Thursday, June 26, 2008

Jim's Questions

1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?

I was running just enough to pass the semiannual Navy physical readiness test. However, I was riding my bike quite a bit. In fact, in most of my post-college life, I have been more of a bike rider than a runner. I switched to running a couple of years ago so I could run a local 1/2 marathon. I then switched to running full time when I started traveling quite a bit with work. However, I am looking at going back to mtn biking.

2. What is your best and worst run/race experience?

Best is when I ran a 1:31 half marathon (2007)...oh so close to breaking 1:30. This was done on a hilly course. I ran a 3:31 first marathon in late 2007 just missing the Boston qualifier time. I feel I can easily best that attempt...hopefully this year.

Worst is this past year's 1/2 marathon when my flutter kicked in at the start of the race and never quit. It was a really blah race. I thought I would be close to breaking 1:30 especially coming off a marathon and it was a beautiful day. It was not to be.

3. Why do you run?

I like staying in decent physical condition. It also relieves stress. Last, I am just good enough that I can occasionally place high in the results and typically do well in my age group. I race just enough that I typically have good results because I train specifically for those races rather just running them willy nilly.

4. What is the best or worst piece of advice you’ve been given about running?

I try not to give bad advice. My good advice is speed training. When I suggest it to other runners that are looking to improve their time, the comment I often get is that "I am not fast." That is not the purpose of speed training. Anyone looking to improve their time needs some form of speed work thrown into their training plan. Doing more miles will not make you faster and in fact may slow you down. One thing I have learned is that not all runners are interested in improving their times. So when I get that vibe, I just keep my mouth shut which is good advice.

5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.

I am not one to share too much personal stuff on the world wide web and I don't think most folks will really care whether or not I spill my guts. However, I have been to the north pole (or at least under it) and the sub I was stationed on is in the Hunt for Red October (flashing light sequence - not in movie credits - USS Puffer SSN 652). In fact, I was the Officer of the Deck during the filming and the guy that did the flashing light was mess cook that knew Morse code but failed out of radioman's school. He actually had a script, but I do not recall what it was and I can't "read" Morse code.

Tag - well I have an extremely low following and in fact, neighbor Jim is the only one I list in my links and he is the one that tagged me. So the buck stops here. Hopefully his other tags will pass the torch.

Running Monkees

I have been running almost everyday...even on vacation!

Last Saturday I ran nearly 1:30. I was running with the few middle schoolers that showed up to OMSP. One got hurt her ankle so I ran to my truck and went back to pick her up (that was the first hour). Then everyone left except one family who was missing a wife and son. So I ran another 30 minutes looking for the when I came upon the realization that they probably missed a turn which in fact they did. They did not turn at the right spot and essentially ran straight uphill (clue #1) until they reached the mountain bike trail (clue #2). Anyway, they were waiting on me when I returned.

We left for a north Georgia vacation on Sunday (no run). Monday I ran about 6.5 miles on trail in Helen, GA. I ran 30 minutes on Tuesday in downtown Helen. We headed for Stone Mountain where I ran the loop on Wednesday (5 miles - 37m 50s) and then walked the rest of the day. After a crappy night's sleep (2-3 hours), I got up and ran two loops (yes 10 miles in 1:29) and then walked around the Georgia Aquarium for several hours. I am hoping to get plenty of rest tonight after little sleep last night.

Heart issues...a couple of bleeps late in the day while walking around. Other than that I have really had no flutter issues. Tomorrow will be a short run with a little speed mixed in.

I have been working on my LSD pace which is how I comfortably ran 10 miles today.

Monday, June 16, 2008


I did not run yesterday. In fact, I did not get out of the house except to take the dog out one. It was Father's Day and this father did nuttin'.

Saturday I ran 8-9 miles at Oak Mountain State Park on the trails. The first 30 minutes it was raining, but the tree canopy kept us fairly dry. I really felt good and just got into the groove.

Sunday I still felt good and thought about running. Alas, it was not to be.

Today I ran nearly 5 miles and if it weren't for Chip and Mark running with me, I would have quit after the first lap. Legs were tired. Mind was not motivated. Legs were tired. Felt blah. I am not an afternoon athlete because my body is in the afternoon lull. It is like eating a lot of sugary candy and after the sugar high wears off, you feel bad. That was how I felt. I felt pretty peppy this morning, but no gas in the tank this afternoon.

Got on the scale this morning and I am up to 166.5 lbs. Man, I cannot run enough to keep the weight from creeping up. I am trying to cut back on the eats, but it sure is hard. I usually don't have the weight creep during the summer. It usually hits in the winter. If there is more input than there is output, the weight is put on. I have got to reverse this trend.

Heart wise everything has been rather normal. A little blip of flutter every now again (mainly running), but nothing like it was earlier this spring when it was every stinking day. I will be seeing my new cardio doc in a couple of weeks and I won't be displaying any symptoms...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday - No run day

Been running and working in the yard while working and, you know....

I have been doing some speedwork on Tuesday/Thursday while getting in some decent "recovery" runs at other times. Ran nearly 9 miles last Saturday starting at 0800 and it was darn hot. Bleck. I had a hard time trying to get the run done because it was so stinking hot!

This week has been a little cooler and the fast runs were doable though challenging. I did a tempo run on Tuesday and it did not feel good. Usually you do the tempo run and feel pretty good afterward....not Tuesday. It was crappy and I was zonked.

I did a slow run on Wednesday trying to figure out my state of conditioning. I read an article on RRCA's website where you figure out your heart rate using the following formula: 180 - age and then add or subtract some amount depending running longevity, sickness, etc. Anyway, this result should approximate your aerobic threshold. After some serious math, my threshold came out to 139 BPM which I kind of knew from experience. I have not run with a HR monitor in some time because I was tired of over analyzing myself. Once you know your threshold, then you do a warm up and then run 3-5 miles at that threshold while timing your miles. You do this once every few weeks to trend your condition. So as you prepare for an event, say a marathon, then your mile times should drop. On the other hand, as you lose condition because your a lazy slob sitting on the couch watching TV and eating bon bons.

I ran the loop around my house that has some mild elevation change and it really affects your effort. I noticed that I could easily maintain 139 on the flats and then I had to really slow down going uphill and then speed up when running down hill. It was too much effort to alter my pace to keep the 139 average. My average on each lap turned out to be 141 which was not too bad since it shifted from 134 to 146.

Well I have not downloaded my results to see my mile averages. I think next time I will simply run on the track to better determine my 1600 meter times. Although running 4-5 miles on a 400m track does not sound like fun. However, those 10,000m runners run nearly a million laps during their race, so what is 20-25 laps?

I did 6x400m repeats with a jog between each fast lap. My average time on each lap was 1:22. It is hard to believe that I could run 60 second repeats (10 laps with 30-60s rest between each). After I finished the laps, I jogged 1600m and then did 6x100m strides on the infield with bare feet.

Tomorrow we will run the trails at OMSP. I think I will slow down on this run and smell the roses (although I have never seen any..).

Heart issues? Nothing lately. Go figure.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Trail Running

We went trail running at OMSP this past Saturday. It was actually a nice run since we started at 0730 when it was a little cooler (same high humidity). I ran about 4 miles on the trails and 3 miles on the road. Not a bad workout. Then, the highlight of my day, I trimmed bushes all afternoon...whoopee. Nothing like sweating your asterisk off wearing long pants and a long sleeve shirt (my bushes are very itchy). They do look better since there are not wild sprouts everywhere.

Sunday we trimmed the back. I had hoped to get a run in, but the afternoon thunder bumpers rolled through and I do not care to run when it is going KABOOM.

I am in Vidalia today and once again hoping to get a quick run it, but there are afternoon thunderstorms that are keeping me in my room. So I am spending a little time catching up on the blog. Done!