Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Murry Effin Crimas!!!

This snail has started turning heads...
~True story~

Overheard on last three runs with my new training buddy....

~Who is that hawt guy with the sahweet Garmy?

~Gawd I wish I had one of those, oh and I like the watch too...

~You'd think with that high falutten watch, he would look both ways before crossing the intersection...

Okay, so some of that might have been not actually said out loud but they were thinking it. Especially the second, er, third one...

Big shout out to my little brother and his beautiful wife for totally hooking me up at the family Crimas celebration. We have been talking about this watch for quite some time and he really shocked me when he told me he got it for me! How lucky am I?

So of course I had to take it out for a test drive that day. It corners like it is on rails! (anyone?) My only question is why does my Garmy not beep at the mile marks? I figured maybe I don't have it set up properly and have poured over the instruction manual to no avail....any help?

I was in Tennessee for the holiday visiting with the family and it was cold! Damn, long runs at 30 degrees is not what I signed up for man! However, in the grand scheme of things I will take cold over the summer heat and humidity any day...It only took a few minutes to warm up and get comfortable in the cold. I can never get comfortable in Savannah's heat.

I'd like to thank everyone for weighing in on my "Ultra" debate. I am really close to pulling the trigger on this deal...I just wish it wasn't so close to the spring marathon I am looking at, maybe I can use the marathon as a long training run...okay, so I am looking at a March 21st Mary, with the Ultra being run on April 3rd. I will defer to the experts; is 13 days long enough between the two events?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holy Holidays Batman!

Dude! It was just Halloween like last week!?!1!

Okay, I have been a little remiss in my blogging as of late~but I have not been neglecting my running. The Snail has been running out of his shell!

45 days out from the Tybee 1/2 Marathon & 5K and I am starting to get excited. We have really been hitting it hard lately. I am running 5 days a week averaging 30-35 miles. My speed work last week was awesome! I did my Yasso 800's; 5 laps.
The crackhead was doing K repeats and he was coming into the turn as I was rounding out my last 800. He pulled me through to that 3:52 and it felt great.

I ran my long run of 11 miles on Sunday in 1:47. I am stoked with the time, it is just around a 10 minute pace. My goal pace for the 1/2 will be about a 9 minute mile so I am feeling pretty good about how things are shaping up.

In other running news, I am shaping up my 2010 race calandar. I am looking at a Spring marathon, probably somewhere in North Carolina. Also, I would like to put a Fall/Winter marathon on the calandar. I will enter the lottery for NYC; I do have a couple of plan B's though. I do not want to run another early fall marathon, as I do not want to go through another Savannah Summer training for a full mary...those long runs in July and August were just cruel...
I have a half on the schedule(Tybee in Feb.) and would like to add one more. Somewhere in the Southeast, if anybody has any suggestions. We will scatter some 5&10k throughout the year just to keep it fun.

Then there is the Ultra.

There two goals that lurk in the back of my mind that I don't speak of often.
1. BQ and eventually run Boston.
2. Complete an ultramarathon.

The ultra is currently more attainable...and because I don't do anything half-a$$ed; just half-cocked...I am thinking about the SweetH20 50K...
You actually cross a creek(twice) Not like, "splish, splash, I am running through a little creek" but more like waist deep, hang on to this rope so you don't get swept away in the current, creek...This ultra might have to wait until 2011 because I am a skeered...

Full race calandar post to come soon....I am looking for ideas on regional runs...any info would be great!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Housekeeping and Kiawah Island

This week is the official ramp up week to Tybee. I would usually insert some derogatory comment about CJ and how I am going to beat him at The Duel in the Dunes; in the spirit of the season I will not.(Okay, maybe just one shot...)

My workouts this week consisted of two, five mile runs done at an 8:45 pace, speedwork, and I will be running long (10 miles) tomorrow. I'd like to take brief moment to mention my speedwork before moving on to what I really want to talk about here today.

Brief Moment:

YASSO 800's


This was just an introductory attempt at the 800's, I did 4. At a goal pace of 4:00 minutes. McMillian says I should be able to do a 1:59 half and 4:12 full marathon so I figured for the sake of my 800's I would shoot for 4 minutes....I have work to do.
I am going to try four again next Wednesday before bumping up to five the following week.

On to bigger and better things!!!!

My buddy was attempting to qualify for Boston today and ran in this marathon. Without telling him, a few of us got together and drove the two hours up to Kiawah Island to cheer him on. We got there about 30 minutes before he hit the half-mary mark and he was flying! 1:33:23. This place is gorgeous! It is fast and flat; people come here to run BQ's. We are thinking of coming back to run the half and/or the full next year. I might come up with the hopes of seeing what a 4 hour marathon looks like...What's that? How did my buddy do? He finished 68th out of 1001 full marathon runners with an outstanding time of 3:15:46.

Congratulations David Howard, you have qualified to run in the Boston Marathon!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Enmark Savannah River Bridge Run Report

Otherwise known as "It's my glass now, I keep it!!!"

So they gave out glasses instead of mugs....I am okay with that...This report may run long, I am warning you ahead of time!

Now for the meat and potatoes!!!

The weather forcast was less than favorable and waking up race morning the weatherman actually got one right this time...Way to go Pat Prokop...
It was raining and in the low 40's when I woke up. Not to be discouraged, weather channel's website said the rain was supposed to lift by 8am. Just in time for the race.

I headed to the start and got on the trolley be taken over the bridge to the start of the 5k. It was cold and wet. However, my spirits were high, I had a double pump to run. The hotel I work for is on the island where the race starts so I ducked into the office to stay warm and dry until 15 minutes before the race. I changed my shoes, had a small cup of coffee and tried to calm the pre race jitters. I really didn't know what to expect, do I hold back for the 5k to save a little gas for the 10k? Is the 15 minute break gonna cause me to get cold and stiff?

I headed to the start with about 2000 other runner/walkers and before I knew it I was off.

I settled into a comfortable pace, tried to run at 75-80%. Five minutes into the run the rain stopped and never returned! On my way up the bridge and caught myself thinking, "What a dumbass, I have to do this two more times?" I pushed out the negative thought with my standard, "Seven minutes to the top, Thomas. Then it is smooth sailing back down."

Cresting the bridge on my first pass, I saved my usual, "Get off me bridge!" taunt. I didn't want to anger my foe so early in the battle. I looked up and saw another runner from my Sunday running group and we chatted for a minute on the way down. I, being far heavier, let gravity go to work and pulled ahead from her, only to have her catch me and pass me in the last 1/4 mile. Coming into the last turn I saw the clock hit 27 and I cruised in for a 27:27 5k.

413/2188 5k runners

Quick to grab some water and eat the Powerbar that was in my pocket, I headed over to the start area where about 1500 runners were preparing for the 10k start.

I had 15 minutes to get my heart rate down and keep loose. I felt really good and was happy to run into another couple of Sunday runners who were doing the 10k. Rob was hoping to break an hour, I silently decided I would keep him behind me...

After announcing a joint race run simultaniously in Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan(Those soldiers ran their 10k on a 1/4 track loop!), they played the national anthem and we were off!

My goal was to hold down 9's for as long as possible. The first mile was a loop around downtown, pulling us to the onramp for the bridge.

WTF!?!? Who put these bricks on top of my quads??? That first mile sucked! LOL! My legs were heavy and my right quad was very angry!!!

As I approached the bridge one of two things happened. Either my legs loosened back up or the pain of climb became greater that the pain of my quads being tight...

From weeks of training on this route I knew this half mile section was the toughest(Steepest)portion of the entire race course. "Fast, Fluid, Form" Take me to the top buddy!

I crested the bridge for a second time and knew I was almost through with the battle....It's all academic from here! LOL...

Did I mention there was a costume contest?

That's me on the left and that look says, "I can't believe it took me this long to pass those Horseshoe Crab runners!"

According to my splits I was pacing just over 9 minute miles. I saw Rob ahead of me on the downhill and opened up a little to catch up to him. We exchanged grunts and I surged ahead. Coming off of the bridge we looped back under to the other side. The was about 1/2 a mile in the flat until we would be going back up. Rob passed me in the flat but I let him go, I knew he wouldn't be able to keep that pace on the last climb.

The last trip over was governed by Crackhead's mantra. "Fast, Fluid, Form." Every left step "Fast" "Fluid" "Form" Before I knew it I was halfway up and had already caught Rob and was reeling in a lot of runners. I resisted the urge to tell them this was my third trip over the bridge...

"GET OFF ME BRIDGE!" I yelled as I crested The Eugene Talmidge Memorial Bridge for the third and final time.

I opened my stride and felt like I was flying down the bridge. I knew I could run reckless until right before the off ramp and then I would need to reel it in and get my running in check for the final hill...sneaky, sneaky; most runners don't know about this hill! After you come off the bridge you loop under and there is this 1/4 mile that you don't feel in your car. After running five miles of the 10k course, you definately feel it!

I was gassed but was in the final mile so I laid it all out there. I saw my buddy Seth ahead of me and tried my best to catch him. I was only passed twice in the final 1/4 mile. Push hard for the final 800 yards, "two laps around the track Thomas"

697/1458 10k runners

Total time 1:25:43
Total miles 9.3

22/41 in my AG

211/349 overall Double Pumpers

I got my glass....thank you very much, runner # 1247, where ever you are!

I can't wait until next year. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Enmark Savannah River Bridge Run "Double Pump"

HeHe...I said Double Pump...

So this all started with a resentment. This will be my fifth running of the bridge run, but this year I will be running the "Double Pump".

Imagine the scene: It was almost a year ago, it was a cool, crisp Savannah morning. All of the local runners had come out to prove their athletic ability against our famed bridge in either the 5k, the 10k, or the Double Pump. Your's truly had just finished the 10k and was walking through the chute to the water table when I saw another runner with a finely crafted mug emblazoned with a bridge run logo. "Excuse me kind runner. I could not help but notice that beautifully crafted glass mug in your hand. Where ever did you obtain it and how might I get one?" She scanned me up and down pausing at my race bib and mockingly said, "Um, you have to have run the Double Pump to get one of these..."

Hmmm, my 10K effort was not enough.

I swore at that moment to run the double next year and find that runner and let her know I had been gunning for her all year....I will get you runner #1247!

What's that? She will have a different number if she runs this year?!?1! hmmm...Karma!

So, Saturday morning I will wake, attend to the usual morning business and join the masses as we cross the Savannah River via ferry boat to the start of the 5K. I will contain myself as best as possible not to repeat the soul crushing glare of runner #1247 while intermingling with the 5k runners...

8:15am, with great fanfare, the 5k will start. We will cross the Eugene Talmidge Bridge and run into downtown Savannah. As I cross the finish line (goal time 26 & change) I will grab a little water and head over to the starting line of the 10k, which will start promptly at 9:00am.

9:00am, after hearing the national anthem for a second time this morning, the 10k will start with a mile loop through downtown Savannah before the route takes us up and over the bridge. We will quickly loop under the bridge and begin to go back up over the other side. Thus making our third, and final trip over the bridge. I am going to leave it all on the bridge and shoot for sub 55 minutes.

This race is billed as "The South's Toughest Bridge Run" and for good reason. From start to finish the bridge is 1.5 miles long with an average of 5.5% grade on the ascent. Peak elevation of 196 ft. So, in 3/4 of a mile we climb almost 200 feet...fun right? I know, let's do it three times....

I will get my mug. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

(Unless they aren't giving out mugs this year????)