Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Hills are Alive

The hills were tough, but I survived! More than that, I thrived. I even bolted up the last few, mostly because I was exhausted and ready to get them over with them as soon as possible. It helped a lot that I had a running partner from WVR who ran at my exact pace. She matched me stride for stride. I don’t think we were ever farther apart than 50 yards for the entire two hours and forty minutes.

We even ran an extra mile because we underestimated the length of the route. The total run was 15.4 miles at an average pace of 10:26.

I haven’t been that sore after a run in a long time but an ice bath followed by a hot shower made me feel much better.

Now the grazing has commenced. I was down 5 pounds from this run and hit a new low for my weight. The fridge will be empty by sunset.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

You mean 14 miles isn’t hard enough?

The sadistic leaders of WVR have designed a long run route incorporating the infamous Deland Hills. I’ll be doing 14 miles Sunday with 4 miles of pretty intense inclines right in the middle.

If you don’t hear from me by Monday – send help!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Four Down – Fourteen to Go

With a 13 mile run along the Seminole Wekiva Trail in Lake Mary, FL completed, week four of my marathon training is DONE!

This run kicked my butt. The heat and humidity took their toll and after 11.5 miles I succumbed and had to walk for a few minutes to rest. I was frustrated with myself for giving in so close to the finish. There is a Panera Bread at the end of this trail and not even the promise of a Panera bagel was enough to keep me going.

Once I started running again I made it through the last mile OK. I did start to feel chills toward the end which makes me think dehydration may have been part of the problem. After all this time I still can’t seem to get it right.

My weight loss over the course of the morning confirmed this. I was 179 lbs when I left my house. I had a mug of coffee en route to the trail, drank 22 oz of water on the outbound leg and 20 oz of Gatorade on the return. Then I had a half liter bottle of water and half a bottle of Gatorade immediately after finishing. Then I ate a HUGE blueberry bagel with cream cheese and had more coffee before going home. Despite having several pounds of fluid and food, I was 175, still down 4 pounds, when I got home.

I can’t rely on the heat as an excuse because the Space Coast Marathon is notorious for having warm weather. A couple of hours into the race I am very likely to be facing similar conditions to what I had early this morning.

There were a lot of long distance runners on the trail this morning.  The West Volusia Runners have several training for the New York and Space Coast Marathons.  I also chatted briefly  with a British woman on a 22 mile run who said her race was coming up in a few weeks.  She politely slowed down to talk for a minute and then left me in the dust.  She didn't say which race but I'm guessing Chicago since there aren't any major marathons in the southeast for a couple of months.

I’m fresh out of an ice bath and bingeing now. In fact it was hard to get my head out of the fridge long enough to write this. I’m sure I’ll put those four pounds back on by the end of the day.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Virtual Racing is Back!

We virtually had so much fun with the first go round of the DoppleLaufers Virtual Race that we’re doing it again. Participation has virtually doubled already.

We expanded the time to include three weekends to make it virtually easier for people to find a 5k that fits their schedule (9/11/10-9/26/10) and we’ve worked out a handicapping system to virtually level the playing field. Runners of virtually any skill level have a shot at winning. We’ve already attracted people with PR’s virtually ranging from sub 20 minutes to 30 minutes plus.

You can see the details here: Doppel Games September Invitational Race for Virtually Anyone

And the trash talking continues here: DoppelLaufers Good Natured Taunting and Race Reports Thread

I also added a dedicated page for virtual race information here with a list of the participants, their races, PR’s and handicaps.

I will be running in the Autumn Rock-n-Run 5k in Casselberry, FL on 9/11/10.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

This is the first entry from my running log from 5 years ago.

Thanks for inspiring me to start, Jackie.  I owe all of this to you.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

DoppelLaufer Challenge Results

The results are in and the winner is:

Jim had victory ripped from his grasp by a mere two seconds.

Yours truly managed a personal record, and met his goal of breaking 24 minutes but came in a distant 3rd.

The final times were:
Don: 22:19 
Jim: 22:21
Bob: 23:58
We all had a blast with this virtual race and plans are already underway for a rematch.

Track Shack put on a great event with the Celebration of Running. There were 1538 finishers, I came in 226 overall and 19th in my age division.

The start/finish was located at Loch Haven Park in Orlando, which is one of the cultural centers of town (yes, there is some culture in Orlando). The park is surrounded by the Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando Science Center, the Mennollo Museum of American Art and the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. The lake front park is shaded by ancient, massive Oak Trees (so no there weren’t any palm fronds to hurdle, Jim) and full of sculptures.

Track Shack did a great job with organization, the facilities were great, results were posted quickly and race photos were even available on line by the end of the day.

I would have liked more substantial food offerings after the race. We were offered water, Accelerade, Smoothies, bananas, rice crispy treats and chips. I would have killed for a bagel. The smoothies were awesome, especially with the heat. I chugged one too many and gave myself brain freeze.

The race went pretty much according to plan. My splits were 7:49, 7:47 and 7:34. I managed negative splits but I thought I would be able to improve a little more than that with each mile. By my watch my time was 24:01 at the finish. I had about 15 agonizing minutes during which I believed I had missed my goal by one second until they started posting official results.

It ain't pretty, but this is the look of exhaustion and agony, taken right after finishing.

I was sweating so much after the race that I think I may have ruined my cell phone. Shortly after taking this picture the lens fogged up and the camera was useless. I searched desperately for something dry to wipe it off but I was out of luck, it was just too humid. A few minutes later the volume controls started malfunctioning, constantly adjusting the volume, and all I could do was turn it off. A day later, it’s still malfunctioning. I can only hope it gets better after a few days of drying out or I may have to replace it.

I celebrated my PR with a 10 mile run this morning. I was worried about this run after the race yesterday, but it went really well. I finished strong with an average pace of 9:47 and an 8:46 final mile.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Head to Head to Head

Looks like we have another entrant in the DoppelLaufer Virtual 5k Challenge. dwm082 a/k/a Don threw his hat in the ring yesterday.

Here is the new lineup:

With his weakness for ice cream and potato chips I really don’t consider Don much of a threat, unless of course Ben & Jerry’s sponsored his race and is offering free samples at the finish line. He does seem to have won the heart of our head cheerleader, but I think that’s only because his profile picture hides the spare tire he’s carrying around his waist from eating all that junk food. I also think that’s a rug on his head.

Don’s running in the Mississippi Mudds 5k in Buffalo, NY. Looks like it’s FL vs. IL vs. NY with state pride on the line.

Jim has graciously offered me a few training tips. Apparently applying a thick coat of Icy Hot to the nipples, upper thighs and groin area just before the starting gun virtually guarantees a PR. Makes sense, I think I’ll give it shot.

The shenanigans are escalating here.

I picked up my race packet yesterday at Track Shack. I’m bib # 1363. They were having a 20% off sale so I picked up a new pair of Asics. This will probably be the pair I wear in the Space Coast Marathon. I broke them in this morning.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

2010 DoppelLaufer Virtual 5k Challenge

What is this nonsense, you ask?

Well, the bar room brawl started here:

and then tumbled into the streets here:

It all began with an innocent comment to JimDo64 on the CoolRunning forum about how evenly matched we seem to be based on our race PR’s, followed by a not so innocent threat to shred his half marathon PR come October.

Gradually other similarities revealed themselves, apparently including a sense of humor.

JimDo64 - Nemesis
(actual size)
Your Intrepid Blogger
“It’s like we’re living in alternate universes,” says he.

“Or like we’re doppelgangers,” I say.

Wherein he proceeds to lecture me with a long winded diatribe about the etymological origins of doppelganger, culminating in the declaration that we are actually DoppelLauffers (literal translation – Double Runners) and that one of us must therefore be evil.

What nerve!

This will all culminate in a clash of titans Saturday morning, a virtual head to head 5k. I’ve registered for the Track Shack Celebration of Running 5k in Orlando and he entered the Joshua Kurby Charge for the CHARGE 5k in Carol Stream, IL.

Winner gets bragging rights and first crack at being the evil/fun half of the doppel pair.

With any luck we will both break through 24 minutes for the first time.

Stay tuned!

Monday, August 9, 2010

How Soon we Forget

I had my long run routine down pat last spring and survived runs as long as 19 miles with very few lingering after effects.

I go one month with out a run longer than 9 miles and it’s like I forgot everything.

I’m walking bold legged this morning because my upper thighs are rubbed raw and a mile into my 3 mile run this morning I had to strip off my shirt because of the sting on my nipples. Ouch.

Luckily it was 5:30 am, pitch black out and the streets were deserted.

Time to pull the Body Glide and Band-Aids out of my medicine cabinet.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

16 Weeks to Go

I finished week two of my marathon training this morning with an 11 mile run with WVR on the Gemini Springs Trail. The club has quite a few members training for marathons this fall, mostly New York and the Space Coast Marathons, so there were a lot of people putting in 10-15 mile long runs this morning, despite the heat.

I finished the run just within my target time range at about a 10:25 pace. I even got a burst of energy late in the run, around miles 7 and 9. It came a little late in the run, and didn’t last very long, but it was appreciated just the same.

I’m still trying to tweak my hydration. I lost 4 pounds this morning even while drinking 32 oz during and immediately after the run. I was a little nauseous for about an hour after finishing. It could have been due to dehydration, or it might have been the Nuun tab I dissolved in my first bottle of water. I’m hoping it was the former but this is the second time I experienced nausea while using Nuun and this time I can’t blame eating a gel at the same time. The nausea wasn’t severe, it just made me uncomfortable. I do prefer Nuun to Gatorade so I will try it again and increase my fluid intake for my next long run and cross my fingers.

I have this feeling that by the time I get my summer hydration figured out the weather will cool and I will have to start over again.

I finally picked the marathon plan I will be using, Hal Higdon’s Intermediate II. I have been going over plans for the past two months and had a hard time deciding. I had good results using Hal Higdon for my half marathon training and I basically completed one of his novice marathon plans in the spring, so that was the deciding factor. This plan has three 20 milers and two 50 mile weeks. If things go well, I may extend one of those runs to 22 miles. If they go poorly I have room to cut back a bit and still be adequately prepared for the race. I will be running 5 days per week including two short recovery runs, a hard workout (alternating speed work, hills and a tempo run), a medium distance race pace run, and a long run. I’ve also got two races planned between now and the marathon on November 28 – the Miracle Miles 15k next month in Orlando and the Daytona Beach Half Marathon on Halloween.  My plan for each race is not to run full out, but to try to run them at my planned marathon race pace, close to a 9 minute mile, which would still mean PR's.  I have a feeling though that once the starting gun fires that plan will be completely forgotten.

I’m starting to get used to early morning hours. On weekdays I’m up at 4 for a 5 am run. On weekends it’s up at 5 for a 6 am run. I said I’m getting used to them, that doesn’t mean I like them. You can rest assured that I will be sleeping in on November 29 and for many mornings thereafter

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Setting Goals

Your goal for your first marathon should be to merely finish and you should not attempt to impose a time goal . . .blah blah blah, dribble, piffle and flummery!

We all know that’s BS or we wouldn’t have invested in fancy watches, gps gadgets or smart phone aps. We wouldn’t be meticulously logging and mapping every stride and analyzing stats to the point of obsession.

Let’s be honest with ourselves. If you are training for a race you have a time in mind. It’s human nature. So instead of engaging in self deception, I think it’s more useful to examine that goal to determine if it is reasonable or if it needs a reality check. Once you have a reasonable goal in mind, the next step is to analyze your training to increase your chances of achieving that goal.

I have spent the past few days engaged in this self analysis. The goal that I have had floating around my head lately is 4 hours. Earlier this year I would have said 4:30, but I have improved so much this summer that breaking 4:00 doesn’t strain credulity. After crunching numbers, looking at pace calculations, reviewing my training log and race performances, and finally consulting resources like the McMillan Calculator I am thinking that a more reasonable and attainable goal would be 4:10. 10 minutes may not sound like a big difference but it means averaging a 9:33 pace instead of 9:00, which is significant.

I compared the optimal training paces spit out by the McMillan Calculator to the times in my training log and I seem to be right on target, usually even on the faster side of range. So far, so good. It will be useful to have these specific goals for each workout over the coming weeks.

Here are my targets for the rest of the week:
Friday:  3 miles, recovery pace (11:00+ min/mile)
Saturday:  5 miles, race pace (9:00-9:30 min/mile)
Sunday:  10 miles, long slow pace (10:00-11:00 min/mile)

114 days and counting.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Island Mode

Today’s submission is being penned from the balcony of a Gulf front condo on beautiful Sanibel Island, FL. Our family and close friends have been gathering here every summer for an annual reunion for the past 30 years. In all that time, this island has not changed a bit.

I got up early this morning for my first ever run on the island. I ran a 5 mile route around the perimeter of a nature preserve at the heart of Sanibel. I did manage to include about a mile and a half along Periwinkle Way, Sanibel’s main street. Periwinkle is of course pockmarked by gift shops and vacation rental offices but also long standing landmarks like Bailey’s General Store and the epitome of island health food cuisine – Cheeburger Cheeburger (excuse me while I take a moment to wipe the drool off of my keyboard).

There were surprisingly few people out at 7 am. During the 45 minute run I only saw 4 other runners and couple of bicyclists. I did manage to get chased by a dog. No run would be complete without that.

It was a great way to begin August and finish and my first week of marathon training. I ran my long run yesterday, Deland’s infamous 9 mile hills route. I am still sore today, especially in my Achilles, so I treated today’s run as a recovery run at an easy 9:40ish pace. Afterward I waded into the Gulf (no tar balls here), the water probably wasn’t cold enough to offer much benefit, but the massaging action of waves felt good.

The run went surprisingly well considering my poor nutrition, hydration and sleep over the past 24 hours. It was a travel day so we ate fast food and I “camelled up” with several beers late into the evening.

I finished July just a hair over 100 miles. A little less than I have been averaging over the past few months, but I was focusing on speed workouts instead of distance. In fact my longest run of the month was yesterday’s 9 miler. I did run 22 days last month, including two, six day stretches of consecutive running days. So while the mileage was down, the intensity was way up. I’m feeling great now and ready for week two of marathon training.