Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday = Trip to the Georgia Aquarium

As a sign of appreciation, our department is taking us to the aquarium today, that's kinda cool. Hey, we get to wear jeans & leave the office at noon, I'll take it!

Last week I finished a 40 mile training week. Last week & this week are my final big weeks before Chattooga 50k, then there will be a 20% reduction in miles as I begin a semi-taper. This past weekend I did a combined 25 miles. Saturday's workout was "Dixon" (I don't know what that means, that's just what the Crackhead called it. It must be the name of the guy who invented it - or maybe maybe that is what you say about your coach after you do it. "He's a dixon for making me run that." No?)

Anyroad - the "Dixon" is 10 minutes warm up, zone 1, then 10 minutes zone 2. For the next 60 minutes, you run Z2, with every 4th minute zone 4/5. Man, what a workout, I really started to feel the effort about an hour in, making those last 4 to 5 - 1 minutes surges difficult. In the beginning, my zone 4/5 was about a 6:45 m/m pace, the last few I was struggling to get to 6:55 m/m. At the end of the day I covered about 9 miles and got a second speed session in for the week. As we are working towards getting faster this season, I am getting two speed sessions a week.

Sunday's long run was done at "Sean's Run Like Hellathon", Sean B. is a local trail runner who hosts a hellathon usually twice a year. It's pretty straight forward, he sets up and aid station on his front porch and people come out and run a 1.1 mile loop in his neighborhood. The Hellathon lasts for 12 hours, 7am - 7pm. You can run as little or as much as you want.

I had 2.5 hours on the schedule, so I got there early to get my miles in before it got too hot. Sh!t, summer is here. It got hot & humid real fast. I managed to squeeze out 16 miles on tired legs....It was great being able to run with a bunch of GUTS runners and see some old faces. However, I plan on getting out even earlier for this weekend's 3.5 hr long run. Distance running + Summer + Me = HOT MESS!

Speaking of running in the summer heat, what type of tricks do ya'll use to beat the heat?!?!?!

Do you run pre dawn?

Cut back on the miles?

Run indoors?

Just write numbers in the log but not actually run???

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fight For Air Climb - Official Results

Sorry for the delay, there was a timing error the day of the race and it took a while for them to sort it out.

Let's get to the important stuff - Thanks to the following friends - Team Snail raised $490, contributing to the overall fundraising total of $32,328.

Alaska Snail 2.0
Mark & Kelly Erwin
Taryn & Eli Black
Jerry Blankenship
Loren Morgan
The Hurndons
Heather Brown
Amanda Tichacek
Sarah Tynes
The Freedom Runners
Julie Solomon

Due to a last minute venue change, the event took place in the Equitable building, a 35 story building in downtown Atlanta. Deciding against taking the easy way out & only doing the 32 floor climb, Team Snail performed brilliantly in the 64 floor climb. My fellow teammates, Holly & Kristi were not snails on the stairs & vow to return next year!

64 floors you ask, but you just said the building was only 35 stories tall?!?!? What gives Snail? Well, you see, you do it twice! Climb up 32 floors, the timer stops, you take the elevator down, timer starts again and you climb the 2nd set of stairs. (And now you see the timing issue)

I am happy to report that yours truly had the 6th fastest overall time of 11:27. The overall winner ascended in a blazing 8:19. The 2nd finisher was recorded at almost 2 minutes slower, 10:14.

My time was fast enough to put me atop of the Men's 30-39 AG podium, gotta love a little AG bling! (1st place, yo!)

Another interesting trivia tidbit, I took the shortest "break" between sets and recorded the fastest overall time! (13:28) Much to my surprise, after the event, they announced my name as the winner. I almost fell over and turned red with embarrasment - I looked at Holly and exclaimed, "No way! That's impossible! Really!?!?! Fu@k!" Real nice Snail, real nice! Keep it clean for teh kids....

Of course, those faster (all 5 of them) didn't believe it and demanded a recount!(J/K) After the discovery of the timing error, they promised to properly sort out the results and post them online & mail the awards.

I'm still a winner!

While looking online for the results, I googled Towerrunning & stair running and found some great clips on youtube. This is a serious underground sport with world rankings?!?!?! The youtube clips demonstrate the importance of always takign 2 steps at a time & using the handrail for effective climbing speed. Just in trying these tips out, I was amazed at how much easier it was to ascend my 4 flights of stairs at work. I only wish I had seen the clip BEFORE the climb...I think I could have taken 2nd overall...

So, here is the plan. NEXT YEAR, I will have a little more training in my pocket & Team Snail will also be recruiting other climbers.

My goals for the 2012 climb (in order of importance)
Recruit 20 climbers to Team Snail
1st Overall Team Fundraising (2010 winner - Gwinnett Fire & Rescue $6272)
1st Overall Fastest Team - top 3 climbers time combined (2010 winner - Team Lincoln 17:45)
1st Overall Climber - (2010 - Victor Serrano - 8:18 (also a GUTS runner!)

Team Snail does not discriminate! We welcome all climbers! Who is with me?


Monday, May 9, 2011

HR Training

So...The Crackhead had me do a Lactate Threshold Test last week to gauge my progress. This method of determining my LT is done by running 30 minutes at an all out effort. 10 minutes into the run, I am supposed to hit the lap button, using the final 20 minutes to determine my LT heart rate & pace. My last LT test was back in January where I averaged a 168 HR and 7:53 pace. On Thursday I average a 7:37 pace with a HR of 162.

Initially I was concerned about my inability to get my HR into the high 160's, low 170's. When I ran my 5k last weekend, my avg HR was 163. I was questioning the fact that maybe I wasn't pushing hard enough, not really giving it 100%. The Crackhead said the fact that I am able to run faster at a lower HR is great. Coupled with the fact that I haven't been doing any speedwork geared towards shorter distance racing; I shouldn't really be able to go "too deep into the red." All of my training lately has been focused on the 50k, including the speedwork.

He then informed me that would soon change as we begin to focus on the Peachtree Road Race 10k. DOH!

I mean, I'm cool with the idea of getting faster. In order to run faster, you have to run faster....but, but....but running fast hurts! I'm kind of a wimp like that. Guess I need to HTFU and get my swerve on!

Actually, truth be told, I like how I feel immediately after a good track session, just not so much during. The hardest interval? The 2nd to last one. Which also happens to be my favorite interval-sort of like Thursday is my most favorite day of the week because I like to spend it thinking about "how tomorrow is Friday"...It might be sort of telling that I spend a lot of time "in the future"...need to stay a little more in the moment I guess.

Moving on.

This is the final week leading up to the Fight For Air Climb. Team Snail has has great success in the fund raising department. The American Lung Association will be the benifactor of recent generous donations by some awesome bloggers such as Wes & Muriel. also a few ultra/trail runners like Sarah T., Amanda T., Fabio, & the Black Family. Thanks to the Freedom Runners & also the Alaska Snail. If you can, please click here and help Team Snail reach our goal!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Times a Flying!

Wowzers! I have been a little absent from blogland - Sorry. Looks like GQH has moved again. Totally understand that one...

I just got back from Phoenix, Adam, RTP, and several other bloggers are lucky to have the weather they do. Of course, revisiting in August may sing a different tune.

While in Phoenix, I rose with the sun (5:15am) and got my miles in each day. Wednesday, I hit the trails on Camelback Mountain and ascended to the top. Those familiar with Kennesaw Mountain here in Atlanta, the elevation gain is about the same, with a rockier terrain. Great view - if you are ever in the area, this is a must do!

Me and Holla also spent a little time in the cactus garden located at the hotel. I believe he is still picking out a few cactus needles.

Upon my return to the Dirty South, I ran the Jonquil Jog - a local 5k in my town of Smyrna. With all of the training and weight loss over the winter, I had it on good faith that I would be able to lower my current 5k PR of 24:01. My goal was an achieveable one - without going into great detail, the day was perfect for running and I ran a 23:06. I held the pacing needed for a 22:59(my goal) but the course seemed a little long. No excuses, I am extremely happy to lower my PR. I don't run 5k's as much as I used to, so it is nice to get out and run hard - see where I am.

Lastly, Team Snail is less than two weeks away from the Fight For Air Climb and can use your support. The American Lung Association is a great cause - if you can, please donate to help us reach our fund raising goal. A few dollars will go a long way for us reaching our goal! Thank you to those who have donated! Sarah, Muriel, Alaska Snail, Julie & the Freedom Runners - you rock!

P.S. - After further review, Georgia Snail will stay Georgia Snail. Although I did consider Steve Q's suggestion.