Friday, March 30, 2012

Running With Payne

This story goes back a few months. In early Feb I headed out to watch some of our fellow CRC members do the Charlotte Ultra 50k and 10k runs on the Mallard Creek Greenway.

Well, after I finished up my run before the race and was heading back to my car to change, there was this guy a car over getting ready. Of course, I asked if he was running and we talked about the weather. He told me does Ultra runs and was happy to find this one here in Charlotte, NC.

Well, one thing lead to another he tells me about his running across America. Now, it isn't every day you get into a conversation with another runner and they say that they have run across America. Needless to say, I was probably a little skeptical at that moment, but hopefully, I didn't show it.

Our conversation continued and he reaches into this car and pulls out this book. The title is "Running With Payne" in which he told me that he chronicles his journey across the US. I took the book, thanked him for it, and vowed to read it.

True to my word, over the past couple of months I have been reading it.

That runner's name was Randy Ellis and his book is an interesting read. His journey goes from Santa Monica Beach, CA to Myrtle Beach, SC. and for a major portion of the run he follows the old route 66 road. I don't want to give away everything in his book because I think everyone should read it, but I will say that throughout the book he talks about his reasons for running, the people he meets, and the things that he sees along the way. I found myself doubled over laughing at some of the stories in his book.

If you are interested in finding our more about Randy's Trans America Adventure, click here.


 

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The Cool Down Runner

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

15 min Ez, 45 min @7min, 15 min Ez

Megan's getting a new training plan so last night she asked if I would join her for her workout. This morning we started off with 15 minutes of pretty easy running. Then, we followed it with what was projected to be 45 minutes with a pace between 7 and 7:20. The last 15 minutes was a little over since we had to get back to our starting point.

Not sure, but I think my legs were not ready for it. The first 15 felt okay enough. But the 45 minute portion was not as easy as I would have liked. Now we were not exactly doing 7 to 7:20. More like, we were doing 6:45 to 6:50. I was not really winded but I can tell my legs were just not enjoying it. My legs just felt lethargic. But once we eased back a bit during the cool down, they felt much better.

Really, I shouldn't be too surprised. Yesterday, we knocked out 18 miles so I was definitely running on some tired legs. When I look at it from that perspective, it does make me feel better.

I always feel better when there is an explainable reason for dragging during a workout. It is when I am dragging and I shouldn't be that it bothers me.


 

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The Cool Down Runner

Monday, March 26, 2012

Run the Ridge 5k – Race Recap

I have laboring along for seven weeks now and haven't stepped anywhere near a race. Part of the reason I just didn't think my hamstring would handle it and the other part; I just didn't want to run a race where I was just going through the motions. By this I mean racing but not being able to run hard.

Finally Saturday morning I bit the bullet to use a lame expression and toed the line at the Run the Ridge 5k.

The race started at 8AM and I got there at 7AM yet none of the race officials had arrived. On top it, the skies looked too threatening. They could potentially open up at any second.

After some warm up miles, the runners were being called to the starting line. The rain starts coming down. It was very light at first, but was steadily getting heavier. My shoes and socks appeared to be sponges for every drop that hit me.

We get some last minute instructions. In the back of my mind, I hope the course is well marked because I have no idea where we are going.

The gun sounds and we launch off the line. Well, most of the younger runners launched off the line. I was felt like I was stuck in cement. The skies now totally open up. I catch up to Nick and Roark who I am assume run for Marvin Ridge High School. They were getting a lot of cheers from their classmates along the course. This was especially true at the turn around where the race's only water stop was located.

I really want to give these volunteers major props. The rain was really coming down and they were still out there showing us where to go and trying to hand us cups of water. And, did I forget to mention, it was thundering and lightening during the race. There is nothing like a little lightening to help quicken the pace.

Nick and I were running side by side to the turnaround where he jumped out a couple of steps. I think he was empowered by his classmates.

We had a nice little climb back to Crane Rd and then it was back to the school. Once we made the right on Crane, I could feel a gap opening. From there it was just run hard back to the school. The feeling was really nice to hit the track and be running hard.

Going into the race, my goal was 17:59. A good hard effort and see how the hamstring handles the stress.

The first mile was a really sluggish 5:51. The 2nd and 3rd miles felt better 5:36 and 5:35. I crossed the finish line with a time of 17:43.

This was the first time that I have run mile with a 5 on the front of it in nearly 6 months and the first time that I have been on a certified course under 18 minutes since Greek Fest last fall.

My legs by no means felt great. They didn't really like the intensity going through them and were sore the next day.

My best take-a-way is that I felt like I have more in the tank and I am crossing fingers that I found a way to pull it out in the coming months.


 

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The Cool Down Runner

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

St. Patrick’s Day Run


Once again this year, Eimear invited me down for their St. Patrick's Day 4.6 mile run and once again, I accepted.
As luck would have it the day arrived hot and muggy for a spring day and my training plan would call for a long run.
So come 5pm, I headed down the Central Y and then off running. I met up with Eimear the rest of the crew behind the Charlotte Running Company where the run always starts.
I chatted for a few minutes with Paul and April. We took some pictures and then headed off.
Eimear quickly jumped out front and was making fast work of the pace. We worked our way through the first mile and started the 2nd mile. Alyson took over leading our merry band of runners with Anthony, Jon, and myself tucked in. I might add that Jon takes 1 step for every 2 that I take or just about anyone takes. Being tall can have its advantages.
We started churning up hill and I did my best to pull us up the hill. Then, they would come flying pass by me on the downhill. In full disclosure, I was working on miles 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 during this little jaunt so I was anything but frisky. The same pattern continued – me pulling us up hill and them passing me going down. And at the same time we were all talking and having a good time.
We came down the last hill by Freedom Park and this is where we would start the final climb back the finish. I took up the challenge of the uphill pacing with Jon following close behind. I fully expected him to go flashing by at any moment.
Instead, I crossed the line in 31:40 to Jon's 31:42. This turned out to be an awesome day and it was nice to go hang out with some others for run. New people mean new stories to listen to while we pass the miles.
Unfortunately, my long run beckoned me onward with two final easy miles back to the Y so I couldn't stay and hang out afterwards. I was really disappointed not being able to stay.
To Eimear, I do appreciate the invite and to everyone else, it was very nice meeting you.
Here are the results from our little run.
Bill Shires 31:40
Jon: 31:42
Alyson: 31:59
Anthony: 32:09
Paul: 32:56
Bryan/MC: 33:04
Eimear: 34:37
Susi: 38:42
Jeri: 39:32
Stephen: 42:05
Christina: 43:09
Amy: 43:13
April: 43:17

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Brooks Launch Shoe Review

The Brooks Launch running shoe has gotten some really good accolades. For example, Runners World gave it the "Best Debut" award last year.

But no, that wasn't what prompted me to try it; it was a conversation that Jinnie from TrySports was having with a customer. Sorry, and yes, I was ease dropping, because all information is valuable in the right hands.

The customer was looking for more fore foot cushioning and Jinnie recommended the Brooks Launch.

Along the same lines, I like a shoe with lots of fore foot cushioning but doesn't come loaded down with the extra weight.

The Brooks Launch shoe weighs in at a nice 9.3 oz but probably like 10.5 for my size 12. The upper is made of a mesh material which doesn't restrict the roll of the foot as it hits the ground.

Mostly, I use it for my 10 mile recovery runs and so far, I liked it. For the weigh, the shoe gives me some excellent fore foot cushioning. My legs and feet feel good running in them which for any runner this is a plus.

For the runner that is looking for a little more cushioning in the fore foot without the weight, stop by TrySports and have Jinnie fix you up.

Here's additional info on them

One of Brooks more minimal shoes:
• Midsole Height: Heel (22 mm), Forefoot (10 mm)
• Outsole Height: Heel (3 mm), Forefoot (5.5 mm)
• Heel-to-Toe Offset: 9.5 mm
• Tooling Height: Heel (25 mm), Forefoot (15.5 mm)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More up tempo work

Another morning was spent trying to kick up some dust at McAlpine. However, the dust cloud is just as not prevalent as it once was. But it doesn't stop me from trying.

We warmed up with a few miles and then started the workout from Old Bell and went all the way down to the first mile point of the 5k course. There we turned around and headed back.

The workout went reasonably well. We alternated 400s and 800s with a 400 recovery between each. The entire workout covered 6 miles with 3 miles of it very up tempo.

Effortwise, I feel like I was running about 75%. For whatever the reason, I just don't feel like I can really lean on the hamstring just yet. Definitely in later stages of a workout, I can really start to feel the hamstring give way. But things continue to go in a positive direction because there seems to be a difference than where I was running 4 to 6 weeks ago.

I have another up tempo workout on Sunday morning so will see what happens.


 

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tuesday’s up tempo workout

Tuesday morning, I was out at Mc Alpine for my up tempo workout of the week. Nothing too hard or long was on the agenda.

I just wanted to do 6 x 600 and 2 x 2 miles.

I started with 2 x 600 around Lake Mc Alpine and hoped it would get my motor running. I am a notorious slow starter.

Then, I ran the first 2 miles along the 5k course: 6:23 and 6:17.

Back to the loop around the lake I had to complete 2 more 600s.

Finally, it was the last 2 miles again along the 5k course: 6:17 and 6:14.

I finished things off with 2 more 600 repeats around the lake.

My total mileage for the day rounded off to about 14 miles. I was tired but felt like I still had something left in the tank. My hamstring and glut still don't like these up tempo workouts but at least they are not complaining too loudly that I cannot run the next day.

I was really glad that I have this one in the books. Shows that I have some promise for a bright future later in the year.


 

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The Cool Down Runner

Monday, March 5, 2012

Crunching the numbers

End of the month means working the emails hard and crunching the numbers. That's what I have been doing the last couple of days.

On the first, the Mile Program reminder email went out and I have been working the replies ever since. Most people are pretty good about getting back to me. Some even get some extra "props" from me for getting their Feb. miles in before I even sent the reminder email.

So once the emails traffic slowed over the weekend, I turned my attention to gathering the list from Athleticore for the CRC members. Pretty easy for me to pull the list, but not so easy merging it into my existing mileage program list. After the fact, I realized that I should have done it differently. At this point, it is too late, and I kind of stuck with the manual merging up the monthly totals until I figure out a better "mouse trap". Mind you, I am not complaining, but just saying it like it is.

Well, I expect a few more mile totals to trickle in over the next few days. Then, I will send it over to Caitlin for posting in the March CRC news letter. The Feb. numbers have already been posted to the CRC blog.

The work is not over just yet because there are some race results to pull from the 3/1. But no worries, I will have them pulled, processed, and sent to Caitlin later this week.

Then there is the top 15 thing that Aaron has been chomping at the bit in the background for me to do. The man's enthusiasm knows no bounds. I saw where he came up with this subjective evaluation of the ladies talent around Charlotte and posted it on his blog. Who knew Aaron even had a blog.

Well, I am not the subjective type so any evaluation that I do will have some numbers around it. I'm not quite sure what it will be just yet, but I have some ideas on how to match up times across different distances. But I need a good 3 or 4 days to get the data necessary together to create the rankings. It might be one of those things that will just take until the end of the month.

The primary reason is I have been looking at creating some running related mobile apps for my Android phone. I just need to set down and get 8 to 10 hours of uninterrupted time. Problem is, it just hasn't happened. I hope to do so before the next CRC board meeting but we will see. Life has a way of messing with the best of plans.


 

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Friday, March 2, 2012

The Bike

Yesterday was such a beautiful day that I brushed the dirt, dust, and cob webs off of my mtn. bike and went for a ride. Riding time, it was not long – only 4 miles, but it was nice to settle into the seat and feel the warm wind whistling by my ears.

I hadn't been on a bike since the last of September '11. Making it seem like an eternity.

There is no chance that I am going to leap back into full time riding. I would like to do one or two rides per week and work myself up to say 25 to 35 mile rides.

TrySports starts their evening group rides in April and I want to be ready to venture over.


 

Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner