December
31
Posted on 31-12-2008
Filed Under (Training) by Brian
Cold Gear

Yesterday was a pretty nice day and I got in a 10.5 mile run with a few 1 mile bursts at 7:00 min/mile pace.  Toward the end I actually got a little hot, which was nice….but not really.  I mean it was nice to be warm for once since I’ve been in St. Louis, but I felt overheated.  That wasn’t so nice.

Luckily, as temperatures tend to do in St. Louis, things changed pretty dramatically again today.  It was about 22 degrees when I left for my run this morning, but I comforted myself with the knowledge that it would be my last run in the cold…at least for a while.  I snapped a photo of me in my cold gear for posterity.

It was supposed to be an easy 6 miles and it started out like that.  As I got into it, I sped up and felt pretty comfortable with it.  I figured that with 2 days in the car ahead, I’d have plenty of rest if I overdid it.  I finished the 6 in 49:05.  Not too shabby.  I’m headed back to Florida tomorrow.  We’ll overnight in Georgia, then hit Disney on Friday to meet a friend.  After the weekend, it’ll be back to work for 4 days, then back to Disney for the race.  Happy New year everyone!

Cold Gear
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December
28
Posted on 28-12-2008
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

I missed running the last 2 days because of some very mild soreness in my knees and some pretty severe rainstorms. I’m being overly cautious this year. I replotted a new route as flat as I could find in the area near my parents’ house.

The route worked out pretty well. There were a few spots where the road ran out of shoulder and I had to hoof it on some pretty soggy ground. While not really flat, the hills on this route tended to be long with gradual inclines rather than the short steep ones I’ve been running. I planned on 8 miles with a little variation in speed here and there. I felt pretty good after 8, so I turned up the speed for the final half mile back to the house. I ran that in roughly 3 minutes. There were no problems from the knees and the overall ease to the run was a good confidence builder for the race.

Yesterday the temp was up to almost 70 degrees, but that brought tornado warnings. Today was about 40 degrees at run time and it was pretty nice. I ran in my tights with a long sleeve shirt, my jacket, gloves and a wool cap. It was quite comfortable.

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December
25
Posted on 25-12-2008
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

I headed out at about 10 am this morning. It was about 25 degrees and clear with much less wind than yesterday. My legs were a little stiff from yesterday’s tempo, and I drank a lot of Makers Mark and Yukon Jack with the family over last night. The run was probably tougher than it should have been, but it was nice. The roads were empty except for the odd mini van full of a family clad in their Sunday best headed for Church looking at the crazy guy running alongside the road.

Today I’m headed to the cemetery to say hi to grandparents who’ve passed along, then off to my brother’s house for some more family fun. I hope everyone out there who celebrates has a Merry Christmas.

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December
24
Posted on 24-12-2008
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

Yesterday was pretty icy all day so I stayed inside and drank bourbon. Today was overcast and 37 degrees, so I thought it would be a great day for my 10 mile tempo run. When I left the house, weather.com said the wind was 8 MPH. I guess the next front was already moving in because by the time I got home, weather.com was reporting 25 MPH with 36 MPH gusts. I’ve gotta say that I’ve run in Florida when there were tropical storms offshore and the wind I felt today was probably the strongest I’ve ever run in. I actually went backwards during a particularly strong gust and the crosswinds on the highway overpasses were knock my feet out from under me.

The plan was to run 1 mile easy, 8 miles at planned race pace and 1 mile easy. Needless to say I didn’t quite average my planned race pace, but I’m pretty sure I put the effort in. I finished the 10 miles in 1:23:02. Now it’s time from some fine food, fine drink and fine company. Happy holidays everyone.

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December
22
Posted on 22-12-2008
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Brian

I guess everything is relative. If you asked me last week if I’d want to run in 20 degrees, I’d have laughed at you. After yesterday, though it felt quite nice. I basically wore the same thing I did yesterday, but I started with the headband in my pocket. I quickly realized I was still going to need it. I alternated having it over my mouth about every half mile or so.

My 6 mile route today took me through some hilly neighborhoods, out over an interstate, past a large shopping center, then out into a vast expanse of empty corn fields, back across the interstate, and back into the neighborhoods. It was a pretty good route actually. When I was running along the corn fields, I felt like I was running in the middle of nowhere. It made me feel like a professional runner for a moment.

I finished the 6 miles in 50:51. All in all a pretty good run. We’re looking at ice tomorrow, so my 10 miles of speedwork is up in the air. They’re predicting 1/8″ of ice on the ground by morning and I didn’t bring my skates – ha!

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December
22
Posted on 22-12-2008
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

I managed to arrive in St. Louis after two days of driving, hit the sack and woke up to the coldest day of the year. 4 degrees with 35 MPH winds making the wind chill a balmy -12. Knowing that 15 miles on unfamiliar country roads in these conditions was not a good idea, I opted for a 2 mile out and back just to shake the 2 days in the car out of my legs. I wore two pairs of socks, my tights underneath a pair of sweatpants, two long sleeve running shirts and a Nike cold weather jacket, a wool stocking cap on my head, and one of those headbands that’s supposed to cover your ears over my mouth and nose.

When I got outside, I was actually surprised at how well I had dressed myself. I was basically comfortable. A little cool, but I figured that would go away when I started running. I got to the end of my parent’s neighborhood and started running. I knew it was about a mile to the local Target, so I figured on running there and back.

I was laboring to breathe immediately. Although the headband over my mouth and nose was warming the air quite nicely, it was also reducing the volume of air I was bringing in. I was also running at about 7 min/mile pace just because I was cold I guess. I pulled down the headband and breathed easier, but the cold air stung my lungs. I ended up alternating up and down the whole run. I made it to target in about 7:30. At the top of the hill, a huge wind gust actually blew me off the sidewalk and into the grass. The wind flowing in underneath my sunglasses actually felt as though it might freeze the fluid in my right eye. When I turned around, my right eye got some relief, but my left eye was exposed to the wind.

I headed home at a pretty good pace and finished the 2 miles in 15:08. At the entrance to the neighborhood, I started walking back to my parents’ house but ended up jogging it just to get there sooner.

Today, it’s warming up to 20 degrees so I hope to get in 6 miles.

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December
18
Posted on 18-12-2008
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

It was quite refreshing to have a 3 mile scheduled run today. I can’t remember the last time I had a scheduled 3 miles run. I set out knowing I could take it easy in good conscience, but also knowing that with two planned days off for travel, it wouldn’t be a big deal if I pushed it.

Wearing a brand spankin’ new pair of Adidas Supernova Sequences, I headed for the park. I figured I’d just let the legs do what they wanted. I did the first mile in 8:10, so I knew things were probably going to be fast. Once I hit the park, I always encounter other runners and that always speeds me up. I hit the 2 mile mark at 15:08. The legs were enjoying the springiness of the new shoes and the lungs seemed to be keeping up alright.

Mile 3 was another sub 7 minute mile. I finished the 3 miles in 21:50, feeling pretty pumped up. Of course my right shin paid the price, but I walked backwards on my heels as I was doing a few house chores and massaged the calf in the shower. It’s feeling much better now and after two days off, I’m sure it will be good as new.

Sunday looks to be 19 degrees and windy in St. Louis. Should be interesting. I can hear Paul laughing at me now.

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December
17
Posted on 17-12-2008
Filed Under (Digital Running) by Brian

I hit the treadmill today for 5 miles before a 1 hour strength training session. That, of course was no milestone. In fact, I felt somewhat sluggish during the 5 miles at 9:05 pace…just a bit of a “hangover” from yesterday’s threshold work I suppose.

The true milestone has to do with a website I’ve been working on (less than I’d like to be) for much of the year. If you’ve been a longtime reader, you’ve probably heard me mention in passing that I’ve been working on a social network for runners. Today, I completed the portion of the site that allows users to insert their own custom running plans. It took me much longer than I would have liked, but a lot of the architecture for the whole site is built into this potion of the site. So, things like the training log should take quite a bit less time by comparison. It would be really cool to have at least an alpha version of the site available by this summer, but we’ll have to see how things go. It’s entirely funded by our graphic/web design business so my ability to work on it depends on my client load at any given time. I’ve resisted the temptation to go after venture capital since the thought of selling it or going public aren’t very palatable (even if the site doesn’t exist yet).

Although it seems small, today was a big step in the process. In addition to just a social website, the “Digital Running” concept will include a nationwide team of runners. I truly can’t wait until the day I pull on the Digital Running Jersey and run a race sponsored by my own company. Speaking of which, the logo is still in flux. I was initially thinking a circuit board with the silhouette of a runner coming out of it, but I haven’t really liked any of the rough concepts as yet. So, I’m open to new possibilities. Suggestions from my virtual running buddies are certainly welcome (and encouraged). I do like green and black as colors, though.

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December
16
Posted on 16-12-2008
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

Things have warmed up here the last few days. We actually hit 80 degrees today. It’s a final send off before I have to face my 15 miles in windy 26 degree weather on Sunday I think. In any case, I was scheduled for some threshold training today:

4 miles easy + 2 miles at my threshold pace (7:17) + 4 miles easy + 2 miles threshold + 1 mile easy.

I managed to keep myself at easy pace for the first 4 miles so that I was pretty fresh for the first interval. At the 4 mile mark, I hit the lap button on my Garmin and sped up pretty quickly. The first mile was easy, but the second was pretty tough. I knocked those two miles out in 14 minutes flat. I certainly felt like walking, but managed to hold on to roughly an 8:30 pace while I recovered for 4 miles. I had some pretty serious doubts about the second 2 mile interval, but I shot out again telling myself it would probably be alright if I averaged 7:25 or so. To my surprise, I finished those two in 14:03. I did take about 5 seconds of walking at that point, but finished the last mile at my easy pace.

Overall, I finished 13 miles in 1:47:03 – an overall average of 8:14 per mile and I was certainly not spent. So, I basically just have to take 45 seconds per mile off and I’ve got my goal for the half marathon. It won’t be easy, but I’m pretty confident at this point – especially when you factor in fresh legs from a taper, the lack of stopping for traffic and the multitude of other runners to pace me.

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December
15
Posted on 15-12-2008
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Brian

I’ll be hitting the road on Friday for a 2 day drive to St. Louis for the holidays. This week is a 42 mile week, so the two days driving won’t actually be too big of a problem. The biggest issue is showing up in St. Louis where it will be about 25 degrees (vs Florida where it’s 75 degrees) and having to do 15 miles the next day. If I can get used to the cold, it shouldn’t be too big of a deal because once I’m in St. Louis, it’ll pretty much be like the life of a professional runner: run, eat, relax, sleep. Minus the sponsorships and the second run of the day, I guess.

So, here’s how the week will shape up:

Monday: 6 miles 9:05 pace + 1 hour strength training
Tuesday: 2 x (4 miles 9:05 pace + 2 miles 7:15 pace) + 1 mile 9:05 pace
Wednesday: 6 miles 9:05 pace + 1 hour strength training
Thursday: Chiropractor, find cold gear, 2 miles at 9:05 pace
Friday: Travel Day
Saturday: Travel Day
Sunday: 15 miles at 9:05 pace

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