Monday, June 29, 2009

LAF 10K Race Report

Greeting race fans!!!

So, as previously mentioned I ran a 10K Saturday morning. Where do we start? Well this is the first 10K race since the Savannah River Bridge Run last December. The difference in weather is apples and oranges. December race day temp. is usually low 40's/high 30's. I remember wearing a skull cap and gloves for that race. Race day temp. on Saturday was 85 degrees at the start(9AM), it was 90 degrees before I finished the run. HOT!!!HOT!!!HOT!!!

Let's see...Things I liked....Small race, nice people, good cause, and great area to run-three barrier islands on the coast of South Carolina.

Things I didn't like...Have I mentioned how much I do not like running in the lowcountry heat and humidity?

Okay, enough complaining...race details. Finish time: 1:03:33. Did not break my PR. As the race started I quickly found myself at the back of the group and didn't make up much ground...LOL, thanks to Jeff Galloway and his run/walk program I did manage to pass a couple of ladies on the walk rotation. Of course they passed me right back on the run rotation. After a couple of cycles I managed to maintain a lead that I kept to the end.

I hit the first mile mark at 9:57 and knew that was not going to be enough for a sub 1 hour race. Second mile came at 20:20. I was slowly losing time but didn't have it in me to push it harder. I don't know if it was mental, if it was the heat or if I simply am not ready for a sub 1 hour 10K. The 3 mile mark came at 33 and change...I was fading fast. The great part about this race was the shade from the trees on this course. I mentioned earlier that it covered three islands, going from island to island meant there were streches of the course that left us completely exposed to the sun. It was all I could do to not walk. Mile four, 44:25. Mentally I was struggling, I needed something to hold on to, someone to pull me. Along comes Joe Neetles. He is a legend in the local running community. He is at every race. He is in his sixties I think, and he runs faster and farther than me. Well I tried to keep up with him and that pulled me to the 5 mile mark, somewhere around 55 minutes. I was doing the math and knew that i was looking at more than 1:05 total time...Just past the five mile mark the race organizer was handing out wet sponges. As I wiped my face and wet my head I instantly felt revitalized. Amazing what a little temp. control can do. Once again I am reminded of the importance of hydration. The final straight away was probably 1/2 mile out in the direct sun. I locked in on the finish line and began to push. I usually have a strong finish, which makes me wonder if I don't leave it all on the course. This day was different. As I pushed, my body began to tell me the tank was empty. I pushed back and found a little extra reserve and quickly depleted that too! I hit the finish at 1:03:33 and was very proud of my effort. Gatorade and orange slices for my boys!!! Today's victory was that I finished and I didn't give in to the committee in my head that was trying to pass the "Running Is Stupid Resolution"....One foot in front of the other....One step at a time...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Lowcountry Autism Foundation

Bright and early tomorrow morning I will be running a 10K for a really great cause. My nephew, Xavier, has autism and I can't be more excited to be a part of this run. I hemmed and hawed over the course of a couple weeks on the decision of running the 5 or the 10. Chances are I will PR either distance as I have been tirelessly training for the Equinox. I wanted to run the 5K but was not sure if I would hit that number I posted last fall at the YMCA Heart of Savannah 5K.(26:58) I started thinking about the 10K knowing that i should be able to beat the 1:02:39 time I posted in December for the Savannah River Bridge Run. "Thomas, you will blow away your 5K time, run the 5!...Yeah, but you are training for a marathon, better benefit from running the 10 AND you will certainly kill the 10K time too! Remember you posted that 1:02 while going over the bridge, twice!" This debate went on for hours...."It's a cop out to run the 5, you are being lazy.....If Everyone runs the 10, maybe you can place in your age group running the 5...etc. etc.etc.

Let's get one thing a 34 year old, running 9-10 minute miles, I have NO chance at placing in my age group...unless they shut the bridge down right after I cross it and noboy shows up for the race.....

As a prerace work out this week, I decided to do a nice 5 mile run on Tuesday and some speedwork last night? Speedwork?!? As I sit here with legs that feel like lead sinkers for a really giant fishing rod, I question my desicion to run the track last night.

I haven't really done speed work ever...back in the day I played soccer 2-3 times a week, that was my speedwork. We did intervals in college. I liked it okay, running around the track was never my thing.

Last night I went to the track and warmed up with a "easy" mile. After lap one I found my self being paced by a guy running in lane 6. LOL, he would pull ahead in the straights and I would catch him in the turns. So then I decided to not let him catch me in the straights. I think he caught on because he started running harder too. Needless to say, my easy mile turned out to be a 9:39...which is a little faster than I normally run "easy"...good ego boost though.

Decided on 4 x400 at 9 minute pace or less. I really didn't know what I was capable of, in hindsight I set the bar too low.

lap 1 - 2:10, cool, that wasn't too hard!
lap 2 -, is this really happening?
lap 3 - 2:04...shut my mouth did I just cruise that lap at a 8:16 pace? Can I go sub 2 for my last lap?
lap - 1:55...quickly calculating a 7:40 pace...did a little happy dance at the track, good thing everyone was gone by then....

So, looking back, I am capable of much more in regards to speedwork. The question is how much more?

My legs are heavy today. I am sure they will be fine in the its race day!

I will update my race results over the weekend, one foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Great Run!!!

Cubbie had too many dogs to run so I got the day off....

Well not really, running is a part of life, like eating and sleeping, right? So I needed to get my run in today. funny I had be dreading my run all day, "It will be too hot. I don't want to run around Ardsley Park" Whaaaa! big baby....

As soon as got the green light for a solo run today my mind started to wander...Where can I run? Rails to Trails? Go look at all of the pretty ladies doing laps at Forsyth Park... Oh, I know, I can run "the bridge"!

We have a very large bridge in Savannah, The Eugene TalmidgeMemorial Bridge to be exact, that connects us to South Carolina. 1.5 miles from base to base, so about 3/4 mile up/ 3/4 mile down. It is a 5.5% grade so fairly steep. They run a 5/10/15K race on it every December, great event.

So I decided to run the bridge today, with a twist. I biked the two miles from my house to city Hall. Locked it up and took the water ferry to the other side of the river. Got off and ran the 4.5 miles back over the bridge and finished at city hall where I left my bike. The run was fantastic. It is about a mile and a half from the water ferry dock to the foot of the bridge. You run along the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa (where I work) and had the chance to watch a fantastic lightening storm roll in towards me. I welcomed the chance to get a little rain today, but it never happened. Got to the foot of the bridge and switched to "climbing mode". Which for me is the same gear as "running mode", it just makes me feel like I have more tools when I call it something different. I go through the paces, "3/4 mile up, about 7-8 minutes of my life. I can do ANYTHING for 7 minutes. Amazingly, I was at the top of the bridge before I knew it and could not believe how easy it seemed. The view of downtown is amazing from the bridge by the way. Going down is so much fun. There is this little mindbender at the end of this run that sneaks up on people at the race every year. Most of the 4000 runners of the bridge run race don't train on the bridge because it is closed to pedestrian traffic. (Notice the reaccuring theme of me running in areas cloesd to pedestrians? I live on the wild side!) So, after you come off of the bridge, you are greated with another, uunexpected climb up Olgethorpe Ave. This hill is one of those silent stalkers that just creeps up on you. "Not today sir!" I cruised up the last hill and then spent the last mile of my run dodging tourist on my way back to my bike...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Good, Bad, and the Ugly...

The Good:
I have packed in a lot of running over the last few days..Runs on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday....
Thursday-4.5 @ Daffin Park...Total time 48:21..great run. cubbie and I hit a really nice groove on this 1.5 mile loop. 16:20, 16:41, 15:20 to finish...

Saturday-7 miles at The Landings....see below for details

Sunday-5.5 miles on our less than favorite loop on the southside of town....but we got our miles in...

Monday-3.1 miles tempo run downtown. I LOVE running downtown. There is so much to see, I like looking at people while I run....I am a people watcher.

Tuesday-4.5 @Daffin Park...This turned out to be the best run of the week. Cubbie and I met and it was soooo hot. We started our run and ran into David, a massage therapist/running coach and he ran three miles with us. First off, I would like to say thanks to him for running with us, those miles passed effortlessly and we knocked them out quickly(16:12,16:26). it was a welcome change and I have discovered I really like running with groups of people. He had already been out for 30 minutes when he "ran" into us so he departed after three and we finished our last lap. We busted the last lap at 15:27 for a total run time of 48:05! LOL, new course record...

The Bad:
My Monday night "Tempo Run" wasn't all that I was hoping...I was kinda doing a time trial to see where my 5K time would be. I was in a foul mood before the run so I am not sure how that affected my mindset. Started out great. hit the half mile at 4:30, nice 9 minute pace. One mile at a little more than 9 and hit the 1.5 at 13:45...Then at the turn around I discovered I had no more gas....a couple of walk breaks later, I finished my run at 31:00 minutes, a 10 minute pace....

The Ugly:
Saturday was supposed to be "half marathon day" We were going to run 13 9am. I was not crazy about this idea but figured it was my own laziness that was doing me in so...30 minutes into the run I felt good...40 minutes i started to think that running was the stupidest idea anyone in the world have ever come up with! I pulled back and started slowing the pace. I ate(slurped down?) my GU(vanilla bean, don't think i will get that flavor again) at 45 minutes into the run. I thought that magically this would give me this energy burst that would propel me for the next 45 minutes but there was nothing....50 minutes in and I wanted to quit. I stopped at an hour. I had no desire, drive or energy to run another step. "You can't make me!" my brain screamed...So I walked and I ran and I walked...We cut it short and finished seven miles....I was devistated...I have never quit on a run like that. I know. I know, there will be bad runs. I know I will bonk. I get it. It just sucks...But I came back and ran on Sunday, one foot in front of the other, one step at a time....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

100 days and counting...

So, looking at the calendar, today marks 100 days until the duel between me and the Equinox. Sure hope my brother is aware of how much work is left to be done...I know I am.

Speaking of work; Tuesday I was on my own which meant it would be a great chance to tackle the parking garage. I will being by referring to an earlier post and mention i do not encourage anyone to disregard the posted "No Pedestrian" sign at the entrance of my favorite "hill trainer". Moving on.

Warmed up with a 1.75 run at a 10 minute pace. This was supposed to be a warm up, I am not sure how i managed to knock out a run at that speed but I felt great so....

Did I mention it is hot is SE Georgia? 90 degrees at 6pm in June. I mean come on, really? So I was wondering if my "fast" warm up was going to effect my repeats...I was doing five today, five .33 mile trips up, five elevator rides much fun. The best part is the look I get from the lady working the ticket booth.


3:45 (yikes, maybe I did warm up too fast)

3:42 (yep, this will be a long workout)

3:30 (hmmm, that was my average last time)

3:14 (get off me garage, lol, new garage PR)

3:23(glad this is over, and now we go down the ramp!)

Cooled down with another mile around downtown.

All in all the workout lasted about an hour plus I biked the mile and a half to and from the garage.

Today I will be doing 4.5 with Cubbie, we have already pushed our run back to 6pm from 5:30 to try and avoid a little heat...this is going to be a LONG summer, one foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I am still alive....

Just an udate for those who think I should be dead after running 11 miles.....Oh, and btw- Bistro Savannah, my part-time job...wasn't so lucky. RIP Bistro Savannah. Sorry to all of my friends who lost their full time jobs.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

One More Minute....

The day had finally arrived, "Double Digit Sunday!" We were going to tackle ten miles this morning, come hell or high water and I think my HP was testing me with the high water part. Woke up at 6AM and it was raining....

Crap, I don't have to run today...

But I need to run, wait, I WANT to run today.

I want to see if I can do it.

Almost as if he was listening the rain stopped and I got out of bed and walked the dudes. Ate my powerbar, applied nipple band-aids (sorry if that is too much info) and headed out the door to the car.

Cubbie was waiting for me at the Village and boy was she happy to be alive. In her defense, she got up at like 3am to start her day so she would have time to run....If you look up dedication in the dictionary it will say, "see Cubbie"

I say that so I can say this...I hate her. okay hate is a strong word, some mornings I dislike her more than others. Today was that day...Insert Convo...

"So uh, the route that I told you about is actually 11 miles."

me-"but we are only scheduled for ten today, my good friend, buddy ol pal." ( Okay so I just made up the second half of that statement)

"Yeah, but I really don't know a ten mile route, so I figured we could do this one"
"Oh, and by the way, I told Kevin and Steve yesterday that we were running 11 miles but you only thought we were running 10. Yeah man, it will be fun!"

I hate her....

We started our run and twenty minutes in we started getting sprinkled on, not to be detered we soldiered on...what's a little rain, we are RUNNERS!

Rain stopped ten minutes after it started and the next thing I knew we were at the 1 hour mark and I felt great. The conversation was light, in my head I was also devising a plan for payback for the 10/11 mile switcheroo...I was thinking speedwork, that is Cubbbie's Kryptonyte. Yeah, that's the ticket, sneak attack speedwork...

Hips and right knee really started to wake up at an hour and a half into the run. I tried the usual, pain is temporary, blah, blah blah. Let's just get to 1:40 and I can walk. It was at that point that I remembered reading a blog about how the pain would go away as soon as the run was over. That is was just my brain trying to get me to quit. I knew I could make it to two hours. That was my goal. I needed to do this, to prove to myself that I could. That I was a runner, that I belonged out there. I looked at my watch and it read 1:42:35. 17 more minutes. Come on music...where is Outkast when I need them? 1:46:02...13 more minutes. If I can just get to 1:50 I can walk.

No, walking is not an option.

1:52...I can do anything for 8 minutes.

Wait is this the Cure? I haven't heard this song in forever...Oh, I remember who I was dating when this song came out, she was alot of fun...Opps, sorry, my mother reads my blog now....

I am so close I can see the end of the run.

2:00 and I was there.

I have never run for two hours straight ever in my entire life. I got there one foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

Of course there was still about another half mile left to get back to the car but that didn't matter we walked/ran the rest and felt great!

I have the best running partner in the world, she never left me. We have had back to back great runs. Fridays 4.5 mile run was fantastic. It is official, We are Runners!

News Sunday, we are doing a half marathon with Uzman and the Chicago Marathon training group....and I have all week to think about it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Happy June!!!

National Running Day is Wednesday. has another great blog posted about the upcoming event, Georgia (the state, not me the blogger, gets a great shout out) I encourage any and all readers, yes all three of you, (I love you mom) to get out and run on Wednesday...

(Notice the smooth transtion) Speaking of getting out and running, Cubbie and I meet up on Sunday for our usual Sunday long run. We had alot to talk about so we got on the road quickly. She spent all day Saturday moving into her new "shack", so she was fairly tired. We mutually agreed beforehand to run 6 miles. Running from the clubhouse on Eisenhower to Lake Mayer, we did three laps around and then headed back. Even at 8:30 in the morning it was getting warm. As we rounded our way arounbd each loop, I would look forward to the stretch of the loop that was blanketed in shade. We ran in the opposite direction and it felt like a completely different course. The best part was the people watching. We saw all different types of runners and walkers, even a few people we knew. I am surprised by how many people are up and moving on a Sunday morning...To think, a few years ago I thought before who got up before noon were crazy. Now people around the office think I am crazy for signing up to run a marathon in Alaska. "Alaska?!~?! Why would you want to do that? Don't they have bears up there? I hope you can run fast..."

I look forward to the race, I really am most looking forward to the chance to spend the week with my brother and his family. Over the years my brother and I have fallen out of contact with each other. He lives in Alaska, I live in Georgia, it happens. This race has already put us back on track and it almost feels like it was yesterday we were running around Tampa trying to drink the entire town out of liquor. I am gratful he has asked me to do this with him and can't wait to meet my namesake, their new son. If you are reading this Dad, I'm sorry, we both know he named his son after me and not you. It will be okay, I am still named after you...P.S. hurry home.

Training schedule for the week:
Tuesday - 3 miles
Wednesday - National Running Day- 2-3 mile early morning run yikes...
Thursday - 4 miles
Saturday - 3 miles
Sunday - 10 miles (For real this time)

Good luck everyone...