Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Long Run - 18.2 miles - 8-24-2014

JRC Sunday Group - 9 miles - 8-24-2014 - Details

The total of 18.2 miles for this morning's long run included 3 separate Garmin activities. I left home about 5:20 this morning and drove to the YMCA where I left my car for pick up later. I left the Y a little after 5:30 and headed to JRC for the official start of the group run. When I got to JRC I stopped my watch and saved that portion of the run which totaled 4.2 miles since others were still arriving.

The route for the group run portion was very similar to last week with a trip out Gate Pkwy. to Town Center Blvd. then east to I-295 where we made the turn and headed back to the cow tunnel. After the trip through the tunnel we completed a loop around Burnt Mill and  headed north/west on Gate to the water stop provided by Jacksonville Running Company. After a good long drink of cold water and refilling my bottle we again headed north/west on Gate. I turned left on Deerwood Park Blvd. in the direction of the YMCA.  Dawn, my partner for this run, continued on Gate in the direction of JRC. When I arrived at the Y my distance for the 2nd run segment was 9 miles for 13.2 miles so far.

I was feeling pretty good as I opened the door to the Y and stepped into the air conditioning. After getting settled and drying off a bit I had a Clif bar, got some more water and headed for the treadmills. I picked out a treadmill with a view of the lake, set the target distance at 5 miles and worked my way up to a 12 MPM pace. I was feeling really good during the first couple of miles.

A little past the half way point, when I felt pretty sure I was going to complete the 5 miles, I started feeling pretty pleased with myself since I was pretty sure I would hit the 18.2 for the day. A real badass?, well maybe. A short while later a woman walked into the treadmill area and I noticed as she was picking out a treadmill that she had on kind of a funny looking headband. She ended up on a mill about 3 down from me and started her run. I looked over a short while later and could see that behind the headband she just had little clumps of hair scattered around her mostly bare scull. My guess was that she is currently undergoing chemo treatment. I thought, well, who's the badass now ya big dummy? To compensate for my inflated ego I hit the up arrow on the incline adjustment a couple times and kept running.

I did finish the 5 mile treadmill segment for a total 18.2 miles this morning. Near the end of this run I was feeling a little pain on the outside of my right leg, just below the knee. I could also tell that both knees have a little inflammation. I am going to try to finish this week with no more miles than last week and then starting next Sunday cut the miles back to give the legs a little break before the final push to Chicago. 


Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Morning - New Route - 7.8 miles - 8-22-2014

Friday Morning - New Route - 7.8 miles - 8-22-2014 - Details

I've been wanting to try out this double loop for a few weeks now and finally got to the Y early enough on a workday to give it a go this morning. The southern loop is the usual Gate Parkway to Burnt Mill. This morning I traversed Burnt Mill right after the school bus had picked up the zombies.

On the northern loop I took Town Center Parkway out to the Publix and then headed south behind the Publix, Target and Dick's Sporting Goods and then west to the familiar Cow Tunnel.

I really intended this to be a slow easy run not any quicker than 11 MPM. I felt really good and every time I looked at my watch I was going faster than planned. Heading to bed early tonight. I hope to be running on the beach by 6 tomorrow morning. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Morning Run - 6.35 miles - 8-21-2014 - Details

Morning Run - 6.35 miles - 8-21-2014 - Details

Today I decided to get my run in before work to take advantage of a cooler morning temperature. It was 80 degrees for my run at 6 AM which does not seem very cool but its way better than the sunny 101 degrees that I encountered when I left my office at 4:30 PM.

I intended to run yesterday morning but just couldn't drag myself out of bed at 4:30 so the run today was a must. I started at the Brooks YMCA and covered pretty familiar terrain out to St. John's Town Center, through the Cow Tunnel and then looped around Burnt Mill back to the YMCA.

Now that school is back in session the youngsters are out early in droves waiting for the arrival of school buses. I encountered one of these droves about 6:40 this morning with children that appeared to be sleeping standing up scattered all around a sidewalk outside of a housing community. As I approached I hollered GOOD MORNING expecting the drove to part and allow me reasonable passage through this section of sidewalk. No luck, not a movement to be seen anywhere.

I ended up weaving my way through this pack of kids and then when I was nearly to the end I saw a slight movement by the last kid in the line. Turns out he was moving toward me to pick up his laptop which was laying on the sidewalk right in my path. I jumped the laptop and was finally clear of this obstacle.

Well, this was only my 2nd run this week and there are only 2 days left. I am going to try to get out early the next 2 mornings and finish the week with just over 30 miles. On Sunday I start a new week. I will try to increase my long run mileage to somewhere between 18 and 20 using the Outside/Inside strategy that worked this last week. At this point I am planning on driving to the Y, so my car will be there when I am done, and running to the start at JRC. The unknown at this point is how early I can get to the Y.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sunday Long Run - 16.10 miles - 8-17-2014 - Details

JRC Group Run - 11.10 miles - 8-17-2014 - Details

Yes, I know it is Tuesday and that I am late with this blog post. I've been really busy with all the blah, blah, blah...........OK, now that we have that over with let me tell you about my run on Sunday. 

If you have been reading any of my blog posts of late you know that I have had a hard time getting my long runs completed because of ongoing Jacksonville weather malfunctions. I won't whine but its been really, really hot. So, faced with this challenge, I came up with a plan. I think its a pretty good plan but you decide.

I've come up with a plan that I call the Outside/Inside Run or for short the Outie Innie Run. You can see in the post title that I covered 16.1 miles on Sunday. The first link above is for the JRC group run portion where I covered 11.1 miles and ended at the Brooks YMCA. Once I arrived at the YMCA I went in to the air conditioning, man was it cold, had a little snack, refilled my water bottle and headed to the treadmills. I set the treadmill on a distance target of 5 miles, turned on the music and ran at about 12 minute pace until I hit the target.

My only problem is that my new Garmin 220 has a self calibrating accelerometer, whatever that is, to track distance when GPS is turned off. I guess that since this was the first use of the 220 with GPS off maybe the  accelerometer has not had adequate time to self calibrate. So while Garmin thought I ran a little under 4 miles, I am comfortable enough with the treadmill's target feature that I edited the run distance to 5 miles which means the laps make no sense. If you look at the details page for this run you can see that the map is also screwed up.

All said, I am quite happy with my Outie Innie Run plan and have marked 16.1 miles on my training calender for this past Sunday. I could have gone to the JRC Your Pie run this evening and once again tried to enjoy a sunny 90 degree run; however, Jacksonville's weather forecast is predicting a 76 degree overnight low and I have my alarm set for 4:30 AM.:)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Long Run - 15.63 miles - 8-10-2014 - Details

Sunday Long Run - 15.63 miles - 8-10-2014 - Details

I looked at the calender last evening and counted 9 Sunday runs left before the Chicago Marathon on October 12th. This morning's run was one of the 9 and since the Sunday before the event will be a very easy run not to exceed 10 miles I've got just 7 Sunday's left for long runs before the event. At a minimum I'd like to get at least one 20 miler in but would really like to have a couple 20's and maybe a 21 or 22. Time will tell. 

My training partners and I had agreed to meet at JRC at 6 AM this morning to get an early start. I pulled in the lot at about 5:50 and found ultra marathoner Dawn's SUV in its normal place. Dawn had decided to join Jenn, Paulo and I for this mornings 16 miles. We chatted for a couple minutes before Jenn pulled up. We were getting our gear ready when I heard a comment about me learning to run light. I was carrying two 21 ounce bottles with fluid, my phone, car keys and several gel packs. 

When I was finally set and ready to go we were still missing Paulo. Since Paulo was almost a half hour early for the last run, we agreed that at nearly 6:15 he was likely not going to show this morning and got started. 

It was still dark for the first couple of miles and it felt like we got a slow start. Funny, at the end of the day the mile splits don't seem to support that feeling. For some reason at about 2 miles the pace on my watch said 12 something and I thought we were going to slow. I dropped the pace down with the intention of keeping it as close to 11 minutes per mile as possible. 

We did our usual long run tour of UNF with the intention to add a loop around the sports complex which I thought would get our 14 mile route up to 16 miles. By the time we got to the road around the sports complex I realized I was having a hard time keeping the pace as slow as 11 MPM.  Since the road around the sports complex it was closed, plan B turned out to be the Burnt Mill loop after the Cow Tunnel.    

By the time we got to the Cow Tunnel the sun was out and it was HOT. It seemed the ladies were taking turns pushing the pace and I was looking for a third water bottle. We knew that a water stop was set up at what one might call the end of the Burnt Mill loop, I was just hoping I could get there and get recharged. By now it seemed I was sweating fluid out faster than I could replenish.   

We got to the water stop just before Jackie pulled up to break it down. I poured a bottle of cold water over my head, drank a bottle full and filled the other bottle. We took off and headed for JRC but I didn't get far before I called it a day and decided to just walk it back. I think I just pushed to hard for as hot as it was so it was time for me to call it a day. At this point I am hoping for a very cold September in Jacksonville.    

Monday, August 4, 2014

Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon - 13.8 miles - 8-2-2014 - Details

Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon - 13.8 miles - 8-2-2014 - Details

I was back in Central Indiana this past weekend for the Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon. As you might remember, this event really humbled me last year, forcing me to little more than a crawl for the last several miles and a 3 hour and 6 minute finishing time.

Sonny and I arrived at the park early to find preparations for the event under way and many runners milling about and preparing for the run.

We were both hoping for a better finish than last year and wished each other well just before the start. I lost sight of Sonny shortly after entering the woods and then caught a glimpse of him leaving the first water station station just as I was arriving.

It was during the first mile that I seemed to feel the fatigue in my legs that plagued me during last years run. I briefly thought of turning back and then pushed forward remembering a mantra that I borrowed from training partner Ashley. This mantra, There will be a day when I cannot do this, but Today is not that day helped me refocus my determination several times during this run. This is a very challenging course and I had to work to get it done. I guess the challenge is part of the appeal of the event. 

This year I had a little patience and didn't go out way to fast as I had done last year. The Galloway style walk breaks were saved for most of the uphill sections and the light rain was a blessing that helped keep things somewhat cool. 

Also, I was prepared and when I got to the old bear statue in the woods and I veered off course just enough to snap a picture. I guess I should have veered a little farther since the bear is pretty unrecognizable from this angle. Maybe next year I can veer a little farther.

When I got to about mile 10 I could tell that I was doing well enough that if I could hold it together I could beat last years time by several minutes. It seemed like the last mile would never end. The total distance of 13.80 miles as measured by my Garmin GPS kind of explains why the last mile seemed so long. 

We both had a pretty good day with Sonny beating last year's time by 28 minutes and my time being about 20 minutes ahead of last years time. I was able to convince a representative from North Face, the event sponsor, to take a photo of us with my camera. 

I asked Sonny which one of us he thought looked the goofiest in the picture and he said it might be a tie. Maybe next year we will find someone with better camera skills. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Eagle Creek Trail Run - Here I come - Ready or not.

JRC - Group Run - 9.2 miles - 7-27-2014 - Details

Today was the last group run for me before my annual trip to Indiana for a run in the woods. While I didn't get as much trail running experience this year, I think I am better trained overall than last year. At this point I am most concerned with proper fueling and not going out to fast.

As for today's run, I didn't realize it until I arrived at JRC this morning that our hostess's for the morning run, Jackie and Loretta, had planned a 10 mile challenge for our enjoyment. They had been out marking the course and setting up water stops.

We had a good group of runners with many of us targeting fall marathons. In addition to Jenn training for New York and Paulo targeting Savannah there was another Chicago runner, two fellas training for the Marine Corps marathon and a young lady planning on running the Wineglass marathon in Napa Valley.

The runners stayed close enough to each other that no one was ever alone for to long and the water stops were heaven. Jackie and Loretta did such a fantastic job that I felt it only right to accompany Jackie to Starbucks for breakfast after the run. Apparently I was laughing so hard at a couple of her jokes that I didn't hear my phone ring when the Mrs. called to check on me. She knew I had stopped running over an hour earlier thanks to Garmin's new Live Track feature. I did catch her 2nd call as I pulled into the neighborhood after breakfast. No harm, no foul.

My next post will come after the Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon next Saturday. Since I had such a miserable showing at this event last year I expect to easily beat last years time on the course.