Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Running across the last decade

With only hours left in '09, we are going to move into a new decade shortly. And before I start to look forward, I thought I would take a second and look back over the last 10 years of my racing.

I am not sure how many people do this but I have kept every race number and tracked detailed information about every race that I have run. My records go all the way back to '83 and the Farmers Day 10k which was my first race. I was 17 years old and knew nothing about racing or even how far 10k was to run. My number that day was 88 and I finished 22nd overall in 44:25. Not bad considering I was wearing Converse Leather high top basket ball shoes. Hey, the running shoe craze hadn't hit the southern part of WV at that time.

But let's flash forward a few years and take a peek at my last 10 years of running.

Actually, I started the 2000s with a whimper. For some reason after running and winning a Santa Scramble in 17 minutes in '99, I didn't race again until another Santa Scramble in 2001.

Then, I didn't race again until June Bug in June of '02.

So for nearly two years, I didn't do much racing. I have often been asked why and the simple answer is downtime. I have always enjoyed running more than racing and racing was and still is not a necessity for me to run.

I ran about a ½ dozen times in '02.

In '03 there were 10 races on my calendar. The best of these races was Kiawah Island ½ in 1:14.

'04 marked a turning point year for me and mostly year of struggles racing. I had turned 40 and was expecting an awesome year, but for some reason it never really materialized. Maybe my best effort was Spencer Mt. 10 miler where I ran 59:13. Spencer Mt. is a tough course and breaking an hour is a fantastic accomplishment.

'05 saw me running most of the Grand Prix races for RFYL. I was not training all that well and my times showed it. I ran 38:30 at Hit the Brixx and 57 minutes at the 15k.

'06 started out decently well. I finished the Disney ½ marathon in 1:17 which placed me 16th overall and 1st 40-44. But things started getting into the groove by June when my 5k times dipped down into the mid 16s for the first time in several years. And possibly my all time best time in a 5k at the Concord Santa Scramble where I ran 15:49. Hey, that is what the clocked read when I finished it. By the way, this was before the onset of the Garmin.

'07 saw me join forces with the Guys at TrySports and was out racing a lot that year – to the tune of 38 races. If I counted correctly, I won something like 14 races that year. Which goes back to that old adage, if you keep trying often enough, you are bound to succeed.

'08 was really a turning point year for me. I started hanging out more with Ben, Megan, and Mike. One their hot topics were running a marathon. Megan has recently qualified at Thunder Road for the trials so everyone was a buzz with what marathon are you doing.

I had completely sworn off running marathons years earlier. But something about running with the group got me thinking about doing another one.

So after some decent runs, I put together a quick schedule. Spent my time putting in my long runs and slipped off to run the Snickers Marathon. Thinking if I bombed out, then I just wouldn't tell anyone.

But by not knowing any better, I went out ran 2:38. Then, later that year I ran 3:28 for 50k and followed it up a few weeks later with a 2:42 at OBX.

After running OBX, I was hot to do another marathon and soon.

'09 I started training for Shamrock Marathon in January when ITB derailed my training. It was a good 2 months before I could get back to full training and no possible way that I could do Shamrock.

But I did jump into a few races in March and a couple more in April. Training was going really well, so I looked around for a May marathon. "Run the Red" was perfectly suited as a late May marathon. After a few long runs, I tested the marathon waters again and ran a 2:39.

From there I ran the remainder of the Grand Prix races, picked up a nice set of titles at OBX, ran turkey trot (missing out on the turkey award), and finished the year off at the USAT&F Club Championship. Which I do want to add, was a great experience. Racing again your peers is great. Racing against your peers that are the same age as you is off the chart.

Interestingly as I look back over the last 10 years certain things start to jump out. When family or work took over my life, my times rose. When I struggled to put my life in order, running helped me do it and usually coincided with a drop in my times. It certainly explains why the last 3 years, I have been running faster.


 

Putting a wrap on the last 10 years by the Cool Down Runner

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Goals for ‘10

Okay, I have closed the door on the '09 season so now it is time to turn my attention to the New Year and decide what I really want to accomplish in '10. That's in fact good question and I am hoping by putting my thoughts down here that I can get a decent plan laid out.

So let me start by listing out my athletic goals then explaining why I want to do each. By the way, I have whole other set of personal goals that I want to accomplish but that is for another time and place

For my athletic goals, being able to explain why you want to do something is almost as important as the goal itself. By explaining it, you are backing up your desire to achieve a doable task. I say this because running is just like life and similar life is like running. We all have up and down but the important thing is to keep moving forward and keep our eye on the goal.

Hence, here's my shot at '10 goals.

  • Run a sub 2:40 marathon
  • Capture the Master's 8k RRCA –NC Championship
  • Ride in a century
  • Run under my 24:52 for the Lowes 10 mile time trial time
  • Attempt Duathlon
  • Return to OBX
  • Master's Team for the USAT&F Club Championship

Sub 2:40 given a fast course and good competition, I believe is still within my reach. I have done it each of the last 2 years and I feel confident that I can get it again this year.

Leading up to my spring marathon, I found a race having the RRCA NC Open and Master's Championship for the 8k. I have not run this race in several years, but it happens to be in the right spot for me in my prep for a spring marathon. I feel I have a decent shot at it.

In '09 my longest ride in an official event was 60 miles. My longest ride outside of an official event was 70 miles. Once you get to 70 miles, 100 miles doesn't seem all that much further. Now, I just need to find a century some time during the summer months.

24:52 was my PR at Lowes Motor Speedway in '09. Can I crack that number this year, we have to see. I have definitely been riding a lot more. Usually, the winter months my bike just collects dust until about April. But with my new trainer, I have been wearing out the rear tires pretty fast.

Duathlon, I guess it is time for me to step outside the running box and try something new. The Duathlon looks promising and there is an event here in Charlotte in late February. The cold might be a little tough to handle on the bike but the opportunity and the timing is right so I plan to put my name down for this event.

OBX, if I return to OBX this year, I will be running this marathon for the 3rd year in a row. Even thou, the drive to OBX is a long one, I still enjoy the trip. There something about the area and the people that pulls me back.

After running the Club Championship in Kentucky this year, one my major goals for '10 is to put together a Master's team. And with the Championship coming to McAlpine next year, travel should not be an issue. Now, all I have to do is find 8 guys between 40 and 49 who are willing to stay in shape and injury free until December of '10.

Well, these are my goals for '10. Nothing appears to be too outrageous. My only concern is the 24:52 at Lowes. I was riding pretty hard on that day. I don't know if I can take down the precious seconds that are needed to break this time. But then, I am still relative new to the bike so who know. Wednesday nights should really be fun over the spring and summer months.

Coming the first week of Jan will be my '10 racing schedule. Be on the lookout for it.


 


 

Goals for the Cool Down Runner in '10


 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

22 Miler

The day after Christmas may be the worst day for running throughout the entire year. If you are like me, you took in way more calories than one person should ever consume. Then to get up the next morning and attempt to run 22 miles on a long run is nothing less than a terrible idea.

The first 4 or 5 miles I felt pretty lethargic, but the legs were turning over and the mind was into the run. Then around 10 miles things just seem to go dark. The legs started tightening up and the feet started hurting.

I tried to focus my mind on other things but with 10 miles still to run there wasn't much else I could do but just keep running

I was certainly was happy to reach the 18 mile point which meant it was time to turn toward home.

Turning into my development my Garmin clicked over to 22 miles, I could have stopped right there. The workout was done and there was little need to run any further. But my house was still another ½ mile into the development. I stopped my Garmin but I didn't stop running. I started this run at my driveway so that is where I needed to finish.

4 minutes later, I coasted up to my driveway. I was never happy to be home and know that I am one long run closer to MBM.


 

Tales from the Cool Down Runner.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The rearview mirror – full of ‘09

With barely a week left in '09, I guess it is my time to reflect back on the year that was.

In all honesty, '09 was a year with some major up and downs for me. The year started off with ITB in my right knee which dropped me out of the Shamrock Marathon, March saw the judge finally sign off on my divorce (never a fun experience), and then late October my mother passed away after a long illness. To say the least, my life has been struggle at times.

But there have definitely have been some bright spots.

I met this new group of runners that call themselves the Charlotte Running Club and they breathed some new life into our running community. This was something that is much needed across charlotte and probably something that I needed as well.

On the racing, you sometimes get a few chances to win a race or two. But this year, I actually won some championships. I won the RRCA 5k NC Championship in the spring at Beach Blast and the USATF-NC and RRCA-NC Marathon Master's Championship in the fall at OBX. I count myself lucky for being in the right place at the right time. Isn't that what life is all about.

A special note about OBX, I was hoping for a better time, but I am a survivor and on that day it was all about surviving.

Good thing I had a better marathon in the spring when I ran 2:39 in a late spring marathon called "Run the Red" in Pennsylvania.

Then there were the 5k races where I dipped under 17 minutes in two 5k races in the fall. I have not been under 17 minutes in 2 years.

For most people, this might just be enough but I am not one that likes set idle for very long.

During the summer I picked up a new road bike and started riding on a regular basis.

Took my first trip to Lowes Motor Speedway for a time Trial in July and by September had lowered my 10 mile split to 24:52. And while I enjoyed the time trials, I was also riding for distance. I pushed my longest ride to 70 miles.

Keeping all of this training moving was constant challenge and to make it even more stressful, I was in a tight battle with Steve Spada in the RFYL GP series. For the last 2 years, the 2 of us have battle race in race out and never being more than a few seconds apart.

Steve's a touch competitor and he pushed me to work harder.

At the end of the year I did in '09 were to run the USATF Club XC Championship. I never ran XC in high school or college so sprinting across an open field on with a huge group of middle age runners was not something even on my todo list. But there I was on a cold field in the middle of December sprinting through the grass, breathing harder than I do in any road race, and getting covered up in mud. It was quite an experience.

So for the year, I did 2 marathons, 3 – 10k, 1 – 15k, 2 – 4 mi., and a bunch of 5k races – totally 22 races in all. More or less, the number of races that I did was on par with previous years. And, it was down a little from the '07 when I did something like 38 races.

A long the way, there were times when I was so tired that I wondered why I do it. But there were other times, when I really enjoyed the moment and knew exactly why I push myself even when I didn't have to do it.

With my thoughts


 

 

Monday, December 21, 2009

26 Degrees this morning

Riding down Independence this morning, there is a big sign showing a time 6:26 AM and temperature of 36 degrees. 1110 AM radio was saying otherwise. 1110 felt the actual temperate was closer 25 degrees. Personally, I like the temperature on the sign better.

Getting out of my car I felt the cold chill hit my hands and neck. Running tempo runs on very cold morning is always tough.

After a 2 mile "warm up" I headed down McAlpine from the Old Bell entrance. My cheeks felt the cold and my lips tingled.

The first 2 miles was slower than I expected. I guess by body was still needing to warm up. The 3rd mile was better. By the 4th mile things were good. Miles 4 through 8 were all run at 6:20 pace. Not bad considering I was bundled up like someone charging up the north face of Everest.

Not too many people out running at Mc Alpine. But there were a few walking braving the cold temperatures.

I guess each of us figured other was nuts for running on a day light this one.

A quick little 2 mile warm down and I was back in my car with the heart turned up full. Ah, the hot air.

Someone remind me why I was wanted cooler temps in August again. LOL


 

Tales from the Cool Down Runner.

Friday, December 18, 2009

12 Days of Running

Last night I was listening to my daughters sing in our school's Christmas program. As they were singing the 12 days of Christmas, it started me thinking about creating my own running version of this song. So below is my attempt at the 12 days of Christmas from a runner's perspective.


 

On the first day of Running, 
our Charlotte Running Club set out for me 
Mr. Hydro on the Truck of Aaron's car. 

On the second day of Running, 
my running friends gave to me 
Two pairs of Brooks Racing Flats, 
And a drink from Mr. Hydro on the trunk of Aaron's car. 

On the third day of Running, 
my running friends gave to me 
Three Eddie's Rollers with my college colors, 
Two pairs of Brooks Racing Flats, 
And a drink from Mr. Hydro on the trunk of Aaron's car. 

On the fourth day of Running, 
my running friends gave to me 
Four Gatorades Fruit Flavored, 
Three Eddie's Rollers with my college colors, 
Two pairs of Brooks Racing Flats, 
And a drink from Mr. Hydro on the trunk of Aaron's car. 

On the fifth day of Running, 
my running friends gave to me 
Five Power Gels caffeine free, 
Four Gatorades Fruit Flavored, 
Three Eddie's Rollers with my college colors, 
Two pairs of Brooks Racing Flats, 
And a drink from Mr. Hydro on the trunk of Aaron's car. 

On the sixth day of Running, 
my running friends gave to me 
Six Cliff Bars (Mini) various flavors, 
Five Power Gels caffeine free, 
Four Gatorades Fruit Flavored, 
Three Eddie's Rollers with my college colors, 
Two pairs of Brooks Racing Flats, 
And a drink from Mr. Hydro on the trunk of Aaron's car. 

On the seventh day of Running, 
my running friends gave to me 
Seven swimming workouts for cross training, 
Six Cliff Bars (Mini) various flavors, 
Five Power Gels caffeine free, 
Four Gatorades Fruit Flavored, 
Three Eddie's Rollers with my college colors, 
Two pairs of Brooks Racing Flats, 
And a drink from Mr. Hydro on the trunk of Aaron's car. 

On the eighth day of Running, 
my running friends gave to me 
Eight buddies for a tempo run, 
Seven swimming workouts for cross training, 
Six Cliff Bars (Mini) various flavors, 
Five Power Gels caffeine free, 
Four Gatorades Fruit Flavored, 
Three Eddie's Rollers with my college colors, 
Two pairs of Brooks Racing Flats, 
And a drink from Mr. Hydro on the trunk of Aaron's car. 

On the ninth day of Running, 
my running friends gave to me 
Nine Protein Recovery Bars, 
Eight buddies for a tempo run, 
Seven swimming workouts for cross training, 
Six Cliff Bars (Mini) various flavors, 
Five Power Gels caffeine free, 
Four Gatorades Fruit Flavored, 
Three Eddie's Rollers with my college colors, 
Two pairs of Brooks Racing Flats, 
And a drink from Mr. Hydro on the trunk of Aaron's car. 

On the tenth day of Running, 
my running friends gave to me 
Ten entries into the RFYL GP races, 
Nine Protein Recovery Bars, 
Eight buddies for a tempo run, 
Seven swimming workouts for cross training, 
Six Cliff Bars (Mini) various flavors, 
Five Power Gels caffeine free, 
Four Gatorades Fruit Flavored, 
Three Eddie's Rollers with my college colors, 
Two pairs of Brooks Racing Flats, 
And a drink from Mr. Hydro on the trunk of Aaron's car. 

On the eleventh day of Running, 
my running friends gave to me 
Eleven pairs of Thorlo Socks, 
Ten entries into the RFYL GP races, 
Nine Protein Recovery Bars, 
Eight buddies for a tempo run, 
Seven swimming workouts for cross training, 
Six Cliff Bars (Mini) various flavors, 
Five Power Gels caffeine free, 
Four Gatorades Fruit Flavored, 
Three Eddie's Rollers with my college colors, 
Two pairs of Brooks Racing Flats, 
And a drink from Mr. Hydro on the trunk of Aaron's car. 

On the twelfth day of Running, 
my running friends gave to me 
Twelve miles of support during a long run, 
Eleven pairs of Thorlo Socks, 
Ten entries into the RFYL GP races, 
Nine Protein Recovery Bars, 
Eight buddies for a tempo run, 
Seven swimming workouts for cross training, 
Six Cliff Bars (Mini) various flavors, 
Five Power Gels caffeine free, 
Four Bottles of Gatorades Fruit Flavored, 
Three Eddie's Rollers with my college colors, 
Two pairs of Brooks Racing Flats, 
And a drink from Mr. Hydro on the trunk of Aaron's car!


 


 


 


 

Happy Holidays from the Cool Down Runner

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Experia Socks – Thunder Road Expo – USATF Team Cross Country have in common

Okay, this is an easy one to answer – me.

This all started a few weeks ago when I posted a blog about my experiences with the Thorlo Experia Socks. A few days later, a comment was posted my blog from Tracy Harries a representative from Thorlo corporate.

Talk about getting into trouble with the big boys or in this case the ladies.

In my blog, I provided my opinion comparing the Experia Socks with the Crew Cut Thorlo Socks. And, it seems that the owner of Thorlo found my post and didn't quite agree with my assessment. He put Tracy on it to help set me straight.

A few emails later, Tracy explanation cleared up a lot. It also headed me down the road of going to the Thunder Road Marathon expo and meeting up with Tracy.

Tracy was great and explained to me about their line of socks.

I have been a Thorlo guy for years and will continue to do so as long as I am running.

But the story doesn't end here.

After meeting up with Tracy at the expo, I headed out to Lexington, KY for the USAT&F Club Championships. It is hard to tell from the photos but I was wearing my Thorlo Experia Socks during the XC Championship. XC Spikes are very narrow shoes so wearing a thick sock just doesn't work very well. That's why I took my Experia socks. Plus, I rarely if ever get blisters while wearing my Thorlos so what better way to test new sock than to wear them in my "NEW" XC spikes.

Just as I expected, I came through the race muddy and tired but with no blisters. This is always a good thing when you try out a new pair of shoes under race conditions for the first time.

Next up, I will test them in a few road races and if it goes well, I will use them at the Myrtle Beach Marathon.

As Paul Harvey use to say "Now you know the rest of the story"


 

Tales from the Cool Down Runner


 


 


 


 

USAT&F Team Cross Country Championships – Lexington, KY.


This past weekend, I took a 48 hour field trip to Lexington, KY for the USAT&F Team Cross Country Championships. Along for the trip were Ben, Dan, and myself. Ben and I were running. Dan volunteered to be our designated driver.

We left on Friday afternoon for the drive heading up 77 and over 64 into KY. For the most part, it was very smooth drive. We made a couple of quick stops for food and drinks. We only encountered one traffic jam along the way, but with Dan’s trusty iPhone, he navigated us right around it. I have no idea how he did it but he provided us some excellent views of Christmas lights.

Saturday morning arrived cold and drive. We arrived at the cross country course about 10:20. My race was out 11:30 and Ben’s race was at 1:30.

We picked up our packets and in addition, I picked up a nice souvenir sweat shirt with the event logo on it. Then it was back to the car to change and head out for some warm up miles on the course.

There is something unique about Cross Country Running that road racing just doesn’t offer. Maybe it is the fact that it takes men and yes, women back to their youth when they ran wild through the grassy parks and fields near their homes. Maybe it is the opportunity to run in the mud. Maybe it is running in very light shoes with what some people would consider nails sticking out of the bottom. Or maybe it is just the challenges that cross country running offers.

I never ran cross country in high school and pretty much my past cross experience has been running around McAlpine which is not true cross country.

During my warm up I found the footing difficult. There were sections where it was thick grass. Other sections had frozen ground and still other sections were quite muddy.


We lined up across this huge field and after a few last minute instructions we were off. Within ¾ of mile, our course narrowed down and people pushing and jostling for room. Some guys were moving up and some were moving back. And the race didn’t really string out until 3 ½ miles into it.

I kindof bided my time just staying out of the way and trying to not get either knocked down or spiked by another runner.

My first 3 miles were in 17:39 which was well behind the overall leaders. 4 miles went by in 23:55 and 5 miles went by in 29:59. I crossed the finish line in 37:47 which felt like I had just run a 35 minute 10k.

XC race are lean on the after race snacks with no munchies. There was only a cooler with water and Gatorade.

After the race I strolled around for a few minutes, met up with Ben and Dan, and then headed back to the car for some warm clothes.

Running cross country is way harder than running on the roads. Your feet are landing awkwardly which carries up through your legs and body. In the later miles, you start to find out just how much work the Gluts and hip flexors are doing since they really start to burn.

This weekend’s course really didn’t have any flat sections. You were either going uphill or downhill. And you were either running into the wind as the course looped south or had a tail wind when you were running north. Honestly, I never really felt the tail wind but some said it was there.

One feature I really like about cross country races is that they are different races in the same day. I got to see the Master’s women race, the open women race, and the open men race. That opportunity is not typically something that is part of a road race.

And, while cross country fields are relatively small compared to most road races, these fields are a lot more competitive.

Something other races might take note of is age numbers. In the master’s race, each competitor ran with his age group listed on his back.

Personally, I saw at least 2 50 year old runners pulling away from me during the race. Looking at the results, you had to look all the way down into the 60s before you found an age group with times slower than my time.

In looking at the crowed during the awards ceremony I would say it was a predominately middle aged crowd more men than women, but still the women are holding their own.

In checking the results, I finished 135th in the master’s race and 31st in my age group. When you take into consideration that I was running against some of the best masters runners in the US, being in the top 50% is pretty good accomplishment.

Looking toward next year, I am determined to see if I can put together a master’s team for the ’10 race. The USAT&F is bringing the 6K and 10k XC Team Championships to Charlotte, NC and to McAlpine Park.


Anyone interested in running on a master’s team, let me know.

Below is few of the master’s team from the race Saturday. From the times, you might believe that they ran on the road, but I can positively say no, they all ran on the grass.


Men 40 - 44
1 1 Tracy Lokken, 44, Marquette, MI 32:10 Front Line Rt M4
Men 45 - 49
4 1 Peter Magill, 48, South Pasadena, CA 32:26 Compex Racing M4
Men 50 - 54
42 1 Joe Sheeran, 52, Ellensburg, WA 34:45 Eastside Runners
Men 55 - 59
57 1 John Barbour, 55, Gloucester, MA 35:06 Greater Lowell Rr M5

200 196 JrM Ben Hovis, 31, Charlotte, NC 33:30

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The morning of the XC Race

I have determined that my sleep number is 50 after a pretty good night's sleep. The temps are cold – 20 with the wind, the temps are in the teens.

Looking out from the 16th floor, there are very clouds in the sky.

It should be around 34 at my race time 11:30.

We are going to head out to the park around 10 this morning.


 

More later today.

Friday, December 11, 2009

We have arrived

After many hours of driving, we have arrived in Lexington, KY.

Seven hours is a long time, but Dan and Ben helped it pass pretty easily. Dan was cracking one joke after another and Ben must have played every song on Dan's iPod.

We ran into some traffic issues on the far side of Charleston, WV, but Dan with his trusty iPhone lead us on a overland route and back to the interstate on the far side of the traffic jam. I have no idea where we were but I saw a ton of Christmas lights. Ben took a lot of pictures along the way. Definitely, if you are interested in seeing his pictures, you ask him for a copy.

We have now settled in at the Hilton in Downtown Lexington on the 16 floor. This might be my only chance this year to do some altitude training by sleeping high and training low.

The plan is to head out to the course around 10ish to get checked-in and get in a little warm up.

My race goes off at 11:30 and Ben's race goes off at 1:30.

We circle back by the hotel to get cleaned up and go by the awards ceremony and dinner.

So far it has been a good start to this road trip.


 


 

Tales from the Cool Down Runner on a road trip.

USAT&F XC Championships tomorrow

Here I am setting in the back seat of Dan's car as we ride up to Lexington, KY for the USAT&F Team XC Championships. I have been thinking about it but really I don't have any true race strategy going into tomorrow.

I come from a road racing back ground so running XC is like running trail races for me. I just want to survive.

More later when we reach the hotel.


 

Tales from Cool Down Runner.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

MBM Training Progress

My Myrtle Beach Training started on December 1st. In doing so my miles are starting to go up and the intensity has started to increase ever so slightly.

One of the things that I have noticed is that my legs don't have any bounce in them. Or to describe it another way, my energy levels are not at their usual levels.

Given that I am usually starting my marathon training several months separated from my last marathon, I suspect that this is the main reason.

There isn't much that I can do about it at this point but just continue to work through it.

By January 8, OBX will have been in my rear view mirror by 2 months so hopefully the legs will start to show some life. And, it will be at just the right time. During January I will be way more focused on speed work both on and off the track.

For now, I will continue working the hill workouts, tempo runs, and 20 mile long runs.


 


 

Tales from the Cool Down Runner.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Footage from Southern Foot Locker Regional

A few weeks ago when I attended the Southern Foot Locker Regional, I shot some foot age with my Flip and Share.

The footage shows the start of the open and masters races. Then I captured some of the mid race action. I would have caught more but the darn batteries when totally dead.

Enjoy it.

Start of the Open and Masters Races at Foot Locker Southern Regional



Mid Race Action

Wintery Mix for the weekend

This morning I was checking the weather in Lexington, KY to see what was in store for my XC race this weekend. Conditions on Friday and Sunday look pretty good but for Saturday, the weather looks to be a Wintery Mix with a high temp of 39 degrees. There might even be some snow on ground for our 10k race. I couldn't think any better conditions to test out my XC spikes.

Then, I turned on the TV and was listening to the weather man. It seems that Charlotte will be having a wintery mix as well for the ThunderRoad Marathon. Just wanted everyone to know that my spikes are taken, but if you want to get a pair spikes for the marathon, I can definitely give you some pointers. (LOL)


 

Tales from Cool Down Runner.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Official Pace Car

Yesterday afternoon, I swung my sleigh over to the RFYL Dilworth store to redeem my gift from the RFYL GP Series. As I pulled into the store parking lot, what to my wondering my wondering eyes did I see but "The new Official RFYL GP Pace Car". Clearly RFYL is raising the bar for next year. From unnamed sources I heard that this pace car will be used to pace the fields for all RFYL races.

Sorry, I didn't have my camera. I usually have it with me on always but for some reason, I left it at home.

Just so you know – I call shotgun for the first race J


 

Tales of the Cool Down Runner


 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thorlo Experia Socks


It was back in October when I ventured by the Thorlo store to pick up some running socks. Usually two or three times a year I drive to Statesville, NC for socks. There is a Thorlo store just off the 77 before you get to Statesville.

There are two of reasons why I make this trip. The first reason is that it usually precedes a marathon. I always like to have a new pair Thorlo crew cut running socks for my marathon. The 2nd reason is that because this is a Thorlo Store I get a chance to check out all of the other types of socks that Thorlo offers.

Last year, I picked up two pair of compression socks which I continue to wear after long runs.

This year, I stumbled across a new type of Thorlo socks called Experia. These socks have the same padding in the forefoot and in the heel as your normal Thorlo Running Socks, but the rest of the sock is an ultra thin material typically found only in racing socks.

After puzzling over them for a few minutes I decided to pick up two pair. One would be used for testing leading up to OBX and if the testing went well, I would use the other pair on race day.

A few days later, the first pair was tested in a track speed workout. While the test went well, I wasn’t convinced enough to switch up socks for race day.

No don’t go away thinking that I shelved the socks entirely. I continue to use them on my speed days and I use them in my cycling shoes. For some reason, the padding is perfect in the forefoot of my cycling shoes and the thin uppers don’t leave my feet feeling cramped.

If you are looking for a racing sock, I would definitely recommend swinging by the Thorlo Store to check them out.


Tales from the Cool Down Runner wearing Thorlo Racing Socks.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Goals for the day

My goals for today are:


 

Finish work – check J

Get shoes soaked – check J

Get socks soaked – check J

Get running clothes soaked – check J

Get body cold and soaked – check J

Complete a 14 mile run in the pouring rain – check J


 

Looks like I accomplish everything that I set out to do for today.


 

Tales from the Cool Down Runner.

Time to get wet

Someone once told me that I was the most mentally tough person he knew. At that moment, it gave me pause. Never before had I considered myself mentally tough.

To me I just don't let the situation dictate my ability to overcome it.

Take today for example, it would be far too easy to hop on my tread mill and do a few miles so I could call it a day.

But if I did, then I wouldn't be as prepared come race. I often find the most successful people in this world are the people who handle adversity well.

And who knows, it might be raining on race day.

Time to go get soaked.


 

Tales from the Cool Down Runner minutes before he goes for a run in the rain.

3000 Mile Club

At the end of each month, comes the time to total up the monthly and yearly mileage. In Oct, my running totals surged over 3000 for another year and now my biking totals have reached that same magical figure as well. For the year '09, I have so far run 3356 miles and biked 3143 miles. That is pretty close to running across the United States and then biking home.

When the year started, my 3000 mile goal was in series jeopardy. Shortly after this New Year arrived, my right knee decided it was over worked and developed a bad case of ITB. Image that. But thing recovery quickly which allowed me to rebound and still attain my goals.

Reaching 3000 plateau also put a done stamp on my effort to run 3000 and bike 3000 miles in the same year.

But as these numbers rolled around my head, I wondered about the totals from previous years.

The '07 and '08 totals were relatively handy to track down.

Going back to '07, I ran 3407 miles. Then in '08, I ran 3764 which according to AthletiCore that is an average of 71 miles per week.

Bring the grand total to 10, 527 miles to be exact, and I am not done with this year.

That is a lot miles and a lot of tread being worn off my running shoes.

I wasn't sure of this number until I looked it up but the distance of the earth is 24,901.46 miles along the equator and 24, 859.73 miles going through the poles.

Meaning in the last 3 years I am pretty darn close to running half way around the earth. And if you give me credit for the previous 20 years of continuous running, I should have completed my fair share of world laps.

These were my goals for the year.

What were your goals 500, 1000, 1500, 2000 miles? Is anyone else going to hit 3000 miles?


 

Tales from the Mileage Club