Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Happy Mullet Beach Run - 11.5 miles - 9-14-2014 - Details

The Happy Mullet Beach Run - 11.5 miles - Details

The title of this post, The Happy Mullet Beach Run was one of a couple I was considering. I went with the Happy Mullet because I like a positive title as opposed to one with negative connotations.  


I did feel like something a bit different this week and reached out to Bobby who I hadn't seen in weeks and proposed a point to point run on the beach. Bobby agreed late in the week. We agreed to meet at the finish point, Mickler's Landing Beach Park, at 6 AM to drop off a car. The two of us then rode north to Atlantic Blvd., I think in Neptune Beach, which was the starting point. 


I had visions of running to Mickler's, refilling water bottles and then doing 2.5 miles out and 2.5 back for a total of 16.5. While I enjoyed the all beach run, I was ready to stop with 11.5 miles upon arrival at Mickler's.  


The alternate title that I was considering was Bread Binge Beach Run. I arrived for the run feeling bloated like I was carrying an extra 25 or 30 pounds right in the tummy. I realized during this uncomfortable run that I've just been overdoing it with the bread. I know I haven't gained a bunch of weight because I weigh myself every Monday. It just feels like it.

I remarked to Bobby that I am glad I figured it out now instead of on marathon morning in Chicago. 


I did choose the Happy Mullet title because Bobby made one of the little fellas pretty happy about 10 miles into the run. We were running along and all of a sudden Bobby said there was a fish flopping around on the beach. Off goes Bobby in the direction of the beached mullet. I could see that a bird had snatched the fish out of the water and before the bird got very far, the fish wiggled out of its beak. Unfortunately, the fish was 10 feet inland of the ocean. Bobby scooped him up, ran down to the water and turned him loose. 


Afterward I told Bobby I had been feeling pretty sorry for the fish flopping around on the sand until he rescued it. He said he was sorry for the sea gull that was now going without a meal. That was the extent of our wildlife sightings. Really pretty unexciting considering recent events.


Earlier this week a bear apparently wandered out of one of the nearby conservation areas, took a stroll on the beach and chose a garden at the Costa Verano condominium for a nap. This turned into a below average day for the bear but caused plenty of excitement for local news outlets and Costa Verano unit owners.  


Even thought the bear was rudely awakened from a perfectly good nap, he fared much better than the whale that washed ashore on Tuesday. He was sick, apparently in part from plastic debris in his stomach and had to be euthanized. 


So I am now 4 weeks out from marathon Sunday in Chicago. I bought throw away hooded sweatshirt and warm up pants for the possibility of a cold marathon morning from the Goodwill this week. I've also started packing other items and working on a packing list. 


I'm pretty sure my right leg pain is a tight IT band but will do a little internet self diagnosis to confirm my suspicions. The likely prescription will be foam rolling and stretching. I will try to do 2 or 3 cross training sessions a week but will not run for at least 2 or 3 weeks so the soft tissue inflammation can heal. 


Hopefully by the next time you hear from me I will have conquered the to much bread issue, healed my sore right leg and stretched my IT band to the point that I can run 26.2 in Chicago on October 12th.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Rainbow Run - 18.25 miles - 9-7-2014 - Details

Rainbow Run - 18.25 miles - 9-7-2014 - Details

We finally had a cloudy and overcast morning here in NE Florida which was a welcome reprieve for those of us training for a fall marathon, or longer. I met Dawn and Jenn at Jacksonville Running Company at 6 AM and we were running by 6:15. 


You can see from the map on the details page that we were out to UNF again but turned north on Kernan Blvd. this week and did a little out and back up to Beach Blvd. This section was a nice wide paved multi use trail that Jenn had ran last week. Getting to Beach Blvd. opens up many interesting route possibilities, including Jax Beach, but we opted for turning around and heading to the UNF transportation center where we got to compete with a bunch of scrawny cross country ah.....kids for the restrooms and water fountains. Aren't they supposed to be out running somewhere?

After leaving UNF we headed west toward JRC since our target was around 13 miles. While heading west on UNF Drive, just before reaching I-295, we were rewarded with a very nice rainbow view. Dawn pointed out that there was actually a second very faint rainbow kind of behind the first one, and then a little later that a look to the left offered a view of the other end of the same rainbow. I added that if we had been in our homes sleeping in, we would have missed the view and also mentioned how observant Dawn is. Rainbow view to follow.


After going under I-295 we were running west on Town Center Pkwy toward the turn for the Cow Tunnel which we hit on almost every run. Today though, we passed the tunnel by and continued west to Gate Parkway, where we ran into 3 other members of our group who were running a different route as a virtual half marathon for Marathon High.

As Jenn and I pressed on, Dawn checked on the virtual runners. So did they really run or not? As we approached JRC, and nearly 14 miles of running, it was still overcast and I was feeling good enough that I stopped just long enough to fill my water bottle and then head in the direction of Gate Pkwy. I had already concluded that today was the day to push a bit for a longer run even though my right leg was starting to get a little tender on the outside a few inches below the knee.

Not long after leaving JRC, I was heading north on Deer Lake Dr. and crossed paths with Dawn as she was heading South toward our starting point. A mere 15 or 20 feet later I noticed a wad, a small wad but still a wad, of paper money laying on the sidewalk. I'm glad I was the observant one when it really mattered.:) If anyone reading this lost any money on that section of sidewalk this morning, just give me a fairly accurate description of what was lost and if it matches the small wad that I picked up, it is yours.

You can see on the map that I tacked on the loop around Belfort to Touchton and ended at home soaking wet with 18.25 miles. This week I remembered the plastic bag for my phone which I carried in my new SPIBelt. I bought the SPIBelt with the larger pocket and will use it in Chicago for my phone and a few other essentials that I hope to have along. Gels, cash, room key and Starbuck's card.:)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

JRC Group Run - Pompano Beach, FL - 8.8 miles - 8-31-2014 - Details

JRC Group Run - Pompano Beach, FL - 8.8 miles - 8-31-2014 - Details

The Mrs. and I are in SE Florida this weekend. I realize the title may be a little confusing so please let me explain.

As we were driving south on I-95 Friday morning we made a necessary stop at a rest stop somewhere east of Orlando. As we were walking back to the car I see a guy that looks familiar. As I am looking at him, he is looking at me. Finally I said, Paulo ?, he said Allan ?. I believe, next he said what an amazing coincidence.

He was on his way to Pompano Beach to visit his daughter. I made a brief introduction and then Paulo and I chatted long enough to agree on a 6:30 AM Sunday run at the Pompano Air Park. Since we originally met at the JRC group runs I am considering today's run a satellite location of the Jacksonville Running Company Sunday Group Run. 

After Paulo and I set a time for a Sunday run I reached out to Speedster Chuck. He was happy to join us and didn't seem to mind the slow pace for what was his longest run since March. Chuck and I ended up with 8.8 miles after 2 laps of the air park. Since Paulo ran a mile to the air park and a mile back to his starting point he should have had 10.8.

The good news for me is a week off seems to have given my legs the rest they needed. I completed the run with no real problems. Now I need to ease back into my training regime, build my mileage back up and try to get 2 or 3 more long runs in before a couple weeks of taper before the trip to Chicago.    



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.:)