Sunday, November 29, 2009

The First Annual BS Awards

Out of Nowhere award: Jay Holder.

Jay came out of nowhere to take the top spot in the RFYL GP series. Would have never guessed this at the beginning of the year.

Most Improved Award: Alejandro Arreola.

Alejandro started the year running just under 18 minutes for a 5k but took a huge step forward to run in the low 16s by April. Along the way, he started winning races and finished among the leaders in the RFYL GP series.

Most Enthusiasm Award: Billy Shue.

Billy would drive across Charlotte to just share the news about a workout.

Has us looking over our shoulder Award: Alana Hadley.

At 12 years old, it is only a matter of time before Alana catches all of us.

Weekend Warrior award: Richard Hefner and Bobby Aswell.

If there is a race anywhere near charlotte, one or both of these individuals will be racing in it.

Running in Pain: Peter Browne.

Peter ran and raced most of this year with a foot injury that would put most of us on the sidelines.

Biggest Influence on the Charlotte Running Community Award: Mr Hydro of the Charlotte Running Club.

Mr Hydro shows up regularly at the Charlotte Running Club workouts and hands out water to anyone that needs it. Without his support where would we be?

Mega Mileage Award: Nathan Stanford.

Nathan runs 1, 2, and sometimes 3 times per day and regularly totals over a 100 miles per week.

Unusual Training Methods Award: Chris Lamperski.

Chris spent plenty of time preparing for the Beer Mile and didn't even need to taper for the event.

Patients Award: Ben Hovis.

Ben earned this award for his patients while running the Hendrick Bone Marrow ½ marathon course and not getting upset for being misdirected along the way.

Taking the Lead Award: Jay, Aaron, and Caitlin.

Jay, Aaron, and Caitlin for forming the Charlotte Running Club and giving us a new group of friends to hang with.

The Right stuff Award: Megan Hovis.

Megan had a rough day at OBX and was passed for the lead during the last ½ mile of the race. What did she do first after finishing the race? She smiled and congratulated the winner. Now that is class.

Greatest Running Promoter Award: Peter Asciutto

If something running related is going on in the Albemarle area, Peter is most likely involved in it. He works tirelessly to help people with their running endeavors.

I have a Plan Award: Stan Austin.

Without going through a typical marathon training plan, Stan put together a great race plan to achieve his goal at the Richmond Marathon and then went out and did it.

From 0 to Marathon Racer: Paul Mainwaring

Paul came off a summer of being injured and no running to now be ready to run a fast time at Thunder Road. Way to go Paul.

Putting us on the Map Award: Theoden Janes

Running across the Charlotte has largely been unnoticed for years. That is until Theoden came along to put us on the map.

Out this World Award: Cody Angel

Well maybe not out of this world, but out of this country. Cody is following his passion for running and training like a professional in Australia for a month.

Wildest Running Club Name: Crazy Legs.

Crazy for a Running Club name – enough said.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Foot Locker Cross Country Championships – South Regional

Foot Locker Cross Country Championships – South Regional kicked off at McAlpine Creek Park this morning. The open and masters races got show off and running at 8AM and were followed at 30 minute intervals for Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior/Senior races. Next, there were seeded races for the very fast and the event finished off with events for 10 and under, 11-12, and 13-14 year olds.

Frosty conditions greeted the open and masters runners but that didn’t stop Stan and Brian from running in singlet’s and from posting very fast times. Brian crossed the finish line in the 16:30 and Stan was close behind with a time in the 18:30s.

Having lived in Charlotte for 20 years, this was my first time to attend this event. Definitely, there was a lot of excitement in the air. If you are not up for running it next, you should definitely come out to watch and support. That’s what I was doing today because I knew several individuals that had entered the race.

One of those runners was Tom Torkelson. As always, Tom never seems to miss an opportunity to race. And not be out done, Bobby Aswell Jr was enjoying a chance to take this weekly race addiction to a cross country course. Then, there were two girls from App State that finished the open race. Both very nice and ran very fast.

Beyond the racers, there was a preverbal who’s who from the charlotte running community watching: Jay, Aaron, and Lana to name a few.

Also I got my first change to meet Meredith from our TrySports team and Justin who are my co-director compatriots.

Certainly this is a must see race for next year so put it on your calendar to watch if you don’t plan on running.

Tales from Foot Locker South Regional by the Cool Down Runner

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Unknown Runner

There is a question that I have been meaning to ask. If an event is a chip timed race, how could there be runners with chip times but no names?

I mean you must have signed up and picked up your chip and number. How does this happen?

Please share if you know.



Tales from the Unknown Cool Down Runner J

Charlotte Turkey Trot 8K Recap

The Charlotte Turkey Trot 8k kicked off at 9 AM this morning at the South Park Mall. After being way from this race for several years, I decided to return this year.

I knew I wouldn't be in the greatest shape but the opportunity to burn some calories and spend time with other runners was just too tempting.

So a little after 7AM this morning I headed across town and arrived about 7:35.

The parking lot was empty but filled up fast as the race time approach. And it emptied just as quickly after the race.

After picking up my packet and making the usual pre race stops, I headed back to my car to change over to my warm up gear.

Steve Spada and I joined up for a 2 mile warm up. It was nice to catch up and hear about his New York Marathon race.

Then, it was back to change over to my racing flats and head to the starting line.

The Turkey Trot 8k is one of the biggest races in Charlotte with 6000 runners. There is something awesome about being surrounded by 5999 people who share the same interest as I do.

There would be no splits from today's race. I started put on my Garmin but then, I laid it back in the car. Today, it was about running by feel.

From the start, I spotted Steve just ahead of me.

Followed him for about ½ mile before passing and then followed Logan for about one and half miles. We passed Shonts along the way. Then Chaz Hinkle came by me just before the 2 mile. He was looking strong. I was not feeling the greatest, but I tried to stay with him.

Going up Runnymede Rd Chaz pulled me by several yards. Along about this point my Gluts were telling my brain that it was time to slow down. Believe me I really wanted to slow down. But once we were back on Sharon Rd. I thought I could recovery.

I was able to get back to his shoulder. However, my legs were just about maxed out. I thought I would feel better once we rolled over the top on Sharon Rd. But when we hit the downhill section, Chaz put it into another gear. At this point, I could not match his effort. I don't think it was conditioning that held me back at this point because I was not in an anaerobic state. More or less, it was the legs just didn't have that extra gear that I needed. Understandably, I really didn't expect to have this extra gear. After all, my focus had been on OBX and with only 2 ½ weeks between OBX and this race, there was no opportunity for doing any speed work.

The gap between Chaz and me grew to about 40 seconds over the last mile and half.

One other runner came by me with about ½ mile left in the race, and this last ½ mile is pretty tough section. While it is not steep, my legs just didn't want to run up hill at this point.

Steve, Brian, Paul, and Aaron ran with me for another 3 miles to cool down after the race.

I had heard a lot about Turkeys being given away but I really didn't know what they meant until I saw the awards. The overall and master's runners get a trophy shaped like a Turkey. If I had known about this unique award, I might have dug a little deeper. Just kidding, I didn't have any more gears today.

But I did post something on Chaz's facebook wall. I congratulated him on his race and told him that I would be back next year. I was going to make a run at one of those Turkeys.

Then, it was time to head home and prepare for the Thanksgiving dinner.

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and to thank you for reading my blog.

No one ever said that I was a great writer, but sharing about my passion for running is something that I enjoy very much.



Tales from the Cool Down Runner on sharing a moment with 5999 friends at the Charlotte Turkey Trot 8k

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My first XC Spikes

After 26 years of running, I test drove my new XC Spikes. Yes, that right. After 26 years of running, I bought and started the break in process for a new pair of Saucony Shay cross country spikes.

This might surprise some people. They may have assumed that I ran in high school or college and would have worn spikes. But no, I never have.

Until my Tabata workout this morning when laced up my new spikes, I could honestly say that I never put on spikes of any kind.

To back up a bit, a few weeks ago I was invited to travel along on a trip to run in the USAT&F Cross Country Team Championships. Not wanting to be the only one running without spikes, I decided to break down and buy myself a pair.

On Monday, the UPS man delivered them to my door.

Today, I took them with me so that when I did my Tabata workout, I could start to get the feel of them.

When I finished my normal run, I pulled my XC shoes out of my car and put in the spikes.

I carried them over to the grass and put them on.

The Saucony Shay spikes seem to run just a little large –maybe ¼ to ½ size large. Also they are very narrow. I thought my Nike shoes were narrow but these Shay shoes are extremely narrow.

They fit so snugly that I don’t need to lace them up very tight to keep them on.

Clearly running in them is different. They are light and they grab the ground. I found myself adjusting my stride somewhat so that it felt better.

About half way through the workout, I felt like I was starting to get the hang of them.

I did notice how hard they felt in the mid foot. That is something that I have never felt in my regular running shoes.

The plan is to continue to do my Tabata and Diagonal workouts in them until the XC race. After the XC race they will go on the self until the summer track season.

Tales from the Cool Down Runner with XC spikes.

Turkey Trot

Wow, it seems like only yesterday that I finished OBX and now, I have another race tomorrow. I really haven't give much thought to the Turkey Trot 8k. In hindsight, I am not really sure why I signed up for it. But having done so, I guess I am on the hook for it.

In looking at the web site, it looks like the course as changed some since my last visit to this race. Definitely, I am always a fan of downhill finishes.

I don't have any real goals or objectives for this race other than; I need to burn some extra calories before I set down at the table Thursday afternoon.

I do know that I am not in prime racing shape. But regardless, I will run hard and see what I can do.

Running under 29 minutes will be a plus but running over 29 minutes will not be a disappointment. After running so many hard races this year, I am due a "game off" race.

If anyone is interested, I will be running between 2 and 3 mile warm up starting about 8:10 from the starting line. And will be doing a couple of miles warm down afterward.

If you are interested, pop me an email or facebook post or just show up. No charge for running with me. J


Tales from the Cool Down Runner

Monday, November 23, 2009

HEED Powder by Hammer Nutrition

Heading out Saturday morning for my 20 mile run and later my 23 mile ride to the top of Morrow Mt., I prepared a couple of water bottles.

My first bottle was just plain water but in the 2nd bottle I added the HEED powder from Hammer Nutrition.

The packets come in single serving sizes weighing about 29 grams and can be mixed with the 16 to 24 oz. of water. Which works perfect, if you have one of those new TrySports water bottles.

According to the packaging, it is a complete–in-one fuel mix.

Not knowing much about the flavors, I selected the Melon flavor. To me, it tastes like a mild watermelon.

One package contains 100 calories of Carbohydrates, no fat, and no protein. It has several minerals listed on the package and also contains the sweetener xylitol.

I started sipping on the mixture before my ride and continued sipping it throughout my ride. Never once did I feel like I was running low on energy. Also the mixture seemed to settle well on my stomach which is always a plus.

The labeling from the packet indicates that it also buffers lactic acid build up and helps prevent cramps.

This was probably a good thing. My legs felt a little overloaded from both workouts.

By the end of the ride, I had consumed the entire mixture and pretty didn’t feel any ill effects.

Definitely, the HEED Powder is worth a 2nd look but possibly a different flavor. Maybe I will try the orange next time.

Tales from the Cool Down Runner powered by HEED

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Idiot Biathlon 11.21.09

A couple of weeks ago Peter from Vac&Dash sent out an email about a group run in Albemarle. This was not your average group run rather it is a run for only the brave at heart.

Peter calls this group run the Idiot 19.7 miler run. Why is called Idiot run? Well, they start this run at 5 or 5:30 AM in the morning and run from the Y in Albemarle to the top of Morrow Mt. and back. If you have never been to Morrow Mt., the drive up is hard on your car so you can just image what it is like heading up on foot.

This was not my first endeavor for the Idiot run. I had first attempted it in January of ’08 so I knew what I to expect. But there are always a few new brave souls willing to take up this challenge.

After a few days of thinking about this run, I thought I was recovered enough from OBX that I could do it. So finally, I worked up the courage and sent Peter an email. I was coming back to run the Idiot Run for a 2nd time.

That was about a week and ½ before the run. Then this week, for some stupid reason, the idea of taking my bike over and riding afterward seemed like a good idea.
I emailed Peter again. This time I asked if he could circulate an email to see if any of the other Idiot runners were interested in riding back to the top of Morrow Mt. after we finished our run.

Peter couldn’t find any takers from the other Idiot runners but he did find a cyclist willing to ride with me.

Saturday morning, I was up early 3:30 am and packing up everything that I would need for the day.

By 4:30 I was on the road to Albemarle.

By 5:30 I was changing into my running cloths and shoes and making ready for a run to the top of Morrow Mt.

Before the start we took a few pictures and soon we were off. I immediately hooked up with three other guys and we ran together most of the way over to Morrow Mt. Only once we hit the steep section of the mountain climb did we start to separate.

Knowing that I was going to double up today, I took along 4 Power Gels. Definitely, I didn’t want to take any chances on letting my energy levels drop to low.

On the way down from the top, a couple of guys caught back up with me and we ran to the together on the road back to the Albemarle. Two of us did get a little gap when the pace started to drop into the 6:30s for the last 5 miles.

Once back at the Y it was time to change over to my cycling gear and make ready for the ride back to Morrow Mt.

Peter hooked me up with Curt . Curt was a former Triathlete who is now a cyclist. Curt is 60 years old and is trying to ride to the top of Morrow Mt. 60 times this year.

He is good cyclist and I was having trouble keeping up on the flats and down hills. But then my strength is on the up hills. Fortunately, the course is rolling which afforded me many opportunities to catch up.

The climb to the top of Morrow Mt. was tough. My quads were really burning and the burning only increased as I neared the top.

But then the fun would start on the decent. Before leaving the top, I checked both the front and rear brakes.

Everything was a okay, and I headed off on the decent.

I checked my Garmin and the speed flashed up to 35 MPH. Coming into the first hair pen curve, I was hard on the brakes and sliding the tires. I made it through the turn and head off over the rest of the downhill section. There was no more need for the brakes for the rest of the downhill section.

Boy, was this the fun part.

Curt waited on me a little ways down the road and we rode the rest of the way back to Y.

Setting in the back of my CRV to rest, I marveled how perfect this day was. I am not getting younger but doing stuff like this sure is fun.

Tales from the Cool Down Runner after finishing the first and only Idiot Biathlon.

PDS Pre Foot Locker Time Trial

There is nothing better than spending a weekend surrounded by other runners and nowhere is the enthusiasm for running better than with high school cross country runners.

Early Saturday afternoon, I headed over for Ben Hovis’ Pre Foot Locker 2 mile time trial. This was my first time attending this type of event so I was soaking up everything.

Ben does an excellent job with this event. There were 3 different heats: a boys’ heat, a girls’ heat, and a very fast boys’ heat.

The regular boys’ heat kicked off at 3pm.
The girls’ heat kicked off at 3:20pm, and the fast boys’ at 3:40pm.

Ben provided the in race analysis.
I helped out with the race timing, and Stan helped with keeping the runners organized as they finished.

It was great seeing such youg runners pushing themselves on a Saturday afternoon. Many, I am sure, will be running Foot Locker next weekend and do exceptionally well.

Here's a photo of Stan before the heats. He warmed up but we couldn't get him in the race.
Maybe next year, we can move him from helping to racing.

I am already looking forward to helping out next year.

Tales from the Cool Down Runner

Hendricks Bone Marrow ½ marathon - Ben and Rebecca set course records

This morning Jay, Mike, Megan, and I met about 6:45 for a group run through the area around Lowes Motor Speedway. Our motivation for choosing such a location was that Ben was running the Hendricks Bone Marrow ½ marathon. Our hope was to finish early and give him some support during his race.

Our run started about 6:45 and we arrived back at the speedway between the starts of the ½ marathon and the 5k.

Ben came by the starting area at about 4 miles with huge lead over 2nd place. Then, we saw Rebecca come through a short time later both were leading their respective races.

The course curved its way around the dragway, dirt track, and speedway both inside and out.

Being that this was a 1st time race and with many turns, the runners struggled at times to stay on course. Ben ran just over 1:12 to win by about 7 minutes but he could have been faster if he had not stopped to ask for directions on several occasions. I expect with a year under their belt, the race organizers will definitely step it up next year.

Also the race had a rather small turnout but this could be attributed to the fact that it was lightly advertised and on the weekend before Thanksgiving as well as being a Sunday morning race.

Ben appeared to come through the race very well and show little sign of his OBX injury. Rebecca was all smiles as she crossed the finish line. Looks like those 2xu racing tights that she was wearing worked well for her as she won the women's race by a comfortable margin.

In the 5k race, Alejandro pulled away for the win on a fast 5k course that included running the length of the dragstip. I dare say the 5k course could potentially be as fast as the Runway 5k.

Lastly, my congrads to all of those runners that came out to brave both the 13.1 and 3.1 on this cold sunday morning. Luckly, the rain held off until this afternoon.

Tales from the Runner at the speedway

Saturday, November 21, 2009

TrySports Social

Last night was the first social for our ’10 TrySports Ambassador Team at the TrySports store and later a party and food at Meredith’s house.

Initially we met at the store where Rob shared updates about the team and passed out our ’10 uniforms. I had my choice of a running or cycling uniform and I opted for the cycling uniform. I have plenty of TrySports running gear but I need all of the TrySports cycling gear that I can get.

Since I am the running team director, I made an effort to chat with everyone but like most socialS there is never enough time to meet everyone. I still had a fun time. Hopefully, with future socials I will make the entire circle of meeting everyone.

I wish I could have made it over to Meredith’s house. I heard from Stan that a fun time was had by all.

Also we all wished Cody safe journeys. He heads for Australia today.

-btw looking around the store, I think we will have a strong racing team this year. I am going to do as much as I can to help make both TrySports and our Ambassador Team successful.

Tales from the ’10 TrySports Runner.

Charlotte Running Club Social

All I can say is "Wow". When I first joined the Charlotte Running Club, they had just started the club a few months back and had maybe 30 members. Now the club has a membership list of well over a 100 runners. And that is in less than a full year of existence.

Last night was the first club social at the Dilworth Bar and Grill and while I arrived late there were still a lot people hanging out.

I got chance to chat with Aaron, Jay, Allen, Paul and a few others. I wish that I had more time because there were so many people that I have not met before. Oh well, I am sure Jay, Aaron, and Caitlin will have another club social. I'll keep my fingers crossed that I don't have two club socials on the same night.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Charlotte Running Club click here. They are a great, friendly club with members that are always looking to hook up for group runs.


Tales from a runner that people are now calling the social butterfly.

Friday, November 20, 2009

North Meck Trail – Clear Trail ahead

Early this morning it was off the road and on to the trails. I headed up to the North Mecklenburg Park for a change of pace. It had been a few weeks before the marathon since I had last visited this trail and the leaves had yet to fall from the trees.

This morning the leaves were off the trees but the trail was relatively clear. Some very nice person had used their leaf blower to clear the trail for the rest of us. To that person, I send my heartfelt thanks. Being able to see those roots is something that I sometimes take for granted. Then I remember why I like having a clear trail when I twist an ankle.

So with the temps hanging in the low 50s, clear sky, and just a little fog, it couldn't have been a more perfect morning for a trail run. And, with the time change a few weeks ago, I can start my runs around 7 am.

Once the trail run was complete, it was over to the baseball field for a quick 4 minute Tabata workout. No high gears were used today but then there was not pain either. There were just some steady acceleration across the outfield of the base ball field – 8 to be exact.


Tales from the beautiful morning run.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hills, hills, and more hills

Okay, you just finished your last marathon a few weeks ago and now you getting ready to ramp up for your next marathon.

What the first thing that you should do?

Go examine the course layout. Look to see if they have an elevation chart for it. If they don't, check out They list nearly every marathon in the US along with a course map and elevation chart.

So with the course map and elevation information in hand, it is time to build your training plan.

But wait, do you really need this information to create your plan. Well, my answer is both yes and no.

In the last month before the marathon, yes, you would want to tailor your workouts to fit the type of course that you will be running.

But in the months leading up to the race, the answer swings the other way.

In the months leading up to the race, your best option is hills, hills, and more hills.

There are two primary reasons why a steady diet of hills works best. First, hills whip you into shape much faster than any other type of workout. 2nd hills put a lot stress on the body but not in the same way that track workouts do. Hill workouts strengthen core running musculature much more because you are working against gravity. Hills are like an outdoor weight room for runners.

Basically, there are two types of hill workouts: short hills and long hills.

Short hills are no more than 100 meter in length and are used to build power. To build power, you can try one of these two alternatives: sprinting or bounding. Either one will get you ramped up pretty fast. But expect to start with about 6 reps and work up to 10 reps. And, you should never get anaerobic during this workout.

In my opinion, long hills should be considered anything between ¼ mile and 1 mile. So when you start running these longer hills, you will find that you get two benefits. You get the core running power similar to the short hills but you also build aerobic power. The body needs to work harder to overcome the resistance of gravity over a longer period of time.

So when should you use these workouts. The short hill repeats can be thrown in at the end or the middle of a recovery run. Because they are less taxing, it doesn't have a major impact on the recovery process. For longer hills, consider doing them no more than once per week and do a different distance each week and different locations. This breaks up the boredom of running the same workout every week.

Well, there you have it. If you want to improve, go to the hills. It will improve your running faster than any other type of workout.


Tales from a hills.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Eddie's Roller

For years, the “Stick” has been integral part of my pre and post run routines. That is until recently. During one of our group runs back in the summer, one of the other runners either Ben or Megan, I don’t remember which had this new type of “Stick”. Or that is what I called it at the time.

This new “Stick” that I now know is called “Eddie’s Roller” is both different and unique.

Many of you that have the “Stick” know of the flat rollers on the “Stick”. “Eddie’s Roller” uses something entirely different. "Eddie's Roller" uses golf balls.

The first time that I used it, I was like “wow” that gives an unusual, but a good feeling as the golf balls roll across the muscles. For some reason, and I cannot explain why the dimples from the golf balls seem to work better for me than the flat rollers from the “Stick”

While we were at OBX, I picked up one of the rollers to test it again, I was sold at that point. It was time to get one of my own.

So I tracked down the maker of “Eddie’s Roller”.

Eddie is his name and he lives near Clemson, SC.

What is even more remarkable as I learned through our email exchanges, Eddie does this out of house on the weekends. And he is remarkably quick.

I contacted him last Friday and after just a few email exchanges where I got the details about his “Roller” and how to choose the colors of the golf balls; he said that he would have one in the mail to me by Monday. And even more unbelievable, he sent the roller to me before I even paid for it. This doesn't happen to often these days.

The following Tuesday afternoon the mail man drop off a package at my front door. Opening it up, I had this nice new roller which I immediately tried on my legs. Shortly there after, I sent Eddie an email saying that my roller had arrived in the mail and that I would be dropping him a check in the mail the following day.

Eddie’s “Roller” is comparable in cost to the "Stick". The original “Stick” with hand grips sells for about $42 dollars. The marathon “Stick” sells for about $31. The travel “Stick” sells for about $27 dollars. Eddie’s Roller sells for $30 dollars with $6 for shipping if you buy 1 to 4 of them. The price drops if you buy more – 5 or more at $25 dollars each.

My old “Stick”s are now feeling neglected because I have been using my “Eddie’s Roller” all of the time.

If you are interested in getting one of “Eddie’s Rollers”, you can contact him at

If you see me around and any to test drive it, just ask.

Tales from a runner using "Eddie's Roller"

RFYL GP Awards Dinner

RFYL held their annual RFYL GP Awards Banquet last night at the Dilworth Bar & Grill just off Morehead Street. Each year RFYL puts on a series of races and gives the runners points based on their finish race time from these races. At the end of the year these points are tallied up, and similar to the awards for an individual race, the GP Series offers awards for overall, masters, and age groups. They also gave awards for participating in all nine series races.

The evening started off with the runners gather together to chat about the various topics that runners chat about. Usually, these conversations involve one, two or all three of the following: racing, training, or injuries.

Circling around the room, I chatted with Billy, Peter, Bobby, Robert, Steve, Pete, Chris, Jay, Caitlin and many more runners. On an interesting side note, often we runners only see each other in running attire. The awards dinner is the one opportunity that we have to see each other dressed somewhat differently. For example, I had no idea that Jay wore glasses until last night. This is one of the many things that I found interesting about this yearly event.

Next up was the food. The Dilworth Bar & Grill put out a very nice spread with salad, mash potatoes, pasta, and grilled chicken. Not sure if it was just hunger or just good food, but 2nd helping became the norm for quite a few of the runners myself included.

After everyone had their fill from the buffet, Tim called everyone's attention for handing out the awards.

First, Tim honored all of the sponsors of the series which was a nice thing to do. Making this gesture is important because without them none of this would take place. So definitely, it was good take a moment and say thanks.

Next up, were the top 5 overall men and women awards, followed by the Masters men and women awards, and next were the men and women age groups awards. Everyone received similar awards i.e. money, gift cards to RFYL, and medallion.

Oh, let's not forget the participator awards. Tim and his team gave out about 80 ASIC backpacks to the runners that ran every Grand Prix race. This was an extremely nice gesture. Running all nine races over so many months is hard to do when you factor in family, training, injuries, jobs, and just life in general. Certainly, these men and women need to be congratulated for their efforts.

While we are congratulating different people, we should all take time to email Tim and his team to say "Thanks". For without them, we should not have these many opportunities every Saturday morning or this nice little perk at the end of the year. Tim and his team deserve a nice pat on the back for a job well done.

On the news front, there is high probability there will be a new race on the GP series for next year. Most likely it will be a Harvest Bread 5k event and will be added to the schedule sometime in May.

Other news, the Stonecrest RFYL store is moving to the Piper Glen area and this 5k race will be held near that store. And, no we will not be losing the Shamrock 4 miler. According to the Tim, the people from Stonecrest still want a race in their area as well.

That pretty much wraps up another year for the RFYL GP Series so runners rest now and get back to training because the '10 season is just few months away.


Tales from a runner who enjoyed an evening with like minded people – all runners J

Monday, November 16, 2009

First the Goal, then next comes the plan

Okay, now that my goal is the BiLo Myrtle Beach Marathon and my name has been officially added to the entrants list, a plan needs to be put together to achieve it. Under normal conditions, there would be several months of base work followed by a transition period and then a taper for my races.

But for this race, time and focus become all the more important.

Let's assume that I start my training plan for the Myrtle Beach Marathon the 1st of December, this give me roughly three weeks of recovery, eight weeks to whip myself into shape, and two weeks of taper. That is not a lot of time for a marathon plan.

For the next two weeks, my recovery from OBX needs to continue. Keep the miles easy but let the runs grow gradually longer. The only exception to this rule is for the Tabata workouts. These workouts are integral part of my recovery day workouts and have really been helping with my leg turn over.

For the month of December I will use both short and long hill repeats to build back leg strength and steady progressive runs to build aerobic power.

For the month of January I will move into some faster running on the track with some long repeats.

Along the way, I would like to pick up a couple of races to keep myself honest with my efforts and keep my racing edge sharp.

As I touched on early I usually do a three week taper, but with this accelerated plan a two week taper will be the max allowable time.

So for right now, this is just a rough outline for the plan that I am putting together.


Tales for a runner in search of a plan.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

I must be nuts

So why do I think that I am nuts. Well, tonight, I registered for the Feb 13th 2010 BiLo Marathon in Myrtle Beach. I guess running OBX was not enough for me so before the soreness has even left my legs; my name has been thrown into the bucket to be casted alongside the expected 2700+ runners to be at the starting line.

And what does it mean. It means as soon as I get done eating my Thanksgiving dinner, I start a 10 week training program that will hopefully give me another shot at a sub 2:40 marathon.

Can I do it? That's what we will find out so tuned into my blog.

Tales from a runner that thinks he is "Nuts"


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dropping out of a race

As I set here with my bags of ice placed on my sore spots, my thoughts transition from work to running. Specifically, I want to talk about dropping out of races.

Throughout my running career I have always been a finish at all cost runner, but I do freely admit that I have dropped out of one race.

The race was the Springer ½ marathon in Fort Mill, S.C. I had been sick all week along with a fever, but I had signed up so I felt like I needed to race. For about 7 miles, I was survived even leading the race but around 8 miles my body started to rebel. By 9 miles, I was totally done and walked back to the starting area. I quietly showered while the runners finishing the race came in, showered, and talked about their races. Setting, there I thought maybe I should have just walked to the finish but I knew my body on that day was not able to do it.

But I left the race site that day knowing this race owed me one. A couple of years later, I returned to win the race and in a good time.

Now, we all know that runners dropout of races for all types of reasons, but predominately, runners will drop out like I did from illness or from an injury occurring in the race or from an injury occurring during the lead up to the race.

But this past Sunday, I came to realize some runners drop out just to race again next weekend. Around 22 miles of OBX, I saw one of the Kenyan runners standing on the side of the road. He had dropped out of the race. Talking with him later before we boarded the shuttle, he was heading to run the Richmond marathon next weekend for the marathon. I guess when your primary reason for racing is to earn money; dropping out when you are out of the money is okay.

I have never really thought about this way, but their reason for dropping out is just as legit as any reason that I could give.


Tales from a runner

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cliff Bars vs. Power Bars

Until a short time ago I was a Power Bar guy through and through. Then by chance, I tried some Cliff Bars on a recommendation from some other runners.

The Peanut Bars is pretty good. I like the Chocolate chip better and I like the Brownie Chocolate the best.

The Cliff Bars are little more expensive than the Power Bars. As for variety, they come in similar flavors. Cliff Bars even come in seasonal flavors so try the Ginger Bread Bar.

And if you are just looking for something small to eat after a run, I suggest getting the snack size. At Wal-mart a box of 18 cost about $10.00 and has 6 Peanut, 6Chocolate Chip, and 6 Brownie Chocolate.

If you are counting calories, the large cliff bars run about 240 calories while the calories for the snack size run about 100 calories.

Tales from a runner living on cliff bars alone.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Aftermath from OBX

Now being separated by a few days from OBX, it is easier to look back and provide some perspective on the race.

Heading into OBX, I had put a lot of pressure on myself to do well and add to that the fact; I knew many others would be watching. So later Sunday, it was like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

My race went reasonable well given the course and weather conditions.

And whether you believe it or not, I know the world would have not ended if I had not run well or been forced out of the race.

We all know the difference between success and failure is a very thin line. Stepping across can easily drop you from the race.

Fortunately, I walked away from OBX with only a few minor issues: soreness in the back and shoulders, some soreness in the hips, and no blisters.

I felt the stiffness from the 6 hour drive home more so than I did on either Sunday evening or Monday morning.

But otherwise, my runs continuing as expected. Monday morning, I ran 6 miles and 7 miles this morning. I followed it up with a 20 miles on the bike this evening. I am doing nothing really hard just some easy recovery running and riding. In addition, I am adding back some very simple and light core workouts.

For me, there will probably be no more racing until Turkey Trot 8k in a few weeks.

I am going to use these days to let my body rested.

Before you know it, I will be training for a marathon again. And if the running goods are nice to me, I will be in OBX come the fall '10.


Tales from a tired and only slightly sore marathon runner





Monday, November 9, 2009

OBX Recap 11.08.09

Running a marathon is not like running a shorter distances races. No marathon is has a lot more to do with the management of two things: energy and pain.

From an energy perspective, you have to go fast enough to stay on target for your goal yet slow enough, that you don’t burn off your reserves and hit the wall. Certainly, this is a lesson many people learn all too well somewhere between 18 and 22 miles of a marathon.

From a pain perspective, you go into a marathon knowing that it is going hurt. You muscles are going to tighten to the point that they will not want to move. All along they will be sending messages to your brain saying slow down or even stop. This is part of pain management that many people struggle with.

Today, I tried to manage both and I give me self a B+. Mainly, I give myself a B+ rather than an A because I didn’t achieve my goal of a sub 2:40.

But like Jay said in his CRC “Weekly Runner”, the marathon is a fickle creature. Not only are you competing against other runners but in many respects you are competing against the course and the weather.

The marathon is a long race and can encompass huge variations in course elevation and road surfaces from dirt to concert. And unlike a 5k or 10k where the temperature may rise a degree or two over the course of a race, during the course of a marathon the temperature can raise any number of degrees.

For me the day started little before 4 AM with a prerace snack, dressing in my race gear, packing my drop bag, and using body glide in all of the right places.

Also I inserted into my compression tights my 4 Power Gels that I would be consuming along the race course at 6, 11, 16, and 21 miles.

At 5:30 we were out the door to catch the shuttle buses to the marathon start. The buses were scheduled to pull out at 6 AM on the dot so we really don’t want to be late.

Our van was driven by Emily. She was a 20 something and clearly on a caffeine high. She was enjoying the some good music and bouncing in seat on the way to the start.

We did get to meet two Kenyan runners who joined us for the ride over to the start. In talking with them, they had not previewed the course beforehand and seemed troubled by my comments related the trail section.

For those interested, Megan, Mike, and Ben as well as I were the only other ones in the shuttle when it pulled out.

Just before the race start I spotted Alejandro and Steve Ahrens so I took a quick second to say high. Alejandro ran well for the ½ marathon but judging by his finish time he hit the wall really hard. Steve on the other hand had a great race and finished in the top 3 for the USA T&F NC Masters Championship.

With the starting gun sounding, we were off in waves with the 5 to 7 minute runners off first.

Megan, Mike, and I quickly joined up in the first couple miles before I surged up to the group in front of us. There were two guys in this group: Michael Combs and Jonathan Kinsey. Both were arming for a 2:40 and agreed to work with me for the next 20 miles. Remember my blogs concerning pre race strategy; sometimes you just have to wing it and hope for the best. Today, it worked out okay.

We went through ten miles in 60 minutes and with the trail section from 10 to 13.1. We ended up running just barely under 1:20.

Around 16 miles Michael started to fade back. Jon and I continued work together. We caught David Biko around 17 miles. About 18 miles, I noticed that Jon was no longer running just a step in front of me, but rather he was starting to run a step behind me.

As the race was developing, I targeted 20 miles to see what I could do. So I didn’t push the pace but Jon and David both dropped off.
From 18 to 20 I just focused on staying relaxed and running even pace. After 20 I tried to pick it up but nothing really happened. I ran something like 6:02 to 6:15 for miles 20, 21, 22. Then, I hit the bridge at 23 with a 6:51, and followed it with 6:40 and 6:39. So the 23 mile was my slowest race.

As opposed to last year the temperature this year at the start were much higher at 55 degrees and the humidity made it feel like 66 and the temperatures went up, up, up as the race progressed. Add to this a wind coming out of the South south-west direction, on a north to south bound course, you have a tough race.

It got especially tough on the long stretches of 158.

In all honesty, I was extremely appreciative of Jon and Michael to run with for 18 miles. It would have been really tough to run those miles solo.

Again this year, the crowd support is sparse in some sections. But in the sections where there was support, it is very enthusiastic and loud. And it is a great to see them dressed up in pirate outfits.

Another Kudo needs to go out to the volunteers along the course. While no race could survive without volunteers, OBX has some of greatest volunteers. Many of them, I am sure, were out early on a Sunday morning and continue working for the next 10 hours handing out hammer gels, water, and Gatorade to the runners.

One of the other things, I like about OBX is the finish medal. In the Dare county tradition, it always has a pirate flair for both the ½ and the full marathons.

At the finish, you can even have your marathon photo taken with the pirate.

One of the things OBX race organizers are very efficient at doing is handing out awards. They always seem to start on time and quickly disperse the awards. More races could follow there example.

I was very fortunate this year to place 7th overall with a 2:43:45. For this finish time, I finished 3rd in the USAT&F Open males, 1st for the USAT&F NC Masters Men, and 1st RRCA NC Masters Men.

Although, I didn’t get my sub 2:40 today and I am happy with race. I ran a better race than last year and given the trail section, temperatures, and the wind, I probably got the most out today that I could have.

My time was a little slower than last year, but when I looked at the overall times between last year and this year, I see the same slippage. So it leads credence to my opinion that the weather conditions today had a larger effect on our running. Also, my Garmin reported the distance at 26.5 miles. In looking at the distance from the race last year, I saw it was 26.48. So either it is a little long or I am not very efficient at running the tangent. I like to think that I am pretty efficient. And let’s be very honest here, there are some sections during the latter half of the marathon where it is just not possible to run the tangent. The reason why is there are so many ½ marathoner walking 3 or 4 abreast.

More credence could be found in Megan and Mike’s times. They are in better shape than they showed today. I know it from our workouts and races together. Hopefully, they will bounce back quickly from a tough today. Ben situation was a little different in that his Achilles tightened up during the race. This was an old injury that has affected Ben during other long runs and this old injury decided for whatever reason remind him of it today. Outwardly, he did say much about his disappointment, I suspect it was tougher on him than he showed. But I have my suspicions that he will bounce back just fine. He seems to have that type of personality.

After the race, we caught the shuttle back to the parking lot, picked up our car, made a stop for more food before heading back to the house.

I put some food in my system, rested for about an hour before heading over to the ocean for a little ice bath. The cold ocean salt water has healing effects on tired muscle but let me assure you of something. The water was exceptionally cold. I wanted to stay in the water for 20 minutes but it was probably more like 10 to 15 minutes.

We finished off the day with some pizza and games.

Lights were out by 9pm. I am still up only because I wanted to start working this blog post tonight.

One final note before I end. After the race, I received many post and emails with congratulations and I want to thanks to all of you for your best wishes both before the race with my quad injury and today.

Also I wanted to thank the CRC group for allowing me to tag along on their workouts and pulling me along when I didn’t feel like.

I want to especially single out Ben, Megan, Mike, and Nathan for sharing so many long runs, tempo, and speed sessions. They pushed and pulled me through and hopefully, I pushed and pull them through when they were having a tough day. Guys, I couldn’t have done it without you.



Sunday, November 8, 2009

3 hours until OBX

The waiting is finally over and the exciting of running OBX has reached its peak.

Last night's sleep was restful, but only lasted about 6 hours. Couldn't help but wake up multiple times to check my alarm clock and recheck it to verify that I had set it correctly.

It didn't really matter; however, as I was up 10 minutes before it was to go off anyway.

So finally, I am making final preparations. Bags are packed and race clothes are laid out. We leave at 5:30 to catch a van to the starting line.

On a weather note, the wind is idle and the tempature is 51 degrees. By race time, it should be in the upper 40s. If the wind stays the same, it should be perfect running conditions.

As for my race strategy to be honest, all I can say is that is fluid at the moment. Expect me to slide into a group during the first mile and see who is running about my expected pace and then I will try to link up with that group over the next 5 miles.

I want to take it is easy during the trail section and run an even pace coming off it. No need to repeat last year's mistake by running too hard once I hit the road again.

So let the race start.


-btw dinner was at 5pm yesterday and it was pretty much lights out around 8:30. That's how you know you have a dedicated group of runners.


Tales from the runner heading to the starting.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Just hours remain between me and OBX

This morning things were busy but fun.

Waking up early, I wondered around the house and snacked on a banana.

Around mid morning, Ben, Megan, Dan, Mike, and I headed over to the First Flight School to help out with the fun run. The kids were so excited about running and it was a beautiful morning for it. These OBX guys do a wonderful job with their community efforts and it was fantastic be a part of those marvelous efforts.

After the fun run, we headed back to the trail section on the OBX course for one last run where Ben, Megan, Dan, and Mike joined me for an easy four miles. Mike must have been feeling rather good because he even joined me for my last Tabata workout.

And before you ask why I was doing a Tabata workout right before my marathon, it is all about routine. Before each race this fall, I did a Tabata workout. And since it has been working, why not continue to do it.

After the trail run we were all starved so Subway was chosen for lunch, but my lunch was nothing special: 6 in. grilled chicken on whole wheat with some veggies and bottle of water. Have to keep everything very bland today and avoid any new foods.

We did make a few more stops before heading back to the house. Dan needed some coffee. I wanted to pick up some snack size cliff bars and Mike wanted some garlic bread for dinner.

Once we got back to the house, I grabbed a shower, a couple of bags of ice, and am resting quietly on the bed watching the Nationwide race.

Dinner is at 4:30 this evening and it is lights out by 8:30.

"Wheels up" is at 5:30 AM Sunday morning so we can make our 7:20 start time.


Tales from a runner who is as ready as he can be.



Pre race meals

Could not sleep anything longer this morning so it is time for more blogging. Maybe the excitement for the OBX is starting to take over. Good thing, the past weeks were spent banking some extra sleep time.

With only hours between me and my big marathon, I have started loading up on extra Carbohydrates.

This had me thinking back to other prerace meals for some of my other big races which lead to me to this story.

For most of my marathons, my body craves loads of pasta and bread in the days leading up to the race. But I remember a few years ago when for the Kiawah Island ½ marathon, my prerace meal consisted of something a little more nontraditional for runners.

I was late getting off work and then drove like crazy down to Kiawah on Friday evening so I could pick up my packet. By the time, I drove to the Island and picked up my packet then drove back Charleston to my hotel, most restaurants were closed.

The only thing near the hotel that was still open was a "Wendy's". I was starving so dipped in for some food. One single – no cheese, 2 biggie fries, and large drink, walking out the door I was feeling pretty good.

Headed back to the hotel and settled in for the night.

Early the next morning I headed back to Kiawah for the ½ and ended up running just over 1:14.

What was the magic in that "Wendy's" food? I wish I knew because to this day I have never been able to duplicate that the feeling that next morning.

But there were a couple of takeaways that I learned.

To paraphrase Lance Armstrong and John Fox, "It is not about the food" and "When it is your day, it is your day"

But it does have me wondering, should I skip my prerace pasta dinner this evening and head to "Wendy's". And because I am running the full marathon tomorrow, maybe I should make it a double or even a triple with 3 biggie fries, and 2 biggie drinks. I could even throw in a frosty for good measure. LOL



Tales from prerace dinner table.


Friday, November 6, 2009

3 Days until OBX

As I was driving down to OBX today, there was plenty of time to think and listen to the radio.

Maybe I had too much time to think.

How are running a marathon and life similar?

Well, in life, the first 20 years are pretty easy while you are living at home. Similarly, in the first 10 miles of marathon people are talking, smiling, and having fun. The next 40 years of life are spent working hard and making something of yourself. The next 10 miles of the marathon are where you make or break your race. You have to run hard and feel more and more tired with each mile. In the next 20 years of life, things get tougher as age begins to have an effect on the body – slowing us as we try to do the same things we did much faster 10, 20, 30 years ago. The last 10k of the marathon is the same way. Miles that were easy for the first 10 miles and became tougher during the next 10 miles now seem nearly impossible to match during those last 6.2 miles. Near the finish, we all look back whether in life or in a marathon and remark at our accomplishment(s).

Just to let everyone I have hit OBX earlier today. The house wasn't ready so we had to do some other stuff until it was. I spent my time running over the trail section of the OBX course. I felt that I struggled here last year because I didn't preview it. That was one mistake that I hopefully corrected this year. For some reason, it seemed less difficult than last year. Don't get me wrong, having a trail section in the middle of marathon is no piece of cake. Short steep hills, shifting footing, and tons of pine needles make it a tough section to navigate. After the run, the house still wasn't ready so I went over to the Expo. OBX puts on a nice expo and picked up my race stuff. Following the expo, grabbed some food for the house at Food Lion. Hope this is a rocking weekend.

-btw I picked up a nice OBX jacket and hat. For some reason, I only went for the hat last year.

The only other thing that I bought was gloves. If race morning is cold, I can throw off the gloves after a few miles.

Well, that is it for this evening. Getting ready for dinner and some rest.


Tales from a runner at the outer banks.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

4 Days until OBX

Over the last few weeks when I wasn't thinking about work, I was thinking about my race strategy for OBX. A few weeks ago, the race director sent out a list of master's runners running the OBX marathon. As I scanned the list, I noticed some really good runners in the list including some runners from here in Charlotte.

But one runner's name jumped out. I knew him from the race last year.

At that time, he was 39 and so he would be running in the master's ranks this year.

And given, that his marathon times were about 3 to 4 minutes faster than my times, I had been running through all sorts of strategies.

Should I try going with him in hopes of holding on and hoping that one he would pull me to a much faster time and two potentially if he tired, I could beat him. Or should I run a more sensible pace and try to run him down in the latter stages of the race.

Just about every scenario left me with the same thought; what I should do.

Then, yesterday, the race director sent out an updated list and his name was not on it. He had dropped out of OBX. Now, all the time that I spent planning a race strategy had just went out the window.

Given he wasn't going to run what would or should my race strategy be.

Definitely, my goals have not changed. I am still shooting for a sub 2:40 and I think I can definitely do it if the weather cooperates.

But sometimes, we put way too much thought into it.

Sometimes, it is nice to race like I did when I first started racing. I toed the line and raced by feel alone.

That's the way running and racing should be – by feel alone and that is what makes running one of the most exhilarating and exciting activities on this planet.


Tales from a runner just having fun.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

5 Days until OBX

Day 5 of my OBX countdown is just about complete and has me thinking about injuries again. No, there are no new injuries for me to report. The injuries that I am thinking about took place in the years past.

It was in the fall of '07 and in August I had signed up for 4 races: a 5k, two back to back ½ marathons on different weekends and another 5k. Then low and behold, during a trail run I twisted my foot in an awkward direction which made running anything but fun.

For days, I limped along or if viewed from the side, it appeared as if I were dragging one leg along.

Well, those race days got close and while my foot was improving, it still hurt like you would not believe.

But, I had entered these 4 races, and I wasn't about to skip them.

With the 5k up first, I loaded up on Advil before the race and went for a little warm. "Ouch" definitely, this was going to be more difficult than I thought.

Then surprisingly when the race started the pain was not nearly as bad. In fact, it was tolerable. I finished race and actually won it with a 17 something time. But once I finished, I could barely walk back to my car.

A week later, I was in Badin for the first ½ marathon. If you have ever run the Badin race, you know the roads are terribly slanted and Morrow Mt. is tough both going up and coming down. Again, I loaded up on Advil and took it out fairly easy. Working my up and trying not to think about the pain.

I finished in 1:22 and I was happy to just be finished.

Next week, I was in Davidson for the ½ marathon. My foot was not feeling much better and I was saying "Ouch" with each stride. But when you are leading a race, sometime it is easier to push through the pain. I finished in 1:21 which was almost a minute faster than the race in Badin.

By the final 5k in the forth week, either the pain was lessoning or I was just taking enough of the Advil that I could not feel the pain. I pulled out a victory and won $100 dollars in cash.

I share this story because unless someone ask me or knows me very well, they will never know that I am injured. I tend to keep my life and my running for the most part private.

But in running and racing when injured it illustrates a point about mental toughness. And, I have many people tell me that I am mentally tough. In actuality I don't view myself as being mentally tough. I view it as commitment to achieving a goal. And goals are a necessary part of life that keeps us motivated.


Tales of a motivated runner


When I went to see Mike Danenberg at Performance Therapy, he gave me some samples of Traumeel. He suggested applying the ointment three times per day. Traumeel would help with my recovery.

Well, I used up those three packets and started tracking down what stores carried Traumeel.

After looking up the Traumeel website, I found that GNC carried it.

Then lucky for me, there is a store located at North Lake Mall and they had Traumeel in stock.

I dropped by late last night and picked up their last one.

If you are thinking about getting this product, be willing to pay for it. GNC sells it for $16.99 for a 1.76 oz. tube. Definitely, it isn’t cheap.

But I have to say, it does seem to help.

My quad continues to improve and with each treatment it feels better. Now, you might be thinking that it is all in my head and granted, you may be right.

But then, maybe Traumeel is a wonder drug that solves all ailments.

All I know is that I have been using it and my quad seems to be improving faster than past quad injuries. Yes, this is not the first time that I have banged on my quads and made them extremely sore.

For now, I will continue to use it at least through this weekend.

Why should I take any chances if something is working.

Tales from a runner using Traumeel

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

6 Days until OBX

A few minutes ago I finished reading Theoden's Blog recapping his New York Marathon adventure. If there is anything that would make me want to run New York, Theoden's recap would do it. Between his description of the sights, sounds, and the overall experience, New York must be nothing less than the experience of a life time.

Which reminds me that not everyone knows about running, earlier this evening I swung by Massage Envy for a last minute massage. When I was explaining that I was running a marathon this weekend, she said, "Oh, yeah, I did one last year". When I inquired about her experience she told me that she had walked the marathon. Come to find out, she was talking about 5k. Last time that I checked, a 5k was just a little short of marathon but I didn't even attempt to spoil her moment.

To me, it was more important that she out there doing something active and whether it was a mile, 5k, or marathon, it didn't really matter.

So now as I take a deep breath, life seems to be going in the right direction for me. My quad continues to heal nicely and it held up well to a very intense effort this morning. Now, it is time to look forward to the weekend and my last workout - 8 x5ks with no recovery. Some people call this a marathon.

I don't really have a name for it, but somehow I know the experience will help define who I am as runner.


Tales from the Runner's High.


Last Intense work before OBX 3x2mi with 2 min recovery

Well, all of the hard efforts are done and there is nothing more to do now but run some easy miles and rest between today and Sunday morning.

Because in the predawn hours of this morning, Megan, Caitlin, and Jay came along for either all or some portion of my last intense workout - 3x2 mi.

Jay joined in for part of the first 2 miles. His recovery appears to be going well from Marine Corps Marathon.

Caitlin was doing some 4,3,2… etc fartlek workout so she jumped in at different sections both in the first 2 mile and the 2nd 2 mile interval. She looks ready to rock the OBX ½ marathon so you other ladies watch out for her.

Megan and I were doing the same workout. She was sticking to the marathon pace efforts that her coach prescribed to her. At the finish she didn't look winded and had a smile on her face. It is great to see that kind of enthusiasm.

Personally, there were not set goals heading into my workout this morning. With my quad still feeling a little tight, my efforts were going to be done by feel alone. Feeling really good means running faster than marathon pace. Feeling bad means running marathon pace or slower.

Feeling tight and less than smooth during the first interval, my first 2 miles were in 11:15. Feeling a little better and a little more warmed up, my 2nd 2 miles went by 11:14. But the 2nd effort felt way easier than the first interval.

With two nice ones in the bag, my goal for the 3rd 2 mile effort was running marathon pace. Keeping track of the splits, my pacing stayed within a second of 90 second quarters for all 8 laps. My finishing time was 11:59.

Overall, I am very pleased with my workout. My first couple intervals showed, I am feeling nice and strong. The 3rd intervals showed me that I can lock in and run marathon pace even if I start a little too fast.

If my quad continues to recover, maybe the planets will align on Sunday morning.


Tales from the JC Smith Track



Monday, November 2, 2009

7 Days until OBX

As I set here with bags of ice wrapped quad, it does give me a moment to pause. If I wasn't running, I probably never need to ice down my limbs.

Well, for the matter, if I didn't run, I would not need to do a lot of things:

Buy running shoes or clothes, do core workouts, lift weights, ride my bike, stretch, take ice baths, spend hours outdoors on extremely hot or cold days, get up early to run or stay of up late to get in a workout, and avoid all junk food.

But I do run and I accept all of the things that come with it.

So I will continue to set here, ice down my leg, and keep my fingers crossed that my body holds together through Sunday noon.


Tales from the Runner holding a ice bag.



Sunday, November 1, 2009

8 Days until OBX

With the days counting down to OBX, I could have spent it any number of ways. But I chose to spend it tracking some of my fellow runners in New York.

Last week, I tracked Jay, Aaron, and Billy while they ran the Marine Corps Marathon. This week my runner tracker kept dibs on Steve, Peter, and Theoden as they made their way across New York.

Next week, it will be my turn as I exchange watching other people run a marathon and actually toe the line myself.

Am I nervous? Yeah, the nervousness is starting to creep in. Every time, I enter a marathon; I wonder if I will be able to complete it. I have no idea why I always have these self doubts. I know I have done the training: long runs, hard runs, and track workouts.

But as the race grows nearer, one of the things that I pride myself in doing is pushing self doubt out of my mind and solely focus on the task at hand – the running of the marathon.

Throughout the year, Steve, whom I have been competing against the entire year in the RFYL series, pushed me to always be at the top of my game. Today, he once again set the bar very high with 2:50 in New York.

Now, he has given me something to target in my race.

Can I run 2:50, I don't know but I can assure you of one thing. Come Sunday morning 7:20 AM, I will be toeing the line at Outer Banks and running as fast as I possibly can.


Tales of a nervous runner.

Smoked by a Baby Jogger

When I hear about something special, I feel almost obligated to write about it.

When my friend and part of my OBX marathon running crew, Mike Beigay told me that he was running the Runway 5k today. I wished him luck.

When he said that he was entered in the baby jogger division, I thoroughly expected him to win it hands down.

After all Mike has been running some awesome times this fall without a baby jogger in front of him. Putting one in front of him on a flat course, you definitely would not expect to see him slowed very much.

And, he didn't disappoint me. He ran a very fast 17:41. A lot of people including myself would be happy with that time.

No, what really surprised was when Mike IMed me on faceback and said that he didn't win the baby jogger division.

My jaw nearly hit the floor.

IMing him back, what do you mean that you didn't win your division? He said "Rocky Falcone showed up and ran a 16:48 with a baby jogger".

16:48, WOW! Rocky's baby had better have a full face mask and gloves because at 16:48 he or she would definitely get a wind burn.

This just goes to show you that Charlotte has some of the fast parents around and when you see them coming down the street with their baby joggers; you have better give them some extra room. They just might run you over. (Laughing out Loud)


Tales from the Baby Jogger Division


-btw – Mike, you will get Rocky next time.