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5ksandcabernets: November 2008


Friday, November 28, 2008

Fort Worth Turkey Trot: I won my age group

I didn't know what kind of time I had in the tank before toeing the line for the Fort Worth Turkey Trot Thursday morning. A day earlier, I'd signed up to do both races: A 5K at 8 a.m. and a 10k at 9 a.m. I had heard there were hills on the 10k course, so my plan was to try to run the 5K as fast as I could then use the 10k as a way to get some miles in.

While warming up for the 5k, I felt really light on my feet and felt like I could get close to or maybe even beat my 5K PR of 21:01 set this past Oct. 18 at the Valley Ranch Pumpkin Dash in Irving. I could feel the energy in me waiting to explode as I waited for the gun to go off Thursday. 3...2....1.. and we were off.

Every 5K, I try to hold back the first mile, catch my breath, and then hold on. It never works. And it didn't work Thursday. It's like I was shot out of a cannon. This time, I just let my legs go as fast as they wanted to and worried about catching my breath later. I got to the half-mile mark just under 3 minutes and knew I'd need to slow down a little bit if I wanted to finish. Slowing down helped me catch my breath and my Mile 1 split ended up being 6:13. Mile 2 had a few little hills. I decided to hold back a little bit so I could have something in the end. My Mile 2 split was 6:24.

At this point, I didn't know if I could keep this pace up. My breathing was under control and my legs felt ok, but this was uncharted territory for me. I wondered if the bottom was going to fall out on me. But I decided to go for it on the last mile. Funny thing is I felt better as the race wore on. Near the end, I poured it on and my Mile 3 split wound up being 6:09, my fastest mile in this race, or in any other race for that matter. When I rounded the corner for the final 10th of a mile, I could see the clock had just hit 19:00. "Oh, shit," I thought, "I'm going to run this thing under 20." On adrenaline, I sprinted the final way and wound up with an official time of 19:25.

The race organizers were having problems posting the results, so I didn't learn until this morning that I'd WON MY AGE GROUP. Woo-hooooooo. I won my age group.

After the 5k, I was absolutely glowing. I'd knocked off about 90 seconds from my previous 5K pr in 40 days. 90 seconds in 40 days! I was on Cloud 9. I'd never run under 20 minutes in a 5k before. Hell, I'd never run under 21 minutes before. I just kind of stood around in disbelief. Some of my friends who were there asked me how I did. I'd tell them, and then they were in disbelief. How do you knock off 90 seconds from a 5K in just over a month? I guess its all of this marathon training.

Anyway, there was not a whole lot of time to celebrate because the 10k was coming up in a few minutes. At this point, I didn't care how fast I'd finish this race. So, I lined up in the middle of the pack for the gun-time start. And the first mile, still stiff from standing around, I basically jogged and got to the Mile 1 split in 8:13. At this point, I thought about stopping. Things still kind of hurt from my first race, but I soldiered on and in the middle of Mile 2, I started feeling better and clocked a split of 7:20. The first two miles, I had debated whether to run hard or not, but my stride was back and my lungs were okay and I decided to just go for it.

And guess what happened? I finished each of the final 5 miles in under 7:00, and my 6th mile was faster than any of my other miles. I wound up with an official 10k time of 44:25, ANOTHER PR. My previous 10k pr, run in Fort Worth last February, was 46:57. So, by more than three minutes, I'd bested my 10k time. Wonder what I could have run if my legs were fresh? 43:25? 42:00?

Here are the splits for each race

1 - 6:13
2 - 6:24
3 - 6:09
.12 - :41

1 - 8:13
2 - 7:20
3 - 6:57
4 - 6:49
5 - 6:54
6 - 6:37
.27 - 1:36

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fort Worth Turkey Trot: 2 PRs in one day

I ran a 19:27 in the Fort Worth Turkey Trot 5K this morning. I am just as shocked as a lot of people about this time. I didn't know I had a sub 20-minute 5K in me, especially since I ran 21:01 in my last 5K on October 18.

Even crazier is the fact that 40 minutes later, I ran the Fort Worth Turkey Trot 10k. My 10K PR before today was 46:57....

...Today, I ran the 10K in about 45 minutes. The race was gun time and I lined up in the back and it took me 30 seconds to get to the start line. Anyway, this is also a PR. Wonder what I could have run if I had fresh legs.

Oh, well, Thanksgiving is starting off very good. I'll post a race report later.


Monday, November 24, 2008

A 3:30 marathon: Is it in me?

I'm finally getting to taper for the Dec. 14 marathon. There is really not a whole lot more I can do to get faster. Now, it's all about the training, what I've done in the previous 16 weeks.
With that said, I've attached my 16-week training log. Each week, I ran a Tuesday tempo run of 6 to 7 miles in a pace ranging from 7:20 to 7:50. I did an 8 to 10 mile run on Wednesdays in paces ranging from 8 to 8:30. And I ran hills on Thursday, about 6 miles. My Saturday long runs of at least 18 miles were in paces ranging from 8:25 to 8:50. I kept a pace of 7:50 min/mile for a 20k in September; and I kept a pace of 7:33 for a half-marathon in November. I'm hoping to run the marathon in 3:35 or better - (8:12 pace) and if everything goes well, maybe a 3:30 (8:00 pace).

Here are my runs, broken down by week, for the last 16 weeks.

Week----Miles-----Avg pace----Saturday long run
8/3------36.24------8:23--------14.18 in 2:02
8/10-----36.60------8:37--------12.84 in 1:54
8/17-----35.40------8:37--------15.42 in 2:18
8/31-----40.96------8:12--------15.95 in 2:17
9/7------42.13------8:38--------13.31 in 1:59
9/14-----38.41------8:02--------12.40 in 1:37 (20k race)
9/21-----44.33------8:23--------18.25 in 2:37
9/28-----42.45------8:09--------12.02 in 1:39
10/5-----46.44------8:25--------20.25 in 2:53
10/19----50.48------8:20--------20.04 in 2:54
10/26----22.31------7:49--------13.1 in 1:39 (half marathon race)
11/2-----55.70------8:07--------21.52 in 3:02
11/9-----45.07------8:08--------12.00 in 1:35
11/16----55.48------8:06--------22.10 in 3:06

Total miles: 666


Sunday, November 23, 2008

I am so hard-headed

On two fronts this past week, I did things that I KNEW could get me in trouble with my running: not watch what I eat, and try a new pair of shoes.

On the shoe front: On Nov. 18, I wrote that I was chucking my old reliable Brooks Adrenalines to wear a sleeker, faster Brooks Infiniti. I said that I knew it was taboo to change shoes so late in marathon training, but the Infinitis looked so good and seemed to fit my feet better. I should have known better, though, because every time I've changed shoes, I've had problems. And at the very least, I should have listened to my SF Bay-area trail running friend, who commented;

I am an unabashed devotee of ONE brand of shoes. I have no idea what other ones are out there because I know what works for me and I do not want to mess with it. So stay with whatever works for you. That's my 2 cents.

Well, I put 50 miles on those Infinitis last week, which included a 22-miler Saturday. And let me just say this: I'm going back to the Adrenalines. The Infinitis are good if you are running 4 to 6 miles, but they don't give me the support I need for a long run. My left knee was really stiff after Saturday's run, and worse so when I got up for a short run this morning. It had never been like that with the Adrenalines. Also, I had the worst blister on my right foot. I thought I had fixed the blister problem by using my Adrenaline insoles in the Infiniti. Apparently not. I felt ok until Mile 10, and then my foot started rubbing and it was basically on fire until I stopped running.

On the second front, I know better than to eat dairy products close to a long run (especially cheeses and milk). I know better than to overeat the night before and day of a long run. But there I was Thursday night, scarfing down pizza - the first time Id eaten pizza this late in the week in I don't know how long. And there I was Friday morning, gulping down a glass of rice milk. Now, I know what you are saying: Rice milk? That's not dairy. My response? Any kind of milk screws my system up if I've got a run in the upcoming 24 to 36 hours; non-fat milk, soy milk, and yes, rice milk.
I tried pushing the envelope with my pre-run fueling as well, and that didn't work. I didn't eat a lot Friday night, but I did get up at 3 am Saturday to eat granola and a banana _ trying to practice what I might do the day of the marathon: eat a small meal 3 hours before the race. I also had a handful of pretzels 15 minutes before Saturday's run. And I should have known better. I've written often that I run better on an empty-, or near-empty stomach. So it should come as no surprise that I never "felt right" Saturday. My digestive system was off - running when you have to potty (Nos. 1 & 2) is not a good thing.

I also know that a big spaghetti meal for lunch Thursday works best for me because by Saturday morning, whatever is in spaghetti has worked its way into my fuel tank. But there I was Thursday for lunch, eating Pad Thai with chicken, knowing that Thai food does not have the staying power that spaghetti does. So it should come as no surprise to me that I hit a wall during Saturdays run. Ive usually had enough in thank to run my last four miles of my previous 3 20-milers in 8:00 mile pace. But I couldn't turn it on Saturday. Miles 19-21 were in the 8:45 range. Granted, most of the last 11 miles were against a decent headwind, but I couldn't even muster the effort to try to run hard. I gave an all out effort in the last mile and that was only good enough for an 8:29 pace.


Despite all those problems, I still finished the 22-miler in 3:05:20, which is a pace of 8:25 a mile. And that folks, was my fastest of four 20-plus milers during this marathon training.

And thank God, it's the last.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Another writing update

Here are a few stories I've written for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram lately...

Small town politics can really be interesting, especially when everyone wants as much power as the city manager.

They won't allow newspaper racks on Main Street in this town because they are ugly.

This guy is getting his pit bulls back.

Ewwww. Exciting stuff, huh. (Said with sarcastic nod and wink)


First-mile blues

No matter how far I run _ a brisk 7-miler or a plodding 20-miler _ the first mile is always, always, always the slowest, hardest, most awkward run.

I'm sure its like that for most runners. When you run first thing in the morning, when its still dark and cold outside, your body still thinks you should be in bed, and your digestive system thinks you should still be in the bathroom.

And so I get that. But my first mile has to be slower than most. I've turned out to be one of the faster runners in the Tuesday and Thursday morning Lukes Locker group runs. But on Mile 1, I am absolutely the slowest. Maybe not the whole Mile 1, but at least the first quarter to half mile. My body warms up slower than most.

Take Thursday morning for instance. There were about 15 of us. We took off at 6 a.m. And out of the blocks, I could feel my body saying, "I told you that you shouldn't have had that glass of wine last night. I told you about eating salmon from the Central Market foodie bar. They use that weird oil that makes you sick."

It took a while for my "systems" to kick in. Its like I can feel all the crud melting away in my lungs, and muscles. A few minutes into the run and everyyyyyyyyybody was ahead of me. Everybody.

It usually takes about a half-mile before I start feeling like myself, before my breathing syncs up with my stride and the fuel starts going to my legs. But until then, I'm plodding. During Thursdays 7-miler, I did every mile under 8 except for Mile 1, which took me nearly 9 minutes to complete.

Again, I know this is common to lots of people. The first mile is usually a warm up mile, you get your "second-wind" and then you are into the groove. Its just that on my first mile, I look and feel nothing like the runner on subsequent miles.

Anybody else got those first-mile blues? Some people suggest taking a quick shower before you run to warm up your muscles. What do you guys do to get to that "second-wind" faster?


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Breaking a Cardinal Rule?

I have forgotten to mention that this is the last week until I begin tapering for the White Rock Lake Marathon in Dallas. One more week with a Saturday 22-miler hanging over my head. One more Friday where I'm in bed wayyyyyyy too early so that I'm fresh for the next day's long run. This will be my third marathon and the saying still holds true: The marathon training is much tougher than the marathon itself.

Even though I can see the finish line, there is still a little work to be done. Since Oct. 25, every run I'd done in my Brooks Adrenalines was causing some pain in my left big toe.
At first it felt like I had a rock in my shoe. Then it felt like I stubbed my toe on something. It felt arthritic.
And something else about my Adrenalines: They had this strange wear pattern on the outside of the shoes, like I had toooo much support. So Monday, I broke the cardinal rule of never trying a new kind of shoe this late in the marathon training by buying a new kind of shoe this late in the marathon training.
I stayed with Brooks, but got the Brooks Infiniti. Still gives me some support, but they dont push my feet out as much as the Adrenalines did.
Everytime I buy a shoe that isnt an Adrenaline, I have some kind of problem, like blisters with the Addidas Supernovas or shin splints with the Asics 2130s. Ive run in the Infinitis twice already and my feet feel good. There is some rubbing that may give me a blister under my right foot, but I think thats because of the way the insole rides high inside the shoe. (OK, that's the excuse I'm making up. They feel sooo good except for that nagging little thing) Nothing a pair of scissors cant fix. These Infinitis are light, much lighter than the Adrenalines, but I don't think I'm giving up anything in terms of the support I need.
Still, I won't know for sure until I've put them on the road for a two-hour plus run. If all hell breaks lose, believe me, I'm going back to the Adrenalines. It'd be a shame to wreck my marathon performance because of some new shoes. I know I can get through 3 1/2 hours with an achy big toe in the Adrenalines. I don't want to take the chance of the unknown in the Infinitis


Monday, November 17, 2008

This kid doesn't care about a friggin schedule

With Nancy at work for much of the day, the task fell to me to entertain my 15-month-old son, Noah.

This wasn't the first time I was responsible for what he ate and when he ate. But it was the first time I was tasked with putting him to sleep. To be sure, he has fallen asleep in my arms before _ when he was completely exhausted. But Noah looks at me as the big kid: when I'm around, he wants to slam into my leg or throw things at me or play catch or just be rough. He sees Nancy as his caretaker and when she comes for him and says, "Time to go night night," he puts up a fuss but knows its time to go to sleep, and is usually out in 10 or 15 minutes.

Now, Ive tried to put him asleep in the past but he has whined and put up such a fuss that Id give up and give him to Nancy and shed rock him and shush him and hed be out.

Today was different.

Noah and I were playing and making all kinds of noise and it came time for his nap. I grabbed him and said its time to take a nap kiddo. Tried to rock him a little and he whined. He did that whole thing where he arches his back to try to throw himself out of your arms. Then his little lip quivers.

I thought, "Here we go again." Then I said, "Don't cry, the schedule says its time for you to go to bed."

Then I just laughed at myself. (He probably did too). But I stayed with it. Rocked him, shushed him, patted his back. Repeat. He'd get quiet, then look at me and cry a little, then put his head on my chest. Before long, he was out.

It may seem like a little thing, but I feel as proud about putting Noah to sleep as I've felt after any run. Its like, Noah sees me as his dad and sees me as somebody he can trust to fall asleep in his arms. Corny? Yeah. But that's the only way I can describe it. Anyway, here is fuzzy photo I took with my raggedy cell phone of Noah sleeping.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Marathon pace run

Today's goal before I went to Austin to see Noah was to do my scheduled 12-mile run at marathon pace. I hope to complete White Rock in about 3:30 to 3:35, so it means I need to keep an 8-minute mile for the entire run.

I swear I wasn't trying to do 12 miles in exactly 1:36, but that's almost what I did: 12 miles in 1:35:54. There were numerous hills on this course and it was very windy. In fact, when I ran east, I had a headwind and when I ran west I had a headwind. That didn't seem fair. Still, I kept the pace I wanted and didn't feel like I was out of gas or that I needed to run hard to keep the pace.

Ive got one more "big" week before the taper party begins. Next week, I'm going to run 50 miles with a Saturday long run scheduled for 22.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Half-marathoner takes wrong turn, runs marathon..... 2:19:34 and gets disqualified.
Nicholas Kurgat signed up to run a half marathon in Raleigh, N.C. a few weeks ago. But, according to the Raleigh News and Observer, Kurgat, "missed the signs for the half marathon turn and found himself deciding at the 13th mile to keep going, even though he had never run a full marathon and was participating in his first half marathon."
Kurgat, a Kenyan runner, would have been the winner, but his results were not counted because he signed up for the half.
Jim Micheels, the race director, said Kurgat was disqualified from the half marathon for leaving the course, a rule specified by USA Track and Field, the country's governing body for marathons.
"One of their rules is that if you switch races, intentionally or unintentionally, you're disqualified," Micheels told the News and Observer.
You can read the entire story here. I originally found out about it by reading My 2 cents blog.

There are no more holes left on my belt

The unintended consequence about all this running is the amount of weight I've lost.
I was 170 pounds or so on Jan. 1.
I weigh 154 today.
My pants don't fit. My shirts just hang on me. Don't get me wrong, I like seeing my ribs when I towel off from the shower and my flattening stomach. But I really don't wanna spend any money on clothes that fit better, especially when I may gain much of this weight back when the marathon is done.

So, I'll just continue to pull my belt as tight as it will go and hope my butt (it is the only part of me that has not shrank, unfortunately) can help hold up my jeans.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What women want? A runner?

I missed this morning's Luke's Locker run because it was raining like crazy at 6 a.m. But it was a run I needed, so I peeled myself off my mattress at about 7, read the paper and a few interesting blogs about what women want from men from Tsquest and Singlemomseeking, then hit the door for a 7.5 mile tempo run.

It had stopped raining but the air was thick, humidity 98 percent I'd learn later. It made the 61 degree temperature feel like 81. I ran the hills around Texas Christian University and on this day they squeezed all the oxygen from my lungs.

My mile splits:

1 - 7:58
2 - 7:21
3 - 7:16
4 - 7:02
5 - 7:38
6 - 7:52 (big big hill)
7 - 7:07
7.41 (3:11)

This puts me at 12.41 miles for the week. I'm trying for a 50-mile week, but unless I run twice one day this week, or extend one of my remaining runs by 4 or 5 miles, I'll probably fall short because Saturday's run only calls for 12 miles. But that's ok. 45 miles is just as good.

By the way, I did spend part of the run thinking about that list of What women want that I might have. Here is a "safe" list from a running point of view:

*I strip all my wet clothes off in the wash room so as not to track my sweat through the house.

*A 10-mile run doesn't wipe me out from any other daily activities.

*I've stopped smoking cigars since I started running and I've increased my love for red wine.

*I don't spend a lot of time in bars because its not fun running with a hangover.

*I have more money available for dates/etc. because the only money I spend on myself is for tennis shoes.

*I'm in the best shape of my life.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Three 20-milers down, one to go

Today I went 21.5 miles in 3:02:31, a pace of 8:28 min/mile. I was 'only' supposed to go 21 miles but I missed a turn and before I knew it, I'd gone longer than I should have.

Still, I finished up strong, completing the last 6.5 miles right around my marathon goal pace, 8:00/mile. I felt so good that I completed the last 1.5 miles at 7:27 pace, just a tick faster than my half marathon pace from last week.

The run caps a 55-mile week, my second 50-plus mile week during this marathon training. I've got two more weeks of hard training to go before tapering, so I can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel (still not sure if its a train or not).

I'm using these final 20-milers to see what kind of fuel I can handle the day before and during the run. Like the last two 20-milers, I only needed one GU to get me through the run. But the day before this mornings run, I tried something different. I had my last meal 12 hours before the run (a baked potato stuffed with chopped bbq - no butter, no cheese, no sour cream). I ate so light because I usually feel sluggish during long runs when I eat heavy the night before, or too late.

When I eat too much, it takes me too long to get warmed up and my "system" just seems off for most of the first part of the run. But this morning, I felt pretty good. I was a little worried that I might "bonk" but I only needed the one GU. Even though it was in the 40s at the beginning of the run, I did wind up taking a few E-caps (three total) and thank God I had them. At mile 16 I was starting to tighten up, but I downed two with some water and was able to get the run over with in decent shape.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Boredom setting into my marathon training

This is the period where marathon training is getting harder. Not physically, mind you. My legs are recovered from Sunday's half-marathon PR and are ready for Saturday's 21-mile training run. And I've only got the normal aches and pains from running 5 to 6 days a week.
No, the hard part is now mental. I've been "in training" since mid June, running hard every Tuesday and Thursday, watching what I eat and drink and going to bed early on Friday night so I can run long on Saturday morning, often before the crack of dawn.
All this stuff is starting to get on my nerves. And I'm kind of getting bored. I'm ready to run the marathon, and I'm ready to run it now. I can't wait to take all this training and put it on the road for a 3-plus hour race. I wish I would have signed up to run the Rock 'N Roll Marathon in San Antonio on Nov. 16.
Alas, my race isn't until Dec. 14. That's 2 1/2 more weeks of intense training where the mileage will creep up to 50 miles per week; 2 more 20-plus mile long runs, and a few more Friday nights that find me in bed wayyyyyyy before I'd rather be.
The only thing keeping me sane are the Tuesday and Thursday group runs with the folks from Lukes Locker. Its easier to get up before dark and run 6 to 8 miles week after week after week when there are other people around running as well. On Wednesdays, I run 9 to 10 miles alone and it is mentally brutal. It's like, I wish I could either take a running break now, or run the marathon now.
The only thing I can do: Hurry up and wait.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I guess his guy won

Nancy took Noah with her to vote in Austin yesterday and put this bib on him after turning in her ballot.


Monday, November 3, 2008

DRC Half Marathon (Full Race Report)

Within the first mile, you know how your race will go, how you are feeling, what kind of time you have in the tank, and that is exactly the way I felt during Mile 1 of the DRC Half Marathon Sunday.

I'd tapered for two days. I ate right. I slept more than 7 hours with the Daylight Savings Time change. I couldn't wait to run.

I left my apartment near downtown Fort Worth at about 6:15 a.m. and got to White Rock Lake in Dallas just before 7, leaving me an hour to get my bib, use the porta-potties, and warm-up. Before the race, I saw many of my friends from Lukes Locker and I saw Susan from She got someone to snap our picture and I won't put it on my blog because I had bad morning hair, but its on her site if you wanna take a look.

Just before 8, everyone crammed into the starting chute for the start. They said it was 60 degrees at the start, but it had to be 10 degrees hotter at the starting chute with all those bodies crammed together.

Anyway, the gun goes off and its a start that is so typical of many other starts. You spend the first half mile or so dodging the 12- and 13-minute milers who lined up front near the elites. It can be a bother, but honestly, in a race this long, those slow runners help you stay honest during the first mile. My goal was to do 7:40 miles and with all the traffic I had to manuver through, I was very pleased that my first mile was a 7:48.

I was feeling so good by the end of this first mile, legs springy, lungs full of oxygen, mind clear. I knew I'd break my previous PR of 1:48 in Austin back in January. The question was: by how much.

It was getting hot, though, and I made sure to take water at every stop. And still I was flying. 7:13 for Mile 2; 7:38 for Mile 3;

The first big hill, as we get out of the lake area and through the neighborhoods, came near the end of Mile 4. An incline of at least 1/4 mile. It took me 7:32 to get through that mile, my slowest mile (other than the warm up during Mile 1) of the first half of the race.

Most of the hills were between Miles 3 and 8. And it was during this stretch, oddly, that I adjusted my goal to go faster. I mean, I knew out the gate I could keep a 7:40 mile. But when I finished Mile 5 in 7:14, Mile 6 in 7:25, Mile 7 in 7:16, and Mile 8 in 7:23, I had a realization: A 7:30 MINUTE MILE PACE FOR THE ENTIRE RACE SEEMED DOABLE.

I finished Mile 9 in 7:25 and got to the 15k mark in about 1:09, a pace of about 7:26 a mile.

"I'm going to make it," I thought.

But Mother Nature still had something to say about this. The heat, by now in the 70s, was starting to take its toll and I could feel my right hamstring tightening, having wrenched it a little on one of the hills in the neighborhood. It felt like I was just swinging my legs, not really running.

Mile 10 was a 7:35, my slowest mile since Mile 1. Mile 11 (7:42) and Mile 12 (7:43) were even slower. I stopped twice to drink water and gatorade. By this time, I was giving up on the 7:30 mile pace thing, but still held out hope of finishing under 1:40. So at each mile marker, I'd do this conversation in my head that would go like this, ("Ok, I've got X miles to go, Whats the slowest pace I can average to still get under 1:40")

It was getting harder and harder to pick people off and people were starting to pass me. Not a lot of runners, mind you, but enough to remind you that your pace was slowing. Still, with one mile to go, I decided to tough it out. I'm nothing if not a sprinter, I thought.

My heart rate was near 90 percent now, I was sweating like crazy but I just kept counting down the distance. 3/4ths of a mile to go. 1/2. 1/4. I finished Mile 13 in 7:26 and then sprinted as fast as I could the final 10th of a mile to cross the finish line.

As I rounded the corner (and tried not to look like I was in too much pain for the cameras) I could hear the announcer say my name over the public address system.

Then I looked at the time: 1:39:15

Knowing it took me a while to cross the start line, I knew my official finish time would be a little faster. My official time of 1:38:59 gave me a pace of 7:33 minutes/mile.

I finished 219th out of 3,285 runners and 29th out of 247 men in my age group.

I probably should have held back just a bit over the first 8 miles, but I am by no means disappointed. This is a PR by more than 10 minutes, breaking the 1:48:43 I ran in Austin, in January, on a mostly downhill course. And besides, my garmin had the course at 13.29 miles, which is a 7:26 pace.

I've got sore feet (which includes the weird and painful sensation that I'm running with a rock in my left shoe) and a wonky right hamstring, but I don't think I overdid it. If I can stay healthy these last three weeks before the marathon taper, I think I may nail a really special time at the White Rock Marathon.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

A PR for the DRC Half Marathon

I ran the DRC White Rock Lake Half Marathon this morning. Temps were a little warm, but I smashed my pr for a half by 10 minutes. My official time was 1:38:59, a pace of 7:33 min/mile. There were a lot of hills from mile 3 to 8, but my training got me through

I'm real tired and am trying to catch up on Sunday football, so I will post a race report later, but here are the splits: (My Garmin measured the course at 13.29 miles, which is actually a 7:26 pace).

1 - 7:48
2 - 7:13
3 - 7:28
4 - 7:32
5 - 7:14
6 - 7:25
7 - 7:16
8. 7:23
9. 7:25
10- 7:35
11 - 7:42
12 - 7:43
13 - 7:26
.29 - 1:53


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trying not to be a slave to the running log book

On Halloween morning, I was laying in bed with 193 miles for the month under my belt. I had a slight hangover from too much wine with friends the night before at Winslows Wine Bar in Fort Worth, and I promised Nancy I'd be in Austin by noon to care for Noah so she could get to school.

193 miles. Just one more run would give me an even 200 for the month. I mean, how could I leave the running log at 193 miles. Its like when you put gas in your car and it stops at $54.89. You keep squeezing until you are at $55.00

And besides, I'd never had a 200 mile month before. But I also had some aches and pains that needed some TLC.

So I didn't run. I didn't pad my running totals, but am still proud of the month, which is a record for me. I actually began the week with 171 miles after having gone 50, 41, and 46 miles in the three previous weeks. I only ran three times this past week, though, am feeling really fresh for tomorrow's DRC Half Marathon in Dallas.

My goals: 1:42 is totally doable without me throwing all the fuel on the fire. That would be a 7:45 min/mile pace. It may be a little warm and humid tomorrow morning, so I'd be totally okay with 1:42. It will be a magical day if I can run the half in under 1:40, which is about a 7:30 mile. And its not that I don't think I am capable of holding 7:30 for 13.1. But I know I am going to do the first half slow _ like 7:50 to 8:00 minute/mile slow _ and so breaking 7:30 may require me to run a little faster than 10k pace over the second half of the marathon.

Anyway, here are the running totals for the month and year.

October miles: 193.16 on 25 runs
Total time: 26 hours, 29 minutes, 17 seconds
Pace: 8:13 minutes/mile
Avg. heart rate during runs: 77 percent of maximum.

And for the year

2008 miles: 1,302.97
Total time: 7 days, 18 hours, 25 minutes, 10 seconds
Pace: 8:35 minutes/mile
Heart rate average: 79 percent of maximum