Saturday, February 27, 2010

Charlotte Long Course Duathlon Race Recap 2.27.10

Well, first of all, today's race was a lot of fun but much harder than I expected. I made a lot newbie mistakes which is part of the learning process.

I held my own decently in the runs but I was way out classed on the bike. Maybe I should suggest a 10 mile, 10 mile bike ride, and 10 mile run and let's see what happens. LOL

We started with two laps around the WWC on the gravel road. It was little nippy. And I wondered why so many people wore the extra clothes.

The transition area for the run to bike really got me. I spent probably 3 or 4 minutes just getting out of the transition area. I had been practicing changing shoes and putting on my helmet. But I neglected one fact. It is a lot harder to do when you out of breathe and looking for your bike. Not to mention, someone had bumped my bike so my helmet and clothes were scattered on the ground. Then I dropped my glove getting on the bike so I had to go back and get it. Like I said, there is definitely a learning curve.

Once into the bike, I never seemed to find the right groove and there was a steady stream of riders passing me. Oh, I forgot to mention, I got one jacket zipped but could never get the other one zip so I just road along with it open.

I wonder if other runners look at me the same way as I look at other cyclist. So many of them make it look so smooth and easy. I feel like I am just stomping on the pedals. Each one that passed me I watched how they were positioned on the bike and what gear they were riding – always learning.

My only saving grace is that I could ride up the hills decently well so I could make up a little ground. But on the flats and down hills, it was like I was setting still when they passed. Tom T. passed me at one point and I swear he seemed to have rocket boosters on his bike.

One really nice point about the bike course is that the Police were excellent. We could roll through every intersection.

As I neared the bike finish I had one minor glitch. With 100 yds to the transition area, my chain came off. So I had to huff it in my bike shoes. Never want to do that again.

On bright side of the bikeride if there was one I rode a little over 30 miles and averaged about 19 mph which is faster than I have ever ridden before – and with no drafting – so I guess I am getting a little stronger.

Once in the transition area for the 2nd time, I did a little better. It took about 1 minute 30 seconds to change.

Then for the next mile, I ran with 2 numb feet. It took that long before I guess the blood returned to them.

When I compared the 2 runs, I was only 30 seconds slower on the 2nd run and really didn't feel that bad. I was passing a lot of the cyclist that had passed me. Also I was able to catch back up to Tom who was probably several minutes in front of me coming off the bike.

In the end, I finished 24th overall and 2nd in my age group. My time was 2:15:45.

And, it was lot of fun and I think that I will definitely do another one.

Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner after his first Duathlon.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Duathlon Ready

Ok, I am ready as I will ever be. Bike is in the car. Clothes are packed.

It has been whirl wind day.

I switched my cassette from my training rims to my racing rims. I then took them for a small road test and everything appeared to be working perfectly. This is the first time that I have ever switched cassette so I was trying to not mess anything up.

Next up, I had to switch out my shoe strings for Yankz. I tested them out on a run in another pair of shoes so today I had to switch them into my racing shoes.

I dropped by the Inside-Out Sports to pick up my packet. This was my first visit to their store so locating it took a little trying. But it seemed nice and well stocked.

I am going for one last snack before heading off for bed.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner on the eve of his first Duathlon.

Man, I feel like I am behind

My Duathlon is tomorrow and I feel like I am way behind. I have been working on getting stuff ready all week but it seems like I never have enough time.

I still have my bike rims to switch out and test. I have some Yankz – more about this later - to put into my racing shoes.

Then there are water bottles to fill and Power Gels to make ready – plus packing the right clothes. Tomorrow appears based on the weather man going to be very cold.

And Oh, yeah, I have to work today and I have to pick up my packet and pack my car. The list doesn't seem to have an end.

Ugh, rush, rush, rush, rush.


Going nowhere fast – thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More prep for my upcoming Duathlon

Next up in my preparation for Saturday Duathlon is Garmin Training. I have had my Garmin for 3 years now and have used it in countless runs and rides. However, I have never used to it to track multiple workouts i.e. run and bike during one session.

I now need to figure this out because I want to track my run times, my transition times, and my biking time.

So last night I dug out the instruction manual to find out how to do it.

I have the 305 Garmin so if you have a different Garmin; your instructions might be a little different so check your manual.

The instructions are fairly straight forward.

On page 29, the manual describes Auto Multi Sport function which sound exactly like what I want.

  1. Start by pressing the mode button
  2. Then select Training
  3. Then select Auto Multisport
  4. From there I setup the legs of the workout.
  5. In my case, I added a run leg, bike leg, and run leg.
  6. Next, I selected include transition time. (Let's see how long it takes me to tie my shoes)
  7. I can start my workout by selecting "Start Multisport"
  8. Then, I can change legs by hitting the lap button
  9. Same goes for transition time
  10. And when I done, I can stop the multisport mode by pressing the mode button and then by selecting Training and then "Stop Multisport"


Seems kind of painless doesn't it.

We see how it works on Saturday morning. And it is about time that I made full use of this Garmin



Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner – on the path to his first Duathlon.

90, 60, 30 workout

This morning I headed down to McAlpine to meet Megan and Justin for 12 miles – actually they did 14 – just me for 12. I was not really up for anything too hard but I felt a few good surges would be good for me. So when Megan indicated that she was doing 3 x 90, 60, 30 second surges, I was quickly on board.

The workout actually went fairly well. I was struggled to keep up, but it was more due to my Achilles than anything else. Pain does take the edge off from any hard effort.

On a training note, I like this workout during a semi long run. By changing pace, the body goes through cycles of surging and slowing and surging again which is really helpful to simulate race conditions.

One a parking note, there are some new signs concerning parking at the Old Bell entrance. You might want to take note before returning from a run to find out that your car is booted or worse towed.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Recovery Weeks

Earlier this week, I got an email from Jonathon Savage asking my thoughts about how tapering but then racing affected my overall training.

Jon, I hope I get your question answered. If I missed it, let me know.


Well, the "marathon" aside, the last couple of weeks would not be something that I would normally want to do in the middle of a training cycle.

First of all, I am not a huge fan of recovery weeks. The body adapts to stress so the more stress maintained or applied, the more the body will adapt to it.

But personally, I believe recovery weeks are more for a runner's mental recovery than physical recovery. Doing hard workouts week end week out is extremely draining mentally and I have come to believe that it is important to give yourself that mental break.

That being said, I like the approach where I maintain the same mileage but I alter the intensity. As I increase the intensity of my workouts, then the more mentally focused I need to be. So the inverse seems to be true. If I maintain the same mileage, but log some easy miles then my brain gets a chance to bounce back. And to some extent, my body gets the same opportunity to recovery because of the lower intensity workouts.

In the last couple of weeks, I reduced first the mileage and then the intensity and this has left me feeling as if I was starting over.

Rather than being fresh and eager to race and train I feel like I am launching into my marathon training back in early December.

But I like to think that I learn from my mistakes. As I design my upcoming training plans, I will use something similar to what I described above.



Thoughts on training plans from the Cool Down Runner


Duathlon Preparation

Last night I picked up a little Chinese for dinner and opened my fortune cookie for some insightful and amusing advice.

"Procrastination is the fear of success"

How appropriate is this advice for me.

Well, this weekend I step outside the running box to try something new. My first Duathlon is scheduled to go off at 9AM from the White Water Center and it should be an awesome experience.

But it also means that I can't procrastinate my preparation any longer.

So my next few posts will be on my preparation.

For the last year, I have been riding my bike without a water bottle holder. Now is the time to change it.

Last night I picked one up and installed it earlier this morning.

The hardest part was finding the right wrench for the installation, but then, you should see my tool kit and you understand why.

The entire installation took maybe 10 minutes.


My bike is now fluids ready.


Duathlon preparation – thoughts from the Cool Down Runner


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Winter Flight 8k Race Recap 2.21.10

Cruised out of Charlotte shortly after noon time on Sunday and made the short drive to Salisbury for the rescheduled Winter Flight 8k. What a change a week makes. I was running in several layers of clothes the weekend before and this weekend, the weatherman was forecasting temperatures to be in the 60s.

Several years had passed since my last visit to Winter Flight. Honestly, I had to look up the directions to the course; it has been that long.

My expectations going into the race were not very high for several reasons. I had kind of lost my MoJo after "the marathon". My Achilles tendon was badly swollen. And I knew Chad Newton had planned to run.

All morning long, I kept my foot propped up and ice on my Achilles. About 2 hours before the start I took one Motrin. My hope was that it would dull the pain enough that I could at least run through the race. After all, I had my bet with Peter and I would rather crawl to finish than lose a bet. Peter would never let me live it down.

I arrived early and did the usual stuff before heading out for some warm up miles. The Motrin seemed to be doing the trick. The pain was dulled down enough that I could at least run on it. This was a far cry from the night before when you could not even tell that I had an ankle. It was swollen to the point that it was a smooth transition from my calf to my foot.

They made the 10 minute call to the start.

I had switched out to my new Brooks T6 racing flats and Thorlo Experia race socks. This would be the first time that I would use them in race conditions. I was keeping my fingers crossed that everything went smoothly.

Funny thing, maybe it was the excitement of the race, my new racing flats, or maybe the Motrin but my Achilles pain was toned way down.

Looking around the starting line, I didn't see Chad so the prospects of my having a shot of the RRCA 8K Master's Championship were vastly improved. But I did spot Milton a Master's runner from the Salisbury area. He has been tough competitor for years so I didn't expect any less form him today.

The gun went off and I tried to settle in. I wanted to see how the Achilles felt before even trying to make any type of push.

I fell in line at about 8th or 9th place in the first quarter mile.

Jay took off after the leaders and Milton was running just off my shoulder. We passed one guy and then another going up the hill on the first mile.

Around 2 miles we hit a nice downhill. The pain from my Achilles was tempered at the moment so I tried throwing in a small surge. Nothing broke. On the next uphill I carried my surge half way up the hill before settling back into my normal pace.

This gave me a small cushion over Milton but not enough for me to feel too comfortable. During the next mile I got some cheering support from our CRC support crew which really helped. Also I could see the red light in the distance and knew that a good long downhill would follow.

At the turn, I took a quick peek and saw my margin over Milton had grown which made me feel a little better. Not being a huge sprinter, I wanted as much of a gap on Milton as possible. I knew historically he is a very strong closer.

Coming through the 4 mile point, I really started to feel the heat. I felt like I had another gear or two but I was having trouble seeing. The sweat was running into my eyes and giving them a burning sensation.

As I climbed the last hill before turning into the College and running the loop around the track, I thought I could break 28 minutes. I had gas in the tank, but it must have been low octane because I couldn't get that extra push that I needed.

My Garmin registered 5.04 miles which means the course was just a little long for an 8k. But then, on several turns we ran to the wide side of the cones. In hindsight, I should have been running to the inside.

Overall, I had what I thought was a decent race. I picked up the RRCA 8K NC Master's Championship, my time was okay, and my Achilles didn't go too ballistic. 65 degrees in February makes me feel the same as when it is 90 degrees in June – pretty much like I wanted to meltdown.

But it did help me get out of my funk and hopefully back to training better. Now, I just need to get this Achilles tendon heal up.



Winter "Summer" Flight 8k recap by the Cool Down Runner





Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday morning injury report

Well, after several weeks of sleeping less at night, my lower back is feeling much better. I should never have let my physical therapist attempt to loosen up my back in the weeks leading up to a marathon. Better for me to run with a tight lower back and pain free back than one that hurts.

So not to self – just say "no".

But I have exchanged one injury for another.

I went from my lower back hurting to having my Achilles tendon hurting.

Normally, this type of thing gets hurt when you are running max mileage – due to overuse, but in this case I hurt it during my during my taper for the marathon. It is not longer "Myrtle Beach Marathon" but just the "Marathon".

Several weeks ago, I picked a pair of the 2xu tights. And they worked great. However, I noticed that my Achilles was a little sore after each run in them, but then I was running 90 miles per week so little soreness is to be expected from time to time. And, it is not the tights, but the band that wraps around the ankle. It is just way too tight. The darn bank rubbed my tendon into submission.

But in the week, leading up to the marathon, I wore them 3 times. Then I did 20 miles on that Saturday. But the end of our run, my Achilles was really hurting and by Monday it was swollen to the point that you couldn't see the ankle bone on either side.

All week, I grinned and bared it. On Saturday night, it was really swollen after standing on my feet for parties the last 2 nights.

On Sunday morning, I stayed off of it and iced it down before the race.

Around 12 noon, I took a Motrin in hopes that it would dull the pain.

Ugh, the 3 mile warm up was anything but fun. I figured this was one of those races where I would be happy just finishing and equally happy if I could still walk away from it.

I headed back to the car 15 minutes to switch out to my racing flats before the race.

I tested out Achilles. Hummm, it didn't hurt as much in the race flats as a posed to my trainers. I still don't know why.

Went to start and just ran.

Didn't feel too much during the race, but afterward it caught up with me.

I am setting here now with my foot elevated and with a bag of ice on it.

I am also wondering how I am going to run 20 miles in the morning.


Running with injuries – thoughts from the Cool Down Runner


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cody’s Farewell Party

Last weekend, I saw the invite for Cody's Farwell Party. Many of you know Cody Angel as aspiring Pro Duathlon athlete that is leaving next Sunday morning the 28th on a permanent move to Perth, Australia. Therefore, this would be the last opportunity for most of us to see him before he leaves.

I got a 2nd invite with directions in the middle of the week and penciled in my attendance.

The party was hosted by one of the TrySports members at his home off of Providence Rd. "Kudo" for hosting the party. There is a lot of work in party hosting.

There was also lots of good conversation and most of our TrySports team came out.

Cody had his camera and we took lots of pictures for him to take with him.


Best wishes Cody on your new endeavors in Perth, Australia.


From the Cool Down Runner.

Charlotte Running Club Social

On Friday night, Charlotte Running Club Social occurred at Rebecca and her husband's house.

First and foremost, let me say "thanks" Rebecca. You and your family have become a social center for the Charlotte Running community and I believe I speak for everyone when I say how much we all appreciate you and your family welcoming us into your house.

2nd the Charlotte Running Club continues to grow. I think I knew at about 1/3 of the people at the party.

But I had a great time and some really good food.

And next time, I am going to attempt to meet everyone at the party. J

At least that is my goal.

Hopefully, I can make it out for the next one.



Been away too long

After Myrtle Beach Marathon cancellation last week, I felt like I had my motivation balloon had busted. I drove home that day and went inside. I just pulled the doors closed after me.

Honestly, it was a real downer to have trained so hard and not get a chance to race. At least if you race and run poorly, you know it happens. Not racing after putting so much effort into it just leaves an empty hole where the race experience should have been. A few of my friends headed for Florida Marathon this week, but I wasn't up for it.

I spent entire week running and cycling alone. It was just something that I had to dig myself out and I am getting there.

As this weekend approach, I was still in a funk, but I pushed myself out the door to a couple of parties and race. It would have been far easier to stay home. But being nudged along by other runners seemed to help.

So I will be back to blogging this week.



Putting MBM in the rearview mirror – Cool Down Runner

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Like Minded Runners

After they called of the Marathon, I saw a bunch of message board and face book posts that people were going to run anyway this morning.

I didn't know what to expect but assumed there might be one or two people out running this morning.

Heading out from my hotel, I made the circle around Broadway to the starting line.

Then, I headed out along the course. To my total surprise there was a study stream of people running the course.

And, they were not running on the side walk, they were running in the street.

Sometimes they were running 2 or 3 abreast and taking up the entire right lane of traffic.

I was passed multiple times by Police Officers and never once had any of them say anything to me.

Most of the drivers didn't seem to mind and moved over into the inner lane.

Most everyone seemed to know the course but a few didn't and asked me for directions to get them going again.

After a few miles I hooked up with this group of runners one of which was Tom Mathers. He is a doctor from Charleston, SC. And he is a very fast doctor. He recently ran 34 minutes for 10k and ran the Charlie Post 15 in 54:20 two weeks ago. Oh, did I forget to mention that he is 52.

Well, once we hooked up the miles began to speed by. When I got back to the hotel, I had just finished running 20 miles on wet, slick roads while dressed like an Eskimo in 2 hours 17 minutes.

While I didn't get to the marathon today, I got to meet some great runners and share some miles. So what looked like a miserable day at the start, turned into something a pretty nice run.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

And with no race to run.

5:30 AM, I am should be getting ready to head out for the Myrtle Beach Marathon. Instead, I will be heading out for a run in the snow and maybe catch up with a few other hard core runners that don't let a little snow dissuade them from a run.

But what I can say, this is a huge disappointment. Tons of hours were logged getting ready. Hundreds of miles were either ridden or run to make me fit and now, no chance at racing.

However, you cannot point finger and argue with the race organizers or the City officials of Myrtle Beach for their decision. The safety of the runners, the volunteers, and the others helping with the event along with the family and friends of the runners that would come out is paramount.

They are talking about sending out refunds, but then they have spent most that money on the event already. That said, I am not really expecting a refund, but I did see where they giving out at the "House of Blues" the finishers medals.

A nice gesture would be to mail everyone their finisher medal. I would be happy with that approach. I could use it as a motivational tool for my upcoming races.

We see what happens.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner with no marathon to run

Friday, February 12, 2010

Myrtle Beach Marathon Canceled

I am now 2 for 2. First Winter Flight got postponed and now the Myrtle Beach Marathon has been cancelled. I personally think Mother Nature has it in for me.

But I am not going to be outdone. I am primed for a long run tomorrow morning so I am heading out for a 20+ mile long run in the morning. If you are in the Myrtle Beach Area and want to run, I will be swing by the starting line around 7AM before heading out on the course.

Join me for the unofficial Myrtle Beach Marathon tour.


Good Night from the Cool Down Runner

Myrtle Beach Marathon is finally here

Wow, I cannot believe how time has flown by so quickly. It seems like just yesterday that I finished OBX and made a foolish decision to sign up for the Myrtle Beach Marathon.

December was tough month. I cranked up mileage and then ran the USAT&F XC Team Championships. I managed to get through December and not put on a ton of weight over the Holidays.

Then, the first of January I decided to pop out and run a ½ marathon to check my conditioning. That effort went well with 1:17 time on a solo effort and being a very cold day.

From that point, the rain and snow played havoc with my training plan.

Running in the cold was terrible. Running in the freezing rain was horrible. Running on the snow and ice was even worse.

But then, between the rain and snow, I slipped out for a Minor's Run or two which was great. Nathan came out to motivate me through several track workouts which I really appreciate.

Then, I started on my massage plan and got a little too much deep tissue work which made my back very, very sore. That's a mistake and note for future to not repeat.

Now, I set here less than 24 hours away from the Myrtle Beach Marathon. My back is still little sore, but everything feels good. I feel like I am primed and ready to go.

I will load down my back with Bio Freeze in the morning and do some light stretching to help dull the backache. When the race starts, I will just have to push that pain out of my mind.

But then there are the weather conditions, they have moved back the start to 7AM from 6:30. Somehow, I am not sure that 30 minutes will make that much of difference but then what do I know. I raced in 22 degree temps and ran in cold, rain, sleet, and snow. If I am not mentally tough for the conditions, I may never be.

For my goal of a sub 2:40 marathon, I have no idea now. The weather conditions will play a huge factor in everyone's race tomorrow morning.

Honestly, I will go out and take what the course and Mother Nature gives me. If I am strong enough to overcome the course and conditions, I will get my sub 2:40. If I am not, well, then, there will always be another marathon.


Thoughts of the Cool Down Runner on the Eve of the Myrtle Beach Marathon.



I hit Myrtle Beach

I drove down last night to Myrtle Beach and plan to hit a quick run from the hotel before work this morning.

On the weather front, they are calling for rain and snow. Can you believe it? Snow in Myrtle Beach. But the forecast looks pretty good that it will be less than an inch of snow so the streets should stay clear – just wet.

Looking forward to some pasta today and hitting the Expo this evening.


More later from the Cool Down Runner

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

3x2mi. with 2min. recovery

Rolled out bed – although not easily – my lower back has been stiff and sore the last couple of weeks– to check the weather around Charlotte. The weatherman said that the rain was going to hit Charlotte this morning. However, I was crossing my fingers that the rain would not arrive in Charlotte until after my last track workout. Otherwise, it would have been 3x2mi. on the tread mill at the Y. And most everyone knows my thoughts about taking that option.

Fortunately, the weather radar showed no rain in the area so I was in luck.

I finished up my stretching and headed up the Bradley Middle School track at 6:30AM this morning.

Still a little dark when I arrived, I circled through one of the nearby developments to get in a 2 mi. warm up.

Then, after changing shoes I headed for the track.

My back has been sore for about a week and bending/turning are difficult, but running once I get going seems to be only marginally effected. To explain it differently, in my right lower back just feels really stiff. It isn't painful but more like a dull ache that will not go away.

But let me get back to describing my track workout and not about me getting older with aches and pinas.

I took off on the first lap and felt really tight and stiff. I checked my watch at the 1 mile point – ugh 6:06. My first thought, I wasn't having a good day. But I continued to push onward.

When I stopped after the 1st 2 mi. interval, I hit on 11:52. Well, this wasn't too bad.

After a 2 minute recovery, I was off on the 2nd 2 mi. interval. I felt a little better this time and crossed the line in 11:44.

Two minutes seemed to fly by, and it was time for the 3rd and final 2 mi. interval. This time I just tried to relax and run as much as possible. I stopped the clock at 11:42 for the 3rd interval without too much difficulty.

I ran these intervals probably harder than I should have but I did it largely for confidence. With my lower aching, I needed to know how much it would hurt and if I can could stand it while running hard. I got the answer that I wanted "yes" so this means I will be at the starting come Saturday morning. Because at this point, there is nothing else to do but run easily, rest, and hydrate. Just look for the guy that has the smell of Bio-Freeze. J

See you at the Myrtle Beach Marathon starting Saturday morning 6:15 AM.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Peter pays off early

Peter is paying off on our bet and we have not even raced yet. Well, not really, Peter was gracious enough to send me the sweat shirt, long sleeve running "T", and ear cover so I would have them to wear at Myrtle Beach.

Our bet still rolls forward. If I lose, I send him a check and bring him a dozen doughnuts. If I win, well, I am already enjoying the wears.

Peter's a great guy so if you are in the Albemarle area stop by his store. It is righ on the main street. You cannot miss it.

-btw the pose at the left is my best "Jon Savage" impersonation.

Thanks Peter - from the Cool Down Runner

Finished my last long run

I hope I got all of my poor running out today. Usually, I have a lot of bounce in my legs during this 16 mile run, but today, it felt like I was dragging a ball and chain behind me. This could have something to do with idea to use just a two week taper.

Setting here now, I do have some concerns that I will be too tired going into this race. I am not trying to make excuses but I am just being realistic.

While most of the time, I feel like I bounce back fairly quickly from hard workouts and high volume. I do have to be honest with myself. At 45, my body can only take so much of a beating.

Hopefully, I good massage this coming week, low volume in miles, and one last speed session will leave me with some bounce in my legs by next Saturday.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner.



Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy Birthday TrySports

I headed across town this evening to meet the new Charlotte Store Manager Angie and the owner Jim. Also it was a quick opportunity to meet the new people coming into the store and say to goodbye to those either moving up – Rob or leaving – Cody. In addition, I need to give a shout out to Greg a Belmont Abby graduate who is now working at the store and is an aspiring Triathletel. Hopefully, we can get him worked into our TrySports Team soon.

After a few introductions, Jim gave a presentation about TrySports where I learned about the start of the company and the growth of the company. Jim has a real version which will keep TrySports around for a long time.

But the most interesting fact was that today was day that he opened the first TrySports Store in Mt. Pleasant, SC. What a remarkable 5 year run it appears to have been for him and his team. I appreciate the fact that they let us be a part of their efforts and I look forward to many more good years together.


Happy Birthday TrySports – the company from the Cool Down Runner – part of the TrySports Ambassador Team.


Race Check List

Myrtle Beach Marathon is just a week away so it is time to prepare that final traveling check list. Otherwise, you will be scampering around trying to buy it on Friday before the marathon.


Here's my check list:

  • Race Shoes
  • Race Shirts and Shirt – check the weather and pack accordingly.
  • Race Socks
  • Extra Safety pins
  • Black Sharpie
  • Gels
  • Prerace snack
  • Prerace drink
  • Post race snack
  • Post race drink
  • Extra set of running clothes if you plan to arrive a day early or stay a day over and want to run.
  • Extra running shoes
  • Extra Cash for the Expo
  • Printed copy of the race registration confirmation
  • Extra shirt to throw off in the first mile of the race – incase it is cold – pack a huge Glad trash bag – darn things work great.
  • Charger for your phone
  • Your phone
  • Hotel/Rental Card confirmation numbers
  • Advil for after the race.


That's my short list. I am still working on my personal long list :)


Cool Down Runner

Your Ideal Racing Weight

Just when you think the world cannot get any smaller it does. I started a quick little case study this week to check my weight before and after my morning runs.

I wanted to see how much perspiration that I was losing during my workouts. For these numbers, you can check the table below. Basically, I found that I was losing about 1 to 2 lbs depending on the workout and the intensity.

But this leads me into a related topic.

Then, this morning I saw a column at the NY Times web site about running and your Ideal Racing Weight which is part of the reason that I track my weight daily during my focus training periods.

Nothing motivates more to watch my diet than looking at the scales each morning. Running well and running fast is closely related your weight. Weigh too much and you lose time from the extra pounds. Weigh too little causes a lack of strength which prevents you from reaching goals.

So finding the ideal racing weight – unless you have been tested – means watching the scales and comparing it against your race performances.

For me, I like to race somewhere between 145 and 148 depending on the distance.

Before a marathon, I will get my weight down to roughly 141 to 142. If you are wondering why, well the answer is simple. Once, I am carbo loaded, I will have probably added 1 to 2 pounds which brings me right back to my ideal racing weight. Meaning I am at the weight where I feel that I will run my fastest times.

Try tracking your weight and watching your race times. See if you can determine your ideal race weight.



Pre Workout Weight

Post Workout Weight





12 mi(8 mi. tempo)




14 mi.




7 mi.




10 mi (16x400)




7 mi.



Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

Rain soaked miles this morning

When the weather man started forecasting rain for this morning, I was not looking forward to a solo run in a down pour. But to my surprised an email popped into my inbox from Nathan yesterday afternoon asking if I was interested in putting in some miles this morning albeit very – 5:30 AM.

I pondered on it for few minutes and then replied that yeah, I am in for run. If Nathan was running in the rain, the least I could do is join him. At least I wouldn't be soak and solo.

With the rain beating down on my roof and thinking that Nathan's courage to challenge the conditions outside might waver this morning, I was up by 3:40 AM and sent an email to swing by the Red Cross Bldg. that I was running.

Sure enough, around 5:40 we met up and headed out for some mileage. Nathan later told that he was wavering a little but my email pushed him out the door.

I wouldn't have been upset if he didn't show. In fact I would have been envious.

Shortly have exiting my car and wearing a rain jacket, I was pretty much soaked. Fortunately, the temperatures were in the mid 30s so the body avoided one of those deep chills from a cold rain.

We circled through a few of the neighborhoods of Huntersville and some of the business park. For the most part, we stayed in the well lit areas.

What was really nice about the run this morning was that I now have my run out of the way for the day and before 7 am. I cannot say that too often.


Hey, Nathan – if you are reading this post, thanks for coming out this morning. I know it would have been far easier for you to hit the tread mill.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

Thursday, February 4, 2010

16x400 with 1 minute recovery

My countdown to Myrtle Beach continues with my 2nd last session early this morning. I am following a pattern that I laid down a few months ago just before I ran OBX. So today, I ran 16 x 400 with 1 minute recovery.

Nathan was kind enough to join me a Bradley Middle School Track although; he was doing an entirely different workout. You might think that we could not work together much but in actually it went pretty well.

Nathan and Mark H. came up with the plan where if he and I timed our internals and recoveries fairly close, he would run every other quarter with me. Definitely, I started looking forward to every other interval and it helped Nathan because I could lead him through the interval. Definitely, I took anything away from this, it is with a little creativity two runners can do two entirely different workouts and still have help each get through it.

Which brings me to review my workout, my plan was 1:20s but the majority of my intervals were around 1:21. While I don't like blaming tough workouts on exterior factors, I did get a massage last night which always makes me sluggish the next day.

But on the bright side, I did get a chance to test out the Brooks T6 racers. I ran the first 12 intervals in my traditional track shoes and then switched over to my New Brooks T6. My feet felt light as feather in these new shoes. And while I only get 4 quarters in them, it was good start to the break in process. I will probably use them in a couple of Tabata workouts next week.

Also if you are interested, Nathan and I did a 2 mile warm up and 2 mile warm down. Well, I didn't a little longer because he ran more intervals than I did. I always start with a least a 2 mile warm up before any hard running.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2009 Mileage Totals by the Month

With the first month of '10 now complete it is time to switch from '09 to '10 on my blog. But I don't want to lose track of this work so the best way it is to record it as a post to my blog.


2009 Mileage

  • Total - Running: 3726 - Biking: 3523
  • Dec - Running 370 - Biking 380
  • Nov - Running 278 - Biking 263
  • Oct - Running: 393 - Biking: 388
  • Sep - Running 376 - Biking 517
  • Aug - Running 325 - Biking 508
  • July - Running 276 - Biking 386
  • June - Running 256 - Biking 123
  • May - Running 275 - Biking 75
  • Apr - Running 315 - Biking 251
  • Mar - Running: 259 - Biking: 240
  • Feb - Running: 224 - Biking: 213
  • Jan - Running: 269 - Biking: 179

Longevity of Runners

During my run this morning something crossed my mind that I hadn't thought about before today.

If I run a sub 2:40 marathon next week, then I will have run a sub 2:40 marathon in 3 different decades.

Which raised the question in my mind, has anyone else run 2:40 or below across more than two decade? And they have how many decades? With so many people running around the world surely someone has run that fast and for that long.

But it is an interesting question because in order to run that fast that long, it would require a comment to running over a long period of time and the ability to avoid injuries like the plague.

If anyone reading this post and knows of someone that has run a 2:40 across two more decade, post a comment or send me an email.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

Weather Forecast

We are just about in the 10 day window where we can get some idea of what the weather will be like for our upcoming Myrtle Beach Marathon.

Based on the 10 day outlook from Weather Channel the temps appear to be averaging around 50 during the day and just above freezing at night.

With the start time slated for 6:30 AM, I will prepare for the worse and hope for the best.

I will probably pickup a cheap gloves at the Expo to wear for the 1st 10 miles of the race and take a shirt that I can throw off after the 1st couple of miles into the race. Typically, I wear the gloves longer than the shirt just because I don't like my hands being cold.

Now something that is worse than the cold – the wind. The projected wind conditions are for NNW wind at 7mph so if I am using my compass correctly, this should slight head wind (coming toward the runners left shoulders) between miles 7 and 19. And, it would possibly give us a modest tail from 19-through about 25.

Before settling on my final race apparel, I will have to feel out the conditions on race morning. I could be tempted to wear my arm sleeves because over a 3 hour span of time, the wind can make in a warm day feel cold.

I will be posting weather updates several times over the 10 days to keep everyone up to date on the conditions.


Weatherman a.k.a Cool Down Runner.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

14 miles during the Miner’s Run

Through some Facebook messages and emails last night I was checking to see if anyone was coming out for the regular Tuesday morning Miner's Run. Steve, Paul, Stan, and Megan responded and showed up this morning despite the weather man calling for blowing snow and lots of freezing rain.

The footing at McAlpine is still treacherous in my opinion. Patches for ice and snow were interspersed with soft dirt, mud, and puddles. In a couple of sections the mud around the lake was worse than the snow. The mud seemed to build up on the bottom of my shoes. By the 3rd lap, I was running along the edge of the grass. In another section, I was listening to the conversations and not watching where I stepped. I proceeded to step right in the middle of a puddle – result a very wet foot.

But aside from the conditions, I was happy to get back out for this run. It is always nice to catch up with Steve, Paul, and Megan. However, I didn't get to chat with Stan. From the start, Stan was gone. It was actually kind of funny. In all of the runs which Stan and I were a part of I can never remember being dropped by him. But I should expect it. Those early morning runs are a big motivator for him and it is good to see him pushing himself.

Steve has been doing some hard training and I look for him to have a big year on the GP circuit.

Paul is gearing up for a race in a couple of weeks here in Charlotte. Look for him to be in the low 16s.

Ran the last five miles with 5 miles with Megan, I was clearly holding her back. Or she was just taking it easy on me. She dropped off just before the 14 miles mark so she could pick up some extra miles on the greenway.

I headed for the parking lot and finished with a Tabata workout in the rain.

One more long run and two more hard workouts are on the schedule before Myrtle Beach. But the primary task for me is rest and hydrate.


Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner