Sunday, July 25, 2010

End of the Week Recap 7/25/10

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  This week I ran 13.56 miles at an average of 8:32/mi.  I did 4:02:00 hrs of cross-training/cardio, thanks mostly to 3 hrs spent on the golf course.  I have no idea what I weigh, but if I'm anywhere in the neighborhood of 165 lbs, I'll be shocked.  I had a lot key lime pie this vacation.  A LOT.  I was hoping to get a bit more mileage this week, but due to a nasty rainstorm yesterday, I did not get to finish my run. I did get pelted by sand and water for a good mile.  And I learned this neat trick that turns my cell phone into a brick.  Otherwise, I was not overly happy with my run.  To add insult to injury, after I made it back to the condo and dried off, it, of course, stops raining and turns into a beautiful afternoon.  I took it as a sign that the Universe hates me called it a day.  No workout today either as I spent 8 hours driving back from the beach.  I'm planning on crashing early and starting over tomorrow.  This is muy importante as I officially start my marathon training tomorrow.  I'm even using a plan (sort of).  That's all I have for now.  Later kids!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The New Shoe Orientation

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  It seems like all I've done this summer is go on vacation, but at best, I've taken a vacation from my running.  This week I'm in Gulf Shores, AL with my family and my brother's family.  For those of you interested in the condition of the beaches, I have to say that they are not as bad as I thought they would be (I can't scoop up the oil and pour it into my car), but it could be better (it looks like the waterline has turned that part of the beach a rusty brown).  BP and the Gulf aside, I have managed to work in a few miles this week.  Despite the heat and my general sluggishness, I've been pretty happy hitting the road again.  So happy that I thought that I needed a new pair of running shoes.  It probably helped that my pair of Brooks Adrenaline 9's were looking the worse for wear.

So my traditional trip to the outlet mall came a bit earlier this week and I picked up a new pair of running shoes.  They are Saucony Grid Cohesion 3's.  A neutral cushioned shoe.  I'm sure that the Born to Run crowd are screaming foul on my apparent snubbing of the Saucony ProgGrid Kinvara, but in my defense, they did not have the Kinvara's where I was shopping.  Plus, I'm really cheap, and I got these for $35.00 plus tax.  Score!  In all seriousness, I'm still considering the Kinvara as a potential racing shoe, but I can't seem to pull the trigger on my tried-and-true Nike TriD III's.  Despite the fact that I've sipped the minimalist kool-aid in the past, the fact is that I'm a high maintenance runner.  I like to run with my MP3 player on occasion.  I find it almost painful to run without my Garmin Forerunner 305.  I will fill up my Aquapod handheld with G2 low cal.  And yes, I still need some moderate cushioning in my shoes for my everyday trainer.  It's sad to admit, but I'm not nearly as strong or bulletproof as I used to believe.  So if I can relieve my joints from a little stress by using a more cushioned shoe, then I will.  For me, the shoes are only part of the equation.  Now, I take more stock in having a comfortable, short stride over gimmicks and fads.  Just like anything else, it has taken some experimentation to find out what works best for me, and now I think I've found it.  And that means I wear shoes for now. Later kids.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

End of the Week Recap 7/18/10

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  This week was a mixed bag.  I did 21.44 miles at an average pace of 9:04/pace.  Not very fast.  I did 1:06:45 mins of cross-training/conditioning..  I think that I'm weighing in at 164 lbs.  My times as well as my endurance have been crappy.  I did do some beach running, barefoot, yesterday, which resulted in some gigantic blisters on my feet.  Oh well.  Back to vacation for me, and hopefully some more base miles during the week.  Later kids!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Summer Re-Format

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  Of late, my running, much like my blogging (you can see where this going, can't you), has been fairly non-existent.  If it wasn't for my cross-training, I doubt that I would have much to show for this summer.  The day before a run, I always seem to have the best intentions, but when the day comes, I always seem to find an excuse.  I have too much work.  It's too (damn) hot.  My legs are achy.  It's too damn hot.  The British Open is on.  I need to pack for vacation.  It's TOO DAMN HOT!!!  You get the picture.  I'm not sure when I became a whiny, sissy, but I don't care for it.  Next week, I'll be on vacation (again), but I'm hoping the free time will give me a chance to re-ignite my running.. I need to start from scratch, and re-build my base.  The first thing that I need to do, is write down my training plan for the week.  Even if I have to switch it around, at least I have a guide to go by.  Hopefully this will inspire me to get in my miles.
Hard numbers for the day:  No miles today.  Just 20 minutes of cross-training/cardio.  The usual at-home workout:  5 minutes of jump rope and a couple quick sets of push ups, lunges, curls, etc.

Geek Tip:  My IT guy just upgraded me to Windows 7 this week.  It called for a re-format of my harddrive and many hours spent re-installing my drivers, apps, and games.  After playing with it for a few days, I have to say that 7 is a VAST improvement over Vista (and I kinda liked Vista).  7 is easier to use and significantly faster.  It gets my finisher's medal of approval.  That's all I've got.  Later kids!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

End of the Week Recap 7/11/10

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  This was a rest week.  I hadn't intended on taking a rest week (I usually mock those people who take them), but man, did I enjoy the week off.  I ran 4.1 miles at a pace of 8:28/mi.  I did about 3:26:00 hrs of cross-training/conditioning, but 2 hours of that was golf.  Thanks to my week off, I'm topping the scales at 165 lbs.  I decided to look up swimming technique on ye olde internet and, surprise, surprise, discovered that my form needed work.  I did about 5 minutes of form work today in the pool while the kids played and realized it is harder than I thought.  Assuming that I get a break in the storms this week, I'm going to pick up my training again before vacation.  That's all I have for now.  Later kids!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Race Schedule

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  A quick look at my exercise activities in will show you just how little I've done this week.  In my defense, it has been really hot, and I've been really lazy.  Not sit-on-the-couch-with-bacon-and-ice-cream-sandwiches-lazy but more like I-need-a-break-to-recharge-lazy.  My IT guy also installed Windows 7 on my laptop, so I've been geeking out on it.  Unfortunately this also meant reformatting my hard drive, so I've been trying to re-install programs, games, and the rest of my junk from my backup.  Big fun.  About the only running productive thing that I've done this week is to complete my race calendar for the year.  My next 3 races before Chickamauga will take place in Murfreesboro, TN (or the 'Boro for the locals).  As for the Fenton Payne and Fred 5k and the Run Chikin Run 10k, these are races that I ran last year and scored huge PR's.  The Middle Half will be a new race for me, but my friends who've run it before really liked it.  The 'Boro is relatively flat and these courses lend themselves to some pretty fast times.  Coming towards the end of my marathon training, these races should be good tests of my fitness and speed before my marathon.

Now for the hard numbers:  I played 9 holes of golf today.  I scored a 45, but my playing partner, the Running Guru, and I had to skip a hole.  A pair of drunk yahoos were taking their sweet time between cans of beer and duffed shots into the woods.  After riding up on them twice and nearly getting hit, we decided to skip the hole they were playing and move on to the next hole.  For score card purposes, we gave each other bogies.  It's possible that this might have been too generous, but we were playing pretty consistent bogie golf up to that point.  I also managed 10 minutes of cross-training/conditioning tonight.  Mostly body weight exercises, but it was enough to get my heart rate up for a bit.  Okay, I'm out.  Later kids.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

2010 AJC Peachtree 10K Race Report

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  I know, I know.  It's taken me nearly 3 days to file this report.  What can I say?  I'm a slacker.  On the 4th, I ran the AJC Peachtree 10k with my friends the Trocchi's (who also graciously hosted us at their home.  Thanks guys!) and over 50,000 other runners (Yes.  50,000 runners.  For a 10k.  But for the record, it was surprisingly organized and orderly for a race that size).  The weather was perfect, a cool 75-80 degrees, and nary a cloud in sight.  The first 3 miles were downhill, and I figured that I would need to clipping along fairly quick to have any chance at a PR.  So you can imagine my frustration, when I realized that several people in my corral (I was placed in the first corral behind the invitees/seeded/subseeded.  I know.  Awesome, right?  You betcha.) were jogging/walking.  Looking down at my Garmin and realizing the pace was way too slow, I moved to the left and tried to sprint through the pack.  Not easy in corral of 2,000 or so people, but I managed to build up to a decent pace.  My paces were 7:38, 6:59 and 6:44.  The remaining half of the race was mostly uphill.  As the heat built, I tried to stay cool by sticking to the shady parts of the course, dousing myself with water, and taking quick drinks at the water stops.  Between the heat and elevation, my pace seriously slowed.  Fortunately for me, the last mile was downhill, so I was able to make up some time there.  My paces were 7:14, 7:22, 7:05 and 1:48 (6:12/mi for the last .2).  My official finish time was 44:51, 7:14/mi, which was a new PR (I know.  Awesome, right?  You betcha.)!  Overall I finished 1402 out of 50,965 finishers (I know.  Awesome, right?  You betcha.).  Booyah!

With a race this big, it could have been a total organizational/logistics nightmare, but surprisingly, it wasn't.  The race organizers had volunteers stationed at strategic spots to make sure that everyone got where they needed and kept the runner traffic moving.  They had plenty of food, including Georgia peaches, and I was shocked that the bagels even seemed relatively fresh (I had that all races required week old, stale bagels, but these were nice and soft.  Awesome, right?  You betcha.).  

This keen insight into runner needs and pampering was particulary evident in the place that I can commonly be found prior to a race, the porta-potty.  These porta-potties provided by Johnny on the Spot were the cadillac of porta-potties.  
They were mostly clean and had plenty of TP.  The ones that I saw (I had to make use of the facilities before and after the race.  I know.  Peanut bladder.  You betcha.) had fixtures for men (#1) and men and women (#1 and #2).  Furthermore, these closets of luxury had hand sanitizers and seat sanitizers!  They even had a shelf for your stuff while you took care of business!  
Take note race directors, this is how you treat a runner in your race.  Get them the upscale porta-potty!  The only recommendation that I might have for the Peachtree race director is that the goody bag at the end of the race really needed some deodorant/cologne.  There were a lot of ripe folk riding the subway home (I know.  Stinky, right?  You betcha.)  That's all I've got for now.  Later kids!

Monday, July 5, 2010

End of the Week Recap 7/4/10

Hail my running brothers and sisters.  A quick week recap.  I've been out of town so my race report will be tomorrow.  Only 19.93 miles at an average pace of 7:52/mi.  1:03:43 hrs of cardio/cross-training.  I think my weight is still around 162.  The big news of the week is my PR at the Peachtree 10K.  My official finish was 44:51, 7:14/mi.  Race report tomorrow or Wednesday.  Later kids.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The AJC Peachtree 10K Countdown

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  My countdown has begun for the AJC Peachtree 10K on the 4th.  I'm taking my  family down to Atlanta, and we're spending the weekend with some great friends who are generously putting us up.  The course will have plenty of elevation to be challenging.  I'm going off in one of the first waves so I'm hoping that the temps will be a cool 70.  My training hasn't been great lately, so I think anything under 50 mins will be acceptable but I'm shooting to finish around 45 mins.

Talking about my training, this is as good a time as any to talk about summer training/running.  The main reason that I haven't run much is that it's just too damn hot (and surprise, surprise...I'm not much of a morning runner).  So if you're willing to test your sanity like me by running outside in the afternoon, I suggest the following:  

1.  Drink some cold water before you run.  A cold drink before you run will make sure you are properly hydrated before you exercise and help keep your core temperature down.

2.  Bring fluids and stay hydrated.  I use a handheld with water (sometimes Gatorade) for anything under 10 miles.  Anything over that I bring along my fuel belt.

3.  Pick a shady route.  This can be hard if you run in an urban area, but any shade can be physically and mentally refreshing.  For my long runs, I prefer to run in park full of trees.  It helps keep me cool and it's nice to be surrounded by nature.

4.  For as few runs as I'm doing, I'm trying to make sure they are quality runs.  I'm doing speed intervals/tempo runs, hill training, and long runs.  If I can only run 3 days a week, I want those runs to be good runs.

5.  Since I'm running less, I'm at the gym and the pool more.  Not running, doesn't mean that I get to be a slug.  I'm digging swimming at the Y, and it feels good to be throwing up some iron again.  Honestly though, I usually end up doing body weight exercises at home, since I don't get much time to make it to the gym.

Now for the hard numbers:  Today I did 20 laps at the YMCA pool in 29:43 mins.  I still swim like a frog, but my endurance seems to be building as my rest breaks were less and less.  I also did 13 minutes of conditioning/light calisthenics.  Wish me luck this weekend.  Later kids!

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