Friday, October 31, 2008

8 Days left until OBX

I got an email from one the guys at the OBX marathon which listed several of the runners in the master category.

Wow, these guys have put in some really fast times and I am looking forward to racing against them. It gives me a great opportunity to see how I match up against other masters runners from around the country.

Hopefully, I will have some time on Friday to meet them at pre-event meet and greet.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

9 Days left until OBX

This morning, I was up and out the door early. I hit the Mallard Creek Greenway just after 7 AM. The air was crisp as the temperatures dropped to about 31 degrees. And there was just a hint of frost on the ground.

For today, I had a fartlek workout scheduled. This workout includes 8 x 2 minutes with a 1 minute recovery. Normally, I do this workout at 5k pace. However, today I was browsing through the laps on my Garmin and all of the intervals were done much closer to mile pace than 5k pace. I crossed my fingers that this is a good sign going into the OBX next week.

During the cool down portion of the workout, I noticed the leaves on the trees were starting to change colors. Some were a tint of red while others had this perfect color of yellow.

For some reason, I just wanted to take a moment then and soak up the beauty of the fall in the Carolinas.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

10 Days left until OBX

This morning I headed over to Latta Plantation for an early morning run on the trails. So early in fact that the sun had yet crest the horizon.

As I was cruising along with my head lamp giving out enough light that I could see the road in front of me, I started let my thoughts drift to other topics.

Back in the summer, I joined the Mangum Track Club. My impressions of this club is that they like races that are long and I mean the longer the better. Whether that means biking, running, and/or swimming, they do it all.

Well, I met one member that was training for a triple Ironman during the Shirt Run. Last night, he emailed out a recap of his training and of the race. I was simply amazed to read how much effort that he had put into this race and how tough the race was on him.

I took solace in the fact this individual over came so much just to get to the finish line. It makes me think that I am a bit selfish. I put in my own efforts to run a 50k or marathon and fret about how well that I will do. This individual's swim time was longer than it took me to run my 50k.

In my opinion he is on a whole different level. The time and energy given for training must have been enormous. What is even more incredible, is that he talked about another race in Mexico which is basically a double - triple Ironman.

I have the utmost respect for these people and their ability to endure. We should all have this fortitude in our daily lives.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

11 Days left until OBX

Earlier this morning, I was out on the Mallard Creek Greenway running my tempo run. The sun had not rose above the horizen yet, so there was just enough light to see the path in front of me. The temperature was also a bit chilly as they had dipped down into the lower 30s and with the wind blowing upper 20s here in Charlotte.

I was quite comfortable running except for my hands. Because I was hitting my splits every 1/4 mile to capture the split time and heart rate, the fingers on my right hand were exposed during the entire run. Don't worry, I didn't get any frost bite. I have those gloves and look like mittens, but covers folds back to expose the ends of the fingers. I wish I knew who create this glove. He or she gets my vote for best running accessory in cold weather.

I didn't wear tights either. With the cold temps kicking in, I am finding that my calf sleeves and compression tights keep my legs i.e. lower body at the perfect temperature. And, I don't seem to notice the knee area being exposed. Possibly, this is due to all of the heat being released from the legs as I run.

Well, I covered the 8 mile run in just over 48 minutes. My heart rate just bubbled over 160 for the run. I could have pushed harder, but I went on effort and so I walked away from the workout still wanting more.

Thoughts on the Run.

Monday, October 27, 2008

12 Days left until OBX

The days continue to pass and OBX is getting closer.

I am a little late updating my blog tonight because it was a busy day at work. Also I was doing a double workout today.

To recap, this morning I covered 9 miles on the McAlpine Greenway. Then, after work I did another 12 miles on the bike at the Huntersville Business Park. Neither workout felt very hard to me. Actually, I could probably have pushed both a lot harder. But I didn't.

I will rise early in the morning. Tomorrow, it is tempo Tuesday. I want to get in one last hard effort before the marathon. I will not push it to the max because first and foremost of the up coming race, but also because in Charlotte tomorrow, the weatherman is calling for the temperatures to be in the low 30s. As the temperatures drop, it gets harder to pull those really good efforts out of the bag.

Rest and Intensity are the keywords for this week

Sunday, October 26, 2008

13 Days left until OBX

This morning, I headed out for a 13 mile run. The rain had moved out of the area yesterday afternoon so today dawned bright and sunny.

I am a big believer in doing loop course so today was no different. I made a big loop heading north, then west, south, then east, and back north and west. So it was essentially, a counter clock wise loop. The course took me from Mt. Holly Huntersville Rd to Sunset Rd to old Statesville Rd and then back home.

Part of the course was into a head wind. For the fist time, I didn't really mind. I suspect OBX will have a significant head wind over the final miles and today gave me a small sampling of what it will be like.

My body still feels sluggish during the earlier miles. I am starting out much slower than I do normally. I hope it is just part of bouncing back from the 50k. Two weeks have pasted since the race.

The only blister that I go has healed. By the way, my lip is healing quite nicely from the bike accident. The stitches are gone and I can shave again.

It did leave a small scar but I tell people that it just adds to my rugged good looks.

For the coming week, I have 70 miles on the agenda with two high intensity worksouts. Tuesday, I will be doing a tempo run and Thursday, I will be adding a Fartlek workout. Next, Saturday morning, I will be heading out for 16 mile run.

Otherwise, I will be dropping the mileage down and trying to rest as much as possible.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

14 Days left until OBX

Yesterday afternoon, I swung by the local shoe store and picked up a pair of NB 1224. The NB 1223 have become my favorite running shoe last spring when I was training for the Snickers Marathon. The NB 1223 just seem to make me feel fast when I am running and I specificially use them for my long runs. When the new version became available, I put a todo my list to get the new pair.

Also I stopped by the ThoroLo store and picked up two pair of compression socks. For the past 10 years, I have running in nothing other Thorlos and rarely get blisters on my feet. And with the marathon, coming up I decided to wear some compression socks around for the next 2 weeks.

This morning, I headed over the Huntersville business park for my last 20 miler before OBX. I started around 5:40 AM. Jeff C. met me about around 7ish and did the last 11 miles with me.

The rain was threatening when I started but nothing came down until about 5 miles into the run. From that point, it was just a steady shower. Lucky for me, it wasn't too heavy so my shoes really didn't get soak. Soaked running shoes are the worst to run in. They are definitely heavier from the water and create great conditions for blisters even with Thorolo soaks.

Later today, I want to swing RFYL to pick up some stuff and then spend the rest of the day resting.

Friday, October 24, 2008

15 Days left until OBX

The days continue to count down to OBX. I have to say that the excitement is starting to build in side. Even thou, I am only a few days removed from running my 50k and then 15k later. Definitely, it is funny how mentally we can turn things around with a few days of rest.

I am in my first week of my marathon taper so my mileage is down to 80 miles this week. Today, I only ran 9 miles. This is really helping my legs. The soreness continues to go away from the thighs.

I attribute this to in part some rest miles but also I got a massage yesterday. I ususally feel a bit sluggish the next day and today was no exception. However, it does make my legs feel a ton better. I am certain that I could have sustained the mileage that I have run without getting all those weekly massages.

I am heading into 20 miler tomorrow. If the weather man has his way, it will be a wet 20 miler but that is okay. Running in the rain is always a fun run for me.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

16 Days left until OBX

My legs are feeling better today. The soreness is abeiting especially in my thighs.

The days continue to count down to OBX.

For today, I did a fartlek workout.

This workout involved running 4 x 5 min @ 10k pace with a 2 min. recovery. I felt pretty good during this workout and probably could have completed a couple of more 5 min. intervals, but I didn't.

I have done the hard work and so now the focus is on intensity. What I don't want to do is over do these workouts and leave my self tired on race day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

17 Days left until OBX

They say that adding extra sleep time can aid in your recovery. I believe them when they make these type of statements. But it doesn't help when you wake up a 5:15 AM and cannot go back to sleep.

After deciding that more sleep wasn't going to happen, I stretched out my tired muscles and used the stick on my legs. Everything seemed in working order.

The sun was still a ways from rising over the horizon.

I checked the temps. It was a nippy 45 degrees. Once I knew the current temperates, I then worked on figuring out the appropriate cloths to wear. Something that keeps me warm but doesn't over heat me toward the end of the run. I usually follow the old adage "cool at the start then toasty during the run" .

On Wednesdays, I usually to a 10 mile trail run at the North Meck. Park. Being that it was still dark, I was not going to be deterred.

I spent the first 45 minutes of the run working on my ankle flexing but I otherwise stayed on my feet.

I always find it fascinating to watch the transition from night into day. As you are cruising along on the trail trying to pick up roots and rocks, then suddenly the dawn happens and you can no longer even see your head lamp against the ground.

My legs are still a feel heavy and sore from the past two weeks but they do appear to be recovery well. If all goes well, they should be ready by OBX

Have a great day running.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

18 Days left until OBX

The days are counting down.

Today, my schedule called for hill repeats. I have this nice 1/4 mile hill that I like to do in the Huntersville Business Park.

Normally, I do this type of run in the morning but today work came first so I ended up running this evening.

I felt a bit sluggish and it took a while before I felt smooth running up the hills.

For the workout, I tallied 10 miles and 8 x 1/4 mile in repeats. It was not a great work but it wasn't bad either.

I am always a sluggish after working all day and then trying to head out for a run.

More tomorrow

Monday, October 20, 2008

19 Days left until OBX

19 days are left until the OBX marathon. So rest, rest, rest is the most important thing on the my schedule now.

And believe me, I needed it.

I finished off my last really long run yesterday i.e. Sunday - 22 miles.

After running so many long runs this one wasn't really that bad. Today, my legs are a little sore and stiff. I didn't do enough stretching either Saturday or after the run yesterday. My legs are paying for it now.

Like most Mondays this fall, I run at McAlpine. For the most part McAlpine park is pretty much flat.

But anytime I can avoid the roads and run on the dirt then I try to do it. It is just so much easier on the legs.

I found some more pics from the 50k so I drop one on this entry.

If all goes well, I will blog each day leading up to the marathon and then a few days afterward. Thus documenting my thoughts and worries as I handle the road a head.

May your trails be smooth and soft.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

LungStrong 15k Recap 10.18.08

The LungStrong 15k race morning arrived clear and cool. In fact, it was probably the coolest morning since I ran the Shamrock run in the spring.

Megan, Ben, Mike, and I headed out for a few warm miles. Megan and Mike looked fast. They seem to be bouncing along during the warm up. On the other hand, I felt like I was running through sand.

As the start neared all of the usual suspects were at the starting line. I spotted Steve Spada warming up and he looked fit as usual.

The first mile was unusually slow. Steve and I seemed to always be locked together. We covered the first mile in just over 6 minutes.

This was little slower that I wanted to run so I started to slowly pick up the pace. Reflecting back on it, I probably should have waited a few more miles before trying to push it.

Mike B. was long gone by 3 miles.

I kept pushing the pace through 4 miles and caught up to Paul M. and another guy running with him.

I worked my way by Paul. He was having some foot issues so he wasn't his usual fast self.

Miles 4, 5, and 6, I pushed the pace along. But once I hit miles 7, 8, and 9 mile legs started tightening up. My legs just weren't ready to handle this type of workload after the 50k last weekend.

I knew Steve would be close behind and probably gaining all the time.

When I hit the 9 mile, I really picked up the pace and pushed it to the end. I ended up being on a few seconds in front of Steve and Chazz Hinkle.

After the race Ben, Megan, Jocelyn, Mike and I did another 5 miles warm down.

We then headed over the awards. I picked up a $50 dollar gift certificate to RFYL and a medal for being the 1st Male Masters run.

Mike finished 5th overall and ran a great time. Megan was equally fast and won the womens race.

So now tonight, I am taking a deep breath. The RFYL GP series for 2008 is behind me. Based on my calculations I finished 3 overall in the standings but we have to wait on Tim's calculations.

The mental and physical fatigue from marathon training and my heavy racing schedule has has a toll on me. The OBX marathon is just over 3 weeks away which is a good thing for me. Both mentally and phyically I need some recovery time so I can bounce back and be strong.

That's a wrap for now.

Friday, October 17, 2008

15k Run Evening Before

The weather man is right on with the forcast today. The rain started this morning and has lasted through out the day.

I suspect it will be nice with the temps in the 50s tomorrow morning. If it is raining, it should be a plus for me. I like racing in the ran.

During my run this afternoon, my legs still felt heavy. I just don't feel fluid and fast but tomorrow is another day. I still have a night's rest so we shall see.

15k Run tomorrow

The Lung Strong 15 is tomorrow morning and while I am looking forward it, my concerns are starting to rise.

Unlike the 50k where I was worried about finishing because of the distance, I am more concerned about how my body will stand up for the race.

After my bike accident on Monday, I wasn't feeling any of the effects outside of a busted up face. But after about 48 hours, I noticed my right knee had this stinging feeling and my left thigh was really sore.

I have been doing the usually stuff -rest, elevation of the legs, lots of ice and Advil. Also I got a massage yesterday evening.

Seems like I created the "Perfect Storm" as people now so fond of saying of running. Doing two hard race inside of 7 days, plus continuing my marathon training, and cap it with a bike accident. You would think that I was trying to really injury my self.

If I can just make it through this weekend, my running should improve. I will be starting my taper for OBX. The mileage will go down but I will keep the workout intensity the same. My body will hopefully respond well to it over the next 3 weeks.

I will recap how the 15k goes some time over the weekend.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Big Race Weekend - 15k

This is a big race weekend for me. Since March of this year, I am been running the Run For Your Life GP series. The final event a 15k run is this weekend.

The series is mostly made up of 5k but it does have a couple of 4 milers and 10k.

But each year the GP ends with a 15k run at Lake Norman.

My most fierce competitor this year has been Steve Spada. Steve and I have been running neck and neck almost every race. Because Steve and I are about the same age, it adds to the level of competition. I am sure he tries just as hard to best me as I would try to best him.

Since the Shamrock race in March, our race time have only varied by a few second in most race.

Now, we come down to the last race of the year and either of us could take the top masters prize.

Steve is a tough competitor both physically and mentally and he will be giving his all this weekend. For myself, I hope to just stay close to him. After pounding my way through the New River 50k last weekend, Steve will definitely have a leg up on me from a general fatigue perspective.

Personally, I just hope to survive it all. I am not sure what I was thinking when I put a 50k, 15k and a marathon all with in a month of one another. I certainly like to challenge myself, but definitely, next time I need to spread out these events. I am not getting any younger.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Progressive Runs Revisited

Earlier in one of my blogs, I wrote about the progressive or at least what I had learned from reading about progressive runs.

In a more recent article I read about a coach using progressive runs in a different way. Instead of using 1 run per week where the runner does a progressive run. This coach professed that runners should do more progressive runs per week.

For example if you run 7 days a week instead of doing just 1 workout as a progressive run for say 40 minutes. You should switch to running 3 runs per week but of 15 each. The total time is what accounts the most. Therefore, running 3 x 15 ends up being 45 minutes of high intensity work over the single continuos 40 minutes. These 15 minutes could be at the end of your normal daily runs say on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

I have not tried this approach but during my spring training plan, I intend to try this approach. As I get older, I am always looking for ways to both increase my training intensity while not increasing the overall load on my body. I think breaking progressive runs across multiple non consecutive days may be the way to go.

Just more food for thought from the world on running.

Bike Accident

I was recovering quite nicely from the 50k this past weekend, but then accidents do happen. I was out for a 12 mile bike ride on Monday evening. I was in the last two miles and as usual I cycle around this loop in my development.

The first loop went smoothly but on the 2nd loop an SUV appeared where I was expecting it. I shoved my bike to one side. In doing so I shifted my head and torso to the opposite side and right into the back of the SUV.

Some how my feet came out of the toe clips and I was standing there beside the SUV. It took a minute for me to shake of the loose cob webs.

I touched my face and blood covered my hand. I thought at first that I busted my nose. Being a total idiot, I still have a couple of miles to ride so rather than heading straight home, I continued the ride with blood pouring every where.

Enough, that I have to clean if off my bike. For my jersey, I will probably never get out the stains.

Once home I cleaned off the blood. I didn't have a busted nose but I did have a nasty cut between my nose and lip.

Prudenance kicked in and I headed over to the urgent care office. They finished cleaning me up and put 5 stitches in my lip. I have to tell that the needle they used to numb the area around the cut hurt worse than the crash.

So almost 48 hours later, I still have this fat upper lip but it seems to be healing nicely. Eating food is a bit tricky as my lips are not their normal size and the upper lip still feels numb.

Lucky for me, I don't run on my lips so it hasn't impacted my training.

Thoughts of a True Runner.

Monday, October 13, 2008

2 days after

I am back in Charlotte now. I got back about 3 pm yesterday afternoon.

As I had planned, I stayed the night in Fries so I could enjoy some time on the trail.

Sunday morning, I headed out about 7:30 AM for what I expected to be an easy 10 miles. However, it turned in 11 because I wanted to run all the way to Fries Junction which is about 5 1/2 miles from Fries.

I kept the pace nice and slow. There was no need to pound out a hard pace. I just wanted the legs to turn over and get the blood flowing in them. Getting the blow in those injuried and sore muscles helps them recover faster.

After the run, I grab a quick bite, changed clothes, and headed out on my bike. While it felt great for running, the temp were a still in the high 40s so it was a bit brisk for a bike ride. Considering that I didn't dress accordingly.

For the both the bike and the run, I just took my time. I enjoyed both the view of the river and the opportunity to look at the leaves. There were some great reds, yellows, and oranges colored leaves. It was absolutely beautiful.

Back at the rental house, I cleaned up, packed up, and headed out.

Oh, yeah, my recovery continues to go well. I am using lots of ice on my legs. Next stop the 15k Saturday.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

New River Trail 50k 10.11.08 Recap

I just have finished the New River 50k trail race and the wheels are still on the car. By this I mean that I ran well over the entire 31+ miles.

For the rest of the recap, I breakdown how the race day went.

Since I stayed close the starting area, I could leisurely take my time getting to the start.

I finished my stretching and checked the weather again. I was not expecting the weather to change in less than an hour, but I just wanted to reinforce what I already knew. The weather was going to be great for this race.

About 7:35 I headed down the starting area to finish some last minute stretching.

Stan walked up and it was good to see a familiar face.
I looked around and things are so different. I felt a little out of place.

Normally, as the start nears you see people warming up. Some are doing strides.

Scanning around the starting no one was doing any type of warm up and a lot of people were caring water bottles.

I hadn’t planned to carry any water. The info distributed said there would be cups of water at each aid stations so I expected to advantage of this option.

I did take my power gels. The race provided cliff bars and gels among other energy source, but I tend to stick with what I know. Power Gels tend work well with my system and that is most important in race.

Annette Bednosky the race director pointed everyone to toward the starting line about 7:50. She gave last minute instructions and we were off.

I had to smile. It has been a long time since I headed out the first mile of a race and ran the first mile in 7:30 pace. Of course, I was about 17, had just started running and I wasn’t expecting to run 31 miles but rather just a 10k.

Stan and I quickly hooked up and were running 7:30 miles. We were running about 7th, 8th, and 9th at the time.

Shortly after the mile, a few more runners joined us. As they started to pass I dropped in behind them. They were running a little quicker pace than Stan and I. It was probably closer to 7 minute pace.

I ran with these guys for a little while but they were starting to slow. I pulled away and moved into 6th place overall.

We passed the Fries Junction for the quick out and back section. I was about 3 minutes down to the leader at that point and a few minutes back for 2nd and 3rd. I was about a minute or so back of the 4th and 5th place runners.

After the out and back section we crossed the New River heading toward Galax. My splits started dipping under 7 minutes at this point. The funny part was that I was feeling great.

Between 13 and 15, I passed the 4th and 5th place runners.

We hit the turn around and I gauged that I was about 90 seconds behind the 2nd and 3rd place runners.

Part of my race strategy was to push the pace between 15 and 26. I knew this section of the course had a very slight down hill pitch. The pace showed. I went from running 6:20 miles to running just over 6 minutes per mile.

Around 18 miles, I caught the 3rd place runner. By this point, the 2nd and 3rd place runners had separated. About a mile to a mile and half later, I moved into 2nd place. I think the 2nd place guy stopped for water at an aid station while I pushed on through it.

At Fries Junction I was started to feel a little tired. My legs didn’t tighten up but I could tell they were building up lactic acid.

I was still running about 6:20 miles and had about 5 miles left to run.

At this point, I realized that I wasn’t going to catch the race leader and that I had a good lead over the 3rd place runner. Rather than continue to push the pace and possible hurt my self, also knowing that I have a 15k next weekend and OBX is in 4 weeks, I decided to let the pace slow to 6:50 miles.

Looking at my watch, I thought I could break 3:30 (new goal on the fly) if I kept this same pace.

Around the sewage plant, my watch hit 31 miles and I realized the course was going to a little long. I also realized that I had to pick up the pace if I still wanted to break 3:30.

I crossed the finish line in 3:29:23. I had finished 2nd overall and I had run a just 2:52 marathon on dirt.

I walked around for a few minutes. I talked to the people at the finish area. They gave out the awards as we crossed the finish line. I picked us this very nice Nathan Travel bag and my race shirt for my efforts.

After downing some water and trying to stretch out my tight quads and hamstrings, I headed over the community center. Some very nice ladies had prepared some great soups, breads, and cookies. In addition they had plenty of water, bananas, applies, and Propel.

I had the vegetable soup with pasta which I might add was fantastic.

More runners arrived to eat and we sat around chatting about the race.

After getting my fill of food, I headed back to the start area where I met up with Stan and Steve Spencer.

Stan was a little disappointed with his time, but I told him that he shouldn’t be. He had just run the longest race of his life and finished. That in its self is a major accomplishment. We all go into these races with different goals, but the first and foremost goal in my opinion is to finish. Anything beyond this is just a bonus that should be enjoyed.

I chatted with a few other people and headed back to the house for an ice bath. It was cold getting in but after about 20 minutes, it did start to feel good. I finished with a hot shower and followed it by taking an Advil and icing down my knees and hips. Tomorrow is another day and I have to run. It is a must in my life.

Overall, I ran harder today than I wanted. But I completed a 50k and remained in good health. It is another major accomplishment in my life and another ticky mark off my running bucket list.

I will definitely sleep well to night.

50k Race Morning

I am posting this blog after the race because I can not get a connection on my Air Card in Fries, VA. There is absolutely no service.

5 AM is just about here and I am already up and moving around. Sleep is not something that I got much of last night. I guess either I am too excited about the race this morning or it could be just be because I am staying in a strange/different place.

I headed for bed about 9:30 last night but after lying around tossing and turning, I got up to do some additional reading. It took finishing another chapter in the book that I am reading before I felt like trying again.

For a small, small town Fries, Va certainly has a lot of night time traffic. I heard the cars buzzing by the house that I rented on a regular basis through out the night.

As I set here typing this blog, I have pretty good feeling about the coming race or really long run depending on how you look at it.

Preparation is somthing that is done beforehand. To this end, I have already prepared by laying out the clothes, shoes, socks, and gels that I will be using this morning.

The weather website had predicted temperatures in the 40’s for this morning, but over the last few days that has shifted. Now they are expecting the temperatures to be in the lower 50s. This should be just about perfect for running. Although they are expecting the temperatures to rise into the 70’s by mid afternoon, for me, it is absolutely important that I stay on pace. I want to be finished before it gets too warm.

That’s it for now. My next blog will be after the race

Friday, October 10, 2008

50K is 1 day away

Well, it is almost 7pm and I am mere hours away from running my first ultra marathon - albeit just a 50k in Ultra terms. But as I have said it; it will be longest run of my life.

I am getting a lot more nervous as the start time grows near. The butterflies are kicking up in my tummy.

I went over to pick up my number and water bottle. They are giving out the shirts tomorrow after the race. They already had the start finish line banner up.

I stood at the start finish line pawing at the dirt. I was thinking about the physical challenges that lay before me. Every person goes through life wanting to prove them shelves. Each accept and performs these challenges in different ways. For me personally, running is where I accept my challenge and test my self to the limit.

To race, I know my prep has been good and that I am running well. At this point, I have to have confidence that I am done everything humanly possible to ready my self for this run.

Beyond that I have take what comes.

My plan is to run 75, 75, 75, and then hold on the last 1.1 miles. If my strategy goes as planned, I will finish just inside of 4 hours.

Just in time, they are starting lunch from 12 to 3 for the racers. :)

It will be probably 5 or 6 PM tomorrow before I updated my blog with the results of the race but don't worry; I will.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

50K is 2 days away

In less than 48 hours, I will be running the New River 50k. In fact, it is 10:57 AM at the moment. If I stay on pace, I should be about 50 minutes from the finish at this time.

My legs were a little tired this morning morning. So to offset the fatigue, I have been trying to get some extra sleep but sometimes I think it has the opposite effect.

In fact, I have almost come to the conclusion that it make me feel the fatigue even more. My reasoning behind this belief is getting extra sleep takes you out of your normal sleep patterns. Consistency, to me is the most important thing.

So if you have been sleeping 7 or 8 or 9 hours, you should continue with this pattern through your goal event.

Also I believe the same can be said for your eating habits. Don't try anything new and don't change the foods that you have been eating. The worst thing to happen is to have tummy issue before or during the race.

On a different note, I am getting everything together so I can head out for the 50k tomorrow afternoon.

Clothes and Food - etc. ... :) If the wheels don't fall off, I should have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

50K is 3 days away

The time of day is late but I finished my run early this morning. Covering 10 miles and maybe a little more, I did the run on the Nort Meck. Trail. It has become a regular running hole for me. The drive is only a short distance and the trail is very nice.

As the days continue to count down, I am feeling more nervous than ever. Running 31.05 miles will be one the biggest phyical challenges of my life.

I just hope to come through it and still be in one piece.

On a different note, I am already starting my packing.

Running Clothes
Other food to snack on
And my bike, I hope that I feel up to taking a short ride on the trail either Saturday evening or Sunday morning.

I am sure that is some other stuff so look for me to starting making my list. :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

50K is 4 days away

Four more days until I run my first 50k.

My thigh which has been sore for more than a week is feeling much better. I have been icing it several times per day and the soreness is slowly abaiting.

As for workouts, I rode 12.27 last night. I felt a little tired but not overly so. I decided over the weekend to limit my riding from here until the marathon. At 43, running well is as much as about recovery as it is about working out.

While the bike workout don't seem as hard as running, when I limit my bike riding, my running appears to pick up. And with a 50k Saturday and 15k GP race the following week, I really need to concertrate on running well and fast. I hope it is part of a building process that will have me run a great time at OBX.

For today, I am heading over to Latta Plantation to run a hill workout. The Latta Plantation Park has some nice gravel roads so it should be a good workout. Then, later today, I plan to swing by the Y and do a little swimming.

I like getting into the pool because it makes my legs feel better the next day.

Monday, October 6, 2008

50K is 5 days away

Well, I am on the downhill side of my marathon training now. This will be my max mileage week and I will end it by running a 50k trail race in Fries, Va.

Yes, I said 50k.

50k will be the longest run that I have ever done as a continuous run. And if you need the conversion, it is 31.1 miles which is longer than a marathon.

That means at the end of this weekend, I will have passed by the marathon and entered the world of Ultra-marathoning albeit barely.

Being that I have this racing coming I am both a little scared and excited by it.

It is scary to think that I will be running for nearly 4 hours (which is my goal). I know lots of people have run 50k and even longer - 40 miles, 50 miles, 60k, 100k, and 100 milers. But for me, this will be my first foray into uncharted territory. Being on your feet and running for thatis length of time means that I am going to be hurting for sure.

The excitment that I feel comes from the feeling of doing something entirely new. I have been running for over 20 years and have run numerous 5k and 10k. The races are short and the pain is rather limited and is over fairly quickly. But on Saturday, I will push my body to handle 31.1 and hopefully "walk" away in good shape.

The race is on the New River trail. The trail was converted from the rail road bed to the trails. If you read my blog in July, you will know that I spent some time both running on the trail and riding on it. So I am familar with the trail.

The trail is for all practicial purposes flat. Well, it almost flat. The trail follows the New and Chestnut rivers.

The first 5 miles along the New River has a 100ft or so of elevation drop. Then, we run right and run 11 miles toward Galax, Va. I believe there is about a 250 foot raise along this section. The accent is not noticable to the human but when I was running on the coarse, I felt this slight tug as if I was running up hill.

My suspions are that some of the fast times will be recorded between the 16 and 25 miles of the race.

For my part, I will be hearing my Garmin to track my splits for each mile and track my heart rate. I post my data on Saturday night if I can get an Air Card signal.

That is about it for now. I will be blogging each day leading to the race so that I can give my perspective heading into and running this race. I hope to add some recovery comment post race as well.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Brixx 10k Recap 9.27.08

On Saturday morning I headed down for the 8th of 9 Grand Prix Races in the Run For Your Life Series. The 8th race is a tough little 10k course in the uptown area of Charlotte called the Brixx 10k.

Looking at the map of the course, Tim and his team had changed the course from the last time that I ran the race. Instead of the long uphill pull from the Central Piedmont campus to the uptown, the course cuts across behind the college and retraces most of the first mile back to the finish. While it doesn’t totally remove the hill because the Charlotte Uptown sets on a hill, it does reduce the grade and length of the up hill running.

I arrived for the race at about 6:30 AM and parked in the 7th street parking deck. It is a great place to park as it is located between the finish line and the starting line.

I met Mike B. and Chris L and headed out for a couple of miles to warm up before the race.

Then it was off to change shoes and some prerace striders. I like to do about 6 to 8 good strides during the last 10 minutes before the start of the race. This helps me feel like I am ready to run fast. Whether it is true or not, I never know until the race starts.

I saw Steve Spada at the starting line and went over to wish him luck. Even thou we are battling for the GP Master’s Title, I want everyone to run their very best.

The verbal commands were given and we were off. I settled in behind/beside Steve and just behind Chris and Mike.

We hit the mile in about 5:45 which felt slow to me. Chris pulled out about 10 to 15 meters in front of us. Mike, Steve, and I continue together. We were catching a few guys as they started to drop off the pace.

By mile 3, I had pushed ahead. Mike joined me briefly then dropped back. As we neared the end of a long down hill, Steve came up on my shoulder and started to up the pace.

I did my best to match his efforts. The course then turned up hill. Steve dropped off my shoulder at this point. I passed another guy and started to make some ground up on Chris.

As we pushed further up the hill, I pulled even with Chris. At this point, I was throwing in small surges. I was hoping to put some ground between myself and Steve and Mike.

When Chris and I crossed over the top of the hill, Chris quickly started to gap me. I tried to stay with him, but he was definitely stronger on this section.

At one of the turns, I saw Steve and Mike were working together or at least running together. I was hoping Mike wouldn’t tow Steve back to me. I know both Mike and Steve are very strong finishers.

I hit the final hill heading back to the finish. Chris was still a short distance in front of me. I used this fact to help drive my self forward. In addition I knew if I let up at any point both Steve and Mike would catch me. Look fo motivation where ever you can find it.

I passed by the 6 mile point and started my closing kick. The last .2 has one corner and then a straight line to the finish. I used the one corner to take a peek out the corner of my eye to see how far Steve and Mike were behind me. They were close but not close enough today. I put in one final sprint and came in just ahead of them by a few seconds.

The Brixx 10k was a good run for me. It was the fastest 10k that I have ran this year - 35:40. That is considering that the course is very tough and my Garmin measured the course at 6.32 miles.

However, I cannot fault the measuring of the course for all of the extra distance. At several of the corners we were asked to run around the outside of the cones. It doesn’t take many wide tangents to soon add up the extra distance.

After the race, Mike and I headed out for 6 more miles of warm down.

When we got back, I stepped into Brixx to grab some free pizza and rigatoni. I had to eat quickly because the awards were getting ready to start.

I received a tiny little medal for my efforts. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. A lot people that ran the race and didn’t win an award unless you count the free food and beer. As I set here thinking about it, maybe free food and beer are not such a bad thing in light of these tough times. Running and the social atmosphere after race can provide a welcome relief from our otherwise busy lives.