Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Run For Your Life Summer Track Meet 5/30/17

The start of summer track in the Charlotte area officially kicks off the beginning of summer for our runnning community. If you didn’t know this, then you already missed the first night. Yesterday, Run for Your Life held their first “All Comers” track series meet last night at Myers Park High School.

Registration opened at 5:30, and events kicked off at 6:15 with the 50 and 100 meter runs. 6 minute+ milers raced around 6:40 PM with the sub 6 minute guys going off 6:50. James ran a sub 4:30 open mile. His legs were a blur coming off the last turn and heading down the final straightaway.

The 4 x 100 is always a special event and draws teams from all age groups. This event especially pulls in my attention because unlike most events in track and field, the relay events provide a team aspect to running. Seeing a group of runners work as a cohesive unit to transfer the baton around the track creates a lot excitement.

After a couple heats of the relay, the 400, 800, and 200 heats ran. Ending the evening was the 3200 meter run.  Here, three lead runners making a mad dash for the line. Great seeing the next generation of runners out on a Tuesday night showing off their running abilities.  

More information about Run for Your Life’s Summer Track series is available here.

As a heads up, kids run the untimed events for free. For just $10 and $7 students, you can run any or all of the events.

Kudos to Tim for sharing his equipment for the series and to Tom for being the meet director. They have been doing this for many years now, and our running community hopes to have their continued participation for many years to come.  

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

30 Second Fatigue Buster

During the later part of my long runs, I often feel the grind of the miles. My legs have pounded their way through the half point, and now, all they want is for me to be done with yet another long run.

As one would expect, mentally, this is the toughest part. The near constant signals from my body to my mind urging me to slow down.  

The question is – do I give in to the pain or do I push through it?

My age old approach is to push through it. Show the mental toughness that it takes by dragging my body along to the finish line. We all respect and honor this kind of toughness. Right?  

Lately, I have been adopting a different approach.  By playing some mental games, I shift my way of thinking during the latter half of these runs.

Here’s how I do it. Once I hit the half way point, I start listening for my Garmin auto lap to chime at each mile split. And, on the chime, instead of continuing to slug along at the same pace, I throw in a 30 second surge. I am not talking about an all out sprint here. Let’s not go crazy. This is a long run after all.

I am suggesting more of a 30 second stride. Think along the lines of a prerace strider. Any pace that raises my running cadence above my current running pace seems to not only work but after the surge, returning to my previous pace now feels easier.

Using this strategy over my last few long runs, I have found that those late miles don’t feel nearly hard. Another side effect, I am running faster than I was prior to using this strategy.

Try it, and see how it works for you. Running can be 90% mental and 10% physical. The less I let my mind think about my fatigue, the better off that I am.


The Cool Down Runner




Monday, May 15, 2017

Absorbine Jr

Growing up, Absorbine Jr was one the commercials that I remember clearly. No explanation as to why I remember it, but I do. At the time, understanding the need for it probably wasn’t important. After playing, working, whatever I did, rarely was I ever sore.

Fast forward a few years, ok, fast forward a lot years, the understanding finally hits home. Over the weekend, I spent quite a bit of time digging up my yard to move to some plants around. You understand. Right? Once you buy a house, you work on it for the rest of your life.

Anyway, most of Saturday was spent digging, cutting, hauling, and covering. Sunday, my shoulders had that nagging feeling of soreness. Today, DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) has fully set in.  Rolling my shoulders just reminds me that I am not 20 anymore.

Which brings me back to the Absorbine Jr commercial, hitting up WalGreens later today for a bottle sounds like a good idea.

Oh, my aching shoulders. LOL


The Cool Down Runner

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Beach Blast 5k, Albemarle, NC

Having run the Beach Blast several times, I know exactly what I am facing. A tough course, a well mark course, plenty of water stops, plenty of police presence on the roads to keep the traffic at bay, and of course, some great post race food and activities. Again, this year, the Uwharrie Running Club and Vac & Dash did nothing to disappoint.

At 8 AM sharp, we rolled off the line under overcast and cool conditions. The late night storm brought down the temperature. This year’s Beach Blast race the coolest that I remember.

The first ½ mile brought out a fast and furious charge from the 15 and under age group. Then, the older and a little wiser of us began to make their presence felt.

By the mile, there was a small gap between myself and the second place runners. By the turn at the top of the hill, the distance had grown quite bit.

At each of the turns, I kept a constant vidual on this gap. Topping the last hill, I made for the finish line in 18:30.

This was my 3rd Beach Blast 5k win, and I have the gourds to prove to it. They are one of my prized awards.

Love going over the Albemarle for their races, they always make me feel welcome.


The Cool Down Runner



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Red Run 8k, Huntersville Race Recap

The itch to race again reared its head and sent me in search of a local race. Popping up first on my list was the Red Run 8k in Huntersville. Actually, the race is held in the Huntersville Business Park which is a scant 5 miles from my home. Making it even better, this race was an 8k.

My favor race distance is 10 miles but a close second is the 8k. They are hard to find so when I spotted this one and given the close proximity to my home, I signed right up.

Fast forward to Saturday morning, the weather was cool for May – very cool indeed.

As we stood waiting the final minutes before the start, a slight drizzle settled over the area along with a stiff wind out of the west.

The 8k race had a small field with most runners and walkers opting for the 4k distance.

If you are not familiar with the Huntersville Business Park, the lay of the land is pretty much on the side of a hill. Either you are running up or you are running down hill. Given the direction, you can have a lot more uphill than down.

Maybe this was the thinking of the race director because we ran course in the direction that had us going uphill for 3 miles and then downhill for 2 hills. The saving grace is the last mile is mainly downhill.

Within a few hundred yards of the start I found myself taking the lead.

Uphill, the mile mark appears in the distance but seems to take forever to reach. Luckily, I crest over just afterward and am rewarded with a long downhill to recover my breathing.

Then, back up the hill a second time but as I near the top, the coarse turns right on to Vanstory. After a short downhill, I am climbing yet again. Both miles 3 and 4 are all up hill.   

Passing the 4 mile point, the course turns downhill. I urge my legs to turn over faster. They resist my mental suggestions. Two miles of climbing have left them numb to my request.

Rounding the final bend in the road, the finish line comes in to sight. Glancing at my Garmin, I see a 28 something. Again, I urge my legs to move faster. I pump my arms in hopes that this helps.

Crossing the finish line, my 29:15 time was far better than expected. May be all those uphill ¼ mile repeats are finally paying off.

All, in all, this was a pretty decent little race. Kudos go to the group for organizing this one.

Staying with my 2 races per month game plan, where will I show up next. There are 3 more weeks in May.  


The Cool Down Runner