Wednesday, July 29, 2009


First things first, running recap from yesterday...

I meet up with Cubbie for a seven mile loop at the Landings. It was pretty humid for 6:00pm, I had my handheld bottle and drained it by mile 5. We took off fast. I figure we were doing about 10, 10:30 mile pacing for the first four miles. It felt really good to open up and really run. After 4 - 4.5 miles I couldn't take the pain anymore and had to pull back. Cubbie kept the throttle down so I had something to shoot towards. By mile 5 I was completely gassed, just like that I was walking. I told myself, two minutes! After my time was up I started running again, I saw Cubbie at a turn and trying to close the gap. There just really wasn't anything in the tank. I had to walk twice more over the last two miles, both times less that two minutes of walking allowed. Cubbie double backed in the last half mile and we finished together. Overall I finished at 1:18:52, somewhere around an 11:20 pace. I was happy with that considering I mixed in a couple of walk breaks. I am really looking forward to getting to a point where I can consistantly run my long runs at a 10:00 pace or less, I imagine the heat adds a little time but also know my fitness level and the amount of weight I am carrying has a big factor.

Speaking of weight... I am throwing down the gauntlet! I got on the scale this morning and it read 215.4. I have 52 days until the marathon and I want to be under 200 pounds by race day...I figured it out and I am looking at about 2 pounds a week for the next 7.5 weeks....very doable. June 2008, we had a "biggest loser" contest at work. I started the contest at 245 and dropped 35 over three months to win the contest. A great mix of running and healthy eating got me to that victory. After the contest was over, I began to slip here and there and gained 15 pounds back over the winter. So, as I began training for this marathon the weight started dropping back off. However, I have been stuck at this current weight of 215 for two months! I want to drop this weight and keep it off.

For a guy who is 5'9 (5'10 with the right shoes) I really should tip the scales in the neigborhood of 160, 165 max. That is 50 pounds away. long term/short term goals here and now in writing (on my monitor, whatever!)

Long term goal-50 pounds by the summer of 2010

Short term goal-15 pounds by the start of the Marathon. (or right after I cross the finish line, can you say water weight?!?!)

Hitting these goals will also cause my times to drop like a pair of panties at a Maxwell concert...(too much? How about a Barry Manilow concert? Justin Timberlake?)

Deep down inside of me there is a runner. He WANTS to escape. I have run a 22 min 5K/48 10K in this century...2001 to be exact. I can get there again...One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

10 Days...5 runs....37 miles later, the scorecard reads Mother Nature 3, GS 2

I am back to my blog...sorry! Alot has taken place over the last week and a half. If I blog about all of it the battery on my laptop might die...Ok, lets get to the nitty gritty. Two long runs, two short runs with hills and a regular run. "Let's go to the tape Bob!"

Last sunday Cubbie and I were scheduled for a two hour run. we usually measure our long runs in miles but this run was kind of us working back into long runs after taking a couple of weeks easy. "Spokes" said he was interested in meeting up with us, so the more the merrier. We agreed to meet up at The Village at 5am to get most of this run in before the sun came up. Weather report was terrific. It was 72 degrees when we started, a little on the humid side. As soon as the sun came up (6:30) the humidity lifted. We finished the run and it had only reached 78. According to Spokes' Garmie we covered about 11 miles. GS 1- Mother Nature 0

I had to head to Atlanta for training and decided to get a couple of workouts in while I was up in the big city. I stayed at The W Atlanta-Downtown, one of the perks of working for Starwood Hotels. I could actually devote an entire blog to the awesomeness of this new property; seeing as how this is a running blog, I will not.

I arrived in the ATL(that's what the kids call it) early Wednesday evening. Had dinner at this really cool place, Flip Burger Boutique. I was told someone who was on Top Chef opened this place, great food. Anywho, got back to the hotel and was itching to run. I wanted to tackle the hills of downtown Atlanta, so off I went for a little thirty minute spin around the block. The weather was perfect and so was my run. I love running hills. I think it is the mental aspect that I really like; you know it sucks, your legs burn and you want to quit. When you get to the top you feel a certain sense of accomplishment AND you get to go down the hill. GS 2-Mother Nature 0.

Spent all day Thursday in training. Finished up at 5pm and decided it was time to explore Cenntenial Park. I saw dark clouds rolling in and was hoping to get in and out before Mother Nature "got on the board" As I ascended Peachtree St. the winds really picked up, blowing debris all around and generally making my climb much more difficult. As I headed toward the park I could feel the pressure drop and knew it was only a matter of time, but I didn't care. It felt great out! I ran across a few other runners, we silently alerted each other of the impending storm by waving and pointed to the sky. I had just about crested the hill next to The Omni as the heavens opened and drenched me. I then realized that I was running with the biggest sh!t eating grin on my face. This was a close call, Mother Nature had made it on the board. GS 2- Mother Nature 1

As I was heading back to Savannah, Cubbie called to see if we could move our long run to Friday night, instead of sunday morning. Uh oh..."Dude, it is going to be so hot! We are going to die. No, I mean literally die Cubbie!" So we agreed on a 6pm start for our 14 mile trek. Just an FYI- I have never run 14 miles consecutively in my entire life, and now I am going to do it at 6pm on a late July evening in Georgia...We cruised the first 7 miles easy peasy, lemon squeezy...Stopped real quick for a water refill and continued on. We were pacing at about 11:30 per mile and I was happy to be halfway home. It was really humid and the sun was baking. Cubbie wasn't taking enough water and really began to struggle. We will go ahead and call this one, Mother Nature has just tied it up. We stopped for a bio break at mile 9 and walked for a couple of minutes. Ever the fighter, Cubbie caught her second wind and we soldiered on. Mile 10 we came to the point in the road where we could turn left and do 11 miles or turn right and do 14. I knew Cubbie wanted to go left...But like the awesome running partner she is, "Let's finish this, we are doing 14!" Ha, give me that point back Mother Nature! We continued to push and finished our long run at an unofficial 2 hours 52 minutes. After a judges review, Mother Nature evens the score 2-2. Dang Russian judge!

This morning was supposed to be a recovery run, 3 or 4 miles. Cubbie calls me last night and says, "Hey can we run at 9am?" sure. "Um, you want to run the DeRenne run?" This is a no brainer to me...."Cubbie, we are only supposed to do 3 or 4 miles, we just ran 14 miles! DeRenne is 5.5 miles!" this is where her tricky logic suckers me in..."Yeah, but we haven't run that route in so long, it will be fun." That's all you've got? It will be fun? "Um, okay, why not" WTF? I am such a pushover! LOL! It was 85 degrees when we started, only half of this route is in the sun. We managed the first half of the run with relative comfort. However, the second half was a battle of wills, me secretly wanting to walk it in. MN beat down on me for the last mile and a half but I fought back as best I could. We finished strong. I really think it was a draw but after reviewing the tape I award Mother Nature the final point and the overall win for the week.

Final Score:

Mother Nature 3 - Georgia Snail 2

Shhh....don't say this too loud. I loved every minute of it!

One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Running with the fast snails...

I have had a couple of good workouts since Sunday. Cubbie and I met up at Daffin Park on Tuesday for our planned hour run. It has been nice to get back in the groove of running with my partner; I do believe I like a healthy mix of solo runs and partnered/group runs. I think I have ADD so it is nice to switch things up alot!

We started our run, hittting the first 1 1/2 mile lap at 15:48. Two months ago this was a "fast" time, it is nice to see that we are starting to really make progress in our fitness level. We hit the halfway mark at 31:50. holding onto sub 16 laps. We decided to venture off of the beaten path and explore some of the surrounding neighborhood for our last 30 minutes of the run.

Cubbie convinced me it would be a good idea to run to her "New Shack" so we made it there and back in the planned time finishing our run at 1:02:xx. On a side note, I set out a couple of water bottles I planned to pick up at the halfway point. Cubbie is as stubborn as a mule when it comes to taking water during a run. She has this mental thing about stopping and also just doesn't want to drink during a run. As I have discovered, I HAVE to consume water on a run or I will totally BONK. I grabbed one of the two water bottles and carried(and consumed) the bottle on the second half of the run. I was really glad I did, it was hot and I was sweating like a whore in church. Funny, with about ten minutes left, Cubbie was "struggling" and "wished I had that water bottle".

I have been hemming and hawwing about joining the local running group for their Wednesday, 6:30am, track workout. I met Kevin, a Fleet Feet employee, at one of the events they sponsor. He told me he is a 10 min. pacer and that we should run together. I finally decided to jump in with two feet and showed up early that morning for a real workout.

There were about a half dozen people there; Kevin and I stood out like sore thumbs. (sorry Kevin) Everyone looked like they had just stepped off of the cover of this month's Runner's World. I think Kevin could read the apprehension in my eyes and comforted me with a "don't worry, we are going to do our own track workout"

Warmed up with a easy 12 minute mile, some light streches and then came the pain!

400's (4 total with about a minute and a half rest between)

Kevin said the hard part was over, He is a very good liar!

200's (8 total, rest was the walk across the field)

I cooled down with a half mile jog in the opposite direction to "unwind"

All the while we were doing our workout , the local gazelles were churning up the track doing 4's and 8's. (Look at me with the speedwork lingo!) They were really killing it! Sparking the drive within me to one day be able to do their workout. During one of the breaks everyone came up and introduced themselves to me and really made me feel welcome. Great, now I can't hold the opinion that fast runners are "snobby jerkfaces because they are so fast!"

I was smoked but loved every second of it. I promised Kevin to be back and he is interested in joining us on our long run this Sunday. He is training for Chicago and Cubbie is excited to have another Chicago runner in the fold....wonder if I will need to come up with a nickname for Kevin...I think I will adopt his already used name of "spokes" I think that nickname is used tongue & cheek, I will do some further investigation.

I have another run with Cubbie this evening, 1 hour, then we are going to tackle a two hour run on Sunday....65 days until the foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Early Bird Gets The Worm...

...and some much needed heat relief! Cubbie and I are back full force this week. her job has kept her away so we have been training on our own over the last few weeks, squeezing in a run together every now and then. We were overdue for a long run so decided to meet at 5:30AM(did you know 5:30 comes twice a day?) and run for an hour and a half. What a diffence in temperature! According to the Weather Channel it was 70 degrees with a 71% humidity when I left the house at 5:15. We meet and began our run and it was just flat out wonderful outside. There was a slight breeze coming in off of the marsh and I could not be happier! Today was a day of many firsts.

Yesterday I purchased a new water bottle with the handheld carrying strap. I was very apprehensive about lugging this thing with me for the entire run but my last few long runs have been such a struggle dealing with dehydration that I HAVE to find a solution. Honestly, I think I would rather run with a belt but this was cheaper and I want to explore my options. I plunked down ten dollars and bought a new bottle. While I was at Fleet Feet Sports I decided it was time to upgrade my running head gear and I invested in a visor, I hear it is better than a hat in releasing the heat off of your head. Third purchase from Fleet Feet was some different flavors of GU for me and Cubbie to try.

Armed with my new purchases and excited to show Cubbie my stuff, we began our morning run. Started off at the usual slow pace, I quickly noticed my breathing was a little off and this "thing" in my hand was really a pain..."Is this how it is going to be for the next hour and a half?" After about ten minutes we settled into a comfortable pace and my breathing evened out. It was very surreal to be running at this time of the morning. It was SO quiet, there was no movement. The sun wasn't supposed to start rising until about halfway through our run. There were deer everywhere! I was really digging it! Cubbie wasn't impressed, she works out there and sees the deer all the time, but even she gushed when a deer raced across the road clumbsily followed by a little baby bambi.

Thirty minutes in I felt great and decided to take my first GU. Last long run I waited until 45 minutes and that long run turned out to be a big FAIL. "Orange Burst" as a flavor is okay, not at the top of the list for me. We were moving right along discussing the problems of the world and before I knew it we had been on the road for an hour, I took my second GU, "Strawberry-Banana" and decided it ranks at the top with "Tri Berry" We agreed to take a turn in the route that adds about 3/4 of a mile onto our run, this is the route we first ran out here, at a time of 1:40. Something happened at about 1:15 into the run. We didn't talk about it beforehand and we didn't talk about it while it was happening but simultaniously we both put the hammer down and really started killing it! I don't know if she started pushing and I pushed back or if I started pushing and she pushed back, before we knew it we were really moving! At the end of aour long run?!?! This makes no sense, LOL. 2 out of my 3 last long runs I bailed mid run and today we are pushing the pace. We finished the run at 1:28 and I quickly realized that the first time we ran this course, two months ago, it took 1:40. 12 minutes? How did we find 12 minutes on that course.

Here's how:
I had a 22oz water bottle with me that I took sips from during my run.(And totally LOVE now!)

Consumed 2 GU's, one every thirty minutes.

It was 72 degrees out, not 85 degrees, when we started and 75 degrees when we finished, not 90 degrees.


I had beaten myself up so much over my unsucessful long runs that I had really begun to question my sanity over the decision to run this marathon. "Maybe I am just a 5K guy..."

Nope, I will soon enough be a marathoner, God willing. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mid Summer Relief

We have had a low pressure system move into the Low Country this week and the weather has been absolutely wonderful!!! If you don't mind an occational rain shower here and there, you would love running in my 'hood over the last few days...Temps peaking in the high 80's, slightly overcast and a cooling breeze rolling in from the ocean! I have been taking advantage of it and have headed out for a run every day after work. Wednesday turned out to be a 4 miler after playing tennis with the roommate, I was already loose and had gotten some nice cardio from playing tennis, so I decided to take an easy run down to River Street for my favorite running pasttime, "Tourist Watching!" Nothing gives me more joy than good old fashioned people watching, add tourists to the mix and I am in heaven!!! If you have ever been to Savannah, you know how much fun it is to watch half drunken tourons trying to negotiate our 200 year old cobblestone streets! As of the last few years we have also been blessed with the lemmings that line up for the heart attack buffet also known as "The Lady and Sons" owned by none other than local "celebrity" and Food Channel star Paula Deen. I believe she might have a statue of a stick of butter somewhere in her marsh-side mansion...If I had a dollar every time an ambulance gets called to this restaurant, well...I wouldn't be typing this blog from work, that's for sure!

Moving on to Thursday's run...I was a little sore and my legs felt heavy from Wednesday's workout but could not pass up on the great weather so I headed out for what was to be an easy three mile run. "Just a couple of laps around the park" I thought...It is 3/4 of a mile from my house to Forsyth Park. Got there in less than seven minutes, so I figured my soreness from Wed. was gone. I hit the first lap at 9:50 and was surprised at how easy it felt. I saw a runner about 1/4 of a lap in front of me so I decided to play a little game of chase on my second lap. It took me about 3/4's of the lap to catch said runner, clocking that mile at 9:10! Great mental boost for having just nailed two miles at 19:00 minutes! I ran the remaining route back to the house in a cool down mode finishing the 3.5 mile run in 32:01. All in all a great couple of runs, grateful to the weather gods for the seldom found mid July relief. I hope it holds up through Sunday when I am scheduled for an hour and a half early morning run with Cubbie.

One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.