Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Big South 5k Recap 8-22-16

Strapped on my racing flats and pulled on my Hoka/Charlotte Running Club jersey Saturday morning for the Big South 5k.

I wish I could set here and say that this was a great race for me, but it wasn’t. My legs felt sluggish, tired, and yes, I will say it “old”.

My Garmin flashed up a 6:09 for the first mile. Any other year, I would have felt like there wasn’t enough oxygen in the world. My legs were turning over but I knew that they were not turning over very fast. My breathing was barely labored.

Further up the hill we went.

Finally, we topped over for the last 1.5 miles to the end.

Making the turn on Rea Rd, my split was 5:59. I could feel the tendentious in my hip calling out to me, and it wasn’t in a good way. As best as I could I ignored my brain’s desire to slow down. Before I knew it, I was turning into the Target Parking lot. One, two, three, four turns, I am headed for the finish. A couple of young runners probably born in this century went by me sprinting all the way to the finish. I wanted to sprint, but I knew better.  In the grand scheme of things, a couple seconds in a race make no difference. Oh, yeah, my last mile was in 5:49.

Since July, I have done little more than log lots easy miles and cross train. May be in a couple more months, I can shake off this tendentious and work my way back to racing well again.

Time is both an ally and an enemy to me.


The Cool Down Runner   

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Weather Update

Wow, over the last couple weeks I went from running with no shirt, to running with a shirt, to now running with 2 shirts this morning.

Once Matthew blew through our morning temperatures dropped another 10 degrees. Not that I am complaining.

Returning from a run not soaked with sweat feels nice. Charlotte could keep this weather year around, and I would never complain about it.

So enjoy it while it last. Soon, we will be looking for even more shirts, hats, gloves, etc to wear on our runs. Winter weather will be here soon enough.

The Cool Down Runner

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Volition 1/2 Marathon Recap

Some races just cannot catch a break. Really, what are the chances of a hurricane roaring through the Carolinas on the same weekend as this race for two consecutive years?  Such is the life for the Volition Run ½ and 5k.

Runners were greeted with a steady rain and gusty winds throughout the race morning. If there was one perk, the runners got a tail wind on the mostly downhill out portion of the course. However, they paid dearly for it on the way back. The rain picked up and gusting wind slammed into them like a wall.

A couple of my Hoka/Charlotte Running Club team mates: Caleb and John came up to try their luck. John and I ran together through about 6 miles. He was feeling pretty good considering he just came off the Erie Marathon a couple of weeks ago.  He picked up the pace, and I didn’t want any part of it. This was the first time that I have raced since the Charleston Distance Run on Labor Day week.

I have been attempting to nurse this hamstring back to a healthy status while attempting get ready for the Marshal Marathon in November. As you might expect, my efforts have been less than successful either in the healing process or preparing for the marathon.

This showed today.

I went out easy and then faded toward the end. My last 3 miles were 7:10, 7:08, and 6:59. Finished 7th overall with a time 1:29:13. Good for 2nd in my age group.

I do want to give a shout out to Lisa W. for her second overall finish. She had been sick this week but showed her mental toughness this morning.

And a big kudos go to Whitney and Dennis. Given all the hoops and huddles that they have overcome to make this race happen, they deserve a huge pat on the back for their efforts.

Next up for me is the Big South 5k in a couple of weeks.

See you at the races,

The Cool Down Runner



Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Charleston Distance Run - Race Recap

Returning to the Charleston Distance Run on Labor Day weekend has become a bit of home coming trip for me. 30 years have passed since I first laced up my running shoes and hit the streets of Charleston for their 15 mile run. Back then, life was far simpler.

I guess this is why I was leaning against the fence and soaking up the view of Laidley Field in the predawn hours. From the glow of the stadium lights across track and the finish line to the illumination of the gold colored dome on the Capital Building the feeling of nostalgia were welling up inside of me.

Life seems to move pretty fast. You need to slow down and enjoy it once in a while or it will pass you by.

In grand CDR tradition, the race starts with the firing of a cannon on the Capital Building steps. For the first 5 miles, my focus goes to settling into a nice pace. We ran along Kanawha Street, turned the corner near the Civic Center, then turn left again on Virgina Street, and the run on to the bridge which crosses the Kanawha River. This is an arched shaped bridge and presents each runner with their first real hill test for the miles ahead.

Rounding the corner, we run passed the sign explaining where the start of “Capital Punishment Hill begins”. This is the type of hill that gives most runners a nightmare. Arching your head back, fog hides the top from view. Heck, even thou there is another sign which says “Capital Punishment Hill ends”,  the hill doesn’t end. Runners make a left hand turn and then continue their climbing. Here the fog is really thick. Runners 25 yards in front of me are lost from sight.

My training for the last month has been nothing short of abysmal. But I push those thoughts away. On race day, you have what you have. You cannot improve it, and you cannot change it.

The hills seem a little steeper this year. Quite possibly, the addition of another year to my life might be the reason why.

People are encouraging, and I find that while I am not running as well as I have previously, I am enjoying myself a bit more.

Cruising down hill and back over the Kanawha River I am at 8 miles in to the race and have 7 pretty much flat miles to go.

As I am running down Virginia Street to the Capital Building, the shade seems different this year. While the sun is shining brightly, there is more shade on the course than last year. I cannot explain it, but this is how it seemed to me.

In to the Capital Building parking lot and around the back to exit, I crossed 10 miles in 67:34. Considering, I was 34 minutes and change at 5 miles, this makes me feel pretty good.

I have 5 miles left – 3 of which are along the river. This is one of my favorite sections to run in all of Charleston.

We make a right as we near the Civic Center which marks roughly the 13 mile point. At this point the bueaty of Charleston changes. Miles 14 and most of 15 mark my least favorite of the course. Mostly, I see lots of the backs of buildings, the underside of freeways, and oh, yeah, there is a correctional facility. I don’t ever remember seeing it before Saturday. Mayb it is new.

My legs wanted to tighten up badly. Even with my conscious effort to keep them relaxed. The long corridor of buildings which make-up the road to the entrance to Laidley Field seems like it takes forever. Suddenly, I bounced out on to the track. Even thou, the rubber on the track has aged; it still gives a slight bounce to my legs. The announcer calls my name, age, and city over the PA system.  He goes on to tell everyone that I am the oldest finisher so far. Not sure how I am should feel about it.

Coming to the finish, I feel better than I have in several years. With a time of 1:41:05 and place of 11th overall, I placed me 1st in the 50-54 age group.

Only minutes later, the track was now alive with excitement as runners streamed in to the finish. I stopped, listened, watched, and soaked up the atmosphere.   

Yep, this had turned out to be a pretty good day after all.
Life is about making the memories so make the most of them. 

The Cool Down Runner



Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Injury Reserve

Saturday morning, my first 20 miler in a while went pretty well. Sunday morning, I headed out for 10 miles and from the first few steps there was a dull pain on the medial side of my knee.  At the time, I thought it was nothing more than some residual effects from working around my house on Saturday afternoon. Monday morning, the same dull ache continued, and I noticed some swelling and the area was painful to the touch as well. Tuesday morning, I had a mid week 14 miler planned. I made it to 12 miles before calling a halt to the run.

The pain was effecting my stride and nothing good ever came from this situation so I walked home.

I guess this puts me on the injury reserve list for a while. How long I am not sure.
I'll hobble a few miles each day. The streak must continue but otherwise, I'll let it heal.
The Cool Down Runner