to wake them up.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April Showers

Time: 62:33
Distance: 8.53 miles
Pace: 7:20

I met up with Caitlin near Uptown and we jogged over in the direction of JCSU. I was planning on doing some 400s on the track while some other CRC members worked out. Jay, Aaron and some others met us about a mile from the track and warned us that the workout might not be happening. A youth track team was competing in a meet despite the rain and threatening thunder storms. I figured the meet would be called due to weather, but that wouldn't be the case until after we already hit up the cemetery.

I decided that I would just complete my workout tomorrow when the weather was going to hopefully be nicer. Jay and Aaron did some one minute pickups while Caitlin, Matt and I ran around about a 1k loop. We were all soaked by the time we started running back to the track where we found the meet had finally been canceled. I'm glad I ran a few miles this morning otherwise today would have been a bust.

Shakeout Miles

Time: 25:30
Distance: 3.51 miles
Pace: 7:16

I originally wasn't going to run this morning, but decided to put in a few miles around 11:00 am. I found a break from work and laced up the kicks for a jog along the greenway. I mainly did this to allow myself to stretch out prior to this evening's workout at JCSU.

Monday, April 26, 2010

CRC Crew

Time: 45:04
Distance: 6.14 miles
Pace: 7:20

I planned on running from the Dowd YMCA after the Let Me Run program this evening. When I showed up I was glad to see a few other members of the Charlotte Running Club. Jay and Aaron are back to running after their recent marathon performance in Boston. We went down Morehead (vulgarity intended) and met Caitlin at the corner of McDowell. Our group plus Jocelyn and a new member named Todd who works at Queens ran over to Freedom Park. Todd, who fundraises for Queens, has a brother that went to Brown and was a member of the wrestling team. Todd told me that he follows the track team pretty closely and even knows some of the names and faces of the athletes. It was good to hear that the program is catching some love from other departments on campus.

I felt comfortable during the miles and definitely enjoyed having people to run with on this double.

McAlpine Monday

Time: 58:02
Distance: 7.87 miles
Pace: 7:22

It's not very often that I get out to McAlpine during the week, but today was an exception. Meagan and I met Jenna at the Boyce parking lot and we ran a loop of the Footlocker course. I think the Garmin measured the run a little short as it should have come out closer to 8 miles. The added tree coverage along the shaded areas is probably messing with the devices accuracy. I was content to take today really easy in preparation for tomorrow's shape cutting.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 517:54
Distance: 73.65 miles

I guess this was an okay week of training. I was pretty beat up for most of the week because of the speed development session on Tuesday. Luckily, I know that each speed session will be easier as a result. It'll be nice to comfortably run sub-70 second quarters again and be able to maintain that for the summer despite the heat. The race on Saturday was fun and it was good to win. I'll be interesting to see if I can get back to running under 15:00 mins on the roads again.

McAlpine Long Run

Time: 87:47
Distance: 13.01 miles
Pace: 6:45

It was back out to McAlpine for this week's long run. I was feeling pretty sluggish throughout today's run and never really got rolling except for when I latched on to Meagan's final mile. She has been racing a lot and hasn't been getting in a lot of actual workouts so she wanted to run the final few miles hard. I made the mistake of trying to run with her because I was enjoying my time with Sean, Mike and Alex who were all running pretty easy. I wasn't about to let Meagan rib me for falling of the pace so I reluctantly finished up her run and then added on a few minutes to hit 13 miles.

I was still sore when this run began but felt decent at the end. I also wore a long sleeve shirt and a jacket while other people were going skins. I never got that hot and wasn't complaining about the humidity because I didn't think it was that bad. Some people are going to be rocked come mid-July.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Shakeout Miles

Time: 23:23
Distance: 3.10 miles
Pace: 7:32

This afternoon I watched the Penn Relays on FloTrack. There was some good action at Franklin Field and the Jamaican crowd was in a frenzy. Usain Bolt was running the anchor leg of the 4 x 100 in USA vs. The World. Unfortunately, I would have to wait until 8 pm to watch the coverage as FloTrack only had the rights to air all of the non-USA vs. The World events.

Meagan got off work early and we decided to get some extra miles. I hobbled along but felt better by the end of the run.

It was then time to clean up and head over to Matt Jaskot's going away party. The two highlights of the evening were watching the Penn Relays coverage on ESPN2 with a bunch of other track nerds, and making ice cream and margaritas with liquid nitrogen. Move over rock salt, cream and three hours of churning, liquid nitrogen produced results in minutes.

Caitlin & Matt brewing up some ice cream. (Photo lifted from Caitlin & Mark Zuckerberg)

CPCC Skyline 5k

Time: 53:44
Distance: 7.62 miles

W/u: 18:51 for 2.33 miles
Race: 15:52, 1st
C/d: 19:03 for 2.19 miles

I got up pretty early this morning to give my body some time to wake up. The race wasn't until 8 am but I was milling around the house drinking coffee by 5:30. I was trying to see how the legs were going to handle a quick pace so early.

Meagan and I headed over to Caitlin and John's house around 6:45 and then I realized that I had left my bib on the kitchen table. I probably could have gone to the race and received another number, but instead I just headed home to snag my original bib. I got back to Caitlin's just as a group of CRC members were going to start warming up. We jogged over to get our chips and roamed around part of the course. My legs were still really tight and I definitely didn't get in as many miles as I would have liked beforehand. I did do one extended stride about 10 minutes before the start of the race. I didn't feel any better after it, but I figured I could run 5:05 pace comfortably.

At the start line I settled in near John Compton, Dan Matena, Ben Hovis, Paul Mainwaring and a few other runners who would be getting after it. I was content to run the first mile conservatively and then get things rolling around the 7-8 minute mark. Today I decided not to wear a watch and strictly run based on feel. I have relied too much on what the watch says in recent months and I want to get back to the roots of racing and just going hard.

The first mile was rather pedestrian, but I could tell how much the opening hill played a factor. I thought the 5:16 split felt about right and I was sure not to hit the front much. A few minutes later we turned a few corners and started back through Elizabeth. John and Dan were running off my shoulder and I was happy to just maintain the pace. My legs were still tight at this point and after the opening mile, running a fast time was out the window. The three of us hit two miles in 10:27 (5:11 split).

I started to get a little worried that Dan and John would have some closing speed heading down the final hill. I may have increased the pace just a touch once we crossed the second mile. The group stayed together until about a K to go when I noticed I had a 2 or 3 step lead. Once I was on the downhill I tried to open things up. I increased my turnover and started to roll. I knew I had gapped Dan and John, but wasn't sure by how much. I hit three miles around 15:20 (not completely sure for ~4:53 mile) About 300m from the finish I had a misstep that caused me to flail a bit. I think my hamstring kind of got hung up and was refusing to respond. Had someone been on my shoulder, the race would have been over, but luckily I had a decent advantage.

I took a final look over my shoulder going into the final turn and crossed the line a few ticks under 16:00. Full Results.

I was pleased with taking home the victory. I wished that I had been able to really push the pace from the gun because the course could have been fast. CRC took home first and second in the team competition earning us a gift certificate to Mac's on South Blvd.

The cool down was a bit rough as my legs immediately tightened up. I did however get to chat with a guy who was rocking a pair of Karhu Steady Rides. He said his wife had a pair too. I also got to chat with Sean Mullen who is a Karhu Explorer and almost done with his 40 in 40 challenge.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Feeling Better? No.

Time: 42:30
Distance: 6.11 miles
Pace: 6:57

First, let me ask if anybody's Garmin seems to be off the past few weeks? My watch has been measuring really inconsistently the first mile on probably half of my runs recently. Today, it beeped about 40m too early.

Second, my legs are still rocked. Hamstrings and quads are feeling just a little better even after yesterday's rest. I feel really stiff for the first 20 minutes and then things improve. I will need an extended warm up for tomorrow's race. I can't see myself feeling good before 1.5 miles.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Busy Day of Not Running

Time: none
Distance: none

It just wasn't going to be a good day for running. I woke up at 4:00 am so that I could jump in the car and make it to the Wake County District Court to get my traffic fine waved. I had to be there at 7:45 and was surprised to see that I was only 30th in line. I managed to schedule a tech clinic for 9:00 am, which meant this line had to move quickly. The whole process was very efficient and I was out of there by 8:00 with all my money still in my pocket.

I hit up Fleet Feet Raleigh, The Athlete's Foot Raleigh, Raleigh Running Outfitters, Inside-Out Sports, the other Raleigh Running Outfitters location and finally Fleet Feet Carrboro. It was a fun day but I was pretty tired by the time I was on the road back to Charlotte. I was eating terrible today despite having a workout later in the evening. I was supposed to do 12 x 300m w/ 100m jog recovery. A tough workout that I was trying to get up for.

I thought about bagging the workout on the drive home and just running with Caitlin. But, then she texted me that she wasn't going to be able to make it. I still drove over to the AG track only to find that the parking lot was packed. Turns out the AG is actually used for middle school track meets. Who would have thought? That gave me the perfect excuse to go home and take a nap.

I still had time to put in some miles in the evening, but my laziness and soreness got the best of me. I went on a binge and ate everything in sight to continue my poor diet for the day. Great times.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Scoping Out the Course

Total Time: 57:26
Total Distance: 8.13 miles

Part I: 42:40 for 6.01 miles
Part II: 14:46 for 2.12 miles

This afternoon following the Let Me Run practice, I drove over to Caitlin's for a bit of running. We put in a few miles through Elizabeth with the interest of checking out the CPCC Skyline 5k course. Caitlin had printed off a small map with the directions and we followed them to the letter. I felt terrible jog/walking with the boys along the greenway and I didn't feel any better with Red. My legs are making running a struggle and there isn't much I can do about it.

We parted ways around three or four miles and I had some more time to be out there. I knew I had to do drills, but I didn't think I would be able to go through with the whole routine unless I were at a track. Thus, I jogged over to JCSU which put me just at six miles. I limped through a half-assed routine that I think will be great this spring. Jeff Gaudette is borrowing some ideas from Jay Johnson who coaches out in Boulder, CO. I wasn't proud of my effort out on the grass infield, but I at least attempted them.

I jogged back to the car and called it a day with a good amount of work put in.

Oh yea, the course this weekend could be really fast once you get through the uphill first mile. The final 1k is going to be lightening quick.

So Sore

Time: 43:55
Distance: 6.10 miles
Pace: 7:12

After yesterday's sprint workout my legs are tore up. My hamstrings and quads haven't been this tight for at least two years. I have the tightness that is customary after the first big speed workout of the spring season done with spikes. Everything aches and is tender to the touch. At this point, stretching doesn't even really help. It will take a few days before the legs calm down and I should be good to run hard workouts whenever.

I ran through Freedom Park and looped around to find 6 miles. The pace was quite slow and I tried not to alter my gait but my hamstrings forced me to run further up on my toes.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Get Down Speed

Time: ~54:28
Distance: ~8 miles

W/u: 22:46 for 3.01 miles
W/o: 4 x 150m (jog 50m, sprint 50m, float 50m); 3 x 70m at 99%; 4 x 120m at 95% (jog 280m)
C/d: 22:42 for 2.77 miles

Today was the first day of the new cycle where I got to work on my get down speed. It was rough, and I don't have much speed anymore. This will definitely be a work in progress for the next few weeks until I feel comfortable and confident really getting the legs turned over.

I did a nice slow, hilly warm up to the AG track. It was a little rainy out so I sported some "manpris" and a light jacket over to the track. I didn't bring flats because I think the Karhu Forward Rides are plenty capable of running fast. I even had a guy who was getting ready to lead a training group ask me about the shoes. He said he tried on a different pair of Karhu shoes a few weeks/months ago, but ended up going with something else. He liked what I had to say about the pair I was wearing.

The workout got started shortly after I did some easy drills. First up was 4 x 150m (I actually read the schedule wrong and was only supposed to do 3 with no rest). Instead I did 4 with a 250m recovery. I felt a bit strained as I really started pumping the arms during the middle 50m. It took me a couple to get warmed up, but then I was fine.

The middle section consisted of 3 x 70m from a standing start. What a way to make someone feel slow! The wet surface, training shoes and getting away from some speed made these feel terrible. It took me about 15m just to feel like I was running. From 20m to 50m I was pretty much at top speed and then I just held on for the last 20m. I shut things down and coasted the rest of the straightaway. I walked back to the start line.

The final portion was 4 x 120m with a 280m recovery. I actually timed this section and ran the 120m in 17 secs with a jogging start. I could tell that my hamstrings had already been challenged in those 70m sprints. This final section allowed me to stretch out the legs and find a more natural, fluid stride down the backstretch. I ran about 7:00 for the mile in lane 3.

My cool down back the house was nice and easy. I shuffled around the track a few laps while the training group began their warm up. One lady was even wearing a pair of Karhu shoes! A volleyball team was also just getting started and three dudes (one with a baby jogger) were attacking a decent workout. I didn't expect there to be that much action at the AG track on a damp evening. It was much better than being out there solo.

Charlotte Running Co.

Time: 42:55
Distance: 6.04 miles
Pace: 7:06

About two miles into the run this morning I decided to head over to the Charlotte Running Co. I needed to tell Scott Dvorak how I appreciated him getting me a late entry into Charlotte's Racefest Half Marathon. While I was there I got to chat with Donny Forsyth about how I'm starting to meet all his riding buddies. It was a nice 20 minute break in the middle of my 6 mile run. Nothing beats that.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dirty Hipster

Time: 49:50
Distance: 6.96 miles
Pace: 7:09

After the Let Me Run program got out this evening I drove over to Caitlin's house for a double run. I could include the 37 minutes of running I did with the youngsters, but we only covered 2.8 miles. It was a glorified walk, an 800 meter shuffle that doesn't deserve logging.

Our run this evening took us all around Uptown. We hit up the little bike path that runs on the west side of I-77. My legs continue to feel a bit sluggish and the tight right hamstring remains. The only eventful part of this run occurred moments before it ended. Caitlin and I were running back on McDowell when we crossed 5th or 6th street. We crossed the street without the light and some clown on his rusty bike sped up to nearly hit me. I don't think he was purposely trying to hit me, but he came within a few feet. He made some off hand comment and I responded.

We went back and forth until he decided to stop at the intersection at 7th street. This is when I got to get a good look at the dirty hipster. He was wearing an old pair of red Adidas breakdance pants with a pair of ripped mesh basketball shorts over the top. He had attached a green plastic boa to his yellow courier bag so that it flowed behind him like a tail. To top things off Mr. Hipster rocked a pair of Barbie sunglasses with pink frames. His whole ensemble was too easy to poke fun at and he eventually rode off to smoke a clove cigarette, drink a PBR and cry himself to sleep.

Morning Loop of Booty

Time: 61:56
Distance: 8.58 miles
Pace: 7:12

I put in some easy miles this morning around the Booty Loop with Meagan. This route is also known as MFPL. I didn't feel great out there as the legs are needing something quicker.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 461:22
Distance: 62.89 miles

Here was a good recovery week to get me prepped for the next cycle that I'm entering. I ran just over 60 miles and less than Meagan which definitely means I took things easy. I will admit that my right hamstring could use a little ART from Ryan Danner and I'm needing to give him a ring. For some reason, there is a little spot that needs a good battering.

In the public interest of keeping this training blog open, here is my new schedule courtesy of Jeffrey Gaudette. As you can see it's heavily focused in (re)developing some leg speed. I'm looking forward to increasing the amount of drills, strides and workouts with short intervals. I'll be using the local races as my longer tempo efforts which means no more sandbagging when it starts to get tough.

Not So Long on Sunday

Time: 65:45
Distance: ~9 miles
Pace: ~7:14

My recovery weekend continued when I went out to McAlpine for the Sunday long run. My schedule had me running 5 miles so naturally I ran 9 with Tanya, Jenna and Meagan. Five solo and my pace = 9 easy with the girls, right? Probably not but I'll take it. Surprisingly, I didn't feel great on the run and I'm not sure why. It might be because I haven't run under 7 minute pace in a few days and I'm starting to feel stale.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Not Needing to Run

Time: 51:09
Distance: 7.08 miles
Pace: 7:13

I got my new training schedule from Jeffrey Gaudette. He told me to take a day off. I didn't listen. I took Tuesday off, only ran once yesterday and didn't run far today. The legs are feeling good and I felt like putting on the Karhu shoes.

Later in the evening we went to a kick ass barbecue hosted by Denise and Tyler. It was great to meet and catch up with some of Charlotte's runners and triathletes. Great evening of food, beers and cornhole.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Solo on MFPL

Time: 59:34
Distance: 8.79 miles
Pace: 6:46

I did me a loop this morning. Meagan was headed off to Banner Elk for the Conference Carolinas meet so she was only running a few miles. The run was fine. The legs might have been a little sore from the workout last night.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Finding Some Speed

Time: 40:05
Distance: 5.67 miles

W/u: 15:21 for 2.06 miles
W/o: 8 x 200 w/ 200 jog. Target 12 mins.
C/d: 12:38 for 1.61 miles

I didn't feel like just running another double through Freedom Park this evening. Instead I decided to take a longer route to a nearby track at Alexander Graham Middle School. The AG track has quite the reputation in Charlotte for whatever reason. Most athletes from Queens scoff at the idea of running a workout on the track because lane one isn't quite 400 meters and the surface is falling apart. They are too busy snobbing it up in the ghetto on Johnson C. Smiths Mondo track surface. Personally, JCSU is fine for running a big time workout and racing, but it beats up the legs too much and driving halfway across town sucks. I'd much prefer to warm up a couple of miles to a track and run on a crappy venue so that when I do get on a good surface it's that much better.

I went through some drills and light strides on the soccer field before starting my quick workout. The goal was to try and break 12 minutes for 8 laps of running. Ideally you're running the hard 200s in 30-32 and taking about 55-60 sec. rest on the jog. I hit splits of:

(52), 32.13, (60), 31.20, (60), 30.82, (62), 31.64,
(61), 31.50, (59), 31.12, (60), 31.30, (61), 30.11 for 12:05.76 total and 3200 meters.

I was happy that I felt really relaxed on the hard sections. I never strained and just wanted to have quick turnover. The form felt good and I was light on the feet. I didn't recover as quickly I should, but that will come as the body gets used to running fast again.

I'm waiting on getting my new cycle that is going to be more speed/drill focused. I've gotten away from using the fast twitch muscle fibers that brought me into the sport. It's time to go on a search for them in the next few months.

Same Old Routine

Time: 63:02
Distance: 8.62 miles
Pace: 7:18

Meagan and I put in a MFPL this morning. Yay.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Short Loop Before Dinner

Time: 36:45
Distance: 5.39 miles
Pace: 6:49

I made it back to Charlotte around 4:45. I had hoped to make the Let Me Run session and I arrived just as the boys were starting to eat their snacks. Meagan was pretty worn out after their 2.5 mile run and she opted not to double. She also made plans for us to go out to eat with some friends which meant I only had time for a short run. I needed to shake out the legs after that drive. The run went well and I had a good amount of energy despite the lengthy travel time.

Solo in DC

Time: 35:18
Distance: 4.84 miles
Pace: 7:17

Owen's lazy ass wasn't interested in running with me this morning because he took a shot of Jack last night. Fun times all around. I was out the door after the young DC workforce was out of the house and off to their j-o-b-s. I laced up the boots and headed off in the direction of the National Zoo. I was hoping to see some animals other than squirrels and birds. No such luck. Owen said that sometimes you can see the animals, but usually it's too early and they aren't out yet. However, if you get lucky sometimes there is a donkey moping around. I didn't even get to see that ass.

I made a short loop and found my way back to the house so that I could shower, pack up and drive 8 hours back to Charlotte.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day Off in DC

Time: none
Distance: none

I didn't get out the door this morning for a run and then it started raining. Little motivation + rain = no running. I needed a day off anyway after this past weekend's amount of racing.

During the afternoon, Nark's brother who is in town from the Caribbean came out to Columbia Heights for some Best Buy shopping. I was just lounging at Owen's house watching a bit of soccer. We enjoyed a snow cone and then headed out to meet up with our friends for dinner and beers.

We found ourselves at a bar that had open mic night. The cover bands were okay, but the stand up comedians were terrible. One was an old dude with a sweet fedora had terribly awkward routine with some shouts and mumbling. The other was a girl who was too nervous in front of a live audience and the only response to her punchlines were crickets.

Monday, April 12, 2010

DC with JR

Time: 61:06
Distance: 7.65 miles
Pace: 7:59

Jilane picked me up this afternoon and drove over to a friend's house where we would start out run. She warned me that this would be the slowest run ever, but she didn't know that earlier this morning Owen and I averaged 7:58 pace. I guess she wins the award of slowest run as we finished averaging 7:59 miles. We had a good time chatting about work, running and our time in Oklahoma. Jilane even offered to get me tickets to the NFLPA Gala that was the in a few days.

I enjoyed both of my runs today up in Washington, DC. In terms of big city running, I think DC takes the best places to run award. Jilane said that New York City usually wins the best urban running award each year in large part due to the New York Road Runners. I would agree that NYC has the best overall races, but in terms of training locations, DC is pretty choice. You have Rock Creek Park, a couple bike paths and various trail systems. NYC has Central Park and VCP.

DC with OW

Time: 46:38
Distance: 5.85 miles
Pace: 7:58

I had a nice recovery with Mr. Washburn this morning from his house up in Columbia Heights. We started off by dropping an 8:54 mile out the door. Owen's big Cherry Blossom performance had forced some tight hamstrings. I was happy to run slow and wander through the streets of DC eventually finding Rock Creek Park. We ran up some huge hill with a decent grade around mile four. The hill took us past a couple embassies which is always a refreshing reminder that Washington, DC is a city of international importance. It was good to catch up with a good friend and former teammate on the run.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 550:49
Distance: 81.98 miles

I'm not sure what to think about this week's running. I had a fun weekend but don't know I didn't race to my potential. In both races when it started to get tough, I backed off and finished comfortably. My 10 mile tempo run back in February was more impressive than my Cherry Blossom performance. This next week looks to be pretty light and I'll be able to recover for the next cycle. I don't have any big races picked out, but I'll have to start looking. Training in North Carolina during the summer will certainly be humid which leads me to shorter distances. The goal is to take the strength work of the past 6 months into the next cycle and start integrating the fast twitch muscles.

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

Time: 53:36
Distance: 10 miles
Pace: 5:19

Want to know how not to run a big 10 mile race? Don't run a half marathon the day before, drive 8 hours, sleep 6 hours, and run the opening mile in 5 minutes. Despite all those factors, I was still thinking I could run a respectable time somewhere in the 52:30 range or 5:15s.

Here's how the splits summed up my race:
5:02, 5:15, 5:05, 5:15, 5:18, 5:25, 5:34, :14 (to get back on the course's mile markers), 5:36, 5:30, 5:18.

I went out too hard the first mile, hung tough for 4 miles, sucked for a couple miles, folded for the second day in a row, got caught by my Charlotte Running Club teammates and then ran the last 1,000 meters. That's the simple summary of my race.

The more detailed summary would start back up in Columbia Heights were Ben Stern, Owen, Ben Clark and a couple of others would walk to the Metro. Our plans were to meet up with George McArdle near the start of the race at 7:10. The race time was 7:40 and my window for getting a proper warm up was gone. I ended up being able to jog about 4 minutes total from the Metro to the corner to find George and then another 4 minutes after bag checking my warm ups.

I managed to find Dan Matena and the rest of the Charlotte Running Club crew and we all made our way to near the front of the race. Before settling into the corral just behind the Kenyans and Ethiopians, I was able to see Caitlin and Megan Hovis run by at the start of the women's elite race. They received a 10 minute head start so that proper press coverage could be given to the ladies.

The race off the line was competitive and I was quick through the first mile. I didn't have any particular goals heading into the race which was probably my downfall. I wanted to enjoy the race experience and help out the CRC, however after not running up to par in the half marathon, I was seeking a bit of redemption. The pace was honest for the first 5 miles and then I fell apart. The wind in Haines Point combined with the early pace did me in. I backed off for a couple of miles and let some guys pass me. With about a mile to run I was caught by Dan Matena and John Compton. To give you a bit of perspective, I went through five miles with an official split of 26:05 to their 26:53. I picked up the pace for the final few minutes feeling recovered, but not interested in racing. I think I passed back a couple of guys and finished 37th overall a few seconds back of Compton and a few strides up on Matena.

For the second day/race in a row I crumbled when it started to hurt. I had a couple of guys to run with from miles 6 to 8, but I refused to man up. I thought I would be able to handle the entire race better than I did. It's time to get back on a more organized training/racing schedule.

After the race I was in pretty rough shape. I didn't cool down at all and on the Metro home I had to stop to vomit in a trash can. Since all I had consumed that morning was coffee and water it was a big deal. Before getting back to Owen's house we made a stop at a grocery store to purchase some Pedialyte. I didn't feel better until around noon while we were at the Red Derby and I was finally getting properly hydrated with water, Pedialyte, and a couple bloody mary's.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Racefest Half Marathon

Time: 109:40
Distance: 17.21 miles

W/u: 22:13 for 2.65 miles
Race: 71:52, 2nd place overall
C/d: 15:35 for 1.56 miles

Today was an incredibly long day. It started early this morning in Charlotte at a half marathon I decided to run. Last year the event brought in some pretty tough competition as the race served as North Carolina's USATF Half Marathon Championships. This year I was hoping that the field wasn't so tough in order to grab a piece of the prize purse.

During the warm up from the Dick's Sporting Good's parking lot in South Park, I could tell the legs were feeling good. I jogged very slowly around the business parks and around the mall. As I ran through what would later serve as the post-race area, I noticed that Scott Dvorak was rocking his new Karhu Forward Rides. I gave him a pair last week and I think they were debuting on his feet this morning. I finished up the warm up with Jason Cook who is an employee at Fleet Feet Huntersville. He was going to be helping out a buddy in the half.

I didn't recognize too many people during the moments just before the start of the race. However, once the race began I soon learned it would be a two man battle. A battle that I would soon lose on the bastard of a hill around mile 7. Ryan Bender and I took the pace out fairly evenly for the first 10k and we more or less shared the lead. He would push a little bit on the uphills and I would reclaim a half step lead on the downhills. I was aware of the hill mid-race because Caitlin told me to be weary of it, though I never scoped it out.

I felt good early on and felt confident in my abilities to win the race, but that quickly went out the window as I was gapped on the hill. Ryan put a few steps on me about 50 meters into the hill and his lead gradually opened up. At the crest of the hill I was about 30-40 meters back, but still very much in the race as there was a lot of running to do. I hung around for the next 10 minutes but after making up little ground I threw in the towel. You can see below as my splits go from 5:12, 5:34 on the hill, 5:20 in the chase and 5:44 in submission.

I more or less just ran to the finish line rather comfortably. Looking back I'm a bit upset that I didn't man up and continue to race. It was a great opportunity to test the fitness and instead I folded. I just wrote about how the Kenyan's could/would attack workouts and races with almost a reckless sense of pace. I'm not going to make excuses about how easily I was popped off the winner's heels today. I should be more focused and prepared to hurt going into races especially when there is cash on the line.

It's time to re-group, hydrate and drive up to Washington, D.C. for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.

5:16, 5:19, 5:22, 5:09, 5:23, 5:12, 5:12, 5:34, 5:20, 5:44, 5:50, 5:44, 5:53, :55 for 71:53 total.

Morning of Racefest

I'm about to head over to the start area of Charlotte's Racefest to run the half marathon. It will be interesting to see who shows up and how the body feels. Hopefully I don't have to run all that fast in order to win a bit of coin. It's going to be almost a marathon worth of racing this weekend.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Meagan's Second Half

Time: 46:48
Distance: 7.10 miles

W/u: 22:28 for 3.04 miles
W/o: Queen make for Meagan last 3 miles of her predator run
C/d: 8:47 for 1.06 miles

I only got a couple hours of rest this afternoon before heading back out to run. Meagan had a 6 mile predator run that she will be able to tell you more about. I was tagging along mainly to help out later in the workout. I also wanted to get in some good stretching while she was running the first three miles.

After our warm up, I brought my stretching mat and rope to the deck near the start of the Footlocker course. I spent about 10 minutes really focused on loosening up. I've been better at stretching and doing drills for the last 10 days or so and I think it's helping the legs.

Meagan came around to the three mile mark and I jumped in as pace setter. The next loop was going to be pretty much the same except we were going to leave out the hill. Because our route was a little different, Meagan didn't know the mile markers. That's where Mr. Garmin came in for the second lap. She ran tough for splits of: 5:53, 5:45, 5:42 for 17:23 total.

Ran Through Elizabeth

Time: 51:32
Distance: 7.13 miles
Pace: 7:13

I met up with Caitlin late this morning for a run through Elizabeth. She gave me the option of running in the slums (section of Thunder Road Marathon going to NoDa) or Elizabeth. Obviously, I chose the latter as that section of the marathon course was miserable for several reasons. Caitlin is in full on taper mode for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on Sunday.

I felt really good on this run. The legs have a bit of pop in them for whatever reason. It's good that I feel fresh going into the weekend considering I'm running the Racefest Half on Saturday and the 10 Miler the next day.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Third Time This Week

Time: 63:46
Distance: 8.56 miles
Pace: 7:27

It's the third time this week that I ran the medium Freedom Park loop as Meagan likes to call it. This outing, however, was with Jenna as she decided to meet up with us this morning. We kept things nice and easy. I challenged Jenna, who comes from a scientifically based background, to come up with a universally adopted training method. I wanted something everyone who runs accepts as being a factor in creating better distance runners. There is a lot of information out there and everyone wants to know the shortcut. For example, increasing iron intake, compression socks, consuming caffeine, supplementing nutrition, carbo loading, etc. The two methods she came up with were (a) stretching and (b) altitude training. She's probably right.

I would add interval training as (c). For all of the studies and journal articles out there promoting iron, compression, and caffeine; none of them are necessarily conclusive. We essentially decided that as long as you believe that what you are doing will make you better and the training/advice that your coach gives you is believed fully, then you will continue to mature as a runner/athlete.

I will admit that I was coming from a pessimistic standpoint since listening to the Letsrun Training Talk this week with Ricky Simms and Noah Ngeny. Simms is most well known for being Usain Bolt's agent/manager and Ngeny is the 2000 Olympic 1500m champion (he defeated El G). Ngeny also holds the second fastest mile ever run at around 3:44.xx and is the current 1000m world record holder. The training talk with Rojo (co-founder of Letsrun and current distance coach at Cornell) focused on Joseph Ebuya's recent ascent to the top of the running world by winning the World Cross Country Championships. It's an interesting interview for a long drive in the car.

During the interview, Rojo asked Simms why he coached some athletes he managed like Ebuya, but not others like Leo Manzano. Simms answered by saying that he didn't like to coach his western athletes mainly because it took too much effort. Western athletes are notorious for over-analyzing everything from their nutrition, to the amount of sleep. From how they felt on the fourth interval during the workout, to why their hamstring is just a little sore.

In contrast, Simms African athletes simply show up to practice, run the workout, go home and repeat. There is little discussion about why a workout/race went bad. It seemed that Simms runners, like Ebuya, would have a very short memory in terms of being able to forget about the past and always looking to the next race, next workout. Of course, it helps when you're extremely talented and run 13:03 for 5k in only your second race on the track. I believe those guys training in the Rift Valley all winter come prepared to dominate European races during the summer because, in their mind, they know they've worked the hardest.

Train hard, win easy.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Staying Shady

Time: 31:50
Distance: 4.80 miles
Pace: 6:57

I stayed in a shit hole last night. No doubt about it. I haven't made it quite yet and I'm willing to risk my safety to save a few dollars.

After running the workout at UNC, I hit the road and found a crap motel in Greensboro. It was one of those motels with a number in it. I practically had to fill out a criminal background check before swiping my credit card at the front desk. I should mention that the office was essentially closed and that the night attendant was protected by bullet proof glass at a side window. Pretty classy stuff. This certainly was not the St. Regis in San Francisco where I used to spend time with my pops. I like to keep it blue collar these days.

The good thing is that I woke up unharmed with no bed bug bits to speak of. The car had not even been broken into either. Like Ice Cube said, "today was a good day." Or at least it was starting that way.

I put the shoes on and wondered out for a jog from the motel around 9:00 am. I found on a map that there was some sort of park near by. The park ran along a creek and there was a concrete path that took me a couple of miles out. Then, it just stopped. I turned and ran back trying to find some extra minutes.

I didn't force anything and eventually called it a morning after 30 minutes. It was time to shower up, purchase some diesel and drive up to Roanoke, VA for another Healthcare Provider Day.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

UNC Track Night Workout

Time: 35:30
Distance: ~5 miles

W/u: 16:08 for 2.18 miles
W/o: 8 x 200m w/ (200m rest)
C/d: 5:26 for .61 miles barefoot

I was at a Healthcare Provider Day hosted by Fleet Feet Carrboro this afternoon. I was attending on behalf of Orthaheel which is an orthotic sandal line that is fully functional, but also fashionable. The product was really well received by all the physical therapists, podiatrists and other docs who attended. Beyond chatting with the owners, staff and medical practitioners, I was able to have a couple of good conversations with Chris Bevin who is the general manager of Balega. Chris is traveling to South Africa on Thursday to work on the future sock line of Balega.

After the event ended, I felt like getting in a run around campus. I found the track and parked my car near a bustling field of intramural athletics. I warmed up a couple of miles before heading down to the track in order to run some light 200s.

32.02, (57), 32.70, (54), 32.34, (78), 31.92, (79),
31.54, (80), 30.80, (81), 31.35, (82), 30.63, (70) for 13:56 total and a little over 2 miles.

You'll notice that the rest gets significantly longer after the third interval. That's because a sorority/fraternity was holding some step show in lanes 3 to 8 on the home stretch. I didn't want to interfere so after my hard 200, I would simply turn around and run back in a middle lane.

I felt good running tall, quick and relaxed. My goal was to keep good knee lift, arm carry and turnover without straining. If this were 2006, the splits would have all been under 30 secs. I wonder if I could break 4:20 today? Give me three weeks of true speed work and I could run 4:15 or so.

Solo Medium Loop

Time: 60:42
Distance: 8.77 miles
Pace: 6:55

Meagan has a big workout planned for this evening so she only ran with me for the first mile and a half. I continued on and completed the same run as yesterday morning. The pace was a touch quicker, but I wasn't pushing.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Double with CRC

Time: 36:18
Distance: 4.80 miles
Pace: 7:33

I was able to meet up with a couple core members of the Charlotte Running Club this evening from the Dowd YMCA. We spun through the Dilworth neighborhood and a few side streets. The run was nice and easy. Good company, fun run.

Medium Monday with Meagan

Time: 61:07
Distance: 8.61 miles
Pace: 7:05

Meagan and I put in a few miles this morning through Freedom Park and around the Booty Loop. The legs continue to feel good as I haven't run a tough workout in quite some time. I'm not sure what this week holds as I'm racing a couple of times this weekend.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 455:10
Distance: 64.58 miles

The week started off pretty slow with me being sick or having allergies. I finally started feeling good again about Thursday night when I went out to celebrate my buddy Tyler's passing of the bar exam. The final few days of the week salvaged a somewhat respectable training program. I was happy with the Sunday long run and Saturday's uptempo work with the ladies was fun.

Light on the Toes

Time: 94:54
Distance: 14.03 miles
Pace: 6:46

Today's long run went really well. It's probably the best long run I've had in several weeks excluding the Tobacco Road Marathon. The pace started off nice and easy and gradually progressed after many miles. I've consciously been trying to run more upright in the couple of weeks after the marathon. I always find it easier to correct minor issues during the regeneration or recovery phase of training.

7:29, 7:18, 7:03, 7:08, 6:57, 6:50, 7:03, 6:51, 6:37, 6:26, 6:06, 6:02, 5:56, 6:54 (ran back with Jenna and Meagan last 1200m).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Playing Queen Maker

Time: 68:28
Distance: 10.14 miles

W/u: 23:23 for 3.06 miles
W/o: 5 mile predator rabbit
C/d: 16:28 for 2.07 miles

While some of the Queens team was racing at the Duke Invite, others were at McAlpine for some weekend miles. However, there was a core group of females who would be running a pretty legit workout. Pezz, Tanya, Meagan and Jenna were all gearing up for their respective workouts. Pezz was running a 4 mile predator run, Meagan and Tanya were doing 5 miles and Jenna, who is just getting back the training buzz, was hoping to go 4 miles.

Since this week has been pretty light in terms of total miles, I decided to play Queen Maker by pace setting the ladies. The goal was to start at 6:00 pace and drop down each mile. Tanya had ambitions of running 5:20 for the last mile. Meagan was hoping to hang on to the pace for as long as possible.

It was up to me to keep things controlled early on and gradually increase the effort as smoothly as possible. I've helped out Meagan many times, but wasn't sure how Pezz or Tanya would respond.

5:57, 5:47, 5:36, 5:34, 5:37 for 28:37 total and 5.01 miles.

Early on I could tell Meagan was feeling good because she was running up on my shoulder. Over the second mile, I dropped the pace about 10 seconds, which is what the ladies agreed to before the workout. Pezz and Tanya ran with me during mile three and Meagan was a bit off the pace. Tanya's breathing sounded good until about 1.5 miles to go when her recent wheezing troubles started on a much lesser scale.

At four miles, Sean jumped in to help out during the final mile. I dropped off to see how Meagan was doing and was going to run with her to finish out the workout. However, just as I was starting to make my way back she stopped at the start of the Footlocker course (4 miles). I quickly jumped back around and chased down Tanya and Sean. She was running tough, but struggling. Her form slowly started to deteriorate as she arched her back and began to over-stride. Tanya still managed to hang on to the pace and finished well, but still about 100 meters from 5:20 pace.

Meagan's workout wasn't anything special as a week prior she ran faster at the Shamrock 4 Miler. See her recap for more.

I felt fine throughout. Hopefully I helped a bit.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sixer With Meagan

Time: 44:13
Distance: 6.05 miles
Pace: 7:18

We didn't drink a sixer this morning, rather we ran it. The pace was nice and easy and the loop was familiar.

Pre-Race Tune Up

Time: 36:53
Distance: 5.25 miles

W/u: 15:34 for 2.13 miles
W/o: 1 mile of jog turns, stride straights
C/d: 15:15 for 2.12 miles

I ran over to the AG track this afternoon to see what my legs would feel like running a bit faster. I'll need to be able to run about 5 minute pace to be in contention for the win tomorrow and my muscles are still in a state of pain. I had a nice light jog over and then I ran a mile of hot/cold hundreds where you jog the turn and sprint/stride the straight. It took about 600m before I felt a little more fluid.

I ran 6:04 for the distance.

Tomorrow will be interesting.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Playing Track & Field

Time: ~50:48
Distance: ~6.09 miles

W/u: 19:45 for 2.58 miles
W/o?: 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m at ??? pace w/ 90 sec. rest
C/d: 17:41 for 2.11 miles

All of my readers know that I love track and field. I practically grew up on the track after taking up the sport when I was nine. I feel comfortable and relaxed spending hours at a track meet or just hanging out with friends around the oval. There is something special about the feel of the rubber, the lane lines and scattered hurdles that are common place. The one thing I don't like about the sport is that you can't "play" it.

It's fun to casually shoot hoops with friends or by yourself. It's fun to juggle a soccer ball or blast shots at an empty net. It's fun to break out the old baseball and mitt to toss the ball around with a friend. How does one play track and field? It's not really possible. There is a cool little piece in Once a Runner that talks about track athletes making up fake names and setting up scenarios to make them legends during a mock high jump competition. It's still not the same.

Running with friends and in a large group at a leisurely pace isn't playing either. While that may be fun, it's not because the activity of shuffling the legs repeatedly is fun. Those runs are fun because of the stories and laughter brought by close ones.

The closest thing to playing track and field to me is doing drills, running strides and enjoying an incredibly light workout. This afternoon I got to my roots in the sport. Caitlin and I met up over at her place and we started to jog in the direction of JCSU. Both of us wanted to get in a few strides and support Jay and Aaron in one of their last hard workouts for Boston.

The track was buzzing with activity this evening as a youth track team has started working out. I believe the team participates in the same type of meets that I used to compete at when I first started with the sport. Their practice started with lots of drills focused on the basic bio-mechanics of running. I wish I were disciplined enough to keep a drills routine twice or thrice a week. It's never too late to re-start and that's what Caitlin and I did.

We did some "A-skips" and "B-skips." Added sideways movements. Then we did butt kicks and high knees. All of these drills brought back memories of long ago practices at Santa Rosa High School's dirt track. It was fun chatting about former teammates with Caitlin while loosening up the legs.

Eventually, we got around to running a few light strides on the grass. I wanted to open up the legs and lungs with some focused efforts. At some point I decided I wanted to run a mini-ladder on the track. I slipped into flats and walked to the 100m start. The whole goal of the workout was to check leg speed and execute proper running technique.

15.01, (90), 30.13, (91), 45.98, (90), 61.65, (90), 46.19, (91), 29.60, (91), 13.78. Roughly 13:22 for 1.4 miles.

That was a fun workout. It was the closest I could come to playing track. I felt comfortable on the ladder and tried not to strain. There was nothing stressful about the effort and that's the whole purpose of playing. It might not been as fun as dunking on a nine foot hoop, but that's the nature of the sport. I'll take what I can get on great evenings like this.

April Fool's Day

Time: 39:58
Distance: 5.40 miles
Pace: 7:40

Understandably, Meagan was pretty tired this morning after yesterday's workout. We were sure to take it nice and easy on our standard morning run through Freedom Park. No jokes for this post.