Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kissing Mother Earth workout

Okay, this morning I promised that I would do Megan's up tempo workout just as it was given to her. If some of you are wondering, this is a posed to the recent weeks where I added more intervals and extended the length of the intervals. Yes, I am guilty as charged for making the workouts longer and harder. But when was the last time a race was easy.

To continue the story, we hit the hill on upper Boyce after a 5 mile warm up for 8 x 1 minute with a rundown recovery. Perhaps 4 or 5 intervals were finished before my legs felt like really running. But I finished them off a little tired but feeling pretty good.

Then we hit the upper Boyce back trail. I am cruising along minding my own business when suddenly a root grabs the toe of my shoe. Pow, I am in a slow motion decent heading toward the ground. I try to twist slightly. I land on the palms of my hands. I bang my elbow and take a decent shot to my shoulder and my cheek. I lie there for a second trying to assess how much damage was done.

Things probably wouldn't have been so bad but I am soaked in sweat. Dirt, leaves, tree bark, and just about everything else is sticking to me. I literally look like I have been rolling around in the dirt which I guess is closer to the truth.

I finally get up and try brushing off some of the debris. A few cuts on my palms and fingers. A nice little cut on my elbow and a little less skin on my shoulder, but the biggest damage was to my pride for failing to stay up right. Fortunately, I expect my pride to heal faster than the rest of my body. It usually does.

So we come out the trail section and it's time for the second half of the workout 4 x 90 seconds.

I am slow to find my footing and it takes me until the 4th one before I am anywhere close to feeling normal. I explain my lack of speed on the blood gushing from arm but Megan wasn't buying it. Well, at least I tried. It was a tiny cut, but there was blood coming out. Okay, maybe not truly gushing but I felt it was close to gushing. It could have been gushing. Well, you had to be there to see it to appreciate it.

We wrapped it up with a couple of miles more to bring the total to 12 for the morning.

Overall, this was a good workout going into my 15 mile race this weekend. My body just need to some TLC so it is ready for Saturday.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner




Monday, August 27, 2012

Marathon Mileage Build up

This fall I thought I would try something different. My normal marathon build up goes through cycles and increases both mileage and intensity leading up to the taper for the marathon.

This year I am approaching the build up a little differently.

This year, I pushed my mileage up to high 80s or low 90s and just kept the mileage at this level. There were no hard runs during the early part of the summer; I just had to endure the struggle of fatigue until my body made the adjustment. This on top of the searing heat that withered the Charlotte area

After about 3 to 4 weeks, I began to feel better and started to slowly feel stronger. Instead of dragging to the finish of my 20 milers, I was feeling like there was more left in the tank.

I let another couple of weeks pass and then I started adding in one up tempo workout. This was in addition to a mid week semi long run and a long run on either Saturday or Sunday.

So far, the training has been going well and I am feeling better about it.

Now, I just need to keep mojo going for another 8 weeks leading into OBX.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Exploring the trails at the White Water Center

I cannot remember the last time that I ran the trails at the White Water Center. I am guessing that it has been at least a year and maybe more. That's why on Saturday when I spent 3 hours running those trails, they seemed like new trails again to me and in fact one of the trails was new.

Megan needed 3 hours and I needed 20 miles so everything synced up pretty well.

We started out running the north loop and then came back to the main trail and headed out on the south loop. From there we picked up the carpet trail loop, goat trail loop, weigh station loop, and the toilet bowl loop. This put us roughly at 10 miles and a little under 1 hour and 30 minutes.

As we were closing out the 10 mile run, we spotted what appeared to be a new trail. So after a little refueling at our cars, we headed out to check out this new trail section. They call it, the Lake loop and it has been designated as a green trail or an easy trail. There are a couple of small sections where there is some gravel but for the most part, the trail is dirt or covered with pine needles. I am guessing that this trail is roughly 3.5 to 4 miles in length. This loop probably took us between 25 and 30 minutes running time for a loop. And compared to the rest of the trails, it is relatively flat. I'd even consider doing a tempo run on it. The pine needles were awesome.

The only drawback to running the White Water Center (WWC) trails is the parking fee. The WWC charges $5 parking fee or for those that go regularly, there is a $40 year pass option. If you are eating or plan to buy something, the $5 dollars parking fee can come in to play. Definitely, during a visit read the fine print on the card.

Throwing out another option for trail running in the Charlotte area.


Sharing one thought at a time,

The Cool Down Runner


Friday, August 24, 2012


On the drive to my morning run, I found myself suddenly thinking about why I sometimes let negative thoughts override my positive thoughts. Why I let the worst of a situation override my confidence that would otherwise help me succeed.

I admit it. I am guilty of letting it happen.

What frustrates me the most is not so much that it happens but that I allow it to happen?

Late in a race or workout, my body rebels against the stress of the situation. This is when the wheels start to turn inside my head and tell me that it is okay to slow down. Why do I do it? Why do I allow it?

The only conclusion that I can come to is negative thoughts always follows the easier path. These are the thoughts that say it is okay to slow down, to take a longer recovery, or to cut the workout short. These are the thoughts that lie dormant in the recesses of my mind until awaken by the effects of the circumstances. These thoughts are the body and mind's way of coping with the conditions of the current behavior.

On the other hand, the positive thoughts are the ones that carry me to PRs in races over difficult hills or around curves of a track during workouts. Having confidence in myself and following the course of positive thinking always follows the more difficult path. Within this previous sentence, the explanation seems readily apparent to why I don't run PRs or have fantastic workout every time. Confidence and positive thinking requires real work and real effort. They require me to strive actively toward my goal.

More than one coach or mentor or teacher or expert has told their pupil that the most difficult test any of us will ever pass is the one that motivates us to positive action. Winning the battle of the mind will carry us miles down the road.


Sharing one thought at a time,


The Cool Down Runner



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

22 mile DuPont Waterfalls Trail Run

A few weeks ago, I was running with Stan and he shared that he was taking on this 22 mile trail run where they saw all of these waterfalls. The run sounded interesting and as the date grew closer, I kept mulling it over and finally decided – what the heck, let's do it.

Making life difficult is just how I live my life. The trail run is on a Saturday so I go and commit to a race on the Friday night before hand. The race is in Albemarle and it is at 7:30.

So not only am I committed to racing on Friday night, but I also agree to driving up Friday night so the next morning I can sleep a little later. In theory this all makes sense. In reality, things don't go quite as promised.

Well, I run the Tour De Elvis 5k, cool down, then jump in my car and drive back to Charlotte to meet Megan and Jamaar for the drive to Hendersonville. All along the way, the Stanly, Cabarrus, and Mecklenburg police are out in force making sure I keep my speed down. Add to it that every red light is working against me. Let's just say, it felt like an eternity driving back to Charlotte.

But at least the drive up to Hendersonville was enjoyable. Jamaar and Megan kept the conversation entertaining the entire way.

Somewhere near midnight, I finally settled into my hotel room and by 12:30 I was trying to go sleep. I set my alarm for 7:30 since we had agreed to meet the following morning at 8AM to head out to DuPoint State Park.

Low and behold, my phone starts

vibrating just after 6 AM. Jamaar cannot sleep and wants to hit the breakfast bar. Well, I am up now so I might as well tag along.

I am picking up an apple to eat. Jamaar's going for the biscuits and gravy. Doesn't he realize we are going 22 miles in a couple of hours? I hope he doesn't see it again. Man, he must have a cast iron stomach.

Back in room, I settle in for watching some Elite 11 documentary on ESPN and getting my stuff ready.

I finish dressing and packing. Then, I head down to meet Megan and Jamaar for the short drive to the park.

The weather was nice and the park was easy to find.

We saw Stan, Jinnie, and Mo who were also running the course.

Special note on packing here, I packed my two hand helds for the run. But when I pulled them out, I realized I forgot the tops. I felt like a total knuckle head. How can someone pack the bottles and not the caps? Wasn't I paying attention? Apparently, I wasn't.

But Jinnie came to my rescue with another larger hand held bottle. So I ended up being all set. With Cliff Shots and plenty of water what else did I need.

Oh, yeah, I needed a map.

Adam, one of the run organizers, provided maps and turn by turn directions for the run. He did an awesome job. Otherwise, I am almost certain that I

would still be out there running.

We start off and almost immediately we go up hill. Man, I am not ready for this terrain just yet. My legs are screaming and lungs don't like it. After a mile or so, my quads are burning and my breathing is labored to say the least. And, I still have 21 miles to go.

We break into this old fire road. Slowly my body is warming up and my systems are returning some level of normalcy.

After several miles of running, we come to this stream. I am looking for a way across. I didn't remember Stan saying anything about stream crossings. Maybe he left this detail out on purpose, but then, I should have guessed. If there are waterfalls, then there must be streams nearby. Luckily for me, I wore my Brooks Launch and Injinji Socks. With no other way to cross without getting wet, we waded into the water. Oh, it is cold and nearly up to my knees. I come out the other side and the water was draining from my shoes. Then, after maybe 10 minutes, I don't even notice it at all.

There would be a few other stream crossings. After the first, I was less hesitant to enter them. And, to be honest, the cold water started to feel pretty good.

We checked out the water falls, Jinnie and Stan took some pictures. We ran on trails, on fire roads, on gravel roads. We ran over different kinds of bridges including a covered bridge. We run up steep hills and down just as steep hills. We ran over one rocky section that pretty much slowed us to walking. Unless what we wanted was to break our necks.

I was sipping my water every 10 minutes and taking cliff shots every 30 minutes. I was a little worried that I would bonk on this section but I never did. In fact, I felt great. I was like a kid in a candy store. I was anxious to see what was around the next bend and over the next hill.

Megan, Mo, and I ran the entire way together. And it was Mo's navigation skills that helped us survive. More than once, she kept us on the right trail and away from getting lost. Kudos need to be given to her for doing this job.

The final miles were downhill and flat back into the parking lot. My Garmin read 22 miles which meant we probably ran a little longer but I felt great. In fact, I felt like I could have run a few more miles.

We talked to Adam for a few minutes and then he led us down to Hooker Falls. Jinnie and Stan were already taking advantage of the cool mountain water. Jinnie was swimming across the stream. I waded into the stream up to

my waist. The water was cold. I mean really cold. I looked over at Stan and his shoulders were shaking. But the cold water bath was worth it. My legs were tired but really felt awesome the next few days.

They do this run once each year so if you get a chance, go and do it. The trails are great and the water falls are awesome to see.

I hope to be back next year.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

5 x 1 mi with a quarter recovery

This weekend I threw an entry on Facebook to see who might be interested in 5 x 1 mile at Charlotte Christian this morning. Luck was on my side as both Steve and Mike were up for the challenge.

We met at Old Bell and headed up hill to the track.

Once we got to the track, we worked out the final details such as recovery time and starting location. Then, we were off.

Mike and I led out the first mile with Steve setting right behind us. I didn't feel great but didn't feel bad either. Those four laps seemed to take forever as I tried to bring my body up to normal operating conditions. Old engines need additional warm up time.

We clocked a very nice 5:47 for the first mile. As I held my Garmin up to the light so I could see the split. I wasn't sure if it was saying 5:47 or 6:47. It felt like 6:47 but sure enough, the display showed 5:47. Mentally, I was like "Wow". I didn't expect it.

The 2nd mile, Mike and Steve worked it pretty hard and I just tucked in behind. This was "way faster" than I have been running and I wanted to make sure I finished the entire workout. This time we crossed the line in 5:43. Even better was the thought resonating inside my head. Now, I just hoped that I could continue it for 3 more miles.

Steve led out the 3rd mile and for 3 laps kept the pace honest. Then, Mike came roaring by us and pulled the pace down for the 3rd mile to 5:39.

We were pretty close together on the 4th mile. This one seemed slow so I got the sense that they were gearing up for a really hard effort on the 5th mile. But when I clicked my lap split button, the time displayed as 5:35.

My legs were really starting to feel it now, but this is the time where you have to push through it.

We take off on the final mile. For the first two laps, the three of us are together. Then, on the 3rd lap the pace slowly picks up. I am holding my own, but clearly not running as fast as they are. The final lap starts and Mike's pressing on the gas. Steve's trying to stay close. I am thinking hold on and you will still run a decent split. Coming off the final turn, they open a gap on me but I am holding on as best as possible.

Mike runs about 5:29. I believe Steve was 5:30 and I came across in 5:33.

What can I say? This was a real solid workout. They were faster than me, but when I look at it, I am happy with my results. I ran faster than I expected and ran each interval faster than the previous one. When I left home this morning, this wasn't what I was expecting so I walked away from this workout with a great sense of accomplishment.

"Big Thanks" to Mike and Steve. Being honest with myself, I couldn't have run a workout like this one solo. Just having their accompaniment made all of the difference.

Afterwards, we cooled down. Steve headed back to his car. Mike and I caught up to Jay for a mile or so. Jay was making his final run in CLT before heading back NYC. Safe travels Jay.

Sharing one thought at a time,


The Cool Down Runner

Monday, August 20, 2012

2012 recap of the Tour De Elvis 5k

Life wouldn't be the same if I don't make my yearly pilgrimage to Albemarle, NC for the Tour De Elvis 5k. This would be my 3rd year running this race and I didn't know it when I left home, but I would be tested even before the race started.

The clouds to the west and north of Charlotte looked bad and the rain poured on me by time I reached 485. From there until I reached Albemarle, I couldn't run more than 40 mph hour and couldn't see more than 50 yards ahead. The rain was blotting out all visibility.

Finally, I pulled in to the race parking lot. No one was stirring from their cars as everyone was waiting out the rain.

The storm took some of the sting out of the high temperature but left the road soaked and the air feeling very muggy.

I circled the course as a warm up and then headed back to change shoes. Along the way, I saw Stan and Jinnie out warming up.

The course hasn't changed in 3 years. They still use a split starting line. Runners age 20 and under line up on one side. Runners over the age of 20 line up on the other side or at least this is how it appears to me.

Peter gives us some last minute instructions until his blow horn dies. Then, he yells the rest.

Finally, we are off and running. These two high school kids are out fast and I swing in behind them. We make a right turn and start heading up hill. I am trying to stay with them but my legs are not cooperating. They are slowly gapping me by the time we reach the Y building.

We make the loop around Webb field and start heading toward the finish. My breathing is okay but my legs are feeling so tired. I try to lift the pace but I get nothing. Not an ounce of feeling faster comes from them.

I make the right turn and head down the hill. Then, I make the right turn to the final straight

away. Out of the corner of my eye, I see this kid is close behind. Instinctively, my body tries to pick it up again. I pass the 3 mile mark. I don't have to look now. Something inside tells me that he is closing in on me. I can just feel it. People are yelling his name and people are yelling my name. I am trying to find another gear. I think I do, but then this long legged boy just screams by me. I could do
nothing about it. My legs were spinning as fast they were capable of going. He nips me by a second.

I finished in 17:45 and 4 overall which put me 1st in the 45-49 age.

I would have liked to run faster but who wouldn't want to run faster. But all in all, I am happy with the effort. Peter and his team always put on a great event and that's the major I make the drive over to Albemarle more often than another other place.

Dusk was starting to settle when I finished my 3 mile warm down. I saw Stan and Jinnie again and asked if they would pick up my award because I had to bolt. I had to drive back to Charlotte to meet up with Megan and Jamaar before heading to Hendersonville and a 22 mile trail run the next morning. Be patient, this is coming in another post.

By the way, big shot out to Stan for a sub-19 minute time and to Jinnie who took the "W".

The pictures are courtesy of Peter and his Vac @ Dash Crew. Appreciate you guys taking the pictures.

Sharing one thought at time,


The Cool Down Runner

Friday, August 17, 2012


Do we set barriers in our minds that prevent us from achieving our goals? I don't know. It is something that I feel personally like I struggle to get my hands around.

But first let me back up and explain what I mean.

Say for example that you are doing 10 x 400 and say you want to run these quarters in 90 seconds because either that's what you decided or what your coach told you that you needed to do. Then, you go to the track and run those quarters in roughly 90 seconds. You walked feeling probably one of the following ways: the workout was just right, the workout was too slow, or the workout was too fast. You feel one of these ways because 90 seconds was the barrier that you were working against.

Now, turn the thought process around. Instead of saying 10 x 400 in 90 seconds or even say 10 quarters, what if you went to the track and run just quarters. Yeah, the thought of no structure makes many runners nervous.

Without knowing the quantity and/or the quality of the workout, runners can get into trouble because they don't know how to judge their effort.

But isn't this why we race and in a race, yeah, you do know the distance and yeah, you can throttle the effort but if you want to beat your buddy, then the effort has to be that that gets set aside. You have to do what is necessary to stay close enough so you at least have a shot at passing him or her in the last mile.

I wonder if we ran more workouts without setting expectations i.e. barriers would this better prepare us for racing without barriers.

Granted, not everyone can work under these conditions. The less structure in the workout the more the duration and effort is left up to the athlete to determine and only the athlete knows that he or her is pushing into the zone that has the potential to make them better.

Why do I struggle with it? Well, if you look at my OBX training plan, you would see plenty of workouts on the schedule. But what you don't see is intensity. I wish could say that I am going to run this tempo at this distance in this time. Life for me just doesn't work that way. Therefore, I opt for saying I am going to run this workout. Then, I go by feel. If I am running solo, I am probably not getting the top in end of the workout. On the other hand, if say I am running with several other guys, I am probably getting into the right range. Part of this is just who I am. I am only going to hurt so much pushing solo. I'll probably hurt a little more running in a group just because of the peer pressure. But in race, I try to set it all aside and push to the limit. Otherwise, I personally feel like I am just wasting my time.

What you do with your training schedule is up to you. But thinking outside the box just might be the trick to getting that PR and passing that buddy near the end of race.


Just a little food for thought,


The Cool Down Runner

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2 Nathan’s Hand Helds

Recently, I talked about buying a Nathan's hand held water bottle so I could take some water with me on my longer runs. Well, this seemed to be working okay, so I bought a second Nathan's hand held bottle.

If one works, then why not try carrying two water bottles.

I am here to report that I am 50/50 split on the success of this effort. Yes, the extra water is nice and true; I am finishing my runs stronger now than when I was not taking any water.

But carrying this water hasn't come without its side effects.

One side effect in particular is causing me to struggle.

Here's the situation. I normally don't train while carrying something in my hands. Suddenly, I am doing most of my runs with either one or two 10 ounce bottles.

I am here to tell you that I feel like my shoulders are going to fall off. I would have thought it would be my biceps that would be suffering but no, the deltoid muscles are where I really feel it. After a run, both shoulders ache. Honestly, running shouldn't cause my shoulders to hurt should it?

I know that my body will become accustom to the extra weight. I just hope it is soon.


Sharing one thought at a time,

The Cool Down Runner



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

10 x 90 seconds – hill repeats

Over the weekend, Megan and I were talking about workouts for the coming week and settled on hill repeats extra early Tuesday morning. Then, she posted the workout options – 10 x 1 minute or 8 x 90 seconds. Little did she know that I went with a morphed variation of the two workout options – 10 x 90 seconds. Workouts should always be tougher and longer than expected

Fast forward to today, 4:01 AM came early this morning. By 4:35 I was driving across Charlotte to meet everyone at McAlpine. 5:30 AM came and we were off and running. Oh, by the way, Spada was a late entry but valued joiner for the workout. So Megan, Steve, Mike, and I did a little 4 mile warm up and then headed over to our hill just off the greenway in a nice quiet neighborhood.

The first repeat was ugly for me. My legs just didn't have any turnover in them. Steve and Mike were all over it going up the hill. Next came the repeats: 2, 3, 4, 5 and my legs were really feeling the ugliness of hill repeats.

Repeats 6, 7, 8, and 9 were more of the same. Steve was taking it out hard and Mike chasing him down by the top. With Repeat 10 Mike took it out harder with Steve chasing hard. Personally, my legs were not happy at all. I just felt really sluggish and tired. Go figure, should I expect anything else otherwise. After all, I am running as hard as possible up hill. How else should I expect my legs to feel? Definitely, they were not feeling fresh and frisky.

Early morning runs are always tough on me mentally but once daybreak arrives, my brain just seems to switch on.

Lastly, I have to give a big shout out the Steve, Mike, and Megan. I would never have ran that hard during a solo effort so thanks for the assist guys.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

Monday, August 13, 2012

Itusi Trail

Having lived in the Charlotte area for a number of years now, I have run many of the local trails on regular basis: Beatty, Ann Springs, Latta, White Water just to name a few.

I run these trails because they are within easy driving distance of my house. But sometimes, I need to get outside my comfort zone and run some other trails.

This past weekend, I ran the Itusi Trail at Lake Norman State park or as some people call it Duke Power State Park. This park is located between Mooresville and Troutman and is roughly about 30 minutes driving distance for me.

So last week, I talked Val and Megan into joining me.

We picked a start time of 7:30 and promptly found ourselves setting at the park entrance. For reason known only to the officials of the state park system, Lake Norman State park doesn't open until 8 AM. First note to self, check the park opening times before picking a park trail.

Hours aside, we rolled off a little after 8AM and had a great run. Itusi Trail is broken into two sections. The first section is about 6.5 miles and the 2nd section is about 6 miles. There's a little extra running on the roads to reach the 2nd section but nothing more than 100 to 150 yards each way.

There were a few little climbs but overall I found the trails to be better than Beatty.

We spent 3 hours and 20+ miles running on them. The trail was excellently maintained and markers were so plentiful that I never felt lost. Taking that thought a little further, getting lost would be rather difficult since all I needed to do was keep turning right and the trail would bring me right back to where I started.

For anyone looking for a little change of pace and wants to get in a nice run ,I definitely suggest the Lake Norman State park trails. And for those interested, there was a 3rd 6 mile trail that we didn't do because it required a little extra running on the roads to reach and we wanted to keep the miles around 20. This means on the next trip; we still have a new trail to check out.


Sharing one thought a time,

The Cool Down Runner

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

4 x 5 min with 3min recovery

My body is letting me know how tired it is as I set here typing this post. This morning I was up at 4 AM and headed toward McAlpine by 4:45. I met up with Adam, Aaron, Mike, and Megan for some warm up miles. Then, Mike, Megan, and I broke off for a little 4 x 5 minutes action.

For the first interval, we headed across Margret Wallace Rd. We would run the section along Harris Blvd first. Mike asked me where we were planning to start to which I replied at Margret Wallace.

So when we crossed the road, I yelled out that we were starting and took off. I figured I needed every advantage to keep Mike and Megan at bay. Since it was dark and Mike turned off his head lamp, I am not sure how much that it worked. We regrouped at the stairs and came back along Harris Blvd on the side walk. I did my best to stay close but on the 2nd hill, my legs finally balked and I had to let Mike slip away. The 3rd interval was back in the park. Crossing the bridge, I put a gap on him but when we hit the 5k course; he came roaring back by me. My legs were feeling totally wasted. Our final interval was heading back toward Old Bell. My legs were finally crying "uncle" at this point. I just didn't have the extra gear that I needed.

We finished it off with a nice mile and half cool down back to the Old Bell entrance.

This was not bad for a first round of up tempo work. All training cycles have to have a starting point. This one was good as any.

So now, I am looking forward to more of these workouts in the coming months. Gotta be ready for OBX.


Sharing one thought at a time,

The Cool Down Runner

Monday, August 6, 2012

Gatorade Series Energy Chews

Last week, I was in Harris Teeter picking up some stuff when I came across the "G"atorade Series Energy Chews. The "VIC" price was $1 so I thought I would give them a try. After all, I was planning a long 20 mile run over the weekend.

Okay, fast forward to Saturday morning, I am somewhere in the middle of the Sherman Branch trail running with Mike and Megan. Suddenly it feels like time for a little energy boost. I dig out my "G" Series energy chews and attempt to break-in into the plastic package. I use the term "break-in" on purpose because the darn package was extremely hard to get open. Well, given the circumstances which were me running along on a trail while trying to open this container. I guess I must have worked with the package for at least 1 mile and maybe more. Megan and Mike were probably laughing at me; I couldn't tell. I was still trying to get this darn thing open.

For whatever reason, the genius' at Gatorade decided to wrap the chews in 2 layers of plastic. Maybe if I had stopped, it would definitely have been an easier process. But I want my chews on the go. The guys at Gatorade should realize this was going to be the case. Anyway, I finally did unlock the fort Knox of wrapping paper and get out my 2 chews.

They were okay. I had the fruit punch flavor. There are 6 chews in the package and it weighs about 1 oz.

I guess before I use these chews again, I will make sure the package has been opened and easily accessible.

Learn something new every day.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

2nd 20 miler of the training cycle

You might not believe it but Marathon season is just around the corner. Most fall marathons take place in the months of October and November in the south east.

This means it is time to start pushing the long runs just a little longer. Unfortunately, we have not said good-by to the summer time temperature yet so 20 milers while the thermometer reads in the 90s can be rough.

This Saturday I was joined my Jamaar, Jinnie, Mike, Stan, and Megan for tour of the Sherman Branch Trail just off Albemarle Road. The leaves offer some protection from the shearing heat rays from the Sun. On the other hand, the trees can block the movement of the air so it can feel a little like running in an oven. Just saying and not that I have tried to run in side of an oven.

Jamaar, Jinnie, and Stan were the smart ones because they dropped off about ½ through the run. Mike, Megan, and I finished one complete look of Sherman Branch trail which is about 11.5 miles. I really don't know why listen to Mike anyway. He kept saying that we only had a mile to go. I don't know how he measures distance but it was one of the longest miles I think that I ever run. A refill of fluids and to drop Mike off, Megan and I went out for another 8.5 miles.

When I finished, my white running shoes were soaked and covered in trail dust. They looked more grey than white. But the trail dust didn't stop at my shoes; it extended right up my legs. I literally looked like I had rolled around in the dirt.

Maybe my only saving grace was my new Nathan's water bottle. Switching hands every 10 minutes and taking 2 sips of water at least made me feel some better. And then there is the adjustment period. When I finish a run with my water bottle, my arms are more tired from lugging along this water bottle. I just hope there is a trade off and it makes my arms stronger.


Sharing on thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gel-DS Trainers 17

I picked up a pair of Gel-DS Trainers just a few weeks ago. Sometime, one just needs to throw caution to the wind and try a new shoe. So far I have been wearing them during my 10 mile runs and hill workouts.

The wear is decent. The break-in period is quick. The strings want to come untied to easily. I have to double knot them. The insoles might be the very best part of them. Compared to other venders which use the thin foam insert, these DS Trainers come with a nice spongy insert. I wish the other shoe companies would follow the ASICS lead and provide better inserts.

This is the kind of thing that makes me just wonder about what people were thinking. They put so much time and energy into the development of the shoe design and uses what could termed the "cheapest type of inserts" in the shoe. The insert/insole is what the foot spends the most time interacting with so it would just make sense to me that the insert would have at least as much attention paid to it as the rest of the shoe.


Just sharing a few thoughts from the balcony.


The Cool Down Runner