earlymorningcruzin podcast

Thursday, December 31, 2009


Just want to say to everyone, that I hope you have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! That's all! ;-)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just a quick note!   Here is the map of my next race in Auburn, Alabama... My home town!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

New beginnings and the past

The end of the year is for reflecting and then planning. Planning for what will be goals and aspirations of the fresh new year, or in some cases.. the rest of your life.  I'm not usually one to create resolutions.. in fact, like Jimmy Buffett sang in a recent song.. "I'm gonna made a resolution, that I'll never make another one".  Resolutions are so short lived and soon forgotten. In fact, just go to the gym the first couple of week in January... you can hardly get a workout done for waiting in line at the weight stations. But just a few weeks later (or a few days) those same lines are no longer there. Where did they go? Back to their old ways....  Well.. enough about all that.. Let's talk about running stuff!

I am in week six of my Hal Higdon Advanced Half Marathon plan... with seven weeks left till race day. I've not used this training plan before, but I have heard some positive comments about it. His plan has emphasis on run times (duration) and not distances. And it includes 3 "recovery" runs during the week to both recover and prepare for the speed workouts during the rest of the week.

Yesterday I recorded and posted my first running podcast > http://earlymorningcruzin.podbean.com/  It's a first run at it.. and I will hopefully get better!

I do have goals for both my blog and podcast.. and that is to DO IT!! so there... I said it..

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Another Day another Race

This weekend I ended up running a local 8K road race. I had not planned to run but I kind of wanted to get a check on where I was in my preparation for the Vulcan 10 in two weeks. I won't go into every detail of the race but as it turns out I ran a pretty good avg pace for the 5 miles. Miles splits were

6:41; 7:02; 7:02; 6:38; 6:57

So.. started out good.. mile two had a hill and as most will do in a 5 miles race I held back a little in mile three.. Mile 4 had a slight down grade.. not enough to seem like you were going down hill but enough to help your pace. I don't know what happened in the last mile.. I don't feel that I slowed up any.. all I can think was that there were two long straight sections that lead to the finish and both were going into a headwind that was pretty steady.

I think my over all effort for the race was 90 - 95 percent. I never really "hurt" or felt that I just couldn't reach down for more and for whatever reason I just kept it on cruise to the finish. In fact, I turned around right after the finish and ran a cool down of a little over 2 miles.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Great Event!

I have to say the inaugural running of the Montgomery Half Marathon must be considered a GREAT success. I was totally surprised at the number of runners that accepted the challenge of the 13.1 mile course. And I thought that the longest race in this River Regions area that could be a success, was 10K. I was proved VERY wrong.. and I'm glad to say I was wrong!

I was glad that Scott Strand of Birmingham was the winner. Scott is a truely blessed runner that did a great job of picking out his parents! He is a humble and soft spoken man, but put a pair of racing shoes on him and he's like a crazy wind. His race time of 1:10 is great, and oh by the way...did I mention that he is 41 years old.. that makes him a member of the "Masters" class! Yep.. he is good.

As for my race, I am fairly satisfied with the time I ran. The race gave me an idea of the training areas that I need to emphasis during my winter training for the half marathons I have scheduled in January and February 2010. Longer training runs of 14 - 15 miles are in order and I also need to put regular one mile interval training days into my schedule. This will go far to help with a couple of things that happened during the race. My legs really gave out at mile 10 and it wasn't the hill that did it. I could feel tightness in my thighs about three mile into the race and by the time I got to the end they were totally spent and there wasn't anything left for the last two miles (Longer runs and speed work will help with both of these).

It was great to be in downtown Montgomery before the race and seeing all the fellow runners warming up chatting it up with other runners. taking about training.. how they are going to do in the race (or how bad). :-)

The splits above show that I started out and went through the the first eight miles at a pretty good and somewhat even pace.. but then I started to suffer a little after that..I ended the slide with an 8:24 - 12th mile.. I was hurting pretty bad. But thankfully I got to thinking about the last mile and knew that I would be given the gift of a 1/2 mile of downhill running and then I would see the finish line. That was enough to get me through to the finish.  I got passed by several people during the last 1.5 miles and each person that passed me increased my temper. There is NO way these people train harder than me.. or put in more miles that me.. They WILL NOT pass me again in the next race!! OK.. I'm back now.. just had to blow off a little steam.  You see, my running thrives off of my "failures".. and I work off of that burning competitiveness to make myself better... Like the Mercedes race... I stood at the starting line of this race with the thought in my head, " I can't wait for next year.. I am going to do so much better?" 

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Body, Don't fail me now!!

Ok.. who else does that happen to? You do all the right training and keep your diet in check for months.. then the week before the race you start to feel drained and you start to think that you catching a cold..

Well this is where I am today.. Yesterday I started to feel like my throat was swollen.. then that went away and now I just feel worn out.. I took a day off from work to rest and will get a good nights sleep tonight.. and maybe tomorrow will be better..

The night before the race is turning out to be less than perfect for a race on Saturday. My daughter plays in the High School band and as parents of a band member we have volunteered to work one of the many concession stands. I will try to leave at halftime and get a headstart on a good nights sleep..

This brings up a good hint.... The most important rest night is the night before the eve of your race. Just in case you are like me and are often restless the night before a race you don't go into the race day with two nights of less than your required rest.

I am sure that this is a very temp problem I am having..and will be race ready on Saturday morning.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Well... It's almost here....

One more week till the Inaugural Montgomery Half Marathon. Hope everyone's training has been as they needed and that there will be some PR's set this coming weekend.

I ran 8 miles this AM as my last long run. I will taper most of this week. My legs are feeling petty heavy and I just feel that they need some rest more than they need miles at this point.

Good news is the whether is taking a break from the high temps and humidity starting on Monday!!! And even better yet it looks as though race day will follow a night with a low of  around 64* and the high expected of 79. Just as a reference it was already 79 at 10:00 this morning... and around 85% humidity.

No further words of wisdom..

The number of entrants has increased.. Looks like around 450 runners at this point.. No doubt there will be some late entrants and we will breach 500 total! That would really be a good sign for the organizers and Hyundai for the continuation of what could be a very popular Race of the South.

I'll keep saying it.. this is a GREAT course. I think will impress most who run it and I can't wait to hear some of the post race comments!  Yeah.. it starts with a rather long hill and the hills at the end can certainly test you.. but what is between makes up for it... The reward will be in the calm serenity and pleasant streets of Montgomery's campus and residential areas as the course welcomes everyone who accepts the challenge of 13.1 miles.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What I wear

I thought fellow montgomeryhalf.com blogger Jeff ( http://runjeffmoody.blogspot.com/ ) had a pretty good entry yesterday. He wrote about what he eats, wears and listens to when he runs. So OK, I'll do the same..

Starting at the top.. I usually wear a tech hat. When I first started back running a few years back I wore a cotton baseball cap.. not good.... Tech hats are built to wick away the moisture and dry quickly. Lately, I have been sporting a tech visor. This is a little cooler because the heat that is released through the top of your head is not trapped.

Reflective vest!!!! Always when I run!! VERY IMPORTANT!!! 

Shirt or no shirt?  For me, as long as the temp is above 60 degrees I choose to go shirtless. It's just my preference. I have several running singlets which is my cover of choice when the temps get below 60 but above 45. For temps between 35 and 45 I'll run with something that has short sleeves. for Temps below 35 I'll go long sleeves. Of course all these gear is moisture wick tech material.

Gloves or Mittens? I like mittens when it gets real cold because the fingers can keep each other warm. For other low temp training runs the choice is gloves.

Shorts: Always shorts.. split side shorts..n matter how cold it gets.  I guess I am just old school when it comes to running shorts and I just don't like the long shorts (basketball shorts is what I call them) that I see other runners wearing.. I guess growing up running in the 70's this was the thing to wear and I still think it is.. although sometimes I wonder if I am to old to be wearing them.. but as long as they will make split side shorts, I'll be wearing them... and besides they make me feel faster!! hahaha!

Socks: I wear Asics socks that are designed to fit the each foot. By that, I mean they are made like shoes, one is for the right foot and one for the left foot. They are padded and have extra elastic and support in the correct areas for the right and left foot. I won't change from this style sock.. They are THAT good.

Shoes: Asics Nimbus 11. I have been wearing the Nimbus style since they were Nimbus 8's. They are great shoes for my foot and running needs. I replace shoes after I put about 350 on a pair.

RoadID with emergency contact information. I will not knowingly go on a run without my RoadID. This was a promise I made to my wife.  I HIGHLY recommend that everyone get one and wear it. www.roadid.com

Garmin 305 GPS: Never go for a run without it. Most of the time I use the heart rate monitor to check my heart rate during the run so that I am in the proper HR zone for my training.

Safety glasses: I run when it's dark and I wear a pair of safety glasses that my daughter got when she took a tour at the Hyundai plant. They are great and very good quality. They protect from flying bugs, dirt that is stirred from passing cars and low hanging tree limbs.

Sunglasses: Oakley Half Jacket

Body glide in liberal amounts in areas that it is needed.. :-)

Music: I don't normally listen to anything while I am running.. I used to, but I just got to where I trained better without it. I will at times listen to running podcasts. (read my blog from a couple days back).

Food: I don't eat before my training runs and I prefer to race on an empty stomach. This works for me and you may have a different technique. On race day I try to get up 3 hours before the race time so that my body is awake. I will eat a banana or something else that is light and easy to digest right when I get up. I also will have at least one cup of coffee about 2 hours before race time.

Well.. who knew you could say so much about something so mundane as running gear.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Race Day Equipment Check

Do you wait until the last moment.. like race day morning,  to get everything you will need for race day? Scrambling around trying to remember what to take... hoping that you don't forget anything.. and 9 out of 10 times you will because you waited? Race day morning you need to have your mind on your race strategy or just relaxing. Hustling around getting gel paks, body glide and socks will get you all geared up and anxious. This is defeating to your race preparation.  Instead, what you need is a race day list and a place in your house or apt that you always place this gear. Some runners I have heard actually dress out in there race gear the night before so they know just what they are taking.. and some even sleep in there race wear!! Well.. I think that is going a little far but whatever helps..

Here is a list of items that you can pick and choose from to help make your own race day list.

Shorts (can't imagine you forgetting this.. but you want them in your gathering place) :-)
Sun Glasses
Safety pins
Hat or Visor
Watch or GPS
Post race beverage
Body Glide or vaseline
Registration cash or check
Racing chip zip tied to shoe
RoadID or medical bracelet (HIGHLY recommended for anyone that runs!!!! ) www.roadid.com
breathright strips
Gel paks

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Find a Positive.. well maybe..

Today's long run, once again covering the Montgomery Half Marathon course, was less that positive. After running it twice over the last couple of weeks, with positive results, today's run was just a matter of survival! Temps were in high 70's and humidity was 95% @ 6:30 AM.

James and I had a fellow runner named Chris run the course with us today.. I knew when I saw him get out of his car that he was gonna be a good runner. Just had that body frame ...every bit of 130 lbs. and just made like an efficient distance runner... my instincts were right. We all ran together at a nice crusin pace of around 8:30/mi. Then Chris and James took off after about 8 miles. For me the heat and humidity was just to much to overcome and it just killed me. I DO NOT do well with heat/humidity conditions. So, I just let them go to the races and do what they wanted. I dropped back and slogged through the remaining miles... I really need a cold front on race day!!  I think my sweat soaked shirt/shorts/shoes weighed 5 or 6 lbs when I finished.

Today I just couldn't keep up with these two guys. Chris is in our age group and from what we saw today he has a good chance to take our age group on race day.. James will do well also...  I am just not in the shape that I need to be, to be competitive with my fellow age groupers. I will get there but I am looking long term and not expecting to be back to my former self until this time next year.. I'm also trying not to put to much pressure on myself or to make excuses,  but I know what I am capable of running when I am in top form..  I am not there now.. I just need to be patient and work my way back up.

I did my first ice bath after the run today.. it was COLD but I think my legs don't feel spent and fatigued like they would normally be after a run of this length.

College football on the tube today.. been raining so much this week I don't know when the grass will be dry enough to cut....

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's a Distance Runner Thing

OK.. I know this isn't that is normal, even for a distance runner, but I have three black toenails ... One that is mature and two that are trying to grow up be like their older twin. It think the last one I got was sometime in 2007 and that was only one. The main cause for black toenails is your toes rubbing or hitting the top of your shoe. To the most part that comes from shoes that are to small. I have been running in the same brand/style/size of shoe for the past 7 years and this just confuses me.  They did change the style a little this year but one of the first things I noticed about the new style was the roomy toe box.. Thus my confusion.. or maybe that is the problem..  I've read a couple of web site articles and there are a some other reasons that might be a cause. One is having too loose a running shoes... on each foot fall your foot slippage could cause my foot to slip up the toe box and press up against the end of the shoe. The top of my right foot was hurting so I loosened up my Yankz laces... so this could also have lead to the demise of my once three healthy nails. Well.. that is enough on that..

This is a new training week

I started the week off with a 7 miler. Just a nice paced run. I will run 7 mile runs Mon - Wed - Fri and then the half marathon course again on Saturday. I'll update you more this week...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Second Verse Same As the First

Well.. not really.. But I did run the Montgomery Half course again today. That makes twice this week... Hmm if I add up both times for the two halfs... that makes a 3:24 full marathon.. Well a guy can dream can't he? :-)

Today's run through the course was with my Saturday training partner. His name is also James, and for someone that has only run for three years he can sure put the hammer down on a long run. Usually we run about 10 miles on Saturday's and the first five miles are at my pace then after that we run at his pace. The way he puts it.. "I really don't get warmed up until after five miles.. and like clock work, when we hit five miles he finds his grove and it's off to the races! Ha!!

A nice group of runners meet today at the race start area and since no one was committing to run the entire 13.1 James and I went on ahead and started. There was a nice breeze this morning, the humidity was down (around 89%) the temp was about 75 with overcast skies.. so conditions were pretty good! The first half of the course was marked with white spray painted Hyundai icons. They had marked the turns real well (I don't know if they will last the three weeks till race day). The second half isn't marked yet, and we made a early turn on one street to soon, but this didn't effect the distance of the run.. Again, this run was a pleasant run through the quite streets of Montgomery and again I have to say how impressed I am with this course. This is a real "Chamber of Commerce course" it has sections that are not just great for a race but just as good for a leisure weekend run.

I really hope that the residents along the race course will be aware that there is a race going on and will be on their front lawns with their coffee to watch and cheer on the harriers! It is really amazing the uplift we get to have a total stranger cheer you on.

Plans are to return next Saturday and run the course again... Yes.. it is THAT good of a course.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Looking for a training partner?

Have you ever wished that you had a training partner that would run when and where YOU wanted to run? They would run with you no matter the time of day or night.. no matter the weather! They would be ready without a moments notice and without the first complaint! They will always be content with your pace! You can't be to fast or to slow! This training partner wouldn't ask you questions and expect you to answer, as you ran up that killer hill! Where do you find such a training partner? Well you find them on the computer... and you download them to your iPod (or mp3 player, if the podcast is in mp3 format) in the form of a running podcast... or as some call a runcast.

What is this podcast, you ask? Well.. the best way to answer this is to go here >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast

Well, now that you know what podcast is, lets get back to that training partner I was telling you about earlier. There are numerous podcast hosted by runners of all fitness levels and interests. You may do like I have done and download a few of the podcast by one host and after listening decide that it isn't for you or your interest.. no problem there are many to choose from.

A great location for find a number of quality running podcast you can start here >> http://www.runningpodcasts.org/

I'm will list a few of the ones that I listen too and can highly recommend them to you.

dirt dawgs rambling diatribe: A father, husband and ultrarunner running down a 100 miler http://www.runningpodcasts.org/podcast-directory/dirt-dawgs-rambling-diatribe-podcast/

Former Marine One Helo pilot that runs the mall of our nations capital and educates us at the same time

Training, lifestyle, veganism, being a Mom and Wife and fitting it all in

The podcast for runners, wannabe runners and mid-packers of all shapes and sizes who just want to strap on their favorite pair of shoes and get out there!

Listen to Gordon training for the Disney Marathon in 2010.

The Extra Mile Podcast follows the progress of runners training for 5k, 10k, half and full marathons across the globe. You can send Kevin an mp3 file about your training (like I do) and he'll post it to the podcast!

There are MANY others that are great quality and I'll say that you just need to listen to some yourself and I can almost guarantee that you will enjoy their company and learn a lot about running.. and like me you will find some great friends. Most are on twitter and invite you to follow there tweets...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hyundai Half is almost here!

I must say that when I heard that Montgomery was going to host a half marathon, I was a little skeptical. But then I heard that this race would have the same race directors that were in charge of the Birmingham Mercedes Marathon, I got excited. Then, when it was announced that Hyundai was going to be the major sponsor.. Well, I knew then that this was going to be a winning event for the River Region and the runners in this area!! I am sure that this event will be just as successful as other races in the state.. and I am glad to be a part of the inaugural event!

Well, since this race wasn't really on my calendar until recently I had no plan to peak on the Oct 3rd race day. I was looking to merely be a part of the event and approach it as a training run as I prepared for the Vulcan 10k in Birmingham. However, I have a weakness for being to competitive for my own good and will now consider this a race, and in such, I will give it my best. I'm not in the shape that I need to be to run at the best of my potential, but I will do my best on race day to compete against those others in my age group.. You see I quit trying to compete against anyone younger than me.. that is just to much pressure on the 49 year old body.. :-)

So, Let's talk about the race course. I thought that I needed to make a test run over the course before race day and Labor Day seemed to be a good day to plan the recon. I drove my car over the course, a did so to the best of my ability, using the mapmyrun directions on the web. I had to make some detours because of closed gates and got somewhat turned around at one point.. but I think I knew the course enough to go ahead and get my recon run completed.

As I walked to what will be the starting line area, I was asked by a fellow on a bike (Larry) if I was going to run the 1/2 course.. he also asked if he could ride along side as I ran. He was supposed to meet a couple of runners he coached and do the same for them... but they were a no-shows. So, after some introductions I agreed that if he didn't have anything else better to do, it was OK with me. :-)

As it turned out, I was VERY happy to have Coach Larry around!! He knew the course and neighborhoods very well and did a great job of navigating us through all the turns. We even had a little time to reminisce about the old days of racing in the 70's. He was great company and I don't think I would have pushed the pace like I was able if he had not been there. I appreciate his company and positive words he had while I was running.

So.. If you are planning to run the race, here is the skinny on the course!

Like you will always hear.. Take it easy "coming out of the blocks". The first couple of miles consist of an upward incline to takes you out of downtown. You WILL NOT win the race in these first two miles but you can certainly loose any ability to make the next 11 anything more than agony. Save yourself and the lactic acid buildup by taking it slow. There is plenty of miles to make it up.. trust me on this.

From Mile 3 to 11 you will be treated to parks, neighborhood streets and the campus of two of Montgomery's University's. The miles will go by fast as you travel what is mostly flat and roads that actually have mostly a declining profile.

Now the "flat land party" is over and you will then have some hills to negotiate as you head back to downtown. Hopefully you have saved some endurance in your tank to make the S. Perry hill and then Hull street. The reward.. you head down Dexter Ave for a half mile of downhill striding.. and the finish line it is almost in sight!! You can just visualize that person in front of you that you just have to pass!!

  • I recommend that you either run the course before the race or at least run it in parts as you train for this event.
  • Don't worry that your training is "not enough" my first half mara in 2001 was accomplished by training miles that didn't exceed 6 miles at one time. You can do it!
  • Read the newspaper articles in the Montgomery Advertiser by Kym Klass for some great running tips and instructions.
Here are my mile splits from the recon run this morning:

7:50; 7:54; 7:35; 7:26; 7:49; 7:42; 7:50; 7:42; 7:45; 8:09; 7:55; 8:27; 7:25

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I have to catch you up!

I feel bad about my lack of attention to updating my running blog... Ok.. here goes..

I am in week 9 of my training plan for the Vulcan 10k. As I have 10 weeks of training until the race I am very unsure of my current readiness. I have to realize that I am NOT going to set PR's every time I run a "big" race and that I am still in a phase of training that is designed to get me back in shape for the 2010 race season.. not 2009. So, let's get on with the training update!

August was a low mileage month. I had the unscheduled race (Wallahachee Woodlands 5k) that I talked about in the last blog blog entry.. it WAS hot so I did opt for the 5k instead of the 10k and was pretty glad I did. Race time was 22:02.. Not my fastest but I was happy about the consistent mile splits of 6:55; 7:09; 7:03. I came in 2nd in age group.. a little disappointed in that.. the 1st place was just a few seconds ahead and I really should have pushed myself to get the 1st place.. but I didn't lose any sleep and since I really didn't see this as a goal race.. I'm ok with it... I know I can do better.. but I didn't prove it at that race..

The past week I missed most of the week's training due to sickness. I never ran a temperature.. or felt anything really other than I was just dead tired. I think I started feeling it on my Saturday run and on Tuesday I just kept feeling worse as the day went on.. So, I laid out of going to work on Wed and Thur and by Friday I was good enough to go back to work (are u bored yet?) but still laid out on Sat... I Ran 7.6 this AM and besides thinking that I ran a mile to long it was a good run. So back to the training plan starting tomorrow.. but as Chris Russell ( http://runrunlive.com/ ) said the other day.. 'If you miss a week of training, don't double up thinking that this will get you back on track, it will more than likely set you back. Just pick up where you left off." So that is what I will do.

Before I run the Vulcan I do have a half marathon http://www.hyundaihalf.com/ on the schedule.But as I have said this is going to be a more of a training run than a race. But I'd still like to do well!

I have enjoyed providing some entries to the extra mile podcast ( http://theextramilepodcast.blogspot.com/ ) during the past couple of months. The design of this podcast is to provide a place for runners to send mp3 recordings of their training updates. Kevin then puts them together and posts it on iTunes for download. Kevin has had some good things to say about my submissions and I have really enjoy sending them in. Yeah,, it's kind of strange to be running down the road talking to "myself" but at 3:30 in the morning.. there is really no one there to see me or hear me doing it anyway.. and besides I'm not really talking to myself, I'm talking to all the people that will listen to the podcast.. I just hope that what I have to say is of some interest to the listeners.

For this blog... I would really like to tell some stories of my present and past running.. I will do that soon.. maybe there will be some enjoyment to the reader...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

So.. Why not?

Well, I know I said it... after the Peach run in Clanton I told myself that I wasn't going to run another race this Summer... I was just so depressing an effort.. But, I really need to take my 'training temperature" to see how I am doing up to this point in my 10K training. This is a race that I have run before (Woodlands Wallahachee 5 and 10K). I have, up to this point, always run the 10K... but this year I will use the 5K to judge my training. It is an out and back course and I have always felt a little jealous when the 5K racers would be turning around at their halfway point while the 10K runners continued on to our turnaround point. This year I will join that group this year!

Training has been going fair. A couple weeks ago my hip started hurting so I lowered my mileage for a week and began some strength exercises that were on the Running Times podcast.. They were very timely and beneficial to me. I have tried to be diligent to the exercises and I believe that this has helped to get me back on track fast. Last week I had my first 40 mile week in a long time..

I will limit and taper my training this week and prepare for the race. I will update again post race

Monday, July 27, 2009

Week 5 Training Update

I had a good week on the road. All combined I ran 35.9 miles in the 5 days of training. I also had one day of speed work.

I have had one struggle point with my training that I mentioned in an earlier blog. My average per mile pace has just been too fast. Any runs outside of speed work or Tempo runs have a purpose. They are to be EASY runs and are at a pace that provides maximum value for aerobic conditioning. If the line is crossed your muscles are unable to recover from the speedwork or they won't be "rested" for the upcoming speed session. So, last week I adjust accordingly and slowed it down. For the week I averaged 8:30 /mi for a goal pace of 8:34 /mi.

For my speed day I did 4 x 1/2 mi intervals. I opted to run these on the road during a regular 6 mile route. I ran little over a mile warm up then started into the intervals. Between each 1/2 mile interval was 1/4 mile jog. My times were 3:17; 3:13; 3:06; 3:11. My goal times was 3:12.. So I danced all around it pretty good. I OK with those times.

I say all this, for one reason. I spent some time this weekend looking at some training paces that I was running in 2007 (a very good race year for me). What I saw in the training log was clear.. I was training on non speedwork days entirely too fast. I paid the price of being off my running feet for most all of 2008. I don't want to make that mistake again.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

FORE!! A break in training..

Well, I had a abbreviated training week last week. No long run on Saturday. I got some exercise though.. I went on a golfing weekend with some men from my Sunday School class. The fellowship was great but considering my limited amount of playing time, my golf game is bad. So what can I learn from this? Pretty much the same as I learn from my running. Here are some thoughts:
  • If you don't practice (train) you will never be good.
  • It takes lots of practice to meet your potential.
  • Golf is as frustrating as running is therapeutic.
  • Golfers talk about fairways and long drives the way that runners talk about races courses and long runs.
  • You don't have to be in good physical condition to play 18 holes of golf.
  • You do have to be in good physical condition to run a 10k.
  • Golf courses sure are pretty.
  • Golf course can be a GREAT place for a run.
One thing about this past weekend was the weather was perfect. I actually got goose bumps one morning! Goose bumps in July!!! No way!!

Hope your training is going good.. have a goal .. have a plan .. work the plan .. and run.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wk 2 of 10K Training

I think my training is going good for just two weeks into the plan. I have started my weekly speed training that is mainly in the form of Tempo and 1/2 mile intervals.

I struggle with one thing. I am supposed to run all my training runs during this segment of my training plan at 8:34 /mi. Well, I am running more in the area of 8:15 - 8:20 and sometimes on flat parts of the run it gets more like 8:00 and below.. I know this can come back to haunt me in the form of overtraining injuries.. so I really have to get my mind into the right pace.

Oh yeah.. BTW: I sent in my first entry into theextramile podcast.. I hope that Kevin will be able to use it and post it on the podcast..

A HOT 10K and I don't mean the pace!

Well.. I have been shamed into entering my story about what a couple of us are calling the Clanton, Fuzzy Peach Butt 10k. So I write...

This summer has been pretty hot, but I don't guess any different than the past few years. It just seems to be hotter sooner. But even so the race must go on.
I have become acquainted with a couple of fellow Alabama runners by way of a podcast, a blogspot and tweeter. And as a way to meet in person we all decided to meet in Clanton for a 10k beatdown/showdown.
The two other parties in the meeting of the bama boys are Gordon of runtodisney.com fame, and Mark of bamarunner.blogspot.com. Both of these gentlemen are true lovers of this fanatic habit of running. You can catch both of their links from this blogspot homepage.. I will let them tell there own story. Both are well worth following.

OK.. back to the race... as I state in my previous blogs I am not really in racing shape, but I really wanted to meet with Mark and Gordon. So off to Clanton I went. In addition, James, my Saturday long run partner also come to run the streets. James had a bad week with his back but decided like a lot of us that the entry was paid so might as well run and see what happens. Well.. he won his age class.. we think he was sandbagging! haha!

The morning of the race was hot and humid and you just have to deal with it cause you can't control it.. but man, it can sure make you suffer. Mark and Gordon arrived at the race site in time for us all to ride over the course. We did that and within a few minutes it was race time. I would say there were about 50 runners that included 5 and 10K racers.

The starter gave some instructions that only those on the first row could here and then we were off. The first mile is mostly down a long gradual grade. It gave a false feeling that you could run this pace the whole way. However, the third mile was back up most of that same grade... Things were going alright until about the 3.5 mark then the heat just overcame my ability to keep up the pace. From that point of I just started a run/walk knowing that it would be better for me rather than suffer.

I finished with a time under 48 min and with the knowledge that I have run the same course in less than 42 min... oh well, I'm not down on myself because I know that this year holds in it the potential formy best training and my fastest race times since I got back into running. I'm really not proud of the race, but am SO glad I went and met these two super individuals. It made it all worthwhile.

Hopefully everytime you lace up your shoes.. everytime you run you appointed training run.... you realize that you are truely blessed to be able to take part in this activity of life and you will respect the act of running.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

How it Began Part II

I don't remember a lot about my first first three years of high school running.. I do remember that I didn't run much during the summer and paid the price every year when the XC season training season started.
I'll expound in more detail in later blogs but I ran the Peachtree Road race in 1976,77,78. It was a much different pre-race and race in that 76 race... 77 is when it really started to grow. I still have my racing bib and finisher card.. yes they actually handed out finishing cards. 812th out of around 3000 runners.. and only the first 1200 runners got T-shirts.. How I wish I still had that shirt!!
Well back to my high school running... my senior year was marked by several PR's in every distance from the 880 yard run to the 3 mile XC course. I still have the yellowing notebook pages that have lots of my senior year track practices recorded.. I don't know why I wrote them down.. or why I kept them all these years.. but glad I did.
An observation about the track workouts confirms to me that teenagers are CRAZY! I can't believe some of the back-to-back track/speed workouts I was put through.. My legs ache just reading them! ha! Another observation is that I am very close to running the same monthly mileage now as I was then.. not sure what that means.. just an observation.
Again, I would like to take future blogs and put in some detail about workout times and road races that I remember running.

Well.. after I graduated from High School (78) I ran and raced that summer and then shipped off to the Navy.. I stopped running at that time... and didn't really pick it up again until 2001. I'm back now... and am glad I was challenged by my sister to pick it back up.

Friday, June 12, 2009

How It All Started - Part 1

I have no clue that more than 3 people will ever see this blog... but none-the-less I want to turn back the clock and tell my story of running. I heard someone say that if you are in an occasion to speak, if you have nothing else to talk about.. then just tell your story.. Everyone loves to hear a life story. So in a total disregard of fact that only 3 people will ever see this blog I am going to tell my story of running. It goes back a few years so I may break it up into parts.. just to make it bearable.

I guess my first step toward being a runner was as a freshman @ Auburn High School (Auburn, Alabama). I approached Coach McDonough about running track in the spring and he encouraged me to come on out for Cross Country to get in shape.. Funny I thought I was going to be a sprinter! ;-) So what could I say.. Sure, I'll do that.

I don't recall if I had running shoes to start (probably not) but when it looked like I was going to stick with this new venture my dad decided we could go out and buy some. Well, you have to understand that in 1974 you didn't just drive down the street and pull up to a sporting goods store like we have these days. There was one sporting goods store in Auburn, that had one style of running shoes. They were Ontisuka Tiger's (now called Asics). I'll tell a story about those shoes later...
So my running adventure started. Two highlights about that first year of training was breaking 7:00 minutes for the mile and one that wasn't a happy event. The first XC meet was coming up and I didn't make the cut to participate. Well this was all the motivation I needed... From that time on I worked harder than anyone else.. it paid off in years to come as I was voted MVP of the XC team for my Jr and Sr years.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Countdown to the Peach Run 10K

Although my training is not focused toward the upcoming race on June 20th, I am hoping that the race will give me some idea of where I am in my fitness. I want to use the time from this race to help me in my training pace to get ready for the November Vulcan 10k in Birmingham (www.vulcanrun.com).

My Training is going well. I logged around 150 mi last month and have started putting in one speedwork session in per week.

More later..

Sunday, June 7, 2009

2009 Mercedes Half Marathon story

After an absolutely injury plagued 2008 I had already decided some months ago that I wouldn’t “race” the event but rather do as I had done last year. I would run the race with my sister Molly and her friend Cindy. The goal would be to pace them to the finish line of the half marathon under two hours. Molly’s husband, Mike, had already had the fate of this race settled earlier in the week, as a kidney stone brought his race plans to an unexpected end. His training was going great and just as mine had been in preparation for the 2008 race, it just wasn’t meant to be.

Before I go into the details of this year’s race, I need to give a little background of how I got to this point. In fall of 2001 Molly challenged me to something that would have a profound impact on my life. She was planning the run in the inaugural 2002 Mercedes Marathon (her second marathon) and made a dare for me to run the half marathon. There was little time to train so I went right to work. As I look back those first few runs make me chuckle. Although they were nothing more than one time around the block, it was all I could expect of myself to complete. In preparation for the 13 mile race the longest training run was probably about 8 miles and I didn’t think that I wasn’t going to survive that run, it hurt. But my goal was ahead of me so I took all my old school cotton running gear and got mentally ready for my 1st half marathon.

The atmosphere before each Mercedes race is always electric! I can recall the prerace excitement in Atlanta before those early Peachtree road races and this is no different. Throughout the field there is but one goal in mind. There is no way to describe the feeling as you wait in the starting corral with a cross-section of individuals where everyone toes the line as equals, that is, equals until the starting line is crossed.

Seven annual visits have been made to this starting line, seven races and six different courses and seven different stories. I want to tell you about number seven.

The pre-race setup was pretty much as it has been since year one. The day before the Sunday race we travel to the Frederick’s home in Homewood and enjoy the hospitality and talk about how training has been and what personal goals each of us have for the next day. This year I would be traveling alone, as Marsha and Jane were in Fairhope enjoying that cities annual Marti Gras parade.

The dawn of race day gave notice that there would be perfect weather conditions. Clear skies, a temperature of 43 degrees and light winds all “race-day perfect”.

My plan had been all along to run the race with my sister and Cindy. The goal was to once again pace the two racers to a sub two hour finish. Last year Molly and I hit the finish line under the two hour wire by a mere three seconds. Neither of us was ready or prepared for that race. Molly’s preparation for this year’s race was better in quality and she was expecting a much better performance.

The gun sounded and the race was off. As it turns out the first mile was by far our slowest of the 13 ahead of us as we weaved in and out of the slower runners in front of us. In fact the 9:00 minute /mile pace that was run in last year was put behind us very quickly. I was simply amazed as the miles clicked off. We kept ourselves entertained throughout the race by talking and joking around, which may have contributed to the quick pace of time. I have run faster races but never ones that the mile markers seemed to pass as quickly as this one did. I am so proud of both Molly and Cindy with the way they ran this race. When they put in a sub 8:00 (7:57) minute mile I was afraid to tell them how fast they were running. I was amazed and absolutely thrilled about it all. They told me that their best time in the half marathon was 1:56. I knew they were on pace to beat that. Well, as I found out later it was actually 1:52, and as it turns out, that personal record was beat on this race day. Molly had a tough eleventh mile but she recovered and finished strong! Cindy ramped it up that last mile and finished ahead of us both!

A few remembrances during the race: For those who “get it”, it was funny to yell the phrase “MORE COWBELL”, “I GOT A FEVER”, when we came up to supporters along the race route ringing a cowbell. If you wear a shirt with ‘Auburn” on it, you will get lots of support directed your way in the form of “War Eagle!” and “GO Auburn!”. And it really isn’t motivating when someone yells at you from an upper balcony, “You need to run faster because the man in the pink tutu is up ahead of you!” Well, it was funny, just not motivating!

I want to thank Marsha for putting up with the time that I spend on the road with this thing some people refer to as a crazy obsession. She has always pulled for me to “Run fast” before every race.

I also want to thank Molly for daring me to attempt that first Mercedes half marathon in 2002. That was little more than 5000 running miles ago. Without that dare I don’t think I would have rediscovered this on my own.

My goal for this race was not about me, so as I stood waiting in the starters corral for all the runners to gather, I couldn’t help but look ahead to next year’s race… 365 days away. I am already excited about it and in the back of my mind I am training for that race already.


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Prattville, Alabama, United States