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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One of the best runs I’ve had!

I’ve looked forward to writing this post all night.

My run yesterday was… unusual to say the least!

It began by being asked by a guy in a truck to look for his missing dogs.  Sure!  No problem.

Then a dog about the size of my (new) Brooks PureFlow2 came running straight at me.  Seriously.  He was like a Kamikaze.  He got right up to me and then ran behind me barking.  I was afraid I would step on him and hurt him (or worse).

Then I ran by a house that has a dog that is always chained up in the front yard.  He barks at me like I am his worse enemy.  Each time I run by he comes running after me and then gets yanked by the chain.  I wave and move on.  HOWEVER, this time there was no chain.  He ran at me, through the yard, into the street and looked like he was going to take me down.  I was shocked.  I just slowed down and told him “Stop”.  He ran past and back into his yard.  Talk about hair standing up on my head.  Why didn’t these people have the dog tied up!!!

On the the good part of the run.

For some reason my phone kept switching from GPS to the accelerometer.  It did it 3 times in 2 miles.  Sadly when it was on the accelerometer it would measure my pace at walking pace.  So by the time I got to 2 miles, I was at a 9:00 average pace and I know I should have been around 8:20.  I finally stopped, rebooted my phone and then started again.  It did the accelerometer one more time and then finally kept with the GPS.

As I hit the middle of my run I started feeling great.  My legs felt great, my new shoes had spring and I was moving.  Since I don’t run sprints or and type of speed runs, I will race cars, buses and other runners to get my speed in.  It is a psychological thing. If I hear a car coming up behind me and there is a stop sign ahead, I’ll try and beat it to the sign.  This gives me random moments of sprinting without having to make it a formal thing.  Yesterday I beat 2 cars and ran by one (slow) jogger (who sped up as I passed.  Seriously, I knew he wasn’t in great condition. Why speed up as I run past?  Like a car on the interstate.  You go to pass and they go from 60 Mph to 80.  So annoying).  Sorry for the rant.

Finally the really fun part.  I know I was moving fast.  I ended the last two miles at my 5K pace which is usually reserved for races only. 🙂

As I was on the last leg of my run, I saw a young runner ahead of me, so my goal was to try to catch him.  I honestly thought I couldn’t, but I wanted to try.  As I was catching up he stopped to stretch.  Ha.  I caught him and was running below a 7:00 pace.  As I passed, he looked at me and started to run with me.  He asked how far I was going and I said I was just going a half mile.  He asked if he could join since he only had that much more to run also.  I said that would be great.  I have never run with anyone in my neighborhood before other then my kids.  We ran at a 7:00 pace and talked a bit.  He said that he is going back into the military and trying to get back into shape.  I got to tell him I weighed almost 300 lbs just 3 years ago and am getting ready for Nashville.

We got to the end of my run, shook hands, introduced ourselves and he turned to run home.  I looked at my phone and I was at 7:03 for the last mile and only had .15 more to go to finish the mile.  So I started running again.  I watched my phone and my run wasn’t registering.  Suddenly the dreaded words!  “Switching to Accelerometer”.   NOOOOOO.  I stopped my run and looked.  My 7:03 pace was now 7:18 and I didn’t finish the mile, however my overall pace dropped from 9:00 average at mile 3 to 8:21.  I felt great!  I love my mountain and ACV!

Here is a pic of my splits (oh and if you managed to read this whole post – thanks.  I usually try to keep them short!).

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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:

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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

Finally… a run

I survived the weekend and came out the other side feeling much better.  My recent bout of sickness culminated Friday with me leaving work early and crashing at home.  I thought some fresh air and a slow walk would help, but… Nope… I started out and then headed home and got rest.

The weekend was not restful however.  Saturday I went with RS to get a new TV for his room, JR got a new bed and HM got tires for his car.  That was just the major parts of the day.  I must say, through I wasn’t feeling great, I was better.

Sunday found me running again.  I don’t think I went too soon.  I felt good, it was a beautiful day and so TJ and I went to the park to run a few miles.  I had hoped to get in about 6 or so, but could only manage 4.  I still have some congestion in my chest which the run helped, but it also impacted my ability to run further.

So I am 90% better.  I don’t want to have a relapse, but I think I am past that.  I must say, this was the first time in my memory of the past few years that a cold knocked me down for a week. It was pretty rough overall.  I looked so bad on Friday that my boss made me go home early from work.  That was a first also.

Today finds me tired, but doing much better.  I really want to get back to my running schedule as I have a half marathon in 7 weeks.

By the way,, the weather today is going to be strange here in the deep South.  It was in the mid 50’s when I got up.  By lunch we will be in the 30’s and by the time I run this afternoon we will be back in the 40’s.  All we need is snow to make this a perfect day. 🙂

Last four months of running

It was a quiet weekend.  Taking a week off from running isn’t much fun.  Especially since my mileage has tanked in the past 4 months:

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  • August 2013 – 195 miles
  • September 2013 – 66 miles
  • October 2013 – 44 miles
  • November 2013 – 34 miles
  • December 2013 – 12.5 miles

So, I’m not real happy with all the time I’ve had to take off.  I’m hoping that after this week off, I’ll begin to get back to some sort of consistent running, even it is only a few miles a day.  Time will tell.

Part of my latest problem was that I was beginning to recover and run consistently and then ran a 5K and that set me back again.  My plan now is not to run a race before the Mercedes Half Marathon in February.  I REALLY want to run that as last year it was the most fun I’ve had at a race in my short running carrier.

So, onward and upward.  Only 4 days left in my self imposed rest.

Frankly I need to run just so I can keep this blog going.  A running blog without being able to run isn’t very interesting. 🙂

Tom