Friday, July 31, 2009

He doesn’t bit

I don't know how many times that I have been out running either on the roads or the trails and came upon a dog out with its owner. The first thing out of the owner's mouth was "he doesn't bit".

Now, he may believe it and it may be true, but does he really expect me to believe it.

I mean I am out running and minding my business. Then out of nowhere, I see a dog bolting at me. The first thought racing through my mind is not "he doesn't bit", it is more like what should I do. Usually, running is the worst thing to do because it just insights the dog to chase you further. Typically, I just stand my ground and give the owner one of those looks when he or she arrives to drag their dog away.

Most of these situations occur because the owner either doesn't have their dog on a leash or they have a leash that seems like it is 300 ft long. It seems like some dog owners don't understand what it means to keep their pets under control.

To bring this to point, I was running out of my development yesterday and this lady was walking her Pit-bull. I say walking in "jest" because it looked more like she trying to hold back a tractor and trailer. The dog was literally dragging her along. You cannot tell me that walking a dog like this is really any fun.

I could see her from a ¼ mile away and definitely she could see me. Not once did she pull in her dog and as I was passing by he dove at me. She was holding him back with all her might. She was like "he doesn't bit" and apologized but hey, this situation should never have occurred. I cannot image this was the first time her dog did this type of thing.

I know owners love their dogs and enjoy taking them for walks. I respect their right to do so. However, I have rights as well and expect these dog owners to maintain control over their pets such that their dogs don't endangers others – especially us runners.

Please dog owners keep your pets on a leash and keep the leash short when other people around you.


Concerned Runners


Rock Hill Bike Time Trial

The Rock Hill Bike Time Trial got crossed off my list even before I got out the door to drive to the event yesterday. I emailed Chris yesterday to see if he was riding in it. He emailed back that it was actually Wednesday rather than Thursday as posted on their web site. I double checked and yes, they actually had the TT on Wednesday night.

Needless to say, I was a little disappointed because I had been looking forward to it.

Oh, well, I still have the Lowes TT coming up and I am excited about doing it again.

Mt. Bikes taking them roads

Driving along this morning, I came up behind a cyclist on his Mt. bike. Watching him ride along, I finally felt vindicated for all the miles that I had ridden my Mt. bike on the road. Somehow knowing that you are not the only doing something makes it all better. I say this because you just don't see many cyclists riding a Mt. bike. In some ways, riding a Mt. bike on the road feels like taboo. It is the same feeling you get when you pass someone on a long straight road that has a double yellow line. You can do it, but deep inside you feel like you shouldn't

I will say that his is a much better rider than I am. He was able to balance his bike while still clipped in at the red light.

Whoever you are more power to you and keep riding your Mt. bike.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dropping Runners during Group Runs

Is dropping runners run okay during a group run? In my opinion it is not for a couple of reasons.

Group runs are meant to provide runners of various abilities the opportunity to run together.

Group runs are really meant to be more of a social gather at a pace appropriate for all runners.

Now, how do you make this happen if you are organizing a group run?

There are least a couple of options.

For 1st option, you state in the group run invite that everyone runs together and the pace will adjust accordingly. This will set the agenda for the run and everyone knows what to expect. And, no one will be upset when the pace slows down. Also this keeps the pace at a level where people are not doing tempo or progressive runs in the latter half of the run. No one wants be just hanging off the back.

The 2nd option is to break the group runs up based on a particular pace. For instance, you can say that group one is looking to average 7 minute miles while group two will average 8 minute pace. Then, runners have the option as to which group to join. It also shows that the organizers of the group are knowledgeable of who are running and getting the group organized so that everyone has a running buddy.

Now, before ding me for my comments, yes, I understand that even using these options or some other option, there is no guarantee that you can keep everyone together. Some runners may be having a bad day – it happens. Or, runner might not be ready no matter what the pace is. In these cases, just make sure that they are okay and that they know the way back to the start. Being dropped is one thing, but being lost takes on a whole new level of frustration.

Again, group runs should be just that an easy recovery workout where everyone can chat and catch up and above all group runs should be fun for everyone.



Ryan Hall’s Insights into Marathon Training

If you are planning on training and racing either a ½ or full marathon this fall, you should check out Ryan Hall's videos from Master Shift. I went through all of the videos and found some good insights and suggestions.

Ryan also provides a sample marathon plan which is based on a 16 week program. The plan is designed more for new runners than experienced runners, but it is always helpful to see how other people put together their training plans. Sometimes, new ideas and workouts are discovered that you might want to incorporate into your own training plan.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Running Streaks – Why?

Skipping a few more pages in this month's Running Journal and I came across an article about what I will term is called running streaks.

Now, I know lots of people that do take days off from running and I know enough to understand that it probably helps as much as it hurts them. By not running, they are giving their bodies that much needed recovery time. On the other hand, by not training they have skipped a stress session that might help them improve.

My own personal streak of running started in Oct of '86. To tell the whole story, I had just finished running a race in which I had just finished 2nd. Mostly, my training was hap hazard up to this point. My running adventure had only started running 3 years before. I knew nothing about training and basically I just ran when I felt like it.

But standing there holding an unopened Coke in my hand after that race, I decided if I wanted to win a race, I needed to train better and be more consistent. So I took that Coke back to my car and later set it in my desk. I would drink it on the day that I won a race. This became the first goal that I ever set in running and probably in life.

From that day forward, I started running every day and I started reading every book in the library about running. I gave myself a training plan, changed how and when I raced, changed my diet and changed many more things than I have room to mention here.

But mostly, I ran and ran and ran. Being young has the advantage that the body just loves the miles.

Just over a year later, I won my first race and that Coke tasted great.

Some 23 years later this Oct, I will still be running every day. This includes running through all sorts of foot, knee, and hip injuries. I run through all types of weather. Just because it is hot, cold, snowing, raining, or icy, doesn't give me out to take a day off. I have run through all sorts of Life events: wedding, births, and divorce – this last one was a particular long run for me.

The shortest run to maintain the streak is 1 mile. But the longest run in 1 day has been about 35 miles. Some years, I tracked my mileage daily. Other years, the only thing that was important was that I ran at least once day. Sometime looking back, I wished that I had tracked the miles in a log book.

When I am done, someone will probably ask me if it was all worth it. After a few seconds to think about it, I am sure that I will say "yes, it was". There are probably hundreds of other activities available to me and I could have enjoyed any one of them very much, but going out the door every day and feeling the elements on my face makes me feel a live and ready to face life's challenges to come. That's why I run every day and why my streak continues.


Monday, July 27, 2009

The Money Run

My Running Journal came in the mail last week and as usual, I spend an evening or two reading the articles.

One article that I particular enjoyed was b y David Clark. David lives in Tupelo, MS and has the good fortune of finding lots of money on his daily runs. We should all be so lucky. To date, his has found more than $700 dollars.

Naturally, this kicked off my writing juices. Thinking back over my many years of running, I have picked up some quarters, dimes, and nickels along my many runs. I once I found $5.00. But never have I found the kind of money that David is raking-in.

However, I think I can at least match his efforts with something different. Part of my daily runs takes me by the Caterpillar Maintenance facility. They both maintenance machines there and send out trucks for remote maintenance. So anytime that I run by their facility, I usually find some type of tools lying alongside the road. I have found numerous sockets, ratchets, and wrenches.

The biggest wrench that I have found is nearly 18 inches long. It was tough lugging it home and I have never found a use for it.

So, the next time that you are out for a run start looking around. You might find some money or maybe something even better.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Long Runs in the Summer Heat

Yesterday, I was out running a long run with my TrySports teammates. For most of the run, I was feeling pretty good but as I turned toward the finish with two miles left, I could feel my legs growing very heavy. This heaviness forced me to slow and drop off their pace.


Now, no one likes to be dropped and I was little disappointed that it happened. But as I reflected upon it later in the day, getting drop was not such a bad thing as long as you understand why. In my case, I have been logging a lot miles both running and cycling. This has left my legs in a very tired state. And, I know Ben, Mike, and Megan are all in the good shape. Something else that I thought about was even with tired legs it took them nearly 16 miles before dropping me.


So if you are out there running in the summer heat and not feeling the best, it is okay if you drop off the pace. Not everyone is going to be feeling strong every day and with many of us prepping for a marathon, we are all going to be a little more tired than usual. And remember, the day that you really want to feel good is on marathon race day.



Saturday, July 25, 2009

Carolina Track and Field Club – UNCC Track Meet

Friday evening I decided to ride over to the .Carolina Track and Field Club’s Track meet on the UNCC Campus. The Track Club has been holding these events on Friday evenings in July.

Being that this was my first opportunity to venture over, I was interested to see what was happening. The first thing that I noticed they have more than just track events. The shot put and pole vaulting events were already in progress when I arrived. Hanging out on the top bleacher, also I saw the 200 meters and 1600 meter runs. I added the video from the 1600 meter run below. I wanted to stay longer but it was about a 45 minute ride over to the campus and I had to get home before dark. That’s one the issues with riding a bike.

Most of the athletes I didn’t recognized, but I see Dwight Jacobs a Master’s Runner from the Greensboro area. Dwight ran the 1600 meters event in a little over 5 minutes. Not bad, considering a few weeks ago when I talked to him, he didn’t sound like he was in great running shape. But then, I suspect he like most runners would never tell you everything. They rather you found out during race as you try to stay with them.

So, if you get a chance, go check it out. They have their last event next Friday evening. Registration starts around 4:45 and events kick off around 6:00 PM. The entry fee is $3.00.

The schedule of event is: 6:00 - 50m; 6:20 - 100m; 6:45 - 800m; 7:00 - high hurdles; 7:20 - 400m; 7:40 - 1600m; 8:00 - 200m; 8:20 - 3200m; 8:30 - 400m relay

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thoughts from the Road

After spending hours in the saddle pedaling around Charlotte this weekend, the following thoughts came to mind.


To the City of Charlotte, we could use a few more bike lanes. I mean with all the stimulus money circling, we can add a few lanes and improve our go green initiative.

To the DOT, I counted about 75 pot holes between my house and the Rowan County line. Can we get those fixed anytime soon?

To my Dad, I now understand why you always told me to slow down when crossing railroad tracks. At 20 mph, I think I knocked a couple of teeth loose.

To the 99% of the people that moved over and gave me room while riding, I thank you.

To the 1% of the people that crowded me, I am sorry for the negative thoughts that I sent your way.

To TrySports, next year can we get jerseys that unzip the entire front? On a hot day, it could really help.

To cyclists in the Lake Norman Challenge Race, I hope you did well whether you were riding in the 40, 60, or 100 mile rides.

To other cyclist, how do you trigger a stop light to change when there aren't any other cars at the intersection? Or maybe a better question, is how long do you wait?

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

2nd Edition of the "Miles Of Mooresville"

On July 19th 2009 at 5:45 activities kicked off for the 2nd edition of the Miles of Mooresville. If you are not familiar with the Miles of Mooresville, it is a unique event where for one price; you have the opportunity to run 1, 2, and/or 3 races. For 18 dollars, this appears to be the best bargain if you want to race around Charlotte this year.

The course is a 1 mile loop which is run multiple times if you are running the 2 or 3mile races. And you run right by the finish line which is the mile mark so you can see your mile splits with each lap.

In talking with Dennis Joffe the owner of Queen City Timing before the race, he has been working for 3 years with the local officials to take this race from concept to reality.

The first race which is the mile race kicks off around 7pm. The 2 miles race kicks off about 10 minutes after the last runner finishes the mile race. Similarly, the 3 miles kicks off about 10 minutes after the last runner finishes the 2 miles race.

The starts and finishes near Main St. in Mooresville. There was plenty of food and drinks provided to help with recovery between the races. And if you like live music, there race finishes next to a restaurant which has live out door music on Friday night.

Dennis’ Queen City Timing team was quick with the results as the finish order was posted before the next race kicked off.

The overall finishing times were quick with the mile race being won in 4:58. The two mile was won in 10:26 while the 3 mile race was won 17:00 minutes. The 3 mile race had 84 finishers. The 2 mile race had 102 finishers. The 1 mile race had 129 finishers.

Looking through the results, I noticed that several names ran in all 3 races. This included Bobby Aswell who pushed a baby jogger in all three races: 5:46, 12:34, and 19:42. He needs to receive a well deserved pat on the back. That’s a huge effort.

The next iteration of Miles of Mooresville happens on Aug 21st at 7pm so mark your calendars.

If you are interested in seeing a sampling of the events, I have included some video that I took Friday night below

Sorry about the video quality. Some videos, I can get youtube to show high quality and others videos, I cannot.

1 mile race

2 mile race - start

3 mile race - start

Friday, July 17, 2009

Extreme Ladder – The Workout - Update

Things are continuing to move along as we try to get the Extreme Ladder event off the ground.

I proposed two dates to Greg the AD from Myers Park HS: 10/3 or 10/10 – starting at 3pm in the afternoon. He is going to get back to me once he is in the school offices beginning Aug 1st. I am hoping we can lock things into place soon afterward.

Also I had some great feedback about how this event should be structured.

So far, we settled on the order of events: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, and 3200.

The finishing order would be determined by summation of each events time. To make all events equal, each event will be converted to the equivalent of running 3200 meters by using a multiplier.

I would like to give awards for open, master, grand master, great grand master but these type of details are still up in the air.

But there is much that is still up in the air and a lot of work to do.

I am keeping my fingers crossed.



Thursday, July 16, 2009

Carolina Cycling Time Trial 07152009

Last night, Carolina Cycling held one of their scheduled Time Trails at Lowes Motor Speedway. This particular edition was a 10 mile time trial and consisted of 7 laps on the actual race Track at Lowes Motor Speedway.

This was my first competition type of thing outside of running. To say the least, there was some nervousness and butterflies. These were the type of butterflies that I hadn’t had in a while. Cody, one of my teammates from TrySports, was also coming out so I wasn’t the only person out there learning.

My goals heading into the time trail was to finish, not wreck, not wreck anyone else, and not get DQ. In reading over the rules for the time trail, there was a ton of stuff to remember. Nothing like running, where there are much fewer rules.

To list a few, you can only pass on the right. Otherwise, you need to stay in the left most lane and one of the biggest in my mind was no drafting. Considering that all my rides are solo, I am not sure I knew how to draft off someone.

I left home about 5pm. It took about 15 minutes to reach the speedway. I then waited another 10 minutes due to the sign-in process used by the speedway. Activities for the time trail kick off at 6:30. I went through the registration process which was little strange. You paid in one line. You picked up your number in another line. You then picked up your chip in another line. It was not the speediest of processes but everyone was patient.

As I was walking back to my car, I saw Cody who was waiting to register. We talked for a few minutes before I had to jet back to my car. I drew a 6:30 start time which meant I had about 20 minutes to get ready.

After changing clothes and pulling out my bike, I headed out for some time on the track. I had about 12 minutes before my start time. Drawing an early time is rough due to the heat on the track. But beggars cannot be choosy.

At 6:30 they pulled everyone off the track and started lining people up.
I got into the left lane because the left lane was slotted for even numbers riders. The right line was used to start riders with wearing odd numbers.

Riders started from a standing start with someone holding your bike while you were clipped to the pedals. This was a first for me, but I made it off without falling.

There were already riders on the track so I was trying to come up through the gears and not run into anyone. The first couple of laps were all on adrenaline. The middle laps were tough. I reached 5 miles in 14:33 so I felt I had a chance to break 30 minutes.

The next 5 miles went by quickly. I was catching people and being caught by others. Each time someone passed me, I tried to match their pace for at least a few hundred yards. In one instance, I was passed by tandem bike. My only thought was “Wow”. I didn’t know whether to think they were cheating by having two riders pedaling faster than me or was I just that slow. But then, I forgot all about it and just kept pedaling.

I thought I had went out too fast, but over the last couple of laps I found that I had more in the tank than I expected. My last 2 laps were some of my fastest.
Coming around for lap 7 I headed down pit road to the finish. I was up out the seat the entire way. I believe this was the first time that I had ever been winded on the bike. Crossing the finish line, my legs felt thick and heavy just like when I finish running.

But “Wow” what great experience. I had just ridden the fastest 10 miles of my life in 28:08. I saw Cody and Janna afterwards and talked for a few minutes before heading over to the warm down track to get some of the lactic acid off my legs.

After warming down, I put my bike away and headed over to watch Cody in his ride. Boy was he flying. With disk wheel, aero helmet and handle bars he was digging on every lap and finished with a 22:58 averaging 26+ mph

Summary of my splits from the Time Trial
Miles Mile time MPH Avg. BPM Max Heart Rate
Mile 1 2:50.76 21.1 143 173
Mile 2 2:55.76 20.5 157 166
Mile 3 2:46.80 21.6 159 163
Mile 4 2:50:67 21.1 153 161
Mile 5 2:58:50 20.2 153 156
Mile 6 2:59.21 20.1 157 160
Mile 7 2:43:59 22.0 157 160
Mile 8 2:43:68 22.0 158 163
Mile 9 2:54:84 20.6 161 166
Mile 10 2:27:00 23.2 168 173
Total 28:08:00 21.2 156 173

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rubber Sidewalks

Finally, after years of pounding my legs on concrete sidewalks, Charlotte appears to be headed in the direction of converting from concrete to a rubber type of sidewalk. The initial test locations are being done in two parts of the city: On the Plaza and W. 28th street.

I may drive over and test them out.

Monday, July 13, 2009

RFYL GP Power Rankings – Updated after RFYL 4m

After 5 races in the RFYL GP series we still have a hardy group of males committed to running the entire series.

If you didn't see my original post, I created an age graded ranking of our performances. Basically, I took our race times and adjusted for age and then convert it to a number between 0 and 100 for each race. I then average the ranking from each race for the overall power ranking. The results are listed below for the runners completing all 5 races so far in the GP series. If you missed a race and would like to know your rankings for the other races, let me know.




Power Ranking

Bill Shires



Stephen Spada



Tim Friederichs



Jason Holder



Robert Boyer



Robert Miller



Jack Hill



Alejandro Arreola



Greg Isaacs



Mark Cox



George Adickes



Louis Messina Iii



Jerry Sofley



Frank Ford



Bubba Anthony



Keith Ritzel



Kevin Ford



Robert Heck



Richard Hefner



Mitchell Rippy



Michael Murphy



Billy Shue



Chad Crockford



Ryan Lacjak



Sam Baucom



Ty Ziegler



John Chambers



Steve Austin



Brenneman Thompson



Stan Austin



Bill Allen



Daniel Rutter



Chad Chambers



Todd Hartung



Matthew Stapleton



Clayton Venhuizen



John Williams



David Lamothe



Dan Stowe



Sean Scott



Andrew Bishop



Mark Summers



Ryan Watson



Mike Dismuke



Dexter Pepperman



Ryan Rainer



Peter McKenzie



David Harris



Jason Krull



Stephen Price



John Ghiz



Finian Curran



Jerry McBride



James Thomas



Keith Young



Tom Sinclair



Philip Sanford



David Mohr



Christopher Mazza



Greg Verner



Paul Dunlap



Bryce Hadley



Chris Beckstead



George Spantgos



Eric Bergman



Edward Falco



Paul Prochaska



Jeff Fisher



Kevin Harper



David Young



Tom Davis



Jason Gardner



Chris Davis



Lee Holder



Eric Babbitt



Tim Haney



Stephan Rothwell



Jay Audino



Matthew Harrison



Ryan McLaughlin



Unofficial 2009 RFYL GP Point Total – through RFYL 4m

Tim and crew from RFYL indicated that they are still working through some issues and will have their final version of the RFYL 4M results posted by Tuesday. In the meantime, if you are interested in what the results might look like see below. I have the results for everyone, but I only posted the 10 ten for the men and women. If you would like your totals, post a comment or drop me an email.

Name Age Point Total Shamrock 4m Skyline 5k Twilight 5k King Tiger 5k RFYL 4m

Top 10 Males

Jason Holder 25 6766 899 993 972 1984 1918

Alejandro Arreola 27 6593 864 946 941 1926 1916

Greg Isaacs 25 6567 861 953 957 1900 1896

Bill Shires 44 6441 874 957 928 1876 1806

Stephen Spada 43 6368 871 959 924 1844 1770

Mark Cox 39 6339 853 933 907 1850 1796

Tim Friederichs 46 6065 823 913 895 1766 1668

Chad Crockford 27 5991 821 889 807 1760 1714

Robert Boyer 47 5989 819 882 864 1762 1662

Billy Shue 25 5982 809 872 851 1738 1712

Top 10 Females

Name Age Point Total Shamrock 4m Skyline 5k Twilight 5k King Tiger 5k RFYL 4m

Danielle Walther 27 6628 935 854 891 1986 1962

Hayley Whisonant 23 6284 861 877 864 1888 1794

Tiffany Brown 31 6184 859 861 862 1842 1760

Shannon Fowler 36 5918 831 846 809 1762 1670

Meg Greene 12 5714 813 811 828 1656 1606

Toni Cruz 57 5670 773 778 777 1690 1652

Maria Dehaas 36 5620 797 793 768 1640 1622

Karen Wilder 41 5617 776 777 758 1662 1644

Sharon Allen 55 5589 789 785 745 1664 1606

Christa Phipps 37 5529 751 782 752 1632 1612


Idiot Tax

Okay, after playing with my bike for two days and not having any luck, I broke down and took it to the bike shop. I paid my idiot tax ($10.00) for probably screwing it up in the first place. The bike mechanic took maybe ten minutes and had me ready to go. This is where the "Idiot" part comes into play and then the tax is paid. LOL.

This occurred on Saturday morning after the RFYL 4 miler. Not wanting to wait any longer, I drove straight home after paying my "idiot tax", changed, and headed out the door. 30+ miles later, I was pulling back in my drive away after a great ride.

Sunday morning, I got home from running 16 miles with the Charlotte Running Group in 2 hours on the Davidson Trails. I grabbed some food and water to refuel before heading out on another ride. This time I rode the loop down to Sunset Rd and then up to Cornelius back down 115 to Harris before heading home. 34+ miles were covered, I might have done a few more miles, but I have yet to add a bottle holder to my bike and didn't take any money. Sometime, I get too carried away.

For the weekend, I ran 28 miles with 4 miles at a hard pace plus 64 miles on the bike. Other than being just a little tired today, I feel pretty good. However, I am not sure if I should interrupt this as good thing or bad thing. Potentially, I have been sitting on my "but" too much so I am more rested than I thought.

Next up, I am heading to Lowes Speedway on Wednesday evening and see if they will let me register for the 10 mile time trial. I have never done anything like this before so I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will let me in the time trial. I hear it is loads of fun. I hope they will let me come out and play. LOL.

-btw these guys from the Charlotte Running Group are super nice. It was great to hang out and talk outside of just on race day. I am hoping to cross paths with these guys again.

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

RFYL 4 Miler 07.11.09 @ 22:49 10th OA

"Win with class and lose with grace" That is my quote to use for today. David Dye another local Masters runner showed up and bested me in the RFYL 4 Miler. David is from Matthews, NC. He and I hooked up during the OBX marathon last fall.

Going into the race, I didn't have high expectations but with the overcast skies, I was hoping for the best.

From the start, my legs didn't feel exceptionally good. This feeling was not helped as streams of people were going by me on the hill. Steve Spada appeared to be running well. I didn't catch up to him until we were ½ way up the hill. We both were looking ahead and Steve said that he thought a lot of runners would come back to us. Crossing the first mile in 5:51, it didn't look as if that many people were coming back.

In my blog profile of the race, I advised people to not push too hard down East Blvd. I wish I had followed my own advice, but I didn't. The 2nd mile was my fastest mile of the race. By this time, David and I were running together. We exchanged surges over the next couple of miles. Passing the 3rd mile, David gapped me on the steep downhill. I tried hard to make it up but couldn't. We covered the 3rd mile in 5:39 and the forth mile in 5:29. I passed Mike B. pushing his young daughter and he kept yelling "open it up". Unfortunately, I was already running wide open. David was running strong and maintained his lead all the way to the finish.

Only after the race did I realize that Mark Cox had come up to pass Steve and was closing on me. He has been running really well. I will probably be chasing him before the end of year.

All things considering, I came away from the race happy and with no more races until Blue Points 5k in August, I can just focus on running, biking, and swimming.

Life can be good. :)


Friday, July 10, 2009

First Ride on the new Bike

The first ride went well on the new bike. I have sorted out most of the issues and the only remaining issue appears to be with the front derailleur. For whatever reason, I cannot get the darn thing to change over to the large cog. I have adjusted, changed, moved about everything that I with my limited knowledge can try to do.

I guess, I will break down and get a knowledgeable bike mechanic to do it. You might ask why I didn't do that in the first place. Well, you do have a good point, but I like to figure things out for myself. Since my name is not Lance Armstrong I don't have a bike mechanic following me on my rides so if something breaks, I need to understand how it works and repair if only temporarily. Besides, I find it interesting to work on my bike. It is kind of like guys who work on their cars.

Not ready to race 4 miles this weekend

Okay, it has been three weeks since my last race. Just about the only thing that I have done well is eat and lay around. Well, partially, I have been swimming, biking, and running but mostly only when I feel like it.

And, the hardest that I have run 3 weeks was with Ben last week for 10 miles. It didn't really feel hard, but then, it didn't exactly feel easy.

Pretty much I am going into this race expecting a drop. If I am able to keep Steve and Mark in sight, well then, I will consider it mission accomplished.

With all training you go through peaks and valleys. July is usually a valley for me. After running and racing hard for the entire spring and early summer, July is the month where I let my body and mind bounce back. The body needs rest from being pushed hard while the mind needs rest from the intensity of constantly trying to run on the edge without breaking something. Under any other circumstances, I would not even race this weekend, but with it being a GP race and a double points and I feel that I have to do it.

Moving on, all of this easiness will end in a few weeks. I will be starting my marathon training come the first of August. Looks like I will be headed back to OBX again this year. It will be the first time that I have done the same marathon course twice. Hopefully, luck will be on my side and I will post a good time. Maybe I can run that sub 2:40. I will be limiting my races for the remainder of the year and dropping the 50k that I ran last year. Really, I think the 50k 4 weeks and 15k 3 weeks before the marathon sunk me. I never really recovered and was pretty tired going into the marathon. Runners are some of the smartest people on earth, but when it comes to running sometime we do the dumbest things. I count myself among the dumbest.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Shirtless Police

A few weeks ago, Theoden wrote on his
blog about going shirtless while on a run. After reading his post, I added a post with my own thoughts on my blog. Pretty much, the topic died at that point until an email popped into my inbox a short time ago.

One of my friends was running through the parking lot at the Y when a security guard approached and instructed him that he needed to be wearing a shirt because of the children at the Y. Now, I have been running at the various Ys in Charlotte for years and have never heard of this policy. I have never been stopped either by Y staff or by people posing as Y staff about this topic. On top of this, I am not sure why a security guard would be acting as the fashion police or decency police depending on your point of view.

Now, granted while I am in the Y I do wear a shirt. I try to wear clothing appropriate for the area, but once outside and the temps are on the 80s+, the shirt has to come off.

As for children seeing a man without his shirt, if the children at the Y are anything like my children, they did not even notice it. Only adults seem to notice. Funny how that works, children don't judge but they just accept things as they come.

New Bike is coming today

Finally, after riding my Mt. bike for the last year, I broke down and bought a road back. It is arriving today and I cannot wait until I can take it for spin.

For a long time, I didn't have a bike. I ran all the time and cross training just wasn't part of my program. Then, a few years ago, I was given a Mt. bike. I only used it to ride through the neighborhood with my daughters in the evening. The rest of the time, it collected dust in my garage. Pretty much, I suspect this is like most people.

Last summer, I pulled it out and road about 6 miles one evening. A few days later, I road it again this time I went for 10 miles. Something was different about these rides. Suddenly, riding the bike seemed to be a lot more enjoyable. I still cannot figure out why but then some things are just not that important to figure out. Throughout the rest of the summer, fall, and winter I kept pulling out my Mt. bike for ride after ride. Some days, it was so cold that my hands went numb. Then, there was the time that I got caught in the snow.

Then, there was the warm spring evening at Huntersville Business Park. I watched as probably 100 cyclist rode loops around the park. That day, I decided it was time to move over.

I'll keep my Mt. bike but after today, my future spins will be on my new road bike.

Next goal, I want to add an indoor trainer. Hopefully, I add it before the cold weather arrives in the fall.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Run For Your Life 4 Miler Course Profile

With the next Grand Prix race fast approaching, I pulled together my 2nd course profile.

Below I have provided a course map and an elevation profile, but always check the RFYL site for the latest. My copies are totally unofficial.

If you are running this course for the first time or a veteran looking for some tips, here goes.

The course starts near the Dilworth Run for Your Life store. It is relatively flat for about ¼ mile before starting up hill. Be patient during this section or you will pay for it later. As you near the top and turn right, you will be tempted to surge. However, you shouldn't. With your next right, you will be on East Blvd. which is a nice long gradual downhill section. Here, you start to push the pace, but definitely, you should keep it controlled. With the next couple of rights, you will be making the Dilworth Loop.

This loop is deceivingly uphill along with a very slight uphill long stretch on Worthington. Here's where you are going to catch those people that went out too fast. Once you off Worthington and made the 2nd left onto Mc Donald Ave, it is time to totally open up the jets. No use in saving anything during this last mile. Stay motivated and try to catch the guy or guys in front of you.

Good Luck and see you there.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Extreme Ladder Workout– “Run Your Legs Off”

What is the Extreme Ladder Workout – you might ask? Well, let me explain. For the last couple of years, we have been kicking around the idea to have a multi-race track event. There are other similar types of events, but there is not anything here in Charlotte.

Our idea, as it stands to today, is to have a 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, and 3000 races. Basically, with each race being a step in the ladder and difficulty comes as the races get longer. That is why we are calling the Extreme Ladder Workout. And by the end, you just might feel like your legs are going fall off. The winner would be the person with the lowest cumulative time with assumption that you had to run all six races. We are looking at potential dates and would like to choose something either late in August or early September. As to the cost, we were thinking potentially $5.00. We wanted to keep the cost low – probably no shirt and have some simple awards. The thing that might throw a monkey wrench into the works is the number of people wanting to run. The more people you have then more heats need to be run. We would want to finish by dark. J

Anyone have any suggestion or thoughts on it, let me know.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Run at the Red Bridge Golf course

This evening I headed over to Locust, NC for run. Peter, the owner of Vac and Dash Store, invited me over to run with their group from Albemarle. Being that I always looking for a new places to run, I gladly accepted.

Just as you enter into Locust, they are building a new golf course called Red Bridge. The course hasn’t opened yet so it is a perfect place to run with beautiful views. In fact, Peter helped setup a 5k and 10k race just a few weeks ago.

We did a couple of loops over part of the golf course. It was just enough to get in a nice little 5k.

I showed up late, but it was not to my own doing. There was a wreck heading toward Albemarle which brought the traffic to halt. However, everyone was nice enough to wait on me.

Most of the runners are new to running so they had a lot questions. We talked about training for everything from 5ks to Marathons. We talked about watches and shoes etc. I did my best to make good suggestions and explain the type of things that I do. But I always predicate my suggestions with each of us different so you need to find what works best for you. We also enjoyed some great Watermelon. After a hot run, watermelon taste so sweet.

In reality, their questions are no different than anyone else. They all want to understand how to run better and faster. Near the end, I offered up my email as I am always willing to share. This is part of the reason that I created this blog.