Monday, May 25, 2015

Noblesville Mini Marathon - 13.1 Miles - 5-23-2015 - Details

Noblesville Mini Marathon - 13.1 Miles - 5-23-2015 - Details

I really went to Indiana over the weekend to visit family and friends but still, for some reason, at the start of the Noblesville Mini Marathon I sought out the leader of the 2:00 pace group, a young lady named Libby, and introduced myself. I told Libby that I had a lot riding on a good performance since friend John had just informed me that lunch was on him if I turned in a sub 2:00 time.

Libby was warm and friendly, just as one would expect in Noblesville, and immediately understood the seriousness of her assignment. I told Libby that my most recent half marathon was 2:00:24 so I was hopeful that she could help me shave 25 seconds off my previous best.

Libby sure seemed up to the task clicking off an 8:45 first mile and hitting miles 2 and 3 right at 9:00. By the 3rd mile I was taking inventory. The first problem I sensed was my legs were feeling tired. Possibly the result of not sleeping as good as normal the prior two nights while traveling. 

The second problem was clearly to much fiber in my diet the day before. This was not the GI distress problem sometimes associated with high fiber consumption. This was just to much salad. My lunch on Friday was a large salad from the salad bar at Earth Fare in Carmel. While running on Saturday morning I felt like I had the whole produce department stuck in my lower abdomen.

So if you look at the splits you will see that during the 4th mile I came to my senses and dropped out of the pace group. I tried to act like an adult as Libby and her group pulled away from me and out of sight but now I was faced with the cost of lunch at the Vitality Cafe on Main St. in Carmel. Yes, I would have liked to held on to Libby's group and avoided scraping the cobwebs off my wallet for the cost of lunch but I knew it wasn't my day.

While all this was unfolding, John was burning up the 10K course, coming in 11th overall and 1st in his age group with a time of 47:03. His second first place age group finish in as many races. 

Miles 4 through 13.1 for me were a bit tough since I had pushed early on but I was rewarded with the sights and sounds of quite possibly the prettiest half marathon course I have ever run. We were on paved multi use paths most of the way and wound by the Morse reservoir, along the wooded river bank and by fields of wild flowers. I just love the sound of birds singing and they were also plentiful.

When I crossed the finish line at 2:19 I was handed a bottle of water and the usual medal. I took a couple steps and heard Libby shout my name from the side of the finish area. How sweet of her to wait around to chat. I told her that I appreciated her efforts but realized in the 4th mile that it wasn't going to happen that day so I dropped back. Now that I'm home I see that the results are posted and find that Libby did her job well on Saturday, crossing the finish line at 1:59:51.

So, you never know, I just may end up back in Noblesville, IN for the Mini Marathon next May. 


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Jax Beach Intervals - 4.25 Miles - 4-25-2015 - Garmin Connect - Details

Jax Beach Intervals - 4.25 Miles - 4-25-2015 - Garmin Connect - Details

Gosh, time sure does fly when fun is happening. I’ve been so busy this spring with working, chores around the house and trying to get some running done I have found very little time to sit down and work on a blog post, or two. Not to worry though, somehow I’ve managed to get most of my gym workouts completed and still get out on the roads to get some miles in.

Since I have not been able to post to this blog on a regular basis I thought I’d kind of do a year to date summary and maybe hit a high spot or two. First off, almost a third of the way through the year I have run 319.32 miles toward my goal of running 860 miles. I’m pretty much right on target and still have a lot of marathon training left to do for the Tecumseh Trail Marathon on October 24th.

One of the high spots of the year for me was the Run 13.1 Jacksonville on March 29th. I felt ready to run on this cool morning and just started clicking off the miles while I kept my eye on my watch and tried to hold the pace at about 8:50 per mile. I thought I was going to be well under the 2 hour mark until I got to the Acosta Bridge and struggled on the climb with sore legs. I had another climb along the river walk that was at least twice as steep and long as the Acosta. I lost about 3 minutes over the last 3 miles and finished at 2:00:24. Sure, I’m disappointed that I didn’t break 2 hours but it is my quickest half marathon since I started running again in 2009 which is quite pleasing.

Also in March, on the 14th, Speedster Chuck visited Jacksonville for the Gate River Run which is the USA 15K championship. Chuck covered the course in about 7:15 minutes per mile pace and nabbed 2nd place in the 60 to 64 age group. A month later, on April 18th, Chuck was in Marathon, FL for the 7 mile bridge run where he again placed 2nd in the 60 to 64 age group, this time at just less than 7 minute per mile pace.

And Kudos to Shoeless Sonny in Carmel, IN who put on a pair of running shoes on the morning of April 18th and rocketed to a 1st place age group (45-49) finish in the Stay Healthy Hamilton County 5K with a time of 20:49 or 6:49 minutes per mile.

So with these old rascals all around me turning in fast times and walking away with the awards I thought maybe it is time for me to step my game up a level.  After all, I am in a new age group (60 – 64) in a few short weeks. So I started doing interval workouts on Saturday mornings in an old cemetery in Jax Beach. I have been focusing on doing 2 minute quarter mile repeats. The most repeats at speed I’ve run at any workout, as of yesterday's workout is 4. (Total workout with warm up and cool down 4.25 miles)

This morning I ran with the Jacksonville Running Company’s group run. I did a 5 mile loop in a pair of new Altra trail shoes with two of the ladies, got back to the store, changed shoes and we were off again. By 7 miles, 2 miles into the second loop, I was heading back to the barn walking. I was getting some pain in my left leg in the exact same spot that right leg pain forced me into PT last year. (Yes, I have been doing my PT exercises at least twice a week, just not always hitting the foam roller)

So a couple different things, or a combination of things, could be the cause of the pain. Running 5 miles in a brand new pair of shoes could be a contributing factor but I am far more suspicious of the intensity of the interval workouts on Saturday mornings. Intensity of runs has usually contributed in the past so I am going to stop the interval workouts until I can run comfortably without pain. As I’ve said in the past, I would prefer to run slower and stay in the game than deal with an injury that keeps me on the sideline for an extended period of time.

My future event schedule, which involves some travel over the next several months, is in the right sidebar. The focus is on trail events with a couple out of state trips to get some training on hilly terrain. My big goal event for the year, the Tecumseh Trail Marathon in Nashville, IN is right around the corner on October 24th.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Angry Tortoise 25K - 2:47:33 - 3-1-2015 - Details

Angry Tortoise 25K - 2:47:33 - 3-1-2015 - Details

I quietly got out of bed at 4:30 this morning and went to the kitchen window to find a steady rain falling. I almost headed back to bed but thought I'd check the weather forecast for Bryceville, FL, about 25 miles northwest of Jacksonville, before making the call. Happily the weather man said that by the 7AM start time of the Angry Tortoise 25K/50K the sky would be clear in the Bryceville area. I had my cereal and coffee and after a trip to the bathroom grabbed my gear and tip toed out the front door.

Last year I was earlier and one of the first to arrive at Cary State Forest. Today I arrived about 10 minutes after 6 and the place was busy with runners making preparations. I think the addition of the 50K option created more interest. I had to jog to the packet pick up area, wait in line for race number and shirt, jog back to my car and by then it was time to grab my gear and head to the start.

I started well back from the front and found myself in the middle of a crowd for the first quarter to half mile. Once things thinned out I turned on my Gym Boss timer and settled into my Galloway routine. Not long after I started my Galloway routine a lady asked if I was doing Galloway and I replied yes. She asked if she could tag along to see how it goes. I told her it is really not all that complicated, 4 minutes of running followed by 1 minute of walking, then repeat, over and over again.

As the 2 of us proceeded we would pass folks during the run segments and they would then pass us during the walk segments. After a bit of this a young man said, hey, you doing Galloway, I said yes and he asked if he could join us. Yea, man, the more the merrier. So the three of us became our own little group and chit chatted the whole way. Having people to talk with made the 4 minute run segments fly by.

I was actually tinkering around with a couple of different Hammer Nutrition products and was quite pleased with the result. I felt really pretty strong right to the end although we did slow some the last few miles.

My goal was to beat last year's time and even with slowing down near the end of the run I beat last year by 3 minutes or, stated differently, was 15 seconds faster per mile.

Once again there was a nice coffee mug and a small pie waiting for each runner at the finish line. I was happy to take the coffee mug and handed the pie to the lady that had been running with me to take home to her 10 year old son.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

JRC Group Run - 13.15 miles - 1/25/2015

JRC Group Run - 13.15 miles - 1/25/2015 - Garmin Connect - Details

Since this is my first post of 2015, I should report that I ended 2014 with 781.18 miles easily hitting my goal of 700 miles. I've upped the ante a bit for 2015 and have set a goal of running 860 miles. January has been a pretty quiet month with the current total for the year being just 72.88 miles.

I have replaced the photo in the right sidebar with a more current one and added future events for the coming year. At this time the future events list is just a wish list. I'm committed to the Noblesville Mini Marathon in May and the Tecumseh Trail Marathon in October but some of the other out of town events may change.

We had beautiful running weather this morning and I arrived at the Jacksonville Running Company's group run ready to run. I think it was senior citizen's day at the group run this morning with the older runners easily outnumbering the youngsters.

I did a 5 mile loop with one other runner and then went back out on my own for 8 more miles ending the day at 13.15 miles. My breakfast, 1 gel and 1 scoop of electrolyte powder kept me well fueled but I would have needed nutrition had I wanted to run much farther. This was a pretty good tune up for the Angry Tortoise 25K coming up on March 1st.

I don't know how often I will be able to post this year but will try to check in at least once in a while.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Run Streak Day #4 - 2 Miles - Sunday - 11-30-2014 - Details

Run Streak Day #4 - 2 Miles - Sunday - 11-30-2014 - Details

My Holiday Running Streak started at the Subaru Distance Classic 6K on Thanksgiving morning. It was a cool morning and I covered the 3.65 mile course in 34:01 minutes or 9:19 minutes per mile. Not a bad time for me although it really didn't feel very quick at the time.

On the 2nd day of the streak I thought I'd run my 4 mile neighborhood loop. My right hamstring was still very tight from the prior day's run. A little past 3/4 of a mile I felt a little tinge in my right achilles. I immediately turned back and ended the day with 1.55 miles. Later in the day I iced followed by heat and got out the heel lifts for my shoes for the next few runs to take the pressure off the sore achilles.

On run streak day number 3 I thought I'd explore a section of beach I have never ran on before. At the east end of Atlantic Blvd. I turned north and headed toward the Mayport Navel Base and the jetty at the inlet near the base. I thought the jetty was a mile or mile and a half north of my starting point but didn't know if I would be able to get all the way there. After running a mile north on the beach I still saw no jetty or navel base, just beach, ocean and residences on my left. Before long I had run 2 miles north and still had not found a jetty or naval base.

Somewhere between 2 and 3 miles north of Atlantic Blvd. the land on my left changed from developed residential structures to barren sand dunes with what I would call natural vegetation. As I ran north I kept studying the beach ahead looking for an inlet or jetty. It seemed to look a little different up ahead, I just couldn't tell how far ahead I was looking.

Finally, at exactly 4 miles north of Atlantic Blvd. I came to a row of posts across the beach as if someone were going to put up a very high fence. There was no fencing but there was a gate with a big blue sign that said PROPERTY OF US GOVERNMENT - NO TRESPASSING. I surmised that this might be a good place to turn around, after all, I had already gone a lot farther than planned and had not brought any water or nutrition.

Before I headed south though I thought that a selfie in front of the big blue sign would be a great exhibit for this blog post. I guess I've only tried one other time to shoot a selfie. Well, on this day, with the sun in my eyes and not being able to see the image very well on camera, I didn't do very well. I did get one that showed part of my sunglasses and squinted eyes with part of the big blue sign in the background. Certainly not good enough for a blog post. I guess this is a skill I need to work on.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Allan Running - 2014 Year to Date

Since returning from Chicago I've been a bit lazy. I've slept in until 6AM many mornings and haven't been to the gym even once. As I mentioned in my last post I have this little issue with what I will call a stress response on the top of my right foot. I visited my doctor this week so she could have a closer look. She carefully poked each bone in my right foot until she found the one on the top that wasn't happy. She then sent me down the hall for an x-ray. The good news is that after her email later that day I was able to put the air cast back in the garage. She did suggest that maybe I take a bit of time away from running but cleared me for most of my other gym activities. 

Of course I'm not happy about taking time off of running. As I was ruminating on this unfortunate development this week I remembered that it was this time last year while recovering from surgery that I was sitting in the den pouting because I couldn't run when I discovered the early morning yoga class on the YMCA group exercise schedule. I've really come to enjoy this yoga class and feel that I have benefited from it. Had I not had surgery I may never have found the yoga class. Funny how things work out. Wonder what I might stir up this year?

Also during my ruminations this week I started thinking about what I wanted to accomplish this year while running. I remembered that I had set a few goals for the year and realized I had achieved a couple of them. I revisited my goals for the year and sure enough one of the goals was to complete a full marathon. Earlier this month I completed the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Sure my time was slower that I would have liked but I did complete the marathon. Check that one off. 

Another goal this year was to implement the Galloway run walk run method. I am going to say that I did implement this method since most of my long training runs were Galloway start to finish. Also, I did use the Galloway method in Chicago even though my interval timer was hard to hear because the crowds were so large and loud almost the entire distance of the course. A few of my group runs at Jacksonville Running Company were without the benefit of the Galloway method but since Mr. Galloway says it's the group leader's responsibility to enforce the walk breaks I am going to blame the group leaders for this. You know who you are.:) So I am checking this goal off as well. 

My third and last running goal for 2014 was to run 700 miles. I figured I was getting close so today I pulled up my calendar and did a little math. Turns out that from January 1st, 2014 through October 12, 2014, the day of the Chicago Marathon and my most recent run, my mileage totals 699.94. Right now I am not planning on running until Thanksgiving Day but will certainly accomplish goal #3 on that day. I know a 700 mile goal is pretty minor league but since I didn't accomplish last year's mileage goal I wanted to set a goal that was very doable. So as I try to get my weight training and yoga practices re-established over the next month I will try not to pout since I've had a pretty good year running so far.

Those that know me or read this blog on a regular basis know that sometimes things get a little weird. Recently I've become quite intrigued by the whole idea of natural footwear and have become quite fond of my Altra zero drop shoes. Imagine the radical idea of making a shoe in the shape of a foot. I've also become quite interested in the Natural Running Center website. NO, I am not going to start making running sandals out of old tires like some wackos, again I have to say, you know who you are.:) But the whole idea that improper foot wear can damage our feet makes sense to me. So........, I decided to try a product called Yoga Toes. As far as I can tell, Yoga Toes is really a poor man's Correct Toes. I bought a pair of Yoga Toes on their Labor Day sale and they threw in some kind of pedicure sponge thing that the Mrs. grabbed up. The Yoga Toes website states that their product corrects all kinds of foot problems so it must be true. Anyhow it is a sponge thing that is worn for a little while daily when ever possible. A photo follows.

The Yoga Toes are not designed to be worn while walking or wearing shoes. It looks to me like the Correct Toes can be worn with toe socks inside shoes while walking. I may need to try a pair. However; since I have little in the footwear budget for this sort of thing I will have to save up for a pair.

So here we are a week away from Halloween. I've known people that said Halloween is the start of the holiday crazy season. (just can't remember who they were right now) I expect my next post on this blog will be on Thanksgiving Day when I accomplish my third running goal for the year. 

All the best.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chicago Marathon - 10-12-2014 - Details

Chicago Marathon - 10-12-2014 - Details

Last Sunday was the running of the 37th annual Chicago Marathon. I had been to the marathon in its early years as a spectator and this time I went to participate.

As usual we planned for months, we even had dinner reservations made in advance for the 4 nights we were in Chicago to avoid long lines in crowded restaurants. I have to say we had a great time even though my performance in the marathon was less than I had hoped for.

My goals for the event were to have fun and finish uninjured. I also kind of wanted to finish in less than 5 hours. No doubt, I did have fun, from chatting with Scott Jurek during the Saturday expo, hanging out at the starting line with thousands of other runners, briefly visiting the 29 neighborhoods the route goes through and finally crossing the finish line 5 hours and 37 minutes after I started.

Other excitement consisted of me being a little mixed up with the time change and heading out for coffee on Saturday morning at 5AM instead of 6AM. When I got off the elevator in the lobby of this rather nice hotel at 5AM I heard a female voice hollering obscenities. This situation slowed me down considerably. I peaked around the corner and found 2 working women trying to coax a third intoxicated working woman out of the hotel and into their car. I sauntered over to the desk clerk who assured me all would be fine. He just didn't seem to sure of it. As I was leaving the hotel the door man and security guard finally appeared to have the ladies on their way out of the hotel through another door.

With the marathon the day before Columbus Day we happened to be in town for the famous Columbus day parade. As it happened our room had a view of the parade route and after the parade the loud demonstration that appeared to be associated with the racial unrest in Ferguson, MO.

So I did have fun and I finished. My time was over 5 hours and I have this little issue with my right foot that I think we can call a stress response. 

On the details page you will see that I was rolling right along just under 11 minutes per mile through 14. Things gradually slowed down from there until about mile 22 when I walked the rest of the way in. I've been using bungee laces in my shoes this year and they are great once they are adjusted right. It just takes quite a bit of trial and error to get them right. I thought I had gotten there with this pair of shoes and boy was I wrong. My feet were like numb the last 10 miles. This of course contributed to the stress response in my right foot.

Also on the details page you may notice that my average heart rate for the event was 90 beats per minute. Before I looked at the graph I thought it was ridiculously low because I had walked for 4 miles. After looking at the graph I am pretty convinced it is time to replace my heart rate strap. The graph shows that I ran a half hour with what you might call a normal if not a little high heart rate. Then the graph shows my rate dropping to nearly zero for almost the next hour, going back up to near normal and then dropping to nearly zero again between 2.5 and 3 hours. I will be replacing my heart rate strap in the not to distant future.

So we had a great time and I brought home a little more bling as seen in the following photo. 

It seems like every trip has a highlight that we will remember for years. In Chicago invariably the highlight has to do with food and this time was no exception. Our pre-trip research was centered on finding acceptable gluten free dining options for the Mrs. One of the gluten free options we came across was a tiny doughnut shop called Do-Rite Donuts that just happened to be a block and a half from our hotel. Each day they have an assortment of gluten free and vegan donuts. Photos follow. 

So I am likely not running for the next several weeks until the stress response in my right foot is healed. I will probably talk to my doctor next time I see her as to how long I should sit out.