Country Music Half Marathon… Away we go!

And away we go!

I’m a bit nervous.

13.1 miles.  I’ve run that distance many times before, but this is just the third time in a race (one half marathon and one marathon).

I am looking forward to the race.  TJ and I will run together.  We talked about pace last night.  From what I understand the course has a lot of uphills the first half and a lot of downhills the last quarter.  RS will run also, but he will be in a different coral.  Too bad as it would be great for us all to run together.  However I’ve trained quite a bit for this race and RS is just starting to get back into running.  He will be at the 2:20 time and TJ and I will be at the 1:45 (as that was my last time in a half).

What do I want from this race?  I’m glad you asked. 🙂

I want to beat 1:44, which is my only half marathon so far.  To be honest, that was an awesome race for me.  To this day, I don’t know how I pulled out a 7:58 pace.  I’m not going to cry if I miss my PR, but I would like one after all my mountain runs and my training to get back into running.  It was a long and hard climb back from my marathon.  I think I went about 4 or 5 months in the 30 -40 mile range because of injuries.  Yesterday I broke 100 miles for this month which makes me feel a bit better.

So here we go.  We leave today at 12:00.  We will go directly to the expo and hope to be there around 3:00ish.  After that, we will check out the course, and then check into our hotel, about 8 miles from the starting line.

Our race starts at 7:00… It is supposed to be 50 degrees at race time and get into the mid 60s by 9:00.  All in a all, it should be a great day for a race.  Cool, low humidity.  No clouds.  Just fun.

@BigBigGeek and @David_topping will be running also.  TJ mentioned that there will be a place to meet up with family and friends and the sections are done by the alphabet.  Maybe we can all met under the letter Q?  I figure that will be the least crowded – of course maybe everyone will think that way.

Have an awesome weekend and I’ll try and post my time as soon as I can after the race!

Off to eat some bagels.

Tom

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Runner’s World book and tapering!

So I have a few subjects to write about…

I have never gone this long without writing on this blog.  Mainly I have been a bit worn out lately and it has been all I could do to run and watch the Boston Marathon (not disappointing).  I consider this a “blog taper”.  Sometimes I guess everyone needs to slow down and let the muscles recharge, whether the muscle is a leg or a brain.

Saturday is the Country Music Marathon in Nashville.  TJ, RS and I will all run the half and – for the most part – I am looking forward to it.  I have never run in a race with more then about 5,000 people, so going to one that is 5x that, should be… well… interesting.

We leave tomorrow at lunch, go to the expo, go to the hotel, get up at 4:00AM, get to the race at 5:30AM, and hope to be ready for the 7:00AM start.  Of course there are 40 corals, so we may not get going until 8:00, but it will give us time to prepare mentally.

On to my book article.  I mentioned last Saturday in my last post that I am in a Runner’s World book.  Actually they put me in two books, the other is called, “Runner’s World Training Journal for Beginners”.

I am putting up a scan of my section of the book.  I hope Runner’s World doesn’t mind, but if they read my blog and ask me to take it down, I will.  The chances of either are slim, but if I can be published in a Runner’s World book, then I guess anything can happen.  The book looks really great and is a great resource.  Here is the Amazon link if you are interested: http://www.amazon.com/Runners-World-Book-Running-Beginners/dp/1609615379

So here is my section.  Thanks for reading and for following my blog!

Tom

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A mountain run with no water

I made it.  I ran the mountain twice in a row.  1.5 miles to the mountain, 2 miles up, 2 miles down, 2 miles up, 2 miles down and 1.5 miles back to the car.

That was a run!

A couple things.  At the end, my legs felt like I had run a marathon.  In fact I actually hit a wall with just about a mile left to go.  I was shot and could barely seem to lift one leg in front of the other.

All in all it went well, with one HUGE exception.

Hydration.

I didn’t.  I didn’t drink much on Saturday.  I didn’t drink any water on Sunday before my run.  This wasn’t on purpose, I just forgot.  I also didn’t take anything with me on the run and there are no water fountains except near my car.

Not good.

I debated stopping after my first time up the mountain, but this would be the only time I could get this run in and it would be 13 miles which seems to be to be close to half marathon distance. 🙂  (My half is in 2 weeks, so next Sunday I’ll just run my normal run.)

I debated running back to the car, but that would add another 1.5 miles on to my run and I honestly wasn’t up for a 14.5 mile run.

So I just ran.

It went well other then my freaking out.  I didn’t want to overdue it.  I didn’t want heat exhaustion.  If I could just find some water.  I prayed, “Lord, if you could use a raven to bring Elijah food, could you please get me some water”.

The top of the mountain, the second  time up, I saw two women looking at a map of the park.  They had WATER in their backpacks.  Now, I am very aware that a guy, covered in salt from dried sweat is probably not going to be well received by a couple of women minding their own business.  I was a bit desperate.  I went up to them and asked nicely if they had any water I could drink.  One looked at me and said, “Do you know where you are?”  I thought, “Do I look that disoriented?”  I replied, “Yes, I run up here a lot”.  She said, “Great, because we are lost”.

So I told them how to get to the falls and they shared about a half a cup of water with me.

Then it was back down the mountain and to my car.

The last 1.5 miles were brutal.  It had gotten near 80 outside and my legs were shot.  I had almost nothing to give, but I refused to stop running (If you can call a 11:00 pace running).  I thought, “If I can run 13 miles up and down a mountain, I can handle a hilly half marathon in Nashville.”

I finally got to the water fountain and drank for about a minute.  I poured water on my had so it would keep my head cool and then ran the last half mile to the car.

13.1 miles in just over 2:09.  Not bad for 1200 feet elevation and in my old PureFlow’s.

Then I saw it!  The Gatorade machine.  It was like an oasis.  I got money out of my car, and filled it with quarters.  I pressed the button… and nothing happened.  I pressed all the drink buttons… Nothing happened.  It was a mirage.  On top of that, it took my money. 😦

I can’t complain.  I’m glad I made it back and I had 2 waters in the car.  I’m sore today, but it is a good sore.  I feel like I accomplished something big and I was satisfied that I gave it all I could.

Next time I’ll hydrate!!!

Tom

6 miles a day

6 miles a day…  That is my new run.

In order to make this easier for me psychologically, I kept my 5 mile run in tact and added a mile at the beginning.  So now, after the first mile my mind thinks I’m still running my old run.  In fact it went so well yesterday that I ran 6 miles at 8:23, which is one of my best paces for my 5 mile run and my last mile yesterday was under 8:00 mile.

I am really working on “riding my run”.  I wrote quickly about this the other day, but I am concentrating on letting my legs run and my body rest.  The more relaxed I am the easier and faster I can run without as much effort.  Mentally it is like my body is riding my legs rather than my whole body trying to get me going.  That may not make sense, but it really seems to help me.

I have a meeting all day Saturday, so my (possibly last before my half) mountain run will have to wait until Sunday.  That is usually the way things work, but I wish I could do the mountain run Saturday.  Just my preference.

Also I got our hotel for the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville, TN yesterday.  Not cheap, but not a bad price.  Everything is set and I’m running better then ever in my 350 mile Brooks.  I can’t wait to get my new pair – unfortunately they won’t be in until next week.  That won’t give me long to break them in before the race…

Life is good.

Tom

Half marathon goals!

Last week was a very productive running week.

I ended with week with just under 33 miles which was exactly my plan.  My mountain run went well.  It was cold and overcast, but fortunately didn’t rain while I was running.  I stuck with just 8 miles as I had a lot to do Sunday and didn’t want to take too much time out running.  Sad really.

Now on to another week.  I am tempted to increase my mileage, but don’t know that I will.  I’ll see how I feel.

I am curious how my half marathon will go in 3 weeks.  I’m stronger then I’ve ever been thanks to the weekly mountain runs.  I haven’t been doing specific speed workouts, but my speed is increasing quite a bit.  My last (and only) half marathon was completed in 1:44, so that is a big goal to beat.  I did get close to that time at my marathon during the first half of the race, but I’ve never gone faster then that – ever. I think I’ll make my goal 1:40 and see how it goes from there.

Special congrats to those who ran races this last weekend.  I need to find me a 5K to run sometime.  It has been a long time since I’ve raced and racing always keeps me motivated.

Have an awesome week.

Tom

Running with a positive outlook

This continues to be a strange season in my running life.

Yesterday I came home and wasn’t feeling well.  I had a bit of a sick headache.  My thought was to perhaps skip my 5 mile run for the day and just walk a few miles.  By the time I got home I felt better thanks to my Lovely Wife suggesting I drink some chocolate milk.  I guess it was low blood sugar.  Anyway, I decided to go out for my run.

It went really well.  In fact it went much better then Tuesday’s run.  I did have my ACV before I went out as usual, but the run was stranger then my runs lately.

I ran easy.  I decided to not push myself.  I told myself to just take it easy and get a slow 5 miles in.

As I ran, I noticed my pace improving.  I wasn’t pushing myself.  In fact I was trying not to push.  The more I relaxed, the faster my pace got.  There were actually a few times where I got below 7:00 pace – and I didn’t feel like I was running very hard at all.

In the usual places I got a bit tired and did have a phone call during my run, but I felt strong and well for the whole run.

My last mile (almost a full mile – I don’t care much anymore about the last .05 of a mile) I ran at a pace below 8:00.  I was, however, pushing more at that point since I knew it was going to be a good run for me.

It was a good run.  8:23 pace overall.

Here is a breakdown:

20140402-161605.jpg

I really don’t know what I am finally doing right.  I feel good while running.  My hip is doing well.  My pace is getting better and my VO2 Max seems to be improving greatly.

I have had thoughts of increasing my mileage, but I am good with 5 miles a day and 8 – 12 on my long day.  Rhythm is important and I feel like I am developing one.  In fact, this was pretty much my whole training for my marathon.  5 miles a day during the week and 10 – 20 on the weekend.

So things are moving in a positive direction… Thankfully.  My weight is also down.  I was up above 190 for a bit, but am now at 187.  Hopefully that will continue to go down.

My half marathon is in just over 3 weeks.  I plan on getting in an 11 or 12 mile run this weekend and 13 the next.

This could be a very interesting race for me.  I’m beginning to actually look forward to it.

Tom

Running better, Running faster

I’m out of town and can’t run.  I’m a little bummed about that.

Tuesday was my last run and it my running keeps getting better (finally).  I am sticking to my 5 mile route for now and the mountain on the weekend.  Tuesday, I went out slow at first.  As I got going, I started feeling better and stronger.

Here are the splits:

 

8:19 Pace

8:19 Pace

My legs felt strong.  My hip felt good overall.  It always seems to bug me a little more at the end of my runs, but not much.

So at an 8:19 overall pace, this was the best 5 miles I’ve run in my neighborhood in a long time.

So, is it the mountain running or the ACV (apple cider vinegar)?  Yes, I am still doing both.  Either way, I am getting good results and am excited about my race at the Country Music Half Marathon in April.  I do need to work on my long runs though.  I still stop at 8 miles after going up the mountain and back.  I would like to add more miles to that soon.  That should wear my legs out well.

Anyway, no running yesterday, but I hope to get home before dark so I can run today.

I hope you all are happy and running.  I also hope to get back reading blogs soon.

Tom