Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hickory in the Dark

Time: 40:51
Distance: ~5 miles

I gave a hydration clinic to a group of runners training for their first 10k. I started off with some celebrity trivia questions that I won't pose here as I'm sure they are too easy to stump any readers. I will say, it was actually impressive when one of the members knew Shalane Flanagan's time, place and college.

The course tonight was a simple out and back along a busy road in Hickory. It was dark, windy and started to rain. Fun times. The leaders were also nearly smashed when an SUV turned out of the funeral home parking lot. It would have been a convenient delivery for the ambulance.

I added on about 2 miles and fell into a good pace to end the run in a positive mood.

Alternate Morning Loop

Time: 69:26
Distance: ~9 miles

Meagan and I ran a little longer this morning on a slightly altered version of our Medium Loop. She's currently interested in running as much as possible on the little crushed gravel trail near Myers Park HS. It's only about 800 meters long but it makes the highlight of her run. I was content with getting in about 9 miles as tonight I'll be running pretty easy with a training group out of Fleet Feet Hickory.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Double with Jay & Caitlin

Time: 64:48
Distance: ~8.8 miles

I got word that Caitlin and Jay were running after work so I decided to join up with them. Jay who now has an official time and place at the Richmond Marathon is still doing mostly recovery runs and Caitlin is getting ready for Club XC. We met up along Moorehead Ave. and ran around Dilworth in the dark. I felt a hundred times better this evening than this morning. The back wasn't achy and I had a bit of pop in the legs. I finished up back at Jay's pad and called it an evening.

Ending at Charlotte Running Company

Time: 55:23
Distance: 8.07 miles
Pace: 6:51
Map

I felt terrible this morning on the run, my lower back hurt for some reason as well. I thought that the pace was slow, but then I saw I was clicking off 6:30s around mile 4. I ended the run over at Scott Dvorak's shop and chatted about the 7,200 person Turkey Trot that was a huge success this year. The Mt. Pleasant Turkey Trot will one day be in the thousands...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 791:03
Distance: 107.73

The focus this week was simply on friends, family, food and, of course, logging miles. I had a relaxing time in Mt. Pleasant over Thanksgiving which allowed me to spend some quiet time with Meagan's family. My training wasn't anything special this week in terms of crushing workouts or even running hard. I ran hard once when I felt good during a double run and then I did a few hard strides another night. The one workout I did was geared toward helping Meagan and I never left the comfort state. This makes six consecutive weeks of 100 plus.

Night Run Before Dinner

Time: 59:00
Distance: ~8.6 miles

Tonight I went back out for some extra miles because I didn't feel like I ran long enough this morning. It was dark out on there, but I found a rhythm that allowed me to finish a little quicker. Jenna took us up on our invite to have dinner and stay over. She even brought two bottles of Trader Joe's Vintage Ale which were excellent. It was a great day of running and hanging out with friends.

Salem Lake Long Run

Time: 112:18
Distance: 16.03 miles
Pace: 7:00
Map

Meagan, Tanya, Jenna and I all ran around the famed Salem Lake loop this morning. In fact we ran it twice. Since moving to Charlotte I've kept hearing great things about the trail from local runners and those in Winston-Salem. I know Caitlin and John who think highly of the lake as they used to do long runs there while at Wake Forest. Jenna has also hyped Salem Lake now that she's an assistant at High Point University. She will drive her athletes to the lake on weekends for a change of scenery. I also know that Aaron and Theoden have raced out there in a couple longer distance events. I, on the other hand, am not completely sold. It was a good run and I enjoyed the softer surface, but every part of the loop looked the same. You never really got to head back into the woods and instead ran along the water's edge. Also, the footing wasn't the best but that could have been because the leaves have fallen to hide the rocks and roots. I could see how in summer the trail would be great.

The run was good, but the brunch was even better this morning. After finishing we all hit up a local cafe that Jenna found or read about. We put down some omelets, pancakes, coffee and more. What's also key is that the new Fleet Feet Winston-Salem (if you're ever in W-S and want to check out/compare another well merchandised specialty running store, this is a good one to visit) location is right next to the cafe. I can see myself visiting these parts again soon.

Meagan also recaps the run pretty well so just read her post.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weezy Sucks

Time: 58:22
Distance: ~8.6 miles

Meagan and I traveled home from DFW separately this afternoon. She had a direct flight while I made a stop in Memphis which meant she could pick me up from the airport. Yay. It also meant that she had a chance to go home and see our cat Weezy that has been missing the two of us for a couple of weeks. What happens when a cat misses their provider? Apparently it decides to shit and piss in your bed. Ask Caitlin, her cat Cicero did it too.

I was angry to learn about having a piss and shit filled bed. It didn't matter that Meagan had already started the wash with our sheets and cleaned the mattress. Think how furious I was when I got home the cat did it again. On our pillow no less. I nearly threw the little princess over the balcony in a fit of rage. If you've never smelled cat pee before then you're a lucky s.o.b., but for those who have, you know what I'm talking about. It's possibly the most potent stuff on earth and it comes from a cute four legged furry friend. I'm getting upset just thinking about it so I better move on.

The run tonight had me one stepping Meagan before the half mile mark and by the time we hit the mile I was long gone. I left her for the wolves in Myers Park and completed a medium loop at a good clip. It didn't matter that I couldn't see a damn thing, I was content to continue running quick. I felt more relaxed upon arriving back at the house even though our bedroom smelled worse than a San Francisco stairwell.

Frito Lay Headquarters

Time: 60:36
Distance: ~8 miles

Who remembers this scene from one of Jerry Bruckheimer's greatest hits? It comes from the 1997 TNT or TBS monthly special Con Air just after the cons take control of the plane thus starting Cameron Poe's nightmare travel home.

["Sweet Home Alabama" plays in background]
Garland Greene: Define irony. Bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash.
Meagan and I defined irony this morning when we ran two big loops around the Frito Lay headquarters in Frisco, Texas. Everyone's favorite manufacturer of delicious picnic treats, junk food and salted crunchy snacks has an amazing two plus mile walking/running route around their campus. Think Nike's wood chip trail in Beaverton, Oregon that winds around the Alberto Salazar, Lance Armstrong and Jerry Rice buildings, only that makes sense. This trail was most enjoyable and took us to tennis courts, a pond, and open fields. We could also see their celebrity buildings named after John Candy, Mama Cass and Chris Farley.

I guess you have to pretend to be a supporter of fitness and healthy living when you produce Fritos The Original Brand Corn Chips which have 30 grams of fat, 480 calories and 510mg of sodium in a 3oz. serving. And this is a product that is made of simply corn, corn oil, and salt with no preservatives. B-Mac would say "NOM NOM NOM," and I couldn't agree more. Those little fun crisps are delicious. I wish I had a bag now. Anyway, I'm probably going to get a letter from the company asking me to take this post down and I won't do it!

Unless they send me a Frito Pie.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ladder Workout

Time: 73:18
Distance: 10.5 miles

W/u: 20:09 for ~2.5 miles
W/o: 2400m, 2000m, 1600m, 1200m, 800m with 400m jog. Or, think of it as 6 laps, 5 laps, 4 laps, 3 laps, 2 laps.
C/d: 15:47 for ~2 miles

Last night Meagan and I were coaxed into joining big John Nedlo for a workout at the Mt. Pleasant HS track. It was actually a decent facility with a turf field and bleachers set close to the end zone for optimal Friday Night Lights viewing. This is Texas in the fall after all. I designed a descending ladder workout beginning with 6 laps around the track at 6:00 pace. My hope was for Meagan to pick up the pace as the distance decreased. She did just that and hit...

Splits:
8:55.34 (5:57 through the mile), (2:04);
7:20.37 (5:52 through the mile), (2:04);
5:43.27 (2:10);
4:11.50 (2:11);
2:42.36 for 37:22 total and 9,600 meters (~6 miles)

It was windy on the backstretch and Meagan kept wanting to kick the final 130 meters of the interval. I held her back as much as possible and let her only run hard the final interval. Despite still being a little snotty, she ran well and closed hard.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mt. Pleasant Turkey Trot

Time: 101:29
Distance: ~12 miles

I had started this nice eloquent recap of the Mt. Pleasant Turkey Trot, but then I got sidetracked. Then Meagan beat me to posting about the day's run. Then to make matters worse she displayed the prose of Dickens or Twain:
Rain began to fall; steady but pleasant at first, then gradually swelling to an almost deafening crescendo of water. To make matters worse, for the next few miles we were running directly into a headwind, which made the droplets feel like tiny shards of glass pelting our exposed skin. Every time I thought it couldn't rain any harder, it did. At one point I literally turned and ran sideways because the water was flooding my contact lenses to the point of near blindness. The ground, previously dry, became a flash flood in minutes, and at certain points Jordan and I were tromping through ankle deep puddles. To say this made for an uncomfortable middle section of the run would be putting it mildly.
How am I supposed to compete with that?

Read her version of the run as it accurately portrays the weather, course, and crowd.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Miles and Strides

Time: 43:02
Distance: 5.5 miles

Easy double this evening with Meagan. We did some strides near the park too now that both of us are feeling better. What else can I write? Can't think of anything.

Mt. Pleasant in the Morning

Time: 61:57
Distance: ~8 miles

I put in some easy miles with Meagan back out on the blacktops. It's was really warm again and I wore a singlet. Weird weather out here in Texas.

Slacker of the Month

I need to update in a serious way. Hopefully I'll catch up during some Thanksgiving downtime. The holiday will allow me to recap Austin, a short stint in Dallas/Ft. Worth and all the glorious happenings of Mt. Pleasant. Training has continued to go well, but there have been some shakeups on the work front. I'll explain everything soon in posts that will be hitting the interwebs shortly. I'm sure you will be checking out the OK Runner Blog during your holiday as an escape from friends and crazy family.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Enchiladas on the Mind

Time: 49:28 (Out in 27:28, back in 22:00)
Distance: ~8 miles

The run turned a little sketchy when I found myself 4 miles from the house, it was well dark, and I was running solo on a country road in Titus County, Texas. I had left the house with 45 minutes until dinner time and wanted to maximize my distance out on the blacktops. However the thought of homemade enchiladas lingered at the back of my mind. I kept asking should I continue on or turn back now?

When I came to Farm to Market Road 2348 I slowed and started to turn around. I quickly found myself slipping and on the ground in a gentle thud. It didn't hurt nor was I startled. I just sorta slipped on some loose gravel and rolled on to my back. No scrapes or bruises to speak of so maybe I just made it up. There was a car waiting to turn when this happened and I was certain the driver would roll down the window and laugh, perhaps ask if I were okay. Neither occurred. The car turned left and drove off while I collected myself and brushed off the dirt.

After the fall I started to roll. It was partly the little adrenaline rush and partly the darkness and partly the enchiladas. The slight downhill allowed me to start clicking off some uptempo splits. I weaved around the mystery headlights that turned out to be three high school boys riding ATVs who thankfully didn't turn and chase me down. My pace felt like a near sprint at times, but it was always in control. At any point I could have picked it up but I was content to run as the terrain dictated. I figure that I was averaging about 5:30s, but portions when I was purposely running really hard would have been much faster. It was great find to see that I negative split by over 5 minutes.

The run was good, the enchiladas were better. I had seconds.

Blacktops of Mt. Pleasant

Time: 66:19
Distance: ~8.5 miles

I arrived to Mt. Pleasant last night around dinner time and didn't get out the door for a run. The first run in Meagan's pseudo hometown would take place Tuesday morning out on the rolling tar country roads. It was a decent route that she put together that brought us home just over an hour. We added on with a loop around the park on the other side of her parents' fence. Is there more to report? I don't think so.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ft. Worth's Wind

Time: 105:14
Distance: ~14 miles

I'm a little sick right now but that didn't stop me from getting out the door to start the week off in the right way. I put in 6 miles, just a quick out and back, before picking up Meagan at the hotel. We ran to the end/starting point of the Trinity River Trail before turning for the Marriott. The wind was brutal again today as there was no shelter from it along the exposed upper trail. Meagan drafted off me at times until our turn around which we both met with cheer. On top of the wind, it was also hot, at least for late November. The 70 degrees felt much hotter and caused dried sweat to accumulate around my neckline. Oh the glorious state of Texas.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 697:04
Distance: 100.6 miles

I cracked the century mark for the 5th week in a row. I’m now halfway to the longest streak that I’ve put together of 100 mile weeks. It may have only been 8 weeks instead of 10, but either way it’s not feeling like a chore any more. I could have run more a couple of days, but decided to bag the double run due to The Running Event schedule, travel or winter darkness.

This week I’ve also started playing with the idea of running Charlotte’s Thunder Road Marathon again. Nothing has been decided yet and I still need to chat with coach Jeffrey. I figure that I’m in good shape and would be able to hammer solo for a time of 2:22 to 2:23. There is a big gap in the marathon schedule from December 12th to late January which would mean I could recover through the coldest part of the year. Also, I might find training through the rest of the year discouraging not having raced. Even though it’s not my plan to get injured, now is about the time that my Achilles start to act up. The cons are that Thunder Road doesn’t offer prize money, isn’t a lightning fast course, there would be few to no guys running under 2:30. I don’t have much time to decide, but I did fine last year running on short notice.

This week wasn't completely filled with positives. I was hoping to work something out in Austin that would allow me to keep repping Craft and Karhu (KNA). But, luck was not on my side this time and the TGA/KNA relationship could not be salvaged. I had many selfish reasons for wanting to keep KNA’s brands. Those reasons mainly revolved around Meagan being directly employed by Karhu North America.

Craft and Karhu are two brands that I truly believe in. I loved the story behind Craft’s layering principle and knowing Olympic athletes wear the brand while competing. Karhu is the first shoe brand where the designer openly took my feedback. It's also the first footwear brand that I was responsible for managing and growing. I have enjoyed the challenge of getting both brands placed in the Carolinas and wish great success to the stores with Craft and Karhu and KNA as a company. I have also loved seeing Charlotte’s runners starting to rock their pair of Karhus bought at the Charlotte Running Company or sporting a Craft jacket purchased at TrySports. I feel a sense of pride every time I spot one of these local runners. It’s even better when people come up to me at McAlpine, McMullen or a race and say they are going to try a pair of Karhus the next time they need to buy shoes. This last piece has happened numerous times in the last few weeks when the TGA/KNA relationship was on shaky ground.

I now have a ton of shoes and clothes that I’m no longer “required” to wear. I’m still going to train and race in Karhu even though I now have the entire shoe wall to choose from. (I did start running in a Chinese shoe brand this week called Li-Ning because I picked up a free pair in Texas). Since I’m not married to Karhu anymore I’ve thought about starting an obnoxiously critical footwear blog similar to Pitchfork. My goal would be to review shoes in a charismatically pretentious way so as to directly affect the launch or sales of a particular brand or model. I thought things over and this probably wouldn’t be the best way to become associated with the Big Seven (Nike, Asics, Adidas, Mizuno, Brooks, Saucony, New Balance) that can be found in nearly every running store.

So where does this leave the OK Runner? I’m still gainfully employed with TGA and will continue repping Balega socks, Fuel Belt hydration belts, Nuun tablets and Orthaheel sandals. Starting in December TGA will become the first sales agency hired to launch GORE Running Wear (the link takes you to the UK site since a USA site doesn't exist yet). It’s the same GORE brand that licenses GORE-Tex and other great fabrics used by major brands like Asics, Brooks, The North Face and more. Craft even uses GORE-Tex in some of their winter items.

While brands come and go, I will always provide my accounts with great products and exceptional customer service. I appreciate the readers out there for following the blog and perhaps picking something up from Craft or Karhu. I’ll always encourage runners to shop at their local running specialty store where prices might be a little higher but the passion, service and knowledge is unmatched. Meagan will now be the local point person on all things Swedish and Finnish. Keep an eye out for me to be decked out with GORE Running Wear in the near future and the latest and greatest shoes until TGA feels comfortable with re-entering the footwear market.

Meagan Shares TCU

Time: 103:20
Distance: ~14 miles

The run started with 20 minutes of running into the wind. It sucked. It brought back memories of running in Oklahoma. When it's expected or something you experience run after run, you're prepared for the breeze and learn how to run with it. I haven't run in 20 mph winds in ages and it took some time to get comfortable with the constant opposing force. It was also hot. Meagan and I didn't start until 10:30 or so and it was already in the 70s by the time we started. There was very little shade too. Them the breaks.

Meagan took me to a neighborhood bike path and then to the TCU campus. We had a good look around and she showed me some of the spots where she made out with random dudes. The buildings were all really nice and recently redone. However, there weren't many students around. Granted it was a Sunday morning the week before Thanksgiving, but still. It would have been cool to be near campus on a weekend that the best football team in Texas was playing. It's weird typing that TCU is without a doubt the best college football team in Texas.

After the pass through campus we headed back out onto the Trinity River Trail where we proceeded to do some pickups. The run took a turn for the worse around 75 minutes when Meagan started to sound terrible. I pulled the plug, we grabbed some water and then headed back in the direction of our temporary residence. I picked it up the final 20 minutes and ran hard back to the hotel motel.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ft. Worth Bike Path

Time: 33:53
Distance: ~4 miles

This was a simple out and back from the hotel along Ft. Worth's Trinity River Trail. I agreed to tag along with Meagan and boost my daily mileage to ridiculous proportions. The body felt good, but my cold has gotten worse. I'm hoping it stays above the head and doesn't move to my lungs. So far I'm a little achy but nothing that will keep me from putting in the miles unless I start to feel mucus in the lungs.

White Rock Loops

Time 117:43
Distance: ~18 miles
Loop 1: 61:43
Loop 2: 56:00

It wasn't a great day to be out on White Rock Lake, but when you're in Dallas almost necessary to run the rock. It's also one of the few good places to put in miles in Dallas. Meagan and I ran a loop together and recounted our relay team race a few years ago. The wind was blowing good and hard which is normal this time of the year. Mr. Allen Strickland will soon learn what I'm talking about when he comes to Dallas to race.

I dropped Meagan off back at the car and then I ventured out for another loop. I made a quick change in footwear from a pair of Li-Ning's to my Karhu Forward Rides because the low heel vamp was bugging my achilles ever so slightly. I didn't really start picking up the pace until the wind was at my back and then I let it rip. I wasn't running with Mr. Garmin, but my guess is that I was clicking off sub-5:40s during sections. I figured if I were feeling good, to just roll with it and hammer away.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Final Miles on Lady Bird Lake

Time: 72:44
Distance: ~10 miles

Who's been to Austin before? I first visited when I went to run a mile at the Texas Relays and hang out with Owen while he was doing graduate work at UT. It was a fun weekend despite actually missing the race due to weather. He showed me where everyone runs... Town Lake. Everyone calls it that, but the real name is Lady Bird Lake. However, it's not even really a lake, it's a river. It's the Colorado River. Weird right? Well, that's Austin.

This morning Meagan and I got out for two loops from Paul's house around the "lake." A lot of people were getting in their morning workout which is normal. There are always a ton of people running on the trail. Austin is one of the fittest cities in the country and home to countless running stores including: RunTex, Rogue Running, Luke's Locker, 1379 Sports, Hill Country Running, Jack & Adams, and Texas Running Company. Most of the stores can be found within a couple of miles from Town Lake too.

Later in the morning we drove up to Dallas where we visited Luke's Locker at Oaklawn and Plano. Texas is a huge state and despite all the money that can be made repping here, I'm glad that I have North and South Carolina. The drive up to Dallas took for-ev-er. I thought about getting out the door for some more miles but called it a day after checking into the hotel.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Town Lake from Pablo's

Time: 47:48
Distance: ~6 miles

We wrapped up TRE this afternoon and had the rest of the day to mill about. Meagan and I had a big Mexican lunch with the Nuun crew on 6th St. The amount of food left both of us sluggish several hours later when we ventured out for a dark double around Town Lake. By the end of the run I started to feel good in a pair of Li-Ning shoes that I was testing out. The remainder of our evening was spent making a fire back at Pablo's and hanging out with Katie who is the Adidas rep in Texas.

Town Lake with Meagan

Time: 64:38
Distance: ~9 miles

The Running Event yesterday was full of activity that you can read about in Meagan's blog. I won't go into too many details about the day, but I will mention that I wore a tie. I think it's going to become a bit of a tradition because it was one hear ago on the first day of TRE that I was hired with TGA. I interviewed with my boss Paul and the president of Karhu. I was the only person wearing a tie in the entire convention center so I decided to be that guy again. The main reason I wore the tie was to negate the fact that I had a sweet mustache. I figured I had to do something to cancel out the filthy 'stache so I classed it up with a dress shirt and tie.

Yesterday was long and productive. I normally would have gone out with the likes of Keith Kelly of Reebok, Scott Schilter of Nuun or Mike Rouse of K-Swiss, but instead I had an early night with Meagan. Both of us were exhausted after the race and several hours on the expo floor.

In the morning Meagan and I hit up Town Lake for two loops. We saw several familiar faces including Mike Moran of New Balance, Jason Page of Bull City Running and others. It felt good waking up relaxed and fresh for day number two of The Running Event. There wasn't too much that took place on the run but we did notice that Mike was wearing a pair of Hoka One One Hubbles that looked absolutely ridiculous. He said they took away his quad pain during the run though. Good for them.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pancho Villa Runs

Time: 66:34
Distance: ~9.6 miles
Race: 15:22, 4th

W/u: 22:46 for ~2.5 miles
Indie 5k
C/d: 28:28 for ~4 miles

My hopes and dreams for the revolution were crushed this morning when Pancho Villa could only manage a 4th place showing at The Running Event's Indie 5k. Retailers and vendors were on hand to crown the best of the washed up in the running industry. I thought today was going to be my day when I woke up mustache and all, but it wasn't meant to be. The revolution will have to live on elsewhere.

Lee and I were up early and over to Zilker Park by 6:15 am. We didn't know what time the race actually started but knew it was around 7:00 am. It was a pretty relaxed atmosphere as a handful of vendors were setting up tents including Nuun, 2xU, Re-Gen, and more. Meagan arrived soon after and the three of us warmed up around the park. The pace on the warm up was slow and the chats were lighthearted. Lee and I want to start our own apparel company called trAchE (pronounced trash). It would be made out of all recycled goods but of the highest quality that we could scrounge up.

I signed up under Pancho Villa due to my sweet 'stache and got in a few quick strides. While preparing to race I spotted Darren Brown and Kyle Miller (both formerly of UT and now run for Rogue Equipment in Austin) lining up near the front. Also there were Keith Pierce (2:20 marathon and Austin Marathon champ), Jerry Faulkner (2:25 marathoner), Scotty D (2:26 marathoner) and a couple of other guys who looked legit.

The race went off and I found myself in the lead for the first hundred meters. It wasn't that I was running faster, just that I had run the tangent. Darren soon asserted himself at the front and basically ran away from the field while Kyle Miller chased. I looked around and hoped that I could still win the fastest vendor award because the guy in third was definitely not a rep or brand employee (turns out he runs for RunTex).

The course was tough. The first time up the hill put a dose of reality in my legs. I felt labored and didn't know how things were going to play out. Somehow around the 1k mark I felt amazing. I had slipped back into about 6th or 7th, and in my period of feeling great, I took off. It was like I had rocket boosters. Seriously.

I've only experienced the feeling a couple of times in the past and it only lasts a few minutes. I pulled wide and moved up into 5th and then solidly in 4th. I was chasing and closing the gap of 3rd when the sensation wore off. It was only 400 meters of feeling fantastic but it was enough to distance me from some of the other guys.

My mile split was only 5:05 given the early hill, but I picked it up to hit two miles in 10:01. Over the next couple of minutes I could hear another runner slowly approaching. He had monstrously loud footsteps that just slapped the pavement with authority. I couldn't imagine who it could be. I was a bit surprised when on the downhill I was caught and passed by Jerry's Kids. He opened a small gap on me that I would close during the final uphill (the damn hill we had to run up 3 times). At the apex I now had a slight advantage about 600 meters from the finish. I wasn't going to be able to catch 3rd, so I shifted my focus to keeping 4th.

I geared up for any late charge that he may have been planning and took off the final 300 meters missing the 3 mile split but managing to hit the line in about 15:20. Jerry finished two seconds back. Keith was back at 15:28. In terms of the leaders Darren ran 14:49, Kyle 15:05 and third was Lorin Wilson in 15:09. Pancho Villa lost to a dude name Lorin.

I'm pleased with how I ran given that I'm using residual fitness from this summer. I've strictly been logging miles for the past month and like knowing I can still run sub-5:00 for a 5k race in a competitive field. I can also say that after a month of triple digits I'm starting to feel incredibly strong. I think that's why I had superman powers for 400 meters today. The strength is there despite not doing anything particularly fast.

In the end I was screwed out of the vendor award because I don't actually work for any one particular brand. The Genesis Agency writes my check and not Fuel Belt, Nuun, Balega, etc. so the race director/Competitor Group didn't want to give me the credit deserved. I'm not sure why, but I think Meagan was also passed up as they recognized Sarah Bowman as the vendor winner because, you know, New Balance writes her checks. Seems a bit like they're playing favorites to me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lee G FTW

Time: 44:56
Distance: ~5 miles

The day was spent over at the Austin Convention Center setting up various booths for The Running Event. I arrived a little late and helped finish up the Orthaheel booth. Fuel Belt, Nuun, and Balega were also busy putting together their displays when I slipped out with Lee (Chicago) and Kela (Tennessee) to grab some coffee. We had a TGA meeting to get ready after our boss, Paul, got back from visiting with his wood packer. No really. He had to meet up with a guy who was delivering wood for his smoker. How else do you get delicious brisket? You need good wood.

We got fueled up on delicious Starbucks coffee which really is a shame because there are so many great independently owned coffee shops in Austin. Somehow none of us could find on on 6th St., the main bar street that perpetually smells like alcohol and vomit. I'm sure it's fun after a UT football win, but there haven't been many of those this season.

Our meeting was productive as Team TGA is strong and numbers are good. We had some time to kill before the opening cocktail reception in the expo hall so Lee and I decided to go for a run. I mentioned in a post a couple of days ago that despite being "the running event" there is very little time for the actual activity. Lee and I found that time and hit up Town Lake for a few miles. I'm not going to pull punches and I'm not sure if Lee even reads this blog, but he's packed on a few pounds since our first run together a full year ago in Portsmouth, NH. The pace was slow but it allowed me have a good honest discussion with Mr. Greenberg. It also kept me fresh for the biggest 5k race of the year tomorrow morning.

The rest of the night was spent back at the expo where I was the smelly kid. Lee and I tried to shower up back at Paul's but we failed to break in and we didn't have key. I attended the reception smelling something awful and had to venture out to a Mexican dinner with the Nuun and Fuel Belt crew. Scott Schilter selected Guero's which would have been delicious if I had been able to tear into the meats. Instead I ordered a vegetarian dish with chicken so that I would feel heavy in the morning. I don't know about you, but the next morning I feel more than sluggish after a big meal of Mexican food.

It was early to bed after a shower and shave. And by shave, I mean I shaved my chin and left the mess above the upper lip. This means I am rocking a slick Pancho Villa style mustache. I would fit in perfectly with the pitching staff of the World Champion SF Giants. Some, like Meagan, would say mustaches are gross, but I maintain that it's simply a bit of awesome on my face.

Tito Makes Town Lake Miserable

Time: 65:53
Distance: ~9 miles

This post really should start the night before because it explains why I ran so slow and felt so miserable. I left for Austin and arrived to my boss' house mid-shindig. He invited over a bunch of his friends, local retailers, vendors and more. There was a keg out back, a bucket of brisket, a pile of tortillas and all the fixins that any good Texan would provide. I was having a good time chatting with Michael from GORE, Scott & Scott and Tyler from Nuun, Matt who reps Chrome, my colleague Lee and many more. Alistair Cragg's dad was even there! I'd like to say it was the who's who of the running world, but it really wasn't. I'm not that big time... yet.

At some point during the night it was revealed that one of the Scotts from Nuun was celebrating a birthday. This could mean only one thing, invite Tito to the party. And by Tito I mean Tito's Vodka. I've never heard of Tito's Vodka and neither have you. It would be one thing if it were Tito's Tequila, but it wasn't. I guess Tito could be Russian, but in my head he's Mexican. This is where the morning run took a turn for the worse.

When I left the house in the morning for a run I knew that Brooks employees were going to be down on Town Lake playing games and stuff. I ran to their various checkpoints and failed at a couple of their games. I really only stopped to catch my breath, drink water and chat with friends. While I was at the last stop I ran into one of the store owners where I started working in the running game. Tim(b0 Slice) Thompson of OK Runner and I caught and I learned that Jerry's Kids and Scotty D would be in attendance for the Indie 5k tomorrow morning. The ringers were coming to town and I had to get serious about this running thing.

Monday, November 15, 2010

McAlpine Monday with Queens

Time: 107:32
Distance: 16.00 miles
Pace: 6:43
Map

Last night I saw Nelson Mwangi's Facebook post about running at McAlpine. He and some other guys from Queens University were going long and since I wasn't going to be able to double due to travel, I figured it would be best to log some serious morning miles. We met up at Old Bell and ran loops all over the park. The pace was comfortable, but I didn't feel fantastic at any point.

During an early transfer of Mr. Garmin I accidentally hit the split button. See the splits below for how the pace picked up. It was relatively easy until by bathroom break that required me to catch up with a 6:35 mile. That mile also came running over the hill so I was a bit exhausted when I caught back up. The second half of the run is where the good splits should take place and they did.

Splits:
7:30, x:xx, 7:00, 7:04, 6:35, 6:55, 6:52, 7:00, 6:36, 6:29, 6:41, 6:33, 6:30, 6:27, 6:23, 6:00

I felt a little better on the run than I did during yesterday's "long run." I'm hoping to sleep on the flight to the Lone Star State this afternoon and be ready to take the industry by storm come Tuesday. Look out...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 887:46
Distance: 126.03 miles

Nathan Stanford threw down the gauntlet this week in an email that said:

Just got back in from my lunch run which puts me at 110 through 6 days with another 16-20 on tap tomorrow morning to round out the week… Granted the quality is a little lower than what you’re running, but all the same—consider this your challenge, if you choose to accept it.

I should add that this is intended to be all in good fun. Normally I wouldn’t drop such a pansy caveat after a manly challenge, but since you don’t know me very well yet it’s best to explain.

Oh man. I had to step my game up. I don't think I've ever hit 110 miles in 6 days and here was Nathan throwing it in my face. It was on!

I also commend a guy who is a new father to logging that many miles. Impressive stuff considering the time commitment for work, family and then running. (Let's see if Nick Frank is reading... Nick is also a new father and hasn't run a lick in weeks. He went on some "epic" mountain run that absolutely obliterated his quads, hamstrings and immune system. I thought this guy was hardcore, but I guess not).

Anyway, I assumed since the email was sent on Friday and he was already on day six that his week starts on Sunday rather than Monday. This meant that I had the rest of Friday and the weekend to take my week to date mileage total from 81-82 to 130. It would be hard, but possible.

I came up a little short hitting my secondary goal of 130, but I still logged a career weekly high. Nathan also logged 126 so we'll call it a draw. I'm feeling good with all the miles on the legs too. I really only had one bad run this week and it came Sunday out at McAlpine. I intended to put in some more miles to reach my goal, but ended up bagging that plan when the darkness arrived and the refrigerator invited me to have a look.

Next week I hope to log triple digits, but I'll have in Austin, TX working at The Running Event. Meagan and I were chatting that it's ironic that at such an event it's very difficult to find the time to actually run. Go figure...

Garmin Flub or That Bad?

Time: 113:55
Distance: 16.24 miles
Pace: 7:00??
Map

The Garmin royally messed up the splits somehow on this run. I'm not even sure if the time and distance were accurate. Either way I was planning on going 20 miles, but my motivation quickly waned around 10 miles.

I started the run from Old Bell and soon linked up with Caitlin. We ran together for about 7.5 miles with one stop at the main entrance for me to apply coconut butter to my thighs. Yes, you read that correctly. The hippie Chrisman family not only doesn't eat meat, but they don't use Body Glide. Instead they've found that coconut butter works quite nicely to keep the body from chafing. It also smells terrific and I can vouch that the all natural lube works!

We parted ways after a quick 10 minute add on. I think Caitlin's mom was able to snap a couple photos when we ran by. If she did, she'll have spotted Red and Pancho Villa running in Karhu Forward Rides. This guys is currently sporting a filthy 'stache that will be in its full glory next week in Austin, TX. Wait for some what I hope to be great photos.

Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked from what turned out to be a rough one. I ran back to the car and dropped off my jacket which was unnecessary for the warm fall temps. I was at just under 10 miles and hoped that I would see Nathan Stanford out on the dirt when I ventured back to the park. It didn't happen and my run got tougher and tougher. I usually don't get hungry during runs, but I was craving pancakes, eggs and syrup. I couldn't get them out of my head. I've never really bonked on a run where I've been totally, utterly depleted of glycogen, but this was headed that direction. I still managed to run out to the Footlocker Course, loop around around it and run back to the car, but I ended the morning with just over 16 miles.

Splits:
7:43, 7:16, 7:08, 6:57, 6:48, 6:44, 7:01, 7:03, 6:37, 6:29, 6:35, 6:41, 8:40??, 7:25??, 6:29, 6:23

I was glad to be done and hurried home to whip up some flapjacks. They were good.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Caitlin's Return from Costa Rica

Time: 29:23
Distance: ~4 miles

I had a good day of store visits during my time in Charleston. I made the most of the afternoon once I got something to eat at a cool little cafe near the water. I was sure to jump on Facebook and the tracker device to check up on Paul, Jay and Aaron up at Richmond. All three turned in solid performances in the marathon while Allen and Kevin rocked it in the half-marathon.

It was a long drive back to Charlotte and I was losing the drive to put in a double run. I had wanted to run more after the race, but I started to get "workout stomach" and decided to hold off on more miles. When I got home it was refrigerator time. I was in the middle of eating my home version of ramen and a beer when I got a call from Caitlin. I was already planning to pick she and Garrett up from the airport, but Ms. Chrisman was wondering if I would go on a run with her. Hell, why not?

We laced up the shoes around 9:20 pm and found some miles in Elizabeth. It actually felt good to shake out the legs and my stomach wasn't complaining too much either.

I got home around 11:00 pm and fell asleep in front of the tv. I had been up since 3:00 am, put in 19 miles and been in the car for over 6 hours. It was a fun way to spend a Saturday.

Folly Beach 10 Miler Recap

Time: 98:50
Distance: 15.37 miles
Race: 51:35, 1st

W/u: 27:06 for 3.42 miles
Race: 10 Miles with first 3 hard, middle 4 at marathon pace, last 3 hard
C/d: 20:09 for ~2.1 miles

Early this week I put in a call to one of my accounts about coming to visit. I needed to mend a poor start to our business relationship and wanted to see when they would be available to meet. I learned that a race was being hosted in Folly Beach just outside of Charleston this weekend. I was torn between attending the 10 mile race or going to a new event called the Conway Racefest that was doling out prize money. Last night I went on the website only to see that a number of other good runners would be in attendance including Bobby Mack (NC State grad, 14:20s on the road this summer) and Felix Kiboiywo (Auburn, 13th at NCAA xc last fall). There were others and I had no problem pulling a Geb by ducking these athletes.

I was in bed somewhat early and up for the drive to Folly Beach waaay to early. I left Charlotte at 3:30 am for an arrival time of about 7:00 am. I stopped once to grab coffee at Starbucks once I was close and knew that I would be on time. Registration went smoothly and I started my warm up along the course around 7:20 am.

My plan was to run hard for 3 miles, back off the throttle and settle in to marathon pace, and then hopefully throw down the final 3 miles. I wasn't sure how everything was going to work considering the number of miles on the legs (already at 90 for the week), the drive and the colder weather. Everything ended up working great as I felt good executing my race plan.

Splits according to Mr. Garmin:
5:00, 4:59, 5:04, 5:23, 5:24 (25:50 at 5 miles)
5:26, 5:25, 5:15, 5:15, 4:22 for .85 miles (5:10 pace)
51:37 total for 9.85 miles

Splits according to Nike watch and mile markers:
5:03, 4:50 (9:54), 5:04 (14:58), 5:15 (20:13), 5:16 (25:29)
5:29 (30:59), 5:18 (36:17), 5:11 (41:29), 5:02 (46:31), 5:03 (51:35)

When the race started I jumped off the line and was immediately in front. I nearly caught the lead bike too. I pressed into a breeze along a perfectly straight and flat road that was about 1.5 miles long. My split through the mile was solid and there would only be 10 more minutes of struggle before I could settle. After getting through the first couple of turns I had the wind at my back and was able to rattle off some efficient running. I know the course was about 200 meters short and it probably was in the second mile as I split 4:50. There wasn't any way I was running that quick, but it kept me motivated to keep rolling. The third mile marker came and I steadily caught my breath with some easier running.

Around mile three is where the Garmin and mile markers really started deviating. I am wearing my Garmin in a Fuel Belt wrist pocket which doesn't allow me to see the actual screen. I was using my Nike watch as my guide that was being clicked when I came to the course mile markers. I was shocked when miles 4 and 5 went by in 5:15 and 5:16 because they felt so easy, but really I was running closer to 5:25 pace. I came through the first 5 miles on the two loop course right at 25:30 and two of those miles felt like a crawl!

The next mile was physically the toughest. The wind had picked up slightly and I started to think there was a slight grade to the direction we were running. My split according to the Nike showed that I had indeed slowed. But it was to an acceptably relaxed pace that I wanted to run prior to the race. There was one more easy mile of running and then it was go time.

When I hit mile 7, I attempted to grab a cup of water but the hand off from the high schooler was bad. My frustration in dropping the cup meant that I surged hard. When I came to the next mile marker I was grew even more frustrated when my effort was only rewarded with a 5:11. I took off again. I was pleased that I was even able to pick up the pace this late in the race, being way out in front and on tired legs. I pressed all the way to the finish line and crossed around 51:35 several minutes in front of the next runner. Results still aren't posted and won't be available until Monday afternoon.

With some further reflection, I'm really pleased at the race this morning. My training the past few weeks has been solely about miles, pure quantity. Despite the number of miles, I found my legs to be quite responsive to the mind telling them to get rolling. Aerobically I felt amazing and my form seemed much more efficient. I remember at one point during race, I saw my shadow and noticed my arms were positioned correctly leading to proper motion forward. With many more weeks of solid aerobic based training and high mileage, I might start to think running 5:18 pace for 26.2 miles is possible.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dark Double

Time: 59:58
Distance: ~8.6 miles

Man it gets dark early. I didn't get out the door until after the sun had set and really need to think about investing in a headlamp. My eyes adjust fine for most of the run, but during the section along Queens road and Selwyn, I get blinded by cars' lights. I'm always afraid that hit a crack in the sidewalk and end up on my hands and knees like Meagan a few weeks ago.

I managed to not fall, get hit by a car or get lost tonight. A win in my book. More miles. More dirty clothing. Another shower.

Email Questions

Time: 79:25
Distance: ~11.5 miles

Some nice easy miles this morning from the house. I don't feel all that bad after yesterday's triple run. A few days ago, Nathan Stanford sent me a quick email about logging high mileage. His question pertained more toward eating habits and metabolism. I'll post my response with some minor edits:
The miles are definitely being logged these days and I'm feeling good pounding the pavement. I've been a little hungrier the past few weeks, but nothing over the top. While I can run on a full stomach without getting cramps, I choose not to. I like to feel light while I'm out running so I end up going long stretches during the day without a ton of food. I end up hydrated with water, Nuun and coffee much of the afternoon before the second run.

However, I have found myself being much more to eager to have breakfast after my morning run/workout. Usually my breakfast is quite light, but lately it's been more substantial. I've also probably dropped a few pounds since triple digits that I'm actually pleased about. The legs and body feel more taut and efficient.

More specifically, I'm not really concerned with what I eat right now. (I just finished off a bag of Snyder's White Chocolate PB Pretzels). I probably drink too many beers during the week too, but so far it's been working for me. I haven't had any hunger pains at 2:30 in the morning requiring me to eat spoonfuls of mayonnaise a la Bill Rodgers. I've tried to stop eating after 10:00 pm, but that sometimes doesn't work.

I'll be interested to see where the miles put me physically and fitness wise by the end of the year. The longest stretch I've gone of 100+ is 8 or 9 weeks and that was my senior year of college. I hope to be able to duplicate those numbers, but not intensity.
Who else out there has logged consecutive triple digit weeks? What changed in terms of eating, sleeping, etc.? I'm curious...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Three Runs, One Post

This isn't my style, but I'm posting three runs in one post today. It's also not my style to run three times in one day. Seems a bit ridiculous and not very sound when it comes to a time management point of view. However, the schedule today allowed for it and I took advantage.

Time: 64:26
Distance: ~8.6 miles

I ran with Meagan on a medium loop this morning. Her legs were tired and I was content to shuffle since I was awakened too early. She was off to the airport and I was off to drink coffee.

Time: 57:02
Distance: ~7 miles

Before driving to the airport, Tyler gave me a ring about running out at McAlpine. He wanted to take his dog Cerberus out for a few miles. How could I turn down a run with Tyler and Cerberus on Veterans' Day? After a couple store visits to Charlotte Running Company and Inside-Out Sports, we left for the crushed gravel.

I felt better on this run than I did at 6:20 this morning with Meagan. The pace was slow as Cerberus had to be reigned in a couple of times, but it allowed me to stretch out the legs.

Time: 59:09
Distance: 8 miles

I missed the Meetup Group Run from Common Market last week and I won't be around for the next two weeks. It's always a fun excuse to fit in another run, make it a triple and drink a few pints. I showed up early after running a few errands and jogged the course solo prior to everyone showing up. The group started a few minutes late and I was off putting one foot in front of the other again. My pace gradually picked up and I steadily passed several people by the time the run was over. However, I was surprised at how many people finished ahead of me and who must run this as a mini workout.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Meagan's McMullen Workout

Time: 99:33
Distance: 14.57 miles

W/u: 16:28 for 2 miles
W/o: Length of McMullen uptempo, return with 3 x mile with mile rest
C/d: 8:18 for 1 mile

I was sitting at the RFYL Grand Prix Series banquet last night and Tim Rhodes called out Brian McMahon's name for an age group award. It was only then that I realized my tower twin wasn't in attendance and that I wasted a perfectly good applause on the chump. I shot him a text and invited him to meet up at McMullen for a workout in the morning. I've only run at McMullen six or so times, and half of those, I seem to spot B-Mac. It would only be fitting to have him along.

The plan laid out for Meagan was to run hard the length of the greenway followed by some alternating easy/hard miles on the return. It would be a long workout, but I wanted the legs to take a beating versus having the pace taking a toll on the breathing. I hoped she'd be able to handle splits of 6:30 miles considering her recent hour long tempo at McAlpine.

B-Mac, Meagan and I got in an easy 2 mile warm up out and back along the dirt section off Hwy-51. It was nice having another person along though Ms. Nedlo was a bit skeptical at first. That soon all changed when we started and she realized this was going to be a good workout.

Splits according to Mr. Garmin:
6:16, 6:09, 6:07, 6:05, 6:08, 4:49 for .78 miles (6:13 pace). Tempo total of 35:38.
(6:36 for .82 miles), 5:59 for 1 mile, (7:17 for .98 miles), 5:50 for 1 mile, (7:27 for .99 miles) 5:58 for 1 mile
74:47 and 11.57 miles total at 6:27 average.

Splits according to Nike watch and McMullen mile markers:
35:38 on the tempo
(6:35 rest), 5:48, (7:28), 5:48, (7:26), 5:58)

Meagan looked and sounded good throughout the workout. I felt solid playing pacesetter during the uptempo portion. Just look at those splits! Who could have asked for anything more even than that? I'll stop boasting and say the greenway is longer than I remember. I thought it was closer to 5 miles, but turns out it's nearly 6.

Also, should I mention that Meagan ran the legs off of B-Mac after the first hard mile on the return? I hope he continues to join us for workouts this fall and winter. It was a great morning to be out on the greenway as the temperature was nearly ideal. I wish it could resemble this all year long.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Loop with Pezz

Time: 39:17
Distance: ~5.15 miles

Meagan, Pezz and I got in some miles this evening on a newly created loop. While Meagan visited a construction site, I fit in a few long strides along one of the side streets. I wasn't feeling fantastic on tonight's run so I was glad to be finished. We also learned that the loop is definitely a little over 5 miles as Pezz wore her Garmin and it beeped at the top of the hill near our pad. My other "short" loop is a little longer, but this one still works for me.

Logging Miles

Time: 77:17
Distance: ~11.5 miles

I got in a solo morning run on a longer version of my standard Freedom Park or Booty Loop run. I don't know the exact distance, but I do know that I ran a couple of minutes faster than yesterday when I started with Meagan. The run finished today much quicker as I think the final mile was somewhere around 5:50.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lesedi Pub Run

Time: 30:11
Distance: ~4 miles

This evening I had the pleasure of helping out at Fleet Feet Columbia's Lesedi Pub Run. The sock brand that I rep, Balega Sports, fosters a unique relationship between the U.S. and South Africa. Essentially, one of the company's owners had the idea of a high quality sock he wanted to have produced with some of his yarn. Just up the road in Hickory, NC is where Balega is headquartered. The office sits in the heart of the old textile industry which still has ties to the socks, though it is a dwindling industry. While more manufacturing is being outsourced to Asia, Balega's owner traveled the world visiting textile factories capable of making this special sock. He fell in love with one such facility in Cape Town. The owners, workers and product quality all fit the requirements. And that's how Balega's socks came to be produced at the tip of Africa. Well, that's the short version of the story.

Balega does a lot for the community here in the U.S. and in South Africa. One such initiative is the Lesedi Project that was started to help the Ethembeni School. In partnership with Fleet Feet Inc., Balega Sports donates all the proceeds from a special series of socks and beads back to the school. Additional fundraisers are held throughout the year to help the students. The event this evening was one of these efforts to raise money for a playground. Previously, the Lesedi Project helped purchase a bus for the students to travel on field trips.

Fleet Feet Columbia invited its customers to attend a pub run to buy/donate $10 for a pint glass and t-shirt. The money is split between a charity of the store's choice (Girls on the Run) and the Ethembeni School. This was the second event I've done this summer/fall where 40 to 50 people showed up and helped out for a good cause.

Tonight I ran with various people at a nice easy pace through the University of South Carolina campus. There were lots of stairs on the run and even a couple walking bridges. I had no idea where we were in relation to the finish point, but I was able to keep up with everyone. Meagan tagged along too and chatted with everyone. It was a fun way to spend the evening with an account and earn some money for two good causes.

Since I've been talking about Balega so much, it should be mentioned they are in the running for the IRRA Vendor of the Year Award. The Independent Running Retailer Association has recognized four brands for their: product consistency, commitment to specialty run and excellent customer service. The other three vendors are Asics, Brooks and Saucony so it's funny to think that a small company from Hickory, NC and Cape Town, South Africa could walk away with a big honor at next week's The Running Event in Texas.

Weekly Starter

Time: 79:20
Distance: ~11.5 miles

I ran with Meagan this morning for about 6 miles and then we parted ways along the Booty Loop. She ran back to the house while I looped around the 5k section again. The pace started out very comfortably, but I was eventually running some solid splits at the end. What those splits were? I have no idea. I do know that I was clipping along back through Freedom Park and to the house. Mr. Garmin's strap is still broken and it's my hope to have it replaced at The Running Event. We'll see if I can work some magic in the Lone Start State.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Week in Review

Time: 865:09
Distance: 119.61 miles

Now that's what I'm talking about. Managed to put in a lot of miles, visit accounts, get abused on the LetsRun message boards, win a race, follow friends at the NYC Marathon, and watch the LMR guys compete. If that doesn't make a great week then what does? The body is feeling good after logging my third consecutive triple digit week. I felt better running hard on legs that weren't nearly as tired as they were a few weeks ago when I was in the process of my first century week. I couldn't have asked for more from the LMR guys on Saturday. The NYC Marathon capped a fun week of running and traveling. Best sport in the world.

Streaming Run

Time: 57:23
Distance: ~8.6 miles

I'm a blogging machine, but my engine is overheating right now. Too many for one day already. When you run a lot, you have to log a lot of runs. Bad trade off. This is turning into a stream of consciousness post. I felt good on this run. It was getting dark. No deer tonight. Day light savings time makes it dark way too early. I wonder what my miles will total this week? Since I didn't run home from Old Bell this morning, I put in an hour later on after watching the marathon on the intertubes and tv. I also watch some of Marion Jones 30 at 30 special on ESPN. Waste of time so I turned it off and laced up the shoes. Hard not to run a little faster after watching an exciting women's finish and seeing the other Geb pull away in the final mile.

McAlpine Before NYC Marathon

Time: 97:57
Distance: ~14 miles

Meagan and I were a little late getting out the door this morning as I had to deal with some internet shenanigans. We arrived to Old Bell a few minutes late and just missed the group of Charlotte Running Club members. Instead of playing catch up, we ran comfortably to the Footlocker Course while keeping an eye out for the crew. We spotted them as we approached the hairpin and thought if we excluded the hill we might be able to catch them. However, when we got out to the pond they were nowhere in sight. We finished up the back section of the course and then made a pit-stop at the conveniently located bathrooms near the start of the course.

The Richmond Marathon trio of Jay, Aaron and Paul came trotting our direction so we continued back to Old Bell. It was a good chat about the soon to be run NYC Marathon during the two miles back to the parking lot. I think everyone was looking forward to tracking Spada, watching Geb and seeing how Shalane would do in her debut. I grabbed a quick drink at the lot before heading back out with Meagan for some more miles.

We ran the same loop, but tossed in the hill for good measure. We got back to the parking lot for the second time having run over a minute faster with the added distance. I had planned on running back to the house, but when I realized that the marathon was about to start in 10 minutes I bagged that idea. We hopped in the car and hurried home so that I could pull up all the forums, twitter, and live feeds to enable proper running nerd enthusiasm. I even downloaded an iPhone app that allowed me to track the top runners in real time. Somehow my former teammate at Brown, Nick Neely, made the app which meant I could see how much distance he had remaining and could calculate pace. It would have cost me $3.99 to track Spada so unfortunately he didn't make the cut.

Here is a short list of how those I know did at NYC:
Mark Olivier - 2:28:55 (Ran at Columbia)
Kim Smith - 2:29:28 (NZ legend and friend)
Nick Neely - 2:30:46 (Former college teammate)
Alissa McKaig - 2:37:29 (Runs at Zap)
Janeatte Faber - 2:39:41 (Married to volunteer coach when at Brown)
Sally Meyerhoff - 2:41:00 (Sister visited Queens last winter)
Jonathon Pillow - 2:42:43 (Used to race Jonathon in OK)
Stephen Spada - 2:48:17 (Representing the CRC)
Alexandra Brown - 3:04:39 (Ran at Brown)
Val Matena - 3:09:45 (Used to live in Clt)

Congrats to all those who ran. Sorry not to mention others. Good effort by Meb and Ritz. Sorry to see Geb go.

LetsRun Slander

I've finally made it as a runner! My name has been slandered across the LetsRun.com message boards. Oh yea, I'm legit now. The way I see it, I'm now in the same realm as Dathan Ritzenhein, Alan Webb, Galen Rupp, and Alberto Salazar. Next week my Nike contract will be inked which is all being worked out by my agent Ray Flynn. I will soon be taking the running world by storm now that I'm a bonafide running superstar.

In reality, some S(o)B felt the need to seek revenge on the public running forum in a thread entitled "The guy who just won ironman florida ran 2:43." Check it out while you can as I think it will be taken down soon.

I'll highlight some of the gems of the thread...
First post by Cool Guy 505:

not too shabby

bet not a single one of you poser dickhags could do well at an IM...

just sayin
There is some bantering back and forth and then I apparently decide to hype myself...
Tenth post by look me up dickhead:

My name is Jordan Kinley and I ran a 2:27 last year in Oklahoma (a tough course). That being said, 2:43 is f'ing slow.

This would be where, presumably, people start googling my name, find this blog and realize that I'm totally down with bashing triathletes' performances. I love belittling athletes' running times which is why I have chosen to pursue a career in the running industry. There's nothing like connecting with customers than by mocking their times, right?

Anyway, it should be noted that I had two friends compete down at the Florida Ironman. Both John Bruno (10:50 finish) and Ryan Kamp (10:11) were debuting at the Ironman distance and did exceptionally well. It would just be stellar for me to go on and criticize the winner's marathon time on LetsRun.com. Definitely not my style.

The really good stuff doesn't get written until 2:24 am when "STUCK IN THE MUD" decides to stir up the muck once more. He writes writes some incoherent rant about my DNA sucking, crawling up buttholes and coiffures. Given the hour of the post (a) the individual was drunk, came home from a bad night out and had the violent urge to slander my name or (b) the person lives on the west coast and just happened to be up at 11:24 pm to post when he knew most would be sleeping. I'll go for option (b) and make the assumption my poser had just finished shaving his arms and plucking his eyebrows. He's also recently done a google search to figure out the meaning of coiffure.

Again, check out the thread while it lasts...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Even More Miles

Time: 59:14
Distance: ~8.6 miles

I didn't have my partner in crime with me this afternoon so I was able to get in another hour of running. I went out while people were arriving to the bars on Montford. I spent part of my Saturday night running through Freedom Park and the Booty Loop and I enjoyed it very much. Tonight was the second night in a row that I saw deer in or near the park. Last night I saw a buck standing in the lawn of a home in Myers Park while tonight I saw a mother and her fawn in Freedom Park. I can't imagine where they go during the day, but it's weird seeing wildlife at a small park in a city.

I returned from the run to find OU playing and getting beat up on by Texas A&M. They effectively ruined their chances at the BCS title when they failed to score after 10 consecutive plays in the red zone. Meanwhile, TCU was taking it out on Utah to stake their claim at deserving a shot in the title game. The football action was fun to watch, but I was more excited to see the NYC Marathon shake out tomorrow morning.

Dowd YMCA 5k Recap

Time: 103:19
Distance: ~13.1 miles

W/u: 17:05 for ~2 miles
5k Race: 15:26 for 1st
C/d I: 22:19 for ~2 miles
C/d II: 25:10 for ~3 miles
C/d III: 23:19 for ~3 miles

Cold morning here in Charlotte. The temps had to be in the upper 30s when I arrived to the Dowd YMCA for Let Me Run's graduation race. My group of little guys would be competed in their big 5k and I hoped the best for all of them. I hadn't plan to race hard early in the week, but then my co-coach Melissa Bell told me the guys wanted to see me crush it. I came up with a race plan of going out hard for 10 minutes, relaxing for 3 and running hard again for the final 2 mins.

I showed up to the YMCA and there was a little confusion with my entry in the race. We got things worked out and I had an abbreviated warm up around the neighborhoods that he course would be run. I felt better this weekend than I did a couple of weeks ago when I raced twice in one morning. The triple digit mile weeks now feel like a relatively normal occurrence.

I lined up at the front of the race with Let Me Run kids asking me how fast I can run a mile. I diverted their questions to the New Balance rep Mike Moran who has run a 3:43 1500m. He was in attendance as his brand sponsored the race and was giving out shoes for the victory. He wondered why I came to this relatively small race and asked if I was running hard. I told him it was for the little fellas all around.

I shot off the line pretty hard and made the turn onto Morehead well in the lead. I wanted to fly the first mile and felt good racing down the hill. I looked at my watch around the 4:22 mark, but couldn't see a mile marker. I kept pressing and eventually rounded a turn just after the 5:03 mark which is when I realized there wasn't a mile marker or clock so I was just going to have to keep pressing. I struggled for a few blocks heading into Dilworth but tried to keep my foot on the gas. I crossed two miles in 9:47 which was well short of where I wanted to be, but I was fine with it. My lead was substantial and I soon relaxed both physically off the pace and mentally for 3 minutes. It was nice that during those relaxed minutes I crested a hill and it was time to press again for the remaining downhill. I took off just as I hit the final turn and tried to catch the lead bike and police car. The final 400m was all slightly uphill and I crossed the line just under 15:30 to win by over 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

I needed to get warm so I ran to my jacket and then headed back out on the course to shuttle in all the Park Road Montessori Let Me Run guys. First up was Jay who raced to the line in a new PR of 23:15. He was soon followed by triple-C: Craig, Clay and Colin. The others ran strong to the finish with big sprints at the end. The best moment came when Adam came shuffling toward the finish line and all the boys from my group started cheering his name. They even ran out onto the course and helped him the final 100m which got Adam sprinting all the way in. It was fun seeing their enthusiasm and hard work pay off on race day.

All of the jogging back and forth with the guys served as my first cool down. I got in a second one with Mike who was a little bummed with his 18:27, but he still took 3rd. Then I got in a third cool down with Billy and Bjorn because we were all cold after waiting around for the awards. It should be mentioned that Billy ran a great race to place 2nd overall in the Dowd Half-Marathon in a time of 76:08.

I'm pleased with my race considering the miles and lack of workouts. However, today was more about the LMR guys and making the event fun for them. I was glad to run hard and actually show them a good effort. At practice I just shuffle around giving encouragement on tired legs. It was great chatting with other coaches and parents whose children had a fun experience with the best sport in the world.

Splits:
9:47 (2 miles), 5:03 (14:50 at 3 miles), 35.5 for 15:26 finish time.


Park Road Montessori LMR. L-->R: Colin, Garret, Najee, Adam, Zac, Jay, Craig, Ezra, Clay
Who's the creepy dude in the back? (photo courtesy of Laura Meier)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Booty Loop Double

Time: 60:44
Distance: ~8.6 miles

I arrived back in Charlotte with just enough time to have Meagan pick up her car from Pep Boys and drop her off at the airport. The Friday evening traffic was thick so getting out the door for a run was delayed to after dark. I put in a medium loop wearing a pair of tights and jacket for the first time this year. The fall chill has arrived in the South which brings mixed emotions. On the plus side, all the humid, sweaty runs are over, but the freezing temps are right around the corner.

ATT in Bull City

Time: 76:08
Distance: ~10 miles

The morning run took place in Durham again with Meagan and Sarah Swiss. We hit up the paved section of the ATT for about 30 minutes before dropping Sarah off at home. I wasn't feeling fantastic early on, but steadily the body warmed up and I was able to fall into a groove late in the run. Meagan ran strong and stayed right on my hip on the few occasions I tried to drop her.

In the afternoon, before heading back to Charlotte, I got to meet up with Mr. Washburn for a quick lunch near Duke's campus. It was great hearing about the Colbert/Stewart rally that he attended. It wasn't great hearing about his bum knee. However, I think we were both excited to know that Lil' Wayne is free from Rikers and will start dropping albums any day now.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

ATT in Cary

Time: 45:58
Distance: ~6 miles

After a busy day of account visits that included a trip to Performance Inc. HQ, Meagan and I hit up the unpaved section of the ATT near Cary. It is the same trail where I ran the Tobacco Road Marathon and I assume I ran over the same section that we ran this evening. I didn't recognize much as I believe the section was near miles 10 to 13 which was a blur on race day. The trail is ideal for long tempo runs and marathon based efforts. Charlotte desperately needs the surface and length here which is apparently under works. However, I will be a masters runner by the time all the creeks and bike paths are linked up so it won't do me any good.

My original plan was to drop Meagan off at the parking lot when we hit 6 miles and I would continue on for another 4 miles. When we got back to the lot all the other vehicles were gone and the bathrooms were already locked. A message read, "doors will automatically lock 15 minutes before park closing." Great. The ATT is seriously prompt. I was a little nervous to leave my car in the lot for 30 minutes beyond closing time, so I opted to just call it a day. I'll have to run long tomorrow, but that's better than spending the night in a parking lot.