Sunday, September 16, 2018

Florence spreads rain and wind across Charlotte


Florence changed my plans for the weekend. Rather than heading out for a super long run in the rain and wind, I settled for a couple of easy 10 milers. The risk of being out when conditions can change rapidly just does not make much sense. Fortunately, Florence was fairly cooperative during my runs. I faced few strong gust of winds but otherwise, the rain was never more than steady rain. Luckily, my usual 10 mile coarse does not put me in harms way of water overflowing streets which is better than I saw the rest of Charlotte is facing.

Hopefully, everyone stayed safe if they decided to step out for a run this weekend.

Cool Down Runner

Friday, September 14, 2018

River Jam 10k WWC September Edition


With Florence being on the distance horizon, the race crowd was seriously down for both races. I could tell the 5k was down and the 10k racers were significantly down.

Actually, I had been worried that they might postpone the race until next week. They were late sending out their usual prerace details email which only fueled the speculation that it would be either delayed or canceled.

However, the email finally came out the day of the race, and for those making the trek out to the Whitewater Center they were met with decent race day conditions. The temperature was in the mid to low 80s. The humidity was up but not significantly. Surprisingly, the trails were in decent shape given the off and on rain showers this week. I could tell they had been keeping them closed this week as the leaves and tree limbs littered the trail. At one point on the Lake Loop, I came around a corner to find a tree hanging across the trail. I yelled back “low bridge” to the runners following me.

Grabbed a few miles before the race to see how my legs felt and as they usually do, they felt heavy and lethargic. At the start the aside from Steve going out fast, our pace seemed slow. I quickly settled in behind Andrew. This was our rubber match race. He had beaten me twice, and I would beaten him twice so this was our deciding race for '18. The last thing that I wanted to do was let him get a big lead going into the trails with runners between us.

I made sure to be right behind him when we entered the single track. I followed him until we got to around the mile point. Then, I passed him. At each of the next few turns, I could tell that I had a small gap on him. Through, the quartz section, he hear foot steps behind me. I glanced back to see Andrew right on my tail. Once we topped out, I pushed again, but I wasn't getting way from him. Entering the Lake Loop, he was staying with me. Rounding the first lake, he pulled by me. Seems as if his Blue Ridge Relay race didn't leave his legs as tired as he lead me to believe. He was pushing the downhill sections hard, and I was struggling to stay with him. Then, we came to the ¼ grinder fake hill. I call this a fake hill because it looks flat but it just a long steady climb that makes my legs go numb. Apparently, Andrews legs were feeling it because I got back by him. We had less than two miles to run, and I wasn't going to give up easily. I kept throwing in little surges where ever I could. Soon, I had small gap. Out of sight, out of mind, running the trails, being just a few yards ahead of someone can put you out of sight of them which is what I wanted to do. Reaching the last section, I had a good gap on Andrew, but I fully expected him to come flying after me on the push to the finish. I exited the trail running hard and not looking back. If he caught me, there was very little that I could do about it anyway.

Rounding the channel, I caught sight of the finish clock. The time was just clicking over to 45 minutes. If I pushed a bit harder, I might get my fastest time this year. My eyes were glued to the clicking of the clock. I didn't look away until I had crossed the finish line.

I clocked a 45:24 time which is my fastest at this year. I placed 3rd overall and 1st in my age group. For age group awards, they gave out these nice WWC metal water bottles. I now have two so I guess this means that I need to run a few more races so I have complete set of them.

Kudos to the Whitewater Center Race team for putting on a great series of races this year. I have thoroughly enjoyed these Thursday night races. Very likely I will be back again next year.

The Cool Down Runner




Thursday, September 13, 2018

Time for some fall interval training


With several major races coming up on my schedule, making interval training a part of my weekly training plan is a must. Last week, I ran my first set of 12 x 400 hill repeats. I repeated the same workout again this week.

Last week, I was still recovering from my 45 mile long run so my legs were anything but cooperative. Not to mention, the temperatures was in the low 90s and the humidity just added to my struggles. But I completed on 12, and I completed all 12 this week.

This week's set started out only a tad bit faster but then on the 3rd interval it was like my legs finally clicked in to the right gear. Suddenly, my splits dropped by an average of 7 to 8 seconds per interval. My legs just felt easier running.

Typically, once I move over to interval training the first couple of weeks are so, so. Then, I go through a few weeks where I make steady gains. Then, somewhere about 6 to 8 weeks into the cycle, my gains stabilize. After 8 weeks, I might get another week or two of good running but if I continue running intervals, I often I find that my times start to fall off.

That's way I always set my my goal race in the 6 to 8 week window. I might as well capitalize on the my efforts while they are their peak for the current training period.

The Cool Down Runner

Monday, September 10, 2018

127.5 mile week


I had thought that my running 100+ mile weeks had long since past. Then, Saturday, I was updating my log book, and the realization set in that I had just run a 127.5 miles in the past week. Of course, pushing over 100 miles does take to much effort after I figured in a Monday 45 mile long run followed by the next Saturday running 35 miles. That's a whopping 80 miles in 2 days. The rest of the days were filled in with my 7 and 10 miles runs. They were hardly worth noting in comparison to the other runs.

Looking at my schedule, I am likely topping 30+ miles over the next two weeks before starting my tapper in to the 50 miler.

Cross your fingers for me that these runs steel the muscles and callus the mind to handle 50 miles.

The Cool Down Runner

Friday, September 7, 2018

WWC 50 Miler Sign-up


Today, I put my money down, and I made a commitment that I hope my legs will be able to delivery upon. I signed up for the Whitewater Center 50 miler. I decided is was finally time to stop talking and put my name on the dotted line.

Now that my decision and commitment have been made, I actually feel relieved. I had been going back on forth on doing it or not doing it. Fence setting is no fun and besides I am getting down to crunch time.

Only 5 more weeks and 50 miles stand between me and that belt buckle.

The Cool Down Runner