Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nothing New of Note... Yet

Time: 58:17
Distance: 8.52 miles
Pace: 6:50

I got out the door a little later than normal again for an hour long run through Freedom Park and once around the Booty Loop. The legs and body are telling me to take an extra day rest before attempting a workout. I was originally planning on doing a 2 x 3 mile workout, but that will just have to wait another day.

I dropped Meagan off at the airport this morning before coming home to do some work stuff. She's flying to Boston to meet with the president, ceo and general manager (three different guys) of Karhu North America. I'm sure she will fill you in on her blog upon her return.

Later in the afternoon I headed off to Hickory to make a quick stop in Balega HQ. The ultimate purpose of my visit to Hickory was for a hydration clinic with Fleet Feet Hickory. I presented to a group of about 20 people and let them all try Nuun. It was a fun evening with the crew out there and I wish I could have stayed longer. However, Meagan's flight was getting in and I was needing to be off for her arrival and hear all about the interview.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cupcake Run

Time: 52:44
Distance: 7.24 miles
Pace: 7:16

Caitlin and I met along the Sugar Creek path in Freedom Park and ran a loop around Booty. We happened to bump into Kelly Fillnow around 4 miles into the run. The two of us had never met, but he knew of one another. The rest of the run was nice and easy back to Caitlin's house. I was already running a little behind schedule and needed to get home. Red drove me back over to my place where I met up with some of Meagan's old co-workers from Brooks. Caitlin was then going shopping for ingredients to make cookies 'n creme cupcakes.

Slow Solo Start

Time: 56:54
Distance: 8.56 miles
Pace: 6:38

I didn't have any big time motivation to get out the door this morning now that Meagan's foot is banged up. She is the one that usually forces me to pound the pavement earlier than I would like. Instead I drank a few cups of coffee, wrote emails, planned out the rest of the day and then went running. I put in about an hour before coming home to get on with the day. The body is definitely feeling a little sluggish considering the big time miles over the weekend. I'll be sure to get lots of rest so that I'm not risking joining Meagan in the injury reserve.

It might not have been the best decision, but the schedule called for some strides at the end of the run. I did 4 x 20 second pickups starting around the 7 mile mark. It takes all of 4 minutes and my hope was to feel a bit looser at the end. I think that was the case as I got rolling pretty good on a couple of the strides.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 663:34
Distance: 94.05 miles

Another week of training is in the books and the end of summer is right around the corner. I hope we see some cooler fall temperatures by the end of September. The training this week was geared toward running fast at Greek Fest. Unfortunately, the race didn't turn out the way I had hoped, but I still got in a good effort. I think many of the pieces to the puzzle are there for me to run fast, now I just need to hop in a good race and find some solid competition. It's a little up in the air right now with Meagan's foot, but we are scheduled to make a trip up to Providence, RI for the CVS Downtown 5k. It's the race where two years ago I ran 14:43 on the roads which also happens to be my PR. Last year I was 14:59 or 15:00 depending on who you ask.

I had a good track session early in the week when I hit up PDS early in the morning with some other members of the Charlotte Running Club. I would also have to say my long run was a big success as it was coming after a race and the distance was up there. I'll be ready to transition to marathon training when the time is right. A few weeks left of summer and the 5k, time to get in a good race before the month is up.

Caitlin's Marathon Simulation

Time: 118:46
Distance: 18.33 miles

W/u: 2:34 for .25 miles
W/o: 15 miles at 6:15 to 6:30 pace
C/d: 22:54 for 3.08 miles

I showed up to McMullen Creek Greenway a little before 7:00 am in order to meet up with Caitlin for her marathon simulation run. She was already out on the trail with Stephen Spada getting in a little warm up. I chatted with Mark Hadley and his son, Bryce, for a couple of moments before I headed out on the trail. I only had about 200 meters to run down the path before I ran into Red and Spada.

The goal was to run easy for the first couple of miles and then start clicking off marathon race type splits. Since Caitlin is shooting for a debut marathon somewhere in the 2:43-2:48 range it called for 6:15 to 6:30 splits to start. We had the luxury of a shaded course and the stellar water crew in the two Mr. Hadleys.

6:34, 6:17, 6:10, 6:15, 6:31, 6:40 (probably wrong),
5:50, 6:07, 5:53, 6:10, 6:19, 6:08, 6:10, (~1:21:40 at 13.1 miles),
6:08, 6:03 for 93:18 total and 15 miles. Average of 6:13 pace.

Caitlin has a better recap of this workout than I because it is an integral part of her training block. I was just tagging along for moral support and to give some guidance like when she didn't want to eat the second Honey Stinger Gel, and when her breathing became a little strained with 3 miles to go.

Personally, I didn't feel great until about 10k into the workout. It actually matched up around the time I brought Spada back to the group on our first loop around Cavalry Church. I was tight and labored in my breathing before finally being able to feel controlled with the pace.

I was impressed with the splits we were clicking off during the simulation. Caitlin was very controlled throughout and she was looking powerful on the hills. Billy jumped in the workout about at the 4 mile mark and continued with us the rest of the way. I was happy to be done since my legs are a little sore after Greek Fest yesterday morning. I wasn't down with the 3 mile jog at the end, but knew it would probably help with my recovery.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Celebrating 10 and Running Through 1992

Time: 38:34
Distance: 5.07 miles
Pace: 7:36

After the race I went home to shower, grab a bite to eat and then fell asleep on the Aerobed that was in our living room. Last night Cory Tretsky stayed at our house so that the commute to the race wasn't so far in the morning. It worked out quite nice for a mid-morning nap.

Upon waking I had to get rolling over to the Charlotte Running Company's 10 Year Anniversary Sale. Now that Scott Dvorak is carrying Karhu shoes, he immediately becomes one of my key accounts. I had a great time over there fitting shoes, socks and chatting about Nuun. When I arrived Nick and Jen Frank were sitting outside giving a hydration clinic to about 15 people. I immediately ran inside and got everyone a blue Nuun bottle and a sample of Tri Berry. Throughout the day I mingled with other reps, chatted with Scott and Dr. Greenapple and started early with sips from the keg. I'm not sure if I'll be hanging out at the Charlotte Running Company more now that they sell Karhu or that they have a keg on hand. It's a win-win situation. For all of you Charlotte residents that weren't able to make it... sorry. Dana, Scott, JP, Zack and I polished off the Old Mecklenburg brew before you could get any. Just kidding. While you might not be able to get a pint when you stop by, you'll still be able to check out the Karhu Forward Ride, Steady Ride and Racer.

Later in the afternoon, Aaron Linz arrived to use a gift certificate he won at a recent race. He mentioned he was going over to Michelle Hazelton's place for a shakeout run. Despite being tired from the race and working the floor I agreed to tag along. We ran through Elizabeth and into Dilworth for about 40 minutes of total running. I didn't feel great for the first 25 minutes but then my body loosened up.

At one point we ran by a park along 7th street and it was almost the scene from DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince's hit "Summertime." There was food, games, dancing, laughing, and, of course, music. It was only fitting the song playing when we ran by was Naughty By Nature's "O.P.P." I think everyone was trying to come up with something snappy to say, but I took the first shot with, "I think we just ran through 1992." (Note the song came out in 1991, so I was fairly close). Maybe you had to be there. Either way enjoy...

Anybody have this on cassette?

This is when rap was good.

What about a combination of the two? The Fresh Prince meets Naughty By Nature.

Greek Fest Recap

Total Time: 67:29
Distance: 9.29 miles
Race: 15:20, 1st

W/u: 26:23 for 3.11 miles
C/d: 25:46 for 3.08 miles

I'm not sure what happened out there today. It certainly wasn't the race performance that I was hoping for. I had contacted some of the areas faster runners asking if they would be around for the race and neither Ryan Woods or Bert Rodriguez were in town. I needed some motivation to get me under the 15:00 barrier so I posted to my Facebook page that I would run 14:54 with splits of 4:44, 4:49, 4:50, :31. The course was primed for some fast times and the weather was decent, though not as cool as promised.

I started my warm up well in advance and went on a slow shuffle over the course. I was feeling pretty solid prior to racing and was taking mental notes of where the pace could potentially slip during the race. I picked points that needed to be focused on and sections to really open up the stride. I ran into Stephen Spada and Richard "Rocky" Falcone about 1.5 miles into the warm up and we finished the rest of the course together.

Splits (based on clocks during race and my memory):
4:45, 4:55 (9:40), 5:05? (14:45), :35 (15:20)

Rocky and I out hard on the right hand side of the road. Look at those other suckers on the left hand side.
Mike Beigay took some awesome shots of the race.

I lined up for the race on the right hand section of the road with Danielle & Chad Crockford. A bunch of CRC runners lined up on the opposite side which puzzled me. I got out relatively hard on the slight downhill along East Blvd. Rocky Falcone was just off my shoulder for the first 800-1000m. During the first time around the Dilworth Speed Loop I tried to relax and maintain pace. It was a little unsettling to see all the baby joggers in the neighborhood. The parents and tykes were released a full 5 minutes prior to the runners which strung them out a good way. I didn't catch Chris Bradle until after 1.5 miles. Usually I'm not worried about the baby joggers after 1000m or so.

Baby jogger who went out pretty hard, still smiling though. Thanks for the 5 minute head start I was still passing beyond the mile point.

I was pretty much spot on with my first mile split. I was feeling good and focused on not letting up the pace. I picked up the effort turning on Park and then relaxed on the false flat along Kingston. I knew the 600m on Kingston would be slow, but I hoped to get that time back on Worthington. I think what happened was that my first 800m of the race was run somewhere around 2:15-2:17 and then I backed off to hit the mile in 4:45. When I picked it up I was only running just under 5 minute pace and then things lagged. My second mile split was about 7-10 seconds off despite my best effort to fly down Worthington. That was frustrating to see.

Coming back near the Dilworth Speed Loop. Just after or before the 2 mile mark.

As I entered the Dilworth Speed Loop for the second time I started to fatigue and couldn't get rolling. I knew sub-15 minutes was out the window so I backed off. I ran pretty comfortably until I reached East Blvd and took a quick glance over my shoulder. I was a little surprised to see that Rocky (who is 40 by the way) was having a great race as he was still in sight. I refocused and ran the final 2 minutes of the race hard again. The 3 mile split was about 14:45 and then I coasted to the finish.

About 50 meters from the finish line. Not even worth racing the clock at this point.

I'm disappointed I ran 2 seconds slower on today's course than I did at Blue Points 5k. It was great seeing all the PRs out there this morning. Billy Shue, Brian McMahon, Alice Rogers, Pezz, Danielle all ran great. Being one of the few people not to hit their goal is tough to swallow. I probably put in too many miles last week (107) to be fresh for a 5k today. Oh well. I know I'm still fit and willing to take a challenge.

At least the Karhu shoes and Craft singlet look cool even if the time doesn't.

I shouldn't be too hard on myself as Charlotte has lost two of its most talented female runners for the next few weeks. Both Megan Hovis (M1) and Meagan Nedlo (M2) are suffering from ailments.

Friday, August 27, 2010

GreekFest Course Preview

Time: 32:43
Distance: 4.60 miles
Pace: 7:06

This evening I met up with Cory Tretsky at Run For Your Life. We took a preview of the course about 12 hours prior to race time. I felt good during the run but not great. The pace was a little fast than I would have liked on the evening before a race I'm trying to break 15 minutes.

I think the layout itself is a very fair route. It's all relatively flat and there aren't too many turns. The key will be not falling asleep or locking into a pace that is too relaxed. Also, some of the streets are narrow due to having parked cars on either side.

Easy Medium Loop

Time: 65:19
Distance: 8.73 miles
Pace: 7:29

I ran easy with Meagan and we met up with Caitlin around mile 2 for a loop around Booty. Nothing too specific to report here as I was simply looking to put some time on the feet. The legs feel good and I'm looking to roll at Greek Fest.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Track at Myers Park High School

Time: 66:09
Distance: 9.53 miles

W/u: 31:26 for 4.49 miles
W/o: 6 x 200m in 33 w/ 200m jog
C/d: 25:45 for 3.54 miles

I met up with Nick Frank for an extended warm up to the AG track. I had some 200 meter strides in preparation for the 5k this weekend. The point was to run fast and relaxed, opening the stride to a comfortable level. However, when we got to the track all the middle schoolers were just exiting class for their lunch break. For whatever reason these kids took their lunch on the track and not at tables or under the shade of trees. It didn't look possible to get the workout in on this facility so we had to go elsewhere.

Fortunately, on the way to the AG we ran by Fort Knox' track also known as the Myers Park HS dumpuvatrack. There were a couple of coaches or maintenance men painting yard lines on the football field. I was shocked to see that the track had recently been resurfaced. It's not longer a standard red/maroon like most tracks. Instead it's not a really soft, cheap black track that will probably fall apart in 3 years. It will be a good training track, but not very fast for racing. I asked a coach if I could spend about 10 minutes on the track testing out the new surface. He was actually pretty cool with me being there and didn't mind at all.

(51.80) 32.07, (58.73) 32.22, (57.43) 32.67,
(60.38) 32.37, (59.80) 32.67, (57.81) 30.59 for 8:58.53 total and 1.5 miles (6 full laps)

Nick ran the first two intervals with me before having to peace out. I finished up the last four feeling relaxed but not fantastic. I was pretty locked in at 32 seconds, it just didn't feel really smooth.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Forgotten Double Run

Time: 35:43
Distance: 5.30 miles
Pace: 6:44

I also don't really remember this run but it couldn't have been exciting. I put in a short loop toward the end of the work day. I was hoping to get in a run with Nathan Stanford because he was in the area and looking for a running partner. But, it just didn't work out with our schedules. I had agreed to help out Melissa Bell over at Inside-Out Sports with their spike night. It was fun chatting with some high school runners that had raced at RFYL's Kickin' Grass XC Meet. I met Drew who raced in the track series 5k that I ran earlier in the summer when I went 14:59.

Forgotten Medium Loop

Time: 57:52
Distance: 8.54 miles
Pace: 6:46

I don't really remember this run. It looks like a standard medium loop run that was probably run solo based on the pace. I basically just put some time on the feet between workouts this week and in preparation for the Greek Festival Race.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

PDS Track Workout

Time: 82:33
Distance: 10.88 miles

W/u: 23:33 for 3.00 miles
W/o: 4 sets of - 600 in 1:48, (90 sec), 400 in 65, (60 sec), 200 in 31 (3 mins between sets)
C/d: 26:49 for 3.02 miles

I learned that Billy, Brian, Spada, Paul and Jay were going to be running a workout on the PDS track this morning early. The plan was to start things off at 6:00 am. I didn't have a workout that was similar to theirs, but having company on the oval is always nice. Paul, Spada, Brian and Jay were doing 1 x 2 miles, 2 x 1 mile, 4 x 400 meters. Billy was jumping in the working during the mile repeats and doing the rest.

This morning's temps were a lot cooler than last Friday, at least a lot less humid. There was almost a slight chill in the air when I started my warm up. The purpose of the workout was to run fast and relaxed with a short jog recovery. After the 600m I would jog 200m and stand around. After the 400m I would try to time my 200m recovery to be exactly 1 minute and roll into the 200m. I took a full 400m recovery between sets and would stand around for about a minute before running hard again.

1:48.78 (90), 65.15 (61), 30.36 (3:01) - I couldn't see my watch that well and just ran off feel
1:47.78 (90), 64.43 (63), 30.47 (3:01) - Body was getting used to the splits and felt recovered at the end of the rest
1:47.80 (91), 63.60 (60), 32.00 (3:00) - Not sure what happened during the 200
1:46.10 (65), 61.95 (59), 29.41 - Took shorter rest after the 600m to chase down the group on my 400m
32:11 total for 4.86 miles

I'm pleased with the splits and how I felt. It wasn't too taxing of a workout to be honest. The 600m was about 5k pace, the 400m about mile pace and the 200m were glorified strides. On the final set it just worked out to where the group and I were going to start at about the same time. I figured they were running between 66 and 72 seconds so I gave them a bit of a head start and cut my rest short. I caught the back of the pack along the backstretch and worked my way up. Down the homestretch I reeled in Brian and Billy but couldn't track down Paul. The 61.95 split was exciting to see.

The cool down was just as interesting as the workout today. Paul, Billy, Jay and I ran down Sardis toward Paul's house for about 1.5 miles. Jay and I turned back to get in a solid 3 mile post-workout shakeout. Our pace was hovering around 8:30-9:00 and a pile of garbage bags filled with grass clippings laid in the middle of the sidewalk. Somehow Jay managed to catch his foot on one of the bags and was slammed to the ground. It wasn't pretty. He jumped up and asked how bad it was. All I could say was that I'm sure showering was going to sting a bit. We were still 800m from the cars and Jay's wounds only got redder. Good thing he's going to the Bahamas on Friday because I hear the piranhas are huge down there. Lauren will certainly be safe swimming with him this vacation.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Uptown Creek Run

Time: 61:16
Distance: 8.47 miles
Pace: 7:14

Caitlin and I met up for a jog from her place to the bike path/creek that runs just west of Uptown. She was rocking her new pair of Karhu Forward Rides and enjoyed the run with them. Caitlin stated that they felt just like her Nike Pegasus which she has been running in for probably a decade. At this point Karhu doesn't need to be better than everything on the wall, but just as good as everything on the wall. If Caitlin says Karhu can make a shoe that feels like a Nike shoe that has been in their lineup for 26+ years, I'll take it.

Late Morning Run

Time: 37:10
Distance: 5.31 miles
Pace: 7:00

I had no specific place to be this morning so I got up and worked from home. The coffee was especially good this morning so I had several cups before heading out for a run. Given the boost in miles and intensity last week I made a point to run easy. I took a short spin through Freedom Park before coming home to jump on a conference call.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 762:08
Distance: 107.49 miles

This has to be one of my best weeks of training this year, but not simply for the number of miles that I put in. The general rule of thumb is not to increase both the quality and quantity of your running in the same week. Whatever man. I did just that and hope to reap the rewards for my efforts.

The week had two quality workouts on Tuesday and Friday. The hills were nice to recruit some strength from the muscles. And the track workout was, at the very least, a mental barrier overcome as I ran 46 minutes at 5:00 pace. During the middle of the week there was an unscheduled workout where I helped out Caitlin and Pezz too. The week finished with a solid long run at McAlpine with Nick at a quicker pace.

Where does this put me? We'll see as the goal is to run Greekfest under 15:00 minutes with or without competition.

Sluggish Start to Sunday

Time: 119:48
Distance: 18.07 miles
Pace: 6:37

This morning, like most Sunday mornings started from the Boyce parking lot of McAlpine. Meagan and I jogged into the park and linked up with Caitlin. I was finally starting to feel the effects of all the training this week. I never got sore after the big track workout on Friday. However, the accumulation of miles has made the legs a little sluggish.

Just before 5 miles I met up with Nick Frank who arrived with some much needed water. We hit the course of 5k of solid running and then looked around for Meagan. She wanted to run 3 miles uptempo and Nick and I were going to serve as pacesetters. The plan was to run back toward Old Bell and cut in to the back section of wooded miles. Meagan was shooting to hit 6:00 minute pace. When we were about 800 meters in I could tell she wasn't feeling great as her breathing wasn't relaxed as it should have been. She ran tough and hit her splits but was done at the end.

8:23, 7:50, 7:27, 7:19, (some early miles with Meagan and Caitlin)
6:51, 7:03, 6:38, (hooked up with Nick after grabbing some water)
5:57, 6:05, 5:52, (Meagan's faster section)
6:20, (easier mile back to grab water)
6:00, 6:03, 5:59, 6:10, (4 more miles of steady running)
6:27, 6:33, 6:25 (back off to finish up the run)

I was pleased to have company on the run today. I definitely wouldn't have averaged in the 6:30s had Nick not been there. At about 14 miles I was ready to call it a day, but Nick kept the pace honest and I just went along with it. I've had a big week and I'll be interested to add up all the miles.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Easy Miles with Caitlin

Time: 40:33
Distance: 5.45 miles
Pace: 7:26

After getting back from Carrboro I relaxed at home while Meagan slaved away at work. Caitlin wanted to put in some extra miles this evening to shake out her legs from this morning's race. We ran along the bike path into Freedom Park at a nice slow clip.

Later we went to Costco so I could purchase an overpriced Aerobed because Sarah Swiss was coming to stay with us and Jenna Wrieden was taking her couch off to High Point. In the end, I wasn't able to return the favor because Ms. Swiss was dealing with kidney issues which I guess happens when you drink four glasses of wine at lunch after just recovering from kidney stones.

The evening finished right over at Tyler and Jay's place. It was Mr. Wichmann's birthday yet he was out of town when we arrived. Fortunately, Jay and his family were holding it down with burgers on the grill and beers in the fridge. It was a fun low key event with good food and good friends. Tyler arrived about 90 minutes later and we all sang a terrible rendition of the birthday song.

Fleet Feet Carrboro Marathon Group

Time: 86:18
Distance: 11.13 miles
Pace: 7:45

After my big workout yesterday I jumped in the car and headed out to the Carrboro/Chapel Hill area. I was lucky enough to stay with Sarah Swiss, the Brooks Guru/Tech Rep in the area. The reason for the visit was this morning's hydration clinic at Fleet Feet Carrboro. I chatted with a marathon and half-marathon training group at 7:00. Since I was up and only slightly dehydrated from the previous evening's festivities, I put in a few miles with the group's members.

We ran a comfortable pace that ended up being a tad quicker than I would have thought. In the end we averaged 7:45 pace and I got chat with a couple of local runners and students. It was highly enjoyable and a good way to connect and hear about the local scene.

After the workout I spent about an hour at Weaver Street Market where I blogged, drank coffee and talked more with other members of the training group. The stores in the area weren't open so it gave me the perfect excuse to just hang out on a Saturday morning. Even though I'm new to North Carolina and I love Charlotte, I think Carrboro would be a pretty cool spot to reside.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Marathon Training for the 5k?

Time: 115:01
Distance: 16.42

W/u: 20:07 for 2.50 miles
W/o: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, minutes at 5:00 pace. Switch to 4:50 pace on second 5 min. Rest?
Actual: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 mins. All at 5:00 pace. Rest varied between 200m and 500m
C/d: 22:27 for 2.40 miles

I somehow got talked into meeting up with Paul, Spada, Billy and Brian at PDS this morning. I loved the company but the hour was atrocious. We started our respective workouts at 6:00 am. We were running hard on the track at 6:00 am. That means my warm up started around 5:30 am which means I got out of be at 4:30 am. Why did I agree to this again?

I warmed up from Providence Day School down Sardis where I ran into Paul Mainwaring. We ran back to the track together and found the rest of the crew doing strides on the track. It was still dark when I changed into my racing flats and made one last check on my phone to make sure I had the workout correct.

Paul and Spada were doing 8 x 400 meters with 200 walk recovery in order to get some turnover work. Brian and Bill were running 12 x 400 meters with 200 jog recovery. My hope was to latch on to either group during my session of varying minutes.

3:03.51 for .62 miles - I almost ran 1,000 meters to start off a little fast
(1:23 for .13 miles) - I jogged back over to the start line
4:03.07 for .80 miles - I made it just over 3 laps running about 5:00 pace
(1:49 for .19 miles) - Jogged roughly 300m back to the start line
5:03.30 for .99 miles - Ran a full mile but the watch doesn't record so accurately on the turns of the track
(2:27 for .25 miles) - Jogged a full 400 meters nice and slow. Start to add up how much this workout is...
6:02.78 for 1.21 miles - Ran about 100 meters shy of 2,000 meters. Pace is still right on 5:00 pace
(3:26 for .31 miles) - Realize that this will be 46 minutes of hard running
7:01.12 for 1.39 miles - Stayed relax through the mile in 5:03, finished with running about 2,300 meters
(3:57 for .37 miles) - Jogged 600 meters recovery
6:01.10 for 1.19 miles - Ran tough but the pace is starting to get hard to hit
(4:23 for .33 miles) - Had to "lose" some weight in the bushes, jogged about 500 meters recovery
5:02.83 for 1.01 miles - Was supposed to run 4:50 but was locked in to 5:00 pace
(2:56 for .25 miles) - Jogged a full lap recovery
4:01.33 for .80 miles - Made it about 1,300 meters and was through 3 laps in 3:46
(2:30 for .20 miles) - 300 meters recovery, ready to be finished, looking forward to some faster repeats
3:01.80 for .61 miles - About 1,000 meters of hard running, started to get some fluidity back
(1:58 for .14 miles) - About a 200 meter recovery, trying to focus for the final two repeats
2:01.28 for .41 miles - Ran 700 meters going through 400m in 71-72
(1:04 for .08 miles) - Short recovery to start line
1:06.53 for 400 meters - Felt like running a full lap to get a "real" split, happy with the leg speed, glad to be done

From start to finish this workout to 72:27 and I covered roughly 11.52 miles. Of the 72 minutes, 46 of them were run at 5:00 to 5:05 pace or faster. Talk about a long workout. I didn't add up the total time until the recovery laps after the first 5 minutes of hard running. I only then learned that it would be over 9 miles of running at 5:00 pace! I'm glad I didn't know that going into the workout because I would have been intimated.

It was a little depressing to see mid-workout that everyone was getting ready to leave and I was only on the top of the ladder. I had about 90 seconds left of running when I spotted Paul, Billy and Brian walking off to cool down. I still had to come all the way back down from there. I was pleased at how I approached the workout and that not finishing the effort didn't creep into my head.

I would have like to have changed gears on the second 5 minute interval more, but I was just locked into that pace. A lot of the early intervals have me running a few seconds over the prescribed time and that's because I couldn't see my watch. The Garmin's light is difficult to use when it's so humid out and the touch bezel doesn't register all the time.

Very pleased at where this workout puts me. I think I could go out and run a very fast marathon/half-marathon and still have the speed to pull off a fast 5k.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chasing Girls

Time: 78:50
Distance: 11.79 miles
Pace: 6:41

Meagan and I started the run together in the direction of Freedom Park. The big storm last night damn near flooded the streets that we usually run on. We could see reeds and dirt from the creek washed up on the bike path. We opted not to run across the bridge just after the mile mark and opted for a safer passage to the park. It looked like a car was being towed that had sat in a huge puddle of water over night. Scary stuff.

We parted ways once we hit the park as I was meeting up with Nick Frank. We ran through the park and hit up the Booty Loop. Meagan ran about 40 meters in front of us and we slowly closed the gap. She heard us rolling up on her and picked up the pace for a nice little jogger war. It really wasn't much of a war because she was ultimately conquered along Selwyn just befor Queens University of Charlotte. I'll admit that she put up a fight and didn't let us run away, but when we came back close to the park she ran home. Nick and I did two loop before calling it a day.

The run was supposed to be "steady" today, but considering yesterday's impromptu workout I was happy that I wasn't too tired or sore. The pace was solid but not crazy fast.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Camden Crooks

Time: 27:23
Distance: 4.14 miles
Pace: 6:36

This evening I put in a double run from Inside-Out Sports. I spend a lot of time over there just hanging out especially when Melissa, Bob, Tyler, Denise or James is working. I wanted to jog some easy miles into Dilworth and run a few loops of Latta. The pace was a touch quicker than necessary. I was wearing my racing flats which contributed to the quick pace. I also just felt good as the temperature was cooler as it threatened to rain. I heard a few cracks of thunder/lightning off in the distance. Both times running along Camden I got heckled by the crooks sitting outside of BlackSheep.

After the run I went over to Tyler's pad for a few pints. It was good to catch up with him and see Dave who spent the summer in Indiana. Tyler's new roommate Jay Holder showed up an hour later and we had a bona fide sausagefest. I said bona fide, not boner fide.

Caitlin's Workout at McAlpine

Time: 80:12
Distance: 10.99 miles

W/u: 23:55 for 3.01 miles
W/o: 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1 minutes with half rest
Actual: 10, 8, 6, 2, 1 minutes with half rest helping Pezz & Caitlin
C/d: 15:31 for 2.00 miles

Even though I ran some hills yesterday morning with Meagan and Nick Frank, I didn't wake up excruciatingly sore. Maybe I didn't run them hard enough, or maybe I'm just a beast. The quads might have been a little tender, but nothing that I was concerned about. Meagan forced me out the door for a 6:00 am run from Old Bell. I was promised that Paul or Aaron would be there, but that wasn't the case.

I jogged into the park with Meagan and met up with Pezz and Caitlin around the 2 mile mark. Instead of running easy for the remainder of the time I opted to help the girls out with there workout.

10 mins - 5:55 to 6:02 through the mile depending who you ask
(5:00 rest)
8 mins - 5:49 to 5:52 through the mile depending who you ask
(4:27 rest)
6 mins - 5:34 through the mile. I tried to hold the group together as Pezz hit the front at about 800m and pushed the pace. I was the link between her and Meagan/Caitlin.
(3:00 rest)
2 mins - covered .38 miles at 5:25 pace
(1:00 rest)
1 min - covered .19 miles at 5:19 pace

I was glad to help out this morning. The pace was apparently faster than a similar workout that Caitlin and Meagan had done a week or so before.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Evening Run in Two Parts

Time: 35:02
Distance: 4.49 miles

First Part: 23:29 for 3.01 miles
Second Park: 11:33 for 1.48 miles

Meagan and I showed up at Caitlin's door for my second run. However, there would only be cat and tv watching for Meagan this evening. We need that foot to feel better before running doubles after hill workouts. I, on the other hand, was putting in some miles with Red and Jay. We ran through Elizabeth before stopping at "Nothing But Noodles Field" in Independence Park. I stopped the watch and reset it because I thought we were going to do drills. Only Jay pranced around the park as Caitlin and I ran loops like the middle school team that was out there.

After the run we enjoyed an impromptu dinner back at Caitlin's while John cooked a roast. Who cooks a roast on a Tuesday night at 8:00 pm? Johnny C does.

Tranquil Hills

Time: 79:48
Distance: 10.68 miles

W/u: 23:30 for 3.11 miles
W/o: 12 x 1 min hill with jog recovery back to start
C/d: 21:53 for 2.67 miles

The workout on the schedule called for some hill repeats which is something I haven't done is quite some time. The last hill specific workout was back at the beginning of May. I remember gaining a lot of confidence and fitness as a result of that session and hopefully that would be the same for today.

During the long run on Sunday, Nick mentioned wanting to do hills when the time was right. I told him that I had hills planned for Tuesday, but he said that he was sticking to his plan. I guess he re-looked at his training plan and texted me that he was down with some hills. He committed to doing 8 x 30 seconds. Meagan changed her workout from 16 x 1 min hard to 12 x 1 min hill which brought my wolf pack to three.

"I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack. But then I found Meagan and I knew she was one of my own. And my wolf pack, it grew by one. So there were two of us in the wolf pack. I was alone first in the pack, and then Meagan joined in later. And a few weeks ago, when I was introduced to Nick Frank, I thought, 'wait a second, could it be?' And now I know for sure. I just added another guy to my wolf pack. Three of us wolves, running around Myers Park together, in Charlotte, looking for fitness and scalps to take."

Our pack decided to run Tranquil which happens to be a hill that Scott Dvorak told me he used to train on. The hill starts gradual, gets steep and then levels off as it nears Selwyn. It allows you to simulate "running over the top" and not settling at the crest of the hill. My first 6 intervals were supposed to be medium and the next 6 were categorized as hard. Nick ran the first 30 seconds of the first six intervals and then did the last 30 seconds of number 7 and 8.

62.05 for .19 miles at 5:18 pace (1:48 rest)
62.31 for .20 at 5:16 (1:50)
61.76 for .20 at 5:10 (1:56)
61.95 for .20 at 5:11 (2:09)
*bit of a timing error here due to sweat
47.63 for .15 at 5:11 (2:09)
61.50 for .20 at 5:10 (1:56)
61.71 for .21 at 5:00 (2:00)
62.60 for .20 at 5:11 (2:14)
62.18 for .19 at 5:21 (2:00)
61.85 for .20 at 5:05 (2:11)
60.95 for .19 at 5:17 (2:00)
61.34 for .21 at 4:59. 34:25 total and 4.84 miles

It was huge having someone to keep the pace honest for the first 8 intervals. I got off the line better and maintained my form as a result. Now that I'm analyzing the splits, I like that the rest didn't get too out of control as it stayed pretty consistent at 2 minutes. I had a bad interval in number 11 and just felt terrible. It wasn't a loss of focus, I just didn't feel fast during the middle section of the hill. I wasn't able to pick up the pace halfway through because the first few hills were run so hard. I was glad to just maintain throughout.

It was good seeing Meagan struggle after killing most of her recent workouts. She was clearly exhausted and the conclusion of the workout. Nick had to peace out a bit early so the two of us jogged a longer cool down back toward Freedom Park. Once we were home it was time to jump in the pool for some aqua jogging, stretching and core work. I was inspired by the work put in by Team Cook.

Must See TV

I'm in the process of updating my training and now I'm "only" about a week behind. However I'm easily distracted and I have been catching up on all things running. I wasn't able to visit FloTrack or Letsrun for about a week. I fell behind on what was going on in the world of athletics. I wanted to post two interesting videos that you may or may not have watched on FloTrack. I think they are a must see. First up is Team Cook WOW (WorkOut Weds) from The Netherlands. It's a tad long but well worth the 15 minutes because it shows how hard professional athletes train.

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

The workout's length and speed make Leo capable of running a 3:50 mile and have turned David into a 1:45 800 meter guy. But it's the post-workout hurdle drills and weights that are allowing these guys to compete on the world level. It's no wonder that these two can mix it up with the Kenyans and Ethiopians.

I like the second video because it shows some of the personalities of the Kenyan athletes. Mark Kiptoo, a 12:53 5k guy prepares tea that would haunt any American dietitian/nutritionist. I appreciate Ryan Fenton's window into the post-training world of Kenyan athletes. Much of the time all you see is a pack of Africans running at the front of Diamond League events and you're never really able to identify with them. In recent years, there have been more projects to bring running aficionados into the training circles of the East Africans. ChasingKimbia was brilliant a couple of years ago and FloTrack has done other coverages to include the lives of world beaters. What's cool about this video is how it shows a group at home relaxing and recovering from their morning of training.

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

In order for track to be popular in the US, American will need to identify with the front runners and this clip does that somewhat.

I hope you enjoy the videos.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Focused on Training

Time: 34:56
Distance: 5.32 miles
Pace: 6:34

The pace on this run was a tad fast today but that was partially due to the fact that I was wearing my Karhu Racers. For whatever reason I felt the need to throw on a pair of really light shoes for this evening's run. I just ran my short loop through Freedom Park and tossed 4 x 20 second pickups with 40 seconds rest at the end. I was running really efficiently and fluid coming out of the park on my way home. Most of the time I like training in heavy shoes because making the transition to flats creates the sensation of feeling so light. Other times I it's enjoyable to put on a pair of flats and go out on an easy jog as it brings some life back to tired legs.

7:17, 6:40, 6:33, 5:55, 6:28

Meagan's Start O' the Week

Time: 64:17
Distance: 9.01 miles
Pace: 7:08

I tagged along with Meagan this morning on a run around Myers Park. Her foot has been giving her a little bit of trouble so we've been trying to monitor that closely. I don't think either of use felt particularly grand this morning, but we still put in the miles. It's always good to start off the week on a familiar route.

This week is a bit of a reverse from last. I'm hoping to ramp up the training as I don't have anything truly scheduled on the work front until Friday and Saturday. I need to make sure my Charlotte stores are all taken care of this week which allows me to have a bit more free time to hit the phone and emails.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 383:51
Distance: 55.84 miles

It was easy for me to catch up on the blog posting this week because I only ran 6 times! It was good to have a true down week from training. I made up for it by being overly productive with my business side of life. The body was feeling really good on Weds. as there was a lot of bounce in the stride. I made the mistake of burning some energy by playing pickle ball on Thursday in Atlanta. It was a helluva time, but it made me a touch sore for the rest of the week. I always seem to want to play soccer, basketball or some other sport on my down weeks which usually ends up making me more sore than running. Oh well. It keeps it fun.

I'll also admit that this week I was actually slated to run roughly 64 miles. However, I didn't feel the need to run a workout on Friday or do the uptempo section of the run on Sunday. I've been running 80+ for most of the summer. In fact, you have to go back to the week ending on May 30th for me to dip below 60 miles in a week. The last 11 weeks have been (recent to May 30th):
93, 96, 80, 87, 87, 85, 90, 79, 92, 81, 59.

I would have killed for numbers like that in college.

Hydrated Long Run

Time: 111:37
Distance: 17.19 miles
Pace: 6:29

It was a bit tough getting up this morning in order to head off to McAlpine for the weekly long run. Last night was great fun, but it meant today's run could be a chore. Fortunately, I hydrated with Nuun before going to bed and this morning.

Meagan and I started from the Boyce entrance and ran to the start of the Footlocker Course for her to meet up with Pezz and me with Nick Frank. I new once Nick jumped in the pace would be a bit quicker. The 2.5 miles prior definitely allowed the body to warm up for the start of his 12 miles.

The course was nothing new as we did a loop of the course and then grabbed water. Then we did a loop down near Old Bell and once again grabbed water at the staging area. We finished with a loop of the course and an abbreviated portion before calling it a day. The pace was honest but no brutal. Since this was my down week I could tell the legs are feeling a bit fresh. The drinks last night didn't help that nor did the game of pickle ball on Thursday evening. Regardless, I hope to be ready to rock come Monday morning.

It was good seeing Mark and Alana Hadley out at the park today. Also, Sharon and Dave Koontz were out there. Alejandro Arreola was clipping along too.

7:50, 7:34, 7:08, 7:05, 6:51, 6:34, 6:12, 6:29, 6:12, 6:09, 6:09, 6:21, 5:55, 6:04, 6:07, 5:52, 5:54

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Davidson College Trails

Time: 89:41
Distance: 13.37 miles
Pace: 6:42

I had a hydration clinic this morning at Run For Your Life University which brought me to the north section of Charlotte. A group of Charlotte Running Club members were running at Fischer Farm just beyond Davidson and then were going to chill at the Hovis condo on Lake Norman. I wasn't going to be able to meet up with the group, but I figured that I could at least get in a run and meet up later.

I parked my ride at what I thought was the condo complex (turned out to be right) and took one last peek at my phone's map. I knew the general direction of Davidson College and was pretty certain there were trails on or near the campus. I stumbled upon the campus around 2 miles and ventured near the track. The athletic facilities looked awesome. The track was situated in a cool stadium, the soccer fields were well groomed, and I'm sure "Steph Curry" basketball court was just as nice. For a small school, Davidson College seems has done a nice job with their ability to share the focus of academics and athletics.

Eventually I asked a guy to point me in the direction of the trails. I was no more than 150 meters away when I asked. There was some sort of sign posted about the trail being closed on Tuesday for varsity practice. As I mentioned before, I had heard about the Davidson trails, but I wasn't sure what to expect. They are awesome.

I'm not sure how good the cross country team is at Davidson College, but there is no excuse for them being bad. The trails were shaded, soft, smooth and hilly. You couldn't ask for a better area to run intervals. I bet the runs there would get a bit boring, but for me I enjoyed the run immensely. I looped around on the course and found about an hour worth of running. I wish there was a water fountain out there because I was pretty tapped running back out through campus. The pace had picked up considerably and I started feeling a smooth rhythm.

7:29, 7:05, 6:59, 7:10, 6:57, 6:35, 6:49, 6:39, 6:38, 6:21, 6:21, 6:25, 6:01

If you're a relative, high schooler or colleague it's time for you to stop reading. Thanks and good bye.

Near the end of the run I had Ben Hovis and the Austins honk/yell at me. This meant I was in the right spot for the post-run CRC hang out. When I got to the house I found MB (protecting the identities of those involved) was refueling with coffee and beer. After some time in the lake, a group of BH, JC, JK, BS and MB lounged by the lake, played cornhole and enjoyed some summer brews. I've never really been a lake fan, but today was lots of fun. The food provided by Megan Hovis was great and the company by all the runners couldn't have been better.

Eventually, I had to get home to nap, take a shower and get ready for dinner at Cabo Fish Taco and more socializing at the CRC Fall Marathon Social at Thomas St. Tavern. The night of festivities didn't disappoint. I think CRC brought some of the fittest and best looking Charlotteans to Plaza Midwood for drinks, eats and chats. My only complaint, and I'm not sure how this would be remedied in the future, was that cliques formed a bit. Common abilities in running further showcased their talents by drinking together. There didn't seem to be much intermingling amongst the group across running times. Oh well. It was still fun. I got to chat with a couple of people in the club that I had never met before.

I was out of there around 11:30 which was good because I was scheduled to run with Nick Frank in the morning. Between living the High Life and Caitlin's girl scout shots I needed to be home.

Friday, August 13, 2010

What Lake?

Time: 29:45
Distance: 4.01 miles
Pace: 7:25

Last night I stayed at Meagan's best friend's parents' house in Woodstock, GA. It's the 'burbs outside of Atlanta which means traffic, traffic, traffic. I got up and jogged around her neighborhood and then along a busy road with no sidewalk. Everyone was making the commute into work and I felt like wrapping things up. I found myself motivated to run only four miles this morning. I also found dozens of signs that said Towne Lake Village this and Towne Lake Parkway that or Towne Lake Shopping Center. I never found Towne Lake. Seems like a bit of false advertising if you asked me Woodstock.

A bit later in the morning I drove over to the Cobb Galleria where the Atlanta Shoe Show was taking place. I wasn't all that familiar with such trade shows, but to share more it's basically a giant convention center hall full of shoes. Athletic shoes. Dress shoes. Hooker shoes. Sandals. Clogs. I'm not kidding about the hooker shoes either as the Playboy branded collection had its own booth. Speaking of hookers, Paris Hilton's line of shoes was represented. It was an interesting morning and I took some quick notes on which brands were currently hot. Hint, it was not Ms. Hilton's.

I spent some time at the Doctor Specified booth (socks that are housed under the same roof as Balega) and the Orthaheel booth. It was good seeing people drop by to check out the lines while I was there. I think it was worth while for both brands to be in attendance. I wrapped things up at the shoe show and headed back to Charlotte with a quick stop in Greenville, SC.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Orthaheel Sales Meeting and Day Off

Time: none
Distance: none

I decided to take the day off from running today. It was my first day off since April 22.

I still got in a little bit of exercise when I challenged Doug "E. Fresh" Starr to a few games of pickle ball. I hadn't played since July of 2008 and Doug was out of the sport for 6 mos. Despite my youth, I couldn't overcome my inexperience in the sport and got smoked each game. It was great fun though.

Earlier in the day I went to the Orthaheel sales meeting which coincided with the Atlanta Shoe Show. Paul and I were up early to drive out to Atlanta and I never had the motivation to run. Since this is my down week I felt comfortable with skipping a day of running. I can already tell that my legs are feeling fresh.

Quick Update

Sorry for not getting around to updating. I had just gotten all caught up and was being good about staying on top of posting my runs and now I'm busy doing other stuff.

The good news is that once I catch some down time I'll be able to hit readers with some rapid fire blogging. This week (8/9) is a bit of an off week where I'm trying to keep the miles, beers and fries to a minimum. So far I'm being successful with only one of those.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Girl Talk

Time: 64:49
Distance: 8.59 miles
Pace: 7:33

I agreed to run with Meagan at 6:00 am for whatever reason which means it's still pretty dark out. We tried not to disturb my boss who was sleeping on the couch on our way out. That's how Team TGA rolls!

The run was a standard loop through Freedom Park where we met Alice, Jay, and Caitlin. The group of us turned on Queens Road West where we spotted the morning Charlotte Running Club crew that had met at the Dowd YMCA. Who would have guessed, but AJ was leading the charge up the hill. The girls yelled for Danielle to come join us and she did. For whatever reason this made Alice and Jay feel bad for not running with the other group and so they left. So we got Danielle and they took Jay and Alice. Sounds like a fair trade to me.

I was content to run behind the ladies and admire the view. The view of Queens University and all of the big homes of course. We parted way as we turned back into Freedom Park. Meagan and I called it a day with just over an hour's worth of running.

The rest of the morning was spent hassling Paul, drinking coffee and eating flapjacks. We all eventually got on with our days. Meagan working at Run For Your Life and Paul and I making deals all around town.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fleet Feet Inc.

Time: 30:04
Distance: 4.13 miles
Pace: 7:17

This morning's run started and ended from Tom Raynor's house which is kind of a big deal. Tom Raynor is the Chairman and CEO of Fleet Feet Inc. and an old pal of my boss Paul Perrone. It wasn't a planned stay but during our conversation over drinks he asked what hotel we were staying at. We explained that we hadn't picked one yet and that's when Mr. Raynor offered his downstairs. I liked his thinking that there was no need to waste money on a hotel and we politely accepted. I had met Tom once before and I'm sure he didn't remember me, but hopefully now I can say hi in the future.

The run was just out and back along a country highway. It definitely wasn't the safest place to be running at 7:00 am but I was certain to stay way off on the shoulder so that I wouldn't be crushed by a crazed commuter. How's that for alliteration.

The rest of the day was spent visiting stores. We worked our way back from Chapel Hill through Greensboro, Winston-Salem and finally ended in Hickory where Balega is located. The dinner was fantastic at Youssef's as I went with the steak frites.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Start of a Down Week

Time: 57:55
Distance: 8.55 miles
Pace: 6:46

Today marked the start of a scheduled down week. No doubles. No workouts? But still a long run. We'll get to those later in the week though.

I just ran an easy solo route of my Medium Freedom Park Loop. I felt fine and recovered from the long run yesterday.

I packed up the car and headed out to RDU Airport where I was picking up my boss. He flew into NC from Austin, TX to come visit me and accounts. We will ultimately end up in Atlanta for a big shoe show. The focus of the trip was to prospect Chrome doors, say hi to some of our better accounts and toss business ideas around.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 648:57
Distance: 93.66 miles

This was a pretty high mileage week as I was able to add a couple of runs and increased the distance of my Sunday long run. The race on Saturday went well, but I was hoping for a bit more. Hopefully I'm able to step up to the plate in a more competitive field later this summer and early fall. My mile repeats and 400 meters on Tuesday were a big success as I was able to change gears at 800 meters. This should translate over to a mid-race surge or covering a move during a competition. Finally, this week was a lot of fun. I ran with some great friends and was able to check out some of Charlotte's happenings.

McAlpine with CRC and Athleticore

Time: 115:16
Distance: 17.01 miles
Pace: 6:46

I had a busy social calendar last night post run. It started at Duckworth's on Park Road with Scott Simmons birthday celebration. It soon moved to Uptown for the Presby Crit. I was much impressed with the cornering of those pros. I couldn't imagine taking those turns so sharp especially when the sun went down. The night ended at an art show in Plaza Midwood where they were kicking off the "Let the Good Times Roll." I had never been to Twenty-Two Gallery and I will have to go back. Meagan, Jenna and I strolled in and immediately noticed we didn't have enough tattoos or piercings. I ended up purchasing two skateboard decks that I won't received until the end of the month. I will post pics then.

Due to the late night I was not going to be up early and at McAlpine to meet the Charlotte Running Club group at 6:30 am. Instead the three of us from last night met at Boyce about an hour later. We jumped in the group of about 10 for some miles through McAlpine.

I peeled off near the 5 mile mark to meet up with Mr. Athleticore who this week had to quell the complaints of many local athletes. Nick escaped a tarring and feathering and wasn't burned at the stake because he was able to recover all the lost data. It was good hearing about the fiasco and running 12 miles at a quicker tempo. We stopped every 20 minutes or so to drink some water stashed at the stage. I think this definitely helped me recover quicker later in the afternoon.

8:35, 7:04, 7:12, 7:06, 7:11,
6:37, 6:44, 6:23, 6:20, 6:33,
6:43, 6:22, 6:39, 6:39, 6:27,
6:19, 6:19

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mullet Miles

Time: 31:02
Distance: 4.14 miles
Pace: 7:30

I guess I didn't get in enough miles this morning because I agreed to meet up with Jay, Caitlin and Matt Jaskot for a run from Run For Your Life. It felt good to get the legs moving this late afternoon. I was surprised that I didn't feel too exhausted from running 15:18 at Blue Points. The best part of the run was Mr. Jaskot's filthy mullet.

The embodiment of class: Elvis, PBR and a mullet.

Blue Points 5k Recap

Time: 72:24
Distance: 11.27 miles
Race: 15:18, 1st

W/u: 22:54 for 3.02 miles
Meagan's Workout: 18:55 for 3.14 miles (6:06, 6:15, 5:49)
C/d: 15:17 for 2.01 miles

I thought today might have been the morning for a sub-15 effort, but in the end I came up well short.

My day started off dark and early with a cup of coffee and some internet browsing. I was out the door with Meagan around 6:00 am because I knew parking might be an issue. We found a spot at the Dowd YMCA and walked the half mile to the Bank of America Stadium. There weren't too many people in attendance yet which made registering and picking up my chip pretty easy. Dr. Greenapple has been kind enough to cover my entry fees for the remainder of the Grand Prix Series. He's been a great (Dr. Duffy and Dr. Clay too) contact since moving to Charlotte and really helped Meagan stay healthy this spring during track.

I warmed up a full 3 miles on the race course. I wanted to see just how bad the final mile was going to be. All week I heard about the climb past the Y. Jogging the hill didn't intimidate me too much and given the cooler temps I had thoughts of running fast. The humidity was still off the charts and the oh so lovely dew point hovered in the low 70s.

Race time was a couple of minutes after the wheelchairs and babyjogging crew were released. I was told that Rocky Falcone would be one to go out hard and he didn't disappoint. I was also sizing up a couple of college kids that made an appearance in Charlotte. I was out fast, but Rocky was out even faster. He charged around the first turn and continued to up the pace. I followed about 10 meters behind and didn't completely close the gap until about 800 meters. We ran together to about 1,000-1200 meters and then I gained a bit of an advantage.

I knew the mile split would be quick and saw the clock tick off 4:43 or so. The downhill continued onto Kenilworth and I tried to maintain my momentum. I know the pace slowed going up to Morehead where I finally passed the lead babyjogger. He would definitely give Mike Beigay a run for his money as he finished in 17:45. I didn't catch the lead wheelchair until just before the two mile mark which I crossed in 9:40-9:41 (4:58 split). He also came back on me just before the final climb up to the Dowd YMCA.

After hitting the split for two miles I was still convinced I could go under 15:00. With a good final mile I'd have things locked up. Wrong. I started to struggle about a quarter mile beyond McDowell. I had a bad 3 minute stretch of running. It wasn't really a loss of focus, but a loss of strength. I just couldn't power my way up the hill and maintain pace. I took a good long look back about 50 meters from the top of the hill and could see the neon green singlet of Matthew Elliot (Winthrop grad with 3:43 1500m credentials). I felt the crosshairs on my back and I knew that the downhill needed to be quick.

Cresting the hill I tried to get a response out of the legs but they were slow to react. I never really got rolling on the descent and crossed 3 miles in 14:43 (5:02 split). I had little motivation to sprint to the line since I looked over my should and saw things were locked up. I brought things home in 15:18 which means my final 200m was a dismal 35 seconds. I think Meagan closed faster than me.

I was pleased to get the win and a little disappointed I couldn't sniff 15:00 today. After the race Meagan had to run another loop as part of a workout. I tagged along and dragged her through the course. Our splits were 6:06 (weaved through finish line traffic), 6:15 and 5:49 (as fast as Meagan's final mile split during the race).

The prizes were decent as I received a signed Panthers mini-helmet. I can't really read the signature but I think it's Matt Moore's. If the Panthers do well this year that thing is going up on E-bay. I also received some sort of bag that Leonard Hilliard joked with me about wanting a prize. I politely passed along the bag and hope it's used well by him.

There were good performances turned in by Jay Holder, Alice Rogers, Paul Mainwaring and Mr. Spada. Big congrats to Billy Shue who cracked 17-flat for the first time ever.

My cool down didn't occur until much later as I couldn't find a ride back home so I walked about a mile over to Inside-Out Sports and stashed my bag. I then ran two miles to Run For Your Life where I waited for Meagan to arrive so that I could drive the rest of the way home.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Double Run and Strides

Time: 36:23
Distance: 5.30 miles
Pace: 6:52

I just got in a few more miles in preparation for tomorrow's race. There isn't too much to report about this run other than the 4 x 20 seconds that I did at the conclusion of it. I felt relatively quick striding it out. You could call them strides or pickups but I have been doing these relatively frequently at the end of runs somewhere within the last 10 minutes of my run. I do 20 secs on, 40 secs off. It's just something to wake up the legs, open the lungs and force the body out of an easy jog.

Easy Friday Miles

Time: 37:09
Distance: 5.25 miles
Pace: 7:04

I got out the door for some easy solo miles through Freedom Park. Tomorrow I'm racing the Blue Points 5k which is part of the GPx Series. I'll double this evening before getting some good rest to run hard tomorrow.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hydro Clinic and Strides

Time: 28:38
Distance: 4.01 miles
Pace: 7:08

This evening I gave a hydration clinic at Run For Your Life - Piper Glen. It was a relatively small group but were content to listen. I was able to provide taste test samples of Nuun for those who wanted them too. While I was talking it poured rain, but luckily I took enough time that when I was finished so was the storm. During the run I heard thunder off in the distance but paid it no mind. It was incredibly humid as a result and the asphalt on the bike path didn't provide any relief. I just ran two miles out and back on the greenway near the store.

When I returned to the end point I stretched a bit before doing some strides. I had forgotten the specifics of the workout but I opted for something like 4 x 100 medium paced, 4 x 50 from a standing start a bit quicker and 4 x 100 medium/hard. I was thoroughly drenched with sweat once I was done, but ready to get home and drink a few pints since I had just explained the proper way to stay hydrated during the summer in Charlotte.

Mr. Frank and 2xBooty

Time: 79:30
Distance: 11.83 miles
Pace: 6:43

I had the company of Nick Frank out on the run this morning as we both left our respective homes at 7:30 am. Our timing put us at the Freedom Park pond about 12 minutes later and we ran a couple of loops around the Booty Loop. The pace was relatively quick and the conversation made the run go by even faster. We opted to run in the median to save our legs from a bit of the pounding. I'm not a big fan of the bumpy surface, but I know that in the long run the grass is the way to go.

Later in the day I received a text from Nick saying he was surprised at the distance we covered this morning.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

McAlpine Recovery Run

Time: 82:28
Distance: 10.75 miles
Pace: 7:40

I was dragged out of bed to Meagan singing the 98.9 morning wake up song. If you want to hear it, tune in around 5:50 am and listen to what I'm talking about. I'm not going to try and "sing" it via my blog. Anyway, despite not getting enough sleep last night I was feeling decent running with Aaron and Paul this morning. We jogged around for about 9 miles together while Meagan and Pezz did their workout. I managed to log just under 11 miles for the morning at a slow pace to allow the legs to recover some.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Test the Body at JCSU

Time: 69:04
Distance: 10.11 miles

W/u: 24:37 for 3.25 miles
W/o: 3 x mile (2:25 first 800, 2:15 second 800) w/ 4 mins rest. 4 x 400 in 62-65 w/ 1 min rest.
C/d: 20:02 for 2.11 miles

Today I was going to be traveling with Carol Amrani who works for Balega. My scheduling meant I had to either fit in a workout prior to visiting stores or after the day was done. I voted for driving over to Caitlin's where I was to check up on her cat Cicero, warm up over to JCSU, run my workout, cool down back to Caitlin's, shower and be on the road to meet up at Fleet Feet Huntersville by 11:00 am. It's all about time management.

I had a nice easy warm up through Uptown and got to point at all the bankers rushing off to work. They were dressed in their business attire, strolled along with their shined shoes and chatted on business Blackberries. In contrast, I was in my split cut shorts, carried my water bottle and racing flats while trying not to sweat on them at stop lights. I don't take my schedule for granted one bit, it's one of the perks of my job.

I was good and warm by the time I hit the track. The objective of the workout was to change gears after 800m of the mile repeats (really 1600m repeats). I wanted to feel relaxed as possible through 800m and then quicken the stride for a couple of minutes to hit a goal split of 4:40. Things went well.

Mile #1 - 4:41.72 (2:25, 2:16),
(4:00 rest); jogged 400m and waited

Mile #2 - 4:40.85 (2:26, 2:14),
(3:59 rest);
jogged 400m and waited

Mile 3 - 4:42.65 (2:27, 2:15),
(4:00 rest);
jogged 400m and waited

400s - 65.38 (60), 66.40 (61), 65.50 (61), 63.91 for 4 miles total and ~18:25 running time.

The workout was exhausting. I had to remain focused the whole time and couldn't let my mind or body wander from the task at hand. It was relatively enjoyable being able to change gears mid-interval. After the first two repeats I was struggling but knew I could make it the first 800m on the final mile effort. It was just a matter of keeping it together for the final two laps. I hung on to finish a little slow, but still respectable. Considering the temps and humidity have returned I think the miles went well. The 400s were another story.

I struggled to turn the legs over at the prescribed paces. I wanted to run 64-65 but I was about a second off for the first three. On top of that some lady just wouldn't get out of lane one despite the fact that I had passed her repeatedly. After the final interval I was spent. I gasped for air and think it was the hardest workout I've done in a few months. I'm not sure if it was designed to be so tough, but it was. You can see how tired I was from the pace of my cool down. I essentially walked back through Uptown to Caitlin's house. This time the bankers were probably pointing and laughing at me.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tricky Double Run

Time: 39:54
Distance: 5.40 miles
Pace: 7:23

This evening I invited Meagan to go out on a double run with me. She originally wasn't going to put in two runs today as she ran 10+ miles this morning. However, how could she turn down the opportunity to run with me? We agreed to a really slow pace and 4 miles. Our route was no different that usual, but when we got to two miles, I told Meagan that I was going to finish the loop. I picked up the pace so she wouldn't have to wait that long and we joined up at the Princeton side of Freedom Park.

Solo Medium Loop

Time: 57:09
Distance: 8.59 miles
Pace: 6:39

I forget why I ran a bit later in the morning and not with Meagan. But, by looking at the average pace I can tell that I was feeling good. After this weekend's long run, I'm looking to continue with some good efforts this week in preparation for the Blue Points 5k.

I do remember coming in from the run and grabbing a towel, my sandals, phone and aqua jogger belt. I went down to the pool where I actually stretched, did core and threw in a couple push ups for good measure. I even got in the pool to shake out the legs. If you know me, you know that I'm not a big fan of pools or lakes. Oceans are okay. Meagan's coach is big on recovery time being spent in the pool. I'm not sure if there is any science behind it, but Scott Simmons believes that the pressure from being in the pool (legs under water) speeds recovery. Sounds like a bit much if you ask me, but I do know that it certainly doesn't impair one's training. I cooled off with about 5-10 minutes in the drink before getting on with my day.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 688:42
Distance: 96.32 miles

Man, how did that happen? Oh yea. I usually don't total my miles until a few days after Sunday and sometimes I get a little carried away. However, I figure if I don't mentally know that I'm at 42 or 57 that I'll be able to hang tough. I good awareness of where my body is at and if I'm feeling good, I'll join up for a run or go longer than I'm supposed to. If the body needs some rest, then I'll back off to allow for recovery. I guess if I hit the schedule week in and week out the most running possible would be whatever the piece of paper says. As soon as something comes up and you miss a run, you're frantically trying to figure out a way to make up those extra miles. So this week I'm 96, maybe next week I'm 74 and the following is 72. It all evens out. My coach Jeff is probably rolling his eyes at this point, but I think it all comes back to how one feels on the day.

I was pleased with the cutdown on Saturday, though I wish the final two miles were quicker. Also, the workout on Tuesday where I cut shapes was very solid. I am starting to feel relaxed running in the 4:30 pace range so I hope that I'll be able to open the first mile of a 5k a bit quicker in the next couple of races. I got in a respectable long run to finish out the week with a new training partner who will be key this fall.

Long Run with Mr. Athleticore

Time: 112:01
Distance: 16.69 miles
Pace: 6:43

Meagan and I started the run from Boyce at 7:30 this morning. I wanted to put in a few miles before meeting up with Pezz and Nick Frank. The goal mileage on the day was roughly 14 miles. We had great conditions as the sun was hidden behind a cloud layer and the temps were about 20 degrees cooler.

I put in almost 5 miles with the ladies before meeting up with Mr. Athleticore at the stage by the main entrance. He was planning on going 10 miles as he's just getting back into the swing of running. I found his website post about his interest in running after we finished. It's nice to know that triathletes see the discipline as pure. Our run seemed to fly by. We were clicking off some pretty decent splits, but the run felt totally comfortable. The conversation took various turns but was completely enjoyable as topics included training, finances, running, and work. All pretty basic stuff.

8:28, 7:24, 7:52, 7:32, 7:09 (Nick joins, drop girls),
6:29, 6:31, 6:11, 6:15, 6:16, 6:19, 6:15, 6:13, 6:19, 6:09 (leave Nick at main entrance)
6:08, 4:30 for .69 miles back to Boyce

I was warned last night that Nick can come off as a douche. I mean, check out his website. Nice glamour shots! (I'm posting this after running with Nick for the second time and he acknowledge that the pics were for sponsorship opportunities). I was having drinks with my buddy Tyler who told me how on Saturday morning Nick started a Triple Threat vs. Everyone Else challenge. It was two Triple Threat guys vs. Tyler, Nick and one other dude on the bike. They raced for King of the Mountain, sprint and other individual and team bragging rights. Before the ride, Nick taped a Staples Easy Button to his bike and pressed it every time he won a mini-stage. Pretty ballsy, but douchey? To some yes, but to me it's clever and funny. I'd like to think that I'd rise to the occasion and not let the guy with a big red button on his bike beat me.

I realize the etiquette on the bike is much different than running. Nick realizes this and I got a good laugh out of the creativity of spicing up the training ride. During our run, I didn't catch any hint of over confidence/cockiness which made the prospect of running again a definite. Hopefully he gets back in good shape and starts showing up to some of the local races.