Thursday, December 30, 2010

Easy Week

After pounding the roads for 3 weeks in December, my intentions were to pound out one last week. That was before Monday afternoon. I just finished working out during the morning and was cruising the mall with my oldest daughter.

Normally, walking around the mall is not a taxing event for me, and even thou, I hadn't run neither particularly hard nor long, I was struggling just to walk down a small set of steps. The quads were as sore as they have been in a while. Not only that but this general feeling of being lethargic seemed be engulfing me.

So rather than push on and do the workouts, I just back things down. After a year of pounding the pavement maybe it was time to take some easy days.

Thus, since Monday, I have only done 5 miles each day – no weights, no core, no stretching – no nothing except 5 simple easy miles. The first day didn't seem to help but since then it has seemed like a downright vacation.

I know January will be back to the grind, but for now, the rest feels really good.


 


 

Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

Cool Down Runner’s YIR

Wow, 2010 was an awesome year for me. So much so that I am not sure that I can remember all of the things that I accomplished this year. But as always, the year is drawing to a close so doing a quick rewind is in order.

Chasing awards and Championships seems to be getting harder as I get older. After being the top Masters' Runner in the Run For Your Life Grand Prix Series, I wanted to step out and take on some different challenges. Run some bigger and different races. The culmination of those efforts resulted in my bringing home the RRCA of 8k Masters Championship, the USA T&F Masters 10 mile, ½ marathon, and Marathon Championships. In addition, I competed in the USA T&F Endurance Series which include USA T&F-NC Championship races from the mile to marathon. I feel both fortunate and lucky to have tied for the Masters Championship with John Hinton.

The year wasn't without challenges. I had to work my way through several injuries that could just have easily sidelined me on a permanent basis.

What I would like to do now is share some thoughts from 2010.

January, the year started off on a very high note. I went down to Florence, SC and picked up a win in their ½ marathon with a 1:17. Then I had planned to do the Winter Flight race in Salisbury but due to the snow the race got postponed until February.

February was a month of ups and downs. The Myrtle Beach Marathon only to have it canceled due to snow. Hey, they don't even have snow plows in South Carolina. It was during this adventure that I hurt my Achilles. The swelling and pain were bad but not bad enough to stop me from running the postponed Winter Flight race. Odd as it may seem, I was running in Myrtle Beach in the Snow one week. A week later I am in Salisbury running the Winter Flight 8k and the temperature is 60+ degrees. Definitely, the change in temperature was unexpected and the body wasn't handling it all that well. But I did close with a 28:12 and picked up the first award of the year. I want the Masters' RRCA – NC 8k Championship.

The churned by and I was out to the White Water Center doing my first Duathlon. Talk about having a deer in the head lights feeling. I came in for my first transition and it felt like I was there forever. Putting on cloths, gloves, and helmet seem to take an eternity. The feeling was only made worse because other athletes were zipping by me.

The bike ride was fun but getting passed by some many others was a little disheartening. I remember Tom T. passing and I thought he had some time jets on his bike. He was just gone.

I did get a little revenge. Some of the people passing me on the bike, I caught during the 2 mile run. The first time that I do anything it is always a learning experience.

March started off with a trip to Mocksville, NC for their 10k race. This race has been around for many years but for one reason or another I just never did it. It was a great morning to run. Caitlin saw me during my warm up and joined. It was also where I first met Molly and David – two great runners from the Winston Salem area.

The race started and Ryan was soon out sight. A few of us were working out way through the course when we missed a turn. We came up to the next "T" intersection. Looking both ways, we didn't see anyone insight. Ryan was fast but not that fast. About that time, some guy comes flying up in car saying that we missed the turn and need to run the ½ mile back. Ugh!!. By this time runners are streaming up the correct course.

So any runner would do I put the body into overdrive and run as fast as possible trying to catch everyone. Adrenaline will only carry me so far. About 4 miles, it was like coming down off a huge high. The breathing was labored and legs weighed a ton.

Upset was probably putting it mildly. I was having a good day and saw it go do the tubes.

Sometime, working off the frustration is the only way to handle it. I was solo for the weekend so I headed across to Cary, NC for a little recon on the Tobacco Road marathon course which was in 2 weeks.

Nearly 60 miles of riding and another 26 miles of running left my legs died tired.

Rest will be plentiful when I die. Two weeks later, Bobby, Jonathan, and I were at the starting line. This was also where I met Jordan for the first time. He had asked me to pick up his packet. In order to pick up a packet, I needed a copy of Jordan drivers license which I got. Then the next morning, I was trying to locate Jordan based on picture from his license. They looked like to totally different people. Ask to see his license sometime if you don't believe me. LOL

Tobacco Road Marathon was surreal. I never felt good the entire race. I just had this sluggish tired feeling. However, there is a bright side. I never went out that fast and stayed consistent the entire race. Coming home, I finished in 2:43.

April began with the April Fools 5k in Albemarle. Peter always knows how to make things exciting. There were people firing paint ball guns at us, squirting water and lobbing water balloons at us. We finished with a climb through the blow up obstacle course. Definitely, it will be a must do event for everyone in '11.

After a three week recovery period, actually it was only going to be 2 weeks but they canceled the Carboro Duathlon, it was the Tar Heel 10 miler followed by the Flying Pirate ½ marathon. In the Tar Heel 10 miler I picked up the USAT&F – NC Master Championship. In the Fly Pirate ½ marathon I picked up USA T&F –NC ½ marathon Masters' Championship. This was also the first time that I got to race John P. He is solid Masters' runner from the Richmond, Va. Area. We battle for nearly 10 miles before I slipped away on the Nags Head Trails to finish 3rd overall in 1:16.

I'd finish off April with a visit to Richmond, Va for the USAT Duathlon Nationals – finishing 18 than qualifying for worlds. This was huge surprise considering that this was on my 2nd Duathlon ever.

The month of May started with a busy weekend of racing: 5k in Waxhaw, the next morning ride the Masters' Criterium in Dilworth, on Sunday morning, do the Morganton Biathlon (run and bike only), a Carolina Time Trial Cycling on Wednesday, and then the Raleigh 10k USAT&F – NC Championship on the following Saturday. Looking back I don't know how I did all of those events. I wish I could have completed the 10k with the championship, but after 4 miles John H. just put on a surge that I couldn't match.

With all of the major running in the bag, it was time to focus on cycling.

June came and I was off on vacation so no Cycling Time Trial, but I returned just in time to do the Durham Running of the Bulls 8k. Biggest mistake of the year, I came back from spending a week at Disney. I was probably 3 or 5 pounds heavier and legs were in no shape for running. During the first mile, I ran 5:30 and I was done. I struggle home in 34 minutes. After the race, I made a mental note to never race the weekend after returning from vacation unless I am taking a running vacation.

The rest of June was filled with easy running and lots of group bike rides. This was only my 2nd year riding and the first time that I had ever ridden with a group. Riding is so much different than running. The rides are all out and then recovery which is followed all out again.

July started off with a bang or in my case a crack. During a group ride, several of us piled up when a car swerved at us. It didn't stop me from training but it did slow me down. I got a fast time in another cycling time trial at the speedway. Two weeks later, I suffered through the Beat the Head 5k in 17:56. This was probably the most painful race ever for me.

A week a later, I was down in the south Charlotte riding in my first 100 mile – actually 101 but whose counting. For the first 35 miles, we had a big group before things started to splitter apart. I hooked up with another rider and we rode together for the remainder of the race. I was happy with the result. We averaged nearly 20 mph and finished just over 5 hours. It was also the first time that I was really happy to come off the bike. Somewhere around 90 miles, I was feeling like I wanted to be finished.

I had wanted to start my training plan for Twin Cities in July, but mainly I just did the miles running with nothing really hard. The last of July, I started hooking up with Mike, Nathan, and few others for some marathon paced runs. In the first one, Mike and Nathan were just gone after the first few miles.

August was filled with Time Trial in Rock Hill, SC and at the speedway, 5k race and 100k ride in Albemarle, NC, and the USA T&F 10k Trail Championship. I got a 10 mile PR at the speedway. I struggle through the 5k in Albemarle and then rode a hard 100k the next morning. I was riding with a group when we got mixed up at a turn. I was never able to recover but I spent the race of the ride catching guys that dropped off their group.

The USA T&F Trail Championship 10k was the toughest 10k that I have run. There were times during the race where I was running, but it was intermixed with walking and climbing on all 4s. After the race, I told myself that I would never do another race like this one. I plan to honor this commitment.

September, I didn't run any races but I was finally able to get down to business with running. I had to slow the cycling down so my legs could recover. Don't tell anyone. I did slip in two individual and one team Carolina Cycling Time Trials. In '09 I watched the Carolina Cycling Team Time trial. This year I found 3 other guys willing to do it with me. We only worked out once beforehand and were riding more for fun than anything else. Several of the other riders told us that it goes by fast and it did. Every 45 seconds, I did my pull and before I knew it we were finished.

October kicked off with Twin Cities which was the USA T&F Masters' Marathon. Through 3 marathon paced runs Mike had kicked my "but". I was fully expecting him to have a great time. The first few miles of the race I spent trying to catch him. 7 miles in I finally gave up and let him go. He appeared to be running well and staying close to him was taking me out of my comfort zone.

Then about 14 miles, we closed back to gather. More out of surprise than anything I glanced out of the corner of my eye at him. 16 miles into a marathon is make or break time. If I jumped in a faster group and followed them until, I was the last one.

Climbing the last 10k to the finish at Twin Cities is hard. It starts out steep, and then transitions to something like the climb up East Blvd, in Charlotte. Crossing 25 miles, I thought I had a sub 2:40 for sure but there were a steep downhill. My hamstrings were balked at their usage and it cost me just enough time: 2:40:02.

Overall, the race was great experience. Mike ended up running fairly well. Caitlin rocked it with Olympic Trials qualifying Time. As for me, I went back to the room set in the bath tub of cold water for 30 miles. That's my reward for running hard.

Then, it was a week of recovery which was followed by two hard weeks of workouts and two races. First, the Tobacco Road 10 miler was hard on a still recovering body. I finished 5 OA and ran a 58:50. The following weekend, I ran the Mooresville Pumpkin 8k Run. My time wasn't impressive but it was my last major effort before OBX. I won the race with a time of 29:11

November, my running was finally starting hit high gear. For the 3rd year in a row I headed to the coast for the Outer Banks Marathon. Being that it was my 3rd time, it was also the charmed race. There wasn't any head wind and I had good competition to pull me along to a 2:41:33. This helped me take home the USA T&F - NC Master marathon championship for the 3rd year in a row.

My feet were not exactly happy with me. OBX had put a serious hurting on them, but a couple of Advil helped me chase Mike down the streets of Concord in the Santa Scramble to the tune of 16:41. I followed it some easy running before going to down to South Park for the Turkey Trot 8k.

I didn't run the Run For Your Life Grand Prix series this year so Steve and I hadn't been racing against one another. This would be the first time and I was looking forward to it. As luck would have it, he jumped out ahead and I closed up on his shoulder. We were literally stride for stride until Michael puts a big move on us at 3 miles. I was totally not expecting this him. I looked at Steve and half expected him to give chase. When it didn't happen, I took up the challenge. It was all that I could do to pull even with Michael. He puts on one bigger move heading to the finish which I cannot cover. I am now ready to settle in to the finish when I hear "Go Spada". A quick glance tells me that Steve is close fast. I don't know where I drew the energy from but I pull out a couple of more surges and barely escaped. Steve finished 1 second behind me. Honestly, I have always enjoyed race against Steve and am looking forward to many more year of it.

December arrives and I am putting trying to keep the wheels on the car. All year, I had been putting out feeler. I was trying to get together a Masters' team for the USA T&F Club Champion which was coming to Charlotte this year. There were definitely times when I thought it might not happen. Luckily, Rocky, David, Matt, and Chuck put aside their holiday season for one Saturday afternoon to join me.

Post high school and college running, team running is for the most part almost non-existent. Having attended the Club Championship in Lexington, KY last was what sent me down that path for having a team this year and I am glad that I did it. I wouldn't have trade the experience for any other running experience.

So the long year is now coming to an end.

As I look back on upon my accomplishments: 10 mi., ½ Marathon, and Full Marathon USAT&F Masters Champion, RRCA 8K Masters' Champion and finishing tied for lead in the USA T&F Masters Endurance Distance Series. Then there is the cycling: several PRs in the 10 mi. time trail and the 101 mile ride. There were 4 Duathlons including 1 win as well as qualifying for Worlds Duathlon Championships.

I have to say that '10 was one of my best years ever. I think I pour more blood and sweat into this year and than any previous year.


 

Happy New Year from the Cool Down Runner


 


 


 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Running With a Watch - Splits

Stop watch, Garmin, or something else just pick your poison when it comes to tracking your splits during a race. I hear people all the time talk about wanting to hit this split or that split during a race. I listen and then just smile. In my opinion too many people put way too much effort into worrying about their splits.

Think about it, after 15 miles of a marathon have passed and you look at your watch. You are 1 minute and 30 seconds behind your pace. Are really going to be able to pick up it 10 second per a mile from there to the finish? Most of the time, I would say no. That is unless you have run so slowly the first half was under your ability.

When I run a race, I set my Garmin to auto track the splits and then forget about it. The next time that I look at it is when I have crossed the finish line.

The thing that I like to tell people is trust in yourself. If you are having a good day, you are going to know it. Knowing the splits isn't going to make you run any faster. And the contrast is just as true if you are have a bad race, the split will more than likely continue any downward spiral that you are on. Thus you are better off not knowing.

That's why I tell people to "just go out and run", and let your body tell you what it can do. By spending less time stressing over the splits, you will most have more energy and motivation to drive yourself harder to the finish. And, listen to what your body is telling you and especially monitor your breathing. Both can provide ton of internal feedback when it comes to modulating your race pace.


 

Happy Holidays from the Cool Down Runner

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rolling along

This morning I headed across Charlotte to Mc Alpine for a run with Megan and Ann. We had all agreed upon meeting at 7:30 so no head lamps required for this run and the fact that I was taking the day off from work made if perfect.

It had been a while since Megan and I have went for a run and if memory serves me correctly, it was summer '09 since Ann and I have been on the same run. So with so much timing passing, I was sure there would be at least 2 hours of good conversation. That's just about right for a 16 mile run.

We started out at a rather a pedestrian pace. Megan has been injured for a while and is working herself back into shape. Well, we are starting to warm up pretty good and roll along when Megan tells us how we feels like she is not running all that fast during her runs these days.

About this time, we are rolling along the 5k course and my body starts sending signals to the brain "hey, we are getting fast here". Ugh, I am thinking that I am just having a bad day. Outwardly, I said nothing but sucked up. I mean, I could not let them dropped me. It's a "man" thing until it becomes an aerobic thing and I cannot do anything about it. LOL

The next hour and a half seemed to fly by and we were all standing back in the Old Bell parking lot. I was looking through my Garmin laps and realize it was not me feeling bad, we had run the 16 miles at 7:15 pace with several 6:45s thrown in for good measure. Just personal opinion, but maybe Megan needs to do more of the elliptical machine. Clearly the workouts on the elliptical are agreeing with her running LOL.


 

Happy Holidays from the Cool Down Runner

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

USA T&F Club Championship – Recap 12/11/2010


I am sorry; this is a few of days late.

Saturday was a huge day for the Running Community in Charlotte and I wanted some time to let it all digest.

First, let me say that Saturday was simply amazing. I cannot remember seeing so much quality runners in the Charlotte – aside from maybe Foot Locker. There were 12 men in the open race under 30 minutes for the 10k. With nearly 400 entered in the open race, the slowest runner in the 10k was just over 45 minutes. I am giving a special shot out to Mike for running 35:31 against top caliper runners.

The Masters' Race had 400+ runners which was the largest field of any of races. The Masters' winning time was 32:36 and the guy was 49 years old so I guess there is still hope for me to run a PR.

The women's races were a little tougher to gauge since they were running the odd 6k distance. I have run with Kelly, Jocelyn, Meagan, and Caitlin from time to time. When they came through in 42nd and 60th place, there were definitely some fast women abound. As a team, they held their own by finishing 9 out of 29 teams.

Watching really good runners, there is one thing they all tend to have in common. They make the act of running look so fluid and effortless. I often wish I could some copy how they doing it and run the same way.

But to my race recap, I met up with Rocky, Matt, Chuck, and David before the race. I handed out numbers to everyone except David whom I had seen at the expo and had given him his number and shirt.

Then it was off to change and to get in some warm up miles. We ran along the first couple of miles of the course so we could watch the Women's Masters' race before heading back to the car and shedding the last of my warm our gear.

I headed back to the starting line and was just in time. Race officials were going down the row making sure everyone had on the same running jersey. If you don't understand, don't feel bad. It is a USAT&F thing. All team members must dress alike.

Then it was time for a hands-in morale booster and final instructions.

Honestly, I didn't really have a game plan for this race – short of not ending up in the lake when we were coming off the hill.

Bang! Suddenly, 400+ middle men with from joking and laughing to deadly serious. The one thing I have learned about cross country is personal space is a rarity. Suddenly, guys were elbowing and pushing. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one guy go down. There was no time to look or stop – least I would go down as well.

If you are familiar with Mc Alpine 5k course, we started about 50 yards further down. This means we had lot less time before 400 guys merged on to a 6 foot wide path.

Since our team's starting position was in the middle, I was maintaining my line as we all converged on to the 6 ft path. At this point, I had a decision to make. I could go left toward the hard packed dirt or stay to the right and run a little further on the grass. I decided to move over to the dirt. It was probably the wrong decision because I almost immediately ran into a traffic jam.

It didn't really matter and was probably a good thing. My breathing was totally off. There didn't seem to be enough oxygen available. In addition, I was feeling that dryness in the back of my throat that I get when I run to hard a cold day.

By the time I made the first turn, we were so tightly bunched that I had nowhere to go. I was just trying to avoid clipping the two guys' directly in front of me.

As we approached the hill, some breathing room was actually starting to open up. I could see the 2 or 3 feet of dirt between me and the runners in front of me. It was the first time where I could see the ground to put my feet. Up to this point, I was putting them down without knowing where they were landing. Luckier for me I run at Mc Alpine regularly.

We did the back loop of the Mc Alpine course and I was starting feel a little better. My breathing wasn't under control but at least the legs felt okay. We came out by the lake and headed back down the long straight-a-way.

It was great having the CRC support along the course. Mike was screaming at me at several points along the course. I remember hearing Megan yelling and Ben yelling something about using that "Marathon strength". Ben, at the point where you saw I was already using that strength. There wasn't anything left.

Funny how cross country races work, I pass a few people and a few people pass me. They are not necessarily the same people.

The first time up the hill was tough, but decent.

The 2nd time up the hill, it hurt.

The 3rd time, well no one should have to run it a 3rd time. My legs were ready to cry "uncle" at this point and felt like "butter". I came down the hill and a few guys got away from me. I hit the 6 mile and I was ready to finish.

Mike was standing behind the finish area and asked me how it was. "Tough" would be the word that I will use here to describe it.

Our team finished in total time of 3:07:17.80 seconds for an average of 37:27. We were 18th out of 23 teams. Rocky finished in 7th place. I finished 105th and 43rd in my age group. David finished 120th. Matt finished in 124th. Chuck finished in 130.

Rocky was clearly showing is newly minted Masters' status. He led the race for while before coming home in 33:17. I finished in 37:24, David in 38:21, Matt in 38:39, and Chuck in 39:24.

In my personal opinion, we did all right.

Realistically, time and distance don't mean as much as it does for road race. It is all about how you and your team's placement.

Getting the opportunity to have such a national caliper race here in Charlotte and compete against other runners of this quality was absolutely incredible.

This is exactly why running is the most unique sport on the planet. I will never play football on the Panther's field or hit an infield grounder at Yankee Stadium, but I can cover the same dirt that these guys do. In the case of Saturday, I was also swallowing the same dust. LOL

Before ending, I wanted to take a moment and thank Rocky, David, Matt, and Chuck. There were several times when I thought I wouldn't be able to get a team together but these guys stuck it out and we had a great time racing Saturday. Thanks, I really appreciate you guys helping me make this goal of happen.


 

Happy Holidays from the Cool Down Runner


 


 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Club XC Championships just a few hours away

I am packing up my race bag and getting ready to head out the door. I thought I might catch a little of the Thunder Road Marathon before heading across town Mc Alpine for our XC races.

Our race is going to be a lot of fun today.

I went by the Expo yesterday and picked up our team's race packet. It was very interesting how the USA T&F guys were doing things. There packet distributions process was very much different from the way the process was handled in Kentucky last year.

But none the less, I picked up our packets and shirts which I have already distributed one to David and will be catching up with Rocky, Matt, and Rich later this morning. Being team captain, I guess has at least one perk.

I got to coordinate the meeting place to hand out bibs and shirts. Perks are where you find them.

Thoughts on the Expo, it seemed larger than last year. Although, I was in early; there were already a number of runners mingling into the convention center to pick up their stuff. I image having both the Marathon and XC championships in the same weekend really helped.

There were a lot of venders and almost all were working very hard to sell their wares. I bought one thing a reflective shirt and hat. I will be posting more on it later when I get a chance to test wear them.

Back to the packing, I am not sure about racing flats or spikes today. I think I will take both and decided at the park. I haven't been in spikes since the last XC race so my legs should have had plenty of time to recover from that rugged experience.

For now, I just need to make sure that I am wearing my Charlotte Running Club singlet so they don't kick us out of the race for not being dressed exactly alike.


 

Happy Holidays from the Cool Down Runner

 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Threshold Training

I picked up one my cycling magazines and was thumbing through it yesterday. I stopped on an article about threshold training. The main theme of the article as I understood it was to ready cyclist for surges during a race and the feeling that comes with the acceleration.

We all know that feeling. It is when you have pushed across the line. The red line as I like to call it because all sorts of bells and whistle starting going off in your brain. The resonating thought that you are about to blow up. This is usually followed by the thick and heavy feeling in both legs and consequently, your paces slows.

Mainly, as runners we usually like to avoid these scenarios because it is not conducive to fast races.

This thought process is reinforced through our training plans because we are often asked to stay with certain boundaries while running as fast as possible.

Again, I agree lifting this from cycling training plan so it is not exactly a one for one. For example, there is no ability to setup, coast, and recovery in running. This is unless you stop running, and typically once you are done; you are done.

The point of this article was to prepare the body and to some extent the mind to handle going into this red zone.

Here's my adaptation of the concept.

Basically, it goes something like this. For the first minute, you go all out. The second minute, you back it down to say 95%. The third through the fifth minute, you run at 90%. The fifth through the seventh minute, you run at 80%. This is followed by a "half" type recovery and repeated two to three times. Everyone's concept of 100%, 95%, 90%, and 80% are all different but you get the idea. Learn to get yourself back under control.

Extending on this idea we want to build up the heaviness in our legs and then to teach our self to run through it.

I seen a lot of training plans but usually, they have the concept inverted where you are going from 80% up to 100%. Even when most people do their intervals, the first interval is usually the slowest and the last few are the fast. Partly, this is due to an inadequate warm up but then this is a different post.

But think about how we run most races, the first mile is generally the fastest unless you are running a marathon. And I have seen some fast first miles there too. Generally, however, the later miles are usually slower.

The next time up are adjusting your training plan, you should try to throw in a workout like this one. This way, it reminds the body and the mind of what racing is truly like.


 

Happy Holidays from the Cool Down Runner


 

Charlotte Running Club goes clubbing at the USA T&F XC Club Championship

Remember those days when you ran on your high school and/or college cross country teams. Remember how it felt to compete for something more than just you. Rarely, once we graduation to the open road running scene do we get a chance to run on teams. I can think of only two races in the Charlotte area that have team races: Skyline 5k and Twilight 5k. Maybe you could add the Blue Ridge Relay, but then relay races work a little differently. So maybe they don't count.

Well, this weekend a few of us hearty souls are returning to our youths and running as a team. The USA T&F XC Club Championship is coming to Charlotte, NC and our beloved Charlotte Running Club has three teams entered: Open Males, Open Females, and Masters Males.

Now, I know this is a busy weekend with the Thunder Road Marathon also taking place, but if you are crafty, you can catch a little of both.

Thunder Road kicks off early in the morning while the XC races go off around mid-day.

The Masters' Race goes off at 11:30 to run a 10k. The Open Women start off at 12:45 for a 6k. The Open Males kick things off at 1:30 for the last 10k of the day.

All XC races are originating on the Mc Alpine Greenway from the Main entrance off of Monroe Rd.

Last year, Ben and I took part in the races held in Lexington, KY. I have to say that it was great experience. I grew up a road racer so running XC is kind of like a foreign language to me. But I have to say it was a lot of fun. And, it was enough fun that I convinced a few my fellow masters' runners to join me on a team this year.

If you are interested in whose running:

Open Male Team: Lat, Matt, Jay, Mike, Chase, and John

Open Female Team: Alice, Kelly, Megan, Jocelyn, Jenna, and Stephanie.

Masters' Team: Rocky, David, Chuck, Matt, and myself.


 

If you get a chance, drop by Mc Alpine and check out the races.


 

Happy Holidays from the Cool Down Runner


 


 


 


 

 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Season is the hardest time of year to train

I don't know about anyone else, but for me the holiday season is the hardest time of year to train. Among the abundance of food, holiday parties, and the scampering around gathering Christmas gifts life seems to be amidst with distractions.

If there is ever a time to year to slow things down, this is it. For the last 11 months sweat, blood, and tears were poured into the hundreds workouts that brought our bodies to the best condition that it has seen in years.

Honestly, I don't really mind. My body and mind both need the time to recharge and this is the perfect time of year to make it happen.

So everyone out there go enjoy your holiday season and remember to spend time with your family. Nothing, not even running is more important than family.


 

Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Charlotte Running Club USAT&F Master’s XC Team

Let me introduce you to this year's Charlotte Running Club USA T&F Club Master's XC Team: Rocky, David, Matt, Chuck, and me.

Last year while standing at the starting line of the USA T&F Cross country Club championship in Lexington, Kentucky, I made a vow to myself. Next year when the Club Championship comes to Charlotte, I want to be standing on the starting line at McAlpine with a team.

When I made that vow, I really had no idea what it meant. How hard could it be getting a team together?

The reality is that it has not as easy as it might seem. Injuries, family commitments, one thing and another, not mention the fact that Club XC Championship falls squarely in the middle of the Holiday season meant getting together a group of Master's runners harder than I ever thought.

I guess I could have given up on the idea and there were a few times when I thought we might not have a team. It just goes to show that persistence does pay off.

December 11, 2010 at 11 AM we will be at the starting line for the Master's XC 10k. I am looking forward to the race and will hopefully improve upon my race from last year.


 

Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner