Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Three-Mile Luncher

Tuesday's run went so well, I decided to go for three today.  It's been a bit rainy out this morning, but nothing during the run.  I again did straight running and had another awesome run.  I even ran it quicker than Tuesday with a 26:41 3 miles for an 8:53 pace.  :)  My old friend Mr. Side-stitch (actually I get them in my shoulders and not my sides) kept acting like he wanted to come out and play but he never came completely out.  Reflecting back, I've forgotten how much I enjoy running straight and not having to deal with the start/stop distractions.

This weekend I've got HILL TRAINING!!!!  ... and so the torture begins!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Two-Mile Luncher

I was dragging this morning.  Last night I was up entirely too late working on a custom rom for my Toshiba Thrive tablet.  Yup…. I’m a geek.  ha!  Anyhouser, I only got about 5 hours of sleep, making for an extremely dragging morning at work.  I’d brought my running clothes in anticipation of a lunchtime run, but all morning, all I could think about was taking a nap, and I nearly did.

I decided to suck it up, dawn my running gear, and get out there regardless of my lack of sleep.  It’s been awhile since I’ve done a straight run; most of my running as been the 1:30/1:00 run/walk variety for pretty much all year.  I’m looking at doing a 5K in a few weeks so I wanted to get some straight running in.  I elected to do two miles around the parade field.  I was quite surprised with myself.  I made it in 17:49, for a 8:56 pace.  Wahoo.  If I can keep it up for another 1.1 miles, I’ll PR by over a minute.    

Sunday, April 22, 2012

16 miles, glycogen depletion, and a busy week

Last Saturday, I ran a good 16 miles.  That is, until I hit about 14.3 miles when my calves began to burn and I had to stop for awhile, then ended up walking the last mile or so.  What happened you may ask.  Well, I must have run out of glycogen and the only thing I had left on me was my hydration vest.  I’d eaten a banana right before the run, and had two energy gels at about mile 5 and mile 10.  I guess that just wasn’t enough.  Oh well, live and learn.  I’ll be taking extras with me from now on for the long runs.

I didn’t get any running in during this last week, until today.  I had several activities at work, and some old friends in town, and there just was not time to get a run in. 

Today, I got in a good 6 miler.  It was raining fairly hard, and I’d considered putting it off until tomorrow, but I got out there and hit the trail and am happy that I did.  It was raining, but not horribly bad.  With my waterproof running jacket and hat, I wasn’t totally soaked by the end.

This coming weekend I have hill training to do.  I’ve got to find a good trail where I can get about 6 miles worth up steady up hill and down hill sections.   I’ve got a few places in mind but will research more this week. 

Catch ya later!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Morning Meditation

I posted this photo on Facebook, but thought I'd share it here as well.  Since early January, I've changed my eating habits to eliminate coffee and donuts for breakfast, among many other changes.  For the most part, I've been extremely successful with this.  I believe since January 6th, I've had one cup of coffee when my sister was here in February, and one donut on Connor's Birthday.  I'd say 85% of the time, my breakfast has been one kiwi and one grapefruit with either water or tea. It's turned into a ritual.  Cut the grapefruit wedges and kiwi, then spend the next 10 minutes or so scooping them out.  I'm satisfied, satiated, and much more energetic in the mornings.  Now that's a double YUM YUM in my book!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Golden Gate Trail Marathon Training Schedule

Here is my tentative schedule of training. Click on the pic to view it better.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

To Err is Human. To Fall is to be a Clutz

I went out for a trail run in an area with tons of  jutting rocks and roots.  What happened you ask?  I tripped and scrapped up my cheek, lips, hands, and knee.  Not a horrible fall, but enough to earn a few badges of honor for a week or so. How did I react you ask?  I cleaned myself up a bit, and finished another almost 2 miles.      YUK!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saunders Spring, Radcliff, KY

It’s a bit late, but back in early March, while on a work trip to Kentucky, I did a grueling, but fun  2.1 mile run through Saunders Springs, just outside of Fort Knox.

Location: Saunders Spring Nature Preserve is a small park located in Radcliff, KY; just outside of Fort Knox.  Historically, the location was a water supply for Fort Knox, but discontinued it’s use in the 1930s.  After that it was used as a water supply for Radcliff until the 1980s. Since then, it has functioned as a nature preserve.

Route: The park has numerous trails, but I was unable to find a good guide of them all before going there.  So I just took off without a destination path. 

The park is extremely hilly, with parking towards the top, and much of the park itself below.  The paths themselves were, for the most part, well maintained, with either gravel, well worn dirt, or, in some cases, wooden stairs or bridges.  Towards the bottom were several pond areas with streams joining them.  The entire park location is fairly compact area-wise, but the steep elevations make for a unique and challenging trail run. 

The Experience:  Overall, the experience was wonderful.  The steep paths were a refreshing, if not tedious, change from my typical flat courses.  I tried to maintain a 1:30/1:00 interval, but it was difficult with some of the elevations. 

At the time I was there, it was mildly crowded.  I saw a total of probably 50 people, making it somewhat social, but not cumbersome to navigate through.  Occasionally I got stuck behind someone climbing stairs, and was at the mercy of them until I could get around, the trails are single file.  The majority of the run was wonderful.  I enjoyed the park and it’s sights, and the run was difficult, but not unyieldingly tough. 

The one negative to this run was at the very end.  I’d traversed the entire run without any pain or accidents, until the last few feet before returning to the car.  I stumbled slightly where the road and gravel met and slightly tweaked my left ankle.  It was sore for a few days, but has healed up and didn’t hinder my half marathon a few weeks later. 

In hindsight, this location would be perfect for training for my Golden Gate Trail Marathon training.  I’m hoping to find someplace with similar characteristics for the training.








Sunday, April 1, 2012

3rd Annual Nikia’s Nippy Nor-easter Half Marathon Race Report.

Those dedicated followers (ie. the wifey), may recall last weeks false start for this race.  I showed up, nobody else did, then I realized I was a week early.  Well I checked and double checked the details and the race was definitely this weekend. 

I woke up this morning, had my normal breakfast of grapefruit and kiwi with a cup of tea, and hit the road. I arrived 1.5 hours before the race start and it was all ready packed. I was able to find parking, but just barely.  The start/finish for this race is from a small parking area off the trail.  There was some side-of-the-road parking, which I was able to snag, but total, I’d say less than 100 parking spots are available there. 

I grabbed my bib and walked around in the cold trying to stay warm for about an hour.  About 8:30, there was a “huddle” from the race director where they discussed the race and it’s significance.  This race is put on by Back on My Feet, an outreach program to help homeless gain self confidence through running.  After the huddle, we headed towards the start. 

The race started with little fanfare, but while waiting in line, we did get to here some sweet renditions of music such as Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” played gracefully through this guys Accordion.

The race started and I immediately went into run/walk mode with a 1:30/1:00 interval.  Within the first mile, I heard some dirty comments about my walking.  It’s so sad that the running world hasn’t embarrassed run/walking as a valid form.  I got my revenge on the turn around when I crossed paths on the return with these ladies when I passed them a good 5 minutes or more ahead of them and said “Good Job” with a rather large smile on my face. Ha!  I always get weird looks and comments when I stop for a walk right at the beginning, but it was very evident in this race for some reason.  It might be because of the reason for the race, motivation to get off your feet and persevere.  Either way, I just smiled away and kept at it. 

Mile 1-5

I’ll admit it.  I went out entirely too fast for these first few miles.  It might have been to show those ladies that I wasn’t giving up at the start, but I was flying.  To give you an idea, I was running 1:30/1:00 intervals so effectively I was walking 40% of the time.  Here is a breakdown of the miles:

Mile 1 10:26
Mile 2 9:50
Mile 3 10:06
Mile 4 10:21
Mile 5 9:55

Those first few miles, it was crowded, very crowded, on such a small trail.  I did the best I could to inform people as I passed them, but it was a challenge. 

Miles 6-8

This is where the bulk of aid stations and cheering support came from.  There were probably far more relay runners than full on half marathoners so the relay runners were out cheering on everyone.  This was a fun part as well as the return runners were passing the outbound runners.  Lots of “good jobs” and “you’re doing greats".  I also enjoyed passing the runners that were so rude early on. ha!

I slowed my pace down a bit when I realized I was going faster than I wanted. I was still feeling strong with no fatigue so far.

Mile 6 10:45
Mile 7 11:14
Mile 8 10:45

Miles 9-10

Not too much to say about these miles, then went by without any significance.  The pack was quite thin and we were spread pretty far apart. It was more like a normal run on the trail than anything.

Mile 9 10:36
Mile 10 10:54

Miles 11-13.1

Things started getting tougher here.  My legs were getting tired and I was running low on energy.  I kept up with the 1:30/1:00 but was seriously considering dropping down to a 1/1.   Mile 12 was toughest.  It felt like it was never going to end.  I could have sworn I was going as slow as a snail, but looking at the numbers, I was still going pretty well.  Mile 13 was a fair bit better.  I knew the end was near and started pushing it harder to finish.  I was running out of umph, but I still finished strong. 

Mile 11 11:10
Mile 12 11:34
Mile 13 11:29
Mile .1 11:32 (pace not actual time)

I finished in 2:23:54 seconds.  That’s a half marathon PR by 7:24.  Heck yeah.  I’m sure I could have made that as double digits had I ben more conservative in those first 5 miles. Oh well!  Run and learn!

Overall, this was a good race. It was small, and few race goodies.  There was no shirt and no finishing ribbon, just the feel good feeling of completion.  I didn’t stick around too long after I was done.  I grabbed some snacks and hit the road.  Would I do it again or recommend it to others? I would recommend it to others, but if they’re run/walking, I’d issue a beware for some snide comments and looks.  Personally, I’d rather do the other NCR Trail race in the fall than this one again. 

Nathan Hydration Vest

Just a comment on my new hydration vest.  I love it!  It took a bit of adjusting to make it feel just right, but once I had that, it was great. It’s not bulky and didn’t weigh me down in the slightest.  I loved having the front pockets to hold my phone/gels/etc. I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking to carry a lot of water.  Most likely I’ll write a review in the future.