Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week In Review

Time: 671:47
Distance: 152.33k

I got a little carried away being in "neener-neener" weather. Whatevah.

I was feeling good as a result of the dry air and the familiar trails. I know that it is not realistic to maintain these numbers once I return to Charlotte, but it definitely was a nice change of pace. I am definitely pleased at where I am in terms of my comeback, though there is a ton of work to be done. I hope to continue to log kilometers and introduce some workouts in August. I am waiting on a training plan from my former teammate at Brown, Jeff Gaudette, who now operates an online training service called Premier Coaching Online.

I used June to very slowly get back into putting time on the feet. The only goal was to run healthy again. July was dedicated to building some distance and some fitness without worrying about having to do workouts. August will be focused on getting back into race shape. During September I'll start to race again. October and November... who knows?

...And MRN says I don't like to plan in advance. That'll teach her.

To the Top

Time: 108:40
Distance: 25.02k
Pace: 4:20

The Sunday long run. It's a staple in every runner's workout schedule and I remember some classic long runs with some good Santa Rosa runners over the years. I didn't have anyone to run with today, but I was committed to running up Marsh Trail which is one helluva climb. My former high school teammate Steve Laurie and I would occasionally run to the top via Marsh when we were younger.

I started from my mom's place and headed to Howarth Park over to Annadel. The run starts the exact same way as most of the I've been doing this week, except when you get to the top of Canyon Trail, you turn right and head farther up Marsh. Being a Sunday, there were quite a few mountain bikers and trail runners on the trail ahead of me in both directions. I scampered past them with a little acknowledgement of the hand.

For stat purposes, at the 5k mark the elevation was 100m and by the 12k mark I was at 424m. It's a long steady and relentless climb to the top which levels out slightly in a few places. It really is a great trail and I wish there were something remotely similar in Charlotte, but I haven't found it yet. Maybe Crowders or Kings Mountain, but that requires a decent drive which I'm not into for running.

I contemplated running back on Warren Richardson, but opted to visit Lake Ilsanjo and descend via Canyon. It was a bit of a lame tactic, but I really didn't want to extend my kilometers any more than necessary. The final 30 minutes were run at a good tempo and I got back to the house feeling like I had put in a great week of training. All I need to do is duplicate this sort of effort for 10-20 weeks and I'll be in good form.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rough Go to Lake Ilsanjo

Time: 86:24
Distance: 20.22
Pace: 4:16

After yesterday's struggles during the 200s, I felt really good on today's run. I would like to be able to pinpoint the cause of why I felt so nice, but it may have just been one of "those" days.

Last night my mom and I surprised some friends that we hadn't seen in quite some time. It was over Facebook that my mom was contacted and invited to a neighborhood bbq that we attended. The husband of the couple didn't know that we were coming and he's a big time jokester. I had to come up with something clever on the spot to grab his attention. The best I could do was angrily ask if, "that was his dog over there?" He turned apologetically before realizing it was me and gave me a big hug. The reason I bring this up is because his wife told me one of her favorite trails in Annadel is Rough Go.

Rough Go is a great trail, but it's exactly how it's named. She mentioned that she sometimes does a fartlek up it which really intrigued me. She got me interested in venturing up Rough Go on my next run in Annadel which was today. It had been several years since I ran the trail that is always a challenge to run up or down. In today's run, I hit Rough Go at about 4.8k where the elevation is 112m. By the time I hit the top of the climb, I was at 258m and had only traveled just over 7k in distance. I had to find a certain exertion point and maintain a steady clip on the ascent so as to not redline and completely falter.

Once I crested the top I quickly found a rhythm and was splitting some faster kilometers. At one point I was certain Mr. Garmin was being mischievous as I didn't run slower than 4:16/k from 8k through the end of the run: 4:16, 4:04, 4:09, 3:58, 4:05, 3:59, 3:44, 3:44, 3:48, 3:44, 4:05, 3:48, 3:42. Here is your metric lesson of the day, 3:45/k is 6:00/mile pace.

I ended the run with some dude named Jacob who came sprinting up from behind. We ran the final 3k together and chatted a little about Santa Rosa running. He is new to the area and is an English teacher at Slater Middle School. I attended Slater and probably set some records that might stand to this day. Sara Bei (Hall) #namedrop also attended Slater and used to race in the boys distance events. I was the only one who could beat her too. It was a good way to end the run, though a little annoying to get caught from behind and listen to Jacob struggle to keep up and hold a conversation. He was not invited to my Sunday long run. #elitist #thisisnottwitter

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tired 200s

Time: 79:32
Distance: 17.51k

W/u: 37:21 for 8.08k
W/o: 10 x 200 (200 jog)
C/d: 25:32 for 5.43k

I helped move some of my mom's stuff to her new place and didn't get out the door to go running until the afternoon. None of the furniture was that heavy, but some of it was awkward to carry. After having recovered mostly from a week of hilly running, I wanted to get back on the track to run some light 200s. It didn't go so well for whatever reason. The mileage has been higher, I've been a little stressed and not getting as much sleep and I helped move stuff this morning. Those are my excuses for not running fast. I had intended to run 20 x 200, but after failing to get my legs rolling, I stopped at 10.

(52.76) 36.58, (56.50) 35.28, (54.50) 34.30, (55.52) 34.30, (56.78) 34.50,
(59.52) 33.08, (55.30) 33.55, (56.37) 33.13, (56.82) 32.92, (55.08) 32.79 for 14.59 and 4k total.

How is that for unimpressive? I started with a 36 and followed that up with a 35. Fortunately, my last 5 splits were halfway respectable and I felt 33s and 32s were no more difficult. I could have continued to get to 20, but I was seeing the splits I wanted. My lungs were fine, the legs just would go. I packed it in and geared up for another day.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Double Run Home

Time: 29:27
Distance: 6.58k
Pace: 4:28

My mom and I went to the Starbucks in Bennett Valley this evening to jump on our computers. I had a little work to get caught up on and she has taken a liking to liking anything I do on Facebook. It's awesome. Unfortunately, the shop only stayed open until 7 pm at which point we were asked leave by a former classmate of mine from elementary school. I vaguely remember her, but she is getting married in a month.

Once leaving I slipped on my shoes and opted to run home. I was looking to get in some extra distance and I figured it would be about 6k home. I was a little off in my estimate and I had to add on through Howarth Park which only allowed me to catch up with Greg Fogg. I actually saw Coach Fogg on my run this morning helping one of his athletes at Maria Carrillo with a tempo run. Greg is the co-owner to my high school coach's running store in Santa Rosa. I told him about the items I left and said I had a few more for him to put in the school's trophy case.

It was good to shake out the legs this evening on a flat surface. I didn't have to climb or brake on any descent which has made my quads really sore. By the time my body is adjusted to the California terrain it will be time for me to head home.

Taken for Granted

Time: 86:43
Distance: 20.01
Pace: 4:20

I basically ran the same loop as yesterday but I felt much better this morning. I'm not sure if it was I was properly caffeinated at Starbucks or if I just got a better sleep. On the run this morning I recognized how lucky I was to have grown up running on these trails. It's what made me good as a youth runner. It's what makes the best runners in Santa Rosa great and the average ones better than most. It's no wonder that Santa Rosa has consistently produced talented cross country and track athletes over the years. I also wondered how it was possible for some runners to be so bad having the same access to the park as everyone else.

I didn't have a single kilometer run over 5:00 minutes (8:00/mile pace) which includes the hills. I have discovered that looking on the elevation profile on Garmin's website doesn't do the hills justice as everything is in the metric system. The elevation at 5.01k is 109m and at 8.07k it's 234m. That doesn't seem like much of a climb until you make the conversion or if you're familiar with meters. It's roughly climbing 100 feet per kilometer which is tougher than 100 feet per mile that is often used as a toughness guide. The elevation chart also appears weaker due to the metric system which I don't like.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Running a Classic

Time: 91:28
Distance: 20.25k
Pace: 4:31

I was up early and off to another coffee shop this morning to find the internet and some caffeine. I opted for a relatively new donut shop near Howarth Park that I'd never been to. I wasn't a fan as the old time behind the counter was beyond deaf. I thought the place had potential, but then the refills were limited to one per customer and I was quickly becoming disgruntled. I did purchase a cinnamon roll and ate it later in the day during a lapse in healthy judgement. Whatever, I used to be a member of the "Friday morning fritter crew" while living in Norman, OK. Scotty D would appreciate my choice.

Isn't this blog about running? Oh yea. I should post about my run and not donuts and coffee, though there is potential there for another blog.

I ran an absolute classic loop this morning that is known throughout Santa Rosa. It usually starts at Howarth Park, but I get to add on a bit by beginning from my mom's. The loop goes up Canyon Trail, around Lake Ilsanjo and back down either Spring Creek Trail or Canyon Trail. I opted for the longer distance of the same way I ascended because I'm trying to run 20k in the morning.

On my way to the base of the hill I spotted a fit looking runner across the creek and I was pretty sure it was Julia Stamps. I kept running and soon ran past a blonde woman with her daughter. It was only after I was a few steps beyond them when I realized it was Nika Horn. I hadn't seen her in several years and she definitely didn't recognize me. The last time I saw her she was probably pushing her daughter, the one that was running alongside her, in a babyjogger. Nika was one of the first, if not the first, great female distance runners to come out of Santa Rosa or Sonoma County.

I was just within an earshot of Nika to hear her say, "Hi, Jules.' It confirmed that the woman earlier was in fact Julia Stamps who is probably one of the most talented high school runners to date. I could rattle off stats, but you should just look her up and see her accomplishments. She now has two kids and is back living in Santa Rosa. Julia is still competitive and recently placed second at the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon in 1:18.27. She was coached by Danny Aldridge who was also my high school coach. Danny's daughter, Jenny, was also a great high school runner who won the state 1600m in 4:49 defeating Sara Bei (now Hall). How is that for some Santa Rosa name dropping and boring stories of glory days?

I continued on my run and crossed paths with Julia up at the lake twice, but I'm positive she didn't recognize me. The pace on this run never really got going as my legs are still shot from being back on the hills. I've tried giving myself massages at night, but without a roller I've struggled to keep the legs really fresh. I had a good time being back in the park running a loop that I've done hundreds of times before. I forget how lucky I was to get my start running on some of the best trails in the country. People talk about the trails in Portland, Eugene, Boulder, Flagstaff, but Santa Rosa still has some of the best in my opinion.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Double Run to Clear the Mind

Time: 28:35
Distance: 5.66k
Pace: 5:03

Physically I didn't feel like running this evening, but emotionally I needed it. I'm helping to move my mom out of the condo she's live in for about 9 years. We have thrown away lots of stuff, gone through a lot of memories in the form of photos and given away many possessions. I boxed up a bunch of my old running memorabilia and took it to Heart & Sole Sports that my high school coach co-owns. I dropped it off and said he and the store are welcome to it. I would love to see some of the pictures hung, medals given away or displayed and posters displayed. I have little use for them and I don't want to burden my mom with carting them around.

When I called it a day from moving stuff, I put on the shoes and ran along the creek near the condo complex. I used to run there a lot on morning runs because it was close and flat. I used to run really hard along that creek in the pitch black before school knowing I was putting in the miles and my competitors were sleeping. This evening was much different as my legs were shot from the 37k of hills that left me exhausted. However, it was good to shake the legs out and I felt better both physically and emotionally afterward.

Back to My Roots

Time: 78:31
Distance: 18.07k
Pace: 4:20

My mom picked me up at the Carneros Inn last night and we headed back to Santa Rosa. I was up early because I still think that I'm on the lovely east coast. Since my mom currently doesn't have the internet set up, I was off to find a Starbucks. The one I usually frequent on my visits home is under construction which I think calls for a sternly worded letter for making it incredibly inconvenient for me to be productive in an efficient manner.

It all worked out as I found a good spot in Bennett Valley a few miles from home. I got a bunch of work done before lacing up the shoes and heading off for the hills. I entered Annadel State Park from the Parktrail entrance and ran up Canyon Trail to Lake Ilsanjo. It was great to be up at the top of the lake again and brought back memories from high school and training during the summers when I was home from Brown University.

I was incredibly sore from the run in San Rafael which I think was due to the descents. I was fine climbing up the hills but my quads screamed running back down Canyon. If you look at the elevation profile of this run, it looks like a large plateau. A long gradual ascent, flat middle section and long gradual descent back to the neighborhoods below.

I was hoping to get 20k worth of work, but ended up calling it a morning at the 18k mark. I didn't feel like finding 2k back near the Starbucks so I called it.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Time: 82:27
Distance: 19.01k
Pace: 4:20

Here is the obligatory neener-neener post where I get to brag about how nice the weather is in California and sucks where you live (unless you live in California). I actually despise it when bloggers do that because, frankly, I don't care. My dad likes to boast about the San Diego weather all the time so I just reiterate the fact that he's a wuss.

Yes, I'm in California. Yes, the weather here is nice. Yes, I went on an amazing run this morning in San Rafael. Was it the best run in the whole world? No.

The most remarkable thing about today's run was the climb. I haven't climbed like this is months. I started out from the Four Points Sheraton where I was staying for the Orthaheel sandal sales conference and ventured off to the Sleepy Hollow Open Space Reserve. It wasn't as scary as it might sound. I found the area on my phone and it looked like there might be some trails up in them hills (didn't find any gold).

I was happy to be back on California dirt running up in the hills, but my legs are not used to the 10+ minute sections of straight climbing. I rarely tell my audience to check out the Garmin map, but please do so. Look at the elevation profile for the run. It wasn't quite as extreme as The Bear, however, I did manage to climb from essentially sea level to 273m in less than 4k. I ended up utilizing most of the trails and then popped out on the roads for the last half of the run which I did through some of the neighborhoods.

I made it back to the hotel just in time to watch the Harley-Davidson convention leave the hotel and have them gawk at my sweet shorts. I grabbed a quick breakfast and was off to meetings all day about how Orthaheel is going to take over the sandal world in 2012.

The evening ended with a dinner at the Carneros Inn out in Napa. Yes, it was nice. Yes, the views were amazing. Yes, the food was delicious.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Week In Review

Time: 493:04
Distance: 106.86k

I didn't intend for this to be a down week, but that's just how it ended up given the travel and weather. I wasn't going to push the limit as I'm not in great shape and the heat only makes that more apparent. It is probably a good thing to back off as the last two week have brought 133k and 112k. I'll be able to log some good runs out in California where I'll be attending the Orthaheel sales conference and checking out the Spring/Summer 2012 collection and then traveling farther north to spend time with my mom in Santa Rosa helping her move.

My shin seems to get getting better and hasn't been quite as sore to the touch. I still feel it a little, but it becomes less of a worry each day.

Charlotte Long Run

Time: 78:56
Distance: 17.76k
Pace: 4:26

Since I got home relatively late last night I wasn't up for meeting people to run at McMullen or McAlpine. I went out to run a little later than planned as I was packing up for my trip out to California. The run was uneventful, but I was happy with it. I managed the heat pretty well today and never felt like I was overheating as I did on a couple of runs earlier this week.

Upon returning home I had to rush to get some clothes washed and hurry off to the airport. Or so I thought. As I was walking through security I got an automated voice call that informed me my flight was canceled. I would be booked on a flight leaving at 7 pm for an arrival at SFO at midnight. Thanks Delta. After getting someone on the phone, I was rebooked on a flight at 5:30 pm which meant I could have Meagan come get me from the airport. I spent three relaxed hours at home before returning to the airport and leaving for the west coast.

Just before leaving the house I texted my family in Cincinnati saying I had a 2 hour layover in the evening. They were able to make the drive down and, despite the visit being short, it was great.

Big bro and lil' sis.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Long Day on the Road

Time: 50:03
Distance: 11.01k
Pace: 4:32

Today was busy, busy, busy. I was lucky to have the energy to even run, but I was somewhat inspired by the runners completing 50 miles in the Hilton Head heat.

I was up foolishly early in order to get to Evans, GA for a hydration clinic with Fleet Feet North Augusta. I was on the road a little after 4 am to get to the event by about 7. The drive actually went smoothly and I didn't struggle too much to keep the ol' eyelids open. I gave a clinic to about4o individuals and sampled a ton of Nuun to everyone. I think we actually ran out of product from my bottles which rarely happens.

I was back on the road destined for Hilton Head, SC by about 9 am. The route I took brought me through the Savannah River Site. At the time I didn't know I was driving through a nuclear facility, but did take notice of the "do not stop, except for emergencies" sign. There was a good 30 mile stretch where everything felt a little different. I don't know if it was the vibe put off by the sheer power of what takes place there or the radiation. Either way I survived without growing or losing any limbs.

I arrived in Hilton Head around noon and rolled up to Rockfish Bikes where I immediately filled a Nuun cooler for the athletes. Since I was arriving late, the relay teams had already come by, but I only had to wait about 20 minutes before the first solo competitor arrived. He was at mile 35 and looking awesome. In fact, he was wearing a FuelBelt Revenge Belt so I should have known this guy would win. Just as he was getting ready to leave the check in point/water station, his wife asked him what else he needed. He responded with, "beer." She was a little taken aback but he insisted, "I'm at mile 35, it's 96 degrees, I'm winning. I want a beer." She went and got him one from the car.

I cheered all of the runners through the 35 mile water stop including Tim Waz who is the co-owner of the Palmetto Running Company and the loony who decided to organize a 50 mile race the third week of July in Hilton Head. The Cremator Ultra 50 was what he came up with. During the interim I visited a couple of my other accounts in town to drop off the new Balega catalog and then I headed over to the last check in station and eventually the finish line. I couldn't believe that these guys had been out on a three loop course in the middle of summer running 50 miles. I wanted no part of it, but I did want/need to get in a run.

I laced up the shoes and ventured out for 50 minutes. That was all I could handle. I was tired from the early wake up call and drained from driving all day. I was happy to get in some time on the feet and even happier to call it a day. I was back on the road destined for home by 7 pm for an ETA of 10:30 pm. Loooong day.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Slam Dunked

Time: 48:37
Distance: 10.35k
Pace: 4:41

I headed out the door looking for 15k as that is becoming my standard morning distance, but just as I popped up on the Booty Loop, I started feeling terrible. The heat and humidity have been treacherous and I wasn't going to make this run any more of a struggle. I opted to shorten the run and head home for a jump in the pool.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Real Athletes with James Haycraft

Time: 49:06
Distance: 9.00k

W/u: 25:25 for 5.35k
W/o: 6 x 300m w/ (200m jog)
C/d: 14:07 for 2.75k

Meagan and I were hanging out at Inside-Out Sports much of the day giving James a hard time. He recently placed 3rd in the Stumpy Creek Olympic Distance and somehow managed to win the Stumpy Creek spring the following day. Congrats to him.

I learned that he's been doing many of his run on the treadmill because he's a triathlete and zero tolerance for pain. Meagan and I invited him to join us on a run this evening but he was supposed to do a light workout. I wasn't going to accept any excuse for him to back out so I said I would run with him. He was over at our place right at 6:15 pm and we were off to the AG.

We ran just over 5k as a warm up and then went straight into the pickups on the backstretch.

56 (58), 55 (59), 53 (62), 54 (62), 52 (64), 49

My legs were tired but loose from the heat so I was able to rattle off these splits feeling fairly comfortable. I was never really straining and just tried to find a rhythm to click off a quicker pace. James hung tough, but was no match for this real athlete. Meagan watched in amazement while she did drills and strides. She just wishes one day she could be as fast, chiseled and arrogant as us.

Old Faithful

Time: 62:06
Distance: 13.58k
Pace: 4:34

If you need to get in touch with Meagan or me during the week, you're almost certain to find us between Freedom Park and the Booty Loop in the morning. The run was fine from what I can recall of it. I have done the loop so many times that they all sorta run together.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Columns Drive

Time: 68:16
Distance: 15.06k
Pace: 4:32

Meagan is back at it today and joined me on the run at the trails. It was hot again and we were soaked with sweat by the time we reached the dirt. Starting out and ending along Columns Drive was nice as it was a good way to have the pace start/end faster. Pavement used to be my downfall in high school and college, but now it's become my race surface. I've hardened my bones and muscles to accept the impact.

I should note that Columns Dr. is only about 3k in distance each way, but that doesn't deter rookie cyclists from riding back and forth along the flat stretch of road. We must have passed and been passed by the same group of old timers three or four times. If you have ever run with me out at McMullen, then you know I get pissed at the cyclists riding their cheap hybrids along a two mile stretch.

I didn't feel great on the run, but a little better than yesterday. I'm still just looking to put time in and grab small fitness gains.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chattahoochee River Run

Time: 68:00
Distance: 15.10k
Pace: 4:30

Meagan and I traveled to Atlanta yesterday for separate but similar reasons. She is preparing for meetings with Big Peach Running Co. and I was off to introduce myself to a couple retailers I think would be a good fit for Gore Running Wear. Since Meagan is taking a down week (*gasp) and a day off today (*double gasp), I was off to the river on my own. I initially parked on the North Riverside but found the trail un-runnable for what I was trying to accomplish (not twisting an ankle or getting scraped by overgrown branches).

After running about 5k, I returned to the parking lot and drove up Columns Dr. where the houses are the size of castles. I had never parked on this side of the trail, but had run past the parking lot numerous time. I was back on the familiar crushed gravel where everyone who's anyone comes to run at least twice a week. There were a ton of high schoolers out getting in summer mileage and dozens of parents walking with dogs.

I wasn't feeling great due to the heat when some kid came flying past me which only crushed my spirits. I had no response for a jogger war and just let him run off. Perhaps tomorrow I'll feel refreshed and ready to challenge the youngsters.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Garmin Annoyance

Time: ~65 minutes
Distance: ~15k

I should have posted this immediately following this run because now I forget the total time and the absolute obnoxious beep that I had to put up with. I had some really good zingers that I would have blasted our satellite friends with. Now, the emotions have ceased and I have cooled off.

I charged Mr. Garmin prior to leaving the house be he still decided to die around the 30 minute mark. He didn't actually die, but glitched with a blank screen and an annoying beep every 8 seconds. I ran the remaining 9 kilometers listening to a beep every few strides. I wanted to take the watch off and slam it against the sidewalk, but I thought that would be a total waste of money.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week in Review

Time: 606:10
Distance: 133.62k

I got in a respectable week of training for the first time in many many months. I have some minor aches and pains here and there, but have enjoyed putting in the time. My upper left hamstring and adductors are still holding me back from doing the really tough stuff which is probably good because my overall fitness is not very high. My right shin is still sore, but not all that bad.

Next week will be more of the same. No real workouts but maybe some long strides on the track. I am sorta itching to run some 400s (cut some shapes), but I'll have to see if travel and work allows for it.

Salem Lake Long Run

Time: 122:10
Distance: 26.21k
Pace: 4:39

Meagan and I were graciously hosted by Rich Brandon who works at Fleet Feet Winston-Salem. He and I stayed up way too late sipping lime/cucumber vodka tonics which meant we were not going to be at Salem Lake at 7:30 am.

When we finally headed out the door it was about 9:30 am and the weather was pretty ideal for North Carolina in July. The clouds were out and blocking the sun, but it was still a little humid. We ran from downtown Winston-Salem, through Old Town over to a bike bath that goes directly to Salem Lake. Once at Salem Lake we ran once around and then headed back home.

Rich misjudged the distance on how long it took to get to the lake which meant my 13 mile run turned into a 16+ or however many 26.21k is. I was tired but feeling good at the end of 2 hours of running. Meagan, Rich and I had some good conversations out on the run which made the distance not seem so daunting.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Beat the Heat 5k Watching

Time: 56:48
Distance: 12.05k

Pre-5k: 35:58 for 8.01k
Post 5k: 20:50 for 4.04k

Meagan and I traveled to Winston-Salem a few hours early to hang out at Fleet Feet Winston-Salem. They are a top account of mine and they also carry Craft apparel. We were both able to chat with staff and be around customers most of the afternoon. Once we left the store we headed over to the start of the race to pick up Meagan's packet and t-shirt. It was an awful neon green Hanes number that Michael Jordan wouldn't wear. We had about an hour to kill before she started her warm up so we looked for friends as they started to arrive including: Heather Magill, Caitlin, Thomas, Matt, John, Bobby Mack, Ryan Woods, Joe Moore, Devin Swann and others.

I started the warm up with Ryan Woods and Scott who is originally from Charlotte. We ran the back half of the course as preview and then found some extra miles. They were done after about 15 minutes so I continued on by myself around the parking lot until I got to 8k. It was great weather considering the time of year and the course was an honest one.

During the actual race I got to see the leaders and lead women three or four times. Meagan didn't have the best of races, Caitlin ran strong and Bobby killed it. He set a course record by a couple of seconds to finish in 14:15. He certainly should go after Scott Dvorak's state record of 14:08 soon.

After the race I jogged around with Bobby, Scott, Ryan, Devin and Joe. It was fun hearing about the race, but I wish I could have been out there. It will happen soon once I'm in a little better shape so I don't get my doors blown off by a field like tonight.

Run to RFYL

Time: 49:24
Distance: ~11k

Mr. Garmin's battery life is pathetic right now which doesn't make any sense because I had it repaired a few weeks ago. They sent me a new watch, but I've noticed I can run for maybe 3 hours total before the battery starts getting under 20%. When I first got the watch I could run close to 8 hours before even thinking about charging the watch.

I had intentions of getting up to watch the Dilworth 4 Miler but that just didn't happen. Instead I rolled over to Run For Your Life around 10 am to hang out with Brooks Guru, Sarah Swiss. It looked fairly busy, but there were no signs of a race being held a few hours prior. The break down must have been quick!

I added on a little longer on the way back to bring my total to just over 10k. I'll be running a bit more at Beat the Heat tonight so I was just looking to get in some easy time on the feet. My right shin was a little sore today after being on the track.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Medium Loop

Time: 65:23
Distance: 13.79k
Pace: 4:44

Meagan and I got in a Medium Loop together and got to catch up on our week. She just got back from traveling with the new rep in Texas where it was hotter than Hades. My calves are feeling a bit tight from the 2 days on the track. I continue to do calf exercises to strengthen my right shin and try to Muscletrac as much as possible.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Myers Park 200s

Time: 69:00
Distance: 15.70k

W/u: 36:57 for 8.19k
W/o: 10 x 200m w/ 200 jog
C/d: 17:25 for 3.51k

I left the house a little earlier than usual as I had an event with Omega Sports later in the evening. I felt like duplicating the workout I did on Tuesday since the weather was much nicer. The temps were about 20 degrees cooler with less humidity and a much lower dew point. I knew I was going to run faster, but I wasn't sure how I would feel after a relatively short rest period. The workout really isn't that long and I can always fake 200s.

(54.26) 35.08, (54.74) 33.38, (53.94) 32.43, (56.10) 32.51, (53.90) 31.95,
(55.52) 32.83, (54.62) 32.30, (56.08) 32.65, (56.35) 32.30, (55.45) 31.61
14:38 total for 4k (3:35 average)

The splits and workout went better than expected. I kept the rest well under 60 seconds and my 200s were respectable. I started a little slow because I didn't do any strides. The Myers Park HS track was unlocked as maintenance was weed whacking the perimeter. I was a little worried after dropping a 35, but then things started to click. I ran relaxed 32s and 33s for the remainder of the intervals.

Real Athletes Run

Time: 39:02
Distance: 8.49k
Pace: 4:35

While watching the Tour de France this morning I shot a short text to real athlete James Haycraft. He has returned from a 2 week training camp in Santa Barbara, CA. Calling it a training camp is probably downgrading it too much as he was on the beach, in the mountains, soaking up the sun and free from humidity. I think training resort is more appropriate.

We ran a short loop through Freedom Park together catching up a bit. He somehow missed the USA vs. Brazil match in the Women's World Cup and I had to recap all the scoring details. I would expect a communist state like California to require all members within it's borders to watch any and all soccer matches. What is that state coming to!?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Running With Red

Time: 68:55
Distance: 15.35k
Pace: 4:29

I ran with Caitlin this morning at an hour that I would rather being sitting at my desk drinking coffee and doing work. We linked up in Freedom Park and continued on the Booty Loop where it looks like they are still doing construction on parts of the Queens Road West. Hopefully they will be finished in time for 24 Hours of Booty which comes up in a few weeks. I think this was similar to last year when they put in bike lanes on Selwyn right around the weekend of the event.

This leads me to ask, is it just me or does Myers Park/Booty Loop living residents get preferential treatment when it comes to city construction projects? It seems that any time a tree falls, a road develops a crack, a sewer line bursts, etc., the city crews are out there to fix it in a matter of days if not hours. The roads are always perfect and maybe they should be since I'm sure you pay out the ass in taxes to live in that neighborhood. However, there are certainly parts of Charlotte that are constantly overlooked when it comes to maintaining roads (i.e. Independence Blvd, Wilkinson).

I felt decent on this morning's run, but the weather isn't much better than yesterday, if at all. I am taking my 15k and hydrating the rest of the day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Back on the Track (Sorta)

Time: 68:59
Distance: 15.57k

W/u: 36:57 for 8.27k
W/o: 2 sets of 5 x 200 (200 jog)
C/d: 15:21 for 3.01k

I wasn't motivated to get out the door this morning with the heat and humidity that awaited me. Instead I holed up inside doing work all day. Eventually it came time to get in some kilometers and to hold myself accountable I tweeted that I would be doing some 200m strides on the AG track. I should also mention that today was perhaps the hottest day of the year so I busted out a new Revenge 2 Bottle Belt, filled it with cold water and headed out the door. I have run with many FuelBelt products in the past, but mostly handhelds. It was about time that I actually ran with a FuelBelt to see how they perform other than just jogging around a store to demonstrate the fit. I was quite impressed that the belt didn't alter my stride at all or bounce around.

I took a long 8k warm up sipping on water the entire way to the Alexander Graham Middle School track. I was delighted to see others out there working out: Thomas, Michelle, Carolyn, Paul Martino, Jamaar and Christi. They were all doing lengthy intervals that I wanted no part of in this heat. Last summer I struggled to do any workout when the interval length was over 3 minutes. Since I'm out of shape and it's hot I kept the workout to some longer strides of 200m.

(51.64) 34.60, (59.27) 34.16, (59.52) 33.22, (61.40) 33.30, (61.23) 34.55,
(1:56) 34.48, (60.40) 34.27, (62.14) 33.26, (65.08) 33.27, 66.28) 32.50
16:41 total for 4.29k

I had originally planned to run 10 consecutive intervals but the heat was just too much. I took a longer rest in the middle to grab some water and cool off. It was good to turn the legs over for the first time in several weeks. The pace wasn't all that impressive but I was running very relaxed lifting the knees. I know where I'm at and where I want to be in the coming months.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bonk Monday

Time: 66:29
Distance: 15.46k
Pace: 4:17

Let's start with the individual k splits for todays run:
4:49 - a little quicker out the door than usual
4:24 - body must be warmed up already
4:22 - settling into a rhythm
4:19 - not trying to run any faster
4:26 - must have run up a hill
4:05 - must have run down a hill
4:12 - settling back into a nice pace
4:06 - just maintaining
4:03 - maintaining pace but starting to get hot
4:10 - starting second loop of Booty. Definitely hot
4:04 - trying to just keep it together after stopping for water
4:14 - signs that I'm starting to struggle
4:14 - felt like I was walking approaching the trail near Myers Park HS. Took off my shirt as an excuse to stop.
4:41 - absolutely tapped running up to Selwyn
4:15 - struggling to get back to the house and immediately jump in the pool

It doesn't look like a typical bonk, but I was finished. I had no power left as I attempted to climb the slight hill up to Selwyn. I was shuffling along just hoping not to melt. I later learned the dew point was 74 which is up there especially when I'm not all that fit. I stopped multiple times during the run to get water which provided brief relief, but I knew the run was going to turn out ugly. The positive is that I got in my 15k and will gear up to do it all over again tomorrow. The negative is that tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Week in Review

Time: 519:59
Distance: 112.62k

I continue getting in runs pushing me over the 100k per week mark. My fitness is still a long ways off from where I would like it to be, but I'm running healthy. Well, mostly healthy. My upper left hamstring/adductors are still a litte tight and my right shin is a bit sore. However, both are only minor issues at this point which allow me to build my aerobic base.

It was good getting in the workout on Saturday although I remember why I didn't run tempos last summer. The heat makes it absolutely unbearable to run intervals over 10 minutes. I did enjoy running barefoot and doing strides at Davidson on Sunday. Ideally, I could keep that up a couple of times a week in order to strengthen the feet and shin muscles.

Next week should be more of the same.

Davidson College Trails

Time: 76:23
Distance: 16.02k
Pace: 4:44

Barefoot Running: 10:00 for 1.94k

Meagan is getting tired of running her long runs at McAlpine and I don't blame her. There are only so many loops that can be made out there especially when you just worked out at the park the day before. Earlier in the week she organized a crew to meet at the Davidson trails for a long run and post run breakfast. I saw on Facebook that my buddy George "Monk" Linney had been out at the White Water Center so I shot him a text. A few minutes later we had schedule a carpool up to Davidson for our run. Thanks Mark Zuckerberg and AT&T for providing such great social media and technology outlets.

A good sized group was in attendance for the run that included Ms. Barrett, Mike Moran, the Mayes bros, Mr. Strickland and a few others. We all started out together running alternate laps of the outer loop and inner loop. I was feeling pretty good but the pace wasn't all that fast. Eventually, Monk and I pulled ahead and ran an hour before heading to the parking lot to grab water. We decided to get in 30 more minutes on the road, but about 5 minutes later both of us were not feeling too great. He headed back to the parking lot while I toured a side neighborhood. I turned and ran back into town but decided once I hit Main St. that my day was done.

I headed back to the parking lot at 16k and grabbed some water. I knew that Meagan still had several miles to run and to be productive I ran barefoot laps around the groomed grass field with Monk. It was a nice way to end the run strengthening the feet and running some strides. This is how barefoot running is supposed to be done. We put in just under 2k worth of work which will amount to less than 5% of my weekly mileage. None of this Vibram or 100% barefoot nonsense will be tolerated on this blog.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

3, 2, 1... Done

Time: 82:54
Distance: 18.86k

W/u: 26:12 for 5.12k
W/o: 3 miles, 2 miles, 1 mile with 800 recovery
C/d: 13:35 for 2.39k

Like last Saturday, I got to tag along in a workout with Paul, Spada and Meagan. Only Mr. Beigay was missing this week, but that's because he ran The Bear on Thursday evening. The workout was 3 miles, 2 miles, 1 mile starting at about 5:30 pace which was then adjusted according to Paul's coach, Tim Budic. Since I was only tagging along I wasn't concerned with hitting specific splits, I just wanted to provide some company for Paul on these repeats.

The course was pretty simple as we warmed up out to the 3 mile marker at McAlpine. The first repeat would be straight back to Old Bell with 800 jog in between. Fortunately we all came prepared with bottles of water as this was going to be a hot one.

I felt good during the opening 3 mile section as if necessary I could have upped the pace. However, that feeling was short lived as once we stopped to get water and jog I could tell that I was going to be hurting. Knowing that the pace would drop didn't do much to make me feel any better despite the distance getting shorter. I finished the 3 miles feeling hot, but the overheating cues didn't arise until about 12 minutes into the workout. This wasn't the case on the 2 mile interval as 90 seconds in, I felt hot and sticky.

3 mile in 16:45 - 3:25, 3:32, 3:30, 3:23, 2:55 (for .83k or 3:31 pace)
(4:29 for .83k)
2 mile in 11:11 - 3:23, 3:26, 3:33, :49 (for .23k or 3:35 pace)
(5:11 for .85k)
1 mile in 5:24 - 3:21, 2.03 (for .61k)
43:07 for 11.35k
Avg - 3:47/k

I tried my best to stay on pace even when Paul dropped back and eventually called the interval at 1.5 miles. I ran to the 2 mile marker knowing the final 2k was just flat out bad. I tried to regroup for a final mile interval and all I could muster was a 5:24. The smoothest part of the workout was when I snatched my Nuun bottle off a ledge with 600 meters to run.

Everyone was feeling the effects of the heat, humidity and dew point today. We were all glad to put in some work and survive.

Friday, July 8, 2011

DC Tow Path

Time: 91:56
Distance: 20.02k
Pace: 4:31

Is it "toe" path or "tow" path. I like the first better, though I think the second is correct.

Meagan and left Jilane's house a little later this morning and headed out through the National Mall and over to the bike path that would run into Rock Creek Park. We made the decision to head toward Georgetown and jump on the softer trail of the tow path. Unfortunately, we only got to run about 20 minutes total on the dirt as we were only looking for 20k and not more.

I was feeling pretty good on this run this morning and wanted the pace to start clipping along, but Meagan was not having the best of days. She was taking it pretty easy in preparation for a workout tomorrow with Paul and Spada.

The rest of the day was spent traveling back to Charlotte and driving through no less than 5 thunder storms. Awesome.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Teddy Roosevelt Island

Time: 77:37
Distance: 15.97k
Pace: 4:51

Meagan and I made the drive up to DC yesterday with a brief stop in Richmond, VA to visit Disco Sports. They are all about their Orthaheel sandals which is awesome to see. Our friend Jilane made a great Mexican dinner in honor of my presence and I got to see some friends that live in our nation's capital.

Come morning, it was time to lace up the shoes and head out for a run. Running in DC is one of the best urban venues for the sport. There are countless trails and bike paths to run along and it's always fun to sight see all of the monuments during the run. Today we decided that it would be cool to visit Teddy Roosevelt Island where our 26th President has his monument. I had never been out on the island's trails or seen the monument so it was cool to do both all at once. After running through the National Mall we made our way across into Virginia and onto the island for a single loop around the trail.

I gotta call out our host for her lack of fitness, but it was fun times being in the city with a great friend and touring Washington DC. Actually, it was good to just be running again in general. There were all sorts of tourists out walking from monument to monument which we did in less than 90 minutes: Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, WWII, Teddy Roosevelt, and some others I'm forgetting.

Pacers Alexandria

Time: 33:02
Distance: 7.00k
Pace: 4:43

Meagan was having a Karhu and Craft wear test run from the Pacers Alexandria location which meant I got to play chauffeur. We arrived about an hour in advance to set up and soon people started arriving wanting to test a pair of shoes or try a shirt.

Once we were all assembled we ran from the store to a bike path that I first ran along my senior year of college. It was a simple out and back course in the heat and humidity of NoVa. Many people rocked white Craft baselayer shirts while I sported a flashy orange GORE Running Wear top. I hope they noticed.

This was my first double in many months and a fun group event. My right shin bothered me more than my left upper hamstring.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lost Data

Time: 68:35
Distance: 15.71k
Pace: 4:22

I would put the map of my route up but, for whatever reason, Garmin Connect didn't log this workout. Meagan thinks it doesn't count then, but luckily the data is stored on my watch. I ran a nice loop from the house through Freedom Park, up around the Booty Loop and finished coming back the trail near Myers Park HS. I was feeling pretty good toward the end of the run which set me up nicely for the long drive to DC later this morning.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day Off

Time: none
Distance: none

After my 19k Monday and a kickass Fourth of July BBQ at the Franciscan Terrace Pool (deepest condo pool east of the Mississippi), I took a day off to recover. I know that being smart now will keep me healthy deep into training during the fall. The BBQ featured kabobs, Budweiser American Flag cans, Jimmie Johnson Moonshine, cookie cake, grilled pineapple, and lots of friends. It will happen again sometime soon and when it does make sure you get the invite.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Accidental Monday Long Run

Time: 87:32
Distance: 19.04k
Pace: 4:35

I wasn't sure how far I wanted to run this morning when I set out the door with Meagan to meet Caitlin, but I didn't have 19k in mind (21k is 13.1 miles). On our way to Freedom Park we ran into a fit looking Michelle and Carolyn along the Sugar Creek Greenway. The four of us heading into the park and met up with Red while looking for our guest Julia Lucas (wife of Ian Dobson, Olympian and former Stanford standout). She is in town visiting her family and had contacted Caitlin looking for running partners.

We ran around the Booty Loop as a group while Caitlin and Julia talked about their "boring stories of glory days" competing for Wake Forest and NC State. The pace was comfortable and my leg was feeling quite good so I continued to tag along as the sole male. Eventually Michelle and Carolyn dropped off and then Caitlin peeled off for home. Meagan, Julia and I ran over near Rebecca Thomason's house before making a beeline for home. I was putting in more k's than my official Sunday long run which wasn't intentional, but just going to happen.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Week in Review

Time: 449:40
Distance: 98.03k

That's a good week back with two workouts completed. I ran with Meagan in Mt. Pleasant early in the week and a great group of friends at McMullen on Saturday. The adductors aren't 100% but they are getting there. I can tell that my left upper hamstring and inner thigh is still slightly off. It "catches" every so often on a run. My right shin continues to also be a little tight but I'm hoping that calf raises, stretching, ice and massage get rid of that.

Overall, a good week in the right direction.

Anne Springs Close

Time: 81:22
Distance: 16.46k
Pace: 4:56

Jenna Wrieden has always talked about how great Anne Springs Close is just over the border in South Carolina. I even got a recommendation from the Myers Park HS coach that it was the place to train near Charlotte. Well... maybe.

Meagan and I wanted to get on soft surfaces but also wanted a new venue for our long run. Really her long run that I was tagging along for. I tossed out the idea of heading to ASC and she was game. The drive took about 25 minutes from our house once we figured out the proper entrance to the park.

We started off on the Blue Star trail which took us to the Wild Azalea trail which took us to the Overgrown Ivy and Roots trail. I refused to take a map from the guy who took our money at the entrance because I wanted an adventure. We didn't really get an adventure, but we did get to run on half maintained trails that offered wildlife like: turtles, rabbits, squirrels, and frogs. There was never really a point where it felt like you could just relax and enjoy the winding terrain because some of the routes came to dead ends. We eventually found a better section of Blue Star that took us across Route 21 but then dumped us in a neighborhood about 25 minutes later. We ended the run coming back on the roads through Rock Hill which really wasn't what we were looking for.

I say we will probably return but under different circumstances as I'm sure we were just missing the best places to run. A big plus was being able to fill up on cheap SC gas before coming back to watch Djokovic vs. Nadal at Wimbledon.

Also, Mr. Garmin probably didn't accurately record the distance on this run with the tree coverage and sinuous trail.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

McMullen Tempo

Time: 79:52
Distance: 19.38k

W/u: 16:19 for 3.31k
W/o: 8 mile tempo between 5:50 and 6:00/mile
C/d: 16:11 for 3.19k

This workout has been blogged about by Meagan and Steve and mentioned on Facebook by Paul and Beigay. I'm just now getting to it because I'm a slacker.

I'm not sure why I felt inclined to jump in this workout because I really just want to be running for the month of July. I guess the thought of putting in solo kilometers along McMullen was too McMahon-esque. I didn't think the pace or the distance was too unreasonable for my current fitness, so in a Boondocks Saint's mixed idiom, I threw caution to the early bird catching the worms.

Meagan and I met Paul, Steve and Mike at McMullen for a light warm up just before a local Team In Training chapter started their run. We all regrouped and kicked off the 8 mile workout that would be out and back right around 7:00 am. I was content to sit toward the back of the group and let Paul and Steve do most of the work. I wanted to keep Meagan in the workout for as long as possible before checking my fitness later on. We stayed together as a group through about the 10k mark when Meagan called it a day (she did run a hard mile to finish up). I rallied from several meters back to catch Paul and Mike who were both having pretty solid runs.

During the 10th kilometer my chest/heart was definitely being tested as I felt some slight discomfort. It eventually subsided and I was able to run the final 2k somewhat more relaxed. In fact, if the pace kicked up a notch the final few minutes, I would have been able to answer the challenge.

Splits: (just for reference 3:45/k is 6:00/mile pace)
3:45, 3:46, 3:43, 3:44, 3:37, 3:44, 3:41,
3:37, 3:37, 3:41, 3:35, 3:34, 3:38 for 47:22 total and 12.88k. 3:40 avg.

The splits aren't anything to brag about, but nice indication of where I'm at. In a few months I hope to run close to that pace on a medium long run done midweek.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Medium Loop

Time: 59:28
Distance: 13.73k
Pace: 4:19

I put in just under an hour of running along a familiar route. I tried keeping it nice and easy if I have dreams of working out with Paul, Steve Spada, Beigay and Meagan tomorrow.