Monday, December 31, 2007


It's time to set up some goals for the new year! Over the past year I've found that I've been doing a lot more running that I have cycling thanks to the addition of marathons to my race schedule. It is very time consuming and energy consuming to prepare for the marathons leaving less time for the bike. This made my duathlon plans and mileage plans for 2007 suffer. It just became to much to juggle with trying to train for the Flying Pig and training of the half in the fall and Disney coming up in a couple weeks. Something just have to give, and it turned out to be the time on the bike.

In 2008 I've decided to continue with my running goals that I didn't quite reach last year like the sub-20 minute 5k and sub-40 minute 10k, and my ultimate goal of a Boston Marathon qualifying time. This means I'm going to change my goals for cycling. Running is going to be about speed, and cycling is going to be about distance and just enjoyment. I want to continue my cycling, and especially commuting this year. I just won't be working on speed.

One new thing that I'll be doing in 2008, or at least revisiting after 8 years is the triathlon. Rather than trying to compete in a bunch of duathlons I'm going to prepare for one triathlon. It will most likely be one of the HFP races, and most likely the East Fork Triathlon. The race is in August which will give me plenty of time to prepare for the swim once the weather gets warmer.

I'll also be revisiting the MS150 ride this year with my buddy Rick. I've done the MS150 3 times in the past. It's always a great time for a great cause.

1500 miles running challenge
1500 mile cycling challenge
2008 push-up challenge
2008 sit-up challenge
commute to work on bike more
qualify for Boston (3:10 marathon)
run a sub-20 minute 5K
run a sub-40 minute 10K
Race 1 Triathlon
Ride and MS150 ride
Race a fall marathon

track eating and eat healthier (limit fast food, sweets, soda)
get to the gym twice a week

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The 20 Mile Run

The morning started out cold with snow storm warnings for the city. This was the 20 mile weekend. That means I have only a few choices. Try to beat the storm or run through the opening snow, or wait until Sunday after the first round of snow and run on slick ground and colder temperatures. Then there was the last choice of running 20 miles on a treadmill. I think I'll take the weather.

At 7:45 and the beginning for the run the snow hadn't started and the temperature wasn't so bad. It was hovering around freezing. I stretched out at the side of the 5 mile loop where I left a water bottle with Gatorade, one with water, and a banana. As I finished up my stretching A group of runners were running down the path away from me. Maybe I wouldn't be running alone after all. They were about 25 yards ahead as I took off. I felt good so I followed along hoping to catch up. I didn't want to push it too hard, so while I could keep them in sight I wasn't maeking up any ground. At mile 1 I checked my watch to see that I had clocked a 7:28. That was way too fast. If I was going to make it 20 I couldn't keep up that kind of pace, so I let them go. I backed off my pace and felt for something closer to an 8 minute mile.

The first 5 miles, or one lap, felt great. It wasn't too cold. The legs felt good. I stopped for a minute to eat a Gu pack, and suck down Gatorade. As I started the second lap the snow started. It was a steady, wet snow that immediately picked up to a steady downfall. The second lap went without incident. I felt good as I steadily turned out 8 minute miles. Everything seemed to be clicking along. By the time I got back to my stash The ground was covered with snow and the path was quickly turning white. I stopped to devour half a banana and drink some more Gatorade. I would be cutting it close, but I might be able to get in 5 more miles and still get over to the start of the Noel 5K that was also running that day at Lunken, unless it was canceled of course. The snow continued to pour down occasionally mixed with bits of ice. As I headed out on the next loop I switched directions hoping to avoid some of the wind in the face that I was getting on the second 5.

These next 5 proved to be more challenging as I grew tired and the footing became slippery. With every foot fall my foot would slip just a bit. It wasn't enough to feel like falling, but enough to be annoying and make me work harder for every step. I finished up the first 15 miles at 9:45 am. The Noel 5K started at 10 am. I had just enough time to hop in my car and drive around to the other side of the park where the start line was and the registration. I ran in, filled out the registration as quickly as I could, pinned my number to my shirt, grabbed a cup of water and walked out toward the starting line.

As I walked out to the starting line the snow was still coming down at a steady clip with the ground fully covered, the drive and the path fully covered with snow. I was surprised to see that around 100 crazy runners made it out for the race on this treacherous morning. It made me feel good to be out there and glad that I came over for the race. I saw a few familiar faces that I said hi to including the race director Don. Everyone was in good spirits and excited to get going. It's not usually something I'm very aware of because I'm deep in my own thoughts and plans for the race. Today I was just glad to see other faces.

I didn't set any blistering records for this race or even attempted to do so. I just wanted to run a steady pace and stay squarely in the middle of the pack. It was an out and back course, so I got to see everyone running their race. As I was headed out I saw the race leaders coming back at their lightning fast pace. I was hanging with the middle of the packers the entire way. As I was heading back I saw the slower runners working just as hard if not harder than the race leaders. My hats off to those who spend a long time out on the course. It's impressive to see someone run fast, but it's just as impressive to see those working so hard to reach their own goals at the back of the pack. The longer you're out there the harder it gets, especially on a morning like this when it's snowing and freezing.

During mile 3 I was plugging away when I saw a guy up ahead of me suddenly take a hard fall. He tried to get up, but fell again and again. I stopped to help him to his feet and asked him if he was alright. I walked along with him for a few moments to make sure he was steady. He said he would be alright, so I moved on. As I crossed mile 3 I slowed down and told the volunteer to keep an eye out for the guy. He might have hurt himself.

Usually at the finish it's time to kick back relax, stretch out and grab some refreshments. It wasn't over for me yet though. I walked through the finishing chute, gave the officials my tag and jogged on out the back, turned and headed back out. It was 2 miles to the finish. Two more agonizing, knee aching, soaking, cold, snow covered miles.

1 - 7:28 2 - 8:04 3 - 8:03 4 - 7:56 5 - 7:43 6 - 7:36 7 - 7:56 8 - 7:41 9 - 7:34 10 - 8:00
11 - 7:17 12 - 8:25 13 - 8:36 14 - 8:34 15 - 8:20 16 - 8:05 17 - 8:20 18 - 8:57 18.1 - :53
19 - 9:20 20 - 8:52

The 20 Mile Mix

There isn't much cool about waking up at 4 in the morning and not being able to go back to sleep. That's especially true on a day when I have a 20 mile training run planned. It is kind of cool to sit in the quiet and dark of the early morning just listening to some music and putting together my mix for the run. I like to mix it up with some music and podcasts. Anything to take my mind of the long miles. This will be key this morning as I'm looking at freezing temps and possibly snow and/or rain. Lunatic Fringe indeed...

Dare (Soulwax Remix) - Gorillaz
505 - Arctic Monkeys
Born To Be a Dancer - Kaiser Chiefs
Phedippidations 126: Base Training - Running Podcast
You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch - Aimee Mann
Joker and The Thief - Wolfmother
The Underdog - Spoon
Oh My God - Kaiser Chiefs
Filmspotting #190: I Am Legend/Juno...- Movie Podcast
Well Thought Out Twinkle - Silversun Pickups
Seven Army Nation - The White Stripes 12-13-07 We Arrive at 6 and 5...-Multisport Podcast
Sugar Free Jazz - Soul Coughing
Feel Good Inc. (Stanton Warriors Remix) - Gorillaz
All This Time - Heartless Bastards
I'm At Home Getting Hammered...- Banjo & Sullivan
Lunatic Fringe - Red Rider
Ecstasy - Rusted Root
Since The Last Time - Arrested Development
Take Your Mama Out - Scissor Sisters
I'm Shipping Up To Boston - Dropkick Murphys
Ball and Chain - Social Distortion
Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin
Something In the Water - The Jealous Girlfriends
Get Back - The Beatles
Children's Story - Slick Rick
Killer Kaczynski - Mando Diao
Henry Parsons Died - Widespread Panic
Fell In Love With A Girl - The White Stripes
None Shall Pass - Aesop Rock

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Jingle Bell Run 5K

It's been entirely too long since the last time I've posted on this blog. I've been very busy adjusting to my new job, and Scrabulous on Facebook has me thoroughly addicted. So what's been up for the last few weeks?

The leg has been healing slowly. Some days it has been feeling better than others. I've cut back to running 3 days a week to give it a little more time to heal in between runs. This has made my weekly mileage suffer, and it will be interesting to see how that effects my marathon running. At this point I just want to arrive in Orlando and on the starting line healthy. I'll let the rest take care of itself.

I've run two races. The Thanksgiving Day Race 10K was my first race back after the injury. I wasn't running for any sort of time. It was running with my cousin Michelle and a friend of hers. I let them set the pace at the beginning of the race and just hung with them the whole time. There was no reason to push it. I could have risked further injury, and running with Michelle was just fun. It was a great morning.

Following the race I started to have problems with my left foot. I thought it was a bruise at first, but I think it was more of a muscle pull in my foot. The muscle across my left instep was hurting at every step. It was another set back in my marathon training that I just didn't need. I started switching back and forth between my new shoes, and my older, more broken in shoes to try and ease the pain in my foot. It seemed to work out as the foot eventually worked itself out. The leg continues to nag and ache some as it heals. I've just come accept it as it is and will do the best I can with the pain.

That brings me to the Jingle Bell Run. I didn't have any particular expectations for this race other than to just run the race, and have a good time with Michelle. The course was an out and back course, so I decided to set a steady pace for the first half. After that I'd make a decision whether to maintain or push it up and really race this thing. The weather was cool, and it had been sprinkling and raining off and on all morning, but at race time things were looking pretty good.

We started off the race at a pretty good pace. I was shooting for about an 8 minute mile. We started in downtown Covington. near the Ohio River. We went up the road and took a right on to a bridge for our first river crossing into Cincinnati. As we came off the bridge we finished mile 1. Things felt pretty smooth, and even as I was not pushing the pace I came in at 7:18. Things were looking good. I was feeling good. I still didn't push things too hard. I just let Michelle set the pace and cruised along. She set an excellent pace as we came in at a 6:55. Going into mile 3 we headed back across the river. As we headed up the incline of the bridge I decided to pick up the pace. As we crested the bridge you can just see the finish line off to the left. This is a great motivator to keep it up. Off the bridge and around the block to finish mile 3 at 6:50.

A final sprint brought me in for a great finish. About 45 seconds later Michelle came in for her own impressively strong finish. The foot was feeling good. I hadn't thought about my calf at all after the first mile of the race. We both finished under 22:30. It was a great race.