Saturday, June 28, 2008

Booster Fun Run

This morning my daughters participated in a school Booster Fun Run. This has become a yearly event at their school. The children solict donations from family and friends. Then, they run laps on a track to determine how much in pledges they will have. I am extremely proud of my daughters for running in this event. I know how difficult running is and how difficult it is for them. They really seem to have a good time doing and they enjoy speding the out door time with their friends. By the way, I was the proud parent. I took some pictures of them and will have them for every to remember their achievements.

Running in the Rain

Many times during my running life I have enjoyed the opportunity to run or race in the rain. I thought that I would share this experience with everyone. I remember running in Huntington, WV during a heavy rain. The water was so deep during the run that you had to wade from side walk to side walk. The water was probably 4-6 inches deep. My shoes felt like they weighed about 10 pounds each. I remember another time racing Oakhill, WV. The race was a 5 miler. I remember the rain coming down so hard that I tried to warm up under a car port. The race director walked out with an umbrellia. I remember him saying that it was a wonderful day for a race. Everyone waited until the very last second before bolting to the starting line. The race director gave us a few quick instructions and yelled go. I remember running hard and feeling drenched by the 1/2 mile. I also remember crossing the finish line with a smile on my face. As much as I hate getting my shoes wet, I love the feeling of accomplishment when I finish at run in the rain. I am some times soaked. I am sometimes covered in mud. I am sometimes so cold that I can barely move. But, these runs give me something that I cannot get from other runs. When the conditions are at their worst, mentally and phyiscally I feel it makes me stronger as a person. Later when I need it, I can draw upon this toughness to see me through any situation. So when weather looks terrible outside, don't let it stop you from running. You should use these opportunities to build that inner strength that we all need.

47:32

Yesterday, I went for my usual temp run - Tempo Tuesday. I was whole hardly expected to have a sub par run. My legs were still feeling the effects from the marathon. To my surprise, I felt much better once I got rolling. The first mile was in 6:07 and I only ran 1 mile afterward that was over 6 minutes. That mile just happen to be a 6:01. For the last mile, I did a 5:50 which is very usual for me. I don't usually finish my runs with my quickest mile at the end. Although, I was concentrating on running smooth and relaxed miles. I was trying to do strides as much as possible. I am running in the Shamrock 4 miler this weekend. During the last mile, I am going to try the same technique during the race. I am going to focus more on strides and less on trying to pick up the pace. If I can run my last mile as quick as my first mile, I should be able to get in a quick time. I might just beat the prediction times for everyone by the TrySports Team members

The Day After

Well, it is the day after my marathon. Actually, I feel pretty good today and I didn't take any Advil which is really surprising to me. With such a bad experience in '95, this was such a good experience for me. My right hip flexors are really sore and the bend in my elbows are sore. Otherwise, I don't feel bad any where else. I went out this morning and ran 5 miles. Mostly, I just felt tired which is to be expected. Out of the race few things come to mind that I need to work-on. I need better set-ups. I need to shorlder shrugs. I need arm curls. I need to really work on my hamstrings. This coming week I am going to it easy and work my mileage back slowly.

12 Hours Later

Well, it is now 12 hours later and I have returned home. I feel tired from driving almost 7 hours. People get stiff after driving long distance. If you throw a marathon on top it, you can only image how stiff that I feel. As I was driving home I was thinking about my previous 2 marathons. In the first one, I didn't walk enough and could bend my legs after the race. I don't remember how I felt the next day but I do remember the feeling of being hurt for the next 6 months. In my second marathon, it was a very cold race. I think the temperature was about 35 at the start and maybe 40 at the finish. I remember the next day not being able to walk up and down stairs. About 2 hours after the race today, I felt a lot better. I was able to walk down the stairs from the 4th floor of the Hilton Gardens Hotel. I walked around the finish area taking pictures. I guess part of it was from the two Advil that I took. Right now, my right hip and hip flexors are sore. My knee is tingling. My arms are sore at the elbow. Otherwise, I don't really feel bad. This is a pleasant surprice considering how badly I felt after my other marathons. I attribute this to the fact I am much older and I am training much better now. I am going to take a month to think about my next marathon. After a month if I feel like I am going to do 1 more marathon, I will choose one and target my training around it. I would really like to run one under 2:36. I think it is possible for me. Look at me talk. It has been less that 12 hours and I am already considering my next marathon. At this time I am almost estatic from my run today. To run a marathon in 2:38 is remarkable. To run marathon in 2:38 as a master is even more remarkable.

1 1/2 Hours after the race

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.

2:38:38

As I set here typing my blog, every part of my body hurts. My legs are so tight I can barely bend them. My stomach hurts. My back hurts. And especially my feet hurt. On the other hand, I just ran a 2:38:38 marathon. I couldn't be happier. I far in exceeded my goal of breaking 3 hours. Right now, I am going to jump in a hot tub of water because I am so cold.

Marathon Just Over An Hour Away

3.1.08 5:16 AMThe marathon is just over an hour away. Like many others I am sure, I have butterflies in my stomach. This is a new feeling for me. I am usually racing between 5K and 1/2 marathon. With all the races that I have done, butterflies don't happen much any more. However, I have always greatly respected the marathon distance It is event that deserves to be respected. I guess this is the reason for my butterflies. In the future, I want to write an article about butterflies from a personal perspective. To race prep, I have laid out my clothes. I have pinned on my number and attached the chip to my shoe. I feel the Rorin will carry the load today. These shoes felt great during my last tempo run. It will soon be time to get ready. I will blog more after the race while my emotions are still fresh in my mind.

Marathon Race - Getting Closer

The hours are ticking down to my marathon. While I am trying to remain calm, I can feel the energy bubbling in side of me. Mentally, I am ready to race and make this challenge happen. I would feel much better if my hip flexors in my right leg were not sore. But it doesn't really matter, I will race anyway. Even thou, I know it will hurt. Sometimes you have to challenge yourself to reach another level. I may take some Advil before the race. It will help before the race, during, and probably afterwards. Mostly, it will help afterwards I have been running over my race game plan the last few days. A marathon is a long distance to run and I know burning through the earlier miles to fast will leave me dragging by the time I hit miles 20 - 26. My plan is to run try and run even splits for the race. If I could hit 1:20 for the 1/2 half. Then, I may be able to run just under 1:20 for the second half. I drove over the course and there are no really major hills. It does change in elevation slightly. This is actually a good thing for runners because it allows you to change the muscle groups. The Expo is in a few hours. I will probably more once I return from the Expo

1 DAY 10 HOURS 19 MINUTES 25 SECONDS UNTIL MY MARATHON

Updates from another Blog

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

Polar vs. Garmin

I have been wanting to write something about Polar vs. Garmin for some time now. Today, I finally got a few minutes so here's my feedback on Polar vs. Garmin.

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

Sharkbite Handicap 4.44 6.26.08

The Sharkbite Thursday night run was a handicap run this week. I thought this might be interesting run. I hadn't run a handicap run in probably 20 years.

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

CTTC Summer Track Series 6.24.08 Recap


This was the last Tuesday night of the CTTC Summer Track Series. Being that it was the last week, this is known as the Championship mile week.
Before going further, a huge word of thanks needs to be given to the CTTC members. Each year, that I can remember, they have put on this series. I seen a lot kids become involved in running because of this opportunity and it wouldn't be possible without the efforts CTTC members. THANKS!!!!
The participates in the the Championship Mile are the fastest 10 qualifiers from the previous three weeks. With the fastest of this one race being crowned the CTTC Championship Miler.

Going into the race, there was little doubt who would be running hard. Chris and Brian from the TrySports Racing Team were looking to take top honors. Chris had won each of his qualifing races. Brian had run an impressive mile race two week ago to qualify. Other noteable Jason and Steve Spada were out to show their running skills as well. Steve is in the Masters ranks.



From the start Chris headed for the lead with Brian staying close. Chris was under 2:15 at the half-mile with Brian close behind. However, Chris put to much effort out the first two laps to close out hard. He finished in 4:39 with Brian close behind in 4:41. Steve Spada took the top Masters honors with 4:57.




In the open race that followed, the TrySports Racing Team was represented by Mike Begay and Stan Austin. Mike took the top honors in 4:52. Stan set a new presonal best of 5:10. Not bad for someone just starting to find himself in this sport.










As for my self, I took pictures of my daughters as they ran the 55 and 100 yard dash. We then joined forces to run the 4x100. We finished last but that didn't matter. I enjoyed running them more than anything else. My goal is to do this with them next year.
From this point forward, I will continue to post to my blog but it will be more focused on training than racing. I am taking 6 weeks of down time and then turning my focus to getting ready for a 50K and then a marathon in the fall.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Summer Breeze 6.21.08 Recap


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

Magnum Track Club Shirt Run 6.21.08 Recap


After racing last night, I headed over to Magnum, NC for the Magnum Track Club Shirt Run.

Several times a year the Magnum Track club accepts new members. Their club initiation is known as the Shirt Run. New runners are taken out to a very remote location in Rockingham County. There they are dropped off and have to run 15 miles back to Ellerbe, NC.

I say remote because compared to Charlotte, these their roads are lonely. Only 3 cars passed me during the entire 15 miles. Now only is it lonely but I only remember seeing a couple of houses to boot.
I covered the course in 1:38:54 which is about 6:30 pace. Feeling pretty good considering that I raced last night, I just let my legs float through whatever pace that feel comfortable.
Peter offered to car pool over to the run and I gladly accepted his offer. Not knowing the area, I knew if I tried to find the start or the finish, I would end up hopelessly lost.

Their Shirt Run course is really tough. The course is mostly rolling hills with a 2 mile hill from 11 to 13 miles. And, it is quite a hill. My legs were numb well before I reached the top. I recorded my slow mile of 7:17 during this climb.

Peter had warned me prior to the run that you will know when you are at the top of the hill when you can see the church. And, I thought that I would never see the church. With each turn the hill seemed to only continue upward.

Once I finally reached the top, it took another couple miles before my legs returned to normal. That is as normal can be.

After the run they had plenty of water, soda, beer, and pizza. They also gave each new runner a Magnum Track Club shirt. This was the best part of the run.

I will wear my shirt proudly because after this run I feel that I truely earned my way into this club. And, I will do my best represent them well.
I just got an email from a friend.
You can click this link to see a video shot by a MTC member. On this day, Cool Down Runner was the first to the finish. Also notice how everyone is shuffling along. This tells you the toughness of the course.

Tour DeKale 5k 6.20.08 Recap

If it is Friday night and it is the 3rd week in June, I am usually in Denton, NC for the Tour DeKale 5k.

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

TrySports 5000 6.17.08 Recap


Last night, I went down to Marvin Ridge High School for the TrySports 5000 meter run on the Track. This was a first time event held in conjunction with the Marvin Ridge High School Summer Track Series Events.

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.
During the race the wind was fairly brisk as we ran up the back stretch. However, I don't feel it had any real impact upon my finish time.
Later after the race I downloaded the information stored on my Garmin from the race to my PC . Using the Garmin Training Center program, I found that my heart rate pushed over 180 at just about 1 mile. From that point, my heart rate continued to hover just over 180. This is a telling sign that I had reached my maximum potential on that night. Pretty much after the mile, I wasn't able to keep the Lactic Acid from building up in the legs which caused my overall pace to slow.
I am pretty much at the end of my peak period so running fast probably not going to happen last night or in the near future. At least I don't see it happening easily. But you never know. I always try to go into my races with a positive attitude.

Splash Dash 10K 6.14.08 Recap

After the China Grove 5k, I felt more racing couldn't hurt so the next morning, I headed to Lake Wylie for the Splash Dash 10k.

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.

China Grove 5K 6.13.08 Recap

China Grove 5k is a small town race held in China Grove, NC. It is about a 30 to 40 minute drive for me from Charlotte heading up I85.

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

CTTC Summer Track Series 1 mi 6.10.08

CTTC held their 2nd track meet of the 4 week track meet series last night. I was back and looking to run the mile again.

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

Unofficial RFYL GP Standings

We are now four races into the RFYL GP Series. That means it is time to see who are the current leaders of the series. I have been checking the RFYL website a couple of times per week. I have been hoping they would post the Series standing.

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

King Tiger 5k 6.7.08 Recap

This morning RFYL held the 4th race in the RFYL GP Series. This was also my 4th race in running the series.

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

Twilight 5K 5.9.08

RFYL held their 3rd event in the Grand Prix Series - The Twilight 5K. This was an evening race (7PM) which takes place in Uptown Charlotte near the Wachovia Center.

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.

Skyline 5K 4.26.08

The 2nd race in the Run For Your Life Grand Prix series is the the Skyline 5K. This event takes place on the campus of CPCC in Charlotte.

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.

CTTC Summer Track Series 1 mi 6.3.08

The Charlotte Track Club puts on a summer track series in June at one of the Middle Schools in Charlotte. I thought that I would sign-up and try my hand at the 1 mile race. It has been several years since I ran a mile race. It also helped that the urge to run a sub 5 minute was strong

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

Sharmrock 4 Miler, CLT Recap 3.15.08

I went to the south side of Charlotte to run the Run For Your Life Shamrock 4 miler. This was the first event in the Run For Your Life Grand Prix Series.

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

Young Life 5K 6.1.08

I ran the Young Life 5K this past Sunday. The Young Life Group holds their annual race at Lowes Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. It is usually the first weekend in June.

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.

Snickers Marathon, Albany Ga 3.1.08 Recap

The Snickers Marathon was my first marathon in over 10 years. During the mid 90s I had ran 2 marathons and while I ran well in thesw races, I felt terrible afterward and it took months before I fully recovered.

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.

Left Turn Runs

I live and work in the Charlotte, NC area. In recent years Charlotte has experienced an enormous population growth. Many families are moving to Charlotte because of the tempered climate while still experiencing a change in seasons. I can understand this because this is the exact reason that I moved to Charlotte.

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.