Sunday, July 5, 2015

Weekend of Running - July 4th & 5th, 2015

Independence Day 4 Miler - July 4th, 2015  Garmin Connect - Details

I started off the holiday weekend by sleeping in on Friday July 3rd and having a lazy day at home. On Saturday, July 4th, Independence Day, I was up early and heading to the Nocatee Community in Ponte Vedra Beach for the Independence Day 4 Miler which was promoted by my friends at Jacksonville Running Company.

I had been hoping to do well at this event because the age group winners were to receive a free pair of shoes. I grabbed a choice parking spot and got out of the car to walk around, stretch a bit and warm up. Always observant, it was during this time that I concluded a little decor goes a long way on Independence Day. Yes, sometimes less is more. 


Before long it was time for everyone to be herded to the start line. I wanted to be close enough to the front to avoid being bogged down but not so close that I would be swept away at a pace much to fast. Soon the gun sounded and we were off. 

I fell into a comfortable pace and covered the first mile in 8:15. Mile 2 was about 8:30 and miles 3 & 4 were about 9:00. I went to the results table and told the young man my age group and number and he said I was first. I told a few friends I had won my age group and planned to wait for the awards ceremony. Free running shoes is very cool. The official results indicate my time to be 35:02:09 and Garmin says my pace was 8:42/mile.

As the awards were being handed out, there was a long pause and a little meeting of the officials around the awards table after the men 55 to 59 age group. I knew this was not a good sign.

The next announcement was for the men 60 and up age group. Turns out there was a speedy 67 year old man in the next age group that actually ran quite a bit faster than me. I was 2nd in the 60 and up age group and ended up with a pair of Shock Doctor Compression Socks. At this point I felt bad because I had told several people that I had won the age group. Still, considering how much running I've been doing I was pleased with my time and ended up with a new pair of compression socks at the right price. 




This morning I was at Jacksonville Running Company by 6:30 for the usual Sunday morning group run. It was a small group, likely because of the holiday weekend and fireworks late last evening. I ended up going 7.45 miles as indicated by the Garmin Details page and was soaking wet by the time I finished. 

After the run I went out to the Lululemon store at the local mall for a free yoga class at 9:30 as recommended by my massage therapist during the week. All of their clothing racks are on wheels. They just slide all the racks out of the way and turn the entire store into a large yoga studio. The store was totally packed by the time yoga started and massage therapist Bruce was in the front row with wife and daughter. 

Next Sunday I have the Xterra Harbison Trail Half Marathon in Columbia, SC. I was hoping for cooler weather but it looks to be quite similar to what we have been experiencing here. So until then.........

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Weekend of Running - June 20th & 21st, 2015


The weekend started with the Urban League - Springfield 5K in the Springfield neighborhood on the north side of downtown Jacksonville. I signed up to run in this event because the young man that owns the barber shop I've been going to said he was going to be running. Also in the back of my mind was my 60th birthday less than 2 weeks prior and my entry into the 60-64 (geezer) age group.

At the time I signed up for this event I didn't realize the start time would be 9 AM. Anyone that would schedule a running event in Jacksonville in the middle of summer to start at 9 AM quite possibly doesn't do much running. This time of year the running needs to move inside by the time the sun comes up.

Since I was at the race site early, I was milling around looking for my barber. I kept milling and looking and he kept not showing up. Finally with 15 minutes to go till the start I went to the board where all the entrants names were posted along with their race number and looked for his name. Nada, he was not registered. Must have been to hot for him.

So the thing I noticed as I made my way to the start line of my 1st race as a 60 year old was a lot of gray hair. The geezers had shown up in great numbers. I found a conservative position in the middle of the pack and forbid myself from letting the pace drop below 8 minutes per mile. I reasoned that given the heat and humidity an 8 minute pace would be exceptional for me.

At the start I settled into 8 minute pace. Man was it hot. I finished the first mile in exactly 8 minutes. Into the 2nd mile I saw the pace drop to 8:15 and pulled it back to 8:00. This happened a couple times. Finally at about one and three quarters miles I figured I'd benefit from a quick walk break. I took a quick 15 second walk break and then picked it back up. I took another 15 second walk break in the 3rd mile and then was running for the finish.

As I headed north toward the finish line some old guy goes sprinting by me like its the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. I kind of figured he had been dogging me for a couple of miles and this was his big break. I let him go. After the results were posted I asked him his age and he was 65, the next age group. So the sprinting grandpa beat me by 7 seconds and was first in the 65 to 69 age group. I ended up first (out of 7) in the 60 to 64 age group which is the first age group win that I can remember. Since it was now mid morning I didn't hang around for the cheesy plaque. Garmin details below.

 Urban League Springfield 5K - 6-20-2015 - Details 

I went to Jacksonville Running Company's group run this morning but didn't want to wait for the 6:30 AM start time. I actually got started a little before 6 AM, got a 3 mile loop in and was back at the store for the official start time of 6:30. I then headed out with a couple of my regular running partners for a 5 mile loop. After 8 miles in that heat and humidity I was so soaked that even my shoes and Drymax socks were wet. Seemed like a good time to head for a treadmill in air conditioning. Garmin details from the JRC group run portion below. 

JRC - Group Run - 8 miles - 6-21-2015  - Details 

I walked into the YMCA soaking wet and it was freezing. I got myself organized, turned the GPS off on my watch and found a treadmill with a view of the pond. I was hoping to get in another 5 miles which would give me 13 for the day. It didn't take long for me to stop shivering and start sweating. Nothing special about running on a treadmill. Just ask any hamster. All I needed to do was keep running long enough to cover 5 miles. It took nearly an hour and my running was done for the day. Garmin details below. 

YMCA -Treadmill - 5 miles - 6-21-2015 - Details




Sunday, June 14, 2015

JRC - Group Run - Sunday 6-14-2015 - 8.80 miles - Details

JRC - Group Run - Sunday 6-14-2015 - 8.80 miles - Details

I went out to the Jacksonville Running Company group run this morning with the hope that I would have a good run but a little unsure since I've been nursing a pull of the soleus muscle in my left calf for a week or so. Since I was able to run 2 very easy miles on the treadmill at the YMCA yesterday my plan was to give the 3 mile loop a try. My thought being that if I had any pain after 3 miles I was done for the day.

We took it nice and easy and included a one minute Galloway walk break after every 4 minutes of running. As I ran along with Jackie and Dawn I guess we were discussing aches, pains and injuries. Finally Jackie blurted out that she thought runners were into S&M. This gave us a good laugh as we plodded along through humidity almost thick enough to cut with a knife.

When we got back to our starting point we found a late arrival, Meredith, waiting around for someone to run with. My left soleus was not giving me any problems and since Meredith had not run with the group before, Dawn and I escorted her around the 3 mile loop. Now it was really getting hot.

After 6 miles I was thrilled to be having my best run in a few weeks. I took a short break, filled my water bottle and then headed out for another lap by myself. I ended the day with 8.80 miles in just a bit over an hour and a half. I have the Xterra Harbison Trail half marathon in Columbia, SC in 4 weeks from today. The Harbison Trail half could take me close to 3 hours to complete so I will be working on increasing distance and time over the next couple weeks.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Jax Beach - 5 miles - 6-6-2015 - Details

Jax Beach - 5 miles - 6-6-2015 - Details

I returned to Jax Beach for my Saturday run today. Since it was nearly 9 AM when I got started the sun was already bearing down. I took it nice and easy, greeting other runners and walkers and taking in the sights.

As I neared the turn around I came upon the gathering for the annual Never-Quit beach run which I understand also includes a paddle board competition.




As I was heading south I passed an Asian family under the pier. The young girl was placing flowers in the sand to form letters. After I made the turn and headed back north, I got to the pier and saw that she was done placing the flowers. I took a look and couldn't make sense of it. 



Thinking that the flowers she arranged in the sand might have some enlightening message that I wouldn't want to miss I stopped and asked the meaning of the arrangement of flowers. She smiled and informed me that it was her name. Here she is with the view of her name from the correct angle.




So I got the 5 miles in with just a little tightness in my left calf. This seems to happen every so often. I will get the heel lifts out for my shoes to take the strain off the achilles and be a little more careful about stretching.


The Sunday morning group run has moved to the 6:30 AM starting time for the summer so I will be out early tomorrow.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

National Running Day - 4.20 miles - 6-3-2015

National Running Day - 4.20 miles - 6-3-2015 - Details

I celebrated National Running Day today by hurrying home right after work and covering my neighborhood 4 mile loop before the rain started. I suppose if I was a little (or maybe a lot) more tech savvy I would be tweeting or sending a selfie to Instagram but I am just going to rely on an old school blog post to share my celebration.

For me, it really is a celebration since I have been running off and on for some 50 years or so and now realize the huge impact it has had on so many areas of my life. Sure I started like many, using exercise as a way to get to a healthy body weight. But along the way I got so much more.

Some days it was quiet solitude and others it was a crowd of friends, sometimes it was a chance to get away from problems and on other days I had the opportunity to focus on an issue, consider it from every angle and come up with a solution.

Running has been a part of many types of travel over the years from squeezing in a race on job hunting trips at least twice in recent memory, pleasure trips to destination events many times over the years and of course hopping off cruise ships for my own pre-planned shore excursions. I've learned that the best way to get to know a city is on foot or bicycle.

Oh, the things I have seen and the places I have gone, all by putting one foot in front of the other. One of the real pleasures of all this movement of feet has been a real appreciation for nature that I likely would not have had otherwise. The sound of a bird singing always puts a smile on my face.

So what are you waiting for, it doesn't matter how fast or how far, if you are out there putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward you are a real runner in my book. Happy National Running Day.:)

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.