29 March 2009

Long Run, Big Blister

Five weeks. That is how long it has been since my last LSD. The runs in that time have been few, and none more than three miles. I felt really good after my last run and figured yesterday morning was time for a good long run. I decided on 6 miles, which is the longest I have ever done.

I woke to find that it was raining outside. Not a down pouring rain, but a slow steady rain, and a dreary overcast sky. I headed out and started slow. I walked for a short warm up and then took it around a 12:30 pace.

I knew that the same old routes would probably bore me a bit, especially on a dark a dreary day like this, so I went a new way, running through Riverwinds Community Center and then back toward my house. I actually pounded out 6.5 miles, my longest run yet, and it felt great.

I felt strong the entire run, and although minor cramps and annoyances came up, I ran through them and they quickly went away. I then walked for twenty minutes to cool down, and that worked well because my legs felt good all day long.

I did have a weird sensation on my toe and pretty much figured it would be a blister. Sure enough... I took off my socks and there it was. A small one at first, but it has ballooned up pretty good. Not the biggest I have seen, but the biggest I have had in quite some time.

One thing I was reminded about on this run was this... looking at your watch too much can spoil a run. My Forerunner was covered by my rain jacket, so it took some effort to look at it. For the first four miles I looked at it only once, to see my pace, and ignored the other numbers. When I got near mile 5 I wanted to see how long I had been running and caught the distance. I was still running strong, but now I had too many numbers in my head and all of a sudden my side was cramping and I felt like taking a walk break. It took me a few minutes to get my mind off it and just get back into the run.

So that is it... 6.5 miles in 1:19:47 for a 12:16 pace. HR avg-160, max-180. I feel really good about this run and I am looking forward to a strong April.

Just a little over a month until Broad Street, and I am getting excited about it.

On a side note... I got the Wii Fit yesterday. It is pretty cool so far, but I have not used it enough to give a full review. I see some things I like and some I don't, but I will be exploring it some this week and we shall see how much I like it.

25 March 2009

Life Can Get In The Way

So my trip to Nashville was cut short because my wife was sick. The race there would be my last run in over a week, because my wife was getting worse and needed to go to the hospital. She finally got home today, after a week in there. I am not going into the details here, but she is better than she was when she got admitted.

I have two sons. One is 5 and the other is 2. That makes it incredibly hard to run when you are the only parent around.

So my mileage has been horrible this month.

My original goal for The Broad Street run was 1:45... a 10:30 pace. Now I am just hoping to finish it.

I ran for the first time in over a week on Monday and it killed me. It felt like I was a complete beginner again. I had a 3 mile run today that felt really good... I mean almost perfect. Hopefully I can carry that through the next month and into Broad St.

My goal now is to build my mileage and do a few days of speed work, maybe just fartleks, and then do Broad Street as best as I can.

I know I can finish it, but how well is another question.

17 March 2009

Tom King 5k Race Report

This weekend we took a road trip to Nashville, TN for my brother in law's wedding. The only part of the trip that actually went as planned was my running in the Tom King 5k. There was actually a 5k and a half marathon that day, but obviously I could not run the half. Although, I may have tried if not for the flu the week before.

The race seems cool at first glance. You start at LP Field, where the Tennessee Titans play, and end the run in the stadium with a half lap around the field.

The race was Saturday morning with packet pick ups Friday night. Since I arrived in town Friday afternoon I decided to go over, get my stuff and check things out. There was nothing special. Tables to sign up, and tables to pick up your packet if you pre-registered.

I looked at the list for my bib number, and received an envelope with my bib and timing chip. The lady also handed me an empty bag, or so I thought it was empty. I looked inside and saw one postcard sized flyer advertising a running group for the Country Music Marathon. Big whoop, I put my envelope inside there and went over to get my t-shirt. It is pretty decent, short sleeved tee... the half marathon runners got a long sleeve tech tee. You think for a $30 5K we would have got a tech tee also.

So nothing to check out, I left and went back to my hotel. I was only staying about two miles from the stadium, so I was actually planning to walk to the race as warm up and then walk back for a cool down. The only problem... it was down pouring when I woke up to get going. I also had a wicked cough lingering from the flu last week. I almost talked myself out of going, but got moving and drove over to the stadium.

The 5k started at 7:30 and the half started at 8:30. There was a good crowd forming when I got there and everyone was kind of hiding in the stadium to get out of the rain. I did some stretching, and knew that I should run a bit to warm up, but actually skipped it.

This was the biggest start to a 5k I have ever seen... (although I have only seen three including this one.) It took me 40 seconds to get across the start line and I had to keep my pace slow as the crowd gently thinned out. The course took us around the stadium once and then an out and back to the stadium. You can see from the map that when we entered the stadium my Garmin lost reception and kind of skitzed out for a second. It got back on track once I entered the field.

The run was nice around the stadium and near the river, but the straight part of the out and back was mostly industrial lots and construction scenes. Not too attractive. There was a water stop right before the turn around point, and it was very well organized with lots of water ready. They did a good job there.

It was real cool running into the stadium and around the field. They had the jumbotrons going and you could watch yourself running across the finish line.

It rained the whole time, and I felt like crap. I was seriously thinking about walking a little near the end, but I fell in pace with this older gentleman who started talking to me. He was very nice and inspiring and we chatted while we ran toward the finish. He apologized for slowing me down and said that I was helping him finish his run. I assured him that he was not slowing me down, and in fact helped me get through the last mile without walking.

All in all it was a fun race. I coughed a lung up after crossing the finish line, and was soaking wet, but made it. My chip time was 34:06 which translates to an exactly 11:00 per mile pace. I finished 310 overall and there were about 500 finishers according to the website.

So not my best, but not my worst. As far as the race goes... I think it was a little expensive since you really got no extras besides the t-shirt and and empty bag. I did like running in Nashville... some of the route was very nice.

09 March 2009

Down For The Count

This has been the nicest weekend of the year, and it just so happens it is the weekend that I get the flu. Well the weekend that the whole family gets the flu.

It came on Thursday and lasted all weekend. I still have a touch of it today, but I am hoping that I can get a little bit of a run in tomorrow.

It sucks, because I was looking forward to the weekend weather, thinking that I would be able to do a lot outside. Now I feel like four days have just been deleted.

So that puts a dent in my training plan. I am hoping just to get up to the proper mileage now and finish with a respectable time. We are going to have to see how it goes from here on out. It may be easier for me to get runs in now that the clocks were turned ahead an hour.

Thursday I drive to Tennessee for my brother in law's wedding. The first thing I did was look up any races that weekend and lucky me... there is a 5k and half marathon Saturday morning. I am obviously not up for a half, but I am seriously considering the 5k. It is the Tom King Classic, runs in downtown Nashville, finishing in the stadium that the Titans play in. It looks like fun, and has a breakfast buffet after!

So I have a lot of blogs to catch up on... a lot of writing to do.. and a lot of family to take care of.