Picking up the tempo

September 1st, 2009

Today was another great afternoon to run.  It was a little warmer than yesterday but still very pleasant and low humidity.

I ran 10 miles with 4 miles at half marathon pace.  My splits were right on target, 8:05, 8:07, 8:02, 8:08.  Felt real good about the workout.  The last time I attempted a tempo run the temperature was in the 90s.  The 15 degrees really makes a difference.

A Great Ending

August 31st, 2009

August 31 is the end of the meteorological summer, but today felt more like Fall.  The humidity was low and with the wind from the North, it was a very pleasant 70 degrees. It was a great afternoon for a 5 mile recovery run.

Logged 192 miles this first month of training for the St. Jude Marathon.


August 30th, 2009

Friday Gayle and I moved Sara and Laura Anne into their dorm rooms.  This is Sara’s junior year and Laura Anne’s first year. Our nest is now officially empty and the house is quiet.  I knew this day was coming but I guess some things you are never really ready for.

On the running side of things, training is going good.

I am following a training plan that I created.  Since I am now a “certified” RRCA coach, I figured I need to be the gennie pig the first time around.

Currently, I am building my base miles and put in a total of 46 miles this past week.

Is it already August?

August 9th, 2009

It is hard to believe that it is already August and time for school to start.  It is also hard to believe that no one in my family will be in public school this year.  Sara and Laura move in the dorm the end of the month.

Did a few races this summer but mostly kept up my base mileage around 35 to 40 miles per week.  So, I feel that I have a decent base going into the fall.  But with the heat, it has been slow going.

Currently, the plan is to return Memphis in December and run the St. Jude’s Marathon.

Settling In for the Summer

June 14th, 2009

The recovery period is over from the last marathon.  I made it through the May races (GJCC Tri and Run4Kids 5K). So now it is time to settle in with the maintenance mileage of the summer.  The hard part right now is getting acclimated to the heat and humidity.

Had a solid week of training logging 37 miles.

Next up is the RC Cola and Moon Pie 10 miler this Saturday.

Looking to the Fall, this week I registered for the Middle Half in October and am making plans to go back to Memphis for the St. Jude Marathon in December.

Recovery is the Word

May 17th, 2009

I have been taking it easy as a far as running is concerned the past two weeks.  But when it occurred to me that the GJCC Tri on Memorial Day was fast approaching, I knew I could not rest for long.  I needed to spend some time in the pool and in the saddle.

This past week I rode once, made it to spin class once and was in the pool three times.

My mantra for the summer is to have fun and not worry about racing. But needless to say, I do want to be able to finish.  So, this past week on…

Sunday, Amy and I rode 12 miles.

Monday, I swam at lunch and ran 5 miles after work.

Tuesday, I made it to spin class.

Wednesday was a repeat of Monday.

Thursday was a rest day.

Friday, it was back to the pool and only 4 miles after work.

Saturday, I ran an easy 7 miles.

Flying Pig Marathon – Race Report

May 4th, 2009

or “Who Knew That Swine Flew?”

Late Friday morning Gayle and I headed North to Cincinnati.

DSC_0013 We stopped and ate lunch and rolled into town about 5:30.  It was not a bad drive from Nashville.

After checking into the hotel we headed off to find some place to eat supper downtown.

Woke up Saturday morning to a beautiful day.  We ate breakfast in the hotel and then headed across the street to the expo. I had promised to get the girls T-shirts that read, “ I’ll run a marathon when pigs fly”.

This race has the best swag of any that I have run.  They gave us technical shirts, posters and a messenger bag, not bad.

Once we finished at the expo, we headed off to get our bearings in the city.  We scoped out a place on the race course, about mile 5, that was two blocks from the hotel, where Gayle could go to take photos.  Then we headed to find the start and finish lines.

About mid-afternoon, Michele rolled into town and the three of us headed out to preview the course.  We picked it up about mile 5.  The two parts I really wanted to see was “the climb” and “the finish”.

The forecast for race day was a concern.  The weather folks were calling for light rain at the start and getting heaver as the morning progresses.

Met Michele in the lobby at 5:30 and we headed to the start.  It was raining lightly so we wore trash bags to keep dry.

We made our way to the 3:50 pacer in the coral.  Even though she said she was going to run negative splits.  She took off at the gun.

DSC_0004It was rather crowded for the first several miles as we crossed three bridges in a trip over to Kentucky and back. By mile five the pacer was long gone but we did see Gayle.

We started the climb at mile 6 and kept a reasonable pace to the top.

From there the course was rolling hills with several long ups and downs but by mile 15 we were running 8:47 miles with an average pace of 8:47.  I was feeling good but knew it was too early to celebrate.

At mile 18, I told Michele to take off to get her BQ.

By mile 20, my pace had slowed.  The hills had worked their magic and this pig was having trouble flying.

Mile 22 and 23 were tough but by mile 24 I was able to pick up the pace some.

I finally shuffled across the “finish swine” at 4:24:11.


Luckily, it stopped raining about mile 4, and the heavy rain never materialized.

The elevation chart on the web site is deceptive. They have smoothed it out. My Garmin makes it look more like the roller coaster that it is.

Flying Pig Marathon 5-3-2009, Elevation - Time

All in all it was a good race.  Gayle and I got to get away and it was great to see and run with Michele.

Here are my splits in all the gory details.

Mile Pace (min/mile) Speed (mph) Elevation
actual +/- avg actual +/- avg
1 9′ 13 -0′ 47 6.5 +0.5 – ft
2 8′ 42 -1′ 18 6.9 +0.9 – ft
3 8′ 40 -1′ 20 6.9 +0.9 – ft
4 8′ 25 -1′ 35 7.1 +1.1 – ft
5 8′ 48 -1′ 12 6.8 +0.8 – ft
6 8′ 40 -1′ 20 6.9 +0.9 – ft
7 9′ 13 -0′ 47 6.5 +0.5 – ft
8 9′ 03 -0′ 57 6.6 +0.6 – ft
9 8′ 42 -1′ 18 6.9 +0.9 – ft
10 8′ 35 -1′ 25 7.0 +1.0 – ft
11 8′ 37 -1′ 23 7.0 +1.0 – ft
12 8′ 42 -1′ 18 6.9 +0.9 – ft
13 8′ 42 -1′ 18 6.9 +0.9 – ft
14 8′ 44 -1′ 16 6.9 +0.9 – ft
15 8′ 48 -1′ 12 6.8 +0.8 – ft
16 9′ 01 -0′ 59 6.7 +0.7 – ft
17 8′ 55 -1′ 05 6.7 +0.7 – ft
18 9′ 16 -0′ 44 6.5 +0.5 – ft
19 9′ 26 -0′ 34 6.4 +0.4 – ft
20 9′ 45 -0′ 15 6.2 +0.2 – ft
21 11′ 07 +1′ 07 5.4 -0.6 – ft
22 11′ 19 +1′ 19 5.3 -0.7 – ft
23 13′ 40 +3′ 40 4.4 -1.6 – ft
24 15′ 57 +5′ 57 3.8 -2.2 – ft
25 14′ 53 +4′ 53 4.0 -2.0 – ft
26 14′ 01 +4′ 01 4.3 -1.7 – ft
end 10′ 31 +0′ 31 5.7 -0.3 – ft
Versus average of 10′ 00 min/mile

At the expo

May 2nd, 2009


Country Music Half Marathon – Race Report

April 26th, 2009

My original plan was to run this race as my last training run.  I would run it with Amy. Thereby guaranteeing I would not run it too fast.  When Amy decided not to run, I looked for plan B.

CMM_2009 Monday, I called my friend Keith and he said I could run with him.  I knew he would run faster that I wanted (under 2 hours) but I figured it would be a good training run even though it was a little late in the training for a tempo run.

Got up before the alarm went off at 3:30 Saturday morning.  Got ready and was parked at LP Field a little after 5. It was already warm.  I didn’t need any extra clothing to stay warm while I waited.

Caught the bus to Centennial Park. Todd and Jeff from the running group from my church were on the same bus. There was some trash talk that got a few laughs from the folks on the bus.  It doesn’t take much to get folks going at that hour of the morning.

Headed to the “tree house” at the park that Amy and I waited in last year.  There was no one there this year since there was not a need to stay dry. It was a good place to sit and relax.

MarathonMonkey_2It was a beautiful Spring morning with the temperature in the lower 60s.  The big discussion of the morning, though, was how hot it was going to get.  Since we have and a cool wet Spring, Saturday was the first 80 degree day.  Normally, that would not be a problem. But without any time to acclimate, it was a concern.

Found Keith and friends.  Keith’s brother-in-law, Chris, wanted to run with a money on his back. You can imagine the looks and the comments we got as we waited in the corals to start.

One of things I enjoy about this race is that is is such an event.  With 30,000 runners, the start is really something to see. Runners as far as you can see.


We all lined up in coral 5 and waited for the start.

The course was changed to include more of downtown but in doing so, they add several more hills.

Keith wanted to run under 2 hours. So I just stayed with him.

The first couple of miles were too fast for me but we began to get back to more realistic pace on the hills on miles 4 and 5.

Around mile 7, Keith said that he had a side stitch and need to walk for a bit.  He told me to go on and that he would catch up.  I was on my own, Plan C.

By this time we were heading up Belmont and the heat was kicking in. I seemed to set in around a 8:50 pace.  I didn’t push it.  Just ran what felt comfortable knowing that the real race is next weekend in Cincinnati.

When I got to where the half marathoner and the marathoner’s split, I was glad I was only doing the half this year.

As I headed toward the finish, I saw several folks cramping up.  About 200 yards from the finish line, one guy grabbed his hamstring and limped to the side of the road. I was glad I was finished, 1:57:56.

Here are the splits….

Mile Pace (min/mile) Speed (mph) Elevation
actual +/- avg actual +/- avg
1 8′ 54 -0′ 02 6.7 +0.0 -3 ft
2 8′ 29 -0′ 27 7.1 +0.3 -79 ft
3 8′ 54 -0′ 02 6.7 +0.0 +49 ft
4 9′ 09 +0′ 13 6.5 -0.2 +66 ft
5 9′ 19 +0′ 23 6.4 -0.3 +69 ft
6 8′ 47 -0′ 09 6.8 +0.1 -59 ft
7 9′ 03 +0′ 07 6.6 -0.1 +3 ft
8 9′ 02 +0′ 06 6.6 -0.1 +49 ft
9 8′ 43 -0′ 13 6.9 +0.2 -63 ft
10 8′ 44 -0′ 12 6.9 +0.1 -52 ft
11 8′ 55 -0′ 01 6.7 +0.0 -69 ft
12 9′ 12 +0′ 16 6.5 -0.2 +19 ft
13 8′ 45 -0′ 11 6.8 +0.1 -36 ft
end 8′ 24 -0′ 32 7.1 +0.4 -3 ft
Versus average of 8′ 56 min/mile

I waited around after the race for Keith. He finished about 5 minutes behind me.

Came home and took an ice bath to start the recovery for the Flying Pig Marathon next Sunday.

A friend at Church this morning who has run the Half several years made the comment that this year she felt like she was constantly running up hill. I agree.  I am stiffer today than I should be for only running 13 miles.  Hope the recovery is quick.

How Quickly Things Can Change

April 19th, 2009

Monday, I was thinking how good I felt. I didn’t have any aches or pains and felt rested. I was feeling good going into the taper weeks before the Country Music Half and the Flying Pig Marathon.

That changed on Tuesday.

By Tuesday evening, I had a sore throat and I knew what that was the forerunner of.

The rest of the week, I spent fighting off the “crud”. Hopefully, I’m over the hump.  So much for feeling good about the taper.

Sunday, I ran 9 miles with Amy.  She struggled but hung in there.  She still has not signed up for the Country Music Half.  I’ll be surprised if she does.  Her training has not been as consistent this year.

Monday, was interval day.  Ran 8 miles with 5 x 600m intervals at 5k pace.

Tuesday was a rest day.

Wednesday, I ran 4 miles with 6 x 100m strides.  I was dragging then but kept to the schedule.

Thursday was a rest day.

Friday’s schedule called for a “tune up” race but I just didn’t have it in me.  So I ran 6 miles with the goal to run under a 9 minute pace.  I did  it but it was a struggle.  Legs just felt tired.

Saturday morning I ran 15.  That is about all I can say.  The pace was slow but I put in the miles.  I came home and felt chilled even after a hot shower. I napped the rest of the morning.  Felt better after lunch, in fact, the best I felt  since the first of the week.

Sill have a cough but I hope I’m over the worst.

Here are the gory details….

Training for the week
Sun: 9 miles with Amy – 1:42:35, 11:24 pace
Mon: 8 miles w/5x600m  – 1:10:11, 8:46 pace
Tues: Rest
Wed: 4.15 miles – 37:23, 9:00 pace
Thur: Rest
Fri: 6 miles – 53:28, 8:54 pace
Sat: 15 miles – 2:28:36, 9:54 pace

Total for the week: 42 miles