Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Percy Warner Park Humbilization

This morning I had grand plans to knock out 15 miles for my long run.  I decided to go to the PWP and run the main drive (11.2 miles) and then the remaining 4 miles on the Boulevard.  Yeah, that was a great idea in theory.  In reality, I woke up lat e because I determined it was too cold for me to run.  Now you may like to run in the cold.  I don't like to run in the cold.  I hate to run in the cold.  Yes, I am a big, whiny baby.  Deal with it.  My hope was to keep my pace between 8:30-9:00/mi on average.  There's too many hills later on for me to keep that kind of pace, but if I could keep it fast on the down hills, that would help my average pace.

I started from the front of the park and trudged up the first set of hills.  I started out pretty well and managed to stick with my game plan for 6 miles with an occasional potty break and short walk up some steep climbs.  At mile 7, my lack of training was starting to show.  It didn't help that about that time I was hitting Lunsford Hill, a particularly hateful and mean-spirited hill to me.  I trudged it half way up Lunsford Hill, when I had to throw in the towel and walk for a minute.  From there, you can guess the rest of it.  I would try to pick up my pace again with varying degrees of success and just as many failures.  At my worst, my pace dropped to a 10:45 for mile 9.  After that, I reclaimed some speed as I hit the down slopes back down to a 9:10.  I gave up on the last 4 miles as I was going to be late getting back home, and honestly, I was just dog-tired.

My average pace ended up being 9:21/mi for 11 miles.  I didn't hit the pace I wanted and I didn't run nearly as far as I needed to run.  Still, I can't complain about the run.  It was a hard course and my time was decent, though disappointing.  It does mean that I need to re-adjust my expectations for the marathon though.  Before this run, I was hoping for a 3:30:00 marathon, 8:00/mi.  Now, I think that a 8:30/mi-8:45/mi is probably more realistic.  I have about 3 more weeks left of training before the full, so I'm doubtful that this will change.  Now I just have to explain that to my brain.  Sadly that is a losing battle.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Post-Disney Re-Integration

I have returned from the land of the Mouse, and though I did not run a damn lick hardly at all, I had a super-awesome time with my family and friends.  We rode a ton of rides, and my son even rode Space Mountain for the first time.  Now that I'm back, I feel ready to get back into it and tackle that pesky marathon that is waiting for me on April 30.  My training this week has even been decent despite the craptastic weather that we've had lately.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not delusional enough to believe that it won't suck (I am delusional enough to believe that fairy dust will make you fly however);  I know it will.  But before now, I was kinda dreading it.  Now, I've made peace with it, though it's looming out there and I'm ready to have fun with it.

And speaking of delusional fun from the world of the geek, I saw Sucker Punch tonight, and big shocker coming...wait for it...wait....I loved it!  I had read the reviews giving it all the approval of Jim Tressel trying to delete his emails, but a movie about crazy, hot chicks with big guns and swords.  And steam-powered Nazis.  And killer robots.  No one could have kept me out of this movie.  Believing that the movie would be a steaming pile of poo, I was pleasantly surprised to find a fairly decent movie.  If your level of expectation is pretty low (like mine was), then anything better is step in the right direction.  Given that, I really dug this movie.  It was so over-the-top that not once did I have to suspend reality to buy the story, because the delusional flights of fancy (or wanton violence) lifted me of that burden.  The hyper-kinetic fight scenes were ferocious and smooth like some weird chainsaw wrestling match with fairies.  Unlike his other movies like 300 and Watchmen, this movie lacked the brutality and intensity of those films.  I don't want to give away the movie, but if I have to complain about anything, it would be this:  There was not enough wacked-out delusional violence and destruction.  Slipping between the levels of reality, though an interesting story-telling device, would bring my adrenaline rush down  faster than Space Mountain, and I was left wanting more insanity.  I probably would have liked it more if the fantasy of the sub-realities had come crashing through into reality more like a crashing log flume than an illusion for coping with atrocities and pain.  Still, I enjoyed it as much as any Wild Ride that had to end too soon.  Much better than I expected.  Definitely a rental, and possibly a matinee.

Will it win any Oscars?  I doubt it, but I'm sure that I'll add it to my collection of movies when it makes it to DVD.  That being said, my lovely wife reminds me that I loved Wrath of Khan also, so my taste may be questionable.  Just saying. 

(And yeah...I did it.  I wrote a blog about Disney, running, and Sucker Punch and made them all relate together.  That's just the way I roll.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Racing Season Initiation

Well the 2011 Racing Season has started out for me as somewhat of a mixed bag.  Yesterday, thanks to a  change in schedule, I was able to race the Tom King Classic Half-maration.  This was my first year running it, and thanks to a fortunate alignment of the stars and planets, we had pretty decent weather this year.  In years prior, it has been cold and/or rainy.  Yesterday it was a sunny, but windy, 58 degrees with the temps climbing up into the 70's by midday.  I was pumped to be racing again but also tense and unsure as I was going into this race fairly undertrained.  I was cocky enough to believe that my prior training and overall fitness might land me a PR, but in my heart, I knew that I just didn't have the mileage or endurance yet to roll out an awesome race.  It was this nervous anticipation that sent me to the "little runner's room" several times before the race and which I assume led to my undoing.  My plan was to start off with 8:00/mi pace for the first couple miles and then work down from there to 7:50's for 4 miles, then 7:45's for 4 miles and 7:40's for the last 3.1 miles.  This actually was a decent plan, and I was able to pull it off for the most part.  At mile 6 I noticed that my pace had picked up steadily to 7:40 for that mile, and thinking that was too fast to maintain, I tried backing off.  Miles 7-9 were definitely more reasonable with a 7:43, 7:46 and 7:45.  It was at mile 10 that things fell apart.  I was starting to feel the cramps set into my calves, and by the time I transitioned into mile 11, I had a nasty side stitch that was threatening to tear the whole thing apart.  I sucked it up, called myself every conceivable bad word in the dictionary, and tried to regain my pace.  By that time, the damage was done, I was dehydrated and I eked out a miserable 8:17 for mile 11.  I pulled it together to get a 7:55, 7:37 and 1:27 for the last 2.1 miles but I was moving on sheer hate for my weakness and stubbornness to finish.  In hindsight, I was still too slow in the middle miles for mile 11 to have made much difference, but in my race clouded brain, mile 11 was the one that did me in.  I ended up finishing with a 1:43:07, 7:53/mi pace.  No PR but I was darn close (1:42:00 last year).  So considering that I could have used more mileage training, I can't really complain about my results.  The day was a bit hotter than expected, I pee'd way too much before the race, and I needed more training, but I only missed my PR by 1:08 minutes.  Not too shabby for my first race of the season.

On a final note, the really cool thing about running in my hometown is that I get to race/run with fellow local bloggers/celebrities (Most of the people I follow seem like blogging celebs to me), some of which I consider good friends.  For instance, I saw Donna, whose blog is (Mis)adventures in Running.  She has had an amazing running career transforming herself from a couch potato to a running coach/fitness guru/motivator/inspiration in just under 4 years.  I used to work with her husband in Clarksville, and not only has she inspired me with her progress, but she's impressed me by how many converts she's managed to pull into running.  She had a fair contingent of her running pupils taking a shot at the race.  I saw Melanie, who writes Life is a Marathon.  While I don't know her personally, I've followed her blog for a couple of years.  She seems amazingly friendly and in January, she did the Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney World (something I'm hoping to do in 2012).  I saw her prior to the race and at mile 2, I managed the nerve to tell her that I enjoyed her blog as I passed by.  Finally, I saw my friend Jim, who writes Run for Dori.   He helped coach my son's basketball team last year, and he is a good guy for someone who is so tall and imposing.  His wife, Dori, is fighting leukemia, and he has used running to raise money and draw awareness to causes to fight and cure cancers.  Whenever I think about how much I've accomplished, I think about what Jim has done to use running to really help others and build a community of support.  So to my friends and fellow bloggers, let me say that it was really cool to share my experience with y'all yesterday.  Thanks!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Widget Re-Assignment

Last week my laptop was struck with a virus which forced me to re-format my harddrive and re-install my OS and all my apps.  Usually big fun, but of course, I hadn't backed up any of my browser bookmarks,  (PSA:  Always backup, backup, backup!)  so I've been spending a small portion of my week re-installing drivers, apps and bookmarking my favorite sites (like this super-awesome blog site, dontchaknow!).  In the transition, now doesn't want to play nice with Garmin Connect.  So now, is not importing my runs from my Garmin.  Lame!  Fail!  Boo!  Hiss!  I checked all the obvious settings, but nothing has changed in any of my accounts.  Ugh.  Not wanting to devote more time than necessary to this little picadilly, I've decided to move my tranining info over to as Garmin Connect doesn't really have the import functionality that I need. seems to be adequate.  I miss all the minutiae of detail from, but makes it much easier to sync my workouts.  All in all a decent trade-off.  I haven't gone to the Y at all this week.  Epic fail.  But I did some pilates/body weight/dumbbell exercises at home to supplement my runs this week.  Virtual Hi-five!  I finalized my registration for the Tom King Half-Marathon next week, and though I'm no where near ready, I'm looking forward to racing again.

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