Saturday, December 31, 2011

It was 41 degrees when I left the house...

OK for all my friends who saw me running this AM. Yes I was showing a good bit of skin. Long shorts and a sleeveless Nike Pro Combat top. When I left the house the weather link stated 41 degrees. I did have my lucky orange toboggan on. If the wind had been blowing I would of added a shirt with sleeves. The trouble with running at 5:30 AM is that the lowest temp is still to come. I assure you I was comfortable as I ran. Sitting or walking would have been difficult though.

This has been a lack luster week for me. 3 weeks out from the Rocket City Marathon and I had a couple of 16 milers and my usual weekly training runs. The runs have not been as fast as I would have liked and this weeks tempo was over my sub  7:00 minute pace goal. My swimming has been great. Imagine that, swimming overshadowing my running. (see best swim ever the sequel below).

With my sub par tempo I really needed a sub 8 minute 20 milers to finish this last week of 2011.  I was fortunate to pull that off this AM.  Mentally I really needed it for confidence.

Distance: 20 miles, Time: 2 hr 38 min 01 secs, Average pace: 7:54 min/miles,
7:54, 8:00, 7:47, 7:45, 7:59, 7:58, 7:47, 7:49, 7:46, 7:40, 7:51, 7:42, 7:47, 7:48, 7:51, 7:55, 8:11, 8:09, 8:07, 8:05,

I really did not think I had my head around this run and was not sure I could pull off a sub 8 minute pace. My Garmin wrist band broke before I got out of the truck, so I old schooled it with the mile markers along the trail. Garmin usually shorts the trail, so I ran to the end points where I usually add to the Garmin mileage. On twisty trails Garmin usually under figures trails and over figures street runs.  I will have a shorter run next week maybe a trail run and another 20 miler the next. I am trying to keep my base up for the Black Warrior 50K in February.

I topped last weeks time and added a little distance. Swimming just keeps getting better. I  am doing more with my arms and it really seems to be helping.
Distance: 1.76 miles at 1.69 mph, Time: 1 hr 02 min 23 secs, Average pace: 35:27 min/miles
Laps and breaks between sets, 500=10:01, :08, 500=10:03, :05,
 500=9:55, :07, 500=9:49, :06,
 500=9:56, :06, 500=9:59, :06,

So today  I burned 2295.4 calories and plan to pig-out with the family tonight. It is our tradition movies and snack food galore. I hope to bike 20 plus miles in the AM. Happy New Year to all my friends.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Best Swim Ever

Every September after my last triathlon my swimming and biking tank. Usually I do get better after a few weeks and I maintain pace and increase distance during the winter months. This year the same thing happened, but I did not get better. It got harder to swim and I was wearing myself out. Swimming is my least favorite activity and it is especially detestable when I am not improving. Fortunately the pool staff started offering critiques of swimmers in November. I availed myself of the service and the assistant pool manager watched me swim and made suggestions. The main problem was that I was short stroking.  I had not realized I was doing it, but the more I flailed away with the short strokes the more I had to. She told me to conscientiously touch my thigh on each stroke. From that point on my speed and stamina increased. Now I was able to work on other aspects of my swimming technique. 

So today after weeks of steady improvement, I swam faster and farther then at any other time.  
Distance: 1.7 miles, 1 hr 01 min 57 secs, Average pace: 36:26 min/miles, 1.65 mph.
(500=10:26, :08, 500=10:11, :06, 500=10:10, :07, 500=10:06, :05, 500=10:12, :06, 500=10:15)
I not only have gotten faster, but my pacing has improved. Before I would start out faster and then slow down with each 500 yard set. Now I start out and get faster or maintain a pace close to the other sets. I am very pleased with this pacing.

I believe there are 3 Ts to successful triathlons (Training, Technique, and Technology). Training is commitment to work hard and putting in the time to succeed. Technique is the little things that improve our efficiency in running, biking and swimming. I feel that good technique can impact swimming the most of all. That leaves technology which is what money can buy. Funding can provide better bikes, wetsuits, shoes, etc. that can buy you speed. For those of you who have heard me gripe about my crappy bike, you know I have to concentrate on the other two Ts.

When I started swimming I swam in a masters program with a coach. Decatur quit supporting that program last year and I have not had the benefit of a coach to help me improve technique. I am thankful that at least they now provide someone to help with advice and critiques of swimming. So kudos to Decatur Parks and Recreation.

Hopefully my swimming will continue to improve and I will shave a few minutes off my triathlon times this spring and summer.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rocket City Marathon Training - Final Week

My last long run before the RCM.  
8:05 AM, 16.08 miles, 2 hr 02 min 47 secs, pace: 7:38 min/miles
By the numbers, 7:34, 7:42, 7:41, 7:32, 7:31, 7:37, 8:00, 7:34, 7:34, 7:37, 7:36, 7:43, 7:55, 7:43, 7:31, 7:24, .08=7:05 pace

Nice run with the exception of being tackled by a large boxer within the 2nd mile. I scrambled back up, accepted the owner's apology and resumed my run. I used this run to test the nutrition I would utilize during the race. I have been running without any race nutrition, so I needed to practice feeding during a race. I also need to know if the gel will agree with my stomach. I used GU-Gel Lime Sublime last year. It worked ok, but a little thick to get down. My friend Matt " Iron Man" Hames suggested I try Power Bar Energy Gels. I try the vanilla favor and found it very palatable and not as thick as the Gu-Gels. I consumed one at mile 6 and mile 12.

So my race nutrition  this year will be Power Bar Gels.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rocket City Marathon Training

My plan for tapering for the Rocket City Marathon is to run 20 milers alternated with 16 milers. I ran a 20 miler Saturday and a 16 miler today. I hope to run a 20 miler next week with one more 16 miler about 8 to 10 days before the marathon.

I managed a pretty good run today, but I slipped into some 8 minute miles. I had side stitches and lost my pacing and did not seem to be able to pick it up again. I did finally manage to pick up the pace and finish pretty strong.

Date: 11/17/2011 8:50 AM, Distance: 16.09 miles, Time: 2 hr 05 min 28 secs, pace: 7:48 min/miles. Miles by the numbers 7:34, 7:38, 7:43, 7:29, 7:42, 7:46, 7:54, 7:51, 7:53, 8:02, 8:09, 8:01, 8:04, 7:51, 7:45, 7:26, .09=7:15 pace

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Why we taper

Taper is important and it will improve race performance. For short races I usually never run after Wednesday or Thursday. For longer races I reduce the mileage the week before and skip the Saturday long runs. This year I have kind of gotten sidetracked and neglected the taper.

I have been pushing myself this fall. My pace is better then last year at this time. Each week I try to run the same distance or longer and at a faster pace. What I have been doing is running 18 or 20 miles this week and feeling like I should be able to run 18 or 20 miles faster the next week. This is certainly my OCD and it is not exactly smart training. This year I forgot about tapering between longer runs. When you break new ground you should give your body a chance to adjust to the new mileage.

Last year when I was training for a 50K I did 20 milers alternated with 16 milers. My pace is better than last year, but I am not improving from week to week.

The body needs time to get used to the mileage and also needs to rest and recharge before a big race. I have a half marathon in less than 2 weeks so I need to taper for that. My OCD will probably make me do an 18 or 20 miler this week. My compromise for tapering will be a midweek long run so I will be able to recover some by November 12th. OCD is a gift and a curse. It drives me to train, but it also can defy reasonable restraint.
I feel good about the Rocket City Marathon in December, but I have neglected the speed work that would help me run a PR on the half marathon. I have done my usual speed work but I should have done more to be ready for the half marathon.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Yuck Juice

I have always hated vegetables. I have always been pretty much a meat eater. Running was an incentive to modify my diet to the good.

I have always liked fruit, so this is were I started. I added more fruit to my diet and started avoiding regular sugar. I discovered that lots of things can be put in a blender and frozen fruits and vegetables are cheap and convenient.

Currently I have a morning smoothie that consists of most of the following:
1. 2 bananas (frozen when ripe)
2. Frozen strawberries and blueberries
3. Ground flax seed and cocoa
4. Plain yogurt
5. Pasteurized egg whites
6. Grape juice to sweeten
7. Frozen orange juice
8. Milk and frozen carrots or broccoli (yes you can blend up just about anything)
Sometimes I add Cinnamon for the taste and antioxidants. You will find that lots of things can be ground up in a blender as a smoothie.

My children have always referred to this concoction as yuck juice, but I have one of these smoothies just about everyday. A great breakfast was a big part of my weight control and this was easy and a good way to get nutrients I needed. I can drink on the way to work or taking the kids to skills.

Give me a blender and a freezer and I can survive. So with breakfast fixed I have moved on the modifying other areas of my diet.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Bad Seed

Huntsville Sprint Triathlon

With my estimated pace I am usually in the first heat and should have been in that heat this year. I found out race morning that I was in the 3rd heat which meant I was buried behind about 300 slower and faster runners. I was in better shape training wise this year, but the poor seeding kind of took some of the wind out of my sails. If I had known about the poor seeding, I would probably have skipped this race. I decided I would just try to finish the race without getting hurt are running over anybody.

Starting in the 3rd heat was a little disappointing. I like to get out in front and get to the pool before it gets crowded. We start the run over an open field and then the trail narrows as it goes into the woods. The trail marking was a little confusing, so the guys I was following took a wrong turn and I followed them. The guys I was going to pace off of were running in an earlier heat, so I had to wing it. Narrow trails and walkers don't mix. I did managed to finish the run with a time of 22:34.

It took me 1:17 to transition to the bike and then I was off on a 6 mile bike ride. And there was slow traffic here also. I got boxed in a couple times by people riding and not clearing the people they were passing. One guy I followed for several hundred yards just kept riding beside another racer. When I got a wide lane to pass and said "on your left" he veered left until he figured out what I meant. Again proper seeding would have alleviated some of these problems. I finished with a time of 19:23 at an average speed of 18.6 mph. I managed a transition of 1:30. I did a pretty good job with the transition. As I got close to the pool I realized I still had my socks on.

After ditching my socks I entered the pool. The water felt great and I swam with ease at first. During the first lap I realized I had left my shirt on. It was no tri shirt and kind of floppy, not something you would want to swim fast in. The shirt and starting out too fast made me tire quickly. I had to stop and re-group so I could finish the race. I finished the swim with a time of 11:06.

I had really wanted to get a PR and I was certainly fit enough to improve this year. I think a combination of mental disappointment in the seeding and navigating through the slower traffic led to under-performing this year.

This was the 3rd time I ran this race. I really liked this race because it was my first triathlon. This year the race had a new race director and sponsor and I could tell it was going to be different. I am really proud that a sponsor stepped up and sponsored the race this year, but the organization of the race was a little shaky. They did add chip timing this year which is usually a plus, but there was some confusion with the seeding of this race. They finally just punted and the seeding seemed to be randomly assigned. So you had fast racers running with very slow racers. This is stressful for both the fast and the slow. With a race that begins on a single track cross country trail it is very important to have some kind of meaningful seeding.

Hopefully the growing pains will be over and next year's race will be better managed. I may have to look for a new favorite race next year.

By the numbers.
5th in age group, 47nd in males and 52nd overall
5th on run 22:34,7:32 pace, 1:17 transition
8th on bike, 19:23, 18.6mph, 1:30 transition
9th on the swim, 11:06
Finish time 55:47

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 13th, Brooke Hill 5K

Nice race and for a good cause. I passed on this race last year because of hot weather. It was cooler this year but still hot. I decided to add this race after the Soggy Seal Triathlon. I did better than I expected at the Soggy Seal. I did a sub 21 minute 5K and still had plenty stamina to finish the bike and swim portion of the tri.

It was an 8:00 AM start. My only suggestion for this race would be to consider a 7:00 or 7:30 AM start. The temperature was getting pretty warm and muggy by race time. I started out as usual and was within the first 10 runners. I usually run my fastest within the 1st quarter mile of a race. It seems so easy to run at the start of a race. Adrenaline, excitement, or just being well rested really has an effect on me. As I have gotten more experienced I have tried to temper my initial exhilaration. I still run my fastest but I try to hold back a little for later in the race.

We started on a wide streets that allowed us to jockey for position easily. I had no idea how I would hold up in the heat but the first mile felt pretty good. There were a few youngsters in the lead pack but they faded as thee distance wore on. Sprinting is for the young. The race leaders were well ahead of me by the end of the first mile. I finished mile 1 with a pace of 6:19. I was feeling pretty good at this point.

Mile 2 was a little more hilly. The aid station is around the halfway point of the race. I usually don't drink I just pour the water over my head. This seems to help me more then trying to drink on a short race. I was just trying to hang on and not lose time off my pace. I did loose some and finished mile 3 with a 6:43 mile pace. I was happy with this, but I had Wayne Heckler behind me and he always runs stronger as a race goes on. Wayne is one of my running heroes and I want to be Wayne when I grow up. He has 10 years on me and started running in his late 40s. You will find his name on a short list of better runners in this area. He had just come off some high mileage runs days before the race, so I might have had a little advantage on this day.

I managed to up my pace on mile 3. At this point I was confident I would at least finish the race with a fair time. The run finishes uphill. As I turned onto the last street I could see Wayne behind me. I found this motivational. I tried to pick up my pace and finished the 3rd mile at a pace of 6:38. Now for the last drag race to the finish.

My friend Brad White took my picture at the end of mile 3 and I looked done. I did not feel done. Wayne's picture looked pretty good. I managed to keep pace with the guy ahead of me and started a pretty good kick to the finish. Wayne told me this was what kept him from passing me. I realize that another day a fresher Wayne Heckler would beat me. The last .1 was at around 35 seconds.

I finished with a time of 20:15. (Thank you Wayne Heckler). I finished 6th overall and first in my age group. The good time on I hilly and hot August day has given me confidence that I have a shot at a sub 20 minute 5K this fall.

Soggy Seal led me to attempt this race and this race should lead me to a good 5K time this fall. Everything works together some times.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Soggy Seal Triathlon

I almost passed on this race. I am not for racing my bike on wet streets. I woke up with bike loaded and looked at the radar. It looked wet in Huntsville, but my dear wife had said even if it is wet give it a try. She is the one I had promised not to take chance on wet streets. 2 years ago she had spent 5 hours in an ER waiting for a plastic surgeon to stitch up my face (26 stitches). It was a bad wreck and she was great. I usually ride before church, but that Sunday we did not make it. I also had to have my dentist crown one of my front teeth. So if she said give it a try, I might as well. I drove my little truck to the Southeastern YMCA. The roads were dry and the rain never materialized.

This was a first year for this race and I was not sure how well it would come off. The staff at the YMCA did a great job. I must commend them on putting together a nice sprint triathlon. 5K run, 8 mile bike, and 300 yard swim.

The run and the bike ride were surprisingly hilly and pretty challenging. I managed 10th overall and second in my age group.

The run came first and I decided to run behind my friend Matt Hames. I might of passed him on the run, but he would of trashed me on the bike and the swim. He is the total package. My strategy was to just stay behind Matt on the run so I would not have to wait for him to pass me. He set a nice pace and finished 4th and I finished the run 5th.

Then came the bike. It definitely had some pretty steep hills. There was a long grade about a mile into it and I came to a stop. I was in too high of gears and had not managed my momentum well. Too steep to restart I lost at least a minute creeping it forward over the crest. It was an out and back so I vowed not to let it happen on my return trip. We made our way to the greenway for 2 miles in and 2 mile back. Then back on the return to the killer hill. I hammered it and had no problem on the return trip. I finished the bike ride in 10th place overall.

I racked the bike and put on my goggles which I had around my neck during the ride and headed for the pool. To achieve 300 yards each of the 6 lanes had to be swam down and back. It was a little confusing at one point, but I settled my pace and finished not passing or being passed by any racers in the pool. My strategy was to get to the pool before it got crowded with racers. I finished the race 10th overall and placed 2nd in my age group. 59 people finished the race including 4 others from my church. It was nice have members of my church family share in the race. 3 of them placed in their age groups. There were also 3 members of the Decatur Tri Club who placed (Myself, Matt, and Charlotte) Matt took second overall. It was a great day for my church and the Decatur Tri Club

By the numbers:
Run 5th 20:46, Bike 17th 32:55 (Plus transition),
Swim 23rd 7:01, Overall 10th 1:00:42.

I planned to use this as a tune up for the Huntsville Sprint, but it was a really great race in itself. I will put this on my schedule for next year. This race gave me confidence in my ability to run in the heat and that my summer training was paying off. I was so happy with my run time that I entered the Brooke Hill 5K the next Saturday.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Heel and Crank

From the website: "The Heel & Crank Duathlon raises money and awareness for ALS (Lou Gehrigs disease). This charity was chosen because of the late Darin Kruse, one of our local triathletes and friend, who recently lost a 3-year battle with ALS."

The race benefits ALS and Team Rocket Tri-club did a great job with it. It will be on my list for next summer.

It was a good race and I am pleased with my finish. It was a great day for a race and not real hot at race time. It did bring out a glaring weakness in my triathlon racing. I lost ground on the bike. Because of the bike weakness I missed 1st place in my age group by 1:33 seconds and the podium by 32 seconds.
Finished 5th in my age group and 27th overall. Finished 1st in age group on both running legs, but finished 8th in my age group on the bike.

By the numbers:
1st 2.5 miles 16:34 (average pace 6:38), 2nd 2.5 miles 17:22 (average pace 6:57)
10 mile bike ride at 30:23 averaging 19.7 mph
1st transition 1:10 and :41 for the 2nd transition
Overall finishing time was 1:06:09

I felt good during the first running segment. I kind of got boxed in at the start and this probably kept me from going out to fast. Finishing the run I got the bike and strolled through the transition. My friend Joann yelled at me to run with the bike. (1:10 transition)

The bike course was pretty flat some rolling and some steady grades. Mile 8 has a steep downhill followed by going right back up the hill. After the hill it is just a pretty flat run toward the finish. I lost my pace around mile 8 and 9, but managed to pick up the pace for mile 9.5 to the finish averaging 21.1 mph. This was the fastest average mile. Not a bad ride for a 500.00 dollar bike with flat handlebars, .28 tires, and no clips on the pedals. (30:23 averaging 19.7 mph) Yep I guess I prefer a more upright old school ride. It is kinder to my back. The final transition went pretty quick. (:41 second)

The last 2.5 mile run went pretty good. I managed to pass some people and feel pretty strong at the end. I drank nothing during the race just used the water to pour over my head and cool off some.

I am really happy with where I am now. Back in April I decided to lose weight 7 to 8 pounds. My weight now is under 150 lb. I have a maintained a sub 150 weekly weight for the last 3 and half weeks. I also wanted to push my pace. I have managed sub 7 minute pace tempos and sub 8 minute paces for my long runs. I have also become more diligent on my core exercises and it seems to be helping also. I maintained these paces for 8 weeks so hopefully it has stuck.

My goal is to maintain my speed through the heat and humidity of summer and set a PR on some 5Ks and a sub 90 minute half marathon this fall.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hot Hot Hot

I am a early morning runner and the heat is not my friend. I tend to slow down during the first warm weeks of summer. Your body has to do double duty in the heat. It not only powers your body, but also has to move fluids to cool you. At least that is my theory.

One of my favorite heat beaters is a wet wrist band. I wet the band and carry it in my hand. It needs to be wet before you start. The water helps to dilute the sweat and it cools your head. It is like rubbing a cool rag across your brow.

I used it this AM (9:00 to 10:00 am) with the temperature in the mid to upper 80s. The only problem was the sunscreen I used was burning my eyes. I had a pretty good run (8.5 miles at a 7:30 pace). I hope to be acclimatized to the heat in a few weeks.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rebuilding Confidence

My confidence took a hit after last Saturday's race. I under performed and completely bonked at the race. I was a little afraid that this week would be a continuation of last Saturday. My calves were very sore early in the week. I guess a left over from the race. I was very afraid of a setback, but things went well and I managed to maintain pace and distance this week. It was good to not lose ground and I have restored some confidence.

This week in review:
[run] 31.05 miles 7:27 min/miles
[swim] 3.06 miles 1.5 mph
[bike] 40.83 miles 16.6 mph

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jesse Owens 10K - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The good - 1st place in my age group and 16th overall out of 124.

The bad – running slower than my longer tempo runs. I came out to fast and with the humidity I was sapped by the 3rd mile. 1st mile was 6:20, 2nd 6:41, 3rd 6:58, 4th 7:03, 5th 7:19, 6th 7:16, last .26 at a 7:05 pace. I really had to work hard to maintain the pace on the last half. I was pushing my limits when I reached the running track at the finish. Usually I have something at the end, but I pushed and my body pushed back. As I rounded the track for the finish all I could focus on was the finishing line. It was some of the hardest running I have ever done. I had reached the end of my envelope and it was not even a PR.

The Ugly – the last thing I remember was stopping to let them pull the tag off my bib and hit the stop on the Garmin. I had passed out and I did not regain consciousness until I felt myself being guided/carried to the track infield. When I fell the race director and a friend caught me and kept me upright. When I got to the infield a doctor/medic helped me to keep walking. He kept telling me to walk and to keep my eyes open. He also explained what happened. As he explained it, when I stopped at the finish my blood pressure had dropped very low and the brain just shut down. It seems that the legs in motion produce a pumping action and when you stop you lose that. This is why he insisted I keep walking. He said if I had been allowed to lay down I would be down a long time and would not feel well the rest of the day. He got me some glucose and told me to hold it under my tongue. Looks like I just ran out of juice. I did feel better within a short time. I drove home and even mowed grass that afternoon.

I believe weight loss caused me to run out of glycogen and bonk. Until my weight hits bottom and stabilizes I will have to be careful. My weight had dropped all week and reached its lowest point on race day.

The race was great and they do a wonderful job with it. Trophies are usually 5 deep. I try to run it every other year. It was a great race and I learned a great deal about the limits of my body.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Great Week

Great week and still able to challenge myself.
Weight is down by 1.93 lb over last week. My pace is still good and I should be able to do well at the Jesse Owens 10K on the 21st. Another week of sub 8 minute long runs and sub 7 minute tempos. Running is fun when I push myself.

Week in review:

Sunday, 5/15/2011 6:05 AM, Bike (Road bike), 22.62 miles, 1 hr 21 min 34 secs, average speed: 16.6 miles/hr

Saturday, 5/14/2011 5:25 AM, Run (Long run), 16.08 miles, 2 hr 02 min 32 secs, pace: 7:37 min/miles

Friday, 5/13/2011 7:50 AM, Swim (Pool), 1.3 miles, 51 min 43 secs, pace: 39:47 min/miles

Thursday, 5/12/2011 5:30 AM, Run (Tempo run), 7.38 miles, 51 min 06 secs, pace: 6:55 min/miles

Wednesday, 5/11/2011 5:20 AM, Bike (Road bike), 18.84 miles, 1 hr 06 min 31 secs, average speed: 17 miles/hr

Tuesday, 5/10/2011 5:30 AM, Hill Intervals, 5.55 miles, 40 min 13 secs, pace: 7:15 min/miles

Monday, 5/09/2011 7:50 AM, Swim (Pool), 1.53 miles, 59 min 55 secs, average pace: 39:10 min/miles

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Running is Fun Again

Pushing the envelope has made running fun again. Over the last few weeks I have pushed the envelope and challenged myself to run faster and longer. Running is becoming fun again.

Missed the Steeple Chase , but I was ready. The race did serve its purpose and motivated me to get faster. I had a great week of training. My weight is right on track. I had a great tempo run (sub 7:00) and a great 16 miler (7:30 pace).

I hope to continue the intensity and work towards some 5 and 10K Prs. I also hope to to attain a sub 90 minute half marathon this fall.

Week in review

Sunday, 5/08/2011 5:25 AM, Long run, 16.09 miles, 1 hr 58 min 04 secs, pace: 7:20 min/miles,

Saturday, 05/07/2011 5:00 AM, Bike (Road bike), 16.17 miles, 58 min 32 secs, 16.6 miles/hr,

Friday off

Thursday, 5/05/2011 7:45 AM, Swim (Pool), 1.53 miles, 59 min 43 secs, pace: 39:02 min/miles

Wednesday, 05/04/2011 5:30 AM, Run (Tempo run), 7.41 miles, 50 min 02 secs, pace: 6:45 min/mile,

Tuesday off

Monday 5/02/2011 5:30 AM, Run (Hills), 5.58 miles, 40 min 35 secs, pace: 7:16 min/miles

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Steeple Chase week.

This is it the week of Steeple Chase. I hope to PR on this course. I have also started to work on my 1/2 marathon time. It is a long way off but I want to PR. The race will be the Huntsville Half Marathon in November. I have been so close to a sub 90 minute finish and hopefully this year I can break that barrier.

This week's goals:
1. Continue trending down on my weight
2. Push the pace envelope some more (Stride, cadence, and breathing)
3. Hope to get a good intense week in.
4. Pushing the training for the Steeple Chase 8K 5/7/11

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Another week closer to Steeple Chase

This week's recap:
1. Hard to say I had a good week with all the tragedy that surrounds us, but considering just running and my training it was.
2. Trended down on my weight (last week 156 lb.- this week 153.64) Net loss 2.36 lbs.
3. Worked on maintaining intensity ((Stride, cadence, and breathing)
4. Hopefully will be ready for Steeple Chase 8K 5/7/11

Sunday, 5/01/2011 6:15 AM, Bike 17.16 miles, 1 hr 02 min 49 secs, Average speed: 16.4 miles/hr, wind and seat post problems hindered performance

Saturday, 4/30/2011 6:55 AM, Long run 16.06 miles, 2 hr 00 min 42 secs, pace: 7:31 min/miles, ran close to home because Pt Mallard Trail was flooded. Managed sub 8 minute pace and increased distance.

Friday, 4/29/2011 11:30 AM, Bike (Road bike), 14.81 miles, 52 min 53 secs, average speed: 16.8 miles/hr, warm day, but a good ride.

Thursday, 4/28/2011 12:00 noon, Hill intervals, 5.51 miles, 41 min 12 secs, pace: 7:29 min/miles, strange day, no power, no phone, makes us appreciate the basic things we do have... Good run, but Garmin cheated me on the mileage.

Wednesday, 4/27/2011 11:00 AM, Swim 0.56 miles, 20 min 55 secs, pace: 37:21 min/miles
Swim cut short by storms.

Tuesday, 4/26/2011 5:30 AM, Run (Tempo run), 7.4 miles, 51 min 51 secs, pace: 7:00 min/miles, 60F 93% humidity, 3rd week in a row at the same tempo pace.

Monday, 4/25/2011 5:25 AM, Bike (Road bike), 14.68 miles, 54 min 03 secs, average speed: 16.3 miles/hr, finally resolved that my newer bike the K2 is not any faster then the 20 plus year old Schwinn Mirada. 2 split laps Mirada (27:05) vs K2 Astral 3.0 (26:57)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Week of 4/18 to 4/24

This week was a short week of training.
1. Lost a little ground on the weight 156 lb up .82 lb. Actually a little ahead of last week for starting Monday.
2. Another good long 15 miler. Sub 8:00 minute pace.

Sunday, 4/24/2011 12:00 AM, Run (Tempo run), 7.49 miles, 54 min 50 secs, pace: 7:19 min/miles,

Idle Friday and Saturday on family trip.

Thursday,4/21/2011 7:50 AM, Swim (Pool)1.42 miles, 53 min 56 secs, pace: 37:59 min/miles, sometimes you just hope to make it through the workout at any intensity, but then things just click and you have a great workout. Able to swim with intensity through the whole swim.

Wednesday, 4/20/2011 8:05 AM, Long run, 15.09 miles, 1 hr 56 min 19 secs, pace: 7:42 min/miles, perfect except for the water. Shoes were soaked at water crossing before first half mile, temperatures 59-68F.

Tuesday, 4/19/2011 5:25 AM, Bike (Road bike)17.74 miles, 1 hr 04 min 50 secs, Average speed: 16.4 miles/hr, pretty good ride although it was humid.

Monday, 4/18/2011 5:30 AM, Hill intervals, 5.6 miles, 40 min 51 secs, pace: 7:18 min/miles, great run this AM on a course that really challenges me. I shaved some seconds off last week's time.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Another Week

This week's goals:
1. Continued trending down on my weight (net loss of .65 lbs.)
2. Pushed the pace envelope some more (stride, cadence, and breathing)
3rd week with a sub 8:00 15 miler. I am close to pushing the long run a little more. I will either increase the pace or distance. Tempo is right on the 7:00 minute pace bubble.

This week by the numbers:

Sunday, 4/17/2011 AM, took the day off and did not ride the bike. I thought it was going to be windy. It was 38 degrees and that is a little brisk.

Saturday,4/16/2011 5:10 AM, Long run 15.01 miles, 1 hr 56 min 48 secs, pace: 7:47 min/miles, A few miles were around 8:03 by the Garmin, but the average was right where I wanted it. 3rd week of sub 8:00 minute pace. Now I can add distance or speed to the run.

Friday, 4/15/2011 5:30 AM, Thunder means no swimming so I was idle today.

Thursday, 4/14/2011 5:30 AM, Run (Tempo run, 7.41 miles, 51 min 55 secs, Average pace: 7:00 min/miles, Garmin a little short this AM, so I ran a little further to give me 7:41 miles.

Wednesday, 4/13/2011 11:00 AM, Swim (Pool), 1.53 miles, 1 hr 00 min 21 secs, pace: 39:27 min/miles, The Dome was hot. I got pretty gassed the first 500 yards and decided to swim a slow pace for the rest.

Tuesday, 4/12/2011 5:25 AM, Bike (Road bike), 17.21 miles, 1 hr 03 min 23 secs, Average speed: 16.3 miles/hr, slow start, I think due to under inflated tires. Stayed on the easier part of the course.

Monday, 4/11/2011 5:30 AM, Hill intervals, 5.65 miles, 41 min 46 secs, pace: 7:24 min/miles. Running was hard and it took a lot of effort. It did not seem any faster, but the Garmin was generous and I managed a little increase.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Slow start but a great week

Last week's goals were met.

1. Weight was down from 56.86 lb to 155.79 this week.
2. Other then a slow interval run Monday my pace has been good. I managed a 15 miler at a sub 8 minute pace for the second week in a row. If I make it to 3 weeks in a row I hope to own the improvement.

I am still having some motivation issues, but my energy level is starting to return. It is getting a little easier to go out there and run, ride, or bike. Running progressed and my biking and swimming are also improving. Seeing some improvement has helped my motivation. My early Sunday ride (6:10 AM) was the longest and fastest since last fall. I hope to continue to maintain the improvement. I am considering the following races: Cotton Row, Jesse Owens, and Steeple Chase 8K. I should be ready to attempt a PR in May on theses races.

Next week's Goals to continue the plan:
1. Continue trending down on my weight. 155.79 lb last week.
2. Push the pace envelope some more (Stride, cadence, and breathing)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pushing the pace or 1 step forward and 2 steps back

This weeks goals:
1. Start trending down on my weight. 56.86 lb average last week.
2. Hopefully push the pace some.

Sunday, 4/10/2011, 6:10 AM, Bike (Road bike), 20.19 miles, 1 hr 12 min 49 secs, Average speed: 16.6 miles/hr, Bike: K2 Astral 3.0, really good ride and my first 20 miler and the fastest pace of the season. Really good finish to the week.

Saturday, 4/09/2011 AM, Run, 15.02 miles, 1 hr 56 min 50 secs, pace: 7:47 min/miles, good run by the numbers 7:33, 7:39, 7:51, 7:53, 7:58, 7:43, 7:52, 7:47, 7:59, 7:53, 7:43, 7:46, 7:48, 3:50+3:51, 7:38, Garmin was generous with 15.10 miles.

Friday, 4/08/2011, 7:50 AM, Swim (Pool)1.47 miles, 56 min 36 secs, pace: 38:30 min/miles, Good swim with a little soreness in my left shoulder. It has been a good week so far. I will skip the 10K and run a 15 miler in the morning. Hopefully I will be through to watch the race and cheer my friends.

Thursday, 4/07/2011, 5:30 AM, Tempo run 7.36 miles, 51 min 41 secs, pace: 7:01 min/miles, I was able to push the pace a little this AM. If the Garmin had not shorted me .04 of a mile, I would of had a sub 7:00 average. Still not sure if I will run River City 10K on Saturday.

Wednesday, 4/06/2011 7:50 AM, Swim (Pool), 1.42 miles, 54 min 21 secs, pace: 38:16 min/miles, I have really started to enjoy swimming the last part of the workout at a relaxed pace. This week I have been feeling my energy levels returning.

Tuesday, 4/05/2011 5:20 AM, Bike (Road bike)17.54 miles, 1 hr 04 min 55 secs, Average speed: 16.2 miles/hr, NW Wind 7 MPH, The wind was a little factor. Not a bad ride but a little slower than I would of liked. Took the dogs to Pt Mallard trail and walked 3.5 miles. (hour and 10 minutes)

Monday, 4/04/2011 5:30 AM, Hill Internal Run, 5.6 miles, 41 min 57 secs, pace: 7:29 min/miles, not a great pace. 2 weeks off from interval training and weight gain have taken its toll. I really tried to push the pace but nothing worked well.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Beyond McKay Hollow

Assessing where I am.

McKay Hollow was canceled last Saturday. I had used McKay as an excuse to not run fast. I was content to run hills instead of pushing my pace. I do regret the race being canceled. I did show up and received a great shirt, but I am a little reluctant to wear it. This is the kind of shirt that you earn by finishing. Some people did run it the next day unofficially. I was unable to run it Sunday and it was not convenient to run it later in the week. Some like Eric ran it that day and Dana ran it Monday. Check out their posts. My hat is off to those individuals. By now the markers are gone and I might run the risk of getting lost. Take a look at Trent's post about getting turned around.

With McKay behind me I have started to force myself to run faster and harder. My motivation has been hard to summon for several weeks. Even running seems to be hard for me to find motivation. I would have to promise myself an easy run and I would throw some hills in to make me feel like I was really getting in a useful workout.

This week I turned a small corner on the way back. I worked on a quicker cadence, shortening my stride, and breathing. I have had some really good runs this week. Next week I will continue to work on being more consistent in the areas of cadence, stride and breathing. If I have a good week I may run the River City 10K on Saturday.

I have been working on my swimming . Because I am a drowner I swim like the sharks are nipping at my toes. Just get me across the pool as fast as possible. I realize now that I can swim slower without getting panicky. I have started swimming the last 200 to 500 yards at a slower relaxed pace. This will give me more confidence in the fact that I can slow down and rest and not drown.

My weight has been edging up for the last 6 months. I really would like to lose 7 to 8 pounds before summer. My metabolism has slowed down a little and I think I will need to compensate for that. Eating everything I see has not helped. Holidays and family birthdays are over and it is time to get focused on the food I consume.

So next week I will be focusing on completing some solid runs and improving my swimming. Hopefully I will feel strong enough to enter the River City 10K..

Last week by the numbers:

4/03/2011 2:30 PM, Cross training on the infernal spin bike (52 min)

4/2/2011, Took the day off to go to a math tournament with my daughter

4/01/2011 8:10 AM, Long run, 15.02 miles, 1 hr 57 min 23 secs, pace: 7:49 min/miles
8:10, 7:59,7:47, 7:45, 7:44, 7:53, 7:53, 7:46, 7:43, 7:42, 7:46, 7:52, 7:49, 7:46, 7:33, :09,

3/31/2011 7:45 AM, Swim (Pool), 1.42 miles, 54 min 42 secs, pace: 38:31 min/miles

3/30/2011 11:40 AM, Hill tempo, 8.08 miles, 57 min 32 secs, pace: 7:07 min/miles
7:14, 7:03, 7:08, 6:55, 7:05, 7:15, 7:14, 7:05, 423'=6:13,

3/29/2011 7:50 AM, Swim (Pool), 1.36 miles, 52 min 52 secs
Average pace: 38:52 min/miles

3/28/2011 5:30 AM, Tempo run, 7.4 miles, 52 min 26 secs, pace: 7:05 min/miles
6:57, 7:11, 7:01, 7:02, 7:01, 7:05, 7:00, .49=6:21

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Black Warrior 25K


What a difference a month can make. A month ago I was injured and contemplating not being able to run the Black Warrior 50K. I did have to change to the 25K and at the time thought I could at least walk part of that. However on Saturday the 19th of February I not only finished the Black Warrior 25K, but I exceeded my expectations. I had written the 5,10, and 13 mile split times for a 3 hour and a 2 hour 30 minute finish.

Race day brought perfect conditions. The temperature started out in the 40s and then topped out in the 60s. It might even have been a little too warm. The course was dry by Bankhead standards. Even with no rain there were still plenty of muddy patches. The horses seem to churn up the ground and make it boggy in some of the wet spots. There were some wet springs in some spots.

It was a little chilly at the start, but I knew I would warm-up pretty fast. The race starts at the bottom of a hill. You start out running up hill for over 2 miles on a gravel road.. You run this same stretch at the end of the race. I have heard it described as up hill both ways. The last part is kind of a downhill grade which makes it and uphill grade on the way back. After the lead in road there is a 10 mile loop of trails that can be described rolling hills.

I entered the trail portion in pretty good shape and was running the downhills pretty well. I got to my Gu-gel a little early maybe mile 4.5 or 5. The aid station was around mile 6 and I grabbed some water. I met up with Matt Hames at mile 8, He was waiting for his relay partner so he could continue on the 50K relay. His team with Dave Truit and Trent Dean finished second in the 50K relay. Kudos to the Decatur Tri Club relay team.

I slowed down a good bit on miles 10, 11, and 12. miles. Around mile 9 I passed some horses on the trail and I had to leave the trail to get around the horses backside. He had started to kick a little. Two other runners had gotten by just before me. Back on the the trail I tried to maintain and concentrate on a good cadence. I would glance at the Garmin to see how bad the pace had dropped off. Around mile 13 I saw some people ahead and as I looked down the trail toward them and fell flat on my face. I was not even on a tricky part of the trail, it was relatively level. I had been told before that you usually fall on the easier parts of the trail because you let your guard down and lose focus. I went down with the onlookers watching, so I had an audience. I was able to pick myself up and resume running. No harm done except minor scratches on my glasses and a knock on the head. The head would bother me later in the day and I thought I might have a little more of a serious knock.

The last aid station was a few hundred yards farther and I was back on the road for the last 2.5 miles.
The Garmin was actually under counting the distance so I was closer to the end then I thought. I managed a pretty good pace down the road. Finished 22nd overall and a time of 2:13:37.
2011 Black Warrior 25K by at Garmin Connect - Details

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Long Hill Run

This week I need to do my long run earlier in the week, so I combined a long run and a hill run. It is not a trail run, but it should help toward McKay Hollow Madness. McKay Hollow has a lot of relief especially the last half mile.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What was chasing you.

At some point during a conversation somebody will ask me how far I run. Maybe after I recount the distance of one of my long runs I get the ubiquitous “ what was chasing you” comment. Usually followed by them saying I would have to be chased by a bear, lion, mad man, etc.

Well there is someone chasing me and when I stop running he gains on me. It is me when I was in my late 30s. Staying ahead of him is what drives me to bike, swim, and run.

A picture is worth a 1000 words so here it is.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

All dressed up with no place to go.

Pre-race day carb loading done. Duffel bag packed. Garmin and cell phone charged. Clothes laid out. Favorite orange toboggan and several layers of clothes packed to prepare for several temperature variations at race time. Race nutrition (Lime Sublime GU Gels) packed and post-race (Cool Mint Chocolate Cliff Bar) packed. Shoes, socks and crocs are laid out. All systems are go... well almost.

This is Friday the 11th of February and the Black Warrior25/50K race is not the 12th, but the 19th. So I am all dressed up with no place to go. How did this happen. I guess I entered the wrong date some how on my wall calendar and never re-checked the date on the website like my friend Brad. It was Brad who informed me Friday night that I was a week off. It is kind of nice to be ready a week ahead. Well not really, I am sort of unprepared physically. I lost a couple weeks to a sore knee 4 weeks back. Now I have an extra week to get back where I was.

With the setback I opted out of the 50K and changed to the 25K race. It will be good practice for McKay Hollow Madness. Saturday February 19th I should be in Bankhead forest. Being a week ahead is better than over sleeping on race day.

2010 in Review

I thought I would review my training and racing for 2010. Last year I turned 50 years old. I would like to build some empirical data that my training methods work. So far I had a really good year. I am close to a PR in 5K and 10K distances. I ran my first ultra marathons and qualified for Boston in my first marathon. 2010 has been a very good year.

2010 at a glance:
Biked 1223.6 miles at an average of 16.6 mph
Ran 1409 miles at an average pace of 8:06 min/miles
Swam 83.8 miles at 1.49 mph (56 hours and 17 min)
Logged nearly 12 hours on an infernal stationary

2010 Race Results:
McKay Hollow Madness - 2:50:30
Cotton Row 10K - 43:29
Priceville 5K - 20:26
Toray 5K - 20:16
Frosty Freeze 5K - 20:22
HiWaay Triathlon - 54:52
2010 Rocket City Marathon - 3:33:56
2010 Black Warrior 50K - 6:36:35
2010 Dizzy 50K - 5:20:32

This year I would like to run a few more sprint triathlons and improve my 5 and 10K times. I would like to run Dizzy 50 again and maybe the Mountain Mist 50K. This year I hope to keep injuries to a minimum and be able sets some PRs.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Nice Long Run

Ran 15 miles this AM. A little achy but it was not constant and I finished strong.
I was able to average an 8:16 pace and finish faster then I started. II did manage to fall when I looked back to check on my running partner. I had left the trail and as I turned back on the trail my trusty left ankle rolled.

I was a little skinned up and my knee has been a little achy from the prior injury. I think I am ready for the 25K Black Warrior race.

I also scored a spin bike today. (Bladez Spin Power)It had been brought back by someone and they sold it to me for 100.00 off the original price. Hey you can't beat a sale. I guess I will be scrapping Grendel the infernal stationary bike very soon.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Getting back to where I was.

One bad outing cost me a couple weeks of running and training for the Black Warrior 50K. The injury was a setback, but it forced me to focus on my core exercises, biking, and swimming. It also made me appreciate being able to run. I realized how much I crave it now.

I ran for the first time yesterday and had some soreness, but it got better as I ran. I was a little achy after the run, but feel really great today. Tomorrow I will try running again and see how it goes.

God gave me my birthday present 2 days early... it was great to be able to run again.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Possible MCL Sprain

I tried to run this AM before Church (.6 of a mile). Rather painful from beginning to end. I think I have a MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament Sprain) on my right leg. I am sure my BA in History and Political Science makes me fully qualified to make this diagnoses. LOL. As intense as the pain was this AM, I have conceded that I will need at least 3 to 4 weeks to let is heal. I believe running outside of my normal gate last Saturday caused this strain.

The downside is I will not be running Black Warrior 50K next month.
The upside is I can now walk without limping, ride a bike, and swim. I intend to to those activities and my normal strength and stretching exercises until I can start to try to run again. This is why I like triathlon training.

I plan to go out on Saturday mornings as usual at 5:30AM and walk the trail until I can run it again. At least I will still see my training partners on the trails. Not running is unbearable, but at least I have the other activities to stay fit and occupy my urge to train.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Done and Done In (Bonk the Sequel)

I chose to run Saturday on an ice rutted trail in Decatur. It had been packed and refrozen and rutted by 4 wheelers. I was due a long run so I chose to run. At 5:30 AM it was hard frozen (low 20s) and it was not to hard to traverse. (3 mile out and back 3 miles). As we ran several circuits it began to become slicker. The pace averaged 8:54 and it was draining. I can run 8:20 pace usually at distance and a 10:00 plus pace is OK and easy, but an 8:54 is just draining. Kind of a dead zone pace. Last time I ran that pace I bonked and that is what happened Saturday. It was draining and I settled for 17 miles instead of closer to 20.

There was a physical price for the choices I made. Bad choices have consequences and I now have a very sore knee. I think trying to run within the rutted ridges changed my gate and forced a normally slew footed runner to run with my feet turned in. Around 15 miles the right knee was starting to ache. We took the road back and I was done at 17 miles. Between the pain and the grueling pace I had to call it in and that spells "bonk" to me.

The knee has been sore ever since and the motion of walking has gotten easier with very little soreness. I tried to run this AM and was only able to run .28th of a mile. It seems that the bending motion of running is what brings on the pain. I will now have to back off and lose some valuable training time. I hope to get back to running soon. With Black Warrior and McKay Hollow coming up I cannot afford not to be running.

At least with a triathlon training routine I can swim and ride the stationary bike to keep from losing fitness. This situation would be very frustrating without the other forms of exercise.