Monday, January 31, 2011

9 1/2 Weeks...

Okay, actually it is 10 1/2 weeks until the SweetH20 50k...but 9 1/2 Weeks makes a better blog title...drives that traffic to the blog.

A quick update on the contest. THANK YOU to each and every one of you that voted. With a grand total of 1463 votes, Marriah & Mike finished in 5th place and will move to the judges round. A panel of judges will read the essays and score them. The winner will be announced Friday morning! THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!!

Running this week was awesome. I wish I had some witty anecdote to share about my runs this week. Everything was textbook and I guess that is a good thing. I did discover a new trail yesterday on my 10 miler. I was "supposed" to do 1:40 of easy, flat miles-keeping my HR under 145. So, average of 151 is close right?!?!

See, what had happened is...I was about 3 1/2 miles in and running along the 'hooch...I looked up and saw a trailhead with blue trail markings. "Hmm, this looks like fun!" So I started up the trail...and up...and up..and up! Turns out I was on the Palasades West loop. There was about 500' of gain in the first mile, not too bad. Of course, what goes up...must come down. The decent was tricky, there was a lot of loose rock, roots & leaves-recipe for disaster if not careful. I finished this loop & took the Rottenwood Creek trail back to Bob Callen. Ran along back over to Cochran Shoals and did a half loop there. 10 miles on the day 1:44, with 2850 in elev. gain.(So says Garmin)
weight - 189.2 (down 4.4 from last week; 11.8 YTD)


Su - 1:40 zone 1
Mo - Rest
Tu - 50 min Hills - zone 3
We - 20 min - zone 1
Th - Trackwork
Fr - Rest
Sa - 45 min (25 tempo)
Su - 1:52 zone 1

Monday, January 24, 2011

January is drawing to an end...

My least favorite month of the daylight, cold(er) temps, snow & ice storms. The good news is that February is right around the corner! Speaking of good news - My sister is currently in 5th place for the contest ending January 30th. Please take a moment to click on the link to the right & vote in the wedding giveaway contest(please vote daily). Thank you to all that read the post about her story & have taken the time to vote. If you haven't read the post, you can do so here. An extra special thank you to Kate, Glavin, RockStar Tri, Xenia & Neil Z for linking and devoting space on their blog. If I have missed your link lurve, please let me know as I want to give everyone credit for being so awesome!

The roads here have cleared, everything is back to normal. I logged 24 miles last week, capped with a 3rd place AG at the PTC 5k, this past weekend...

With the recent weight loss, my times are starting to improve! Visions of Spring PR's are dancing in my head!
As always, one foot in front of the other; one step at a time!
Weight - 193.6 (1.8 down from last week, 7.4 on the year)

Training schedule
Su-90 min LSR
Tu-30 min zone 1/2
We-30 min
Sa-40 minutes (20 minutes tempo)
Su-100 min LSR

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Calling All Bloggers

The Tennessee Snail, or perhaps The Snailette, has entered a contest with a local radio station in Clarksville, TN. You see, the winning couple will receive an all expenses paid wedding. We could really use your support. If you look to the right, you will see a link that will take you to the page to vote. it will only take a couple of minutes and you can vote once a day until the 31st of January.

I'd like to take a moment and tell you a little about my sister and her fiance' Mike. My sister is the glue that holds teh Snail clan together. Being the youngest, she caught a lot of hell from her two older snail bro's, but we love her dearly. As we grew older and began our own families, she naturally did the same.

Not more than a year after having her first child, we began to notice Xavier was developing a little slower. He was diagnosed with Autism. My sister quickly began to devour information and talk to people, learning as much about Autism as she could. She continues to work 110% to make sure Xavier has every opportunity available to him to grow into a bright & vibrant young man.

When Xavier was 4, Marriah became pregnant with her second child, a beautiful young girl, Skylar. Skylar reminds me so much of her mother, but that is for another blogpost. Shortly thereafter, she was expecting #3. There was a great deal of complications with this pregnancy. A week before her due date, my sister was rushed to the hospital, only to find out she had lost her infant son. Sebastian holds a special place in my sister's heart.

Unfortunately, this was not the end of the difficult road my sister was to travel. Less than a week later, her now ex-husband, was on the front page of the local newspaper- ensnared in a scandal of infidelity, prostitution & general asshattery. (Okay, the asshattery part was my opinion, just sayin') She picked herself up by the bootstraps and soldiered on, moving to Tennessee to stay with my parents until she could get her family back in order. Here she continued to further her education and provide for her children. In an effort to learn more about Autism & how to provide for those with special needs, she completed a two-year Occupational Therapy program at the local college and now works in that field.

It had been over six years since losing Sebastian & dealing with the ex; my sister had lost her faith in men. The prospects on the horizon didn't look great, until Mike entered her life. I can honestly say, I don't know how he did it - She is a tough nut to crack. His patience & persistence will go down in the books, they may even use his courtship as a training tool in future generations. I meet him for the first time at my parents house last Christmas, watching him with my sister and her children is beautiful, he is quiet and gentle. Months later, I was equally impressed at my parents house, preparing for the retirement BBQ for my father. He just showed up the day before, asking what needed to be done. There is sort of an unspoken rule in our family while preparing for a BBQ, you just work, we know what needs to be done and we just do it. He fit right in.

He is currently deployed in Iraq, returning on a two-week leave in June; this is when they plan to get married. Winning this contest would be an amazing gift for their family. Please, as a personal favor to me, take the time to vote for Marriah & Mike! If you feel compelled, you could give me a little link love and blast this out on your blog too!

The Christmas presents Mike "fired from a cannon" in Iraq to Tennessee.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pine Mountain Recreation Area - Cooper's Furnace

Still thawing out from last week's "Snowpocalypse", I was itching to get some trail time. John Cremers, a GUTS member I recently met at the Red Top training run, had posted on FB that he wanted to introduce some runners to this trail system near his house - I jumped at the opportunity. With snow still covering a majority of the trail and a starting temp of 32 degrees, I could not wait to get my trail on!

The location of this trail could not be any more perfect. Travel north on I-75 to exit 290. Exit the interstate to the right and make a right at the first light. (at the Wendy's) Travel on Hwy 20 Spur for about 3.2 miles, just after seeing the sign for Bartow Beach Road, the parking lot for Pine Mountian Rec Area & trail head will be on your right.

The trail network itself is not that large, the East & West loops are each about 6 miles - but the payoff is the gnarly single track & elevation. We started out on the East Loop (at around 900 feet elev.) and hit the trail running. Immediately greeted by uphills, my HR jumped. I thought to myself, "Oh shit, this is going to be a long morning, John is going to drop my a$$ in the first five minutes!" No sooner than I thought that did the trail start to level off. We ran some nice rollers and worked our way back towards the US Army Corp of Engineer's land & Coopers Furnace. The Furnace is really cool & there is also a great picnic & play area for families during warmer seasons.

After showing me around the furnace, we got back on trail and started to head over to the otherside. the footing was still pretty good; the real climbing had yet to start in earnest. As we hit about 4 miles on the day, John looked at me and said, that this next mile was going to be tough, we were heading to the "summit".

The footing on the switchbacks heading to the top was a little more difficult; we managed to run most of this, hiking at the steepest parts. We went from 900 ft to 1562 in about a mile...good climbing!~

(This photo of the summit was "Borrowed" from the 'net)

After enjoying the view for a few minutes and talking about the Indian Mounds in the distance, we began our decent. Man, talk about fun. The back side of this loop was steeper than the front and the trail was icier. We were sliding & "skiing" at certain sections, having to grab onto tree limbs to stay vertical. The best part of climbing is getting to run back down!

This trail network is a hidden gem that I can't wait to revisit. The climbing to the summit reminds me of going up the front of Kennesaw Mtn and the view is equally beautiful. from talking with John, Pine Mtn is a lot less crowded than KM. Thanks John!

Weekly weigh in
1/17/11 195.4 (up .2)

Su - 77 minutes zone 1/2
Mo - Strength
Tu - 50 minutes zone 2
We - 30 minutes + Strength
Th - Trackwork
Fr - rest
Sa - 30 minutes ( I might race a 5k)
su - 88 minutes zone 1

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A New Snail in teh Fold...

Allow me to introduce Alaska Snail 2.0.

Very few(if any of you) have ever read this blogpost, which was my first entry, explaining the beginning of this quest and this blog.

My brother has joined the blogosphere, hoping to chronicle his quest towards living a healthier & happier life. I am humbled that he draws inspiration from my efforts - as I am routinely inspired by his effort. He has a score to settle with the 'Nox and I am laying down the line early, the time to beat is 5:40:11...I look forward to the days when the Armbruster siblings are able to share the road or trail in the coming years. We have a 3rd "snail" in teh fold that has started a "running club" with her son, for now we will call her the Tennessee Snail...hmm, what do you call a baby snail? Anyroad, please welcome AS2.0.

Monday, January 10, 2011

FYTO 5K Report

Good day race fans!

A special shout out to Pam at Thirty Schmirty who ran a 5k to celebrate her 31st birthday. In honor of her birthday, I wore the #31 race bib for Adam's Freeze Your Thorns Off 5k.

I woke early Saturday morning and headed down to the river. It was brisk 28 degrees out and there was a cold wind coming in from the West...I looked around for some of the fellow bloggers. I saw the race favorite and course record holder Lily (& her handler-The Sean)
But rumor has it if Jamoosh can stay on course, he is a contender.

I did a little sizing up of the other runner's while warming up. Seems I am a lock for the M36-Smynra, GA catagory...I hope the RD has some good bling. I was recently informed by Adam that the mix up with the race shirts were sorted out and mine was "In the mail". Whatevs.

With no pomp & circumstance, we were off!

I felt good as I hit the 1st mile marker at 7:45. I was running solo, as the pack had thinned out quickly. However, this was an "open" course and there were ample pedestrians to give me that extra push. The pace dropped slightly as I approached the 2 mile mark at 15:50. This is where we make the money! Last mile, feel the burn.
I approached the 3 mile mark as the clock rolled over 24 minutes. Just a little push, hitting the "tape" at 24:40 for the entire 3.1 course. I was using todays race for a trio of results, the final third being a 30 minute Lactate Threshold Test. I had another 5 1/2 minutes remaining in this effort. As I glanced at the Garmin, I saw my HR roll into the 170's, I knew I only had a few minutes left to time, 30 minutes-3.76 miles. Average pace 7:59.

Special thanks to all who came out to enjoy this lovely morning.

I am happy with this effort as it is the first hard effort I have done of any kind since October. I am extremely pleased when comparing the 24:40 to my 5k PR of 24:01. I haven't done any speedwork in the last few months-I am begining a training cycle that includes weekly track work-I imagine my 5k PR will drop in the Spring race season.

Results from the weekly weigh-in:
1/10/11 195.2 (down 3.8 lbs)

upcoming training schedule
Su-70 minutes Zone 1 (recovery
Tu-50 minutes Zone 2
We-20 minutes Zone 1/2 & Strength
Th-Track workout
Sa-20 minutes Zone 1/2 & Strength
Su-60 minutes Zone 1/2

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Don't Be Afraid to Fail, Be Afraid Not to Try.

I have set some lofty goals for the year 2011.
I will lose 30 pounds.
I will run a sub 6:45 Sweetwater 50k.(8:12 in 2010)
I will run a sub 7:00 Chattooga 50k. (8:46 in 2010 w/bonus miles)
I will toe the line at R&R Savannah with the goal of 3:15:59 in sight.
I will run my first 50 mile or 100k event. (Distance depends on schedule)
I will run 1500 miles for the year. (1176 for 2010)

I have now sat at my keyboard for the last 5 minutes staring at those goals. The Running Is Stupid Committee has already called an emergency session. "Is this guy off of his rocker?!?!?"

Realistically, everything hinges on the first goal...Holly & I have committed to a nutritional plan that, if followed, will deliver on that promise. Low glycemic carbs, i.e. brown rice & sweet potatoes. Lean proteins such as chicken, fish, & turkey. Salads; spinach, romaine & bibb lettuces. Nuts, fruit & veggies. All of these things are stuff that I should be eating more frequently. It's just that I LOVE pizza & hot dogs & cheeseburgers....But I also LOVE RUNNING FAST!

So, as I begin my 14 week build up to SweetH20
I will also honor my pledge to take my diet to the next level. dropping 20 pounds before April 16th will put me one step closer to those goals...I am also going to hold myself accountable on this public forum by posting my weekly weight and training progress.

1/3/2011 - 199 bs.
Workouts scheduled:
Su-70 minutes - Zone 1/2
T-20 minutes - Zone 1/2
Th-Track Drills
Sa-Lactate Threshold Test
Su-70 minutes - Zone 1/2

CJ - has already gotten a jump start on his 2011 if I can just convince him for another duel...