Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
As many of you know, I am in my third year as a high school assistant softball coach. I had been the head coach from 1992 until 2002 but was away from the game for a few years before returning as an assistant in 2008. This past week consisted of two-a-day practices at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. We had single practices on both Thursday and Friday. The heat most days was miserable. We tried to keep track of this daily for the safety of the players. Most days, the heat index especially for the afternoon practice was in excess of 110 degrees. Literally, almost too hot to even function.
You can figure it out by now that my mileage for the week dipped. To be honest, I took it in stride and used it as a step back or recovery week. Here are the numbers for the week.
8/8 5 miles Tywappity Lake (2 Laps)
8/9 2.5 miles Tywappity Lake (a.m. run)
8/9 2 miles Before Practice (p.m. run)
8/11 Mountain Bike Ride 5 miles Tywappity Lake Trail
8/12 2 miles Mom and Dads
8/14 3.1 miles Jour de Fete 5-K Run
The week total: 14.6 miles
The week wasn't as uneventful as you might think. On Wednesday, I rode the lake trail with my principal. We hammered the first lap pretty smoothly. Its very technical single track with lots of good climbing and descending. On the second lap, I was in the process of dismounting to cross a bridge when disaster struck. I couldn't get off the darn bike, and I couldn't get back on either.
I was hammering along behind the boss (trying to keep up) as we approached a bridge. I went to dismount while moving a little too quickly. The balance went astray and it was over. I had my first actual bicycle crash in about twenty years. It was much easier at 26 than it is at 46. After getting up and figuring out that my bike was still intact (the obvious first concern), I found the right calf to be screaming in pain. I was somewhere between sick to my stomach and just flat ticked off. I thought, "holy cow--you idiot, you've just wasted five good weeks of training to come out here...." Long story short, I iced and stretched and all is good. The body is a little sore, part from the ride, part from the crash. I'm not really sure what pain is coming from what activity.
MY WEEKLY RACE REPORT:
As you may have guessed, I ran a 5-K yesterday. The Jour de Fete 5-K in Saint Genevieve, MO yesterday went pretty well the first two miles. I was really sore from the weeks activities and wanted to try to hold about a 8:30 pace if possible. That was about my AVERAGE pace for last weeks event.
The miles were not marked but I was running with a guy from the area that knows the course and he identified the two mile mark as we crossed it. (Two mile time: 17:18) That works out for an 8:39 average split. Not too bad. The last 1.1 however was much more UGLY.
You know a race course has a good hill when they advertise it on their flyer!! Maxwell Hill rears its ugly face right when you want to push hard on that last mile and power toward the finish line. It is really a dandy. It broke me. (It broke several of us.) I'd like to leave out the part about having to walk some of Max. I think I will. Pretend I never mentioned it. I managed to drag my tired oxygen-in-debt butt up Max and actually had some fun racing some of the other fellow mid-packers on the final stretch. The time was 27:44 which averaged out as an average split of 8:56. Not really what I wanted but it was about all I had yesterday.
THE MOST AMAZING THING--WHEN I TURNED IN MY STICK AT THE FINISH I SCANNED THE MALE 45-49 AGE GROUP RESULTS. MY AGE GROUP INCLUDED THE 3RD, 5TH, 7TH, AND 9TH PLACE FINISHERS! WOW. We're supposed to be old right? Rocking chair material? Not these guys!! I was the 55th place finisher. They had 96 pre-registered runners so with race day registrations figured in, I was solid middle of the pack.
AVERAGE--story of my life!!
School starts tomorrow so its back to the real world. Or at least my version of it. We have one more week of practice before games begin so we have a lot to do with the softball team to get them ready to go.
My half marathon is SEVEN weeks from today. I feel that the first 6 weeks of training have gone well. I'm averaging just under 20 miles a week running. That will pick up some now that my long runs are going to be pretty much in the ten mile range if possible. I am going to start running of a morning to alleviate being too tired or too busy due to the school schedule.
****I want to welcome several new readers over the course of the last few weeks. Barefoot Neil, Emz, Kenley, Barb, Tricia, Barbie, Jon....
****I started my blog around the time that summer was starting. I can honestly say that it is really cool to get on your blogs and read about your lives and your family activities as well as your training and that YOUR COMMENTS REALLY MEAN A LOT!! Please keep them coming, if nothing else but just to say Hi. I try to read and throw a word or two out there as much as possible.
Every day is a good day, some are just better. Thanks for reading.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Here are the numbers for the week.
8/1 5 miles St. Charles Flat Five 45:44
8/2 3.2 miles 800 repeats--Pullium Pride, parked in family cemetery
8/3 3.2 miles Hill Repeats--Maple Hollow, Cape County Park
8/4 Mountain Bike ride and Swim
8/5 10 mile run--City Park
8/6 3.2 miles--At Parent's House
8/7 3.1 miles Cobden Peach Festival 5K 26:35
All together-----27.7 running miles.
TWO-A-DAY Softball practices this week. Its gonna be busy. Everyone have a good one.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
The sign and the website definitely give you the feel of a different time period in our country. It most certainly has a Hoosiers feel about it but we were in town about four hours and I didn't see Gene Hackman or Jimmy Chitwood any where around. I do have a feeling that this team maybe did run the Picket Fence and maybe even the Swinging Gate though.
Like I said, I was boxed in at the beginning which slowed down the first 300 or 400 meters, really not that far. I hit the one mile mark at 8:02. The race course seemed flat but was run for the most part either going slightly uphill or slightly downhill. Nothing drastic. Mile two was completed in 8:50. I meant to back off a little but not quite that much. I ran the last 1.1 miles in 9:42 which isn't blazing but is better than the 10:12 I ran at the Homecomer's 5-K last week.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
It wasn't pretty by any standards. I hit the road at 5:45 a.m. this morning. I drove down to the city park and ran most of the run in the park. This makes water stops and bathrooms very convenient.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The Hawthorn Half Day Relay is a 12 hour event (hence half-day) held in Hawthorn Park which is a 256 acre (68 of which is water) park and wildlife refuge just outside Terre Haute, IN. Inside the park is a campground, archery range, playground, and trail network to fully satisfy a variety
You can participate in the event itself by entering a two man team, six man team, or as I did in the Superman division which means you are running the whole darn thing. I think the idea of entering the Superman division was part of my thinking process which led me to do this event. I think just saying, "Yeah, I'm running in the Superman Division" maybe made up for some abuse that I took on the playground as a young child in elementary school. Who the heck knows. It sure makes for a good story though!
We left on Friday morning and drove to Terre Haute. After checking in at the Super 8 and grabbing a quick lunch at Fazolis, we headed to the park to do the packet pickup and while there decided to walk/jog the course. Why you ask did we decide to walk/jog a course that I was going to travel 13 FREAKING TIMES the next day? I have no clue!! It seemed like a good idea at the time. It most certainly was NOT necessary.
Now for race day.... the course itself was a 5-K loop through the park which was mostly trail, with some grass, and a little pavement. You were to complete the course as many times as possible while taking all the breaks you desire. The more breaks you take, the less you are moving forward.... duh. The last 30 minutes, instead of starting a new lap, runners were to run a half mile loop out and back to add mileage.
The start of the event was much like any run you go to. Everyone seemed to take off like their tails were on fire even though it was 7 a.m. and we were going to be circling this lovely trail until 7 p.m. You can see from the action photo above, I was in no hurry. The other gentleman in the picture and I were actually wondering what the heck was everyone's hurry. It was actually a relay event which meant runners on a six man team only ran every sixth lap (sissies) so they definitely needed to go out hard. The 12 hour guys.....
Ok, now for lap times. Remember, this is a 5-K loop which we are traveling for 12 hours. So pace is very important. For normal people like myself, finding the right run/walk ratio was key so as to assure that you could function for the duration of the 12 hour period. Alternating running 2 minutes and walking 2 minutes worked really well.
- Lap 1..... 37:38
- Lap 2..... 38:49
- Lap 3..... 40:49
- Lap 4..... 43:24
- Lap 5..... 40:01
- Lap 6..... 43:33
- Lap 7..... 54:08
- Lap 8..... 57:34
- Lap 9.... 1:13:00
- Lap 10.... 40:55
- Lap 11.... 48:54
- Lap 12.... 1:06:00
- Lap 13.... 1:03:00
Alright, now nearly 12 hours later.... lets talk. You would think that over a 12 hour period you would get bored. Yep. But not like you think. Your focus is so strong on completing the lap and doing the run/walk thing that time moves along. Focus, concentration, and relaxation is so important. The 12 hours was probably worse for my support team. That would be the wife. She was the one stuck in the park all day long while I was running.
Laps 10 and 11 are the really weird laps. I had wanted to run with a couple of gentleman who were veterans of several hundred marathons each. I had Googled their names from the entry list. On lap 9, I met up with Ray Scharenbrock. (Google his name if you have some free time. His numbers are phenomenal.) I had the privilege of doing most of lap 9 with Mr. Scharenbrock who is now 77. He was still in recovery from a very serious illness and was running an ultra-marathon. Geez. I'll be honest. We started off the lap walking the uphills, jogging the downhills and mixing up the flats. When I found out who he was, I was like a kid in a freaking candy store with a handful of cash. I soaked up more information in that lap than you can imagine.
I finished my lap with Ray and sat down with my wife to change shoes and socks. Have you seen the monster blister on the upper right portion of my blog? Yep, its from this event. It was just starting. I was so pumped from my lap with Ray that I was totally fired up again. My next two laps (10 and 11) were back to nearly what I was doing eight to nine hours earlier. Then... the blister. My final two full laps were back pretty slow. I was mostly walking. At around 6 p.m., I had to decide what to do. I decided...... BREAK TIME!! I was afraid I couldn't finish another full lap so I changed socks and shoes again and waited around for the 30 minute out and back finish.
Now... you guys have seen my 5-K times. Last Tuesday, my Homecomers 5-K time was 28:12. Not blazing I understand. A couple of you most likely snickered a little when you saw it. Well.... after logging 40.3 miles in eleven hours (remember, I took a thirty minute break), the 30 minute out and back loops began.
I comfortably ran 3 miles (6 loops) in the final thirty minutes or so to finish my day with 43.3 miles. I had set a goal to run a minimum 40 if the body would allow. It was really weird how easy the 3 miles was after having already logged over forty miles. 43.3 miles was good for 27th place out of 42 individual runners. One would always like better, but hey--I had just logged over 43 miles. I was pretty pleased with myself.
I learned many things over the course of this event. Too many to mention. Enduring 12 hours of moving forward gives you time to ponder many things. I learned that a REDBULL and a HANDFUL OF GUMMY BEARS is like running super unleaded in your car. This became a ritual for the start of each lap. I learned that S-Caps are great for maintaining hydration/electrolyte balance. (12 hours and clear pee, WOW!) I learned that blisters suck.
I was honestly getting close to taking a major break and lowering my goals for the day until my lap with Mr. Scharenbrock. I don't think he had any idea how much our visit helped to calm me down and get me back on course. My wife was very patient throughout the day. I honestly had my cell phone in my little belt pack with my supplies. Any time I needed fresh socks or a snack, they were waiting when I arrived back at the start line. Go C !!
After the event, they fed all the participants for free as well as family members who purchased a meal ticket. The event concluded and we headed back to the Super 8 for an icewater bath and a nice soft bed. The blister of mammoth proportions stopped any activity in its tracks for a couple of weeks. Ultra-marathon #2 was in the books.
As always.......... THANKS FOR READING!!
Monday, August 2, 2010
This was my second running of the Flat Five. There has been such a large gap in between the running of these events, its cool to compare the numbers. This year, I wanted to focus on running a 9:00 minute pace. I could have started out a little faster and actually felt pretty good along the way but I wanted to set the cruise on 9 flat and go for it. No, I'm not wearing a Garmin. I'm totally running by feel. Here are the numbers:
Now, I know for you speed burners 45:44 isn't fast by most standards. I think its pretty cool though, at 46 to run a better time than I did at 39. My honest focus again was pace and consistency. At one point in my running career, I was a little too comfortable (cocky) with the fact that with moderate effort, I could go out and cruise a half marathon and at least be NEAR the 2 hour mark. I lost a lot of fitness due not running much following my dad's surgery (Open Heart Surgery 2 Years Ago YESTERDAY!! Happy Anniversary Dad!!) and my foot injury. I now know as I have posted on a couple of comments on other blogs--its never just a 5K or its never just a half marathon. Take nothing for granted.
Sorry, I rambled a little there!! Yesterday's race went well. My splits are pretty consistent. Again, totally by feel--no Garmin. I had more at the start but kept it in reserve and actually felt great at the end and had plenty left. I had a little pain in my feet which concerns me but I felt ok afterward and things are good today.
After Tuesday's effort, I was kind of scared what would happen in this event but I ran a better overall pace over 5 miles and the effort was great. As to my thoughts and approach. This was the finishing location and general area of my half coming up in October. So, I wanted to practice my pace, inspect the starting area, parking, ect... and start working my way toward event mode.
As for my place in the herd.... I was number 137 of 284 runners overall. I'm ok with that considering my goals for this event. I would want to be higher if this event were my primary focus. In the male category, I was number 102 of 156 runners. I would like to be a little higher here also but again, my goal was 9 Flat so when I set my sights on using this event to practice for the bigger one, I can't complain.
As for the game--Cards 9 Pirates 1
Pujols went yard in the 5th. Unfortunately, his drive went into the left field bleacher area. We were sitting in the right field bleachers. Oh well, we didn't make Sportscenter. Save that one for another day. Thanks for Reading!!!!
Sunday, August 1, 2010
I'm definitely not going to get a Man of the Year Award by any standards but here goes:
Sunday 7/25 3.5 miles
Monday 7/26 3 miles
Tuesday 7/27 3.1 miles Homecomer 5-K
Yep, you guessed it. I've started my half marathon taper. In freaking July!! I have no other way to explain it. Week 10 is in the books with 9.6 miles.
I had softball camp this last week every morning at 9:00 a.m. We worked them a solid two hours pretty much every day and then finished with come "coach talk" discussing lineups and positions. It is a very important week for us from a early season preparation standpoint.
To give you some background, I was the Head Girls Softball Coach from 1992 until 2002. I stepped away after 11 years and handed the position to one of my former players. She kept the position for around 5 or 6 years or so before passing it on to another one of my former students who was also one of my former players from a different sport. Hey, what can I say? This is my 20th year at the same school, my former players and students are everywhere!! I returned to the sport three years ago as this young man's assistant. (This is a position I take very serious. Its very hard to be a GOOD assistant coach.)
I was concerned that my mileage would dip some but I really didn't want it to go to single digits. I did quite a bit of running in practice Thursday during a drill but I have no idea of the distance and don't record workouts where I have no concept.... of what exactly to write down.
TRAINING LOG POST: THURSDAY JULY 29, 2010--RAN BASES WITH GIRLS IN PRACTICE. DISTANCE UNKNOWN. Nah, I'll leave that one out.
So..... after a week of softball camp, 9.6 miles of half marathon training and a lot of sitting on my butt, I will get myself back moving pounding the roads of Southeast Missouri because (pause reading for dramatic effect) after this next week, guess what? Come on guess what is coming up? Yep!! You got it. SOFTBALL PRACTICE!!! TWO-A-DAYS!! And I thought it was tough to get miles in this week.....
Everyday is a good day, some are just better!! Thanks for reading.