Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bad case of the “Blahs”

So yesterday, I was working pretty much the entire day with my fingers constantly darting over my keyboard.

By the time that I looked up, it was evening and I still needed to go run.

Getting dressed and heading out the door, I could tell that I had a bad case of the “blahs”. You know the feeling. The one where I need to run 10 miles, but I could be just as happy with 1 mile.

I pushed off from my curb, and my legs just turned over with no apparent willingness to run.

Usually when I run my hill repeats, I run them toward the end of the workout so I can head directly home afterward. I was about 3 miles in yesterday, and I decided to go ahead and run them.

My legs didn’t feel all that bad while I charged up the hill so I repeated the process 7 more times.

With those repeats in the bag, my legs went right back to feeling the “blahs”.

I was trying to decide if I should break off the run or push on. Finally, I decided on just doing this neighborhood loop and see how I felt afterward. I could still break it off. It would be just 2 miles back to my house if I turned right or 4 miles if I turned left.

I am coming up to my decision point and still had not made a decision.

Finally, I decided to turn left. Shorting the run by 2 miles would not help all that much.

I made my way up the hill and hit the flat section of the run. As with most of my runs, l was letting my mind drift off to think about other things while I made my way back home.

Some where over the next 2 miles I realized that I was breathing a little harder. Not only was I breathing harder but I was running faster. I am still unsure about what clicked. I actually felt like running and running hard.

Strange how I can go from not even wanting to run to feeling good, smooth, and relaxed while running hard.

I wish I could explain it, but I cannot.

 

Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Overseas Chinese Athletics and Arts Federation 5k (OCCAAF)


I was nearing the 3 mile mark and topping a hill after a long climb. My fingers felt like they were frozen. Yet, the moment the rays of the early morning sun hit my hands, and they instantly felt better. I find it hard to believe that I just a few short weeks ago was yearning for colder temperatures.

Yes, colder temperatures, but no this cold. No October in recent member has had temperatures dipping into the low 30s.  

This morning I was in Stallings, NC running the OCCAAF 5k race. A while back Warren Zhong, the race director, contacted me about helping with his race. Later, he asked if I would hand out their post race awards which I readily agreed.

This is why I was Stallings, NC on a cold Saturday morning in October.

The course runs polar opposite of the Big South 5k. A gradual downhill or flat for the mile and half. Then, the course climbs back to the start at the Asian Market off Potter Rd.

Warren and his team plus the staff from Start 2 Finish did a really good job with this race. The course was well marked – each mile was marked. There were cones along the entire course with signs pointing to each turn.

The 10k racers headed off just after 7:30 AM. They would be making two loops of the 5k course. The 5k started 30 minutes later. We came to together for the start, and I did not know anyone.  I guess with so many races around Charlotte on this Saturday, I should have expected a smaller crowd but I would least expect to see someone that I knew.

Warren gives out some last minute encouragement and then the countdown. Finally, we are off. My fingers are already numb.

The road is not closed so I am careful to stay away from the traffic which seems to be pretty busy for this time of the morning.

I take a quick peek on a turn just the mile mark and do not see a soul behind me. I take a deep breath and focus on maintaining my pace.

Two miles passes. I am now running up this nice long hill. I make the right and I am back on a major road. The lead vehicle struggles to merge so I am on my own for short distance.

This is worse because I am running with the traffic rather than facing it. This always makes me a little nervous because people will tend to ride right behind me waiting for a good moment to pass.

My Garmin flashes up the 3 mile split. I see this guy running ahead of me. Looking into the sun, I am having trouble seeing.

As I get closer, I recognize the runner as Greg Shore.

Instantly, I want to catch him before the finish. Greg hears me coming. I am sure he was wondering if I was in the 10k or 5k. Luck was on his side today.  He surges, and I trail along right behind him all the way to the finish.

I finish and walk around for about 3 minutes. My breathing returns to normal and I feel like I can do it again.

 I headed off and run my three times one minutes. Then, I change my number and head over to the start so I can run the 1k race.

The start is a little messy. There are a lot of kids and adults in this race. We get this blurred start. I slowly build up my speed but Warren goes flying by me. I start chasing him and then encouraging him when I pass. I pass the lead guy just past the 1k turnaround.

The 1k was not as fast as I wanted, but I still enjoyed racing it.

Later at the awards, I handed out the medals to the 1k, 5k, and 10k award winners.

This was a first time event. Growing a race is a slow process. Warren and his crew plus S2F should be commended for their efforts. This race went from an idea in late August to reality on October 26th. This is nothing short of miraculous.

Warren was already talking about next year’s the race – possibly in September.

By the way, if you are in Stallings, NC, please check out the Asian Market just off Potter Rd. I took the tour. There is stuff in there that just is not in your normal Harris Teeter, Food Lion, or Walmart. The store is definitely worth the visit.

 

 Sharing one thought at a time,

The Cool Down Runner

 

  

Friday, October 25, 2013

Therapeutic Bedding

In September, I got an email from Charlie Engle. Yes, the one and the same Charlie Engle that ran through the Sahara plus many other numerous feats of human endurance including the Badwater Ultra early this year. Meredith, one of my TrySports Ambassador team mates, had shared my name with him. Charlie was looking for local athletes to try out this Therapeutic Bedding.  In all honesty, I never gave my sheets a second thought. I crawled in each night and would sooner or later drift off to sleep.

Charlie shared that pro cycling teams were using these sheets because they helped them recover better. Among work, running, and the numerous other things I have gotten myself involved; getting a good night sleep is mandatory for me.

Thus, I agreed.

For the last 5 weeks, I have been sleeping on these sheets. Two things often disturb my sleeping. I frequently toss and turn at night which prevents me from having the continuous RM sleep that I need. My other struggle is with feeling hot. I have no explanation for it but sometimes, I just have to kick the covers off. I have often thought it was something to do with my running and possibly overtraining.

The silky smoothness is one of the first thing that I noticed about the sheets. I am assuming because of the material make up, I also found that I was no longer kicking the covers off. I also was not tossing and turning as much which meant that I was not waking up as much during the night. Therefore, I was sleeping my soundly throughout the night.

For those runners struggling to sleep most nights, this is worth checking out. I have added some contact information below.



336 510 8086
 
Sharing one thought at time,
The Cool Down Runner

Thursday, October 24, 2013

8 x 2 minute hills

On Monday, I was up early and over at the Twin Lakes business park. The park contains a nice long fairly straight hill with a gradually climb. I have used the same hill in the past for shorter intervals. This would be the first 2 minute interval workout.

I like running in this park because they have nice wide roads. I can do my workout and pretty much do not have to concern myself with traffic issues.  Running to the business park covers about 3 miles if I take the direct route, or I can make a few detours and make it closer to six miles before arriving. This is what I did on Monday.

Even thou, I ran 24 miles on Sunday; I still felt like I had plenty of pop in my legs. At least through the majority of the intervals, my legs did start to feel it by the last couple of intervals.

Because I set a max mileage for each day, if I reach this set total before reaching my driveway, I make myself walk the reminder back to my house. Monday, I finished my mileage early and had to walk the last ½ mile back to my house. To be honest, I find that I like do this more and more. The walking gives my body a chance to return to normal and it helps flush off the lactic acid that would otherwise, just be setting in my legs. The result is that I feel so much better a few hours later.

 

Sharing one thought at a time,
The Cool Down Runner 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Biometric Screening


Each year my company gives me $25 dollars off my monthly insurance premium if I am willing to do their biometric screen program. They do not see the results of the test. The information is handled by a third party so only the third party company and I see the results.  This year they added something new. They asked me to sign an affidavit stating that I had not used any tobacco products in the last six months.

I have never used tobacco products so signing does not pose an issue for me. As for the screening program, it takes maybe 15 minutes to complete and I get to keep $300 dollars per year in my pay check. When I think about it, this is almost two pairs of running shoes. It is definitely worth the time.

However, I am not here to talk about the program itself. I am more interested in the results.

Weight – okay fully dressed, I topped out at 151 pounds which is pretty much in line with my weight checks on the Y’s scales.

My Body Mass Index (BMI) was 21.1. This drops me squarely in the normal range which is from 18.5 to 24.9.

What is BMI? Well, BMI is a measure of the human body shape based on an individual’s mass and height. The theory states that it allows physicians to discuss thickness or thinness in a more objective matter.

Like I said, 21.1 dropped me squarely in the normal range so I can only assume that I am good here.

My Cholesterol level was 150. 150 drops me in the “Desireable” range which is anything less than 200 mg/dL. Last year, if I remember correctly, my level was 147 so my diet must be pretty decent.

My HDL number was 56. Between 40 and 59 is average and 60 is excellent. Remember, HDL is the good cholesterol so the higher the number the better.

My TC/HDL Ratio was 2.7. This is used as an indicator for the risk of coronary artery disease. Any thing below 3.6 is considered low risk.

Next up is my glucose level. My value was 71 which is at the bottom half of the “normal” range. Below 70 mg/dL is considered “Low”.  This was based on 14 hours of “fasting”.  To a runner, “fasting” is not fun. I was plenty hungry.

My blood pressure was pretty much on the norm – 120 over 80.

They even measured my waist which was 31 – outside my clothes.

Possibly, the one stat that bothered me the most was the body fat measure. According, their measuring device I have a body fat of 16%. They measured it using an electronic device. Apparently, when I hold the handles to the device a weak signal is passed from one handle around through my body to the other handle. The speed at which the signal reaches the other handle is used to determine my body fat composition. The assumption being that the signal travels faster through lean muscle tissue.

Apparently, there are some things that throw off this reading such as exercising within 3 hours, sleeping within 3 hours, eating or drinking within 3 hours – including water.

Based on their scale, my 16% falls right in the middle of the 40-59 year old men which is from 11% to 21%. Maybe what got me the most was looking at the scale and seeing they listed “athletes” with a range of 6% to 13%. My 16% did not qualify me.

Maybe I will work on getting my body fat composition down to 13% by next year’s biometric screening.

 

Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Big South 5k


Driving out the parking lot this Saturday, I had to feel good about how this day started. I ran 17:01, finished 11 overall and first male masters’ runner. Our TrySports Ambassador team took home the Big South Team Championship for the 3rd year in a row with have a sub 17 minute team average.

Above and beyond most races that I do, TrySports puts a lot into this race so I believe it is important for our Ambassador team to make a strong showing each year. This year Richard Harries, Paul Mainwaring, Glen Carroll, Kelly Fillnow, Dalena Custer signed on with me to make up our team.

The race starts out uphill and continues this way for pretty much the first mile and half.  Running a lot of marathon miles can make it a bit discouraging when I drop down to the 5k. Paul, Richard, Dalena, and Kelly appeared to be sprinting up the hill while I was still trying to figure out where my first footsteps went.

I was a good half mile in to the race before I caught Kelly. I was well past the mile before I caught up to Dalena. But once I caught her, I could not shake her off. Richard was some 20 to the 30 yards ahead. In some dream world I would have had thoughts of running him down. However, once we hit the downhill section of the course he slowly pulled away.

I missed my first mile split but my Garmin flashed 11:11 at mile two. The last mile has a slight rise but is otherwise downhill or flat. I heard Pezz shouting encouragement at 2.5 miles. Then, I heard her shout out encourage to Dalena as well. This reminded me that she was right behind me.  

Last year, I ran every corner hard only to have Donny come flying by me at the finish. This year, I tried figure out a different solution. A “check” out of the corner of my eye told me that Dalena was right behind me.

I came off the last corner and was trying to shift up to my highest. Being older my shifting is not so good. Actually, I am pretty certain that I shifted down in gears rather than up. What I really know was that Dalena powers by me and finishes one second in front of me.

Well, at least I lost to a fellow TrySports team mate. We both ran hard the entire way and I ran my fastest 5k this year.

After the race, I headed off to my car to change shoes.

Then, it was across the street for my second workout. Following my 5k effort, I went on to do 4 x 2 minutes with 1 minute recovery. Funny, after running the 5k, these 2 minute intervals actually felt pretty easy.

My legs were a little shaky considering that there has been only 13 days since my Wine Glass Marathon. Also I noticed that it is far easier to concentrate for 17 minutes than having to concentrate for over 2 and half hours on running.

Having run this race now for three years in a row, I have become a huge fan of the “Big South 5k”. I hope to be back again next year and have another strong team to contend for a fourth straight team award.

 

Sharing on thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner   

 

 

  

 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Last week was slow


Last week was a slow week for me, and yes, I am not just talking about running. My marathon recovery is coming along nicely. There have been no major issues. I just have the normal sluggishness that accompanies the post marathon mileage.

A side from running, I have just been busy with other stuff. In the meantime, my writing has crawled to halt.

But I am back to day.

I thought I would throw out a quick thought on post marathon “blues”. I remember after my first marathon that I felt like I was down in the “dumps”. This just seemed to last for weeks. There was no real motivation to train at all. Physically, this is not a bad thing. Our bodies need recovery time and this means easy workouts.

However, mentally, it is like going to 60 mph to 0 mph. After months and months pounding workouts, there is just all this free time. I found it hard saying this but free time just leaves me bored.  I need to be actively doing something.

I always suggest that runners make post marathon plans. This does not mean racing in the days and weeks that follow, but we should all put something on the calendar. This gives us a reason to do some “active” recovery workouts.

Right now, my body is not ready for a “crunching” hard workout running. Therefore, I have been headed over to the Y for some spin classes. For 45 to 55 minutes, I get a good muscular/aerobic workout without the pounding from running. Not to mention, this gets me moving and around other people which helps keep those blues away.

For those running a marathon this weekend or in the coming weeks, now is the time to start thinking about your post marathon goals. It will keep the mind busy going into the marathon during the taper and busy afterwards prepping for the next big event.
Best of luck with your upcoming races.

 

Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

Friday, October 11, 2013

Active Recovery

With my marathon in the rear view mirror, my recovery now takes center stage. Thus far this week, I have run a very easy 7 miles each day and on Wednesday evening took a spin class.

Monday, my legs felt okay, but Tuesday, the Delayed On-set Muscle Soreness (DOMS) arrived in a big way. Yesterday, my legs felt better. The DOMS was starting to subside, but they still felt heavy and sluggish.

They will feel this way for the better part of two weeks. Then, slowly they will return to normal. Usually after two months I start to feel “normal” again.

I remember after my first marathon, I went right back to hard training. This quickly resulted in me being quickly injured. This was a lesson that I learned and promised never to repeat. Now each post marathon week gets just easy runs. If I do anything up tempo, it is in a non impact activity like cycling or swimming.

To date, it continues to work for me.

 

Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

Thursday, October 10, 2013

In race refueling

Since I went back to running marathons in ’08, I have been trying to find the right refueling strategy during my races.

At first, I was just drinking water leading up to the marathon and then taking 5 Power Gels over the course of a marathon plus drinking water at the aid stations.

From this approach, I exchanged the Power Gels for the Cliff Blocks for a few marathons.

At Wine Glass this past weekend, I shifted my approach again. During the days leading up to my race, I was constantly sipping from my Nunn Water Bottle. Even race morning, I had a bottle in my drop bag.

I also focused more on fueling better the two days prior to the race. Then, during the race, I took one Power Gel at two miles. From this point, I just took water and Gatorade every four miles during the race.

This approach seemed to work the best so far.

So what’s behind this searching, well it is a few things.

After most of my marathons, my stomach is destroyed. Usually, I need four to five hours before I can even think about eating. This is not a feeling that I enjoy.

A couple of pieces of information that I have learned during my research really stuck out to me. First, a Gel takes about 15 minutes to enter my system and takes about 30 minutes for full effect. Second, this 15 and 30 minute intervals seem to work better during low stress running.

I am finding the harder that I run, the less it breaks down. More often than not, I feel like is just sets on my stomach. Dump 4 to 5 gels on top of each other, and I am leaning toward this being the cause of my stomach woes.

I am also finding that I like taking the Gatorade during race much better. I feel like it settles much easy on my stomach during high stress running and has a better chance of entering my system.

With anything there is always a catch. I got lucky this past weekend. The Gatorade was made rather well. Therein lays the problem. Taking race provided fluids is “pot luck”. The Gatorade could have been near water or it could have been like syrup. I would never know it until I put the first drop in my mouth.

Everyone is different so what works for me may or may not work for someone else. I do feel that the level of effort being exerted during the race is a huge factor on what well my stomach can handle any fuel. I suspect that I am not alone and others fall into this same category.

 

 

Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Wine Glass Marathon

The memories are fresh from my Wine Glass Marathon on Sunday and I want to put my fingers to my key board very quickly. I need to capture my impression from the race before my memories begin to fade and I am left with just the bright spots.

In this post, I will break my recap into four parts: the weather, the race as whole, the course, and then how my race went.

The Weather:

I had specifically chosen the Wine Glass Marathon because of the weather. Corning NY, in early October has an average temperature of 40 degrees Ferinheight. My last two marathons OBX and Wrightsville Beach have been saunas. Starting temperate around 60 and only getting warmer. As the days drew near, I was watching the weather forecast closely. On race morning, it would be 61 degrees with humidity of 96%. This would be one of the warmest Wine Glass Marathons on record, and this is just the kind of thing that makes me just want to hang my head. All the work, all the time, all the energy, I was still left running on another warm muggy day.

Several times during the race, I would wipe my head and sling my hand away. The sweat would just drip from my fingers.

One of the few times, I actually felt good during the race; we would turn into a 15 mph head wind. This certainly didn’t make me run any faster, but at least, the wind made me feel better.

The Race:

After 30 years of holding this marathon, I guess they have things figure out. I took the 30 minute school bus ride from the finish line to the starting line. Then, I hung out in the buildings. They had chairs and tables setup along with food and drinks. If there was one drawback, it was the smell. The aroma of diesel fuel was quite strong. There were plenty of porta johns – “they were called ‘jeffs’”.  Water and Gatorade stops were every two miles and near the finish, they were every mile. They had two Gel stations on the course. The Volunteers were awesome and at virtually every intersection. The course was marked with flags at every mile and in 5k increments. They had 3 chip tracking stations along the course to capture in race splits.

If there is one drawback to the race, it is fan support. 95% of the race was run along deserted country roads with only the occasional horse or two for company.

One note about the in race splits, they were not on the 10k, ½ marathon, and 20 mile locations. All of the timing mats were a minute or more past the marked mile split.

The Course:

When I looked at the Wine Glass elevation map, I saw there were a few rises at 4, 6, 14, and 21 along the course that is predominately downhill.

The one at 4 miles is no more than 300 meters and I was over it before I even started to breath hard. The one at 6 mile is a little different. This one is a long gradual climb. I actually felt pretty good during this section on the climb. It is a lot like a “rails to trail” hill – long and gentle. This is the kind of hill that just burns ever so slightly on the quads. The hill at 14 is not long, but it kicks up quick. Somewhere between miles 17 to 18, we crossed over a set of railroad tracks. It is like running over a giant speed bump.

The hill at mile 21 is maybe a quarter mile. It is a little more than a gradual climb. One hill that does not show on the course profile is around 24 miles and after the bike path section. It leads up to a water station so there is some inspiration to push up it.

About the bike path, this path is a little worn and barely two feet wide. There were a lot of ½ marathoners on this section and they were walking two or three abreast.

Honestly, for all that a downhill course brings to the table; I didn’t enjoy them all that much. I never really felt comfortable on them. In fact, some of my fastest miles were not on the downhill sections but on the uphill sections.

My race:

My overall assessment of my race was of disappointment. I was disappointed in my effort and my time. I felt I was in shape to run around 2:43. Publicly, I told everyone 2:46 because 2:46 was a safe time that I thought I could achieve even with the worse conditions.

Having run both OBX and Wrightsville Beach on warm days, I was well aware of the weather effects on me.

Knowing I was about to run 26 miles and would in all likelihood not have a great day was tough mentally.

However, I was in Corning, NY and I was at the starting line, and I was not about to back down.

After the bus ride to the start, I was hanging out in the buildings getting ready. This girl sets down next to me. I make conversation by asking her about her race and her plans. I guess she was just looking for a kind soul to listen because for the next 20 minutes, I got the full history from her.

When I asked where she was from, she said the “The City”. I took this to mean from Corning. But maybe the quizzical look on my face prompted her to explain. Thus, I learned something new; I learned that the “The City” refers to New York City. Who knew? When someone asked where I originate, I typically say either North Carolina or Charlotte.

Time passes quickly, and I was soon headed for the starting line.

As we awaited the final countdown, a steady drizzle started to fall. Maybe the heat and humidity were not enough. Let’s add some more.

They count down to zero and we are told to “run”.

The course drops in the opening mile and there are a lot of people flying by me. I settle in and check my Garmin to adjust my pace.

The drizzle continues to fall, but actually feels pretty good. However, it doesn’t last long and by 3 miles it is gone.

I settle in running with these two other guys. Both of them wanted to run around 2:45, we form into a small pack and work together. We slowly picked off people one or two at a time.

On the long gradual hill around 8 miles, they both suddenly drop off the pace. Thus far, I had not felt that great. Really, I am feeling very lethargic which pretty much goes hand in hand with the temperature. I only seem to feel good when we are climbing uphill. Do not ask me why? I have no idea. I would have thought that it would be the opposite. I took my only gel at 2 miles so the rest of the way; I will be consuming both water and Gatorade. Knowing the race would be warm, I had practically attached myself to a bottle of Nunn for the last 2 days.

We run through a couple of small towns. Outside of these rare occasions for a distraction, I focus on two things: the 4 or 5 guys running in front of me and the flags marking every mile and every 5k interval. For some reason, I really looked forward to spotting each of those flags.

About 2 tenths after passing the 10k mark, we run over a timing mat. The same thing happens at the ½ marathon point. Although, I do not hear it beep when I cross it and it is well past the ½ marathon point marked on the road. Between miles 15 and 20 I reel in a several guys. One of them was wearing a Brook ID singlet. We are in different age groups so we start working together. He leads for a bit and then I take my turn. We continue swapping the effort back and forth for the next several miles. I believe it was around 20 miles, we catch the led women. At first, we are catching her slowly and the start making huge gains. We pass 22 miles. I keep checking my Garmin and wondering if my 2:43 is slipping away. My last 3 miles were 6:20, 6:26, and 6:22. I try to make a deal with myself. I do not have to run any faster, but I do have to hold the same pace.

I reach up for the umpteenth time to wipe the sweat from my head. I sling my hand away to rid it of the sweating lather. I am feeling tired now, but I am really starting to feel hot.

The Brooks Id guy throws in a surge. I try to respond but I suddenly feel like my right hamstring is about to balk. I instinctively ease back and let him go. I focus on trying to run tall so I am not putting any undue stress on my hamstrings. I feel it again. I continue to run tall and I also focus on my relaxation techniques.

I enter the bike path which is the only part of the course that I couldn’t preview. The path is paved but not in recently. It is rough and barely 2 feet wide. I call ahead to the half marathoners – asking them to make room for me. Finally, I am off the bike path but the road is crappy. Really, it is not that bad, but being tired and hot, I am easily frustrated. I am careful running down the hill heading for mile 24. I am still focused on running tall and using my relaxation techniques. I decide to push down the hill and hope my hamstring does not balk altogether. I have run the last 4 miles between 6:34 and 6:36. Coming to 25 miles, this guy tells me that I am running 9th and I can catch the guy front of me. I do see him, and I have been watching him for while. The distance between us is not decreasing. May be it is the fatigue that is starting to set-in. My quads and hip flexors really tighten up.  I ran past my hotel and made the right on to Bridge Street. At this point, two guys go flying by me. I try to respond but my tank is empty. I make the left on to Market Street. They are pulling away from me. I see the huge Wine Glass Banner in the distance. I glance at my Garmin and the realization settles on me that I am not going to break 2:45. In fact, I will not even break 2:46.

Coming to the finish my eyes were locked on to the finish line clock. Each stride and each tick of the clock are equally agonizing. I stopped my Garmin at the finish with a time of 2:46:19. I finished 11 overall and 3rd in the Masters Awards.
After I crossed the finish line, this woman hand me a bottle of water. I open it and drank the entire bottle. I then ask her for two more bottles and drank them. I then picked up my drop back and headed back to the hotel to clean up and then back to Charlotte.

 A little self introspection is good for the soul. I set the bar high for myself which then makes it easier for me to get down on myself when I do not meet those expectations. I know that I should focus on the things that I can control and just accept the things that I cannot. There is a problem with this concept. The line between logic and emotion is blurred. I hate using an excuse to justify a race performance.

 

Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

 

 

 

 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Just a little more to go.

On Friday, I headed out for my one of my final two up tempo workouts – a 4 mile tempo followed by 2 x 1 mile repeats on the road. Saturday, I followed things up with my final long run of 16 miles the next day.

After two weeks of reduced miles, my runs are starting to feel a little easier. Even with running hard on Friday and a long run on Saturday, my nine mile run on Sunday went pretty well.  I have my fingers crossed that this trend continues.

My mileage is pretty easy the rest of this week. I have my final up tempo workout on Wednesday, and I plan to throw in a few Tabata workouts – just to remind my legs what I expect them to do in just a few short days.

Otherwise, my plan is to rest, rest, and rest some more.

This is the kind of plan that I am pretty sure I can make work. LOL.

 

Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The weather

I wonder if my next marathon needs to be in Alaska so I may have a cool day. Part of the reason that I selected the Wine Glass marathon had to do with the average temperature being around 40 degrees. To a marathoner this is ideal. The temperature is chilly standing around but once running, the body comes up to an ideal working temperature.

For the last 10 days, I have been watching the weather forecast for Corning NY. First, the temperature was 47. This is not ideal but no bad. However, the temperature has been slowly rising. First, it came up to 52. Then, it was 57. Now, it is listed as 59 degree. By the time Sunday arrives, it will probably be in the mid 60s. With my luck, it will probably be warmer in Corning NY than it will be  here in Charlotte.

This exactly is happened in my last two marathons. OBX had been cool all week but the weekend saw the temperature head into the mid 60s once the sun came up. At Wrightsville Beach this spring, there were some great 40s and 50s during the lead up week. Race morning, the temperature was 61 before the sun came up. Once it did, it got warm and quick.

Thus, it is pretty obvious why I thought the temperature for Wine Glass would be perfect for me. Now, after months of training, I will face a warm and humid run which is not much different than running here in Charlotte.

This is why running a marathon is so difficult. Everything has to come together.

 

Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner