Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Recovery Run

Time: 40:15
Distance: 5.28 miles
Pace: 7:37

I started off the day with some easy miles through Freedom Park. My legs aren't too banged up from last night's effort, but I'm sure the calves will be rocked once I get to Newport News, VA this evening. I have two long days ahead of driving from Charlotte to Newport News and back. I'll be visiting a ton of accounts and seeing how the brands are doing. I might double once I get to Virginia, but I don't count on it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Series Track Meet

Time: 52:26
Distance: 8.02 miles
Mile: 4:38? for 1st
5k: 14:59 for 1st

W/u: 10:27 for 1.28 miles
W/u & C/d: 9:47 for 1.07 miles
C/d: 12:35 for 1.57 miles

Tonight's events kicked off when I headed over to the Myers Park HS track for the biggest meet of the year. All the hitters were lining up to hit fast times on the city's best track facility. I had a lot of doubts in my mind as to how fast I would be able to run this evening. I spent most of the day in the car visiting run and bike shops between Charlotte and Hickory. Plus, I had the opportunity to have lunch with Carol Amrani who is in charge of Balega's marketing. She knows this great little family owned restaurant called Youssef 242. It just so happens that her husband's name is Youssef and he has a taste for fine dining. I may have mentioned this in an earlier post, but if you're ever in Hickory at lunch or dinner time, look up their restaurant. Today I was tempted by the hamburger and the sweet potato fries. It definitely wasn't the best pre-race meal but I couldn't resist.

I began with some slow warming up around the neighborhood and track. I felt heavy as I tried to warm up the legs and open up the airways. I had qualified to run the championship mile from my race a few weeks ago when I ran 4:19. Tonight's focus was the 5k, but I didn't want to opt out of the mile. Most of the others with top times in the mile were absent so I felt a little obligated to toe the line.

I had no interest in doing much work in this race. The main competitors were Brian McMahon and Greg Isaacs who have both run close to 4:40 this summer. My plan was to make a move with 600m to go so I wouldn't have to run hard the final 200m. Our splits were around: 75, 70 (2:25), 67 (3:32), 65 (4:38). I sat off Brian for the first 1,000m and then made a move to the front. I felt in control, though still a little heavy. I probably shouldn't have worn spikes for this contest, but I did anyway.

Between races I jogged several laps on the track watching the rest of the meet. It's cool watching some of the youngsters compete in the sprints and relays. There wasn't much time before the 5k, but enough to shake the legs out and prepare mentally for the effort. I wasn't sure how fast I was capable of running. Late last week I considered going for a PR (14:43 on the roads and track), but today wasn't the day to test my ability. On top of eating too much at lunch, it was really hot and humid. Nothing new for Charlotte this year.

I wanted to get out well and remain fluid during the middle section of the race. I would be lapping people as early as the mile mark which just gave me the incentive to go faster. I don't have official splits because I didn't wear a watch and nobody was calling out times. From memory I was: 2:55 at the 1k mark, 8:55 at the 3k mark, 13:52ish with a lap to go and finished in 14:59.4. I'll take the effort considering I was out front from the start. I never went to the well, but definitely gradually slowed over the course of the race. See the pics that Caitlin took from an earlier post.

The best part of the night was the showdown/throwdown between Tim Rhodes and Meagan. Her recap tells the story.

Inferior Blog

I was told tonight that my blog has been lacking. True. It's been lacking to the point that this person claimed Meagan's blog was better. Not true.

My only excuse is that I've been lazy about posting and busy on the road visiting accounts. The training is being done, but the updating hasn't.

Here's the most recent update: I ran 14:59.4 tonight for 5k at the "June Stanford of the East Meet." And by that I mean in Charlotte at Myers Park High School's wonderful facility with grass clippings, lane one filled with divots and packed stands. I'll make a real recap sometime late this week, but I'll leave you with some photos taken from Caitlin Chrisman's Facebook page.

Just before the 200m mark. Solo effort.

Keeping pace.

Caitlin getting artistic and scoping out my arse. Trying to rival Scotty D's mullet.

Bringing the fans to their feet.

Leaning back at the finish line just to make sure it wasn't 14:58.

Short Loop

Time: 38:30
Distance: 5.30 miles
Pace: 7:16

I had just enough time this morning to get in a short loop through Freedom Park. I have a busy day lined up that will take me to a handful of accounts before making the drive back from Hickory in time to race the 5k at Myers Park HS. I got out there this morning to boost the weekly totals.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Blazing Hot

Time: 55:34
Distance: 7.42 miles
Pace: 7:29

It continues to be blazing hot here in Charlotte. Luckily, it looks like we will catch a bit of a break at the end of the week. However, it still means this evening's run was a hot one. Meagan and I drove over to Caitlin's house for some company on the run. Jay was also meeting us there so we had a nice group running through the mean streets of Charlotte. We toured Elizabeth, Myers Park and Freedom Park before ending back at Caitlin's. There was a bit of a breeze which kept us from completely melting.

First Run of the New Week

Time: 39:29
Distance: 5.26 miles
Pace: 7:30

Got out the door for some easy miles with Meagan. Usual route through Freedom Park just to put time on the feet.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 620:15
Distance: 90.97 miles

Well I didn't hit my goal of 110 miles. In fact I wasn't even close. I definitely didn't pick the right week to run in the triple digits. I still got in some good efforts starting with the 800s on Monday. I should have made some adjustments during the middle of the week that would have helped my complete workouts. It was too hot and humid to run the prescribed workouts and their paces. I definitely think I'm in a good position for late July and the next RFYL GPx race. I capped off the week with a good session of cutting shapes. The pace wasn't all that impressive, but I was in control and relaxed throughout.

Looking back at last year's training I had some good workouts in late June, July and August. I will be interesting if I can build from here through the end of the summer.

5 mile tempo and 300
- 5:11.31, 5:12.53, 5:10.71, 5:17.82, 5:14.05 for 26:06. 48, 49, 46, 45.8, 45.51, 44.01

20 x 400m - 66.59 (59), 68.31 (59), 66.12 (59), 69.89 (59), 67.36 (61), 66.07 (60), 67.08 (60), 68.14 (59), 68.19 (58), 67.51 (60), 70.33 (57), 70.18 (50), 69.11 (68), 70.20 (68), 69.55 (67), 65.20 (65), 67.56 (60), 70.81 (59), 67.00 (62), 64.32

5 x (800m, 200m jog, 300m) - 2:33.54 (46.48), 46.39 (1:21.03); 2:31.82 (47.75), 47.75 (1:18.20); 2:30.83 (46.70), 48.17 (1:18.53); 2:30.67 (45.78), 46.92 (1:21.73); 2:29.75 (47.62), 46.26 (1:16.48) for 27:02 for 8k

4 x mile, 2 x 800m, 4 x 400m - 5:03.84 (2:02), 4:59.58 (2:00), 4:53.50 (1:57), 4:51.63 (2:30) 2:25.80 (1:57), 2:23.38 (1:57), 71.52 (1:28), 69.12 (1:20), 68.32 (1:19), 65.37

Midnight Streak - 4:38.63 (a good opening mile), 5:05.94 (slow due to the hill), 4:59.35 (should have pushed harder with 1k to go) for 15:05ish total

12 x 300m - (27.36) 51.92, (31.43) 55.51, (27.17) 54.12, (27.90) 53.93, (27.25) 54.05, (27.35) 53.17, (28.18) 53.70, (26.87) 53.60, (28.63) 52.07, (27.40) 50.83, (29.17) 50.08, (29.10) 47.91 for 3 miles in 16:08 total.

6 Mile Tempo - 4:59.34, 4:59.35, 5:01.52 (15:37 at 5k),
5:04.67, 5:09.06, 5:01.54 for 30:15 total.

4 x 1k at 5k goal pace -
2:50.31 (1:56), 2:54.18 (2:02), 2:52.67 (2:20), 2:55.23

Long Run Before Soccer

Time: 100:22
Distance: 14.03 miles
Pace: 7:09

Meagan and I met up with Paul and Billy out at the Old Bell parking lot of McAlpine. The long run this morning was fun, but it was definitely overshadowed by the World Cup match between England and Germany.

Our run took us on all the familiar paths of McAlpine. Nothing too eventful happened while we were out there. It was sticky during the entire effort which made the thought of watching the WC and eating a proper English breakfast that much better. I was pretty keen to finish out my last 4 miles a bit quicker after dropping off Paul, Meagan and Billy at the parking lot. I cut the pace down a little and soon found myself paying the price with the increased heat.

The game was a fun one, though England didn't really show up. It was great watching with the three others on the run plus Jay, Aaron, Lauren and the rest of Paul's family.

Run splits:
7:57, 7:34, 7:27, 7:24, 7:35, 7:19, 7:30, 7:23, 7:11, 7:03, 6:31, 6:27, 6:21, 6:23

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cutting Shapes

Time: ~50:10
Distance: 8 miles

W/u: 23:46 for 3.02 miles
W/o: 4 sets of 4 x 400 w/ 1 min rest and 3 min rest between sets
C/d: 8:24 for 1.00 miles

The plan for the morning was to complete a workout. I looked back over my training schedule and chose a workout that I was scheduled to do when I opted to race the mile and one of the Summer Series meets. It was 16 x 400, but broken up into sets of 4 taking a minute rest between intervals and four minutes between sets. I figured that it would be easier to run a lot of short, fast intervals than mile repeats or a tempo run.

I didn't actually start the workout until a little after 11:00 am which meant the temps were already in the low 90s. Part of the reason for the late start was the fact that I had to clear the track at Myers Park HS. I was able to sneak into the track that is guarded closer than Fort Knox. Once inside the barbed wire (not kidding), I found the maintenance crew had left grass clippings three inches thick in lanes 1 to 4. Even sections of lane 5 were covered in grass, but I did my best to clear the fifth lane of the field.

It's quite disappointing to see a great public high school's track go to waste. The facility is tucked away on top of a hill surrounded by trees and protected from wind. The surface of the track looks like it's from the early 90's when I think it was last resurfaced in 2001? The worst part is how carefully it's protected. It's not like the school's administration is trying to keep the track in pristine condition because that time has long passed. There really is no need to keep runners and walkers off the track in its current state. Maybe if people were actually allowed to use it like they do the AG, then a fundraiser with a strong following would be possible to fix the thing.

Anyway, on to the actual workout. My idea was to run the first set in 69s, the second in 68s, third in 67s and final in 66s.

Set #1 - 70.96 (60), 69.96 (60), 69.85 (60), 69.32 (3:00)
Set #2 - 68.27 (60), 67.90 (60), 69.38 (60), 66.33 (3:00)
Set #3 - 68.35 (60), 64.85 (61), 66.89 (61), 66.03 (3:00)
Set #4 - 66.67 (60), 66.30 (60), 64.93 (61), 59.40

I slipped into spikes for the final two sets. Somehow I only managed a 68 on the first interval with spikes. Usually I'd drop a 63 due to the aggressive spike plate and lighter weight. It took a couple intervals to get back into a rhythm. Overall, I'd say this workout went well and was in control. I was pleased to close in sub-60 and really only pressed the final 150m.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Many Adjustments to Be Made

Time: ~51:41 (actual running)
Distance: ~8 miles

W/u: 22:35 for 2.87 miles
W/o: 5 x mile in 4:50 w/ 3 mins rest. --> 5 x mile in 5:05-5:10 w/ 3 mins rest. (adjusted for heat/humidity)
Alt. W/o: 2 x 1k, 2 x 600m, 4 x 300m
C/d: 9:38 for 1.08 miles

I arrived to the PDS track knowing what I had to run. I just exchanged a gchat conversation with my coach asking if I should adjust the paces due to the temperature. We decided to back off the pace significantly so that the workout would be much more manageable.

On the warm up I could tell this workout had potential to be a struggle. I felt heavy as Meagan and I jogged down to the Boyce parking lot. I kept positive and wanted to give it shot. However, I was feeling tired from a big week of miles and my eyes were hazy. I've been finding myself really sluggish in the afternoon to the point of needing a nap, but rarely taking one. It's a busy time during the SS11 sell in season and I have a lot of accounts to visit. Nevertheless, I slipped into my Racers and did a few strides to get the legs and lungs ready.

First lap: 72. At 800m I was 2:32 and right on pace, but it wasn't feeling relaxed so I stopped. I didn't want to dig myself further into a hole so I opted to pace Meagan during her workout. I helped her maintain a relaxed, but hard pace on the 1ks and 600s. When it came time to run the 300s, I wanted her really getting after it so I continued my pacemaking duties with more encouragement.

2 x 1,000m - 3:27 (4:00), 3:23 (4:00),
2 x 600m - 1:59 (3:00), 2:01 (3:01),
4 x 300m - 48.71 (2:00), 49.42 (2:01), 50.18 (3:20), 49.19

Those were based on when I crossed the start and finish lines. Meagan was close on each interval. She showed a bit of speed during the 300s. I think this a pretty solid workout considering she's been on some down time since DII Nationals. There is a big showdown between her and Tim next Tuesday which called for waking the legs up with some harder running.

Friday Morning Shakeout

Time: 38:27
Distance: 5.42 miles
Pace: 7:05

Just needed to get in some miles this morning to set me up for a big week. I'm going to run a workout this evening that will hopefully turn out well. It's going to be hot so I've been hydrating and mentally preparing for the hurt later on.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Long Freedom Park Loop

Time: 75:08
Distance: 10.45
Pace: 7:11

I haven't done this run in a long time, and it's not really any different from my loops through Freedom Park and around Booty. I purposely invited Meagan on this run so she would force me to run slow. I guess I wanted her company as well, but the main reason was to get in some really easy running.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Double Run

Time: 36:58
Distance: 5.27 miles
Pace: 7:00

After this morning's aborted workout, I needed to boost the weekly totals with some easy miles. I ran through Freedom Park at an easy clip.

Ambitions Stalled

Time: 48:20
Distance: ~8 miles

W/u: 18:49 for 2.38 miles
W/o: 3 x 2 miles in 5:10 to 5:15 (3 mins rest)
C/d: 22:12 for 2.63 miles

Today I had these great ambitions to crush my second workout of the week. The session on Monday was a great motivator and I wanted to keep things rolling. My stated goal of 110 miles is for no real reason other than training really hard this week. It doesn't help when the average daily temps are 90+. That was a huge factor in today's workout.

I showed up to the Old Bell parking lot at McAlpine knowing I had 3 good efforts of 2 miles each. The pace wasn't anything unreasonable, but the heat index was already pushing upper 80s. I planned well and brought a water bottle that Meagan was going to drop at the start of the Footlocker Course.

5:13, 5:11 (3:01);
5:19, 1:36 at 5:30 pace so I stopped.

It wasn't going to happen today. Too hot. And, I just wasn't on. The opening 2 miles in 10:24 felt like I was sprinting. Aerobically I felt relaxed, but the legs had a difficult time turning over that quick. Since I'm posting this over a week late, I've had the time to think about what went wrong and to link to a post by Stephen Spada. He tells a recap of a workout when he was just feeling it. It's that feeling when the workout can't seem to get hard enough. You're hitting the splits and could go faster if necessary. That's a great feeling that gives one confidence for the next race. It's something that wasn't taking place during my workout. I wasn't necessarily "off," but I certainly wasn't "on."

The 800 workout on Monday took more out of my legs than I thought. I was pretty wrecked afterward and trying another hard workout so soon probably wasn't the best idea. Jeff Gaudette has created a cool, informative diagram that explains the purpose of a training cycle. I was working out when I should have been recovering. I recommend taking a look at the link and actually listening to the process.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Series Track Watching

Time: 43:42
Distance: 6.12 miles
Pace: 7:12

This evening for my double run I took a jog over to the Myers Park HS track to watch the summer series meet. I needed to scope out Meagan's competition for next week's throwdown/showdown. Tim Rhodes was racing the mile tonight and Meagan placed the over/under at 5:30. I took the over, Dr. Greenapple took the over, Chad Crockford took the way under, RFYL staffers tried to get a raise by taking the under. Tim made it oh so close and crossed the line at 5:32.

I had to rush home, shower quickly and be off to RFYL's Ladies' Night at Piper Glen. I didn't want my man Perry Davis to be the only XY chromosome there.

Medium Loop

Time: 56:51
Distance: 8.53 miles
Pace: 6:39

I got some miles on the feet. The pace was a bit quicker today than it usually is. The opening mile was 7:19 and the final mile was a little over a minute faster.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Evening Stroll

Time: 60:36
Distance: 8.15 miles
Pace: 7:26

I put in a lot of extra miles this evening after my 800m workout. If you're going to run 110 miles in a week, it's best to start out with a ton of minutes on Monday. The most notable thing about this run was the fact that Jay, Caitlin and I ran with a guy for over six miles and he was barefoot. I could write an entire post dedicated to the barefoot movement, but not right now. It was hot and I'm sure the pavement wasn't kind on his feet, but he kept up.

Nearly Forgot This Workout

Time: ~58 mins
Distance: ~9 miles

W/u: ~23 mins for 3.0 miles
W/o: 8 x 800 w/ splits of 72 and 68 for 2:20 total. 2 mins rest
C/d: ~16 mins for 2.0 miles

It sucks when you forget your watch and have to borrow your girlfriend's. And, it really sucks when you have a really good workout only not to be captured on your watch. And, it really really sucks when you forget to write the workout down and decide to erase the laps from your girlfriend's watch memory. Those are the facts and this is from memory.

I needed to start off the week with a big workout in order to get things rolling. The goal is 110 miles this week. It just so happens that this week will be the hottest of the year. Meagan and I drove to Providence Day to start the workout. She was just running and continued on through McAlpine while I turned around at the Boyce parking lot.

The goal was repeat 800s in 2:20. However, the first lap had to be 72 and the second 68. I busted out a new pair of Karhu Racers for this effort. It was about 11:00 by the time I actually started the workout and it wasn't getting any cooler.

Splits (from memory):
71, 64 = 2:15
71, 68 = 2:19
72, 67 = 2:19
70, 68 = 2:18
71, 68 = 2:19
72, 68 = 2:20
71, 68 = 2:19
71, 66 = 2:17

I definitely remember tossing in a 64 on the second half of my first interval. Not smart. I knew I had to change gears, but I clearly overcompensated. It wasn't the smoothest way to start the workout, but it set the tone. I was pretty beat on the last 3 intervals. It was really warm, my body temp was through the roof and I was tiring. I managed to close it out keeping some pace changes.

I was very pleased with the effort. It's confidence building when 71/72s feel really easy and with a little more focus you can come back in 67/68.

I spent the rest of the day hydrating and getting ready for run number two.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 522:00
Distance: 79.12 miles

I had to double check the miles when I added them up moments ago. I was pretty sure I wasn't going to crack 70 and I nearly hit 80 for the week. Skipping and shifting some runs around made me believe that I wasn't going to have the best of weeks. I guess I got in a good number of runs earlier in the week so that when Meagan and I spent time with family and friends it didn't cost the training too much.

My progression run at the beginning of the week was solid and I'm a little disappointed that I had to cut it short at 7 miles. However, I know that the heat is going to effect workouts during the next 6-8 weeks. The short, quick stuff is right in my wheelhouse, but the longer efforts are going to remain a struggle.

On the flight back home to Charlotte, I told Meagan that I was going to run 110 miles next week. We'll see if it happens. Scotty and Jerry have been out in New Mexico putting in tons of work and I can't let them show me up.

Long Run in the Show Me State

Time: 80:17
Distance: 11.06 miles

Part I: 66:46 for 9.05 miles
Part II: 13:31 for 2.01 miles

I decided to not try working out at the track again this morning for fear of being impaled by a javelin. I'm sure those old guys can really zing it and I didn't want to cross their paths again. Meagan and I were put in contact with the Missouri Southern coach and a couple of the athletes who were still around Joplin. We were told that a group was running along the Frisco Greenway which was only a couple of miles away from where we were staying. It was an early jump to the day, but we managed to meet up with the group.

Frisco was a shaded, crushed gravel trail that was perfect for tempo runs. We went out and back along the path before calling it a day around 9 miles. I had dreams of adding on a second section to extend the run, but ended up only going an additional two miles. I'll take this week as a bit of recovery and really get after it once I'm back in Charlotte.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lots of Loops

Time: 45:56
Distance: 6.20 miles
Pace: 7:24

Meagan and I showed up to the Missouri Southern State University track to find a meet taking place. I had scheduled 800s this morning and that just wasn't going to happen. Instead we ran around the cross country course and the campus. The course was a bit overgrown as the fall season isn't for a few months and the campus was a bit dull. It took many loops to find 6 miles, but we managed. My weekend of training is going down the tubes, but I'll be able to recover for a big week soon.

Joplin, MO

So I go to Missouri Southern State University to run a track workout.
I had to do 8 x 800 in 72 first lap an 68 second lap. Well, this is
what I found...

The USATF Masters Decathlon Championship meet was being held at the MSSU stadium. The workout will have to wait until tomorrow. The old guys were getting after it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Early Start

Time: 41:04
Distance: 5.43 miles
Pace: 7:33

I think this run had me running in Freedom Park with Meagan. It was my only run for the day and I felt a bit sluggish due to the speed development yesterday. The two of us were traveling to Joplin, MO to hang with her family over Father's Day weekend.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Speed Development Struggles

Time: ~45 mins
Distance: ~6 miles

W/u: 30:24 for 4.11 miles
Speed: Drills, 4 x 50m, 4 x 100m
C/d: 13:07 for 1.62 miles

I ran over to the AG track with Meagan for some speed development action. I brought along my Karhu Racers so that I would feel light and fast. I went through a series of drills on the grass infield. I think it was my best session to date as it was easier to pick up my feet as soon as they hit the ground. For me, my focus on doing drills is to lessen the amount of time the feet make contact with the ground. The less time on the ground, the more time moving forward. Simple right?

Next up was the 4 x 50m. I started with two from a standing starting and finished with two from a moving start. It was the same pattern with the 4 x 100m efforts. My first 10 steps are pretty ugly when I start from a standstill. Obviously, I run faster from the gliding start, but more importantly, it feels much better. I started tightening up on the final few sprints which is how I knew the fast twitch fibers were being activated.

A quick cool down back home and some stretching.

Short Loop

Time: 36:34
Distance: 5.26 miles
Pace: 6:57

Got in some miles to start the day off right.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fleet Feet Carrboro

Time: 35:03
Distance: 5.01 miles
Pace: 6:48

This evening I found the time to squeeze in a second run before heading back to Charlotte. I had a busy day of account visits and this run started from the parking lot of Fleet Feet Carrboro. I contemplated not running because of the storm that just passed, but I didn't want to miss the opportunity. The route I took was acceptable as I found a fairly quiet neighborhood filled with hills. The splits on this evening's run were much more familiar:

7:24, 7:08, 6:44, 6:28, 6:14

First mile was no more strained than the last. It felt good to be out of the car and pounding the pavement.

A Down Dowd Morning

Time: 52:46
Distance: 7.32 miles
Pace: 7:12

Meagan and I drove over to the Dowd YMCA to meet up with some other Charlotte Running Club members. I don't particularly like running at 6:30 am and I especially don't like having to run faster than necessary at that hour. When I run solo or with Meagan, rarely is the first mile under 7:45. This morning it was 7:32 and it felt fast considering the hour. Here are the splits for the run:

7:28, 7:23, 7:33, 7:09, 7:10, 7:11, 6:47

Not much of a progression. This type of pacing I find problematic because there isn't any real variation in pace. The only reason the 6:47 is on there was due to me running the last half mile hard and purposely dropping everyone.

Here are my splits from Monday's run:

7:43, 7:06, 7:00, 6:46, 6:31, 6:25, 6:29, 5:51

The runs that feel the worst are the efforts out the door where the last mile isn't the fastest and when the pace doesn't naturally progress. By naturally, I mean that the effort stays the same but as your body wakes up the pace gets faster. The last mile doesn't feel any more difficult than the first, but it's significantly quicker.

That wasn't the case this morning and I question the quality of the run.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

King Maker

Time: 34:54
Distance: 5.00 miles

W/u: 15:36 for 2.13 miles
Pace: 1200m in 3:30
C/d: 15:49 for 2.11 miles

Tonight I wanted to get in some extra miles and decided to head over to the CTCC Track Summer Series at Myers Park HS. I knew that Paul was running the mile and hoped to see a good performance. Meagan and I were watching the participants line up and we didn't spot anyone that looked like they could push Paul to his goal of 4:40. At the very last minute, I opted to jump in to play King Maker. He was looking for 70s, so I took him through 400m in 70, 800m in 2:20 and 1200m in 3:30. I felt great up front controlling the pace and giving a few words of encouragement. I considered taking Paul even farther, but figured he should have to do some work. I pull out to lane 3 just after the third lap and shut things down. The final lap was strong and he managed to cross the line in 4:37 to accomplish his goal for the night. I was happy to help out.

8 --> 7 Mile Progression

Time: 84:32
Distance: 13.02 miles

W/u: 18:49 for 2.51 miles
W/o: 8 mile progression run. (6:00, 5:50, :40, :30, :20, :10, :00, :50)
C/d: 27:02 for 3.46 miles

I drove out to McAlpine this morning with a geared up mental state to get after this workout. I knew it was going to be difficult considering the heat, humidity and significant drop in pace. My thoughts were that the first 4 miles were going to be relatively easy and the next 4 were going to be brutal. At halfway the pace gets challenging and you throw in the fact that the body is starting to get hot.

My course would take me from Old Bell, out to the bike path 4 mile mark and back. I discovered that there was a tree down just over the first bridge which meant I would have to steeple during miles 3 (5:40) and 6 (5:10).

5:53.22, 5:52.92, 5:37.63, 5:25.58, :15.36 (to allow for turn around and get back on mile marker),
5:13.13, 5:12.01, 5:11.46. 38:41 total and 7.05 miles.

I almost made it happen today. In the end I just got too hot during mile 7 to keep things rolling. Coming back into the main part of the park it felt like I was in a sauna. Not only was it hot from the sun, but the ground was radiating heat. I would run through a cool patch and get some relief, only to be blasted by the steam a few strides later.

It was a good workout nonetheless. I was in control for the first 6 miles hitting all my splits. I was a little quick after the turn around and was probably too aggressive the 5th mile.

My cool down was really slow and longer than usual.

Monday, June 14, 2010

More Miles

Time: 42:29
Distance: 6.10 miles
Pace: 6:58

I got in a double run this evening to boost the miles at the start of the week.

New Week, Same Run

Time: 58:26
Distance: 8.72 miles
Pace: 6:42

I got out the door for some easy miles through Freedom park. I don't recall much on this run so I'll keep the details brief.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 702:10
Distance: 92.76 miles

I was able to bump up the miles this week without sacrificing the intensity. I was really pleased with the two races I ran too. The mile at the summer series turned out to be a success despite not doing true miler efforts. It's good to know I can split 2:15/2:05 during a tactical affair. Later in the week I came close to cracking 15:00, however it still eludes me. The time will come later in the summer or early fall when the weather cooperates a bit more. I would still like to go under the mark at a local race because it doesn't happen all too often on the roads.

Post Pool Run

Time: 41:35
Distance: 5.38 miles
Pace: 7:43

After the morning run Meagan decided to invite a bunch of friends over to hang out in the FT pool. I'm not a big time pool reveler, but today called for some splashes. The afternoon was most enjoyable and rehashing the stories from last night was key too. Caitlin, Denise, Tyler and I held down Charlotte, Meagan and Jenna took on Boston, and John Compton and Jay Holder shook up Asheville. We all had some good laughs and when the sun finally started to get past prime tanning time, the group dispersed. Jenna and I opted to go for a run through Freedom Park. It wasn't much fun for either of us as I ate too much during the day and her achilles was hurting.

Hot & Humid Long Run

Time: 72:40
Distance: 10.01 miles
Pace: 7:15

Yesterday afternoon turned into a pretty fun evening. Tyler and Denise had me and some friends over to watch USA vs. England. One thing led to another and I was content to spend the night on the couch. Some parts that I skipped over would be a 1-1 draw, several pints, Cerberus' leaping a foam roller, shot of something clear, Phat Burrito, Bud Light Lime, Yo-Yo-Yo Yoforia and forgetting my wallet.

Fast forward to this morning and I was out to the airport to pick up Meagan. We dropped some stuff off at home, changed into our running costumes and were out to the Boyce parking lot with Tyler for a long run. It was quite warm and really humid during the run which is why I thought Tyler was walking mid-run. I should have known that he's tougher than that as his foot was bugging him (cursed Newton running shoes). I opted to cut my run short and only go 10 instead of 14.

Once back at the apartment I cooked up some flapjacks and a beastly omelette. Great start to the morning and the afternoon would only get better.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Easy Hour

Time: 58:26
Distance: 8.01 miles
Pace: 7:17

I met up with Caitlin for this run from her house. When Meagan is out of town I still elect to run with girls to keep the pace easy. Caitlin and I found a loop that was exactly 8 miles in distance. The best part of the run was when it was done and Caitlin opted to bust out her professional grade juicer. We juiced apples, carrots and Cicero's tail for some added protein. My legs didn't feel too beat up on the run which is good because I have a lot of USA vs. England soccer watching to do today.

Friday, June 11, 2010

China Grove 5k

Time: 55:38
Distance: 8.12 miles
5k Race: 15:05, 1st

W/u: 22:00 for 3.01 miles
C/d: 18:33 for 2.01 miles

This race didn't pop up on my radar until last weekend while cooling down with Paul Mainwaring. He made mention that the course was flat, fast and at night. Three factors that usually lead to me running well. Last year I ran the Midnight Streak which started/ended at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds and didn't get under way until after 11:00 pm. Despite the hour and July temps, I was still able to clock 15:05. It probably was my best race of the summer/fall given the conditions.

China Grove looked to have similar conditions, perhaps just less competition. I'm not trying to knock Paul and Jay as we three had a wicked good car ride up to the race. I knew from past results that Devin Swann and Ryan Woods sometimes show up and race along Main St. If that were to be the case this year, I just hoped I would be able to put up a fight. Those two both ran about 25:30 for 8k up in Durham a few weeks ago on hot day and hilly course.

Paul, Jay and I used the warm up to scope out the course. It was pretty self-explanatory as an out and back affair. There were a few slight inclines which meant the slight downhills could be used to one's advantage. I spotted Mr. Woods just before leaving on the warm up and knew a race would be had. He usually likes to go out hard to push the pace from the front. I started mentally preparing for a quick opening mile and then settling for a fast final 1k.

When it came time to start lining up for the race, I made sure to stand off to the side. I knew Ryan was racing, but I didn't think he had seen me. My plan was to let him do the work early on and then make it a race toward the finish. I positioned myself at the curb on the far right side of the road while most of the other contenders were right down the middle.

We got off the starting line about 200m behind where we would finish. The crowd cheered as we ran through the most localized part of Main St. Ryan and I ran stride for stride with Chris Lamperski off our shoulders. I could tell the pace was honest, but since I had no watch and it was starting to get dark, I had a hard time judging. We went through the first mile in 4:50 still neck and neck. Chris dropped off just a bit and would have a battle with Jay Holder.

Up front, Ryan and I kept throwing in little surges to the turn around point. He would press the uphill and then I would open up on the downhill. I didn't catch a two mile split during the race, but Ryan told me afterward that it was 4:55 (9:45 for 2 miles). As we ran back into the crowd it was difficult for us to run the tangents. A couple of times people drifted on to the other side of the yellow lines and we were forced to dodge them. It was difficult to see and the course wasn't well lighted from more than 800m out. Our pace stayed honest, but not too pressed. I felt like making a move, but didn't want to go too early.

I heard the mile split for those still going to the turn around at 11:15. I figured I had 1400m to run and roughly 4 minutes to race. I waited patiently before naturally gaining a two step advantage 800m from the finish. Just as I approached the firefighters and their spraying hose, I took off. I sprinted home for the victory glancing over my shoulder a couple of times the final 50m. I missed out on breaking 15:00 by a few seconds, but it was a good race instead of a time trial.

The post race refreshments were great. Big bottles of Gatorade, watermelon, pizza (I scored a whole pie for the ride home), cookies and donuts. People really enjoyed the race atmosphere and I couldn't agree more. Richard Hefner was even there rocking a pair of the Karhu Racers. He wanted to know why they didn't make him as fast as me. Allen Strickland also took home some hardware.

Morning Shake

Time: 39:35
Distance: 5.26 miles
Pace: 7:31

The run this morning served the purpose of thinking about the race tonight up in China Grove. I hear it's a fast course and the goal is to come close to running 15:00.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tyler's Workout

Time: 43:17
Distance: 5.98 miles

W/u: 18:29 for 2.19 miles
W/o: 800 hot/cold, 6 x 400 w/ Tyler (90 sec), 400 hot/cold
C/d: 13:04 for 1.54 miles

Tyler is getting a little more serious about his running these days which is cool to see. He had 12 x 400m w/ 90 sec. rest as his workout for the evening. I wanted to do some drills and strides at the track to loosen up before racing tomorrow night. We jogged from my parking lot to the Myers Park HS track, but realized it's locked up tighter than Fort Knox. Why the need for barbed wire? Our next best option was the AG track because it's always open to the public.

I did my drills and a couple light strides before starting 800m where I jog the turn, sprint/stride the straights. I clocked the half mile at 2:50. Tyler was only halfway through his workout and he was starting to slow. I jumped in for the final 6 intervals.

1:28, (90), 1:29, (90), 1:27, (89), 1:25, (90), 1:26, (90), 1:23.

Then I ran 400m hot/cold in 1:16.

It was a good night to be on the track. Despite the incredible humidity, we missed the worse of the 7 minute storm that passed through Charlotte. My legs gradually opened up during the strides and felt relatively quick doing drills.

Stroll in the Park

Time: 36:07
Distance: 5.28 miles
Pace: 6:50

I took a nice stroll through Freedom Park this morning. Nothing too serious.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Easy Double

Time: 40:51
Distance: 5.34 miles
Pace: 7:38

I left the house with Meagan and Jenna, we headed to Freedom Park where the plan was to meet up with Caitlin. The pace was nice and slow which was good considering the recent running I've done.

No Signs of Soreness

Time: 55:48
Distance: 8.54 miles
Pace: 6:32

I fully expected to be pretty sore when I woke up this morning. Despite only doing some speed development stuff in spikes this spring, the legs showed few signs that I raced in aggressively fast footwear. I also hit respectable splits on the run this morning through Freedom Park:

Avg Pace

00:07:25 1.00 07:25

00:06:53 1.00 06:53

00:06:52 1.00 06:52

00:06:34 1.00 06:34

00:06:23 1.00 06:23

00:06:07 1.00 06:07

00:06:06 1.00 06:06

00:06:08 1.00 06:08

00:03:17 0.54 06:09
I think part of the reason was that I got out the door a little later. I allowed my body to fully wake up before leaving for the run.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Charlotte Track & Tri Club Meet

Time: 55:41
Distance: 7.41 miles

W/u: 15:17 for 2.13 miles
Race & W/o: mile, 800, 400
C/d: 25:28 for 2.87 miles

I got to the track and Tim Rhodes immediately approached me with a question about what I was going to run. I knew I was going to run the mile, but I had no idea of what time. My goal was to run hard and have a good time. I haven't laced up the spikes for a race on the track since... I can't remember when. I don't think I've run a track race since I started this blog which was the fall of 2007.

Tim's reason for questioning me was because a couple of high schoolers were present to run fast. One of them went 4:14 earlier in the track season. Basically, I would be racing my high school self as I, too, ran about 4:14 as a prep athlete. I've done well on the roads this spring, but here I was about to get humbled by a couple of high school kids. I had to start planning my strategy. Earlier in the day my plan was to run relaxed for 900-1000 meters and then really hammer the last lap and a half. I figured I could do the same thing and just sit off the kids before taking off.

The warm up around the tri-school area went fine. It was a great night to be at the track. Little wind, lower humidity and cooler temps. The number of participants and people in the crowd was way more than I was expecting. The all-comers meets in Santa Rosa would draw about 100 people total and this definitely surpassed that.

I lined up for the race near the outside. We were using the actual mile starting line and not the 400m mark. Gun was up and then we were off. Aaron Linz jumped out to an early lead for about 120m. The high schoolers then took over and I sat just off the second guy's shoulder. I was relaxed coming through 400m in 67. Coming off the turn on the backstretch I moved up into second place. The second youngster was clearly struggling as his breathing was taxed. I stayed in second position for 400m reaching the halfway mark in about 2:15. With 700m to go the leader started looking around and soon he waved me by. He was in the race to pace his buddy/brother and their race plans were falling apart. I started hammering the pace at 600m and never looked back. I closed the final 800m in about 2:05 with a final lap of about 61-62. Hand time at the finished was 4:19.90.

After the race Aaron and I jogged down to the AG track where Jay Holder was completing a ladder workout. He joined him for his 800m and 400m. I split 2:22.70 (3:46 rest), and 58.66.

We then had a nice long, slow cool down with a good sized group. I was pleased at how I responded to the faster pace. I believe you have to be in decent shape to run 4:15 for the mile and I'm fairly close to that. If I were to tweak my training just a little bit, I think 4:15 or faster would be attainable within a couple of weeks. There isn't really a reason to do that, but knowing I could is encouraging.

Morning Run

Time: 35:53
Distance: 5.29 miles
Pace: 6:47

I headed out the door for a short loop through Freedom Park. The legs don't show any fatigue from the 18 miles I put in yesterday.

Monday, June 7, 2010

CRC from the Dowd

Time: 65:02
Distance: 9.01 miles
Pace: 7:13

I got to put in a really solid double this evening with a group of Charlotte Running Club members. Aaron, Jay, Caitlin and myself ran through Freedom Park and the Dilworth neighborhood for about an hour. I was surprised at how good I felt after good morning run.

Adjusted Medium Loop

Time: 61:37
Distance: 9.13 miles
Pace: 6:45

Meagan and I ran together for the first 3 miles or so before she decided to turn around. Her stomach continues to give her troubles. Oh well. I was out there to get in a solid effort and the pace kept getting quicker. I was feeling good once I got back into Freedom Park for the second time and just continued to roll with it. I through in 5 x 20 sec. pickups along the bike path. It felt good to turn the legs over and work on pumping my arms.

I spotted Meagan running towards me with about a mile to go. Apparently her stomach started to feel better and she went back out to find me.

8:08, 7:12, 7:09, 6:58, 6:27, 6:17, 6:07, 5:50, 6:41

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 589:36
Distance: 81.78 miles

This week turned out good. I got in some nice light pace work at the UNC track on Tuesday night and finished out the week with a solid 5k race. I'm still looking to sniff 15:00 on the roads this summer and I believe this is where I need to be. In the past I was rather aggressive with banging out big workouts and probably left too much out there. When it came to the race I was flat and had to rely more on toughness than fitness to hit good times. Back in the day when road racing played a bigger part of the training, guys would be ready to throw down on the weekends. My high school and college coaches have ridiculous 5k and 10k road PRs that are rarely scene with any consistency. The race was just another big workout and I need to focus more when it comes to competition.

Sunday Long Run Part II

Time: 68:53
Distance: 9.38 miles
Pace: 7:20

After spending a few hours at the JCC lounging in the sun and not jumping in the water once, Meagan, Tyler and I went to meet Jay and Aaron at Old Bell. For whatever reason Aaron was running later in the day and Jay was just getting back from a wedding in Ohio. I actually felt pretty good running in McAlpine this late afternoon with a few members of the Charlotte Running Club. I was definitely a bit tired from hanging out in the sun most of the day, but I was sure to stay well hydrated. The pace was good and soon I had over an hour on my feet. It turned out to be a fun and acceptable day of running.

Sunday Long Run Part I

Time: 52:00
Distance: 7.07 miles
Pace: 7:21

Meagan an I had intentions of running long at McAlpine this morning. We started from the Boyce parking lot and headed down to the Footlocker Course. I could tell her breathing was off about 10 minutes into the run. She stopped and walked it out before continuing to the main entrance. This sequence repeated for a couple of times before I just suggested we head home. There was no need to spend 90 minutes out there feeling terrible. I figured that I would just run a medium loop in the evening. Later I found out that Aaron was going to be running from the Old Bell entrance at 4:30 pm.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

King Tiger 5k

Time: 58:20
Distance: 8.40 miles
Race: 1st in 15:32

W/u: 24:03 for 3.08 miles
C/d: 18:45 for 2.22 miles

The King Tiger 5k was the 5th race in RFYL's Grand Prix Series. It started and ended in the shopping center where the RFYL University is located. I learned the course was fairly fast except a good climb during the final mile. I wanted to get after in a bit and challenge myself to run close to 15 flat.

I warmed up with Meagan and Alice Rogers. We eventually caught up to Val Matena and I was content to back of the pace. Soon the warm up crowd grew to seven as we spotted Paul Mainwaring, Stan Austin and his wife Jinnie. None of us were too certain about the direction of the course, but when we combined comments it was figured out. The hill in the third mile would be a challenge and thankfully the half mile before it was all downhill.

I didn't get in as many strides before the race as I got stuck in the gas station bathroom. Not literally. I thought I found a super secret spot to relieve myself before toeing the line. But, two other clowns really took advantage of the venue. I swear I was in there for 10 minutes trying to stretch and stay warm. I probably should have just used to portos.

The race started right on time and I jumped out to 2nd/3rd position. A youngster wearing a pair of Vibrams controlled the pace for the first 600m. He then stopped to be consoled by his mom because I'm sure his feet were throbbing. Also, Cory Trotsky was feeling cagey as he hung on the pace for about 800m. I didn't have a clue as to how fast I was running because I'm still racing sans watch.

I went through the mile in under 5 minutes, but how far under is still a mystery. The lead bike was in charge of starting of the clocks at the mile markers and he didn't have enough of a lead to figure it out before I got there. The same thing happened at mile two and three. I felt strong through the second mile and tried to open things up on the long descent. I grabbed water at the hydration station so that I could dump it over my head. The temps were getting high and the humidity was stout. I pressed up the hill concentrating on form. I think I was able to accelerate coming off the hill, but without knowing splits it's hard to tell. If I were to guess my splits were 4:54, 4:48-4:52, 5:10-5:15. Considering I was 15:32 at the finish, I was near 15:00 at 3 miles.

I can't be too upset with the performance. It was a little slower than I would have liked, but I think lots of people struggled today. Meagan ran slower than she did at Great Harvest despite trying much harder. It was really a toss up whether people ran faster or slower. It was hotter today on an easier course.

I did the cool down with Paul, Meagan and Nathan Stanford. We had a good chat about the upcoming soccer matches in the World Cup. It's going to be a great month!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Easy Miles through the Park

Time: 37:04
Distance: 5.29 miles
Pace: 7:00

There isn't much to report here. Just some time on the feet.

Recovery Run

Time: 45:27
Distance: 6.09 miles
Pace: 7:28

I'm not really sure what I'm recovery from. I guess it could be last night's outing to Tyber Creek. Who can argue with $2 drafts? And, I'm not talking Bud Light or Miller Lights. These are legit brews like Guinness, Harp and Fat Tire. Some jerks are still lame enough to order a $2 Bud Light when the other options are available on Thursday night. It was a good low key event with friends and of course Beats and Keys (I can't find a website for the 3 man cover band).

Jenna met up with us for a few miles around Freedom Park. I felt good considering the chicken finger, spinach dip and pizza dinner last night. I don't think Meagan could say the same.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Birthday Run

Time: 53:26
Distance: 6.71 miles

W/u: 31:06 for 4.01 miles
W/o: Drills + 3 x 100m
C/d: 22:20 for 2.70 miles

I turned the big 2-6 today. Does that mean I move up an age group in road races? Or do I have 30 years old to look forward to?

Tyler, Jenna, Meagan and I headed out from our place to the AG for our respective workouts. Meagan was doing a light workout, Tyler was running 12 x 200, I was doing drills and strides and Jenna was cheering because she tweaked her achilles.

I felt relatively fast on each 100m stride. It doesn't seem that the extra year has slowed me down yet. If Bernard Lagat can still make moves at 35, then I can still train at 26.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

UNC XC Course

Time: 45:40
Distance: 6.13 miles
Pace: 7:27

Meagan and I hit up the UNC XC course for our run this morning. The course was fine for a short run, but nothing spectacular. She was feeling pretty banged up still from her weekend of racing. I was content to run 6 miles and figured I would be able to double this evening before having dinner with Tyler and Denise.

Rain Train

Time: 55:33
Distance: 8.51 miles
Pace: 6:31

It was another busy day on the road and a few more account visits. First up was Greensboro where I dropped in a handful of bike accounts. The girl who worked the floor in Cycles de Oro said she owned 3 Chrome bags herself. I was impressed with her knowledge of the brand. We were back on the road, but not before a stop to Off'n Running. It's one of my favorite accounts as I can talk about the local running in scene in great detail. I had a good chat with the manager Emily before finally heading to Winston-Salem.

The main purpose of the visit was to check up on things at Fleet Feet Winston-Salem. Keith and Emily Davis have a great little store near the Wake Forrest campus. They are doing well with Craft tri gear this spring. It was good catching up with Rich who is training to PR in the 5k and 10k this summer. It's a last ditch effort before resuming marathon efforts. Meagan and I made a good find in Mock Orange Bikes that is just up the road from the running store. I hope to get some sweet bags hanging in there soon.

The whole day was beautiful until about 5 minutes before getting home. It started sprinkling, then raining and finally thundering and lightning. I sat around on the computer catching up on some news before getting the determination to go for a run. It was wet from step one. I had soggy shoes by mile 3. The rain felt good however and I was able to put in the miles without any troubles. I spotted Jay Holder out for a drenched run along Queens but we were on opposite sides of the street and didn't make eye contact.

After a quick shower, Meagan and I were off to Tyler and Denise's for dinner.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pre-Race at UNC Chapel Hill

Time: ~46:50
Distance: ~6.83 miles

W/u: 16:26 for 2.06 miles
W/o: Pre-race of 2 x mile in 4:45, 2 x 400 in 65
C/d: 17:52 for 2.02 miles

Today took us from the shores of Virginia Beach to Greenville, NC. The drive was mostly on back roads and side highways because the GPS device likes taking me on the "scenic route" for whatever reason. I arrived in Greenville a few minutes early for my scheduled meeting with a woman who is opening the first specialty store in town. There is an Omega Sports, but nothing else that is solely focused on running and triathlons. It was a successful day for Craft, Balega, Orthaheel and Fuel Belt.

Next up was a some casual visits to bike stores in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. I also gave a quick hydration clinic to a group of runners at Fleet Feet Carrboro. When all the work stuff was done, Meagan and I headed over to the UNC track where I had to put in a pre-race workout. I'm gearing up to run fast at this weekend's GPx race so the workout was intended to get the legs rolling without too much strain.

I started the workout with a few 200m strides. The first one felt terrible and I actually ran slower than the goal pace for the mile. It was incredibly humid and I was poorly hydrated. Despite giving advice on how to stay properly hydrated moments earlier, I was essentially drained of all fluids except coffee.

36.81 (1:41), 33.86 (2:01),
4:46.08 (4:46), 4:41.95 (3:31),
64.53 (2:31), 63.84 for 27:18 total time and 3.50 miles

The first mile was rough the final 150m. I felt tight and heavy coming down the homestretch. I want to hit the mile in 4:45 this weekend and I just struggled to run that fresh tonight. The second mile felt much better as I focused on maintaining pace and form throughout. The 400s were easy enough.

After a quick cool down, Meagan and I were off to eat our snacks from Weaver Street Market.

Boardwalk Miles

Time: 29:28
Distance: 4.05 miles
Pace: 7:17

Meagan and I were up relatively early for a run along the boardwalk. Last night we thought we wanted to drive over to First Landing State Park so we could run on softer surfaces. However, I could see from our hotel room window that the sun was coming up over the horizon and I thought it would be cool to be out near the water. I also thought that at 6:45 am in Virginia Beach on a Tuesday, we would be two of only a handful of people out and about. Not true. The boardwalk was bustling with early morning walkers, joggers, bicyclists and roller skaters. The crowd was definitely a bit older from the night before, but I was still surprised.

We just ran up two miles and back two miles to hit our goal. For about 10 minutes in the middle a guy had a good "jogger war" with us. He definitely ran up on us and stayed back about 3 steps daring us to pick up the pace. I so wanted to drop the hammer and just shake the guy. I could tell from his breathing that he was struggling, but loving every second of it. Finally, he turned off and we were able to relax.

I checked out of the hotel, did some last minute exploration and headed out of town in the direction of Greenville, NC.