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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/15/2019 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    Not quite time to get nostalgic yet, but with the taper begun, it is time to put a cap on this training plan for marathon #19. So, how'd it go? I'm not really a Type A guy, so the whole "push yourself to the limit every time" isn't my problem. But I do like to run. I do like to watch the miles pile up. I do like going faster and farther. I'm a little gun shy from that meniscus disaster from last year. I worked that into things this winter/spring. Not that my training plan was necessarily light, although I did cut out the weekly interval sessions, leaving me with just one speed workout per week. I also convinced myself that I didn't need to run when the weather was bad. Feeling guilty about that, most of the time I ran stairs at the house when I couldn't get outside. That actually turned out to be a good idea, and I noticed some extra pop in the old bones when I made it back to the streets regularly. Faster easy run pace = faster race pace, provided the tempo runs followed suit. Lost several miles in the early build up weeks, but once my "official" plan started (12 weeks), I was generally pretty close to where I wanted to be. No sickness, although there was one day I missed a couple of weeks ago due to a shingles shot reaction. We'll see how this plan works on race day. It has less weeks and therefore less overall mileage than my best marathons, but each week has had its challenges and the longer tempos have been successful, so I'm reasonably confident. The Vermont City Marathon (Burlington, VT) has a decent elevation profile if I'm smart about how I attack the course. Easy does it up the starting hill and the two big ones at miles 8 and 16. It's a 100 foot net drop start to finish, including almost all down the last ten. Thanks, ocrunnergirl for the pace band. I'm going to modify it some, taking cues from my Marshall plan - slower start, goal pace 7-20, finish strong - and keep my fingers crossed for a cool, cloudy, windless morning on the 26th. Last long run on Saturday - 16. I missed one of these with the wedding, and an 18 miler with the funeral, so I wanted to have a good run. I wasn't able to get in a long goal pace run. That was disappointing. Thought about going for it this week, but it's kind of close to the race. Also, this was the end of my 60 mile week, so I was a little tired and didn't want to be stupid. Maybe a fast finish if I was feeling it by then. The course for the day was a fun one. Across the Power Road footbridge, up the hill to and through Heritage Park, then back on Halsted. The loop left me a little short, so I added some on the north end to a street called Howard Road. It had an interesting twist to it, making me curious what kind of neighborhood would be there. Anyway, lots of climbing in the middle miles, then mostly down on the back end. Sort of a Vermont City simulation? It'll be fun. Bright and sunny for the first few miles, then there was cloud cover the rest of the way, making conditions absolutely perfect. No deer sightings through the park this morning. Just a couple of old Asian guys walking. The trail out the back side of the park wasn't very clear, so I made a couple of wrong turns and had to back track. Howard Road turned out to be dirt, with just a few really, really nice houses all tucked away from the road in the trees. If not for the traffic noise from the freeway that was only a hundred or so yards to the north, it was almost like running through the country. Then I saw some construction signs. Then I saw some construction. On the bridge where I was going to cross over M-5. There's often a way for a pedestrian to get over a bridge that's closed to traffic, especially on a Saturday. Not today. The crew was there and the bridge was definitely closed. I even stopped and asked the foreman if there was any way to get over. Nope. So I had to re-route, which added two more hills and an extra mile to the run. No harm done. Last five miles - 8:40, 8:31, 8:19, 8:24, 8:23. Fast finish - check. I was still dragging some on Monday, and wasn't too sure about yesterday's tempo. But it went OK. Averaged 7:45 for 8 miles, just about where last week was. And doing it on tired legs was a bonus. Have the same planned for next Tuesday, but I think I'll cut it down by a couple miles unless I feel especially fresh by then. Right now I'm tired. New shoes this week, too.
  2. 1 point
    Embrace the Suck It is cold. I am wet. Why am I out here? These are the thoughts that keep running through my mind as I have almost reached the halfway point of my twelve miles out and back on the Pinhoti Trail. I also keep making the internal observation that this would be a good trail to run. It is a little wider than single track and although it is constantly going up or down it is not too steep. For a moment I lament the fact that my hips can only handle a pace of about 2.5 miles an hour. Those are the cards I have been dealt, so might as well play the hand I have. It is also a shame there will be no views today. I will get up above 3000 feet in elevation but most of the time I feel like I am hiking in a cloud. Even as I start to feel the cold water seep into my Hoka’s I am happy to be out here on a dreary February day in Georgia. It has been over two hours and I haven’t seen a soul. This time is my sanctuary. It gives me the opportunity to work through my own mind, but to be honest I am probably an idiot for going out into the woods on a day like today. I am goal driven if nothing else and the goal is to complete all the Pinhoti in Georgia even if I am only doing about 6 miles at a time and even if I can feel the moisture accumulating on the inside of my raincoat. “Embrace the suck,” that is the other thought that echoes in my mind as I smile at the small creek that is overflowing and that I will have to walk through. Its ok, my feet are already soaked Why I left Being a type A goal junky is what got me into running in the first place. It is why I found the original loop and started blogging. It was part of a change in who I was. I was moving from NJ and a comfortable job to Georgia and a lot of unknowns. Being a part of a group gave me identity and it provided positive reinforcement for the habit of frequent exercise which almost slid into an addiction. Being type A is also why I stopped blogging. I realized after a while most of what I was writing was “look at me, look at what I have done even after the doctors say I shouldn’t run with an artificial hip.” But it wasn’t just that. My goals were changing, and I wasn’t running as much. My writing as well as my running had to be more than succor for my ego. After my first Triathlon in 2010 I told myself I need to become a better runner. A few laps around the local track wasn’t going to cut it. So, I dove in and set my long-term goal on doing a ½ ironman. I improved at running, built up to completing my first and only marathon 3 years later and then found out I have a congenital problem in my hips call Developmental hip dysplasia which leads to early degeneration of the cartilage and eventual bone rubbing on bone. I thought my running days were over. I had the hip replaced. Being the stubborn idiot that I am and against doctor’s advice I did a sprint tri 6 months after surgery and a half marathon less than a year later getting to my first and only loopfest at Marshall. Fall of 2015 I completed my goal of completing a ½ ironman and I told myself if I never ran a long race again I would be happy. Even so I have done a lot of short triathlons since then. I never thought I would run a big race again. This past fall I found myself running 6 miles, then 9 and eventually 11, so I had to run a half marathon with my wife. The most enjoyable races I have had done have been when I paced someone else. Helping my wife get her PR and reach her A goal made the 2 months of pain following the race worth it. Compromise There are some days I feel great after I run. Other days I have lingering pain in my left hip (the bad hip) for a day or two. This is my body telling me that eventually this mechanical hip will wear out and I will have to have this replaced. Some days I have pain in my right hip (not the bad hip but getting there). I know one day I will have to have surgery on that one too. I have become very religious about not running two days in a row and I have incorporated yoga and other core strengthening exercise into my routine. On days when I swim I make it a point to hit the weights, but I know that the final result is inevitable. Nevertheless, I still run. In fact I am currently training to do the same ½ ironman in Augusta that I did 4 years ago. Just one more big race I tell myself, then I will hang up the shoes. I have become very good at lying to myself. Go big or go home. Over the winter I frequent a spin class which is full of characters. I not only go for the exercise but also for the comradery. There is a lady named Jackie who is at least 15 years my senior and who is constantly picking on me during class. She has an Australian accent and has lived in the south now for over 30 years, so it doesn’t even feel like she is yanking my chain, and most of the time I just laugh. “Scotty, what’s wrong you can’t keep up? You are almost going as slow as me today Scotty. Yes, when the class leader is telling those slackers to pick it up she is talking about you.” Needless to say, every class ends with a puddle of sweat on the floor below my bike. By the way Jackie is the only one who gets away with calling me Scottie. Jackie, is one of those people you look at and you are motivated just by her being present. I say to myself, when I grow up I want to be just like Jackie. Still smiling at the world even when she is pushing herself. Knowing that her days of being fast and riding long miles are behind her, but there still are good days ahead. My favorite days in class are when Jackie wears her favorite t-shirt. At some point during the class I will hear her roar in her Australian accent, “Go big or go home.” It is printed right there on her gym tank top. How could you miss it? Being honest with myself I recently finished Scott Jurek’s book North about his FKT. I was surprised by many things including the friction between hikers and Scott during his attempt as well as how unprepared he was for this journey. It was uplifting to read about all the friends and strangers that helped him on his way. What resonated most with me was how he described why he needed to attempt this record and the deep dark place he went to be able to reach his goal. One of the reasons why he tried to get the FKT was because he wanted to find his edge and push it a little farther. Pushing that envelope is something that he has realized is getting harder to do at his age. He realized he needed to challenge himself when his wife called him out for mailing it in during his most recent races. It just so happened that his limits led him to a very dark place within himself and then he had to find a way out. Most of us Type A people need to find our limits and then try to push just a little farther. Maybe it is a desire to better ourselves. Maybe we don’t want to admit that like all things we have limits. At some time in our life we all find ourselves in that dark place. It is the struggling with ourselves that helps us claw out. It is our friends and family who reach out their hand to pull us from the dark. It is the experience of being in this place during a race or on a run or in the middle of a hike that reminds us that this too is limited and we know that we will find a way out. Struggling with the limits that come with getting older is the place I find myself currently. Looking back at all that I have been able to do and to truly be thankful provides a solid foundation. Looking ahead to what I still want to accomplish gives me motivation. The goals may have changed due to my limits but they meet Jackie’s criteria, they are big. See there is this mountain in Maine that is calling my name. Rocky Top, Great Smokey Mountains
  3. 1 point
    Colorado Women’s Classic – 10 miler | Westminster, CO | May 12, 2019 Race 5/12 for 2019 When one chooses to sign up for a race, the results of that race will directly reflect the training you put into getting ready for it – barring any unforeseen, unfortunate circumstances. My result of this race directly reflected my lack of running, as of late. Nonetheless, I have completed my May race and my 5th of the year! I’m still on track to complete one race each month for the year, so I am happy with another successful race finish! Not every race this year will be amazing, and some will be used as reference points and motivation to stay on track. One of my best good buds, Erin (the one you constantly read about in my FBF and TBT posts!), came to visit me over the weekend! It was a short trip, and we only had all day Saturday to spend together, but it’s always amazing to see her for any amount of time. I wanted to make sure she had a great Colorado experience and to make the most of the day we had. I took her up Chimney Gulch to Lookout Mountain in Golden to have a nice overlook of some of the Rockies, Boulder, and Denver. Re-u-nited and it feeeeels so good! It was a decent hike that I could feel on my legs the next morning. After that, we went to a local brewery for some beer and got a cheeseburger and fries from a food truck. Later that day, we both got plates of BBQ and sides to take to another local brewery for more beer and games. I tell you this because these food choices definitely effected how I felt on race day. Erin and I got up at 5:25 on Sunday morning and was off to the airport by 5:45 – she was leaving already! I headed to the race right after dropping her off, and wasn’t feeling so hot. I didn’t have any solid plans to meet anyone at the race, so I got there early, got my stuff, and just sat in my truck. After the announcer needing to announce where the PoPs were, I quickly used one. What’s with the weird PoP situations at races lately?! Ha! See the PoPs way back there behind the cars? This was up a hill from the race start. Weird spot. I did call my mom to wish her Happy Mother’s Day! The temp was in the low 50’s and after starting, I regretted wearing capris and not shorts – at least I had on a tank. It wasn’t a big race so I started towards the front, just so I wouldn’t have to weed through too many people. I planned to start out a little fast, and then settle into something comfortable. I forgot my watch so I was using the Strava app on my phone to track my run. It was tucked away in my FlipBelt and I never looked at it once. I knew I was probably running mid to low 8’s and miles 1 – 2 were 8:23 and 8:25. Right after the start: I am between the pink shirt and red tank girls. I was just about to cut over behind the gal in the pink pants so I could pass. I’m loving my new Goodrs! They are some of the mirrored ones This course was one of the more boring ones I’ve ever run. It was very exposed, no shade, and there was construction throughout – a lot of the dirt shoulders were uneven due to construction. The sun was right in our faces the whole first half and it was quickly draining me of energy. I didn’t bring anything with me so I took cups of Nuun at every aid station starting at 3. I knew I was going too fast, but I’ve been able to hold the faster paces lately without bombing. Miles 3 – 5 were 8:38, 8:46, 8:43. I was starting to feel everything at the 5 mile turnaround and I was getting REALLY hot. My feet were hurting which tells me I need to stop running in my Nike Pegasus 34’s – but I like them better than the 35’s! Boohoo. Right after the 5 mile turnaround, we cut right and were on a packed gravel trail. Yes! A break from the pavement! It was welcomed but I was fading. The sun just felt sooooo hot – I think it was only in the lower 60s but that’s getting hot to us CO folks! The gravel only lasted for a mile and I started taking my first walk breaks around mile 6. This was way too early to start walking. Miles 6 – 7 were 9:45 and 9:43. When we got back out to the pavement, I felt done. Why didn’t I do the 10K?! But thank heavens it’s not a half marathon! I probably walked a couple of times during each of the last three miles. I was over it and just wanted to finish. I got a, “Hang in there!” from one lady that passed me. Ugh. Miles 8 – 10 were 10:24, 10:17, 10:13. You can see some of the construction crap strewn about. With maybe .05 to go, I could hear someone speeding up behind me and knew she was definitely planning to sprint by me at the finish. Now, I hate it when people suddenly pick up the pace to sprint at the end of a race (when you were running slow before that), because if you have that much energy left, why not use it during the race?? HOWEVER, I wasn’t getting passed right at the end. I felt like shit but I wasn’t letting her by me. So I sprinted to the finish and didn’t let her pass me. I never looked back to see who it was, haha! I DID look at the results and saw that it was a 54 year young lady! You go girl! Finish time: 1:33:18 | 9:18 pace | 34/148 ladies | 7th in 30-39 AG They boasted about how much food there would be at the finish, but it was a total letdown. I did get a tiny cupcake that I killed in one bite, and half a banana, but the other few things I saw were packaged bars. I grabbed a bar and then left. I didn’t want to hang around. I didn’t feel very well the rest of the day but did manage to kill some sushi (a combo of four salmon nigiri pieces and then two other salmon rolls!) at lunch. Even though this race sucked ballz, I am glad to have successfully finished another race. I was due for a blowup and am surprised it hadn’t come sooner. Heat and tummy issues didn’t help, but I ran what I trained for! They can’t all go perfectly but we learn something from all of them. Next up in June, The Vertical Mile Challenge! EEEK!
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  5. 1 point
    Haha, at least you got it done! Concrete and no shade though? Bleh.... Something tells me you might not sign up for this one again.
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