Saturday, June 28, 2008
I got in a hot tub of water and soaked for about 45 minutes. I added 2 Advil to my recovery efforts as well.
When I got out, I got really light headed.
No need to push it now; I layed on the bed until I felt better. It is funny when you are so tried you can barely hold your eyes open.
After a short time I felt a lot better and could put this entry in my blog. It also helped to eat and drink. I was probably a little dehydrated after the race. It is important to continue taking in fluids even thou you have stopped running.
Considering that in just a few more hours I will be attempting my 3rd marathon, I thought I should blog something about it. Well, I have arrived at the hosting hotel this afternoon. The place is kind of nice. There is a Jacozzia in the room which I have already tested it. Believe me, it felt really nice on my tired body. I have been pushing high milegage, long runs, as well as both tempo and fartlek workouts. I don't think I have ever worked so hard for just one race. I know I can do the distance. I ran a 27 miler a few weeks ago in 3:18. I still have some painfull muscles but if I can bring it all together, I should run under 3 hours. I could possibly run under 2:50. If I have a really great day, I could conceivably run under 2:40. I would really love to run under 2:40. I would have set the marathon standard for charlotte masters running this spring. I can do this but I just need to focus and put everything together. FOCUS, FOCUS!!!!!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Two years ago I invested in a Polar watch with Heart Monitor. I didn't get the shoe node that tracked the distance. I was mainly interested in knowing what my heart was doing while I was running.
Over the next year, I found there were things that I liked and disliked about the Polar. I like that the Polar is similar to a regular stop watch. The menus are is to navigate. The options are easy to review and running through a specific work is straight forward. You can manipulate the views so that you can focus just on the heart rate, overall time, or lap time. And so far, I haven't had to change the battery.
On the down side, I hate that I didn't get distance monitoring tool. This would have been nice to have.
I guess the troublesome part of a Polar is the heart monitor chest belt. To get it working you have to wet the connections and some times it takes several attempts before the watch finds the signal. Also the snaps are hard to get on and off.
I still use my Polar for Fartlek workouts. It just easier to use Polar for a Fartlek workout if you are not interested in measuring the distance.
In December of '07 I moved to the next level with a Garmin. Over the next 7 months I tried to understand the features and functionality of the Garmin.
I found that I liked the way Garmin heart rate connection hooks up. The chest belt easily snaps into place and Garmin finds heart rate signal fast. The distance tracking is great on the road and on the bike, I found if you use it on the track or on trails, it tends to run a little short in measuring the distance. The menus are easy to navigate and only take a few minutes learn.
The battery life is a pain. After 5 or 6 runs you need to recharge the battery. It should be noted that the Garmin is not a true watch but tool. Thus my comparison is only partially accurate.
The download process is great. The Garmin syncs using a USB port. This great in comparison with the Polar which does this audio signal sync. It is a pain and you have to have the entire room quiet to be successful.
If you are interested knowing the time, Polar displays the the time when not use. For the Garmin, you have to move to the menu view and then the current time is display in tiny numbers at the bottom.
If you are interested in viewing the heart rate, the Polar view can be switched while in use to a heart rate view and the view is very readable. The Garmin has the heart viewable on the main screen but it is very tiny and hard to read while running.
The Polar watch is always ready to use at any time but the Garmin needs to be turned on each time. Layne and I found that if you place the Garmin on your wrist and move around, it takes longer for the Garmin to sync with the satellites
Once you download the data, there is a Garmin training center to review the workouts. It presents all of the comment features of distance, rate, pace, and heart rate. For the Polar the data gets shipped to web site where similar info is viewable. I am not a fan of the Polar approach because you have to have a internet connection for it work.
I do regular download for my Garmin with each recharge. I finally gave up on Polar. I manually copy of the workouts and record them in my training log.
My only other complaint about the Garmin is the size. I have the 305 version which is a bit bulky compared to the Polar. There is a 405 version out which gets closer to looking like a watch. But since I just bought 305, I am not looking to move up just yet.
That's my comparison of the Garmin vs. Polar.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I remember that run vividly. I was about 20 years old and running 34 minute 10ks. In those days the handicap runs was age graded so they gave me something like a 5 minute head start head. I thought was kind of funny at the time. I think I ended up second to a 12 year girl.
The Sharkbite handicap run was not age graded but it was time graded. They basically subtracted everyones time from 1 hour. When the clock hit your handicap time, you started the race. The assumption being that everyone should finish in 1 hour.
Since I am taking some downtime now, I wasn't running hard. As a warm-up I did the course before hand and felt terrible. I guess I shouldn't have had that massage before hand.
Brad Popples started about 45 seconds behind me. I hadn't gone more than 1/2 mile when he passed me. From the point, I never saw any runners.
It was the first time that I ever finished last. I hadn't expected it to happen for at least a few more years. However, it was different than I expected. Everyone cheered and clapped when I finished. It was kind of nice.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
The Summer Breeze Road Race was held at Freedom Park last night. This race has been around for a long time and usually has good field of runners turnout.
This year, however, things were very much different.
The race title sponsorship changed hands this year. Inside Out Sport replaced Run For Your Life as the primary sponsor. Run For Your Life still did the race timings but all branding of the race was InSide Out.
And since RFYL wasn't the title sponsor, Summer Breeze wasn't a GP race.
These two factors combined to hurt the overall race turnout. This could be seen in the times recorded from Men and Women races. Last year, I ran 16:50 for an 8th place finish. This year 16:30 won the Men's race. The women's winning time was 18 and 1/2 minutes which is very respectable. I might even argue that the women's race was actuately better than the Men's race.
Having run Summer Breeze for a number of years, there was one very nice thing about this year's race over previous years. A late evening thunder storm blew through the Charlotte area just before the race. The thunder storm released more rain at once than I have seen in recent memory. Water was standing every where. While driving over to the race, the water filled the streets and sprayed out from my car like a snow plow going through a winter snow drift.
But the rain slacked off by race time. The women's race started under just a few rain drops and by the time men's race started the rain had stopped.
Stan represented for the TrySports Team and did a great job. He finished in just a few seconds over his PR of 17:42.
After the race serveral of us met at Brixx for some good pizza and the telling of running war stories. For two guys only in the 20s Chris and Cody has some of the funnest stories that you have ever heard.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
This is a small town 5k where they do such a great job. I can only briefly describe all of the things that they do.
They do a great job with pre race setup and post race awards. They have tons of food and music to entertain the runners and their families. This is all on top of having one of the best 5k course around
The last 2 years I have finished second and I was looking to move up one spot this year.
Looking around before the race, I saw a couple of other good runners Dwight Jacobs and Justin Sink. Both are good runners and have been delivering quality times on the local road racing circuit.
From the start Justin took out the pace. Dwight was following close behind. During the first 1/2 mile I manueared through the crowd and started to close on them.
I passed Dwight first. Dwight usually doesn't go out fast but he is a fast closer. Justin had opened about 10 to 15 yards on us. By the mile I had close with a few yards of Justin. Rather than pass him, I decided to just follow.
I had trouble closing in my last few races and I wanted to just ride tonight.
As we approached the turn around Justin slowed a little and I moved by him. After the turn around Justin moved back to the front but I stuck on his shorlder.
We exchanged the lead several times over the next mile. I kept trying to push the pace. I knew Dwight would be pushing hard that final mile and I wanted as much ground between us as possible.
Justin and I approach the last hill in the race and he tried to surge ahead. I covered his move but this pushed me over the red line. As we crested the hill Just made one more surge and opened about a 5 to 10 yard gap on me. From that point, I chased hard but I was not able to close the distance.
Looking back on the race, I was rather pleased with my final efforts for race. I ran 5:19, 5:31, and 5:36. My final time was 17:09. Justin crossed the finish line in 17:06 and Dwight was in 17:16.
After the race, I had my yearly hot dog with ketch, mustard, and slaw. I eat only 1 hotdog per year and it is always after the race in Denton.
Other note worthy items - Peter from Vac & Dash gave away shirts and towels after the race. Uwharrie Running club won the Team competition. The award was a nice pair of Brooks gloves and the tacky traveling trophy. I got a nice Runner's Trophy for my efforts. This make the 3rd 2nd place trophy. I will be back next shoot for the matching set of 4.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
This was my first visit Marvin Ridge HS. The school is located near Waxsaw, SC just off of Providence Road.
The school appears to be relatively new and has a very nice rubber track.
Cody worked with the event organizers to add 5000 meter run under the lights to their Summer Track Series event for this week. I have run several night races before but running 5000 meters on a track and under the light is quite special.
My team mates from the TrySports Racing Team: Ben, Chris, Cody, Brian, and Stan all came out for the race.
Ben took the win in 15:55. Cody was 2nd in 16:21. Chris was 3rd in 16:48. Brian was 4th in 16:51. I finished 5th in 17:24. Stan crossed the finish in just over his PR in 17:45.
Going into the race, I didn't feel strongly that I was in shape to break 17 minutes. I pretty much validated that thought.
This event has been around a while. I was looking through a list of old races and found that I had won the race in '99 with a time of 37:15.
This time around, I probably ran the race much differently.
I went out in 5:31, 5:45, 5:58, 5:38, 6:00, 6:19 with a .2 of 1:02. This gave me a roughly a 36:45 10k.
It was not a bad run, but I know I can definitely run faster.
This course is rather tough. The course layout is froms a Y shape and has lots of hills. Coming back to the finish, the last mile virtually all up hill except for about 40 yards.
Over the last 10k my legs felt really heavy and suspect it was from running a 5k the night before, the course being rather tough, and the from the heat. It probably didn't help that I am not in as good a shape as in previous years.
After the race they had tons of food apples, oranges, and bananas - cookies and chips. Also they had lots of drinks: water, prowerade, and respect.
I took the pace out rather conserveratively and only started to pull away after the 2nd mile. I endup winning the race. The 2nd place running finished in 39:46.
I wish more runners turned out for these type of races. This is really what racing is about: running, socializing, and lots of food and drinks.
The race starts at 9pm and has a great turn out of runners. They also do a great job with prerace packet pick up, running the race, post race food and drink and awards.
This year they had people calling the splits at every mile. Everyone was wearing chips. After the race there was loads of bananas, watermelon, and catalope. I certainly had my fair share. The results were posted and the awards were given out by 10pm.
Considering all of the above, I wished that I had raced better. I ran 17:13 for the race which was slower than last year. Even the weather was much better this year.
My splits were 5:19, 5:24, and 5:45. I then ran 43 seconds for the final .1.
I felt good through 2 miles. However, in mile 3 I really trailed off.
Based on the data from my Garmin heart monitor, I pushed over 180 just around 2 miles and this was just about the point where my legs started to tighten up. And once I start to tighten up, I pretty much know I am done racing.
Overall, I finished 3rd but Bob M. and Robert B. were well out in front of me. Stan (fellow TrySports Runner) ran 17:46.
Btw - This year they gave away a running t-shirt. I like this idea as I will a ton more use out of a running short than regular cotton t-shirt.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
As I was driving over, I noticed a bill board that displayed the current temperature. It was 98 degress. Stepping out of my car I felt like I was in a presure cooker. Barely any wind was blowing and the heat just seemed to be bubbling up from the asphalt.
This week the CTTC switched the meet location. We would be running on the track at Myers Park High School. I had never been to the Myers Park High School but I had run past it several times during the spring corporate cup 1/2 marathon.
The track has a rubber surface and was nicer than the track at AG Middle school.
Gathering at the track, TrySports had a huge group out last night. Brian, Chris, Cody, Stan, and my self. All of us were expecting to run the mile. In the first mile Cody paced Chris for two laps with even splits. Chris would go on to post a 4:27 mile. In the 2nd heat Cody would run a 4:56 solo effort.
Brian came through with a 4:42 time. Stan is improving by leaps and bounds with a 5:13.
For my self, I met my goal. I broke 5 minutes with a 4:59.4 by my watch.
Later Brian, Cody, Chris, and Stan ran the 2 mile. Cody ran 10:31. Brian ran 10:49. Stan ran 11:32.
My splits were
Split - - Max/Avg BPM
1:13.0 - - 171/145
1:14.3 - 2:27.3 - 173/172
1:15.9 - 3:43.2 - 173/172
1:16.2 - 4:59.4 - 175/174
My last 1/2 mile was slower than the first 1/2 mile. I was a few seconds behind Brian after the 1st lap but I didn't try to close the distance and stay with him. By the end of the 2nd lap, Brian had gapped me by several seconds so I didn't have anyone to pull me along over the last half mile. I guess having everyone spread out even thou we were running on the track was my issue.
I need to work on my closing my races faster.
Next week, I am running a 5k on the track at Marvin Ridge High School. It is under the light and starts about 8:1o PM.
Heading into that race, I am going to focus on running a sub 17 minute 5k.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Since this hasn't happened, I set down this weekend and wrote some computer code to make the calculations and push out the standings.
Low and behold to my surprise, there was an 11 year girl in the top 7 of the standings. Alana Hadley has been running great and has accumulated enough points to be 7th in the overall standings.
Here are the top runners. I have the entire list if anyone is interested.
Some runners have not run all of the races so below I only show the point totals for they races they did run.
Runner TotalPoints Shamrock4m Skyline5k Twilight5k KingTiger5k Age
Matt Yost M 3713 906 928 957 922 23
Bill Shires M 3657 898 898 949 912 43
Stephen Spada M 3645 881 912 937 915 42
Greg Isaacs M 3481 818 864 910 889 24
Stan Austin M 3440 843 826 907 864 31
Mark Hadley M 3354 793 823 876 862 38
Alana Hadley F 3352 793 823 875 861 11
Jimmie Chavis M 3265 719 834 848 864 33
Peter Browne M 3239 793 796 839 811 43
Sheila Wakeman F 3207 783 788 835 801 43
Clayton Venhuizen M 3164 747 796 810 811 36
Andrew Bishop M 3127 759 769 803 796 34
Ron Clair M 3112 769 748 805 790 49
Boriana Bakaltcheva F 3103 733 767 807 796 22
Bob Nelson M 3069 740 758 796 775 56
Peter McKenzie M 3034 710 771 781 772 31
Todd Hartung M 3008 729 752 780 747 39
Andy Shuford M 3005 712 752 786 755 47
Robert Marchinko M 3000 1000 1000 1000 34
David Harris M 2993 731 755 769 738 39
Saturday, June 7, 2008
The temperature was in the 80's at race time with a slight head wind heading out for the first mile and 1/2.
My goal going into the race was to run a sub 17 minute 5k. I felt my training was at the right point where I should be able to make it happen. RFYL had a new course layout which I believe would run much faster than the course used last year. I was expecting a lot people to run really well.
I went out in what I felt was the right pace. I hit 5:23 first mile and 5:29 for the 2nd mile. However, the 3rd mile, I couldn't finish it off.
I was running with Matt through the turn around. The pace felt hard but good. We were facing a head wind which I thought would help us on the return trip.
Thinking about it now, I am not so sure. I suspect once the wind was at our back, we no longer had the cooling effect. This allowed the body to really heat up. I know during the 2nd and 3rd mile I felt really hot.
Just before the 3rd mile I checked over my shorlder and Steve Spada was closing on me. I thought I might be able to hold him off but I had already given up to much during the race. He passed me with about 50 yards remaining. I watched him pulling away. I must say it was a most disappointing view.
My time was 17:16 which was respectable.
The are no more GP race for the next 4 weeks so I am going to concentrate on running some 5Ks and mile races in the next few weeks. Then, I am going to take a down cycle from running and just enjoy days where I don't have to run hard.
Friday, June 6, 2008
The condition were were decent. The temperatures were in the upper 70s to low 80s and it was a little over cast. The worst part was the wind.
The course heads straight down Tryon for just about a mile. So when the wind is blowing west to east, you have a head wind.
This was my first race wearing my compression shorts and calf sleeves. I felt a little out place. Maybe it was because I don't tend to be much of a trend setter.
There were a good number of runners at the race and since we started on Tryon, it was a nice wide start. I tried to stay behind the other runners as we headed out for the first mile. You can save a lot of energy by letting another runner push the air aside.
My plan was to follow everyone through the first mile, then push hard the 2nd mile, and then hold on the 3rd mile.
I executed this plan pretty much to perfection. My first mile was roughly 5:30. The 2nd mile was about 5:15 (being that it was slight down hill). The third mile was just over 5:40 (mostly up hill).
I finished in the 17:12. Mike B. passed me in the final .1 of mile. He had been trailing me through the last mile and had a good kick in the end. I thought Steve Spada might be closing but I was about 10 to 15 seconds ahead of him.
Overall, I was pleased with the effort. I finished 5th overall and gain some valueable points in the RFYL GP.
I have run the course several times in pass year so I was vaguely famalier with it. And RFYL had made only a few minor tweaks to it this year - mainly around the starting line.
The start was between the stadium and the campus. Really, it is more like an alley way so the start was rather cramp.
I tried to be patient going out. I thought I could do a 5:20 first mile.
When I went through 1 in 5:33, I knew the legs didn't have it. Matt Yost went by me looking smooth.
I tried to give chase but as we move to the up hill portion of the course, he extended his lead over me.
I passed the 2 mile point in just over 11:00 minutes and thought I was in pretty good shape for a run to the finish. Then, Steve Spada came by me. My legs were not feeling it. Tried as I might, I couldn't stay with him.
He slowly pulled away over the last mile which I might add is mostly down hill.
My finish time was 17:22. I was disappointed in the finish but realized it was part the process.
Not every race will be a great race, but you have to turn bad days into decent finishes. Today, this was what I did. I turned a day when I didn't run my best into a decent run. I picked up good points for the RFYL Grand Prix and will be looking forward to the next race.
A good group of runners had come out for the race. Chris Lamperski and Steve Spada were in attendance. I knew both were faster than me so I needed to set my goals appropriately.
Out of the start, we were really bunched up during the first lap. I had to move into the 2nd and sometimes the 3rd lane to make passes. This was my only option or I would have been boxed in which would have cost me more time.
Chris was long gone after the first lap. Steve and another guy had worked their way into 2nd and 3rd. By the start of the 3rd lap, I had moved into 4th but by now Steve had gapped me by about 15 meters.
Becaue the mile is such a short race, I knew I needed to push hard early in the 4th lap. I tried picking up the pace in the first 200 meters of the 4th lap. However, I wasn't closing on either of them.
When we hit the final home stretch, they just kicked it into another gear.
Chris ran something like 4:38. Steve ended up 3rd, but I think he broke 5 minutes. I would run 4th in 5:02. And, Stan, who is also a member of the TrySports Racing Team, finished in 5:20.
Overall, I thought I raced well. I let Steve gap me too much going into the 4th lap so catching him was never realistic.
Next week, I will see if I can stay a little closer to him during the first 3 laps. Maybe we can have a shoot out coming off the 4th turn heading for the finish.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I was only 2 weeks removed from running a marathon but I wanted to support the TrySports Team and their efforts.
From the start I was trailing most of the team. I caught up to Matt Yost and we paced each other. We then caught Brian and another runner. We passed them around 2 miles.
At 3 1/2 miles Brian, the other runner, and Matt really picked up the pace. My legs were still heavy from the marathon so I didn't have anything to push.
They ended up racing to the finish just 10 seconds in front of me. At least I had a really good seat to watch them race to the finish.
I picked up the masters award for a decent effort. I guess I am never satisfied. I always believe that I can run faster.
Monday, June 2, 2008
The race starts at 9 am and runs 2 laps around the track followed by a .1 up pit road. I like running on the track. There something different about it.
They do need to make a few changes.
The course mile marks appeared to be off. My final .1 was over a 1 minute.
The awards were nice, but they need to not double dip and they need to expand the awards to cover more than the first runner in each age group.
The starting time needs to be adjusted. Starting a race in June even early June at 9am is way too late. The temperatures had already climbed into the high 80. It was probably higher in side of the track because of all the asphalt.
The race started at the start/finishline. The first 2 to 3 hundred yards were a mad dash, then it started to fan out. Matt Smith took an early lead. He was followed by Cody Angel and then my self. Cody caught Matt by the start of the second lap and pulled ahead. Matt was drifting back to me but I couldn't catch him by the finish.
Cody crossed the finish line in 16:37, Matt in 16:58, and I crossed the finishline in 17:11.
For the Snickers Marathon, I prepared well. I used a combination of tempo runs, fartleks workouts, and super long runs. I followed a 3 week taper. I felt confident that I could run 3 hours, but I was really surprised that when I crossed the finishline in a 2:38:38.
I started out conservatively with a couple of 6:15 miles and then moved to running 5:55 miles. I ran through 10 miles with this couple from Canada. They were running right on 6 minutes pace which I felt was perfect for me.
They took a restroom break just after 10 miles. From that point I ran solo through 22 miles when the marathon course merged with the 1/2 marathon course. Congested followed as the 1/2 marathoners were walking 2 and 3 abreast. Some where between 23 and 25 miles, the first woman caught me. Then, the guy from Canada caught me. I wish I had realized that he was a master. I chased him to the finish line and ended up 10 seconds behind him.
As I crossed the finishline, I was both tired and excited. I had run faster than I had imaged possible. It was one of those days when everything just clicks and you run your best.
In looking back at this marathon, I am proud of the effort that I did. It has given me enough confidence that I am planning another marathon later this year.
With all of this grow the traffic in Charlotte can get crazy at times. The roads near my development use to be realitively free of traffic. Now, I am mainly reduced to running on them only on the weekends and then only early in the morning.
To find a nice place to run, I have been driving to the local Park and Rec. greenways and trails. However, gas has gotten to an outragous price so I am back looking for ways to run near my house.
Well, during the this morning, I came up with new type of run called "Left Turn Run".
To do a left run you need two things. First, you need a Garmin or a bike if you want to measure the miles that you run or a car if you can afford the gas. Second, you need a housing development - perferrabily a large one.
To start a "Left Turn Run" proceed to the entrance of the development, then start running into the development taking each of left turn. If you come to another exit in the developoment, you can make a "U turn". Otherwise, you continue making left turns.
The general idea is to cover every road in the development and return to the starting point. I did the WedgeWood development this morning and found that I could easily get in 6 miles and faced very minimal traffic. It is almost as nice running on the a greenway.
If you are looking to avoid running on the roads, I suggest trying a Left Turn run. You get to know the neighborhoods where you live, you get in a nice run, and, you face little to no traffic depending on your development.